Thursday, 23 January 2014

Caledonian Review

Last weekend myself and John Holland (aka Mc Tic Tac of the Blood Claw blog) headed over to the North-West Gaming Centre in Stockport for three days of wargaming. The main event of the weekend was the two-day Caledonian Uprising tournament, and as a bonus, organiser Tim King also ran a 1000pt warm-up event on the Friday night named 'Caledonian Open.

Since detail is not really my thing, here is a summary of my weekend's games!
1850pts of Cheese!


The 'Open' was intended as a fun warm-up event for those attendees who travelled on the Friday. 18 brave folks entered the competition, with a real varied array of lists. I was taking a slimmed-down version of my Serpent-Spam army, as follows:

HQ1 : Farseer (100) + singing spear (5)+ Eldar jetbike (15) = [120]
ELITES 1 : 5 Fire Dragons = [110] + TRANSPORT 1

TROOPS 1 : 5 Dire Avengers = [65] + TRANSPORT 2
TROOPS 2 : 5 Dire Avengers = [65] + TRANSPORT 3
TROOPS 3 : 3 Windrider Guardians = [51]

HEAVY SUPPORT 1 : War Walkers (60) + bright lance (5) + scatter laser (5) = [70]
HEAVY SUPPORT 2 : War Walkers (60) + bright lance (5) + scatter laser (5) = [70]

TRANSPORT 1 : Wave Serpent (115) + Holo-fields (15) + twin-linked bright lance (5)  = [135]
TRANSPORT 2 : Wave Serpent (115) + Holo-fields (15) + twin-linked scatter laser (5)  = [135]
TRANSPORT 3 : Wave Serpent (115) + Holo-fields (15) + twin-linked scatter laser (5)  = [135]
My first game was against a top bloke called Tim who was using a 5th-edition style drop-pod Blood Angels list. I set up my forces on the board, and awaited the oncoming storm! All of Tim's forces were 'podding in, and so over the first couple of turns, all his units (Dreadnoughts & Assault Marines) were in my face and causing problems. However, the game was for 5 objectives, and so I played it smart; I reserved my Dire Avengers and Jetbikes, and tried to keep 'em safe until turn 5 when I ran/jumped them forward to claim objectives. In the end, we both held an objective and so the game ended in a draw.
Game 1 result - draw
My second game was against Jason and his all-Khorne Daemon combat army. His forces included a Skull Cannon, a Bloodthirster, two units of Bloodletters and (I think) a Soulgrinder. As would be the case in all my weekend's games, I was going second. Jason pushed forward with his forces, but failed to do much damage to my serpent-shielded vehicles. In my first turn I retaliated, and I was lucky to take out all of Jason's big threats - the Soulgrinder, the Bloodthirster and the gun on the Skull Cannon. With those gone, it was just a matter of time; I simply sat back and shot for the next couple of turns, taking out Jason's remaining units. It was a good win but a bit of a disappointing game for Jason as my lucky first turn of shooting pretty much ruined it as a competitive game.  
Game 2 result - win

My third game was against Rob Graham, and another drop-pod Blood Angels army. I must admit that the game is a bit of a blur to me, mostly as the round started at 9.30pm and by that time I was knackered from driving and the fast pace of the three games. All I know is that I managed a draw!
Game 3 result - draw

Having managed a win and two draws, I was therefore astounded to find out that I had finished third overall in the Friday night Open event! It is easily my best-ever result in a (semi) competitive environment and it gave me great hope for the main event to follow - the Caledonian Uprising...

Monday, 13 January 2014

Spam-A-Lot Eldar for Caledonian Uprising

This weekend Claws & Fists will be represented at the largest tournament of the year, Caledonian Uprising, by yours truly. This year however I've decided to ditch my usual Tyranids and mech Squat Guard for something a bit... spammier. Since Eldar are one of the top two codexes, and I just happen to have an old fifth-edition Eldar army gathering dust, I have decided to go all-out for mid-table mediocrity (as opposed to my usual bottom-table supremacy).

Therefore,  my list is as follows:


HQ1 : Farseer (100), + singing spear (5)+ Eldar jetbike (15) = [120]
HQ2 : Farseer (100), + singing spear (5) + Eldar jetbike (15) 
+ Shard of Anaris (replaces Shuriken Pistol) (40) = [160]

ELITES 1 : 5 Fire Dragons = [110] + TRANSPORT 1

TROOPS 1 : 5 Dire Avengers = [65] + TRANSPORT 2

TROOPS 2 : 5 Dire Avengers = [65] + TRANSPORT 3
TROOPS 3 : 5 Dire Avengers = [65] + TRANSPORT 4
TROOPS 4 : 5 Dire Avengers = [65] + TRANSPORT 5
TROOPS 5 : 3 Windrider Guardians = [51]

TROOPS 6 : 3 Windrider Guardians = [51]

HEAVY SUPPORT 1 : 2 x War Walkers (2 x 60) + bright lance (2 x 5) + scatter laser (2 x 5) = [140]

HEAVY SUPPORT 2 : 2 x War Walkers (2 x 60) + bright lance (2 x 5) + scatter laser (2 x 5) = [140]

TRANSPORT 1 : Wave Serpent (115) + Holo-fields (15) + twin-linked bright lance (5) = [135]
TRANSPORT 2 : Wave Serpent (115) + Holo-fields (15) + twin-linked scatter laser (5) + shuriken cannon (10) = [145]

TRANSPORT 3 : Wave Serpent (115) + Holo-fields (15) + twin-linked scatter laser (5) + shuriken cannon (10) = [145]
TRANSPORT 4 : Wave Serpent (115) + Holo-fields (15) + twin-linked bright lance (5) + shuriken cannon (10) = [145]
TRANSPORT 5 : Wave Serpent (115) + Holo-fields (15) + twin-linked scatter laser (5) + shuriken cannon (10) = [145]

ELDAR TOTAL : 1,747 points

Aegis Defence Lines (50) + gun emplacement with quad-gun (50) = [100]

GRAND TOTAL : 1,847 points

Sunday, 17 November 2013

40K UK GT - Day 2

Day 1 was in the bag and I was feeling pretty positive about my performances in day 1. I could put the defeat in game 1 down to a bad match-up, game 2 went pretty well against a list which is strong in the meta at the moment and game 3 started well and but for some foul dice when the Doom landed, it could have gone quite differently. All to play for today then …

Game 4 vs Necrons; Vanguard Strike deployment, playing The Emperor’s Will

Nemesor Zandrekh
Vanguard Obyron
Destroyer Lord – Weave, Scythe, MS Scarabs
Warriors (5) - Nightscythe
Warriors (7) - Nightscythe
Scarabs (7)
Scarabs (7)
Spyders (3) – Gloom Prism
Spyders (3) – Gloom Prism

WTF was I thinking?
 OK, not a great start to the day, a list I could really struggle against if I make any mistakes and boy do I make some mistakes. First off I win the roll-off and elect to go second, this gives him the opportunity to spawn more scarabs before I get a chance to stop him, secondly I infiltrate my scouts close enough to his lines that he can spawn scarabs, charge them and sling-shot into my lines before I can really bring enough firepower to bear on him.


In my first turn I attempt to make amends by dropping my Sternguard in to take out his Spyder unit with Obyron in it. Sadly I forgot that he could bring in units from reserve with my own reserves so he placed his Monolith directly between my Sternguard and the Spyder unit and rolls a “hit” in a space exactly big enough for the Monolith. To make matters worse, 6 Sternguard Combi-Melta shots take a single hull point off the Monolith.

Ahhhhh, balls!

As far as I was concerned it was game over from this point. I played it out to the end and wasn’t tabled but I only managed to pick up the single tournament point for not conceding. Not a good start to the day!

0-6 Loss (NONE / 1st, WL, LB)

Game 5 vs Necrons; Deployment Hammer and Anvil playing Kill Points

Forgeworld Overlord
Destroyer Lord – Weave, Scythe
Cryptek – Harbinger of Despair - Veil
Warriors (10)
Warriors (10)
Immortals (5) – Gauss
Destroyers (5) – Gauss Cannon
Destroyers (3) – Heavy Gauss Cannon
Wraiths (3)
Annihilation Barge

More Necrons! What have I done to deserve this? At least looking at it, the list didn’t look too optimised so I felt like I had a glimmer of hope in this one. I knew I’d have to castle up somewhat otherwise his uber-lord and jumpy Cryptek unit would be able to cause some havoc in my backfield.

And now 'm in amongst the Best Painted armies of the Tournament.

I took first turn hoping to get first blood and take his barge out of the game and possibly remove the wraiths too. This would mean I could focus everything on the Lord’s unit when it veiled at me. I dropped one unit of Sternguard towards his backlines to take out the Barge and the other on my side of midfield in rapidfire range of his wraith unit. The unit aiming at the Barge utterly failed, not even managing to inflict a single hullpoint. The other unit was more successful, killing 2 of the 3 Wraiths. Night Fight meant that I had nothing else in range so I couldn’t finish off the unit unfortunately.

In his turn he comfortably took out a Drop Pod for First Blood with his Destroyer Lord and then he veiled his Lord unit behind my castled up units and this is where the game took place for the next 4 turns. The reinforced Ruin which my unites were castled up in gave me enough protection to survive the initial salvo relatively unscathed and I was able to bombard him with the Thunderfire canon before I charged him with the scout unit in an attempt to slow his progress through my ranks. For the most part this worked but after dealing with his Wraith and Destroyer Lord I brought my Centurions back to help out as that Lord was proving to be a bit of a nightmare.

I managed to remove the unit at the top of turn 4 but the combat had dragged me well back into my own deployment zone and had given my opponent a 1 Kill Point lead. My opponent had astutely moved everything in his army right to the back of this deployment zone so I needed a couple more turns to get units into range. Sadly the dice brought an end to the game on turn 5 and my shitty run continued. I‘d be close to the bottom now, surely I’d be in for a nice game against a non-competitive list … we’ll I was at least half right.

6-7 Loss (WL / 1st)

Game 6 vs Chaos Space Marines; Dawn of War playing The Scouring

Chaos Lord – Mark of Nurgle, Bike, Black Mace, Sigil, Gift of Mutation
Plague Zombies (27)
Plague Zombies (27)
Plague Marines (5) – 2x Plasma gun
Spawn (5) – Mark of Nurgle
Heldrake – Baleflamer
Heldrake – Baleflamer
Havocs (5) – 4x Autocannon
Obliterators (2) – Mark of Nurgle

FML! Right, that’s it. I’m going home, I shouldn’t have gotten out of bed this morning. I’m not the sort of person who gets depressed about a game of toy soldiers but I have to admit I was feeling pretty sore at his point and to see two Heldrakes across the board from me did nothing to raise my spirits. Fortunately my opponent was a very nice bloke with a very cool themed Nurgle army so I figured I’d just let the dice decide how this was going to end.

I got to go second and positioned the majority of my army in position to annihilate his Spawn/Bike Lord unit as soon as possible, everything would be slogging across the board nice and slowly. And so it was that by the end of turn 2 his unit and Warlord were no more! Score 1st Blood and Warlord!

Awesome looking Nurgle Spawn.
Typhus’s unit was quite happy way over on my right flank owning one objective and making another one looking a not terribly attractive option. On my left flank the other unit of Zombies and the Plague Marines were looking a bit threatening and the first Heldrake had just turned up. Fortunately I had no juicy targets on the board, unfortunately I only managed to knock a couple of hull points off.

I managed to kick myself in the balls on this turn by deciding to effectively throw away my scouts for no discernable reason; charging half into Typhus’s unit and putting the other half on the opposite side of the board! At least it made him bring his Plague Marines back to deal with them, keeping them away from my planned drop-site for my Tactical Squad. On the up-side I finished off the wounded Heldrake.

I decided I had nothing to take on Typhus and a ton of Zombies so I threw what I had left down my left flank in an effort to whittle down the Zombies and take out the Plague Marines. Long story short, it didn’t work, his other Heldrake managed to stay off long enough that I had had to deploy my marines to hold objectives at the end of turn 4 in order to cover enough objectives to secure the win. Fortunately he had to fly the Heldrake off the board at the ned of Turn 5 and I was on enough objectives to have a 3 point lead.

Unfortunately the game went onto Turn 6 and the Heldrake returned wiping one squad off an objective, the Plague Marines and Zombies cleared out another, leaving me with just the 4 pointer and handing me my 5th and final loss of the weekend.

4-7 Loss (WL / 1st, LB, WL)

Thursday, 14 November 2013

40K GT 2013 - Day 1

I’ve been struggling to make tournaments this year so it was with great excitement that I set out on a cold Saturday morning last weekend to attend Heat 3 of the 40K Indie GT up in Warrington. The venue was fantastic with loads of room around every table so you could easily play Hammer and Anvil, and in fact it made playing every game that little bit easier. The tournament was well run and pretty much ran to time without incident. The food was pretty good to!

It was also a weekend of exceptional gaming, at least, I think it was. For the most part it was going on around me and a very long way away from the tables I was on (no offence to my opponents, they were all rather good). I however stunk up the joint, and for once I’m not talking about bad gas!

As some of you will know from my recent posts, my practice has been limited and I’d been really struggling to settle on a list I was happy with. Over the course of the weekend I really learnt a lot about the Marine codex and why the list I’d taken was really quite poor. But I’m getting ahead of myself, Here’s my list and here’s a run-down for the games on Day 1

Codex Space Marines.


Sternguard (5) – 3x Combi-Melta; Drop Pod
Sternguard (5) – 3x Combi-Melta; Drop Pod

Tactical Squad (10) – Plasma, Heavy Bolter, Combi-Plasma; Drop Pod
Tactical Squad (10) – Lascannon
Scout Squad (10) – 5x Bolt Pistol & Combat Weapon, 5x Sniper Rifle

Thunderfire Cannon
Devastator Centurions (3) – 3x Grav-Cannon & Grav Amps, 3x Missile Launcher
Land Raider

Game 1 vs. Necrons with Tau Allies; Hammer & Anvil deployment playing Crusade

Friday, 8 November 2013

GT Heat 3 - The Final Countdown

Here we are again, less than two days until a tournament and I’ve not really decided on the list I’m taking and some of the core units I know I will be taking are still unpainted. This weekend is going to be all about trying not to lose too badly … again!

As far as the list goes I’m settled on a core I just can’t stop fiddling with the “edges”. Here’s my current flavour-of-the-minute list:

Primary Detachment : Codex Space Marines


Tactical Squad (10): Meltagun, Multi-Melta, Combi-Melta; Drop Pod
Tactical Squad (10): Flamer, Lascannon; Rhino

Thunderfire Cannon
Devastator Centurions (3): 3x Grav-Cannon & Grav-Amp, 3x Missile Launcher
Land Raider

Allied Detachment: Codex Blood Angels


Assault Squad (10): 2x Flamer

Wow! When I write it down like this it look incredibly light on models!

The Primary Detachment is set up to provide durable scoring, my Centurion/Tigurius/Land Raider unit (Bullet Magnet) and a Thunderfire for flavour. Since my game against Alex I’ve been really trying to work Mephiston into the list … because he’s amazing; and a lot of what’s on the table these days, he is almost designed to bully. I also love the scoring Assault Squad from a manoeuvrability point of view and the double flamer can be placed to do maximum damage to some tucked away scoring unit.

The glaring weakness of this list is that if I come up against Tripple Heldrakes, it’s toast – literally. The omission of anything which can take out a flier is entirely intentional. At this point level I have struggled to add in an air threat without seriously crippling what I can do on the ground so I’ll just accept the fact that I’m completely boned if I come up against Heldrakes.

And in typically “me-style”, while I’ve been sitting here typing this I’ve come up with something else to share with you which packs in more bodies and possibly has more punch:

Codex Space Marines


Sternguard (5): 3x Combi-Melta; Drop Pod
Sternguard (5): 3x Combi-Melta; Drop Pod

Tactical Squad (10): Meltagun, Multi-Melta, Combi-Melta; Drop Pod
Tactical Squad (10): Flamer, Lascannon
Scouts (10): Bolt Pistol, Close Combat Weapon; Land Speeder Storm: Heavy Flamer

Thunderfire Cannon
Devastator Centurions (3): 3x Grav-Cannon & Grav-Amp, 3x Missile Launcher
Stormraven Gunship: TL Multi-Melta, TL Lascannon

And even as I write this I’m thinking I could trade the LS Storm and the Stormraven and get a Landraider back in the list! Oh dear.

Anyway, I like this list from the alpha-strike Sternguard point of view (though it’s been done to death and is reasonably easily countered) and it has air defence in the form of the Stormraven.

Maybe I should just flip a coin!

Anyway, I’ll just finish off with some pics of the Work-in-Progress on my Centurions and Tigurius.

Friday, 25 October 2013

Reality Check: Tau Edition.

Errrggghhh! Tau!

After being lulled into a false sense of security at Blog Wars earlier this year, I think I have finally experienced the full power of the new Tau Codex and I have definitely been underestimating it.

Alex of the fantastic From the Fang blog and organiser of the above-mentioned Blog Wars tournaments (and my opponent in the game I was referring to), came down to Warhammer World this past Thursday for some list practice. In our first game we played his 1850 Tau list for Blog Wars against my 2055pt “I-really-should-check-my-list-before-I-deploy-my minis” Space Marine list. I won’t go into details but the extra Tactical Squad I had in my list made little difference and he beat me handily.

Shadowsun is about to make my day even worse.

Saturday, 19 October 2013

UK GT Heat 3 – Prep and List Building

With the UK 40K Indie GT on the horizon I really need to get off my butt and put in some practice. I’ve been doing a lot of thinking about lists recently and am still undecided as to whether to go with Space Marines or Tyranids. Here are the two lists I’m stuck between:

Tyranids – 1650pts
Hive Tyrant – 2x Devourers w. Brainleech Worms, Hive Commander, Wings
Hive Tyrant – 2x Devourers w. Brainleech Worms, Wings

Doom of Malan’tai – Mycetic Spore

15 Termagants
15 Termagants – Devourers
Tervigon – 2 Powers, Toxin Sacs
Tervigon – 2 Powers, Toxin Sacs

2 Carnifexes – 2x Devourers with Brainleech Worms each

Space Marines – 1650pts

10 Tactical Marines – Meltagun, Multi-Melta, Rhino
10 Tactical Marines – Flamer, Lascannon, Rhino
5 Tactical Marines – Lascannon

Stormtalon Gunship – Skyhammer Missiles
Stormtalon Gunship – Skyhammer Missiles

Thunderfire Cannon
3 Devastator Centurions – 3x Grav-cannons and Grav-amps, 3 Missile Launchers, Land Raider Redeemer
5 Devastator Marines – 4x Missile Launchers


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