Thursday, June 4, 2009

Playing Smaller Games

Recently, a new store opened up here in Lancaster (CA) called Battle Grounds. They are the only gaming store around. The only other nearest one is about 45 minutes to an hour away in Santa Clarita. This store is small, and just getting started. Tonight, they will host what I think is their first 40k game ever in their eight months of being open. About a month ago, the owner put out a list of people who have contacted him about playing 40k, making me realize that there's other people around here who play. I'm no longer alone!

Unfortunately, their tables are kind of small. They're set up for Magic and other board games, not for Warhammer. But I'm not going to let that stop me! Instead we're going to play some 500 pt games. Generally, we agree that 500 pt games don't need an HQ as part of the FOC, only two troops choices. Planning these lists made me realize the game gets a little trickier at small points.

Here's the three lists I wrote up:

10 Dire Avengers with Exarch, Power Weapon, Shimmershield, Defend and Bladestorm.
1 Doomseer (Farseer+doom)
6 Banshees with exarch & executioner
3 Jetbikes, one with cannon
1 D cannon

This list takes advantage of the small table space. D-Cannons are awesome, but their short range is their only limitation. A small board will help mitigate that weakness. The Doomseer lets the shuriken catapults in the army do the maximum damage. I gave the Exarch the powerweapon and shield instead of dual cats because with a small board, I fear that they would get assaulted easily. Those upgrades would help them survive. I normally mechanize my Avengers, these upgrades are to help them guard an objective.

5 Pathfinders
3 Jetbikes (with cannon)
3 Jetbikes (with cannon)
6 Fire Dragons with Exarch
5 Banshees with Exarch

This list is my specialist list. The Pathfinders can get a 2+ cover save, a tough cookie in a small game. The bikes can run around nabbing objectives and generally harassing the foe.

12 Guardians with Scatter Laser, warlock with conceal
3 Jetbikes with cannon
1 Doomseer
5 Swooping Hawks with Exarch
1 D-Cannon

This is my "I'm not really trying" list. I want to love hawks, they were fun back in 2nd and I want their glory days to return. Their problem is they're not sure what they want to do. Are they anti-vehicle, or anti-horde? They're also very fragile. I think if their guns had one more shot, and if their blast template was either increased in strength or number of blasts per hawk in the unit (why not give them one small blast template per 2 hawks?) they would be more useful. Anyway, more on them later.

While writing these lists, I realized that most of the normal game types would be weird with such a small points game. Any objective based mission probably would end in a draw as most lists only have two things that can possibly score. The death of one means you'd have to really scramble to avoid a draw. The only standard mission that would work is Killpoints.

Well, I'll see how tonight goes and report tomorrow.


  1. Small games are definitely trickier to play. Units and even individual models become less expendable as games can quickly turn tide by the loss of important ones.

    If you're in Lancaster, PA you're right in the middle of to two great stores. The Adventurer's Guild in Harrisburg and Showcase Comics in Media.

  2. Actually, it's Lancaster, CA. I have edited my post to reflect this. PA is always the first place that comes up on google searches. Thanks for pointing that out.

  3. Oh, there has to be more action in Lancaster than that... Sadly, I don't really know anyone out there any more. (Well, excepting some SCA folks.)

    As to a 500 point, there's also the "Iyanden" version:
    3 GJBs w Cannon
    3 GJBS w/o Cannon (or 5 DA)

    Or since you don't have to worry about HQ:
    3x Swordlords
    3 GJBS w Cannon
    10 Guardians w Scatter Laser and Warlock.

    Of course, 3x Monstrous Creatures in a 500 point game won't win you many friends... :-p

  4. dverning, I love that list! I may just threaten to do that.


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