First time Modern Constructed

The stack with prizes.

A couple guys on Google+ wanted to know how my first time Modern Constructed went with my Theros White-Blue deck. Well, here's a short rundown:

The Games

1st Round vs. Martin Kern
Martin played a Blue monodeck where I couldn't block his sea creatures because I had islands in my deck. Obviously this rock-paper-scissors wasn't in my favor at all. I could have done better against him if I hadn't had any islands in my deck, but even then he could have flooded my lands and turned them into islands.

2nd Round vs Florian Locher
Florian played a Red monodeck and used his incendiary spells every round to either reduce my life or destroy my creatures, so I was not able to build up any substantial threat at all. I could have done better against him with counterspells, but I didn't have any.

3rd Round vs Yannik Wedking
Yannik played a White monodeck that included a couple a lands that could change color to Black so he could play his cards that enabled him to look through the cards on my hand and drop a creature with power 3 or less. I think I did best in this matchup, but that and him spamming 1/1 flying tokens to me to an early grave as well.

What I learned from this tournament
I got confirmation of what I expected: good players have a better concept than just mixing cards won at the Booster Draft the previous week. What worked best for me tonight were the Heroic cards in my deck, especially the Battlewise Hoplite and the Favored Hoplite were either doing well or were removed early by my opponents because of the perceived threat, so I decided to shift my deck more into that direction.

My pull

The Wingsteed Rider and Dauntless Onslaught immediately caught my eye, so did Triton Tactics.

My modifications

One thing I didn't modify was my section with lands. I always felt very comfortable with the lands I had, so that worked.

Still in my deck: 14 White, 10 Blue, and 1 Unknown Shores for versatility.

As my rare pull I got the Temple of Deceit above, bringing me up to three temples, but I don't have a concept for them, so I leave them alone. I feel I need to have a strong concept for a land that starts tapped when it enters the game plus I need to have a clear idea on the synergies I want to trigger with them.

These continue to stay at home, though Temple of Silence is currently listed at 4USD. I don't have a concept for a Black/White deck, however.

One of the local players encouraged me to play more spells targeting my own Heroic cards to make them stronger, so I did my heaviest modifications to my spell section.

Spells in the top row went out of my deck, those in the bottom row went in.

After that I did a tiny modification to my troops. I wanted my deck to be more either Heroic or Flying:

The Soldier of the Pantheon left because he doesn't have Heroic, the Wingsteed Rider entered for that very same reason plus Flying.

So my current deck composition is as follows:


White creatures. I am feeling especially good about the Cavalry Pegasus here.

Blue creatures. I have the feeling I am top heavy on Mana here...

Last but not least my White-Blue creatures.

So that's it. Any suggestions?


Dystopian Wars MMBB I

This Yuletide hat had a "Magazine Explosion" label on its front and you got to wear it whenever you scored one. :-D

Since my last blog post I finished painting my EotBS starterbox and participated at the Dystopian Wars MMBB I today - without having played a single game first, so I guess that puts me on par with +Andre Suwanda and his adventures in wargaming, I guess. :-D It's at tournaments where you learn to play games. :-D

My list:

EotBS (Tora! Tora! Tora!)

1x Sokotsu Class Battleship

3x Nakatsu Class Cruiser
3x DFA-170 Class Bomber

4x Uwatsu Class Frigate
4x Uwatsu Class Frigate
3x Fujin Class Corvette

5Tft Torpedo Bombers
5Tft Torpedo Bombers

Game 1 vs. Stefan "Geddon" Werz (7th Shetland Patrol Squadron)

This is how we set up.

In his first turn, Stefan made sure to sink my small ships - I didn't know yet how good they really are and thought they are just canon fodder to protect the biggies. I didn't really do any damage in return.

In the second turn, Stefan methodically continued to tear my fleet apart while my Bombers went submarine hunting. :-D

In the third turn, Stefan took down my Bombers as I didn't wasn't aware yet one can shoot flyers with the main guns if near enough. My flyers in return were harassing his flyers and my Sokotsu Class started its main barrage fire.

At this point "Dice Down" was called and Stefan won an overwhelming victory - duh! :-D

Things I learned from this game:

  • Don't run your large ships too far in the back - they wanna kill things.
  • Small Torpedo Bombers are terrific against naval vessels.
  • DFA-170 Bombers wanna stay either far away from ships or get really close to them - inbetween they are just canon fodder.
  • Uwatsu Class frigates want to be the 2nd wave of attack.

Game 2 vs. Pascal "Sir Mauriac" Rüegge (казачий хор)

Forgot to take a picture at the very beginning, but one can still guess how we set up - and since I already knew that the Russian fleet races towards you, I simply had to hold the narrow between these two islands.

In turn 1, Pascal did only little damage and I just sneezed at one of his Novgorod Class frigates in return.

In turn 2, I put into practice what I learned game 1 and my Uwatsu broadsides all but eliminated the 8 Novgorod Class frigates. Pascal focused fire on my Bombers, took one down and severely crippled the other two.

In turn 3, Pascal's Rostov Class destroyers did an incredible turn to sink my Sokotsu Class battleship before Dice Down. He managed to damage the weapon systems and remove two hull points, but the Sokotsu was still going strong. On my side, everything - EVERYTHING - continued to fire into his Borodino Class battleship (because my mission was to sink it), but it survived with 1 hullpoint!

Things learned from this game:

  • This game is fun! :-D
  • Playing the mission helps. :-D Borodino Class is *heavily* armored and difficult to take down, but I could have done it with just a little more luck. Firing everything at the Borodino Class meant I neglected everything else, though.

Game 3 vs. Axel "Seph" Le Brize (черноморский флот)

Axel set up his evil Bunker in the center of the table so I had set up my entire fleet shifted to the left to avoid it as much as possible.

In turn 1, Axel's Bunker hit one of my Nakatsu Class. The Sokotsu Class answered with a volley from its main turrets.

Turn 2 was long fought and *very* bloody. Axel managed to score a "Magazine Explosion" on my Sokotsu Class battleship. The Sokotsu had 8 hullpoints so the explosion meant 16 dice against every ship within four inches - erasing three Uwatsu Class frigates, destroying one Nakatsu Class and seriously crippling the two others. At this moment I thought I had lost this game... but then I remembered that playing the mission helps. :-D I had to remove all his medium size ships as my mission and there were only two damaged ones left.

Turn 3 was my epic moment when my two small Uwatsu Class frigates indeed did kill his remaining two Suvorov and Tamboc Class with rolling hot on sixes. In return, his Borodino Class battleship and the Bunker sent everything I had left into a wet grave.

Things I learned from this game:
  • Playing the mission helps!
  • I am confident I'd have one this if my Sokotsu hadn't blown up in turn 2 because my fire power on the refused flank would have killed his medium sized ships much quicker.
  • A mindset developed in Warmachine/Hordes definitely helps in Dystopian Wars games, but in the later movement is way more complex whereas in the former everyone just runs into a zone and you play a game of guessing millimeters. In Dystopian Wars you premeasure anything at any time and have your ships perform a ballet instead. I think that's way more entertaining.


Seawards ho!

Rulebook and starterbox.

I recently started a new wargame, Dystopian Wars. Why did I do that? Well, I watched two guys playing at my FLGS and came to these conclusions:

  1. Dystopian Wars is a bit like D.U.S.T. Warfare with a very elegant ruleset.
  2. The players take alternate turns moving their units (one at a time), so it doesn't get boring because you don't really have to wait for your opponent too long.
  3. The game is a good value - a starterbox at my FLGS costs between 61 and 69 CHF, just as much as it would cost me when importing it.
  4. The game is a good value - the content of the starterbox lets you play interesting games for a long time.
  5. The models are easy to paint and quickly to paint.
  6. The game has many interesting and unique factions. They are fluffy, too, as they are rooted in the history of the 19th century.
  7. The cool guys at my FLGS play Dystopian Wars.
  8. Listening to the soundtrack of Monkey Island is perfect while painting. :-)

The content of the starterbox.

Did I mention the game is a good value? The starterbox not only contains the models, but also the necessary templates and markers. (Privateer Press, are you listening?) Also, it contains one large ship, three medium sized ships, ten small ships, and then a whole bunch of airplanes. This is not a warlock with two warbeasts that stays fun for five games - this will give you unique games for weeks and months.

The bag with the airplanes.

The ships have a nice amount of details.

Did I mention the models are quick to paint? Below you see my entire fleet; it only took me two hours to assemble them. Two hours, you ask? Yes, you could do it in ten minutes, but I magnetized the parts on my large battleship as it can be equipped in two variants, if you like. All this work needs some really easy filing and green stuffing, but if you glue everything directly, you're done in ten minutes.

My entire fleet with a white basecoat.

Dystopian Wars is nice as a side project for painting, especially after a long day at work when you don't feel like messing with details on some warrior model. I decided to paint my fleet of the Empire of the Blazing Sun in gold with red and white parts, so I decided to go for a white basecoat. After that, I simply washed everything with Ogryn Flesh and a large brush in a couple minutes.

I wasn't happy with the way of handling the minis, so I went to the local DIY market and got some wood. After some white tack, my ships were nicely lined up on the wood and far easier to paint.

Next I generously slapped a 50:50 mix of white and gold generously onto the ships. It made them turn out white again, but with a hue of salmon pink (front row). After that, I generously applied Army Painter Soft Shade ink, which let them turn brownish again (back row). If I did NMM, it could almost pass as faded gold.

Up next I am going to drybrush everything with gold and then I will do the details.

Total painting time for my army so far: 30mins.


Do you know the threat ranges?

The content of this tiny case is trying to stand against the mighty Whaaaaagh!

So while +Botond Gati was busy winning a WM/H tournament abroad, we did some sort of "relaxed" 40K gaming back home with +Tudor Stanescu+Sven Emmert, and +Andreas Balmer (plus +Michael Althauser, sort of). The game was very relaxed in terms of interpretation of rules and laid back gaming, but both Space Marines and Orkzez took their business very serious, of course. The match-up was

3'000pts of Orkzez
1'500pts Dark Angels & 1'500pts Blood Angels

+Tudor Stanescu even wrote a nifty prequel:

The year is 221997. M41 - the great ork invasion is in full swing in the Third Armageddon War. Piscina IV is a planet covered in teeming oceans and dotted with chains of volcanic islands. It's a planet used by the Dark Angels for recruitment, however, at the moment, only a handull of the Third Division being lead by the Company Master Belial and some small elements of the Ravenwing and Deathwing are present on the planet.
Warlord Ghazghkull Mag Uruk Thraka, the most formidable greenskin in the galaxy is leading the ork assault. There had been no space hulks or roks detected entering the system - the orks had landed troops on the surface through new long range 'telly-porta' technology, the brainchild of Nazdreg, an ostentatious Bad Moon Warboss nearly as powerful as Ghazghkull himself, using an ancient Bad Moon temple long forgotten and fallen into ruin on the planet surface as a landing medium.
The first move was Ghazghkull teleporting himself alongside a sizeable force, from Scylla,  their distant space hulk. Before the rest of the invasion force could be sent, however, the orks ran out of power to fuel their still experimental telly-porta. In order to bring reinforcements from their hulk, including their enormous Gargants, the Orks needed more energy. They quickly captured a small power plant at their landing site, but still needed more. Ghazghkull thus led an assault to capture the power plant of Piscina IV's nearby capital hive - Kadillus Harbour. The small contingent of Dark Angels stationed nearby responded. In order to slow down the attack, Belial challenged Gazghkull to a duel, but proved to be no match for the enormous greenskin, and was taken out of action with grevious wounds for the remainder of the battle. The orks had their second power plant.
The orks only needed one more powerplant for their landing site to become fully operational, and all that stood between them and the plant was Koth Ridge. It was only after the Dark Angels had made a desperate last stand, rallying around the wounded Belial and outnumbered 1000 to 1, that reinforcements had had time to arrive. Unexpectedly, it wasn't the remainder of the chapter that had responded to their distress call first, but a stray contingent of Blood Angels that was patrolling the area to fend off any outstretching tentacles of the all consuming Waagh!
Lead by Erasmus Tycho, who more than any had a score to settle with the orks, and was already displaying the berserking signs that symbolize the climax of the Blood Angel's tour de force, the contingent joined their Angels of Death brothers and started hitting back - the odds were now even.

The Marines stand ready to fend off the Whaaaaagh: on the very left a BA Vindictaor plus a 10 men Devastators Squad (plus a tactical squad near the center), the the DA infantry with a Dreadnought, another Vindicator, a Predator, and Ravenwing bikes.

On the other side of the table there simply was "the Horde"...

...and - oh look - it's a true 2013 Althauser! Ork players need to bring many dice!

End of Orkzez Turn 1: they just run/roll and shoot a little, nothing serious - yet. The Koptaz circle around the DA Scouts on top of the building, but there's no major problem.

End of Marines Turn 1: in the upper left where you see a single red dice on the grey ground once was a War Trukk with Gazzkhul Trakka & Co. - but the supreme DA fire power made them a thing of the past. The BA proved to be far less effective; the BA Vindicator near the building hurt two Killa Kanz and killed three Boyz, the BA Devastators decided to something really risky and shot the yellow Battle Waggon in the back - without any success. Should have shot them KIlla Kanz again. :-/

End of Orkzez Turn 2: they whaaghed (the regular one as Ghazzkul was dead) and stormed forward. The BA infantry pretty much evaporated, the DA stood their ground. Oh, and the Orkzez Fightin' Bomma appeared on the sky.

End of Marines Turn 2: the Nephilim Jet Fighter arrives on the scene and does - something...

...while the BA Vanguard Veterans perform a Heroic Intervention on the Killa Koptaz...

...because the stupid Assault Squad scatters and blocks the path to the juicy War Waggon.

On the other side of the table, two Baal Predators flank onto the table and ignite 18 Boyz on the spot. The single DA Scout on the roof even managed to scare away the Killa Koptaz! The most laughed at unit suddenly was a champion. :-)

Also, the DA cavalry arrived and meant serious business much to the chagrin of the Lootaz.

End of Orkzez Turn 3: they did what they always do in such a situation - continue to run and hack Marines in Melee! Yes, they had only hand weapons, but passing like 20 Armor Saves isn't exactly a walk in the park either. At this point, the Marines line of defense was anything but fully gone.

End of Marines Turn 3: we called it a games after seven hours. The last DA infantry models (five black minis in front of the mission objective) would have been gone in the next turn.

The Baal Predators were speeding up trying to come to the DA's rescue, but it would have taken them minimally one or even two or three turns.

In the backfield, the Deathwing gave the Lootaz a demonstration of their idea of pest control.

So on to the MVPs:

For the Marines, it was tanks because of their sheer mobile fire power and the Deathwing because they are a heavy weight that simply dominates a local area. A special honorable mention to the DA Scout Sergeant who single handedly defeat the Killa Koptaz!

For the Orkzez, it was the humble Ork Boy in a mob of 30 forming the Green Tide. Sooner or later, this had to smash into our lines as our firing priorities were on the vehicles with the Ork Nobz.

What do we Marines need to do better in our next game? Get rid of static infantry, it's pointless against the Green Tide. Tanks are good, but also mobile elements coming in through the air. It sounds like I need to paint up my two Storm Ravens.


Short trip to 40K

Tonight's 1'000pts of Blood Angels.

Every once in a while you get a weirt idea, e.g. playing 40K again after two years of playing WM/H exclusively, so this is how this blog gets an update again after one year.

As there also has been an edition change one year ago, this happened to be the first game in 6th Edition for me and my buddy +Tudor Stanescu. We agreed to play 1'000pts with the goal to have fun and see how the new rules are like.

Surprisingly, the game felt rather fluid and easy to get back into, although I am sure we did many mistakes. However, we didn't care as it was just an easy game.

My list at 1'000pts:

Terminator Squad with Heavy Flamer
Sanguinary Priest with Jump Pack
Aussault Squad
Tactical Squad
Ball Predator

This is how we set up at the start of the game. I seize the initiative.

BA Turn 1: My troops advance. The Baal Predator scores a "Crew Shaken" result on the Dreadnought with its Assault Canon.

DA Turn 1: Tudor wants to deepstrike his Terminators, but that somehow doesn't make sense in his backyard. We check the rules and see that his bikes can Scout. We reposition them so they are right in front of the Baal Predator and the Terminators arrive. At the end of the turn, the BA Assault Squad is no more. The Baal Predator remains intact, though.
BA Turn 2: My own Terminators arrive from reserve and shoot Tudor's Tactical Squads with the remnants of my own Tactical Squads. The Baal Predator falls back and shoots the Terminators, but I don't score any rending shots and they make their saving throw.

At this point we had to end the game already as the shop was closing. :-/ However, the game confirmed my expectation that the 40K rule set is still good enough to have a fun and casual game. I also noticed while watching other 40K players at the store how relaxed their way of playing was. Once you have grown a habit of playing with chess clocks, you take it so much for granted that you stop to remember how playing without a clock was. Well there I got to feel it again.

I guess WM/H still is going to be my favorite rule set for years to come. In comparison, WM/H has the easier and better designed rules, but an unbelievable complexity because of the units' cards. Warhammer 40K, on the other, has complex rules, but especially in a game where you play Marine vs. Marine you can roll quite quickly as there are only a couple units' special rules you have to keep in mind.

Will I play 40K soon again? Probably not. However, if I do, it will be in the most relaxed way possible. It sounds like a BA/DA vs. Orkzez campaign may be coming up. ;-)