Thursday, 30 June 2011

My club challenge list

So the first company vets club challenge is upon us with us all playing in it except for Gav.

We do however have some limitations on our list.
You can only fill up your FOC 1 round at a time, that means you have to have 1 elites, fast attack and heavy support and 2 before you can have a third.

Using that in mind I have gone for this

1 Rune priest with Living Lightning and Murderous Hurricane
3 Wolf Guard with combi meltas and power fists 1 elite
1 lone wolf with mark of the wulfen and melta bombs 2 elite
2 7 man grey hunter squad with melta gun, mark of the wulfen and wolf standard
1 6 man squad with the same
1 6 man squad with mark of the wulfen and a flamer in a las plas
2 speeders with multi meltas and flamers fast attack 1 and 2
3 6 man long fang squads 5 missile launchers in each Heavy support 1,2 and 3

So really its just my normal list tailored down. The lone wolf is in there as a cheap second elite but when I played Graham with this list last week I found him to be quite effective killing a couple of squads of gaunts off and then going on to butcher a pair of Hive guard.

So for the club championship we have 5 rounds to seed players and then on to knock outs.
Graham is actually top of the standings with 2 losses and a win so 7 points. I'm on 5 points with 1 win and I'm playing two games today. 1 against another wolf army and another against a Dark Eldar army so hopefully I will do well.

Monday, 27 June 2011

Can foot slogging Wolves be viable

This comes after a somewhat heated debate on bolter and chainsword between my self and a relatively new player in Maverikgirl.

It rose from what is best 10 grey hunters (with 2 special weapons) or 9 with a pack leader. Someone went on to say that they found 11 to be best but as we all know that doesn't fit in a rhino. So the scene is set so here's the cut and thrust of it.

My belief is that foot slogging wolves isn't viable for competitive play.
You have neither the speed or the numbers to guarantee getting to your opponent in any fit state.

Her point was that when she plays this list her opponents concentrate on her long fangs or vindicator leaving her troops alone but ask yourself is this what you would actually do that when you have a nice load of troops infront of you to feed your long fangs missiles.

Wolves do have some fast choices but none of them consistently game winning.
By far the best fast attack choice in the Space Wolf codex is the speeder however it can be cricumstancial., crack a land raider and its repaid its points in bucket loads but is it really going to ever win you a game when you can't follow it up quickly leaving you with it isolated and fairly easy to pick off?

So from my memory of the codex that leaves you with sky claws, swift claws and thunderwolves.

Now sky claws and swift claws lack a point of WS and BS, is this game changing? No. Sky claws certainly, not sure about swift claws but I assume so suffer from headstrong which means that you need to put someone with them. They also aren't durable.

That leaves you with thunderwolves, now I don't think there can be many people in this country who have played with thuderwolves in big units as much as me and at the start of the year I came to the conclusion that they weren't viable as you can see in my last ride of the thunderwolves post from March. They eat too many points.

The problem with all the fast attack choices is that they die to torrents of bog standard fire and there are too many great armies that can do that.
Can a foot slogging wolf army deal with venom spam? What about leaf blower guard with its multitude of flak cannons, heavy bolters and multi lasers? Can it deal with las plas spam? Can it out fight other foot slogging lists like a Blood Angels jump pack army or a stealer heavy nid army?

So what do you think claws and fists readers is it possible to take a foot slogging list to a tournament and do well and if it is why isn't anyone doing it?

Friday, 24 June 2011

Turkey Shoot

We all know the real danger with the Stormraven is that it can get some seriously nasty units very closr to your lines very quickly. But looking at the codex entry it's actually laden down with a lot free, rather juicy weapon options, so much so that it can be difficult to know what equates to an “optimum” load-out. So that's what I'm going to talk about here; it should be noted that this related to the Blood Angel's Stormraven so we're not going to mention the fail that is the Grey Knight Stormraven's Missile Payload.

Before we go any further lets go through what you can get for your measly 200pts; bog standard load out is TL Heavy Bolter, TL Assault cannon AND 4x Bloodstrike Missiles. I say “AND” because people have a terrible habit of forgetting about these and forgetting about 4x S8 AP1 shots is frankly criminal. Anyway in it's basic state it looks like a bit of a gunboat, 3x S5 and 4x S6 Rending twin-linked shots (not including the aforementioned missiles). If you are going to run it as an anti-infantry/light armour gunboat I would be tempted to add on the Hurrican Bolters, at 30pts they are expensive and of only limited effectiveness but some people swear by them and who am I to argue, for 230pts you are putting out an obscene amount of anti-infantry firepower.

Probably a good time to mention another luxury that comes as standard, Power of the Machine Spirit, just like the Land Raider power it allows you to target a second unit with a single weapon. Staying with our current “Gunboat” configuration PotMS allows you to pour all your S4 firepower into an infantry squad and take a pop shot at a tank or MC with a Bloodstrike Missile, making the most of all your weaponry.

If you care about an expensive unit in your force “paying for itself” then you may want to look at higher value targets than infantry units for your Stormraven's attention. Enter the “Tankbuster” load-out. For the somewhat steep cost of 0pts you can swap out your twin-linked Heavy Bolter and Assault Cannon for a twin-linked Multi-Melta and twin-linked Lascannon, along with your Blood Strike Missiles this adds up to some pretty fearsome anti-tank firepower. Combined with PotMS you can fairly reliably take out two armoured targets per turn which ought to get you your points back fairly quickly. If your meta-game is mech heavy then this is a strong load-out for your 'raven.

Lastly we have what I like to call the “Oh! Hello.” load out (it's late and I couldn't come up with anything cooler). This consists of the twin-linked Multi-Melta combined with the twin-linked Plasma Cannon and not forgetting the Bloodstrike missiles, please don't forget them, you have four … that is all. The idea with this one is that your twin linked Multi-Melta is for heavy armour, your Plasma Cannon is for heavy infantry and your missiles are for either to be honest. If you feel you need more shots rather then a small template then I think it's perfectly valid to leave the Plasma Cannon at home and stick with the Assault Cannon on the turret.

Neither of the last two builds have included the Hurricane Bolters and this is because they are so far away from the target of choice for the rest of your weaponry that for them to be even slightly effective you are going to have to use PotMS to fire them at an appropriate target. This is bad for two reasons, 1) you have limited the effectiveness of your other, free, weaponry: the “Tankbuster” will only be able to target one tank and the “Oh! Hello!” will be using at least one weapon sub-optimally. 2) you'll only be able to fire one sponson with PotMS and 6 twin-linked bolter shots aren't really going to be worthwhile in the long-run.

I should add to all this that I am assuming in the above rambling that your Stormraven will get to fire it's carefully selected weaponry. It's one hell of a target which is very difficult to get into cover, if you don't get first turn you'd better have something more threatening in your army distract at least some of your opponent's firepower. There are ways to protect your Stormraven to ensure it gets to see action but that's for another article.

These are the ramblings of a tired mind so if you see anything you disagree with, or even agree with please let me know in the comments below, I'm always happy to hear from you guys!

Wednesday, 22 June 2011

Just in time to BotCh it up

Due to a sudden change in commitments I've bought a ticket to Battle of the Chumps which takes place in Mansfield in a couple of weeks. This tournament is a little different from most because players must play games at 3 different point levels over the weekend. Your lists start out at 1000pts for two games, then you need to add an additional 500pts to make a 1500pt list for two games and then a further 500 to make a 2000pt list for the final two games. Each time you add 500pts you may not make any alterations to the previous list, this makes it a really interesting list-building challenge.

Given the fact that there's only a couple of weeks to go until the tournament weekend (9-10th July) I haven't got time to paint too many additional units so I've got to make do with pretty much what I have handy now. So I've been racking my poor little brain trying to come up with something interesting and effective across all three points levels. It just so happens that I've also been listening to a new podcast recently, 40KUK, on which a “defensive” Blood Angels list has been talked over and I have to say I quite like the sound of it, so here goes my attempt at something like it across 1000, 1500 and 2000pts

1000pt Recon Force

HQ
Mephiston

ELITE
Terminator Squad
(5) 1x Cyclone Missile Launcher, 2x Chain Fist
Sanguinary Priest
(1)

TROOP
Assault Squad
(5) 1x Plasmagun; Razorback w. Lascannon and Twin-Linked Plasmagun
Assault Squad
(5) 1x Plasmagun; Razorback w. Lascannon and Twin-Linked Plasmagun

HEAVY SUPPORT
Dreadnought
2x Twin-Linked Autocannons

The plan is that the army slowly advances to mid-field laying down as much fire as possible with Meph hanging back ready to counter-attack if anything gets close enough. The Tac Terminators give cover to the vehicles behind and are certainly not to be taken lightly in hand to hand.

+500pts Main Battle Group

TROOP
Assault Squad
(5) 1x Meltagun, Razorback w. Dozer Blade & Twin-Linked Heavy Flamer
Assault Squad
(5) Razorback w. Twin-Linked Lascannon

FAST ATTACK
Land Speeder
Typhoon Missile Launcher, Heavy Bolter

HEAVY SUPPORT
Dreadnought
2x Twin Linked Autocannons

Basically more shooty with more scoring units and a little extra BBQ action from the Flamer-back to handle those hard to shift units!

+500pts War Host

HQ
Honour Guard
Jump Packs, Blood Champion, 3x Meltagun

FAST ATTACK
Land Speeder
Multi-Melta, Typhoon Missile Launcher

HEAVY SUPPORT
Predator
Autocannon, 2x Lascannons

Time to go stretch the field. It's still a mobile, shooty, target-rich environment but now I have a deep-striking melta unit to threaten their backfield early in the game.

For me this is a bit of a change of pace, my lists are usually a compromise, trying to balance evenly between assault and shooty and doing neither to the best to the available resources. I think these lists are firmly in the sit-back-and-shoot camp with only a terse nod towards assault in the form of Meph and to a lesser extent the Tac Terminators. If these lists are going to do anything it's going to be in the shooting phase.

So have I botched it or is there a kernel of wisdom in there? I need to know because with only a couple of weeks left to the tourney I'm not going to get a lot of time to to play-test so feedback is welcome, as always.

Sunday, 19 June 2011

The Double Raven

Now that I've built and started painting one Stormraven I find I'm strongly minded to include it in a list and the more I think about it the more I want a second (typical). Here's my first gambit at a double Stormraven list:


HQ
Reclusiarch

ELITE
Terminator Assault Squad
(5) 2x Thunder Hammer & Stormshield, 3x Lightning Claws
Furioso Librarian
Shield of Sanguinius, Wings of Sanguinius
Sanguinary Priest
(1)

TROOP
Assault Squad
(5) Meltagun; Razorback w. Twin-Linked Heavy Flamer
Assault Squad
(5) Meltagun; Razorback w. Twin-Linked Heavy Flamer
Assault Squad
(5) Meltagun; Razorback w. Twin-Linked Heavy Flamer
Death Company
(5) 1x Power Fist & Infernus Pistol, 1x Power Sword
Death Company Dreadnought
Blood Talons

FAST ATTACK
Baal Predator
Flamestorm Canon

HEAVY SUPPORT
Stormraven
Twin-Linked Multi-Melta, Twin-Linked Lascannon
Stormraven
Twin-Linked Multi-Melta, Twin-Linked Lascannon

Right-ho, that's 1750pts on the nose. Nothing too complicated here, the Terminator Squad and Death Company each take a Stormraven accompanied by the Sanguinary Priest & Furioso Librarian and the Reclusiarch & Death Company Dreadnought respectively. The Baal Predator and Flamer-backs rush up in support and to at least give your opponent a moment of pause before he shoots at the Stormravens.

The Death Company Raven is an out-and-out "I'm here to mess you up" unit, everything in it is killy and will give cause-for-concern to almost any unit on the other side of the table. The Terminator Raven is a bit more defensive, The Furioso Librarian gives the Raven a cover save and Wings give him mobility even if his transport is shot down early. Obviously the Terminators are an excellent ofensive and/or counter assault unit, particularly with the Sanguinary Priest supporting them.

In order to scale it down to 1500pts I would just drop the Dreads and perhaps add a Multi-Melta Attack Bike or even another priest.If you want to take it up to 2000pts you could go one of two ways, more target saturation i.e. another Baal and another Flamer-back squad. Or you could benefit from a little more anti-transport/long-range fire power so perhaps another Stormraven or a couple of Landspeeder Typhoons and a bare-bones Predator, at 2000pts it's all about the toys!

As with all my lists, feel free to comment, it's only a first try.

Saturday, 18 June 2011

Time for a New Army....


Well apparently something called 5th Edition happened a little while ago, and while I have been playing it I actually haven't built a new army for it. I've built some small 750pt lists for Doubles events in the past including Word Bearers and Traitor Guard however I haven't developed these further.

Now some of you will notice that I haven't been seen around here in a while and that's for a number of reasons including but not limited to:

  • The fact I hate the internet, blogs and ones about Space Wolves
  • The fact that I've been stupidly busy in my new job meaning I haven't had time to play, paint or even think
  • The fact I hate the internet, blogs and ones about Space Wolves that tell you to steal things
  • The fact that I've grown to hate 40k and now only play Blood Bowl
  • The fact that I was busy "Building a Tervigon"
Now that's out of the way I'll move on to the point of this post...I want to build a new army, to 1750pts, using a 5th Edition Codex...but I don't know which army to do. This is where you come in...I've narrowed it down to a few I'm interested in and would like your comments so...

Tyranids:

With a heavy focus on gaunts and gargoyles with a few other bits thrown in for good measure....I'm looking at you Parasite.


Marines:

Using the FW armour sets to build a "Loyalists of Istvaan III" army that can be used with SW, BA, SM Codex small...elite....but no Razorbacks...

Guard:

...of the Traitor variety. Think FW renegades with some tanks, beastmen, mutants and a few more tanks...

Grey Knights:

Small...Elite...New...and I keep winning bits to build an army form raffles when I go to Events...

So the floor is open to you all...opinions please...also, links to cool pictures for the above armies would be appreciated for inspiration...

TheBaron Out!

Friday, 17 June 2011

Rise of the Tervigon

As you may already have guessed, I have recently began building the first of two Tervigons for my new Tyranid army. Now, I am not one for following the masses, so I have decided rather than converting a Trygon or Carnifex, I will scratch-build my own unique model.

Until I build the second.

Then the first one won't be quite as unique.

Anyway, I digress (it's late, it's Friday, I've been building furniture til 10.30pm, I'm tired and rambling). I have decided that my Tervigon will be based on another of my favourite things, a dinosaur skeleton:

Coupled to this, I've added legs, crushing claws and a head from a previous monstrous creature kit, plus an Alien Queen-style head-mantle which I moulded and carved from modelling clay (this was the fiddly but fun part). After that, it was just a matter of stuffing the hollow skeleton with papier-mache, and then basing the entire thing on a thin plasticard base.


Finally I base-coated the whole thing with grey car primer, and then set to work painting the theme in the colours of Hive Fleet Nemesis - that is, light blue inked with Asurman Blue, with purple armour plates and details. I will of course post pictures of the fully painted mummy-beast when she is finished!

Building a Tervigon? A phrase for the slacker in all of us.

Todays little technical malfunction tickled my funny bone somewhat and I began to think that "Building a Tervigon" should enter common language as a phrase to make you sound busy when you're not really doing anything. For example:

"Daddy you've been in the toilet for ages, what are you doing?"
"I'm building a tervigon pumpkin."

Anyone else fancy coming up with some whitty uses for the phrase "building a tervigon"?

Building a Tervigon

Thursday, 16 June 2011

It's a keeper?

If consistency be the food of victory then the cup at Claws and Fists runneth over … or something. Darren and Mick have both been running relatively consistent lists over the last few month/years, now Gav has set his stall out to play a consistent list and I think Graham is following this path as well. As for me I've always enjoyed variety but I can see the benefits of fixing on a list and learning to pay it well. So with this in mind I've spent a good few days poring over Army Builder to try and get something I like the look of and I've come up with the following:

Codex: Blood Angels

HQ
Librarian
Jump Pack; Unleash Rage, Shield of Sanguinius

ELITE
Sanguinary Guard
(5) Chapter Banner, 2x Infernus Pistols, 1x Power Fist
Sanguinary Priest
(2) 1x Jump Pack

TROOP
Assault Marines
(10) Power Fist, 2x Flamer
Assault Marines
(5) Meltagun; Razorback w. Twin-Linked Heavy Flamer
Assault Marines
(5) Meltagun; Razorback w. Twin-Linked Heavy Flamer
Assault Marines
(5) Meltagun; Razorback w. Twin-Linked Heavy Flamer

HEAVY SUPPORT
Devastator Squad
(5) 4x Missile Launchers
Dreadnought
2x Twin-Linked Autocannons
Dreadnought
2x Twin-Linked Autocannons

This leaves 255pts still to spend, I could go a couple of ways with this, I could add my Jump Pack wearing, melta carrying Honour Guard for 200pts and then maybe a couple of upgrades dotted about the other units. The Honour Guard come in from reserve (descent of angels) and threaten a high AV target, this also gets your opponent thinking about what to do against them rather than focusing on what's deployed on the board. Alternatively I was thinking about adding a Tactical Squad with a Melta, Combi-Melta and a Missile Launcher in a Rhino and adding dozer blades to all of my transports. Here the missile Launcher combat squad sits with the Devs to make them scoring and the melta squad ride up with the razorbacks to add more melta to the rush. I'm leaning towards the Tac Squad option because it never hurts to add more scoring units into a list and I still get some more melta on the board, as always though I would welcome thoughts from you guys.

The general premise of the army is not difficult to discern just by looking at the list. The Devs and Rifleman Dreads sit back and provide fire support for opening up soft to mid AV transports. The Razorbacks rush forward to deliver hot flamer death to whatever was in the transports with meltas on hand should any armour be proving tough to take down. The Jump Pack Assault Squad and the Sanguinary Guard move together to act as a hammer unit to tie up and take out any particularly nasty threats.

That's all I got for the moment, what do you think?

Vote early! Vote often!

Following our heated discussion around the new 40K FAQ and what it means to Murderous Hurricane, I've put up a poll. Why not vote?

(Please not poll results are not legally binding)

Wednesday, 15 June 2011

Arena Of Death: Asurman vs Jain Zar

Welcome to the first semi-final in the Phoenix Lord Cup as the favourite, 230 point Asurman takes on the outsider, 190 Jain Zar...

Round 1 - Asurman on the charge

Asurman opened fire in a storm of blades, hitting with four of his five shots. Two would have caused wounds but were deflected by Jain Zar's armour. As he charged into combat, her Banshee Mask slowed him down but fortunately for him, her War Shot was ineffective. Going on the Counter Attack, Jain Zar hit with two of her four attacks and wounded with both. Due to his Battle Fate, Asurman was only wounded once. Striking back, he hit her with four of his five attacks but could only manage a single wound. With the effect of Jain Zar's Banshee Mask now over, the two combatants struck simultaneously. Asurman, hit three times and caused three wounds. With her last drop of strength, Jain Zar hit twice but could only do one wound meaning she had lost the first round.

Round 2 - Jain Zar on the charge

Hurling the Silent Death at her opponent, Jain Zar managed to hit three times. Only one of them wounded but Asurman's Battle Fate couldn't save him this time. She screamed her War Shot at the top of her lungs as she charged and it was enough to reduce Asurman to WS1. Seeing her chance she hit with all four of her attacks. However, with two 1s rolled, she only managed two wounds. One was saved, leaving Asurman clinging on. Asurman only managed to hit once in reply but following the re-rolls granted by the Sword of Asur, that became four hits! Only one managed to wound though. Reduced to a mere three attacks by Asurman's Denfend skill, Jain Zar still managed to hit twice. Both wounded and Asurman's invulnerable save wasn't enough. Even with re-rolls, he could only manage one hit back and while that managed to wound, he lost the second round.

Round 3 - No Charge Bonus

With her Banshee Mask still allowing her first strike in combat, Jain Zar managed two hits out of her three attacks. Both wounded but one was repelled. Striking back, Asurman matched his opponent with two hits but only caused a single wound. As the combat continued, Jain Zar it once but failed to wound. In reply Asurman, hit three times and did two wounds which was enough to win the semi-final.


Well, that invulnerable save proved golden in this match-up. I thought Jain Zar with her Banshee Mask-aided striking first ability would have a chance to win this one but that 4++ was big factor in meaning that it wasn't to be. It's also worth pointed out how useful Defend was - cutting down her attacks by one was a big help. He was the favourite because of points value but after today, I think we could well see Asurman lift the Phoenix Lord Cup...

Blog Wars – Mephiston and Me

As I'm sure you're reading all over the interwebs at the moment a little tournament called Blog Wars took place a couple of weekends ago in the beautiful heart of the East Midlands, Mansfield. Maelstrom Games to be exact, a venue fast becoming the choice for discerning Tournament Organisers all over the country despite the fact it's less than 30 minutes away from Games Workshop's own Warhammer World!

As you will have seen in previous posts on this very blog, the Claws and Fists crew were very much in attendance, even Darren managed to drag himself out of bed, on next to no notice, to cover for a last minute cancellation.

Anyway, as the title of this post implies this is going about my three games and my chosen Special Character (a requirement for the Tournament), Mephiston. Meph hasn't really let me down before but I was nervous about choosing him for this one as I feel his effectiveness has been hurt by the new Grey Knight 'dex and he's always less effective against armies with psychic defence. Also he's not much of a force multiplier, I accept that he's a Death-Star unit all on his own, but I think you get better bang for your buck from someone who makes the whole army, or at least sections of it, better.

In a probably unnecessary relay to start the morning, I drive to Gav's place who gives me a lift to Graham's house and Graham gives us both a lift up to Maelstrom … besides anything else at least we all get to chat and get into tournament mode in the car on the way up. Once we arrive the usual coffee, browse through Mick's copy of “The People” and complaining that 9am on a Sunday is too early to be concentrating on anything ensues before we head upstairs to find our tables for game 1.

Who should I see across the table from me, none other than the one army I was really hoping not to have to face, despite the fact I really like the paint scheme, it's Bully from Sons of Sanguinius's fabulous and deadly Deathwing army! I've got a fair bit of anti-2+ weaponry but not a single invulnerable save in the entire army so I new I could make him roll a lot of invulnerable saves but would be unlikely to survive the counter attack!

Bully's done a fantastic blow by blow account here so I won't go into details but I'll just talk about my tactics and where it all went wrong. The mission was Capture and Control with Spearhead deployment, my first mistake was to place my objective too far forward so he could easily march his army across to it. What I tried to do was to feed him units to slow him down. My first gambit was with my Furioso Dread but he got splattered (very unluckily) in the first round of combat to the loss of only a couple of Terminators!

That was a bit of a failure so next I resorted to sacrificing Razorbacks while positioning my jumpers and Sanguinary Guard for a counter-attack, unfortunately he was easily able to despatch my transports in his shooting phase with CMLs and then charge the squishy squad inside and consolidate closer to my lines. So rather than slow him down I actually accelerated his progress across the board! Bummer!

My Plasma-backs were ineffective with Bully casually rolling 3++'s when required so it was down to Meph and the Sanguinary Guard to get into the mix. They did not disappoint on the charge vaporising Belial and his Command Squad for the loss of two Guard. However, as predicted on the counter charge by the next squad they were soundly beaten with only Mephiston left, and with only one wound remaining he failed his leadership test and ran away. There was little else to put up resistance to the tank-like advance of the Deathwing and the game ended in a tabling and 2-0 defeat for the Yellow Blood Angels.

Bully was a great opponent, really good to play against and fun to chat to, I look forward to facing off against him again in the future, though not the Deathwing!

Game 2 was against Scott (a friend of From the Fang) and his Chaos Space Marines. He was rocking Abaddon with 4 Chaos Terminators, a winged Daemon Prince with Warptime, a unit of Berzerkers in a Rhino, a unit of Thousand Sons in a Rhino, a unit of Chaos Space Marines in a Rhino, a Deflier, 2 Obliterators and a unit of Havocs with Missile Launchers and a Lascannon. The mission was Annihilation with Dawn of War deployment and I won the roll-off to go first.

I did my usual DoW deployment, 2 razorbacks 7” on and Mephiston was placed in cover a little further up the board and Scott did a similar thing with his 'zerker and 1k Sons Rhinos and Daemon Prince. He chose to deep strike The Oblits and Abaddon and his unit of Terminators and I think this really hurt him because Abaddon and co. did not appear until turn 4!

This was one of those games where luck was on my side, I made few mistakes and those I did make were not punished. For example I played Mephiston too high up the board too soon and allowed him to get assaulted by the Daemon Prince, however Meph managed to take out the Daemon Prince for the loss of only a couple of wounds. Though let's not get too excited about Meph's performance here as he got punked shortly afterwards by the Obliterators.

With Abaddon off the table for most of the game I was able to focus down the rest of his units relatively comfortably. In fact by the time The Despoiler decided to join the party, Scott had only a few Chaos Marines and Havocs on the board and both were about to be wiped out. The great thing about this was that I could pretty much fire every unit left in my army at the Terminators cutting them down to a more manageable size. I intentionally did not charge them as Abaddon on his own could easily have taken out any of my units in a single turn and I did not want to give him the chance to get through more units than necessary. In fact I positioned my Sanguinary Guard away from the rest of my army to ensure I got as much firepower into the Terminators while drawing him away from the fight.

Scott took the bait and charged and wiped out the Sanguinary Guard but only Abaddon was left standing and he could not stand up to the combined fire-power of the rest of my army for another turn and fell under a hail of fire from all sides ending the game in decisive fashion, a tabling to the Yellow Blood Angels.

Two games down and I was 1-1. Game three saw a familiar face and his horde of mean greenies across the table from me, TheBaron himself. Uh oh, I've not beaten Darren's Orks yet and he's pretty damn good with them, it was nice to be able to relax a bit though, for me it's a different game playing against friends even in a tournament. The Mission was Seize Ground with Pitched Battle deployment and I gave Darren first turn.

The board was not what I'd call ideal, a big landing pad slap bang in the middle blocking LoS to a good potion of the board with other pieces of high terrain giving me only narrow fire lanes at about the half way mark across the board. Never-the less I set up to take as much advantage of the fire-lanes as I could and to protect my more fragile units from his Lootas on turn 1.

As usual Darren used his Kommandos, Storm Boyz and Deffkopta to split my forces and draw attention away from the main fight and objectives and even though I can see this happening, they are not the sort of units you can just ignore as they will mess up your lines if not properly dealt with. While the terrain meant I couldn't leverage what shooting I had, it also meant he could not advance a wide front across the board which limited his ability to get bodies into combat. This was particularly useful in keeping his Meganobs out of the early combats.

Speaking of the Meganobs, they were one of the key units of the game, around turn 3 or 4 I decided that I needed to take them out so I put Mephiston in the firing line as he was closest and best equipped. All went to plan, de-meching them and placing them within Meph's charge range however, when he really needed it he failed to get his S10 power off and could only kill two of the four. He paid dearly for this and was mashed in the return strikes from the surviving Meganobs.

The Sanguinary Guard finished them off later to keep one objective free. In his backfield Darren had strung out his grots to cover two objectives. It was on my right flank where the battle would be won and the Warboss was turning the tide in Darren's favour. I had little I could put against him to free up the key objective and behind him and his 'ard Boyz Darren had another large unit of Boyz ready to counter any assault I could muster. The last charge of my Assault squads was soundly beaten back and the game was over 3-1 in favour of the Orks.

As always it was a good game against Darren and I froze early on when I should have been moving decisively to engage further up the board but I was too obsessed with not getting charged. This meant I had too much ground to cover later in the game. I was outplayed again but I think I got more out of this game than either of the previous two, it was also closer (in my mind anyway).

To sum up the day, it was a lot of fun. The atmosphere was very different from other tournaments I've attended before, more laid-back and social but I guess that was the intention all along. The Special Characters angle was great, I love using Special Characters in my list and even though Meph let me down pretty consistently in all of the games I would be up for a similar format next time. The Sanguinary Guard were excellent in all of my games, because they are fragile they need support and proper application but they are pretty much universally devastating on the charge!

Overall I finished 15th out of 26 players which I'm actually a little disappointed with, I know it's not like me to say that but I seem to be stuck at mid-table in all of the tournies I've competed at since last September. I think Gav's got the right idea in just sticking with one list to get really good at it and perhaps that's what I need to start consistently threatening the top 25% of the field in future tournaments. Not so much back to the drawing board but a focus on consistency in the future, I guess we'll see how it goes.

Tuesday, 14 June 2011

10 Week Challenge - Week 1: Step 1

Unfortunately, I didn't manage to get a game in last week, so I am yet to test out my new list. In the meantime, I thought I talk about why I've set myself the "10 week challenge" to stick with an army list for 10 games.

Firstly, I'm not a very good Warhammer 40,000 player. Yes, I probably win as many games as I lose but most of that is down to the resilience of the Space Wolves. So, how do I get better? Well, I'm going to take a tip from David Brailsford. He is Great Britain's cycling performance director and he speaks of the aggregation of small gains. That is, instead of making big improvements, you make lots of small improvements.

What does that have to do with me and my 10 week programme? Well, by keeping the list the same, I can focus on the areas where I struggle, namely Objective placement, Deployment and movement in the first turns - what in chess would be called the opening.

I also want to take this opportunity to finally decide what kind of player I am. Now, broadly there are two kinds - proactive and reactive. I intend to do a more in depth post about this in the future but for now I shall just say, I feel like more of a reactive player.

Step 1 - Objectives

We always talk at work about the 70/20/10 model. Now, I think it will be hard to get the 10% formal training but fortunately, there has been a post his week which I would consider to be role model. Dash makes some really good points but the thing I think the thing I took away is that there really isn't any had and fast rules. You need to know how your army behaves (which I get from sticking with it for 10 weeks) and you need to have an idea how your opponent's army behaves (broadly - fast, slow, do they need cover or not?)

Are you proactive or reactive? Do you have any hard and fast rules when it comes to Objective placement?

Muderous Hurricane needs to roll to hit - thats not even RAW its just stupid

So yesterday on Bolter and Chainsword as the news broke about the FAQ and its implications for Jaws a poster said that this also would be the case for Murderous Hurricane.

In essence you would need to roll to hit and then roll 3d6 to see how many hits you had.

Personally I see no sense in this.
Yesterdays FAQ was very simple, you need to roll to hit for a psychic power.
Murderous Hurricane says in the codex that you get 3d6 hits so in fact you are rolling to hit.

That is how I will play it until either GW or a tournament organiser tells me any different in a rules pack but as always I value our readers input.

Monday, 13 June 2011

The 2 FAQ points that mean something to Wolves - reader input required

So new FAQ time and here are the two points that I think will have something to do with us

the first is simple

Q: Are Wounds from Dangerous Terrain tests allocated
in the same way as shooting attacks? (p14)

A: No. Each model moving through dangerous terrain
must take a test. Each model that fails takes a Wound

I do try and emphasise to opponents that that's how it is played however some people still insist on taking it on the squad and then allocating so its nice to be clear on this one.

The second is this one from the Grey Knights FAQ

Q: What counts as a Daemon? (p21)
A: Everything in the Chaos Daemons codex, Daemon
Princes, Possessed Chaos Space Marines, Obliterators,
summoned greater Daemons, summoned lesser
Daemons, any vehicle with the daemonic possesion
upgrade, Daemonhosts, Mandrakes, Kheradruakh the
Decapitator, the Avatar.



The reason I think this counts is that I have had debates at tournaments about what classes as a daemon with opponents who are generally using Greater Daemons from the chaos codex, does a Rune Priest wound on twos RAI I think yes but there is the space for a bit of lawyering that some do seem to enjoy.

So what do you think Claws and Fists readers as a Wolf player can I point to this section and tell them what constitutes a daemon even though it isn't from my FAQ?? Can my Rune Priest now wound oblits on twos??

As always your contributions are most appreciated.

EDIT

After reading this on Sons of Sanguinius here I had to add it in

Q: What psychic powers count as psychic shooting
attacks? (p50)
A: Any psychic power with a profile like that of a
ranged weapon (i.e. has a range, strength and AP
value) and any psychic power that specifically states
that it is a psychic shooting attack.
Q: Do psychic shooting attacks need to roll to hit? (p50)
A: Yes.

So suddenly you have to hit with Jaws which is specifically stated to be a psychic shooting attack? Really GAHHHHH

Aggression

Gav was right I'm not aggressive enough when it comes to this game.

The first game at blog wars was one good example another was last week with a game against Tim King's space wolves.

We were a well matched pair, he had slightly more shooting than me but I got first turn and was able to deal some damage while his first turn was relatively poor but due to me not moving my forces forward quick enough I very nearly lost the game, even though on kill points I think I won 14 to 5 (we were playing one of the ETC missions where you have a primary and a secondary mission) but I left it far too late to move my forces up to claim objectives.

Its one of the big problems I have in my gaming (along with deployment) making sure that I think about the mission rather than getting carried away with the game. I look back to some of the tournament games I have had and this has been a trend for a long time.

Sunday, 12 June 2011

Clipped Wings and Magnetic Doors

It's been a long time since I pre-ordered my Storm Ravens, in fact since then I have traded one of them in for more Tyranid models to complete my 1500pt force! Only one though because I always knew I wanted to field at least one at some point in the future.

On my return from a short trip to Berlin earlier this week I decided that the time had come to put the Storm Raven together. It's a pretty easy kit to work with and it went together really well, the only slightly tricky parts are the struts on the cockpit covers for both the pilot and the gunner, I think the clear screens are going to be tricky once I get to them.



Also in its favour is how easy it is to magnetise the weapons on the turret. If you do not fit the bar designed to hold the guns onto the sides of the turret, a 4mm hole is left on either side which is the perfect size for one of my little magnets. With this taken care of all you need to do is drill a hole in the weapon to fit a magnet to the guns, I didn't bother with the drilling and to be honest it looks fine without recessing these magnets.



To magnetise the side door options I did what I usually do which is to take a length of sprue just wider than the door aperture, build up the ends with discs of sprue to give you some relief from the hull. I glue the sprue into place across the doorway and then glue a magnet onto the centre of the piece of sprue. In this case it was very difficult to tell whether or not I would be able to just glue the other magnets to doors directly or if they would need to be built up in order to connect to to the magnet in the doorway. In order to ensure I didn't mess this up I used some grey-stuff to fix the magnet in place on the door, this way if it was not close enough I could move it around and build it up as required. As it turned out I needed to build up the magnets on the doors quite a bit so I would say to anyone else that you do not need to move the sprue too far back from the hull if at all.



I wanted to leave the canopies clear so I had to paint the pilot and gunner before completing the assembly, I'm also trying to work out how to magnetise the front facing guns but I may just not bother with it an use blue-tack to secure them to the assembly.







Anyway, that's all for now. I'll be continuing to work on it this week so I'll try and keep you all updated.

Some Good Men Go To War

(cos it's like last week's Doctor Who...)

Firstly, I'd like to join the crescendo of voices thanking Alex for organising last week's Blog Wars tournament. It was a brilliant day and I really wish I could have played (put it this way, if I'm still in the country for the next one, I'm definitely entering)

Anyway, without further ado, let's get onto the pictures. I didn't catch everyone's names so apologies for that...


Wazdakka prepares to lead his biker Boyz against Graham's Orks:


"Erm, of course my Mephiston knows Null Zone" - Andy prepares to face off against Bully's Deathwing:


Space Wolves don't surf! Mick's Long Fangs draw a bead on a Vendetta (the Valkyries came on later...):


Ragnar risks becoming a squig as Alex faces off against Darren and Old Zogwort:


"I think I left the oven on" - Mephiston decides he has somewhere better to be:


Onto the Game 2 pics...

Learning his lesson from the first game, Mephiston hides:


Graham's Defiler also hides but he can still see those nasty Grey Knights:


It's Annihilation and Mick faces an army with only 3 Kill Points make up of 2 wound Terminators:


Darren's Orks take on Blood Angels - and these Angels can fly:


Bjorn gets stuck in:


KHARN!:


Andy's Blood Angels jump into action:


An Ork and Blood Angel bloodbath:


Arena Of Death on tour. Matt's Draigo takes on Calgar:


(Draigo wins)

Game 3...

Andy's Blood Angels prepare to be assaulted by Darren's Deffkopta:


Mick takes the fight to the fishmen:


A Grey Hunter's eye view of those Crisis Suits:


In the perfect end to Graham's weekend, Kharn gets killed by Rough Riders:



The final Claws and Fists tally:

P 12 W 4 D 1 L 7

A few thoughts on the performance of the C&F guys...

Mick - Space Wolves

Mick really needed to be more aggresive in game 1 against the IG. He was unlucky to imobilse a Rhino early on but there should have been two Rhinos trying to grab his opponents Objective. Then, he left the squad inside the Rhino and only tried to contest with his two Speeders which were easily shot down. Game 2 was a tough match up - a Kill Point game against an army with only 3 Kill Points. He was unlucky though, as Bjorn was half and inch short of a potential game winning charge and then the game ended on turn 5. Having said that, Mick finished the game with a lot of his army still in one piece, again evidence of a lack of aggression especially against an opponent he had to table to win. Game 3 was nip & tuck but it would have been really harsh if Mick had finished the tournament without a win.

Andy - Blood Angels

I'm not really sure what to say about Andy's game 1. He got tabled by a Deathwing list and there's no advice I can give since I came very close to being tabled by a similar list at the last Open War (all I had left of 1750 points was an imobilised Rhino) Similarly, I can't offer any critique for game 2 as he tabled his opponent. Game 3 was against a very canny operator but Andy failed to leverage his speed advantage late on. As Andy started what would be his last turn, he was 4-1 down. A Boyz squad held one Objective, 2 Mega-Nobz another and a squad of Grotz was stretched across 2 more. Andy's Sanguinary Guard dealt with the Nobz but a failed Tank Shock left the Boyz in place. What he should have done is driven his Razorback 18", jumped out and shot at the Grotz. Yes, it would have been a long shot to kill enough to force a Leadership test and then for them to fail twice  but it was probably better than trying to Tank Shock through a Power Klaw armed Warboss.

Darren - Orks

Firstly some Robin Smith-esque man-love. The way Darren uses his "throwaway" units (Storm Boyz and Kommandos) to tie up and distract enemy scoring units is a joy to watch. Game 1, he needed a bit of luck to defeat Alex but having weathered a Ragnar Blackmane charge, it would be churlish to begrudge such luck. Game 2, he was almost too Orky. Playing against an army with very little long range shooting, he let himself get sucked in. Some might argue that if the Kommandos had turned up on the correct flank things would have been different but that's the risk you take with outflanking. Game 3 against another Blood Angel player could have been closer but his Warboss stopped a final turn attempted Tank Shock.

Graham - Chaos Space Marines

For some, this tournament can be summed up with how their special characters did. For Mick, Bjorn kicked arse and took names in the game he won and was 125mm away from winning game 2. For Andy, Mephiston ran away in game 1 but did much better in game 2. Now I was (un)fortunate enough to witness then demise of Kharn in games 1 & 3 for Graham. Game 1 heU was run over by an Ork Deffrolla and game 3 he was killed by some Rough Riders! Game 1, Graham suffered a similar fate to Mick in that he got nowhere near his opponent's Objective but, he was unlucky not to hold his own as bloody battle erupted all around it. Game 2 was always going to be a tough match-up against an army that was shootier, more mobile and more resilient. The game was close for the first three turns but then the Grey Knights accelerated away. Razorbacks full of small squads normally equals Kill Points a-plenty but Graham really lacked the long range fire power to take advantage. Game 3 and Kharn's Land Raider got punked early and Graham struggled to get anywhere near the IG gunline. This was one of those games where you really need to think about how to cross the board and it would possibly have been advantageous to Deep Strike the Obliterators and/or the Terminators.

I calls it as I sees it. Did you play against any of the C&F guys? What did they do well and what should they have done differently? If you did play against them, why haven't they added you to our blog roll?

Thursday, 9 June 2011

10 Week Challenge - Week 1: The List

The other day I set myself a challenge to pick an army list and stick with it for 10 games. I was pretty happy with the core that I posted there and there were some really good comments as to where to go next. Brad and Andy really described the dichotomy I was having with the hobby (probably caused by swallowing that dictionary) - if I'm paying good money to enter tournaments then I want to do as well as I can but I also want to include some units that might be considered to be "sub-optimal" I also like Bryce's army which only had three scoring units but had lots of "killy" things to back them up. I was very tempted to borrow Mick's Thunderwolves and run something similar and I have to admit the only thing that stopped me was the fact that all 3 missions at Open War are Objective missions and part of the point of this challenge is to prepare for that tournament.

Enough talking, let's get down to the nitty gritty of the list...

HQ

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

Elites

4 Wolf Guard, 4 Combi-Meltas, 4 Power Fists
5 Wolf Scouts, Meltagun, Mark of the Wulfen
Lone Wolf, Terminator Armour, Chainfist, Storm Shield

Troops

8 Grey Hunters, Meltagun, Mark of the Wulfen, Wolf Standard, Rhino
8 Grey Hunters, Meltagun, Mark of the Wulfen, Wolf Standard, Rhino 
8 Grey Hunters, Meltagun, Mark of the Wulfen, Wolf Standard, Rhino  
5 Grey Hunters, Flamer, Razorback, Lascannon/Twin-Linked Plasma Gun
5 Grey Hunters, Flamer, Razorback, Lascannon/Twin-Linked Plasma Gun 

Fast Attack

Land Speeder, Multimelta, Heavy Flamer
Land Speeder, Multimelta, Heavy Flamer

Heavy Support

6 Long Fangs, 5 Rocket Launchers
6 Long Fangs, 5 Rocket Launchers


As you can see I went for a mix of the effective (Razorbacks) and "fun" (Lone Wolf, Scouts) Will it work? I'm not sure, for example I still have reservations about the Lone Wolf running around all game failing to catch anything. Would a real tournament player take such random things as Scouts and MotW? Well, I'm locked in to use this bad boy for my next 10 games so we'll see how we get on...

What do you think of my initial list? Will it last the 10 weeks or will it get battered so badly in the first 2 that I start making changes? Can any list really be effective yet truly different?

Know Your Rules - Preferred Enemy

I saw BroLo use this at Blog Wars over the weekend and it's not something I'd ever considered before...

As we all know, sometimes it's not always advantageous to win a combat on the turn you charge in. You can be left pissing in the wind as your opponent aims all of his big guns at you. However, the USR Preferred Enemy allows you to re-roll To Hit rolls. Obviously, you'd normally re-roll your misses but the way it's worded allows you to re-roll your hits should you so wish!

Clearly, there's a skill involved in judging when to try and miss and when to try and hit but I think this is definitely an interesting use of this rule.

Wednesday, 8 June 2011

Open War Doubles

Just thought I'd post about open war doubles seeing as I've been thinking about what me and Graham can take in our list of Wolves and Guard.

The FoC restrictions at the event mean that we can't take doubles of units except troops (unless of course you are both using the same army) so that means no overloading of long fangs.

Now I did try and convince Graham that we should take wolves and blood angels using Graham's new pre heresy stuff but he wasn't having it instead he has the eyes for tanks and lots of them.

We both have to take a troop and a HQ and after that we just have to use one FOC and divide the points between us so here's my take on my side of the army

HQ
Rune priest
Chooser of the slain
Living lightning
murderous hurricane
Elites
Wolf guard x 2
Power fist x 2
Combi melta x 2
Troops
Grey Hunter x 7
Melta
Mark of the Wulfen
Wolf standard
rhino
Grey Hunter x 8
Melta
Mark of the Wulfen
Wolf standard
rhino
Fast attack
Land speeder
Melta
Heavy flamer
Heavy support
Long Fangs x 6
Missile launchers x 5


Its just a smaller version of my army but it works
what we need to do is work out a guard list that will work with this.

Remember there are still tickets available and you can get them here http://www.1stcompanyveterans.net/events/open_war_dbl_2011.php

Open wars are always a great event so I hope to see you there.

(FoW) - My First Foray into Flames of War




Last night I met up with Daryl (40k Daemons player) at Maelstrom for a trial run of Flames of War. Since we didn't have any WW2 models, we trialled the game using Epic 40k miniatures (it was odd how well the Space Marines mimicked the Germans....).


The gameplay is refreshing quick, and relatively simple. The biggest departure from other wargames that I've played over the last 24 years is that the roll to hit is based on your opponent's level of experience, rather than your own. This is to simulate how well the opposing army has been trained in utilising cover and generally keeping out of harms way. The other big difference is just how easy it is to resolve an attack, especially when it comes to tanks - either the shot penetrates and destroys the tank, or else the crew bail out. That's it!


We picked two 1,000pt lists, an infantry-heavy Soviet side with a few howitzers and T-34 tanks, and a German army of Panzer-IV tanks and half-track mounted troopers. The game lasted under an hour, and ended in victory for the USSR. The battle was swung by the overwhelming rate of fire that came from the Red Army infantry teams - the Russians outnumbered the Germans by 4:1 and despite the protection of the half-tracks, they made very short work of the elite German units. The howitzers were also quite effective when they dropped their 6" square templates on a unit, however we found that it usually took several 'Ranging In' attempts before the barrage found it's target, and by that time the opponent was granted a hefty save, due apparently to them being able to prepare for the incoming shot because of the time taken for the multiple 'Ranging In' attempts.


All in all, Flames of War seems to be a quick, fun and relatively simple system to get to grips with. It was our first game and, using 1,000pt armies, we were done in an hour - including time spent checking the Quickplay Reference Sheets for the exact rules. By the end of the hour, I'd be happy to say I'd grasped the main game mechanics, although of course there are a few special rules to learn (though nothing like the amount in 40k!). I'm certainly not thinking of taking up FoW at the exclusion of all else (ie I'll still be playing 40k and building my Tyranid and Squat armies), but it does seem like a fun game and something I will be dedicating some time to over the sumer.


(PS - since this is predominantly a 40k forum, I will prefix my blog entries on this topic with 'FoW' so people can filter out the non-40k entries).

Tuesday, 7 June 2011

All Mouth and No Trousers?

I was busy sticking my nose in and giving Graham some unasked for advice in this post, when I realised it would be incredibly hypocritical of me to do something different. The next Open War is in October time and since I've got no plans to enter any tournaments before then, now seems as good a time as any to start my preparation.

Today I'm going to talk about "the core" of the list and some possible options and then I'll finalise it in time for my next game and then we'll stick with it for a few games and see how we get on...

HQ

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

Elites

3 Wolf Guard, 3 Combi-Meltas, 3 Power Fists

Troops

8 Grey Hunters, Meltagun, Mark of the Wulfen, Wolf Standard, Rhino
8 Grey Hunters, Meltagun, Mark of the Wulfen, Wolf Standard, Rhino
8 Grey Hunters, Meltagun, Mark of the Wulfen, Wolf Standard, Rhino

Fast Attack

Land Speeder, Multimelta, Heavy Flamer
Land Speeder, Multimelta, Heavy Flamer

Heavy Support

6 Long Fangs, 5 Rocket Launchers
6 Long Fangs, 5 Rocket Launchers


Nothing really different there to a million other Space Wolf Lists. It clocks in at 1,214 points, leaving me with just over 500 to play with. Well, there are four-and-twenty million doors down lifes endless corridors, so lets open some of them...

HQ

A second Rune Priest. Now, I don't think you really NEED 2 at 1750 but it does give you another Living Lightning and greater coverage for psychic defence.

Wolf Guard Battle Leader on Thunderwolf. A nice counter charge unit that can either be left back to babysit the Long Fangs or sent forward. WGBL over Wolf Lord would merely be due to him being less points.

Elites

Wolf Scouts. As discussed on this blog previously, they can be a bit random but I like them as they bring something different to the army.

Wolf Guard. Gav at the club (the other Gav) runs 4 Wolf Guard with Combi-Meltas in a Drop Pod as a Turn 1 suicide unit. I quite like this as it's like having some long range anti-AV14 and even if you don't blow up whatever you were aiming for then it's still got to drive around your Drop Pod. Is it a liability in Kill Point games though? You've essentially given your opponent 2 free Kill Points.

Lone Wolves. Another unit I really like. These guys can be a PITA to kill but they're very slow since they're only on foot.

Dreadnoughts. I ran two "Rifleman" Dreads at the last Open War and I have to say they're brutally efficient.

Troops

Razorbacks. I'm a bit worried about the lack of long range low AP shooting. A couple of Las/Plas Razorbacks could really help out here. Plus, it's adding more scoring units which never hurts.

Fast Attack

Swift Claws. I tried them when the codex first came out but I could never really get them to work. However, I saw that Goatboy was experimenting with some and it piqued my interest again. I don't think my tactics were especially good with them last time either - Turn 1 - Turbo Boost. Turn 2 - try and get into combat.

Sky Claws. I saw a guy at the club running two units of these and it's yet another case of "monkey see, monkey do" Also seeing Dave use his Assault Marines quite successfully and seeing Darren running Storm Boyz makes me want to break out the Jump Packs. Plus it would give me an excuse to but the new Forge World Mk 5 Assault Marines.

Thunderwolves. Mick isn't using his anymore so I could potentially borrow those. I like the fact that they're a big target and people are scared of them which can allow the rest of your army a good couple of turns without being shot. Or I could go down the Stelek route and run a couple of single ones as counter attack units.

Speeders. A couple of Typhoons would add to my long range firepower.

Heavy Support

Long Fangs. Mick has gone down this route although the fact that they have to walk on in the first mission and the crazy L-shaped deployment in mission 2 could hamper them for Open War.

Tanks. Mo' mech is m' better. I always used to run a couple of Predators and I tried a double Vindi' list at the last Open War. However, I'd be worried that a single AV13 hull would attract the wrong sort of attention. However, with the Open War mission, mobile firepower is more useful than static firepower.


I know what "the internet" would say - 2 Las/Plas Razorbacks and 2 "Rifleman" Dreads (plus drop a Grey Hunter to make it fit) Now, that would be a really good army but I think it might be a bit boring. I'd much rather try and get in some Bikes or a couple of Lone Wolves. Well, I've got a couple of days to decide so lets see what I can come up with...

What would you add to the core to make it "competitive" yet "different"? Should I just go with the cookie cutter, hyper points-efficient list? Did you get the Oasis reference?

Monday, 6 June 2011

The View From The Bottom Tables (Deja Vu)

On Sunday, Team Claws & Fists visited Maelstrom Games for not only the inagural, but also the first, BloG Wars tournament. And a very good day we had too! The tournament itself ran faultlessly, so well done to Alex of 'From the Fang' to arranging an entertaining day. The best part of the day was chatting to so many like-minded guys with a real love of the hobby.


The worst part of the day was my performance in the three games! I variously played Orks (hordes in Battlewagons), Imperial Guard (mortar-toting hordes on foot with minimal tank support) and Grey Knights (psyker heaven/hell). The three games (all of which I lost) highlighted a problem endemic to all my recent lists - that is, lack of infantry models on the table. Over the last few months I've played with a few different armies, specifically Eldar, CSMs and counts-as Blood Angels, and all those lists have had a model count of less than thirty, including transports and tanks. Having played two tournaments in the last week, plus practise games, it has led me to some conclusions:


1. I need to start taking the game seriously. It's not that I don't consciously play to win, it's more that I always treat all games as friendlies, and help my opponents with ideas and suggestions (eg. '...why don't you shoot my transport with that spare gun? It might work! Oh. It did...").


2. I need to use my own special rules. I seem to have a bit of a reluctance to use psychic powers and special rules, even though everyone else uses them and they are an accepted part of the game nowadays.


3. I need to write competitive and cohesive lists instead of using whatever I have available at the time.


4. I need to 'splash the cash' as my old woodwork teacher used to say. Rather than continuing to simply use the models that I have in my collection (bought and painted 'cos I like them') I really need to invest in the units that will make for a competitive list, even though I don't necessarily love that particular model or set of special rules.


So my plan is now to put the Chaos Space Marines to one side for a while, and concentrate on finishing two works-in-progress. The first project will be to field 1,750pts of Tyranids. I started working on the army last year for our club's 500pt challenge, but then other things became a priority and I never completed them. So I will resurrect Hive-Fleet Nemesis, consisting of Genestealer broods and Tervigons with Hive Guard for firepower.


My second project is to finish off my Squats-as-IG. They are nearly done - all the models are assembled and undercoated, most of the infantry have been finished and only the tanks need to be painted. This will take a lower priority than the Tyranids, however, as I won't be able to use this army at Warhammer World or any GW store, as it contains a number of non-GW resin models which are not acceptable there (and fair enough, it's their house and they make the rules!).


As each new army nears completion, I will write myself a set of play-notes to help me utilise the special rules and powers that that codex allows. Then it'll be time to practise, and hopefully some wins may eventually come my way!

Bjorn again at Blog Wars

See its not only Gav who can make musical references in his posts.

So yesterday I headed to Mansfield bright and early after a wedding that went on till three the previous night so suffice to say I was feeling a little bit delicate but a McDonalds breakfast and a can of coke later I was raring to go.

I had been playing well in the lead up to this tournament beating Gav, Paul (a dark Eldar player from our club) and Graham twice in about three hours (love you really G) so I had high hopes.

We had three games with the missions and deployment picked at random. Unfortunately there was one drop out so Darren came and filled in meaning there were four Claws and Fists members appearing at the tournament with Gav along to 'help out' the running of the day as well.

The first game was Spearhead with 2 objectives known as the bore draw to some.
I found myself up against an Elysian air cav army featuring two Valkyries, two vendettas and two vultures which give up their transport capacity for a twin linked punisher cannon which is nasty.
He reserved his Vultures and Valks and because of Bjorns reroll I was able to get first turn however one serious error was made.

Along the side of our board we had a 'river' with a small bridge along it. My opponent decided that this river should be difficult terrain and I agreed however this gave his Air Cav army a major advantage seeing as I had to get through the terrain. In a more competitive environment I would have asked a ref but this was only a friendly tournament so I can't lament it that much.

Other than that the game went well. I immobilised his Vendettas and took off the majority of their weapons, Bjorn killed a sentinel but I did immobilise a rhino on the difficult terrain. Second turn his Valks came on they blew up a rhino and one started contesting my objective so I blew them up. Finally his punishers came on they knocked a long fang unit down to one man but they then died.

The game ended on turn five with a draw, me having killed 1500 VP's and having lost ~300. It was my own fault I should have run my grey hunters earlier to contest their objective but it was a fun match against an interesting army which went on to win best painted.

During lunch we voted for the best painting competition which I didn't bother to put my stuff out for I never do.

Second game I was happy to come up against one the armies I had hoped to this tournament, a Grey Knights army. Unfortunately it was a pure Paladin and Draigo army in a Dawn of War kill points mission. As he only had three kill points I was only ever going to win by tabling him which was going to be difficult but I had a lot of missile launchers.

To put it simply, I shot him lots he got his four kill points and tried not to die. Bjorn was immense. One of his Paladin squads was down to 5 Paladins and Draigo and Bjorn charged them. He shrugged off a couple of hammer blows and went on to kill them all. By this time I had whittled down his other squad to two models and it was the top of turn 5. I needed to get them into combat but fell half an inch short. Again the game finished and although I had killed 5 times the victory points I lost the game disappointingly. So after two games on table 5 I found myself falling to table 11.

I played a tau army in my last game and I have to be honest I really don't like playing tau. The army was very similar to what our club chairman Matt plays, pathfinders, broadsides and crisis suits but it had two big blob squads of Kroot and Hounds. For once Bjorn didn't gain me a first turn and it started badly with me losing 3 transports including my razorback early on. However Bjorn again came to the rescue. He rocked up giving my remaining vehicle a cover saving, saving 5 ups from broadsides my opponent finally immobilising him only to reroll it and get a can't shoot result. Eventually the living legend that is Bjorn munched through a 30 strong force of Kroot and Hounds a couple of Broadsides and a squad of crisis suits to contest an objective on turn 6 but the game was run on the other side of the table.

Again I thought I had left it too long, I hadn't ran my squad forward enough but luckily for the first time in a long time in a tournament game I had a 6th turn. I was able to use this to sling shot into a squad of broadsides. So it came down to this, could I destroy a squad of broad sides and get a big enough consolidation roll with only half a squad of grey hunters because they couldn't get into combat. I made two wounds so they needed a 6 to stay in combat. A 7 was rolled and I contested the objective.

All in all I had three games drew one, lost one and won one and finished half way on 13 out of 26. I felt that I probably deserved to win the first two while the third I deserved to draw.

The day was great but my one and onlysuggesting for the next event is that it needs to have some sort of score modifiers for VP's like we do at open war and like the ETC uses.
I met some great people and I look forward to another.

I was certainly pleased with my choice of taking Bjorn, he never failed to have a big impact on the game whether it was gaining me the first turn against an alpha strike army or butchering models. I estimate that he killed close to 1750 points over the course of the three games, he certainly lived up to the living legend tag that he has.

Friday, 3 June 2011

Fluent in over 3 million forms of communication?

It's been a while but I'm finally ready to bring you another update from my painting table! I've recently settled on a list for the very imminent Blog Wars tournament and it included a unit of Sanguinary Guard which I have never played before. I have bought a box previously but I mixed them in with a box of Death Company bits to make an Honour Guard squad. So here we are with a relatively vanilla unit with a pretty much standard colour scheme.

Construction of the models was pretty straight forward with only the banner bearer giving me any trouble, firstly I had to carve the "Blood Angels" text off the scroll on the banner, then with the position of the arm I had to fiddle with the shoulder pad to ensure the jump pack wing would fit in on that side. Other-wise it's a really easy kit to put together and you can get some great poses out of the models.

In terms of the colour scheme I was going to go with a completely standard look but Mick commented last week that he liked the wings black as they were only primered when I first play-tested them last week. So I did a few layers of grey drybrushing on them then washed it all back down with Badab Black and I'm pretty happy with the out-come.

I also tried to do a white to blue glow effect on the Jump Pack engines to tie in with the blue eyes and power weapon glows. It didn't turn out perfect but I'm not unhappy with the result for a first attempt.

Anyway, enough of the preamble, take a look at the pics and let me know what you think. Only the banner is a WIP, the other models are finished.











Lastly a little close-up of the wings and the Jump Pack glow:

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