The past two weeks have been extremely, extremely busy for me.  So those still waiting on email responses, I'm doing my best to get back to you with the extra time I have (about 30 remaining).  Should slow down a bit after this weekend, now that Thanksgiving is over.  But my sister's wedding, the girlfriend giving me huge To-Do lists, the family circus, work, etc etc is really sucking all of my free time.  I can't even properly comment on my blog posts (or make them for that matter).  :(

Fortunately, I do get off work relatively early today, so I should be able to sit down a shoot off a good chunk of emails and get my comments done on these blog posts.  Lots of interesting things actually coming up and I'm definitely not missing on material to talk about.  Just missing time.  lol!

Somewhere in there I have to find the time to finish painting up my minis for Dark Star GT as well...but the holidays should be well over by then.  We'll see.

Anyway, thanks everyone for your patience.  Remember, if you send an email to me and need a timely response (i.e. couple days or less), let me know in the email.  I may not respond right away, but I DO read everything I get when they arrive.  :P
 
 
Hope you all had a great Thanksgiving!  :)

February 11th is the date of The Dark Star GT in Mounts View, MN.  Naturally, I will be attending with the Black Templars.  I do live in Minnesota after all.  Why I haven't before?  Good question.  Probably because I didn't know about it or else I would have.  That isn't the case this year.  I'm hoping to have a full GT schedule this year, with a goal of at least 3 Grand Tournaments.  Considering Nova Open is for SURE happening unless something terrible comes up and because I already paid the $60 to register for the Dark Star event, that is two tournaments covered.  Just have to find another close one.  I'm thinking either Bugeater GT or Indy Open, with a preference on the latter.

Anyway, some basics about the Dark Star event.  1850 point armies, 80 players, and no painting required.  Obviously, I'll be going for the Best General (battle and sportsmanship points).  But that doesn't mean I won't also go for Overall Champion.  But the scores for this weighted heavily in painting, in addition to the already high sportsmanship points.  So my chances in this section?  Maybe not so amazing.  But we'll see.  I've got lots of time to prepare and paint my army for this tournament.  Best part?  Most of it was already finished for Nova Open, so there isn't much left to do.
 
 
As I mentioned about a week ago, there is an escalation league going on here in the local area.  I posted a list that I thought would do well, but changed my plans shortly thereafter when I took Algesan's advice on the Chaplain.  This is what the list currently looks like:

HQ:
* Reclusiarch w/ Bolt Pistol, Crozius Arcanum, Artificer Armor, Rosarius, Krak Grenades, and Frag Grenades.  [119]

TROOPS:
* Crusader Squad (7 Initiates, 2 Neophytes) w/ 7 BP & CCWs, Meltagun, and Powerfist.  Mounted in a Rhino w/ Smoke Launchers.  [210]
* Crusader Squad (5 Initiates) w/ 3 Bolters, Plasmagun, and Lascannon.  [101]

FAST ATTACK:
* Land Speeder Typhoon.  [70]

TOTAL:  [500]


Well, the list has gone 7-0 thus far.  There really isn't much that it cannot handle, though a IG player came dangerously close to beating me due to his long ranged weaponry.  Anyway, this isn't about how good the list is doing or tooting my own horn, as most of my opponents are newish.  I'm helping them build more solid lists and as time goes on, I'm seeing better lists grace the table.

However, I need some advice once more on where to proceed with my own list.  The league rules state that we have 2 months of game play before we increase the points to 600, but the players are pretty much going to start playing higher levels irregardless.  So I need a list.  I already have something in mind, but I'd like to hear your suggestions first.  :)
 
 
Hello everyone!  Its time to get back into the saddle with the Black Templars.

You'll have to forgive me for the lack of posts lately, as is the case with everyone, real life comes first.  First off, I'm going to finish up the Nova Open battle reports this week.  They are pretty much done, so I just have to finish them up and I'll be simply releasing them in short succession with each other.  Likely all in the same day (looking to do this on Thanksgiving), so we can get them done and out as I promised.  I also have a planned post discussing the merits of our Crusader squads, primarily drawn from the comments in this post, but also from the thoughts from the B&C Forum.

As some of you have noticed, there has been a growing trickle of rumors starting to come out regarding the Black Templars.  Up to this point, the only real solid pieces of news that I had was that Phil Kelly was the codex writer and the time slot for release was supposed to mid-summer or shortly thereafter.  Yesterday, however, I gleaned some new information from certain individuals due to my "standing in the BT community".  However, I am not allowed to disclose any of it.  I cannot even comment on how much info I got or what it references.  Which makes me sad face, because I really want to share it.  :(  Such is life.  The fact that I even got any info at all should give you an indication of where we are in the stage of things.

*Warning:  Long blog post ahead!*
 
 
So...if one where to field a Necron army, what would it look like?  Me-thinks it'd be something like this:

HQ:
* Overlord w/ Warscythe.  Mounted in a Catacomb Command Barge w/ Telsa Cannon.  [180]
* Royal Court: 5 Crypteks w/ 5 Harbingers of Destruction and 1 Solar Pulse.  [185]

ELITES:
* Stalker w/ Heat Ray.  [150]
* Stalker w/ Heat Ray.  [150]
* Stalker w/ Heat Ray.  [150]

TROOPS:
* 5 Immortals w/ Telsa Carbine.  [85]
* 5 Immortals w/ Telsa Carbine.  [85]
* 5 Immortals w/ Telsa Carbine.  [85]
* 5 Immortals w/ Telsa Carbine.  [85]
* 5 Immortals w/ Telsa Carbine.  [85]
* 5 Immortals w/ Telsa Carbine.  [85]

FAST ATTACK:
* 3 Wraiths.  [105]
* 10 Scarabs.  [150]
* 10 Scarabs.  [150]

HEAVY SUPPORT:
* Annihilation Barge w/ TL-Telsa Destructor and Telsa Cannon.  [90]
* Annihilation Barge w/ TL-Telsa Destructor and Telsa Cannon.  [90]
* Annihilation Barge w/ TL-Telsa Destructor and Telsa Cannon.  [90]

TOTAL:  [2000]


So the Crypteks split up to join with the Immortals and throw down their Eldritch Lances at vehicles for funsies.  This will boost those squad's numbers a little bit, but they are still exposed to fire.  Use the Solar Pulse as needed.  In the meantime, the Overlord is cruising around in his pimp-mobile and swinging his stupid good warscythe at whatever he chooses.  Vehicles?  No problem.  Infantry?  Got it covered.  Its like close combat, except without the getting hurt back issue.  Plus, if you go flat out when you're doing your swings, you get the cover save next turn.  ;)

The Stalkers will be advancing early game into positions of cover or clear fire lanes, with the preference on cover.  For Stalkers close to the enemy, the Wraiths will provide screening against close combat.  These units synergize well with each other, as both move through cover effortlessly and will be important for late game contesting should they still be around.  Obviously, the Stalkers will target primarily enemy vehicles with their dual-melta.  However, they don't always need to.

The Annihilation Barges are also ridiculous.  Crap ton firepower for the minimal price of 90 points.  The TL-Telsa Destructor is almost enough to make me take it for that price, but adding a Telsa Cannon to it?  Count me in.  That is 6 Telsa shots, which means you're statistically going to "proc" at least once per shooting phase.  Add in the 'Arc' bounce, and you have some nice anti-infantry.  They can even be pointed at vehicles if you want, acting as a ghetto Autocannon.  Just remember that the "-" will cause you to get -1 on the damage chart, but that is okay, since you really only need to suppress.  They are more for anti-infantry anyway.  Its the Overlord, Crypteks, Scarabs, and Stalkers that are doing the heavy lifting on the anti-tank front.  :)

Lots of little things that are incredibly dangerous.  Do you shoot the Scarabs, knowing what they can do?  If you do, then you allow the Stalkers and Overlord to advance forward unmolested, and they will wreck faces.  Or do you concentrate your firepower into the relatively weak and small sized Troops squads, hoping to kill them off?  If that happens, you're still going to get smacked by the incoming forces.  Everything is cheap.  There are no "good" targets in this army, but everything NEEDS to be targeted.  This would be a fun list to play.  If one were to have a Necron army, of course.  ;)
 
 
As the title says, I don't really specialize in lower point games.  I know what you need in a force that size, but if you must pick a weakness, smaller point games are mine.  Its kind of like fumbling in the dark.  When you're so used to 1500-2000 points games, you forget how to play everything else!

So that is what makes this interesting for me.  As I mentioned in a previous post, my local store started up an Escalation League to get some new players into the game and/or get people buying new armies.  So far, its sounds like its working for them.  Last week was the first games played and I guess they are increasing the point totals by 100 points each month.  So a relatively tame amount.  Well, I don't think I'll have enough of my Dark Eldar stuff assembled by then or else I'd take them.  Need motivation to get them painted (mini-rant later) anyway.  This will also make the army building process relatively "cheap" (as its spread over time) and will keep me from making purchases of Necrons, which I've had to prevent myself from doing several times now.
 
 
So, for the first time since being up here in Grand Forks, I had the opportunity to hit up the "open" Warhammer 40k night at the local shop.  As I mentioned previously, this store is small.  Very small.  I've only managed to get a couple random games when I've shown up, with whomever was there.

But my eyes were opened to how big the community is here.  WAY bigger than I remembered it being back in the early 2000's.  There were 15-20 people crammed into the store on Tuesday night.  Some of whom I remember way back when from our Hobbytown USA days.  And I'm told there are probably another 10-15 players in the area, plus those that are on University of North Dakota's campus.  Which isn't surprising considering there are 10k+ people on campus every semester.

I didn't bring my army sadly, as I wanted to meet people and socialize, but I should have because they started an escalation league this week.  Wanted to feel my way around before I dropped the "I'm a competitive player bomb."  Sure enough, most of them are casual gamers, but I don't even care.  There are enough players to give me a good time and I can get my competitive gaming elsewhere (national GTs).  Though, the small few tournament players here have said they would be willing to help playtest things so long as I'm not one of those asshole WAAC gamers.  And it seems they agree I'm not.  They even notified me of several local tournaments coming up, so I'm going to be hitting those up as well.  :)

Anyway, I think I left a good impression.  Refereed a couple of games, gave some advice to a fledgling competitive player, and chatted for well into the night.  The shop owners are pretty cool too, as they are more than happy to stay open later if there are games or conversations going on (and told me as such).  Hell, the store closes at like 7 or 8pm, but we were there almost to 11pm.  Sounds like this is a common occurrence, but I'm not sure how I feel about the abuse of that courtesy.

In the next month or so, they are moving to a larger location, so the gaming space will be drastically improved.  As it stands now, there are only room for 2 6x4 boards and 1 4x4 board.  Which is fine, as they simply split the tables in half for the 500 point games.  They are trying to build on the recent resurrection of Warhammer 40k in the area (apparently everyone stopped playing in 4th Edition...imagine that), as well as getting more merchandise for other games like Malifaux and Warmachine.  I'm excited.  Now to just work on getting my Tuesday nights off...


Side note:  Tonight I'm going to catch up on the comments here on the blog.  I'm way behind.
 
 
Email:  "How do you beat Nids? What's the target priority? I'm running an EC, chaplin, marshal, LRC, a vindy, a pred, a rhino with 9 int with cc and bolt pistol, a razor back with 5 marines, 8 ASSALT termies, and 8 shooty termies."

Reply:  Well, I think we can help you out!  Let's take a look!
 
 
Most of you guys already know about the Tony K list fusion exercise that we did back in May.  Since then, I've tweaked and played around with the list I created several times.  Most recently, I came out with an article about the future of the Black Templars based on my experiences at Nova Open.  More specifically, what I expected to occur for the foreseeable future in Grand Tournaments with the popularity of the Nova Open style. 

Well, at the time, I was happy with the list.  Until tonight.  When I was sitting down thinking about the Necrons and how to deal with them, I realized that I didn't like the list.  So I took a look at the final draft of the "Fusion" list, tweaked the troops a little bit, then settled on an updated list (which you can find on the BT list page) for Nova Open.  Try as I might, I simply don't think I can do better than I already did with that type of list.

...or could I?
 
 
So, this is a tournament that I hadn't even heard of until this past week.  Perhaps I should pay more attention.  :O  Anyway, its now done and gone.  Feast of Blades is supposed to be a "Trial by Fire" event where you actually have to qualify to be invited to the event, much like the Nova Open Invitational and the American Throne of Skulls was.  It is a Nova-styled tournament, except there are 7 games over two days and 2.25 hrs per round.  However, what I saw of the tables showed a MUCH better terrain setup than Nova Open had.  And of course, the undefeated player wins the tournament and is named Champion.  :)