Sunday, 17 November 2013

40K UK GT - Day 2

Day 1 was in the bag and I was feeling pretty positive about my performances in day 1. I could put the defeat in game 1 down to a bad match-up, game 2 went pretty well against a list which is strong in the meta at the moment and game 3 started well and but for some foul dice when the Doom landed, it could have gone quite differently. All to play for today then …

Game 4 vs Necrons; Vanguard Strike deployment, playing The Emperor’s Will

Nemesor Zandrekh
Vanguard Obyron
Destroyer Lord – Weave, Scythe, MS Scarabs
Warriors (5) - Nightscythe
Warriors (7) - Nightscythe
Scarabs (7)
Scarabs (7)
Spyders (3) – Gloom Prism
Spyders (3) – Gloom Prism

WTF was I thinking?
 OK, not a great start to the day, a list I could really struggle against if I make any mistakes and boy do I make some mistakes. First off I win the roll-off and elect to go second, this gives him the opportunity to spawn more scarabs before I get a chance to stop him, secondly I infiltrate my scouts close enough to his lines that he can spawn scarabs, charge them and sling-shot into my lines before I can really bring enough firepower to bear on him.


In my first turn I attempt to make amends by dropping my Sternguard in to take out his Spyder unit with Obyron in it. Sadly I forgot that he could bring in units from reserve with my own reserves so he placed his Monolith directly between my Sternguard and the Spyder unit and rolls a “hit” in a space exactly big enough for the Monolith. To make matters worse, 6 Sternguard Combi-Melta shots take a single hull point off the Monolith.

Ahhhhh, balls!

As far as I was concerned it was game over from this point. I played it out to the end and wasn’t tabled but I only managed to pick up the single tournament point for not conceding. Not a good start to the day!

0-6 Loss (NONE / 1st, WL, LB)

Game 5 vs Necrons; Deployment Hammer and Anvil playing Kill Points

Forgeworld Overlord
Destroyer Lord – Weave, Scythe
Cryptek – Harbinger of Despair - Veil
Warriors (10)
Warriors (10)
Immortals (5) – Gauss
Destroyers (5) – Gauss Cannon
Destroyers (3) – Heavy Gauss Cannon
Wraiths (3)
Annihilation Barge

More Necrons! What have I done to deserve this? At least looking at it, the list didn’t look too optimised so I felt like I had a glimmer of hope in this one. I knew I’d have to castle up somewhat otherwise his uber-lord and jumpy Cryptek unit would be able to cause some havoc in my backfield.

And now 'm in amongst the Best Painted armies of the Tournament.

I took first turn hoping to get first blood and take his barge out of the game and possibly remove the wraiths too. This would mean I could focus everything on the Lord’s unit when it veiled at me. I dropped one unit of Sternguard towards his backlines to take out the Barge and the other on my side of midfield in rapidfire range of his wraith unit. The unit aiming at the Barge utterly failed, not even managing to inflict a single hullpoint. The other unit was more successful, killing 2 of the 3 Wraiths. Night Fight meant that I had nothing else in range so I couldn’t finish off the unit unfortunately.

In his turn he comfortably took out a Drop Pod for First Blood with his Destroyer Lord and then he veiled his Lord unit behind my castled up units and this is where the game took place for the next 4 turns. The reinforced Ruin which my unites were castled up in gave me enough protection to survive the initial salvo relatively unscathed and I was able to bombard him with the Thunderfire canon before I charged him with the scout unit in an attempt to slow his progress through my ranks. For the most part this worked but after dealing with his Wraith and Destroyer Lord I brought my Centurions back to help out as that Lord was proving to be a bit of a nightmare.

I managed to remove the unit at the top of turn 4 but the combat had dragged me well back into my own deployment zone and had given my opponent a 1 Kill Point lead. My opponent had astutely moved everything in his army right to the back of this deployment zone so I needed a couple more turns to get units into range. Sadly the dice brought an end to the game on turn 5 and my shitty run continued. I‘d be close to the bottom now, surely I’d be in for a nice game against a non-competitive list … we’ll I was at least half right.

6-7 Loss (WL / 1st)

Game 6 vs Chaos Space Marines; Dawn of War playing The Scouring

Chaos Lord – Mark of Nurgle, Bike, Black Mace, Sigil, Gift of Mutation
Plague Zombies (27)
Plague Zombies (27)
Plague Marines (5) – 2x Plasma gun
Spawn (5) – Mark of Nurgle
Heldrake – Baleflamer
Heldrake – Baleflamer
Havocs (5) – 4x Autocannon
Obliterators (2) – Mark of Nurgle

FML! Right, that’s it. I’m going home, I shouldn’t have gotten out of bed this morning. I’m not the sort of person who gets depressed about a game of toy soldiers but I have to admit I was feeling pretty sore at his point and to see two Heldrakes across the board from me did nothing to raise my spirits. Fortunately my opponent was a very nice bloke with a very cool themed Nurgle army so I figured I’d just let the dice decide how this was going to end.

I got to go second and positioned the majority of my army in position to annihilate his Spawn/Bike Lord unit as soon as possible, everything would be slogging across the board nice and slowly. And so it was that by the end of turn 2 his unit and Warlord were no more! Score 1st Blood and Warlord!

Awesome looking Nurgle Spawn.
Typhus’s unit was quite happy way over on my right flank owning one objective and making another one looking a not terribly attractive option. On my left flank the other unit of Zombies and the Plague Marines were looking a bit threatening and the first Heldrake had just turned up. Fortunately I had no juicy targets on the board, unfortunately I only managed to knock a couple of hull points off.

I managed to kick myself in the balls on this turn by deciding to effectively throw away my scouts for no discernable reason; charging half into Typhus’s unit and putting the other half on the opposite side of the board! At least it made him bring his Plague Marines back to deal with them, keeping them away from my planned drop-site for my Tactical Squad. On the up-side I finished off the wounded Heldrake.

I decided I had nothing to take on Typhus and a ton of Zombies so I threw what I had left down my left flank in an effort to whittle down the Zombies and take out the Plague Marines. Long story short, it didn’t work, his other Heldrake managed to stay off long enough that I had had to deploy my marines to hold objectives at the end of turn 4 in order to cover enough objectives to secure the win. Fortunately he had to fly the Heldrake off the board at the ned of Turn 5 and I was on enough objectives to have a 3 point lead.

Unfortunately the game went onto Turn 6 and the Heldrake returned wiping one squad off an objective, the Plague Marines and Zombies cleared out another, leaving me with just the 4 pointer and handing me my 5th and final loss of the weekend.

4-7 Loss (WL / 1st, LB, WL)

Thursday, 14 November 2013

40K GT 2013 - Day 1

I’ve been struggling to make tournaments this year so it was with great excitement that I set out on a cold Saturday morning last weekend to attend Heat 3 of the 40K Indie GT up in Warrington. The venue was fantastic with loads of room around every table so you could easily play Hammer and Anvil, and in fact it made playing every game that little bit easier. The tournament was well run and pretty much ran to time without incident. The food was pretty good to!

It was also a weekend of exceptional gaming, at least, I think it was. For the most part it was going on around me and a very long way away from the tables I was on (no offence to my opponents, they were all rather good). I however stunk up the joint, and for once I’m not talking about bad gas!

As some of you will know from my recent posts, my practice has been limited and I’d been really struggling to settle on a list I was happy with. Over the course of the weekend I really learnt a lot about the Marine codex and why the list I’d taken was really quite poor. But I’m getting ahead of myself, Here’s my list and here’s a run-down for the games on Day 1

Codex Space Marines.


Sternguard (5) – 3x Combi-Melta; Drop Pod
Sternguard (5) – 3x Combi-Melta; Drop Pod

Tactical Squad (10) – Plasma, Heavy Bolter, Combi-Plasma; Drop Pod
Tactical Squad (10) – Lascannon
Scout Squad (10) – 5x Bolt Pistol & Combat Weapon, 5x Sniper Rifle

Thunderfire Cannon
Devastator Centurions (3) – 3x Grav-Cannon & Grav Amps, 3x Missile Launcher
Land Raider

Game 1 vs. Necrons with Tau Allies; Hammer & Anvil deployment playing Crusade

Friday, 8 November 2013

GT Heat 3 - The Final Countdown

Here we are again, less than two days until a tournament and I’ve not really decided on the list I’m taking and some of the core units I know I will be taking are still unpainted. This weekend is going to be all about trying not to lose too badly … again!

As far as the list goes I’m settled on a core I just can’t stop fiddling with the “edges”. Here’s my current flavour-of-the-minute list:

Primary Detachment : Codex Space Marines


Tactical Squad (10): Meltagun, Multi-Melta, Combi-Melta; Drop Pod
Tactical Squad (10): Flamer, Lascannon; Rhino

Thunderfire Cannon
Devastator Centurions (3): 3x Grav-Cannon & Grav-Amp, 3x Missile Launcher
Land Raider

Allied Detachment: Codex Blood Angels


Assault Squad (10): 2x Flamer

Wow! When I write it down like this it look incredibly light on models!

The Primary Detachment is set up to provide durable scoring, my Centurion/Tigurius/Land Raider unit (Bullet Magnet) and a Thunderfire for flavour. Since my game against Alex I’ve been really trying to work Mephiston into the list … because he’s amazing; and a lot of what’s on the table these days, he is almost designed to bully. I also love the scoring Assault Squad from a manoeuvrability point of view and the double flamer can be placed to do maximum damage to some tucked away scoring unit.

The glaring weakness of this list is that if I come up against Tripple Heldrakes, it’s toast – literally. The omission of anything which can take out a flier is entirely intentional. At this point level I have struggled to add in an air threat without seriously crippling what I can do on the ground so I’ll just accept the fact that I’m completely boned if I come up against Heldrakes.

And in typically “me-style”, while I’ve been sitting here typing this I’ve come up with something else to share with you which packs in more bodies and possibly has more punch:

Codex Space Marines


Sternguard (5): 3x Combi-Melta; Drop Pod
Sternguard (5): 3x Combi-Melta; Drop Pod

Tactical Squad (10): Meltagun, Multi-Melta, Combi-Melta; Drop Pod
Tactical Squad (10): Flamer, Lascannon
Scouts (10): Bolt Pistol, Close Combat Weapon; Land Speeder Storm: Heavy Flamer

Thunderfire Cannon
Devastator Centurions (3): 3x Grav-Cannon & Grav-Amp, 3x Missile Launcher
Stormraven Gunship: TL Multi-Melta, TL Lascannon

And even as I write this I’m thinking I could trade the LS Storm and the Stormraven and get a Landraider back in the list! Oh dear.

Anyway, I like this list from the alpha-strike Sternguard point of view (though it’s been done to death and is reasonably easily countered) and it has air defence in the form of the Stormraven.

Maybe I should just flip a coin!

Anyway, I’ll just finish off with some pics of the Work-in-Progress on my Centurions and Tigurius.

Friday, 25 October 2013

Reality Check: Tau Edition.

Errrggghhh! Tau!

After being lulled into a false sense of security at Blog Wars earlier this year, I think I have finally experienced the full power of the new Tau Codex and I have definitely been underestimating it.

Alex of the fantastic From the Fang blog and organiser of the above-mentioned Blog Wars tournaments (and my opponent in the game I was referring to), came down to Warhammer World this past Thursday for some list practice. In our first game we played his 1850 Tau list for Blog Wars against my 2055pt “I-really-should-check-my-list-before-I-deploy-my minis” Space Marine list. I won’t go into details but the extra Tactical Squad I had in my list made little difference and he beat me handily.

Shadowsun is about to make my day even worse.

Saturday, 19 October 2013

UK GT Heat 3 – Prep and List Building

With the UK 40K Indie GT on the horizon I really need to get off my butt and put in some practice. I’ve been doing a lot of thinking about lists recently and am still undecided as to whether to go with Space Marines or Tyranids. Here are the two lists I’m stuck between:

Tyranids – 1650pts
Hive Tyrant – 2x Devourers w. Brainleech Worms, Hive Commander, Wings
Hive Tyrant – 2x Devourers w. Brainleech Worms, Wings

Doom of Malan’tai – Mycetic Spore

15 Termagants
15 Termagants – Devourers
Tervigon – 2 Powers, Toxin Sacs
Tervigon – 2 Powers, Toxin Sacs

2 Carnifexes – 2x Devourers with Brainleech Worms each

Space Marines – 1650pts

10 Tactical Marines – Meltagun, Multi-Melta, Rhino
10 Tactical Marines – Flamer, Lascannon, Rhino
5 Tactical Marines – Lascannon

Stormtalon Gunship – Skyhammer Missiles
Stormtalon Gunship – Skyhammer Missiles

Thunderfire Cannon
3 Devastator Centurions – 3x Grav-cannons and Grav-amps, 3 Missile Launchers, Land Raider Redeemer
5 Devastator Marines – 4x Missile Launchers

Thursday, 26 September 2013

io9 Pick up £7000 Ultramarine 1-click deal

I'm a keen follower of the io9 website and today there was a brief article on the Ultramarines' Chapter "1-Click Deal".

I'm glad I'm not the only one who thought this was bananas! Though I do wonder if anyone bought it. Answers on a postcard below please.

Monday, 2 September 2013

GW Includes Roster Creation in Codex: Space Marines iBook?

As I was pre-ordering the new Codex: Space Marines iBook for my iPad I was scrolling along the preview images and the last image certainly seems to imply there will be some sort of Army List creation "app" built in.

Take a look here and tell me what you think.

If this is what I think it is then I just got even more excited about this release than I was 5 minutes ago!

Monday, 12 August 2013

On-Commission Painting Service

I am planning to start up a model-making & painting service. To start with, this would be a single project to test the viability and then, if this proves successful, I would begin ramping the service up. 

For folks who do not know me, I have been collecting miniatures for various wargames systems since the late 80's, so I have a fair bit of experience! Since my return to 40k about five years ago, I have built up a Chaos Space Marines army, an Eldar army, a heavily-converted Tyranid force and a semi-scratchbuilt Squat army (based on the Imperial Guard codex). 

You can find pictures of some if my work here: 




What I'm looking for to start with is a single willing individual to be my guinea pig! I'm happy to do any or all of the following tasks: 

- Buying the models
- Assembly
- Under-coating
- Painting
- Basing
- Display board

Of course I am looking to do this to make a small additional income to my regular job (I'm an engineer) but as it'll be my first foray into commission work, I'm happy to discuss price and come to an amicable and mutually-acceptable agreement regarding costs. 

If it sounds like the sort of thing you would be interested in, please post a comment below and we can begin proceedings! 

Thanks for reading, 


Thursday, 8 August 2013

Call for Players - Ruinstorm Tournament, Saturday 24th August

On Saturday 24th August I'm off to Leicester to play in the Ruinstorm Tournament. It's only £10 for three games, which I reckon is excellent value! The tournament is making a final call for players - tickets are available until 10th August.

The details are below:

Ruinstorm - 24th August

[ Location ] Leicester Phat Katz game club - Ukranian Church, Livingstone Street, Leicester, LE3 0QY -
[ Price ] £10
[ Games ] 3
[ Points ] 1500
[ Contact ] Christian
[ Info ] Ticket sales and other info-!feed
Event and mission package - ... Fd01M/edit

Tuesday, 16 July 2013

A Reprise for Hive Fleet: Nemesis

A Return to Hive Fleet Nemesis

On Thursday I will be playing a regular (non-campaign) game of 40k so I have decided to rest the Squat Guard and give a first 6th-edition run-out to my Tyranids. I stuck with Nids throughout most of the last year or so of 5th edition, back when they were considered an also-ran codex. I'm therefore looking forward to trialling the same army in 6th edition!
The list I will be using is the exact-same list I ran in 5th edition - largely because that's all the models I have! Here is my 1750pt list:
Hive Tyrant: twin-linked devourers with brainleech worms; bonded exoskeleton; wings. 245

2 Zoanthropes 160
Mycetic Spore
2 Zoanthropes 120
The Doom of Malan'tai 130
Mycetic Spore

10 Termagants 50
The Scuttling Swarm Tervigon: Catalyst; Onslaught; cluster spines; toxin sacs. 200
10 Termagants 50
The Scuttling Swarm Tervigon: Catalyst; Onslaught; scything talons; cluster spines; toxin sacs. 205

Trygon 200
Trygon 200
1 Carnifex: twin-linked devourers with brainleech worms; twin-linked devourers with brainleech worms. 190

1,750 points
The army has six monstrous creatures, eight psykers and the ability to spawn multiple troops units - three things that define 6th edition. I'm looking forward to giving the army a dust-off (literally) and a run-out against a new Tau army. Watch this space for a battle-report over the weekend!

Sunday, 14 July 2013

Best Podcasts on the 'Net?


There must be a lot of great podcasts out there on the tinterweb relating to our favourite game, Warhammer 40,000 - but which are the best and which are your favourites?

I currently listen to the '40K UK' / '40K Global' podcast and occasionally the '11th Company' podcast from the USA, but I'm sure there are lots more - specifically in this country - that I am missing.

I enjoy listening to articles on tactics, codex reviews, anything to do with the fluff, scratchbuilding and model/terrain-making... just about anything really! Specifically though, anything that might make me a better player, and anything which shows a bit of imagination (ie, not just regurgitating the latest net-spam army lists).

Please help me! If you can suggest some good podcasts, I would be very grateful. I may even do a post reviewing all the ones that our readers here on Claws & Fists recommend!

Wednesday, 10 July 2013

Cricket! Ashes! Photography! With my reputation?!?

Well, this is massively off topic but I'm pretty excited so I thought I'd just share quickly.

As some of you may know today sees the first day of play in this year's Ashes Test - that's cricket for the uninitiated. The First match is being played at Trent Bridge in Nottingham (where I live) and I have been lucky enough to have been selected to photograph the event on behalf of Trent Bridge!

I'll be working in and around the ground trying to get stories which promote both the Venue itself and the impact that the match has on the City of Nottingham.

If anyone reading this happens to be going along let me know in the comments section below and I'll try and find you for an interview. If you're not going to be there you can still follow all the action on the bloghere.
which I'll be contributing to and is linked

Sorry for this brief interlude, normal blogging will resume in due course!

Friday, 5 July 2013

Tyranids on Necrons - Battle Report

Mommy Bugs! Sadly I left the "Child-bearing Hips" on the sprue ...
Looks like I'm getting my 40K on at the moment and the blogging muse is kicking in, so "make hay while the sun is shining" as the saying goes! Quick caveat before I get any further, while the writing muse is with me I keep forgetting to take photos while I play! So to break up the wall of text I've included some photos of my Tyranids as they look at the moment.

I took my 'nids down to Warhammer World yesterday to take on Duncs' Necrons and after seeing his build at Blog Wars 5, I was surprised with what I saw across the table from me:

Tuesday, 2 July 2013

Tyranid List Building Thoughts.

Boom! goes the dynamite.
 After playing Tyranids exclusively since around November last year and capping it all off with a fairly good performance at Blog Wars a couple of weeks ago I’ve been giving my list building strategy a bit of a rethink. Over the last few months I’ve experimented with a few different builds but a few things have remained consistent, firstly the mandatory inclusion of two Carnifexes with two Twin Linked Devourers each and a Tyranid Prime to nestle between them, two Tervigons and two 10-man units of Termagants to make them troops. Beyond these building blocks, I have experimented with Flying Hive Tyrants, Zoanthropes, Hive Guard, Mawlocs, Trygons, the Doom, Raveners and Gargoyles.

So a fairly broad spectrum there, but recently I’d settled down into a more shooting focused build involving Hive Guard, the Carnifexes and a couple of deep striking Monstrous Creatures and indeed this was reflected in the list I took to Blog Wars. However I felt a very significant lack of range and I also realised that such is the power of weight of firepower available to some armies at the moment, that managing your opponent’s range to you is also of great importance to the survival of an army that needs to get in close such as my ‘nids.

In an attempt to address some of these issues I’ve rethought my policy on list building with Tyranids so here are a couple of lists following a different philosophy of play-style:

Monday, 24 June 2013

Blog Wars 5 - Redemption!

This weekend saw the Claws and Fists crew attend another Blog Wars and, in my opinion, this was the best one yet!! With the recent unfortunate closure of the Eye of the Storm venue in Mansfield, the tournament was moved to the North West Gaming Centre in Stockport, more of a trek than I'm used to but only about a 90 minute drive so nothing to complain about really!

Then venue itself was perfect, plenty of space, great tables with nice terrain, friendly staff and all the other amenities you would expect. The tournament always has a great atmosphere thanks in no small part to Alex's (From the Fang) focus on keeping it a blogging community-centric event and this time was no different.

From my point of view I played 3 very enjoyable games against 3 very nice opponents with 3 very different armies; but before I give you a brief report on each game you'll probably want no know what I was taking:

Monday, 17 June 2013

Themed armies.

Warning: This post will meander and may not even come to a conclusion!

I had my first game with the new Eldar codex on Thursday and lost to a Necron list. I can't remember the exact list but it was Imotekh/Immortals/Night Scythes/Annihilator barges. It was a bad mission for me, bad deployment, I went second and I forgot a bunch of things including the fact that War Walkers have a 5+ invulnerable save now!

However, I've rejigged my list since and it's now much tougher. I dropped some stuff that was better in the old codex such as my Wraithlords and Dire Avengers but I've ended up with a much better but incredibly bland list. There is no theme to it, just a bunch of units thrown together.

I play an Alaitoc themed army, so that is the best place to look for inspiration. So what would an Alaitoc army normally consist of?:

Autarch/Avatar/Farseer/Pheonix Lords
Striking Scorpions
War Walkers
Warp Spiders
Crimson Hunters/Vypers (I think so anyway)

These are all units that infiltrate, outflank, sneak around or use tricks to stay alive. Of course, all Eldar craftworlds have Wave Serpents, Falcons, Guardians and all the other units in the codex too, but that is to fill out not define its personality.

The thing that strikes me is how fragile the troops will be, especially with Heldrakes flying around crisping everything up. So I was thinking I could bring some Wave Serpents to pick up endangered rangers - but they can't have dedicated transports. Guardians can however...but if I take Guardians then I have this irrepressible urge to take the avatar to keep an eye on them.

And Harlequins - now there is a conundrum. They are fairly killy, although which numpty decided veil of tears should be a pyschic power?! Rending/I6/WS5/fusion guns are as good as ever, if a little expensive points wise in comparison to other units now. If I field them I will need something to support them.

I'm going to be bashing together some lists to try some combinations out until I find an army that suits my play style and has a theme I can relate to. Hopefully without losing too often in the process!

Thursday, 6 June 2013

Off my painting table this week.

I've painted up a few new models for my Alaitoc Eldar.  I've done 3 Jetbikes, 2 Vypers (the models are old but great) and a Crimson Hunter. I know Vypers and possibly the CH are a little fragile and difficult to play but I've had some thoughts.

Firstly, how about Crystal Targeting Matrix on the Vypers? That should give me a 12" + 18" move then fire, I can rush down the flanks of the board and then hit side armour. Even the shuriken cannon is good for this. Or maybe a 60 point Bright Lance platform, BS4 is nice after all. The Starcannon is also interesting. Anyway, all weapons are magnetised so I can try some combinations.

Jetbikes - well, they're even better now so why not.

And the Crimson Hunter is just a beautiful model. If a little more NATO than Eldar :)

The next time I decide on such large areas of bone and/or yellow - I need a voice in my head to tell me to stop! I'm very pleased indeed with the stippled blue though, so much so that I'm using this style rather than edge highlighting on all my new stuff.

I'm thinking of running an Autarch with either a unit of Hawks of Spiders to give me the ability to alter reserve rolls. This thing is fragile but VERY deadly.

No weapons yet, trying to decide whether to them bone or something else at the moment. Also, I have the base to do, plenty of space to do something interesting...

Monday, 3 June 2013

Eldar army photos, just because.

I've dug my Eldar out and blown off the cobwebs. I've taken a handful of photos for posterity so they are here. Unfortunately I took absolutely no notice of Andrew's very good article on here about photography, so I apologise now for the poor quality! :-)

It's mainly a Beil-Tan force, you may notice some obvious things missing. No Autarch, Farseers or walkers, that is because I never got round to painting them! No Guardians of any variety. No Falcons/Fire Prisms/Vypers/Night Spinners. Finally, no support batteries, Wraithguard or Harlequins. So plenty of scope to expand it in the next couple of months.

I wanted to post the pictures simply because I was going to sell them but actually I'm really liking how they are painted - they shall be staying!

Squat Guard for Blog Wars 5

Just a quick post to share my army list for the Blog Wars 5 tournament: 

Plasma Vets FTW at Blog Wars 5!

CCS: Astropath; flamer; 2× plasma gun; carapace armour. 190
• Chimera

Storm Troopers: 2× meltagun. 105

Storm Troopers: 2× meltagun. 105

Veterans: 3× plasma gun; Grenadiers. 200
• Chimera

Veterans: flamer; 2× plasma gun; Grenadiers. 190
• Chimera

Veterans: flamer; 2× plasma gun; Grenadiers. 190
• Chimera

Veterans: 3× flamer; Grenadiers. 115

Vulture Gunship: Twin-Linked Punisher Gatling Cannon. 155

Vulture Gunship: Twin-Linked Punisher Gatling Cannon. 155

Leman Russ Punisher: Commander Pask; lascannon. 245

1 Hydra Flak Tank 75

1 Hydra Flak Tank 75

Aegis Defence Lines 50

1,850 points

Last Year's Squat Guard Army

Sunday, 2 June 2013

Campaign games 1 & 2

The only hope for Armageddon??

The planet had been well prepared to meet the alien menace. Early warning signs had been heeded, the defences had been readied ... and still they came.

Demonstrating the kind of single-minded intelligence for which they were rightly feared, the Tyranids made planet-fall in areas rich in biomass: the jungles, industrial and other populated areas. They were quick to establish and reinforce a solid foot-hold on the planet and from there, they spread.

The PDF, bolstered by regiments of Imperial Guard, were quick to respond, meeting the enemy on the scorched plains to the south of the Hive City. In an engagement designed to divert the oncoming hoard away from the more populous outskirts of the Hive, a mobile force harried and harassed the implacable advance of the creatures. Days had passed with no word from this force, just an ever-present static on the Vox.

Friday, 31 May 2013

Oh, beautiful Eldar

To say I'm excited about the new Eldar codex is an understatement. There are two things that attracted me (back) to 40K: Chaos and Eldar. Both have great imagery, although I've always thought that Chaos could be so much more - rather than spiky marines, let's have more like the possessed and Hellbrute models. I want something truly daemonic - not just really-annoyed-with-daddy-marines.

Where was I? Oh yes.

The new Eldar codex is out to buy tomorrow, although of course there has been the usual leaks of models and rules in the last couple of weeks. It seems GW is sticking to their recent policy on codex updates, less new models, more an overhaul to bring them up to 6th edition rules. I'm very happy with this as it should mean all armies are on an equal(ish) footing, not like the insanity with 3rd edition and 5th edition books together.

I think Eldar has perfect aesthetics - they look distinguished, fragile, egotistical, agile and deadly at the same time. Some of the models are a little old now such as Warp Spiders, but they still look good even if the scale is a little off.

I currently have a Biel-Tan inspired army, although I have repainted it in Alaitoc colours and it looks a lot better for it. I dug it out last weekend and although I think the models look good, they're not as good as I can do now. So I've decided to start up a new Eldar army, playing my existing one until it's done.

My existing army is aspect warriors, wave serpents with some wraithlords and rangers. I have no vypers, fire prisms, support weapons, guardians or jetbikes.

I'm thinking one of these might be fun:

1. Saim-hann themed - jetbikes/vypers/fire prisms/possibly a wave serpent or two/wraithfighters/crimson hunters.
2. Static/hammer and anvil - wraithlords/wraithknight/guardians with weapons platforms/support batteries/rangers/dark reapers. Maybe even an Avatar. I could then have a hammer of the new wraith guard backed up with scorpions, walkers and maybe even harlequins.

Whatever I decide to do I want to paint them pink. Not baby pink, more like a fuchsia. I'm thinking Emperor's Children Pink on a Screamer Pink base. Normally green complements pink, but I tried this before and it looked awful, so I reckon some sort of bone colour instead. If this doesn't work I might go more for a scarlet.

Oh, one final thing. The internet is alive with people complaining that the new codex looks uncompetitive or difficult to play. Eldar have ALWAYS been hard to play, it's what makes them such fun, every game feels like a dance - where everything comes together at the end.

Monday, 20 May 2013

Codex: Eldar Coming Soon - 8th June?

Just a quick post to tell you about sightings of leaked scans from the forthcoming White Dwarf, featuring your favourite pointy-eared race, the Eldar. A quick search on google images for the following should reward your curiosity:

- Wraithknight
- Eldar Codex cover
- Iyandon supplement

As I don't want our blog to go the same way as Faeit212/Nafka, I'm not posting the images here. But a quick search for yourself will reveal all.. and they are VERY cool!

Friday, 17 May 2013

Armageddon Campaign - Set-Up and Round One

Thursday night saw the start of our club campaign, based loosely around the First War of Armageddon. We are using a simple campaign mechanic of my own devising, similar to that of Planetary Empires. 

Basically, our campaign board is split into three main areas - an orbiting Space Hulk, the continent of Armageddon Prime itself, and Hive-City Anthrand, control of which is the ultimate goal of the campaign. Each area then features different environments, which dictate the terrain to be used; for example, games set on the Space Hulk will be played on a Zone Mortalis board, while games set in the Hive-City are played on boards packed with buildings and ruins. The main landmass features three environments , plus a number of feature-boards. The three environments are desert (minimal, low-level terrain), jungle (loads of trees & bushes) and scrub-land (normal terrain rules apply). 

The six feature-boards give the controlling player in-game bonuses, for example control of the space-port is allowed a single re-roll to one reserve roll, whilst the Manufactorum gives the owning player the chance to repair a single vehicle immobilised result once in the game. The bonuses are intended to get players fighting for the feature-boards on the land-mass as well as just aiming to control the Hive-City boards. 


We have six players competing for control of Armageddon: 

Andy - Tyranids
Daryl - Orks
Graeme White - Eldar / Dark Eldar
Graham S - Squat Guard (IG)
John Holland - IG / Space Marines
Keith Duncan - Necrons

Ad you can see, the armies are quite a varied mix, so the theme of the Battle of Armageddon is very much just for flavour - it was never our intention to faithfully recreate the original battle. 


On our first campaign night (yesterday) we met to kick things off. After running through the campaign rules, we agreed to make a few changes - things like how territories are won and lost. Chatting between players is absolutely essential when developing new rules and game mechanics - it's easy to become blinkered when writing in isolation, and it's very hard (for me, at least!) to think through every single consequence of the process. So, we amicably talked through the rules, agreed a few sensible changes, and then started the process of selecting territories. 

Each player first choose one feature-board; these were as follows: 

Space-Port: controlling player may reroll a single successful or failed reserve roll.

Ammo Dump: controlling player may select one unit and count their weapons as twin-linked during that phase only.

Manufactorum: controlling player may attempt to repair an immobilised vehicle result on a 4+ (once per game)

Gas Refinery: controlling player may decide whether night-fighting is in effect on turn one.

Comms Relay: controlling player may attempt to bring on a single unit from reserves on turn one on a roll of 5+.

Power-Plant: controlling player may select a single vehicle (or squadron if vehicles). Any vehicle in that unit counts as being ‘fast’ for the duration of that turn only.

Once each player had selected a feature-board, we then took turns in selecting the other boards. I went for desert boards as I play Guard and clear line-of-sight and little cover for my enemies to skulk behind is a dream! Andy preferred jungle boards, as his Tyranids would benefit greatly from all the dense cover. The other players also took a mix of terrain types, suiting their particular army characteristics. 


Finally it was time for some action! Normally the player with the highest number of territories would have first choice of who to challenge for control of a board, but of course everyone starts with an equal number of territories at the start of the campaign, so we randomly decided who would challenge first. 

The first round of games was decided as follows: 

Graham S (Squat Guard) challenged Andy (Tyranids)

Daryl (Orks) challenged Graeme W (Eldar)

John (IG / Marines) challenged Duncs (Necrons)

I'm hoping the players will post individual match reports here over the next few days, so I shan't publish the results just yet... so watch this space for match reports very soon! 

Thursday, 9 May 2013

Photographing your minis

When I'm not working for a living or playing 40k I take photographs, a lot of photographs! Mostly portraits, weddings, families and business, but, thanks to this game, I also dabble in a little product photography. So I thought I'd share my set up with you and give you some ideas on what you can do to get great looking photographs with a point-and-shoot and a couple of desk lamps.

Firstly, here's how I set up the lighting for the shots of the Helldrake featured in last week's post and my update on 40K Global's site:

It's a two light set up with my main light firing through a white umbrella at 45 degrees to the lens. My second light is set up roughly head-on to the main light, through the built in diffuser, at half the power of the main light. To fill in the shadows, I've got a reflector set-up to catch some of the second light and throw it back on to the front of the model. I'm using an 80-200mm zoom lens so I can get nice and close, and the camera is set up at f11 and 1/200th shutter, everything is synced via radio triggers. At that speed I could have gotten away with hand-holding but a Tripod is always a good idea to ensure the final image is as sharp as possible.

That's a lot of fairly expensive kit just to get a photograph of a £40 model but you can get pretty much identical results with a point-and-shoot camera and a couple of desk lamps. The only thing you'd really need is a tripod or some way to stabilise the camera as you'll need a longer shutter speed to compensate for the fact that the table lamps are going to be far less powerful than photographic lights.

To set this up you'll want to set the lamps up in the same way as the flashes are set in the photograph above but they'll need to be much closer to the model. You may want to diffuse the light from the lamps otherwise you'll get shadows on the model which will hide details. A simple way to do this is to hang a thin white cloth in front of the lamps, however the lights are hot and cloth can be flammable so be careful! An alternative to this could be to rough up a piece of clear plastic with some sandpaper, slightly more work but far less flammable and it'll give you the same result. Lastly for the light set-up you can substitute the reflector with a piece of tin foil.

As for the camera set-up you'll need to make sure the on camera flash is turned off. If you have manual controls on the camera you want as small an aperture as you can, f11-16 will be fine. You'll have to experiment with shutter speed to get the right exposure, depending on the amount of light your lamps are throwing onto the model. However shutter speed shouldn't matter as you'll be stabilising you camera to take the photograph so an exposure of a second or more shouldn't be an issue. If your camera doesn't have manual controls I suggest you put it into landscape mode that should get you roughly the right settings.

I hope that's at least a little helpful, if there's anything on this subject you'd like more info on, let me know.

Friday, 3 May 2013

Age of Armies - Month 1: Helldrake - DONE!

Khorne Helldrake - DONE!

It's the end of the first month of 40K Global's Age of Armies Campaign and I'm pleased to say that I completed my commitment to paint a Helldrake and I got my first experience with an airbrush. I've already posted about the technique I used to paint the Helldrake (here) so I thought that I'd give you my first impressions on using the airbrush to accompany the pictures of the finished product.

Quick Tips

There are a couple of tricks which you're not going to be able to get from any research you do before buying an airbrush. Firstly, correctly thinning your paint is not easy and takes a little while to get right ... and then you need to change colours and you have to thin the next one! I will say that I've found the Vallejo Air paints are about the right consistency straight out of the bottle but they do tend to dry fairly quickly in the brush. This causes clogs and will have you cleaning the brush a bit more often than you probably want. Thinning the paint with a drop of water mixed with "Flow Release" 9/1 seems to solve the problem nicely.

Secondly before you blow trigger air through the brush you absolutely must spary onto scrap paper otherwise you'll blow whatever residue is left in the nozzle or on the needle all over your model. I've done this in a few places on the Helldrake and it's bugs the hell out of me!

Give it a Blow

On the whole I really like using the airbrush, it's far more precise a tool than I thought it would be but it also takes exactly as much practice to use well as I thought it would. As such I'm expecting that my next attempt at a Helldrake (a few months down the line) will look noticeably better than this one.

If you're on the fence about getting one I would say that if you do a reasonable amount of painting, and can afford to, it's worth giving it a go. Once you see the results you can get you'll want to use it on as much as you can. I know I do. I'll be painting up two Khorne Bezerker units and a lord on a Juggernaught next month and I'll be using my airbrush at least for base colouring and applying some basic shadows and highlights.

On with the Show

Anyway, enough of that, here are the pictures of the Helldrake, please let me know what you think in the comments below.

Baleflamer detail.

Baby got back!

Flame pattern detail.

Top down.

Parting shot.


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