Saturday, 27 October 2012

The week that was ...

I don't know how to say this, but I'm kind of a big deal!


19th -25th October 2012

Chaos fail

My first taste of the new Chaos Marine 'dex was postponed this week because, quite frankly, Mick had bigger fish to fry. I'd put together a not completely hopeless 500pt Tyranid list to face him though so I hope we can reprise our game this week.

In the absence of a game against them, I took a closer look at the codex and decided that actually the "Typhus/Plague Zombies/anything else you like really", list does look good, does look like something I want to play and does look very reasonable cost-wise thanks to Mantic's release of the Corporation Zombies deal. Not so good for Battle Brothers but very good for the wallet!

Rumors abound

For those of you that don't follow Faeit 212, and why the hell don't you - do it NOW, there have been lots of leaks surrounding the pre-christmas release schedule. Most notable, in my 40K biased opinion, are the Wall of Martyrs, The Space Marine and Necron Mega Forces. In the past the Mega Forces have been pretty damn good deals so keep an eye on them because if they are for armies you like/collect this is probably going to be a good investment.

In other news, the on-again/off-again, maestro of SEO - Adam from The Space Wolves Blog appears to be back on the scene again and is threatening to unite all the Blogs disgruntled with BoLS's treatment of the common Blogger and to pick up where FtW's blog roll left off but with even more pazzaz! Colour me apathetic but I'll leave you to make what you will of it (Ed - Andy's opinions do not necessarily represent the opinions of Claws and Fists)

In other media

Some of you may know I'm a big fan of Podcasts. I'm currently listening to The Independent Characters and the 11th Company (never missed an episode of either) and I've picked up again with The D6 Generation (not a 40K podcast but an excellent general gaming one).

Over the last two episodes the Independent Characters have been reviewing the first Book in the Horus Heresy series from Forgeworld, "Betrayal". If you are in any way on-the-fence about this book, I strongly urge you to listen to the last two episodes as they are a really superb, in-depth review of the content, both fluff and rules, by a couple of guys who have a great understanding and enthusiasm for the project. In addition to this the Podcast is very entertaining no matter what aspect of 40K they are talking about so why not subscribe while you are at it.

The 11th Company are still doing what they have been doing sublimely for the last 138 episodes most recently they have delivered some very interesting insights into the world of Tournament Organisers in the US and some early (typically cynical) opinions on the Chaos Marines Codex. Though credit where it's due Neil "he's not going to lie to you" Gilstrap has managed to maintain a cautiously optimistic take on the new codex. I think it's important to remember that when you listen to these guys they are coming from a position of playing for wins in a highly competitive setting but if you're not that type of player this really shouldn't put you off listening to the podcast, it consistently provides fantastic tactical insights into play-styles and list building that I have not found anywhere else on the internet ...

... at least not since 40KUK went AWOL, just a little note here that I miss you guys and I hope that you get a new episode out soon; and please, for the love of god, sort out your sound quality. The content is epically good but I found the last one almost impossible to listen to!

And finally

I'm a pretty keen computer gamer as well as doing the 40K stuff, and recently X-Com has had me poised over the "add to cart" button on Steam. I keep telling myself I can wait until the Winter sale, where it's bound to be 25% off, but I'm not sure I have the self restraint to follow through. Fortunately my buddy Tee has been keeping me distracted with games of Dawn of War 2, Orc Must Die 2 and Left 4 Dead 2 (I'm all about sequels). These games are all excellent, particularly in the co-op multiplayer stakes but I'm not sure how long the distraction will continue to be effective. And really, why am I punishing myself about this ;)

Anyone else out there a keen PC gamer? What have you been playing recently?

Monday, 22 October 2012

Blog Wars 4 - Tyranid Test List (1)



With a little over a month until Blog Wars 2 I'm about to test the next iteration of my Tyranid list containing the compulsory Special/Unique Character.

HQ
Tyranid Prime w. 2x Bone Swords, Deathspitter, Regeneration

ELITE
Doom of Malan'tai w. Spore Pod
3x Hive Guard
3x Hive Guard

TROOPS
10x Termagants
10x Termagants
Tervigon w. Crushing Claws, Cluster Spines, Adrenal Glands & 3 Powers
Tervigon w. Crushing Claws, Cluster Spines, Toxin Sacs & 3 Powers

FAST ATTACK
5x Raveners w. Rending Claws

Heavy Support
2x Carnifexes each w. 2x TL Devourers with Brainleech Worms
Trygon w. Adrenal Glands

I wanted to go for a Gargoyle list with the Parasite but I don't have the models and I have other things to be spending my money on this month so I've gone for an alternative route with the Doom, Raveners and a Trygon. The Trygon was one of the heroes of Open War for me so it's not a big stretch to get him in again here, I also feel that the Doom is a strong choice with the propensity for foot lists at the moment (he is a bit fragile though).

It's the Raveners which I'm not sure about; on paper they look very tasty being very fast (beasts) and with 4 attacks per model (in this case they are also rending ++) they should be pretty killy. On the down-side though despite the 3 wounds they have there are T4 and do not have Eternal Warrior so they're not too hard to kill from range, also they only have a 5+ save so they either need psychic buffing or they have to pick on units they can cope with comfortably.

For the purposes of trying them out though I'm pretty confident that the good could outweigh the bad so I'm approaching my first test game on Thursday with some optimism for them. I'll let you know how it goes!

Sunday, 21 October 2012

Flyers in sixth

So to start this blog post I utter a disclaimer I have only played 2 games of sixth so this isn't a post of the informed it is a post of someone looking to be informed.

When sixth was introduced there was a lot of worry in the blogging world including from myself that fliers were going to be game breaking for those who have access to them because suddenly they were so hard to kill.

Over the last week I have been working on a chaos list that looks lke this

Lord
Black Mace
Gift of Mutation
Bike

Sorcerer with terminator armour
Mastery level 3
Tzeetch

2 lots of 25 cultists with two flamers

2 lots of 10 Chaos Space marines with melta guns

6 bikers
2 melta guns

a block of 10 terminators
4 power swords
4 power axes
2 power fists
2 autocannons

1 heldrake

Now I know that the Heldrake isn't a popular model but personally I like it however is there a point to it? With the baleflame it is good at killing MEQ without a doubt but as a an anti flyer does it cut it? How many flyers are we seeing in lists? Is it only really guard who are seeing them in numbers and if that is the case then is the Helldrake actually going to be able to deal with them?

Looking for peoples opinions on the list and the Helldrake as always

Saturday, 20 October 2012

The week that was ...

You stay classy, The Internet!


12-18th October 2012

You all know what happens to “regularly scheduled” blog posts in these parts. Typically they start with good intentions but fall quickly by the wayside as real life and other inconveniences get in the way. So it is with much trepidation that I offer to you a new, regularly scheduled series of posts on the week that was the week before ... if you get me. This entirely (un)original concept is brought to you by me and hopefully will gather contributions from others in the “staff” if it gains any momentum.

With that said, here we go!

Open War 18.

Last Friday I was feverishly throwing Army Painter Medium Shade over poorly painted Tyranid models in a desperate attempt to finish my army for Open War 18. As you can read here my efforts on the painting front were successful enough for me to be able to attend the tournament, sadly however, my gaming skills were not up to the task and I finished a somewhat disappointing 14th out of 18 competitors. Still, lessons were learned and I’ll be back for Blog Wars 4 with renewed fervour!

Club Night.

Thursday night is our regular club night at Warhammer World in Nottingham. Up to now I’ve been neck deep in the Perpetual Blood Bowl league, amassing four extremely middle-of-the-road teams in just over a year. For the latest team intake, however, I have decided to take a break and recharge my scrimmaging batteries. The previous week saw me, instead, throwing some 40K-related shapes in an Open War practice game against the midget-loving Grazer (who owes us a Battle Report, gloriously detailing how I won on a technicality).

This week heralded the very welcome return of Gav (our very own Mr Claws and Fists) to the gaming table who ably demonstrated his rustiness by loosing consecutive games of Space Hulk to me. Beating Gav at anything is a rare enough occurrence that I have to twist the knife at every opportunity but both games were pretty close, with the kind of great action and tension that makes Space Hulk as memorable as it always has been.

Looking forward.

I spent a couple of hours last night mulling over Daemons/Chaos Marines lists that Gav and I could take to Battle Brothers in January and I came to the conclusion that squeezing allies into 1500 points is at best difficult and at worst detrimental to the list no matter how powerful screamers and Flamers are ;) Bring on 1500pts of Tyranids I say!

And Finally.

I was listening to the latest episode of World's End Radio this week and they did a short segment on playing under pressure which I felt fit in rather nicely with my recent dusting off of Space Hulk. Being a little out of practice I’d forgotten how little time that egg timer gives you as the Marine player. You are forced to think fast and you get a real sense of pressure in a game where the odds are somewhat stacked against you anyway! I love the mechanic here though, because it really adds atmosphere to the game, drawing you into the situation. If you’re in a bit of a jam, the time you spend thinking yourself out of it often leaves you with a frantic rush to get everything done as the last few grains of sand spill out of the timer. Inaction is the quickest killer in Space Hulk.

Please check back next week for more of the same (hopefully!)

Thursday, 18 October 2012

BLOG WARS IV - SQUAT GUARD/BLOOD ANGEL 1,850pt  LIST

This week I've mostly been considering how to improve my Squat Guard with the addition of some allies. I have reasonable armies of Eldar, Chaos Space Marines and pre-Heresy World Eaters (counting as Blood Angels) to choose from, and since I don't have the new CSM codex, I'm limited to either the pointy-ears or everyone's favourite power-armoured vampires, the Blood Angels. As you can probably guess from the title of the post, I decided on the latter! 

The reason for adding the Marines is to beef up my ability to take and hold mission objectives. With the addition of the Priests' Feel No Pain bubble, the troops become hardier, and the Furious Charge really boosts the Assault Marines' effectiveness too. The Librarian* flies with the Assault Marines, and will either choose Smite, Blood Lance, Sanguine Sword or Unleash Rage, or possibly risk the vagaries of the random psychic powers tombola. 

* A note on my selection of a Librarian in a World Eaters army. I realise that it's not fluffy, but it is a very effective HQ choice and frankly I need all the help I can get. So it's in. 

Anyway, without further ado, here is my latest 1,850pt list for Blog Wars. I'll undoubtedly tinker more before the Tournament, but this is what I'll be using next Thursday against Andy's rejigged Tyranid horde: 

HQ

Commissar Yarrick (185)

TROOPS

Veterans with 3 x Plasma Guns (115)

Veterans with 3 x Plasma Guns (115)

FAST ATTACK

1 x Vendetta with Heavy Bolter Sponsons (140)

1 x Vendetta with Heavy Bolter Sponsons (140)

HEAVY SUPPORT

Ordnance Battery (280): 
 2 x Colossus

1 x Manticore (160)

FORTIFICATION

Aegis Line with Comms Relay (70)

ALLIES - WORLD EATERS (c. a. Blood Angels)

HQ

Librarian w/ Jump pack (125). 

ELITES

2 x Sanguinary Priests
(one with Jump Pack & Power Weapon) (140). 

TROOPS

Tactical Marine Squad (Sergeant & 9 x Marines) with Plasma Gun & Missile Launcher (180). 

Assault Marine Squad (Sergeant & 7 x Marines) with Power Weapon & Flamer (194). 

As always, I welcome positive comments and suggestions on how to make this army better. Cheers!

Tyranid List Development



I learnt a lot about playing Tyranids at Open War this weekend, and even though 3 games isn’t enough to say anything definitive about how a list works, it’s given me a good idea of where I think my current list can be tweaked, and of the units I would like to try out.

Firstly the core of the army will be as follows:

Prime w. 2x Bone Sword & Deathspitter – 95
Tervigon w. Crushing Claws, Cluster Spines, Toxin Sacs & 3 powers – 225
Tervigon w. Crushing Claws, Cluster Spines, Adrenal Glands & 3 powers – 225
Termagants – 50
Termagants – 50
Carnifex Brood w. 2x Twin Linked Devourers w. Brain Leech Worms – 380

Core price = 1025pts

The Prime was great but the scything talons were not that useful, I feel that by dropping Regeneration and replacing the talons with a Deathspitter he becomes more synergistic with the Carnifexes he accompanies and doesn’t really lose anything significant.

The Tervigons were “money” all weekend and I felt that the Zoanthropes were a little exposed; so by taking an additional power on the Tervigons I increase their chances of getting useful powers and they can potentially offset the buffing role of the Zoanthropes. Adding Crushing Claws to both of them as well gives them a significant boost in Close Combat making them a serious threat as well as being a scoring Mummy Bug/Unit Buffer – great value for points.

The Termegants are necessary to get the Tervigons as Troops. I think I will be more cautious with these guys in the future, probably reserving them most of the time as they proved to be very fragile.

Lastly the Carnifexes were brutal, their anti-infantry shooting is an impressive sight to behold and they’re handy in a scrap too, particularly with the Prime in tow to challenge any tricky special characters.

This give me a list at 25pts over 1000, so to make it fit into a 1000 point game I would probably just drop a set of Crushing Claws on one of the Tervigons.

In order to get up to 1500pts I think I would always add the following:

3x Hiveguard – 150
3x Hiveguard – 150
2x Zoanthrope – 120

I really noticed the lack of anti-vehicle fire-power; the Carnifexes are very good at light armour but anything over AV12 is beyond their power to damage unless they get really close. Two units of 3 Hive Guard should sort out these problems in short order, and I say this with an apology to the readers who told me before the tournament that they should be in the list. I thought I could get along without them and I really did miss them, so you were right and I will take better heed of you in the future.

My original concept was to use Zoanthropes as unit buffers and this worked reasonably well but they made for easy kill points and soft targets in general. Adding them in here is not something I’m completely set on as I could take Doom in a Pod with the points I have spare but I do believe that psychic buffs are critical to the success of Tyranids at the moment so I’m going to stick with this model for a little while at least to see if the concept works out.

With the remaining points to build towards a 1500pt list I’m probably just going to increase the number of Termagants in each unit to improve their durability. As mentioned above, units of 10 were very noticeable in just how easy they were to kill over the weekend.

From here to get to 1750 and 1850pt lists I go two different ways, in both instances I will drop some of the additional Termagants added in the last step to make the points work.

At 1750pts I would look to add a Hive Tyrant (flying or walking is yet to be decided) probably with Old Adversary. If on foot I’d want 2 Tyrant Guard and Lash Whip & Bonesword with Scything Talons and Reinforced Shell and if flying I’d go with 2x TL Devourers.

At 1850pts I would take the Parasite and one or two big units of Gargoyles (depending on the points available). Closing the distance to your opponent is so important for this army and Gargoyles supported by the Parasite have a good chance of getting there quickly and in a big enough unit they will hopefully have the bodies left to do some damage and tie up something useful once they get there.

That’s it for thoughts on the ‘nids right now, I’m off to build some Gargoyles!!

Tuesday, 16 October 2012

Open War 18 - Flight of the Tyranids


Last weekend was the 1st Company Veterans Club's twice annual tournament - Open War. It's held in Maelstrom Games in Mansfield and this is the 6th consecutive one I've attended, but my first with Tyranids.

I took the following:

Flying Hive Tyrant w. 2x TL Devourers & Hive Commander
Tyranid Prime w. 2x Boneswords, Scything Talons & Regen

Zoanthrope
Zoanthrope

Tervigon w. Cluster Spines, Toxin Sacs & 2 Powers
Tervigon w. Crushing Claws, Cluster Spines, Toxin Sacs & 2 Powers
10 Termagants
10 Termagants

Mawloc
Trygon
2x Carnifexes w. 2x TL Devourers each

The plan was simple, throw it at the enemy and see what happens!

G1 vs. Necrons (Check out Towers' Blog here http://wingsofsanguinius.blogspot.com)


Destroyer Lord w. Warscythe, Weave and Mind-Shackle Scarabs

5 Necrons w. Ghost Ark
5 Necrons w. Doom Scythe
5 Necrons w. Doom Scythe
12 Necrons w. Doom Scythe

6 Wraiths w. 2x Whip Coils
9 Scarab Bases

3x 3 Tomb Spyders

The mission was Kill Points with Hammer and Anvil Deployment.

This was a list I’d heard a lot about but never faced and I felt it would be a tough match-up for me, his Wraith and Destroyer Lord unit would be difficult to keep away from and hard to deal with in assault. The sea of scarabs could potentially tie up a unit indefinitely which would severely hamper my killing power and he had more monstrous creatures than I did so in a straight-up fight I would be in trouble. All this coupled with the fact that this was only the second time I’d used the Tyranids in anger meant I was not entirely optimistic.

However, it started well with the Carnifexes significantly reducing his scarab population and the Tervigon on my right flank ploughing into his Ghost Ark and wrecking it, “1st Blood” to me! I’d also set up an assault where I could charge his Wraith unit with a pile of ‘gants and get my Trygon in on one side in an attempt to maximise his effectiveness and minimise his exposure to Wraiths and the Lord. I thought this looked a good option but it turns out I was wrong.

The Wraiths took everything I threw at them and pretty much laughed it off while dealing plenty of rending attacks back to my Trygon. Keeping endurance on him kept him in the fight longer than he deserved to be, sadly though while he was holding on the ‘gant screen was being comfortably eaten away and a unit of Spyders were now in range to charge the Trygon. So in a desperate attempt to turn the combat back in my favour I threw my Tyrant in there and challenged the Lord a flubbed Mind-Shackle roll later and I was down to 1 wound. This did not end well for me.

On the other flank the Carnifex and Prime unit had been charged by the scarab screen and while overwatch had thinned out their numbers again I was failing to roll 2+ to wound like it was going out of style. 6 rounds of combat later I was down to 1 Carnifex and on the last combat round of the game he failed to kill the last Scarab base needing only a 2+. That little event summed up the game for me.

I can’t put it all down to dice though, my opponent managed all of the above without his air support who stayed off the board until turn 4. His target priority and movement was excellent. He did exactly what he needed to to win the game 23-7

G2 vs. Black Templars w Dark Angels

Emperor’s Champion w. Abhor the Witch
Marshall w. Meltabombs
Chaplain
Dark Angels Chaplain

Assault Squad 5-man w. Powerfist

10 Initiates & 6 neophytes w. Power Sword & Flamer
10 Initiates & 6 neophytes w. Power Sword & Flamer
6 Initiates w. Missile Launcher & Meltagun in a Razorback w TL Heavy Bolters
5 Dark Angels Tactical Marines w Power Sword & Plasma Gun in a Rhino

5 Dark Angels Devastators w 2x Missile Launchers & 2x Plasma Cannons

Aegis Defence Line w. Quad Gun

The Mission was Big Guns Never Tire with a Vanguard Deployment.

I don’t think there has been a tournament that both Keith and I have attended where we haven’t ended up playing each-other and after losing to his Daemon Hunters in our first meeting I don’t think I’ve lost to him since. With my experience of being on the wrong side of a fair number Space Marine vs Tyranid encounters in the past and with his pretty combat oriented list I have to say I was feeling confident about my chances here again.

I got first turn and decided to start with my Tyrant on the board, outflanking a brood of ‘gants to hopefully take one of the objectives close to the edge of the board. My Tyrant flew foward and attempted to take down the quad gun early but only managed to cause a single wound, the Tervigon on the right pooped out 7 ‘gants and doubled out with two 2s and a 3! The one on the left however was a baby machine and didn’t stop all game effectively securing the two objectives on that side by himself.

In the centre the Trygon made short work of the Dev squad manning the Quad Gun with an audacious 11” 2nd turn charge. Again I made the frankly stupid decision to land my Tyrant and charge him into the Initiate squad with the Marshall on the centre hill. This guy is not equipped for combat and he was eventually laid low by a well placed Melta bomb, by that time however the Trygon was engaged with the same unit and their fate was sealed.

Over on the right was where it could have gone wrong but the bunged up Tervigon and the Carnifex-Prime unit saved the day taking on the other initiate squad which had the Chaplain and the Emperor’s champion in it. The Prime and Champion killed each other in an epic challenge leaving the ‘fexes to finish off the unit , which was not an easy task with a single wounded Carnifex remaining standing after a couple of rounds of combat. The hero for Keith’s Army was the Dark Angels Chaplain who refused to die and hung in against an Iron Arm powered Tervigon until the game ended. The result was 25-5 in my favour but Keith definitely had dice that made my 1st game dice look poor so that was a bit of a flattering score-line!

G3 vs Imperial Guard w. Daemons

Company Command Squad w. Heavy Bolter
The Masque

7 Flamers of Tzeentch

Platoon w Mortars & Autocannons
Veterans w Meltaguns & Chimera
5 Plaguebearers

Vendetta
Hellhound
Hellhound
7 Screamers of Tzeentch

Griffon
Demolisher

Bastion w. Quad Gun

The mission was Crusade with Dawn of War Deployment.

I’ll start by saying that I did not really enjoy this game despite the fact that my opponent was a nice enough guy to talk to, I just found his use of the rules exploitative when he was running a powerful enough list and was a good enough player not to really have to do what he did ... more on that later.

This game I rolled by far the worst lot of psychic powers of any game in the tournament – I don’t think effected the result but it did throw a spanner in the works and made my units feel a lot less powerful. I got first turn and decided to outflank the Tervigon who got Warp Speed (definitely not something I’m referring to in the previous sentence!) as I figured he could do a number on the inevitable back-line of vehicles. I started with the rest of my units on the board. Sensibly he only deployed long range shooty units which I did not have the firepower to deal with in turn 1 and possibly turn 2. So I walked into a gunline and my termagants were gone, typically the Tervigon on the board bunged up on turn 1 to the tune of about 9 ‘gants so I was not feeling confident about my chances of holding any objectives and I had conceded 1st Blood.

He got his non-preferred wave which saved me from the pain of the Screamers and Flamers arriving together but the Masque’s Pavane was allowing the Hellhounds to make short work of my units. Despite this I really had to just ignore her and get on with the task at hand, crossing the board! Thanks to the anti-aircraft fire on the board my Tyrant was a dead-man walking, he did manage to kill 3 of the 5 plague bearers before he bought it though ...

So I’d lost the left flank and the two objectives there so I focussed on the 3 objectives to the centre right of the board and here’s where I got a bit miffed. I was in range of charging his Bastion with my Carnifex unit (I bet some of you know what’s coming here) but my opponent pointed out to me the fact that the Bastion was technically unoccupied (his unit was on the battlements) and as it clearly says in the rulebook, I cannot target an unoccupied building. What made this worse was the fact that he’d positioned the Bastion so that the door was against his long table edge so I could not get into it to assault the unit on top. I didn’t argue this because the rule is clear and despite what I think I’m not the kind of guy to argue against Rules as Written on a point of fluff – that didn’t stop me for feeling pretty shitty about his use of what in any other game would probably be considered an “exploit” though.

It was really irrelevant though because the game was pretty much lost at this point. My bunged up Tervigon had experienced the exquisite pain of being charged by Screamers which was a total surprise to me having not seen them since the update. Needless to say my frustrated Carnifex unit rounded on them and vapourised them immediately after they’d finished with the Tervigon. Unfortunately for me he still had the flamers and they made quick work of the units I had left in the centre leaving me with a Trygon and the Tervigon who had outflanked, these guys were the heroes of my weekend!

The Trygon eventually succumbed to overwhelming focussed firepower but not before taking out a couple of units of guard and a vehicle. The Tervigon, however, would not die and would not stop pumping out ‘gants. He actually managed to spawn a big enough unit that I felt I could risk a charge with them against the remaining flamers. I gambled well and they made it in and were probably a only turn short of wiping the unit but sadly the game ended on turn 6 and I’d moved my Tyrgon off the Objective to be able to spawn the ‘gants within charge range of the Flamer, and forgotten to move him back. So I lost 25-5 to a far better opponent but despite the fact it really didn’t make a difference to the result I was just left with a bad feeling about the game because of the tactics with the Bastion, which is a shame because he seemed like a nice guy.

... although he was using those giant square “casino-style” dice which just don’t roll and I really don’t think are suitable for tabletop gaming use. But what do I care, I wasn’t there to win the thing just have a few games with a new army. I certainly got a lot out of it and I’m looking forward to putting the Tyranids back on the table-top very soon!

Saturday, 13 October 2012

Scratchbuilt Squat Overlord Airships

Now that my Overlord Airships are almost ready for the table, it's time to show you all some pictures of the (nearly) completed articles. I've made two, and they will be used in my Squat Guard army as Vendetta Gunships.
 
 
As you can see from the pictures here on the blog, it's apparent that the Airships are a bit smaller than the Vendetta/Valkyrie chassis (although it's really only the wings and tail of the Vendetta that make it larger).
 
My first tournaments I'll be attending using the new models will be Blog Wars IV in December and Caledonian Uprising in January. I'm really hoping that Alex Brown and Tim King, the respective tournament organisers, will be happy for me to use the Overlord Airships as I think they will look cool on the table and really become the centrepiece of my army!
 
If Tim & Alex are happy, I will finish off the last touches on these two models before commencing my next project - a scratchbuilt double-hulled airship which will count as a Vulture. I think the Vulture will fill a gap in my Squat Guard army (thanks to Ian Lock for suggesting it on the blog last weekend). The Vulture itself is 105 points, and for an admittedly hefty 50 points extra can be equipped with a Punisher Cannon which I hope will be the answer against high-wound monstrous creatures and elite deathstar units which I've struggled against recently.
 
Plan view
 
 
Side elevation
 
 
 
Front aspect
 
 
 
 

Sunday, 7 October 2012

Help! Which Allies for Squat Guard?

Having played Andy and his Nidzilla Hive Fleet on Thursday (full match report to follow), I'm starting to understand better how my Squat Guard army works. Our game on Thursday was my first at 1,750pts - previously I had played at 1,000pts, mostly against Daryl's Daemons army. At the larger points value I was able to bulk up my infantry squad up to thirty men, include a couple of heavy weapons teams and, most critically, use my two counts-as Vendettas for the first time. The big guns on my Ordnance Battery, Manticore and Vendettas worked fantastically in whittling down Andy's horde of Termagants, but I found myself short in two main areas: 

1. Midfield infantry
2. Mid-strength anti-MC shooting

MID-TABLE MEDIOCRITY

The first issue is of no surprise at all - Guard are only toughness 3 with a 5+ save after all, so I ought jot to expect too much from them. Of course there is strength in numbers defensively, and a big blob squad can pump out a prodigious amount of strength 3 firing, but if you need to advance on a mid-table objective and fight for it, then Guardsmen of any type just aren't up to the job. 

So what is the solution? I've been considering allies of some sort - possibly a unit of Blood Angels assault marines or even Death Company - backed up by a rock-hard elite of Terminators or something equally unshiftable. 

MORE BIG GUNS? 

The second issue I've found is that whilst my ordnance works fantastically against infantry, I struggle against monstrous creatures. Nearly all of my sixth edition games have been against Daemons or Tyranids, and I have found that I cannot reliably deal with high-wound Daemon Princes, Trygons, Tervigons and the like. I realise that it is just weight of numbers that deal with these, so I am considering increasing the number if heavy weapons squads I have - Autocannon are my preferred choice - which work very efficiently when combined with Bring It Down' from a nearby officer. 

Alternatively, I'm thinking a Leman Russ Punisher might be an option. It pumps out twenty S. 5 shots per turn, plus an extra six if you add on Heavy Bolter sponsons on the sides. The downside is that it is a lot of eggs in a single basket, and there's plenty of things in 40k nowadays that eat AV14 for breakfast - and that's before you consider the lighter side and rear armour facings. 

HELP! 

So my quandary is two-fold: firstly, what do I do about my midfield superiority infantry requirements, and secondly how best can I deal with high-wound models like monstrous creatures and deathstar units like Nob Bikers and Grey Knight Terminators? 

It's over to you! Any constructive help you can offer will be gratefully received. 

Same old same old

No posts, no 40k, all work and no play makes Michael a dull boy.

So lets face facts I've been terrible when it comes to 40k this year even worse since 6th edition came out. I so far have played one game but yesterday I was hoping to see a turning point. I have looked forward to a new chaos codex for a long time especially with rumours of legions that due to my lack of diligence when it came to the world of blogging I wasn't aware wasn't true.

I have to say I am deeply disappointed by the codex as a whole, I haven't looked into it in that much detail and I'm not playing enough to know what makes a good unit or not, no my main problem with the codex is that it is no different from the previous chaos codex bar a couple of units. I had this grand plan of a Word Bearer army with Erebus leading but unfortunately there are no new Special Characters. I suppose I was hoping for a reboot as we saw with Necrons however that isn't what we have. We have a bit of a polish.

Am I being overly harsh? Would like your opinions as always

Friday, 5 October 2012

A Call to Arms

There are a couple of tournaments recently announced that I'll be going to, and I thought I'd share the details with you, the ever-loyal (and seemingly ever-patient, judging by our total lack of posts over the summer) readership.
 
 
BLOG WARS IV
The first tournament is Blog Wars, organised by Alex of the From the Fang blog. This will actually be the fourth running, and I'm lucky enough to have attended every one. Blog Wars is always a fun event and has produced some very memorable gaming moments for those involved.
 
The tournament is to be held on Saturday 1st December 2012, at the fantastic Maelstrom Games in Mansfield (UK). Tickets are £15 for three games in one day, including lunch.
 
The tournament itself is to at 1,850pts, with the special caveat that each army must include at least one unique character. In the past, this has meant me using the Doom of Malan'tai as part of my all-reserving Drop-Spore Tyranid army. This time around it'll most likely be Guardsman Marbo as part of my Squat Guard army.  
 
 
CALEDONIAN UPRISING
 
This is a biggie! Normally drawing over a hundred participants, the Caledonian Uprising is organised by Tim King and the Scottish ETC team. Despite being a very competitive event, it is also a lot of fun - Team Scotland are known for their partying and the tournament is rarely a sober affair.
 
Caledonian Uprising is to be held over the weekend of 19-20 January 2013 and features six games over the two days for the price of £35. In addition, Tim is throwing in a free Friday night 1,000pt mini-tournament too, for those arriving early to Mansfield! So that's nine games in total - are you man enough to take up the challenge?
 
The main part of the tournament is for 1,850pts and is almost completely unrestricted - the only limit imposed is a 0-1 unit maximum on Forge World models with the Interceptor rule.
 
Again, I'm planning on taking the Squat Guard, although I will need to clear my scratchbuilt Overlord Airships (aka Vendettas) and Termite Transports (counting as Chimeras) with the organisers before I submit the final draft of my army list.
 
 

Thursday, 4 October 2012

The Skittering First Steps of Hive Fleet Invidiosus




I have spent many hours today at my desk staring off into the ether contemplating red and blue Tyranids and how best to crush my foes with them. I think I'm ready to share my conclusions with you … though you may not like them :)

HQ
Hive Tyrant – 285
2x TL Devourers, Wings, Hive Commander, 6th Ed Powers
Tyranid Prime – 100
2x Boneswords, Scything Talons, Regeneration

ELITE
Zoanthrope – 60
6th Ed Powers

TROOPS
Tervigon – 195
Cluster Spines, Adrenal Glands, Toxin Sacs, Catalyst
Tervigon – 210
Cluster Spines, Toxin Sacs, Crushing Claws, 6th Ed Powers
Termagant Brood – 50
10x Termagants
Termagant Brood – 50
10x Termagants

HEAVY SUPPORT
Trygon – 200
Mawloc – 170
Carnifex Brood – 430
2x Carnifexes, Crushing Claws, TL Devourer, Adrenal Glands, Frag Spines

So, what am I planning to do with this? Lets start from the top:

The Hive Tyrant is an all purpose rapid response unit, he's fast, durable and kills things on the ground and in the air with equal aplomb (at least that's the plan)

The Prime goes with the Carnifexes and issues/answers challenges (more on the 'fexes later)

The Zoanthrope is a buffing unit pure and simple.

The cheaper Tervigon goes for mid table and buffs and pumps out babies, it's remit is pretty much scoring and possibly a bit of a distraction, not sure if anyone will take that bait though :) The more expensive one is on outflank duty (thanks to Hive Commander).

The 'gants are either going to sit back and try to score or screen something, not glamorous really.

The Mawloc and Trygon are likely to burrow turn 1 and cause some backfield grief in turn 2 arriving (hopefully) with the outflanking Tervigon and the flying Tyrant. That TftD attack has got to be worth something now that cover's not quite so effective …

… and lastly the Carnifexes, these guys (along with the Prime) are my solution to Nob Bikers and most other nasty units. I'm not completely sold on the Crushing Claws as opposed to an extra set of TL Devourers but the potential is there for some unholy damage in close combat. I think they'll be stationed roughly mid table as a deterrent but will have no qualms about getting stuck in should combat present itself

Notable omissions from the list are (I would say) Hive Guard and Gargoyles. Let me just briefly explain why they've been left out. Firstly Hive Guard, at the moment I just don't see them being as useful as they were in 5th. I don't think we'll be seeing anywhere near as many vehicles as we used to and even if we do I can hit them so much easier now in close combat and my charge range is (arguably) a little bit further than it was, increasing my assault threat range. As for Gargoyles, well, I just don't have the models, I would love to take 15-20 of them but at the mo I have enough painting to do without all of those gribblies as well!

As usual I do appreciate your comments, I know this is probably not going to appeal to a lot of people out there and more experienced Tyranid generals are probably going to be able to tear it to pieces but go gently with your criticism and try to keep it constructive please ;)

Monday, 1 October 2012

Don't call it a comeback!


Wow! Long time no post. I'm sure no-one wants to read what I've been up to in the past … well it's been a long time as I said. Suffice to say I am still playing 40K and painting models.

I'm hoping that a few people are still keeping an eye on the blog because I need some help. I've signed up for Open War 18 which is a 1750pt 40K tournament and I'm finally getting my Tyranids into the fray. I've got a lot of painting to do in the next two weeks but for a basic table-top quality I think I can make it. Anyway, I need some help finishing off the list which is as follows:

HQ:
Hive Tyrant
Wings, 2x TL Devourers (6th Ed Powers I think)
Tyranid Prime
2x Boneswords, Deathspitter, Regeneration

TROOPS:
Tervigon (x2)
Cluster Spines, Adrenal Glands, Toxin Sac, Catalyst (may replace with 6th Ed Power on 1 of them)
Termagant Brood (x2)
10 Termagants

HEAVY SUPPORT:
Trygon (x2)
Carnifex Brood
2 Carnifexes w. TL Devourer (one each)

That all comes in at 1605 leaving me with 145pts to spend.
I'm considering adding Crushing Claws to the 'fexes leaving me with the potential to upgrade some of the other units. Or I could afford a unit of 6 Genestealers with a Broodlord or even a couple of Zoanthropes.

Is there something else you would recommend? Any feedback is greatly appreciated but I don't have any Gargoyles :)

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