Official and Glorious Blog of the Inglorious and Officious Warheads Gaming Club

Month: February 2012

Flames of War League starting in April

Gamers World will be hosting a Flames of War escalation league, every Thursday evening in April.  Enlistments are now being accepted.  Battlefront has just released the Third Edition rules as well as new Late War books.  Now is the time to join!

The schedule is:
April 5: 1250 points
April 12: 1500 points
April 19: 1750 points
April 26: 1750 points

What armies can you use?
The league will use Late War books, and any up-to-date book or official .pdf is acceptable. 

What is the prize?
The immortality of GLORY.  As Sarpedon reminds us: “Death in ten thousand shapes hangs ever over our heads, and no man can elude him; therefore let us go forward and either win glory for ourselves, or yield it to another.”  The name of the general to emerge from the league with the best score will be immortalized on the Flames of War League perpetual plaque.

League participants will also vote on the Best Army and that winner will also live on forever named as a champion.

How do I join?
Sign up here! (note the  form below attesting to your fitness for service is not required but completing it could improve your chances of being selected for combat duty!).
Gamers World now stocks Zvezda and Plastic Soldier Company in addition to Battlefront miniatures.  Collecting a 1750 point army can be done for a pittance compared to other gaming systems.
What can I do to help?
The league needs terrain!  Flames of War is different from many other tabletop wargames in that it requires lots of terrain.  If you can contribute some terrain for league use you will be awarded with extra rations.

Newsflash: The Scarab Spring

Dark tidings from the North. It appears that following the overthrow of our good friends in Libya, the grim spectre of anarchy has reared its malformed head in our fair republic. We are receiving sketchy reports that the Dublin Games Guild has overthrown the benevolent rule of the Warheads and seized the title of “Best Irish 40K Club”. Faced with the fall of their only slightly tyrannical regime, Warhead supporters have responded calmly and reasonably, taking to the streets to express their mild concerns in a dignified manner.

And there is cause for concern, comrades, we have evidence that the DGG has formed a pact with the most unholy, trading their very souls for mere temporal power. Behold your new “President”, Quigley. Formerly of the fifth circle of hell itself. He will eat your babies.

The first act of the Quigley regime was the restoration of the Johnston Monarchy. This hapless fop, whose family fled with much of the treasury during the glorious revolution of 2010, has pledged to “return and trample those filthy peasants into the mire”. Expect mass starvation within weeks.

We also regret to report that Great Comrade Leader Joseph Cullen was cornered in a sewer while heroically hiding, captured through dastardly means involving a trail of Terminators leading out of the pipe and is now being displayed like an animal. Truly, this “Games Guild” are no more than modern day Huns. Their barbarism knows no bounds.

Several high ranking military officials from the former government have donned, frankly, shoddy disguises and are attempting to flee the country. Their absence has hastened the collapse of what will be remembered as a just era of unprecedented prosperity.

Some members of the old regime remain at large with the Comrade Minister for Internal Security having captured several unlucky tourists. He has sworn to keep executing hostages until the Great Leader is released or at least forced to wear a shirt.

Many documents have allegedly been captured detailing the Warheads’ involvement in gun running and human trafficking. Please, citizens, remember that these accusations are only half true. War Criminal Stowe can be seen below, frantically falsifying police reports.

 Although, it is said that an amnesty will be granted to lower-ranking Warheads, Comrade Minister for Communication has specifically been excluded from any such deal. From an unknown location, he released a statement declaring that the Warheads were still the No.1 Club and that he would beat his enemies with shoes.

These are the darkest of days, I hope some of us survive to see brighter, happier times. Sniff.

…………….. I’m sorry, it appears our studio is being …………… ow,ow, ow, stop hitting me, I’m not saying that ………………. ow, ow, ow, ow, okay, okay, I’ll say it ………….

Seriously, though, congratulations to the Dublin Games Guild. Your successes are noted and know we’ll be waiting in the wings to pounce. 😉

KR Multicase Sponsors Ireland’s Flames of War ETC Team

The War Altar is delighted to announce that KR Multicase will be sponsoring the Irish Flames of War team, travelling to the 2012 European Team Championship. We recently sat down with the team’s Vice-Captain, Brian McKenzie, to chat with him about the KR Multicase sponsorship.

The War Altar:  Thanks for joining us Brian.
Brian: It’s a pleasure.
The War Altar:  Give us the background of KR Multicase’s involvement with Ireland’s Flames of War ETC team—why did you go with them?
Brian:  Most of the team has been using KR Multicase to transport armies for years. We like them because they are an affordable storage solution, not just a means of transporting miniatures. Other companies expressed an interest but we wanted to work with a company whose products we trusted, used and whose ethos we shared.
The War Altar: Ethos?
Brian: Yes, ethos–a set of core values that guide the goal-oriented actions of our team members.
The War Altar:  Can you give us an example?
Brian: Certainly.  Just as gold is melted in the midst of the furnace, so shall our foes be melted in the midst of Team Ireland and they shall know that we have poured our justice upon them.
The War Altar:  How… biblical.
Brian:  They also throw cases with eggs in them out of cars.

The War Altar:  I approve wholeheartedly. What else can you tell us about the partnership with KR Multicase?
Brian: Well, we are thrilled to be working with them.  KR Multicase has certainly grown over the past few years and our armies, in particular, and wargaming in general have really benefited from their various offerings.
The War Altar: Well, then, may your collaboration be fruitful. I know you are eager to get back to play-testing the V3 Flames of War rules so thanks for your time and best of luck in Poland.
Brian: You’re welcome.

Steamroller 2012: February (50 points)

Steamroller Sunday

This was the second tournament of the 2012 season and the first 50 point event run in the Irish calendar. All ten attendees enjoyed themselves but the turnout was a little poor.

I suspect that the higher points limit scared off some players. Players with large collections were most likely to play. But this also meant an abundance of veteran players which meant that there were few soft matchups available. Spare a thought for tournament virgin, Eoin, who found himself walking into a buzzsaw of a tournament.

Aiming for victory, I had gone with expanded versions of my Harbinger and High Exemplar Kreoss lists. Both have been quite solid in the past and as I was lacking in practice, I reverted to the lists I knew best. The extra fifteen points was used to convert the Harbie’s list into a true Heavy Jack force while Kreoss grabbed a hodge-podge band of mercenaries and an extra Vanquisher.

Choir of Menoth (Max)
Vassal of Menoth
Vassal of Menoth
Holy Zealots (Max)
Monolith Bearer
Knights Exemplar Seneschal

The Avatar performed extremely well across the tournament and the four heavies simply overwhelmed the opposition. The Knights Exemplar Seneschal only struck once but did so to great effect. The weak link in the list was the Zealots, they proved a little unsuited to most of my match-ups.

High Exemplar Kreoss
Choir of Menoth (Max)
Vassal of Menoth
Vassal of Menoth
Covenant of Menoth
Holy Zealots (Max)
Monolith Bearer
Daughters of the Flame
Madelyn Corbeau
Keil Bailoch
Eiryss, Mage Hunter

The Kreoss list might as well have been played at 35 points. Both in the tournament and my practice game, the original list did all the work while the additional points sat around waiting to be called into action. Madelyn was particularly poor as with Kroess safely tucked in behind his jacks, her ability could only be used to move him slightly left or right.

Game 1: Conor’s Cygnar (eHaley, Incoming)

With five Cygnar players in the mix, I was hoping to run into at least one. The fates provided. I’ve had long experience against their lists and I was confident of my chances. Kreoss tends to do horrible things to Cygnar and the game went on auto-pilot. The Daughters tied down the right flank, pinning a unit of Gun Mages and a Cyclone. On the left, Keil Bailoch got splattered by Gun Mage Adepts while I marched up the centre. The Zealots cut into the Sword Knights, the Lancer was fragged and before long Haley was forced into an assassination run.

It came close to succeeding as her Domination spell came up just short of my Reckoner, which might have been able to land a killing blow on my caster. She was now horribly exposed, a Vanquisher shot targeting one of my own zealots clipped Haley and finished her in a blaze of fire.

Game 2: Neil’s Retribution (Vyros, Demolition)

New opponent, new list. I admit that I’ve never run into a jack-heavy Retribution list. His ability to shoot through intervening models forced me to keep well back with the Harbinger. He spread out to cover the zones and objective. His lunge around the central objective brought him into range of my jack-line and managed to put a few points of damage on the Harbinger.

But that was the high point of his advance. The Avatar smashed home to demolish the damaged Manticore and Hydra. The Zealots, covered by the Harbinger’s feat began to eat through the Halberdiers. Despite racking up some scenario points, the Retribution were slowly ground away in a slow rolling advance towards the central objective, losing all of their jacks and most the Sentinels in a delaying action. Once my jacks finally arrived, the position was secure, I was down 2-0 on scenario points but only the round timing out could lose me the game.

With his entire army eliminated, the remaining jacks closed in on Vyros. He managed to smash one on the charge but then the others gathered to beat him down. Neil can console himself with the thought that he was the only player to kill any of my jacks through the three rounds of the tournament.

Game 3: Phil’s Cryx (Terminus, Incursion)

After two wins, I find myself in the final against a Terminus list. My last game against it ended in a bloody massacre but with four heavy jacks, I expected a little more time to get a feel for the list and hopefully win out. The disappearance of the left-hand flag left the battle focused on the centre and right. The unit of Zealots managed to contest the righthand objective for several turns but couldn’t hold out against a sustained press of enemy troops. The scenario points racked up on this front would eventually cost me the game.

The central front saw a swarm of Revenant Crewmen crash against a wall of jacks.  The heavies didn’t really suffer much damage with only Terminus really capable of threatening them. Two Seethers got smashed for no real gain. I put my efforts into eliminating the crew to give me a chance of killing Terminus. Terminus himself got locked down by the Gaze of Menoth and was forced into melee with the Avatar to try and extract himself. In hindsight, focusing on the crewmen was a major error as I learnt afterwards that Sacrifical Pawn does not negate melee hits. So a handful of solid assassination attempts were overlooked in favour of splattering piles of humble troopers. The Avatar passed up at least two chances to trample through the crew and smash Terminus into goo. Bugger.

Unfortunately, my loss dropped me all the way into fourth once strength of schedule was taken into account. Two finals, two losses. Next time, next time. I’m consoled by the fact that those Cygnarian heretics were slapped around like red-headed stepchildren. (Hi, Stryker)

Phil takes the win with Stu and Neil rounding out the top three. Congratulations to them all.

 In other news, Stu reclaims his position as Anto-kryptonite.

Flames of War for the Cash-Strapped Part II: the Red Army

“The Pope?  How many divisions has he got?” Joseph Stalin

Putting together a Red Army force on a budget is difficult because the lists typically require a high model count.  However, the task has become less expensive since Gamers World began stocking both Plastic Soldier Company and Zvevda models in addition to the high quality, but pricier, Battlefront models.  The lists below use a combination of these.  As before, certain caveats apply:

1.  Our concerns in constructing the lists were pecuniary not competitive.  Some of the lists below can be easily countered but can also make an opponent cry depending on the match up.
2.  From a modeling perspective our concern was WYSIWYG rather than verisimilitude.  However, when using PSC infantry even this can be tricky.  The basing of infantry teams (either SMG, Rifle/MG, or Rifle) requires 4 to 5 models per base.  The PSC box comes with a mix of SMG and Rifle models with additional MG guys.  Try to follow the individual army list as best as you can.
3.  All of the lists below were created using the recently released book Red Bear: Allied Forces on the Eastern Front, January 1944-February 1945.  The lists are not exhaustive,  nor do we claim that they are even the best value for money that may be possible.  Nevertheless, we are impressed with the lists we were able to generate drinking Guinness in T.P. Smiths using the back of an envelope and a stubby pencil.
4.  All of the lists are in the 1500 point range.
5.  People familiar with 40k will understand the list structure.  Lists include a mandatory HQ and two combat platoons.  These are supplemented by a multitude of support platoons.

6.  Prices below are gleaned from the internet.
7.  The rules for rockets (Katyushas in this case) are interesting.  Most artillery suffers a minus to-hit if it does not “range-in” on the first try.  Rockets get three attempts to “range-in” and suffer no penalty to hit.  The downside is they leave a smoke trail which makes counter-battery fire easier. 

Here are the six lists:

Tankovy Batalon (p.20 Red Bear)

The T-34 is iconic.  In my opinion it was the best all around tank of the war, and I have more degrees than a thermometer.  The production figures alone are staggering.  Over 34,000 T-34/76s and 22,000 T-34/85s make the T-34 the most numerous medium tank of the war.

This list is the classic T-34/76 horde.  Make no mistake, this is potentially a horrific list to face.  Twenty one T-34s with tank riders are knife fighters.  Add the threat of Il-2 sturmoviks and Panthers and Tigers are reduced to shy kittens that stick close to forests and buildings.  Finally, you’ve got a mortar platoon to harass enemy guns and infantry.  If you want 4 platoons on the table swap out the air support for 3 SU-85s for an equal point cost.

T-34 obr 1942 with cupola and tank riders 70

Combat Companies
1  Tankkovy Company: 10 T-34 obr 1942 with tank riders and cupolas  560
1  Tankkovy Company:  10 T-34 obr 1942 with tank riders and cupolas  560

Weapons companies
Motorised Mortar Company with observer rifle team   110

Corps supports
Il-2 limited air support  200

Total points: 1500

What you buy:
1 PSC T-34 reinforcement sprue: €5
4 PSC T-34 boxes:  €80
1 Zvezda Il-2: €3.25 (or 3 Battlfront blisters [SU102] SU-85s for €27)
1 Battle Front blister [SU735] Mortar Company: €14

Total cost:  €102.25

Gvardeyskiy Tyazhelyy Tankovy Polk (Guards Heavy Tank Regiments, p. 44 Red Bear)

If a tank swarm is not your brand of coffee then try the mighty IS-2.  The Soviets designed this tank as a counter to the Tiger and it certainly fulfills that role.  This is an elite army, to be sure, and it will not be forgiving of tactical errors.

IS-2 obr 1943, AA MG,  140

Combat companies
Gvardeyskiy Tyazhelyy Tankovy company: 4 IS-2, tank riders,580
Gvardeyskiy Tyazhelyy Tankovy company: 4 IS-2, tank riders, 580

Corps support
Il-2 limited air support 200

Total points: 1500

What you buy:
2 Battlefront boxes [SBX08] Guards Heavy Tank Company:  €108
1 Zvezda Il-2 €3.25

Total cost: €111.25

Peredovoye Otryad (Forward Detachment Tank Company, p. 76 Red Bear)

During the final year of the war the Soviets formed Forward Detachments to seek out and exploit gaps or weaknesses in Axis lines.  This is one of a few lists in Red Bear that combine heavy and medium armor.

T-34/85 with cupola,  110

Combat companies
Gvardeyskiy Tyazhelyy Tankovy company: 10 T-34/85,  715
Tank rider company: 1 platoon,   135

Corps support
Gvardeyskiy Tyazhelyy Tankovy company: 4 IS-2 , 540

Total points:  1500

What you buy:
2 PSC T-34 boxes, €40
1 Battlefront box [SBX08] Guards Heavy Tank Company:  €54
1 PSC T-34 reinforcement sprue: €5
1 Battlefront blister [SU703] Submachine-gun platoon €17

Total cost: €116

Strelkovy Batalon (Rifle battalion, p. 24 Red Bear)

We have already considered massed T-34s, but no catalogue of Soviet lists would be complete without the massed infantry of the Red Army.  This list can be either Red Army or Guards.  The one posted here is Red Army.

Battalion HQ with Sapper Platoon, 115

Combat companies
Strelkovy company with Komissar, two rifle/MG platoons, one SMG platoon,  365
Strelkovy company with Komissar, two rifle/MG platoons, one SMG platoon,  365

Weapons companies
Strelkovy scout platoon, 1 scout squad, 100

Corps support
Il-2 priority air support, 270
8 BM-13-16 Katyusha, 2 with extra crew, AA platoon, 285

Total points: 1500

What you buy:
3 boxes of PSC late war Russian infantry in summer uniform: €60
1 Zvezda Il-2 €3.25
2 Zvezda Katyusha platoon boxes: €30
2 Battlefront blisters [SU162] DShK AA truck: €18
2 Battlefront blister [XX103] medium bases: €18
1 Battlefront blister [XX104] small bases: €9
You’ll also need to purchase or make a 12″ square template for the Katyushas’ devastating bombardments.

Total cost: €138.25 
(Sadly, this list is well outside of our targeted budget.  However, if you use the Katyushas as the BM-31-12 model with extra crew you have a 720 point unit.  If you run the list as a Guards army rather than regular Red Army you will also dramatically increase the point cost.  Three PSC infantry boxes also gives you almost 400 infantry figures!)

Inomarochnikiy Tankovy Batalon (Lend-lease tank battalion, p. 124 Red Bear).

The United States sent over 4,000 Sherman tanks to the Soviets as part of the Lend-Lease program.  They were quite popular among Soviet tankers.  We like them too.

M4 (76mm M4A2), 95

Combat companies
6 M4 (76mm M4A2), 480
6 M4 (76mm M4A2), 480

Weapons companies
Tank-rider company, 2 platoons, komissar, 265

Corps support
Decoy tank company, 3 StuG G, 165

Total points: 1485

What you buy:
3 boxes PSC Shermans, €60
1 box of PSC StuGs, €20
1 box of PSC late war Russian infantry in summer uniform, €20
1 Battlefront blister [XX103] medium bases: €9 (hack down two bases to the small size to use for the command and komissar tank-rider teams).

Total cost: €109

Rota Razvedi (Reconaissance company, p. 78 Red Bear)

In the last two years of the war the Soviet high command, Stavka, pushed for the establishment of light, mobile exploitation forces.  These reconassaince forces were fast and deadly.  They identified then flanked enemy forces while the heavy support could move in for the kill.  The list allows for the use of captured Sd Kfz 251 half-tracks which makes running such a heavily mechanized list relatively affordable.

Rota Razvedki HQ in Sd Kfz 251s, 35

Combat platoon
Razvedki platoon in Sd Kfz 251s, 2 rifle squads, 115
Razvedki platoon in Sd Kfz 251s, 2 rifle squads, 115

Weapons companies
Motostrelkovy company, 1 motor rifle platoon, komissar, 170
Gvardeyskiy tankovy company, 5 T-34/85 with SMG tank escorts, cupolas, 500

Corps support
Spetsnaz platoon, 1 squad, 100
Guards rocket mortar battalion, 4 BM-13-16 katyusha with extra crew, 160
Il-2 priority air support, 270

Total points: 1465

What you buy:
2 PSC half-tracks: €40
1 box PSC T-34s: €20
1 Zvezda katyusha box: €15
1 Zvezda Il-2: €3.25
1 box PSC infantry: €20
1 Battlefront blister [XX103] medium bases: €9 (hack down two bases to the small size to use for the command and 2iC teams).

Total cost:  €107.25

 In conclusion, PSC has announced that it will soon be offering German and Soviet heavy weapons.  These will present some inexpensive opportunities to construct massive artillery lists.  When available, artillery could be added to any of the above lists to hit the 1750 mark.

Warpcon 2011: Stats

Warpcon 2012, an 1850 point, ETC-style scoring, five round tournament which drew players from all over the island, north and south. This is one of the best opportunities to watch the various regional metagames collide and pick at the resulting carnage. I’ve stripped the scores down to just battle points and exported the usual trio of graphs.

From a codex diversity perspective, it’s looking great, with all but the Witch Hunters appearing. We also don’t see three or four codexes claiming most of the players. The Necrons have come from nowhere to claim a decent share of the field. The Grey Knights appear somewhat reduced from the highs of last autumn/winter. I remain utterly bemused by the continuing decline of the Imperial Guard.

It appears that popularity and success are linked as Space Wolves, Blood Angels, Necrons and Grey Knights do well. Most codexes appear to be up on their expected percentage. In fact, I have never before seen such widespread success by such a variety of armies. It begs the question, which armies gave up all those battle points?

It’s a bit of a shocker. The Dark Eldar crash to their lowest position since records began. Clearly, there has been something of a brain drain away from the codex. Space Marines, the long-standing herald of the fluffy player, rise slightly above the emo elves but still provide the other main source of battle points. Aside from the Templar’s score, the remaining codexes are not worlds apart. Consider 50 points to be the average expected score and you see that most armies are in and around that level.
The strong Necron performance is noteworthy but it remains to be seen whether it continues into the next tournament or if the players adapt to its tricksy style. As a super secret source informs us, the new threat is “Tesla Spam. This is basically Venom Spam with S7 weapons, and AV13. Nasty stuff. Not unbeatable in my book, but the top place finish says it all.”

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