Well’ be back…

Posted: August 3, 2010 in 40k, Necrons, Uncategorized
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Ode to the Necrons

Recently I got to play my first (finally!) game with my Necrons. Yeah, Necrons. I got hooked on them after reading a friends Codex, and picked up some cast offs on ebay…and eventually got a game!
So, to give another friend of ours whom we recently sucked in (“here, take these marines….”) a good practice game, a few of us set up a casual game over the weekend. 2000 points a side. My two friends (the newer one, and an old vet in our group) each brought 1000 points of marines, and I had 2k worth of my T1000s. I had suspected the old rustbuckets would be a different game for me (I usually play my beloved tau) and I was not wrong.
The first thing one of my friends noticed was my lack of models…oh sure, I got plenty of Necrons (hey, you …wanna buy a wraith?), I just had no idea what 2000 points looks like…and it don’t look like a lot.
Of course the fact that I had smack daddy Nightbringer on the table (oh, you gotta play him, at least once) did not help the point total any. In fact, I built my list more focusing more on getting stuff out to play than I did any kind of real cohesive force…mostly.
We ended up with spearhead and capturing an objective in each other’s corner and had a grand ole time on the battlefield tonight. The game was a blast, with a lot of cool moments, and some great patience from my friend Pat (hi pat!) as I was learning Necrons and our other buddy was still learning (smart guy; just new to 40k).
I won’t bother with a complete batrep, but will detail out a few fascinating events, and my learning from playing with my robots of doom.
1 – No transports and where did they put their objective?
Well, the other guys stuck their objective on top of a tall tower….with a thunderfire cannon. On the other side (well, duh dave) of the board. Looking at my guys not being fleet of foot (literally) and me having about as many transports as a guy stuck in Boston trying to get a rental car (every 30 min? really?) I decided to not even bother to go for their objective. Ironically, neither did they. No troops on theirs…they made a bold move to come get mine…muhahahhaha.

2 – Reserves are not always your friend.
I started the game with a group of warriors and some scarabs in reserve. My theory (at the time…aren’t theories fun) was that I might need extra warriors in case mine died, and the scarabs could deep strike and mess with their back field. Well, the warriors had to come in via monolith (fascinating rule, dat) and my scarabs came in on the last turn…which means as you can’t assault on the turn you deep strike, I basically used them as a blocking unit. Of course, on the other side of the board…in what turned out to be a big “oops” the guys put their only las cannons in reserves…and never made the roll. Ouch! Once I managed to identify the other high strength weapons on the board (a multi melta and a power fist) my ctan had a field day….

3 – Um, there is a Mr. Death here…

Oh, you are gonna get it now...

Ah, the Nightbringer…all 360 lovely points of him. My first impression is that this guy is just nuts powerful…and I was not too far off there. His toughness of 8 makes him VERY hard to damage, but he has a fairly weak save, only 4+…sure, its an invul, but its ONLY a 4+. With 5 attacks and being a big baddy (bypassing all defenses like a determined paparazzi) he is a CC killing machine. I think if I ever face one in the future, you HAVE got to hit this guy with everything you got BEFORE he makes it into assault… Is he nasty? Yep. Is he too good…hmmm…personally, I think is for the most part balanced…I mean…360 points? Dang..thats a trygon prime and the horse he rode in on.

4 – Wraiths…oh yeah!
Ok, these necrons on a stick (well, a spine maybe) are just neat. Move like jet bikes and very durable thanks to their good toughness and 3+ invul. However…without power weapons, or disruption fields…they are not very powerful offensively. Don’t get me wrong, a great addon to any amy…but without the ability to even get more powerful assault upgrades, keep them running from dreds! Very specialized unit…so have to play them smart to get their cost back.

5 – We’ll be back…again, and again…
Ok, I got lucky and made a lot of my we’ll be back rolls…and that was the coolest thing ever. Also, the ability for the monolith to suck up a squad hoover style and give rerolls, yeah, that was quite the bomb as well. Very useful trait. I am thinking if I face these guys with my tau, the lords are going to be railgun bait…right after that pesky…

6 – The temple of DOOM!
Ah, the monolith…how I love thee. Sure, it’s a ton of points, not really a transport and got immobilized with a lucky shot from a krack missle…but dang, that’s things just cool. Splaying hot fields of green death and able to move (sort of) troops around…very useful. In fact, once I realized the las cannons were in perpetual reserve and I took out the melta, this baddy had a field day…until I got popped with a missile launcher and immobilized. But hey, Necrons happen…

7 – Calling Mr Heavy…
So, three heavy slots is not a lot for necrons. Why you may ask? (ok, its rhetorical). Because all of the choices (and there ain’t a whole lot of choices in a Necron army…) are very good. I already covered the big black box above, so that leaves me to the Heavy Destroyer and the Tomb Spider. One of the biggest changes that supposedly beat Necrons with the nerf bat in 5th edition, was that their main anti-vehicle trick (getting glances with Gauss weapons) no longer could destroy tanks. Was this a huge deal? Well, see how many folks still play Necrons. Go ahead, look it up, I’ll wait. Anyways, there are not a lot of las cannon quality weapons in their arsenal (as opposed to the swarm of las equipped razorbacks I saw the other day….dang!), which makes the Heavy Destroyer VERY valuable, and I ain’t just talking their massive 65 point cost either. So, you gotta have em, and keep em alive….which leads me to my next heavy unit…(no pun intedned).

10 – Da Roach of Death!
So, I was wondering just how useful a tomb spider might be; I mean, their basic role gives better chances for Necron self repair rolls (longer range, and can repair more nasty damage). I picked up one of these guys, and made sure I kind of shifted all my fronts around so he was in range of several units. Did it make a difference? Was it a good plan? No, yes. What? Well… Between my opponents not making the reserve rolls for THEIR ONLY LAS Cannon and my ruthlessly killing their only melta and power fist…it turned out I did not need any of the spiders uber pit stop prowess. So, a waste of points? Ask the termies who deep struck right behind them. Yes, papa roach is a monstrous creature. He managed to finish off a squad of deep striking termies so well it was awesome. Ah, my broadsided weep (see my write up of my BT game in the HTUD tournament).

So, overall we had a lot of fun, and I managed to get a good flavor for the Necrons as did my buddies; to their credit none of us never knew what he little rustbuckets were capable of before the game. Overall, I really like them…who doesn’t love a marine save with essentially feel no pain (about the equal of the Well’ be back effect) thrown in. I do want to try some of the tricks of the Necron lord next time (it’s a long list) and still have to see what is up with the Pariahs and Flayed ones (I had some of the ginsu guys in my game, but they did not get a ton of encounter time – the jury is still out). Until next time, keep them dice rollin…


This past weekend I attended my first large scale 40k gaming event (well, one my first ANY 40k gaming event) and what an event it was!
It was none other than Astronomi-Con!!!

This was a massive 40k two day event held here Dallas, at a very cool gaming store: The Gamers Realm.
The event was hosted by a cool duo of Canadian guys (hey guys!) who came all the way down from the great white north to hold this shindig of 40k goodness.

The Astro Event!

The Event

There were several cool things about astro, in no particular order:
Standings were based on many factors: play, painting, sportsmanship, creativity, etc.

This event was in many ways a super endurance test for me, and not just due to my work schedule (I was working near L.A. during the week before the tourney, and headed to Chicago the evening of that Sunday AND had a MPIII show Saturday night), but because I (yes, I am insane) committed to make TWO terrain tables for the event.   Also, to top things off, my army was not even painted yet!

When I heard about the event wanting local terrain makers, I thought “wow, thats cool…I wonder if I could make a coherent table..”  Sure, I had before made a few pieces of terrain, and thrown together tables which were just random buildings and hills together….but to make a themed table with a coherent narrative and structure…especially with my schedule…it was insanity!  So naturally, I decided to make TWO!

My Tables

Inspired by some ancient ruins and my recent reading of the Necron codex (yeah, like I need another freakin army), I had my mind set on making my “Alien Pyramid in the Jungle” table.

First game on the Pyramid Table

It was supposed to be an alien jungle pyramid complex, in a jungle clearing. Once I got about half way done with that monster of a project (to be detailed in another post), I started foolishly thinking “Hey…I have a few more weeks…I wonder if I can build my other table idea…”.  So naturally, I drew up plans for a second (and third, actually) table.

I had only stopped working (note, I did not say “finished”) on this table Friday afternoon, and had to deliver it to the event for setup that night!   Overall, I got a LOT of great feedback on the table and was pleased with its overall theme.   I learned a lot on this one; from working with large foam pieces to how to make decent looking yet functional area jungle terrain.

My second table, the “Industrial Refinery” was my other entry into the event, and I have to say it my goals were a bit overly ambitious for my skill and way too complex for my time.  However, overall I achieved the layout I wanted and got it painted up to a basic level; it was a HUGE hit!!!  In fact, I managed to win (23 votes) best terrain for it!

Two BA Armies go at it! (from thewraithgate.com)

This table was a ton of work, and an quite a pain to make…I totally underestimated the work to complete it to the quality I wanted….I had to cut back on a lot of details (aesthetic and otherwise) but overall I was VERY happy how it turned out. I got a lot of help from a few friends with ideas and even TONS of cutting and gluing (thanks mike!!!- how much beer do I owe ya?).

This table concept came about as a mixture of a few thematic elements.  I had recently been thinking about a few things, and they coalesced into an idea…

  • I love the Mustafar scenes from Star Wars Episode III
  • All the lava in World of Warcraft’s Molten Core dungeon
  • Cool industrial images after looking up information off shore oil rigs
  • The concept of a table with “height”.

After experimenting with a bunch of different layouts, I came up with the final product.  While I tried to make it somewhat vehicle friendly (all those extra wide catwalks with no railings…), I wanted to make the table to make players think.

I wanted it to be about tactical choices…and with all the feedback I got, I feel I was successful in that regard.

My Games…

I played six games that weekend, and what games they were!

Game one: Sink the Baneblade!

This was one of games where I had the most fun.  My oponnent was Christopher Allen, a great guy I had met the week before in the astro prelim event.  Well, our main challenge was the massive Baneblade rolling down the table!!!  In what it turned out would later be a trend, I managed to completely miss with everything for quite some time in this game. Chris on the other hand took out the  Baneblade….on the first turn.  Overall, a really fun game against a very fun player!

Game two: The Tyranid Hive Ship!

This game was ….a pain.  Literally!!! Ian and I squared off INSIDE of a Tyranid hive ship.  While the layout was simple, the game was not.  The entire board was dangerous terrain.  Yeah, think about that.  We lost more units to the ship than to each other!!!  Just moving units created tension!!! It was an awesome game and I had a ton of fun.  Ian was a great competitor, and he managed a win after taking out the min organ in the middle (oh, what a quote) as we had to “kill” the alien brain of the ship.   Despite the perils (I lost several models and disabled three vehicles just deploying on turn one!) I had a great time with Ian in this one.

Game Three: Cargo Convoy Round up!

Another game, another great guy!  I played against Jeff in this fun round where we had to steal crates (fragile crates…more on this in a min) from an IG convoy moving down the center of the map.  There were only three crates, each one in an IG transport…the crates had a chance of being destroyed by just a penatrating hit on the unit!!! That meant I could not use my Railguns!!!!   However, it turned out that Jeff and I (well, jeff mainly  😉 ) managed to destroy all three of the objectives so we just had a great time and the game ended in a draw!!!

Later that night, after an awesome comedy show and some VERY well needed sleep….


Game Four: City Melee Battle!

Well, you know how every table and scenario might not be the best for your army?  That is what I got for my first game on day two; a city fight where my troops had a chance to rage and get preferred enemy.  Did I mention I play tau?  Oh boy!   Of course, my bizarre dice luck returned on this day with a vengeance.  So much in fact it was just laughable.   The upside?  I was tabled by a totally cool guy: Billy P.  A great guy with a comedic game (yeah, it really was that bad) and I had fun, and that my friends was what mattered!   (Billy later went on to win Best Army for the event!!! His traitor guard army was totally cool!!!!).

Game Five: Inquisitor Nightmare and the Temple of Doom!

In this game Christopher Y and I just had bizzare luck in a bizzare scenario. The game was very cool, with lots of  really neat looking temples (hmmm…I need to make a few of these), a tough Inquisitor force in the middle and secret random objectives!!!!

We had a draw on this one, as while I think we both played a good game (well, I learned the hard way what happens when your opponent ‘steals the initiative’) the circumstances just did not play out. Chris’s mission was to take out my HQ…who did not get on the map until the end of the game. My mission was to take out the Inquisitor…and I had no available weapons to do so until the end of the game. Regardless it was a fascinating scenario and good game!

Game Six: Frozen Crystal Table
For this last game of the day, I met John and we had it out on a cool game table filled with awesome looking alien crystals. This was a fun game with interesting victory conditions where you had to have scoring units in base contact with the neat looking crystal formations on the table. I have to say, my dice finally turned around and I got a bit of luck back right in turn one. In fact so much so, I honestly felt bad for John when I took out his land raider on TURN ONE! Of course, after he vaporized a few of my guys, I did not feel as bad! 🙂 Overall a game with a lot of tactical choices and John was a great guy to play against as well. This one turned out to be my only clear win of the event.

Overall, I had a blast of a weekend and made a lot of new friends.  I still have to finish my tables and paint my army to much better standard (got a lot of great tips this weekend!), but that my friends is the subject of another post….

More Info…

If you want really great pics and even better commentary, check out these two great blog sites:

For more info on the Astro series, check out their website!

Dave Pak

Roll for Initiative…

Posted: June 7, 2010 in News

Hello everyone, and welcome to my new gaming site.

I am Dave.  I am a Gamer.  Therefore I am.

I play a lot of games, mostly wargaming and tabletop RPGs, but with a smattering of traditional computer gaming thrown in.  This will be a collection of my random musings about my various gaming exploits.  This also includes my latest interest obsession with terrain building for tabletop wargaming and RPGs.

I have played a lot of games over the years, and made a lot of terrain recently, and a lot of people have said “hey, how did you make that” or “I wish I knew how to make this stuff…”  Well, this page.

There will be a heavy amount of terrain building in here, with a bit of modeling and painting thrown in as well.  There may be some ocassional reviews on model kits and hobby supplies, or just other various gaming related talk.

Of course, Dave the gamer is a diverse guy, so hopefully this page will inspire me to get some of my other writing projects going.


Dave the Gamer