Thursday, 30 September 2010

No Quarter Asked

He heard them before he saw them, even without using The Emperor's Gift. Even though the plumes of black smoke rose high above the horizon. Even with his genetically altered vision, he still hear them first. Nearly 100 voices chanting in unison, "'ere we go, 'ere we go, 'ere we go!" The Librarian stepped into the Land Raider and defiantly closed the door.

This is Open War Mission 1 between Andy's Orks controlled by me and Andy's Space Marines controlled by Andy (methinks that Andy is onto a winner here no matter what happens!) He won the roll off and chose to go first.


Turn 1:

The Librarian's was the only voice heard across the vox-caster as he co-ordinated the Space Marine attack. He sent a message to his Scout Bikers directing them exactly where to attack. In the meantime the army around him opened fire. Every gun they had that was in range shot at the distant Ork army. As the smoke from the fusilade cleared he looked at the screen in the Land Raider to survey the damage - 3 dead Lootas, a smashed Killa Kan and 4 dead Boyz who had been caught when the Killa Kan exploded. The Librarian uttered a brief prayer to The Emperor and prepared for the Ork's response.

The Lootas, having seen three of their squad killed, didn't know the meaning of the word discretion or the word valour but turned tail and fled the battlefield anyway. The rest of the Ork army charged forward as fast as possible, the Nob Bikers crashing through the centre supposrted by the two Battlewagons. The only Ork shooting came from the second squad of Lootas, who failed to damage a Razorback, and the Killa Kanz who managed to blow the Typhoon Missile Launchers off a Land Speeder.

End of Turn 1:

Turn 2:

From the Ork's flank the Scout Bikers made their presence known. The Sergeant fired his Combi-Melta and managed to immobilise one of the Battlewagons . Most of the Space Marine army then fired at the Nob Bikers in an attempt to stop them before they crashed into their lines. With the Orks happily riding through the fire, the Librarian took matters into his own hands and he and his Terminator bodyguard charged out of their Land Raider and faced up to the Orks. The Orks managed to kill 2 of the elite Space Marines before they even managed to swing their Hammers. Two more and the Librarian were cut in half by Power Klaws as the Terminators managed to fell 4 Orks. The other Orks surounded the final memeber of the squad as he prepared to sell his life dearly.

The still mobile Battle Wagon tried to Tank Shock Marine Dreadnought but couldn't quite make contact. The Shoota Boyz poured out of the immobilised Battlewagon and looked to take revenge on the Scouts who had wrecked their ride. The Lootas managed to take out a Razorback awhile the Killa Kanz did likewise. In combat, the Nobz managed to take out the last Terminator but were now down to just the Warboss, Painboy and one other Nob. The Shoota Boys charged into combat with the Scout Bikers but the combat finished a draw with one dead on either side,

End of Turn 2:

Turn 3:

The Space Marines, shocked by the death of their commander, resolved to taking revenge against his killers. They fired as one against the Nob Bikers but only managed to kill one Nob and wound the Warboss. In combat, the Orks cut down the remaining Scout Bikers easily although they lost another couple of Boyz.

The Shoota Boyz, fresh from their victory in combat, managed to shoot down a Land Speeder. The Lootaz also had some shooting success blowing one of the arms off the Space Marine Dreadnought. The Battlewagon managed to crush a Space Marine beneath its Deffrolla as the Warboss ripped apart the last Razorback pinning the Marines who had been inside.

End of Turn 3:

Turn 4:
Again the Space Marine guns opened fire on the Nob Bikers and this time they finally ended the green menace, much to the relief of the pinned Combat Squad. They also managed to take out the Battlewagon, the Dreadnought bypassing the Big Mek's Kustom Force Field by attacking it in close combat. A Krak Missile took out another Killa Kan as the Marines seemed to be turning the tide of the battle in thie favour.
The Big Mek, angry at the loss of his Battlewagon, charged his squad into the ruins and into combat with the Sternguard on the top floor. Meanwhile, the Lootas, buoyed by their previous success, fired at the Dreadnought again. This time, however, they failed to do any damage. The remaining Killa Kan tried to bring down the last Land Speeder in hand to hand but couldn't hit the fast moving skimmer. On top of the ruins, the Orks cut down two Sternguard after they'd lost a couple of Boyz so they all remain locked in combat.
End of Turn 4:

Turn 5:

With very little left on the Space Marine side able to shoot, it fell to the Land Raider and a single Combat Squad to try and dish out some damage to the Ork horde. A Krak Missile immobilised the Killa Kan but the Land Raider was less successful, the Slugga Boyz protected from the worst of the fire by cover. The Dreadnought made its way up through the ruins where it tried to tip the combat in the Marine's favour. However, no winner could be decided even though the Sternguard were down to their last man.
The Orks had even less shooting than the Space Marines. The Killa Kan manged to vaporise one of the squad who had imobilise it but the Lootas couldn't do any damage to the other Comat Squad that was opposite them. In the combat atop the ruins the Orks finally managed to kill the last Sternguard and so were left facing just the Dreadnought.
End of Turn 5:

Turn 6:

Both sides could sense that the end was near and they knew that bold actions would be required to win the day. With this in mind, two Combat Squad slunk off into the best cover they could find, ensuring that they were claiming valuable objectives. The Land Raider stayed still and fired at full power, but again cover came to the Shoota Boyz aide and only two died. In the continuing combat in the ruins neither side could do any damage.
Finally, a great cry went up through the Ork ranks - Waaagh! The Slugga Boyz managed to trip over their own feet and made it nowhere near combat. The Shoota Boyz in the center ruin had a choice of enemy to charge and chose the larger Space Marine squad. They killed all five Marines while the Nob in the other unit of Shoota Boyz ripped off the Dreadnought's other arm.
End of Turn 6:

The Marines were battered and bloody but victorious. The survivors wearily climbed aboard the Land Raider and made good their escape. With the Ork Warboss dead, it would take a couple of weeks before the Orks attacked again and the Space Marines would be ready for them...

Final Score: Space Marines 2-1 Orks

The Boys are Back in Town

So, here's the Ork list that Andy has prepared for me:


Warboss, Warbike, Power Klaw

Big Mek, Kustom Force Field


6 Lootas

6 Lootas


6 Nobz, Painboy, Warbikes, 2 Power Klaws, Big Choppa, Boss Pole, Waaagh Banner,

20 Boyz, Shootas

19 Boyz, Shootas

30 Boys, Sluggas

Heavy Support

3 Killa Kanz, Kustom Mega-Blasta

Battle Wagon, Red Paint Job, Deff Rolla, Big Shoota

Battle Wagon, Red Paint Job, Deff Rolla, Big Shoota

Shoota Boyz and Big Mek go in Battle Waggons and Warboss goes with Nob Bikers. Hmm, so Battle Wagons go together to benefit from a 4+ save and trundle 13" forward a turn so they should get a turn 2 or 3 assault. Bikes can Turbo-Boost turn 1 to get a turn 2 assault. Lootas sit at the back in cover and shoot at any Speeders, Rhinos and Razorbacks in range. Then the Killa Kanz are a counter attack unit and the big mob of Boyz can either sit back claiming quarters/objectives or move forward behind anything else and jump on anything that survives the first wave. Not really convinced by the Killa Kanz, I think that I'd rather have some Warbuggies or Deffkoptas for some fast nuisance units but we'll see how we get on.

Something Changed

We're trying something a bit different this week. Rather than using my valiant Space Wolves against Andy's Marines, I'm taking charge of his Orks. I'm going to be using the same list that he used against me a few months ago, so two Battlewagons, Big Mek with Kustom Force Field and some Nob Bikers. Now, I've never played Orks before so I think that my strategy will be the incredibly basic one of rush everything forward as quickly as possible and try and get into combat as soon as I can. Some of the nuances of the army are going to be a bit harder to work out. When should I call a Warrgh? How can I ensure that I set up multi-assaults in order to make sure I don't win on my turn but on Andy's and hence avoid getting shot up? In fact combat is going to take a bit of getting my head around. With my Wolves I always want the whole squad in combat and with squads of 5 it's easy enough to do. With the Orks sometimes I'll want all 30 Boyz in combat (for example against those Thunder Hammer Terminators) while sometimes I'll only want some (eg charging into a Combat Squad of Tactical Marines) There is a bigger problem with Orks though. If I win it will add grist to Andy's mill that they're the ideal beginner's army. There will be a post along the lines of, "Look even Gav can win with Orks and he's not even read the Codex" Hmm, maybe I should play for the draw...

Wednesday, 29 September 2010

Sieze Ground

Open War Mission 1


Standard Pitched Battle deployment - 12" from long board edge.


Table quarters. You get two points for each of your opponent's quarters that you control and one point for each quarter on your own side you control. You control a quarter by having more units of Troops in it that your opponent. Battle Points are then awarded based on difference in Objective points.


Since most people will be trying to get across the board and into my quarters to claim as many points as possible, I'm going to put all of my long range firepower (Long Fangs, Rune Priest, Lascannon Razorbacks) in one corner and shoot them as they come across the board. I'll keep my shorter range stuff (Assault Cannon Razorbacks, Vindicator) in Reserve so that it can avoid being shot up but can come on and blast anyone who has made it into my quarters. My Land Speeders also stay in Reserve so that I can either bring them on my board edge or Deep Strike them. The Scouts go Behind Enemy Lines so that they can sneak up on enemy Troops claiming a quarter or enemy Heavy Weapons teams to stop them shooting me. The general plan is to claim the quarter that I'm deploying in and use the two Reserve Razorbacks to either claim my other quarter or scoot off and claim an enemy quarter if possible.

Now with this mission (and mission 3), I expect to see a lot of Drop Pod armies. If I go first, I will probably deploy my Vindicator too in order to give people a few things to think about when they Deep Strike. I also have two very good counter-attack units in my Lone Wolf and Dreadnought so I'm not that worried. However, if I go second, my deployment will depend on what my opponent has in their Pods. If there are lots of Pods and lots of anti-tank, I'll keep everything in Reserve. If there are only a couple of Pods with not much anti-tank then I'll probably deploy normally and take my chances. Although having said that I don't really want my Long Fangs walking on as it means they lose at least two turns of shooting. I think I might put one squad in one corner and one in the other so that my opponent has to split their Pods. Speaking about Deep Striking, there are quite a few Daemon plays who have entered Open War. Hmm, might have to rethink taking Tempest's Wrath...

Tuesday, 28 September 2010

Open War: The Basics

With less than four weeks to go until Open War, I think that now would be a good time to talk about some strategies that will hopefully keep me from finishing last. I'll talk about each of the three missions in turn but first I'll go through the general rules for the tournament.


There are a maximum of 100 battle points available for the tournament. There are 25 points for painting and modelling and then 25 points for each mission.

The painting and modelling is either 5 or 0 points for the following considerations

Banners & Markings
Cohesive Colour Scheme

So, which of these can I pick up? Well, my army should be based in time so one tick there. They're definitely all WYSIWYG so no problem there either. I've not put sorted out the squad markings yet but I should get that done as well. Roster is a piece of cake. Now, the last one. Technically, my army does have a cohesive colour scheme. Unfortunately that colour scheme is half painted. Hmm, I should pick up 15 for the non-painting parts and may pick up another 5 if I'm lucky. The thing is I expect everyone else to pick up 25 here so I'm 10 points behind before I start.

Kill Points

Of the 25 points for each mission, 10 points are awarded for getting Kill Points. 11+ KPs get you 10 BPs, 9-10 get 9, 7-8 get 7, 5-6 get 5, 3-4 get 3, 1-2 get 1 and 0 gets you 0. So, there are quite a few points to be had from KPs. Now, since you're guaranteed 5 points from each mission even if you get absolutely battered, is it worth concentrating just on KPs? Well, no. However, as we get near the end of the game it is definitely worth trying to take out those small enemy units to pick up some extra points especially if you're pretty set for the main objective.

As an interesting aside, if I was playing against my own army, there are 10 Kill Points in the Troops section (5 squads and 5 transports) If I were to take them all out the worst I could do would be to draw the first two missions and take home 19 Battle Points. Space Wolves playing for a draw? Well, maybe. As I said I'll talk about mission specific strategies when I look at the missions themselves.

One final point - tabling. This automatically wins you all 25 Battle Points for the mission. Although it is easier said than done...

Vanilla is my Favourite Flava Yo!

After my game on Thursday I'm pretty settled on taking the Marines to Open War next month, in fact I might just see the year out with them and take them to the Freebootaz Open in November as well. Next year will be the year of a new Tournament Army, what that is remains to be seen but for now my experiments with the Blood Angels are on the recreational front only!

This all links back to something I said a while ago, which I probably only paid-lip service to before and that was that you need to know your army to do well with it in a tournament. I think back to my hasty decision to take Blood Angels to the Warp Storm tournament earlier this year which was clearly a mistake because I didn't really know what I was doing with them. Some lucky results on the second day pulled me off the bottom of the table but it was not a good showing by a long stretch!

So back to the matter in hand, Open War 14 and Dorn's Lament. My game with Gav on Thursday gave me a bit of confidence back in my good old vanilla Marines but a conversation in the car park afterwards highlighted some room for improvement in the list. As it stands the list has a good amount of anti-armour capability and an answer to Monstrous Creatures and Death-Star units but what it probably cannot cope with is a Horde list. My usual counter to this would be a Thunderfire Cannon – relatively cheap, cover ignoring and devastating to massed troops; however It does have it's limitations being easy to kill, totally static and not much good against heavily mechanised lists.

So in this case I'm going to try an Ironclad in a Pod, not many horde units will have an answer for armour 13 so it will be able to tie up a large unit, possibly for the whole game allowing my other shooty elements, most notably the Typhoons, to focus on other threats, massed or otherwise. Not only is it useful for tying up scary looking horde units but it is also a major threat to vehicles and will be a priority target in most games which will give the rest of my army some room to manouvre relatively unmolested. Perhaps it's not the best solution to a Horde Army but I think I can make it work and it's got some flexibility to it.

So what's being dropped to get the Ironclad in? Well I know it's a bit harsh, particularly as they have done good things for me in the past but I'm dropping the Sternies. Replacing them with an Ironclad will leave me with some spare points and I have the perfect way to spend them. All of the Open War missions rely heavily on Troop choices being in position at the end of the game so I'm adding a 5 man Scout Squad and a Landspeeder Storm, the will hang out off the board and zoom in to contest or capture an objective later on in the game … well that's the plan anyway!

After the shuffle, here's the new list:

Null Zone, The Avenger

Assamut Terminator Squad
(5) Thunderhammer & Stormshield; Land Raider Crusader, Extra Armour, Multi Melta
Ironclad Dreadnought
Meltagun, Heavy Flamer; Drop Pod
2x Twin-linked Autocannons

Tactical Squad
(10) Meltagun, Missile Launcher, Sgt w. Power Fist; Razorback w. Lascannon & Twin-Linked Plasmagun
Tactical Squad
(10)Plasma Gun, Missile Launcher, Sgt w. Bolt Pistol & Chainsword; Razorback w. Lascannon & Twin-Linked Plasmagun
Scout Squad
(5) 4x Combat Blades, Sgt w. Power Fist

Land Speeder Storm
Heavy Flamer
Land Speeder
Typhoon Missile Launcher, Heavy Bolter
Land Speeder
Typhoon Missile Launcher, Heavy Bolter


As an alternative to the Scouts and Storm, how about the following unit inspired by a recent post by Kirby:

Scout Bikers
(4) 3x Astartes Grenade Launcher, Cluster Mines, Sgt w. Power Fist

T5 "tar-pit" vs certain units, 1st turn vehicle popping capability, reasonable anti-troop utility, cluster mines reduce the attractiveness of cover for my opponent. A fun unit with some serious utility, worth considering?


There it is, what do you think of my horde deterrent Dreadnought? Are the fast scouts going to be worthwhile in their role as pure scoring units? Does this seem a relatively well balanced list? How can I tweak it for the Freebootaz Open where named & unique characters are allowed?

Monday, 27 September 2010

Old Enough to Know Better

Not a new model but I've only just based him after Andy was kind enough to let me have a Dreadnought base (this is obviously the reason I let him win last week) Now, I've only used this guy in a couple of my lists, but the model is absolutely gorgeous:

I just need to name him now and give him an imposing saga...

Sunday, 26 September 2010

Painting the town red

Spent some time actually painting last night so here are the results...

Fist up, Long Fangs through the ages - Mk2 Armour, RTBS01 Missile Launcher, original Long Fang with Missile Launcher & new Space Wolf plastics and modern Lascannon:

Then we have a Long Fang pakc leader with two more Long Fangs from the 1st edition Long Fang box:

And finally my Dreadnought:

There clearly nowhere near Golden Demon standard but they are 3-colour which is good enough for the tournament. I'm not there to win the painting trophy anyway, I'm just trying to avoid finishing last(!)

Ohh! Shiney ...

Anyone seen the pics of the new Dark Eldar models on BOLS this morning?

I may be in the process of rethinking my next army!

*Take a breath, and stop being such a magpie!*

Oh and just to make matters worse, these turned up in my inbox this morning too!

... Lelith *dribble*

Saturday, 25 September 2010

Every Dog Has its Day!

Last night my motley crew of Vanilla Marines turned over Gav’s Space Wolves for only the second time since we’ve been playing each other. What I took from the game was that, as I have said elsewhere, elite-style armies are slaves to the dice; Gav had some of the worst dice I have ever seen him roll and I had unprecedentedly good dice. For me this just re-enforced my opinion that, typically, Marines (and other elite armies) just do not roll enough dice to consistently overcome a few bad dice rolls and, to be fair, Gav had more than a few bad dice rolls. The counter to this was that I had probably one of the best games I’ve had in quite a while, I didn’t really make any tactical mistakes (I didn’t deviate too much from my plan), the risks I took paid off and the dice came through for me when I needed them to. It should also be noted that it’s a huge credit to Gav’s generalship that he was still in the game up till the top of turn 6 (the game was limited to 6 turns).

Anyway, to give you some context for all this, here’s an overview of the game:

My list:

Null Zone, Avenger

Assault Terminators
(5) Thunder Hammer & Stormshields; Land Raider Crusader w. Multi Melta & Extra Armour
(10) 5x Combi Melta, 2x Lascannon; Rhino
2x Twin-Linked Autocannons

Tactical Squad
(10) Meltagun, Missile Launcher, Power Fist; Razorback w. Lascannon & Twin-Linked Plasmaguns
Tactical Squad
(10) Plasma Gun, Missile Launcher; Razorback w. Lascannon & Twin-Linked Plasmaguns

Typhoon Missile Launcher, Heavy Bolter
Typhoon Missile Launcher, Heavy Bolter

Gav's list can be found here.

Deployment: Pitched Battle
Mission: Primary – Table quarters controlled by scoring units (1 point for quarters in your own half, 2 for those in your opponent’s half)
Secondary – Kill Points

I basically set up in the middle of the table with heavy weapon combat squads wide on the left and right flanks. Because I planned to drive my Land Raider up the Right flank I put my Sternies and Tac Razorbacks on the left, I figured that the Termies would be OK on their own. Gav set up mostly on his right flank with one Long Fang pack, the Rhino with the Rune Priest and the Vindicator over on his left.

My plan was to try and tie up my right flank with the Terminators and a Land Speeder, everything else was focussed on taking and defending the left flank and this is pretty much how the game went. Turn 1, my shooting did just enough to take some of the sting out of his anti-tank threats. Conversely Gav's shooting did pretty much nothing, the one or two shots that did get through were negated by cover saves! My Raider survived a 1st turn shot from the Vindicator which allowed it to get the Terrmies into assault against the Long Fangs on my right flank on turn 2.

After wiping out the Long Fangs, my Termies survived the combined firepower of 2 Grey Hunter packs for the loss of 2 models and on the resulting charge they routed the charging Grey Hunters and killed the Rune Priest for no loss … I like these guys! From here on in the Raider and Termies cleaned house along Gav's back lines. On the other flank Razorbacks and Heavy Weapons teams traded blows to little noticeable effect until Gave made a move forward.

As with most of Gav's moves in this game the dice did not support his theory that fortune favours the brave, he took out a razorback but got mowed down in return, and despite training the remaining Long Fangs on the remnants of one of my Tac Squad he failed to do a wound! Pretty much par for the course in this game. The only other moment worth mention was the Wolf Scouts who took 3 turns to wipe out my Lascannon Sternies before my Tac ML Squad intervened to mop them up.

The game ended with me holding my two table quarters and Gavs left flank, despite running his last Grey Hunter Squad off the board at the top of Turn 6 I did not have a 4th scoring unit left to take the final quarter thanks to his long Fangs managing to finish of my depleted Tac Squad contesting the last table quarter. I've made it sound pretty one sided but it really wasn't, it was very closely contested in every turn it was just that at pretty much every crucial point in the game Gav's dice let him down:

Turn 1: Vindicator shot deviated 1” off the Land Raider and cannot pen, combined shooting of 4 Razorbacks and 2 Long Fang Squads results in no damage

Turn 2: I make my dangerous terrain test to move my Land Raider into range to allow the Termies to assault Gav's Long Fangs (just barely!). Torrent of fire followed by an assault results in 2 dead Terminators but 1 dead Rune Priest and a fleeing unit of Grey Hunters.

Turn 3: I pass another dangerous terrain test on my Land Raider. Gav's Land Speeder mishaps and is placed out of the action by me.

Turn 4: After surviving 2 krak missiles and 3 Heavy Bolter shots to its rear armour Gavs Vindicator is blown up by a single Lascannon shot to the side from the last unit that can see it (its survival would probably have wiped out my troops holding my right flank.

Turn 5: Long Fangs open fire on the 2 remaining members of one of my Tac Squads who are in the open, a Lascannon and Krak missile hit and neither manages to wound.

Turn 6: I unload all of my remaining guns at Gav's last Razorback it survives until I'm the very last gun that can see it, which wrecks it and allows my Termies to assault the unit inside who route them off the table.

Unit of the game for me was the Terminators, without a doubt, they cleaned house and too the right flank on their own, repaying the faith I placed in them to do this. My weakest unit was probably the Sternies, both combat squads failed to do anything of note, half of them being taken out of the game by the Wolf Scouts for 3 turns and the other half killing themselves with their own AP3 shells. Special thanks go to the dice gods of course, I sacrificed a Duck Curry in your name this evening … it was yummy!

Friday, 24 September 2010

Soy un perdedor

Moan moan moan, luck. Yak yak yak, dice. Complain, complain, complain, goat sacrifice. Last night, following a defeat, I was happy enough to stand outside Warhammer World and agree with Andy's initial review that I had been very unlucky with my dice rolls. However, looking at it in the clear light of day, I can see that dice rolls had nothing to do with it. I lost because Andy played a good game and because I let him do so. Without further ado, here's my (almost) weekly round-up of where I went wrong this time.

Deployment (again)

It seems that nearly all the time I make mistakes with deployment and last night was no exception. To make matters worse, I got my deployment spot on two weeks ago and won the game comfortably but I've clearly learned nothing from that. Deployment should enable you to complete the mission objectives while making it hard for your opponent to achieve them. This mission was all about troops in table quarters. If I managed to kill all of Andy's troops then the worst I could have gotten was a draw. How should I have deployed? More or less the same as two weeks ago - hole up in one corner. Turning that strategy into tactics - I should have put everything in the opposite corner to Andy's Land Raider. Then I could have focused my fire on the table quarter opposite while Andy's Raider would have taken another couple of turns to get into the action. I would probably have kept my shorter range units in reserve in order to give good lines of fire for my Razorbacks and Long Fangs.

Ahab and his whale

I became far too obsessed with Andy's Land Raider and the Assault Terminators inside. After they'd killed my Long Fangs I should have moved away from them and focused on the mission objectives. I could have shot down the Typhoon on my left flank and then advanced my Vindicator unmolested on the Tactical Squad in the far corner. Instead, I fired pretty much everything I could at the Terminators, and continued to throw units at them. I was convinced that at some point Andy had to fail a 2+ save and lost sight of what I was actually trying to achieve. This is a problem with such a deathstar unit, yes it's very killy but it can't actually win the game. If I'd ignored it completely I would have had 1750 points against 1275 - advantage Wolves.


To be fair the mistakes I made with my reserves stemmed from the mistakes I made in deployment. Using the Scouts to tie up the Sternguard would have been a sensible option if I'd have been focusing fire on the rest of the forces on that side of the board. As it was I should probably have brought them on the attack the Combat Squad with the Missile Launcher in the other quarter. Having only one base attack they would have been easier to kill and it would have denied Andy a point for the victory conditions. The first Land Speeder I brought on to shoot the Terminators and then because I messed my order of fire up I tried to shoot it at the Land Raider. Obviously, as I mentioned above I should have ignored both and used Deep Strike to attack some of Andy's Troops. The worst thing is that I actually had my scatter dice in my hand and bottled out of it at the last minute.


To be fair though, this defeat was actually just what I needed. Two weeks ago I thought I was a tactical genius and I thought that spending a couple of minutes checking out lines of fire made me a master of deployment. Turns out I'm only good at this game if I actually spend some time thinking about what I'm trying to do. With that in mind, I'm going to be talking about some initial strategies for all three of the Open War missions in the coming week.

Wednesday, 22 September 2010

What If?

What if it wasn't only a month until Open War? What if I had time to put together a totally new army? Yesterday, we got to talking about Imperial Guard in the Comment section and I got to thinking, "What if?" Now, I've never put together an Imperial Guard list and I did this with just the Codex, a pen and a pad of paper (so no online Daemonhunters Codex, hence so Inquisitor, Mystics or Emperor's Tarot) Let's see what happens:

There can be lots of shooting in an Imperial Guard list and I've decided to start with Heavy Support;

2 Hydra Flak Tanks

Medusa, Bastion-Breacher Shells

Twin-Linked Autocannons that are especially good against Skimmers and Bikes? Yes please! High strength templates? Count me in!

Hmm, better get some HQ;

Company Command Squad, Medi-Pack, 3 Plasma Guns, Officer of the Fleet, Chimera, Heavy Flamer

Plasma Guns to scare off Terminators, Sanguinary Guard, etc, Medi-Pack to help with Gets Hot! and Officer of the Fleet to slow down enemy reinforcements. I've gone with a Heavy Flamer on the Chimera to add some duality.

Let's get some fly boys;

Veteran Squad, 3 Meltaguns, Vendetta

Veteran Squad, 3 Meltaguns, Vendetta

These guys can go scouting off to get some Turn 1 Melta shots in.

I've not read a great deal about IG on the 'net but I would imagine that this is a pretty standard base. Now to top this off I want to take an Infantry Platoon with lots of heavy weapons;

Platoon Command Squad, 4 Meltaguns, Chimera

Infantry Squad, Autocannon

Infantry Squad, Autocannon

Infantry Squad, Autocannon

Heavy Weapon Squad, 3 Autocannons

Heavy Weapon Squad, 3 Autocannons

Special Weapon Squad, 3 Flamers, Chimera, Heavy Flamer

Special Weapon Squad, 3 Meltaguns, Chimera

Lots of guys, lots of S7 dakka. I've also got a flamy anti-infantry squad and another anti-mech squad. That leave me with just 35 points. Single Scout Sentinel? Hmm, maybe not. Instead, let's make one of the Vet squads into a Demolitions squad. Then we have a demo charge we can chuck at a squad if we've taken out a transport. Let's also give our Platoon Command Squad Krak Grenades since there isn't really anything better we can get for 5 points.

If I was going super competitive I would have included that Inquisitor with Tarot and a couple of Mystics to stop those enemy Deep Strikes. I'd probably try to fit in more high strength, large template weapons to make it more like the legendary "Leafblower" From a purely fluffly point of view I would have liked to have fitted in a couple of Leman Russ Battle Tanks but I couldn't quite squeeze any in.

Tuesday, 21 September 2010

Scraching an itch.

Open War is only a month away now and I'm getting the usual "itchy list" syndrome, I just can't stop fiddling with it! Over the last couple of days I've been in list theory overdrive and have come up with something I think is about 90% of the way there, there just may be a little tweaking to do in the Fast Attack/Heavy Support areas but I think I'm pretty much happy with it as it stands. However I'm posting it here for opinions so have at it!


Blood Lance, Fear of the Dark(?), Jump Pack
Honour Guard
(5) 2x Meltagun, 1x Power Sword, Jump Packs


Sanguinary Priest
No upgrades
Assault Terminators
(5) Thunder Hammers and Storm Shields; Land Raider w. Extra Armour, Multi Melta


Assault Squad
(5) Lightning Claw; Razorback
Assault Squad
(5) Lightning Claw; Razorback w. Twin Linked Assault Cannon
Assault Squad
(5) Razorback w. Lascannon & Twin Linked Plasma Gun
Assault Squad
(5) Razorback w. Lascannon & Twin Linked Plasma Gun

Fast Attack

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

Heavy Support

2x Twin Linked Autocannons

Total: 1750pts

The basic plan is to reserve 2 of the razorbacks (Las/Plas ones probably), the Honour Guard , the Librarian and the two Speeders. The remaining Razorbacks and the Land Raider get to midfield as fast as possible and try to delay the enemy advance, the Dread shoots from the backfield trying to snipe transports and light armour.

The Libby and Honour Guard have a good chance of dropping in together on turn two thanks to descent of angels and they'll be suiciding next to some heavy armour targets. Then, hopefully in turn 3, I should get the remaining Razorbacks and the Speeders which will give me additional late-game anti-tank and anti-infantry capability allowing me to stay competitive, at least late on in the game.

What do you think?

Saturday, 18 September 2010

You can't touch this

Yes, it's (math)hammer time! I made some rather spurious claims in this post so that I could follow it up with this post. Damn, I'm turning into a proper blogger - posts generate comments and those comments generate new posts. Anyway, onto the maths. Let's keep things nice and simple and take 10 Tactical Marines all with Bolters against 30 Slugga Boys. We'll put the two units out in the open and within 12" of each other. Then we'll be kind and let the Marines go first.

Marines rapid fire:

P(Dead Ork) = P(Hit) x P(Wound) x Number of shots
= 2/3 x 1/2 x 20
= 7 dead Orks

Orks don't shoot in case they kill enough Marines for Marines to Combat Tactic themselves out of the way. They do charge however.

Marines strike first:

P(Dead Ork) = P(Hit) x P(Wound) x Number of attacks x P(Failed save)
= 1/2 x 1/2 x 11 x 5/6
= 2 Dead Orks

Orks strike back

P(Dead Marine) = P(Hit) x P(Wound) x Number of attacks x P(Failed save)
= 1/2 x 1/2 x 64 x 1/3
= 5 Dead Marines

Orks win by 3.

Space Marines chose to run away to rapid fire again next turn.

Marines shooting:

P(Dead Ork) = P(Hit) x P(Wound) x Number of shots
= 2/3 x 1/2 x 10
= 3 dead Orks

Orks charge in again and Marines strike first:

P(Dead Ork) = P(Hit) x P(Wound) x Number of attacks x P(Failed Save)
= 1/2 x 1/2 x 5 x 5/6
= 1 Dead Ork

Orks strike back:

P(Dead Marine) = P(Hit) x P(Wound) x Number of attacks x P(Failed Save)
= 1/2 x 1/2 x 51 x 1/3
= 4 Dead Marines

Just the Sergeant left. He gingerly walks away and opens fire:

P(Dead Ork) = P(Hit) x P(Wound) x Number of shots
= 2/3 x 1/2 x 2
= 1 Dead Ork

Orks charge in and the Sergeant bravely tries to fight them off:

P(Dead Ork) = P(Hit) x P(Wound) x Number of attacks x P(Failed Save)
= 1/2 x 1/2 x 2 x 5/6
= 0 Dead Orks

Orks then kill the Sergeant.

14 Orks for 10 Marines. So, in a vacuum, a clear victory for the Orks.and the pure statistics do seem to back up some of what Andy was saying. However, in a real game no Marine player would allow 30 Orks to make their way across the board unharmed, not even a beginner.

Steppin' out into the Underhive

With Warhammer World closed for its annual deep clean Gav and Graham descended on my house with beers, squats and Space Crusade. After opening the beers and critiquing Graham's Squats, which look awesome in their new colour scheme, we set up a game of Space Crusade.

Space Crusade is a sci-fi dungeon-crawl board game which was originally released all the way back in 1990. While it feels wrong to classify it as Space Hulk-light, that does sum it up succinctly. It does seem less involved, less dependent on tactics and the random element has a stronger influence on the outcome of the game. However it is fast, easy to get to grips with and a lot of fun. It's an old game but well worth digging out of the closet if you happen to have an old copy lying around.

After we had played a couple of missions, leafed through my copy of the 1st Edition 40k Rule Book and the 'Ere We Go Ork supplement and refreshed our drinks I asked if  the guys could talk me through rolling up a Necromunda Gang. It had come up a couple of times in conversation over the past few months and I remember back when the game was first released that I'd been interested in getting into the game. I'd been quite into RPGs as a spotty youth and the campaign/gang development mechanic really appealed to me, as well as the skirmish nature of the encounters.

Anyway. with Gav and Graham's help it took me next to no time to roll up the following Gang o' Goliaths called the Mad Dogs:

Muru (Leader): Las Pistol, Chainsword, 63xp
Hakkar (Heavy): Heavy Bolter, Las Pistol, 62xp
Garr (Heavy): Heavy Stubber, 62xp
Kez (Ganger): Lasgun, 26xp
Leith (Ganger): Lasgun, 25xp
Emile (Ganger): Autogun, 22xp
Rav (Ganger): Shotgun, 22xp
Twink (Juve): Las Pistol, Auto Pistol
Lev (Juve): Shotgun

Territories: Archeotech, Spore Cave, Tunnels, Vents, Slag

I'm pretty happy with the composition of the gang, I think the guys have managed to temper what I thought would be good into something practical. I think I should have spent some of the 25 creds I have left in the bank for alternative ammo choices for the shotguns but there'll be time for that further down the road. Fortunately, with my rather lucky rolls on the Territories table I should not be too short on cash, providing I can keep my gangers alive long enough to put them to work!

I think I'll be converting my gang from the Catachan IG box set so keep it here for updates on the gang as they get built and put to work in the Underhive.

Friday, 17 September 2010

Join the Crusade

I headed off to Andy's house last night with Space Crusade, my Necromunda gang and my newly (almost) completed Sanctum Imperialis. In the end we played the first two Space Crusade missions. Andy won the roll off and decided to take charge of the Imperial Fists (surprise surprise), I played the bad guy and Graham led the Blood Angels. Graham comfortably won the first game after blowing up the Choas Dreadnought with a well placed Melta Bomb. Andy managed to take the second game by a mere handful of points after Graham had once again bested the Dreadnought in close combat. I managed to finish third twice (that's last for those keeping count) and scored so few points in the final game that I was turned into a Chaos Spawn!

Anyway, here's a couple of pics. Andy's Imperial Fists don't seemed particularly scared by an Ork and a Gretchin:

Meanwhile Graham's Blood Angels are ambushed by two Chaos Androids and the Chaos Commander:

It was fun to break out the old boardgame once again. Andy added to the nostalgic feeling by getting out his copy of 'Ere We Go; the Rogue Trader era Ork army book. Lots of crazy rules. Ah, those were the days. He also showed us the Rogue Trader RPG book but that is far too beautiful to ever actually be used. Then Graham and I "helped" Andy put together a Necromuna gang. Hopefully once the club's 750 point tournament starts we'll have a bit of time on Thursday evenings to fit in some Necromunda since we should be able to get a quick game of 40K and a game of Necromunda in.

Welcome – and Welcome to Necromunda!

Hello, and welcome to my very first blog! My name is Graham, and I’m a regular gaming companion of Gav and Andy (who have bullied and coerced me into actually writing this missive). I’ve been wargaming, on and off, since I was about nine years old –let’s say that was the late eighties, and leave it at that, shall we? Ahem. My favourite games then were Space Hulk, Space Marine (aka Epic), 40K and Necromunda. I also GM’d an online Star Wars role-playing game for a couple of years in my early twenties, which was great fun.

Last year, after a break of about fifteen years (the usual temptations of beer, music & women having distracted me) I moved up to Notts, where I quickly rediscovered the hobby (mainly cos that’s where GW is based). Nowadays I play 40K almost exclusively, though I have tried the ‘new’ Space Hulk too (still great). In 40K my preferred armies are Chaos Marines, Tyranids, Squats and Pre-Heresy World Eaters. More about each of those to follow!

We (Andy, Gav and I) have also decided to run an ongoing Necromunda game. The great thing for me about that game is that it has a narrative that propels it along, and the outcome of each confrontation has a direct effect on subsequent battles. To cut a long story short, we have each picked and rolled up a new gang. Gav will be playing Delaque – sinister, shotgun wielding, trench-coat adorned Colombine-esque freaks. Andy has chosen Goliaths – muscle-bound brutes. I have chosen to resurrect my mid-nineties Cawdor gang, religious redemptionists whose aim is to cleanse the godless underhives with religious flame. Or something. Anyway, I rolled up my gang a few weeks ago, and here follows the results:

Cawdor Gang:


Knife, chainsword, autopistol

Experience: 62

Total: 160pts


Heavy bolter, knife

Experience: 62

Total: 240


Flamer, knife

Experience: 61

Total: 100


Lasgun, Knife

Experience: 21

Total: 75


Sotgun, Solid, Scatter, Manstopper, Knife

Experience: 24

Total: 75


Lasgun, Knife

Experience: 22

Total: 75


Lasgun, Knife

Experience: 26

Total: 75


Knife, Knife

Experience: 0

Total: 30


Autopistol, Knife

Experience: 0

Total: 40


Laspistol, Knife

Experience: 0

Total: 40


Laspistol, Knife

Experience: 0

Total: 40

Creds stashed under the mattress: 50


Guilder Contact (D6 x 10), Holestead (D6 x 10), Old Ruins (10), Chem-Pit (2D6), Slag (15)

My thoughts behind the selection was basically to get as may models on the table as possible! Gangers and heavies are the core of any gang –especially one as close-assault oriented as the Cawdor – but I also wanted to take as many Juves as possible. Juves advance very quickly, and you can usually guide their development to suit a particular purpose – for example heavy support or close assault. They’re also very cheap, which is nice. We aim to play our first game in the next few days, so watch this space for the beginning of what should hopefully be a long-running saga!

Before I sign off, just a few words about what is still to come. I intend to publish my very own Codex: Squat Stronghold on the blog in the near future. It has already seen the light of day on the 1st Company Vets site, and has had a few initial playtests, but I will use this blog to delve deeper into the construction of the list, my thoughts on the Squats as a viable 40K race and how I see my particular army developing in the future.

My other ongoing project is to build a pre-heresy World Eaters army – formerly known as the War Hounds, previous to Angron’s rediscovery of the legion, fluff-fans. This is still very much in it’s infancy, so I’m hoping to share it’s gradual development with you ‘all’ over the next few months.

Righteo, that’s all for now folks. Catch y’all soon!


(edited by Claws and Fists to sort out formatting and remove individual points costs and hence prevent being sued)

Thursday, 16 September 2010

The Kids Are Alright

Confession time - I may act like a WAAC MSU gamer but it was actually the fluff that got me into the game. I've seen a few 10th Company lists on t'internet, built around lots of Scouts. So, I got to thinking what a similar list would look like for Space Wolves. Since our Scouts aren't new recruits, it would have to be lots and lots of Blood Claws. For HQ, we're going to want Wolf Priests as they're the ones that actually recruit the Blood Claws and implant all of the special organs into them. I also want to take some Swift Claws, some Sky Claws and a smattering of Wolf Guard to keep their young brothers in line. I'm going to aim for a 2000 point list with a couple of Land Raiders and hopefully Lukas the Trickster if I can afford him. Well, let's see what we can get:

Ulrik the Slayer

Well, he's the head Wolf Priest so let's slot him in. I've said before that I couldn't come up with an army for him so we'll see how he does in this one. He'll need a squad to go with;

11 Blood Claws, Power Fist

and we'll put them all in;

Land Raider Redeemer, Extra Armour, Multimelta

These guys want to benefit from Ulrik's Slayer's Oath so they're going to go round hunting big beasties and bikers. The Flamestorm Cannon is especially good against the latter as it removes cover saves.

Wolf Priest, Saga of the Warrior Born

I've taken this guy before and he can be quite killy with his re-rolls and Saga.

15 Blood Claws, Power Fist

These guys are going to be my big time anti-infantry unit so they may get two Flamers as well. To ferry them around and to add some firepower they get

Land Raider Crusader, Extra Armour, Multimelta

Wolf Priest, Bike

Well, I said I wanted some Swift Claws so they better have someone to look after them.

6 Swift Claws, Meltagun, Multimelta Attack Bike

I don't have that much anti-tank so I'm adding some that's very mobile with this unit. A lot of people say that Blood Claws are rubbish at shooting. Well, compared to everything else in the Space Wolf Codex, they are. However, with BS3 they're still hitting on a 4+ which is half the time and if you think that's poor then go and speak to the Orks. Personally, I've never had any luck with Swift Claws but they're going in because they fit the theme.

Wolf Priest, Jump Pack

Last guy, goes with the flyboys;

10 Sky Claws, Power Fist, Mark of the Wulfen

These guys get a bit more oompf against vehicles and Dreadnoughts with the Power Fist and MOTW. These guys can hide behind the Raiders and then jump out at an opportune moment.

Hmm, that only leaves me with 25 points left so no room for Lukas or any Wolf Guard for that matter. So, let's give the Wolf Priest on the Bike and the Wolf Priest with the Jump Pack both Meltabombs and the Swift Claws a Power Weapon. 2000 points exactly. Is it optimised? Not especially. Armies from the newer Codexes should be able to deal with 2 Raiders but older ones might not so with a bit of luck you'll win as many as you lose.

Up on the Roof

Warhammer World is shut this week for "deep cleaning" so we're heading off to Andy's again. Not sure what's planned but I've finally finished my Sanctum Imperialis.

Well, almost finished. I just need to do the balcony and the doors for the first floor. This will give us some more terrain if we play 40K or it would be perfect for Necromunda.

Wednesday, 15 September 2010


I've just placed an order with GW that will let me finish my Open War list. I've ordered a Land Raider Terminus conversion pack which has the bits I need to make the second Twin-Linked Lascannon turret I need for a Razorback. I was slightly tempted to order the Forge World one but I prefer the standard GW Lasback turret. Strangely, when it comes to Heavy Bolters it's the other way around...

Tuesday, 14 September 2010

Dorn's Lament and the return of the Blood Angels

I have something of a love/hate relationship with the Blood Angels, I love the codex and the fluff but I just can't seem to get to grips with them on the table. You may remember that I did not have such a great result playing them in the Warp Storm tournament earlier this year, and whenever I bring them to our Thursday night gaming sessions I usually get blown off the table, even more so than with my Marines!

So you may think it somewhat self-destructive of me to be pursuing another tournament list based on the Blood Angels but that's exactly what I'm doing! It's partly down to the fact that this weekend Gav and I tried out our doubles list, my half of which includes Mephiston - who is a total beast. However that can't be all there is to it, particularly as  Mephiston is not in my 1750pt list (at the moment) - unfortunately I cannot come up with something I feel comfortable with that includes him.

Instead, what I am inspired by at the moment is the Sanguinary Guard models and, last weekend my plan was to use them to model an Honour Guard Squad. Just two days later and with a little help from some left-over bits from the Death Company box, we have the models below including a Jump Pack equipped Librarian.

Chief Librarian Clachas

Brother Promethius

Brother Aether

Brother Xiphos

Brother Argus

Apothocary Chiron

Why then; Dorn's Lament? Well, this comes from my need to be able to play both Vanilla Marines and Blood Angels (and possibly Black Templars in the future!) without having to paint two different armies, so I've been thinking about a common iconography to tie the paint scheme into both flavors of Marine. I think with a Chapter name like "Dorn's Lament" I can use a tear drop as the chapter symbol for my Imperial Fists successor Chapter which looks remarkably similar to a blood drop which will obviously work for my Blood Angels successor Chapter. It's a bit O.C.D. of my but things like this are important to the armies I play ... next up will be to write some fluff for Dorn's Lament and come up with a good name for the BA Chapter. Watch this space.

Monday, 13 September 2010

The Magic Number

Here we go, three 750 point army lists in three days. So, we had this and this but it was the Thunderwolf one that really got me thinking. After we playtested our doubles list against Graham on Saturday I got to thinking about what would be better than a Land Raider Crusader filled with Blood Claws? How about some Thunderwolves!

Canis Wolfborn

This guy is pretty good and he lets me take the following as Troops:

13 Fenrisian Wolves, Cyberwolf

13 Fenrisian Wolves, Cyberwolf

So, that's my minimum Troops allowance taken. Of course they can't claim Objectives but we're going for killy rather than claimy in this list. With 341 points left to spend let's get a really tooled up Thunderwolf squad;

5 Thunderwolves, Thunder Hammer, Storm Shield, Wolf Claw, Melta Bombs

They're all uniquely armed for Wound Allocation reasons.

Canis goes with one of the Wolf units and the other one acts as a screen for the T-Wolves. On a 4x4 board these guys are going to be in combat by Turn 2 and they won't suffer from any Difficult Terrain tests That Land Raiders might fail if there is lots and lots of terrain.

It's pretty fun playing Theoryhammer with these rocks in a double list but I feel like I'm ignoring everything that I've learned this year about putting together balanced army lists. However, my mind keeps coming back to 4x4 board and last time at Maelstrom there was so much cover a shooty army would have no chance at stopping 2 Raiders before they're on them. Hmm, more playtesting needed to convince me I think.

Sunday, 12 September 2010


Yes, it's Buy One Get One Free weekend. I posted this yesterday as a potential list for our club's 750 point tournament. The main problem is that I don't actually have any Thunderwolves. Hmm, quite a big problem! Graham is planning on running Tyranids and this got me thinking about what kind of list you could put together. Then I saw this online and I thought, "ooh, 2 Tervigons, it'll be hard to take that out at 750" However, the rules for the tournament state, no Monstrous Creatures as HQ and no duplicate Monstrous Creatures. Hmm, no double Tervigon then. Well, that leaves just one choice as HQ

Tyranid Prime

Let's leave him naked for now and we'll see if we have any points to upgrade him later. I want him to go with

2 Hive Guard

The Prime gives them Synapse, protects them from Krak Missile Instant Death and will make people think twice before charging them.

20 Termagants

Big squad, very cheap but mainly taken to get

Tervigon, Adrenal Glands, Toxin Sacs, Catalyst

195 points! However, he can give birth to more troops and he gives all of those Termagants around him Furious Charge, Poisoned attacks and Feel No Pain.


Yes, there's the 2nd MC I wanted to get into the list. There are going to be very few foot lists with 2 Heavy Support choices that can put down 2 MCs.

Hmm, only leaves 75 points. I could take some more Termagants but I'd rather have something that can support the Trygon's assault. Okay, let's halve the number of Termagants to 10, drop Adrenal Glands on the Tervigon (since I don't really want him or his Termagants to charge but I've left Toxin Sacs in case they are charged) Then for 126 points I can get

9 Genestealers

These guys can then Outflank or Infiltrate depending on the mission or the enemy. That actually gives me enough points to afford another Termagant so for 746 points I can get

Tyranid Prime

2 Hive Guard

11 Termagants

Tervigon, Toxin Sacs, Catalyst

9 Genestealers


Saturday, 11 September 2010

Saturday Night's Alright For

Well most things it seems.

Early afternoon, Andy, Graham and myself went down to Warhammer World to check out the latest Tempus Fugitives Age of the Emperor event. There were some very cool Heresy-era minis (lots of Jetbikes) Andy took a few pictures so hopefully they'll appear over the next few days.

Then we headed back to Andy's and Graham and I played mission 4 of Space Hulk while Andy looked after his son, Daniel. We both won as the Marine player and in my opinion, of the first 4 missions this one seems the most Marine friendly. Although having said that, when I was playing 'stealers I miscounted my APs and could have gotten one attack at Graham's Assault Cannon guy which could have won me the game. Ah well.

With Daniel asleep, we gave Andy's gaming table its debut. Andy and I had 1000 points each, teamed up against Graham's 2000 points of Chaos Space Marines. We based our list on our initial ideal for Freebootaz. I added a squad of Long Fangs and some Wolf Scouts while Andy added a Furioso Dreadnought and a Land Speeder Typhoon. Graham ran a foot list that had a lot of bodies on the ground but unfortunately for him no real way to deal with AV14. The Flamestorm Cannons took a deadly toll on the Khorne Beserkers and Mephiston manged to catch Kharn in his Transfixing Gaze and made swift work of him before he could even strike back (we figured that Transfixing Gaze isn't actually a psychic power it could effect Kharn) In the end the Blood Angel Assault squad never got out of their Land Raider and the Blood Claws only got out of theirs to kill some Lesser Daemons (although I could probably have killed them with shooting) We all agreed that Graham's list was always going to struggle against two Raiders but if can find a way to get his big squad of Beserkers to charge into combat they'll have a field day.

After that Graham went home and it was just left for Andy and I to play out Space Hulk mission 4. After I'd told him how easy it was to win with Marines I then proceeded to beat him with the Genestealers. Although it all came down to his last few Assault Cannon shots. In the end he twice missed a 'stealer that was between the Marine and the target room. If he'd have killed him, he'd have shot the room and won. Another very tight game.

Thunder, Thunder, Thunderwolves, Hooooooo!

(hey, everyone else on t'internet has used this headline)

I've been thinking a lot about 750 point lists this week. I said in the comments that I was thinking about a Thunderwolf list. Well, let's see what we can do. Oh, and let's not forget the rules though.

Wolf Lord, Thunderwolf Mount, Saga of the Wolfkin, Wolf Claw

Wow, 180 points, pricey. Wolf Claw rather than Frost Blade as he's S5 anyway so the re-rolls will be more useful. I thought about Saga of the Bear or a Storm Shield but instead I've gone with Wolfkin as his saga as I'm going to take the following as a squad for him to sit in;

15 Fenrisian Wolves

So, that's a big, high Initiative unit that is pretty killy. However, we need something to help get units out of transports (even though they're won't be many) and to have a go at tanks.

Thunderwolf, Thunder Hammer, Storm Shield

5 Grey Hunters, Razorback, Twin-Linked Lascannon

A smashy anti-vehicle unit and a shooty anti-vehicle unit. The Thunderwolf takes a Storm Shield as I'm sure he'll attract a lot of fire since he's on his own plus he might need it if he gets stuck in a combat with lots of Power Weapons. Although with his movement he should be able to pick his fights.

Ideally, I'd take another Lascannon Razorback but I can't due to the rules of the tournament. Let's take something with a bit of duality

Dreadnought, Twin-Linked Autocannon, Twin-Linked Autocannon

Anti-vehicle, anti-horde and can put wounds on bigger threats too.

Hmm, that only leaves 65 points. I feel like I still need a bit more shooting so that I can thin out enemy units before charging in my Thunderwolves. So, how about we drop the Wolf Lord down to a Wolf Guard Battle Leader. That gives 95 points which is enough to get

Preadator, Heavy Bolter Sponsons, Storm Bolter

I love it when a plan comes together

For possibly the first time since I've been writing these post battle analysis pieces it's time for some self-congratulation. I had a plan and I stuck to it. So, let's stroke my ego and see just how well it went:


I placed my two Objectives close to Andy's and also close to his deployment zone. I wanted him to think twice before charging his Land Raider across the board and from the cautious route it took it seemed to work.


I actually took something from what I learned here. I actually took some time to make sure that my Long Fangs had good lines of sight regardless of which route Andy took around the central ruin. Leaving my Speeders, Assault Cannon Razorbacks and Vindicator in reserve meant that they didn't get shot to pieces before they got to do anything.

Okay, so that's enough dumb self congratulation. I am pretty proud of my Objective placement and deployment since I'm not usually very good at these areas but I did still make mistakes in this game.

Claim the Objectives

Yes, so Mission 2 for Open War is 6 turns but if I couldn't have taken out Andy's last four guys in my final turn then I could only have claimed two Objectives maximum.

Leave the Steel Coffin

Never get out of the vehicle unless it's an emergency. That's my mantra. Well, when an Assault Squad is about to charge my Long Fangs, that counts as an emergency. A Twin-Linked Lascannon shot, a Meltagun shot and four Rapid Firing Boltguns were never going to take out 5 guys especially since they were in cover. I should have gotten a second squad out and then charged them both in.

Order of Fire

Okay, this isn't really a mistake but it's worth talking about. When trying to take out Andy's Land Raider, I fired my two Land Speeders first, then a Razorback and then finally the Vindicator. The thinking behind this is that if I can blow it up first I can use the Demolisher Cannon on the grouped together survivors. In this case I was just a bit unlucky that I didn't take it out but it's always worth keepin the other option in mind - Vindicator first and then everything else.

Rogue Trader

For some reason I still think that Lascannons have 60" range. Clearly they don't. At least I'm not trying to fire my Plasma Guns on maximum power.

Alright, enough about me, let's look at the other side of the board.

Sat Nav

There was a pretty big ruin in the middle of the board and Andy had to decide which way round it he wanted to go. He chose the route that would put the Raider nearest to where my reinforcements would come on. Bearing in mind that my reinforcements contained most of my reliable anti-AV14 weaponry I would have gone the other way. Although having said that, I would probably ave parked the Raider on an Objective and used the Terminators as a counter attacking unit.

The Sky is Falling

Now, when Andy tried to charge my Long Fangs but only managed to get a total of 3" for two Difficult Terrain tests was very unlucky. When he missed with two Meltagun shot against my Rhino, it was very unlucky. The thing is the Assault Marines were dropped in the wrong place to start with. They probably came in too early which can always be difficult with reinforcements but they should still have been dropped near to the Objectives. With two more scoring units near the Objectives Andy could easily have claimed a "Deadlock" or maybe even a "Tactical Advantage".


I also didn't feel that Andy used his two Typhoons very well. He seemed to be trying to hide them for a lot of the battle which meant that they didn't really get to shoot much. Yes, they're fragile but you have to make sure you get the most out of their range and those tow S8 missiles.

Personally, I think I'm going to stick with this strategy - keep the enemy away by the placement of Objectives then use my range to pound them from distance. Then bring on my reinforcements with their shorter range destructive firepower.

Friday, 10 September 2010

Front rank; Fire!

Svengril sighed. He hated fighting against fellow Space Marines. He knew there was no reasoning with them though, he knew his Space Wolves would have to fight.

This is Mission 1 from Open War, played between 1750 points of my Space Wolves and 1750 poins of Andy's Blood Angels. Andy won the roll off and elected to go first.


Turn 1:

Svengril looked down from the eyes of his Psyber Raven and watched as the enemy mechanised column rumbled forward. His attenton was immediately brought back into focus as he heard a Drop Pod land in front of his Rhino. He waited expentantly for something to step out but nothing did. "Hmm," he thought, "interesting" He heard the thuds of Autocannon shells impacting against a Razorback, blowing off the Twin-Linked Lascannon turret. On the other side of the Space Wolves position more Autocannon shells exploded in the Long Fangs' position. Their armour was equal to the fusilade and they all survived.

The Long Fangs on the right open fire at the Dreadnought that had shot at them and managed to blow one of its arms off. Svengril himself fired Living Lightning at the other enemy Dreadnought wrecking it. The second Long Fang pack destroyed the enemy Rhino. In the Space Wolves' lines the Dreadnought ripped the Drop Pod to pieces. Svengril smiled, if his forces continued to do this well he wouldn't need reinforcements.

End of Turn 1:

Turn 2:

A second Drop Pod crashed into the Space Wolf lines, instantly wiping the smile from Svengril's face. The Assault Squad inside split into two Combat Squads as they exited the Pod, one half with two Meltaguns in, tokk aim at Svengril's Rhino. He braced for impact but both shots missed. The other Combat Squad opened fire at the Long Fangs but failed to cause any wounds. Meanwhile the enemy Land Raider made sure that it was well hidden behind the central ruin.

The Space Wolf Dreadnought opened fire and then charged into the Assault Marine interlopers. Meanwhile on the far side of the battlefield the Wolf Scouts entered the fray. With a single Meltagun shot the enemy Razorback was reduced to scrap metal. Long Fang fire took out another couple of enemy Marines across the battlefield and a Land Speeder. The Dreadnought tore two Marines to pieces and the survivor decided that his best course of action was to leave the fight. Even though things were going well for the Wolves, Svengril had a problem. There were four very angry looking Assault Marines about to crash into one of his Long Fang packs.

End of Turn 2:

Turn 3:

Svengril laughed out loud as the Assault Squad tripped over the rocks between them and the Long Fangs not once but twice. He then threw his head back and laughed again as the enemy Land Raider managed to immobilise itself.

His mood was futher improved as all of his reinforcements showed up. Two Multimelta shot failed to damage the raider but the Vindicator's Demolisher Cannon made short work of it. In the Space Wolves' deployment zone the enemy Assualt Squad managed to get to their feet just in time for the Dreadnought to open fire on them and then charge them. The battle was short and deadly as the Dreadnought wiped the squad out. Further firepower took down the remaining member from the other Combat Squad. The Wolf Scouts charged the enemy squad whose Rhino had previously been destroyed but the combat ended in a stalemate. Svengril could now see the enemy leader and his squad, if he could wipe them out the battle would belong to the Space Wolves.

End of Turn 3:

Turn 4:

The enemy were running out of troops and running out of options but they were still well placed to claim the Objectives and steal victory from the grasp of the Space Wolves. Autocannon fire from the Dreadnought shot down a Land Speeder. The remianing Land Speeder Typhoon blew the Demolisher Cannon off the Vindicator while the Thunder Hammer and Storm Shield Terminators charged into the Lone Wolf. The Librarian struck first and managed to cause a wound. The Lone Wolf, in pain and driven by the loss of him brothers in battle struck back with his Thunder Hammer and killed the Librarian. A smile crossed his lips as the rest of the Librarian's squad took him down in a flurry of attacks, he knew that he would be reunited with his squad in the Halls of Russ. In the other combat the Wolf Scouts were finally cut down, although they had managed to take some of the enemy squad with them.

The squad who had wiped out the Wolf Scouts found that their victory was short lived as Assualt Cannon fire reduced the squad to just one Marine. Further Assault Cannon fire blew all of the weapons off the Land Speeder. Lascannon fire from the Razorback and fire from the Long Fangs saw just two Terminators remain. Meanwhile the Land Speeder levelled its Multimelta against the Dreadnought and blew it sky high. Svengril knew that it was only a matter of time before the enemy were wiped out. But time was one luxury he was running out of.

End of Turn 4:

Turn 5:

The remaining enemy Marines tried to find some cover while the two Terminators charged the Land Speeder. One managed to hit which shook up the crew.
The remaining Tactical Marine was shot down while further fire brought down the enemy Land Speeder. Another Terminator was killed as Svengril's men looked to claim the objectives.
End of Turn 5:

Turn 6:

The remaining Terminator charged into the five Grey Hunters that were waiting for him. They Counter Attacked and killed him before he even got to swing his mighty Thunder Hammer. With his death the four remaining enemy Marines fled. The Spaces Wolves had won the day.
End of game:


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