Friday, 31 December 2010

Underdogs...Scout Bikes

That's right boyz and grotz of all ages, TheBaron is here with his weekly post about underused units on the table top. Having been told by "the Overlord" to leave Wednesdays free for some Gladiator rip-off I was informed that Underdogs is to be a Thursday which I say screw you and here I am with this weeks Underdogs on a Friday (the last Friday and in fact day of this year no less)...No in all seriousness I was intending to have this up yesterday however I was up North at a friends wedding and so its been pushed back to today, I hope you'll all forgive me. Rest assured though that Underdogs will continue next year and it will be on a THURSDAY (until I over throw "the Overlord" that is).
This week I've moved Codex again and as an extra end of year treat I've even shifted Force Organisation slot so that I don't look too one dimensional and focus purely on long range fire support. This week I wan't to look at Codex: Space Marines and the Scout Bikes...

So jumping straight in lets have a look at what we get for our basic investment of 70pts. We get 3 x T5 4+ Save Bikers with 2/3 of the squad having Scout stats...not a great start. For the same basic points you could get a Landspeeder with MM and HF that we see popping up all over the place which will be more straight forward to use. However, when we look at the added special rules that the Scout Bikers have and the list of options available to them a few tactical posibilities open up.

Starting on the Board

As Scouts they get Infiltrate and Scout just like their troop slot buddies. This means that they deploy after your opponents army and can turbo boost with their Scout move to benefit from the 3+ cover save this grants. This puts them in an ideal position for a first turn charge on an enemy tank which wont have moved and therefore the scouts will hit automatically with their krak grenades. This tactic works even better when you spend a few points on the Sgt for Melta Bombs as for 75pts you have a small hit squad that can charge first turn and disrupt your enemies plans as you've placed it opposite his "Hammer" units' transport (ie Battlewagon) and if they don't destroy or immobilise it then your opponent still has to deal with them. For a safer option a combi-melta and PF on the Sgt is ideal.

For some added synergy a locator beacon works wonders if you have a couple of drop pod squads as it will start on the board, meaning any unit coming in first turn can home-in on the scouts, and how many lists do we see with a MM Dread, Command Squad with meltas etc mounted in Pods with a first turn strike in mind.... and as pointed out above, the combination of Infiltrate, Scout move, and/or turbo boost means they will be in an ideal place to take out key units from the off or at least disrupt a battle plan.


As they have Infiltrate/Scout the squad can of course Outflank, so if you don't feel like setting them up, you don't have to. This will leave your opponent thinking about protecting his objectives and back-field support units. Again the combi-melta (or sometimes flamer) and Melta Bombs is a wise investment here. Another piece of kit comes in handy here in the form of the Astartes Grenade Launcher. I've seen this little piece of kit (well 3 of them) neutralize 20 Ork Boys the turn they arrived. With a 12" move when they roll on, the AGL being Rapid Fire and Blast (in Frag mode) 3 of these and a Combi-flamer on the Sgt will remove a large portion of an objective camping squad. Alternatively a Combi-melta and the S6, Rapid Fire Krak shot from the AGL will hopefully silence a Ravager/Predator/Hydra etc while leaving the squad to still charge whats left (if anything) and mop up.

One final thing that I always take is Cluster Mines for its 10pt psychological effect and potentially game changing results. In objective games this piece of kit is priceless, as your opponent will be trying to second guess where you've placed it and it makes last turn objective jumping potentially dangerous.

A somewhat cooler Scout Bike

Set Up

Now, TheBaron recomends as a set up taking 5/6 Scout Bikers with 3 AGL, with a Beacon, Bombs and Combi-melta on the Sgt (and a fist if points permit) and Cluster Mines for the squad for around 230pts. However as discussed above, if you plan on always flanking or have no deep strikers drop the Beacon.

This unit will leave your opponent guessing at what you are going to do with them and may lead them to re-think their usual plans.As a synergy unit this works well with drop pods, termies and Gate of Infinity....picture a first turn where your Librarian "Gates" with some assault Terminators to where your Scout bikers are as two drop pods come down containing a Dread and some Sternguard....

As always this is just my opinion and shouldn't be taken as fact, but try it out and let me know your thoughts.

Hope you've all had a good 2010 and here's to a cracking 2011!


I rolled: 9 (6/3)

Indie Middle

It's weird to feel marginalised in a hobby that is already at the margins. However, I'm starting to feel that I might be the only person who plays toy soldiers that isn't into metal. There are no end of posts all over t'internet about what songs to listen to while painting and while the genres may differ, they all fall under the umbrella of metal (and yes, even as an indie kid, I'm aware of how broad a description that can be) Anyway, I thought it was time to redress the balance and unleash the wolfy indie:

Howlin' Wolf

Okay, we'll start with the blues. There's a direct line from the blues to metal so this could be the most accessible thing on here (Hendrix was heavily influenced by the blues and his popularisation of the three piece led to the heavy idiom that became popular in the later '60s through bands like Cream and The Who. Since it was Keith Moon who came up with the name Led Zepplin for Jimmy Page, it's not too much of a jump to make)

A Wolf At The Door - Radiohead

It feels a bit unfair to label Radiohead as indie as they tend to span musical genres from rock to jazz. Anyway, this is from the Hail to the Thief album which is awesome despite not being quite as good as The Bends or Kid A.

Let The Wolves Howl At The Moon - Super Furry Animals

SFA are brilliant. That's all that needs to be said really. This is from their "concept album" Hey Venus! which despite being their 8th album is as good as their first.

Lone Wolf - Eels

Eels are another fantastic band who are much underrated. Apart from the music, you need to know that the father of Mark Oliver Everett, the man who essentially is Eels, invented the theory of parallel universes.

Betty and the Werewolves

These released their debut album, Teatime Favourites, earlier this year to no fanfare which is a shame since it's one of the better CDs to come out in 2010. Since everyone else on this list is better know, these are the only band to get a link. The only disappointing thing is that none of them are called Betty

The Wizard Turns on The Giant Silver Flashlight And Puts on His Werewolf Moccasins - The Flaming Lips

It's a bit weird, I search for 'wolf' and 'wolves' on my iPod and it brings back songs by my three favourite bands - Eels, The Flaming Lips and Super Furry Animals.

Thursday, 30 December 2010

Apocalypse Now

As mentioned yesterday, we all went down to Warhammer World to play a big game. And boy, was it ever a big game. As you will have seen, Andy went with the Blood Angels to partner with Graham's Chaos Space Marines. Initially, we started with my 3000 point army versus 1500 points of BA and CSM while we waited for Mick to arrive. The plan was that once he turned up, he'd reinforce me and Andy and Graham would reinforce with the other half of their armies...

Logan and his Long Fangs dropped in, split fire on two Land Raiders and did a grand total of nothing. The only good thing that I actually managed to do was force them to really bunch up all of their vehicles in order to give cover saves to their Raiders. Then, Mephiston charged into Logan and we've seen how that ended. Just as this was happening, Mick turned up and we decided that since we hadn't finished turn 1, we might as well start again.

Rules-wise we decided that we'd have 6 Objectives each worth 2 points, then we'd have normal Kill Points and also each team would have to pick a Force Leader who would then be worth 3 additional points. These wouldn't be revealed until after the game. We won the roll-off to go first (thanks Bjorn!) and placed our three Objectives pretty much in the middle of the board. They placed two pretty similarly and then placed one as far away as possible from us. Which was about 12 feet away. Graham then placed about a third of his army into Reserve (no prizes for guessing what their mission was)

This time I dropped the Ven Dread and the Rune Priest with his four Combi-Armoured friends. The Dread wrecked a Defiler which then provided Andy's Devastator Squad cover for the rest of the game. Meanwhile, the Priest split off from his squad. The plan was for him to blow up a Rhino with Living Lightning while the squad killed the Obliterators, thus depriving the enemy most of their long range shooting. Of course this didn't quite work out, with the Rhino driving off un-scratched and one of the Oblits surviving. Unfortunately, due to it being a very long day where I took no notes and very few photographs that's about the only player turn I remember with any clarity. However, here are some of the highlights/lowlights:

Bjorn spending most of the game Stunned or Shaken.

Andy's Death Company not being able to fit on the ledge containing Mick's Long Fangs and so spending a couple of turns stood on the ground beneath them raging at them.

The combat between Mephiston and Mick's Wolf Lord - The Lord made something like 5 3++ saves before causing fours wounds on Mephy and sending him running away.

Logan's Long Fangs actually blowing up a Land Raider and then surviving the charge from the Assault Terminators inside.

Arjac's Drop Pod getting misplaced so that they spent three turns running around and still got nowhere near being in the game.

Logan eventually getting cut down by a full squad of Khorne Bezerkers.

Those same Bezerkers consolidating into a crater and then getting hit with 4 Frag Missiles which killed 7 of them.

That being the only thing that my Cyclone Missile Launchers did all game.

14 Blood Claws not being as killy as advertised.

A Wolf Scout blowing up a Dreadnought using Mark of the Wulfen.

And then the big one. It's the end of turn 5. If you total up the points, it's about even unless someone has killed the enemy's Force Comander. There are a couple of ongoing combats but they're not going to make any difference to the outcome of the game. Andy decides that Mephiston is going to try and charge a Land Raider and destroy it with his Sanguine Sword. First, though he casts Wings of Sanguinius. He passes the psychic test but while I'm rolling for Njal to cancel it, I point out how funny it would be if he'd suffered a Perils of the Warp attack and lost his last wound. Njal dispels it. Mephiston makes it into base to base despite a poor Fleet roll. He tries to cast Sword. He passes his test but Njal dispels. He tries again - double 1! To add insult to injury Njal cancels that too so he dies without even getting to attack the Raider. One more point for us. Plus he's their Force Commander. 3 more points to us and of course these are the points that win us the game!

Mephiston kills himself trying to crack open a Land Raider

Mick marks down the winning Kill Points

(In case you were wondering our Force Commander was Bjorn since he's hard to kill and if you manage it, you get another Objective to claim)

All in all we had a great day even if it was long and even if I did have to listen to Andy and Graham talking about Metal bands that I've never heard of on the way to the after game curry (and violin featuring folk on the way back!) It did make me realise the importance of deciding what you want out of a game before you play though. I had visions of my heroes getting stuck into epic combat with arch-villains, just like in the initial skirmish. However, with the Objectives, it became more like a standard game of 40K which meant in the end of good portion of Graham's army ended up doing nothing. Given how close the game was, this was probably a good thing for us as they could have ended up claiming more than the 2 points they did if they'd been involved in the combats in the centre of the table. Combat was perhaps the other problem with the armies starting a little bit too far apart. While the Thunderwolves got into combat pretty early, the main assaults didn't start until turn 5 when we would probably have liked them in turn 3. Due to the size of the table a lot of our shooty units were also out of range for the first couple of turns (we should definitely have taken the 8 Rune Priest list I initially suggested - 8D6 S7 shots a turn is not something to be sniffed at) So, perhaps a couple of tweaks needed to make it run just a little bit smoother.

From a tactical point of view, we completely ignored the Objectives. I think it was luck that we claimed one at the end and we ended up with a Rhino full of Grey Hunters 4 inches away from another which would have made Mephiston's little accident funny but not game winning. We were also pretty poor at finishing things off. We immobilised about 3 vehicles that were still left on the table at the end of the game plus we left Mephy walking around with just one wound left. Ah well, at least we had fun!

Mick pointed out after the game that this is the second time that we'd played doubles together and the second time that we'd won. So, come on then Andy and Graham, how about a re-match? Regular table, 1500 points each...

Keeping Guarded

A couple of weeks ago I sent off my army list for the Caledonian Open. It had a couple of Wolf Guard in it so last night I finally started modelling some up. I started with a couple of models that I already had, including this guy with a Combi-Melta:

and this one with the Power Sword:

So, we add a Power Fist from the old Space Wolf sprue, et voila:

And the Forge World Combi-Flamer:

Then we give this other guy the Combi-Melta I made:

Finally, a sneak peek at the next guy:

He's made using some of the new Forge World bits and I'm tempted to write a bit of a fluff piece explaining how he ended up with a bionic arm and leg.

The best and worst of black library - 2010

As I am a bit flu'd up having spent most of the night talking to god on the porcelain telephone and I am so depressed about where Roy is leading Liverpool they I am trying to avoid the tele I thought I would have a look through this years Black Library collection and see what my top 3 and bottom 3 books of the year were.

I should start off by reminding you that I always route for the good guys so its quite funny that all three of the books I have chosen come with Chaos being the main protagonists. ADB makes the top 3 twice as do the Word Bearers.

The first of the top 3 is Dark Creed. The Word Bearers trilogy has been one of the most enjoyable for me. It gives an insight into the chaos legions rather than just the war bands that GW seem to concentrate on now. Dark Creed finds the Word Bearers attacking one of the most important and heavily defended areas of the Galaxy with the help of the Necron device the Nexus arrangement which has the ability to shut down the warp. This book was written in a very grand scale. The battle scenes raged over the whole sector and we get to see multiple armies and it leads very nicely into another series featuring the Despoiler. 9/10 from me.

The second book to make my top 3 was Soul Hunter by ABD. A really enjoyable read very much like Dark creed it gives you a clear view of what is happening in the now defunct traitor legions and an insight into the so far little seen Night Lords legion. The story follows Talos, a Night Lord with his Fathers gift of foresight which may or may not be slowly sending him insane. I loved this book because again it featured the Despoiler, this time we got to hear him speak and it again let you know what continues to drive the Traitor Legions to their acts of cruelty and violence.

The third book in my top three (these are in no particular order) was of course First heretic. I have wrote an in depth review of the book on this blog so I don't really need to go into it in detail bar to say that I loved it.

So the worst?

The start of the year as already mentioned on this blog found me in hospital and reading Rynn's world a book I found very hard to get into. I didn't like the style nor did I enjoy the story line all that. I like to think of the space marines as super humans that can do what no man can do I do not like to think of them as super humans who can do the completely impossible (for example bitch slapping an Avatar, Calgar Style) and that's what this book seemed to be. I enjoy Black Library books in which there is still a semblance of realism tucked away in there. Not a fan of this one at all.

The second has to be Prospero Burns. Again like First Heretic I have talked about it at length on here. Not a Space Wolf book for me at all. Had I not been a Space Wolf player I may have enjoyed it more and I can understand those who do love it but I found it incredibly tedious and a chore to get through. Keep your Skalds and give me more blood.

Finally the worst of the year was the final book of the Blood Angels series Black Tide. One of the few Black library books I have picked up and not finished. It could have been really good. I love the back story to Bile, but this was just awful. It follows Rafen now wracked with guilt over his brothers death trying to destroy the rogue apothecary and stop his evil schemes. I don't often use Internet terms but this one had epic fail written all over it. A non gaming science fiction fan told me that he had been put off all the BL books after reading this one and I can understand why. Its a real shame because I like James Swallow, Flight of the Eisenstein was a really good book and I enjoyed the Garro audio book but this just didn't get out the starting blocks.

I will continue to look forward to Black Library delivering some great stories and this year I will be attending Black Library live in March come hell or high water.

Wednesday, 29 December 2010

Arena of Death - On Tour

Normally, the Arena of Death is a solitary affair, me against myself. However, last week we had a big game and we ended up with a natural Arena of Death as Mephiston charged into Logan Grimnar.

Round 1 - Mephiston on the charge

Mephiston levelled his Plasma Pistol at Logan and his squad but it overheated as he tried to fire. As he charged into Logan, he cast the Sanguine Sword on himself and also manage to transfix Logan with his gaze. With all of his re-rolls he managed to cause five wounds on the Great Wolf. However, thanks to his Belt of Russ, only two managed to get through. Gripping his the Axe Morkai in both hands Logan counter attacked. Only needing 3s to hit due to his Wolf Tooth Necklace, Logan proceeded to hit five times and wound with all five killing the so called Lord of Death.

Don't get me wrong, I thought that Mephy would cut down Logan before the Chapter Master got to strike but in the end it all came down to the invulnerable save - Grimnar has one, Mephiston doesn't. As I said the other week, in regard to The Swarmlord and The Sanguinor, I feel that characters like Mephiston are better suited to wiping out squads rather than trying to kill other characters that can possibly kill them back.

Apocalypse When?

Last Tuesday, Andy, Graham, Mick and myself played a 2v2 3000 points per person game. Now, if you follow any of the links on the right, you may think that this sounds a little bit familiar. Of course when we ended up playing on exactly the same table as the FtF guys, it looks like out and out plagiarism. With the teams having been decided as Wolves vs Chaos/whatever Andy chooses to bring, Mick and I had spoken about who wanted to bring which special character. We decided that Mick would bring Bjorn and I would bring Njal. Now, my first thought was that I wanted to take him in Runic Terminator Armour. This got me thinking about an army that I'd seen at Freebootaz which had consisted of Logan, Njal, Arjac and 5 Drop Pods filled with Wolf Guard. Well, that was at 1750 points so with another 1250 points, I could come up with something that was reasonably nasty but mainly something that was small, elite and filled with epic heroes:

Logan Grimnar

Njal Stormcaller, Runic Terminator Armour

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

Venerable Dreadnought, Multi-Melta, Heavy Flamer, Drop Pod

Lone Wolf, Terminator Armour, Chain Fist, Storm Shield

5 Wolf Scouts, Mark of the Wulfen, Meltagun

Arjac Rockfist, 4 Wolf Guard, Termiantor Armour, 4 Combi-Meltas, Chainfist, Drop Pod

10 Wolf Guard, Terminator Armour, 2 Cyclone Missile Launchers

5 Wolf Guard, Terminator Armour, Heavy Flamer

5 Wolf Guard, Terminator Armour, Assault Cannon, 4 Combi-Meltas, Chainfist, Drop Pod

Land Speeder, Multi-Melta, Heavy Flamer

Land Speeder, Multi-Melta, Heavy Flamer

6 Long Fangs, 5 Multi-Meltas, Drop Pod

Predator, Lascannon Sponsons

Land Raider Crusader, Multi-Melta, Extra Armour

The Heavy Flamer squad joined Njal in the Land Raider while the Assault Cannon guy spilt off to join the Long Fangs who were in a pod with Logan. So, the idea was for all of the suicide Melta to drop in and slow the enemy down enough for Mick to get his Thunderwolves into position. Tune in tomorrow to find out how this tactic got on...

Tuesday, 28 December 2010

Tuesday Tutorial - Combi-Flamers Redux

I was pretty happy with the Combi-Flamer I made last week but it wasn't quite perfect and that was really borne out by the comments on that post. I took the Flamer and turned it through 90 degrees. Then added the fuel canister from the Hand Flamer to end up with this:

which I think makes it look a lot better.

Saturday, 25 December 2010

Happy Xmas (War is over)

Well, it's not over in the 41st millenium but I'm sure that the Space Marines have a day off and play football with the Chaos Space Marines once a year to keep the 1914 vibe going. Anyway, at this time of year our thoughts turn to a man with a beard who watches our every action. Coming form an icy continent from the north of the planet, he alone decides who is worthy and who isn't. Yes, it's clear that Santa is a Wolf Priest!

And on that note all of us here at C&F would like to wish you a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year. May you all get the plastic crack that you asked for and may 2011 bring you all the best dice rolls...

Friday, 24 December 2010

A Christmas Rhyme

With apologies to Clement Clarke Moore:

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Wednesday, 22 December 2010

Arena of Death - The Swarmlord vs Mephiston


They always say, "give the people what they want" Well, the people want Pacquiao vs Mayweather, Haye vs Klitschko and it was evident from last week, that people want Mephiton vs The Swarmlord. So, withoiut further ado, let's open the Arena of Death

Round 1 - Mephiston on the charge

Mephiston leveled his Plasma Pistol and even though he hit The Swarmlord, he failed to wound. He closed his eyes and attepted to cast The Sanguine Sword. Despite the presence of the Shadow of the Warp, he managed to get the power off. He also tried to cast Unleash Rage but he failed. With his 6 attacks, he managed to hit The Swarmlord 3 times, with all 3 wounding due to The Sanguine Sword giving Mephiston S10. The Swarmlord's Bone Sabres moved swiftly and he managed to block 2 wounds. With his sword stuck between two of The Swarmlord's ribs, Mephiston focused all of his psychic powers through his Force Weapon and killed The Swarmlord.

Round 2 - The Swarmlord on the charge

The Swarmlord begun his attack by trying to cast Paroxysm and Psychic Scream at Mephiston. Mephiston managed to cancel Paroxysm with his Psychic Hood but the Scream go through. Mephiston managed to roll a 4 and a 6 and so escaped unharmed. Once again, Mephiston manged to cast The Sanguine Sword but failed with Unleash Rage. Again, he hit three times but only managed to wound The Swarmlord twice. This time The Swarmlord managed to block both attacks with his Bone Sabres. The Swarmlord struck back with his 5 attacks, hitting 4 times and wounding with 3 of those which left Mephiston dead due to the power of the Bone Sabres.

Round 3 - No charge bonuses

For the first time Mephiston failed to cast The Sanguine Sword but he did manage to get Unleash Rage. He needed the re-rolls as he initially missed with 3 of his attacks. However, after the re-rolls he had managed to hit with all 5. Needing 4s to wound, Mephiston ended up with four 2s and a 3! Seeing his chance The Swarmlord hit Mephiston twice and wounded with both, killing him outright.

So, 2-1 to The Swarmlord. In the end it came down to the Shadow in the Warp and the fact that Swarmy has an invulnerable save and Mephy doesn't. Of course if The Swarmlord had been an Independent Character rather than a Monstrous Creature then Transfixing Gaze would definitely have swung things in Mephiston's favour...

Underdogs...the Biovore

Thats right boyz and grotz of all ages. TheBaron is back with his weekly post just like he said he would be.

This week I want to talk about Biovores. No I haven't been hitting the "Christmas Spirits" early...well I have, but no more than usual! I actually really like this unit for a couple of reasons but before I get to why I like it, lets have a look at the unit itself, as I'd be surprised if many of you have come across them in 5th.

What We Get

Well for 45pts and a heavy slot we get a 2 wound T4 beastie with a a 4+ save and a "big" gun on its back. Its initiative, attacks and lurk reinforce that this is not a combat creature like most of the other things found in the Nid Dex. For similar points you could get a warrior with lash whip and bone sword, or an extra all powerful, and rightly feared, Pyrovore (ok, that was a joke). Added to this its a pretty easy kill point to give away, takes up the space of a Trygon and the strenght of its gun is also somwhat lacking.

Now while I admit it can be an easy kill point (only 1 in 3 from the normal missions anyway) if shot at or assaulted it will generally require an outflanking unit to get them as other targets will present more of a threat from shooting, and it should be deployed as close to the cnetre of your line anyway.

Why I like it

So why do I like it so much, and think its underrated. Well, firstly it has the longest range gun in the Nid army. To get something with the same reach you have to pay 7 times as much in the form of a T'fex and its rupture cannon and both are aimed at different targets in any case. The gun itself is pretty nifty for its abilities outside of the range. While its strength may leave a little to be desired its Ap is as good as anything you usually see the Nids use (when did you last see Bio-plasma), it's Assault meaning you can fire it when you come on in DoW, its Large Blast so you can thin out some hordes or units camped in cover and finally its Barrage. Now this last point is key to why I give it so much value.

First of all it lets you hide your "easy kill point" behind terrain, which considering its size is pretty easy to do on most tables. Secondly, with the abundance of cover saves in 5th ed this negates it somewhat, so you can freely fire away at that Ork mob charging down field and not worry about your gaunts giving them saves. Thirdly, on top of all this it causes pinning by nature of it being Barrage (somthing else which is often over looked).

Now barrage does have its drawback when fired indirectly, you can't subtract the BS of the model to reduce the range. For normal guns like mortars etc this means the shot only has a 1 in 3 chance of doing some damage as if a scatter is rolled out of LoS the average as we all know is 7" (no pun intended). However, due to the living bomb rule this is not the case for our underdog.

This one rule means that even if the shot misses by more than 6" (remember the average?) then a number of spore mines land where the shot should have and then drift around causing havoc for the rest of the game. This disruption can be invaluable as it causes your enemy to either divert some shooting, avoid moving towards them or suffer the consequences.

(Image from GW)

So putting this all together we have a unit that can hide at the back of the field giving some long range anti-personel fire support to your advancing horde. It removes cover saves, can disrupt an enemy's plans and just be a general annoyance. It's an ideal weapon to fire at long fangs and other small squads camped at the back near/on objectives....such as small gaunt squads spawned by a tervigon in turn 5 that you normally have no hopes of reaching.

Finally, it's unknown. By the very nature of it being an underdog your opponent may not know what it can do and you should never underestimate the psychological effect this can have. All it takes is for one good round where it kills/pins one of his squads and he'll divert a disproportionate ammount of assets to try and neutralize the "threat". For 45pts, take a punt and try one...

As usual this is all just my opnion let me know your thoughts.


I rolled: 6 (3/3)

Tuesday, 21 December 2010

Tuesday Tutorial - Combi-Flamers

Hmm, Tuesday Tutorial sounds like a regular feature. Well, I can't promise that it will be but I can talk through how I've made a Combi-Flamer. So, I came up with a list that requires two Combi-Flamers. I got one from Forge World and then I saw this awesome Combi-Melta tutorial on Space Wolf Grey. So I thought what would happen if I used a Hand Flamer instead of the Inferus Pistol:

This is using the old Hand Flamer from the 1992 close combat sprue but I'm sure that similar results can be achieved with the new Blood Angel one. Now this bit is identical to the SPG tutorial where we trim off the barrel from the Bolter and the front from the Flamer:

Initially, they were going to be this way round, with the Flamer part on top but after dry fitting, it didn't look quite right so I put the Flamer on the bottom. So, without further ado, here is the final product next to the official GW one:

I think mine is the bottom one. Only kidding! Right, now I just need to make another Combi-Melta...

An impromptu chat with Aaron Dembski Bowden and a Q&A with Chris Wraight

So as you can see if you look a little further down the page I was deeply disappointed with Prospero Burns. One poster on B&C shared a lot of my thoughts such as a major lack of Wolfage and so it was being discussed. Aaron Dembski Bowden was kind enough to share his thoughts on my observations.

His main observation on the book was this

I mean, for a lot of people, the Space Wolves needed a book like Prospero Burns. It gives the Legion credence. It makes them look, well, a bit more grown up. They needed something that wasn't about a Wolf Lord teenager and his ale-drinking Viking buddies who like the ladies and sure do love a good wild boar feast. I respect that people will have different opinions, but comparing the language quality and storytelling of Prospero Burns and the old Space Wolf novels actually sort of alarms me. Give 100 sci-fi fans a copy of both Prospero Burns and, say, Ragnar's Claw or Space Wolf, and I suspect you'll find a significant percentage consider PB as an excellent novel, and the old Ragnar stuff to be a little, uh... well... simple, perhaps, and almost definitely targeted at a younger age bracket. That's not to say that one is right and one is wrong, but they were written with different audiences in mind, when the publisher itself was in a very different situation.

And its certainly a valid one, The Horus Heresy is a New York Times topping series selling over a million copies. The Black Library has moved on from a time when it was written specifically to entertain gamers however his comment still doesn't absolve of what I think the real problem is with this book, the pace.
As time goes on and more people finish the book I have realised that if you liked Legion you will love this book. If like me Legion was only remembered for the revelations and the spoilers rather than the plot line then you probably won't enjoy Prospero Burns.

I was also lucky enough for Aaron to answer another question I had asked along with Chris Wraight author of the up and coming Space Marines Battles book Battle of the Fang.

As regular readers of the blog know I am an avid Science Fiction reader and author that 40k books and the books of David Webber (if you haven't read it read Mutineers Moon best Sci Fi book ever IMHO) there is a massive collection of Star Wars EU books.

I knew from reading interviews with some of the Star Wars authors that there are times when specific things have to happen and they have no say on it. I am sure I read that when it came time to kill off Anakin Solo in the Vong war that the author vehemently argued against it but was still ordered to by the publishing company and I have always assumed that Black Library were the same. At the beginning of the book they lay down a plot and key things that have to happen so my question was thus 'There is a slight spoiler to First Heretic in here'

Q - I've always wanted to know with all Black Library authors how much the stories main details are already decide? Because there is no way that an author can just include such a massive spoiler such as The Ultramarines absorbing the missing legions without Black Library's say so.

A- ADB - Practically no details are already decided, unless it's a famous battle, or something. (In regards to the First Heretic revelation) Well, you probably shouldn't believe that, dude. The characters in the novels are just making guesses, or hinting at an unknowable truth. It's possibly true, sure, but as it stands right now, GW won't reveal the truth about those Legions; all hints in the Horus Heresy series are just possibilities. Black Library never tell us to do anything. That's not really how they work. They check facts, and where the Horus Heresy is concerned, we have regular (long) meetings to discuss the series with Games Workshop's Head of Intellectual Property.

A - CW Hi Simo. Not much to add to ADB's post further up, really. As he says, there's a lot of freedom there. BotF had a couple of restrictions which gave me a few headaches, mostly involving numbers and timing (like the siege lasting 40 days, etc.), but in terms of characters and the unfolding of the action, we get a fairly free hand.

The complete interview can be found here

I certainly didn't expect authors to have that sort of free reign which can certainly be construed as a double edged sword. Yes they have the freedom to tell the story as they wish but they also have the freedom to balls up significant events the biggest one in my mind is Nikea. It seems to me that we have gone from a ban on Sorcery to a ban on Psykers. How is the Imperium of Man surviving without Psykers and when did the decision get revoked? Hopefully questions that will be answered later.

In all I would like to thank these two authors for addressing these points and I look forward to seeing the next Night Haunters book from Aaron and Battle of the Fang from Chris.

Monday, 20 December 2010

Dib dib dib

I was going to comment on this post over at From the Fang. However, I found that I had the same problem as them in that I had too much to say so I thought I'd post something here instead. Now, all of this is based on an article over at Space Wolves Blog which led to some discussions about whether Wolf Scouts were better than Land Speeders.

Now, personally I like both of these units. To start with, let's have a look at what I'm running in my army;

Wolf Guard, Combi-Melta, Power Fist
5 Wolf Scouts, Meltagun, Mark of the Wulfen

Land Speeder, Multi-Melta, Heavy Flamer
Land Speeder, Multi-Melta, Heavy Flamer

Just for comparison, the Scouts cost 143 points and the two Speeders are 140.


From this point of view, both are incredibly flexible. The Scouts can set up normally (although I've never seen anyone do this), Infiltrate or go Behind Enemy Lines. The Land Speeders can set up normally, go into Reserve to speed on from your board edge or can Deep Strike. Now obviously, going into Reserve, there's always a chance that your Speeders or Scouts won't come on until Turn 5. Also with BEL, there's a chance that you'll enter via the wrong board edge. However, the fact that they can come on the right edge can make your opponent think twice about their own deployment.


The Speeders win this hands down with their 24" move. You can pull the classic Eldar last turn Objective contest and of course you get your 4+ save. Of course, there's a caveat here - if you've infiltrated or gone BEL with the Scouts then there's a decent chance that you don't need to move 24" to get to where you need to be.


Now, I'm sure we've all had "Melta" syndrome; where you always miss with a single Melta shot. This is the problem I always seem to have with my Land Speeders. They Deep Strike in, miss with their Multi-Melta and are then left swinging in the wind. I had exactly the same problem with the Scouts which is why I added the Combi-Melta into the unit. However, they have the same problem against AV14 which is if they miss, they're in trouble.


Obviously the Scouts win this one as they can actually launch assaults. However, with their speed, it should be relatively straightforward to keep out of the way of assaults (I say should, as I always get too greedy with regard to firing both weapons and so mine get dragged down quite often)


It's very easy to get 4++ saves for both units. The Scouts are at home in cover and the Speeder can Turbo Boost as mentioned above. However, the Speeder has the same problem that all vehicles have in that a single shot can take it out. It also has the problem that a single Boltgun can shoot it down.


Now one of the things that Land Speeders are great at is blocking; they can be awesome at slowing down the enemy. Similarly, the Scouts can be a great speedbump if they Infiltrate.

Ease of Use

Personally, it took me a long time to work out how to use Land Speeders effectively and I'm still not an expert. Conversely with the Scouts, I found them easy to use from the first game. I sent them BEL and used them to attack enemy heavy weapons teams or vehicles in the enemy's backfield.

So, which is better? I think they're both excellent units and they are tools that every Space Wolf player should use. However, if I had been picking one for Adam's Top 5, I would have gone with the Scouts. There are two reasons to this. Firstly, they are a unique unit in the Space Wolves codex. As much as I love Speeders, they are generic Marine units and available to every man and his dog (even the Tau and and Eldar have their own versions) Secondly, whenever I've dropped my Scouts from my list, I have really missed them whereas I've always felt like I could cope without the Speeders.

Well, that's my opinion anyway. I've not really talked about army builds but that is always going to affect which unit works better for you. I think people will always prefer one unit over the other and they will always have evidence to back up their point of view. As I said, I think both units are effective so rather than getting loads of comments along the lines of, "This unit is best, I always use it and it's always fantastic", let's here about which unit you prefer, what kind of army your use it in and how you use that unit to its maximum efficiency.

Nobody puts Willie in the corner!

The next big dance is clearly on the horizon in the shape of the Caledonian Uprising at the end of January. The lists have been submitted and now I have a few painting projects to put to bed between now and then so I thought I'd run the list past you all and show you the amount of work required to finish it off. Rather than do the normal structure I thought I'd post some pictures of the squads I'm planning on taking and talk a bit about the work required to finish off the army to table-top standard. Afterwards I'll talk about the changes I've made to the list (I'm all about the last minute changes) and my thinking around those changes.

First off we have my Librarian HQ, a Sanguinary Priest and 5-man Sternguard Squad with 4 combi-meltas and a Drop Pod. Fully painted and ready to go, we're off to a good start.

Next up is the Assault Terminator Squad with their Land Raider Redeemer and the second Sanguinary Priest. Three Lightning Claw Terminators left to paint, one of which is not yet built thanks to some missing legs in my last bits order! I love painting Terminators so not too much to worry about here.

Ahh, the Troops, two 5-man Assault Squads with Meltaguns and Power Weapons mounted in Las-Plas Razorbacks. A third Assault Squad, bare-bones, mounted in a Twin-Linked Lascannon Razorback. Just a few finishing touches to put to the Las-Plas Razorbacks and these guys are all done, however there's a complete lack of Gryphon Sepia in the UK at the moment for some reason, so I'll have to sit tight before I can get a wash on these vehicles.

Lastly we have the Heavy Support in the form of two double Twin-Linked Autocannon Dreadnoughts and a 5-man Devastator Squad rocking 4 Missile Launchers. Just a couple of finishing touches to make to two of the Missile Launcher guys and two Twin-Linked Autocannon Dreadnought arms to paint. Again not too bad all in all.

So overall I have 3 Lightning Claw Terminators and two Dreadnought arms yet to paint. I also have two Las-Plas Razorbacks and two Missile Launcher Devs to finish off, all in all very achievable in 4 weeks, especially with Christmas around the corner.

I decided to drop the Honour Guard from my previous list because I just don't think I'm comfortable using them yet so, in line with my advice to myself after the Freebootas Open I'm not including them. In their stead I'm adding a Sanguinary Priest to accompany the Termies.

Dropping the Terminator Armour off the Librarian allows me to fit in a squad of Sternguard in a Drop Pod. I have to say I'm more comfortable with this unit as a one-shot anti-tank threat or dropping them mid-field in a support role as the situation dictates. Because of the speed of the Blood Angels the Sternies will not be isolated if they are dropped mid-field so I think they can be well used in either role.

Because the Librarian no longer has Terminator Armour and a Storm Shield I don't think he can really play a part as a dedicated assault unit so I've given him Fear of the Darkness which I think is a great opportunistic power that could be useful in a number of units and makes his something of an anti-personnel threat. For his second power I was leaning towards Blood Lance but I just don't think it's all that good so in stead I'm going for the Sanguine Sword. It's a deterrent power more than anything else and will also make him pretty handy against any tank on the board, who doesn't love strength 10 weapons?

Anyway, that's it for now, I'll post revised pictures once the rest of the work is done and if you feel moved to comment in the meantime I'm all ears!

Prospero Burns - The Review

So I did what I haven't done in a long while and read a book in a day (my missus claims that this is taking being a geek to a whole new level).

I should start off with this line, unfortunately this is not going to be a wholly favourable review.

Perhaps because of the anticipation I had false hopes although I don't think this is the case. Unfortunately the book is just slow. I don't think I have noticed before but looking back at Abnett's other work his style seems to be to introduce characters without giving any back story for example Horus Rising starting off with the line 'I was there when Horus killed the Emperor.' No back story just straight into it. I haven't read any of his guard books so if its not like this in those will you let me know? Prospero Burns uses the same mechanic but to not nearly as good effect, it introduces characters and you sit there for chapters thinking 'WHO ARE THESE PEOPLE?'. I don't know about you but I struggle to remember the names of Horus Heresy characters when I don't know who they are or care for them. That happened a lot in this book and this really gets to the crux of why I didn't enjoy this book. Its a book about Space Wolves right? Except that Space Wolves aren't really introduced into the book until page 149.

A Space Wolves book where the main character isn't a Space Wolf? Crazy right? Instead the main character is a 'Coservator' which is basically a historian chronicling the stories of the Space Wolves or 'The Rout' as they call themselves. He follows them through the latter parts of the Crusade telling us how they fight in strange leather masks (what's going on there) and recording the heroic deaths without ever revealing anything significant. By the time we get to Nikea the book is almost over and it leaves very little time for the meat of the matter. I seem to remember that Abnett said before he wrote it that he didn't actually like Space Wolves I wonder if that is why he avoids Astartes so much. '
The reason for this - and I really do understand that the following revelation is such a heretical statement that Eisenhorn might have to come and shoot me through the lungs - is that I don’t really like Space Wolves.'

Another major gripe was that it very much concentrated on one company. There was no indication of the scale of the legion;. We saw one of the original Space Wolves from Terra but that was it and he didn't get that much face time.

Was it all bad? We no I actually thought the battle of Prospero was better written than in A Thousand sons. Abnett has a better sense of the grand battles but as said that was spoiled because there just wasn't enough time for it. I said in my review of First Heretic that when I read a Horus Heresy novel I want to have a story that I already know fleshed out with details. This failed on that and whats worse it failed to entertain me.

Please don't think I am some sort of hater for Black Library or the Horus Heresy Series. I love both, Black Library is what got me into 40k. If you compare this with one of the Horus Heresy books I love and seeing as it was most recent I will use First Heretic it just doesn't have the same gumption. First Heretic made you care for the characters even the villainous ones, it gave you a constant flow of action and it gave you massive revelations. The more I think about it the more I compare this to Abnett's book Legion. I know a lot of people enjoyed that book, I know its many peoples favourite. I however did not, it like this was too slow and too subtle. When I read a Horus Heresy book I want a David Haye knock out punch not a Stephen Hawking, here's something to think about. Also like Legion I believe that this book will be remembered for the revelations rather than the actual storyline especially the first 300 pages which were completely forgettable.

I give Prospero Burns a disappointing 4/10 (I would give A Thousand Son's 5/10)
Just not enough Wolfy action to ever be a great Space Wolves novel and certainly not enough of The Wolf King, I can't remember a Horus Heresy book (Bar Legion perhaps) that has featured a Primarch but shown him so little. My advice to you is skip to page 300 and read from there. Pretend that there was nothing else and this really is a book about Space Wolves rather than the book of intrigue that is masquerading as a novel of the Wolves of Russ or else forget it exists and wait the 170 days until Battle for the fang comes out and pray to the All Father that that is better.

Sunday, 19 December 2010

Prospero Burns

Just a little note to say that I have just picked up my copy from Warhammer world. Eagerly awaiting this, I was disappointed with A thousand sons but I loved First Heretic, hopefully I will get the review done before Christmas Day so watch this space.

Freebootaz Open - Vulkan's Retrospective pt 3

Sorry it's been a while since part 2 but life has been a bit hectic over the last couple of weeks. With Christmas on the horizon things seem to be slowing down a bit so here is the concluding part of my experience at the Freebootaz Open.

Part 1
Part 2

My List

Game 3

Chaos Space Marines

Daemon Prince
Wings, Mark of Nurgle, Warptime
Daemon Prince
Wings, Mark of Nurgle, Warptime

Plague Marines
(7)2x Meltagun, Personal Icon, Aspiring Champion w. Powerfist; Rhino
Plague Marines
(7) 2x Meltagun, Personal Icon, Aspiring Champion w. Powerfist; Rhino
Plague Marines
(7) 2x Flamer, Personal Icon, Aspiring Champion w. Powerfist; Rhino
Summoned Lesser Daemons
Summoned Lesser Daemons


Mission: Race for the Loot

I felt that apart from possibly the Daemon Princes and the Vindicator he didn't have a lot in this list that could do a huge amount of damage to me so I committed to playing the mission for the first couple of turns while dedicating my static firepower to taking out those key targets. To this end I split my Tac squads up as I'd need 5 troops to move a loot counter and the counter itself would take up 5 spaces in a Rhino, I also decided to deep strike my Termies so the Scouts could board their Land Raider on turn one and go off after another Loot counter. So I had 3 transports which could go out to get counters and bring them back to my zone.

There were 5 counters on the board, one in each quarter and one on the second floor of a building in the centre of the table. Deployment was Spearhead so we both started with a counter in our deployment zones. I won the roll off for first turn and figured that going first would be the smart thing to do, first person to the counters would have the easiest time. I split my force in two with Vulkan and the two combat squads in Rhinos going for the counter to my right and the Scouts, Land Raider and Sternguard going for the counter to my left. I had the two heavy weapon combat squads set up protecting the counter in my zone and the Dread was slightly over to the right of my Zone which gave it a good view into his deployment zone.

My opponent deployed heavily to my left with all of his troops and a Prince, the other Prince and the Vindicator were deployed to defend his left and the Oblits were towards the back of his zone in the middle on his loot counter. I figured he was going to fight of the loot counter to my left and have a go at the one in the centre. Given the centre objective was on the second floor I figured I would have time to stop him making off with it and I felt I could hold off his massed troops on my left so I stuck with the original plan.

Turns one and two were focussed on getting to the Loot counters as quickly as possible and pouring firepower into the Daemon Princes. Left over shooting was directed at his Rhinos to slow or stop them as the Vindi was out of LoS for anything that could hurt it. By the end of turn two my scouts and combat squad had their respective loot counters and the Vindi and a Daemon Prince were dead, the other was wounded. Two of his Rhinos were out of commission and the third was blocked in by them. So all in all it was going very well!

Turn three was mostly spent returning the captured counters to my deployment zone. The other combat squad on my right started to advance towards the counter in the centre to oppose the Plague Marines who were heading that way. My Termies arrived, deep striking into position to take out the Oblits and Vulkan headed off to join them. On the left my Sternies took the last few wounds off the lone Daemon Prince. My opponent's Summoned Daemons arrived on Turn three suddenly making the middle of the board look rather crowded and far from easily defensible!

The rest of the game turned into a drawn out slug-fest in the middle of the table which neither of us able to make a serious play for the loot counter. I managed to wipe out his Oblits by the end of turn 5 but other than that the carnage was squarely focussed in the centre.

The game finished 3-1 in my favour and I had a decent margin in the victory points stakes as well so all in all it was a good result at last for Vulkan's finest! I perhaps should have used my Termies to support the middle of the table rather than go after the Oblits but I don't think I would have had time to move the Loot counter back to my deployment zone anyway.

Game 4

(apologies I cannot find a copy of my opponents list so this is as close as I can remember)
Seer Council
(5) Embolden, Enhance, 2x Destructor

(10) 9x Kisses, Shadowseer

Guardian Squad
(10) Scatter Laser Platform
Guardian Squad
(10) Scatter Laser Platform
Storm Guardians (SPY)
(10) 2x Fusion Gun

Warwalker Squadron
(2) Scatter Lasers, Missile Launchers
Brightlance, Missile Launcher
Brightlance, Missile Launcher

Mission: Retrieve the Spy

We each chose the unit our spy would be hidden in in secret before the game. I thought it was between the Harlies or the Storm Guardians and in the end I chose the Storm Guardians as I would be more likely to run those down in a successful combat the Harlies would most likely be able to get away. My opponent won the roll to go first and picked the board edge with a house on it into which he deployed both Guardian Squads and the Pathfinders, they were going to be problematic to shift! Everything else was deployed fairly centrally in front of the house except this War Walkers (outflanking) and his Storm Guardians which were held in reserve, bummer!

I kept my Tac squads together to make the a tougher prospect to kill and deployed them centrally in support of the Land Raider containing Vulkan and my Termies. I placed the TFC in cover on my right flank supported by the Sternies and the Dread. With the Storm Guardians off the table I thought I needed to cover a decent portion of the table to ensure I could hit them when they did arrive. The Speeders were kept in reserve to keep them out of harm's way until they could lend some firepower, I reserved my Scouts as well as they had to be a candidate for containing the spy.

Eldrad redeployed the Wraithlords, himself and the Seer Council over to challenge my right flank before the first turn.

My memories of this game are somewhat vague I'm afraid, it was very up and down for me. My opponent had placed his spy in my Sternguard unit which should have been obvious to me after turn one given the amount of attention they were getting but my mind was elsewhere. Unfortunately this meant I left them relatively unprotected and by the time I realised what he was doing it was too late and Battle Points had been claimed by revealing his Spy. At least I managed to kill the Spy with my nearby Dreadnought but the damage was done as, unfortunately, the Storm Guardians were not in a position to be taken on by any of my army. Thanks to a very effective outflanking manoeuvre by the Warwalkers who took out my Thunderfire Cannon, the only unit which could have had a chance of taking out the Storm Guardians.

My central assault force consisting of the Terminators, Vulkan, the Land Raider and the two Tactical squads were being very effectively held up by the Wraithlords and the Avatar. This combat was my little moral victory of the game as after three turns of fighting Vulkan and a single Terminator emerged victorious. They were cut down in the next turn by the Seer Council who had moved up in support but a good showing none-the-less!

This combat had effectively cut the board in half so the the best I could hope to achieve from here was to wipe out the Harlies and capture the objective on my side of the table. The Scouts saw to the objective while a couple of turns of shooting from my one remaining Tactical Squad saw the Harlies routed and then destroyed a turn later.

Other than that there was not a lot of action left in the game I had no hope of getting anything threatening anywhere near to the Storm Guardians so by turn 5 it was all over but the shouting. A pretty disappointing result, a 5-2 loss, but a very enjoyable game against a good opponent,

And that was it for the Freebootaz Open, one win one tie and two losses. Not my best showing I'm afraid but I made a number of cardinal errors in my preparation for the tournament (or lack of preparation). I had no experience with the list I was playing and I had not play-tested any of the missions which were a clear departure from the norm. I've said it before but for the next Toruney I will not be making the same mistakes! None the less I enjoyed the Tournament thanks to four very good opponents and the fact that Graham and Gav were both there to ruminate on our results after each game! Can't beat having an on-site support group to pick you back up after a loss.

Next up the Caledonian Uprising in January, watch this space for more info.

Saturday, 18 December 2010

Draft Morning

As I alluded to late last night, I had to submit my army list yesterday for the Caledonian Uprising in January. Now, myself, Andy and Mick will be going bedecked in our C&F finery and hopefully they will post their lists in due time. Meanwhile here's mine;

Rune Priest, Chooser of the Slain, Saga of the Beat Slayer, Wolf Tail Talisman, Living Lightning, Murderous Hurricane

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

5 Wolf Scouts, Mark of the Wulfen, Meltagun

5 Wolf Guard, 3 with Combi-Melta, Power Fist, 2 with Combi-Flamer, Power Weapon

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

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

5 Grey Hunters, Mark of the Wulfen, Flamer, Razorback

5 Grey Hunters, Mark of the Wulfen, Flamer, Razorback

Land Speeder, Multi-Melta, Heavy Flamer

Land Speeder, Multi-Melta, Heavey Flamer

6 Long Fangs, 4 Missile Launchers, Lascannon, Razorback, Twin-Linked Lascannon

6 Long Fangs, 4 Missile Launchers, Lascannon, Razorback, Twin-Linked Lascannon

So, it's an evolution of the list I put together here. It's quite a change from the list I took to my first two tournaments, which was more about the 5 man Grey Hunter squads in Razorbacks. I found that my problems were the 5 man squads were easily de-meched and weren't really potent enough to deal with assaults afterwards. Plus I failed a lot of Pinning tests at Leadership 8. Now, the plan is for every squad to get a Wolf Guard which makes their Leadership better and gives them Power Weapon/Fist attacks in combat. I've also gone with MotW in my squads. This is more for the possibility of lots of attacks rather than any Rending ones.

One quick point about the Rune Priests - I decided to give one a Saga and one the Wolf Tooth Necklace as in my previous list they were identical apart from their psychic powers. Since I had a spare 5 points, I also gave one a Wolf Tail Talisman. Now, I could have just given one of them a WTT or Melta Bombs and spent the other 20 points giving my two big Grey Hunter packs Wolf Standards. Now, I'm pretty realistic about my abilities as a 40K player and I'm under no illusion that I'm going to come anywhere near the top 20 at the tournament. However, like a true Son of Russ, I do like to have a good tale to tell around the fireplace. Basically, in my mind, one of my Rune Priests slaying some important enemy model is better than my Grey Hunters winning a round of combat. Plus, I normally roll a lots of 2s rather than 1s. In a similar vein, I would really liked to have squeezed my Lone Wolf in but I couldn't quite manage it.

So, there's my list. I've not been able to playtest it before submission but at least I'll get to playtest it before the tournament. Is it perfect? Of course not but it's good mix of points efficiency and fun. Over the next five weeks, I'll post up how the modelling/painting is going to finish the army and how well if gets on in playtests. Oh, and if you are one of the new readers we welcomed last night, you should know that I like to give my posts song titles. This one is by The Byrds from the album The Notorious Byrd Brothers. From now on, you'll have to guess them yourself...

Friday, 17 December 2010

Thank You

So, this was going to be another Army List post about the list I submitted 10 minutes ago for the Caledonion Uprising tourny. However, instead I'm going to thank a few people. I've been stupidly busy with work over the last 3-4 weeks so I've not been able to post of regularly as I normally would so I'd like to thank the other contributors here for filling in during my absence. So, thank you Andy, Mick, Darren, Graham and even Dave.

I'd also like to thank the other Blogs that have really supported us recently, namely Blood of Kittens, House of Paincakes, From the Warp and also BoLS who finally let us into their blog roll after much pestering.

Also, I'd like to thank you guys, girls and unicorns (copyright Brent) who are reading this. If you've just found us via one of the above sources, welcome. Hopefully, our vision explains why we're actually doing this. We're never going to be the best ever players (well, apart from Darren who is actually very good at the game) but hopefully everyone can learn something from the rest of our mistakes...

Thursday, 16 December 2010


Well I need a reason to post around here on a regular basis that doesn't just turn into a rant about how awesome I am or how much painting I need to do.

So, searching for options (damn you and your arena of death awesomeness Gav *shakes fist at the evil over lord*), I came up with this.

The premise is fairly simple. Each week (probably on a Wednesday) I'll pick up a Codex and tell you what I think is an under appreciated unit in said Codex. You may agree with my findings, you may not...but whats important is that I got you thinking about a unit thats under valued/used..oh and also remember I'm always my Blog/mind at least.

So, what better Codex to kick off with than one thats very close to my heart....Codex Orks. Now there are a lot of net lists for Orks...I hate them all. From what I read, if you aren't running 4 Battlewagons with Deff Rollaz, spam/cookie cutter squads or Biker Nobz you're doing it wrong. I've never run any of those and I have around a 90% success rate with my army against very good, top teir all you haters can just keep rollin'...erm...whatever. I'm not sure exactly where that came from.

While I admit that they are very good units, I prefer a challenge when I go to war. Now looking at the Codex there is one unit that I've never seen anyone else run, and it's not surprising really when the slot they occupy have much more reliable units to take. Calm down, I'm not talking about Flash Gitz, not even I'm die hard enough to argue in favour of this post at least! No, I'm talking about the Looted Wagon.

So, for 35pts we get...a well a 35pt Rhino...but open topped...and BS2...and a 1 in 6 chance of doing nothing...and no guns...ahem. Looking at this it's easy to see why its often over looked. For the same points/slot you can get a killa kan (minus a gun)... not a great start. Now it can transport any unit up to 12 Orks strong which means tank busters and burna boyz now have access to some mech. However, its not fast which means these will be in the second wave behind your Trukk Boyz and its only slightly more survivable than a Trukk.

Now personally I've never used it as a transport as I'll admit Wagons are much better at it and if I have a unit that must get to the enemy I either rely on the speed of Trukks or the armour of a Wagon. No what I like the Looted Wagon for is the Boom Gun (no surprise I guess). With its 36" S8 Marine-Kracker shells it makes a great diversion unit that can provide long range fire support which outside of Lootas the Codex is some-what lacking.

Added to this the S8 2D6 pick the highest means its quite reliable at de-meching for the Boyz to get to the soft candy center.

Giving target saturation with a couple of these and a couple of Trukks means the enemy usually has a choice to make. I normally form a fire base in my army consisting of Lootaz, Kannons and a Boom Wagon to shoot down field, while a couple of trukks and a wagon speed up field towards the enemy, while some flanking kommandos/deffkopters harass and funnel. This often ends up with the enemy grouping units together to give support...which is great for a large blast weapon.

Now I know this set up will see you sinking just over a hundred points (I always take the 'ard case) which could buy you a cheap Wagon, or a couple of Kanz etc...but give it a go and see what happens. It may let you down at the worst possible time...but thats what you get for playing Orks, if you want units that always do what they are supposed to, play Marines! Roll the die and have fun. Dont just try one or two games with it though as your opinion will be biased depending on what happens and make sure you have some synergy.

I'll just close with my final "fun tactic" that I like to pull off with the Boomgun...close range fire support for my Mega Nobz. Charging 10 Grey Hunters in cover with all their counter charging goodness will probably not end well for a small squad of Mega Nobz, but sometimes you just have to work with what you have....but wait...I have a Boomgun, that can reach out and touch that unit over the other side. Oh mega Nobz are 3" away...a bad scatter and its bye bye...but wait...they'll get their save. Yes it will be instant death...but so what, they are Orks...and its funny... In any case you have a 33% chance of rolling a hit anyway, and clearing out a few of them can turn a lost combat into a draw...everyone of them that fails that 4+ cover save is 3 less attacks coming your way.

Well, thats been the first of the series, let me know what you all think.


I rolled: 11 (6/5)

Wednesday, 15 December 2010

Dreams of Commorragh...

I have a bit of a problem....I really really really want to start (and preferably finish) a Dark Eldar army for two reasons. The first is that the new models are "the Sex", simple as! The second is that they play very differently from my current two armies (Orks and "Witch Hunters"). However, I have lied to you all....there are in fact three reasons..but the third makes me sound a little...crazy. Basically since my University days and during my Naval career my call sign/nickname was always "TheBaron" (I'm not going to go into why)...and guess what, they have someone with the same name who I can use to lead my army....yay...!

However, here is my problem...I have several armies I'm currently working on and can't really justify starting a new one, without getting the others finished and onto the table at least once! So here is the plan:

The Plan

I'm going to paint some minis....

Well its a bit more complex than that, but thats ultimately what it boils down to. To help achieve this a number of things need to fall into place. Firstly...stop playing so much WoW. Secondly, come up with a system to keep me motivated. Thirdly, prove to you all on a weekly/monthly basis that I'm "staying clean" and hitting my goals.

As far as the system goes I've got two ideas:

a) Paint a mini per day (on average) in 2011 - 365 minis at the end of the year should see me finish my Nids/Word Bearers and Crxy while putting a dent into a Skaven force.

b) Paint 15pts worth of minis per day (on average) - this will see me finish a 1750pt Nid army, a 1750pt Dark Eldar army, a 750pt Word Bearer Doubles force and a 2400pt Skaven army.

So thats what I'm thinking for the New Year, in the mean time I need to finish my 35pt Cryx list for the first weekend of Jan...and also learn how to play Warmachine....Then the Word Bearers need to be complete by mid Feb which working to the 15pt per day plan gives me 50 days to stay on the curve...which seems pretty spot on!

Let me know your thoughts...


I rolled: 7 (5/2)

Tuesday, 14 December 2010

St. Andrew (The Battle is in the Air)

So, while I was busy at work the other day I received an e-mail from the guys at The Caledonian Open requesting that all army lists be submitted by the 17th of December. Crumbs! Despite the fact that it's all painted, I want to move on from the list that I took to Open War and Freebootaz. The 1500 point list I prepared for the club challenge was always intended to point the way for my eventual 1750 tournament army. One of the key things in that list was the two Rune Priests. Now, what's better than that? Three Rune Priests of course!

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

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

Rune Priest, Living Lightning, Stormcaller, Chooser of the Slain

That's 3D6 S7 shots at BS5! These guys need some squads to go in now:

Wolf Guard, Combi-Melta, Power Fist
8 Grey Hunters, Mark of the Wulfen, Meltagun, Rhino

Wolf Guard, Combi-Melta, Power Fist
8 Grey Hunters, Mark of the Wulfen, Meltagun, Rhino

Wolf Guard, Combi-Melta, Power Fist
8 Grey Hunters, Mark of the Wulfen, Meltagun, Rhino

That's a pretty hard middle to the army. They're pretty good in combat and with three almost identical units, it will hopefully make target choice that bit harder. Now let's add in some firepower:

6 Long Fangs, 4 Rocket Launchers, Lascannon

6 Long Fangs, 4 Rocket Launchers, Lascannon

Yep, it's my standard loadout there. Since the tournament will be using the standard rulebook missions, we need a way to get these guys onto the board in case of Dawn of War so let's give them some Razorbacks -

Razorback, Twin-Linked Lascannons

Razorback, Twin-Linked Lascannons

8 S8, 2 S9 and 2 Twin-Linked S9 at up to 6 units. Land Speeders are always good so let's add in a couple of those

Land Speeder, Multi-Melta, Heavy Flamer

Land Speeder, Multi-Melta, Heavy Flamer

These are brilliant for blocking. Now, all that adds up to 1584 points but I feel a bit short on scoring units. Let's ditch one of the Rune Priests and his Grey Hunter buddies and replace them with

5 Grey Hunters, Flamer, Razorback, Twin-Linked Assault Cannon

5 Grey Hunters, Flamer, Razorback, Twin-Linked Assault Cannon

If we keep the Wolf Guard that went with the Grey Hunter squad that we've got rid of then we can put him with;

5 Wolf Scouts, Mark of the Wulfen, Meltagun

1699. What can we get for 50 points? A Heavy Bolter Land Speeder? A plain Thunderwolf? A Lone Wolf? Actually, if we trade one of the Assault Cannon Razorback turrets for the standard Heavy Bolter one then we can afford this fellow:

Lone Wolf, Terminator Armour, Chain Fist, Storm Shield

Right, let's have a look at that list in full then:

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

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

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

5 Wolf Scouts, Mark of the Wulfen, Meltagun

Lone Wolf, Terminator Armour, Chain Fist, Storm Shield

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

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

5 Grey Hunters, Flamer, Razorback, Twin-Linked Assault Cannon

5 Grey Hunters, Flamer, Razorback

Land Speeder, Multi-Melta, Heavy Flamer

Land Speeder, Multi-Melta, Heavy Flamer

6 Long Fangs, 4 Rocket Launchers, Lascannon, Razorback, Twin-Linked Lascannon

6 Long Fangs, 4 Rocket Launchers, Lascannon, Razorback, Twin-Linked Lascannon

One quick note - I've gone with Mark of the Wulfen in a few squads which I didn't have in my last tournament list. I've found in the few games that I've tried it that it's normally more useful than an extra guy for the same price. Even though I rarely roll Rending Wounds, the increase in the number of attacks is golden. Unfortunately I'm not actually going to have time to playtest this list before I have to submit it but I will have time to playtest it before the tournament (yes, I know that's the wrong way round!) However, in general it's pretty similar to my last list (4 Razorbacks, Long Fangs, Lone Wolf, Scouts) so hopefully the learning curve won't be too steep.

One final point that I need to consider is the amount of painting that this will take to get ready. I need to do a Rune Priest, a Rhino, a couple of Grey Hunters and 3 Wolf Guard. Hmm, doesn't sound too bad...


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