Friday, April 28, 2017

It's over for another year.........

Well the local annual Dystopian Wars tournament was this weekend just gone and what a weekend it was. Two days of hard fought battles, mighty fleets clashing among the waves, ships sinking and burning, it was utter carnage and great fun.
If you have read the previous post I painted up and took a Black Wolf mercenary fleet to the tournament, a fleet that I have never played before but was keen to get on the table. I had a broad strategy to hang back, which is unusual for players of this fleet, and use the long range powerful torpedoes on my submarines to do some damage while using the defensive generators on the battle cruisers to prevent minimise the return fire. When the enemy fleet had closed to a position where I could strike I would surge ahead with my battle cruisers, which had phenomenal close range firepower, and destroy the enemy fleet en-mass.

The List
2x Deathbringer Submarines
1x Kaiju Heavy battleship with a shield generator
3x Nemesis battlecruisers with dilation field generators
2x Fury class frigates

My first match-up was against probably one of my most challenging gaming opponents locally, he was playing a fleet from the Covenant of Antarctica, running two of the just released battleships which are incredibly powerful close up, not a great thing for me as my fleet needed to get close to do the most damage. While the rest of his fleet was long range and would suffer once I was close those two models threw a veritable spanner in the works. A new plan was needed, at least until those pesky battleships were dealt with.
Aarons deployment.

My deployment

The two fleets facing off.

Once deployment had ended we drew our objectives, I ended up having to kill all his large models, which amounted to two pocket battleships and a normal battleship. Looking at the deployment I came up with a sort of new plan. I would focus my torpedoes on the two pocket battleships, also the close range danger, to take them out of the fight and then I would just follow through with the original plan and close.
In short it worked and very well. Early long range torpedo shots crippled the first pocket battleship allowing me to finish it off with some gunnery from my battleship. Them I focused my fire on the second pocket battleship, again two salvos crippled the vessel allowing me to finish it easily. Aarons return fire was very focused sinking one of my battle cruisers and both my frigates but by then I had closed enough to bring my short range firepower to bear which signaled the end. When the game ended Aaron had no models left on the table and I had taken as prizes his commodores battleship and one of his gunships.
A solid 8-0 win for me giving me a strong base to build on. I must also mention Aaron's fantastic sportsmanship and composure through what must have been a very trying game, it is not easy losing a game at a tournament, it is even harder when your opponent tables you.

Round two saw me facing off against one of the newer players at the club, Ryan with his borrowed Covenant of Antarctica. Ryan was running a fleet that was focused around his factions ability to teleport models across the board so he could get his heavy hitting medium squadrons close undamaged.

My Deployment

Ryans deployment

The two fleets facing off
During deployment I noticed that Ryan placed his Callimachus Time Orb, the model which teleports his squadrons, effectively out in the open. Knowing how critical it was to his plan i placed one of my Deathbringer submarines down to hopefully get an early shot off against it and maybe take it's teleport generator offline. The rest of Ryans fleet deployed to either take advantage of long range firepower, his battleship and fleet carrier, or to take advantage of the teleport generator which would most likely be use in turn 2 or 3. My fleet was mostly positioned closely together with an island in the middle which i would use to screen my small squadron from enemy fire since they were the most vulnerable unit in my fleet. I think the objective i drew was kill all medium vessels and 50% of the opposing fleet, which should be easy to get because Ryan was planning to throw his mediums right into the middle of the fight.
Turn one was me win initiative and activate my Deathbringer facing his Callimachus, one salvo of high payload torpedoes later two critical hits were inflicted, the first was a standard critical that i can't even remember what type it was. The second critical was devastating to Ryans plan, a sturginium flare was rolled, which causes the model to be teleported 3d6 inches in a random direction. The Orb was promptly teleported right off the table! While the model itself was never going to directly do any damage to my fleet it took with it alot of Ryans flexibility and ability to get his models in optimum range undamaged.
The last surviving ship of Ryans fleet at the end of the game

From there things went slowly downhill, Ryan put up a hell of a fight, something that is not reflected in the final scores. In the end all that was left of his fleet was his heavily damaged battleship, while I still had both my large submarines and a battlecruiser undamaged and a lightly damaged battleship. 8-0 win for my second game.

Now onto round three, the two early victories had put me in a strong position but that now meant I would be paired up against Chris. One of my regular opponents at these tournaments he always gives me a run for my money, at the Shepparton tournament last year he was very close to beating me and even closer to forcing me into a draw, so I expected a hard fight.
Chris brought the Indian Raj fleet, it can run a good mix of long range firepower, close in firepower and very aggressive boarding. This was going to be an interesting fight

Chris' deployment, a strong centre with his battleship and battle carrier with mediums and smalls flanking

My deployment.

The two fleets facing off
I had positioned my two Deathbringer submarines facing his battle carrier, it was the most vulnerable large model and could do the most damage at long range so I wanted to hit it hard from the outset. I drew commodore's discretion for my objective and after much agonising over choice I went with the objective to kill all this large and massive models, in this case the battleship and battlecarrier, and 50% of his fleet.

From my hazy memory I think Chris won first activation and moved his scout plane forward, I then moved one of my Deathbringers forward slightly to be able to take a shot at his battlecarrier which resulted in a critical. Chris then moved his battlecarrier forward to take a shot before it became too damaged, unfortunately this did no damage to the battlecruiser he was shooting at. I then activated my second Deathbringer, one torpedo salvo later and the battlecarrier suffered and ammunition explosion taking a further five hull points off it.
Two shots and a crippled battlecarrier
The rest of the turn passed with us both trading shots which did minor damage. I tried to wipe out his corvette squadron that was moving very close to my battleship with the obvious intent to board and try to wipe out it's defending marines in preparation of the follow up from the cruisers. Some abysmal rolls later three were damaged and only one destroyed, leaving them still a very significant threat.
The most notable event of the second turn was Chris roaring up with his corvettes that had again survived a round of shooting from the battleship and proceeding to take my battleship as a prize! Let's just say I was not expecting that outcome!
From almost pristine to prized in less than 30 seconds
The rest of the battle was hard fought, however my greater close range firepower tipped the scales in my favour once Chris had closed the gap in his rush to board my ships.
Unfortunately I forgot to take a photo of the ending board but the result was an 8-1 victory to me with only Chris' unit of small flyers left on the table.
That was the end of the first days play, my three wins had left me in a strong position with 24 tournament points and also a significant number of victory points which are used as tie breakers in the even that two people are tired for tournament points after the fifth game.

The morning of day two dawned and I was ready to finish strongly and hopefully take home the win. I knew that I would be playing Trent, one of the local players and another of my regular opponents at these tournament, given the placings at the end of the previous day. He plays the Republic of France, one of the toughest fleets in the game, the large models in his fleets are hard to do put damage on with their combination of generators and armour rules and the mediums and smalls can be really hard hitting.
Trents delpoyment

My deployment

The two fleets facing off
At the end of deployment my entire fleet was facing off against half of Trents, his heavy battleship was positioned his far right flank which would make it hard for it to get into range which would limit it's impact on the battle for at least the first two turns. It would also take the small squadron there at least two turns to get into effective range. Hopefully i would draw an objective that would allow me to capitalise on this spread out fleet, luck would have it i drew kill the commodore, which was conveniently positioned in the other heavy battleship directly opposite my entire fleet.
Overall this game was the quickest one i played for the entire tournament, I think it only took us fifty minutes to play and only took three turns. It ended in a 8-0 victory to me, in which Trent was left with one of his heavy battleships, a few escorts and two frigates while I was left with my entire fleet not losing a single model.
The aftermath, the French battleship in the middle was sunk leaving only the battleship in the top left corner plus a few small vessels
 This win put me in an unassailable position in the tournament, at the end of the round only one other person could match me in tournament points and that was only if I lost my next battle and he had an 8-0 win. Even in this case my victory points total was too great for him to beat.
This made things more relaxed going into the final round, however unfortunately for my next opponent my competitive side is too much to stifle during a tournament so I couldn't just sit back and coast through the final round.

My final opponent was to be Joel, another of the newer players at the club, with his Kingdom of Britannia fleet. His list was a potent mix of strong torpedoes and some heavy long range firepower from his cruisers and battleship plus some close range punch in the form of a squadron of heavy destroyers.

Joels deployment

My deployment, all together except my small squadron way out on the flank

Two lonely frigates

The two fleets facing off
Knowing that the easiest objective against my fleet was to kill all the small units and with no islands to hide them behind I opted to place them way out on the flank well away from all of Joels fleet. This meant that if he drew that objective he would have to dedicate sending a unit all the way over to them to kill them, this would basically put them out of the main fight for most of the game giving me the advantage. With deployment finished we had both basically setup directly facing each other on one half of the table which suited me fine. I think my objective was to kill all the medium squadrons, which was easier since his cruisers squadron was nearly half the points of his fleet, which meant I had a nice clear objective to aim for and would only need to take out a small portion of the rest of the fleet to complete the other part of the objective which was 50% of his fleet.
The first turn saw some some early salvos from both sides with torpedoes, his did some heavy damage to one of my battlecruisers and mine heavy damage to his submerged large submarine and criticaly taking its torpedoes off line which Joel failed to repair at the end of the turn. In turn two more long range torpedo shots were taken, Joel's further damaging my battlecruiser and mine taking out the support cruiser in his cruiser squadron. Turn three the action started to heat up, Joel activated his cruisers early on moving them forward and taking out my battlecruiser (I think, the memory is a bit hazy as I was getting tired) this put them in the perfect range for me to hit them with pretty much my entire fleet. The fleet surged ahead and in one turn reduced the squadron to a single model with only one hull point left, also one of his heavy destroyers was sunk before they could activate reducing their effectiveness. This was the turning point of the game, from here Joel was struggling to put any further damage on my ships, his dive bombers manage to cause a critical hit on on of the Deathbringers but that was all. I finished off the large submarine, heavy destroyers and his battleship with his commodore, the last cruiser sank at the end of the turn due to disorder and that was the end of the game, 8-0 victory.
The final photo, both the cruiser and battleship are sunk only the carrier remains of Joel's fleet.
That was it, five straight wins put me way ahead of anyone else and gave me the tournament win. Second place was won by Aaron and third by Ryan, both playing the Covenant of Antarctica. 

I love playing in tournaments, I love the challenge of playing against different people in a competitive setting and being able to run fleets that I would normally not use during normal gaming sessions. Next year I won't be playing in the Shepparton tournament as it is my turn to be the tournament organiser so I will have to content myself to just watching and vicariously gaming through others matches.

The next tournament for Dystopian Wars will be in about six weeks in Bendigo hosted by the guys from the Bendigo and District Gamers Association, which I am already looking forward to and have started working on new fleet lists to take.


Friday, April 21, 2017

Dystopian Wars tournament ahead

Well I started out this blog strong and then I have been a bit lax in the past two weeks getting the next post up. The main reason is that I have been madly painting models for a tournament I am attending this coming weekend.
Every year, well for the past three years including this one, the local gaming group has run a Dystopian Wars tournament over two days around Easter.
I have a habit of taking a different fleet to every tournament I attend for Dystopian Wars so this year I decided to take a Black Wolf mercenary fleet, known for their brutal short range firepower it should be fun to play as I have mostly in the past run longer range fleets.
Overall I am quite happy with how they have turned out, they could probably do with another spot colour somewhere on the model however at this point I have had enough of painting them so they can stay the way they are for the weekend.
The fleet assembled ready to face all opponents.

Two Deathbringer submarines

The Empire of the Blazing Sun have nicely decided to lend one of their Kaiju Heavy Battleships to the mercenaries

My three Nemesis battlecruisers

Fury class frigates

My fighter cover for the fleet
Well the tournament kicks off at 9am on Saturday morning, we shall see how the mercenaries fare against the fleets of my opponents.

Friday, April 7, 2017

Whats on the painting table

As people who know me will be well aware my painting can be a little bit erratic at times, well actually it borders on non-existent a lot of the time. Between work, family and trying to get some actual gaming time in there is not often a lot of time left over to sit down at the painting table.
Further to this I also do the occasional commission work for some of the guys at the local club which in turn pushed all my personal painting down the list.
But enough of complaining about how much time I don't have and onto what is actually on my painting table this very moment. Well the majority of it is some commission work I am doing, a US Arianda force and some Nomad models for Infinity.
The US Ariadnans currently are all the Grunts my friend has based and ready to paint, all nine of them.
Nine USARF Grunts nearing completion
The completed test model
 The Nomad faction is a slow project, just a few miniatures a month, however the guy I am painting them for has had a bit of a dilemma with the scheme he would like. This has lead to three test models being painted, hopefully this last one is staying.
The test Nomad Alguacile (I hope this is the last paint scheme)

The rest of the Alguaciles patiently waiting to be started on

Also sitting waiting patiently to be finished are the last few models that I was painting up for my Morat Aggression force that I used in an Infinity Slow Grow we held at the club late last year.
The rest of my Morat Aggression force waiting to be finished

Sunday, April 2, 2017

The Games

Right onto the interesting stuff now, the games I play. Unfortunately this is an ever growing list, however of late I have been making a concerted effort to only buy games that I am sure I am going to play....... at some point.

Firstly the main staples for myself currently consist of the following three;

Dystopian Wars - a 1/1200 scale steampunk 1800s wargame made by Spartan Games. I won't hold back, I love this game. It has a great ruleset, a huge range of fantastic models and it is one of the most balanced games that I have ever played. Currently this is my largest collection of miniatures, comprising of models from seven different fleets with the largest having more models that I could likely ever put on the table at one time.
A small portion (the painted portion) of my Empire of the Blazing Sun fleet.

Infinity - a 28mm science fiction skirmish wargame made by Corvus Belli. This is a fantastic, complex game that I got into when they released their new version about two years ago. The core mechanic is relatively simple, the complexity comes from the vast variety of actions that models can perform both in their own turn and their opponents. This collection consists of three different factions, and I will admit that it has been a significant struggle to limit it to three. Corvus Belli make absolutely gorgeous models and I find it very hard to resist buying more factions.
Some models from my Morat Aggression force that I painted for the club slow grow league last year

Sharp Practice 2 - this is a black powder era wargame produced by a company called Two Fat Lardies who are primarily produced rule sets that can be used with any miniatures, they don't produce their own line of minatures. My friend Giles and I have only just recently purchased this game and the models, from Perry Miniatures, but we have definitely both become enamored with the rule set. Again the core rules are fairly simple but they are very focused on characters and officers controlling your groups of soldiers, this leads to a very story laden and rich game experience.
My Prussian Napoleonics for Sharp Practice 2

Second are all the other games that I play on an intermittent basis which I won't cover in detail but just list;
Firestorm Armada - 1/1200 scale science fiction naval space game by Spartan Games
Firestorm Planetfall - 15mm scale science fiction land game by Spartan Games
Dystopian Legions - 28mm scale Steampunk squad/platoon game by Spartan Games
Heavy Gear Blitz - 12mm scale science fiction game by Dream Pod 9
Flames of War - 15mm WW2 game by Battlefront Miniatures
Kings of War - 28mm Fantasy wargame by Mantic Games
Mordheim - 28mm fantasy skirmish game by Games Workshop
Necromunda - 28mm science fiction skirmish game by Games Workshop

Lastly there are numerous other rulebooks and miniatures for games that I haven't managed to play yet which are laying around the Room.

So as you can probably tell I have a little bit of a problem regarding the ratio of games that I collect and would like to play compared to the games that I actually have the time to play. However like any dedicated wargamer this will not dissuade me from buying more games and miniatures in the future................. bring on Sword and Spear!