The death of 40k as we know it?

Ok, I don't usually rant or complain about the game. I love playing and painting and have enjoyed the challenge of trying to turn the Blood Angels into a competitive army rather then a One Trick Pony relegated to the kiddies table. Over the last two years I feel that I managed to do that with grit, determination, and tactics. But I have to remark that now I feel it is all over, or soon to be.

It kind of humors me that every one is/was so afraid of the Space Pups Codex, but really, did we all forget that huge bomb dropped on the game by some guardsman flying over head? Screw the wolves, they are a One Trick Pony and will join the Blood Angels on the foldable card tables while Imperial Guard is getting all the glory.

I will never forget my first impression of the tournament scene, and really, 40k cheese in general. I had been playing the game for less then a year and had finally thrown together an army I loved. My Blood Angels assault army. I took said army to the last Gamesday 40k tournament in Baltimore about a year and a half ago, and had my first run in with super cheese. I played a Tyranid army for my first game, and that guy ran me off the table in 3 turns with the typical Stealer spam of the time. I chalked it up to my noobiness, which played a big part in it, but then I realized, probably a third of the guys in that tournament were playing the same list! I certainly had plenty of time to walk around and see what other guys were playing. Not just the same army, but almost identical lists. In the last round 10 of the top 12 players were playing the same lists. For gods sake! I realized then that 40k tournaments were sort of like taking the Emmitt Smith/Troy Aikman Cowboys of the early 90s, (Or substitute any uber sports team like Jordan's Bulls, Bird's Celtics, Shaq's Lakers)cloning them, and throwing 12 copies of the same team into March Madness. Sure you will see some cindarellas, you would see some strong teams but you were pretty much guaranteed to see only clones in the finals, playing each other. Blah!

Then 5th edition came out. (And I came into my own) The rules were new, things changed for a while. Those uber armies at that Gamesday or modeled on that list showed up on Ebay pretty quick. All those guys planning their Tyranid tattoos disappeared. You began to see... gasp... balance? With Fritz's help, I developed a working strategy and list for my Blood Angels. You were seeing other armies start to do well at major tournaments. Jeez, Space Marines were actually winning?

It did not take long for GW to ruin it. Their first swipe with the Rod of Ruin was the Ork codex. The last GW GT I went to was over run with Nob Bikers. I personally played two guys with the same list, and got rolled each time. A Nob Biker list won Best General and Orks seemed well on their way to predetermined destiny. Until players adapted, and changed their lists to combat the scourge. Nob Biker armies? Ebay welcomed you!

The Ork scare was short lived. Players can be resourceful. GW was mad. They did not hit the world with the Rod of Ruin quite hard enough. They needed more. Space Marine codex came out. People swore. Space Marines scared every one. They fizzled. Sure, Space Marine mech was back. Rhino lists were actually competitive. Cover saves made them survivable! A well played Space Marine or Blood Angels list could at least compete again. But it was not enough.

Then GW upgraded that Rod of Ruin to the Pimp Stick of Ruinous Hell, and whacked every one of us over the head with it... except the guard players... wait... people played guard? Really? Where? Well, all of those "Long time guard players" came out of the woodwork and cashed in their Genestealer/Ork Nob armies and jumped onto the Bandwagon Procession. Ack. So begins the end of 40k as we know it.

Sure, the guard needed help. Their codex sucked and they were not competitive in the tournament world. Sure, GW is not entirely concerned with the tournament scene any way. They can care less if one army is lopsided under cost and overbalanced. In fact, the more dudes trading in their flavor of the month armies for Guard the better! Cha Ching!

I realized last weekend that we are now facing the new Genestealer/Nob Biker army. Can we say 3 Valkryes and more Chimeras full of Melta/plasma Guns then you can shake a stick at? What the hell, I thought those two weapons were ancient relics of technology long lost. Why are small squads of simple guardsmen packing them 4 at a time? I got to play one of these armies for the first time, and it made my army look weak and pathetic. Is it too late to buy a ticket for that bandwagon? Maybe I can commission Jawaballs to paint me a new Guard Army. You used to run up against 4, maybe 10 meltaguns. My army could withstand that. Well sorry sucka, lets see you withstand 26 of them! Oh, and here are 9 Lascannons to boot, 6 of them Twin Linked, mounted on fast moving skimmers that can hover over their own tanks, shoot at just about any model on the table with no cover save, carry troops and only cost 130 points. A Space marine tank with the same guns cost over 150... Not to mention the incredible level of rules munching that goes along with the addition of a new unit that was never meant to be played in 40k. "It says the model cannot be ON another model, but it says nothing about being OVER it." Guh. They actually complain that the Valkrye would be too hard to use if it could not hover over their protective wall of Russ tanks. Sorry your god unit might just have a limitation.

Looks like I am going to have to actually assemble and paint all them guard sitting on my shelves if I ever want a chance to win a tournament again. Seriously though, I don't see many things changing tactic or list wise to combat this new plague. These Guard lists are packing more survivability and fire power then every before. Plus, they are adding Grey Knight Terminators who ride in Chimeras! (The guard codex says nothing about terminators riding in Chimeras.) Jesus they have every thing they need, PLUS terminators riding in transports designed for Average Joe and his lasgun.

Now that the dex has been out for a while, and people have finally had time to build and paint their armies we are going to see more and more showing up tournaments. Pretty soon, it will be just like Baltimore Gamesday 2008 again. Only the top 10 armies will be the same guard list playing their own little tournament while every one else is eating pie with their bratty cousins.

Frustrated? A little. Bitter? Sure. Definitely ranting. But the point is valid. People cry about the Wolves, but the Guard Codex has changed the game for the worse. Agree? Disagree? Chime in.

I am all about change. My army is a testament to that. It changes every month. But seriously, I don't think I can field a Blood Angels army capable of defeating this new Guard list at all. Even if I knew what was coming and tailored it for the list. I do have some ideas and tactics, but sadly they do not involve my Blood Angels at all. And that makes me sad.

Mechanicon here we come!

Fritz and I have decided to make our next major road trip Mechanicon! Here is the deal. Saturday November 7th and 8th there is a new Grand Tournament going on in West Chester, PA. It is a hike, but Fritz and I are in for a weekend of great gaming! You cant go wrong with 2 days of fun and competitive spirit. They have quite a list of events so far including:

- Blood Bowl Tournament
- 5 game 1850 40k Grand Tournament
- Friday Night gaming event with prize support
- A charity auction! It is always good to get stuff and have the money go to a good cause.

The best part is that these guys are committed! They already have the event scheduled for next year and are planning around other major GW events and conventions. Make this part of your yearly convention plans!

MechaniCon 2010
November 5-7
West Chester Holiday Inn

Fritz and I will be there early on Friday if any one wants to meet up and try to get a game in. If you think you want to try to knock us around a bit, let us know! We are always up for a challenge match, either solor or 2v2. Then we will be throwing our armies into the tournament to get beat down by some Imperial Guard for two days, but it's all good. If you are a painter and have questions, bring your work! I will be happy to give you some comments and advice. And Fritz is always ready to help out with tactical information. Pick his warped mind! Whenever Fritz and I go some place, we love to use it like a mini Gamesday and help out our fellow gamers if we can.

We hope to see some of you there. We went to Austin for Bolscon and got to meet quite a few readers and fans. This is what the hobby is all about! If you are planning on going but have not signed up yet, post here and let us know! Looking forward to seeing you all on the tables. Jawaballs

Jawaballs Painting Contest!

Hey guys, just wanted to throw a quick update and a big fat thanks to They contributed some prize support for my contest. Now winner will get his choice of a terminator assault or shooty squad box set. This is going to push all of the other prizes down a notch because 2nd place gets the other Terminator Box set. MWG gave me 100 loonies to spend at their store for my contest so I bought the two box sets! Plus due to the huge interest so far, I will extend the a free pack of Scenic Resin Bases to all in the top ten who do not get a prize already... (I think there will be 3 or 4 more?) And who knows, maybe I will find some more stuff to give away. Right now there are two entries submitted, and I got well over 40 confirmation posts. I cant wait to get the results! More to come. Jawaballs

Fun Facts.

Some one emailed me this, Ive seen it before but still chuckled. Im sure most of you have seen it too, and will still chuckle. Enjoy.

If you yelled for 8 years, 7 m and 6 days you would have produced
enough sound energy to heat one cup of coffee.
(Hardly seems worth it.)

If you farted consistently for 6 years and 9 months, enough gas is produced
to create the energy of an atomic bomb.
(Now that's more like it!)

The human heart creates enough pressure when it pumps out to the body to
squirt blood 30 feet.

A pig's orgasm lasts 30 minutes.
(In my next life, I want to be a pig.)

A cockroach will live nine days without its head before it starves to death.
(I'm still not over the pig.)

Banging your head against a wall uses 150 calories a hour
(Don't try this at home, maybe at work)

The male praying mantis cannot copulate while its head is attached to its
body. The female initiates sex by ripping the male's head off.
(Honey, I'm home. What the. ..?!)

The flea can jump 350 times its body length. It's like a human jumping the
length of a football field. (30 minutes... Lucky pig! Can you imagine?)

The catfish has over 27,000 taste buds.
(What could be so tasty on the bottom of a pond?)

Some lions mate over 50 times a day.
(I still want to be a pig in my next life....quality over quantity)

Butterflies taste with their feet.
(Something I always wanted to know.)

The strongest muscle in the body is the tongue.


Right-handed people live, on average, nine years longer than left-handed

(If you're ambidextrous, do you split the difference?)

Elephants are the only animals that cannot jump.
(Okay, so that would be a good thing)

A cat's urine glows under a black light.
(I wonder who was paid to figure that out?)

An ostrich's eye is bigger than its brain.
(I know some people like that..)

Starfish have no brains
(I know some people like that too.)

Polar bears are left-handed.
(If they switch, they'll live a lot longer)

Humans and dolphins are the only species that have sex for pleasure.
(What about that pig??)


Image compliments of

I updated the Army Comparison Project.

I did a cumulative update on the Army Comparison Project which is stickied at the top of my blog. I added Tau, IG and Eldar, as well as rounded out the Space Marines a bit taking into consideration peoples input. Take a look, and if you have any input, feel free to add it. Lets try to get the weaker dexs up there like Necrons and Witch Hunters.

Mail Call! New Blood Angels player

I get a lot of these emails and I wish I could respond to them all. Dino here did a nice job flattering me, as well as coming up with some research on his own, and telling me what sort of army he wants to play and why. (Joking bout the flattery!) :) Seriously though, I do get a lot of requests for help on lists, several every day. I answer as many as I can. If you would like me to help you on your list, start by reading my blog. As far as I can tell, I am playing the only consistently successful Blood Angels list. Any other lists trys to outplay the generic codex at what it does better. So reading my tips and tactics is a good place to begin. Dino based his army on mine, but tweaked it to meet his own interests. So, here we go!

Hi there, my name is Dino. I'm relatively new to 40k and I decided I wanted to play blood angels, naturally when I tried to look up resources I stumbled upon your website. Needless to say after reviewing the codex and listening to your battle reports as well as reading tactical suggestions I modeled my first list in a way I thought was similar to yours. Now I know its not identical and its not designed to be optimal since I wont be playing many tournaments to start, but I did want a functional list.

200 Dante

100 Corbulo

170- 5 Assault Rhino Power Sword, Plating

170 - 5 Assault Rhino Power Sword, Plating

220 - 10 Tac, Flamer, Heavy Bolter

40 - Rhino

235 - 5 Terminators AC Chainfist

240 - Vets Squad 6 Vets, 2 Melta guns, 3 Power weps

55 - Rhino for the DC, Plating

65 - Speeder - Multimelta

That's what I came up with, the main differences I think are the use of Terminators and Veterans, but these models are the Space Hulk terminators and both these and the veterans are what inspired me to begin blood angels, so I kind of have my heart set on keeping them. I was wondering if you have time if you could critique my approach to the army and what whether you think this will work. I plan on testing the list more extensively through proxies and right now anti armor is a big concern as you can see I decided to compensate for the lack of attack bikes with a Speeder and Adding Meltas to my vets. The other concern is only 3 troop choices. Anyway before I finish purchasing this army I was hoping for a little help once again if you have time. Perhaps I can also increase the points to add things that would patch weaknesses in the list, this is currently at 1500 points as I did not want to be overwhelmed to start. I'd also like to thank you in advance and say that I think it's great that you have the blog set up to show new players the way of the BA as well as offering a great example of a really beautiful army on the table top.

- Dino

You have a pretty strong list at 1500. But I have to say that what makes my use of Rhinos work is my three Baal Predators working together. Removing them from the equation will possibly throw a wrench in there. What do I suggest you do? Sadly, drop Dante. Also, I am a firm believer in Attack Bikes now. Drop the speeder, find the points to get two bikes instead.

Try this, it will keep the bulk of your army intact:


100 Corbulo

170- 5 Assault Rhino Power Sword, Plating

170 - 5 Assault Rhino Power Sword, Plating

220 - 10 Tac, Flamer, Heavy Bolter

40 - Rhino

235 - 5 Terminators AC Chainfist

240 - Vets Squad 6 Vets, 2 Melta guns, 3 Power weps

55 - Rhino for the DC, Plating

265? Land Raider Crusader

50 Attack Bike

Not sure on the point total there, but that might give you more of a chance. Keep that bike hidden behind your LRC.

My only problem is your terminators. Sadly, SH does not have 5 termies with Lightning Claws. With BA lacking the good Storm Shields, there is no reason to take them. If I was going to play termies, and belive me, I am thinking about building a list around a LRC, Mephiston, Corbulo and 5 LC Terminators, I would play all Claws. Rely on overpowering slaughter rather then shields to keep them alive.

Why drop the speeder? I played a lot of games trying to make them work. Bolters swat them down and people suffer them not to live. You cannot hide them, so even behind your land raider you are going to be taking shots and at best making 10 cover saves a turn. You will almost never get to use both the Flamer and Melta, and if you do, you gotta get close, so kiss the speeder bye bye. Nah, get that bike nestled into the ass crack of your LRC. Pop him out on the safe side, to lend another tank popping shot to crack what ever nutt you need the termies to chomp on. Then get him hidden again. Or get him into assault so he cannot be shot back at... etc. I guess thats the biggest issue. Speeders cannot assault. You will be surprized at how effective bikes going into assault can be... not to have them be killy, but to have them survive a round! Pile them into an assault that you know you are going to win on your opponents turn... then on your turn he is free again!

There you have it! TO get to 1750 add a Baal and find a way to get Dante in there and you are good to go. Dont worry about 3 troops. Thats all I use and it works fine. Plus you can CS your tacticals. I do worry about your lack of a PW in the tactical. I used to roll with that, and you do feel its loss when those boys get into assault and cant kill shit.

Hope that helps!


Battle Report: Jawaballs Blood Angels vs Tampa James Necrons 1850

On my recent trip to Tampa for Staff Development I had the pleasure to get in a couple of 40k games at Armada Games. Tampa James, a blog follower and pleased video customer from my Estore, arranged for the appearence at Armada Games and drove way out of his way to pick me up! Thanks a lot man, I had a great time. After the games we went and played darts and drank a few brews. Great stuff.

So on with the batrep.

1850 points
Dawn of War

The deployment was a bit of a chess match. He deployed his base very close to my deployment zone, so I was able to put Dante fully behind cover and within a jump of his base. I supported him with a combat squad, and placed my other CS on my base with Lascannon as per usual. He deployed some troops in cover with a destroyer lord. My intention was to feint him to place most of his stuff near his own base, that was mostly in the open, so I wanted him to think I was going strong on that side. I would then fast move Dante and the CS over to wherever I needed them, and swoop in with my late coming assault squads later in the game to take his base.

Turn 1:

I moved my Rhino and Dante into the center of the table. Ask any chess player, and they will tell you, own the middle. The rest of my stuff came on mostly in the middle as well. I set myself up with nice lanes of fire for round two, and kept some rhinos in reserve to come on turn 3 and 4 and drive towards his base. On his turn, he came strong on my bases side with two monoliths and a load of warriors. He also sent a single squad of destroyers and a squad of warriors to the other side of the table to attempt to secure his own base. It would not be enough.

Turn 2:

Dante and my CS do a U-turn. I send them both back to his base to deal with his warriors and destroyers making the dash to his base. I moved the rhino, popped smoke, and nestled Dante in behind it. My Lascannon would begin fireing on his Monolith, which I would target all game and only manage to get one weapon destroy. But seriously, the shots were wasted any way. I had nothing on the table for my Las to shoot at besides his lith. So why not shoot and pray! My preds advanced and started spraying shots at his destroyer and scarab swarm escort. He would then turbo boost his lord and scarabs at my base, and advance his liths. Seeing what was coming, I arranged my forces for a turn 3/4 assault/slaughter. He popped my CS rhino that was supporting Dante, but it would prove not in time... it did it's job.

Turn 3:

With his lord having moved 24" and getting huge cover saves, I decided to ignore him. I moved up my attack bikes and did shoot the lord squad, but I focused my predator fire on the warriors in the back looking to phase out the necron scum. Despite cover saves, my heavy bolters took a toll. I fired my bikes at the lord with the intention of assaulting in waves. My bikes were pretty useless against this army, so I used them as speed bumps! Toughness 5 two wound models are nothing to shake a stick at. Dante orderd the combat squad to take the destroyers and hold them up while he jumped over them to wipe out the warriors cowering behind them. Suffer not the coward to live. They lost combat and were cut down while my CS moved into the destroyers and did some wounds. I charged my Death Company into his Destroyer Lord knowing full well that he had a warsythe. I was hoping to rend him to death on the charge. I assaulted the opposite side of the large swarm squad with my bikes. I hoped they would turn the tide of battle to my favor, and if I did not kill the lord out right, he would lose combat. But both sides epic failed. The lord only took 1 wound and my bikes failed to kill a single swarm bug! But it matters not, it was all part of the plan. The squad was delayed, and lined up for my assault squads to move in and wipe them out with power weapons. He would kill one Death Company. This combat would go on for a couple of turns, quagmired with scarabs attacking bikes and my tougher units taking on the lord.

On his turn, he advanced his liths again, shooting with one and teleporting an almost dead squad of warriors through it to give them a second IBB roll. His shot was a miss, but he did save a few men.

Turn 4:

Dante got into position to assault the destroyers and the rest of my squads were on the table. moving to support my base, and take on his Lord. At this point, the game was no longer in question. My preds layed down some withering fire on his warriors, killing a lot of them, while I charged forth an assault squad to block the advancing lith with the rhino, and unload and assault his warriors. I swung another rhino around behind the lith, to tank shock the warriors out from behind it. With sneak placement of the rhino and angles, I managed to herd the hiding warriors out from behind the lith, right into my preds line of sight. Muahaha. Yah Mule!

Dante joined the assault and slaugtered the warriors, freeing up the CS to move and take the base while he massacred on towards the lord. My bikes attacked the scarabs again, this time killing some, and I piled more into the fray while the lord finished off my Death Company and took another wound.

On his turn he would move the lord into get at my pesky bikes and killed a couple, but I had more! The important thing was that he was lined up for a charge from my power weapon assault squad. He popped one of my rhinos with a Lith, but at this point it was over. My assault squad was in his ranks killing his last warriors. He managed to teleport them out of assault, and get revenge though. He left my squad stranded and shot the crap out of them with lith guns.

Turn 5:

This would be the end of the game. My preds shot the crap out of his warriors again, and reduced him to phase out event horizon. His Liths were unable to get through my rhino wall to get my base and he had nothing left to contest. I assaulted his lord with another squad, and killed him and finished off the scarabs. That would for all intents and purposes wrap the game.

I felt bad for Tampa James, the guy loves his Necrons! But until they get some love next year, he should just shelve them. At least in competitive games. Tacticly he should have gone for the draw and plopped his entire force near his own base. Maybe he could have held his destroyers in reserve and tried to turbo boost over to my base along with the scarabs and lord to contest and even get the win. His liths and warriors would have made a nice defense of his base. Drawing them out of combat is pretty tough, especially since it leaves my guys stranded to get shot up. I know Fritz has been wracking his brain to figure out how to win with Crons, hopefully they will get some love soon!

Here is some video.


Better late then never!

I plan on getting some Batreps up here eventually, SO MUCH to do! I'm a busy Jawa. Here is a little note from Dave over at Brothers Grim he wanted to thank every one that came!

Hi all, On behalf of Brothers Grim Games and Collectibles, I would like tothank you all for coming to the past Charity Tournament. It was an eventful day with over 75 people donating to Big Brothers,Big Sisters. We had reached well beyond our expectations for peoplecoming to play in the tournament itself, as well as people from allover the tri state area. Our furthest traveling participants were asfar out as Pennsylvania, a marine stationed in California on leavebefore deployment, and a student from Italy studying in New York. All told, we collected $840 in entry fees and $1515 in raffle tickets,a grand total of $2355 was collected for Big Brothers, Big Sisters. Again, thank you all for coming, the day was a great success. Thanks,-- David Iacona, Greg Sabino, Mike FoxAnd The Staff Of Brothers Grim Games & Collectibles

I myself want to thank Brothers Grim for hosting another great tournament. While I did not walk away with a Golden Squig this time, I did manage to score a Sanguinius Model! Holy Crap!!! I forgot I won that, ohhhh baby I cant wait to paint him. :) If he was not so huge, I would use him as Dante... but then I would never be able to hide him behind tanks. :)

Ok, enough for now. I will try to get the batreps up from Tampa on Tuesday.


More commissions over at my commission blog!

Here is the link to my commission blog if you are interested in following my commission work, or ordering one of your own. The Jawaballs Commission!

Yahoo! Blah.

Does any one use Yahoo as their home page? I have had it set as my homepage for years since my main email account is a yahoo account. But they changed their homepage, and no if I scroll over any thing, they pop up stupid windows... for example, as I am scrolling over to my email address, and I may pause and hover over some "favorite links" link, while I am reading an article headline, and whammo, some crappy interface pops up for me to set favorite links. What the hell was wrong with their original interface? If it aint broke, don't try to fix it! The point of this is that I am fed up with yahoo! and am finally looking to switch to a new homepage. You guys can help me pick it! What do you use? Jawaballs

New Jaballs Lists

Just like the game, my lists are ever evolving. In this most recent draft, I am addressing my weakness of tank killing pop. I dropped my DC Furioso... sadly. I love hte model and he is insane in assault, but he rarely got there. He was too stagnent and was usually left behind while my fast moving army moved out to slaughter stuff. He often found himself guarding a base that would never need guarding, or getting popped as I tried to run him across the table. So, my new lists are posted to the right on my blog. I posted up a 1750 and 1850 list. I know, they are only 100 points different, but I decided to go with a different focus for each. My 1750 has 6 Multi Melta attack bikes, while my 1850 goes with an extra assault squad in rhino and only 4 bikes. We shall see how they work out!

You can now find my lists as permanant stickies on the right side of my blog. These will be the most up to date versions. Enjoy!


First Jawaballs Contest update! Great News! All participants please read.

Guys involved with my painting contest, check back often for updates. I just wanted to take a moment to summarize some of the comments and FAQs.

First a word on what to paint. Again, the model must be a terminator of some sort. AoBR, SH, Assault, Shooty are all fine. A Captain or Sgt is fine. A converted Lysander would be fine. Librarians and Chaplains are not since they are blue and black, not red. Though, you could paint a Librarian or Chaplain model Blood angels red if you choose. The SH dead terminator is not allowed. Basing should be minimal. SH termies need not be taken off their base.

You need to take 3 work in progress photos, one at the start, one in the middle, and one at the end. Also, you need to send 3 finished photos from 3 different angles.

Now for the great news! has generously offered prize support! I almost fell off my chair when Matthew emailed me with the offer. How this affects you is that it should create more prizes that will cause a trickle down effect, allowing me to give out more winners! With SO MANY people interested... I have not counted, but I estimate over 40 so far, I want to get as many prizes as possible. So be looking for an announcement soon on a prize reshuffling. I will be throwing in some random prizes too that any one who enters can win. I wish I could give loot to every one!

Thank you all for the fantastic support and interest.


Painted Models now for sale at

By popular demand, I have decided to offer painted models for sale on my estore! The first one to go up is a converted Assault Chaplain! Take a look at my estore, now if you are interested. I will be offering up much more Templars soon, as well as Grey Knights, Blood Angels, Iyanden Eldar and much more.


Hello from Tampa!

I hope this picture doesnt pull an Arc of the Covenant effect like in Raiders of the Lost Arc!

Woops, hit send there without writing any thing! A lot to report and no time since I am sitting here in the airport. I just wanted to kill a little time and will be posting much later. I managed to get in two games at Armada Games. One with Tampa James and one with his buddy Alex. I will be writing up those batreps as well as doing a short store review of Armada Games. Be looking for that fun soon!

So far I have gotten a lot of guys responding to my contest post which is great. I am hoping to see some stiff competition there, and am considering openening up the final vote to the fans. The only thing I fear is unfair blogexposure. So I will probably keep the decision just to myself. After all, I think if any one around here is qualified to select a Blood Angels model, it's me!

What else? Well, Fritz is supposed to come over soon and we will get in some Space Hulk games! Be looking for those videos soon. Alrighty then, need to start getting ready to board. More to come! Jawaballs

Battle Report: Brothers Grim Charity Tournament.

Today I played in the Brothers Grim Charity Tournament for Big Brothers Big Sistsers of Long Island. It will be a while before I get any video up since I am traveling the rest of the week, But I wanted to take a moment to summarize the day!

Game One:
I was matched up against a decent generic marine list with a drop pod, several tactical squads and a couple rhinos, land raider, dread... The mission was a funky objective mission. For every troops squad next to an objective you scored 2 points, and every other squad you scored 1. The short of it is that I camped my troops on objecvtives, and wiped out my opponent with Pred fire. I would crack the transport nuts with melta guns, then gun down the exposed marines. I wiped him off the table save for a drop pod. Dante took down a 10 man tactical, a couple of terminators and his commander, but still the Baal Preds were the MVP of this game for killing over 20 marines and other stuff. Complete victory Jawaballs.

Game Two:
I got matched up against my old Tyranid nemesis Danielle. You might remember her from a batrep I did some time ago in which I slaughtered her by turn 4. Well she came armed with a new list this time, and made it a much better game! Despite what any one thinks, this game was no push over for me, even though I ran her off the table for a massacre. At turn 4 this game was still very much in contention, and if not for a couple of tactical mistakes, she could have easily taken the victory, or at least a tie. The biggest element of this game in regards to my overall performance was her genestealer squad failing to kill my combat squad on the charge. She charged one of the combat squads holding my base with 8 stealers... and only killed 4 of them! This locked them up in combat, and she would kill the last on her turn. Seeing this happening, I was forced to divert one of my assault squads to my base instead of pressing it on for hers. As it turns out, this squad was not needed because I managed to kill the stealers after they also killed my dread... and my other combat squad held my base... but sadly, this would leave my assault squad out of position at the end of the game. I was unable to reach her deployment zone to score one of the bonus points, and this would cost me 2nd place over all!

Game Three:
As it turned out, I went into round three in 2nd place, behind Brother Captain James. He scored two full massacres, getting 46 points. I scored two massacres, but only took 45 total points. I would need to beat James. A draw would leave me one battle point behind him, and leave us both prey for the 3rd and 4th place guys. I will write a full batrep for this game later this week, and sadly I forget to do video! I was tired. As the game would play itself out, he and I finished in a draw. It was a victory point mission, and he beat me by about 80 points... this was not enough for a minor victory for him. I wracked my brain for how I should have beaten him, and as it turns out I made two big blunders. FIrst of all, I reserved every thing. I should have deployed and taken a chance of his shooting my stuff, or tried to seize. Second, since it was victory points, I should have focused EVERY THING on his Land Raider with Terminators and his chaplain character. We would have traded points, but I would have won in the end. Instead, I played cat and mouse with them, and they won that game. I got hurt badly by reserve rolls... Corbulo did not come on till turn 5 with the DC. Sigh. So any way...

James and I would finish the day with him over me by one battle point... the one I failed to take from Danielle. But it mattered not for him, since another guy managed to beat him out for 1st by 1 battle point. The surprise was Ultra Bob! He slipped in to tie James for 2nd, edging me out by 1 point, but losing 2nd to James due to the tie breaker. 1st, 2nd, 3rd,4th, and Iimagine the next few slots were all determined by a difference of just a point or two. Cant get better then that! So in the end, I took 4th, off from first by 2 battle points, and edged out by James and Bob by 1. Damn you Danielle!

The highlight of the day though was the raffle, I spent about 40 bucks buying tickets, which went into little boxes like chits. The prizes were arranged and numbered. You bought your 'Chit" and placed it in the box with the corresponding numbers for the prize you wanted. One of the prizes was a Sanguinius model! Some dude from Europe makes them, and they sell for 100 bucks or so. Maybe 150. Dont know exactlly... Other prizes were a Forge World Blood Thirster, and a TomB Kings Army. I placed 20 chits in the Sanguinius box, 1 in the tomb kings and the rest in the Blood Thirster. Sanguinius and the BTwere the two hottest prizes... the boxes were full! While Iwas out grabbing a snack, the prizes were drawn for Sanguinius and I was not there to hear my number called!!! I won the Sanguinius model! This made my day, and Black Matts, since the model came with a T shirt and hat, neither of which fit me and I gave to him. It mattered not, I had my prize.

So there you go! A super close tournament, with a tight finish and good prizes. I caught myself playing like a wimp again, and paid the price for it again. I need to have faith in my army sometimes and gun it! Oh well, I will stick it to James next time. More to Come!


The first Jawaballs painting contest!

Ok folks, here it is. My first contest! As I promised in August, I will be running a painting contest. Also as I promised, this first one will be centered around the Blood Angels. Perfect since Space Hulk is out!

Here are the rules:

Pretty standard internet painting contest rules folks. I am the one and only authority here. If I feel you are trying to get some sort of advantage by any sort of mischief, I will discuss it with you and if I have to, disqualify you.

1. To enter my contest, you must be a blog follower.

2. Paint one BLOOD ANGELS terminator using Blood Angels colors. (Sorry Ron, your sweet Space Hulk Deathwing dont count! I'm sure you can meet the challenge though.) Guys seriously, if you don't want to paint a Blood Angel, fine, just don't enter! :) I will have other contest that are opened up to any thing. Off Shoots of the Blood Angels are not allowed. Sorry Flesh Tearers! While I respect and love your creativity, I want the playing field to be level here. Sure it might give Blood Angels painters an advantage, but now is a chance for you other guys to step it up! This forces you all to develop your skills with a difficult palet of colors. Lets see what you can do! Can you accent your Blood Angels with blues and purples? Sure. Just stick with the basic paint scheme of the Blood Angels. A primarily red base coat. Look at the new White Dwarf for a nice painting tutorial and guide. I had written this up requireing you to use Space Hulk terminators, but some guys cannot afford them, so I opened it up to all. I would however LOVE to see you paint Space Hulk!

3. Paint your model YOURSELF, and for this contest! I do want to make sure that you are painting it your self, so pay attention to the next rule. I do not want guys to simply unshelf some painted masterpiece and win their 48th contest with it.

4. Provide me with 6 images of your model.

Three of them will be images of your finished model, from 3 different angles. These images may be 3 single pictures, or 1 picture collage with 3 images on it. I have seen guys submit "Three Images" to painting contests, but those three images were each mass collages of multiple images, giving them the opportunity to actually submit a dozen or so. Don't know why, but that annoys me. :) Send me 3 pictures, or ONE picture with 3 images. These will be the images I judge. Next to all images, include a piece of paper on which you have written your Jawaballs blog follower name, and the date.

Three other images of your model, will be taken showing progress. Take a picture of your modle being started, take a picture of the mid point, and take a picture of the finished model. All from the same angle. These can be collaged into one image, or sent seperately. This is to show me that you are painting your model yourself. To take a page from Miniwargaming, write your Jawaballs blog follower name and the date on a piece of paper, and display that next to your model for the pictures.

5. Email the pictures to jawaballs AT yahoo dot com. To avoid spambots I typed it out. Include your address incase you win.

6. Due Date: Your pictures must be received no later then 8:00 PM Eastern Standard Time on Friday, October 9th. This gives you a month boyos!

7. You Must comment on this post to enter. Simply add a comment announcing your entry! I will make a contest banner with a link to this thread.

8. Your model must be based, and on a terminator size base only. Having said that, basing has NO BEARING on judging beyond meeting the minium requirement. A lavish jungle scene full of lush foliage with your terminator skulking around in it will only hinder the judging since I will not be able to see the painting! I suggest you spend your time painting. I suggest simple sand, rocks and flocking, or a scenic resin base. I have seen guys win contests with average models but amazing sculptd bases. I want this to be a contest of painting, not sculpting. Try the citadel hero basing kit.

Ok, that sounds about good for rules. Check back often since I will update this post with FAQ rules.

Now for details.

Sometime around October 31, I will make a post displaying one of my favorite pictures from each entry. I will announce the winner at this time.

First Prize: A new Terminator Box Set of your choice. I will ship this free world wide. Also, 10 bucks of free bases from my estore,

Second Prize: A brand new copy of Dawn of War II, courtesy of Bell of Lost Souls. (I scored it as a door prize at bolscon and am regifting it!) Also, 10 bucks of free bases from my Estore,

Third Prize: A Terminator with Typhoon Missle Launcher blister. Also, 10 bucks of free bases from my Estore,

Fourth, Fifth and Sixth: Wait for it.... 10 bucks of free bases from my Estore, Or a free download set of "how to paint" videos. Your choice.(Shameless marketing)

So there you go! Take a look, feel free to offer input. If any thing is unclear, let me know. Let the competition begin!

Also, I bought my scenic resin bases from and they are awesome. I also bought How to Paint Space Marines from


Jawaballs goes to Tampa.

Armada Games
10910 N 56th St
Tampa, FL 33617

Ok folks, I know I mentioned this before and got some interest, so I wanted to announce my plans for my visit to the Tampa area. First of all, I am there on business, getting training for a new Education initiative. But I have gotten permission from my boss to use my free time as I see fit!

I have decided to schedule some gaming at a local store, to give lots of people the opportunity to stop in and say hello, rather then a specific club. I will be at Armada Games on Monday, September 14th from 6:30 to 11:00 PM. I have a game scheduled, but would like to try to get in another. I am bringing my Mechanicon 1850 tournament army, so if you want to get a game, post it up here and we can schedule it in!

I am not sure if I will be able to come out and play on Tuesday as well, my Hotel is actually quite far from Tampa plus I might just want to take in the Florida sights being a damn Yankee and all. So I am keeping the evening open. We will play it by ear!

There you go! If you want a chance to meet and play against Jawaballs, stop on in! Or if you would like to get some painting feedback on your models, or pick my brain on tactics, I would love to lend a hand. If Armada Games lets me, I will have some videos and bases on hand for sale. Hopefully I will see a few of you there!


Army Comparison: What makes an army better? A community project with beginners in mind.

Here is an ice post to help noobies who are looking for good starting 40k info. While it is intended for beginners, I'm sure vets will have their input. Lets put our heads together and create a document that helps every one!

A recent comment on my youtube channel about IG being the "Strongest Codex" and some guys disagreeing with that statement has me thinking. So here are my thoughts! First of all, at Bolscon, the Best General was a guard player. He was a really nice guy and fun to talk to, but by his own admittance, was more of a nooby. He was playing a thrown together army designed to win tournaments. Nothing wrong with that! The point here is that a relative newcomer won Best General in an 80+ man tournament simply by playing a "Point and Shoot" army. I have seen it happen before in 4th edition with guys playing Genestealer armies. He lost the overall title to a Tyranid player who was a veteran. We will get into experience giving players the edge later on.

This discussion is about strength of lists. It is my contention that the Best General Guard list, in the hands of a Veteran 40k player, is unbeatable in standard play. Of course odd mission rules help to level the playing field, but for this discussion, we will keep to the more simple scenarios. (Though I feel that this guard list is versatile enough to excell at any scenario, odd mission or funky rules you can throw at it.)

So on with the point of this post! How do we measure an armies strength, and when is that army categorized as Broken or Overmatched?

Lets come up with some nice categories with which to measure our armies. Mobility, Fire Power, Assault Power and Survivability are 4 nice places to start.

If you look at most games, you will see the 'Base' army or unit. This is the army that truely excells at nothing, but is good at every thing. In most combat racing games, there is the Huge lumbering tank vehicle that is slow as hell but takes a beating, there is the tiny zoomy car that is hard to hit, but once you do it goes down fast, then there is the easy to control, sort of fast middle car that has no drawbacks or strengths. Its mediocrity is its strength! Think Mario in Super Mario Brothers Two. In the 40k world, this is the Space Marines. They have no real flaws, but no real focus! This is where armies vary in this is where they must be measured. So using the Marines as a base, the Eldar for example excell at mobility but surrender survivability, while the Tau excell at fire power but fail in assault.

So let us come up with a scale. I open to you guys a forum on what and how to measure. I will begin this with the four categories I started. Remember, this is for newcomers, so lets keep it video game simple. Lets rate each army based on:

Mobility: The overall speed of an armies units.
Survivability: The overall ability of an army to survive. Related to Armor Values and dirty tricks like Holo Fields.
Fire Power: Duh!
Assault: Blood Angels are obviously a stronger Assault Army then Tau. Why?
Point Cost per model: Does an armies point cost hurt or help them?

Lets dig deep here with our ratings. Blood Angels can take 9 ten man assault squads for example. Obviously, codex knowledge is a must. We are writing this with new comers in mind, so while something may be obvious to you, it is likely not obvious to a beginner, or even a vet for that matter.

Let us rate the armies on a scale from 1 to 20. 20 being the best. I suggest we start with Space Marines since they will base from which we compare every thing else.

My goal here is to create a nice working document that can be linked and referenced by beginners who are coming into the game. This will solve two things. First of all, it will help beginners who are afraid to ask questions and are intimiadated by some of these blogs that may be way over their head. But also, it will give bloggers a direction to point questions to! When some one asks "Hey Ron, I love your blog but I have no clue what the heck you are talking about since I am new... what is a better army, Space Marines or Eldar?" We can say, great question, visit SUCHANDSUCH for your answer!

So the invitation is out to all of you. Comment. Give your appraisals. If you feel marines are a 20 on Survivability, please state why. This is not a debate post. State your input and opinions and I will summarize the scores and feed back into a working document. We want to come up with a firm evaluation of Space Marines first, then we can work on the individual SM off shoot codexes. Once that is done, we can move on to Eldar and beyond. If you are an eldar master, start compiling your evidence, and when the time comes, post it up!

So, have at it! Jawaballs

Edit One: Added "Point Cost" as another category for army comparison.
Edit Two: 9/17/09 Added "Versatility" as another category to reflect the changes to each list brought on by additions of "Special Characters" etc. This measures an armies ability to change itself to meet any needs. I set the Space Marine "versatility" at 20 to begin with.

Just in: GW delivers Hard Boys loot to Lance Cooper

So, not long ago Lance Cooper, who was a second round Hard Boys winner, emailed me his list and other relavent Hard Boys info, along with some battle reports etc. Well, he finally got his loot! GW does not really let you pick your choice of models... instead they give you a choice of style... He chose IG with FIre Power and Speed I suppose... Here is his update:

Hey jawa. I thought I would keep you up to date with the Ard Boyz or Hard Boys as you like it. My Free loot came in from GW for coming in first. I must say im very very happy with what they sent. I cant complain. Attached is a list and pick.

2x Cadian Command Squad
4x Imperial Guard Cadian Battleforce
3x Imperial Guard Hellhound
3x Imperial Guard Leman Russ
2x Imperial Guard Valkyrie
2x Imperial Guard Leman Russ Demolisher

How to paint Power Swords, step by step.

I am going to attempt to insert these pictures where I want them. We shall see if this works.

Here is how to do a quick and easy Power Sword. I used this blue technique on my Blood Angels army that has won several awards.

Step One:
Prime your sword black.

Step Two:
Paint the entire blade of the sword Regal Blue. Easy right?

Step Three:
Now time to actually paint. Using very little bits of Enchanted blue at a time, start with the tip of the sword, and drag it down towards the hilt. Work your way down the outside edges first, and then down the middle. The tip of the sword should be completely enchanted blue, and as you drag the paint towards the hilt, use less and less paint so that it naturally fades to Regal Blue which is under the Enchanted. Just dragging the brush from the tip to the hilt will natrually do this... as you drag the brush further, you have less paint on it, and the regal will start to show through. Master this on some bits of sprue if you need to. You want the transition from Enchanted to Regal blue to be complete about a third of the blades distance from the hilt.

Step Four:
Repeat this step with Ultramarine blue, pulling it down towards the hilt from the tip of the sword. This time stop half way through the Enchanted Blue layer.

Step Five:
Repeat with Ice Blue. BUT, each time you dip the brush into the paint, you want the tinniest bit of paint you can possibly get on the brush. Almost none! Start at the tip, and pull this paint down the edge of the blade, only stroking the brush in one direction... do not back stroke the brush. Work from the edge of the blade towards the center. This will leave the tip and the edge of the blade brighter then the center... When there is no more paint left, dip again, but still get hardly none at all. Less is more! Work the ice blue down the blade to your taste, focusing on the edges and if there is a center ridge, hit that too. At the end, use the brush to drybrush the edges of the blade just above the hilt, leaving a faint touch of ice blue on top of the regal blue.

Step Six:
Quick and easy right! Last step. Using a tiny dab of Space Wolf Grey, start with the tip, and drag it towards the hilt again... once it is gone, use the brush to drybrush the edges of the sword.

Voilla! A super simple but attractive power sword!

If you want to do this with Green, use Dark Angels green, snot green, goblin green and camo green. And if you want to do it with red, use Red Gore, Blood Red, Blazing Orange, Fiery Orange (50/50 blazing orange/golden yellow)

Cant go wrong!

Here is a video of me using the technique:

Battle Report: Jawaballs vs Jwolf!

Ok, I finally have some time. I will add pics later.

So despite the hectic atmosphere of Bolscon, jwolf was gracious enough to make some time to take on my Blood Angels. The game was pretty close!

Deployment: Dawn of War
Mission: Bases
Points: 2k

I used my standard list, plus 2 attack bikes and a squad of two speeders.
Jwolf had a Russ Battle Tank, and one with a 24" str 10 direct shot, a hell hound, a valkrye with 10 vets, marbo, platoon with a troop squad, 3 lascannon team, and some other guys. He had two chimera, one with a melta toting vet squad, and one with his command squad. He also had a 3 autocanon team, and 2 ratling sniper squads.

If you were following the pregame hype, you can find our lists on our various posts.

I won the dieroll, and gave him first turn.

He deployed some troops and his HQ on his base and I countered with a combat las squad on my base, and Dante all alone behind a wall near his base. My intention here was to get him to bring out all of his guns at angles to try to pop Dante, and rely on DoW and my invul to keep him alive, then move him back behind a tank, leaving his stuff exposed.

Turn 1:

As I hoped, Jwolf brought out all of his stuff at angles to pop Dante. He would have probably brought most of his stuff where he did any way because of the vicinity of his base, but I do feel that some of his choices were made based on the location of Dante, which was enough for me! None of his shots managed to find range and he pulled back away what he could from Dante's charge. He reserved the Valk and Marbo... much to my later chagrin...

On my turn, I brought on every thing except for my deep striking speeders. I charged my tanks straight at his base, and intermixed my rhinos to grant cover saves. I turboed my bikes to get them in range to shoot from the left. I wish I had made better choices with them later in the game... they popped his hell hound, but I could have used them to clear out some of the armor by his base later in the game. My shooting was pretty fruitless, but I did move dante back behind a baal.

Turn 2:
Jwolf has an average round of shots. I don't recall but i think he failed to really do any damage what so ever. I had smoke and cover saves where it mattered and his shooting dice were pretty poor. He only managed some stunned results, which became shaken due to my stuff having extra armor.

On my turn, I popped his hell hound. I left the other combat squad in it's rhino and my furioso to defend my base. I started ramming rhinos down his throat (the ones that did not immobilize themselves on terrain that is) and advancing Baals. I messed up this turn though. I managed to pop his vet chimera with a baal, and that pinned his vets as well... but then I tried to take down his russ tanks with the others. I should have focused on his troops from the start. If I had managed to take down his troops defending his base, and he did not have a lot of them, I could have refocused some fast moving stuff back to mine. I knew he had Marbo and a Valkrye coming right for my base when they came on. I also made another big mistake... I moved up Dante, and he was exposed from the right...

Turn 3:

Jwolf would punish me this turn. He fixed his dice, and started popping rhinos and slaughtering my troops. He blew up one of my Baals and killed my bikes. marbo and his valk failed to come on. The worst though was Jwolf seems to have an ability to curve his scatter shots around cover and tanks. He targeted a tank, but the shot scattered perfectly onto dante, and killed him. But he started to realize that he was in some trouble! It became obvious that he was not going to stop my rhinos from reaching him. He popped my Death Company rhino, but was unable to take them out. They would assault his base next turn.

On my turn, I saw the situation with his troops. If I killed them all, I would not have to worry about taking his base. So I started unloading on them. I shot up his vet squad and they fell back, and shot up a troops squad, reducing them to just one or two models. My Death Company assaulted and slaughtered another troop squad. That left him with two falling back, a Lascanon team and a command squad coming over to help. Things began to get serious here. On a big sad note, my Speeders managed to come in and deep strike. I dropped them where I needed them most and rolled the dice. Sadly they mis striked, and Went back up into reserves.

Turn 4:
Finally his Valk and marbo came on. He moved the valry 12" from my edge but stayed out of range, and brought in Sly. Sly threw his Demo charge, and here was another perfect scatter. It pretty much had only one direction it could go to hurt me, and of course it went that way. He killed my dread and a few of my base defenders... crap. He saw he was in trouble at his base, and attempted to compensate. He started moving in armor to block my tank shocking rhinos. He got some of my assaulters into close combat with his command squad to slow them down, and managed to kill my death company. But my turn would be big!

On my turn, he managed to make 3 or 4 huge leadership tests. I tank shocked the crap out of him with rhinos, and his boys made all of their leadership tests... in opposition to that, I managed to fail all of my own. I failed 3 in a row and watched most of my blood angels fall back in disgrace, and one was actually pinned by ratling snipers! Travesty! This would pretty much mean the game. I shot and killed Rambo, but he did his damage. The game was turning to Jwolf's favor.

Turn 5:
Jwolf managed to secure his base. He had any troops I could get in range in close combat and bogged down. He wisely got a sentinal into combat to tie them up. He would probably not manage to kill me, but I would not kill it. He did leave a few holes though, that would give me an approach vector for more fast moving tanks. He moved his Valk into my base and unloaded his troops. Now all i had left was 4 tactical marines with a PW and a meltagun to try to kill his Valk and 8 veterans who were left.

On my turn I made my last ditch effort to deny his base. I tank shocked again with preds moving 18", and actually would manage to deny him his base by contesting. It would all hinge upon my base and how my last marines could hold. The worst die roll of the game came when I tried to tank shock his vets that were contesting my base. I might have dropped them back without having to shoot at all, but instead I rolled a 1and immobilized the damn rhino. Oh well. I decided to shoot his valk, which was contesting, with my meltagun. I was hoping to simply damage it, that way I could dual assault and lay into it and his vets with my power weapon. Sadly though, i exploded it instead. This left my poor 4 marines in the open and looking down the barrels of quite a few Imperial Guard guns. At this point, the game would end a draw... if I was able to work my magic... I rolled the die... and the game went on. Damn my uncanny ability to roll 1s. It only works when I don't want them!

Turn 6:
Jwolfs base was contended. He did not have LoS to stop me from getting tanks into range and taking it away, but I could not kill his boys holding it. So, focusing on my base it came down to 8 vets vs 4 marines. They shot, and killed 3 of them, including my sgt with power sword. Only the meltagunner was left. Then he assaulted! My boy killed two of them, so if he lived, he would win combat by two forcing Jwolf to make a leadership test of 6. Then it would be a matter of sweeping advance, or them just falling back far enough to be out of range of my base. On his attacks though, he managed to slip in one power weapon hit... and then rolled a 5 to wound. That would wrap up the game! Jwolf took my base and scored a victory, on the extremely lucky back of one Veteran Sergeant who managed to find a power weapon off some dead commisar. I contended his base, but he claimed mine. Game over.

In the end, the game went pretty much as good as it could have. Very few mistakes were made and a lot of luck happened to favor the other side of the table I was NOT on. My heavy fire power and fast moving tanks put a scare into Jwolf, and actually did their job by denying him his base. My biggest mistake was to not spread out my base defenders more... I forgot, and left them clustered nicely, along with the Rhino and Dread for Jwolf to slaughter with the Demo charge that I knew was coming. He managed to do some Matrix Zen crap with his scatter dice and made some huge leadership tests to save his guys from several tank shocks.

I think that if any thing, Jwolf will rethink his opinion of the Blood Angels... or at least of MY Blood Angels. Sure, I only finished 22 in the tournament. 5 draws did nothing to help me there... but I faced some tough opponents, and put a whooping on some guys with supposedly superior armies.

Jwolf scraped out a victory this time. But our next game will be at 1750 points where my army excells. Looking forward to getting a chance to play him again!

I took some pics and some video, I will get them posted tonight. Check back later.


More about sportsmanship: Are you being too good a sport?

Here is the scenario:

It is a major tournament. Here comes game one of round two. You find your self matched up against a surly looking, but not too unpleasent dude... but he definitely lacks personality. The game goes on, and you go about your good sportsmanship usual self, allowing shots that are short, allowing assaults that only reach 5.5 inches, not calling him on shooting his lascannon from 5" inside a terrain piece and not granting you a cover save... etc. Then it hits you. You go to shoot a big shot, and your tape may or may not clink against the treads of his tank. His answer? Nope, no shot, you are short...

If you are a sporty player, this has no doubt happened to you. I always try to be the best sport I can be in tournaments, with the intention of possibly taking Best Sportsman if nothing else. Plus it just makes the games more fun over all. But this did happen to me very recently! On at least 3 occasions, I allowed the guy to still shoot my models despite the fact that he was obviously short, explaining that the game is about fun and action and I don't get obsessed about an eighth of an inch. Only to have him deny me a shot the first time it was close... and I'm talking micrometer close... I measured the shot three times, and could even hear the clink of the metal on the end of my tape against his tred... he argued the range, measured it himself, and of course said short. To which, I hold no arguement because I want to be a Best Sportsman... The end result in this particular game was 3 or 4 short shots that hit me, and 2 short shots that did not hit him, probably turning the game into a draw rather then a win for me. Oh, and the guy did not give me full points on Sportsmanship.

The point of this? I think we sometimes shoot ourselves in the foot by trying to be an obvious good sport in tournaments. Allowing short shots to hit to try to win sportsmanship favor is a fail. Your opponent will probably NOT reciprocate when the game is on the line, or even if it is not in question at all. And getting upset if he does not is foolish! It is your own fault. 24" is 24", not 24.5". If his vindicator is 1/4" out of range, the shot is short. If he is a half an inch short on the assault, his guys are stuck. Period.

How do we deal with these things? Consistency. If a shot is short, simply say sorry bud... it is short, and offer some true understanding... "Crap man... unlucky... that was a big shot." Do this every time. Giving your opponent something he does not deserve gets you nothing.

If you are a good sport, you will get the votes any way. If the guy is a douche, you will not no matter what you do. At Bolscon, I got 5 top scores, and 2 good scores. That is a matter of me playing 5 cool dudes, and two douchebags. The 5 top score givers were all fantastic sports themselves. The two others were grumpy, surly and defensive players who could not diferentiate between asking for a rules explanation for ones own education, and contesting a rule. I did not change the way I play for 2 of my 7 games! In fact, one of the guys even rolled me off the table and I took it on the chin with a smile, congratulating him on his tactical briliance and even asking him for advince on what I should have done better! Still did not give me full points. Believe me, it is hard to get slaughtered with grace.

So there you go. Giving away shots does not a good sportsman make. Be fair, be consistent, but remember, 40k IS a game of inches, and if he is short, giving him the shot any way will only come back to bite you in the ass.

How to win 40K Tournaments: Pay attention to the objectives!

At Bolscon I managed to do fairly well, and only won ONE game! I don't know where I ended up, but I think I was in the top 12 or so. I ended the tournament with 5 ties a win and a loss. We will get into the excuses about why I did not win those games later, but for now I want to discuss the 'must dos' when it comes to doing well at tournaments. I managed to squeak into the upper range of players with 5 ties because I paid attention to the secondary objectives. Most tournaments will have them. They will give you a primary objective that is worth say... 13 points if you wint it, 7 if you draw it and 0 if you fail to get it. Also, they will offer Secondary ones. Some more valuable then others. In the case of Bolscon, they were quite valuable indeed! An example would be the primary objective being loot counters as outlined above. Winner takes 13 points. But also very often they threw in secondary objectives like taking Table Corners or Victory Points. These are where I cashed in! In one of the secondary objectives, the player to own the most table corners got a full 13 points or so. I drew the game because the primary objective was loot counters and my opponent and myself each held two, but in reality, I actualy won because I held the majority of table corners. So, while it was a draw, and I only scored 7 points for the actual game, I managed to score 13 points for the secondary objective, plus bonus points for killing HQ, or all of his Heavy Support... etc

Bonus Points: As I just mentioned, I killed all of his heavy support and scored a bonus point. Tournaments love to throw in lots of way to score. In this case, you had to eliminate all of your opponents models in specific categories. He happened to only have 1 heavy support choice. I knocked it's guns off early in the game, and would have completely ignored it, but looking at the bonus points, I realized it had to die. So I popped it and scooped up a bonus point. This is crucial if you tie the game as you will need those points later on. Make sure you read all of the game rules before you start playing. It will do you well to actually examine your opponents army list and make note of what he has in each category. If you find a bonus point for killing off all of his fast attack, and he only has one bike squad, make sure it dies!

So while I did tie this particular game, I still managed to score all but 7 or so of the battle points... That was more then a lot of guys who won their games because I got the secondary objective while they did not. The point is that victory in games is not the only way to win a tournament. Of course, taking FIVE draws did nothing to help me, especially in games where I failed to take the secondary objective... but hey, I am happy with how I did.

Still More Bolscon!

My batreps are coming up soon, I'm sorry it has taken so long but school started back up and I had to move this week. Here is some behind the scenes video of Bolscon. Also there is a little pregame stuff, Fritz and myself on the plane etc. Be looking for those batreps this week! I will add the video to this post once it loads on youtube. Jawaballs!