Thursday, August 22, 2013

Why Microsoft Customer Service Sucks, and why I recomend never purchasing from them.

You'll have to have patience with me for this post 40k fans. Sorry. I'm irritated beyond belief, and this being my blog. I really need to vent and get it out there. This is the story and part of an email I sent to Microsoft support, and to make good on my communication indicating I would tell everyone I knew how bad their shit stinks, this is said spreading of message.

Oh and a black legion codex thoughts coming next post, as well as the RTT recap.

Want to guess what the problem was? I ordered a Microsoft surface pro, 128, ($900) for my wife,  from their online store. I paid using a Debit card (mistake 1), and then when it arrived broken, expected the quick return / replacement of said device with a working one (mistake 2)

So the trigger for this rage post, was after spending multiple days and hours on the phone with Microsoft, I finally got an email indicating I was receiving a refund, and thank you very much for my time. I could re-purchase the product I had returned to Microsoft once my bank account clears the funds.

While this isn't exactly the worst result ever (at least I get my money back, theoretically, as its not actually in my bank account yet). The irritation of having multiple customer service reps assure me that an exchange would occur, I would be sent a new device, and all the hours wasted on the phone with idiocy just infuriates me.

The customer service I’ve received has been some of the worst I’ve ever experienced. It took multiple phone calls over several days, hours on the phone, lots of times being transferred between different reps and departments, and then to add insult to injury, Microsoft still screwed up handling my exchange request. 

Oh and the total joy, was whenever I talked to a new rep, I'd have to repeat the entire story / situation to get them up to speed, as apparently the logs they kept with my reference numbers were minimal / nonexistent. Usually about the time they understood my problem (15 mins or so of communication), and that I just wanted a simple exchange, it would be time to transfer me again! Maybe they have a buzzer? like chess-clocks?

Seriously, let’s examine the chain of events. First, the number of reference numbers I got just so people know I'm not bullshitting.





1) I order a surface pro from Microsoft's online store, overnight shipping, which somehow ends up being 4 days later.

2) Receive surface pro, the device is broken and cannot power on, even after following all troubleshooting steps and confirming that the power cord works and is charging the product correctly.

3) I call customer service at the Microsoft store to get an exchange on my device, something which should NOT be difficult, at all

4) After being bounced around for literally an hour and a half between the surface pro tech support department, and the Microsoft store customer service, I finally get someone to who agrees to handle my exchange for me. It is made clear I want an exchange, with a new working device sent to me, and to return the old one ASAP, as the device is intended for a student about to attend classes at university. Both the surface tech rep and the customer service rep agreed to this, and said this would be the case.

5) A shipping label is sent to me, via email, which is utilized to ship back the device.

6) I mail the device back to Microsoft on Friday of the same week from a UPS store.

7) Later, I receive an email from a "Joe", who sends me yet another return label instruction, as well as notifies me that my return will be processed

8) I write back to Joe, stating my confusion and indicating that I had already received a shipping label and provide said reference

9) Joe writes back and says he will close the case then

10) This week, I check the tracking number to see that the device was returned properly. I had not received any new information from Microsoft for the device I was expecting, so I call the Microsoft customer service again. I get bounced around for approximately an hour and a half (coincidence? maybe they have a timing clock to see if people drop off), and then sit on hold approximately 45 minutes while the reps between the surface technical support and the customer service department work it out. Eventually, I am told that a manager for the customer service department will contact me later this week, and my problem will be sorted out by said manager. Ref: 1214745360

So then I received the email mentioned at the beginning of this post, which is extremely unhelpful, does not provide me a solution, other than to repurchase a product which could have easily been exchanged.
I, apparently idiotically, trustingly purchased the surface pro on my debit card rather than using a credit card. Microsoft's solution apparently is to force me to wait until the cash is returned to my bank account, and then have me charge it again.
Never mind that Microsoft is essentially holding onto my money for a period of time, forcing a delay on a product which was needed THIS WEEK, and will be unable to re-purchase for an extended time period due to the way bank accounts are credited.
 (Assuming I wanted to, which I don't).

Oh! and something I just now remembered, one of the repeated solutions offered to me by the "customer service" people, was to use my card to immediately "purchase" a new product over the phone, and then wait for a refund on my previous product. This as you can imagine, pissed me off a great deal. Yes Microsoft, let me hand you an extra $1,000, to replace a product which was defective, and I can trustingly wait for you to refund me.

It's freaking stupid.

Don't buy from Microsoft, they suck.

Saturday, August 17, 2013

RTT at Huzzah Hobbies in Ashburn VA Sunday Aug 18th. 1850

The title pretty much says it all. Our normal every third sunday of the month 1850 RTT at huzzah hobbies is tomorrow. I posted it on the usual forums  but forgot to post here.

registration starts at 10am, first game at 1045. Entry is 15 and covers lunch. The rest is rolled directly into prize  support. As usual we do not require any painting or fancing basing. Though if we decide this time around to judge a best overall or best painted, that will obviously help. Missions will be from the NOVA.

Thursday, August 15, 2013

also this - Space Hulk released today.

Space Hulk? Yes Please.

Space hulk is an awesome table top game. I'm seriously stoked to start playing it in two hours.

I wish this wasn't true. But it is.

Going to link so as to not steal credit. But this sum's up my feelings on my CSM book that I keep struggling to make work.

Seriously, it is that bad, if not worse. Even chaos terminators suck and land raiders suck.

Notice my lists area always - cultists, spawn, Maulerfiends, a helldrake, and some super beefy cheesed out lords that basically do all the heavy lifting in the army by themselves.

Eldar high strength, long range shooting make that list no longer viable under any circumstances. So now CSM went from, "it might work if i move my models carefully and think moves through" to, "i'm tabled top of turn 2, lets go get a beer".

You litterally can't do anything else. Oblits get shreded by wave serpents, land raiders die to wraith knights, or get ignored, and when the tasty insides pop out, those get shredded.

Spawn suck against models they can never reach, and don't have any saves against, and get wounded on 2's or 3's.

helldrake is super easy to shoot down with twin liked S6 and S7 guns that on average put out a combined snap firing average of 6 to 10 shots a turn.


Thanks GW, for making CSM the shittiest book in 6th edition. Even the helldrake isn't enough to keep it afloat anymore.

Maybe its time to "FAQ" some point costs around to make them viable (but not OP) like you all did for dark angels. Reducing the point costs from the plain marines to around 9 or 10 a model would be a good start. Reducing the cost of the upgrades, and the other suggestions made in the above linked post. Maybe make it so Chaos LR's are a few points less, since its their only assault delivery platform which is viable (one might argue at this point its their only viable vehicle period). Maybe lower the costs of all the cult marines by 1 or 2 pts a model, especially khorne bserkers which hugely suck now.

Oblits, spawns, maulerfiends, forgefiends these kinds of models are actually fairly priced in the codex. It's all about the shitty marines not working.

Oh and Mutilators suck. Based on the new rumors, it seems mutilators are the shitty version of the new beasts you guys are releasing for vanilla marines. Superrrr

I've been struggling to make a list for NOVA for the past two months. Tau made things interesting, it was spicy, but not unplayable. Their overwatch is killer and made the only real viable list I could pull out of the CSM book, a difficult but not insurmountable match up. Daemon allies helped mitigate it, to make Tau, my hard counter. Which is fine, every list should have hard counters.

But, as is aptly pointed out, CSM troops suck, horrifically. If you invest any respectable amount of points into troops, you end up not being able to have any tools for any real damage output. My teams lists for adepticon took plague marines, which is about the best MEQ troop you can pull out of that book, and even they fall down on the job for their point cost. 150 pts for 5 dudes with 2 plasma guns, an extra 35 pts if you want them to be mobile, an extra 10 points if you want them to add some synergy to your army with dozers and dirgecasters. Suddenly its 195pts for 5 guys, in their own personal little deathbox. So they get blown up turn 1 most likely, and then.... hang around midfield adding a mostly ineffectual weight of firepower to the game. Essentially just waiting their turn to die, or in a lot cases, frankly just ignored.

I do love plague marines, i think they are an excellent MEQ as far as things go, its hard to argue with T5, FnP, Poisoned Meele, and 2 specialist weapons. But its still difficult to make a list involving them which can sustain itself.

So now I've been pulling my hair out. NOVA is a few short weeks away. Every suggestion I've gotten for help on my list I've hated. 3 land raiders? fuck no. Triple helldrake? No!
Those are extreme builds, involve spending money and lots of time to paint, and most likely are not even really going to work anyways. I mean seriously, 3 Land raiders are going to do about nothing. Poor quality shooting, if the model moves at all it has to start snap firing, can't fire at multiple targets... woo.

Triple helldrake has a smaller amount of promise, but that's assuming I get an AMAZING alpha strike off, because otherwise people are going to dance around to my rear armor, and unload.

So that's where i am, its a few weeks from NOVA, and I've got almost nothing I can do with my book. And in case its not obvious, I'm pretty pissed about it.

Monday, August 12, 2013

IFL Finals - three battle reports, CSM vs. different TAU armies


This is the a recap of my final three games for the IFL league. These final three games were played in an RTT format with the other top 8 players from the league. Of the top 8 players, they consisted  of tau or eldar, with an exception for myself  and two others. (myself CSM, A Daemon Player, and a Necron).

Game 1. Vs Pure Tau
General of his list -
2x fire warrior squads
2x pathfinder
2x kroot
2x missile broadsides w/ SMS / high yield, with all missile drones possible
2x riptides
1x skyray
1x super beefy commander
1x ethereal
1x crisis suits w/ super beefy sarg

Hammer and Anvil
Night fight - irrelevant, its tau, they basically ignore it
mission - 4 corner objectives, whoever holds more wins that goal, 1 center objective, holding is a separate goal, slay the warlord, linebreaker

Turn 1 - Deployment like such. I deployed like this having first turn, essentially counting on not being seized on. My opponent infiltrated his kroot as an assault screen.

Then I got seized on.


He shoots me a bunch, knocking a few hullpoints off here and there, kills one nurgle spawn and wounds a plague drone. I run at him full speed.
 Top of turn 2

He kills one of my maulerfiends, a few spawn from each squad, and a few plague drones. A hull point is lost from the other mauler fiend, and my soul grinder goes boom!
 Bottom of turn 2

I run forward with my remaining forces. Hellrake comes on and nukes a kroot screen. Cultists come on and run towards corner objectives, but maintain LOS blocking terrain. My plaguebearers deep strike near the middle objective behind the LOS terrain.

Assaults - my plague drones make it into some kroot. My juggy lord + a few spawn make it into one broadside squad. My nurgle lord + his spawn fail his 5 inch charge into the other broadside squad + commander. Not because of shooting, just straight out dice roll fail.
Plague drones brutalize the kroot, forcing them to run, but can't sweep them. Juggy lord ravages the broadside squad and eliminates them.

Turn 3. My opponent shifts his models around to bring maximum firepower to bear on the juggy lord and the plague drones. Ethereal moves to give aura to the fleeting kroot. Commander joins the crisis suit squad. Brutal shooting removes the nurgle lords spawn, and leaves him with a single wound left.
Juggy lord and company die.
Bottom of my turn, move the nurgle lord out of LOS to the hill to remove over watch damage potential, he then dies on the charge vs. some kroot.  Herald of nurgle splits from his last remaining plague drone to assault fire warriors who do not break. The remaining plague drone goes after the fleeing kroot, only to die to over watch. Plaguebearers run to the wall to hug it outside of LOS to move onto the center objective last turn. Cultists are now holding both corner objectives, but out of LOS from the bulk of the tau army.

Turn 4 -
 The kroot rally thanks to the ethereals aura, moving 3 inches but not quite close enough to the objective to take it. His commander and riptide assault the Herald of Nurgle. The rest of his army moves forward to try and take the middle objective and shoot down my cultists. You can see in the pic on the left his kroot 3 inches away from the center objective to attempt to hold it. In the top of 4,his commander assaults my herald of nurgle to try and save the fire warriors, my herald of Nurgle decides to go to town and completely destroys the commander, then survives the remaining saves required of him.  Bottom of turn 4, my plaguebearers move onto the center objective, as close as possible to the kroot. They then assault the kroot and wipe them out. The herald of nurgle bites it to a riptide smash.

End result - I win by holding the center objective. We both have slay the warlord and 2 corner objectives.

Game 2 vs. Tau with Eldar allies

Opponents list

Commander with all the fixings
4 or 5x fire warriors
Crisis suit team
2x pathfinders
Huge broadside squad with tons of missiles
Hammerhead with longstride
Aegis line with quad gun

Farseer on jetbike
Guardian jetbike squad

So super important note about this game, my opponent rolled forewarning on his psyker powers. Which allows the psyker and his unit to fire over-watch at full BS. That basically means no assault army can ever easily make it into combat.

So, my opponent opted to go first. After seeing his deployment, I set up everything outside of the range of all his guns. I attempted to seize, and failed. His first turn of shooting was ineffectual beyond killing a maulerfiend and that's about it.  My first turn, I ran forward keeping the large LOS center blocker between me and the bulk of his armys shooting. It wouldn't help me versus smart missile systems, but it was better than nothing. The soul grinder shot and killed two crisis suits

The photo to the left is in the middle of turn 2, right after the tau finish shooting. You can see a large portion of the army is still available and ready for action. Sooo at this point, I forgot that my opponent had forewarning (and what it did). Its a stupid mistake and one I will try not to make again, because I essentially lost my entire army when I charged into combat

Because afterwards, my army looked like this. This is the top of turn 3. After this, it was clear I could not win, so I made it my personal goal to simply kill the hammerhead with longstride, which I was successful in.

So I lost.
Game 3 vs. Pure Tau

My opponents list here was...
2x Ethereal
3x Broadside
3x riptide
5 or 6 kroot squads
2x pathfinders

Turn 1, my opponent has first go.
A maulerfiend goes boom, the other maulerfiend is immobilized, and one nurgle spawn bites it.


 Bottom of turn 1,  ran everything I could into LOS blocking terrain. My nurgle spawn managed a 10 inch charge against one kroot squad, almost wiping them out, but thanks to a kroot hound they managed to get away.
Turn 2 - Kroot wall shoots the snot out of the nurgle spawn killing all of them, and almost killing the lord. Juggy lord squad loses some spawn, and the soul grinder loses a hull point. Bottom of turn 2, I assault the plague drones/nurgle herald into a kroot squad, the juggy lord hits a different kroot squad. Nurgle Chaos Lord assaults the kroot who were running finishing the job. Juggy lord hits himself in the face, and spawn whiff epic hard, so we hang out in combat. Plague drones put some serious hurt on the kroot squad, causing them to run, but not off the board.

Top of turn 3, running kroot rally and move back to screen. Nurgle lord bites it to shooting from kroot outflanking. Kroot also outflank into my back left board edge and pin a cultist squad. Kroot + riptide shooting mucks up the plague drones real hard. In the bottom of three, the juggy lord finally finishes chopping up the squad he was assaulting, leaving him standing in the open by himself. Plague drones re-assault the kroot. Helldrake comes in and nukes / kills all the kroot which just outflanked on the right side.
Turn 4 - All the plague drones die. Herald of nurgle ends up locked in combat with a kroot squad and riptide, but passes all his saves like a boss.  Helldrake dies to a Fusion gun. Juggy lord kills .. stuff. The soul grinder shoots at the kroot causing them to flee or something.
So, for this round, I won on secondary missions because the Herald of nurgle refused to die (he should have died), contesting the only objective held by anyone.

Tuesday, August 6, 2013

Triage Terrain LED kits - RTT At Huzzan Recap, New Fortification review

Soooo.. I could make up excuses as to why I havn't posted in a while, but who needs those!? Lets just get on with the 40k!
So FIRST! I lit up my helldrake with some lighting kits from TriageTerrain. TriageTerrain is now wicked awesome, mostly because they dropped their prices on their kits by half! That's crazy! So you can now light up all of your army really cheaply! (5 dollars a kit) I'd suggest going there and picking up some LED kits. They also have just components if you think you're a smarty pants and just want parts.
Why I really like their kits? Because they are essentially plug and play. Each wire comes with a socket you simply plug the next connector into. No need to glue, solder, or otherwise figure out how to join wires. They also include instructions for wiring, and necessary resistors ect to make sure you don't blow up the LED light. (I had a green one I blew up by removing the resistor, it was kinda cool but .. sad).  Sooo BAM!
BAM! Suck on that non lit up helldrakes!
Go cry in the corner with your jealousy.

SOOO. Two weeks prior I ran an RTT at Huzzah Hobbies, As normal this RTT was on the 3rd Sunday of every month. Meaning our next one is on August 18th.

This event was well attended, with 18 people in attendance! Woo! Pizza was had by all, and sodas, and doughnuts! Everyone likes doughnuts right? Sure...

So our winners were, Eric H, with "Flavor of the month". Anthony with Dark Eldar, and third place was to.. um, I seriously forgot his name! I'm sorry. I'll update the blog post later with your proper name!

In keeping with our (Jon P and I) tradition of having a wild card prize instead of 4th place, this time we decided to go with the person in the statistical dead center of Win/Loss and battlepoints of the pack picking up the  4th award.

 Some highlights of the event included Pierre attempting to tank shock 3-4 kroot squads which had perfectly lined up in his backfield with his razorback wall. A guy who brought conscripts (you know, the buddies who come back to life after dying), Andrew G rolling about a billion 1's in a row vs. dark eldar turn 1 (never a good thing) and a hyper-enthusiastic ringer utilizing the new fortifications to see how good they were.

So congrats to all the gamers. I think everyone had a good time! I'm looking forward to seeing everyone again later this month. It's last ditch chance to practice those nova lists before the NOVA!


Speaking of using those fortifications. I love them. Adore them. I want to pet them and take them to bed with me. They're soo pretty......

Ok no seriously though, they are really good. The battlecannon fortifications work a little like this. Deploying an AV14 building that automatically fires a BS2, S8 AP3, Ordinance, 72" large blast at the closest legal target. You can place the template anywhere you want over said unit, just make sure the unit itself is the closest. If you opt for what I consider the shittier version of the fortification, it has the punisher cannon. 20 shots, S5, AP -, but its also 10 pts cheaper.

The building itself is a little larger than a rhino (see the picture for size comparisons). It provides impassible 3+ cover saves (being a fortification). Currently, due to the language of the guns being purchased for them, the thoughts in the NOVA area, is that they can not be targeted separately.

So you set up these bad boys during the terrain phase of deployment, and watch your opponent squirm! They can be set up anywhere no your board half, and don't need to be next to each other. I find myself deploying them on opposite board ends to ensure they always get a decent target. It also keeps them from dying together to a determined assault.

Also, all you Tyranid players out there upset you couldn't make use of weapons like the quad-gun, here you go. These guys auto-fire, meaning, you can use them!

So, that should illustrate why they are good.

Also they look really cool, seriously, when all painted up.

The other fortification, the firestorm redoubt, is essentially a bastion which is not very tall (just taller than a razorback), but fires 4 BS 2 twin linked las cannons a turn at the closest flying target, and failing that, closest target period. It can be occupied and has one gun slit in the front like a bunker. So again, tyranids rejoice! You can park some gaunts inside and fire 4 lascannons a turn for the low low price of a ton of points.

Next Post - The finish of the IFL league.