Monday, January 30, 2012

And now for something completely different

Now that Warpcon has come and gone (expect a tournament result soon, I'll post it when I get the photographs sorted), I'm happy with where my Flesh Tearers army stands right now. With 1850 the new ETC standard, I expect most large tournaments to retain this points level. My list as used at the weekend seems very solid and I can't see where it needs refined, so I can move on to a new painting and modelling project. I will return to the Flesh Tearers from time to time to add new squads or vehicles.

After last year's North Wexford Gamers event (my report can be found here -, many of us on the w-ired forums decided we would build and paint new armies for the event. The NWG tournament allows players to include forge world rules (with the exception of super heavy vehicles, D-weapons and a few others) but requiring players to have the actual models, you can't proxy. The award for best painted was named the Anyone But Frank award (which, of course, was won by Frank), so we have created the NWG 2012 Anyone But Frank challenge.

My project for the event will be a Dark Angels Ravenwing force, although I will not be painting them in Dark Angels colours, I've designed my own colour scheme. I have decided to name them the Sons of Asgard. This is the test colour scheme on a basic Tactical Marine.


Now, it might not be the best of ideas to build an army for a new edition I don't know the rules of, and using a Codex that is rumoured to be updated before the event. So I'll just say that I'm painting a nice army which I hope will be a lot of fun. Last year's event was 2000 points, so I'll build towards that for now.

Sammael, Master of the Ravenwing (205) - Land Speeder.

Librarian (155) - Space Marine Bike, Meltabombs.

Ravenwing Attack Squadron
6 Bikers (305) - Standard Bearer, Apothecary, 2 Meltaguns, Sergeant w/Power Fist
Attack Bike (50)
Land Speeder (100)

Ravenwing Attack Squadron
6 Bikers (275) - 2 Plasma Guns, Sergeant w/Power Fist.
Attack Bike (50)
Land Speeder (100)

Ravenwing Attack Squadron
3 Bikers (165) - 2 Meltaguns, Sergeant w/Power Fist.
Attack Bike (50)

Ravenwing Support Squadron
2 Land Speeders (175) - Multi-Meltas, Typhoon Launcher, Assault Cannon

Ravenwing Support Squadron
2 Land Speeders (175) - Heavy Bolters, Typhoon Launcher, Assault Cannon

Ravenwing Support Squadron
3 Land Speeders (195) - Multi-Meltas.

You will note I have not included any Forge World in the list. The only thing available to fit the theme is the Land Speeder Tempest. If anyone knows of has the book featuring the rules for this, can they let me know where I can find them?

I'll be needing to pick up some more bikes and land speeders for the army. If anyone has any of these unassembled they don't want, I'm open to reasonable offers.

Thursday, January 26, 2012

No Sleep 'Til WarpCon

Well, I might get a little, you never know. Need to be ready to go on Saturday morning, but the army isn't quite done yet. I still need to paint the details on one foot based Assault Squad and on the Lascannon sponsons for the Predators. Aside from that, everything else is done.

As for the buns I promised to raise money for the ETC team, I managed to make a total of 6 blocks of Chocolate Rice Krispie squares. Unfortunately, it would seem the second option of Cheerio Fudge bites may not bind together properly, so I may need to fudge (bad pun ahoy) something tomorrow if they don't.

After that, it's simply a case of packing up my stuff, booking a taxi and trying to wake up on time to get to Mike's for my lift.

Look out Cork, here we come!

Saturday, January 21, 2012

First game with Gatormen incoming

I had intended to write about the new Vampire Counts army book this weekend, if it wasn't for my FLGS selling out of the book before my usual Wednesday night visit. They didn't have the Gatormen I ordered in either, which leads me neatly on to my actual topic.

I've arranged for my first ever game with my Gators. Now, I've never played a HORDES faction before, although I have played against them with my Warmachine army. So it's likely to be a steep learning curve, particularly with my opponent being local Press Ganger Ciaran Bolger. Ciaran is a very good player, I am not. Hopefully I'll be able to pick up a few useful tips.

The next question is which army to field. I don't have a huge Blindwater collection, so I decided to put my collection into Forward Kommander and work from there. It would seem I don't have a lot of choice, only 61 points (not counting Warlocks). I'm going to go with Bloody Barnabas as my warlock, simply because he's painted and Calaban is not.

Bloody Barnabas (6WP)
Blackhide Wrastler (9)
Ironback Spitter (8)
Bull Snapper (3)

Gatorman Posse - max (9)
Bog Trog Ambushers - min (5)
Swamp Gobber Bellows Crew (1)

Wrong Eye & Snapjaw (9)
Bull Snapper (3)

Totem Hunter (3)
Thrullg (3)
Feralgeist (1)
Croak Hunter (2)

Basically all I've left out is Viktor Pendrake and the rest of my Bog Trogs. Hopefully I'll get a quick crash course in Gator play.

P.S. Tales from the Lennycave now has it's own Facebook page. Give us a like and you'll get a reminder every time a new post is made.

Saturday, January 14, 2012

Tournament Organiser : Bye-Buster

Today's post will be a little different from usual. I've organised several tournaments in the past so I'll be looking at an interesting question for a tournament organiser. How should the role of the bye-buster be approached?

What is a bye-buster, and why should I have one at my event?
The role of the bye-buster at an event is to be an extra player in a round if, for any reason, there are not an even number of players. This avoids having to give one player a bye score. I believe all tournaments should use this, as to do otherwise is unfair. Commonly, the bye buster does not have a score and the Swiss system used in most events will pair up the bye-buster with the player currently in last place. I consider a bye-buster necessary for this, as it is unfair to give a player a full score without having to play for it. However, it's also unfair to give a player a part score, since if they had a game they could potentially obtain full points. Finally, if your players have paid cash and taken the time to enter your event, they should reasonably expect to get to play all their games.

What sort of player makes for a good bye-buster?
Most players are very capable of playing this role, though if multiple options are available, I would look for a couple of characteristics. Firstly, pick a player with a good knowledge of the game and the rules, especially if they are playing the bottom player. A player in this position is likely (but not guaranteed) to be reasonably new to the game or tournament scene, so having them play someone skilled but not under pressure to win will allow the bye-buster to pass on some useful hints. Other qualities I would seek in a bye-buster is enthusiasm and friendliness. Particularly in later rounds, the opponent has been doing poorly over the course of the event. A player who can create a friendly, fun atmosphere as the bye-buster will give the player a positive experience, which can be important if their experience so far has been a succession of beatings.

What type of army list should the bye-buster use?
In my opinion, the best type of army for a bye-buster to use is one from a solid, straightforward mid-tier army. The list should be one the bye-buster likes and enjoys playing, maybe one they wouldn't use if playing competitively. I would steer clear of using any options known to be overpowered or boring to play against (a Thorek Ironbrow gunline is not a good bye-buster army, nor is a 15 Psyback Grey Knights list). I would avoid anything too tricksy, most of the elements of the army should be recognisable to casual players, and I certainly would not encourage a bye-buster to try to "catch out" the opponent. However, the army should be solid rather than a pushover.

Should the bye-buster attempt to compete in his games?
This is the most difficult question. How hard should the bye-buster play in their games? Even if the bye-buster is not counting a score, they can affect the score of their opponents and in that way will effect the final positions. If the bye-buster is simply playing to hand their opponents a full score win, there is little point having one. When thinking about this, I think it really depends on the number of rounds remaining in the event and the skill level of the opponent. If drawn in round one against a top player, the bye buster will probably lose heavily assuming he is not using a competitive army. In this case it may well be appropriate for the bye-buster to have a go at claming a few points. On the other hand, if playing against the bottom player in the last round, it would be inappropriate to go all out. At this stage the result is unlikely to seriously affect the top end of the table, beating on the poor guy who has lost all his previous games heavily is unnecessary and possibly counterproductive. This is the most difficult part of the puzzle and I have no real guaranteed foolproof opinion.

So that's my take on the bye-buster question. I'm interested to hear the opinions of others, particularly those who might disagree with me and why they think I'm wrong.

Thursday, January 5, 2012

WarpCon 2012 - incoming

So this month sees me make my annual trip to Cork for University College Cork's annual WarpCon convention. WarpCon is host to what is usually one of the largest 40K tournaments in the country, with attendance regularly reaching 60 players. This will be my first WarpCon 40K event, I played Fantasy the last two years.

WarpCon's large player turnout could be both a blessing and a curse. It will be a very difficult event for me to do very well at, as there will be most of the top players in the country in attendance. However, there will also be a decent number of more casual players and irregular tournament attendees at the event as well, so there is the opportunity to win games for me as well. I'm hoping to get a couple of wins and maybe make it into the top twenty by the end of the event, provided I don't get a set of bad matchups or really crappy dice rolls at important times.

I'll be bringing my Flesh Tearers, probably something like this list

Librarian (125) - Jump Pack. Fear of the Darkness, Shield of Sanguinius
Sanguinary Priest (90) - Jump Pack, Power Weapon.
Sanguinary Priest (75) - Jump Pack.
10 Assault Marines (235) - 2 Meltaguns, Power Fist.
10 Assault Marines (235) - 2 Meltaguns, Power Fist.
5 Assault Marines (100) - no Jump Packs, in Razorback (61) - Twin Lascannon, Dozer Blade, Searchlight.
5 Assault Marines (100) - no Jump Packs, in Razorback (61) - Twin Lascannon, Dozer Blade, Searchlight.
Baal Predator (121) - Twin Assault Cannon, Dozer Blade, Searchlight.
Baal Predator (121) - Twin Assault Cannon, Dozer Blade, Searchlight.
Baal Predator (121) - Twin Assault Cannon, Dozer Blade, Searchlight.
Predator (135) - Autocannon, Lascannon Sponsons.
Predator (135) - Autocannon, Lascannon Sponsons.
Predator (135) - Autocannon, Lascannon Sponsons.

I still need to get a lot of the figures painted. I have still to finish the Assault Marines on foot, a Sanguinary Priest and the vehicles (except one Razorback). All have been started and some of them are close to finished. The WarpCon rulespack requires painted figures to a 3 colour minimum, but I always paint my tournament armies anyway and have done some freehand designs on the troops and vehicles, so I'd ideally like to get the whole army done to a finished standard. I'll let you know how I'm getting on in a week or two on that front.

WarpCon 40K is using a modified version of last year's ETC scoring. Each game has a possible 20 points available, with a Primary Objective (8 points, 4 each if drawn), a Secondary Objective (6 points, 3 each if drawn) and Victory Points (6 available, split depending on VP difference). With so many different points scoring combinations available, it will be of utmost importance to concentrate on the objectives and take whatever points can be gotten. Even if I can't achieve the primary, the secondary can still provide me with some Battle Points. Should be a good tactical test, and I'll need to be on top of my game.

Outside of gaming, the event should be a lot of fun. A large contingent will be travelling from the Dublin Games Guild so much laughter and beer shall be had. Woo-hoo!

On a different note, I've also volunteered to help with some fund raising for Team Ireland 40K. I'll be making buns for the event which will be available to players and spectators in exchange for a donation to the team fund. Captain Mike Tangney and his team are doing some great work in this area and I'm happy to help them out. Team Ireland Public Relations Officer Caolan Gibbons has volunteered to arrange flyers and collecting tins and help on the day as well. If anyone else will be there and would like to help out by offering buns and shaking collecting tins we would really appreciate it. Or even if you have any other ideas to help with raising money, contact Mike or Caolan, I'm sure they would appreciate it.

Sunday, January 1, 2012

And so this is 2012....

....a lot like 2011. Now I don't bother with new year's resolutions, but here's what I'd like to do with Tales from the Lennycave this year.

Get tournament reports done a lot sooner. I played several in a small space of time a while back and having to write up several reports meant I wasn't bothered to write them, or anything else. If I can write them sooner, the quality will be better and my memory more accurate.

More opinion articles on new releases. I'm not a great 40K player by any means, but I'd be far more confident in venturing opinions than I was six months ago.

More pictures from events. Should really get off my ass and remember to take some.

Monthly 2012 Pledge updates. No guaranteed schedule other than "as close to the end of each month as is reasonably doable".

Get some non-Lenny written content. Such as when a new Codex is released, get thoughts from some of my gaming friends who play the army in question. Also maybe feedback on tournaments from the organisers point of view, or that of those who have done well.

No promises though, but I'd like to include as much of that as I can.

Oh, and Happy New Year!

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