Wednesday, 30 June 2010

Bjorn's Boys

So, I'm playing Andy's Orks tomorrow and I felt like using something a bit different from the norm. I thought about running a Logan list but I couldn't come up with one that I was either happy with or that I had the models for. Plus I think it would have been rather unfair to run that kind of lists against Orks. So, I have come up with something a bit different; Bjorn the Fell Handed backed up with three other Dreadnoughts. I make no claims whatsoever that this is an optimal list but it hopefully should be pretty fun to play and to play against.

Bjorn the Fell Handed

Dreadnought, Assault Cannon

Dreadnought, Twin-Linked Autocannon, Twin-Linked Autocannon

Dreadnought, Multimelta, Drop Pod

The irresistible force and the immovable object. A nice mix of shooting and combat plus a anti-Battlewagon Dread in a Drop Pod.

10 Grey Hunters, 2 Meltaguns, Power Weapon, Wolf Standard, Rhino

When I first got back into the game in October, I always ran my Grey Hunters as 10 man units. Then I learned the ways of MSU and never looked back. However, Michael had some succss with his 10 man squads and with the Wolf Standard I'm not worried about getting these boys stuck into combat.

5 Grey Hunters, Flamer, Razorback

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

5 Grey Hunter, Razorback, Twin-Linked Lascannon

But the MSU boys are still there :o)

Land Speeder, Multimelta, Heavy Flamer

Land Speeder, Multimelta, Heavy Flamer

Those Orks don't half hate those Heavy Flamers.

Vindicator, Siege Shield

Predator, Heavy Bolter Sponsons, Stormbolter

I've been having no luck with my Long Fangs for last couple of weeks (not their fault) so I thought I'd give them a week off. Big pie plate + lots of dakka hopefully = lots of dead Orks. I was slightly tempted to take my Whirlwind since I've still not used it but decided against it in the end.

3 Swift Claws, Power Weapon, Heavy Bolter Attack Bike

These guys always under perform but I couldn't think of anything better to spend 120 points on. The plan is to hide them behind a wall of Rhino Chassis and then charge round one side to try and delay the inevitable Ork assault.

It's a good list but not a great list and I'm not 100% confident of its success. It does at least have a bit of a theme and with some luck it should do well.

Sunday, 27 June 2010

Slow, slow, slow, quick

Well, apart from this, I made a couple of really stupid errors this week that, although they didn't cost us the game, left us playing catch-up form very early on. Having said that a 10-5 win where two of the opposition kill points came from Lone Wolves that were still alive can't be too bad. In fact, had the game gone another turn, we wouldn't have been that far away from tabling Andy and Graham. However, one of the reasons I started this blog was so that I could point out my mistake, no matter how trivial, in an attempt to learn from them.

Long Fang Placement

Now, in my mind the Space Wolves work better as a proactive army rather than a reactive one but I was still happy enough to give up first turn as it would force Andy into making a decision on where to place his Drop Pod Dreadnought. In Warhammer 40,000, the more decisions you force your opponent to make, the more likely they'll make the wrong one. Andy placed his Drop Pod very sensibly though as he figured I'd wan the hill to place my Long Fangs on. How right he was. The week before, I'd had no raised terrain at all and my Long Fangs hadn't been their normal game changing selves. Still, I figured with two Land Speeders, a Lascannon Razorback and an Assault Cannon Razorback I'd be able to take out the Dreadnought my Long Fangs would be kings of the hill. Was it a risk? Clearly it was. In retrospect I should have placed them on the right flank where they would still have had a good view of the battlefield but the Dreadnought wouldn't have bothered them.

Land Speeders

I had some severe difficulties when I first started using Land Speeders but until recently I'd been having some success with them. Okay, the Baal Predator coming on in turn 2 and on the left flank was unlucky, but in 40K you have to try and mitigate luck as best you can. It was also pretty stupid of me to try and speed down my flank and attack the Squats on the hill as they were bound to take me out before the Speeder got there. The problem was that I'd deployed the Land Speeders to take out the Dreadnought instead of deploying them with their real target in mind - the Land Raider. Multimeltas are the best way to take out AV14 and with 12" move and 12" Melta range, you've got a 24" threat bubble. I think I've said before that it's important to have a plan for every unit and to try and stick to that plan. When I wrote my list the Speeders were to take out AV14 but because of my hill obsession, I deployed them badly and they did practically nothing all game.

So that was 2 of the kill points we conceded. The thing is, if I put my Long Fangs on the right and we'd have put the two Rune Priests in the middle, the Long Fangs would probably have taken out the Airship (S8 against AV12 would have meant more pens and less glances) while the Rune Priest could have cast Living Lighting against the Squats with heavy weapons (and, since they blew up the Razorback, we wouldn't have lost any kill points - gotta love theoryhammer)

On the other side of the table, I have to say that I'm still not convinced that the Squats are killy enough to be honest. Andy's hammer unit were unlucky to lose a couple of members to a stray Plasma Cannon shot and I don't think his Librarian got a power off all game (more power to Michael for making all of those 4+ rolls. I still don't think I've made one since I started playing again)

Still, it felt like once we'd gotten a foothold in the game, there would only be one winner. To be honest though, we had a one man Long Fang pack, a two man Grey Hunter squad and an immobilised Land Speeder (ignoring the fact it should have been destroyed as per previous post)left at the end of the game so that should really have been 3 more kill points conceded. Also, we had a three man Grey Hunter pack and three Rhinos whose paint jobs weren't even scratched. Annihilation is a tricky mission though, it's about finding that balance between racking up the kill points an stopping your enemy doing the same. We Immobilised the Dreadnought, destroyed the Predator and stunned the Airship pretty much all game so I feel that we did the latter and once the enemy gets into that 12"-24" sweet spot, there's no escape from the jaws of the wolf.

Saturday, 26 June 2010


The girlfriend's at work so I've get her house to myself so I should really be taking this opportunity to catch up with some painting but I've got no drive at all. It may be the world cup fever I've got or it may just be the weather but I just can't seem to get motivated. I'm not sure what it is but for some reason I see 40K as a winter hobby. As my mother would have said it's far too nice to be couped up inside painting toy soldiers. Although it's not as if I'll go outside, I'll just end up having a couple of beers and watching the football. October, and by extension Open War, is only three months away but I feel like I need a kick up the arse to actually sort out the painting and modelling I need to do. Maybe if GW released some Thunderwolf models I'd feel the urge...

Friday, 25 June 2010

In the heat of battle

While writing yesterday's battle I realised that we made a couple of elementary rules errors. It was nothing deliberate but they both went the way of the Space Wolves. At the bottom of turn two, 5 Grey Hunters got out of a Razorback shot another Razorback with a Meltagun and immobilised it. They then proceeded to attack in close combat and blew the Heavy Bolters off it. Obviously, you're not allowed to assault out of a moving Razorback. The Heavy Bolters could have shot up the Grey Hunters of tried to finish off the Long Fang pack so they could potentially have won another kill point. Also at the top of turn three the Squat heavy weapon platoon managed to immobilise the Land Speeder. Since it had travelled flat out in it's previous movement phase it should have been wrecked. This would have been another kill point won plus the Speeder could not have taken out the Razorback later in the game.

It annoys me making such basic mistakes even though they wouldn't have made much of a difference in this battle. The thing is in a closer game, they could have made all the difference. It would be easy enough to blame off table distractions (ie my girlfriend turning up at that time) but this is why it's important that every player is not only up to speed on the rules but also paying attention. Imagine, if that had happened to you at a tournament, you'd lost the game and only realised when you got home. How gutted would you be? So, stay vigilant people (especially me!)

Thursday, 24 June 2010

Purge the Xenos

The two Rune Priests sat side by side in the great drinking hall upon the Strike Cruiser, each with a tankard of ale in their hand. "This is most troubling news" said the first. "Yes, Space Marines allied with xenos". "And what of the other rumours? That the planet below is a Squat stronghold" "Hmm, it would appear that they aren't quite as extinct as we'd been led to believe" For a moment they were both quiet as they each reached into a small leather pouch at their waists. They both pulled out a set of runes and cast them upon the wooden table. Without a word they looked at each other, nodded and stood up. The drinking hall went silent and all of the eyes in the room fixed on the two Priests. "Brothers", said the first, "eat well and drink well." "For tomorrow", continued the second one, "we make war." A huge cheer went up and the Rune Priests allowed the merest of smiles to crack on their lips.

We were playing doubles; Michael's and my Space Wolves versus Andy's Blood Angels and Graham's Squats. 1000 each standard FOC. We rolled up Annihilation with Dawn of War deployment. We won the roll off and decided to go 2nd.

As the very first rays of sunlight began to pierce the dark sky, the sound of a Land Raider engine broke the early calm. Struggling to keep up with the armoured behemoth a Squat heavy weapon platoon moved into position atop a hill. Svengril watched all through the eyes of his Psyber Raven, "that's it", he thought, "keep coming, right into the jaws of the wolf".

Turn 1

The Space Marine Drop Pod screamed through the higher atmosphere, its retro rockets slowing its decent as it got nearer to the ground. The second it touched down the doors were blown and out stepped a Furioso Dreadnought. He looked around, slightly bemused as there were no enemy troops on the battlefield yet. Behind him, the Land Raider, filled with a Librarian, Sanguinary Priest and an Assault Squad moved up. Ever further to the rear a Razorback zoomed on the field of battle and a Squat airship floated menacingly into place.

With a great howl, the two Lone Wolves led the Space Wolf charge. On the left a squad of Long Fangs took up a firing position while two Land Speeders flew overhead determined to stop the Dreadnought before it could charge them. In the centre the two Razorbacks and 2nd Long Fang pack moved into position. On the right flank the two army commanders entered the field, one in a Rhino, one on foot, supported by two further Rhinos. The two Rune Priests both cast Living Lightning against the Airship and managed to prevent it from shooting. On the left flank, the two Land Speeders both fired their Multimeltas, and the two Razorbacks both fired at the Dreadnought but they only prevented it from shooting as well. The initial Space Wolf strike had not gone well and now they would face the reprisals.

End of turn 1 0-0:

Turn 2

On the Space Wolf left a Baal Predator added its engine noise to cacophony of sound already permeating the battlefield. Everything else moved into prime shooting position apart from the Furioso who readied himself to charge the Long Fangs. The Baal shot down one of the Land Speeders and the Squat heavy weapon platoon manged to sun a Razorback. The Land Raider's Flamestorm cannon brunt through the rocks and managed to kill a couple of Long Fangs but they had seen much worse than this before and stood firm. The first close combat of the battle saw the Furioso charge into the Long Fangs and cut them all down with its Blood Talons.

The Space Wolves had suffered their first losses and were now determined to make up for it. The remaining Land Speeder moved down the left flank ready to attack the Squats on the hill while the Lascannon Razorback moved out of range of the Dreadnought. In the centre the other Razorback disgorged its passengers, ready to attack the enemy one. On the Space Wolf right, the Grey Hunters got out of their Rhino and prepared to stare down the Land Raider with their Meltaguns. Once again, despite all of the firepower at their disposal, the Space Wolves shooting did minimal damage. The Dreadnought, Land Raider and Razorback were immobilised but no damage was done to the Airship. The lone Wolf with the Thunder Hammer managed to rip the Assault Cannons from the Land Raider and the Grey Hunters did the same to the Razorback. It seemed that the Wolves of Fenris had lost the favour of the All-Father

End of Turn 2 0-2:

Turn 3

The Assault Squads in the Razorback and Land Raider lept out, hungry for combat. Instead they found themselves under fire from their own side as a Plasma Cannon blast from the airship scattered off target. Meanwhile the Heavy Weapon Team immobilised the Land Speeder and blew off its Heavy Flamer, saving themselves from the Emperor's righteous promethium. The Power of the Machine Spirit of the Land Raider, angered by the impetuous Lone Wolf's attack fired it's Flamestorm Cannon on the Long Fangs, killing two more. Behind them a squad of Squats moved up, ready to support the Space Marine attack. Inspired by the Sanguinary Priest, both Assault Squads and the Librarian piled into combat. However the larger Grey Hunter Squad unfurled their Wolf Standard and the combat ended in a stalemate. In the combat around the Razorback the Space Marines caused enough damage for the Grey Hunters to make a tactical withdrawal. The victors consolidated their position but could see they were about to be charged by a Lone Wolf.

With still no sign of the three Wolf Scout squads, the Space Wolves realised it was time to start doing some damage. Assault Cannon fire strafed the Squat Heavy Weapon Team's position but they stood firm despite taking casualties. The two Rune Priests once again managed to stun the airship much to the relief of the enemy Space Marines. At the rear of the battle, the Lascannon Razorback turned its attention the the Baal Predator and reduced it to little more than scrap metal. Finally the Space Wolves had destroyed an enemy unit! In the centre the two Lone Wolfs joined the fray. The one with the Lightning Claws cut down the enemy Librarian, tilting that combat in the Space Wolves favour while the Thunder Hammer armed one cut down a couple of Assault Marines but the remaining member of the squad stayed locked in combat.

End of turn 3 2-2:

Turn 4

As the Land Raider moved round to get better position for its Flamestorm Cannons, it managed to immobilise itself on the terrain. With the Space Marine charge faltering and their reinforcements still not here, the Squats decided that they had to get into combat themselves. The Squat Heavy Weapon Team once again proved accurate with their fire as they destroyed the Assault Cannon Razorback. What remained of the large Assault Squad fell back towards the trees while the Airship tried to gain some protection form the almost constant Living Lightning barrages by hiding behind the same tree-line. The Thunder Hammer Lone Wolf was unable to win his combat and so stayed locked. The Squats launched their assault into the Grey Hunters and second Lone Wolf and while their losses were heavy, they stubbornly stayed in the fight.

Things were starting to look up for the Space Wolves and they were determined to press home the opening they had been given. With a howl, all three units of Wolf Scouts entered the fray, one on the left flank, one on the right and one directly behind the Squat Heavy Weapon Team. A meltagun blast destroyed the enemy Drop Pod and the remaining Razorback wrecked the Land Raider with a well placed Lascannon shot. Despite the tree cover, the Squat Airship was once again stunned and so unable to fire. The two Rune Priests exchanges rueful glances, next time they would just bring a pin and be done with it. The Thunder Hammer Lone Wolf finally managed to cut down the last of his opponents and started looking around for his next foe. The 5 man Grey Hunter squad from the Rhino stepped out and charged the final Space Marine squad. Both combats in the centre of the field were bloody but remained unresolved. At the rear of the Squat forces the Wolf Scouts charged into combat hacking down Squats encumbered with heavy weapons but they still stood firm.

End of Turn 4 5-3:

Turn 5

The end of the battle was nearing and both side realised that any move now could prove decisive. The Squat Termite finally arrived and drilled up near the large Grey Hunter squad deep in Squat territory. The still immobilised Dreadnought managed to shoot a Grey Hunter in the back but there was little else the enemy could do. The two Squat combats remained resolutely locked but the Space Marines got the upper hand over the Grey Hunters who decided that discretion was the better part of valor.
The Wolf Scouts on the left flank managed to blow an arm off the Dreadnought while the Airship was once again stunned. The Land Speeder which hadn't fired since it had been downed fired its Mutlimelta at the Space Marine Razorback wrecking it. The large Grey Hunter squad and the Scouts on the right flank pooled their fire and cut down most of the Bezerkers just as they had emerged from their Termite. They them teamed up on the remaining bezerkers and the Termite and managed to wipe out the Squats and immobilise their vehicle. The other Wolf Scout squad finally finished off the Heavy Weapons Team but couldn't do any damage to the other Squat squad that had charged them. In the final Squat combat, the Priest was cut down but two members of the squad still remained.

End of Turn 5 10-5:

The Squats knew that the battle was lost and made hast back to their stronghold. The remaining Space Marines and their Dreadnought knew that they would be shown no mercy and so took their own lives in hope of gaining some level of forgiveness from the Emperor. The Space Wolves let out an almighty cheer at their victory. Tonight they would drink well. Tomorrow, their was a Squat stronghold still to storm.

Double Trouble

Doubles tonight, myself and Michael, a fellow Space Wolves player verses Andy's Blood Angels and Graham's Squats, 1000 points each. Since I've never met Michael and I'm not sure what type of list he'll bring, I'm going to put together a balanced army and see how we get on. In fact, I've decided that the best bet would be if I cut down my regular 1750 list:

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

Living Lightning should hopefully be able to stun-lock any Airships that Graham brings and the Runic Weapon should make it more difficult for Andy to get off any psychic powers from his Librarian (Surely he'll take one in a 1000 point list?)

5 Grey Hunters, Plasma Gun, Rhino

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

5 Grey Hunters, Razorback, Twin-Linked Lascannons

The MSU heart and soul of all of my armies. Long range firepower and objective sitting, what more could a table-top general ask for?

Land Speeder, Multi-Melta, Heavy Flamer

Land Speeder, Multi-Melta, Heavy Flamer

Tankbusting, infantry burning, charge blocking, fast and can fly.

6 Longs Fangs, 5 Rocket Launchers

So, normally I take two squads with a Lascannon in each but due to points I've gone with just the one and the duality of the Rocket Launcher. Hopefully I can find then a decent vantage point this week unlike last week.

6 Wolf Scouts, Meltagun

Lone Wolf, Terminator Armour, Thunder Hammer, Storm Shield

The fun, fluffy bit of the list. The Scouts go behind enemy lines and take out any heavy weapons teams and the Lone Wolf stands around in midfield and smashes anyone stupid enough to get close to him.

Not a bad little list for a 1000 points. I'm really looking forward to this evening as it's been ages since we played any doubles...

Thursday, 17 June 2010

Dwarves in Spaaaaaaace

Playing Graham's Squats tonight. It's based on the Imperial Guard Codex with a few changes. Since, he's essentially playtesting I'm going for a balanced list:

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

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

Lone Wolf, Terminator Armour, Thunder Hammer, Storm Shield

5 Grey Hunters, Plasma Gun, Rhino

5 Grey Hunters, Plasma Gun, Rhino

5 Grey Hunters, Meltagun, Razorback

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

5 Grey Hunters, Razorback, Twin-Linked Lascannons

Land Speeder, Heavy Flamer, Multi-Melta

Land Speeder Heavy Flamer, Multi-Melta

10 Fenrisian Wolves

6 Long Fangs, 4 Rocket Launchers, Lascannon

6 Long Fangs, 4 Rocket Launchers, Lascannon

I was slightly tempted to go with 4 Rune Priests all with Jaws of the World Wolf because the Squats all have low Initiative but I thought that wouldn't really be fair.

Wednesday, 16 June 2010

It's hip to be square

So, the new WFB Rule Book is out and I have to admit that in my weaker moments I am slightly tempted. I keep hearing that it's more tactical since you can't just move guys where you want but you have to pre-plan to set up charges etc. Hmm, I always like a bit of a challenge. Fortunately, it sounds like the boxed set will be High Elves and Skaven; armies I have no interest in so my square-curious side will have to remain just that.

Although, as a side note, since I intend to enter Open War in October, I should be spending the next 4 months practising at 40K...

Tuesday, 15 June 2010

Speed Bump

All of the Tau and Inperial Guard tactia online talk about the concept of bubblewrap. That is cheap, expendable units that stop your big guns getting assualted. So, for Tau it's Kroot and for the Guard, it's the humble Guardsman. Now it just so happens that the Space Wolves have a unit that would be perfect for this role - Fenrisian Wolves. Perfect for stopping your Long Fangs from being assaulted. Okay, they're quite easy to kill but if you're enemy are killing them then they're not killing the rest of your army. Plus, they're quick. If you're playing against a gunline you can send them off to tie up an enemy unit while you get the rest of your army into position. I'm not saying that they are the be-all and end-all in the Codex but they certainly have their uses and I'm going to give them a playtest over the next couple of weeks to see how well my Theoryhammer translates to the tabletop.

Oh, and they're awesome in Kill Team where there is enough cover for their 6+ save to not be too detrimental. Although they still aren't the most killy unit in the world.

Monday, 14 June 2010

The mustering of Waaggh! Mutt-Masha

It's been a productive weekend, all the Nob Bikers are built including a warboss on a bike, I converted a Big Mek with a Kustom Forcefield and built three Killa Kanz I even managed to make some progress on the painting, 5 boyz down ... 85 to go! I have two Battle Wagons on order frm Maelstrom Games in Mansfield. Once those are built the 1750pt army will be complete, bar the not inconsiderable task of paining it!

Here's some piccies:

Da Boss and his Boyz

Big Mek and a Killa Kan

The last of the Bikers, the Warboss and a PK Nob with a Waagh Banner

And, just so you don't think I've abandoned the Marines, here's the beginnings of a jump pack equiped Assault Squad:

Spearhead? No, it's just my ears

I've been away with work for a few days so it's time to get back to blogging. Before I went away, I picked up a copy of the latest White Dwarf with the Spearhead rules in it. Printing new rules in White Dwarf is always good but I'm not really sure what GW is trying to achieve with Spearhead. It's clearly the missing link between "normal" 40K and Apocalypse. The thing is, especially with the release of Battle Missions I think most people are happy with "normal" 40K. With the advent of 5th edition a lot of people (me included) have meched up anyway. Plus to get the most out of Spearhead, you're going to be playing at higher points levels (I'd say 2000+) which we don't seem to quite have time for at our club. I think that, like Apocalypse, it might get brought out occasionally but personally, I can't see it being a regular occurrence.

Having said that there are two very good things to come out of Spearhead:

a) The new Fire Prism model. It's pretty and it doesn't lean to one side anymore

b) The mission with the 3 point objective vs the 3 1 point objectives. I'd like to try that using one of the 3 regular deployments.

Saturday, 12 June 2010

3 out of 1: Painboy

I was on baby-sittig duty last night while my wife went out for a pampering. So as the little chap was in a good mood and kicking away happily on his play-mat I broke out the Orks. I had a clear plan in mind to finish off my Nob Biker Squad, I already had 5 bikers built so I just needed to make a few minor tweaks to them to get them WYSIWYG then I set about building my Pain Boy.

I had the metal model so first I had to separate his legs from his torso ... not an easy job! I didn't want to loose any important detail from the top half of the model which included a cable going from his syringe to his back-pack vis his left butt cheek. I wanted to preserve the legs for my Big Mek conversion so it took a great deal of patience and a mixture of scalple and razor saw to perfectly separare the halves. In the end I got the result I wanted and I only needed to use a small amount of putty to tidy the joins on both the Pain Boy Biker and the Big Mek.

The Big Mek Model also uses a burner backpack and weapon, the pic below is still a WIP but I plan to add something similar to the ariels on the GW model to both the backpack and the end of the weapon. More pics as I progess with this.

Finally I had a the Buzz Saw arm of the Painboy left over s I wanted to give him a biker arm in it's place. With a little bit of trimming I think it makes a perfect alternative to a Powerclaw, what do you think?

Thursday, 10 June 2010

Open War 13 - Game 3

After a draw and a minor loss I was safe in the knowledge I could no longer duplicate the result of the last Open War and finish dead last! I also figured I was probably in a good position to get a win out of this game as the field should have shaken itself out and I would hopefully be against at least a comparable list/player.

The mission for the last game was one created by the Open War team called Dawn Raid, details as follows:

Deployment: Pitched Battle
4 Objectives, Night Fight rules apply in turn 1
Each player deploys an objective on the edge of their deployment zone and another not in either deployment zone and no closer than 12" to another marker
You get one point for each kill point and 2 points for each objective you control at the end of the game. You also score 1 point for any objectives you contest with a troop choice.

My opponent was a fellow Space Marine player and his list was:

2x Lightning Claws

(6) 4x Combi-Meltas, 2x Meltaguns; Drop Pod

Tactical Squad
(10) Meltagun, Missile Launcher, Plasma Pistol, Power Fist; Drop Pod
Tactical Squad
(10) Plasmagun, Lascannon, Power Fist; Rhino w. Extra Armour
Tactical Squad
(10) Plasmagun, Lascannon, Power Fist; Rhino w. Extra Armour

Fast Attack
Assault Squad
(9) Power Weapon; Rhino w. Extra Armour

Heavy Support
Siege Shield, Extra Armour
Siege Shield, Extra Armour
Siege Shield, Extra Armour

Three Vindicators was going to be interesting, that's a lot of firepower! Also the mission was new to me, I hadn't had time to play-test it and to e honest I really hadn't thought about a strategy. All in all, apart from the Vindis I wasn't too worried about the list, only a small Sternguard Squad, Assault Marines and 3 Tactical Squads, nothing too killy as long as I can neutralise the Vindis!

Objectives were placed first and I placed both of mine fairly centrally on the table, he placed one on the edge of his deployment zone on my left flank and his other fairly centrally.

I got the first turn again and deployed in the bulk of my army fairly tightly in the centre of my deployment zone to enable me to be able to get to three objectives relatively easily. Terrain protected my flanks and I has a couple of good firing lanes for my heavy weapon units. I deployed the speeders on my extreme right flank hoping I would be able to maneuver them to get side armour on at least one of the Vindicators as early as possible.

He deployed very tightly castled on my extreme left flank with his three Vindicators on the left board edge. The majority of his army was in good cover behind a ruin but his Vindicators would not be in range to fire on any of my army for at least 2 turns which made me a happy bunny :)

On the first turn my speeders turbo-boosted along the back of his lines to get back into the fight, I also dropped the empty pod in cover on the far right of the board to keep it from becoming an easy kill point. In the shooting phase I was able to light up two of his Rhinos with spotlight hits from the Razorback and Rifleman Dreadnought and that was the end of them.

He started off by advancing his Vindicators down the left flank and popping smoke. The Sternguard unit dropped into my back lines and popped Pedro's Rhino. So far so good, minimal impact from one of his more killy units and they were going to be ripe for the picking next turn.

Turn two started well with my reserve rolls bringing Lysander and his Sternies to the party, I dropped him in behind the Vindicators and next to the Assault Squad's Rhino. The speeders moved into range of the Assault Sqaud Rhino and the Tac Squads in his back lines. In the shooting phase Pedro's unit finished off the Sternies in my back-lines. The Dread and TFC tried to whittle down his tac squads in cover but he made a lot of saving throws so I didn't get a lot of joy there. However the combined result of my Landspeeders and the combat Squaded Sternguard resulted in 1 wrecked and 1 destroyed Vindicator and a destroyed Rhino ... nice!

My opponent got his Tac Squad in their drop pod and they came in next to my speeders, not a comfortable position for my skimmers. His remaining Vindicator rounded the corner and drew a bead on on my Tactical Squad in the Rhino holding my home objective. Kaboom! The Rhino went up in a cloud of smoke leaving my Tac Squad in a smoking crater - this lead to the first rules check of any tournament I have ever played as he wasn't aware that I could claim cover from an exploded vehicle. When staring down the barrel of a Vindicator I am going to do everything possible to get myself a save of some kind! His Tac Squad combat squadded out of their drop pod and took some shots at my speeders, probably doing some damage but not destroying them, I would have remembered that! Finally his Assaut Squad and the captain multi assaulted my sternies and Lysander resulting in a tied combat. The Captain directed his attacks at Lysander who was too busy pulverising the assault squad to notice the Lightning Claws trying to get his attention and took a wound! How rude.

This is where the game starts to get a bit messy in my memory, there are a couple of key areas where the game is won, the first being the battle between Lysander, the Sternguard and the Captain and the Assault Squad. This combat eventually whittled down to Lysander vs the Captain and the Sergeant of the Assault Squad. I declared that I was going to split my attacks, 1 on the Sgt and 2 on the Captain, and my opponent challenged this saying I couldn't split my attacks like that. As this would be a somewhat crucial combat I suggested getting a ruling from the judges. The result was that we decided to roll for it and it came out that I was allowed split my attacks. I'm pretty sure this is absolutely fine but I was surprised that the judges would not rule one way or another on it, please post comments below. Anyway, surprise surprise Lysander marmalised them both and consolidated within easy reach of the two remaining members of a tactical squad that had been subjected to 3 turns of very accurate Thunderfire Cannon abuse. Needless to say that Lysander ended up single handedly shooing away any scoring troops from my opponent's home objective.

Key area number two was my tactical squad in the crater vs. the last Vindicator. The Vindicator managed to get 3 turns of shooting off against my Tactical squad once it had been removed from its transport and my genius play of claiming cover from the Rhino's wreckage would prove pretty unnecessary. The first round o shooting was devastating with me failing all my cover saves reducing the squad to three men ad to their credit they did not run. In the remaining two turns of shooting however, my opponent repaid my appalling cover save dice by rolling 1s to wound every single time. It was freaky! So the remnants of my Tac Squad doggedly held the objective to the end.

Finally the drop podded Tactical Squad, despite a torrent of bolter fire they took two turns to destroy my speeders but in the three turns that they were exposed to the combined fire of my TFC, Rifleman Dread and Sternguard Lascannon Squad I managed to completely wipe them out.

The result of all this was that I held two objectives at the end of the game to his zero, I also was well ahead on kill points and I won by a sufficient margin to score a massacre and bump myself up to 19th overall which I was very pleased about indeed. I think my opponent made some pretty big mistakes and I was happy that I managed to capitalise on them for a change. Despite the rules queries the game was played in a good spirit and my opponent managed to keep a positive attitude even though he was also royally screwed by his dice as well.

Sunday, 6 June 2010

Open War 13 - Game 2

When I go to a Tournament I'm not there to try and win, I'm going to have a good time and play some fun games and for me that's all about both sides being able to say they really enjoyed the game. For me game 2 was that game in this tournament. Looking at the models on his tray I got a real sinking feeling as it looked a lot like an IG Leaf-Blower variation and I thought "bugger it this is going to go south pretty fast". Anyway, I put on a brave face and got him to talk me through his list, I'm afraid I can't remember the specifics but here's the gist of it:

Command Squad
Plasma Guns, Lascannon Team, Chimera

Veteran Squad (x2)
Meltaguns, Lascannon Team; Chimera
Veteran Squad (x3)

Vendetta (3)
3x TL Lascanon

Hydra Flak Cannon (2)
Manticore (2)

One thing I failed to notice and would have given me some comfort was the fact that there were no Leman Russes, the lack of AV14 would seem to make this list a lot less threatening, still, quite a lot of firepower to cope with!

The mission was Annihilation with Dawn of War deployment. I decided I'd need to make the most of the cover of night in the first turn so on winning the roll off I elected to go first. Taking a leaf out of Gav's book I deployed my two Rhinos 7" onto the table so that on turn 1 I could get my Tac Squad and Lascannon Sternguard squad into good positions. He deployed his command squad in good cover diagonally opposite to my Rhinos, maximising the range between us.

OnTurn 1 I dropped the empty drop pod behind the ruins in the middle of the table, rolled my units on to the left side of the board, moving the Tac squad Rhino into the centre nd popping smole to give cover to the rest of my units. I turbo-boosted my Land Speeders down the extreme left flank and brought my Thunderfire Cannon up the middle towards some ruins I had bolstered. Thanks to night-fighting his Chimera was not in range so that was that for my turn 1.

My opponent rolled his mass of armour onto the table, the Hydras and Manticores moved on to the centre of the table and his Medusa came on on the right flank behind his three Chimeras. The Vendettas spread across the front of his lines. Thanks to some poor night fight rolls and my smoke cover save I got away from his turn of shooting completely unscathed.

At the start of Turn 2 I got Lysander and his Sternguard units and the gloves were off, the Thunderfire Cannon rolled into the ruins. I unloaded everything into his front lines resulting in 1 destroyed and one stunned Vendetta, 1 deastroyed and one stunned Hydra, 2 destroyed Manticores. Not too shabby! In reply A unit of Veterans exited the stunned Vendetta and another came to support them from one of the Chimeras to take down Lysander and his Sternies. In a starteling reversal of form Lysander and the unit withered the storm and held their ground despite heavy losses. Other than that all he managed to do wa to stun a Land Speeder, this was a suspiciously good start for me.

Turn 3 was a little less awsome, My long range shooting was less impresive this turn only managing to stun the nearest Vendetta again and the Thunderfire Cannon only had limited success against the Veteran squads in the centre of the table.. Assault was slightly better, each of the remaining Sternguard combat squads attacked their respective Veteran Squad assailants and Lysander peeled off and took out the remaining Hydra. The result of the Sternguard assaults was one all with the squad on the left running down their Veteran Squad and the squad on the right falling under the weight of attacks against them. Fortunately the IG suffered from abysmal dice again and I got away from his turn relatively unscathed, though I did lose Lysander and the remaining Sternguard to massed lasgun fire bit of a bummer but I was expecting it, they had done their jobs.

On turn 4 the game started to slip away from me, I managed to take out the second Vendetta and the rest of the guard squad on the ground in the centre table but his shooting was more meaningful. My Rhino in the centre of the table was wrecked and he took out one of the Drop Pods for another kill point. More importantly, however he managed to take out one of my Land Speeders and knock the Launchers off the other one. This basically killed the long range anti-tank shooting I would be able to bring to bear in the next turn and as all he had left on the board was AV12 I would not be able to get any more kill points in turn 5. Bummer!

In turn 5 I maneuvered as best I could to deny him the opportunity to get any other kill points, but His remaining Vendetta was able to get a line on the remaining Land Speeder which was easily dispatched, followed quickly by the remaining Drop Pod which withered quickly under all of his remaining anti-tank fire.

It was a good game and one I had a really good chance in at pretty much every turn right up until the last one. My opponent recovered really well from what must have been a pretty demoralising top of turn two when my shooting really cut a swathe through his lines and he was able to weather the storm and pick off kill points consistently in every turn. Perhaps I would have done better if I had dropped Lysander into his troop transports as there were more kill points available there but I thought his artillery was of more danger to my own lines and I think it's pretty much a coin flip decision really.

Result - Minor Loss (7-9)
MVP - No stand-out in this game all the anti-tank weaponry really pulled it's weight.

Friday, 4 June 2010

The Emperor's "Tactical Retreat"

Andy and I had a go at the new Fantasy Flight board game Horus Heresy last night and I have to say it was brilliant. It took us about 4 hours to play but that was mainly because we were looking something up in the rule book every five minutes. The Activation Markers (which stop you just using the same units over and over again) and the Iteration Track (which changes the 40K dynamic of your turn, my turn) makes for a really tactical game.

Nearing the Spaceport Victory part of the game Andy had control of all four of the Spaceports:

Only a daring attack by the Blood Angels managed to capture the Lion's Gate Spaceport and kept the game going.

Eventually, with the Imperial's reserves arriving soon from the warp, Horus managed to trap The Emperor in the Factorum in the south. However, using some Secret Tunnels, he made good his escape and so the Space Wolves and Dark Angels arrived signalling an Imperial victory.

In all I managed to kill 3 of the Traitor's Primarchs for the loss of just the Khan so it was as much a moral victory as it was a hold out. It was quite a tight game all the way through and I'm looking forward to playing as the bad guys next time. I'm not sure how that will go as I'll probably be too aggressive with them but maybe that's what's needed as you can't hang around once the clock is ticking.

Thursday, 3 June 2010


I've been working on an Ork list for a little while now and I think I've come up with a list I'm happy with. After pretty much constantly saying how much I'm against Nob Bikers ... this list includes a big fat Nob Biker squad (I feel deep shame) but I'm thinking about taking this list to tournaments in the latter half of the year and I want it to be fairly competitive and frankly I can't be bothered to paint up 30ish Stormboyz instead:

Big Meks with Kustom Force Fields (2)

These guys are surely a must-have in almost all Ork army builds, that cover save is going to mean that a good portion of your force is going to make it to where it wants to go to ... in your face! They's be riding in the two Battle Wagons making them almost as much of a threat as the Nob Bikers ...

Nob Bikers (6 + a Painboy: Waaagh Banner, 2 Power Claws and other bits )

OK, I'm feeling a bit bad about this but they're going to be zooming in on their own ahead of the rest of the army and they need to hold their own without support. I was going to use a regular squad of Bikers but frankly they die too easy, break and run off the board (in my limited experience at least). With any luck these guys will get straight in and tie up a unit or two that would give the rest of the army behind trouble getting to their targets

Many Boyz (2 Squads of 30 Shoota Boys each with a PK Nob and 2 Squads of 19 SluggacBoys each with a PK Nob)

Pretty basic here, the 30 man Shoota Squads are foot slogging across the board and the 19 man Sluggas are in the Battle Wagons with the Big Meks. These lads are going straight up the middle, the Shootas will be flanked by the Sluggas with the Meks in the Wagons giving everything a cover save. The Shootas will also be screened by 3 Killa Kans who should be in range of the KFF too.

Heavy Support
Killa Kans (3 with Grotzookas)

This is probably the one squad I'm a little dubious about but I love the models so they're staying in the list no matter what!

Battle Wagons (2 with Deff Rollas)
Transport for my two Slugga Boys Squads and he Big Meks. They roll up on the flanks of the big block of Boyz in the centre providing cover and, frankly a big fat threat with their Deff Rollas and the 19 Slugga Boyz in each one.

Well, that's the list, It's mostly built, I just need a couple of Battle Wagons to finish it off and about a ton of green paint

Sadly there is no place for my Warboss despite the rather fab paint job, if I do say so myself!

Tuesday, 1 June 2010

Open War 13 - Game 1

Well I figured that after my showing at the last Open War tournament (where I placed last in the 40k event) i could only do better this time. However I'd not had a lot of time to prepare, my list was largely theoretical and it had been soundly beaten the previous Thursday. At least I had taken away some good adjustments from Thursday's game so I rocked up to Warhammer World on a wet Saturday morning feeling positive about the day ahead.

My first game was Spearhead deployment, Seize Ground (5 objectives) against a Daemon list which my opponent referred to as a bit 'beardy'. I'd never played against Daemons before so this comment did not boost my confidence. I have, however, recently started listening to the 11th Company podcast and one of the hosts plays Daemons and regularly gives good insight into the lists he plays, so at least I wasn't going in completely blind!

I won the roll and elected to go first the plan was to spread out as much as possible to deny the Daemons the option to easily deploy in open ground. At the same time I was concious of setting up firing lanes and keeping them clear, I would probably only get one turn of clear shooting and I would need to make it count. As it turned out he immobilised his Soulgrinder in difficult terrain and lost a couple of bloodletters in the same vein. Later on the tactic would reap bigger rewards thanks to his Lord of Change misshapping itself to death! Good times.

Frankly I was a bit lucky in this game, the Lord of Change would have been a potential game-winner for him, if it had survived. He got no additional reserves in turn 2 and only half on turn 3 so I had plenty of chances to whittle him down in bite-size chunks. However my
shooting was pretty poor initially and his Bloodthirster managed to take out Pedro and his Sternies before I could take it down.

Lysander finally played a key part in a game for me by first lending his Bolter Drill to the Sternguard who managed to take out the remaining 14 Bloodletters in one round of shooting! He also managed to single-handedly tar-pit a large unit of Dameonettes (my opponent's last remaining troop unit at the time) stopping them from holding an objective thus guaranteeing that I could not loose.

Sadly his Daemon Prince was able to eat through the units on my 'home' objectives and contest the only objective I held out-right on the last turn of the game. It was a good, closely fought game, a perfect start to a tournament and a good intro to Daemons.

Daemon List

Lord of Change
Master of Sorcery, Breath of Chaos
Unholy Might

(16) Icon of Chaos, Instrument of Chaos
(12) Icon of Chaos, Instrument of Chaos
Pink Horrors
(9) Changeling, Bolt of Tzeentch

Fiends of Slaanesh
(6) Unholy Might

Soul Grinder
Daemon Prince
Mark of Tzeentch, Wings Daemonic Gaze

Result - Draw (0-0)
MVP - Lysander

All in the Mind

I've been talking with Andy about his experiences at Open War on Saturday and he said that 6 Daemon players finished in the top 15. Along with the large number of Blood Angel players at Warp Storm and Kirby's excellent write up, I've been thinking about changing the psychic powers on my Rune Priests. Specifically, I'm thinking about bringing in Tempest's Wrath.

At the minute I take two Rune Priests both in Rhinos, both with Living Lightning. I can move my pillboxes 6" to ensure I have good shots and then I get two lots of D6 shots of infinite range S7 goodness. This fits in really well with the rest of the long range shooting in my army and gives me some good chances to take out Rhinos and Land Speeders and stun Chimeras and Vendettas. I also take Murderous Hurricane on one of the Priests. 3D6 S3 hits won't do a huge amount of damage by itself but putting the unit that you cast this upon into Difficult and Dangerous Terrain for a turn is golden. So, a unit that wants to assualt you has to take two tests which will hopefully both leave them short of assault and kill another couple of models. Plus if they don't have Assault Grenades, they're hitting last.

Anyway, that's three out of my four powers selected and they're the ones that I'm happy with. I've been taking Jaws of the World Wolf as my other power and it's been a bit hit and miss. In one game against Tyranids it took out a Hive Tyrant, 2 Tyrant Guard and a Zoanthrope in one turn but that was sheer bad luck from the other player. Against Andy's Orks it has proven useful to snipe at Nobs with Power Claws but against his Space Marines it's never done that much damage. Part of the issue there is that it's very much the 2nd power so I spend most of the game using Living Lightning. Is it worth keeping for that 1 in 6 chance (assuming you pass your physchic test) to kill a Broodlord, Lysander, Calgar or any of those other high priced characters? At the moment I'm leaning towards keeping it in my list for regular games but I think I'd probably replace it with Tempest's Wrath for a tournament.

As a brief footnote, I'd like to talk about the other two powers and why I personally don't take them. I tried Fury of the Wolf Spirits once but found it too short ranged, not quite deadly enough and the bonus of Pinning is only useful against certain armies. As for Stormcaller, again I've tried it a couple of times but since I run a mech list I can get a 4+ save by popping smoke rather than a 5+ save by using this.


On a sunny Monday afternoon and with the help of my brother Jonathan I got the gaming table built! It's built in two 4x4 sections for easier storage and it really wasn't all that tricky to put together. I've got a tester pot of textured paint to try and give it a rough surface without having to flock it ... watch this space.

-- Andy, posting on the go.

Location:Queens Dr,Nottingham,United Kingdom


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