Friday, September 26, 2008


That was it - campaign over. My final record was nine games played, with seven wins and only two losses. A pretty good record, especially as my overall record outside of the Vogen campaign with Daemonhunters was a losing one.

This was due to a number of factors. First among these was familiarity. I had been playing the Daemonhunters for almost a year, in well over forty games, before the campaign. I knew the capabilities of my units and the army list very well, and used all of my knowledge to build an effective 1000 point army.

This brings me to my second reason; a solid army list. My list was almost solely built to win games. I dropped some units which I usually picked for aesthetic reasons, and chose more effective units instead. To this end I actually converted extra combat servitors, added hunter killer missiles to the rhinos and painted more Stormtroopers specifically for the Vogen campaign.

I felt a bit guilty about including an Eversor assassin, wondering if I was getting into powergamer territory, but then I heard about someone including the Nightbringer in his list, and another person picking the Red Terror and a winged Hive Tyrant. I needed all the help I could get!

As well as having a good list, and having had lots of practice, I had a plan! More than any time in the past I was focused going into the campaign, knowing why each unit was in my force and the tactics I would use. Several times I delayed assaults I knew I would win, so that I would be in a better position later in the game. I used screening extensively to control the game, sacrificing small inexpensive units in order to destroy more pricey and powerful enemy squads.

And I played to win.

I am a fairly easy going gamer, and sometimes get distracted by the spectacle of a game, trying something risky but fun, or staying 'in character' even if it means losing when I should win. If I am beating a player I sometimes make sloppy moves or forget to shoot with a unit, consciously or sub-consciously letting them back into the game. After taking many spankings with my Daemonhunters before the campaign, I resolved to try harder with them. They deserved it! I wasn't a jerk, bending rules and arguing small points, I just concentrated for the whole game and continued playing hard even if it looked like I had the game won.

Despite my excellent win/loss record I was still nowhere near winning the campaign. I think I finished fourth or fifth, but I was a good 30 points behind the winner (an Ulthwe army). The main reason for this was the campaign mechanics.

Points were awarded for losses as well as wins (obviously you got more points for a win) and there was no limit on the number of games you could play over the six weeks. Some players played 20 games and no matter the result of their games, they kept accruing points. It quickly became clear, especially after a two week break from the campaign, that I had no chance to win because I couldn't play enough games. Many other players discovered the same thing and the campaign just petered out for them as they lost interest. Only the top three players pushed to play more games in the final weeks which was a shame for Paul, the campaign coordinator, as he had put a lot of effort into the campaign.

As the Vogen campaign progressed, it became clear that Paul had bitten off more than he could chew. The rules were relatively complex and there was only one copy of them in the store. In retrospect it would have been better if there were copies for all players to read, well before the campaign started. Once the campaign began, Paul tried to give us regular updates, including our placings, but he was deluged by the sheer number of players and games being played. After a few weeks the updates stopped completely and no-one really knew where they stood. This led to a number of players dropping out, I think, because they simply didn't know what was going on.

That's not to say I didn't appreciate his efforts and I applaud him for having the balls to actually run the thing. I'll bear in mind the problems we encountered if I ever get round to organising a campaign of my own.

Overall, though, the campaign was a positive experience and a fitting send off for my Daemonhunters.

Friday, September 5, 2008


Game: Warhammer 40,000 3rd edition
Opponent: Colin
Campaign: Vogen campaign game 9
Mission: Hostage Situation
1st turn: Daemonhunters
Points: 1000

  • Inquisitor Lord Severus, Daemonhammer, Bolt pistol, Psychic Hood, Icon of the Just, 2x Acolytes, Power Armour, Bolt Pistols and Close Combat Weapons, 1x Acolyte with Close Combat weapon and las pistol, 3xCombat Servitor, 3x Mystics, Rhino with Smoke Launchers, Hunter Killer missile, Searchlight
  • Inquisitor Kurven, Psycannon, Power Armour, Emperor's Tarot, Purity Seals, Gun Servitor, Plasma Cannon, Frag Grenades, Krak Grenades, Targeter, 2x Imperial Guard Veteran, Plasma Gun, Frag Grenades, Krak Grenades, Targeter, 2x Sage, Close Combat Weapon, Laspistol, Hierophant, Close Combat Weapon, Laspistol
  • Daemonhost
  • Eversor Assassin
  • Squad Matoso, 7 Stormtroopers, 2 meltaguns, Rhino, Smoke launchers, Extra Armour, Hunter Killer Missile
  • Squad Godirtho, 5 Stormtroopers, 2 plasma guns
  • Squad Seralvo, 5 Stormtroopers, 2 Grenade Launchers
  • Squad Vargas, 5 Stormtroopers, 2 Flamers
  • Squad Devaux, 5 Stormtroopers

  • Shas'o
  • 2 Crisis suits
  • 3 Broadsides
  • 2 large Firewarrior Squads
  • Large Drone Squad
  • Large Stealth team
  • Hammerhead with Railgun
Vogen Campaign
I knew this was to be my last game in the campaign and I wanted to go out with a win, particularly as this was the last game I would be using my Daemonhunters in for a long time. I knew I had no chance to win the campaign, but I wanted to maintain my decent record and at least finish in the top half.

Terrain and Deployment
This game was played on the same table, with the same layout, as my last game against Gary. It was 6'x4' with a large hill and two woods in the middle. Other terrain was very sparse. The mission has an Ethereal set up in the middle of the board, and whoever has an unbroken unit above half strength closest to him would win the game.

The Tau player had to deep strike his entire army before the game begins, and then I had to roll randomly for which table edge to arrive from. Unfortunately for him, he got a double one for his Hammerhead and it didn't appear in the game (obviously got burned up on re-entry). The rest of his army arrived fairly centrally on the hill in a formidable firebase with lots of interlocking fields of fire. I rolled one of the long edges, and the game began when some of my units arrived from reserve.

The Game
Squads Matoso, Devaux, and Godirtho, and the Daemonhost all turned up on turn 1. Although I could have charged Squad Matoso straight into a Firewarrior squad I instead advanced them toward a forest, out of sight of most of the Tau army. Gary was watching this game and thought I was crazy not to assault straight off, but I felt that the Stormtroopers would have been isolated even if they had won the combat, and they would have been shot down as they left combat.

The Daemonhost scattered out from behind the forest, right into the open. As the only thing targettable, the entire Tau army shot at him. It is a testament to his toughness, wounds and my ability to roll saves that only the very last shot killed him (after being hit with plasma rifles, burst cannon, missile pods and railguns he was destroyed by a carbine shot).

My second wave of reserves included the Eversor assassin, Squad Seralvo and Inquisitor Kurven. I brought all of them on behind my original units who had all advanced again behind the woods. I took out a Crisis suit with a Hunter Killer missile and the remaining suit fell back off the board.

I wasn't totally clear of Tau shooting, though, as the Broadside's Smart Missile shot up and over the forest at my men, killing several Stormtroopers. The Tau gun drones also edged out around the wood to pop off some shots.

Turn 3 brought on the rest of my army, including Lord Severus himself. It was now I chose to launch a decisive attack. Severus zoomed onto the table and ploughed straight into a Firewarrior squad, completely annihilating them. As they swept they came under heavy fire but still managed to contact and kill a Broadside. That was on my left, but nearer the centre Squad Matoso deployed from their rhino and instantly killed the Shas'o with their meltaguns, then they charged the remaining Firewarrior squad.

To my shame the Stormtroopers were beaten off by the Tau after a couple of turns, but that allowed Severus to sweep into them from behind and he finished the job off. The Stealth Team were in this area and also in sight of Seralvo's and Kurven's guns. Two good sighting rolls meant the Tau infiltrators were sitting targets and they melted under the hail of fire.

Out on my right, the Eversor assaulted the Gun drones, killed them all and then swept around the wood to hit the Broadsides. By the time Squad Devaux had pushed through the woods onto the hill the entire Tau army had been destroyed.

Result: Win

Campaign effect: None

Campaign results: Played 9, Won 7, Lost 2

Learning points
  • The tough choice here was whether to pile straight in or to wait and try to mount a co-ordinated attack. I think I picked right because anything piling in on the left would have been left out in the open, in range of all the Tau guns. Then I would have been left with all the other units arriving in drips and drabs.
  • My opponent was unlucky to have his Hammerhead disappear before the game began. We actually had a bit of discussion as to whether it should be removed or not, because we were working out deployment and it wasn't actually an in game move. Fair play to the Tau player who played on without it. At least my Daemonhost made it to the table!