Sunday, March 25, 2018

Battleforce Recon Tournament

This weekend I played in my first Warhammer 40K tournament ever. It seems like a weird thing considering I started playing 40K 30 years ago... (Mind you, I took a 20+ year break from the game... but that's a whole other story). I'm not really excited about the whole style of competitive play, but a number of factors lead to me thinking "Hey, maybe it would be a good idea to sign up for this tournament".

First of all it was small - only 1000 points - and there were other limitations (no Lords of War, no Spearhead Detachments, no units over a certain Power Level, etc.). I've been really enjoying the smaller skirmishy games we've been playing. It reminds me of the games we play way back with the old Rogue Trader rules, which never had more than two doze on a side.

Second it was being held at the Mana Bar, which is this cool little bar that's only three blocks from my house. It's right next to King Me Boardgamery and I walk past it often. If you're into video games or general science-fi/fantasy geekiness and alcohol, it is well worth checking out. the owner has just been getting into 40K and offering the local league a table to play at on certain days.

Given those, I also thought it would be a good opportunity to meet some of the other guys that are playing 40K locally these days...

If you've been following along I've been cranking out a few models to finish up my list for the tournement and I finished up the last two roughriders I needed Thursday evening. Around that time I'd noticed the organizer sent out a reminder with a list of things to bring, and on that list was "Display Board". Now, I've looked at a lot of pictures of larger events held elsewhere and seen some of the display boards people use - I didn't even realize they did that here! So in a panic I banged on out on Friday - I was up stupid late working on it and got up even stupider earlier to finish is off (as I'd needed to wait for some stuff to dry). Also part of the points you got for painting included whether you had a display board and how fancy it was.

This is what I came up with - along with the force I took to the event. Pretty basic.... but better than nothing right? Turns out, no one else brought one!?

I showed up just after 8AM and a lot of people were already there setting up. Games got underway at 9AM - games were two hours, there was a break for lunch after the second game (with a meal provided by the Mana Bar) and things wrapped up around 7PM with the awarding of prizes.

You'll have to excuse the poor quality of the photos - the lighting in the bar was not ideal (an my camera is getting old, and I was taking quick snaps, so as not to slow games down - so I wasn't bracing toon anything...)


My first game was against a fellow named Jordan who brought some Thousand Sons/Tzeench Demons.

The tables were really, REALLY small! There were five 4'x6' table set up - each one was divided in two and two pairs of players played at each on a 4'x3' area.

For most of the games my deployment zone was chock-a-block - thank goodness there are no more template weapons! And I didn't even have my roughriders deployed in them (I sent them on "Flanking Maneuvers" each game.

Most of the scenarios were pretty much the same - each player deployed two objective markers. We drew from a common deck of tactical objectives which gave points for holding various objectives. You could hold on to them as long as you wanted and kept drawing new cards each turn and could "cash them in" for points at anytime...? There were a few that were "Have more of your units than enemy units in the enemies deployment zone!" I could tell when one of my opponents drew one of those... (groan, eye-roll, toss card aside)

I made good use of the "Vengeance for Cadia" and "Defensive Gunners" strategems against these blue demon thingies that made the mistake of charging the Punisher. Defensive Gunners means you hit on fives and sixes, instead of just sixes, on overwatch fire, and Vengeance for Cadia means you get to re-roll all missed to hit and to wound rolls against chaos things - BRUTAL! But not nearly so brutal as what I was facing.

Chaos terminators. I think I may have taken this unit out... the cost of an entire PLATOON of my own infantry!!

I swear, it seemed like EVERY SINGLE UNIT this guy fielded had some sort of psychic abilities...


My mortars did okay in most games. Slowly chipping away at units from a safe, out of the way location...

Nasty sorcerer dude that ate an entire unit of Roughriders in a turn...

Totally lost this game.



My next opponent was the fellow named Jonathan. He had an inquisitor who was backed up by a pile of Dark Angels space marines. He said he had some questions for us. I said "that weren't me" or "I was just holding it for my brother"... These answers were unsatisfactory. It came to blows.


The guys sharing our table - the guy next to me was also playing Imperial Guard. Kept joking that it was a combined Guard Assault on the powers of chaos.

It did look pretty cool with all the Imperial Guard lined up.

He had a bit more armour than me... Looks like two chimeras, a Leman Russ, and an Leman Russ Executioner!

As I was always last to set up, I almost always went second...

When I got to go I blew one of his Space Marine teams into small bits of genetically enhanced chunks of meat with my Punisher.

All day everyone kept asking if it was Pask? I guess Pask with a Leman Russ Punisher is a popular option these days. Pass is a named character/tank commander and with a BS3+ and the 40 dice the Punisher throws using the new Grinding Advance rule... I guess I can see why... But he's Cadian and thus not an option for a detachment making use of the Tallarn Regiment keyword...?

I also got asked if this or that or all of my models were Forge World or some third party manufacturer... I guess no one's played Tallarn around here recently (they are ALL original Gw minis! Though many of these have been out of print for some time!)

There was a lot of back and forth in this game - the two objective markers in the middle changed hands a number of times and it felt like I might have actually had a chance in this game. I scored over double the victory points I got in the first game.

The Roughriders did their flanking thing again. Not to actually attack anything, just to be there. I realized he'd left one unit in his initial deployment zone and I got a Tactical Objective card that game me a point or two for having more units than the enemy in the enemies deployment zone, so I brought  them on and scored some points! Huzzah!

Ultimately I lost this one too - but it was a lot closer.


During the lunch break everyone set out their models for judging. The tournament organizer gave every army a score of 1-30 based on a bunch of different factors. Also everyone voted for their favourite army and their favourite model.

Again, I apologize for the quality of the pictures, it really doesn't do some of these forces justice.

Wicked-looking Death Guard Army.

Some ferocious-looking Tyranids.

Another Astra Militarum force. Looks like they had a lot of infantry too. Hard to tell what they had for a force, I'm guessing at least a Battalion Detachment.

Tom's Chaos army - which I was to face after lunch.

Undying Necrons (so glad I didn't have to face them!)

Pascal's Tzeentch army. I would have loved to have faced these guys - Oh, I know I would have had my ass handed to me, but at least I could bask in the glory of a superbly painted army!

Cody's Orks!

Dark Angels.

MORE Astra Miitarum!

Chaos Space Marines - looking pretty bad ass!

STILL MORE Astra Militarum - though this one had a detachment of three assassins!

Inside of the Mana Bar.


Fighting Chaos again this round.

I have to admit by round three I was losing steam... Luckily they fellow I was playing against was an utterly decent chap and I totally had a fun time being beaten down by his assorted Chaos thingies.

Once again my Roughriders charged in from the rear to take some pressure off the infantry facing the monstrous hordes! They were utterly annihilated by the red chariot cannon beastie at the back...

A big unit of Khorne Bloodletters manifested from out of the warp and charged a bunch of my units up front pinning them down while that giant red monstrosity lumbered up to lay down some pain.

On the other flank my infantry faced off against a massive horde of Nurggley Plaguebearers?

Despite the unfathomable stench and cloud of flies (and tiresome Demonic Invulnerable Saves followed by Disgustingly Resilient saves) the brave Tallarn fought on!

Totally lost this one as well. At this point I was expecting to go 0-4. At least I was having fun and playing against some great guys.


My final opponent was Cody - playing ORKS!

for the first time all day I remembered that I could scout ahead with my Scout Sentinel. Also, for the first time, I got to go first (with a lucky six on a Seize The Initiative roll). The Punisher lumbered ahead and utterly annihilated a unit of 20 Boyz!

Which got the attention of these guys... Yikes!

The Roughriders charged in from behind and wiped out the Gretchin crew for this big gun and briefly seized an enemy objective marker!

Yeah, these guys basically tore my tank in half... each grabbed one side an pulled it apart!

In this scenario there was a bonus objective marker in the middle of the table which was pretty hotly contested throughout the game.

Roughriders holding an objective.

I actually won the game. I think this was because a) I was fighting Orks (they are apparently not the force to take to a tournament if you want to win, b) Cody had some of the WORST luck I have ever seen - though I seriously challenged him on this roll and CrAzY number of ones in this game, and c) by this point I think he was just a little drunk...


Afterwards there was a bit of an awards ceremony. Pascal won overall. Somehow I managed to win "Best Army"..!? I think a bunch of us were tied (points-wise) and the tie breaker came down to votes in the player's choice - I think the novelty of seeing something they don't normally see at their events got me a few votes!

My prizes - a $30 gift certificate from Dragon's Den Games and a HUGE Hockey Bag from one of the sponsors that the Mana Bar brought it Canadian Club. Not sure what I'm ever going to do with a Hockey Bag...? Maybe transporting some custom terrain boards...? I don't know.

I want to thank Jeremy Kuffner for organizing the event. I know it's a lot of work organizing an event like this - especially one that runs so smoothly. Also I'd like to thank Chris Cloud of the Mana Bar for offering up his bar for us to play at (and securing some extra sponsors) - seriously, if you're a geek and like booze and are in Saskatoon - you really need to check this place out. I'd also like to thank the four gentlemen I played against (Jordan, Jonathon, Tom and Cody), fun guys to play against, and very helpful and patient.

I have to say, the entire day just FLEW by I was having so much fun!

I have to admit though, bending over tables for EIGHT HOURS has exacted a toll - my freaking back is killing me today!  Ow!!

Coming Soon to Tim's Miniature Wargaming Blog:

I was thinking I'd take a brief break from the 40K stuff after the rush to get the stuff done for the tournament, but honestly, this has gotten me jazzed to paint MORE!!! I probably will work on a few other things over the coming weeks - some more Shadespire war bands for John...? Maybe some of that Space Hulk Stuff...? I have a unit of British Seven Years War infantry I started in February and was very nearly finished when I decide I needed to drop everything and finish up some Tallarn. I also have a super secret project I'm working on for Amanda's birthday coming up in a couple weeks (she never reads my blog, so it will remain a secret despite me mentioning it here...). I also have a bunch of stuff I'd like to paint up for the Rogue Trader campaign I tried getting off the ground in January, but we haven't managed to play a game of since...

Hopefully we'll find some time to get in few more games this week now that I'm not panicking to get things done for the tournament. Maybe even play some more 40K.

Friday, March 23, 2018

40K Friday

I'd hoped to post pics of the last two Roughriders I finished up last night and the entire force I'm planning to take to the tournament tomorrow, but I like to take pictures outside in natural light and we're in the middle of a late-season snow storm today and clumps of wet sticky snow plummeting out of sky makes for crappy photography... So instead I bring you a quick game report.

The kids friends had the day off school so they joined us for the day to hang out and play games and stuff. We got in a game of 40K in the morning. I had hoped to try out my tournament force against the older of the two brothers - as he's the only one who actually has 1000 point painted, but his younger brother ended up coming and he's been... "bored"... when we played 40K in the past. So I decided to keep things quick, simple and fun and suggested everyone come with a patrol detachment of no more than 10 Power Level and we'd work out some sides and play a quick game...

One showed up with Power Level 11 worth of Tyranids with no HQ... so... not a Patrol Detachment... The other had and assortment of things... a Hellbrute, some Raptors, a handful of Cultists, three bikers, and a Chaos Scorcerer in Terminator armour (in the end he decided to play with the bikers and Cultists - so at least it was Power Level 10... but no HQ...), and then Finnegan decided he wanted to play with 13 Power Level of Orks... I figured the Tyranids were from Hivefleet Haemorrhoid - still plaguing Brind's World and the Orks and Chaos were just taking advantage of the chaos caused by the Tyranids to create MORE chaos and carnage. The Girl and I faced them - she with her Harlequins, myself with my Tallarn Desert Raiders.


We just decided to play a kill 'em all type, last critter standing type scenario... As I had no idea what they were bringing I didn't really have time to come up with something more interesting...


Forces of Nastiness and Smelliness 

Elements of Hivefleet Haemaroid
Tyranid Warriors (3) - PL 5 - Including Warlord Kzchtshtz
Termagaunts (10) - PL 3
Hormagaunts (10) - PL 3

Chaos Space Marines
Chaos Bikers (Champion & 2 Bikers) - PL 7 (Including Warlord Skullbutt Crusher)
Chaos Cultists (5) - PL 3

Weirdboy (Werzap Rotmaw) - PL 4 - Warlord with Might is Right
-Psykic Powers - Smite, 'Ed Banger
Boyz (20) - PL 7
Patrol Detachment - 3 Command Points

Forces of the Imperium and their Occasional Allies of Opportunity

Shadowseer (Phantom) - PL 7 - Warlord with Luck of the Laughing God and the Mask of Secrets
- Psychic Abilities - Smite, Twilight Pathways, Mirror of Minds
Harlequin Troupe (5) - PL 7
Patrol Detachment - 3 Command Points

Astra Militarum 
Company Commander (Captain Abdul Alahazred) - PL 2 - Warlord with Bellowing Voice and Claw of the Desert Tigers
2x Infantry Squad (10) - PL 6
Command Squad (4) - PL 2
Heavy Weapons Squad (3 teams) - PL 3
Scout Sentinel (1) - PL 2
Roughriders (10) - PL 5
Patrol Detachment - 3 Command Points


I set up some terrain while the other were getting ready and figuring out their forces so I let the three-headed troll decide which side they wanted to set up on.

Minions of Chaos took up the centre.

WAAAAAAAGGGH!! Orks deployed on their right flank.

and a horde of Tyrannid-bug-like-things from Hivefleet Haemorrhoid swarmed in from their left.

The Girl and I set up opposite.

Sergeant Ramzi leaned into Captain Alhazred and softly spoke; "Don't look now, Captain, but I think some Xenos just appeared in the trees next to us..."

"Do they look like they're going to attack US...?" Alhazred hoarsely whispered back.

"I don't think so, Captain. It looks as though they are looking out to our front, towards the enemy advancing upon us?"

"Okay, keep an eye on them, but don't make eye contact..."

ROUND ONE - Baddies Turn

The Forces of Nastiness and Smelliness surged forward! Most advanced, driven by their bloodlust and desire to make a mess all over the place with our entrails...

The Tyranid warriors took a long-range pot-shot one of my infantry squads and took out one lowly infantryman... Private Slahi was his name, not that they cared. He had seven children back home. SEVEN! Fear naught, however, for the Emperor takes care of His own! They will be raised good and proper by the School Progenium. One day they will all be Commissars and Storm Troopers... We shall see who has the last laugh...

ROUND ONE - Goodies Turn

I had deployed the Tallarn Roughriders in "Flanking Maneuvers" and they came charging on to the enemies rear on our first turn - causing them some panic!

Others moved and advanced. The Scout Sentinel took a pot shot at the Chaos Bikers with its Lascannon and sliced one in clean in half. There was some discussion amongst the boys as to which Tyranids could properly devour chaos flesh without getting a tummy ache... or something like that...? I had no idea so many people had an intolerance of Chaos flesh...!? It's like the Gluten of the 41st Millennium!? The things I learn hanging out with kids!

I forgot that you no longer have to ROLL to issue orders, so only one of the squads got orders... Both squads took shots at the Tyranid Warriors and, between the two of them, caused a total of two wounds. The Boys had been a bit concerned about the vast number of troops I was able to field the same power level they'd brought to the table... after this bit of shooting, they were slightly less concerned.

Then my mortars blew up 2 Termagaunts from clear across the table and that caused them some anxiety. The Roughriders also shot down one of the Chaos Cultists with a laspistol. How embarrassing is that... being shot by a guardsman with a laspistol... it was just a cultist, I guess. My Roughridered failed to charge the Cultists...

The Harlequins danced around the table and tried to kill things with their brains and failed...

ROUND TWO - Baddies Turn

Again the hordes of Heratics and Xenos surged forward.

The Chaos Bikers roared up, blazing away at the Sentinel with their Bolters... failing to do anything. The Orks unleashed a torrent of Dakka and put some mighty big holes in the small can on legs (3 Wounds!). Guardsman Saleh was a little unnerved by all this fire and had more than a few narrow misses!

The Chaos cultists fled from eh Roughriders into the woods. There they spotted Harlequins in the open and lit them up with their autoguns! Two of the Harlequins fell!

The Termagaunts and Tyranid Warriors fired on Sergeant Hasnawi's Squad. The Tyranids totally missed, but those nasty little guns the Termagaunts had (Assault 3?) took down three!

The Chaos Bikers decided to charge the Scout Sentinel. Actually they'd decided the Orks should go first, as I'd only get Overwatch fire one ONE unit and it didn't matter if I actually managed to hit and kill an Ork, right...? But then the Orks failed to charge - even with their re-roll. So they decided to charge with the Chaos Bikers, I mean, what were the odds I'd take one out with Overwatch fire - I only got ONE SHOT with the lascannon, and I need six to hit. THEN, if I did hit, I'd need a 3 to wound... So, yeah, I did that... LUCKILY the Chaos bikers rolled a 6 to save - which was exactly what they needed to no be totally taken out. The actual Melee was rather... inconclusive...

Despite the grievous losses, Sergeant Hasnawi's Squad passed morale!

ROUND TWO - Goodies Turn

 And then it kind of all went to crap for the baddies because I suddenly could not stop rolling fives and sixes!?

Well, first the Shadowseer smiled the Chaos Cultists and took one of them out. Then she manifested Mirror of Minds and killed an Ork - but rolled a 12 doing so and took a wound due to Perils of the Warp. Then the Shadowseer took out another Chaos Cultist with a grenade and then the Harlequins charged in and wiped out the remaining Cultists...

This time I managed to issue orders to both Squads - Front Rank Fire, Second Rank Fire gave me LOADS of shots against the Tyranids - especially now that some of them were within 12" of one of the squads. AS I mentioned I could not stop rolling fives and sixes. Just as one example, I fired a grenade launcher at the Tyranid Warriors. A Grenade Launcher firing Frag is Grenade d6 - so I roll d6 to determine how many attacks I get - I rolled a six. I roll six dice to see how many of those attacks actually HIT the Tyranids, I have a 4+ Ballistic Skill, so half of them should - I roll 4, 4, 5, 5, 5, 6... so all of those hit... The Grenade is only Strength 3 and the Tyranids are Toughness 4 so I only wound on 5+, I roll 5, 5, 6, 6, 6.... Okay.... so the Tyranids have a 4+ save, the Grenade has no armour piecing... He saves one... One dead Tyranid Warrior and another takes an additional wound... And that was just ONE Grenade Launcher...

My fire took out all three Tyranid Warriors, and half the Termagaunts. Another Four Hormagaunts were take out by the Mortars.

Then the Roughriders charged! Originally they were going to charge the Tyranid Warriors, but they'd been wiped out so I charged the Termagaunts. They did get a PILE of Overwatch fire and even scored four hits, but only one of those actually caused a wound (and the Roughriders had two each...). The Termagaunts were wiped out.

The Hormagaunts lost another 3 to morale.

The boys decided they'd had enough and called it a day.


Totally didn't expect that to go quite like that! I had some CrAzY dice rolls though... Despite the thorough thrashing I think everyone had a pretty good time.

Still some good practice to remind me of some of the rules before playing in the tournament tomorrow.

Coming Soon to Tim's Miniature Wargaming Blog:

A Report of the Battleforce Recon 40K Tournament taking place at the Mana Bar in Saskatoon tomorrow (Saturday, 24 March 2018).

Then... maybe some more painting...?