Monday, 31 October 2011

Monday Musings

Yoshimi Battles the Pink Robots

One of my favourite bands is The Flaming Lips. I even proposed during a performance of Do You Realize?? at one of their gigs. That song originally came from the above album, "Yoshimi Battles the Pink Robots". So, with the Necrons out next week, I was thinking, how cool would an army of pink robots be?!

I'm still a bit unsure about Necrons though. The models look awesome but I'm not convinced I want anther BS/WS/S/T 4 army with AV11 transports. That's one of the reasons I really like the Dark Eldar, just because they're so different. In the meantime, I've also come up with a Grey Knight list that I quite like the look of. I'll post that later in the week for some feedback...

Rumour Control

Coming soon - Arrow of Desire: S6 AP2 Large Blast

So, there's been one "dark, satanic mill" missing from "England's green and pleasant land" recently - the rumour mill. GW's news blackout surrounding the Necrons has, in my opinion, been incredibly short sighted. Until last week's leak by Beasts of War, we hadn't seen any of the new miniatures. I understand that GW want to sell some extra copies of White Dwarf but they would have been much better off drip feeding information, building interest and, in these uncertain economic times where toy soldiers aren't a necessity, allowing people to plan their purchases.

Planning to purchase any pink robots? Rabid for reliable rumours?

Sunday, 30 October 2011


"Wot yoo lookin' at?"

"Dunno. But itz lookin' back and itz ugly"

The two Warbosses circled each other like caged tigers, Power Klaws ready to strike. Ghazghkull Thraka broke the silence,

"I'm 'ere fer ya boyz. Deres sum krumpin' dat needz ta be dun"

Nazdakka Wotsmirk snorted,

"Ova my ded body"

"I hoped youd say dat"

They threw themselves at each other, Power Klaw ringing against Power Klaw and they both struck. Nazdakka swung again and Ghazghkull ducked before jumping out of the way of the return swing.

"I'm gonna smash your teef in!" Nazdakka yelled as he forced Ghazghkull back with swing after swing of his Klaw. He was starting to get the upper hand but then suddenly


Ghazghkull's Power Klaw closed around the throat of his opponent, decapitating him instantly. The headless body stood motionless for a second, before it finally surrended to gravity. Ghazghkull turned to Snotripper Rustybitz, the Big Mek,

"Get yer Waggonz an get yer Kanz an that spiny fing wot stopz us gettin shot. Itz time to smash sum eadz!"

So, this is the fluff explaining why our two Ork armies were fighting together at the GW Doubles. If I'd written it before the tournament, we'd have scored another point and finished 11 places higher!

Saturday, 29 October 2011

Doubles - Day 2

So, after a tough Day 1, we decided to sack off the 40K themed pub quiz. Instead, Andy's wife, Janet, picked us up and then we grabbed my fiance and a take-away on the way back to theirs. We proved our rock 'n' roll credentials by all falling asleep on the settee watching Forest Gump!

Game 4 vs Blood Angels & Space Marines

Two Vindicators, 5 TH/SS Terminators, a Captain with a Relic Blade, a 10-man Tactical Squad and 5 Scouts in the SM half. Two big Jump Pack Assault Squads, some Death Company and a Baal Predator in the BA half.

Again, we got lucky in winning the roll-off to be the attackers. This meant that we managed to get a first turn charge off and wreck a Vindicator and take out the Captain and a Combat Squad.  In the end, we managed to wipe out Dave's half of the army but Steve's remained reasonably intact. This meant that he could claim one Objective and contest another. However, the Nobz just about managed to get back to their deployment zone carrying one of the other Objectives so we just about won.

Game 5 vs Eldar & Eldar

In this mission you had to get as much of your army off the opposite board edge as possible. So, what's the worst possible list to face? Mech Eldar! Plus they went first. They had Eldrad, a big Seer Council with him and lots and lots of flying vehicles.

Turn 1 saw them Fortune and Turbo-Boost. Turn 2 saw most of their army leave the board. Somehow we managed to bring down the Seer Council but that just allowed them to cut their way through the Ork hordes in search of their secondary mission which was to kill all of our troops. The game was over by the end of Turn 2 and the only highlight we really had was Ghaz killing Eldrad at the bottom of Turn 7.


In the end we finished joint 39th (out of 113) which we were pretty happy with. Plus, we manged to post a winning record, which was a first for either of us at a tournament. Some quick points:

Ghaz was a beast, chopping down the enemy left, right and centre and refusing to die. 

There weren't as many Marines as we expected. We only played 3 MEQ armies out of 10.

We should have practised a bit more (this was my fault since I'd not been around much due to work before the tournament) We only played one game and we didn't have the opportunity to iron out the list. For example the Kanz were a bit rubbish all the way through. We could also have done with playing through the missions as well.

Despite the ker-azy missions, it was a fun tournament. All of our opponents were great guys and it was very well ran by GW.

We're not as good as our 3-2 record suggests. The results were a bit odd. We got absolutely battered in the first and last game and there wasn't much we could have done about it. Game 2 was against two guys who were still quite new to the game and very new to their army and we just capitalised on their mistakes. Game 3, I don't think our opponents had read the mission that closely and practically handed us the victory by letting us go first. Which left game 4 as a proper, down the wire game.

Read the rules pack. We were supposed to have written some fluff as to why our two armies were fighting together. Erm, they're Orks! However, the extra point would have seen us finish joint 28th instead. Curses! Just to rub it in, I've knocked up something and scheduled it for tomorrow...

Rise of the Machines

This weekend sees the long-awaited re-release of your friendly neighbourhood undead Androids, the Necrons (especially if your name is Steve). For as long as I've been playing, Necrons have been a little bit, umm, naff. From the first Necron Warrior that was given away on the front cover of White Dwarf in the mid-nineties, they have always been an under-realised army for me. But I think that officially stops today!


Critically, the new Necron models have been given some character, which has been sadly lacking in previous releases. The infantry models all seem to have a unifying theme not unlike the Tomb Kings, themselves recently released by GW (one wonders if there were some leftover Tomb King bitz lying around the studio and got utilised on the new Necrons?). The poses are also great - no longer are they the stiff old pensioners of WH40k, but instead are now fully positionable. Indeed, they almost look alive!

Big Guns

The other big change to the Necron line of models is the addition of some much-needed technology.  The Necrons have gained two vehicle kits today, the first a frankly awesome-looking battle barge (top picture) and a shorter gun-skiff (right). Both of them are very evocative models, bringing to mind ancient tombs and (at least for me) the Alien pilot scene from the original 1977 movie.

What Next?

So there you go - a quick glance at some of the new models from Games Workshop. I am very pleased indeed that GW seem to be going through a really creative phase at the moment. Long may it continue! I look forward to seeing some of the new Necrons on the gaming table very soon - Gav, I think you have some serious thinking to do - Dark Eldar or Necrons? I know which I'd go for!

In other news, please check out my personal blog ROGUE TRADER -  latest posts include a review of Lantz McDonald's re-released Fandex: Adeptus Mechanicus and also the latest development work on my very own fandex, Codex: Squat Stronghold. Please check it out, and feel free to get involved! We always love to hear from you.

Friday, 28 October 2011

Deep Thought - There are no Wolves on Fenris

It's no Jayce and the Wheeled Warriors

One of the best things about 40K is, that if you can think it, then you can do it. And that's really the idea behind Deep Thought. These are going to be those "wouldn't it be cool if" army ideas that are probably more useful in the bar over a pint than on the table. Now, this series was inspired by the Blood Angel codex letting you take lots of Dreadnoughts and Alex & Darren's "No Guns" Tau idea. We'll be seeing those in future weeks but because we're primarily a Space Wolf blog, we're going to start with something "Wolfy"

Canis Wolfborn allows you to take Fenrisian Wolves as Troops, however, they can never claim Objectives. Wouldn't it be cool if we ignored that drawback and had an army purely made up of Wolves and guys riding Wolves? Yes, it would...

Canis Wolfborn
Wolf Lord, Thunderwolf Mount, Storm Shield, Wolf Claw, Saga of the Warrior Born

Iron Priest, Thunderwolf Mount, 4 Cyberwolves

13 Fenrisian Wolves, Cyberwolf
13 Fenrisian Wolves, Cyberwolf
13 Fenrisian Wolves, Cyberwolf
13 Fenrisian Wolves, Cyberwolf
13 Fenrisian Wolves, Cyberwolf

Fast Attack
5 Thunderwolf Cavelry, Power Fist, Storm Shield, Melta Bombs, Bolter
5 Thunderwolf Cavelry, Power Fist, Storm Shield, Melta Bombs, Bolter

So, you have the Fenrisian Wolves out in front giving cover to the 3 units behind. Once you get into charge range, you can either split Canis and the Wolf Lord off or keep them with their TWC unit as needed. You'll be able to get a 2nd turn charge at worst and once those TWolves hit, they're going to do a lot of damage. . Don't get me wrong, you'll struggle in Objective missions and there are some lists you haven't got a chance of dealing with (3 Land Raiders?!) but I still think it would be a fun list to run.

Oh man, we love our army lists here at C&F! So, what do you think? Got any ker-azy ideas you'd like to see given the Deep Thought treatment?

What I don't like about 40K

I've been playing 40k for about 2 years now, I play pretty much once a week and I've attended about 12 tournaments over that period. I own well over 5000 points of Space Marines/Blood Angels, 2000 points of Orks and about 1750pts of Tyranids. I also read a large amount of blogs and listen daily to several excellent podcasts. I think it's fair to say that I'm fairly well immersed in the hobby, recently I think I've been able to put my finger on something that has been bothering me about the game.

I like to think of myself as a fairly relaxed gamer, I would certainly not consider myself WAAC or even that bothered about winning. But despite that I do tend to come away from some games (wins and losses) with a sour taste in my mouth and, I am sad to say, that these can be both tournament and friendly games.

I think there are a couple of reasons for this, firstly rules interpretation. Sometimes I come away from games feeling that the winner has been decided by whoever stood more firmly behind their interpretation of a rule (or rules) or who was more willing to be relaxed about a particular call on a grey-area of the rules. This can and has gone for and against me in the past and it sours both wins and losses equally. Cover saves for vehicles are a perfect example of this, in the current meta-game vehicles are king and keeping them alive is crucial to many a game-plan, so getting cover saves can make or break a strategy. Proving that a vehicle is 50% obscured has surely lead to more arguments and disgruntled losers than any other part of the 40K rule-set. Conversely I know I've felt awkward after sticking to my guns on denying a cover save to my opponent and then blowing up his vehicle.

The second thing that bothers me is bad match-ups. OK, this is a big boy game and part of it is list building, you don't need to tell me that I love list building. What I am starting to object to though is lists that are so powerful that I cannot play the game I want to play and expect to have any fun doing it. This has been sparked by a list I have played a couple of times over the last few months and perhaps I'm just not used to it yet, indeed I used to think the same think about tri-Long Fang Wolf lists, but at the moment I just would not accept a game against that list. If I was drawn against it in a Tournament I would grin a bear it but it would put a cloud over my day. Don't get me wrong, I'm totally against comp restrictions in Tournaments, you should be able to play a list any way you want to. As with the issue I have with rules interpretation, I have also been on the right side of a bad match up and it doesn't feel good either.

So I guess you're going to be thinking something like “all right then genius, what do you propose to do to solve these fundamental issues which spoil the game for you?”. Well short of GW writing a perfect set of rules with no room for interpretation supported by codices which are perfectly balanced across the myriad of army builds they make possible, there's nothing to do really. As I said before I fundamentally disagree with comp restrictions, they are just someone else's interpretation of what makes the game fun. In my opinion, the only fair way to play the game is with the rules as written and make the best of the vagaries and power variances, if that's just not good enough for you then get out of the game and stop whining about it.

For my part I will continue to play 40K, though I'm not going to be playing as regularly as I used to. Perversely I'll probably stick to playing tournaments rather than friendlies, this is because I can pick the ones whose rules packs/philosophies I agree with and I care slightly less about feeling bad after playing someone I just met than someone I'm friends with. Also I resolve to stop concerning myself with my final tournament placing and just do my best to enjoy the weekend playing a game that has got me by the gonads!

Feel free to post below if you agree, disagree or have identified other things which bother you about 40K and let the readers know what you're doing to make the game more enjoyable for you.

Thursday, 27 October 2011

Codex Review - Mark of the Wulfen

You wouldn't like me when I'm angry
Codex Review - An Introduction

I feel like I've been planning this for ages and here it finally is. A couple of quick points before I start though.  Firstly, this is probably going to be a bit scattergun. That's because I don't have any set order in which to go through things but, hopefully everything will come together in the end. Secondly, here at C&F, we believe that you should be free to take any unit that you like - at the end of the day it's your army. Hence there will be no "you have to take this unit" or "don't take this, it's rubbish" Instead, I'll just be talking through my experiences of what's gone well and what's not gone quite so well...

Mark of the Wulfen - What is it?

Deep within the Canis Helix, lies the Curse of the Wulfen. Some fall victim to this curse during the Test of Morkai, the final trial to become a Space Wolf, and become inhuman beasts stalking the plains of Fenris. Others overcome it and are welcomed into the hallowed ranks of the Vlka Fenryka. However, there are those who manage to control the Wulfen only until they are in the fires of battle. Then, the beast within emerges, the warrior eschewing his weapons to fight with tooth and claw.

In the game, this is represented by the Mark of the Wulfen. A Space Wolf who takes it replaces their Attacks characteristic with D6+1 Rending attacks. You don't get any bonuses for additional hand weapons but you still get you charge bonus.

Who can take it?

(Deep breath)

Wolf Lord
Wolf Guard Battle Leader
Wolf Guard
Wolf Scout
Lone Wolf
Grey Hunter
Thunderwolf Cavalry
Sky Claws

For the TWC, it sets you back 5 points for every one else it's 15.

I can see a good case being made for giving a Wolf Lord the Mark so that you could use im as Bran Redmaw (at least until IA11 comes out!) However, most of the time, the Wolf Lord or WGBL will probably be taking "proper" close combat weapons. It's a similar story for the Wolf Guard with their discount weapons while the TWC already have 4 Rending attacks so it seems a bit self-defeating to swap that for D6+1 (you could possibly argue that it's useful for wound allocation but I think taking one with a Boltgun is a better option)

Take a chance

Whenever I've use MotW, I've given it to Grey Hunters or Wolf Scouts. In this case it's a straight choice between another guy or the Mark. So, that's a guaranteed 4 base attacks vs an average of 4.5 base attacks (on the charge/counter it's 6 vs 5.5)  A lot of people talk about minimising randomness and I have plenty of tales of rolling low when I needed to roll average (or indeed forgetting that I had MotW at all!) Conversely, I have stories of rolling high and doing far more damage than I should have done.

Don't count on Rending

My first thought when I saw this in the codex was; "8 rending attacks?! I'll cut through units with this!" Similarly to above, I can point to times when I've rended my way through Dreadnoughts but I've also had games like the two a couple of weeks ago where I managed a single rend in 13 turns of Warhammer 40,000. Far better to look at MotW as a way of potentially increasing the number of regular attacks that a unit can put out. So, if your faced with Terminators or Meganobz, don't just charge in because you've got some Rending attacks.

Is it worth it?

That depends. Personally, I like the risk/reward nature of it while some people will prefer the reliability of an extra guy. I also think it suits quite an aggressive playstyle as you really want to get stuck in to make the most of those potential attacks. For me though, the key is having a plan for the unit and your army as a whole. In some circumstances, it can change a small unit from one that will fold into one that will hold, allowing you to counter-charge. I like to run it on bigger units, as it can give a nice increase to the damage output but you're still pretty killy even if you roll poorly for it.

Having said that you'll notice that MotW is conspicuous by its absence in my 10WC list. This is because if those units get charged, I want them to get killed so I can shoot whoever charged them. As I said MotW is a personal preference based on list and playstyle.

One final point and this whether or not this is relevant will depend on what sort of gamer you are. Personally, I'm the kind of guy who likes to sit in the bar after a game and talk about the cinematic things that happened in the game and MotW is almost perfect for this. The times when I've rolled badly with it will never overshadow the impossibly good roll that led to 5 Wolf Scouts doing so much damage to to 2 10-man Ork squads that they fled off the board.

Mark of the Wulfen - love it or hate it? Share your sagas of MotW glory and defeat below the line...

We Eat Ham and Jam and SPAM-a-lot

During the break for lunch at Open War this weekend we got to discussing a silly Grey Knight list
and Keith (my game 2 opponent) said he expected to see it up on the blog this week, I don't like top let people down so here it is for your consideration:

Ordo Xenos Inquisitor (Rad Grenades, Lvl 1 Psychic Mastery w. Hammerhand)

2x 5-man Death Cult Assassin Squads
4x 3-man Warrior Acolyte Squads

3x Storm Raven (TL Multi-Melta, TL Lascannon)

2x Land Raider
Land Raider Redeemer (Multi-Melta)

Pretty straightforward, Coteaz and the other Inquisitor go with the DCA squads, one in a Storm Raven, the other in the Redeemer. They plough forward in hope that they can take out something important. The other Squads hang out in the other four vehicles and add to the fire support and take objectives as necessary.

It's simple and could be very nasty if you can keep the Storm Ravens alive. If they get taken out early then you're in trouble. Simples.

It's a silly list that could cause problems for certain builds but is just as likely to be quickly taken to bits by others. I'd be interested to hear your feedback on it, I may try and make this a regular topic posting a list that's silly but possibly fun for your comments.

Wednesday, 26 October 2011

Black Library do it again - a rant

Just finished reading The Outcast Dead and found it to be an enjoyable book although it doesn't really drive the Heresy forward at all but there are moments in it that absolutely drive me crazy.

Why is it that Black Library authors seem to have an inability to keep a consistent level of fluff. Is it so hard to expect that the authors who write the Heresy books to read the rest of them or the authors who write Space Marine books to read around the topic.

I'll give a few examples, the first from The Outcast Dead, no spoilers about the plot I promise.
A World Eater fights a Custodes and wins seems unrealistic from the outset once you've read First Heretic and seen the Custodes going undefeated against regular marines and in a couple of movements dispatching a chapter master and a number of other marines.
It becomes even more 'unrealistic' when you take into account that the World eater was unarmed, he breaks the Custodes Guardian Spear in half because apparently they are just wood, he is also unarmoured, he punches through the Custodes armour and rips out his spine. Seriously, yeah its a unrealistic world of Psykers and Daemons but still keep some sort of consistency.

The second example comes from the Salamanders series of books. Its very clearly set out in the fluff, Power Armour is rare, so what do the Salamanders do? They burn their dead in power armour. Have the Salamanders got so much Power Armour that they can just put it on the bbq?

The third is from the last book of the Word Bearer series, the warp has been shut off through the use of the Nexus Arrangement and yet they still all manage to teleport into the middle of it, how does this happen?? Is Teleportation not involving warp travel because I always thought it was.

I asked Chris Wriaght last year how much guidance authors get from the editorial team and he said not much, well I am saying now that this is the wrong way to go, there should be a set of rules produced that writers have to stick to.

Rant over and I look forward to seeing your ideas or other examples where you have thought 'that that just doesn't make sense'.

Space Wolf Display

I was going through the pictures on my camera and found these from the start of last year. Everytime GW release a new codex or army book, they put on a display for that army which includes old miniatures, 3-Ups, artwork, etc. Anyway, this is what the Space Wolf display looked like:

WD coverage

Codex artwork

The new 5th Ed releases

The Blackmane


Artwork for the Great Company markings

Power Armour 3-Ups

Phil Kelly's army

Old School - 2nd Ed
Terminator 3-Ups

The 3rd Ed range

The 2nd Ed range

Tuesday, 25 October 2011

10 Week Challenge - Week 0: The List

A week's a long time in politics

Go Small or Go Home

I've been thinking a lot lately about running small squads. I've also been bemoaning the lack of tactical flexibility of larger squads.  So, for the next 10 games, I'm going to stick with an MSU Rhino list...

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

5 Wolf Scouts, Meltagun
5 Wolf Scouts, Meltagun
10 Wolf Guard, 2 Terminator Armour, 2 Cyclone Missile Launchers, 8 Combi-Meltas, 2 Power Fists

5 Grey Hunters, Meltagun, Rhino
5 Grey Hunters, Meltagun, Rhino
5 Grey Hunters, Meltagun, Rhino
5 Grey Hunters, Meltagun, Rhino
5 Grey Hunters, Meltagun, Rhino
5 Grey Hunters, Meltagun, Rhino

Heavy Support
6 Long Fangs, 5 Missile Launchers
6 Long Fangs, 5 Missile Launchers

All of that comes to 1600 points. Now, there was a time where I'd take two Multimelta/Heavy Flamer Land Speeders and 10 points of wargear and call it good for 1750. However, my question would be; what would I use the Speeders for? Blocking and suicide Melta. Well, I already have that in spades. Instead, what I want to do is leverage the flexibility of the Wolf Guard.

So, normally, the Combi-Melta/Power Fist guys go with the Scouts and either go behind enemy lines or infiltrate. The Combi-Melta guys go with the Grey Hunters and the CMLs each go with a Long Fang pack. However, if I give their pack a Drop Pod, I have the option to drop in a 3/4-man Melta-cide unit on Turn 1 or a 4 Krak Missile firing unit for side armour fun. In fact it gives a lot of potential deployment options.

Well, that leaves 115 points to play with.

I could stick 5 Power Fists and a Wolf Claw on the Wolf Guard to make them better in combat but that takes away their throwaway nature in the list. Similarly, I don't want to give Mark of the Wulfen to the GH packs. I could add in a Wolf Priest or a Wolf Guard Battle Leader to give some counter-attacking punch or I could take some Thunderwolves for the same effect (if I had any!) A shooty Predator is also an option as it would give some much needed anti-infantry firepower (although getting LOS around 6 Rhino hulls could be an issue)

However, there are two options that come to exactly 115 points:

Rune Priest, Chooser of the Slain, Wolf Tail Talisman
5 Long Fangs, 4 Missile Launchers

I've always been loath to take a third Long Fang pack as I've always found it hard to find good fire-lanes for two units. Also, with 6 Rhinos in front, it could be very easy to block your own shooting. So, for now, I'll go with the 2 Rune Priests but I think the switch for the third Long Fang pack could be the first tweak after the 10 weeks is up.

So then, the list in full:

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

10 Wolf Guard, 2 Terminator Armour, 2 Cyclone Missile Launchers, 8 Combi-Meltas, 2 Power Fists
5 Wolf Scouts, Meltagun
5 Wolf Scouts, Meltagun

5 Grey Hunters, Meltagun, Rhino
5 Grey Hunters, Meltagun, Rhino
5 Grey Hunters, Meltagun, Rhino
5 Grey Hunters, Meltagun, Rhino
5 Grey Hunters, Meltagun, Rhino
5 Grey Hunters, Meltagun, Rhino

Heavy Support
6 Long Fangs, 5 Missile Launchers
6 Long Fangs, 5 Missile Launchers

So, there we have it - the list for my next 10 games. Stay tuned to see how it gets on...

Game 3 Open war - Wolves vs Vanilla Marines AGAIN

Game three saw me face off against Colin's beautifully painted Vanilla marines army which I personally thought were robbed not to win the best painted award at the tournament.

Colin had
a librarian with Gate of infinity and another power that he never bothered using
2 ten man tactical squads
1 5 man assault squad
1 5 man scout squad
1 squad of assault terminators with hammers and shields in a godhammer land raider
2 rhinos
1 multimelta dreadnought

The mission was 4 objectives in a diamond pattern with the armies setting up in opposite corners in an L shaped deployment.
Now last time we played at Open War we got to deploy the objectives ourselves with some strict rules on how close they could be to the board edge and other objectives, our own Darren however found a way to break this (he drew a map and everything) which made sure that if you deployed an objective first you would end up with 3 objectives close to you and 1 objective close to your opponent.

I lost the roll off for first turn (damn you Vegas dice) and my opponent picked the corner opposite to the corner I would have picked so I was happy enough anyway.

He deployed quite bunched up while I tried to make sure I had the lanes of fire to three objectives covered with my Long fangs as there was a big piece of line of site blocking terrain in the middle of the board. I attempted to seize but rolled a 5 but cest la vie, I knew that first turn shouldn't be too heavy because he only had 3 missile launchers, 1 lascannon and 4 sniper rifles to offer long range fire power.

His turn 1 saw one of my rhinos explode but all the inhabitants got out safely, it also saw my las plas stunned, I fired back destroying 2 rhinos and their inhabitants being pinned, I also fired on the las cannon squad which were holed up in a tower, 2 died they failed their leadership and ran 7 inches. I had also hid 1 squad in a rhino behind the LOS blocking terrain and one of my speeders around the other side in ambush for the raider, my other speeder raced up the other side of the board to kill the scouts.

Turn 2 saw the librarian use gate of infinity to bring the assault marines closer, the missiles fired on the las plas but as I couldn't fire I had popped smoke and the shots hit cover. My turn 2 saw me poor fire into the dreadnought and eventually it exploded and killed a couple more marines with shrapnel, they failed their leadership test and ran 4 inches. I also managed to kill the scouts with flamer and melta.

Turn 3 saw the assault marines move forward to contest an objective. The land raider also went and sat in front of my ambush squad but unfortunately for Colin he didn't notice them and instead continued to try and kill my las plas that wasn't really doing a lot, it had cover so the melta shot hit a pile of rocks evaporating them but leaving the razorback alone.
It was at this point that I knew the game would turn, 3 melta gun shots all within half range to try and destroy the landraider and then 15 missile launchers 8 bolters 1 las cannon, a twin linked plasma gun and jaws to try and thin down the ranks of terminators inside. Unfortunately that old adage of best laid plans came back to haunt me, 3 melta misses and the land raiders occupants were looking very very scary. One success I had was killing the librarian and the assault squad with a squad of grey hunters and a Rune Priest.

Turn 4 saw the terminators discourage and run straight into my lines (it was at this point that the 30 minute warning was called) thankfully the greatness of a grey hunter with a banner and counter charge shone through, I lost 2 grey hunters, he lost 2 terminators and the combat was drawn. I then had a very similar choice as I did in the first game, do I save a squad or go and take another objective, I felt that I needed 4 scoring units to win the game and although time was getting tight I charged another grey hunter into combat with the terminators, the weight of numbers showed and the terminators were no more, both squads rolled a 6 for their consolidate move and the more decimated squad secured an objective while the others went for another.

It was at this point with 15 minutes left that Colin asked if we wanted to call it a day, he kindly pointed out that the win was mine if we stopped there but I didn't want to win like that so I said we would have 1 more turn 7 and a half minutes each if you aren't done you aren't done and we swap.

Turn 4 saw two squads take one objective, all I needed to do was contest it with a troop choice to win the game, two squads of grey hunters moved in, a multi charge later and all the opposition troops lay dead and I lay victorious.

With another turn I may have been able to finish the land raider to get an extra point but it was mainly my fault that we had wasted time because I knocked over a can of pop and had to sort that (sorry Brett who's land raider took vimto damage).

In the end I finished fifth, my best tournament finish ever. I was delighted. I don't think I could have played the games much better, I achieved all my objectives which were to think about the tournament missions and break into the top ten. I also managed to remember a bit of advice Darren imparted to me on Thursday, if you can do nothing else try and make them take leadership tests because eventually they will fail one or in Colin's case 4.

Open War really is a great tournament I wish there were more 1 day tournaments on the scene, its a tiring weekend and having a Sunday to recover is really nice. I played 3 fantastic opponents and I would like to thank them for making the weekend what it was.

Open War 16 Recap - Game 3

Game 3 vs Eldar

Farseer (Fortune, Doom ,Guide, Stones of Witnessing & Warding, Spirit Stones) Singing Spear
4-man Warlock squad (Embolden, Enhance, Destructor) all w. Singing Spears
The Avatar

7-man Fire Dragon Squad (inc Exarch w. Fire Pike) in Wave Serpent (Spirit Stones)

8-man Guardian Jet-Bike Squad (inc Warlock w. singing Spear)
2x 10-man Dire Avengers (inc Exarch w. Bladestorm)

3x War Walker Squadron (2x Startcannons)
Fire Prism
Wraithlord (Eldar Missile Launcher)

The last game of the day pitted me against another Andy with a hybrid Eldar list. The mission was 4 objectives with L-shaped deployment zones in opposite table corners, 12” deep half stretching way up the short edge and half way acrossthe long edge.

Andy kept his Dire Avengers in cover as close to two objectives as he could and began to flank me. On my lefthe sent the War Walkers and Fire Dragons, circling round on my right came the Jet-Bikes, the Wraithlord and the seer council. The Fire Prism held the centre with the Avatar advancing purposefully up the middle. His first round of shooting silenced both Preds and took out the TFC which was a bit of a blow as I was hoping to apply that to the Dire Avengers.

With a fair proportion of my shooting disabled I decided to focus fire on the most pressing threat which I felt was the bikes. Three died, the leadership test was failed and they ran off … RESULT! Not content with that show of force, the speeders managed to get a weapon destroyed result on the Fire Prism …SUPER! This was all going rather swimmingly.

Without its main weapon the Fire Prism decided to ram the nearest Predator, not entirely successfully as it turned out as it blew up rather spectacularly leaving only a lightly stunned Predator in its wake … NICE! Then I made a bit of a mistake, my Terminators came in from reserve and I placed them in firing range of both Dire Avenger units, the Walkers and charge range of the Avatar … ERRM? Still, they're double-hard so they can take it right? Well, yes and no. They took heavy casualties from the shooting and the 8-man squad (including the Librarian) became a 3-man squad by the time they were charged by the Dire Avengers and the Avatar, but they managed to win the combat by two. Sadly in the next assault phase the Avatar took out the last Terminator and the Librarian took a particularly vicious poke in the eye from the Dire Avenger Exarch killing him … SAD!

That combat was pivotal because the Dire Avenger Squad were able to capture an objective and the Avatar would appear again on the  to take out a Razorback (and the gooey contents) that was rushing to contest that very objective. Eventually I managed to  both the Wraithlord and the Avatar but I could only manage a draw so it ended 1 objective each. Final score 17-16 WINNING DRAW.

All-in-all it was a good day's gaming, I finished up 29thout of 44 players, not brilliant but probably about right. I did expect the list to perform a bit better than it did, but now I think about it it's quite reliant on getting first turn. If I don't get first turn then it's not too difficult for my opponent to take a lot of the sting out of my shooting attack, as demonstrated in games 1 and 3. I'll put some thought into tweaks I need to make before the next tourney in December and post here for feedback.

Monday, 24 October 2011

Monday Musings

The Future

I've seen the future man, it's murder

So, technically, I'm supposed to be saving up for a new house and a wedding. However, that hasn't stopped me thinking about buying some new toy soldiers. Reading all the new Necron rumours over at Faeit 212 this week has got me really excited about the new Necrons. However, then there's the Dark Elder which I'm still in love with. And then there's the Grey Knights. I really want to do a pre-heresy Thousand Sons army "counts as" Grey Knights. I either want to run a "2+" list with Terminators and Dreadknights as a f-you to the missile spam around at the moment or I'd write a piece of fluff about Magnus giving one of his sons a powerful, mystical sword to protect and then run a Purifier list.


And I hope you like blogging too

Some exciting things happening at the blog this week (please note that excitement is relative, C&F can not be held responsible if you do not get excited by this week's content) There's a new feature on friday called, "Deep Thought" which will become semi-regular. I'm also going to start my long awaited (by me at least) Space Wolf "codex review" It will have all of the standard things like unit reviews and some more esoteric things too. All of it will be based on my practical experiences of playing the Space Wolves rather than what's good in theory.

We also see the return of the 10 week challenge. Now, this was an idea I had with the aim of becoming a better player - pick a list and stick with it for 10 games. The aim is to get to know the army inside out. I've been inspired to restart this by Dave with his triple Vindicator list which doesn't look optimal on paper but works because he's know it like the back of his hand.

Oh and I should hopefully finally get round to writing up Day 2 of the GW 40K doubles. I've been shamed by the speed that Mick and Andy have got their Ope War tournament reports up so I think I should finish that off since it was nearly two months ago now!!

Any thoughts about which second army I should start? Is there anything that you'd like to see on the blog that we don't do at the moment?

Open War 16 Recap - Game 2

Game 2 vs Grey Knights

Grand Master

10-man Purifier Squad (Halberds, 2x Psycannons, Daemonhammer) in Rhino

5-man Strike Squad (Psycannon) in Razorback w. Psybolt Ammo
2x 5-man Terminator Squad (Hammer, Psycannon, Halberds)

Storm Raven (TL Multi Melta, TL Assault Cannon, Psybolt Ammo)

Land Raider
Dreadnought (Assault Cannon, Psybolt Ammo)

Another familiar face playing Grey Knights lined up across the table from me. Keith has been playing Grey Knights since they were Daemon Hunters and, in fact, he beat me with them the last time we played so I was out for revenge!

The mission was table quarters with a pitched battle deployment, I won first turn and picked a board edge with some elevation for my tanks and artillery. First turn was Dawn of War so I pushed forward with my units to take the centre of the table early, Keith sent his strike squad and a unit of Terminators in the Land Raider down my right flank, leaving his unit of Purifiers to hold the middle of his deployment zone.

I managed to crack the Razorback open and the Thunderfire Cannon gave it's usual love to the squishy contents and this time it would not be denied by armour saves. A single Gery Knight was left standing to be dispatched by a tactical combat squad a turn later.

Over on the left side of the board Keith's Storm Raven had arrived and disgorged it's Dreadnought and Terminator squad next to my Assault Terminators and Plasma-backs. The GKTs were dispatched with relative ease by the Assault Terminators and the Storm Raven was quickly immobilised and stun-locked (thanks to some awesome Psychic Hood action from my Librarian) until it was eventually wrecked a few turns later. The Dread caused a bit more trouble wrecking both Razorbacks before it fell to one of my Speeders.

My Assault Terminators gated off to take on the Purifiers (who they ended up wiping) and my combat squads on the left moved to secure the two quarters there. My right table quarter however, was where the game would be decided. His GM and Terminator Squad were behind a building deep in my deployment zone supported by the Land Raider with good LoS to my units. I had positioned my Preds and Speeders to protect the combat squad I had contesting the quarter, to the point where I didn't think Keith had a line of sight to them. Rather brilliantly though, Keith managed to get a shot on them with his Terminators, he killed two and they failed their leadership test fleeing off the table and giving Keith the quarter. Final score 17-13 WINNING DRAW

Last game report, same time tomorrow!

Open War 16 Game two for Simo - Blood Angels

So after a decent if not overwhelming lunch featuring Andy performing the feat of the day (balancing at least 10 sarnies on a saucer) and me sharing some of the worldly advice on women that I so often dispense at tournaments. I headed upstairs to see who my game 2 opponent was.

To my surprise and happiness I see a Chaos space marines army facing me and just as we swap lists and I smile to see double lash and minimal scoring units which I feel I've got a good chance against with my 2 Rune priest list an announcement comes over that someone made a mistake with scoring and that isn't who I am facing. DAMN.

My new opponent is a Blood Angels army owned by Brett from The Good the Bad and the Dudley.

Over my tournament career I have played a number of players from this team and they have all been really good lads so I was hopeful of a nice friendly but competitive game and I certainly wasn't disappointed.

I'm a little bit fuzzy of the list but I will try my best.

I believe James had
1 Librarian with the preferred enemy power and the sword of sanguinius
1 Sang Priests
1 5 man scout squad
3 10 man assault squads
1 assault terminator squad
a land raider redeemer
3 autocannon lascannon preds

The mission was table quarters (2 points for holding an opposition table quarter with troops 1 for 1 of your own and you had to win by three points) with a dawn of war spin, you could deploy as many troops and HQ's as you want including dedicated transports but nothing else.

I won first turn and Brett decided to reserve his entire army and roll on with the raider and preds first turn and DOA the troops.

Because I had no idea where he would deploy I split my forces, used the turn to run my long fangs into the cover (which is so much better at Maelstrom than WHW) and stuck my dreadnought in the centre of the board in the hope that it would be able to threaten the entirety of the board and if nothing else tie up a assault squad minus a power fist in combat.

Brett brought his land raider on straight in front of a rhino with double melta and a speeder, hope of destroying it if at least one of those units can survive? Unfortunately no plan survives contact with the enemy, the land raider missed, my speeder but then I was reminded that all blood angel vehicles not just the Baal preds are fast and 3 predators firing later my speeder was a crater and my rhino was a hulk.

My turn two left me with my usual choice, do I play the mission or avenge my speeder and rhino with the squad, surprisingly I unwolfyly turned tail and ran so to stop the threatening terminators from quickly leaving me a squad down. The other half of my army continued to push forward to claim quarters while my long range fire power pumped shots into the front armour of the predators, eventually a missile shot got through, bounced around inside and left a smoking hull on the table, some sort of a result at least.

Brett's turn two saw his scouts and 3 combat squaded units come on, the scouts took the quarter that my unit had just made their tactical withdrawal from while the DOA troops landed in order to threaten my rhinos with their meltas, luckily for me one squad landed on a rock and was destroyed out right but the other two made light work of my las plas back and one of my rhinos leaving only one remaining. The big implication of this round of shooting was that my las plas squad were pinned and a flamestorm cannon was looking menacingly at them.

Turn 3 saw me move my dreadnought into position to get a side shot on a pred that it immobilised, took a weapon off and stopped from shooting so a result while my second speeder who had skirted the side of the board appeared 23 inches away from the rear armour of the remaining predator, one melta shot later and it was a steaming pile of molten slag, a lack of enemy long range fire power could perhaps turn this certain draw into a win. My fleeing squad continued to flee from the approaching raider.

Brett's turn 3 saw the inevitable flaming of my squad leaving me outnumbered on scoring units just about 2-1, he failed to bring down his remaining squads but that was no issue for him, choosing not to re roll in the guarantee that they would be on the table the shortest amount of time.

My turn 4 saw my speeder head towards his scouts who were hiding in a corner, they went to ground when the long fangs turned their missiles on them and survived the salvo crouching in their fox holes. The dreadnought finally finished the job it started on the predators and moved to repeat its first game job of slowing terminators. The two remaining squads of assault marines on the table died to a combined grey hunter assault and missile launcher bombardment. I now bettered the scoring units on the table controlling 2 of my quarters and 1 of the oppositions but as we know there were two units to come down.

Brett's turn four saw the remaining units fall but surprisingly they made sure of the draw rather than the win, the terminators, priest and librarian finally got out and assaulted the squad that had been playing cat and mouse for the game, surprisingly the grey hunters made a good account of themselves with the rune priest cutting down the librarian with a force weapon attack and my wulfen biting through a few inches of ceramite to chew down on a lightning claw wielding terminator. I lost combat but only required a 8 to stay in which I did, result!

The game didn't have a random end, it was definitely going to go on for 6 turns but the end was in site, a draw was going to be the outcome unless something catastrophic happened on either side. I moved a squad into the centre of a quarter out of line of site to guarantee the point and continued to move my speeder to the scouts which fell just short of flamer range. I also shot 15 missile launchers at his land raider glancing it once and stopping it from shooting.

In Brett's turn he consolidated one of my quarters by finishing off the rune priest and grey hunters them taking 1 thunder hammer terminator with them.

We decided to call it a day there, both of us had just made it onto the next point bracket for VP's so we weren't going to gain another one and neither of us would be pushing for the win, it was just too dangerous. When the points were totted up I had killed 100 more points of units than Brett so I ended the game with 16 points and Brett with 15.

Overall it was a really enjoyable game. I didn't see any glaring errors, I split my forces and perhaps if I hadn't it would have been easier to kill the Land raider that caused so many issues but I had have done it would have been far easier to pen me in. In the end the problem lay with the mission, unfortunately it wasn't a good one. It was too weighted towards the draw, it was a story that was heard all over the hall, to guarantee a win all you had to do was bubble wrap one squad in one of your opponents quarters, as soon as that happened, it was virtually impossible to win. Having spoke to the organisers I know that this will be sorted for next Open War so I'm not grumbling too much.

Unit of the match was probably my rune priest that cut down an enemy librarian, he also blocked the only psychic power of the game so it was a double victory although again my dreadnought decimating a predator made back its points by far.

Sunday, 23 October 2011

Open War 16 Recap – Game 1

This weekend was Open War 16, and since my wooden spoon performance back in Open War 12, I've been a real fan of the event. This year the usual suspects of Epic and Fantasy Battle were represented alongside 40k but the 40k numbers were down pretty significantly from last year, due in no small part to a little tournament called Throne of Skulls which was also being held this weekend. Despite the slightly lower numbers than usual, the Tournamnet was a great success with the usual high standard of play and sportsmanship I've come to expect. On with the details!

My list:

Librarian (TDA, SS w. Null Zone &Gate of Infinity)

2x Dreadnought (2x TL Autocannon)
7-man Terminator Assault Squad (2xTHSS, 2x LC)

10-man Tactical Squad (Meltagun,Multi-Melta, Combi-Melta) in a Rhino
2x 5-man Tactical Squad in Razorback(TL, Plasmagun, Lascannon)

Land Speeder (Heavy Bolter, TyphoonMissile Launcher)
Land Speeder (Multi-Melta TyphoonMissile Launcher)

2x Predators (Autocannon 2x Lascannon)
Thunderfire Cannon

Game 1 vs Grey Knights

Grand Master w. Psych-o-joke and RadGrenades and MC Psycannon
Librarian w. MoT, WR, Shroud, Sanc,and maybe a few others

Venerable Dread w. 2x TL Autocannon &Psybolt Ammo

6-man Terminator Squad (Hammer,Psycannon, Halberds)
2x 5-man Strike Squads (Psycannon) inRazorback w. Psybolt Ammo

2x Dread w. 2x TL Autocannon &Psybolt Ammo
Land Raider Crusader w. Psybolt Ammo

The mission was to control three objectives placed diagonally across the centre of the board. The deployment zones were set up diagonally 18” down from the top right-hand corner and 18” in from the bottom left corner. Kel got first turn and put me in a zone with little cover but a hill which gave me some elevation for my TFC and Preds. I've played Kel before and he really uses the terrain on the board in combination with shrouding to ensure that his critical units never having anything less than a 3+save from anything that shoots in their direction.

So what I'm trying to say in around-about way, is that this was an uphill struggle, made even more difficult by the fact that Kel's dice did not seem to roll 1's! For example, over the course of 2 turns, the TFC put 28 wounds on his 5-man terminator squad with resulted in 1 dead terminator and a wound on his Grand Master. In fact, over the course of the game those were the only wounds I put on that squad despite getting some close attention from the Preds and the Plasma-backs!!

But it wasn't all about my opponent's hot dice, I did have some measure of success, taking out a Dread, both Razorbacks and a Strike Squad. But at the end of the game all I had left was a Predator with an Autocannon and Kell had all of the objectives. Final score 8-25 LOSS

Game 2, same time tomorrow!

A year on after the virginity was lost Game 1 - Open War

So yesterday was Open War 16 and Andy and I headed over to Maelstrom to play in it (Darren came as well but as he's being a whiny bitch and is 'off' 40k he played Blood bowl for a few hours).

Open War was the first tournament I attended nearly a year ago (see out picture with a fresh faced me and Andy still having his overly youthful looks, Gav hasn't changed, he still looks like Jesus) and back then I was disappointed with my result mainly because I didn't pay enough attention to the missions and it let me down. This would be a good base to decide how I had improved after a year of Tournament playing.

My list has been shared on here many times so no need to do it again so on to the day.

Open War uses three made for purpose missions which I am told are based around some previous addition missions.

First game saw me come up against Ian and his Vanilla Space Marines (just a reminder in the Autumn open war no Special Characters are allowed) He had a librarian as his HQ, a big scout and a big tactical squad which he combat squaded, 2 speeders a vindicator and a dakka predator and then in drop pods he had a dreadnought, a large stern guard squad and then deep striking a terminator squad.

The mission was a diagonal deployment (if you want to see the missions check them out on the first company vets website, just google it and click on open war 16 and the rules pack) with three objectives in no mans land.

Ian won the roll off, the new dice I got from Vegas in the summer did me no favours all day and he set his units up in such a way to quickly take advantage of first turn. This however was a mistake and I stole the initiative. 15 missile shots later, 1 speeder was destroyed, 1 speeder had no weapons and was immobilised his razorback was similarly dispatched of its weapons and immobilised and one of his tactical squads had taken two wounds and legged it straight off the board.

He fired back with his stern guard landing just in front of my long fangs and the avenger being shot at them killing 4, the vindicator fired on another squad of Long fangs had a direct hit but my long fangs made a sensible tactical decision of getting behind some cover and only one died.

My shooting destroyed his vindicator with a side shot from my rifleman dread and one of my long fang squads put some inconsequential shots into the predator.

Next I made my biggest mistake of the game, the Stern guard had combat squadded on deployment and I had both squads of 5 surrounded by a squad of grey hunters accompanied by wolf guard and rune priest, the first squad I decided that 5 sternguard and a librarian would be dealt with by 5 missile launchers and a rapid firing squad with 2 meltas and living lightning, unfortunately life didn't work like this and 3 survived including the Librarian and I was left with an avenger toting librarian looking nastily at my bunched up Grey Hunters.

I didn't make the same mistake with the other squad so I fired bolt pistols, had my Jaws cancelled by a psychic hood (I had every power that could be stopped stopped on the day) and unfurled my wolf banner, unfortunately my boys fluffed their lines and we drew the combat thanks to an epic failure from my power fist and a good showing from Ian's.

Turn two started with a roll for reserves, the dreadnought failed to appear, he forgot about the terminators as did I and the scouts arrived very close to my recent failed combat.

Shooting was fairly inconsequential with only the scouts and the predator left and a long fang died. He also tried to avenger the bunched up squad, he rolled a psychic test, double 1, loses a wound but still get the power off, it was at that moment that the wyrd started to billow around my Rune Priest and the warp was sapped of its strength ( a game changing roll? Perhaps).

The scouts had a choice to shoot at my remaining fully capable long fang pack or support the stern guard in combat who surely shouldn't be able to survive. The scouts chose the latter and headed in to combat, my grey hunters and the stern guard exchanged blows whittling each other down but his scout sergeant with a power sword was excellent killing 2 grey hunters, grrr another drawn combat.

It was then time for my difficult choice, this was the only mission that was random turn length, I had one objective secured as I saw it, I also was pushing towards the other but the issue with the Open War list is that to make sure of a win you at least need to get 2 and contest the third, I only have 4 scoring units so the question was do I go and support my grey hunters and finish the Stern Guard or make sure I make an objective as secure as it could be. I chose to think back to game three of last year and secure the objective, I did support my grey hunters however in the most unlikely way, one of my long fangs pack had been decimated leaving 1 missile launcher toting lad, he ran in swinging his launcher, cracked the scout sergeant over the head and killed him dead, with that the rest were swiftly dealt with and the squad moved on after exchanging hearty congratulations with a new lone wolf.

Next turn the dreadnought and the terminators arrived, the terminators really should have rolled on the mishaptable but I didn't push the matter and the dreadnought crazily didn't contest an objective but came down to take on a speeder who had done very little all game but try and destroy the immobilised razorback which had lost its heavy bolter. It did immobilise my speeder but by doing so showed its rear armour to my long fangs and it went boom. I now had 3 objectives with nothing threatening them except a squad of terminators on the objective that was being held by my smallest squad in a las plas. The Terminators again shot at my speeder with their cyclone missile launcher (???????) they obviously couldn't assault so it was over to my turn 5.

One thing I missed (on the report not on the game) was that the scouts did manage to glance my dreadnought and rolled a 1, it now couldn't shoot. I then decided to be brave, my las plas shot everything into the terminators killing 2 and my dreadnought piled into them in the hope to slow them down so they couldn't assault my scoring unit. My dreadnought hit and wounded 3 times, killed the two remaining power fist terminators and was left in combat with a power sword armed terminator RESULT.

The game ended on turn 5, had we had another turn or 2 I may have gained an extra bonus point but in the end I was delighted, 15 points for the mission, 8 bonus points for VP's and some well deserved lunch on the way.

Unit of the match without a doubt the rifleman dread, taking out a vindicator is good enough to start with but then to stop a terminator squad from threatening me at all. Excellent.

Game 2 tomorrow, thanks for reading and I look forward to comments.

Friday, 21 October 2011

The Problem with Plasma Guns and Power Weapons

I'll have a "P" please Bob

As I was putting these lists together, I realised that I was putting in some things that I never use - Power Weapons and Plasma Guns. Rapid-firing S7 AP2 guns and ignoring armour in close combat; what's not to love? Well, that brings me to my only major gripe with the 5th edition rules. Sure, there are some minor things that need tidying up but nothing like this:

You can be too killy

Imagine the situation where you're rapid firing at a 5-man Grey Hunter pack containing one guy with a Meltagun. You manage to do 2 Plasma Gun wounds and 4 Bolter wounds. So, now I can stick the 2 AP2 wounds on the unfortunate Meltagun guy and then take 4 saves against the four remaining guys. In essence you've "lost" a wound.

Power Weapons have the same issue since they go at the same initiative step as the rest of your normal attacks.

Now, I know that some people say that this is realistic, since if you're firing your Plasma Gun twice, you're just as likely to hit the same guy twice. However, we're playing a game featuring 8 foot tall genetically engineered supermen from 38,000 years in the future so realism doesn't really come into it!

Plus, when it comes down to it, people prefer the strength-doubling properties of Power Fists and the vehicle destroying goodness of Meltaguns...

Hopefully, we'll see a tweak to wound allocation in 6th edition that means you have to allocate armour-denying saves first and then allocating other wounds afterwards. It would be nice to see Plasma Guns and Power Weapons becoming a viable alternative to the ubiquitous Melta and Fist if only to give some variety to the armies you come up against.

Proud of Plasma? Pulling for Power Weapons? Let us know

Wednesday, 19 October 2011

Nobody Does It Better

Nobody does it better, well, apart from Connery
I played a couple of games last week against standard Space Marines and I got to wondering what similar lists would look like from the Space Wolves codex. The reason for this article is to show that Space Wolves aren't necessarily better than vanilla Marines, just different...

1500 Points - Dave's List

Dave runs two full Tactical Squads on foot, a Captain with a Relic Blade, a Venerable Dreadnought with a Plasma Cannon, a regular Dreadnought with an Assault Cannon, a 5-man Sniper Scout squad, a 5-man TH/SS squad and 3 Vindicators. Let's Wolfy it up...

Wolf Lord, Belt of Russ, Frost Blade

Venerable Dreadnought, Plasma Cannon
Dreadnought, Assault Cannon
5 Wolf Guard, 5 Terminator Armour, 5 Thunder Hammers, 5 Storm Shields, Drop Pod

10 Grey Hunters, Power Weapon, 2 Plasma Guns
10 Grey Hunters, 2 Plasma Guns

Heavy Support
Vindicator, Dozer Blade
Vindicator, Dozer Blade
Vindicator, Dozer Blade

This comes to 1475 so there are still 25 points to play around with. I couldn't fit the Scouts in due to lack of points and FOC restrictions. I've also gone for Dozer Blades on the Vindis rather than the Siege Shields that Dave takes as I'm a skinflint when it comes to points and I'll take my 1in36 chances (although I'd never let Andy roll the dice for me!)

Dave likes to Deep Strike his Terminators in so that they can threaten enemy heavy support while the Vindicators play a pretty defensive roll. To mimic this, I've had to put them in a Drop Pod. Now, this does give the bonus of always arriving on Turn 1 and there's always the option of dropping empty and deploying the termies as a Thunderbubble.  

Okay, so let's look at the differences. Dave's Captain comes with an invulnerable save as standard and has +1 strength compared to the Frost Blade. The Terminators are waaaaaay cheaper with the Space Wolf ones clocking in at a whopping 63 points each! However, this is the easiest way of bringing the points down in this list. Power Fists are 5 points cheaper than Thunder Hammers and in most cases are just as effective. There's also a question about whether you need 5 Storm Shields. This is the real benefit of the Space Wolf Terminators - the ability to mix and match weapons. If I wasn't copying Dave's list, I'd probably go with a couple of Power Weapons, maybe a Power Fist or two, just the 2 Storm Shields and something shooty, probably a Cyclone Missile Launcher so that I could threaten something when I stepped out of the Pod. Saying all that Thunder Hammer/Storm Shield Terminators are amazing for their points in the standard Marine 'dex. Pretty much everything bounces off them and they crush anything they charge. The other big difference is in the Troops section. Dave has 3 scoring units that can be combat squadded down into a maximum of 5, I have 2. The other big thing is that Dave's Troops are all Leadership 9 as standard. Ld8 is nothing to be sniffed at, but it makes easier to break or even Tank Shock, and when you only have 2 scoring units, that's a problem. Dave can also take a heavy weapon in his units compared to my 2 specials although it's situational as to which one of those is better.

So, which list is best? I don't really think there's that much in it. The fact that I always get my Terminators on turn 1 is a real advantage as is the fact that I can put them pretty much wherever I want. There is always a chance that if they Deep Strike that they could arrive on Turn 5 and then the game ends or they could Deep Strike Mishap. However, Dave's ability to combat squad would give him an advantage in Objective missions and with his heavy weapons his shooting has more range than mine. There's no doubt though that playing these lists against each other would be a close game and would probably come down to luck.

1750 Points - Andy's List

Andy is running what I call a "first principles" list as it features Dread 'n' Preads which seemed to be the go to when the Space Marine Codex came out. He has a Librarian (Avegner, Null Zone), 5 TH/SS Termies in a Redeemer, 2 Riflemen Dreads, 2 10 Tactical Squads with Las/Plas Razorbacks, 5 Scouts, 2 Auto/Las Preads and a Thunderfire Cannon (Andy loves his TFC!)

Rune Priest, Storm Caller, Living Lighning

Dreadnought, Twin-Linked Autocannon, Twin-Linked Autocannon
Dreadnought, Twin-Linked Autocannon, Twin-Linked Autocannon
5 Wolf Guard, 5 Terminator Armour, 5 Thunder Hammers, 5 Storm Shields, Land Raider Redeemer, Extra Armour, Multi-Melta

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

Heavy Support
Preadator, Lascannon Sponsons
Preadator, Lascannon Sponsons

This is 100 points short this time and is again missing the Scouts due to FOC restrictions. We also don't have the TFC since Wolves can't take them. Andy usually combat squads the Tac Marines with a Meltagun in the Razorback and a Heavy Weapon sitting back - this is why I have taken 4 units of Grey Hunters rather than just 2. In general, it's a sit and shoot list while the Redeemer rides out and dumps TH/SS killyness in your face.

Again, we have the huge point discrepancy between the Terminators and the issues around Combat Squadding (ie in a Kill Point mission Andy could put his Tactical Squads down as two Kill Points; the Grey Hunters are always four) Plus I don't have the option of the TFC. Now, I don't really rate it as a unit but it is pretty good against hordes (something Wolves are traditionally weak against) and if it gets blown up you have a Techmarine walking around fixing your Preads 'n' Dreads. I took Living Lightning on the Rune Priest to make up for some of the lack of firepower (NB he has Stormcaller so that he could be deployed in the Land Raider and give it a 5+ save)

So, who'd nick it in the head 2 head? I think Andy's might if only because he could start the Termies outside of the Land Raider then stick the Scouts inside and have a very difficult to destroy scoring vehicle. There's not a lot of Melta in the list so shifting it would be very hard. Kill Points would probably again go down to the dice.

I think that this article could be summed up by pointing out the fact that Thunder Hammer/Storm Shield Terminators are awesome and at 200 points for 5 you reall can't go wrong. Hopefully, I've also shown that regular Marines do have some advantages over their Wolfy brothers. Combat Squadding allows you to be really flexible and automatically getting Ld9 without having to use up an Elites slot is golden.


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