Blazers @ Mavs

Another excellent win that leaves a sour taste in the back of my mouth. Late in the first quarter Pryzbilla fell on his right leg and is out. Best wishes and a speedy recovery for him! Also hopefully nothing will come of Roy’s hurt shoulder late in the 4th quarter when he went up for a board. And we all hope Kidd’s groin is a-ok.

Before I comment on the Mavs game Portland got a key road win in Miami to avenge their loss earlier at home but were unable to overcome Orlando. They travel to a recovering Spurs team tomorrow which will be another big test against their depleted lineup.

An excellent come from behind victory for the Blazers. In the 3rd it looked like they were toast. Without someone in the middle they were getting run down by Barea and on the offensive end were just taking jumpers (again). Some of the offensive fouls were a bit…uh leniant towards the Mavs (23 fouls to Por and 14 to Mavs) but if they lost they game it was due to not playing in the 3rd. I’m impressed with the gutso they seem to be playing with lately and if it took Greg Oden and the rest getting injured for it to come out…well at least it came out in the end.

Roy continued his 20+ streak and added 6 assists, 3 rebounds, 4 steals (=o!) and a block whilst Aldridge picked up the slack on the boards (12 including some huge offensive boards) and tossed in 19 points. As usual Aldridge scored in the first half and Roy in the second but great bench support by Bayless, Howard and Blake in the 4th (and some clutch FTs by Miller) to keep the Blazers ahead as the Mavs collpased on Roy. It was nice to see Aldridge backing it as well. I doubt he will ever be a bang it in guy but he has some very smooth post moves and I’d like to see him go to that more.

It was a poor shooting night for both teams (other than Dirk and Beara) but excellent defense (other than Portland’s 3rd quarter) on both sides which was nice to see for Portland, especially with Pryzbilla out. I imagine he will be out for a while and it raises further the question of a trade. The Blazers have performed suprisingly well with all their injuries but really need some more depth down-low even if it’s just for the year (like Orlando did with Alston…speaking of Orlando, Gortat might be available…). It would be excellent to come out of this road trip with a winning record but I will still be highly impressed if they finish 2-2. Very important game at home against Denver on Christmas day.

Hope the Blazer injuries begin to mend!

1500 SM tourney list

I hate 1500 but what can you do when it’s the only one near you ^^? Only restriction is I must have more Troop slots filled than special choices (i.e. 3 Troops means I can take 2 FA, 2 Elites, 2 HQ, 2 HS, etc.). This is essentially the list I’ve been running against Vince but with a few tweaks.

HQ –
Master of the Forge w/Conversion Beamer

Elites –
Dreadnought w/2x Twin-Linked Autocannons

Dreadnought w/2x Twin-Linked Autocannons

Troops –
5x Scouts w/Sniper Rifles and Heavy Bolter

10x Tactical Marines w/flamer, MM and Rhino

10x Tactical Marines w/flamer, MM and Rhino w/Hunter Killer Missile

Fast Attack –
3x Land Speeder w/MM & HF

3x Land Speeder w/MM & HF

Heavy Support –
Predator w/Heavy Bolter sponsons

Predator w/Lascannon sponsons

1500 pts
12 armors
31 infantry

Ability to talk about armies…

So from the same conversation last night with Miggles who believes the following:

If you don’t play an army you can’t talk about its tactics, army builds, effectiveness in relation to itself and others, etc.

Uh wtf. Just because I don’t earn a ton of money and can buy an army for every codex out there (off the top of my head there are 16 or more) doesn’t mean I can’t talk about every single army. How on earth do you expect to go to a tournament and not play competitively if you don’t understand every other army out there. You don’t have to play them all the time to be able to talk about them. Sure with most people it helps but if you understand 40k you can look at a codex and understand what’s good for that codex and what’s not.

You don’t have to be Stelek and pick up and book and whip out good and balanced lists within a day but you don’t have to play the army 100 times before you understand it. Playing with an army is going to give you a much more intamate understanding of how your force works yes, you’ll have to think less about what to do and your responses to threats will be faster and more comprehensive, just like any specialisation. However, you don’t NEED to play the army to be able to understand it or talk about it. I haven’t used Vespid. Ever. Does that mean I don’t know they are a crap unit? I’ve never played Necrons but does that mean I don’t know their codex is medicore at best and most people who play it don’t understand T5 + WBB + res orb generally equals a WBB roll compared to T4? No. So pull your head out of your ass Miggles.

Terminators

Following a rather inane conversation with Miggles last night I thought I’d say something about terminators.

Firstly. Terminators are only assault units if they are if they are assault terminators. GKTs and Terminators (the ones with the stormbolter and shooting weapon upgrades) are shooting units. Sure they can counter-attack but because they lack a good invul save, they are not uber close combaty. And then you only really have two good assault variants. TH/SS from Vanillia marines (who are just rock hard) and Templar Termies w/LCs and Furious Charge (which rely on their higher I and sickening kill ratio to do damage before they get hurt).

Now IMO the best army to build around terminators is Black Templars. With the old rules of being able to take 2 special weapons (assaultcannons in this case) per 5 men and the tank hunters special skill, you have an excellent counter-assault unit, an excellent anti-infantry unit and an excellent anti-light armor unit (and thanks to rending it can damage anything). Whilst the BT codex suffers in its all-round options, it is quite possible to make a very balanced list around shooty BT termies (much more balanced than a Deathwing option for example).

The only other competitor for an balanced army based around termies IMO is the vanilla codex and generally copies the Dark Angel idea of a dualwing but since both the vanilla LRs, termies & bikes are better… The TH/SS termie is simply beastly and if you want a rock hard assault unit this codex is the way to go. However 900 points in 10 th/ss and 2 raider variants takes up a lot of your points so you need to maximise your ability to do damage and do it quickly with your remaining points.

Space Wolves don’t do as good termie forces IMO. I think the Wolf Guard (in TDA or not) are much better at supporting the rest of the army or are a better core in power armor or mixed armor besides the fact their calvary forces are that much better. BA and DA just don’t cut it with their current books. Whilst a mech list with TH/SS thrown in from the Vanilla codex is most likely better than a BT termie list, I find building a list around terminators is much more points effective for BT though vanilla runs a close 2nd.

New Layout

To make the pictures fit better I changed the layout around. Still need to edit it a bit but wrapping presents atm!

Painting Competition Mini

I’ve just completed a mini for an online painting comp (theme: winter). It’s the sarge for my 1st squad (company sarge). I’m mostly happy with him though there are a few bits I need to still touch up. Quite happy with the spear even though the blade doesn’t look fantastic. Most extensive green stuffing I’ve done in a while outside of the Ice Claws symbol. Would love to hear what you think!

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1500 game against Immo spam

Edit: I’m afraid if you want to see the entire picture you’ll have to click them as the settings aren’t streching the post and are therefore just cropping the pics. Will try and fix!

Well it’s round 2 of working on my tourney list against Vince’s list. Before this I just want to point out how much I hate 1500 ^^, gives you so little flexibility. You put in two mandatory Troops and an HQ and 1/3 of your army is gone. Add in the restrictions of this tourney and I essentially have 170 pts I can’t really use. Will talk about possible changes after the game.

So list for me was the same but Vince had updated his to a much better mechanised list based around Immos. Went something like:
Palatine
4x 5xCelestians w/2xmgun & Immo
2x 10xSisters w/mgun, HFlamer & Rhino
2x 5x IST w/2xmgun
2x Immo
Exorcist

I think he should drop the Exo for another Immo/IST combo. I was pretty leniant with movement (though Vincey got a bit bitchy :P). In a tournament game you can’t move something and move it back once you’ve started on other things, etc. This means you have to be careful and plan your moves and why stuns/immobs can be very annoying against Mech if the Mech play bunches up too much.

Now there’s still a bit of proxying going on here so will explain what’s what in the pics if it’s not obvious. You can also see the lack of nice terrain (silly cityfight buildings). We rolled DoW & 4 objectives with me getting the first turn. First turn shooting was ineffectual by all sides. Here were our T1 move ons.

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The crater you can see there is actually a forest. ahem. I used the central building and speeding Speeders (inculding the Vypers…) to cover my Rhinos which covered my Preds (inc the Chimera) & a Dread (my other Dread is hiding below the building). The scouts are holding the rearmost objective and the Speeders are in a position to pounce where Vince is most likely to come on and zoom to relative saftey to where he is most likely to bring his Exo in (seen in next pic).

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Vince moved on as expected (the DPod is Impassable) with his Exo just out of range behind the building (so he has to move into the open to shoot my firing line) and his Immos and Rhinos hiding behind the central building (the Exos w/o guns are IST Immos, the 2 Rhinos are Rhinos and the other 4 vehicles are Immos w/Celestians).

Turn 2 I moved my Rhinos up (the old Khorne rhino holds my ISTs and Libby) with 2 speeders into the central building to hold midfield and gain cover and zoomed my other 2 speeders to draw the Exo out and be able to shoot him next turn (assuming they survive. Bad assumption). My dreads both moved up and my Preds and scouts stayed still to fire. My shooting was terrible. My meltas missed and my ACs and LCs all failed to pen bar one which got through Vince’s smoke and stunned an IST Immo.
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Vince also moved his Mech force up (here is where he needed to be careful with movement order as one Immo was stunned), popped a few more smokes and also moved the Exo into the open to shoot the Speeders. He openned fire at thespeeder squad w/the exo, 3 shots, 3 hits, 2/3 pens through and 2 explodes. The other 2 speeders were shot by the rest of the army which could exploded them all on pure 6s. 4 pure 6s. owie.
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(yes the dice near the building are our new “crater”)

Turn 3 saw a bit more damage from my side as I foolishly moved my IST Rhino out and I was able to Immob a Celestian Immo and Explode another (which had the Palatine) with my Dread. The other Dread was able to Immob and remove a Stormbolter from a Rhino. They promptly ran away. My Preds were able to knock off the Exo gun since it was now in the open and showing side armor.
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Vince’s Turn 3 saw him unload his two Sister squads, an IST squad and a Celestian squad (mostly from immobed transports, one of them was immobed by moving through a crater) and move up to immolate and melta a lot of things. He was able to explode my IST and a marine Rhino (stunned the other one) and the ensuing flamer and bolter death saw 6 marines and all of the ISTs drop. His celestians assaulted my Libby though no damage was done by either side.
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Turn 4 saw the combat in midfield grow larger as I charged my 2nd Marine squad into the Sisters & Celestians. I was unable to sigifnicatly damage his vehicles (shook a Celestian Immo and stunned & weapon destroyed on a IST Immo) but my Scouts were able to account for 4 sisters who had opted out of their transport. My charging Marines and Libby were able to take down 10 sisters & Celestians (wow) but they remained in combat.
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Vince’s Turn 4 wasn’t very effectual and it looked like the tide had turned as he was unable to do much damage other than exploding my now empty Rhino in midfield. His 6 remaining sisters shot at my remaining marines not in combat and they auto fell back. Everything else he couldn’t see (thanks to immobed tanks) or was locked in combat. He moved his remaining IST immo towards the far objective where it hid behind the gunless Exo.

I don’t have many pics from this point on as we were rushing so Vince could head out. My Turn 5 saw me explode an Immo (and pin the ISTs inside) with my Pred, explode a Rhino which was moving towards my held objective and moved my Dreads into assault. One dread tied up the remaining 6 Sisters whilst the other exploded an Immo w/Celestians which was moving towards my home objective. The combat in the middle ensued with the Vet sister the only remaining Witchunters combatant.
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Vince’s turn 5 was again ineffectual as things were winding down. He moved his ISTs and some more celestians to the middle objective and moved his Exo to a midfield objective outside the combat (which I may have gone for if it went to T6). The celestians which had survived the Immo explosion by the dread moved to contest my objective and shot the Dread, stunning it and taking off a TLAC arm. The Vet sister survived 6 wounds and killed the libby, forcing my marines to fall back.

We rolled for a T6 and got it. Both my Marine squads had rallied and ran towards the middle (finally taking the Vet sister with them). The rest of my army took aim at the Celestians near my home objective and took down all but one.

During Vince’s T6 he made one of my Marine squads fall back (bad morale rolling again) and moved more units towards the middle objective. The game ended after that and it was 2-0 in Vince’s advantage.

If it had finished T5 it would of been a draw (thanks to that damn Vet sister!) and if it had gone to a T6 it most likely would of also finished in a draw though if I could have gotten a run of 3″ or more and killed his Exo I could of gotten a 2nd objective. Either way a close game, much closer than I imagined after my first couple of turns shooting. I think I went after midfield too aggressively. My tac MMs outranged his meltaguns and could of gotten a valuable turn of extra shooting in. However, clearing sisters is a pet hate of mine. Whilst I did relatively well in removign bodies throughout the game (31 out of 45 or so killed infantry) w/their Stubborn books and ability to get invuls (so no avenger :() they are hard to get out of cover and I think that led to my early push. I was happy with my predicting ability though pissed off that my Speeders all exploded :(. That and the fact that only 1 melta shot hit all game put me on the back foot. Vince played pretty well and was able to mass his firepower in midfield and finally kicked me out on T5 which won him the game.

Off to post some pics of comp mini but will talk about my list later.

Suns @ Blazers

Another come from behind victory for the Blazers at home, this time over the much better team of the Phoenix Suns to move into 5th in the West. It was another solid 2nd half performance (something I think has been missing by the Blazers of late) with lots of positives and negatives again.

Bayless came through again. After getting valuable time in the close game over the Kings Bayless again came through big with 29 minutes of play after Miller went to the locker room when he was hit in the head. Posting a career high in points, he and Roy were able to carry a stagnant Portland offense as their defense stepped up in the last 15 minutes. Webster had one of his few good games with some excellent rebounding and layups (I would much rather see him drive & dunk or lay up than shoot a contested three; if he’s wide open, go for it but otherwise pump fake and drive). He did pump fake once which I was happy to see but then he traveled >.<. It was also nice to see Steve Blake hit a few shots and create on the offensive end but I think I'm much fonder of Miller starting and Bayless as the backup. On the whole Portland played a lack luster game and were lucky to come away with it. They showed great hustle towards the end of the game and looked like they wanted it more(Webster’s rebounds, Aldridge into the stands for a loose ball, Roy onto the floor for a rebound, etc.) but Phoenix didn’t play as well as they had in the 2nd half. If the Blazers want to come away with some big wins on the road trip they need to play basketball for 48 minutes on both ends. Won’t be able to see tomorrows game but best of luck to the Blazers!

The “Impossible” List

This made me laugh. As if it hasn’t been established for a long time that balanced lists do not get trumped by hammer lists (which this list is). Not only that but it’s a hammer list which sucks against a fair amount of lists. At least back those termies up or take 5 LRs and forget Shrike. Kudos to the warseer community (holy shit did Ijust say that?) for actually jumping up and down on this and beating it into the ground again and again although I doubt they are upset over the fact that it’s not a balanced list and rather that their own uber lists can’t (edit: er I meant can lol) beat it.

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.

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