Sunday, 31 October 2010

Something Changed

(Two Pulp references in a week!)

With my first tournament over, I find myself asking the same questions as Michael: Where next? I've got four weeks until my next one which is the Freebootaz Open held at Maelstrom. Now, last time I was up there they had some fantastic boards full of LoS blocking terrain and even though they've had a refurb, I expect it to still be pretty similar. Hence, a lot of my long range firepower loses its usefulness. I also want to learn the lessons from Open War as I tweak my list. I also want to put something together that will work well moving forward beyond the next tournament. So, this list has clearly has three objectives (chocolate, a toy AND a surprise!)


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

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

So, the biggest difference here is going with an extra Priest. I think that from the middle of November we'll see a lot of Dark Eldar flying around and getting 2D6 S7 shots at infinite range with BS5 is bound to be a winner. It's my understanding that the new DE Codex has a piece of wargear that makes you subtract 12" from your range when shooting at their vehicles. Well, as a mathematician I can confirm that Infinity - 12 is still Infinity. I've also brought back my favourite power - Murderous Hurricane. No-one likes Dangerous Terrain tests least of all dedicated assault units.


7 Wolf Guard, 5 with Combi-Melta, Power Weapon, 2 with Combi-Melta

These guys are the response to my leadership issues that I had at Open War. The two without the Power Weapons go with the Rune Priests' squads and the other 5 go with the other squads.

6 Wolf Scouts, Meltagun

Lone Wolf, Chainfist, Storm Shield


7 Grey Hunters, Plasma Gun, Rhino

7 Grey Hunters, Plasma Gun, Rhino

5 Grey Hunters, Meltagun, Razorback, Twin-Linked Lascannon

5 Grey Hunters, Meltagun, Razorback, Twin-Linked Lascannon

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

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

With the Heavy Support section going I felt that I needed to keep the Razorbacks in to supply mobile firepower. Every unit has a Power Weapon courtesy of the Wolf Guard so they're potentially a threat in combat.

Fast Attack

Land Speeder, Multi-Melta, Heavy Flamer

Land Speeder, Multimelta, Heavy Flamer

Land Speeder, Multimelta, Heavy Flamer

With there not being much room to drive around especially for the bigger vehicles, being able to block really comes into its own.

The big difference with this list compared to my old one is the flexibility. For example I can keep this one totally in reserve if the opponent and mission dictate it. Is this army as good as my current one? I'm not sure. I think that my current one would easily outshoot this one. However, with some judicious use of Smoke Launchers I think that I can get this list into midfield (especially at Maelstrom) and once it's there it will be pretty hard to shift. I want to test this list but I'm already thinking about potential changes, namely dropping the Scouts and Lone Wolf for a pair of Predators which I could put at the head of my mechanised assault giving mobile AV13 cover.

The First Heretic - A review

I hope that there are no spoilers in here. If there are feel free to put a Chainsword down my throat.

I will start by saying how much I loved this book. I have been disappointed with how the Horus Heresy has been going following Fulgrim. The first 5 were explosive and delivered everything that I wanted but for me they have got stale. I know many enjoyed Legion but I wasn't a fan, I really disliked Battle for the Abyss which just seemed to forget that Word Bearers were actually Space Marines not Imperial (Star Wars) Storm Troopers with very bad aim and I found the two Dark Angels books fairly pointless however we are most certainly back with a bang.

The First Heretic delivered everything a Horus Heresy book should. It answered questions but still left us wanting more. It made us care for both the heroes and the villains and it leads nicely into stories further on in the series.

The book follows the tragic Word Bearer captain Argel Tal who is coerced into playing a major part in the heresy while he tries to deal with turning on friends purely to pursue his enemies. While following his journey we see many important players in different lights, Magnus being the voice of reason, Guilliman as the enemy, Kor Phaeron as the father and Lorgar as the betrayed.

So what did I love about the book.
First off the scale of it. It takes place over hundreds of years and it still manages to move at a fast pace without skipping over huge pieces of information. The secrets and answers it delivers aren't in your face. On chatting about the book after finishing it my Dad and I both realised that we hadn't put two and two together about different things. Also we get to visit places that remain so important in 40k 10,000 years later and finally it features the Custodes and they are AWESOME. I was so angry when I finished Thousand Son's because it didn't portray the Custodes as I saw them, a step above Astartes and a step below Primarchs. Finally in First Heretic we saw them as the killing machines they are.

Of course it wasn't all good. Some of the combat was a little fragmented and the final face off was over far too quickly but they are minor issues. I really did love this book and I look forward to Aaron Dembski-Bowden's next work.

Saturday, 30 October 2010


Yesterday, we were trying to come up with a good BA/SW doubles list for a tournament at the end of November. I made the comment that we needed something balanced rather than the slightly crazy lists we were trying to come up with. This has led me to the following:

Blood Angels

Librarian, Shield of Sanguinius, another power (possibly the S10 one)

5 Assault Marines, Meltagun, Razorback, Twin-Linked Assault Cannon

5 Assault Marines, Lightning Claw, Meltagun, Razorback, Twin-Linked Assault Cannon

Furioso Dreadnought, Blood Talons, Heavy Flamer, Extra Armour, Drop Pod

Dreadnought, Twin-Linked Autocannon, Twin-Linked Autocannon

The libby goes with the unit without the Lightning Claw so that both units have a Power Weapon. He has Shield so that all of our vehicles can benefit from a 5+ save. The Dread Pods in on Turn 1 to either threaten enemy Heavy Weapon teams or hordes. The enemy will have to try and deal with the Dread and that should allow the rest of our army to move into position.

Space Wolves

Rune Priest, Chooser of the Slain, Living Lightning,

5 Grey Hunters, Plasma Gun, Rhino

5 Grey Hunters, Meltagun, Razorback, Twin-Linked Lascannon

5 Grey Hunters, Meltagun, Razorback, Twin-Linked Lascannon

Land Speeder Typhoon

6 Wolf Scouts, Meltagun, Mark of the Wulfen

This half supplies the long range firepower while the Scouts go Behind Enemy Lines.

This army is definitely a lot more balanced and I'm a lot happier with 5 scoring units. I'm still not sure about the Razorback load-outs though. BA can do Las/Plas very well on their fast vehicles. Well, that's what playtesting is for...

Lessons Learned from Rocky I to Rocky III

Three tough games and lots of tough lessons to learn. Here's what I've learned about my army and playstyle:

Tactical Inflexibility

With some things I'm really stuck in my ways. Listening to Andy and Michael talking between games 2 and 3 really made this stick out to me. They had come up with a plan to stop Michael's Rhinos being surrounded by Scarabs, hence blowing up and taking the occupants with them. Instead of deploying in the Rhinos, the Grey Hunters walked behind, thus getting cover from the vehicles but not risking being trapped inside. Also Michael talked about the fact he'd placed his Rune Priest with his Long Fangs in that game rather than with a Grey Hunter pack as he knew he wouldn't need the psychic defence. I never do anything like that. My Rune Priest always goes with the same squad regardless of whether that is the best place for him or not. My Wolf Scouts always deploy Behind Enemy Lines in every game.Yes, it's a cool rule but it's not always advantageous. I am also fixated by my Long Fangs being able to shoot every turn. There are definitely times when it might be better for them to move to another position so that shooting is easier the next turn. This is definitely something I need to think about if I want to step up to the next level.

Counter Attack Units

I have two counter attack units in my list - the Dreadnought and the Lone Wolf. Their job is to prevent my firebase from being attacked. However in all three games they both went merrily charging up the board and in all three games I lost a Long Fang pack in close combat. In the first game the Lone Wolf should definitely have been around when the Blood Crushers arrived. In the second game it was probably right to charge them forward to try and get them into contact with the Land Raiders. However, in the third game my Lone Wolf was busy trying to kill an immobilised Land Raider instead of protecting his mates.


I failed 4 Leadership tests in the first game, 2 in the second and another in the third. Now, one of those was against Ld10 and that was just unlucky. However, it has made me realise that Ld8 isn't all it's cracked up to be. Normally, I'm okay making the tests and I could pass it off as just a bad day but 7 failed tests is bad news (and that doesn't even include Counter Attack tests) There are two clear options here. Either I can take some Wolf Guard and bump up that Leadership to 9 or I can tell my dice that I'm rolling for armour penetration as that always seems to guarantee that I roll low.

I also learned a few things about attending a tournament:

Check then Re-check

As I was getting my minis out at the start of the day I realised that I was missing a Grey Hunter! Potential disaster. Fortunately my army lives at my girlfriend's house and she was only a ten minute drive from the venue. However, since she was working the night shift on Saturday I don't think she was very happy about being woken up. So, even though she'll never read this I'd like to pass my undying gratitude to Rachel.

Clean those ears out

For the entire duration of my third game against Matt I kept calling him Nick. I'd like to blame this on my hearing (I failed my hearing test during my medical for my current job - all those years standing in front of amps on stage take their toll) and my lack of sleep.

Don't moan about lack of sleep

I wasn't very happy at having to get up at 7:00 on a Saturday. It's bad enough doing that in the week and as we all know weekends are for lie-ins. However, when Chris told me that he had to get up at 3:00 in the morning to get to Warhammer World as he lived the other side of Norwich it rather put some perspective on matters. Too much perspective as Spinal Tap might say.

Journal for Plague Lovers

So, a quick recap. Game 1, lots of high toughness Troops with Feel No Pain. Game 2, lots of Land Raiders. What could game 3 possibly bring? Ah yes, lots of high toughness Troops with Feel No Pain IN Land Raiders. This time it was Matt's Death Guard Chaos Space Marine army. No offense to the other armies I aced but I think that Matt's was definitely the best painted of the three I played:

Matt's list:
2 x Daemon Prince
2 x 7 Plague Marines, Flamer, Power Fist
2 x 7 Plague Marines, 2 x Meltagun, Power Fist, Rhino
2 x Land Raider
Once again I win the roll off to go first but I try passing it over this time. Looking back this probably wasn't the best idea as I robbed myself a turn of shooting at unsmoked Land Raiders although in my defence I forgot that Chaos Space Marines didn't get Power of the Machine Spirit so I didn't think the Raiders would smoke. The main reason I did it is because I think I'm more of a reactive player rather than a proactive one and because I was hoping to make a last turn dive for Matt's deployment zone. In the end it was another tense game, I would probably just have nicked it if it had ended after turn five but Matt managed to get a squad of Plague Marines into my deployment zone on turn 6 while my Lone Wolf was about an inch away from his.
So, where did this one go wrong? Well, my deployment was good and I managed to demech those pesky Plague Marines quite quickly. The main problem was those two Daemon Princes flying around ripping stuff up left, right and centre. I also made two stupid mistakes. Firstly my Lone Wolf spent about three full turns trying to kill an immobilised Land Raider with his Chainfist. Not once in that time did I move him out of contact with the vehicle on my turn so that he could re-assault and gain another attack. He could potentially have finished it off quicker and then actually got down to the business of killing Plague Marines. Secondly, and even more stupidly I charged a Daemon Prince with my Rune Priest. I figured that with a couple of lucky dice rolls I could take him out. How wrong I was. The Priest and his squad were in Difficult and Dangerous Terrain after their Rhino exploded and I could see that they would get charged by the Prince next turn. However, I could have broken the Priest off from his squad and used his moved through cover to get to some Plague Marines that were the other side of the terrain. Then the squad could have Rapid Fired at the same squad. Living Lightning to follow and then a charge whereby the Priest gets to re-roll his misses. Oh and the fact I kept getting four hits a turn with both of my Assault Cannon Razorbacks but I never got more that two wounds (on 3+) but I can't blame the dice for my own tactical shortcomings.
Man of the match for me? Hard to say, everyone did okay and no-one really stood out.

Friday, 29 October 2010

Back to the drawing board

Well, back to the stationer's to get a whole new drawing board.

After our uber-list got trashed we've decided to go back to the drawing board. Even though we made some mistakes and were unlucky with the dice, it made us realise that running a dual hammer list probably isn't going to be that viable. Plus, from a personal point of view, I wasn't really that keen on doing a load more painting after have spent the last month or so getting my army ready for Open War. Hence, we need to put together a more balanced list based on the models I already have.

Andy has come up with two more potential lists:

Codex: Space Marines

Librarian, Gate of Infinity, Null Zone

Dreadnought, Twin-Linked Autocannon, Twin-Linked Autocannon

5 Scouts, Camo Cloaks, Sniper Rifles, Missile Launcher

8 Scouts, Combat Blades, Power Fist, Melta Bomb

Land Speeder Typhoon

Land Speeder Typhoon

Thunderfire Cannon

Obviously Andy is a big fan of the Thunderfire Cannon and I can't really argue when he points out that against a horde on a 4x4 board, it will be almost impossible to miss. Meanwhile the Libby goes with the Snipers and teleports them to a scoring position late in the game. The other Scouts Outflank while the rest of the army supplies long range support.

I'm a bit worried that the snipers will probably only get two turns of shooting before they get assaulted but we'll see how they go. I would suggest some Thunder Hammer Terminators but the way Andy was rolling his 2+ saves on Thursday, it's probably best if they stay on the shelf.

Codex: Blood Angels

Reclusiarch, Jump Pack

5 Death Company, Jump Packs, Thunder Hammer, Infernus Pistol

Death Company Dreadnought, Blood Talons, Drop Pod

5 Scouts, Combat Blade, Power Fist

Baal Predator

A more in your face list this time. I like the fact that it comes at you from all directions at once, although having only one scoring unit is a bit of a concern.

Now, I came up with a list I really liked:

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

Lone Wolf, Terminator Armour, Storm Shield, Chainfist
5 Wolf Scouts, Melta Gun

Dreadnought, Twin-Linked Autocannon, Twin-Linked Autocannon

5 Grey Hunters, Plasma Gun, Rhino

5 Grey Hunters, Meltagun, Razorback, Twin-Linked Lascannons

5 Grey Hunters, Meltagun, Razorback, Twin-Linked Lascannons

I was trying to decide between the Lone Wolf and the Scouts when I realised that the list would be illegal with either of Andy's lists. You need to have a selectition in each of the FOC slots before you can take a another. Hmm, so either Lone Wolf or Scouts or Dreadnought. I like the Lone Wolf as he can be a right PITA to kill, especially for small squads. The Scouts are brilliant on such a small board as they can present a threat anywhere. On the other hand the Dreadnought offers light vehicle popping at range and can tie up units in combat. I'm also torn on whether to take Lascannons or Assault Cannons on the Razorbacks.

Sienfeld was famously described as a show about nothing and this post feels similar as I don't feel any closer to actually coming up with a list I'm happy with. Each of the three here have parts that I'm happy with but it's a fool's errand trying to make a doubles list in a vacuum. I think we need to get together and hammer out something we're happy with and then test, test, test.

Speak to me Goose

A defeat and quite a chastising one last night. We assumed that our twin Land Raider with Mephiston list would merrily tear its way through anything put in front of it. However, even with hammer units you have to choose your targets carefully and that's something we didn't do. So, let's have a look what went wrong and see what we can do about it.


We charged him into Michael's Wolf Lord on Thunderwolf an he easily cut him down in one round of combat. However, having done this he left himself open to being shot by pretty much everything on the board. In the end he failed a bucket load of 2+ saves, 4+ cover saves and 4+ Feel No Pain rolls. We clearly suffered from "ooh shiny" here. We'd only taken Mephy once before and he did pretty well but you never really learn how to use a unit until you've used him several times. With Mephiston, since he has such a high Initiative and since he can cast his S10 power in your opponent's Assault Phase, you can almost risk him being charged. If Michael's T-Lord had charged him, he would have cut him down and then been free to charge again on our following turn. We should have gotten him into combat with one of the bigger Troop squads as well. The Lord was never really going to be that much of a threat whereas the Grey Hunter squads could actually win the game.


Again, we thought our list was amazing and we thought that we could do no wrong with it. Big mistake. We managed to Steal the Initiative on Turn one and off we drove towards the middle of the board. In fact what we really wanted was for Dave and Michael to come to us a bit more. As it was we tried to engage them in very cramped conditions which made it hard for me to get all of my Blood Claws into combat. Speaking of which, we had a choice in our turn 5. Either try and kill half a dozen or so Assault Marines and a Librarian and take a draw or charge across the board and try and steal a win. Again, overconfidence led to us choosing option two. Then, our Land Raider became immobilised on Difficult Terrain and the Blood Claws couldn't really get into combat with the models that they needed to. Of course on their Turn 5, the jump packers joined what was left of this combat so there was no way we could even have won if the game had gone to Turn 6.


Not a big one this but worth noting nonetheless. I had a Wolf Tail Talisman on my Wolf Priest. I only took it because I had five points to spare. However, it would have given me a 1 in 3 chance of stopping the Librarian's Might of the Ancients power effect the Blood Claw squad. That could have meant that instead of killing on 2s he would have needed 4s. Okay, not really relevant in this game but it's one of those little things that's easily forgotten in the heat of battle.

Andy's Dice

We were a team so we're not going to apportion any blame. However, Mephiston has a 2+ save and Flamestorm Cannons kill Marines on a 2+. I don't think I've ever seen Andy roll so many 1s. He never rolls like that when he plays against me!

Clearly the last one is a joke but we need to sort out the first two if we're going to stay with this list. Land Raiders are good but they're by no means indestructible and the squads inside need to pick their targets better as does Mephiston. As always, we got a bit caught up in the killing and forgot about the actual mission. Plus ca change.

Four Horsemen

After the only argument of the day at lunch (what do you mean, stuffing OR Yorkshire pudding?!) I made my way to table 17 for my second game. Mark was already there and I could see that he had two Land Raiders on his tray. I expressed my dismay at this turn of events only for him to point out that he didn't have two Raiders. He had four. Speaking with Mark, it was apparent that he was a very good tournament player but this was one of his "fun" lists rather than a competitive one. Now, since I'd had trouble taking out one Raider in mine and Andy's practice games I was failing to see the fun in the list before the game.

Marks' list:

Chaplain, Terminator Armour

5 Assault Terminators, 4 with Thunder Hammer Storm Shield

Land Raider Redeemer

10 Tactical Marines, Plasma Cannon, Flamer

10 Tactical Marines, Plasma Cannon. Flamer



Land Raider

Land Raider

Land Raider Crusader, Multimelta

Now, the big mistake Mark made was borrowing my dice (I warned him that they were cursed!) Again, I won the roll off and decided to go first. My thinking was that I'd need as much shooting at those Raiders as possible if I was to stop them before they reached the Objectives and them my lines. I did a really good job of blocking with my Land Speeders and Dreadnought which kept the Land Raiders out of my face. In the end I wrecked one Raider and immobilised another one. Only one made it into my lines and that was right near the end of the battle where the Chaplain and his Termies charged into one of my Long Fang packs (that didn't end well for the Fangs) As the dust cleared I held two Objectives while Mark held one. Kill Points were equal and there were only two Victory Points in it so another really close game. Is there anything I could have done differently? Hmm, it's always a big ask to take out 4 Raiders but I probably should have infiltrated my Scouts rather than having them Behind Enemy Lines. As it was they came on turn two and hid in some terrain ready to make a counter attack around the two Objectives I claimed. However, in the end they popped out for one turn, killed a Combat Squad of Tactical Marines and then nipped back into cover. If I'd infiltrated them I could have left them closer to Mark's board edge with the possibility of a close range Melta shot. Yes, they'd have been a suicide unit but they would have been another blocking unit.

Onto Unit of the match - I'm tempted to go for my Dreadnought who lost both arms and became immobilised. However he was in base to base contact with an immobilised Land Raider and continued to attack it Black Knight style (I'll bite your legs off!) However, I think it has to go to my Rune Priest who managed to destroy both Razorbacks forcing the crucial scoring units out into the open and preventing a last minute Objective contest.

Thursday, 28 October 2010

Double Decker

Tonight Andy and I are taking on Michael and David at doubles in preparation for the Freebootaz Open (if it were a comic the cover would read, "Wolf against wolf in the Claws and Fists civil war!") Now, we've already put together a nasty looking list but I'd rather run a more rounded force. I'm happy with the Blood Angel half so I just need to put together a shooty Wolf half so that we can de-mech things for Mephiston & co to kill.

Wolf Guard Battle Leader, Frost Blade, Melta Bombs, Wolf Tail Talisman

Dreadnought, Twin-Linked Autocannon, Twin-Linked Autocannon

5 Grey Hunters, Meltagun, Razorback, Twin-Linked Lascannons

5 Grey Hunters, Meltagun, Razorback, Twin-Linked Lascannons

Land Speeder Typhoon

Predator, Lascannon Sponsons

So lots of shooting and, more importantly, lots of mobile shooting. The WGBL gives some assault threat although he could be dropped for a Rune Priest with Stormcaller to protect the Razorbacks.

Then I started to get a bit jealous of Andy running Mephiston and so I came up with this:

Logan Grimnar

8 Wolf Guard, 4 Combi-Meltas, 2 Power Weapons, 3 Melta Bombs, Storm Bolter, Drop Pod

6 Wolf Guard, Terminator Armour, Power Fist, Cyclone Missile Launcher

Turn 1 we get 4 S9 Melta shots at a transport. So with my luck that's a pen (weapon destroyed - Storm Bolter) and a glance (can't shoot) against a Rhino.

I quite like this second list since it's unlike anything that I've ever run. However, the more I look at the missions (which are a mix of 4th and 5th edition Rulebook missions) and the more I think about playing on a 4x4 board, the more I like our original two Raider list. Plus, having played against 6 of the things at the weekend I feel like it's time for some karmic payback.

The Number of the Beast

Before the tournament I said that I was worried about playing an army I'd never seen before such as Daemons. So, what did I get first game? Yep, Daemons. Fortunately Chris was a great guy and he patiently took the time to explain what everything was in the army. I think that's what I was really worried about - playing a WAAC gamer who would just see me as a noob and try and table me. So, again, thanks go to Chris.

So, his army consisted of
4 Tzeentch Heralds
2 x 6 Slaanesh Fiends
5 x Bloodcrushers
4 x 5 Plaguebearers
2 x Soulgrinders
1 Daemon Prince
I have to say this was an absolutely brilliant game. The Objectives were table quarters and only Troops scored. In the end it went down my Land Speeder shooting at the last three Plaguebearers that were in one of Chris' quarters. The Heavy Flamer hit all three and the Multimelta hit. I caused three wounds so one on each. Chris failed all three invulnerable saves. Two left, two Feel No Pain rolls. One failed but one made and so it finished 1-0 on Objectives. Chris absolutely battered me on Kill Points though.
So, where did it all go wrong? Well, my deployment was pretty stupid. I won the roll to go first and deployed pretty centrally. There was a hill to the left, just outside my deployment zone. I could have stuck my Long Fangs near that and ran up it in turn 1 to get a better view of the battlefield. I also set up my Razorbacks behind my Long Fangs. At the time I thought it would be a brilliant way to shoot my Lascannons over the top of my Fangs but of course it meant that I couldn't move my Razorbacks. My target selection was also poor. I became pretty downhearted at how difficult the Daemons were to kill with their multiple wounds, invulnerable saves and Eternal Warrior. Had I deployed in the corner I could have sat there and used my range to keep those nasty Daemons away. My dice really didn't help either as I failed four Leadership tests including one on my Rune Priest which saw him and the rest of his squad run off the board.
So, unit of the match? Without a doubt it was the Wolf Scouts. They managed to kill 10 Plaguebearers and hence almost nicked me a draw.

Wednesday, 27 October 2010

Do You Remember The First Time?

Well, Andy has started his review of Open War and Michael has posted his so it's time for mine. First up, here is our Claws and Fists team photo:

(L-R Andy, Gav, Michael)

Andy sorted out the t-shirts and I think we all looked very snazzy.

First up, I'd like to say I had a brilliant time, I was a bit nervous playing my first tournament but all of the guys I played were fantastic. My attempt at live-blogging the event went rather by the wayside as I was too focused on the games during them and too focused on the bar inbetween. However, I did manage to finish with a W1 D1 L1 record on the day which left me in 35th place. Another couple of Kill Points here or there and I could have finished in the top 30. Ah well, it wasn't meant to be. To be honest I was a bit like Michael going into the tournament - anywhere but last! With that in mind 35th (out of 66) feels pretty good. I do feel I let my team down a bit though as they both managed "massacres" (25 Battle Points) and I didn't.

However, I did manage to be the only winner in the team courtesy of the raffle:

I have a slightly crazed look as I'm thinking about what else I need to make a Dark Elf army (hmm, War Hydra anyone?)

Over the next fews days I'll post a game by game account of my first ever tournament so everyone can see the mistakes I made and then I'll finish it off with a general review of my list...

Where next with my army?

As already stated my next tournament outing will be the Caledonian Uprising which is being held in order to raise money for the Scottish ETC team. The army restrictions are very similar to that Open War 14. 1750 points, no special characters ect. Which means I do not plan to change my Open War 14 Army to drastically (which can be found here) however tweaks will have to be made but from where? I have only 7 weeks before the army list is due in so not a lot of time for play testing.

If I go through my list I know it isn't an ultra competitive list but I don't want it to be. I love using Thunderwolves but they do take up a lot of points when coupled with my Thunderlord. But lets face the facts when they hit something it dies. The only thing they have failed against is Mephiston and a squad of death company and that was when my opponent through misunderstanding attached him to the squad.

My thoughts however lead me to think that 4 Thunderwolves might be over kill in many situations so there is my first thought on what to take out.

A rune priest is a must for a wolf army. As I learnt in Open war the ability to block 50% of all psychic powers. I certainly won't be getting rid of a rune priest but do I want to bolster him? I certainly liked the idea of the 3 Rune Priest army that Adam from Space wolves Grey ran at open war and although I wouldn't go that far a two Rune Priest army is certainly tempting.

My troops won't be touched bar to remove a special weapon if I do attempt the 2 Rune Priest army so I can make sure I have mobility on the table to counter any psychic attacks (which clearly I didn't do on Saturday). I realise many wolf players favour small more mobile packs in razorbacks but I love the knowledge that when coupled with a wolf standard 9-10 Grey Hunters will destroy pretty much anything.

So that leaves me with two things to change my Heavy support and my elites.

Long fangs for me are one of the best units of the game. There are many combinations you can have, they are cheap and if nothing else you can put out 5 missile launchers that will cause any army a note of panic.

So finally I come to my scouts. If you have read my entry on Open War they caused me a few issues both through my stupidity in forgetting to bring them on AND in the inability to roll for them to come on. They are also the most fragile unit in my army. 4+ save makes a big difference BUT they have the outstanding ability of removing from play those nasty high AV artillary pieces that are often placed at the rear of the board. If the melta gun and plasma pistol fails melta bombs rarely do.

So a plan of action is formed. I am going to be putting away the mantra of 'Never leave the fang without some scouts' and move towards the more big guns you have the better. My Scouts cost me a combined total of 125 points, add on to that the 5 points from the rune priests melta bombs which if I am honest were added on purely to make up the points. I know have 130 points for an extra squad of long fangs or some other heavy support possibly a vindicator.

4 Long Fangs + a squad leader would stretch to 75 points leaving me with 55 points to add on for weapons which would give me a lascannon (25 points) and 3 missile launchers at 10 points a piece.

OR I could add on the removal of a thunderwolf + his melta bombs and another grey hunter which are only there for wound allocation to provide 200 points for additions with that I could have a Rune Priest for 100 points. Which would of course leave me with 100 points 15 points or one Grey Hunter short of a Vindicator. Is the loss of a plasma gun toting Grey hunter worth a vindicator? Difficult but I will soon see I guess.

Tomorrow I will be helping Andy and Gav test their Free Booters doubles list however following that I will have 7 weeks to play test the two armies.

As normal constructive criticism is gladly welcome.

60% of the time, it works every time!

Game three arrived and I actually moved up a couple of tables, I'd managed to cram in a couple of pints in the interim so the disappointment of game two was well and truly behind me. I lined up against Myles and his Imperial Guard, from the sound of it he'd been having a tough day but IG are not my favourite thing to see lined up against me. This, however was not a list I am familiar with.

The set-up was diagonal deployment zones 18" in from each edge, the mission was to get units into your opponent's deployment zone with 2 points for scoring units and 1 point for each non-scoring unit. Bonus battle points could be gained from kill points as per the other missions.

My List

Myles's List (I didn't get a copy of his list so this is as close as I can do given that I know nothing about the details of the 'dex, it's about 100pts short but I've got all the units in there, just missed some upgrades):

Command Squad
Carapace Armour, Power Weapon, Chimera

Psyker Battle Squad

Veteran Squad
3x Plasma Guns
Veteran Squad
Heavy Flamer, 2x Flamers
Veteran Squad
3x Meltaguns
Veteran Squad
Lascannon Team


Leman Russ Punnisher
Punnisher Cannon, Lascannon, Heavy Bolters

I decided to combat squad my Tactical Squads, partly to give me more scoring units but also to give me more first turn firing. My deployment was pretty much along the line of my deployment zone except for the TFC which was on a hill at the back of my zone, I held my Tac Terminators and Scouts in reserve. Myles deployed his Vendettas (one empty and the other with the Melta Vets) to his far left, the Chimeras and Leman Russ along his lines, the Heavy Weapon team deployed in cover towards the back of his zone with the Manticores next to them. The Valkyrie squad stayed in reserve with the other Vet Squads inside.

Frankly this game did not go well for my opponent and I seemed to be able to do nothing wrong. The Landspeeders had taken out his Chimeras by turn 3 so when my Assault Terminators made it to his lines they were able to eat his Leman Russ, Psyker Squad and Command Squad one after the other. The TFC and Land Raider broke the Vet Heavy Weapons Squad and even after the TFC was blown up the Techmarine gunner managed to route and chase down the flamer Vet Squad pretty much single handed. The scouts assaulted and ran down the Plasma Vets after a fantastically convenient 3rd turn reserve roll followed by the right out-flanking roll. Likewise the Tactical Terminators came in at the perfect moment, I Deep Struck them aggressively and they were able to take out the Melta Vet's Valkyrie and the squad inside didn't make it past the next turn. Basically I had probably the best dice I've ever had!

Conversely, the Guard could not hit a thing, not one of the Manticore large blasts deviated less than 4", the Punnisher Cannon managed only 3 glancing hits on a single Landspeeder before it was dispatched. 10 vets only managed to put 2 wounds on my techmarine who managed to run them down in a single round of combat. It was extremely one sided through not fault of my opponent, his dice just totally deserted him. He kept really up beat despite all this and played the game out to the end (it went the full 7 turns).

The final result was a 25-8 win to me and while it was great to get a win it felt very unfair on my opponent who I don't think put a foot wrong tactically, sometimes the dice just don't want to play, I think we've all been there.

Anyway, that was the end of the Open War for this year and I was very pleased to finish in 19th place out of the 66 people who attended. I was actually tied with Adam from the Space Wolves Blog who is a proper Internet Celeb, and he was on the table behind us in the first round so I got to say "hi!" and check out his minis. His army looks even better in person than it does in the pics on his blog posts and he seemed like a nice guy, it would have been great to have played him. Actually there were so many great armies present at the tourney I wish I could have played more games! But that's it until Open War 15, at least I've got the Feebootaz Open and the Unofficial UK 40K GT to keep me going in the meantime!

Tuesday, 26 October 2010

The joy of magnets

One of the beauties of the space wolf box set it the options is comes with. Thunder Hammers, frost axes, power swords, storm bolters, plasma guns anything and everything a blood claw claw could dream of but it also leads to a major issue. How to make all the options readily available. The answer is simple if not a little fiddly, magnets. I must warn you before you read on once you start magnetising your army you won't know when to stop.

Rare earth magnets really appeal to the science teacher in me, did you know you can get liquid magnets, they are awesome however I digress. I have been buying my magnets from here for the last 6 months and I find the 2mm x 1mm circular neodymium to work best for arm swaps.

You will also need
A hobby drill
A 2mm drill bit
Super Glue
and the key to the whole thing accelerant.

Acclerant for those who haven't used it before is a truly fantastic product. You apply it to one piece, apply super glue to another and hey presto you get an instant bond. I buy mine from Arcane Scenery.

Step 1
Quite an easy one, stick your body together and then drill holes into the positions where you would normally attach the arms. Drill slowly so there is only a thin layer of plastic remaining normally you will hear a slight crack and stop.

Step 2
Put a drop of glue into the hole and with the magnets still in a roll as shown in image one apply some accelerant to the end magnet. Put the magnet into the hole.

An instantaneous bond will form and this will allow you to easily identify the opposite pole of the magnet.

Step 3
Drill a hole into the item of war gear you want to attach (in this case a wolf claw) repeat step two using the opposite end of the roll of the magnets. Its easy to recheck by seeing which end will attract the body

And so the finished product.

I hope you found that valuable and I apologise for the quality of my photos David Bailey I am not.

Freebootaz Open UK

I just want to give a little shout out to the Freebootaz Open being held at Maelstrom on Nov 27th and 28th. Keith Buck is doing a great job securing sponsors and prize support and the venue is fantastic. For those of you who haven't been before it's well worth the trip up to Mansfield, apart from the fantastic gaming facilities (tables and terrain easily on par with Warhammer World ... if not better), the shop is stocked with all things Privateer Press, Wyrd Minatures, Battlefront and more besides and the staff are friendly, non-pushy and very knowledgeable.

Back to the tournament itself, Saturday is a non-comped 1750pt 40k Singles Tournament played over 4 rounds with custom missions and Sunday is a 1500pt 40k Doubles Tournament (750pts per player) again played over 4 rounds but this time with a mix of 4th and 5th edition, objective based missions.

Anyway it looks like it's going to be a great event and if you want some more info click here.

Image created by Klausmasterflex.

I am but a Fool

After my sloppy performance in game 1 I dropped down about 8 tables and faced off against Ed, a mech Blood Angels player who had also been down on his luck a little in the first game. The mission was 4 objectives; 2 pts for an objective held with a scoring unit, 1 pt for an objective contested with a scoring unit, Kill Points provided Bonus Battle Points and the deployment was in L-shaped zone 12” deep and half the width and length of the board in the corner of opposite table quarters.

My List

Ed’s List

Blood Lance, Shield of Sanguinius

Furioso Dreadnought
Frag Cannon, Meltagun; Drop Pod
Furioso Dreadnought
Frag Cannon, Meltagun; Drop Pod
Furioso Dreadnought
Blood Talons, Heavy Flamer, Meltagun; Drop Pod

Assault Squad
(5); Land Raider w. Multi Melta
Assault Squad
(5); Razorback w. TL Lascannon
Assault Squad
(5); Razorback w. TL Lascannon
Assault Squad
(5) Meltagun; Razorback w. TL Assault Cannon
Assault Squad
(5) Power Fist; Razorback w. TL Assault Cannon

Lascannon Sponsons, TL Lascannon Turret

I won the roll off this time and elected to go first as I had my eye on a nice piece of terrain to bolster and put my scout into for a late game objective run ;) Looking back on it I probably should have gone second given his speed and the fact that the game was set for 6 turns, last turn is a massive advantage in this sort of mission. But I was very concerned with his mass of long range shooting and I wanted the option to take out or stun-lock as much of it as possible as early as possible, with hindsight: I chose poorly (bad decision no.1)!

I set up my Scouts in bolstered ruins on the far right of my deployment zone with the two Land Speeders next to them out of line of sight, the TFC was set up on a hill right in the back corner and the Land Raider and Dreadnought were set up to the extreme left of the zone. I chose to reserve my two tactical squads in their Rhinos and also chose to deep strike my Tactical Terminators. Ed used his Land Raider and Predator to give covert to the Assault Cannon and Lascannon Razorbacks respectively, the Dreads were in the pods in reserve.

Turn 1 went really well for me wrecking the Predator taking the weapon off a Lascannon Razorback and shaking the other. I also hit his Land Raider with an Earthshaker round from the TFC and would you believe it, he rolled a 1 for his dangerous terrain test in his first movement phase … the TFC strikes again! His alpha-strike Dreads took out my rifleman Dread and the Land Raider, one was pounded to death by the disgruntled Assault Termies and the other looked to be turning it’s attentions towards my TFC.

Both my Rhinos made an appearance next turn, one zooming on 12” to capture the nearest objective on my left flank, the other, rather stupidly placed itself between the TFC and the Furioso. It would have looked a lot cleverer if the two Melta shots the crew fired had destroyed the Dread but they could only stun it and now it looked like a precious scoring unit would have to stick around to finish off the job (bad decision no.2)

The next few turns are a bit of a blur and contained other little mistakes which ended up adding up to a whole big mess on my part and turning what was looking pretty good into an unwinnable position by the bottom of turn 6. Here are some of the key moments:

On turn 3 I decided to break my scouts from the bolstered ruins to get into cover closer to an objective, they didn’t quite make the dash in one turn and one got picked off out in the open. Also this turn I got my Tac Terminators and decided to deep strike them in behind the Land Raider for an easy kill point, while this meant he could only get a single lascannon shot on them they were miles out of position to help in contesting objectives and supporting my scoring units. They even spent a turn stood still when I forgot to assault them into the Raider loosing a precious turn of movement – they did explode the raider next turn though.

My Assault Terminator squad, (after killing his Blood Taloned Furioso Dread) spent the entire game milling about in midfield, I didn’t commit them anywhere and my Scouts really needed to be reinforced. The Tac Squad I’d brought on to support my TFC (how stupid does that sound) had it’s Rhino blown up by a Lascannon in turn 3 and so had to spend a turn shooting the Furioso to ensure that it could not lock them into combat and so, as they were now on foot, they could not make it into position to reach an objective by the end of the game and ended up in no-man’s land.

Ed on the other hand was making all the right moves, his two remaining mobile razorbacks were moving out along the board edges towards objectives and the remainder of his forces were coming up the middle to contest the objective I was heading for. At the bottom of turn 6 he was in position to take an objective I was not contesting, to assault the depleted scout unit on one objective and to move a single marine I had neglected to kill to contest the other objective I held. The assault went badly for the scouts and they were wiped out.

So at the end of the game he had 5 points from 2 objectives and 1 contested and I only scored 1 point for the objective I had contested which gave him a win by 13 – 7. However the final score (taking into account Battle Bonus Points) was 18-17 to Ed, very much closer thanks to the fact that I took 11 Kill Points for the maximum 10 bonus points, Ed could only manage 5 bonus points. That should have given me some comfort but in truth I was so completely frustrated with myself for making so many basic mistakes that I just couldn’t take anything positive away from this game.

Ed was great to play against, really nice guy and to his huge credit he really kept his head together after what must have been a pretty demoralising first couple of turns when I took out so much of his army with some hugely lucky dice rolls. He stuck to his task, positioned himself really well and I was so full of blood-lust (I was so confident that I was going to win I just concentrated on getting kill points) that I just didn’t notice what he was doing until it was too late. Fortunately for me my killing spree of the first couple of turns managed to keep the game to pretty much a draw as far as the final score was concerned. But tactically I was outplayed and I give my opponent full credit for a well won victory.

Monday, 25 October 2010

Tournament fever well and truly caught.

I arrived at Open War with one goal in mind - don't come last. So why after a mid table finish do I feel so underwhelmed?

My list

Wolf Lord
Thunderwolf Mount
Storm Shield
Thunder Hammer
Fenrisian Wolf x 2
Saga of the Bear

Rune Priest
Living Lightning
Murderous Hurricane
Chooser of the slain
Melta Bombs


Wolf Scouts x 5
Melta Gun
Melta Bombs
Plasma Pistol


Grey Hunters x 9
Wolf Standard
Mark of the Wulfen
Power Weapon

Grey Hunters x 10
Meltagun x 2
Wolf Standard
Mark of the Wulfen
Power Weapon

Grey Hunters x 10
Plasma Gun x 2
Wolf Standard
Mark of the Wulfen
Power Weapon
Fast Attack

Thunderwolf Cavalry x 4
Storm Shield
Wolf Claw
Melta Bombs
Heavy Support

Long Fangs x 6
Lascannon x 2
Missile Launcher x 3

Long Fangs x 6
Heavy Bolter x 3
Plasma Cannon x 2

The morning started with a pint and a face off with an Imperial Guard list.
It all started so well. I faced 16 vehicles, Chimeras mainly with a Manticore, 2 squadrons of the AA guns (can't quite remember the names) and 2 Valkyries and most importantly a psyker battle squad who I had never come up against. First couple of turns went well, dispatched the Valkyries and a squad of guard. Forgot to attempt to bring my behind enemy lines scouts but no big deal and only lost a couple of heavy bolter marines. And then the battle squad hit. Who knew they could reduce my leadership to 2? Thunderwolves off the table, 1 squad of grey hunters off the table, plasma long fangs decimated and again I had forgot about my scouts.

I narrowly avoided getting tabled by hiding but it was a white wash. My own stupidity cost me, I never moved my rune priest towards the battle squad to negate their powers along with forgetting my scouts. In the end I had 12 points to add on my 25 for painting so the day was going well I was not bottom.

Second game pitted me against one of my frequent opponents Steve. A very good necron player who schooled me on only Thursday night with this two monolith list. I have to say I had some monumental luck. The first bit being that I had played him on Thursday night, I knew what he was capable of and I knew that he would be attempting to surround my Rhinos with scarabs so I couldn't disembark and blow them up. On discussion with my team mates I went for the approach of not putting anything in my rhinos and just walking behind them. My second bit of luck came on my first turn when my first shot of the game destroyed a monolith taking a lot of points and more importantly Steve's ability to teleport in and out of combat and get those we will be back re rolls.

In the end the result wasn't nice. Not only did I table Steve on turn four but he only killed one and a half units giving him a paltry battle bonus of 1. The result also gave me the fear of moving up the table and facing someone far better than me.

And so for the last game I found myself on the lofty table 11 facing someone who Andy had actually heard of in gaming circles with a chaos army and I have to say I played the game perfectly. It was by far the best I have ever played. I shot everything when I had to, I charged to remove furious charge bonuses and my rune priest was superb. I was on the way to a famous victory and then we ran out of time. Turn 4 finished and I had killed 80% of his army while I still had 85% of mine left on the board. I needed only one turn to table him and receive 25 points, instead because of the general ship score I got a paltry 12. The same as in my first game when I was awful. It didn't seem fair.

I have reviewed the game many times and I don't think we were desperately slow. I don't think I am a slow player, I have never been accused as such before. My opponent requested a bathroom break and a drinks break in the game and I thought nothing of it.

I left the tournament with the realisation that I could have been in the top 10 if not for our poor timekeeping in the last game and I have to say I sulked something rotten on the drive home and it got even worse when I realised how silly I was acting when my goal was to not finish bottom.

I look forward to the next tournament I attend and hope that there will be one before the unofficial UK GT where I plan to cut out the silly mistakes.

Getting into 40k as an adult.

I thought I would make my first blog entry to just introduce myself. Like Gav I got into 40k about a year ago after a decade off. As a teenager I had a few minis, never brought the rule book because I just couldn't be bothered to read that much and never really finished painting anything.

However as an adult and an avid Science Fiction reader I grew to love the 40K universe! The first Black Library book I found myself reading was Wolfbalde and I loved it. Sitting next to my 40k things I have over 600 Marvel comics the majority of them containing the God of Thunder himself so its easy to see why Vikings in space who loved drinking, farting, feasting and fighting appealed to me.

The one thing that didn't appeal to me with 40k was the company them self, I had stopped buy books from Games Workshops because I was sick of their pushy sales staff constantly asking the same questions and trying to put the hard sell on me. there was never time to peruse the shelf's at my leisure because even if I avoided the staff I was being banged into by small children wielding poorly painted armies or the latest box that their parents HAD to buy.

Eventually however I relented and brought my first minis and some paints and painted some Ultramarines who although I don't think I did a bad job on I didn't love. I ventured into a store looking for some Wolves or Grey Knights (another favourite) and found that I had to order in Grey Knights and that Wolves were getting a codex so I was sold on some Black Templars Sword Brethren. I augmented these with an Ebay steal of 100 marines a couple of tanks and a land raider for 50 quid but I still rarely played with them. I found it hard to learn in store. I am surrounded by squabbling kids every day I didn't want to be on the weekends as well.

So September came around, I still hadn't played any games and yet a howling could be heard. At last the fabled wolves had been updated and I started constructing an army to play with. Now anyone who has seen my Army and I will get some pictures on here will attest I am sure that while not anywhere close to eavy metal standard on each one I had laboured some time and for that reason I didn't play until a month later when I attended the first company vets for the first time. Work kept me from going again until after the new year. In the December copy of White Dwarf you may recall an article about a game a week for a year well that was my resolution and it started well! A loss but I learnt something about my army and planned for the next week for disaster to strike! I was rushed into hospital to have major surgery that put me off my feet for the better part of two months.

Since then however I have stuck to my vow, slowly getting 'better' and learning about my army until Open War approached and I was gifted with that all important team Claws and Fists T Shirt.

Flying Battlewagons?!?

Open War 14 has been and gone and I've got to say it was a roller-coaster ride of a tournament for me. Actually it very closely mirrored the events of Open War 13 but with just a touch more drama. So here's the overview of the first game of the day:

Like most other tournaments I was up until gone 1am on the night before finishing up some painting and re-drilling the magnet holes on my Land Speeders, it just doesn't feel like a tournament unless you turn up a little short on sleep! This time however, my wife would be driving Gav and I to the venue and picking us up afterwards so beer was go! Awesome :)

First game was against Harry and his four Battle Wagon Ork List, I've played Harry and this list before and although I knew I was in for a tough game I did think I had a decent chance to at least run him close. The mission was table quarters with pitched battle deployment, 2 points for each troop in either of your opponents table quarters, 1 point for troops in your own table quarters, no points for contested quarters.

My List

Harry's Orks:

Mega Armour, Boss Pole, Cybork Body
Big Mek
KFF, Heavy Armour

(5) 4x combi-shoota/skorcha; Battlewagon (RPJ, Armour Plates, Deff Rolla, Big Shoota, Riggers)
(18) Nob, PK, Heavy Armour
(18) Nob, PK, Heavy Armour
(18) Nob, PK, Heavy Armour
(10) Runtheard

(3) Twin Linked Rokkit Launchas
(3) Twin Linked Rokkit Launchas
(3) Twin Linked Rokkit Launchas

RPJ, Armour Plates, Deff Rolla, Big Shoota, Riggers
RPJ, Armour Plates, Deff Rolla, Big Shoota, Riggers

I went first and deployed fairly tightly in the centre of my zone and outflanked my Scouts, Harry set up his Battle Wagons on my right flank and his buggies on my left. My plan was to make a big mess in the middle of the board (the terrain lay out meant that this would slow his advance to my left flank), force him to get out of his wagons so I could get stuck into his troops with some TFC and Typhoon goodness.

It didn't exactly go down like that and early doors we both wiped out our opposing left flanks, I took out his buggies and he took out my Tac Termies and Dread. But while this was going on I did manage to get him to focus some of his attention towards the centre of the board and my TFC did manage to pay for itself routing a squad of boys and taking out 2 units of the buggies on its own. In the end it was destroyed by a magical Battle Wagon that could apparently tank shock and Deffrolla units on the 1st floor of a ruin.

At the time I couldn't be bothered to argue the point, even though I thought it a bit dubious, so I deferred to my opponent's apparent greater knowledge, but looking back over the rules I don't believe this is possible as I'm sure vehicles cannot go above ground floor in ruins. Fortunately this did not turn out to be particularly key to the result and Harry took the game 23-12: he had both of my table quarters and I only contested his but he managed to take 10 Kill points off me and I only managed 5 of his.

Key points in the game were my inability to blow up any of his Battle Wagons particularly when I had managed to clog up two large units of boys in the middle of the table, the resulting explosions could have swung the game. I also had some trouble making 2+ saves and my Termies (tactical and assault) went down without much of a fight. The TFC and the Scouts were the two units that kept me in the game, the Scouts were able to contest a table quarter thanks to a good outflanking roll and the TFC accounted for 3 of my 5 kill points, don't leave home without one!

One last incident of note was a bold attempt by my Librarian to ID his Warboss, I charged him out of my immobilised Land Raider, managed to hit twice and luck seemed to be with me as I rolled a five, sadly he made his 5+ invulnerable and I didn't have to take my leadership check for Force |Weapon him out. My Libby was no match for his Power Klaw on the return swings.

Anyway, it was a good game and not a bad start to the day given the callibre of my opponent, I figured things would probably get better from here on in.

Saturday, 23 October 2010

Draw the Line

And a draw in the third game. It could have gone either way and I'd have probably nicked it if it had ended turn 5 but it was another great game. Matt's Death Guard army were fantastically painted and a draw was a fair result. Although if I never see a dual Raider list again I'll be happy...

The winner takes it all

Wow, another close game against another excellent opponent. I managed to eke out a 2-1 Objective victory against a quad(!!!!) Raider Space Marine list.

So Close

Game 1 against Daemons. I lost by 1 objective on the last roll of the game (a FNP roll). It was a great game though finished 21-16 in terms of battlepoints. Chris was a great opponent and it was a really enjoyable game.

I choose you

Here it is then, my 'secret project', a Chooser of the Slain:CotSIt's one of the Servo Skulls from the Devastator box :-)

Friday, 22 October 2010

We need to talk about Vinny

My Vindicator has not exactly been a roaring success in the last couple of weeks and I think it's time for a last minute tactical re-appraisal of its role. In my first couple of test games I started with it on the board and found that it normally got taken out in turn 1 as everyone is scared of that S10 large blast template. Then I had a bit of success with keeping it in reserve as this can protect it for the first couple of turns and when it comes on there is usually something in range. However, I'm still too aggressive with it no matter how I deploy. If I'm lucky I get two shots off. Now, do I take this as a good thing, stick the Vindi out front as a mobile AV13 bullet catcher that protects the rest of my shooting elements? Or do I hide it out of LoS and try and use it purely as area denial?

I actually think that there aren't any hard or fast rules about this. Against a primarily close combat army I'll probably be as well to hide it if possible or else keep it off the board as it's a deterrent to the enemy getting too near (even though in two of the Open War missions they have to get near) Against a purely shooty army, it's tempting to start it on the board and let it protect the important bits of my army.

I can't believe that I've still not locked down its mission this close to the tournament. However, I'm also perfectly aware that it is just a placeholder until the Thunderwolves coming out (I promise I'll stop moaning about them at some point!) In the end I need to take the view that it's there to make my opponent make bad choices and if it kills anything then that's a bonus.


Last night after getting comprehensively thumped by Andy I went home and continued my prep for saturday. I've sorted out the squad markings for all of the squads and I based the Dreadnought. All I need to do tonight is drybrush some guns and do a few touch-ups on some minis. Oh, and my very quick, secret project. Looks like I might actually be finished in time...

Thursday, 21 October 2010

All your base are belong to us

Phew, it took a while but finally my entire army is based. I did it in one long session last night and it means that I can count on 5 more battlepoints for Open War. Well, I say entire army, it is all done apart from the Dreadnought. I'm not sure whether to do something different with his slightly scenic base. Although constraints of time and skill mean that it will probably just end up the same as the rest.

If I can get my girlfirend Rachel to do the faces for me tomorrow (she did the face for the Scout in the centre of the pic above) then all I'll have left to do is finish my Rune Priest, do some squad markings and do a few touch ups with Adeptus Battlegrey. Simple.

Wednesday, 20 October 2010

I Wish

Three days left until Open War and I still can't stop thinking about my list even though it's all been finalised. I'm still not totally convinced by the Vindicator and the Dreadnought. In the end I got to thinking about Thunderwolves and what I could run if I dropped both of those units. Hmm, that would be 255 points...

Wolf Guard Battle Leader, Thunderwolf Mount, Wolf Claw

5 S5 I5 Power Weapon Attacks on the charge with re-rolls either To Hit or To Wound. Nice.

Thunderwolf Cavalry, Thunder Hammer, Storm Shield

5 S10 on the charge with a 3++ save. Also nice.

That actually leaves me with 10 points to spare so I'd probably give them both Melta Bombs as well. These are both designed as counter-charge units, they can hide behind my Razorbacks and then pick their targets with their 6" move, Fleet and 12" charge range. They're not super-killy but they are good enough to add a dedicated assault element to my army.

Obviously, another option would be to keep in the Dreadnought as he adds a useful tarpit against horde style armies and then just take the WGBL without the Melta Bombs instead of the Vindicator (and also dropping the Rune Priest's Saga) He could prove to be really useful against small, elite Assault units such as Sanguinary Guard.

Tuesday, 19 October 2010

Da Plan

Ork week may be over but as the title of this post demonstrates we've been left with some of the grammar. Anyway, with a mere four days left until Open War I thought that I'd better come up with a painting plan.

Tonight - Long Fang weapons, Land Speeder touch ups, Wolf Scout shoulder pads.

Wednesday evening - Rune Priest, start basing

Thursday afternoon - Faces for everyone without a helmet (to be done by my girlfriend Rachel. NB I haven't told her yet)

Thursday evening - Last practise game, squad markings

Friday evening - Last minute touch ups

Still a bit left to do but it feels achievable. Watch this space for updates...

Sunday, 17 October 2010

A bit of dis, a bit of dat

Now, I was very very tempted to post a dual Nob Biker list but I was worried that Andy would never speak to me again. So, instead, I've tried to come up with the balanced list that I alluded to here. The thing is, making a balance Space Marine army is easy. You take some shooty elements, some assaulty elements, some anti-tank elements and some anti-infantry elements stick it all in vehicles and call it a day. I don't really feel you can do this with Orks. As good as Lootas might seem, the random element is always waiting to trip you up. With this in mind I've gone for a very mobile list that hits really hard. Oh, and it's at 1750 points...

Warboss, Power Klaw, Warbike, Attack Squig, 'Eavy Armour

Big Mek, Kustom Force Field

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

19 Boyz, Nob, Boss Pole, Power Klaw

20 Boyz, Nob, Boss Pole, Power Klaw

20 Boyz, Nob, Boss Pole, Power Klaw

Battlewagon, Deff Rolla, Red Paint Job, Grot Riggers, Armour Plates, Big Shoota, Boarding Plank

Battlewagon, Deff Rolla, Red Paint Job, Grot Riggers, Armour Plates, Big Shoota, Boarding Plank

Battlewagon, Deff Rolla, Red Paint Job, Grot Riggers, Armour Plates, Big Shoota, Boarding Plank

2 Warbuggies, Twin-Linked Rokkit Launcha

2 Warbuggies, Twin-Linked Rokkit Launcha

2 Deffkoptas, Twin-Linked Rokkit Launcha, Buzzsaw

So, the Deffkoptas Scout off and should get a Turn 1 charge and if you go first that means Buzzsaws against stationary vehicles. The Warbuggies use their speed to get side shots with their Rokkits. Meanwhile the three Battlewagons plough down the line of least resistance and the Bikes hide behind ready to jump out and kill anything that survives the initial assault. I think that you'll do well in a lot of match-ups with this list since it's very hard to stop. There are very few armies with enough reliable firepower to stop three Battlewagons inside two shooting phases. However, I think it might struggle against a good Tau list since they can block your movement with Piranhas and bubblewrap with Kroot. If it gets past them all of the battlesuits in the world won't survive though.

My Furst Orkz

Well, I say first, in fact these are still my only Orks. They came with the board game Space Crusade and here are a couple of them for your amusement:

And a cheeky Gretchin with a blunerbuss as well:

See, this is how you take the pain out of painting Orks, get ones that are already green...

Saturday, 16 October 2010

Paint Your Wagon

Now for me an Ork army should be in your face as soon as possible. You're never going to be able to match the shooting of the IG or the midfield mastery of the Space Marines, you've got to get up close and personal. The best way to do this? Battlewagons of course. Since I've got Open War on my mind (just 7 days to go!) let's see what we can do at 1750 points:

Big Mek, Kustom Force Filed

12 Burna Boyz

Battlewagon, Deff Rolla, Red Paint Job, Grot Riggers, Armour Plates, Big Shoota

These guys are the burny bit of the first phase. Their Battlewagon takes centre stage and the Burna Boyz stay in it torching people.

20 Slugga Boyz, Nob, Power Klaw, Boss Pole

20 Slugga Boyz, Nob, Power Klaw, Boss Pole

Battlewagon, Deff Rolla, Red Paint Job, Grot Riggers, Armour Plates, Big Shoota, Boarding Plank

Battlewagon, Deff Rolla, Red Paint Job, Grot Riggers, Armour Plates, Big Shoota, Boarding Plank

These two 'wagons flank the Mek's one and make up the rest of the first phase assault. In most games you should be looking at pulling off a 2nd turn charge.

6 Nobz, Painboy, Power Klaw, Big Choppa, Boss Pole, Waaagh Banner, Kombi-Skorcha

Battlewagon, Deff Rolla, Red Paint Job, Grot Riggers, Armour Plates, Big Shoota, Boarding Plank

These are the second wave. They drive behind the Big Mek to get the 4+ cover save and then swoop in and kill anything that survives the first wave.

At this point you can season to taste. Deffkoptas are good for some 1st turn assaults and nuisance value. Warbuggies are good for taking out enemy vehicles and a small squad of Gretchin can be used to hold an Objective. However, this is Battlewagon spam, so we want another Battlewagon. However, I feel a bit light on Troops so we need to take a Warboss so we can take some Nobz as Troops and then give them another 'wagon as Dedicated Transport

Warboss, Power Klaw

6 Nobz, Painboy, Big Choppa, Boss Pole, Waaagh Banner, Kombi-Skorcha

Battlewagon, Deff Rolla, Red Paint Job, Grot Riggers, Armour Plates, Big Shoota, Boarding Plank

So, these make up the second part of phase two. Again all of the Nobz are armed differently so that you can use the Wound Allocation rules.

There we have it 5 Battlewagons in one army. Is it optimal? Possibly not. I think that ideally you'd have a maximum of three, some Nob Bikers and some of those Fast Attack choices that I talked about. However, there are few armies that could take out 5 Battlewagons in two turns and once they arrive, they are going to smash face.

Oh, and for more Battlewagon tactics, check out The Antipope's articles here, here and here.

Da Good, Da Bad an Da Ugly

After The Antipope's excellent posts on the best units in the Ork Codex, I thought I'd do something similar. I'm going to look at what I think are some of the best units in the book, what I think are some of the worst and what I think are some of the funniest. Obviously most of the good units have already been mentioned and I don't really want to repeat what other people have to say.

Da Good

Burna Boyz - Orks are rubbish at shooting. Moving onto Orks from Space Marines this came as quite a shock to me. However, here we have a unit that auto hits. Plus if you stick a squad in a Battlewagon, they can all fire out as it's Open Topped. Up to 15 flamer templates. Now that can be a lot of hits. Even Terminators are going to start failing some armour saves eventually. They can also use their Burnaz as Power Weapons but not in the same turn that you use flamers. The plan here is simple then, lots of fiery death on one turn and then out of the Battlewagon to Furious Charge with your Power Weapons the next turn (or just keep on flamin') So here we have a unit that is dangerous in two phases of the game which is a rarity in the Ork Codex.

Deffkoptas - These start getting very pricey very quickly as you start adding upgrades. However, with a Scout move and Jetbike movement you should be getting first turn charges with these guys. If you get first turn that means Buzzsaws against stationary vehicles. If you don't get first turn your enemy still has to deal with these guys as they'll be getting Twin-Linked S8 shots on side armour. Don't forget that anything shooting at a Deffkopta isn't shooting at a Battlewagon.

Warbuggies - These guys perform a similar role to the 'koptas but are cheaper. Obviously, they can't fly but they are quick enough to get shots against side armour and they are a plentiful supply of more cheap Twin-Linked Rokkits and that's always good in an Ork army.

Da Bad

Flash Gitz - I love pirates and these guys have a special pirate Ork character but I think that they are the probably the worst unit in the whole codex. The main problem is the price (25 points per model) and the range (just 24") If you're going to take a shooty element to your Orks surely you're going to take Lootas. Yes, they have the stats of a Nob but there are so many other things in the book that can do the same job as Flash Gitz for cheaper.

Tankbustas - 15 points gets you a Rokkit Launcha (S8 AP3), Tankbusta Bombs (6+2D6 armour penetration) and the option for two Boyz to have a S10 close combat weapon that strikes at Initiative for free. Wow, these guys sound pretty good. Then we get to that special rule - 'Glory Hogs' Basically, they always have to shoot and/or assault a vehicle if there is one in line of sight. Even if it's something that they have no real hope of damaging such as a Land Raider. Even if it is out of range. This means ignoring the Space Marines that are about to charge you. This means not charging that enemy squad that is camping on an Objective in the last turn. ah, they coulda been a contender.

Da Ugly

Shokk Attack Gun - Now, this is a fun weapon. Unless you have weighted dice, you're not going to take this in a tournament but in a regular game you can definitely have some laughs with it. Not only is the concept of warp-crazed Snotlings funny anyway, some of the guns effects are brilliant. From killing the Big Mek to removing from play anything under the large blast template.

Old Zogwort - Weirdboyz are pretty funny to start with but here's the daddy of them all. Again, you could never really take him in a serious game but have the opportunity to turn an enemy Independent Character into a Squig is potentially awesome. Plus, if you managed to do it to someone like Logan or Calgar it's the sort of story you'd be telling in the bar for weeks. Plus he has all the crazy regular Weirdboy powers as well such as the auto-hitting S10 Melta shot and the bonus Waaagh!

Kaptin Badrukk - Yeah, his unit is rubbish but if Scott Pilgrim has taught us anything, it's that pirates are in this year. Seriously, pirates are cool, even if this guy is no Captain Teague.

Friday, 15 October 2010

Guest Post: Da Bestest Orkz Part 2

Not content with writing one article about his favourite Orks and starting his own Anti-Ork Week, The Antipope has sent us a second article. Enjoy!


When it comes to the big guys I like to get one unit as Troops. Since my Elite slots are filled with Lootas (as should everyone's) I use the Warboss to take a Nobz unit as Troops. This makes them scoring which is obviously very good. Now, Nobz come in several varieties and, after playing with many different lists, I came to the conclusion that my favourite kind are the Biker ones. Normal Nobz or Meganobz will always require a vehicle if you want to get them stuck in combat fast enough. Since I don't recommend Trukks for anything, that means that you will have to spend points on a Battlewagon. The good news is that you can get one as a Dedicated Transport but it is still a lot of points and once it is gone they have lost their mobility.

So, Nob Bikers. The biggest mistake people make with these guys is making them too expensive. It is easy to give them too much equipment and make their cost very high. Considering they will be running with the Warboss you could end up with half of your points tied up in one unit. This is never a good idea since there are so many things that could go wrong with this set up. Putting all of your eggs into one basket springs to mind. My ideal number would be five. One with a Power Klaw, one with a Waaagh Banner, one with a Boss Pole, a Painboy and then a standard Nob. Be smart when playing with them, hide them behind LoS blocking terrain or Battlewagons. They don't need to charge on the second turn, especially if you are going to put them in harms way in order to do so. Keep them safe and have a good last few turns with them. They can go and claim Objectives and with a 24" Turbo Boost they can make a last turn grab. To me, the Nob Biker unit is more of a finesse unit rather than a sledgehammer.

Keep in mind that their shooting is nothing to laugh at either. When joined by the Warboss they can shoot 18 S5 Twin-Linked shots at 18". That should be enough to take out a small unit or an AV10 vehicle. If you think that there is going to be a lot of shooting coming their way then you can always Turbo Boost them for that 3+ cover save. Together with Feel No Pain and T5 they can withstand small arms fire easily.


I like to give mine a Power Klaw, Bike, Cybork Body and an Attack Squig. I then use him for 3 things -

Unlocking Nobz as a Troop choice. Even if this was all he did he would be worth every one of his 60 points.

Babysitting my Biker Nobz. They only have Leadership 7 so they need him or they will be falling back too easily.

Assault. He gets 6 S10 attacks on the charge which makes him a very effective anti-tank weapon with an 18" range. Sometimes I split him off from his unit and have him run after a vehicle while the Nobz charge a unit that they can handle on their own. He doesn't like Force Weapons or s10 hits so avoid them like the plague.


I like to run three of them filled with 20 bloodthirsty Boyz. 60 Boyz that can charge 22" is nothing to be sneezed at. I give them the Red Paint Job (that extra inch can make all the difference), a Big Shoota (so that they don't get Immobilised on the first Weapon Destryed roll), Boarding Plank (so that the Nobz can attack vehicles without having to disembark) and of course the Deffrolla. This little beauty is your best chance for destroying heavily armoured vehicles. D6 S10 hits can make even a Land Raider crumble. It's very handy for Tank Shocking as well. It's lethal against other Nob Bikers, Tyranid Warriors and generally any multi-wound units with average saves. So, keep your Battlewagons stripped down and use them as taxis. In my experience, blinged out versions don't work too well and you're much better off just using them as transports.

Big Mek

This guy is needed for a Battlewagon spam list to work well. Just give him a Kustom Force Field and stick him in a vehicle and you get a mobile 4+ cover save for any vehicles within 6". The larger the vehicle, the bigger the footprint of his ability is going to be so the obvious choice is to stick him in a Battlewagon. When I run three of them, he joins a unit of 19 Boyz and they sit in the middle 'wagon. Now all three benefit from that might 4+ save (just make sure that you keep the other two within 6") I also like to give him a Burna since he is the only model in the army that can have a weapon that ignores saves in combat that strikes at I4 (and S5 on the charge!) It's a very versatile weapon too since you can fire it as a Flamer in the shooting phase (ideal against weedy 'nid units)

I agree with the analysis of the Biker Nobz. For me they should be more like Thunderwolf Cavalry - a mop up unit. Are there any units that The Antipope has missed out in his review? Does anyone actually like Flash Gitz?


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