Sunday, December 27, 2009

Journal # 123 - Saying Goodbye to 2009

December 26, 2009

Attendance - Henri, Emcee, JB, George, Wiley, Ryan, Joel, Mike, JR with Special Appearances from Romy, Joshua and Ronald.

Game 1
Emcee (Space Wolves) vs Henri (Space Wolves)
Points: 2000
Mission: Capture and Control
Deployment: Dawn of War
Result: Draw!

Game 2
George (Orks) vs Wiley (Ultramarines)
Points: 2000
Mission: Capture and Control
Deployment: Dawn of War
Result: Wiley wins via tap-out! (Top of 6th)

Game 3
Ryan Chung (Salamanders) vs JB (Imperial Guard)
Points: 2000
Mission: Annihilation
Deployment: Pitched BAttle
Result: JB wins!

Game 4
Joel (Dark Angels) vs Mike (Ultramarines)
Points: 2000
Mission: Seize Ground
Deployment: Dawn of War
Result: Mike wins!

Game 5
Emcee (Space Wolves) vs JR (Blood Angels)
Points: 1000
Mission: Seize Ground
Deployment: Dawn of War
Result: Emcee wins!

Some of us enjoyed some post-gaming pizza care of JR. Thanks bro :)

Session ends 7:30pm.

Saturday, December 19, 2009

Journal # 122 pre-Christmas gaming

December 19, 2009

Attendance - Emcee, JB, Ryan, Wiley, George , Joshua, Jasper, with special appearances from Romy and Patrick

Game 1
Emcee (Space Wolves) vs JB (Imperial Guard)
Points: 2000
Mission: Capture and Control
Deployment: Pitched Battle
Result: JB wins! (1 claimed, 1 contested)

Game 2
Ryan Tamayo (Eldar) vs George (Orks)
Points: 2000
Mission: Seize Ground
Deployment: Pitched Battle
Result: Ryan wins via tap-out!

Game 3
Jasper (SM-Lamenters) vs Emcee (Space Wolves)
Points: 1000
Mission: Capture and Control
Deployment: Pitched Battle
Result: Draw!

Game 4
Martie (Orks) vs Wiley (Space Wolves)
Points: 2000
Mission: Seize Ground
Deployment: Spearhead
Result: Wiley wins! (1 claimed, 1 contested)

Game 5
Jasper (SM- Lamenters) vs George (Orks)
Points: 1000
Mission: Annihilation
Deployment: Spearhead
Result: George wins!

Merry Christmas people :)

Thursday, December 17, 2009

Winning is everything...

Written by Liberato Tan
Sportsmanship Awardee for 2009 GT held by Neutral Grounds

1.    the character, practice, or skill of a sportsman.
2.    sportsmanlike conduct, as fairness, courtesy, being a cheerful loser, etc.

As you can find and read in the dictionary the meaning of sportsmanship. In the 40K GT, I wanted to win. I wanted to crush my opponent. I wanted to be the best. So who does not feel that way even for a second? After 10 years of playing Warhammer 40K, this is my first award in sportsmanship. What did I do right this time? Let me see.

1)    I came in on time and prepared my army. After each game, I cleaned up the table and got my army ready to move to another table.
2)    I printed out two copies of my army list. (One for my opponent and one for myself)
3)    I explained my army composition, special weapons and acts of faith to each opponent.
4)    I gave my opponent the opportunity to ask any questions about my army.
5)    I shook hands with my opponent before and after each game.
6)    I complemented my opponent’s great saving throws. (My bleeding heart)
7)    I tried to play fast and limit any delays in decision making during my turn.
8)    I curse a lot on my bad dice rolling but kept it to myself (as much as I can, and yes I did shout a lot but with a smile) and try hard not intimidate my opponent .(bad rolling this time, failing divine guidance below 10 and failing leadership check on a 10. This happened too many  times and in one game, as much as six consecutive times)
9)    I smiled a lot during this tourney even when my dice rolls do "epic fail".
10)    I showed my dice rolls to all my opponents.
11)    I did not complain much on Line of Sight issues.
12)    I had fun and made sure even if I was on a losing or winning streak, my opponent enjoyed the game as well. (Experience taught me a lot. Playing against different players we must emulate their good points; for example Emcee’s Killer Smile, Ian Siongco’s  gay attitude “whatever, just roll”, or Jay Estaris “My weak army”, small things that make you smile and laugh, even when you are on the losing streak.)
13)    I did not gloat on destroying the other army and shook hands after making a great kill.
14)    I complemented my opponents great shooting or winning a round of assault.
15)    I sympathized with my opponents when making lots of failed dice roll. (heart pumping fast, Yes!!!)
16)    Courtesy to your opponent and being civil with your tongue is very important.

Winning is everything to all of us, but winning new friendships and renewing old ones is the best one. Cheers. See you all at the gaming table.

Monday, December 14, 2009

How to take crappy pics of beautiful girls with a really great camera!

First you drink Vodka ice.  (or two but not shown in picture).  After awhile you start to look like this:

 After a few more bottles you start to look like this:

By now you're all red and you can hardly feel your face plus your lips are stuck in a permanent smile but who can resist on more drink especially when the promo girls are so pretty? :P

At this point we didn't want to let the night pass without taking away something from it.  More Juicy scenes about the scandal that happened after the jump (click on read more).

Saturday, December 12, 2009

Journal # 122 - Hayok parin maglaro :P

December 12, 2009

Attendance: Chino, Emcee, Wiley, Henri, Joel, with special appearances from Romy, Joshua, and Anton.

Game 1
Chino (Blood Angels) vs Henri (Space Wolves)
Points: 1400
Mission: Seize Ground
Deployment: Spearhead
Result: Henri wins! (2-1)

Game 2
Emcee (Space Wolves) vs Wiley (Ultramarines)
Points: 2000
Mission: Annihilation
Deployment: Pitched Battle
Result: Wiley wins via tap-out on the bottom of the 5th!

Game 3
Joel (SM) vs Henri (Ultramarines)
Points: 2000
Mission: Seize Ground
Deployment: Pitched Battle
Result: Joel wins! 2 claimed to 1 claimed and 1 contested.

Session ends 7:30pm

Friday, December 11, 2009

You are What you Eat!

Old Skool-New Skool Series (Article 2)
Your choice of army defines you

I have always been an odd little boy (and yes I was pretty small when compared to my peers as I was growing up. It was only through the no-scientific basis myth of post-circumcision growth spurts that I have grown to the stud of a man I am now… but that’s another story.)

Where was I? Oh yes. I have always been an odd little boy, choosing the road less traveled over the proverbial path of least resistance. I, for example, stuck with the Go-Bots well after I started watching, and loving, the Transformers as rented from the commonplace illegal betamax rental store. I took up baseball while everyone else was avidly playing soccer. I was reading Harper Lee and J.D. Salinger when everyone else was reading “Choose Your Own Adventure”. I… well I’m sure you get my point.

In true ManongGuard form, my army choices have always been odd and a tad more challenging than they have to be. I have been known to field the following 40K weird armies:

1. Assaulty Tau (with no Kroot) – Might not be fluffy but hellalotafun
2. Orange Speed Freeks with a Warboss on Trike and a Basilisk on a Buggy
3. Night Lords when no one else was playing Night Lords… weird looking Defiler called Hydro-cephalloid
4. Thousand Sons crap army
5. and now Iyanden Eldar

This brings me to my longest planned, never delivered army – The Salamanders.

I love this game. I love how hundreds of people fire up their neurons to deliver the ever-changing 40K rules BUT if there is one thing that I love most in 40K, it is the richness of the story. While I will not claim to be an expert in 40K canon (that’s why I have my three trusted buddies to educate me on fluff – Kyuzo, Salubri, and Balian – who are, [could it be?] possibly nerdier that I am), I try to read up as much as I can on armies before I commit to them. I came across the Salamanders (as I did with the Night Lords and Thousand Sons) in one of the old Index Astartes offerings. I read the fluff and liked them immediately. They had almost as much flavor as my favorite loyalists of all-time, the Iron Hands (too bad I do not like black and silver armies), they had challenges that you had to conquer (they used to be I3 marines) and some nice toys as well (Fury of the Salamander, Never Give Up, and that funky Armor you can put on your tanks). They were far from the powerhouses they are now.

I love playing against people with the same philosophy. My game against Beefcake’s Stealers army, for example, while ending in a draw, was memorable as hell. Some other examples are Salubri’s way gay BA Barakus army, Arvin’s lethal Oblits and Heavy galore Iron Warriors, Ricky’s viper-ridden Saim-Hann and Lito’s never-changing SoBs.

So what is my point? I would suggest you get to know your armies, not just rules-wise, but in terms of fluff as well. If you decide to field canonical armies (ones that do have mention in original 40K material), then try to read up on them and field lists that at least approximate what they are supposed to be. I promise you that you will have a richer experience when playing with and against such armies. Challenge yourself. What separates Warhammer from other TCGs and CCGs is that it should not only be about winning.

If you don’t want to bother, then make up your own chapter/craftworld/horde/klan/etc, please. On that note, I leave you with the following message: VULKAN HE’STAN is not a LUNA WOLF! – bang bang Jessie! Peace!

For more pictures of my Iyanden Eldar Serpents, please visit my blog.

Tuesday, December 08, 2009

JGR Journal # 121 - Just Can't Get Enough

December 5, 2009

The Regulars are back at NG Galleria for more 40K battles a week after the GT.

Attendance : Balian, Salubri, Kyuzo, Henri, Ebon, Manongguard, George, JR, Tsuruchijo, Scrivener, with special appearance from Marty

Game 1 – 2000 pts; Balian (Deathwing) vs Henri (Space Wolves / Iron Wolves)
Result - Draw!

My take on the game – I showed up with Belial and 40 terminators and nothing else. Army selection was based on ease of transport. Henri came with an army just tweaked a little bit from his GT list. Game played in less than 2 hours!

Game 2 – 1500 pts; George (Orks) vs JR (Blood Angels)
Result – Draw!

My take on the game – Orks taking the fight to the emo marines (emo->twilight->vampires->blood angels->marines… get it?), with JR just barely holding off the ork horde, aided by a lucky attack bike - rapid fire bolters and a multi-melta shot killing 3 ork bikers in one go, with the ork bikers running away off board due to failing Ld check (needed 9 or below, but still failed…)

Game 3 – 1250 pts; Tsuruchijo (Crimson Fists) vs Scrivener (Black Templars)
Result – (I forgot)

I didn’t get to observe this match. I just hope no one got raped :P

Game 4 – 2000 pts; Ebon (Deathwing/Ravenwing) vs Salubri (Eldar)
Result – Salubri wins with 1 objective to none

My take on the game – both veterans showed up with no obvious signs of gaming rust… but their dice were not cooperating :D

Salubri: it was interesting playing against my other army. i was already afraid from the beginning knowing how difficult it is to crack terminators (even from the DA list). fortunately my eldar managed to rain enough ninja stars to nail the occasional terminator (not sexual in context). it was the last minute moves that caused ebon the game as his right flank collapsed and was unable to hold the objective. from there it was a simple matter of contesting and running for the objective on the left side. also Kyuzo's (guest dice roller) juju dice rolling turned out an early finish to what could have been a very long game of hide and seek. lol

it's nice to discover that i can still play warhammer with some amount of sucksess. hehe...

GW shipment arrived this day... a lot are still obviously building up their own "private armies".

Manongguard showed up late with his newly painted Eldar Army, but everyone else was too tired to play against him. Sabi kasi one hour, dumating after two hours :P

Kyuzo showed up, but with wrong equipment (big billiard stick)

Marty showed up, but was in galleria just to shop.

Belated birthday greetings to JR and thanks for the pizza and drinks!

PS - I heard the gang went out for coffee after, but I am already a domesticated animal so I was not able to join. In the words often used by Kyuzo, I am sure the coffee place did not disappoint. It rarely does. :D

Salubri: we did. first dropped by Henri's place for the birthday bash for Thomas ( I still shudder when I remember them spiders. :S ) before going for coffee... original "coffee" place was packed so we went for the backup "coffee" place which didn't offer much "in-sight" but we got to play the game of "Why are they here and who are they waiting for." :D

Friday, December 04, 2009

GT Strategy

Written by Paulo Lapa
Best General for the 2009 GT held by Neutral Grounds

WRITTERS NOTE:  This is a compilation of the different strategies I used for each race, and army types I fought.  *** WARNING***  It was two days of gaming so it will be quite long.  It includes several key details about each army and game.  have fought 5 different armies and I believe I fought the best; That means competitive lists you might face in the future might very well come from these guys…  feel free to go directly to an army you would like to learn about more.  I broke each encounter down to "assessing the opponent", "The Strategy", and of course "Game Highlights and Tactical Notes".  It would be difficult to write a general strategy for the whole GT as each mission and army was different.  I know I do not have as much tournament experiences as most of the guys who will probably read this but it will be worth it if someone learned from it or taught me something in return:



"Attack him where he is unprepared, appear where you are not expected."

- Sun Tzu, the Art of War

       In more than a decade of my Warhammer life, I have only joined 3 Tournaments, all of them GTs.  Of the these three the best strategic lesson came from my first one, funny enough I got sick then and I had to tell Freddie Tan that I had to leave with barely a quarter into the whole thing.  I was a noob and fought Luigi Scarella's Dark Eldar in a cleanse match, and seeing that I had Lascannon and fire power superiority I felt good about my chances.  Back in the 90's you only needed 5 marines to get 1 heavy weapon. So with a bunch of ground troops, 3 dev squads with all heavy bolters, and Las-plas razorbacks up the wazoo, I blasted away.  Hey, I was a teenager, so being brash and stupid was kind of a valid excuse.  I even got to kill my first archon with shadow field and thought: "Yey, me!".  It was a beautifully painted miniature so I knew it was kick ass (another lesson learned: Want your kick ass units to survive... don't paint them too well, =D).  What I didn't realize was that Luigi wanted me to shoot his archon!  His and the game's final turn came.  He didn't even shoot anything, he zoomed his Raiders to contest all quarters, claim one and the victory.  I think my jaw broke when it landed on the floor. :D  That's when it hit me like a dark lance to the face:  "It's not always about killing"...  That's how my beloved Necrons won before, with the Veil of Darkness not restricted to one.  Claiming anything was not even a problem.

       The funny thing was I almost didn’t play because I thought everything had to be painted (if anyone had pictures of my army you’d notice that day 1 and 2 had glaring differences).  Heck, I was even assembling the Valkyrie parts during deployment!  Nonetheless I was happy I did.
       The Imperial Guard list I made for this GT was never for mass killing (killed en masse, maybe :D).  I had but two "pie plate" units and one of them wasn't even designed for offense (psyker battle squad).  With mostly direct fire, it was designed to stop the enemy from being mobile and for strategic strikes, so that it can take its time to maneuver, kill, and accomplish objectives.  In an environment of mechanized races, I say make all of them walk!  Or else next thing we know GW will start manufacturing miniatures such as obese Eldar, or produce The Biggest Loser: 40k.  (See how the Necrons keep their figure, it’s because you can’t even ride on their transport, they have you out and walking as soon as you get on it. lol =D)
       Among my obvious choices for this concept was getting the Vendettas versus the mass-killing Valkyrie with MRP or Marbo versus getting a high damage artillery tank.  The army relied on what I like to call the "First strike capability" and "Target overwhelm".  First strike means using outflank, these units get to strike first, fast, and hard.  Needless to say that Last mission came back to bite my order issuing behind... but I'll get to that in awhile.  On the other hand, Target overwhelm means I have a large numbers of foot troops that I use to thin the enemy ranks, and if needed, use as human walls to make getting anywhere with the opponents army impossible.  Forget coversaves, after the 3rd or 4th turn it will become mathematically improbable for him to get anywhere near his destination or try and kill all the units in the table because the army presents too many targets.  This army is like water, it is not fierce like fire or tough and unbending as the earth, it simply fills the container (the table) until it takes over.  Lastly, like a lot of the vets, I crunch numbers. Yes, it was mainly used for dice results probability, but I crunch numbers to CALCULATE MOVEMENT.  That's how I know if a unit has enough in them to achieve anything, and that's how I track the opponent's progress.

       The most obvious weakness I have is that I am no rules lawyer (I usually defer to rule gurus Freddie and Lucas).  I know the rules, yes, but if anyone says otherwise I'd usually doubt myself.  This mainly stemmed from the fact that I am playing with people I haven't played before means there will be a lot of differences and grey areas.  As generally an outsider coming in the GT, we follow the host’s rules.  I have to ask judges what I can and cannot do.  i.e. We define coversaves differently.  Also, till I faced the Hestan Marines, I thought batch-rolling was mandatory, I was told that it was actually optional. Another one is that I cannot do an emergency disembarkation in a wreck, if the lone access point is blocked even if two other sides are perfectly open.   These are just a few examples.  I honestly played these differently in the south.  If you were in our shoes, you'd understand why we often had to ask for clarifications because we play the game entirely different from where we come from so ambiguity cannot be avoided.  I apologize for any inconvenience.  The lesson here, given that I cannot control any of these factors, I have to master my strategy and make sure to control those factors that I can.

Salubri3i:  This is a really long article filled with many tips on tactics from the writer.  to see the rest, click on "Read More" right below.  (ngayon ko lang natutunan meron pala nun! lol)

Thursday, December 03, 2009

Return of the Comeback

OK where do I actually start….hmmm wow my first GT in 10 years…..a little history hehe, I started playing warhammer 40k back in 1996 where I bought my first box of metal 2nd edition catachan troops. Wow it was around 1,095 php per box then…expensive?! But I loved the metal stuff and the GI Joe feel of it so I was always looking forward to it..after a few weeks and more allowance saved I bought my first Leman Russ Battle Tank! Woot! Finally after all the time I spent playing, painting warhammer from 40k to fantasy…from working as a staff at Neutral Grounds….to finally quitting after the Virra Mall incident…wherin 200k php worth of my entire collection went to ashes ….I never thought to myself I would actually get back to warhammer again….fast forward..2009…March…after much prodding and much consideration (after Freddy Tan also agreed to revive his old Imperial Guard again) I went back into the game. Lo and behold! My first purchase after 10 years I got myself a Space Marine Codex and a Thunderfire Cannon!! (everyone was like WTF that’s useless), well let’s leave the thunderfire cannon story for some other time… after much playing and painting and getting to know the rules all over again (it was a monumental jump from 3rd ed to 5th ed) finally after a few months…GT time…I was in fact excited at the same time tense as I have never joined any GT event let alone play in a competitive environment in a long time. Many new faces where seen after I entered the scene again..the only old dinosaur I still recognize was Ian Kuneho…after actually looking at my space marine collection came Space Wolves…my old 3rd edition army! WOW! Finally I can get those old dogs going again…. Now comes the challenge..painting!! With work in the way and lots of things to do…wedding preps….manning the renovation at our house…I made a little plastic tool box as my mobile painting box….I get to paint on the go…since I really liked the dark angels army color scheme I decided to paint my army in that scheme with a twist of course! I got my GF to paint with me as well, helping me with the painting and basing and all…every time I look at my stuff, I remember how lucky I am to have someone to share my hobby and interests…..mind you she buys some of my stuff too….without me even asking her to..she knows what I need LOL heck she can play if she wants to…. The dog army I built was actually not as competitive as others would think it was…it was more fluffy than competitive… most of the constructing time spent was making those thunderwolves…I built them from scratch..I was inspired to actually field them in combat… anyway come GT time…I was skeptic…I was nervous..I was happy..finally, a GT after such a long time….I had a great time those 2 days of gaming, after making lots of warhammer friends in galleria and having a blast playing! It was good to see the old faces like dpaul and Fred Yu…and it was a welcome sight to see Sir Lito play in a GT…and of course finally a Neutral Grounds WH 40K event!!

I never thought I’d actually win it….

Wednesday, December 02, 2009

The Steel Falcon Experience - an account of the 2009 WH40K GT

I always look forward to Warhammer 40K Grand Tournaments.

I have been playing 40K for 6 years now and I think I haven’t missed one GT yet (not sure though, as there’s one year’s worth of lost gaming time I can’t account for).

My primary motivation in joining is not the awards – just to be clear, I want to win any of the categories… and it’s obvious I have a preference for a certain category that you can win even before the GT, not dependent on dice rolls or tactics, and the probability for winning it is directly related to the amount of time you spend working on your army. :D Anyways, back to motivation – more GTs means less unpainted plastics in boxes at home. A GT is a “carrot on a stick” for me to be able to finish an army… and we all know the last part in completing an army is painting, basing and flocking, which are all related to the Best Painted Army category.

Each army I have, I build with the GT in mind. After my first GT I swore to myself that from then on I would always work on my army in advance and I would never, ever, stay up late until the morning of the GT to finish painting my army. Now I am thinking, maybe instead of swearing an oath, I could have put a curse on myself as the last minute painting marathon overnight on the eve of the GT sessions never left me… and this year was no exception, only more challenging.

This year was a true test. Below is a brief recap of what I had to go through to get that new Steel Falcon (counts as Ravenwing) army to the table come round 1 :

- The components of the army have been purchased at Neutral Grounds within 2-3 months after the current Dark Angels codex came out. If memory serves me right, that was in 2007. The bikes and speeders were all assembled and primed black within a month. The vindicators were meant for a Black Templar based army, converted much earlier using Empire mortar bits, dreadnought arms and heavy bolter sponsons from the predator kit (this was done when there was no plastic vindicator kit released yet… but still the conversion is 100% GW). This gives you an idea as to how far my painting backlog is. Also, that also means my unit choices were never influenced by the current metagame (just a coincidence I was packing 5 multi-meltas and 3 meltaguns)… well, except for the 2 vindicators.

- I settled on a colour scheme (which is crucial if you are entertaining thoughts on bagging the painting award) about a week after this year’s GT was announced – yeah, the army was in all-black glory for about 2 years, thank you. I basically decided that an all black army was too boring, and that space marines are probably smart enough to wear matte armour (instead of shiny) even if their chapter name was Steel Falcons. Same scheme as the original, but this time with what I call “cheater’s NMM gray” instead of boltgun metal as base.

- I was painting at an ok pace. I remember knowing I would finish with 2 weeks left to spare. I was planning to use those 2 weeks for practice games. I was also aiming for the Over-all championship, you know… and then….

- Ondoy… I wouldn’t discuss this anymore save for saying I lost about 1 month focusing on real life. Played the Ondoy card too many times already.

- Heaven sent assistance – went to NG, saw the citadel spray gun, an angel in the form of Manongguard providing the final words to convince me to buy it. This was about a month before the GT. Saved me time doing one step in my painting process, which was painting on a dark tone of the main colour I am using for shade… this was supposed to be me mixing chaos black and codex grey and painting the mix by hand onto the whole army… would have taken me a week… with the spray gun I did it in 2 hours. Hallelujah!

- Magnificent find number 2 – Woodland Scenics Scenic Cement. I went on a trip to Cubao after a long while to get basing stuff from the hobby store in Ali Mall, as all my mini rocks, modeling sand, flocking materials were washed away. In the display case was the said product. Seals my bases nicely, in matte. Cool. Will be experimenting on this for future projects.

- From then on it was just me, my paints and brushes, discussions with the wifey on staying-up late painting, and trudging on painting shades of grey, shades of red, shades of brown, and black and white. With the ambitious plans in painting the army in a new way for me, I knew about 1 week before the GT that I woudn’t finish the army in time. I had help from what Salubri and I call “painting elves” (painting elves is just me painting overnight without sleep) on GT eve and GT eve plus 1… déjà vu of my first GT.

I’ll try to post some pics here in the next few days. I’ll locate some of the in progress figs left to give you an idea on my step by step process.

Parting shot - you may think from all the things I said that I am just one of them painting jocks. I still don’t consider myself one of the warhammer painting elite. I am not humble, “mataas lang ang standards”… hehe. I was also lucky none of them painting gurus showed up to join. Anyways, I also pack a mean game and a killer smile, so I am a triple threat!!! I think I finished 4th or 5th overall, if my estimates are correct… I am not sure. My only loss was against Patrick.

Kidding aside, I had a great time last weekend. Thanks to Neutral Grounds and the Untouchables (the volunteer judges and photographers) for the well-run GT. This GT may have set a record of sorts in having the most number of player wives, girlfriends and kids in attendance. I think my wife now appreciates why we are what we are, whatever the hell that is :D

Now I am still wasting time doing nothing at home but stare at my new shiny precious trophy. No work being done on any army at all, although I already cashed-in my store credits :D. Hopefully next GT I wont be saying “here we go again”… but, come to think of it, I wouldn’t mind the sleepless nights if that’s what it takes to get another shiny thing.

As always, see you at the gaming tables.

Your friendly neighborhood 40K retired newbie rapist - The Steel Falcon

WH40K GT Pictures

The cast and crewas taken by the super-gwapo photographer.

I mostly spent my time taking pictures during the GT, going through more than 600 photos taken between two cameras and three lenses. The light was terrible even with my stupid Sigma Speedlite (mental note: get a couple of Nikon Speedlites ASAP). All in all, I managed to post-process 120 salvagable shots from the D300. I haven't gone through the photos taken with my backup cam.

I hope you enjoy the pics. Please feel free to grab and repost. I would appreciate it if you could repost this version with my nametag attached instead of the ones that were posted on the NG Facebook site (tulungan niyo ang semi-career ko as a Photographer), better yet, leave me a note on my multiply site just so I know you went by.

The complete albums can be accessed through these links:

Warhammer 40KGT 2009 Album 1
Warhammer 40KGT 2009 Album 2

Thanks Guys,


Another GT Comes and Goes!

Written by Freddie Yu
Veteran 40k Player and Co-Overall for the 2009 GT held by Neutral Grounds

Picture this......a room full of laughing people moving toy soldiers and rolling dice. Lots of tables lined up and painted armies in action. A set of trophies prominently displayed to be won. Shouts of success, groans of failure. Scenes from last weekend's GT? Nope. This was a scene sketched in my head when I participated in my first WHFB GT around 10 years ago, in a location somewhere in QC.

Flash forward to last weekend. Same scene, except this time the GT was in a more public place in Robinson's Galleria. This is 1 big change from 10 years ago. Our hobby has grown in exposure in that it once could be considered elitist and underground, but is hopefully gaining momentum as a more "mainstream" game, which is good as it nets new blood, more exposure, and therefore potential FRIENDS to meet, know, game and have fun with, both during the game and after the game!

This year's 40K GT is definitely a successfull one. Kudos to Freddie Tan and the organizing team! Getting 18 people to compete in a 5 game 2 day event is a feat. There have been past GT's where only 8 people showed up! I completely agree that a GT should have at least 4 games, as 3 games may penalize early losers who had the bad luck in the early matchups. The scenario breakdown and variety was also good, although the vortex grenade scenario was a bit over the top as it tends to penalize elite armies. I would have dummied down the effects of the vortex to be more like a melta blast with ap1 that causes d3 wounds and is autopinning, but hey if them US folks can live with this scenario then so can we!

Another thing I would like to comment is that for the existing environment, it is difficult to complete 5 turns in 2.5 hours for armies like my horde IG. In the old days, 2 hours was enough as pointage was at 1500, and most armies then were marines. Veterans have noticed that GW has been slowly pushing for armies to have more model counts in both 40k and WHFB, as that is good for business. In addition, horde armies are getting to be the norm, as GW started to make more plastics, unlike in the eraly days of 3rd ed 40k when the IG, nids and Orks only had metal infantry models (Ouch!!!). I remember the days when a WHFB chaos army had only around 25 models in a 2000 pt army! And SM armies only 30+ models. My advice is that GT tourneys in malls where you have set opening and closing times MUST start earlier. This gives more leeway for time extensions. In 2006 when we organized the 40K and WHFB GT this was no problem as we held the events separately outside the malls, and I insisted we started early. We held 4 games in 1 day, and there were no complaints of short times, stalling, etc. There were no PYTs though to look at. Nothing is ever perfect anyway!

As a gamer and participant, my experience and advice can be summed up in the way I do my "Emperor's Prayer" die roll. Give your army the energy and "feel" and personal touch! When you create your list, think of a personal story and fluff for them. In general, organizers reward armies which are not "cookie cutter" or lists optimized just to win. There may be tourneys where there is an army composition score. This "personal touch" effect extends to painting. Painting (and good basing! People underestimate how well done bases highten the overall look and cohesion of the army!) not only makes your army look good, but makes playing with you more enjoyeable. I do not know of anyone who does not enjoy playing versus a well painted army.

However, my best advice is to come into GTs with a healthy attitude of playing the game to have fun. We all want to win, that is for sure, but to do that with a poor attitude robs a good gaming experience for your opponents. In addition, certain conventions should be clarified, explained, and re-explained before the tourney starts (like for dice rolling) as misunderstanding arises among people who do not play regularly versus each other over these issues. It is really bad to leave the GT with the feeling you were cheated (I know, as I was a victim of this in my first toruney!), or worst be accused of cheating even though you really did not cheat! It is understandable that certain people are hot blooded and really want to win, but to do this at the expense of your enemy is really poor form. In a community as small as ours, word gets around, and sadly such a player may become ostracized from the community by his/her own actions, which is really a shame. So everyone brighten up! And any new opponent is an opportunity to gain a good friend. I have gained a kumpare through this hobby (Sir Larry), and I'm sure others also as well!

Again, any new GT brings distinct memories. Past ones include wiping out Warner's 500 pt Chaos Knight unit with the "Assault of Stone" spell from my Slann, My Slann Mage getting killed by the Staff of Nurgle by Pat Uy's Chaos Sorceror on a Griffon, then it being wiped out by poisoned skink arrows the next turn, My saurus warrior unit surviving a charge from Pat's Chaos night unit by rolling a lot of 6's for the "Scaly skin" save, then grinding them down in the next turns, killing Sunny's Orc Giant in the first turn with a single cannonball shot, seeing Arthur (Omegatron) do a first turn inflitrate then flame toasting my HQ with his Chaos Raptors led by a lord, and of course winning the WHFB Best general plums in 2002 and 2004, and Best overall in 2003 and 2005. This year adds a lowly guardsman dealing the final wound to Ghazskull Thrakka the turn the Beast charged, thus gaining me the primary objective, Matthew's horrendous luck as Edlrad Ulthran's unit and 2 more skimmers are sucked in the warp by Vortex grenades, and definitely the 5 1's I rolled for the to wound roll from a flamer hit on Paulo's infantry, which failed to remove it as a scoring threat! And of course, winning the 40K Best Overall title together with Pat Chua. I also got to game versus new people like Felix and Wiley. I hope to do so again!

Great memories, good friends, and having a blast moving toy soldiers in a friendly competitive atmosphere, win or lose. THAT is the essence of WH GT gaming. Long live 40K and WHFB (although GW really does have to settle the imbalance issues with WHFB)!

Tuesday, December 01, 2009

Wave Serpent Alpha

I just finished the detail work on my first Wave Serpent. I'm pretty happy with how this project is turning out. It's just sad that I couldn't finish in time for the GT. This probably would have given Emcee's beautiful gray Ravenwing army a challenge at the very least.

The base is in homage to Jun Ubay's Tau army... the prime reason I got into 40K. I saw his army displayed in the old Galleria NG and thought to myself, "Hmm... I can do that too." More than 10 armies later, I think I'm still getting there (maybe 25% of the way there.). Progress is progress.

As a side note, six of my current stash of seven serpents (aba alliteration) have had their initial coat of mango yellow and dark blue applied. From there I would need to highlight each one and then proceed to ink-lining and detailing. Hope I finish within the year.

Taken with my D300 paired with my Tokina 100mm Macro prime lens and with the help of a Sigma Speedlite and my trusty light tent. Please post your comments.

*my sensor seems to be really dirty. sigh.

For more pictures please visit the Wave Serpent Alpha entry in my photoblog. Comments welcome.

After GT report

Congrats to the winners again. Balian texted me the list but I seem to have misplaced it. Perhaps we can have a few articles from the winners? The ones I'd like to put here would be:

Best Over All - Overall take on the GT. Your experiences (and maybe lessons you learned?)
Best General - Blow by blow account of his games or atleast his winning strategies for each game.
Best Painted/Player's Choice - An article on how you painted your army.

Whaddaya guys think? Can you honor these pages with those? Let's have something to mark the event with. I'll pin them on the side bar under Soldier's Journal sana.

Sunday, November 22, 2009

Journal # 120 - the games before the storm...

Nov. 21, 2009

Attendance: JR, Wiley, Ian, George, Ryan, Joshua, JB, Martie, Matthew, Roy, Lester, Rodski, with special appearances from Jay and Patrick

Game 1
JR (Blood Angels) vs Joshua (SM- Ultramarines)
Points: 1000
Mission: Seize Ground
Deployment: Pitched Battle
JR wins!

Game 2
Lester (SM) vs Roy (SM)
Points: 680
Mission: Annihilation
Deployment: Pitched Battle
Roy Wins! (3-2)

Game 3
JB (IG) vs Joshua (SM-Ultramarines)
Points: 600

Mission: Annihilation

Deployment: Pitched Battle

JB wins via tapout!

Game 4

Ian (Tyranids) vs George (Orks)

Points: 1500

Mission: Annihilation

Deployment: Pitched Battle

Ian wins via tap-out! (Bottom of 2nd )

Game 5

Matthew (Eldar) vs Dennis (SM)

Points: 1850

Mission: Annihilation

Deployment: Spearhead

Matthew Wins! (8-5)

Game 6

Wiley (SM-Ultramarines) vs Martie (Orks)

Points: 1850

Mission: Annihilation

Deployment: Pitched Battle

Wiley wins via tap-out! (Top of 4th)

Game 7

Ryan (SM-Salamanders) vs Matthew (Eldar)

Points: 1850

Mission: Seize Ground

Deployment: Spearhead

Matthew wins! (1 claimed, 2 contested)

Game 8

Roy (SM) vs Rodski (SM)

Points: 600

Mission: Annihilation

Deployment: Dawn of War

Rodski wins via tap-out!

Session ends 6:45 pm

Thursday, November 19, 2009

When Math isn’t Math anymore

Old Skool-New Skool Series (Article 1)
Insights on 4th edition strategies in a 5th edition world
*sorry about the images - I forgot to take my cam off of ISO3200 after I did some night work*

Fluke? The 1Ksons had no way of winning against Shrike in 4th ed.Some of you may know this about me. I may not look it, but I number-crunch a lot. Number-crunching actually takes up a third of the major elements in my strategy. I number-crunch when I’m making army lists (mostly to evaluate weird lists and their efficiency). I number-crunch while playing. I number-crunch when doing post-mortem. Heck, I number-crunch when I’m reading my codices while taking a crap (beware all you who would dare borrow my codices). It is unsurprising, when viewed from this perspective, that I would tend to attempt to go back to my old ways now that I have returned to 40K gaming.

It was during my first battle under the 5th edition rules (and the beating I got from Matthew’s Eldar) that I noticed how my math simply does not work anymore… at least not the way I expected it to.

The predator praying that he makes his cover saves.My brand of number-crunching is all about 1)reducing random results when possible, and 2) anticipating randomness through a crude probability computation. In my golden years, I could very effectively predict the outcome of assaults with a 2 model/wound margin of error. This allowed me to anticipate the chances my units will win in a particular combat and, more importantly, how long the combat would hold before my units or the opposing units get wiped-out. Gone are those days and here are the major reasons why:

1. Assault – The wound allocation rules are putting me off. A lot of my computations relied on the powerfist guaranteedly surviving the round of assault. Current wound allocation rules dictates that you have to distribute wounds prior to taking saves.

2. Shooting at units – Cover saves are awesome! I knew this way back when I was playing Nightlords. In fact, I would spend the extra 5 points per marine for Stealth Adept except on my assaulty units. Now everyone gets the 4+ invulnerable save I used to have to pay for. This rule adds 50% randomization to my results as compared to the 33% that I had to contend with using old rules.

True-line-of-sight is also putting me off. Do I have to anticipate the 4+ cover save for that unit or don’t I?

3. Shooting at Vehicles– Vehicles taking a cover save? A new set of Glancing Hits results? I hope I get used to this. There was a time when cover meant “Glancing Hits Only”. I abused this rule through my Manongguard patented T-Rhino Assault Formation which basically guaranteed a maximum of only 2 glanceable transports as my opponent’s legal targets per turn. No randomness.

I cannot seem to get the hang of computing for results based on the chances of getting an immobilized or destroyed result when you compound the new table with the cover rules. I end up shooting land raiders with 8 bright-lances a turn and coming up with nothing.
Rhino’s in-turn, are ultra-easy to pop (it’s just sad that I use so many rhinos). Pop-smoke and you only get a 50% chance to become unpoppable. Sigh.

4. Assaulting Vehicles – What?! Units always get to assault the rear? They simply made the Land Raider a bigger monster and made everything else afraid of getting assaulted (Why do they love the Land Raider so much – I have 2 CSM armies and an SM army and not one Land Raider).

Now protecting the rhino's rear does squat in assault.I’m at my most vulnerable right now and it’s a wonder that I haven’t lost any of my games so far. I don’t know if I will ever get back to number-crunching on the table or if it’s simply time to let the dice gods have their way with me.

Just some thoughts from an old dog trying to… you know the rest.

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Iyanden Ghosts - St. Luke's Chapter

The result of three days (and change) cooped up in St Luke's while "Stoney" was being treated. I went through a Urethroscopy + Lithosomethingoranother. It's basically the joy of inserting a camera equipped with a jackhammer through your genitals.

Silver lining was that I got some painting done. I finished 4 Wraithguards, 1 Wraithlord, and 10 Storm Guardians (Conversions - Still have to paint the gems and base of 5 of em). Mostly, this builds my painting speed confidence. I might be able to finish the entire army before the year ends... maybe even before the GT.

Tell me what you think.

Photos were taken using my D300 with the PLASTIC MASTER. Light-tent shots were taken in my house.

Monday, November 16, 2009

Journal # 119 - GT around the corner gaming

November 14, 2009

Attendance - Henri, Ryan, Wiley, Lester, Romy, Joel, Matthew, Martie, JB, , Chino, and Raz with special appearances from JR, Patrick, JB Baylon, and Anton.

Game 1
Ryan (SM-Salamanders) vs Henri (Space Wolves)
Points: 1850
Mission: Annihilation
Deployment: Pitched Battle
Ryan wins! (7-5)

Game 2
Raz (SM) vs Lester (SM-Ultramarines)
Mission: Annihilation
Deployment: Dawn of War
Lester wins via wipeout!

Game 3
Matthew (Eldar) vs Wiley (SM-Ultramarines)
Points: 1850
Mission: Annihilation
Deployment: Pitched Battle
Wiley wins! (8-5)

Game 4
Ryan (SM-Salamanders) vs Martie (Orks)
Points: 1850
Mission: Seize Ground
Deployment: Dawn of War
Martie Wins! (1-0)

Game 5
Joel (CSM- Deathguard) vs Henri (Space Wolves)
Points: 1500
Mission: Capture and Control
Deployment:Pitched Battle
Joel Wins! (2-0)

Game 6
Romy (Dark Eldar) vs Wiley (SM-Ultramarines)
Points: 1850
Mission: Annihilation
Deployment: Spearhead
Wiley wins! (14-2)

Game 7
Chino (Blood Angels) and Joshua (SM-Ultramarines) vs JB (IG)
Points: 2000
Mission: To Be Determined
Deployment: To Be Determined
Result: To Be Determined

Duck Season!

At long last the local 40k players have reason to rejoice once again. The 40k Grand Tournament is just around the corner! After an extended hiatus, Neutral Grounds will be holding the event that many players dream of in their sleep(admit it. especially you power-gamerERs! yes I mean you! :P). Sadly I will be sitting this one out as I focus on other things for now... and yes it has something to do with women... and robots... giant ones... ah but I digress. So what's this post all about? I wanted to leave you guys with some last reminders in case you lose your way while gunning for that most coveted "Overall Champ" award.

Be a sport!
Remind your opponent if he forgot something. Be gracious to your opponent. Don't get hung up on rules arguments. Don't roll your dice with the specific intent of downing your opponent's cheesiest models as though they were bowling pins! If someone does that tell them you'll ram your ork battle wagon up their behind... but say it politely! :D In other words... BE NICE, PLAY NICELY! I remember what I used to do with the sportsmanship scoring(back when it was done by giving the opponent a score of 1-10, 10 being the highest). We start the game I assume my opponent gets a full 10. For every offense I deducted one point. lol But just so you know none of my opponents ever got below 8. Maybe it was the dagger looks I kept throwing at them to make them behave. >:D

Be mindful of the time!
Tournament matches run on a tight schedule. Be conscious of the time you're consuming each turn. Try to finish your game within the time constraints. Nothing feels worse than losing because your opponent took too long on his game turns that you had to end your game before you even got to pull your earth-shattering-skirt-blowing-mind warping-butt kicking... where was I? Oh that's right. Strategy. I meant to say strategy!

For Santa's Sake Paint your freaking Toy Soldiers!Paint your figs. I'll avoid expounding on this as that's an entire chapter filled with horror stories and bitter gripes. Paint your figs and do it to the best of your abilities. If you've ever been to a room full of well painted figs... the experience itself can be rewarding. I gather you'll feel much like Gulliver in Lilliput. Just don't get carried away and start stomping on the little guys. I mean hey! Some of those can really hurt your foot!

Accept the Bitter Aftermath
So you won. So you annihilated your opponents. So you grinded them beneath your heel. If you're not satisfied with that try not to complain. The most important thing about playing Warhammer... and this is so overused it's cheesy... is about the experience of gaming with your buddies. The chance for you and your opponents to enjoy some good old fashioned butt kicking on the table top. If you had fun and they had fun don't be disappointed if you didn't win. There's always next year! Don'g get angry. Get even! ;)

So with that said on the night of November 27 pack all your things. Don't forget your codex, dice, white dwarf articles, GW FAQs, tape measures and most of all don't forget your armies! On November 28 and 29 show up well groomed(that also means you have to cut your nails and clean your ears!) and have the time of your life. We're only this young once. (Coz in Never Never land we never grow! :P)

This pre tournament reminder is paid for by the friends of Salubri3i

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Journal #118 - 40K and Fantasy Gaming

Game 1
Points: 1850
Mission: ?
Deployment: ?
Emcee SW vs JB IG
JB Wins!!! 2 - 1 -1

Game 2
Points: 1850
Mission: ?
Deployment: ?
Martie(Orks) vs. Pat (SW)
Martie wins1-0

Game 3
Points: 2000
Mission: ?
Deployment: ?
Jesse(luna wolves) vs Ryan(salamanders)
3-1 Jesse Wins!!!

Game 4
Points: 2000
Mission: ?
Deployment: ?
Joel(CSM - Deathguard ) vs Jay (CSM - Thousand Sons)
2-1 in favor of the 1Ksons.

Warhammer Fantasy:
Points: 2000
Mission: ?
Deployment: ?
Jojo (CHAOS ) vs henri (empire)
Jojo Wins via annihilation!!!

Monday, November 09, 2009

My 40K Photographs so far...

Some links to my photoblog that you might find interesting. The first three are Iyanden progress photos, the fourth link is just me fooling around with extension tubes and my Salamanders, while the last one is about my DIY Light Tent (Thousand Sons used to test). You might find this useful if you are into mini photography.

Eldar Craftworld Iyanden
First Iyanden Guardians Squad
Manong's (wraith)Guard

The Making of the Salamanders

Return of the Thousand Sons

Let's do a professional BattleRep soon with two fully painted armies and wicked terrain. I'm very willing to photograph. Salubri or Emcee, maybe you should volunteer your armies.