Saturday, 30 June 2012

6th Edition Rules!

For me, sixth edition is already a major success - page 405, line seven to be exact. It reveals that, far from being Nid-food, Squats are apparently alive and well and living happily ever after in the loving care of the Adeptus Terra. We are NOT Demiurg. All that remains is for a Codex to be released, and we'll all be very grateful. That is all. Oh, and the rest of the rulebook is pretty great too!

First impressions

I picked up the new 6th ed rule book this morning from a surprisingly busy Warhammer World. I've spent an hour or do reading through it and here are my initial thoughts... You get a lot of rule book for £45. Obviously, for that price you expect a weighty tome and you certainly get one. As before, it's a bit unwieldy to be getting out at tournaments so I expect the forthcoming mini-rule book will prove to be very popular. There's going to be a lot of confusion in the first few weeks of play. This is always the case with a new edition but I think some of the subtle changes will take some getting used to. I'm thinking here of things like cover now being 5+, FNP being 5+ but now working against AP1 & AP2 and Acute Senses now giving a re-roll on outflank edge rather than letting you re-roll night fighting distance. The other change that's going to take some getting used to is the "nearest man" wound allocation rule. There will be no more just sticking the Meltagun guy at the front as you get out of vehicles anymore. The game in general feels like subtle changes to 5th rather than sweeping changes, although I need to play a few games before I can be sure or that. In fact one thing 6th has done is re-energise my interest in the hobby which is good. I'm also looking forward to see how long it takes the Internet to "break" the new edition...

Friday, 29 June 2012

A answer to an earlier question - what are Wolves going to do about Air support?

I think this was the main question for me.

However people have now got their hands on the rule book and substantiating reports are telling us that we are going to do exactly what we did before shoot the hell out of them with missile launchers.

Just to cover the source I have now read this on Bolter and Chainsword on a thread that seems to have been given the hammer already and on the Warhammer Forums.

Missile launchers now have a third type of ammo which is flak. It’s at strength 7 Ap4 and allows missiles to hit fliers at normal AP.

So we have lost a point of strength but with hull points (and I think I am right in thinking that all fliers have 2) it doesn't matter so much because you can glance a vehicle to death.

Did the ubiquitous missile launcher just become even better and did 3 squads of long fangs become even more needed? I would say so

Happy days

Thursday, 28 June 2012

A new army for a new edition

2 more sleeps to go (unless of course you head to Warhammer world for the midnight opening, what do they think this is Call of Duty?)

So with 2 days to go a challenge has been set by Dan our resident campaign man at the first company veterans.

Many of the Veterans will be starting a Tale of 4 gamers style challenge which is being used to get more of us having a new army.

I've said many times on here that I would like to start a new army, I've toyed with the idea of Necrons, Traitor Guard and Grey Knights but I haven't finished anything.

My painting this year as with my blogging and my gaming has really ground to a halt. Wedding planning and extra work has put a stop to that sort of thing so Dan's challenge is exactly what I need.

The plan is to paint 200-300 points each month to build up to a 1750 point army with the idea suggested that at the end of it the group attends a tournament together.

You get a three points for completing your monthly painting oath (building, basing and painting), there is a bonus point for the person with the best painted models, there is a point for completing a game and each month there is a bonus task, these range from putting together fluff to building a diorama.

What army to pick then?
The rumourville is already churning over the inclusion of Chaos Space marines in the box set and for that reason I think I will be going with them.

I've always said my gaming is strongly influenced by my reading and throughout the Horus Heresy I have found the Renegades to be far more interesting than the Loyalists the only problem is I don't find the codex colourful enough to want to build an army so it’s a risk going for them.

Are they going to get the new codex that has been promised? Is it going to be legions rather than warbands? And if so what legion to go for?

The legion that has stood out for me in the Heresy has been the Word Bearers but the baron already has dibbs on them, do I go Word Bearer to Word Bearer with him or look for someone else?

Certainly needs thinking about.

So are you planning a new army for the new edition or just adapting what you have?

Look forward to seeing replies.

Tuesday, 26 June 2012

Space Wolves in 6th - Air Superiority

4 sleeps to go until sixth edition is in our hands but the overlying question I come to after reading the reports on 3++ and white dwarf is how are we going to deal with fliers?

Lets just be clear here in case people don't know, as I understand it, unless you have the AA special rule (unsure of the proper name) you are only shooting fliers at BS 1 obviously meaning that you need 6's to hit.

Looking at white dwarf it appears that they are setting the scene for dog fights over the battle field, other fliers certainly seem apt at dealing with their counterparts fighting them at natural ballistic skill. The problem with this is that so far we don't have any fliers.

So what can we use to deal with them?
Rune priests with the divination psychic powers have the chance of pulling a power that allows snap shot (which a shot at a flier is) to fire at its normal BS, useful but white dwarf indicates that psychic powers not from the codex are random so its not consistent enough.

Riflemans have the reroll at least giving you slightly more of a chance but its still not enough really is it?

So we come to the only option we definitely know that Space Wolves have for Anti Aircraft duties, fortifications.
Both the bastion and Aegis defence line have the optional upgrade of the quad gun. However I suspect that within a few months tournaments will have banned fortifications as they did in Fantasy.

This is certainly going to bring a new challenge to the Space wolfs game and one that may not be able to be sorted with mass firepower from Long Fangs.

Sunday, 24 June 2012

6th edition - The Scouring of White Dwarf

So as I am sure everyone in the 40K Universe knows by this time next week we will all be able to have a nice new shiny copy of the big big sixth edition book in our hands.

So I thought I'd take this blog post to describe what we actually know and what impact I think it will have to us, Space wolf players.

First off let me say that none of this has come from friends of a friend who work at GW but all from White Dwarf and trying to read closely the snippets of spoilers that the have given us.

So where to start?
Well its going to cost us £45 for the pleasure of this and still GW are working back before the millenium and they haven't caught on to the fact that plenty of tournament goers are IPad wielders and it wouldn't be a bad thing to have an electronic copy rather than a HUGE book to lug about at least until August or September when we get the box set.

On to the rule then.
We have always known that fliers would make up a big part of this edition, personally I didn't realise how big.
Page 24-25 of this months White Dwarf makes it quite clear that if you aren't specified Anti Aircraft you are only hitting them on a 6 +. This is then confirmed on page 61 with the mention of the quad gun on the bastion. The quad gun has the interceptor rule which means it shoots fliers as they arrive from reserve (which all fliers have to) and it fires at its normal BS.

So in one way a leaf blower army isn't going to be as nasty because they aren't going to be shooting 9 fliers at you first turn but secondly for the Space Wolves especially do we have anything to knock them down? Normal anti flier tactics is going to be to shoot them with everything we have (normally missile launchers), now that they are only going to BS1 they obviously aren't going to be nearly as effective. Hopefully there will be something in the new rule book that will mean that we have something to deal with them otherwise a bastion is going to be vital.

The next and perhaps most contentious rule change is going to be hull points.
As far as we know, Land Raiders, Soul Grinders and Ghost Arks have 4, most other vehicles including dreadnoughts have 3 while fliers have 2. So how do they work, nothing definite but as far as I can tell and I take this from the necron section where I quote 'Guass Weapons take off a Hull Point for for every 6 rolled to penetrate' as far as I remember that's a glance so each glance causes you to take off a hull point? Grey Knights look a little less resilient now?

The next biggies deal with the assault face, as predicted Assaults are now a random charge length of 2D6 and if you have fleet you can re roll one of those dice. The other main thing is that the over watch ability is now available this means that you can fire at an enemy that charges hitting them on 6's. Excellent for necrons who on a 6 get 2 extra hits from tesla weaponry and Orks who hit on 5 ups anyway so what does an extra 1 mean? Its also good for any psykers who can take from the Divination discipline so you can gain Foreboding which allows the affected squad to fire at an assaulting unit at their full BS which does include the might Space wolves.

Rapid firing seems to have changed but no complete details of how. For example page 54 says that fire warriors can now move and rapid fire up to 30' away.Again far more dangerous to your humble Space Marines.

So all in all this is what I know. I'd like to know what else you have spotted that I haven't and I look forward to next week and hopefully having my excitement of 40k renewed.

Saturday, 23 June 2012

6th Edition is Available for Pre-Order NOW!

Ok guys, this is it! Warhammer 40,000 Sixth Edition is now available for pre-order from the main GW site, as follows:

Gamers' Edition

£175.00   The Ultimate Warhammer 40,000 Bundle

£80.00    Warhammer 40,000: Collectors' Edition Rulebook

£75.00    Warhammer 40,000: Gamers' Edition

£45.00    Warhammer 40,000: Rulebook

£  8.00    Warhammer 40,000: Psychic Powers

£12.00    Warhammer 40,000 Munitorum Templates

Sixth Edition launches on the 30th of June. If you place your order by Sunday 24th of June and choose to have it delivered to your local Games Workshop Hobby Centre, GW guarantee that it will be there for you to pick up on launch day - 30th June!

If you choose to have your order delivered to a postal (ie home) address, and place your by Wednesday 27th of June it will ship out on Friday 29th of June. Orders placed after the 27th of June will ship out first thing on Monday 2nd July.

Collectors' Edition


Friday, 22 June 2012

BoTCH Tournament Practise (1500pts) - Tyranids vs Dark Eldar

Last night I fielded by 1500pt Tyranid army against Younger Graham ('Gripper') and his Dark Eldar flying circus, in a practise game for the forthcoming BoTCH tournament in July. Graham is a top guy, very friendly but a very keen competitor. Graham is, in fact, a member of the Scottish ETC team, and as such he presented me with a really strong challenge. The thing I notice about playing tournament players is the speed and concentration which they apply - playing Gra can be a bit of a whirlwind, and so I challenged myself to keeping up - both in speed and competitiveness - with a top player.

I think I've only played Dark Eldar once before, which was against Alex Brown (of From The Fang) soon after the new Codex was released. At the time, I remember Alex totally battered my Bugs with his big units of Wyches etc, and I formed an assumption that Dark Eldar are an elite close combat army. Well, last night I found out just how wrong that assumption was!

Graham's army comprised a couple of Raider-mounted Warrior squads, a couple of Venom-mounted Warrior/Wych squads, a couple of Ravagers and a few other bits, including the flyer (Void Raven?!). Being honest, it was a bit of a blur! We both set up fully in reserve, with half of my army podding in, with the rest rolling on from my board edge. With the Hive Commander rule, my units should arrive on a 3+ on turn 2, which is very reasonable most of the time. The mission was no. 3 in the BoTCH rulespack - 'Hold the Hill', where you win by having more scoring units in the middle of the table (9" radius). The set-up was Pitched Battle, though this mattered not as we both started from reserve. The game therefore started on turn 2, with Gra rolling for his reserves (on a 4+). He got a reasonable amount of his vehicles onto the table and moved them into a gun-line positionon his board edge. In my turn 2, I rolled for my reserves, but was disappointed by the results. I ended up with all my 'combat infantry' (Genestealers, Termagants, Trygon, Tervigon and flying Hive Tyrant) but none of my ballistic support! The two units of Zoanthropes and my 'dakka' Carnifex all decided to stay in their Mycetic Spores until turn 3. My mistake was to start conservatively - I was still labouring under the misapprehension that the Dark Eldar would move forward to get into combat ASAP, so I hugged cover on my own table edge.

Then the Dark Eldar started shooting...

All I can say is, Ouch! and Wow! The rate of fire that Gra was able to pour out was phenomenal, and quite unexpected. At the end of Gra's turn 3, he had taken out the Trygon, and whittled the Tyrant down to one wound, and killed off half my beloved Genestealers. On my subsequent turn 3, I knew I needed the rest of my army, and it reliably arrived (a 2+ on turn 3 for reserves is great!). Unfortunately my pods went a little awry, and instead of forming a shield-wall of three pods across the centre of the board (between two bastions) for my foot-troops to advance safely behind, the pods all scattered - two scattered 11" and one scattered 12" - all in different directions! Undeterred, my Zoanthropes and Carnifexes lumbered out and started blastin'. I then learnt my second lesson - Dark Eldar skiffs are made of paper! When you can actually engage them - either with shooting attacks or assaults - they fold very easily. My only problem was that I didn't have enough shooting attacks to take out all of Gra's vehicles, as he seemed to have almost a dozen on the table!

During turns 4 and 5, Gra concentrated on shooting my mostrous creatures and Zoanthropes, which I was quite pleased about. That allowed my surviving Genestealers and my one spawned unit of Termagants, along with the two remaining members of the starting unit, to sneak up the table behind the central bastion and to try and claim the centre of the table. By the end of my turn 5, I was feeling quite confident - although Gra had wiped out most of my Monstrous Creatures, all of my scoring troops (including the Tervigon, which I think Gra had forgotten was a Troops choice) were within 9" of the table centre, with only one of Gra's Warrior units there to contest the objective. All was going well, and I would win the game if the dice roll for turn 6 was a 1 or a 2. Unfortunately tough it was a three, and we continued into turn 6. Or rather Gra did, as by the end of his go, he had tabled me! He chewed through my remaining infantry with ease, and turned the game completely on it's head in one decisive turn.

So well done to Gra - he is a shrewd player, knows his army back-to-front,and thinks very quickly on his feet. As for me,the evening served it's purpose - I learnt a few things about the true nature of the Dark (Eldar) Side, such as:
  • Stay out of line of sight of their guns
  • Start as close as possible to the enemy - outflanking, infiltating and deepstriking are perfect delivery methods for this 
  • Get into combat as soon as you can - T.3 is easy to kill
  • Target the DE transports with all your guns - even Fleshborers can down a Venom
In the near future, I'll be looking to continue searching out armies and opponents I've not faced before. In particular, I need some practise against Necrons, which I'm expecting to be very competitive at BoTCH in July!

Thursday, 7 June 2012

Next Tournament: BoTCH

As the title says, my next tournament is the Battle of the Chumps at Maelstrom in Mansfield on 14-15 July 2012. You'll find the tournament pack here: The tournament is an interesting challenge because you play at various points levels during the weekend - specifically, two games at 1,000pts, two at 1,500pts and finally two games at 2,000pts on the second day.

Each game features a different mission and deployment, which all combines to make a rather unique challenge! The tournament also includes a few list-building restrictions, for example: - Named/unique units take up two FOC slots - No more than two of the same Elite/Fast/Heavy choice - No more than three of the same Troops choices In addition, each list at the increasing points levels must build on the former by only adding complete new units, rather than modifying existing units at all.

I intend to take my all-reserve Drop-Spore Tyranids to the tournament, as I think they may be quite competitive in a situation where the larger points armies must, by their nature, compromise many smaller units. Hopefully this will go some way to neutralising the advantage that low-unit count 'elite' armies benefit from.

My question is, what is the best way of going about building the three lists? Start with the smallest and add units, or start with the biggest and deduct units to make the smaller list? Please help!
(Picture courtesy of Adam at

Wednesday, 6 June 2012

Lest We Forget - Remembering D-Day

As wargamers, we all play dice with imaginary soldiers' lives, usually with very little thought as to the fate or feelings of the combatants involved. Indeed, it's one of the main reasons I can play 40k with a clear conscience  - the setting is futuristic, the background and races involved are far removed from reality and there are usually justifications as to why it's ok for these soldiers to be thrown into action without remorse - immortal robots, daemons with unkillable spirits, inhuman Space Marines, and so on.

But today I'd like to spare a thought for all the people affected by real conflicts, throughout the world. Today is the anniversary of D-Day, which must rank as one of the most bloody events in recent history. I think we can only imagine the emotions that the soldiers in the landing craft must have felt as they approached the landing beaches, knowing that almost certain death awaited them. So let's remember them today as we watch Big Brother on the TV, work in our offices and mow our lawns. It doesn't seem right to play toy soldiers today.

Sunday, 3 June 2012

Hive Fleet Nemesis Cleans Up at Blog Wars III

This weekend Hive Fleet Nemesis descended on Maelstrom Games in Mansfield for Alex Brown's Blog Wars III. This is a friendly tournament which Alex runs twice a year for members of the Blogosphere (great word!) and is always a very enjoyable day. This year was no different.
I had every intention of taking my Squats-as-Imperial Guard to this year's tournament, however my progress has been as slow as a Squat in a 100m sprint. Ahem. My excuse is that my girlfriend and I have just had a baby (5 weeks ago) so I guess that mitigates things a bit. That said, I have been talking about these Squats for three years now, and I'm fairly sure babies don't take that long to arrive, so perhaps I can't use that as a reason after all. So instead, I took my tried-and-tested Tyranids.
The army list is fairly settled now, with only minor modifications being made here and there - for example, I've dropped a unit of Zoanthropes and replaced them with Hive Guard, as I find that Zoanthropes are just too unreliable when faced with Grey Knights and other psychic defences. My other recent change is to replace a Trygon with a drop-podding Carnifex with Brain-Leech Devourer and Heavy Venom Cannon. This unit really adds to my ability to crack tanks open, ready for the Genestealers and spawned Termagants to eat the fleshy goodness inside. This decision caused a few raised eyebrows this weekend, but I find Trygons are just too big and obvious a target without having a strong ballistic threat to use whilst they spend a couple of turns getting into combat.

Game one was against James Winsor of the Weemen blog. James was using a Codex: Space Marine army led by his chosen special character, Vulkan Hestan (for those not in the know, SC's are mandatory at Blog Wars). The rest of his army consisted of of a couple of Tactical squads, one with a Rhino, a Scout squad, an Ironclad Dreadnought tooled up for close combat, a twin-Autocannon Dreadnought, an Assault Terminator squad  in a Land Raider, a Predator, a deepstriking Land Speeder and a couple of Attack Bike squads.
We rolled for set-up and James won, so he set up first. Being Pitched Battle, he had to set up his Marines across his back edge, but in particular he chose to start with his shooty Dreadnought, Attack Bikes, Rhino and Predator very close to his left-hand board edge. Here was my opportunity! In a feature which would become common to all three of my games, my outflanking units had the chance to move on directly into combat with the enemy! This is one of the beauties of an all-reserve army - opponents often seem unsure of how to counter them, and so set up in a traditional back-edge gunline.   
Since all of my units were reserving, the game started properly on turn two when I rolled for my reserves. This is where all-reserve forces win or lose - a lucky batch of reserve rolls can really make the game viable. However, if your dice aren't so hot, your forces arrive piecemeal and are easy for your opponent to pick off at his leisure.
We started the game on turn two and I rolled for reserves. I got lucky and the vast majority of my forces arrived. Now for the second risk – rolling for where the outflankers would arrive! Again, I got lucky and all three units came in on the board-edge immediately beside James’ Predator, Autocannon Dreadnought, Tactical Squad, Bikes and Rhino. The Tervigon made short work of the Predator and one unit of Genestealers got stuck into the Rhino and Attack Bikes, but the other unit of Genestealers didn’t fare so well – they engaged the Autocannon Dreadnought, only for it to hold them up and whittle them down until turn four!
Meanwhile, the rest of my forces arrived via deepstrike and normal reserve. Whilst they landed in good positions and did manage to do some damage, James’ Melta-heavy list made relatively light work of them and when the game ended on turn five, it was just about all over for me. Whilst my outflankers had racked up six kill-points and 803 VP’s against the static backline, James had shot the rest of my army, garnering twelve kill-points and a massive 1619 VP’s.
Result: 25-5 loss.
Game two was, on paper, probably my best bet of the day with a spawning Tervigon, and though I did manage a win, it wasn’t Termagants that won the day for me as the momma-bug ‘jammed’ on turn one! My opponent was Jon Cox, who was playing in his first tournament, and was using a balanced Codex: Space Marine force featuring Terminators in a Land Raider, a Thunderfire Cannon, two squads of Scouts, some Vanguard Veterans and a squad of Tactical Marines. Jon won ‘the toss’ and set up all of his forces in and around a massive ruin near to his right board-edge. I decided to start with the Tervigon, Trygon, Hive Tyrant and Hive Guard on the table, mainly so that I could start spawning game-winning Termagants from turn one. As it was, this plan backfired and I only managed a single unit before the Tervigon gave up her maternal instincts.
In the first turn I kept my head down, and only advanced my Trygon and Tyrant cautiously, though I did manage to cast Paroxysm on Jon’s advance scouts (the Tervigon loitered on my back edge for the whole game). In return, Jon started firing and took out one of my Hive Guard.
Again, the game relied – for me at least – on making some lucky reserves rolls in turn two. My two outflanking Genestealers both arrived as soon as they could, one unit arriving on either flank. This was a double-edged sword for me. Whilst I really needed the offensive capabilities of both units of ‘Stealers to eat through Jon’s infantry, having one deploy far away from the opponent at least meant they would survive unscathed to claim a quarter later in the game. The unit that did arrive next to Jon’s forces, however, were magnificent! They managed to engage three units immediately, eating through a Thunderfire Cannon (and it’s Techmarine), a squad of Tactical Marines and the Vanguard Vets in two turns. As they were finishing off this assault however, Jon’s Terminators waded in and kept the fight going until turn five, when a single Terminator – the sole survivor of Jon’s forces – kept the surviving Genestealers at bay long enough to contest his table quarter. Meanwhile, I had spread my other forces out and managed to claim two uncontested quarters to take the win.
Result: 19-7 win (1650 VP’s vs 1169 VP’s)
In my final game I was in the relatively lofty position of table seven! My reward was to face Peter Barrett of Buckeroo Mathammer and his Necrons, which were a mixture of Warriors, Immortals, Triarchs and Destroyers. Peter won the roll-off and set up two units of Warriors very aggressively, placing them on the 24” line. I decided to keep everything in reserve again, and this time I wasn’t quite so lucky, so whilst the majority of my forces arrived on turn two, a reasonable amount didn’t come on until turns three and four. Luckily though, my outflanking Tervigon and a unit of Genestealers rolled onto Peter’s right flank, and the latter survived long enough and in sufficient numbers to to make a turn three assault on his Immortals. Once again though, the Tervigon only managed to birth a single brood of Termagants, to Peter’s pleasure and amusement!
In truth, this game hinged on the Doom of Malan’Tai’s wound-sucking exploits. He arrived on turn two and I managed to place him amongst three units. In the two turns he survived, he managed to wipe out most of two units of Destroyers, a squad of Warriors and some Lychguard. Peter was wise to Doom’s powers though, and immediately assaulted him, which neutralised him in turn three, though to the cost of four of his own units.
In the end, Peter just didn’t have enough surviving units after Doom’s antics to counter the rest of my army and when the game ended on turn six (or possibly turn seven?), his sole surviving model was Trazyn (I think), whom I had killed at least three times! In the very last roll of the game, Trazyn reanimated again and prevented a tabling. However by that point I was holding two objectives so I was victorious for the second time that day.
Result: 16-8 win (1570 VP’s vs. 897 VP’s).
To say this was my best tournament outing would be an understatement! To finish 11th was a great result for me by netting two wins from three games, finishing seventh-highest in terms of VP’s and being the top Tyranid player to boot. I think my performance has a little to do with luck – especially where reserves and outflank rolls were concerned – but probably more to do with the fact that I am using a list that has remained virtually unchanged for over a year now, so thanks to Gav (Mr. Claws & Fists) for his immortal advice – “Pick an army and stick to it!”.  

The last thing to mention about Blog Wars III is the stunning armies that were on display. The best two by far were two Star Wars themed Imperial Guard forces, one largely Imperial and one fully Alliance. Unfortunately I didn’t get any pictures of the Alliance X-Wings (counts-as Vendettas) but I did a couple of pictures of the former list. My particular favourites were the Rebellion heroes on display in the Command Squad and the Imperial Speeder-Bike riders.
The other force of note was a full Jokaero army! The list consisted of several squads of monkeys mounted in Chimeras, supported by Heavy Weapon-toting gorillas. Simply brilliant!
Finally, a quick word about my progress with the Squats-as-IG army I’m working on. I have now got five tank chassis’ and guns built and part-painted, which will go on to be two Hydras, a couple of Medusas and a Manticore. I also have two larger Ramshackle Games’ tank models made up and part-painted, which will be used as either Leman Russes or Manticores, but only at Maelstrom tournaments as they are non-GW models.
Once these are finished, I will be respraying the two airships (counts-as Vendettas) and four Termite Tunnellers (probably counts-as Chimeras or even Hellhounds). Then I will finish off some more infantry – I have around forty Squats painted so far, and I’ll probably need around double that amount for any competitive list.
As far as army list, I have already posted my target list on my Rogue Trader blog. However, I will definitely be tweaking this list when 6th edition arrives in around four weeks’ time, so watch this space!


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