Monday, June 15, 2009

Inaugural Post

So, this is my first post. My real name is Josh, but since the internet was invented FOR nerds BY nerds, my moniker around these parts shall be "Lord Captain Valentine". I guess some explaining is in order...this is my first blog and it is just for me and any of my friends who should stumble on to it. The title, "Anima Æternus" is a latin phrase meaning, roughly:

"Everlasting Breath of Life"

The chief focus of this site will be for me to ramble on about cool things. Stuff that I think is cool, and maybe you will to...if anyone reads this.
Some future posts might be about:
*Warhammer 40,000
*Video Games of some varieties
*Good Sci-Fi and Fantasy books
*Real-world military stuff (I was in the Marines for four years...maybe I'll have "War Story Wednesday?)
*Politics and Business (I do tend to think that the meaning of life is in the "Accounting Equation")
*Men's Fashion (and no, I don't mean your shell necklace and sweet board shorts, dude)
*Gardening, Urban Farming, sustainability, and all that green stuff
*MUSIC...oh god yes the music!
*Movies, etc, etc, etc.

So, without further introduction, here is something nerdy and awesome that I have just gotten the hang of: Using VASSAL to make Warhammer 40,000 battle reports. Apparently, the VASSAL engine can be used to re-create many classic board and tabletop games. I have done a very, very rough mock up of a battle a played a few days ago (coincidentally with another 40k gamer al
so named fact, around the store I am known as "Other Josh"). My apologies to Josh if I have got the details of the battle mixed up. I don't honestly remember enough to even do a turn by turn, but the VASSAL engine reminded me so much of the quality battle reports that used to feature in White Dwarf, and I wanted to show it off to my few good gaming buddies. For some reason getting the pictures on here caused them to lose a lot of their resolution. Sorry...

Here was our deployment, as best I recall:
Josh is all of that Eldar stuff in the top left corner (He actually had nicely painted blue Eldar, but there weren't any blue Eldar in VASSAL). I am, of course, the red stuff in the bottom right. Long live the Blood Angels!

The first few turns...
The early game consisted of my baal predator and a rhino BOTH getting stuck in the trees along the bottom, while the razorback with them got blown up, forcing its five man squad to try to dash across open ground and into cover. I advanced my wall of armor, and offered Dante and his Death Company guys as bait, to try to get the seer council locked in combat so I could counter-charge them with my dreadnoughts. Instead, a falcon flew up, delivered its Dire Avengers, and they promptly gunned down Dante and his buddies (All those skulls on the hilltop). So far I was down, 3-0 in kill points, but at least one falcon also immobilized itself in terrain (far left).
The Seer Council strikes...and fails
So my tanks down at the bottom are still just sitting there, apparently unable to get the logs out of their axles. The Seer Council charged through the ruins in the center to engage my Baal pred and two dreadnoughts. Unfortunately for Josh, two warlocks died going through the terrain. Also, the council stuck last since they assaulted through cover, allowing me to squish two more. They did knock out the Baal predator that had entered the ruins. Still, the counter-attack I had hoped for worked out, and the assault squad I keep riding around with Corbulo jumped out just in case the dreads counldn't handle it. And so, the last warlock and the farseer went down. You can see in these pics (sorry; I lost some resolution somewhere and so it isn't looking good to enlarge them...also I was too lazy to go in and crop the battle layouts) the Eldar tanks just sitting back there, though. With a lucky pop of my standard predator's autocannon, suddenly none of of my long range weapons could even scratch Josh's tanks. To make things worse, all of my meltaguns were stuck on my slower-moving dreads and with my infantry, who were foot-slogging around due to their transports being destroyed, stuck in the woods, or having stalled engines. Josh shot up the five-man squad that had lost their razorback early on, giving him a firm 4-2 lead in kill points. I would have to pull something out...

The End Game
I was steadily advancing on the Eldar in their tanks, and without the Seer Council, they really had no credible close combat threat to me. Still, they could just keep backing away out of melta range, leaving me entirely unable to harm them. So some fun stuff happened in the last few turns. I rammed one wave serpent with my autocannon-less predator, stunning it so it couldn't move or fire. I lost one more tank to the constant flurry of long-range Eldar firepower, tipping to score even further towards Josh, who led 5-3.
Then, I finally got some lucky melta hits and popped two tanks. One spilled o
ut six Fire Dragons and the other a bunch of Dire Avengers. If I could eliminate one squad, the game would be a tie...both, and I would seize victory at the very end. Ultimately, I failed...just barely. You can see at the top of this pic that my squad has assaulted the Dire Avengers, but they didn't wipe them out easily. Making it frustrating for me too was the fact that one of my dreadnoughts was only 1/2" outside of charge range. You can see he's lost both weapons, but a Death Company Furioso has plently of attacks, even without its arms. I gunned down all but one Fire Dragon, and also frustratingly, he was outside of assault range for my other two dreads.
So, the game ended on turn 6, with Josh defeating me 5-4. Still, it was a great game, filled with fun moments and surprising turnarounds. I think that for a player of my general skill level (which is fairly low; been out of the game a while), I can claim a big moral victory for defeating the Seer Council. I HATE those bike seer councils. I know that my army is not alone in its lack of a WHOLE UNIT with INVULNERABLE SAVES...oh, and throw in Eldrad so that they can get fortune and re-roll those saves. Still, Josh's mistake of assaulting me through cover really cost him, although that council was going down on the counter-charge, even if he hadn't had been at a disadvantage (well, maybe). These were both our probable tournament lists for the Mind Games Yearly Classic 3 in August, so it was nice for me to not just get easily rolled over.

Well...that is about all I have to say about 40k tonight. If you are thinking, "hey, Lord Crap-tain, I found this blog I want to get learned-up on my should get on over and talk to Stelek and the Crew and learn something.

More to follow later,
Lord Captain Valentine

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