Saturday, 31 December 2011

Review - The 'Eavy Metal Masterclass book

So while in town today I saw this (I also saw a Eavy metal box for 20 odd quid that constituted a metal pencil case tin 2 paint brushes and a couple of small tubs of medium, Jesus) and decided to have it just because I have stopped getting white dwarf but always enjoyed the master classes.

The book itself costs £18 and is about the thickness of a codex. Every page is colour which you would expect from a book on painting. The book contains 13 master classes, mixed between 40K, Fantasy and Lord of the rings (which I don't think anyone in the world actually plays).

The master classes themselves are just what are shown in white dwarf, lots of details and of course top class painting. There are certainly some techniques such as their one for painting parchment and their technique for painting glassware that I will certainly have a go at but there are others that aren't great.

So all in all would I recommend this book? If you don't get White Dwarf regularly then yes however if you do then there is really little point.

On a side note picked up some liquid green stuff a couple of weeks ago and used it to put together my Contemptor and a squad of mark III armour marines, I am going to go out on a limb and say its the best thing GW have released in the last few years.

Thursday, 29 December 2011

How do you paint? - reader advice wanted

Since come back into the hobby I have never found a comfortable way of holding my models when painting them, I generally blue tac them on to the top of an old paint tub but this isn't the most secure of bases so I am looking for advice that over the next few months I could put into use?

Looking forward to seeing your replies

Learn through doing - airbrushing continued.

So I am still trying out things with the airbrush, just simple things to begin with such as simple highlights and basecoating and the results have been good (still no pictures unfortunately) however the issue I have had is still with cleaning, I can't get the thing as clean as I want so I decided to go for one of these.

I watched a few videos including this one from the same guy as before and it looks like it it can hopefully solve some of my problems.

At the moment on my painting table I've got a Contemptor, I really enjoyed putting the model together and I made sure I pinned it. I haven't really pinned much together in the past just trusting the the glue but harsh experience has led me to know that super glue just doesn't cut it when it comes to resin.

Like the drop pod I base coated it in Vellejo model air German Grey and then put on a highlight of model air light grey, I then hard highlighted it with GW fortress grey.

For the Gold I base coated with a watered down scorched brown and then put on a coat of shining goal followed by a highlight of burnished gold.

So far I am really pleased with the result

Tuesday, 27 December 2011

Airbrushing - an introduction

So as Fudal predicted Santa Russ came to visit on Saturday night and brought me an airbrush.

I'd done a lot of research on them over the past couple of months and all people were telling me that I needed to spend 300 quid to get a decent set up however knowing me and my ability to drop a fad quickly I decided that I would go for something cheaper so if I enjoyed it I could eventually upgrade. I went to Arcane Scenery and model supplies for my airbrush set up and so far I am really happy with it.



There are some really great videos on youtube to help first time airbrush users but for cleaning tips this was the best one I found. Cleaning your airbrush is the key to keeping it going for a long time so it was one of the skills I wanted to get right to begin with.

I found that a lot of it no matter how good a video is trial and error, I needed lots of cleaner, lots of kitchen roll and plenty of cotton buds, I did take his advice and get some of the nylon brushes and the the thing I have found most tricky is cleaning during use for colour changes, do you really need to make it spotless or just spraying clear?

Later in the week I will post my first picture which is a drop pod I had lying around.

Saturday, 24 December 2011

It's Chistmas again!!

It's that time of year again and I put aside my natural disdain for all things wolfy so, in the spirit of the season, I thought I'd risk a re-post of last year's Christmas rhyme in case you didn't see it the first time:

With apologies to Clement Clarke Moore:

Twas the night before Christmas, when all through the Fang
Not a Wolf Priest was stirring, Swift Claw or Long Fang.
The tankards were hung in the Great Hall with care,
In hopes that the Allfather soon would be there.

The Blood Claws were nestled all snug in their beds,
While visions of blood and guts danced in their heads.
And Logan, the Greatwolf, an Axe in his lap,
Had hung up his Bolter for a long winter’s nap.

When out in the snow fields arose such a clatter,
Defence Lasers swivelled preparing to splatter,
Their targeting reticules trained on the sight,
But quickly stood-down with a beep of delight.

Out of the storm, stepped a shadowy figure
And as humanoids go, I’ve not seen one bigger!
Before him there strode two devilish beasts,
Both clearly great wolves with sharp, pointy teeth.

The wind whipped around him with hurricane force,
But the giant strode on staying true to his course.
He drew back his lips and spoke with a growl,
"On Freki and Geri, to the drinking hall now."

A climb to the gate was made in a trice
Over rocky outcrops encrusted with ice.
Russ stood at the door and bellowed a call,
“The Lord has returned once again to his hall!”

A single Blood Claw awoke from his slumber,
And sought out a snack to stifle his hunger.
On passing the hall he stopped with a gasp,
Beholding a sight he barely could grasp.

The Primarch spoke out to in a deep throaty roar,
"Be at peace now my son, and don't stay by the door,
Come join me in drink there's Ale and Mulled Wine,
My stay here is short, it's not yet Wolf Time."

He drank through the night recounting the Sagas,
Thirstily downing both bitters and lagers.
The Blood Claw sat opposite, silenced in awe
At the sight of the legend who'd walked through the door.

As good as his word at the first light of Dawn,
Russ gathered his Wolves and laid down his horn.
But he turned back and called, 'fore he went out of sight,
“Merry Christmas to all, and to all a good-night!”

And a Merry Christmas to all of you from all of us here at Claws and Fists

Thursday, 22 December 2011

Caledonian army list

Ages since I have done much hobby related, trying to bring down the tory parties cheerleading section takes up too much time.

The Caledonian uprising is upon is and today was the dead line for army lists (which I almost forgot) so here is mine, just really increased the lascannons in the army to deal with Paladins and Grey Knight and Necron armour a little bit more consistently.

Mick Simpson (93) - Space Wolves

HQ1: Rune priest: living lightning, Murderous Hurricane, chooser of the slain, wolf tail talisman [115]
HQ1: Rune priest: living lightning, jaws of the world wolf, chooser of the slain [110]

Elite 1: Wolf Guard Pack: 3 Wolf Guard, 3 Power Fists, 3 Combi Meltas [129]+ TRANSPORT1
Elite 2: Dreadnought, 2 Twin linked Autocannons [125]

TROOP 1: Grey Hunters Pack: 7 grey hunters: meltagun, mark of the wulfen, wolf standard [135] + TRANSPORT 2
TROOP 2: Grey Hunters Pack: 7 grey hunters: meltagun, mark of the wulfen, wolf standard [135] + TRANSPORT 3
TROOP 3: Grey Hunters Pack: 7 grey hunters: meltagun, mark of the wulfen, wolf standard [135] + TRANSPORT 4
TROOP 4: Grey Hunters Pack: 6 grey hunters: flamer, mark of the wulfen [105] + TRANSPORT 5

FAST 1: Landspeeder Sqn: 1 Landspeeder: Multimelta, heavy flamer [70]
FAST 2: Landspeeder Sqn: 1 Landspeeder: Multimelta, heavy flamer [70]

HEAVY 1: Long Fangs Pack: 5 long fangs+1 Squad Leader, 4 missile launchers, 1 lascannon [155]
HEAVY 1: Long Fangs Pack: 5 long fangs+1 Squad Leader, 4 missile launchers, 1 lascannon [155]
HEAVY 1: Long Fangs Pack: 5 long fangs+1 Squad Leader, 4 missile launchers, 1 lascannon [155]

TRANSPORT 1: Razorback: lascannon + twin linked plasmaguns [75] [Elite 1]
TRANSPORT 2: Rhino [35] [Troop 1]
TRANSPORT 3: Rhino [35] [Troop 2]
TRANSPORT 4: Rhino [35] [Troop 3]
TRANSPORT 5: Razorback: lascannon + twin linked plasmaguns [75] [Troops 4]

Had thoughts about dropping the Dakka dread but it was so succesful for me at Open War that I couldn't do it. Hope Santa brings everyone lots of hobby related goodies. Have a good one all and thanks for supporting the blog this year.

Wednesday, 14 December 2011

Revealed (NotW-Style Expose)! The Truth About the Lost 2nd & 11th Legions

So, everybody knows that the first rule of Astartes-Club is that you don't talk about 'those' Legions (just like those members of the family that never get mentioned at Christmas time. 'Long holiday', yeah right).

Anyway, I was browsing the internet this evening and found what I consider to be a perfectly plausible explanation for the mysterious disappearance of two whole Space Marine Legions, the 2nd and 11th. Here it is:

http://sonsoftaurus.blogspot.com/2010/11/secrets-of-lost-space-marine-legions.html

The only other explanation I can come up with for two missing Legions is printed on the side of the now-legendary Space Marines box RTB01 (one such box currently resides in my conservatory, storing cardboard scenery pieces for a very old Alternative Armies game, Firefight). I can summarise the reason for the two missing Legions in four short words:

Space Sharks.

Rainbow Warriors.

Really, I know 40k was a fledgling game back in the eighties and not every idea was going to be a winner, but surely they could have come up with something a bit better?! No wonder the modern fluff-writers have gone to such lengths to mask these two less-than-spectacular Legions!

Tuesday, 6 December 2011

Blog Wars - Game 2



Game 2 was against a “friend of From the Fang”, Dave Crawford, and his Blood Angel Army. He opened by telling me all about how, he'd only just come back to 40k and that he'd not won a game yet. Dangerous talk because my confidence level shoots through the roof and I start to make mistakes. This time however I had promised myself that I would play each game as though I knew my opponent was the best person in the draw. So I had a look at his list:

HQ
Dante
Honour Guard
(5) Blood Champion, Thunder Hammer, 2x Infernus Pistols, Storm Shield, Power Sword, Chapter
Banner

ELITE
Sanguinary Priest
(2) 2x Power Swords

TROOP
Assault Squad
(10) 2x Meltaguns, Power Fist
Assault Squad
(10) 2x Meltaguns, Power Fist
Assault Squad
(10) 2x Meltaguns, Power Fist
Scouts
(5) 5xSniper Rifles, Camo Cloaks

HEAVY SUPPORT
Dreadnought
2x TL Autocannon
Dreadnought
2x TL Autocannon

… lots of troops.

The mission was spearhead deployment and cleanse (table quarters), I lost the roll and Dave chose to go first. He combat squaded everything giving himself 8 scoring units (Special Characters count as scoring in this mission) deploying roughly half his force on the left of his deployment zone and the other half on the right. He placed his Dreads in the back corner and held Dante and his Honour Guard in reserve, the Scouts infiltrated into cover on his left flank.

I decided to split my force to send Ghaz and a Battle Wagon full of Boyz off to take on the three combat squads on the right, the Stormboys and the other Battle Wagon went left after the other three combat squads and the two Trukks were set up centrally, aiming for the back corner and the Dreadnought. The Lootas were placed pretty centrally in my deployment zone with good LoS to both flanks and I held the Gretchin in reserve (for a change).

Oh I forgot to mention the Deffkopta, that's probably because I forgot to scout it and two rending shots from the scouts later it was toast. Bit of a bummer really as I'd planned for that to go and root out the scouts. This was to set the scene for a roller-coaster of dice rolls that did not go my way, Nuffle was clearly not pleased with me for some reason!

Dave advanced down both flanks spreading my forces further apart, I pushed forward and at the top of turn 2 he made a play for my Battle Wagons with his meltas. Surprisingly the one with the KFF was destroyed while Ghaz's BW emerged unscathed, I felt pretty good though because all of his assault squads were now in charge range. I kept my Meganobs heading towards the Dreads in their Trukk, everyone else piled out of their vehicles keen to take on some crunchy marines, the 18 shoota and 12 sluggas went for the 10 marines who took out the BW and the 15 Stormboys went in on the remaining combat squad. Likewise the other unit of shootas went for the Marines who'd failed to take out their BW and Ghaz made a b-line for the last combat squad harbouring the second priest. I have to say I was feeling pretty confident here, I thought I'd wipe him out with Orks to spare to hunt for Dante when he arrived. I was wrong.

The Stormboys failed spectacularly losing combat and getting run down, the other combat on the left was similarly unsuccessful with two 5-man combat squads running down the 30 boyz who piled into them. Fortunately the marines did suffer heavy losses and they fell back into close proximity making an easy target. Over on the right the Shoota Boyz were able to hold the two Assault Squads they were engaged with and Ghaz made short work of the combat squad he was aimed at, freeing him up to come back and support the shootas.

The collapse of my left flank meant that the Meganobs had to come back and mop up the remaining marines there, while they managed this they suffered two losses thanks to a remaining power fist. And headed off to settle the Dreadnought who were contesting the back left quarter. While all this death and destruction had been happening, Dante and his Honour Guard had turned up and were happily tearing through my Lootas and the Gretchin who had turned up only moments earlier. Not to worry I thought, they're not Sanguinary Guard so Dante doesn't make them scoring (Face-Palm!)

So I moved the remaining shootas on my right to threaten his Scouts and charged my Meganobs into the nearest Dreadnought … and then the game ended. Draw I thought and then Dave reminded me that while the Honour Guard were not scoring, Dante was and I'd lost by a quarter. Kicking myself does not come close.

Aside from forgetting about Dante there were a couple of things which lost the game for me, first was not scouting my Deffkopta to get a cover save, I think he would have comfortably had those scouts, as it was, they took him out comfortably. Secondly was my complete failure on the left flank, causing my Meganobs to have to come back to secure it and that stopped them being able to clear the Dreadnoughts from the back quarter.

Grr, a frustrating loss thanks to some bad dice, forgetting mission rules and playing an opponent who stuck to his game plan. I was staring down the barrel of going win-less, lets hope I could pull it together in game three which would be a show down between Ghaz and Yarrick! Stay tuned.

Monday, 5 December 2011

Blog Wars - Game 1


On-Fire Painting blog
This weekend saw a motley crew of Bloggers descend on Maelstrom Games to contest the coveted Blog Wars trophy for the second time this year. Blog Wars is a tournament run by Alex of the From the Fang blog and is intended to be a fun day out for us bloggers to get together, chat, eat, drink and roll some dice. Graham (Grazer) and I were there representing Claws and Fists and I think it's safe to say we both had a great time and I'd like to say that I think Alex runs a great tournament in the just the right spirit for his target audience. I have thoroughly enjoyed the first two tournaments and look forward to the two he's got planned for next year.

My first game was against international 40k Podcast net-celebrity Dave Symcox of the 40kUK podcast and blog. Now I've been a fan of the 40kUK podcast since it started and even before that when Dave did a regular segment on the 11thCompany Podcast so, since we usually operate at opposite ends of the draw in regular tournaments, it was great to face off against him here.

Here's my list for your consideration:
HQ
Ghaz
Big Mek
Kustom Forcefield

ELITE
12 Lootas

TROOP
Meganobs
(4) Kombi-Rokitt, Kombi-Skorcha; Trukk
Ork Boys
(18) Shootas, inc Nob w. Power Klaw & Boss Pole
Ork Boys
(18) Shootas, inc Nob w. Power Klaw & Boss Pole
Ork Boys
(12) Slugga & Choppa, inc Nob w. Power Klaw & Boss Pole; Trukk
Gretchin
(11) inc Runtherd

FAST ATTACK
Deffkopta
Buzz-Saw, Twin-linked Rokkit Launcher
Stormboyz
(15) inc Nob w. Power Klaw & Boss Pole

HEAVY SUPPORT
Battlewagon
Deffrolla, Armour Plates, Red Paintjob, Big Shoota
Battlewagon
Deffrolla, Armour Plates, Red Paintjob, Big Shoota

Dave was playing a Space Wolf Army which pretty much looked as follows:

HQ
Njal

ELITE
Wolf Scouts
(5) Meltagun
Wolf Guard
(5) 5x Combi-Melta & Power Fist

TROOP
4x Grey Hunters
(7) Meltagun, Wolf Standard; Rhino
Grey Hunters
(5) Meltagun, Wolf Standard

HEAVY SUPPORT
Long Fangs
(5) 4x Missile Launchers; Razorback w. Lascannon & TL Plasmagun
Long Fangs
(5) 4x Missile Launchers; Razorback w. Lascannon & TL Plasmagun
Long Fangs
(5) 4x Missile Launchers
(I can't remember the exact list but it was very much along these lines)

I won the roll off and decided to go second, I wanted Dave to deploy without knowing where my Battlewagons were going. He spread out across the back of his table edge with Long Fang packs on each flank and the third dead centre. The Grey Hunters and their Rhinos were evenly distributed as well and he held the 5-man Grey Hunter Squad and the scout in reserve with the scouts OBEL. Oh, and the Wolf Guard were split among the mechanised Grey Hunters and the Scouts.

I deployed heavy right hoping to deny two of his long fang packs side shots on my BWs and out-range the other(Ghaz was deployed in one of the wagons). The two trukks were tucked in behind the BWs and I deployed the Stormboyz and the Deffkopta on the extreme edge of my right flank. The Lootas were central, in cover with good LOS across the board and the gobbos were, of course, in reserve! I scouted the Kopta down the right table edge and after I failed to steal the initiative, Dave kicked off turn 1.

The Space Wolves fell back to the centre of their deployment zone away from the bulk of the Ork force. They were able to draw line of sight on both Trukks and the resulting salvo blew one up and immobilised the other. Not a bad start as my Meganobs would be walking! Never-the-less the Orks set off across the field with the 12-man Slugga Boy unit racing to keep up with the Stormboys down the right flank, the Deffkopta tucked in behind the Long Fangs on the right and next to their Razorback. The BWs Angled for the mass of Wolves in the centre and set off at full speed with the Meganobs, trudging out of their stricken Trukk, in hot pursuit. The Lootas unleashed a hail of fire vaporising the lead Rhino in the central formation and the Deffkopta was able to wreck the Razorback.

The Wolves reformed their lines but most of their turn was about the shooting, the Long Fangs on my right flank were unable to despatch the Deffkopta and didn't do much to the advancing Slugga Boys thanks to some good cover saves. In the middle, however, the Long Fangs managed to blow up the Big Mek's putting a unit of 18 Shoota Boys out on foot. The Lootas took some fire but didn't suffer significant losses and Ghaz's BW escaped without a scratch! In my turn the Sluggas continued their advance towards the Long Fangs on my right flank, ready to support the Deffkopta. The Stormboys managed to engage a rhino and Ghaz's unit poured out of their BW into the Grey Hunters who's been de-meched in turn 1, this turn though, the Lootas could only stun Njal's Rhino. In assault the Deffkopta managed to win combat against the Long Fangs taking only a single wound, Ghaz and the Shoota Boys lost combat against the Grey Hunter pack in the centre but thanks to Ghaz's Waaggh, they stayed in it. The Stormboyz also made it to their target and managed to wreck the rhino but they were starting to look pretty thin on the ground thanks to a few deaths to Murderous Hurricane terrain rolls.

Now obviously Ghaz was a concern for the Wolves, right in the heart of their lines, locked in combat and already with a taste for Wolf. Njal sprang into action and lined up a Jaws attempt aimed at the BW behind but conveniently tracing a line through Ghaz. The roll was a tense one but Ghaz passed comfortably with a three! More fire directed at the Lootas was ineffective, the Long Fangs were able to finish off the Deffkopta and the unit who were de-meched by the Stormboyz returned the favour and wiped them out. In the middle a second Grey Hunter Pack had piled into Combat with Ghaz and the remains of the Shoota Boys; despite the Shootas getting finished off, Ghaz held firm and was comfortably chomping his way through the Wolves. In the Orc turn the Sluggas finally made it into combat with the Long Fangs on my right and the remaining shoota boy mob was heading towards the melee in the centre. The Lootas took out the last Razorback and Ghaz continued to much his way through the Grey Hunters finally finishing off the first unit he engaged! It should also be noted that the Goblins arrived this turn, choosing to hunker down behind a wall towards the left edge of my deployment zone.

Turn 4 was the turning point, the Wolf scouts turned up in charge range of my Gretchin, finishing them off easily, Njal was able to Jaws Ghaz (the roll of a 5 sealing his fate). Somehow, the BW in the centre of the table was still working and the Meganobs had finally reached it! They chose to board hoping to be able to launch some sort of game-saving multi-charge in turn 5. The Shootas continued to close in on the centre but the depleted Wolf units were going to be able to keep them at a safe distance for at least a turn or two.

Turn 5 saw the Wolfs manoeuvring to deny as many kill points as possible but Njal was till a possibility but it was a bit of a long shot, I would need to pop his rhino with my Lootas and then cause enough wounds on his unit with my Meganobs to force a Klaw wound onto him. As it transpired the Lootas could not pop the Rhino and the Meganobs had to console themselves with popping the Rhino themselves in the hope that there would be a turn 6. Unfortunately that's all she wrote and the Wolves came away victorious.

I have to say that, particularly given my recent attitude towards 40k, it was a very enjoyable game. I felt I made a number of mistakes, in particular giving away first turn, and then in not properly covering my Trukks but other than that I think I played pretty well. I didn't experience any huge dice slumps and could only put the loss down to my own mistakes and my opponent's superior play. I do think that if Ghaz had survived that second Jaws attempt the game would have looked a lot different come turn 5 though. Never-the-less my confidence in the Orks was re-affermed and I was looking forwards to game 2.

Tuesday, 15 November 2011

Da Bolts - A Blood Bowl Update


Well, it's been a while since my last post and even longer since I last posted about my Blood Bowl season. A lot's happened, my Orc team, Da Orkanapolis Bolts have completed the 12 games of the pre-season tournament and are now in the perpetual league proper. Their final record stood at 4 wins, 6 losses and 2 draws anchoring me firmly to the middle of the table. Not great but it's not all about the winning, it's also about staying alive and developing your players!

I have two Blitzers with 5 skills between them, one's a pure hitter, the other is a safety, another is on the path of the bash with mighty blow and the fourth is going to be a support player with guard as his first skill. The Black Orcs have not been as quick to skill up with one with block and another with jump up (I couldn't waste the double), unfortunately the third has done enough to puck up guard but has been move broken twice and I can't justify keeping him around at movement 2!

I also suffered an agi bust on my thrower who has skilled up with block so I had to let him go, hopefully it won't take too long to get the new guy up to speed because they make pretty good ball carriers. Of the two linemen in the team I rolled doubles for the only skill between them and chose diving tackle because nothing beats me faster then those damn nimble elves!

Later on in the pre-season I gathered enough gold to hire a Troll and a Goblin, the Troll is one casualty away from his first skill which is nice and the Gobo has yet to step off the bench! The combo is really only there for the potential of a one-turn TD but the big fellah is nice when facing other big guys, particularly Minotaurs who really put the hurt on the Bolts early on in the season.

But Blood Bowl is about even more than just winning and book-keeping, you usually get some good stories, the main one for the Bolts in the pre-season has been the emergence of their star Blitzer, Slash Spleenspilla who came in as a replacement for a “fired” move busted blitzer on game 4 and set the score-board alight. Da Bolts had been having major problems just picking up the ball in the early part of the pre-season even with their normally sure-handed thrower, but whenever the ball bounced Slash's way it just seemed to stick to him and turn into a score! He ended the season with 8TDs and 31 star-player points over just 8 games.

I've been painting the guys over the course of the season so here's how the finished team look:

Blitzers

Black Orcs

Linemen, Goblin & Thrower

Troll with Re-Rolls & Turn Counter


Now what's better than one Blood Bowl team?

Two of course! We're well into the second intake of teams going through another pre-season round robin tournament. I'm doing a Norse team called the Asguard Thunderers in this one, we're four games in so it's a bit early to tell but I'm at 2 wins and 2 losses and so-far I've only suffered a move bust on a lineman but I've managed to roll a strength boost on another! Combined with the two strength 4 Ulfwerners (Norse Werewolves) it makes a bashier team that much more bashier (?)! One thing I am struggling with though is scoring. I was expecting them to be significantly faster than the Orcs, and while they have shown promise with a couple of quick flank-run TDs, getting the ball back is proving to be something of a struggle at the mo. I'll have to keep working on it if I'm going to realise my goal of having a truly explosive offence!

As with the Orcs I'll be painting these guys as I go and four games in the initial roster is painted, but I've still got a couple of skill players to do who I'll pick up later in the season, and, of course, the counters:


Runner, Thrower, Beserker & S4 Lineman

Linement & Ulfwerners

Linemen

Turn Counter, Re-Rolls & Score Tracker



Monday, 14 November 2011

Monday Musings

Just another Manic Monday
6th Edition Rumours

We don't do rumours here at C&F - other sites are much better at ripping off Warseer than we could ever be. However, I have seen a couple of interesting things that I thought I'd comment on...

a) The potential return of allies. I've always loved the idea of allies ever since the White Dwarf Army List that said Space Wolves had even fought with the aloof Eldar Aspect Warriors. I think it's a brilliant way of trying a new army without having to buy a whole one and it gives you a good excuse to buy models you like but that you might not otherwise get a chance to use. Don't get me wrong, I'm sure that someone will come up with some broken combos that will mean that it will never make it to tournament games, but it would offer some nice variety to friendly games.

b) Hardback Codexes. I'm one of those guys who likes to buy every new codex as it comes out. I like to read the fluff and keep up on what other armies can do in case I play them at tournaments. However, if they all go hardback, as the WFB ones have done, then I'm not so sure I could justify the cost. The irony being that if allies came back, I'd probably be more likely to buy models with the codex and not just the book.

The Meta Game

Mick asked an interesting question last Monday, which implies whether Necrons would have an effect on the so called "meta game". Now, Mr Sutton often talks about their being no meta game and I happen to agree. However, there's no doubt that if you build a tournament list specifically to beat an vehicle heavy (possibly MEQ) army then you'll win more games than you lose. Looking at the entry lists for recent tournaments, it's amazing how many Marine armies there are (with GKs being the current preferred flavour)

I was thinking about this last week when I was playing Graham's Marine horde as it was a list completely different to anything I'd faced before. You'll see from the battle report how badly I was beaten but it was just the fact it was something I hadn't factored into my list building.

And that's the thing with the "meta". If you build a list to beat all of the top net lists currently in circulation, you can easily come undone in a first-round random pairing when you come up against someone's left field army.

Looking forward to 6th ed? Come a cropper against a really unusual army? Let us know below the line...

Theoryhammer - Killing Necrons Part 2

This blogpost will self-destruct in 5 seconds

I realised that there was something very important I missed from my post yesterday:

Play the Mission

So, this has become the manta de jour around here recently and it's just as important now that the new Necrons have arrived. In the past, you'd see Necrons across the table and instantly think "Phase Out" With the removal of that rule you can no longer rely on making your opponent's army disappear in order to win the game.

A relatively minor point but potentially a huge step-change from a psychological point of view...

Sunday, 13 November 2011

Theoryhammer - Killing Necrons

Molten metal - the best way to kill robots

In case you hadn't heard, the Necrons have a new codex out. It seems that everyone in the Blogroll to the right has done some kind of initial codex review and/or some first stabs at army lists. Well, it's time to fight back! Having had a week with the Codex, here are my initial thoughts on how to beat those evil natured robots...

Combat is King

With We'll Be Back getting beefed up into Re-Animation Protocols, it's become even more important to wipe out whole units, thus denying them the chance to get back up. Well, with their incredibly bad Initiative, probably the best way to do this is in combat. Their standard troops also have a pitiful 1 attack each so aren't going to be doing much back to you. However, all Necrons are a minimum T4 and with a 4+ Save, 5+ RAP and Ld 10, you need to make sure you hit hard with the initial strike or you risk being locking in combat.

Don't forget that the Necrons also have a couple of quite useful counter-attack units in their Elite section. If they do charge you while you're locked in with a unit of Warriors or Immortals then you're going to lose a lot of guys to Power Weapon attacks. Plus, with the Elites being T5 with a better save you're probably not going to do much back to them. Best thing to do is focus on the Troops, pray to the God-Emperor and hope you win on Combat Resolution (note - praying and hoping are incredibly popular tactics here on C&F!)

Focus Fire

Living Metal is going to change how we shoot at vehicles - usually, with Tanks, we're happy if they can't shoot  and with Transports if they can't move. Since Living Metal allows Necrons to ignore both of these effects on the roll of a die, we now need to make sure that we do some proper damage with our shooting. The combination of Living Metal and Quantum Shielding really lessens the impact of our Missile Launchers but we should still have sufficient Melta to be able to destroy vehicles.

As mentioned above, it's really important to wipe out Necron units to prevent them getting their RAP roll. This means, keep shooting at a unit until it gone, not just until it will no longer have an effect in game.

Acute Senses

Never forget about this. We're going to see a lot of Night Fight shenanigans from the new Necrons so don't forget that most Space Wolf units can re-roll the distance they can see at night. Also, all of our vehicles come with Searchlights as standard so remember to use them to illuminate the enemy (this is especially useful against a Solar Pulse since it only lasts for a player turn so the enemy don't get the benefit of being able to see your vehicle)

Conclusion

We can still see well at night, we can still blow up vehicles with Melta and we have Krak which gives us options at range. We're better in combat than Necrons and have a good chance to Sweeping Advance and wipe out units. However, we need to be careful of where the Necron counter-attack unit are. Hmm, t'was ever thus.

Anybody played the new Necrons yet? Please share any tactical tips below the line...

Thursday, 10 November 2011

Date With The Night

She shouldn't be here. Alena Nightdancer lowered her hood and looked both ways down the street, it was still deserted. She dashed from one doorway to another, constantly looking around her. She wasn't quite sure how she had made it this far, and yet...

And yet, this was probably the safest place she could possibly be. No-one would dare touch a Farseer here in the streets of Commorragh. Not even the roughest gangs would go anywhere near her for the vengeance that her Craftworld would bring down. The mon-keigh had a word for it - irony.

She still worried though. She had heard many tales of this place and now, seeing it up close and personal, she knew all the rumours were true.The hardest thing had been blocking out the thoughts of the dead and the dying, even though her training made it almost second nature.

Finally, she arrived at her destination. As she reached up to knock on the door, it opened and two hands reached out to pull her into the darkness. She was bundled across a darkened hallway, through a large wooden door and onto her knees. She looked up at the back of a chair behind a desk.

"Alena Nightdancer, Farseer of the Alaitoc Craftworld. I've been expecting you. In fact, I've been watching you since you arrived in the Dark City"

He slowly turned around and nodded at the two Incubi who left the room. He gestured towards the empty chair across from him. Alena stood up, brushed herself down and sat.

"So, my dear, what brings you here?"

"Our Rangers have discovered a slumbering Necron Tomb World and I'm here to call in a debt that your bloodline owes mine since the War in Heaven"

"I don't think that debt is valid any more"

"You think The Fall absolves you of your responsibility?"

"You'll have to do better than supposed blood debt to have me send my Kabal against the Necrons"

"You need a reason? Have you ever seen a Necron fight? They're almost impervious to all weaponry. You put them down and they get back up again and again. How much would the Wych Arenas pay for such gladiators?"

He let the thought sink in. She was right, they would make perfect combatants. He nodded sagely, "What's the plan?" She leaned across the table and handed him a data sheet with star charts and timings on. "Okay, we're in. You'll come with us; getting out of Commorragh won't be as easy as getting it" With that he pressed a button under the desk and the Incubi returned and escorted her out. She solemnly bowed to the Archon and left the room.

Once she was gone, a figure stepped out of the dark corner of the room, holding a black sceptre.

"Did I do well Lord Vect?"

Vect absent mindedly played with the sceptre, "Yes, you did very well"

"And you want us to go along with her plan?"

"Yes. There is a lot we can learn from these Necrons"

"One question my Lord, what is that?"

"This?" He waved the sceptre again and laughed, "Its is a Null Rod. It prevents our friend there from sensing me psychically"

And with that he was gone, leaving the Archon alone to make his battle plans...

10 Week Challenge - Week 2: 99 Problems

Jason Zed

So, this week I'm facing off against Graham's million man march with my MSU Rhino Rush. Now, this is the first time in a long time where I've known exactly what I'll be facing before a game so let's use the knowledge to think through a few tactics.


First things first, killing 99 Space Marines is not an easy task. Hence, I'm not going to do it. However, I am going to try and take advantage of the Space Wolves' most glaring weakness - Leadership. Basic Ld 8 on Grey Hunters makes a big difference compared with normal Marines Ld 9 and Chaos Space Marines Ld 10. How am I going to use this information to my advantage? Tank Shock! With a lot of troops on foot, it's possible that I'll be able to Tank Shock 2 or maybe even 3 units. The lack of Melta in the GH squads mean that I don't even have to worry about Death or Glory attacks back.

I also need to try and take advantage of space and mobility. With nearly 100 miniatures to put down, Graham will have to spread out. This gives me the opportunity to deploy in a refused flank style and prevent him bringing too many men to bear at the same time. With my 6 Rhinos, I should be able to out-maneuver Graham's foot based troops.

However, those Rhinos aren't going to last long with 3 packs of Long Fangs around so I really need to do something about them. Hopefully, I can deploy in such a way that all three packs don't have good fire lanes. Then, I can try and use my "alpha striking" Drop Pod to block off their LoS even more. If they have to spend a turn shooting my Drop Pod, it's a turn that they're not shooting everything else. Meanwhile, they'll be target number 1 for my BEL Wolf Scouts.

I'm also got some Wolfy tips and tricks to use. My Choosers of the Slain will be able to prevent Graham's Scouts from Infiltrating too close (although they could then BEL which is a whole different kettle of fish compared to 2 Melta shots at Rhinos) I'm also going to try and cast Murderous Hurricane on the lead unit of Grey Hunters as early as possible. Not so much for the potential kills from Dangerous Terrain tests but just to slow them down and hence, slow everything else down behind them as well.

One final thought, and it's one I had while thinking about Frag Missiles probably being more useful that Krak in this match up as Graham's troops will be clumped up so I should hit a lot of them with each missile and even if a missile misses, it should still hit something. Now, this is quite a risky thought - Drop Podding the Rune Priest who has Jaws of the World Wolf. Normally, Jaws isn't that hot against MEQ armies but if they're all lined up then the potential for lots of initiative tests would be difficult to ignore.

I think this is going to be a tough game, especially if it ends up being Kill Points. At least we might get an answer to Mick's question.

Hordes are one of the things Wolves don't deal with that well. A Marine horde is even tougher. All hints & advice greatly received...

Wednesday, 9 November 2011

10 Week Challenge - Week 1: After Action Review

Gav celebrates his win in Week 1

Well, that went remarkable well. When the worst thing that happens in a game is that your squad don't get wiped out by a Dreadnought so that you can shoot it to death you know you've had a good one. Usually in these articles I'd be beating myself up about small tactical mistakes but I'm actually feeling pretty good about myself and here's why

Deployment

I'm usually rubbish at deployment. However, I seemed to have an epiphany last week where I actually thought about where all of my vehicles were going to move in the first 2 turns. Normally, I'd stick my Rune Priest Rhinos at the front so that I can shoot unimpeded out of the top hatch. This time I realised that if I stuck them behind two of my suicide Melta Rhinos then not only could they not be blown up if I had the initiative seized but I be able to move the two front vehicles out of the way on turn 1 and still be able to shoot with the Priests. I did all of the simple things right - set up pretty centrally opposite from the enemy Objective and didn't spread my army too thinly. I was able to have a vanguard of three Rhinos backed up with shooting from the Rune Priests and Long Fangs while the other Rhino protected by right flank.

The one thing I didn't think about was the Space Marine Scouts. In the end I was out of charge range because they couldn't roll a 5 on their assault through cover. Obviously, I didn't know that they would be outflanking when I deployed but I should have given it some consideration.

Attack Vectors

This is the thing I really love about this army. The Wolf Scouts and the turn 1 mini alpha strike from the Drop Pod, backed up by 3/4 Rhinos of disposable guys means that I will have something in my opponent's face by turn 2 at the latest. The fact that Dave had to turn his Terminators around to take care of the 1st squad of Scouts meant that they never had a chance of getting near my Objective.

Small Squads

I was a little unsure about these and, in many ways, I still am. However, I do love the 5-man squads who sit with the Priests since I feel that I can have them sit on an Objective all game without thinking that they're a huge point-sink that I should really be sending at the enemy.

Focus Fire

As I've said before, a useful mantra is "Play the Mission"  and for once I actually lived up to this Golden Rule. Usually, with my Long Fangs, I'd be quite haphazard with my shooting. In this game I decided early on that I was going to focus my fire on one Tactical Squad until it was destroyed and then I'd start on the second. With 14 Missiles per turn, I knew I could do enough damage to both squads so that my Scouts could finish them off in assault. Plus, I knew that if I concentrated on them then I couldn't lose the game since they were never going to be able to get to my Objective in sufficient strength to hold it.

Army List

One final point, more about Dave than myself. We arranged the game pretty late and I only informed him that it would be 1750 points after we got to Warhammer World. I assumed that he'd used the same list he used the other week against Keith but instead he took his tried and tested 1500 point list and added a Land Raider. This gave me a big juicy target for my Drop Pod Combi-Meltas. This meant that his Termies had very little impact in the game and I was able to ignore them for nearly all of the game. Normally, they Deep Strike in and that could have worked out much better for Dave. As it was, he had nothing that could really get anywhere near my Objective.

Is thinking about deployment cheating? Ever had a near-perfect game? Did you get the subtle Frankie Coccozza reference?

10 Week Challenge - Week 1: Battle Report Space Wolves vs Space Marines

Svengril Icefang sat in the center of the circle, the Wolf Guard all intently watching him. He cast the Runes and then he cast them again. He cast them for a third time and then looked up at the chosen troops of his Wolf Lord, Rangnar Blackmane. "The Runes have spoken. I see the enemy arrayed in their splendour and I see where and when we must strike them" The Wolf Guard nodded as one and left to make preparation for the coming battle.

This is a 1750 point battle report between my Space Wolves and Dave's Marines which comprised a Captain, 2 10-man Tactical Squads, a 5-Man Scout Squad, 5 TH/SS Terminators in a Land Raider, a Venerable Dreadnought, a Dreadnought and 3 Vindicators. We were playing Capture & Control with Pitched Battle deployment. Dave won the roll off but passed first turn to me.

Deployment



Turn 1

With an ear-splitting roar, the Space Wolf Drop Pod descended through the atmosphere, landing right in front of the Marine Land Raider. The 4 Wolf Guard stepped out ready to try and turn the vehicle into molten slag. At the front of the Space Wolf lines the two lead Rhinos headed forward at full speed before popping smoke. Behind them, the transports containing the Rune Priests moved forward as well, but slower so that their passengers could shoot out of the top hatch. The shooting began with one of the Rune Priests using Living Lightning to wreck the Venerable Dreadnought. The second Priest and the two Long Fang Packs both opened fire on the Tactical Squad in the ruins nearest to the Marine Objective but they made good use of cover and only two died. On the far side of the battlefield the Wolf Guard hit the Land Raider 4 times and caused 3 penetrating hits, one of which caused the vehicle to explode. The 5 Terminators emerged from the wreckage looking very unimpressed.

In reply, most of the Space Marine remained stationery so that they could fire their heavy weapons. The only exceptions being the Dreadnought who moved to get a shot around cover and the Terminators who prepared to gain some revenge for the destruction of their vehicle. A Lascannon shot immobilised the Rhino on the Space Wolf right flank and an Assault Cannon shot meant that the leading left Rhino couldn't shoot but a combination of smoke and inaccuracy meant that the Demolisher shell and second Lascannon shot had no effect. The Terminators charged into the Wolf Guard and their Drop Pod transport, easily wiping out the 4 Space Wolves and causing the Pod to explode.

End of turn 1
Turn 2

The first pack of Wolf Scouts arrived on the Space Wolf right flank targeting one of the Vindicators behind the ruins. At the front of the Space Wolf column the Rhinos again moved at full speed before disgorging their occupants. On the right the pack got out of their immobilised vehicle, fearing a charge from the Terminators. One of the Grey Hunter packs targeted the Vindicator blowing off its Demolisher Cannon with a Meltagun shot. The second open fire at the Tactical Squad and along with the Long Fang packs managed to kill 7 Marines. The two Rune Priests turned their attention to the second Tactical Squad and managed to kill 2 more with Living Lightning. The Scouts charged in against the nearest Vindicator and managed to wreck it with Krak Grenades.

The Scouts victory would be shot lived however as the Terminators about turned to face them. Meanwhile on the Space Wolves' left flank the Space Marine Scouts arrived. The Captain left what was left of his squad and prepared to take on the nearest Grey Hunters while the Dreadnought moved around to take on the other squad. The surviving Tactical Marine managed to immobilised another Rhino with hit Lascannon while the Scouts were unable to harm the Long Fangs with their pistols. The Dreadnought killed the Wolf Guard attached to the Grey Hunter pack with its Assault Cannon and then charged into melee. The Space Marine Captain did likewise against the other disembarked squad of Grey Hunters as did the Terminators against the Wolf Scouts. However, the Marine Scouts were just short with their attempted assault through cover against the Long Fangs. The Dreadnought killed a Grey Hunter but the combat remained locked. The Captain merrily cut down Grey Hunters and managed to finish the squad off as he caught them in a sweeping advance. The Terminators also easily wiped out the Scouts for the loss of a single man.


End of turn 2
 
Turn 3

The second Wolf Scout pack turn up at the back of the Space Marine line. The squad in the third vanguard Rhino disembarked ready to try and take on the Space Marine Captain. Behind them, one of the Long Fang packs split their fire, killing 2 Scouts and the final Tactical Marine. The other pack, the 2 Priests and the Wolf Scouts opened fire at the Tactical Squad killing 2 Marines. The Grey Hunters in the centre opened fire at the Captain but couldn't wound him at all. He smiled as he planed to cut them down. The Wolf Scouts charged in, killing 2 Tactical Marines but losing 2 of their own number leaving the combat deadlocked. The Dreadnought killed another Grey Hunter but they managed to Stun the walker, leaving that combat locked as well.

The two remaining Vindicators were both on the move. The weaponless one rammed the immobilised Rhino, destroying the Rhino's Storm Bolter in the process. The other moved to get a shot at the Grey Hunters who had failed to kill the Captain. Meanwhile, the Terminators began their long march toward enemy lines. The Vindicator lined up its shot but it managed to deviate and catch the Captain as well as three Grey Hunters. 2 of the Space Wolves died and they made a tactical withdrawal and the Captain was instantly killed by the force of the blast, his Iron Halo not saving him this time. At the rear of the Space Wolf lines, the Scouts charged into the Long Fangs. The veteran Wolves killed two Scouts but lost one of their number in return and the combat stayed locked. The Dreadnought killed another Grey Hunter but they stayed in combat. The Wolf Scouts killed 2 more Tactical Marines for the loss of another Scout but that combat remained locked as well.


End of turn 3

Turn 4

On the Space Wolf right the Grey Hunter back disembarked again and prepared to fire at the Terminators. Unfortunately they were unable to get through the combination of Storm Shields and Tactical Dreadnought armour. In the centre the unengaged Long Fang Pack blew up the Vindicator that had killed its own Captain in the previous turn. In combat, the Long Fangs killed the Scout Sergeant before he could swing with his Power Fist and the Wolf Scouts finished off the Tactical Squad. The Dreadnought killed 2 more Grey Hunters, leaving just one, who remained steadfast and would not leave the combat.

The remaining Vindicator, having performed a successful ram, tried to do it again but couldn't build up the speed and so caused no damage. The Thunder Hammer Terminators charged into the impetuous Grey Hunters and killed 2 for no loss but couldn't sweeping advance when they fled from combat. The Dreadnought was unable to finish off the last Grey Hunter as he ducked under the swing of his Dreadnought close combat weapon.


End of turn 4

Turn 5

The Grey Hunters who had been sent scurrying by the Vindicator blast earlier took the opportunity to claim the Space Wolf Objective. Meanwhile the left Long Fang Pack fired into the rear of the Vindicator, blowing it up. The other pack and the Rune Priest who could see, fired at the Terminators, killing one and forcing them to flee. The Dreadnought once again failed to finish off the last Grey Hunter.

The Terminators sensing the end was near charged into the immobilised Rhino, wrecking it. Meanwhile the Dreadnought could still not kill the last Grey Hunter.


End of turn 5


He woke up from a nightmare of a metal monster towering over him, his pack brother dead at its feet. Even though he had been genetically altered to feel no fear, he could feel the cold sweat on his skin. And that was the thing; it wasn't from fear, it was from shame. The thing had badly injured him before it had fled the battlefield but he had lived where the rest of his pack had died. Erik the Red, the company's Wolf Priest had tended to his wounds and had praised his bravery for standing up to it alone. And yet, he still felt shame. The battle had been won with ease. And yet, he still felt shame. The chapter's skalds had sang his saga, about how close he had come to besting it in combat. And yet, he still felt shame. His closest friends were now in the Halls of Russ, where they would fight with the Allfather at the end of time. There was only one thing to do - he would have to petition Lord Blackmane for the chance to avenge his dead brothers. He would have to become a Lone Wolf...

Monday, 7 November 2011

Monday Musings - Is missile spam over?


So this week Gav left me with the Monday musings I am left thinking about my list and if it needs to change after the release of Grey Knights and Necrons.

This has mainly come about after a thread on Bolter and Chainsword asked if the day of missile spam was dead. My immediate thought was no, why would it be, after all Quantum shielding is only one round but then I got to thinking about the role of the missile launcher.

There's no doubt that there are better tools to do the job of popping transports, the melta gun is the obvious one so what do I look for my missiles to do. The answer is clear, suppressive fire, I don't mind if enemy transports aren't destroyed as long as I limit their mobility that allows me to claim the midfield. With Necrons Living Metal and the Grey Knights pyschic powers this becomes a little bit more unlikely so I am left asking do I need to change what I am doing?

The answer I came to is no, 15 missile launchers and 3 squad leaders comes to 420 points, 10 lascannons + squad leaders comes to 430, the 10 lascannons do produce slightly more penetrating hits against quantum shielding however you also miss one a lot more when they die. Another of the big factors I think you will see when it comes to necrons is scarabs, those could well be target number one for my long fangs, missile launchers or las cannons both instant death them so whats better 15 missile launchers or 10 lascannons.

For me the missile launcher still remains the jack of all trades when it comes to heavy support, yes there are more specialised weapons but they come at a cost.

Looking forward to seeing peoples views as always.

Saturday, 5 November 2011

Running With The Pack


Still not as cheesy as Mick's Long Fangs army (sorry mate!)
For one week only, I am to be the world's biggest hypocrite.

That's right, I have decided to swallow whatever pride I once possessed and I will be playing my foot-slogging Marines as Space Wolves. I have spent a couple of hours writing various lists from several codexes, but the only really viable option is to run a three Long Fang, six Grey Hunter army in Thursday night's game against Gav.

THE LIST

HQ - Rune Priest w/ Storm Caller & Living Lightning (*)

TR - 10 x Grey Hunters w/ 2 x Flamers & Wolf Standard
TR - 10 x Grey Hunters w/ 2 x Flamers
TR - 10 x Grey Hunters w/ 2 x Flamers
TR - 10 x Grey Hunters w/ 2 x Flamers
TR - 10 x Grey Hunters w/ 2 x Flamers
TR - 10 x Grey Hunters w/ 2 x Flamers

EL - 10 x Scouts w/ Melta Gun
EL - 10 x Scouts w/ Melta Gun

HVY - 6 x Long Fangs w/ 5 x Missile Launchers
HVY - 6 x Long Fangs w/ 5 x Missile Launchers
HVY - 6 x Long Fangs w/ 5 x Missile Launchers

* thanks to Gav for suggesting this unit - it makes the whole army work!

99 NOT OUT...

Ok, so I have missed my target of one hundred marines on the table by one model, but it's close enough. The modus operandi is simple enough:

- Long Fangs grab cover on your table edge and attempt to krak (sic) open the opponent's transports and disable his long-range guns

- Grey Hunters walk forward in an 'onion layer' formation, utilising cover where they can, and with the front unit providing 4+ cover save to units further back

- Rune Priest uses Storm Caller to give 5+ cover save to leading unit

- Scouts infiltrate 18" from enemy and attempt to melt' open opponent's transports, or assault

AIMS & OBJECTIVES

First and foremost, this is a fun 'n' fluffy list to see if foot infantry in power armour have a chance to win a game simply by dint of weight of numbers. Of course, Gav is a good player so I am also trying to give myself a fighting chance, hence the Cheese Fangs, which should give me a good firebase with which to disable his tanks & transports and level the playing field a bit. That's the plan, anyway. On Thursday, we'll find out how it all goes...

Friday, 4 November 2011

In the Company of Marines


(Dave still cannot keep a straight face when he sees my pink 'n' purple Marines)
One of my fevered ideas, of which I have many, is to field a full company of one hundred Space Marines in a game of 40k. In a moment of weakness on Thursday, Gav (aka Claws & Fists, the head honcho around these parts) agreed to satisfy this most indulgent of requests and so, this coming Thursday, we will take to the table to fight out this Battle Royale.

In the Grey Corner...

...will be Gav's trusty Space Wolves - what else! Gav and I have played may games over the last two-and-a-bit years, since we both re-entered the hobby (originally unbeknownst to each other) and I struggle to recall a time when I have bested his wolfpelt-clad saviours of humanity.

In the Pink 'n' Purple Corner...

...will be my Chaos Space Marines, joined by about another seventy more Marines that I bought cheap from a mate of mine during the summer. These hundred power-armoured warriors will form the core of my Company of Marines for Thursday night's game, but my quandary is, which codex is best suited to fielding a full company of foot slogging Marines? The only requirement is that there are one hundred Space Marines on the table at the start of the game. They can be Scouts, regular Marines, Assault troops or even Terminators. I'm also happy to use a few Rhinos, as long as the points do not exceed 1,750pts.

My choices are:

 - Codex: Chaos Space Marines
 - Codex: Blood Angels
 - Codex: Space Wolves

The CSM book is my prefered option, as it allows me to field twenty-man strong Troops units which easily satisfies the purely numerical requirement of one hundred marines, however we all know that unless you play Plague Marines & Obliterators & Lash Prince, the CSM book is, umm, a little underwhelming, shall we say.

The BA book is a nice alternative, as the selection of a few Sanguinary Priests - with their 6" Feel No Pain bubble - will go a long way to keeping my infantry alive long enough to get into bolter range.

The third choice is to fight fire with fire. What better to fight Space Wolves with, but another army of Space Wolves? The real attraction here is the ability to field three full-strength units of Cheese-Fangs. As my foot-slogging army will be perilously under-powered in the big-gun department, the ability to fire Missile Launchers (and the odd Lascannon) at six different targets simultaneously is just to good to overlook.

So, it's over to you, the trusty crew of the good ship Claws & Fists. What do you think is the best way of fielding a full company of Marines?  

What do points make? Prizes

Just get some better glasses Bruce, not bigger cards




One of the things Dave talks about a lot is a unit "making its points back". Now, this is a very easy way of evaluating a units performance in a game - if a unit cost 200 points, has it killed 200 points worth of stuff? If it's killed more than that, it's done well, if it's killed less than it hasn't.

However, we've talking the last couple of weeks about how it's a very narrow view of a unit's effectiveness. Anyway, here's a couple of examples of when it's not always a useful benchmark...

Wolf Scouts

As we all know, these guys can arrive late or in the wrong place entirely. It's also possible that even if they do turn up in the right place, they might not "make their points back". However, what they do is put that element of doubt in your opponent's mind when deploying. They also make your opponent want to keep moving their vehicles so that you don't get autohits on them in combat, thus lessening their firepower. Then, when they do arrive, they usually take out a critical unit (eg a squad sat on an Objective) or a dangerous unit that's difficult to take out at range (eg tanks) Plus, your opponent then has to deal with the Scouts since they can't risk having them run around in their backfield and anything focusing on the Scouts isn't focusing on the rest of your army.

Thunder Hammer/Storm Shield Terminators

This particular example if from a game two weeks ago between Dave's Space Marines and Keith's Grey Knights. Dave's Termies Deep Struck in right next to Keith's Purifiers whose Rhino had been immobilised the previous turn. The threat from the Terminators meant that Keith shot pretty much his entire army at them before charging in with the Purifiers. The Terminators were promptly wiped out. Clearly the Terminators hadn't "earned their points back" but they had saved the rest of the army from being shot and had also cost the Purifiers a turn of movement towards the rest of Dave's gunline.

Land Speeders

Yep, the Heavy Flamer is great and of course the Multi-Melta is brilliant. However, the best thing about Speeders is their ability to block enemy units. It's entirely possible that the Speeder won't actually kill anything during the course of a game but if it can slow down an assault for a turn or two then that can make all the difference.

Rhinos

For me, this is the absolute best example. When did you ever have a Rhino kill 35 points of stuff? Never. But its ability to move your army around quickly and safely is worth every one of those points. Even after it's disgorged its squad it can make a nuisance of itself by blocking the enemy and tank shocking.


Is there a better 'force multiplier' out there than the humble Rhino? Lower than a King? Aw, you get nothing for a pair; not in this game!

Thursday, 3 November 2011

Codex Review - Wolf Standard

Captured at Talavera

What is it?

Sometimes a Grey Hunter who has shown exceptional bravery will be given the honour of carrying the Wolf Standard into battle. In game terms, it's a 10 point upgrade for a unit of Grey Hunters.

What does it do?

For one round of assault you can re-roll all '1's. So, that's difficult terrain rolls, dangerous terrain rolls, to hit rolls, to wound rolls, saving throws and Mark of the Wulfen rolls.

Any Good?

For a long time, I didn't take this but Mick kept going on about how awesome it was so I gave it a try. First couple of games using it, I rolled nothing but '2's! Since then, I've had times where it's been brilliant and times where it's been underwhelming.


For example, I've taken charges from Necron Wraiths and Blood Angel Assault Squads and taken no wounds thanks to the banner. It's also great for Power Fists especially when you've rolled a '1' for the to wound roll.

Problems

The way that it's worded is that it affects the "following assault phase". This means that you have to declare using it during the movement phase or the shooting phase. This is especially important on your opponent's turn. Don't get me wrong, most people are good if you don't announce it unit the assault phase but they'd be well within their rights to not allow it during a tournament. In fact, people are entitled not to charge your unit if you've declared you're using the Standard which would mean you've wasted it, although I've never actually seen this done.

Combos

As mentioned, you get a re-roll for your MotW rolls with the Standard so that's a good mix as it means potentially more attacks and also potentially another chance for rends. I've also seen people run a Wolf Guard in Terminator Armour with their Grey Hunters which can make that guy very hard to kill for a turn. Even more so if he has a Storm Shield making him an ideal way of soaking up Power Weapon attacks.

In fact, for me, the best thing about the standard is the re-roll of the saving throw. Against anything without armour-ignoring weapons it makes your Grey Hunters almost like Terminators for a turn.

Big or Small?

I've only ever used the Standard on big squads (8-10 models) reasoning that more dice rolled = more '1's rolled = more re-rolls. However, I could see an argument for using it with small squads, since in that case each '1' your roll is proportionally more important. I'd love to know what peoples' views are on this.

Wolf Standard, yay or nay? Please feel free to share your sagas of '1's magically becoming '6's below the line...

Wednesday, 2 November 2011

10 Week Challenge - Week 0.5: Tactics

Punderful

This post is just intended as a bit of a mind-dump of thoughts I've been having around my new list, especially with regard to the Wolf Guard. These are all just generalisations rather than hard and fast rules - a jumping off point that can change depending on opponent/mission.

Kill Points

Split off all of the Wolf Guard and then Deep Strike the Drop Pod somewhere out of the way in order to try and deny KPs. Obviously subject to change if there is an enemy vehicle that must die.

Single Rock list

eg Land Raider with TH/SS Terminators or anything that is difficult to take out at range with Missile Launchers such as Obliterators or Leman Russes.
Keep 3/4 Combi-Melta Wolf Guard in the Drop Pod and Deep Strike into Melta range to (hopefully) take out the threat. The best thing with this is that even if you don't blow up the vehicle, the Drop Pod is still sat right in front of it so it has to waste a turn of movement going around it.

There are some shades of grey with this though - for example what about Predators? They're a pain to take out at long range (with this list) but would it be worth suiciding the WG just to take one out? Would it be better to drop the two Cyclone Missile Launchers in about 48" away to get side shots?

Shooty lists

For gunline armies the Wolf Scouts will go BEL with the 2 Power Fist WG to walk on and take out as much as possible.
Assaulty lists

For these, I'm thinking about infiltrating the Scouts and using them as roadblock. Whether they get a Powerfist or just a Combi-Melta guy would be dependent on exactly what's coming their way.
BEL

Actually, speaking of BEL, would there be any mileage in putting the CMLs with the Wolf Scout packs? Then if they came on the "wrong" board edge, they'd still have some ranged shooting.
Flexibility

Argh! My head hurts and I've barely even started! I think my list might have too many deployment options. I've never been great at deployment so I'm hoping that having to think about it more will make me better (that's a "glass half full" line if I ever saw one) 

I guess that the big question will be, "is there something that absolutely must be stopped on Turn 1?" If so, get podding and try and kill it otherwise deploy normally.

Even writing this conclusion, I've started thinking about Drop Podding in CMLs for Dawn of War(!) At least we'll see how the list fares with its first outing tomorrow. Until then, does anyone have any tips?

More Space Wolves Nostalgia

After posting last week's Space Wolf display pictures, I noticed that a couple of the old 1st/2nd ed Space Wolf boxes were conspicuous by thier absense. Luckily, I still have mine:


Assault Cannon AND Heavy Flamer in a 5-man squad - those were the days


It's not a new thing; Grey Hunters have always been cool


Bjorn, when he was a very, very heavy lump of metal


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