Kings @ Blazers

One of the rare games I get to fully watch living in Australia and there were certainly some positives. Firstly, Miller started. I don’t have much agaisnt Blake but Miller is a much better floor leader than Blake. If Roy doesn’t like it or can’t play well without the ball in his hands, he’s not as good as we all thinks he is. Secondly, Bayless. I agree with the Blake setup for the final quarter, he’d hit two big shots and would keep the defense honest but Bayless went out instead of Miller and proved his worth. He did something I’ve never seen Webster do, pump fake. Thridly, Pryzbilla. Pryz is a very solid center and an excellent back-up to Oden and this is another game that highlights how important big men are to Portland. He was +27 and the Kings only took control of the game when he was out in the late 2nd and 3rd quarters. Defensively he (and Oden) do so much for the Blazers and it doesn’t show up on the stat sheet. Whilst Oden is a much better shot blocker and presence in the paint, Pryz brings energy and hustle which I often think the Blazers lack. Finally, Roy and LA. They both had insane games and carried the Blazers when they needed it. 25/5/10 for Roy and 25/9/5 for LA. When the rest of the team isn’t firing these two need to step up and they did tonight. If the Blazers could stay healthy and work out the chemistry issues this game was the type of Blazer game you should see every night but much better.

So what didn’t I like. The bench. I know the Blazers are injured and bench scorers like Outlaw and Rudy are not there but they need to play more consistently. I know when Pryz goes out it’s a small lineup on the floor but you’ve got to make up with hustle and energy. Look at Houston and Pheonix. Undersized but they win through sheer determination and hustle (and good point guards). That’s what I think is missing from the Blazers. They don’t want it enough. In the 4th you saw it. With Pryz and Bayless you saw it. But on the whole the Blazers team need to learn to want it. I hope it doesn’t take multiple early round exits for them to learn this and I’m sure players like Oden and Outlaw will come out of injury hungry but as a team they need to want to win. And finally, Webster. At the beginning of the year he showed some great explosiveness and great driving dunks. I’ve seen barely any of that since then. He made one tonight and had a few other big shots but too often he settles for the jumpshot and doesn’t rebound as well as he could with his hops. He needs to pump fake and drive more. I know we have a lot of drivers in Roy, Bayless and Miller but honestly if he wants to stay on this team he needs to become consistent at both ends of the floor. Outlaw is a more consistent offensive threat whilst Batum is a far better defender. We’ve seen Webster play great defense and offense but we’ve never seen him string it together more consecutive games.

Overall was an exciting game to watch and a well-deserved win for Portland. This is only the 2nd time I’ve seen Evans play and damn has he got game.

Weight of Fire

Following up from an annoying argument with someone on Warseer in the Tau tactica section and my previous game with Vince.

Weight of fire is important in 5th. AP1 is also important but unless you have platforms which can send out 4+ S7+ AP1 shots a turn, relying on meltaguns or fast MMs isn’t going to cut it (yes the Exorcist can do this but it suffers from D6 shots and only has a single gun. When that gets blown off *error noise*).

So in my recent game (and many many games before that) Rifle Dreads (2x TL autocannon) have been invaluable. They may not have killed much but because they are putting out 3-4 S7 hits on AV11+ chasis’ every turn, they are doing something every turn. If as an army you can stop your opponents shooting reliably every turn, you’re set. This is why target locks are so important on Tau. Each of their weapons is very good and therefore prone to overkill. Sure the chances of you wrecking both targets with 2 broadsides is minimal but you maximise your chances to do so and minimise your chances of “wasting” a wreck on an already wrecked target.

Whilst shaking your opponent 24/7 isn’t going to win you games outright (enter your actual melta and AP1 weapons which can more reliably take out armor) against a lot of Mech armies it’s going to give you a significant advantage. Take any mech list and mirror it against itself. Whichever side goes first is going to have the upperhand as they will have agreater odds ratio of inflicting multiple shakes across more targets and thus minimise the damage coming their way next turn. This is why vendettas, rifle dreads and crisis suits are all becoming increasingly popular.

1500 game

Played a 1500 game yesterday in practice for a potential tournmanet in Feb. Used the following list:

HQ –
Libby w/Avenger & Null Zone

Elites –
Dreadnought w/2x TL AC
Dreadnought w/2x TL AC

Troops –
5x IST w/2meltaguns & Rhino
5x Scouts w/cloaks, HB & sniper rifles
10x Tacticals w/flamer, MM & Rhino
10x Tacticals w/flamer, MM & Rhino

Fast Attack –
2x Land Speeder w/HF & MM
2x Land Speeder w/HF & MM

Heavy Support –
Predator w/LC sponsons
Predator w/LC sponsons

Against Vince’s SoB who went with Palatine, 3 SoB dual melta squads in Rhino, 5 IST w/meltas, Seraphim x6, Dominions w/4 Flamers in Immo and 3 Exos. After the game we discussed him moving towards a more Immo spam list and dropping the SoB numbers as they are eating into his points (compared to say 150 for 5x Celestians w/2mguns & Immo). Whilst I also like (and get annoyed the crap out of) Exorcists, the one gun mentality and mass cover really renders them ineffectual. I referenced StJohn and Stelek’s idea of inducted guard but at this points level I think he’ll just spam more Immos for the tournamnet (he’s ordered 8).

I forgot to take pictures and we were at Vince’s house (who only has city fight terrain…) so we made believe there were some forests about. I placed my objective in a building on the right hand side and he placed his objective in the middle in the open. DoW setup and Vince choose to go first. I deployed my scouts on my objective whilst Vince moved everything on the right side to gain as much cover as possible. His shooting was failure against the scouts as he couldn’t see them. I moved everything on using a smoked rhino for 3+/4+ cover on everything and zoomed by Speeders forward on the far right. Using searchlights I Immobed a Rhino, wrecked his Immo and shook another Rhino.

Vince’s turn 2 was relatively ineffective as he moved up and opened fire with the Exos. Between them they managed to down one Speeder, shake the other in that squad and take off an MM in the other squad. My turn 2 saw the shook speeder zoom again to get into melta position against some Exos and my Rhino wall advance, using each other for cover. My Dreads/Preds stayed relatively still. My 2nd speeder squad used a make believe forest for cover and took down one Exo. The rest of my fire saw more Immobs and shake/stuns on Rhinos and a Pred also shook another Exo.

Vince’s turn 3 saw him attempt to move as much as he could (which was his Exos, 1 Rhino & Seraphim) and was able to take down the flat out speeder. His other shooting was ineffectual. My turn 3 I was able to finally start Rhino bunkering 🙂 and took out two Rhinos. The Rhino I took out in midfield exploded and pinned its occupants whilst also taking out two seraphim next to it. The libarian accounted for one more with his avenger (silly invul saves) and another in combat but was killed in the process. My tac squad was also able to kill the Palatine and my Dreads/Preds stunned some more stuff.

Vince’s turn 4 finally saw him move his sisters tucked up in the Rhinos about as I had finally reached midfield so he could get out and hit me. One squad went after my remaining speeders (their RHino had just been wrecked) and was able to take one down with meltagun fire and stun the other in combat (we forgot about Rapid firing and assaulting…this could of changed the game!). The other squad immobilised and removed the bolter from the IST Rhino and the Seraphim and remaining Dominions went after my Scouts killing 1. My turn 4 saw me attempt move my remaining midfield Rhino towards his objective and my other Rhino & it’s Tac marines took care of 6/10 sisters attacking my Speeder. Everything else levelled their guns at the Dominions and Serpahim but there was one serpahim remaining when the smoke cleared.

Vince’s turn 5 saw him move his ISTs onto his objective and hiden behind an Exo. He was able to wreck the IST transport but unable to get in assault range. The previously pinned SoB squad exploded the Rhino heading towards his objective and killed two marines inside. The other SoB squad immoblised the remaining Speeder whilst the Serpahim assaulted the Scouts but died in the attempt (2 scouts left). My turn 5 was pretty ineffectual as I killed a fair amount of sisters and stunned the Exo on the objective (hoping for an explodes to get rid of those ISTs).

At this point the game ended in a draw. I’m still unsure how this list operates in taking down hordes. Whilst out of about 50 opposing models Vince only had 15+ ish left (+2 tanks) I feel I’m relying too much on the Heavy Flamers from my speeders against IG, Daemons or Orks. I’ll point out how effective weight of fire is in a later post as this was another game where it really showed it’s worth.

A game well played by both sides, though a couple mistakes here and there. Vince needs to refine his list a bit more but was entertaining none the less. Also a game that finally took less than 3 hours! Vince is notorious for long games :P.

Trailblazers & Oden

Well first things first! I’m a huge Portland Trailblazers fan and have been ever since MJ retired (for the 2nd time). I hated the image they got from players like Wallace & co. but am very happy they have great young talent currently but this season is turning into a fiasco.

With injures to Mills (my favorite Australian player, I was distraught to discover Portland signed Miller [who’s been fantastic IMO] and was keeping both Bayless & Blake…) Pendegraph & Batum before the season began, McMillian wouldn’t be having too much trouble finding minutes for everyone. Then the injuries started to creep in. First Outlaw, then Rudy and now Oden.

I said in the pre-season Oden was going to have a stellar year and whilst he certainly wasn’t rocking the boxscore, he had really given Portland an inside defensive and offensive presence and had one of the best efficiency ratings in the league. But now he’s gone for the season. I wish him the best of luck in recovery and hope we can see him on the floor for a full 82 games + playoffs soon. But what about Portland? Without Rudy for a couple weeks and Outlaw and Batum out until at least the All-Star break, they are down to 9 players.

Without Oden and when Rudy, Batum & Outlaw come back they are still arguably a better team than last year with a year under most of their belts and the addition of Miller. Once again I think it’s up to Roy to help carry this team but on the whole they need to stay more consistent. Too often last year Roy pulled them out of a hole (Game 2 against Houston) because 8 other players couldn’t shoot over 40%. However, to start the season he didn’t seem in sync. Sure he dropped 40+ on Houston and his rebound and assist averages are excellent but his shooting % and ppg are down. Whilst there is a certain adjustment to make with a vet PG like Miller and Oden playing consistently, Roy often looked lost. I think for Portland to really challenge next year Roy needs to learn to play off the ball more and still be able to drive when a big man is down there. With this team Roy doesn’t need 25-30 ppg, he needs 20/5/5 and to shoot a high % and when the going gets tough in the 4th, win it.

So whilst I believe this year is a bust in advancing beyond the first round of the playoffs I hope McMillian is able to utilise the year and improve the team play and work out the rotation. I think Webster should be dropped by the end of the year as Outlaw and Batum have been playing better and seem to have more potential and I would love to see Miller & Mills playing but can’t see that happening anytime soon.

Welcome

Hello everyone,

A few things to start. For downright tactical advice I think your best bet is YTTH. Stelek has a much better appreciation of the way books work a lot quicker than myself. Whilst I am happy to give a helping hand I will primarily be using this blog to raise significant differences of opinions I run into on Warseer, anything to do with my army and anything that tickles my fancy.

Also a note, you will often find me long-winded. It’s from my mother’s side (she’s British).

So a bit about how I view 40k. Most of the time my games are “hard” or use well balanced lists unless I’m helping someone new or am requested to. I hate comp and rules changes. Making the best army list you can with the GW rules and books is “unfair” and thus people have to make the best army list with arbitary changes. I find this annoying. Personally there is nothing a balanced list can’t handle and a list that is tailored against balanced lists (for example melta spamming against my Mech marines) is going to fold quite easily against another list (i.e. horde for this example). A balanced list by definition has a good chance of winning against any list assuming equal generalship and dice rolls. To me that is fun. Beating up on crappy comp lists isn’t.

So without filling this page up I will post a couple things up quickly and then likely not for a while. Game tomorrow though so will hopefully have some info on that!

Cheers all and thanks for stopping by.

Kirby.

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