Monday, 31 May 2010

The Good Guys

Following on from yesterday, here are the Imperial forces:




No Thunderhawks and only three Titans but you do get Custodes so it's all good.

Sunday, 30 May 2010

The Enemy Arrayed

I received the Horus Heresy board game on Thursday and I must say I'm very impressed with the contents of the box. The rules look a bit more confusing than Warhammer 40,000 but hopefully it'll be reasonably straightforward once we start playing a couple of games. Anyway, I've managed to spend a bit of time putting together the Choas forces:




Mmm, four Titans...

Saturday, 29 May 2010

"Special" Characters

I've talked a little bit before about running Space Wolf special characters but with Andy running two Space Marine special characters at Open War, I thought I'd offer a few thoughts on them. Before I go into a bit of detail, I just want to have a look at Pedro and Lysander in general. So, it's 375 points for the pair. Ouch. I pay 220 for my two HQs and the reason I take two is to get more S7 shots, to increase the coverage of my physic defence and to decrease the area into which the enemy can infiltrate. If I was feeling hard-up for points I could definitely drop one, especially at 1500 points. They also both give Stubborn to your army. Now, I would have thought with Marines that if you lose a combat you'd rather use Combat Tactics to get out of combat so that you can shoot up the unit that assaulted you. Stubborn just means that you're stuck in combat potentially loosing more men every turn.

Pedro Kantor

A Chapter Master with a Power Fist comes in at 150 so for 175, Pedro looks like a bargain. Those extra 25 points give you scoring Elites and a 12" +1A bubble which is permanently on (unlike the similar skill in the Space Wolf codex which only last for a turn). The thing is we need to build a Pedro list around Sternguard and personally I'm still not sure how to run them. I like a 5 man squad, 2 Lascannons in a Rhino shooting at distance and I like a Combi-Melta suicide squad. The thing is, I'm not sure that you can do both. I think that Pedro probably encourages the more defensive set-up as you don't really want to be firing Orbital Bombardment near where you've just dropped in your precious Sternies. I do believe that Sternguard are slightly sub-optimal to be honest and if I were running vanilla Marines, I'd be tempted to fill the Elite slot with Autocannon/Autocannon Dreadnoughts. The thing is; can you run a Pedro list without Sternguard?

Lysander

Argh! He's so hard to kill - lots of wounds, Eternal Warrior and a Storm Shield. The thing he, the guy is a bit confused. On one hand he wants to be smashing heads with his Thunder Hammer on the other hand he wants to be hidden inside some fortified ruin with some Bolter-armed troops. I think to get the most out of him you've got to get him in combat but I'd be tempted to stick him with a objective-sitting Tactical Squad so he can use Bolter Drill for a couple of turns before leaving the squad and counter charging anything that gets too close. I'm not convinced that's a good use of 200 points though. In fact, however you use him, is he really better than 5 Thunder Hammer/Storm Shield Terminators?

I have to admit that in general, I'm not a huge Special Character fan even though we see Logan lists doing well at tournaments. I feel that the standard HQs can support the army better and offer a nice saving in points. I don't really think that you can take 2 Special Characters at below 2000 points (speaking of which, I saw a couple of nice 'ard Boys Njal/Bjorn lists) but you can definitely make a Special Character/standard HQ list work at 1750 (Vulkan and Librarian for example). The key to making them work is definitely building a list around them, you can't just try and shoehorn them into the list that you're using already (as I have tried to do in the past with Bjorn and Njal).

So, I think that Pedro and Lysander could work but I'd rather have a Librarian, 5 TH/SS Terminators and a Mulitmelta/Heavy Flamer speeder instead please.

Friday, 28 May 2010

Target Priority and Mitigating Luck

I just thought I talk about a few of the key points from last night's game, mainly around some of the thinking behind some of my tactics.

Going First

So, I won the roll off and decided to go first for two reasons. Firstly, I knew that this would let me get my two Rune Priest Rhinos into midfield which would really open up the firing lanes for Living Lightning. I figured that with a combination of popped smoke and night fighting they'd survive Andy's first go and they'd really hold up any support that Andy tried to get to Lysander's drop pod as he'd either have to go through me or around. Even though I had one of the Rhinos immobilised, it didn't matter as I was still able to cast Living Lightning out of the top hatch with impunity. Secondly, I wanted to have my Long Fangs on the board for when Lysander appeared. I guessed (wrongly, as it turned out) that Andy would bring him in on turn 1 and I didn't want him sat in my deployment zone while I was still walking on the board especially as I would have expected one of the squads to be shot down with Bolter Drill before they even got to do anything.

Deployment

I admit that I stole the idea of deploying two empty Rhinos from here. So, they go 7" on from your board edge and then on turn 1, the Rune Priests and their Grey Hunter squads get in and then off you drive. As mentioned above I drove 12" and then popped smoke. One pack of Long Fangs walked onto the hill overlooking the objective so that they could see over the battlefield but mainly so that they could shoot anyone daft enough to get near enough to my objective. The second pack came on so that they too would be able to cover the objective. The razorbacks were positioned so that they could move forward to attack Andy's objective or stay where they were to claim my own. The Land Speeders made a flanking maneuver around my left with the intention of making a move towards Andy's objective and clearing it of anything nasty.

Target Priority

Early on in the game I wanted to take out the two Land Speeder Typhoons, the Autocannon/Autocannon Dreadnought and then probably the Thunderfire Cannon (don't laugh, it has the ability to do a number on my Long Fangs). If I could take these out, it would give me a big range advantage over Andy's army. I was helped by the fact that Lysander didn't turn up until turn 3 as that would have given me something else to think about. As it was I'd pretty much eliminated the threats I wanted to before he arrived and so I could focus my fire on him and his chums. If he'd arrived earlier I would have had to make some tough decisions about whether to shoot him or keep trying to take out Andy's long range shooting. This is one of the key factors in Warhammer 40,000, once you force people into making decisions, it's very easy for them to make the wrong one.

Mitigating Luck

Once again Andy had some terrible luck at times (Tactical Squad failing morale check and running away, Lysander failing Morale Check and running away being the main two). In any game using a dice, you're always going to be reliant on luck to some extent but the key thing is how you mitigate against bad rolls. For example I had a couple of half-turns where I either couldn't hit a barn door or couldn't cause any wounds. Why half-turns? Well, I have so much shooting in my list that if I do have a nightmare with some units I have enough other units who can step up to the plate. In the grim darkness of the future there is only Long Fang spam.

Thursday, 27 May 2010

Sound the retreat

Even from so far away Svengril could still hear his Psyber-Raven as it added its voice to the dawn chorus of the birds native to the planet. It served as a beacon drawing the Space Wolves towards their objectives. As Svengril looked through his Raven's eyes he allowed himself the merest of smiles, there were no enemy troops in sight. "Excellent", he thought, "we'll have the objectives secured before sun up".

We were playing at 1750 points between my Space Wolves and Andy's Space Marines, we rolled up a Capture and Control mission with Dawn of War deployment. I won the roll off and decided to go first.

Svengril still hadn't heard from the Wolf Scouts he had sent to operate behind enemy lines so he sent forward two Rhinos to scout the area before the rest of the force arrived. In the distance one of the drivers thought he could make out an enemy Rhino but it was too dark to be certain.



Turn 1

The Space Wolf army charged onto the field, led by Svengril Icefang who jumped into his rhino with his Grey Hunter pack and sped across the battlefield. Behind him the res of the Space Wolf army moved into position. On the left hand flank the Land Speeders moved flat out in order to get to the enemy quicker while the two Rhinos fired their Smoke Launchers.

On the opposite side of the battlefield the enemy moved into position. The Thunderfire Cannon drove to the top of the far hill from where it could see most of the field, flanked by two Land Speeder Typhoons. Everything that could open fire did so at the two Rhinos but a combination of darkness and cover from from smoke meant that the only thing that happened was one of the Rhinos became immobilised. Meanwhile an empty Drop Pod crashed down in the middle of the Space Wolf lines. Svengril looked at it with barely disguised hatred; if they couldn't destroy that thing it would completely block off the Long Fang pack on the hill and ruin all of his plans.

End of Turn 1:



Turn 2:

Svengril mentally contacted his apprentice in the second Rhino - between them they were to target the Rhino containing the enemies leader and one of the Land Speeder Typhoons. The Hatches opened on the Rhinos and Lightning flew from the fingers of the two Rune Priests. the Land Speeder was immobilised and had its Missile Launchers blown off while the Rhino was also immobilised. On the left flank the Wolf Scouts arrived and wrecked the other Rhino forcing the Tactical Squad to disembark. In the centre the Predator open fire at the Razorback, wrecking it. At the rear of the Space Wolf army, everything that could opened fire on the Drop Pod causing it to explode.

The Tactical squad decided to take revenge on the Wold Scouts who had destroyed their Rhino by rapid firing their Bolters at them. Five of them died but clearly Russ smiled down on the one armed with a Meltagun as he survived. Determined to avenge the death of his brothers, he stood firm and prepared his Meltagun to fire. The Land Speeder and the Dreadnought opened fire again on the two Space Wolf Rhinos wrecking one and ripping the Storm Bolter off the other one. Meanwhile the driver of the immobilised Rhino managed to get it moving by jerryrigging the engine. At the rear of the Space Marine army the Thunderfire Cannon opened fire at the Long Fangs on the hill and managed to kill three of them.

End of Turn 2:



Turn 3:

Svengril was not happy. His Rhino had been wrecked and he was determined to claim vengence on the man whose fault it was that he would now have to walk back to base camp. He stetched out his fingers and more lightning hurtled towards the Thunderfire cannon but was unable to do any damage. The Wolf Scout opened fire on the Tactical Squad that had killed the rest of his pack and along with the two Land Speeders behind him managed to cause enough casualties for them to decide to make a tactical withdrawal. The Heavy Bolter Razorback sped forward before skidding 180 degree and discharging the Grey Hunters within. they fired their Meltagun at the Dreadnought immobilising it before they charged the creature. They managed to blow one of its arms off with a Krak Grenade but couldn't really do any real damage. The long range elements of the Space Wolf army all opened fire but only managed to kill a couple of Tactical Marines.

The skies opened and the Drop Pod came crashing to earth. The two squads disembarked in good order and managed to wreck the remaining Rhino with Combi-Meltas. The second combat squad all fire at one of the Land Speeders but only manage to prevent it from shooting. Meanwhile the Thunderfire Cannon fired four shots at Svengril but failed to wound the old Rune Priest. The remains of the final Tactical Squad charge the Grey Hunters locked in combat with the Dreadnought. They manage to kill one but the Dreadnought can do no further damage so the battle continues.

End of Turn 3:


Turn 4:

Almost everything opened fire into the two squads that had got out of the Drop Pod. The only exceptions being the Predator that managed to shoot down a Land Speeder Typhoon and Svengril who managed to destroy the Thunderfire Cannon and also kill the Techmarine operating it. Svengril turned around in time to see the enemy champion and his squad start running from all the fire they had taken. The Lone Wolf and Thorghir the Dreadnought charged the remains of the second combat squad and wipe them out. The Grey Hunters locked in combat with the Dreadnought lost another couple of members but held firm

With everything either retreating, unable to move or locked in combat, there was much for the Space Marines to do. The last of the Grey Hunters in combat with the Dreadnought was finally cut down and the remains of the Tactical Squad consolidated back towards their objective. At the rear of the Space Marine line, their great champion took his Thunder Hammer and Storm shield and, accompanied by two Sternguard veterans, left the field of battle.

Turn 5:

Long range fire power managed to wreck the final Space marine Rhino and the squad inside were cut down by the Land Speeder's Multimelta and Heavy Flamer. The Dreadnought was brought down with a combination of Plasma Gun fire and Living Lightning while Heavy Bolter shells reduced the last Tactical Squad to one Marine.

The Space Marines prepared their last roll of the dice. Calling down an Orbital Bombardment on the Space Wolves objective the enemy commander managed to kill 4 Grey Hunters and immobilise a Razorback. The remaining Grey Hunter, fearful of a second wave moved himself out of the way. No one was in range of the Space Wolf objective and the Space Marine one was only being contested, Svengril knew he needed the battle to continue if he was to emerge victorious.

End of Turn 5:



Turn 6:

As one Land Speeder killed the last member of the Tactical Squad, the second killed the enemy leader. The Lone Wolf charged the Drop Pod and managed to wreck it with his Thunder Hammer. Svengril surveyed the scene; all that remained of the enemy force was an immobilised Land Speeder. the day belonged to the Wolves of Fenris.

End of Turn 6:

In the future there is only ... list building.

Well, I make no secret of the fact that I'm a bit of a list builder, but I'm not a list builder in the mould of the redundancy spam hard-core tournament efficient list. I like to build lists with combos in them, the practicality of getting the combos to actually work on the table is something which doesn't feature too strongly on my mind. This combined with my somewhat lackadaisical play-style results in a some-what a hit and miss (mostly miss) pattern of results on the table-top.

Bearing that in mind I present you the list I'm bringing to Open War this weekend and thus, the list Gav will be wiping off the table in short order later on today!

HQ
Pedro Kantor
Darnath Lysander

Elite
Dreadnought
2x Twin Linked Auto Cannons; Drop Pod

Sternguard
(10) 4x Combi Melta, Power Fist; Drop Pod

Sternguard
(5) 2x Lascannon; Rhino

Troop
Tactical Squad
(10) Plasmagun, Plasma Cannon; Power Fist; Rhino

Tactical Squad
(5) Melta bombs, Razorback w. Twin Linked Lascannon

Fast Attack
Land Speeder Typhoon
Heavy Bolter, Typhoon Missile Launcher

Land Speeder Typhoon
Heavy Bolter, Typhoon Missile Launcher

Heavy Support
Thunderfire Cannon

This is predominantly a gunline list with the threat of a squad of 10 Sternguard and Lysander in a Drop Pod to be inserted where needed.

Wednesday, 26 May 2010

Space Wolves List 1750

I'm playing Andy tomorrow in what will be his last game before Open War on Saturday. He's running a Lysander/Pedro list at 1750 so let's see what we can put together. Now, as always, I don't want to list tailor something just to win tomorrow but I want to put together a list that I would feel happy taking to the tournament myself.


So, let's start with the base that I like for all of my lists:


Rune Priest, Chooser of the Slain, Living Lightning, Murderous Hurricane


Rune Priest, Chooser of the Slain, Living Lightning, Jaws of the World Wolf


5 Grey Hunters, Plasma Gun, Rhino


5 Grey Hunters, Plasma Gun, Rhino


5 Grey Hunters, Meltagun, Razorback, Twin-Linked Assault Cannons


5 Grey Hunters, Meltagun, Razorback


5 Grey Hunters, Razorback, Twin-Linked Lascannon


6 Long Fangs, 4 Rocket Launchers, Lascannon


6 Long Fangs, 4 Rocket Launchers, Lascannon


That's 1195. Damn, that's a pretty good list for 1195. Why aren't there any 1195 tournaments? So, I've got some long range fire power, some medium range fire power and a couple of Meltaguns. For a tournament, I'm going to need a way to deal with AV14 though; firing Rocket Launchers at it and hoping to stun-lock it doesn't really count as a tactic. Let's take


Land Speeder, Multimelta, Heavy Flamer


Land Speeder, Multimelta, Heavy Flamer


I've been using these a bit lately and they seem to do quite well. They're not quite in the standard, take all the time part of the list as I'm still playing around with tactics for them. I'm going to take them as individual Speeders as I've been using them as a squadron and I'd like to try something a bit different. Next up, I need something to deal with those stand and shoot armies like the Tau or Imperial Guard so I'm turning to my favourite unit in the Space Wolf codex:


6 Wolf Scouts, Meltagun


Nice and cheap but able to take out that pesky enemy tank or heavy weapons team. The Internet doesn't seem to be a bit fan and I've had games where they have turned up too late to be of use or just not done carried out my plans but when they work, they're awesome and they give your opponent something to think about during deployment.


Hmm, 315 points left to spend. If I was a serious tournament player it would be an Inquisitor with Mystics to deal with any Deep Striking threats. However, I'm not serious and I don't have the Daemonhunters book so that plan is out of the window. I'm happy that I have enough shooting to deal with anyone foolish enough to Deep Strike into my lines but I still feel that I need a unit to counter-charge anyone who does. Now, I could do this with my Grey Hunters but if it's a Drop Pod assault then it's arriving on turn 1 and I don't really want them getting out of their cars that early as they're supposed to be driving off claiming objectives. Let's try:

Dreadnought, Assault Cannon

Good shooting at close range and good enough in combat to keep my Long Fangs safe for a couple of turns. 210 points could get me another Heavy Bolter Razorback and a Land Speeder Typhoon. However, I don't have those models so let's keep the list in the realms of reality. How about we go with something killy and something a bit fun:

Predator, Lascannon Sponsons

Lone Wolf, Terminator Armour, Storm Shield, Thunder Hammer

Hmm, it's very, very similar to this list and because of that I'm tempted to drop the Lone Wolf for 10 Fenrisian Wolves but for now he stays in.

Midfield General

I've been reading the chess column in the guardian (yes, I'm a pinko liberal lefty) for the last few weeks. Now, I know that chess is pretty different to Warhammer 40,000 - you have to take a maximum of the basic troop type, your opponent always plays the same list as you, you can only take two Thunderwolves (I think they're called Knights - ed) and you can't reserve any of your army. However, there is one important lesson we can learn - midfield control. For some armies, such as Imperial Guard, this isn't such a big deal, as they can sit in their deployment zone and shoot you to death from distance. However, for Marines, with their golden range of 12-24" you need to get into midfield to make your army work. Not only that, but if you're playing against Marines, you need to make sure they don't get into midfield.

With my Space Wolves, I use my Long Fangs and Living Lightning Rune Priests to strike at distance so that I can get my Razorbacks full of Grey Hunters into range. Then, much like chess, once you're in midfield, the endgame begins. Once I'm in that golden range, out come the Meltaguns, the Plasma Guns, Bolters, Jaws of the World Wolf and Murderous Hurricane. I can sit on any midfield objectives or push into the enemies deployment zone.

So, how do you stop this midfield push? It depends what sort of army you play but I would be tempted to place objectives in my opponent's deployment zone to keep them on the back foot while I can still move forward. Of course this is one of the best things about playing Space Wolves as you can play them as an army that shoots you as you cross the board and then use Counter Attack when you charge or can play more in your face. Hmm, maybe Andy is right, maybe they are broken.

Tuesday, 25 May 2010

Damned, Damned, Damned

Before I came back to the game last year and became the WAAC player that I am now, I used to buy models just because I like them rather than because they were good on the field of battle. Now I absolutely love the new Legion of the Damned models but Space Wolves don't need help from any warp dwellers (well, apart from the 13th Company obviously). Okay, so I could get some to use in Apocalypse or just use them in friendly games (in the grim darkness of the future there is only paintball). Fortunately, Kill Team gives me the perfect excuse to get a squad.

So, let's look at the basics - Deep Strike with potential to re-roll scatter dice. Invulnerable 3+ save. Slow and Purposeful (move and fire heavy weapons and assault after firing Bolters, count me in). 2 attacks base. However, they are 155 points for 5 men. For that I can get 10 Grey Hunters with 2 Meltaguns. It's also 30 points per addition Marine - very pricey. The special and heavy weapons are also very expensive so we're struggling to get much in at 200 points. How about:

Sergeant, Bolt Pistol, Chainsword
4 Legionaries, Bolter
Legionnaire, Heavy Bolter

That comes in at 195. The sergeant swaps his Bolter for a Chainsword to give him an extra attack and we have one guy with a Heavy Bolter to make the most of moving and firing. The Heavy Bolter is the cheapest heavy weapon and 3 strength shots should kill most basic troopers.

Optimal? Maybe for LotD but they're pretty sub-optimal to start with. Hard to kill? Not especially, even with 3++ they'll get torrented to death. Hard to beat? Nope, lose three guys and you start taking those leadership tests. But those models are so good...

Hobby and MDF

Been a little while since my last post so what have I been up to? Well firstly we played Gav's new mission 'The Hunted' last Thursday, it ended up in a draw despite Graham's Eldar (the hunted) being taken off the board in about three turns, except his farseer hq of course. I probably could have won but I made a few silly mistakes and Graham's farseer was running like his hair was on fire!

On Saturday I went to Homebase and picked up some timber with a view to building a game board. Sadly they didn't have any plywood that was thick enough so I went for MDF, the downside to this is that the 4x4 sections are going to be HEAVY! At least they should last a good while though. I'm planning to build the table with some family help this weekend so watch this space for pictures.

Finally a slight digression into computer games. My friend Tee came up from London and he never fails to Jedi-mind-trick me into buying computer games. So the result of this particular visit was the swelling of my collection to include Mass Effect 2, Dragon Age - Origins and Supreme Commander 2. I just started ME2 and am really enjoying it, so much so that I really had to tear myself away from it to get some painting done which I need to get on with as Open War 13 is this weekend. More on that in a future post.

-- Andy, posting on the go.

Monday, 24 May 2010

Treasue Hunt

"Grab the cash and make a stash"

Seems like the old treasure map wasn't quite as "unique" as you'd been lead to believe. Can you get more loot than the enemy?

Objectives

Place one objective in the middle of the table. Place two further objectives 18" away from the first and 24" away from the long board edges. Finally each player places an objective in their own deployment zone.

Army Selection

Both players pick an army of equal value using the standard FOC.

Deployment

Both players roll a D6 and whoever rolls highest selects either of the long board edges as theirs. The other player then has the opposite long board edge as theirs. The player that rolled highest can choose to deploy first or second. Both players must deploy within 9" of their board edge.

Reserves

Any units placed in reserve are rolled for as per the rules on page 94 of the Warhammer 40,000 main rule book.

First Turn

The player that deployed first rolls a D6, on a roll of 2+, they go first. On a roll of a 1 the opposing player has stolen the initiative.

Game Length

This mission uses variable game length as described on page 90 of the Warhammer 40,000 main rule book.

Victory Conditions

Whoever controls the most objectives at the end of the game is the winner.

Special Rules

Take it with you - Any non-vehicle unit can claim an objective and once claimed that unit may take the objective with them when they move. However, once in possession of an objective marker the unit may not turbo boost or enter a vehicle.

Old map - When placing the objectives in the deployment zone, choose where you want them to go and then scatter them 2D6". Do not move it if you roll a Hit on the scatter dice.

Sunday, 23 May 2010

Build Me Up Buttercup

I bought a Sanctum Imperials this weekend since Andy is planning on making a gaming table. I've put the first floor together today:
I'll try and finish the second floor and add the buttresses and what not in the week. I also got the Urban Barricades kit so the footprint will look something like this:


Oh, and the post is called Build Me Up Buttercup because that was by The Foundations. Badum tish! Foundations? Building?

Sorry.

Saturday, 22 May 2010

The Hunted V2.0

So, after trying this mission, I've decided to make a couple of changes. These include changing the order of play, adding in the night fighting rule and changing the probability of units coming on in Turn 1. As written, the order of play was completely unfair as whoever went third in Turn 1 avoided being shot and then got two full turns. The other changes were to make sure that not too much came on in Turn 1 and what did would find it a bit harder to shoot (or be shot!) I have also added a couple of clarifications onto just how indestructible the target is.

"Let the hunt begin"

Objectives

After months of tracking your prey, you're finally ready to strike but it seems that your not the only ones after this quarry.

Army Selection

One player is the hunted and the other two players are hunters. The hunters each select a 1000 point force using the standard FOC. The hunted selects a 1500 point force using the standard FOC with the exception that they may only take one non-unique HQ.

Deployment

The hunted chooses one of the short board edges and deploys within 6 inches. They may place no units in Reserve. The hunters both roll a D6. Whoever rolls higher chooses one of the long board edges. The other hunter gets the other long board edge. Both hunters start with all of their forces in reserve but may place any infiltrators as normal.

Reserves

The hunters may start rolling for reserves from Turn 1. Units require a 5+ on a D6 to enter on Turn 1. Any unit that does not enter play in the first turn will use the normal reserve rules as described on page 94 of the Warhammer 40,000 main rule book.

First Turn

Both hunters roll a D6. Whoever rolls highest can choose whether to go first or third. The hunted always goes second. In subsequent turns all players take turns in the same order as the first turn.

Game Length

The game lasts for eight turns. Victory Conditions The hunted player wins if he get his HQ off the the short board edge opposite from their deployment zone. A hunter player wins by having the HQ captured at the end of the game. Any other result is a draw.

Special Rules

Wanted man - The aim of the game is to capture the hunted player's HQ. You can do this by removing his last would in close combat. If the HQ is down to one wound you may no longer allocate shooting wounds to him. Once captured the HQ joins the squad that captured him although he cannot shoot or fight. He must remain in squad coherency at all times. If the squad is shot at you may not allocate wounds to the enemy HQ. If the squad is wiped out by shooting the HQ escapes and is then back under the control of their owning player. if he escapes in this manner he is considered to have 1 wound again and must be re-captured in close combat. If the squad is wiped out in close combat, the squad that wiped them out take the HQ captive. If it is a squad from the hunted player's side then the HQ joins that squad and may act normally from now on (including making a consolidation move). If both squads are wiped out in combat, the HQ is considered to be free again and acts normally with 1 wound. The HQ can only be captured by infantry (including jump infantry).

Hard as nails - The hunted's HQ has the Eternal Warrior special rule. In addition, any special attacks that would cause the model to be removed from play such as Jaws of the World Wolf do not work against the HQ. The HQ and any unit that he joins also gains the Fearless special rule. If he would normally be wiped out because the exit of a vehicle he is in is blocked when the vehicle is destroyed, he somehow manages to get out and is placed normally as if the exit is not blocked. Any unit he is with would be destroyed however.

High Gravity - No unit may move more than 18" in any single player turn. Note: Consolidation moves following a successful assault do not count towards this limit.

Lucky Alf's 'ard Uns

Spike turned to him, "it's time" he said. "What do you mean?" Spike smiled. "You knew this day would come. It's time for you to start your own gang." "But why? I'm happy here." "No you're not. Some men want something bigger. You've always been one of those men. A lot of my boys wouldn't be able to start their own gangs but you're different, you'll be a great leader. Almost as good as me." Spike allowed himself a little laugh, "just stay off my patch."


Lucky Alf
Gang Leader
Bolter, Stub Gun, Dum Dum Bullets
Experience: 65


Statto
Heavy
Heavy Stubber, Shotgun
Experience: 62


Ian
Heavy
Flamer, Lasgun
Experience: 62

John
Ganger
Autogun
Experience: 22

Graham
Ganger
Shotgun, Man-Stopper Shells
Experience: 24

Eric
Ganger
Lasgun
Experience: 22

Mike
Ganger
Lasgun
Experience: 23

Clive
Ganger
Shotgun
Experience: 21

Terry J
Juve
Stub Gun
Experience: 0

Terry G
Juve
Autopistol
Laspistol
Experience: 0

Derek
Juve
Autopistol
Experience: 0

Stash: 10

Territories:
Settlement
Old Ruins
Guilder Contact
Drinking Hole
Friendly Doc

A note on the names: The original gang was Alf, Statto, John, Graham, Eric, Mike, Terry J and Terry G who were named after a character in The Fast Show, the guy on Fantasy Football and Monty Python's Flying Circus. The new members were named after Ian Broudie of the Lightning Seeds (since he's friend with Baddiel and Skinner too) and Pete and Dud's alter egos Derek and Clive. So, yeah, not exactly futuristic gang names but I felt I couldn't really change any of the old ones so I just picked the new ones to match.

Wednesday, 19 May 2010

The Hunter or the Hunted

Andy, Graham and myself are going to try this mission tomorrow so we each have to come up with a 1500 point list and a 1000 point list and then we'll dice off to see who is the hunter and who is the hunted.

The Hunted - 1500 Points

I thought about just putting my HQ on a bike or a Thunderwolf and just try to get him off the board in three turns. This lead to me adding the High Gravity special rule. Still, a bike or cavalry would still be a good way to make your escape. However, I've never had any luck with bikes and I don't have any Thunderwolves. So, we definitely need a vehicle of some kind. Ideally, we also need a HQ who is useful in combat and a nice large squad to stop him being captured. So let's try:

Wolf Priest

15 Blood Claws, 2 Flamers, Power Fist

Land Raider Crusader, Multimelta, Extra Armour

That's 625 points spent! However, it'll be tough to stop. Hopefully. I'll keep it moving 12" a turn and try and pick a good turn to pop smoke.

So, now we need some support. The purpose of the rest of the list will to act as distractions and speed bumps while my Land Raider zooms off the board. I'll also need some other vehicles just in case the Raider gets popped so that my Wolf Priest can still catch a ride.

5 Grey Hunters, Razorback

5 Grey Hunters, Razorback, Twin-Linked Assault Cannon

5 Grey Hunters, Razorback, Twin-Linked Lascannon

So these guys have lost their special weapons from my normal list. They should be able to provide cover for the Land Raider and they have the ability to move and shoot so they're in.

Predator, Lascannon Sponsons

This is to threaten anything that may threaten the Land Raider.

Land Speeder, Multimelta, Heavy Flamer

Land Speeder, Multimelta, Heavy Flamer

Again these are to attack any tanks that can damage my Land Raider and also to block charges just in case the Wolf Priest ends up on foot.

That leaves me with 200 points left to spend and I'm not really sure what else to take, so let's go with

Dreadnought, Assault Cannon

Predator, Heavy Bolter Sponsons, Storm Bolter

Some mobile dakka and a rescue unit in case my Wolf Priest manages to get himself captured.

The Hunter - 1000 Points

Hmm, less points to play with this time but it's essentially 2 against 1 until we get the enemy HQ out of his transport. This time we'll need some mobile anti-tank and a couple of units that are good in combat so that we can capture the HQ and keep him. A Wolf Priest on a bike with some Swift Claws would be perfect but I don't have said Wolf Priest. However, I do have a Rune Priest on a bike and while he's not been very good in past games, he must be due a good game sometime soon. Right?

Rune Priest, Living Lightning, Murderous Hurricane, Bike, Chooser of the Slain

4 Swift Claws, Power Weapon, Heavy Bolter Attack Bike

I thought about giving the Rune Priest Jaws of the World Wolf but reasoned that Murderous Hurricane would be better for slowing down that HQ.

10 Grey Hunters, 2 Meltaguns, Power Weapon, Rhino

10 Grey Hunters, 2 Flamers, Power Weapon, Rhino

Wot no Razorback spam? Well, I figure that I'll need the 10 man squads to ensure I win combats and make the capture. Having said that;

5 Grey Hunters, Razorback, Twin-Linked Lascannon

I figure thatI'll need to stop a vehicle and there's nothing better at extreme range than the good old Lascannon. However, we'd better take a bit more anti-tank too

Land Speeder, Multimelta, Heavy Flamer

Land Speeder, Multimleta, Heavy Flamer

That only leave me with 15 points left to spend and as cheap as Predators are, they're not quite that cheap. So, let's give the Rune Priest Melta Bombs to give him a bit more oompf and let's give the Rhino with the Flamer squad in it a Hunter Killer Missile.

So, there we go, two lists. I'm happy with the first one but I'm not totally convinced by the bikers in the second but that's just because I'm still not that good at running bikers. However, I think that most of my problems stem from running a squad that is a couple of Swift Claws too small but I think that this one (6 models, 8 wounds) should be a good size for this size game.

Tuesday, 18 May 2010

The gang's all here

So, following up from this post it's time to finish up my Necromunda gang. I admit I did have a moment of weakness and considered getting a Cawdor gang just because they have more models available from GW but I fought the temptation and I'm sticking with my Delaque. Now, after some thinking and some research I've decided I need another Ganger to maximise income and another Heavy since now is as good a time as any to get one. Then we'll see how many credits we have left and decide whether to get another Juve or some Underhive Scum. Let's take a Heavy with a Flamer and a Lasgun (since the Flamer has to take a 4+ ammo roll each time you use it so we need a back-up weapon). I'm going to give the Ganger a Shotgun because it's my favourite standard gun. That's 195 of our remaining 255 spent. So, that leaves three options:

1) Leave the gang as it is and put the remaining Credits in the Stash

2) Hire Underhive Scum

3) Get another Juve

and I could make a good argument for all three options. However since more guys is more better, let's take another Juve. An Autopistol is the perfect weapon for it's +2 to hit at close range and that's our gang done.

Territory

So, we get 5 rolls on a D66 table. Now, the territory I really want is Settlement. It only generates average income but you get a 1 in 6 chance of a free Juve after every game. Let's see what we get:

Settlement

Excellent! First up!

Old Ruins

Ah well, win some, lose some. This is possibly the worst territory as it only generates 10 Credits and doesn't have any special rules.

Guilder Contact

Not bad, not bad.

Drinking Hole

Again, another solid territory

Friendly Doc

Good income and you can sell any of your gang that die as organ donors.

Solid in the end rather than spectacular. I would have preferred Tunnels to Old Ruins but you can't have everything I guess.

At the weekend, I'll finish naming my gang and I'll roll for their experience.

Monday, 17 May 2010

The Hunted

"Let the hunt begin"

Objectives

After months of tracking your prey, you're finally ready to strike but it seems that your not the only ones after this quarry.

Army Selection

One player is the hunted and the other two players are hunters. The hunters each select a 1000 point force using the standard FOC. The hunted selects a 1500 point force using the standard FOC with the exception that they may only take one non-unique HQ.

Deployment

The hunted chooses one of the short board edges and deploys within 6 inches. They may place no units in Reserve. The hunters both roll a D6. Whoever rolls higher chooses one of the long board edges. The other hunter gets the other long board edge. Both hunters start with all of their forces in reserve but may place any infiltrators as normal.

Reserves

The hunters may start rolling for reserves from Turn 1. Units require a 4+ on a D6 to enter on Turn 1. Any unit that does not enter play in the first turn will use the normal reserve rules as described on page 94 of the Warhammer 40,000 main rule book.

First Turn

Both hunters roll a D6. Whoever rolls highest can choose whether to go first or third. The hunted always goes second. In subsequent turns the hunters alternate between going first and third. So, whoever goes first in the first turn would go third in turn two etc.

Game Length

The game lasts for eight turns.

Victory Conditions

The hunted player wins if he get his HQ off the the short board edge opposite from their deployment zone. A hunter player wins by having the HQ captured at the end of the game. Any other result is a draw.

Special Rules

Wanted man - The aim of the game is to capture the hunted player's HQ. You can do this by removing his last would in close combat. If the HQ is down to one wound you may no longer allocate shooting wounds to him. Once captured the HQ joins the squad that captured him although he cannot shoot or fight. He must remain in squad coherency at all times. If the squad is shot at you may not allocate wounds to the enemy HQ. If the squad is wiped out by shooting the HQ escapes and is then back under the control of their owning player. if he escapes in this manner he is considered to have 1 wound again and must be re-captured in close combat. If the squad is wiped out in close combat, the squad that wiped them out take the HQ captive. If it is a squad from the hunted player's side then the HQ joins that squad and may act normally from now on (including making a consolidation move). If both squads are wiped out in combat, the HQ is considered to be free again and acts normally with 1 wound. The HQ can only be captured by infantry (including jump infantry).

Hard as nails - The hunted's HQ has the Eternal Warrior special rule. In addition, any spedial attacks that would cause the model to be removed from play such as Jaws of the World Wolf do not work against the HQ.

High Gravity - No unit may move more than 18" in any single player turn. Note: Consolidation moves following a successful assault do not count towards this limit.

Sunday, 16 May 2010

There's something moving in here, and it ain't us

Clearly, from Andy's post, you can see that he admits to cheating! I'd have thought by now he'd realise that neither of us are supposed to make plans. Tsk! How am I supposed to play against tactics?

Seriously though, full congratulations to Andy on his victories. I could blame my defeats on bad luck (low Command Points, jamming Storm Bolters, getting one 3 'stealer Blip all game), that would just be covering up my tactical deficiencies. As Marines I failed to get the two squads to join up and I was too busy trying to cover all possible Genestealer entry points rather then escape with the CAT as quickly as possible. In the end I was just hoping to get lucky enough to drive the CAT to my final guy and make a quick exit. For some reason that didn't work either. I had a similar problem with the Genestealers making a half-arsed attempt to kill one squad and then the other rather than focusing on keeping the two squads apart and then attacking them piecemeal.

All in all, no focus on either side; something which Andy did have and so two deserved victories.

Heresy, Blips and Beers

This weekend Warhammer World was running an Age of the Emperor (AotE) campaign weekend so when I tried to book a table I got a stifled chuckle and an apology. So Gav and I decided to try our luck as I was told two tables had been kept free but were not able to be reserved. Sadly upon our arrival we were told that the two free tables had been reserved earlier in the morning (insert "stifled-expletive-hidden behind understanding-smile" here). Fortunately Gav had suggested I bring along Space Hulk in case we couldn't get a 40k table; so we got a beer table instead, outside Bugmans and set up a mission, with some drinks, in the bright summer sunshine (honestly, sun, in the midlands, in May! I was surprised too).

The mission we went for was Mission 3 - Rescue (the table was not big enough for the board required for Mission 2 - Cleanse), this is the one where you have two teams of Marines at either end of the board and you have to escort the C.A.T from one entry point to the other. I was a bit dubious about the mission as I thought it strongly favoured the Genestealers but it turned out to be a lot of fun (mostly for me though!).

I took the 'stealers' first and decided that I was going to go for the middle of the board before Gav could control either of the major corridors which allowed my blips to enter and contest the centre quickly. I also misunderstood the rule about blips having to lurk if a marine is within 6 spaces of their entry point, I didn't realise they only had to lurk 1 turn and could come on after that! Because of this I didn't bother trying to bring blips on from the entry points closest to his starting areas. As it turned out this probably worked in my favour.

I manged to get a large number of blips into the centre of the board and quickly and whittled down his unit carrying the C.A.T., crucially taking out his marine with the Heavy Flamer in the process. In the other half of the board I was throwing 'stealers into the firey maw of his Assault Cannon. I was purely trying to get him to expend his ammo so I could make a serious attempt at wiping out this squad before the loose C.A.T. made it's way to that team.

In the end I managed to wipe him out, at great cost to the hive mind, but hey I guess they'll get melted down and used for new bio-organisms anyway, no great loss there then. So that was 1-0 to the 'stealers and, after a refill, we swapped sides.

Having seen the game play out I had a clear idea of the tactic I wanted to employ, I was going to keep my teams together and get to the central corridors with 'stealer spawn points as quickly as possible. My Assault Cannon would basically hold the fort against anything coming in from the left edge of the board while my team with the C.A.T. would move as quickly as possible towards them because if the Assault Cannon ran out of ammo before they got past his position I would be screwed!

The plan went well and was helped by Gav placing his first bips behind where I was going. It did mean I had to set a rear guard for each team, but I was going to do that anyway. My plan went as intended and I was able to get the C.A.T. across the board with the loss of only 5 marines. I have to say I was really helped a lot by Gav's bad luck with his blips, if he'd had a few more 3's rather then the 1's and 2's that kept showing up I would have had a much harder time but as it was, my rear guard held firm with the Heavy Flamer shutting off routes as we advanced. The Assault Cannon did it's job well too, keeping the corridors clear until Squad Lorenzo got past, but again bigger blip counts would have caused me more problems with the Assault Cannon's limited ammo supply. Anyway, 'twas a good fun game and made up for the thrashing I received on the 40k tables the other week!



After the game we went for a wander around the tables to have a look at the armies people had bought to the AotE campaign weekend and I have to say I'm always blown away by the quality of the modeling and the painting players bring for these types of events. Armies that stick in my head include a great number of White Scars lists, a beautiful box full of Word Bearers, some brilliantly painted (yellow) Imperial Fists and some stunning looking Thunderwolf Cavalry conversions, pictures below:



Saturday, 15 May 2010

Rhino Rush

So, I'm changing things around a bit with today's 1750 list, going more Rhinos and less Razorbacks. I'm not entirely sure how it will work but it has some good long range fire power and if I can get the two twin Meltagun squads into midfield the game should be all but won.

Rune Priest, Chooser of the Slain, Living Lightning, Murderous Hurricane

Rune Priest, Chooser of the Slain, Living Lightning, Jaws of the World Wolf

Dreadnought, Twin-Linked Autocannon, Twin Linked Autocannon

10 Grey Hunters, 2 Meltaguns, Power Weapon, Rhino

10 Grey Hunters, 2 Meltaguns, Rhino

10 Grey Hunters, 2 Flamers, Power Weapon, Rhino

5 Grey Hunters, Plasma Gun, Rhino

5 Grey Hunters, Plasma Gun, Rhino

Land Speeder, Multimelta, Heavy Flamer

Land Speeder, Multimelta, Heavy Flamer

6 Long Fangs, 4 Rocket Launchers, Lascannon

6 Long Fangs, 4 Rocket Launchers, Lascannon

Predator, Lascannon Sponsons

So, no Wolf Scouts this week. I'm also trying the 2 Speeders separately rather than in a squadron just to see how they go. One final note on all of my lists; I always give the Long Fangs Rocket Launchers as I don't think that MISSile Launchers are as accurate.

Friday, 14 May 2010

Open War 13

Right, list submission time is nearly upon me again and I have one last play-test on Saturday against those damn Wolves. I'm not expecting great things but here's the list and my musings:

HQ
Pedro Kantor
Librarian w. Terminator Armour, Storm Bolter, Vortex of Doom and Gate of Infinity

Pedro is in the list to make Sternguard units scoring and to support my home base defending units with his Aura and he'll be in a Rhino so he can at least use his Orbital Bombardment.

I was considering Lysander as a second HQ but I thought this was probably overkill (I may revert to him depending on the outcome on Saturday) but the Librarian ticks a number of Boxes in terms of Psychic defense and quick re-deployment of the Drop Pod transported unit he is comming in with.

Elite
Sternguard A
(7) 2x Lascannon; Rhino
Sternguard B
(10) 4x Combi-Melta, Power Fist; Drop Pod
Dreadnought
2x TL Autocannon; Drop Pod

Sternguard A will be sat at the back with Pedro providing long range fire support and a pretty strong deterrent to any assault force with their special ammo and 3 attacks base thanks to Pedro's Aura

Sternguard B will be dropping with the Librarian as an anti-AV14 unit or a late game objective assault unit (the Dreadnought's Pod will allow me to keep this unit in reserve for late game deployment)

The Dreadnought is your basic anti-infantry/light armour unit that can play a back-line or midfield support role.

Troops
Tactical Squad A
(10) Plasmagun, Plasma Cannon, Power Fist; Rhino
Tactical Squad B
(5) Razorback w. TL Lascannon

Tactical Squad A are the anti heavy armour unit, the Rhino allows them some mobility but deployment will be Key as I want to be able to get the most out of both Plasma Weapons. Tactical Squad B are the mobile "heavy sniper" unit, teaming up with the Lascannon Sternies will bring the best results but they can also redeploy early and not lose any effectiveness.

Fast Attack
2x Landspeeder Typhoons

These are two separate units for flexibility and act as mobile heavy support units able to take on heavy armour and massed troops.

Heavy Support
Thunderfire Cannon

I always find these useful, it can be a fire magnet as it's difficult to decide to ignore it and against most armies it can really weigh in with some damage if it's given even a turn to fire.

So that's the list, 1750pts. Wadda ya think?

Odd Man Out

So, we've had the new Space Wolf codex for over six months now and one of the proofs that it's such a good book is the sheer number of different builds you can get out of it. Recently I've been playing around with some of the Special Characters and I've tried out Bjorn, Ragnar, Njal and Canis. I've also put together a Logan list. However, I've seen a real lack of Ulrik lists, both online and on the table. It's not that he's bad, it's just that so many of his special rules are situational. I think that most people look at a normal Wolf Priest for 80 points less and see that they can get Preferred Enemy against any troop type rather that just becoming the T5 monster slayers that Ulrik gives. The issue is really that since most players play Space Marines, unless you're up against a Plague Marine army or a bike army there's not much T5 out there. The thing is, I quite like Ulrik; the model is a bit old but it's on of the first Space Wolves I ever bought. His fluff is great, he's the man who killed three Bezerkers in hand to hand combat and he's the only Space Wolf who is older than Logan Grimnar. Plus, he's actually the cheapest Space Wolf special character and he definitely has 180 points worth of wargear and special rules. And yet. And yet, those 80 points could almost get you 6 extra Blood Claws to go with your Wolf Priest. The +1 WS buff for one other model is nice but the Wolf Helm of Russ making people take Leadership tests before attacking Ulrik is awesome against some armies but nearly useless against others. The re-rollable leadership for LOS is also very nice but for some reason it feels like something is missing. The thing is, if they'd let him give his squad Feel No Pain, which would have been very fluffy, Ulrik would have been in a lot of lists. As it is he feels like he was custom made to fight against the Tyranids, which, given the release schedule he might have been. Maybe when the Space Wolf 2nd wave comes out, he'll get an amazing new model and people will field him purely under the rule of cool. Although, it's more likely that everyone will just buy lots and lots of Thunderwolves (that's my plan anyway). I'm going to make a pledge now to try Ulrik out in one of my next games, maybe he'll prove me and the rest of the internet wrong and be fantastic. I do hope so. In fact I might put together a Blood Claw army once these guys are ready, representing Ulrik's latest recruits on their first mission.

Thursday, 13 May 2010

More from the Painter's Table

More work from my painting table. Here are the next two stages of the work on my Ork Warboss. First off this is the wash stage straight after the base coat, I used blue wash over the blue metalic areas and a sepia wash over the bronze areas. After that I washed the whole model with a heavy black wash:



First highlights are next, basicaly this is just knarloc green over the flesh areas and mithril silver over all the metallic areas. In places where I've accidentally over-highlighted I wash with an appropriate colour to tone the colour back down again, this is most visible on the cloth hanging from his waist:



Finally I've done a little conversion on a Sternguard with a Lascannon thanks to a unit Gav inspird me to shoehorn into a list. More to come on that later but this model was a very basic kit-bash with a little shaving here and there and guitar wire to replace the pipe work I had to trim off to adjust the pose. Paint job to follow:

Wednesday, 12 May 2010

In the Court of the Wolf King

No game this week due to the darts(!) but I thought I'd post up a list anyway. After seeing a Logan list win Warp Storm 2 the other week I've decided it's time for the Wolf Wing. I'm going to go with a purely Terminator Wolf Guard army even though this will probably be sub-par. I think that good Logan lists will have a mix of Terminator Armour and Power Armour with some Long Fangs to make the most of Logan's special rules. However, I really love the new Wolf Guard Terminator box set and this will give me an excuse to buy another one.

Logan Grimnar

The top dog (or wolf), some nice wargear and some good special rules but very pricey. Can't do Wolf Wing without him though.

10 Wolf Guard, Terminator Armour, 2 Cyclone Missile Launchers

Logan goes here and gives them the Tank Hunters special rule (4 Krak Missiles per turn) as they march across the battlefield and then gives Preferred Enemy as they charge into combat.

5 Wolf Guard, Terminator Armour, Assault Cannon, Drop Pod

The first wave. They've got enough shooting to take out most infantry squads or with a sensible drop they should get side or rear armour for the Assault Cannon. They're not impossible to kill but they are tough with 2+/5++ saves and there aren't many units in the game that would want to charge this squad. Hopefully they'll provide a killy distraction while Logan and his boys get into position.

5 Wolf Guard, Terminator Armour, Heavy Flamer, Land Raider

The 2nd wave. The Land Raider provides some more anti-tank while getting the boys inside where they need to be. Hopefully this will attract a lot of heavy weapon fire keeping Logan safe.

Hmm, so that leaves 185 points left to spend. Extra Armour and a Multimelta on the Land Raider are no brainers. I could change the Land Raider to a Crusader and then get 3 more Wolf Guard but I feel I really need those Lascannons. So, 50 more points gets us a couple of Power Fists in Logan's squad and a Chainfist in each of the other squads. 25 Points gets a twin Wolf Claw model in the Land Raider and a single Wolf Claw guy in each of the other squads. 85 Points left. I've spoken before about the option for 85 points but I don't think any of those fit in with the theme of the army (yes, despite all of the MSU WAAC lists I normally run, I'm a fluffy gamer at heart). Let's drop one of the regular troops from the Land Raider squad and replace him with a Wolf Guard Battle Leader in Terminator Armour with a Frost Blade and there we are: 1497 points. So, the list in full:

Logan Grimnar

Wolf Guard Battle Leader, Terminator Armour, Frost Blade, Melta Bombs

10 Wolf Guard, Terminator Armour, 2 Cyclone Missile Launchers, 2 Power Fists, Wolf Claw

5 Wolf Guard, Terminator Armour, Assault Cannon, Chainfist, Wolf Claw, Drop Pod

4 Wolf Guard, Chainfist, Twin Wolf Claws, Land Raider, Extra Armour, Multimelta

I also had to drop the Heavy Flamer because the squad dropped below 5 models. I'd also like to note the lack of Combi weapons; this is due to my lack of modelling expertise rather than a tactical decision.

All in all, I think this would be a fun list to play but with only 21 troops each guy who dies is really going to cost you. It's also a hybrid list which I'm a bit uncomfortable about. I think that Logan might only work at 2000 points and above but I'd still like to give this list a go. With a bit of luck it should do alright.

Tuesday, 11 May 2010

Wolfy WIP

Okay, so here is another post that I have blatantly ripped off from Andy. Here is what I have been working on last weekend.

First up, two Wolf Guard armed with Storm Bolters. I made the Thunder Hammer guy just because he looks cool and the other guy is for my Drop Pod list




Another Wolf Guard, this time with a Frost/Power Axe. Again, I've not really got any plans for him but he does look good. To be honest the Space Wolf Pack comes with so many bitz it's hard not to just start gluing troops together.



This is a second squad of Blood Claws. I've used the running legs and some axes from some Chaos Marauders. I'm not surprised that we don't see many Blood Claw lists since they're not quite as good as their older brothers, the Grey Hunters. Once these guys are finished I'm definitely going to playtest a list with two squads in it; they'll do well as long as they get the charge.



These are my Blood Claws from 2nd Edition. I've included them here as I'm going to do some weapon swaps and make them into Sky Claws. Maybe I'll do a Blood Claw army - Blood Claws, Sky Claws and Swift Claws (well, once I've learned how to use the Swift Claws)





And finally, here's a Sniper Scout. I only had 5 and thought it wasn't quite enough so here's the 6th member for the squad. His head is from the Knights of the White Wolf Empire squad.



As you can see I'm not just lazy at painting but I'm also becoming lazy at finishing models and undercoating too. I do really need to get some painting done this weekend and I really need to focus on exactly which list I'll be taking to Open War. After all, October isn't that far away.

Monday, 10 May 2010

Current WIP

I've got the painting bug bad at the moment so here's a couple of pics of the work I have been up to and stil have in progress.

First of all a little group shot, Ork Warboss on the left, a Sternguard with a combi-weapon in the middle and a Marine Scout on the right



And a close up on the Warboss, still at base-coat stage with a few more colours to add before I wash the lot to tone down the colours before I start highlighting. The coloured metallics were inspired by and Ork army I played against at the Warp Storm Tournament the other week.

Sunday, 9 May 2010

Warpstorm 2 - Part 2

Game 4
Dawn of War / Capture & Control
vs Orks (Warboss & Nob squad in Trukk, Big Mek and 11-man Boyz Squad in Trukk, 12-man Boyz Squad in Trukk, 20-man Boys Squad, 5-man Burna Boyz Squad, 5-man Loota Squad, 11-man Gretchin Squad, 3-man Bike Squad, 2x Deff Dreads, 2x Killa Kanz, Looted Wagon w. Boom Gun)

This was an all important bottom table clash. I've already received a wooden spoon in my short tournament "career" so I was keen to ensure it wasn't 2 out of 3 tournys ending that way!

My opponent had a large amount or really fantastically painted orks. Beautifully understated in dull rusty colours but some fantastic blending and drybrushing really gave it the wow factor!

The game went pretty much by the book with me pouring firepower into his transports and him trying to get his hammer units onto my objective. In the end I was able to fend off his Nob and bike squads and finish the game in control of my objective.

Over on the other side of the table my Furioso had landed next to a couple of big squads of boys. I thought I was about to unleash the pain against a target Blood Tallons were surely made for ... Sadly this was not to be as in two round of combat I managed to kill a paltry 4 boyz before the power claws took their toll. This left the
job of clearing the objective to my Land Raider and the lads inside. Their carge was suitably devistating taking out a unit of 20 boys in 1 round of combat and retreating back into the Land Raider to contest the other objective.

RESULT: WIN 1-0

Game 5
Dawn of War / Seize Ground
vs Imperial Guard (Command Squad (Chimera), 3x Veteran Squads (Chimeras), 2x Penal Legion Squads, 2x Vendettas, 2x Leman Russ Demolishers, 2x Sentinels, Manticore)

I made a number of mistakes in this game, firstly I was forced to split my forces to thinly thanks to my own objective placement tactic ... Don't ask! Secondly there were only ways past the big bit of terrain on this piece of table, all of which he had covered with something nasty, and I still becided to thin out my force and attack through two out of the three routes. Perhaps this doesn't sound like a big mistake but he, very cleverly bloked the path for my Land Raider unit with a Chimera allowing him to focus on the less heavily armoured prong of my attack. Despite this I did manage to get my Land Raider through, eventually and the group ended up contesting 2 of the three objectives in that ares.

However this tactic left the remainder of my force seriously unsupported and they were whittled down over a couple of turns before being quite easily overrun by the outflanking Penal Legion Squads and Vendettas. If it had gone another turn I may have been able to pull off a draw thanks to my Land Raider unit being in position to do some serious damage to some exposed guard units but it ended and that was that.

RESULT: LOSS 2-0

Game 6
Pitched Battle/ Annihilation
vs Eldar (Eldrad, Farseer, 6 Striking Scorpions, 5 Fire Dragons, 2x 6-man Dire Avenger Squads (Wave Serpents), 3x Vipers, 3x Guardian Jet Bikes & Warlock w. Destructor), Falcon, Fire Prism)

Last game of the tournament and probably the best. There was a lot of cagey sniping and manouvering in the centre of the table. Thanks to both my Razorbacks again getting immobilised in the only lane out from behind the two large pieces of impassable terrain, my Land Raider was cut off from the bulk of the fighting again! I had to wait until the Razorbacks got wrecked before it could roll over them and back into the action. However, my two Dreadnoughts tore up the right flank. My blood talons finally proved their worth managing to take out Eldrad and a unit of Guardian Jet Bikers before going to on finish of a group of Fire Dragons. The Rifleman was it's usual efficient self taking out transports and backing up the Furioso with some fire support.

The game was close right the way through until the last turn when I got a 2 KP lead and he really had nothing left which could make an impact. However I had two units out in the open which he could tank shock for an attempt at the tie. He managed to break one of them counting as destroyed as they were falling back at the end of the game. Fortunately the other squad passed their morale checks and I eeked out a win!

RESULT - WIN 6-5

Overall I finished 15th out of 22 and tied for first place in sportsmanship which after Day 1's showing I was more than happy with.

Conclusion

A couple of things I took from this tournamnet, first of all play your list before the tournament. Pretty obvious really but I didn't and I definitely missed out, I forgot to roll for the Red Thirst at the start of all but one game. I also really didn't get the best out of my units, I forgot to use the Extra Armour on my Land Raider, I definitely did not get the best out of the unit in the Land Raider who really packed a punch when I did manage to get them into the fight. The Furioso with the Blood Talons was massively under-whelming, after 6 games he killed about 14 models, nowhere near his point cost. In most games he got quickly immobilised or just taken out of the game in some other way. It's possible that I just need more practice with this unit but I think I would have dropped it after a few practice games if I'd played them before-hand.

The Baal Pred was OK but again I need more practice with it to get the best out of it. I was using it as a bit of a suicide unit helping with taking out armoured targets, it's definitely capable of much more. Also I felt that the 5 man units were not strong enough, the Razorback added some fire power to the list but the 5 man units were easily over-run when out of their vehicles and, let's face, it AV11 is not that hard to pop for any army. Basically I wasn't happy with much at all in the list but I don't blame it on the list, I think it's viable I just need more experience in using the components. The notable exception being the Furioso with Blood Talons, I will not be taking this unit again ... ever!

On the upside the hammer unit in the Land Raider was awsome (when it got out!) and the Rifleman Dreadnought was a consistently good performer in all the games. I'm going back to a vanilla marine list for the tournament at the end of May but after that I'm committing to the Blood Angels 'dex as there's a lot of great stuff in there and a huge amount of flexibility in the lists you can build. I'm leaning to a more jump unit centric build though raher than this mech biased one, and I've just got to include a Storm Raven :)

Watch this space for news from Open War 13 at the end of the month.

Saturday, 8 May 2010

Back to the Underhive

After reading the articles by GWvsJohn, here and here and also playing quite a bit of Kill Team recently, I've decided to get my old Necromunda gang back together. The game is a bit more in-depth than Kill Team but still only takes about an hour to play. Obviously at some point I'll need to find someone to play against and it's a bit of a pain that most of the models are OOP but we'll ignore that for now. Now, I've got the old Delaque box so that's an 8 strong gang right there. So, let's see what we've got and see how many credits it will cost:

Gang Leader, Bolt Gun, Stub Gun

Heavy, Heavy Stubber, Shotgun

Ganger, Lasgun

Ganger, Lasgun

Ganger, Autogun

Ganger, Shotgun

Juve, Stub Gun

Juve, Auto Pistol, Laspistol

Hmm, 745. That leaves 255 to pad out the gang a bit. I always used to take some Hive Scum as for 15 Credits a fight they have some pretty good stats and are excellent bullet catchers (in Necromunda you have to shoot at the nearest visible model) which can protect your "proper" gang. I probably need another Ganger though and maybe more Juves since they're cheap but get better really quickly. Next week, I'll put a proper gang together and then start searching for some games. Hopefully people won't mind playing against Grey Hunter 'counts as' Gangers while I search for some models.

Charging a Rhino

On Thursday, due to my tactical brilliance (ie luck) I managed to multi-charge a Tactical Squad and their Rhino. The two Wolf Scouts tried to blow it up with their Krak Grenades but failed completely which left me wondering whether I would have been better attacking it normally. The best I could have done would have been a glance but if I could have stopped it moving I would have auto-hit with the Kraks in Andy's turn. Anyway, let's see what the maths advises:

P(Kraks) = P(Hit) x P(Glance or Pen) x Number of Attacks
= 1/2 x 1/2 x 2
= 1/2

P(Close Combat) = P(Hit) x (P(Glance) x Number of Attacks
= 1/2 x 1/6 x 6
= 1/2

Hmm, exactly the same. The Kraks have the advantage of being able to actually penetrate the Rhino though. However, I'd mitigate that by saying that the more dice you roll, the more likely you are to have something good happen (plus I'm rubbish at rolling to hit so more dice is definitely good for me!)

Thursday, 6 May 2010

Last minute changes

Well, I've slept on it and decided that 3 units of Long Fangs is too many. So, instead I will be running this list tonight:

Rune Priest, Chooser of the Slain, Living Lightning, Murderous Hurricane

Rune Priest, Chooser of the Slain, Living Lightning, Jaws of the World Wolf

Dreadnought, Multimelta, Drop Pod

6 Wolf Scouts, Meltagun

Lone Wolf, Terminator Armour, Storm Shield, Thunder Hammer

5 Grey Hunters, Plasma Gun, Rhino

5 Grey Hunters, Plasma Gun, Rhino

5 Grey Hunters, Meltagun, Razorback

5 Grey Hunters, Meltagun, Razorback, Twin-Linked Assault Cannons

5 Grey Hunters, Razorback, Twin-Linked Lascannons

2 Land Speeders, Heavy Flamer, Multimelta

6 Long Fangs, 4 Rocket Launchers, 1 Lascannon

6 Long Fangs, 4 Rocket Launchers, 1 Lascannon

Predator, Heavy Bolter Sponsons

I really wanted to try out the Drop Podding Dread but I've made a couple of other minor changes.

Wednesday, 5 May 2010

Evolution not Revolution

I was really happy with the way my army performed last week. However, I'm still not sold on the Vindicator. Yes, it blew up a Land Raider last week and yes, it would have been awesome at Warp Storm with that amount of cover on the table to keep it safe. Anyway, it's a bit boring to run the same list two weeks running. Now, the obviously solution is to bring in a Autocannon/Lascannon Predator. Nah, let's shake things up a bit:

Rune Priest, Chooser of the Slain, Living Lightning, Murderous Hurricane

Rune Priest, Chooser of the Slain, Living Lightning, Jaws of the World Wolf

Dreadnought, Multimelta, Drop Pod

6 Wolf Scouts, Meltagun

Lone Wolf, Terminator Armour, Thunder Hammer, Storm Shield

5 Grey Hunters, Plasma Gun, Rhino

5 Grey Hunters, Plasma Gun, Rhino

5 Grey Hunters, Meltagun, Razorback

5 Grey Hunters, Meltagun, Razorback, Twin-Linked Assault Cannons

5 Grey Hunters, Razorback, Twin-Linked Lascannons

2 Land Speeders, Heavy flamer, Multimelta

6 Long Fangs, 4 Rocket Launchers, 1 Lascannon

5 Long Fangs, 3 Rocket Launchers, 1 Lascannon

5 Long Fangs, 4 Rocket Launchers

So, a Drop Podding Dread and some more Long Fangs give me some more long range anti-armour. I'm not sure if I'll be able to find space for 16 Long Fangs on every board but we'll see how it goes.

Tuesday, 4 May 2010

M*A*S*H*

Objectives

You must try and rescue your injured troops and damaged vehicles so that they can be patched up and returned to the fight.

Army Selection

Both players select an army of equal points value using the standard FOC.

Deployment

Both players roll a D6 and whoever rolls highest selects either of the long board edges as theirs. The other player then has the opposite long board edge as theirs. The player that rolled highest can choose to deploy first or second. Both players must deploy within 12" of their board edge.

Reserves

Any units placed in reserve are rolled for as per the rules on page 94 of the Warhammer 40,000 main rule book.

First Turn

The player that deployed first rolls a D6, on a roll of 2+, they go first. On a roll of a 1 the opposing player has stolen the initiative.

Game Length

This mission uses variable game length as described on page 90 of the Warhammer 40,000 main rule book.

Victory Conditions

At the end of the game you control an objective if there is at least one of your scoring units, and no enemy unit within 3" of it. Always measure this distance from the centre of the objective. The player who controls the most objectives wins

Special Rules

Medic! - The games starts with no objectives on the board. Instead, place an objective down at the places where the first five units are wiped out in the game. A vehicle would become an objective following a Wrecked or Destroyed result.

Early morning fog - The first turn uses the night fighting rules

Warp Storm 2 - Part 1

So I attended Warp Storm 2 at Maelstrom Games in Mansfield this weekend, the tournament was 6 games over 2 days and scoring included points for game results, painting and sportsmanship. The six games were pre-determined combinations of the deployments and missions in the main rule book.

A couple of things to note before I go into the games, the tables were great and the terrain was fantastic and plentiful, actually too plentiful in my opinion. Every table had a massive piece of impassable terrain in the middle of it, roughly the size of 1/6 of the table, if not a little bigger. As well as that one huge piece of terrain there was probably sufficient terrain to cover at least half the board, so as you can imagine maneuvering large vehicles was very difficult and dangerous terrain tests were required pretty much every turn.

I think the tables would have been much more even if the one large piece had been removed from each table and the rest of the terrain re-arranged. I may have felt differently if I'd taken a foot-slogging horde army but as it was I think it favoured gun-lines who could dig in and footslogging hordes who pretty much always got cover saves. To be honest I don't think different terrain lay-outs would have made much of a difference to my performance but there was one game in particular where I thought terrain played a huge part in the result ... I'll get to that though.

Otherwise the tournament was extremely well run and all the people I played against were great sports and enjoyed the game for the fun of it rather than winning at all costs. That sort of attitude just makes tournaments worthwhile for me as I only really play in them to get a few games against some new people. Anyway, on with the action, I'm not going to go into minute detail, just a quick overview of the key points and anything I managed to take away from the game.

My list:

HQ
Librarian
Epistolary, The Sanguine Sword, Unleash Rage

Elite
Furioso Dreadnought
Blood Talons, Storm Bolter, Meltagun; Drop Pod
Sternguard
(7) 4x Combi-Melta, Power Fist; Rhino
Sanguinary Priests
(2)

Troop
Assault Squad A
(8) 1x Meltagun, Power Weapon; Land Raider w. Extra Armour, Searchlight & Multi Melta
Assault Squad B
(5) Flamer, Power Fist; Razorback w. Twin Linked Assault Cannon
Assault Squad C
(5) Meltagun; Razorback w. Twin Linked Lascannon

Fast Attack
Baal Predator
Twin Linked Assault Cannons, Heavy Bolter Sponsons

Heavy Support
Dreadnought
2x Twin Linked Autocannons; Drop Pod



Game 1
Spearhead / Seize Ground (5 objectives)
vs Grey Knights (Justicar w. retinue, 2x 8-man Grey Knight Squads, 1x 5-man Grey Knight Squad, 2x Land Raiders, Dreadnought (TL Lascannon & Missile Launcher))

Really fun game against a great opponent. There were only two routes across the board thanks to a massive landing pad right in the middle and I managed to block one with two immobilised Razorbacks by the end of turn 1 forcing my Land Raider to drive the long way around to get into the action. I think this decision cost me the game, if I'd kept my main force together it would have been difficult for him to overrun the objectives late in the game and I would have had enough bodies to take at least two of the objectives and probably contest another with the crucial 4th objective well out of his reach.

RESULT: LOSS 2-1


Game 2
Pitched Battle / Capture & Control
vs Eldar (Eldrad, Farseer, 6 Striking Scorpions, 5 Fire Dragons, 2x 6-man Dire Avenger Squads (Wave Serpents), 3x Vipers, 3x Guardian Jet Bikes & Warlock w. Destructor), Falcon, Fire Prism.

The Eldar reserved everything giving me 2 turns to move across the board towards his objective but pretty much guaranteeing a draw as it was unlikely that I would be able to kill enough fast moving units to stop him contesting on the last turn, particularly as he had the last turn. Neither of us played very well, he forgot to roll for his psychic powers on all but one turn and I didn't manage to get my "hammer unit" out of it's Land Raider for yet another game when I feel it could have contributed any number of times. The result was a pretty disappointing draw but again my opponent was a nice guy and the game was pretty close all they way through.

RESULT: DRAW


Game 3
Spearhead / Annihilation
vs Blood Angels (Reclusiarch, Furioso Librarian, Assault Terminators, 10-man Assault Squad (Land Raider), 5-man Assault Squad (Razorback), 5-man Assault Squad, Storm Raven, 2x Predators (Autocannon/Lascannons)

Considering how many Blood Angel Lists there were at the tournament it was pretty amazing that this was the only time I played against one. The guy had a really nicely painted Flesh Tearers army with a Terminator Salvation Hunter Killer counting as a Storm Raven, really nice model and it fit right in with the scale and feel of his army.

Anyway this was a pretty one-sided game, I had real trouble doing any real damage to his tanks. My dice rolling had been bad all day but it was particularly bad in this game, given the amount of firepower I was leveraging I just couldn't roll a good damage result. I didn't help myself by again splitting my army up so that it couldn't really focus it's fire on anything. A funny and memorable moment (lasting at least two turns) was our Land Raiders facing down on each other and pouring as much fire as they could muster but not doing a damn thing! Of course I had a meltagun inside which I should have charged out but hindsight is always 20-20!

Anyway, it was another good game against a great looking army but I was outplayed.

RESULT: LOSS 8-3 (I think)

To be continued ...

Saturday, 1 May 2010

Space Wolves Kill Team

Andy's second game finished early today so we popped downstairs at Maelstrom for a couple of quick games of Kill Team. I ran the following:

10 Grey Hunters, 2 x Flamers
6 Fenrisian Wolves


Andy took:


7 Sternguard w/Power Fist


In the end I won both games through sheer weight of numbers. The Wolves were quick enough to get to the Sternguard to tie them up while the Grey Hunters moved into position. A few things about Kill Team in general came out of the two games tho:


1) That Powerfist that is normally hidden in you squad becomes a much bigger target for shooting when he's on his own.


2) Despite that, some kind of weapon that either increases strength or removes saves is needed once you get into combat. We had a Sternguard and 2 Fenrisian Wolves go four rounds of combat because they couldn't wound each other or if then did wound, saves were passed.

3) It's a bit of a pain having to roll individually for every member of your Kill Team when you want them to run.

I had high hopes for a Deathwatch Kill Team using Sternguard but now I'm thinking that if you have that few models you're probably as well to go Thunder Hammer/Storm Shield Terminators. Sternguard are just slightly too easy to kill. Conversely, the Fenrisian Wolves did really well do to the amount of cover giving 4+ saves. So, I think a large horde would also do quite well at Kill Team.

The key thing is to remember that Kill Team is different to full blown 40K. Make sure you take out the most powerful enemy models first and wherever possible double up in combat (or even better treble up!) Actually, maybe it's not so different after all...

Thorghir the Grim


Named for his taciturn appearance on the field of battle, Thorghir was a member of Berek Thunderfist's Wolf Guard. He was cut down by 10 Howling Banshees when leading a counter-attack against an Eldar warhost. Despite his wounds, he somehow survived and was encased within a Dreadnought so that he could continue to serve the Chapter. He still carries his favoured weapon from his days of flesh - a fearsome Assault Cannon.
From a tabletop point of view, his highlight has been a Rocky II -esque moment when an Ironclad and Thorghir managed to take each other out in the same round of combat.

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