Tuesday, April 28, 2009

Two Blood Angels Conversions: Librarian and Lt. Commander

Here is the Librarian I use a bunch. This is my favourite Librarian model and one of my favourite GW models. In 4th ed. I liked him alot as an HQ choice. I need to spruce him up paint wise to my new standards, especially the chest eagle, but he is really what got me going in the right painting direction.

The wings are from a Brettonian Pegasus. To attach them I just cut the vents of an SM backpack and used some green stuff. Simple conversion, dramatic effect. The wings are blue to represent how they are the psychic power "The Wings of Sanguinius."

This is one of Master's of the Chapter. He will be representing a Lt. Commander of the Blood Angels rather than a company captain, which is why I gave him one plain shoulder pad.

He is a Blood Angels Death Company Model. His Shoulder pad is a metal BA logo avaliable online or in the DC kit I believe. The Lightning claws are actually terminator lightning claws. I cut them off at the base of the fist and then hollow out the "sleeve". Then I take SM assault marine arms (the chainsword and bolt pistol sets). You cut off the hand and then shape the arm down to fit in the sleeve, using a little green stuff to fill any gap and help seal the join. Also, I cut the plastic cables connecting the claw to the upper arm of the Terminator arm off the fist and used a pin vice to dill a small hole into the housing where the cables had plugged in. I then took some guitar string and ran cables to his back. I added 2 scroll containers to his belt just for some extra detail.

Missing from the photo to make painting easy is the CSM Raptor Jump pack he will be equipped with.

Monday, April 27, 2009

Champions of the Game: Poll Series to find the Best!


So I am going to be running a set of polls over the next few weeks and I would appreciate as much participation as possible. The goal is to find people's favourite characters in a codex and across the board.

This first week I am doing the Ultramarines from the Space Marine Codex. Figured that the best place to start. I thought about guard, but I want to give people time to mess around with those characters first.

The criteria are as follows: Whatever you think is most important.

Character Review:
Marneus Calgar- Chapter Master of the Ultramarines: So Calgar is a whopping 250/265 points. Hit Titanic Might rule allows him to always re-roll to wound. He may choose between Terminator Armour (+15 pts, also gives him a Teleport Homer) and Power Armour. God of War lets you pick and choose when to stand and fight, applying to the whole army. Then the Gauntlets of Ultramar have a stormbolter with AP 2. The only thing is that as they are powerfists, he will strike last in combat, though he gets +1 A for having 2 of them (on a base of 4 at WS 6). OR if you’d rather have higher initiative, you can use his power sword instead. Iron Halo grants him a 4+ invulnerable save. Top it all of with an orbital bombardment and immunity to instant death with 4 wounds. He also alters force org, allowing you to take 3 honour guards (though only one Chapter Banner) that do not take up slots on the chart.

Cato Sicarius- Ultramarines 2nd Co. Captain: Sicarius comes in at 200 pts. He allows you to re-roll to seize the initiative. Rites of Battle give the entire army an LD of 10. He gives a Tactical Squad a free special rule of the following: Counter Attack, Scout, Infiltrate or Tank Hunters. His sword may make a single S6 instant death causing attack. WS 6 base attacks of 3 other wise. On top of his 2+/4+ armour save/inv, AND he has feel no pain. Other weapon is a Plasma Pistol. End it all with 3 wounds.

Varro Tigurius- Ultramarines Chief Librarian: Knows all the Psychic Powers available to Librarians. May re-roll any reserves, even successful ones. Has a psychic hood that functions normally and allows him to use 3 powers a turn. The Rod is a Master Crafted force weapon, other weapon is a humble bolt pistol. Only 2 wounds though. All this for a stately 230 points.

Ortan Cassius- Ultramarines Chaplain: Feel No Pain, Honour of the Chapter and Liturgies of Battle. Armed with a Crozius and Master-Crafted Combi-Flamer, armed with hellfire rounds wounding on a 2+. Rosarius gives him a 4+ invulnerable save, which is good as he only has 2 wounds and a 3+ armour save. T6 makes him the toughest character though, so his 2 wounds count for a lot. 2 Attacks base at WS 5. Stick him with some Sternguard and he does best. Fluffy too as he is rebuilding 1st company, so hanging with Veterans is his style. Have him for 125 points.

Torias Telion- Ultramarine Scout Sergeant: Stealth, Acute Senses, Infiltrate, Move Through Cover, Scout. This guy is loaded with more USR than anyone. A BS of 6 is the best you can get, and a WS of 5 with 2 attacks base ain’t to shabby either. One wound with a 4+ save though, so use that cover (which you should be doing with scouts any ways. You can allocate his shooting wounds however you want, much like a vindicare. He can lend his BS 6 to someone else in the squad, which is good if using something like a missile launcher is more important, or he doesn’t have LOS. Then he has his sweet boltgun which is the same range as a Sniper rifle, has 1 more AP, is Rending and has 2 shots. The only thing is that it has S4 so doesn’t get the wound on a 4+ automatically like sniper rifles, meaning it only inflicts wounds on the high T guys with the rending rule. He can be yours for 50 pts, replacing a normal scout sergeant.

Antaro Chronus- Ultramarine Tank Dude: Can only be bought as an upgrade to a vehicle for 70 pts but has rules to be outside it. Want to keep him on one though. Gives the Tank BS 5 and immunity to shaken and stunned results. When independent of a tank, best bet is to get him to a nearby squad and join them, lending another wound and 2 attacks base and a servo arm. Plus he still has a BS of 5.

SO Hit the Poll over there -->

Which Ultramarine (smurf) is the best? (Choose 1)
Marneus Calgar 8 (30%)
Captain Sicarius 4 (15%)
Chief Librarian Tigurius 1 (3%)
Chaplain Cassius 6 (23%)
Scout-Sergeant Telion 6 (23%)
Brother Sergeant Chronus 1 (3%)

Gothmog got Twitter

I will be using twitter now as well, so follow gothmogbalrog there and you will know when I am updating the site, or have a particularly profound 40k musing. I won't start updating though untill I have at least one follower, so join!

And remember, I have a skype, an aim (which I am on more), and a gmail. All are located over there <--- under contact us! But I will sum up for you:

email- sepuchreofheroes@gmail.com
aim- gothmogblog
skype- gothmog.lord.of.balrogs
twitter- gothmogbalrog

So feel free to contact me.

Sunday, April 26, 2009

Specialist Games Forums return!!!!

So back in their 3rd iteration, the specialist game forums are once more.


I am Gothmog Lord of Balrogs. So if you see me there, you already have a friend! All my links and stuff point back to here.

Check out the page. It used to be a great and vibrant community and I am glad to see it spring to life once more (after nearly 2 years of being dead). The guys who used to be there really made the specialist games what they are today, influencing a lot of GW rules reviews, and in my area of expertise: BFG, they developed many ships that most players would allow you to use. They were even balanced (something GW can learn a lesson about).


Hounds of Hell: An IG Unit Review

So with the new Guard codex a lot of people are taking the new Hellhound. I find myself wondering "why?" Not because I don't like it, don't get me wrong, but why take the Hellhound when their is a perfectly good Banewolf in the same entry.

These tanks are the same point costs, so no advantage there.

The Hellhound does have 12" range, yes, but check this. All 3 variants are fast vehicles. So that means while going up to 12" they can fire a single offensive weapon and all defensive. This means for a hellhound, only the turret weapon and any stubber or storm bolter, the hull mount can't fire, unless going a stately 6 inches. BUT THE BANEWOLF has a S1 weapon. That means you can move and shoot the hull mounted weapon and fire what is the real main weapon of the vehicle, the chem cannon, plus any other defensive weapons. Meanwhile the Devil Dog, while named after the USMC (ooh-rah!), is nigh worthless since you can take a multi-melta on the hull of the other variants. Sure you get a blast with the melta-cannon, but that scatters! Why risk scattering when I just need a 4+ to hit with a hull mount.

Lets look at the Chem Cannon: AP3 poison (wounds on a 2+). Range is only the template BUT it is a fast vehicle, so moving into range shouldn't be a problem. So this thing KILLS Space Marine, Battlesuits, Nid Warriors. ANYTHING with a 3+ save. Plus, firing the hull mount further devastates. 2 template weapons (or whatever your hull mount is actually). Bye-Bye cover saves.

Did I mention the Chemcannon wounds on a 2+!!!


So there we go. Why take the hellhound. It has 1 less AP and can't always wound as effectively, especially against marines. The Chem Cannon is a must take in my own humble opinion.

Although this does look cooler

Saturday, April 25, 2009

Power Unit: Howling Banshee Thunderstorm of Silence Load-Out

So this is double feature day. To kick off the new series I figured I’d feature 2 instead of 1 article.
This next unit is for Eldar Players. Basically it utilizes Jain Zar to her maximum potential, thus the Thunderstorm of Silence, rather than Storm of Silence
Here is the Load Out:
Howling Banshees (9)
Exarch, Mirrorswords
Jain Zar
Autarch, Mandi-blasters, Power Weapon, Fusion Gun
Wave Serpent, TL Scatter Lasers, Shiruken Cannon, Star Engines, Spirit Stones, (Vectored Engines if you want)

Costed out to 587 (607 with Vectored Engines)

So here is how the squad works:
This squad is designed to eat through terminators. You should be able to kill the squad before they get to attack. But it is really good at killing anything. A tactical squad a turn should fall to this as long as you utilize the wave serpent and cover.

In the Shooting Phase, use the Fusion Gun and the Silent Death. S8 AP 1 and S5 AP 2 (assault 3). The Wave serpent may seem counter to this, but it is to thin out large hordes of low armour guys, lending volume shooting to the highly effective assault squad. If you need to though, Fleet then assault. This squad is designed for the assault, not shooting.

Jain Zar gives the squad fearless and Counter-Attack, and in turn, the Autarch receives these bonuses. As well war shout can force the opponents squad to be WS 1 for the phase, which would be absolutely devastating given what is about to happen.

The banshee masks can give the squad I 10. The mandi-blasters I figured were better though, as I6 on the Autarch is already really high and chances are that the combat will already be in the squad’s favour.

Now in the first assault phase (assuming you assaulted) the autarch does not get +1 A for 2 CCW, as he should have shot his fusion gun, but he does get the +1 A in subsequent assault phases since he gets to keep his shiruken pistol (you do not replace it when you buy the power sword). But I’d rather get the S8 AP1 melta gun attack then +1 more attack to begin with.
Here are all the Autarch’s combat possibilities:
-When you assault- 3+1+1
-When you are assaulted and get counter attack- 3+1+1+1
-When you are assaulted and do not- 3+1+1
-Any subsequent round- 3+1+1
So he always gets 5 S3 WS6 I6 power weapon attacks, maybe even 6. And they may be against WS 1. To boot he has 3+/4+ saves. The melta-gun and haywire grenades he provides can also be of use.

Jain Zar now as you know is sweet. She gets 5WS7, S7 (S4 +2 +1), I10 power weapon attacks on the charge. This is the most brutal of all the phoenix lords. Especially since your opponent may be WS1. She has a 2+ save and is invulnerable to instant death as well, which means 3 T4 wounds should be around for a while, inflicting damage long after her squad of 4+ save banshees dies.

The exarch is just further support. The mirror swords give her 5 power weapon attacks on the charge or during a counter attack, 4 at all other times. She is WS5 and I6 base, which is good, but the banshee mask and Jain Zar boost this often times.

The rest of the squad is combined a total of 27 power weapon attacks on the charge/counter attack and are base WS4 I5 which can be aided by Jain Zar’s powers. When they don’t get the bonus, it is still an impressive 18 power weapon attacks.

SO on the charge the unit looks like this:
37 I10 Power Weapon attacks (5 S7 WS7, 5 WS5, 27 WS4)
5 I6 Power Weapon attacks


Power Unit: Vanguard Assault Squad Hammer & Anvil Load-Out

So this is a new series dedicated to highlighting particularly potent squads. They may be really expensive, but they are entirely brutal. I am going to (for now) avoid the cliché things like Nob Bikers and TH&SS Terminators.

First squad: Vanguard Assault Squad using what I like to think of as the Hammer and Anvil load out.

You take the Vanguard Squad and equip them as follows:
Jump Packs
8 x Thunder Hammers
2 x Lightning Claws
10 x Storm Shields

I cost the squad out to be 730 points. Now I know that is a lot, so let us look at the typical unit people take: Terminator Assault Squad TH & SS

Terminator Assault Squad (10): 400
Terminator Assault Squad (8) with Land Raider Crusader: 570
Terminator Assault Squad (6) with Land Raider: 490
Terminator Assault Squad (6) with Land Raider Redeemer: 480

So there are the different load outs for the Terminator Assault Squads. Their Advantage over the Vanguards a 2+ armour save. The other benefits of Terminator Armour are negated by the Storm Shields (3+ inv save better than a 5+ inv) and the fact that this is an assault squad, so moving and shooting heavy weapons is not available. As well, the Vanguards taking Jump Packs means they can deep strike too. Although, teleport homers on the ground can help the Terminators.

Can take Lightning Claw and Storm shield. Sure you don’t get the +1 A, but you can re-roll to wound and get a 3+ invulnerable save. Terminators it is either this or that. So the Vanguard have weapon flexibility over Termies.
Jump Packs: This means that they can use their heroic intervention rule, which means they can assault when they deep strike, rather than sit and shoot. They also have a 12” move at all times and can bypass difficult, and even impassible, terrain. More often then not, jump infantry get the assault as well. This is part of what makes it the Hammer and Anvil. You drop them in and they are a hammer beating down your opponent onto the anvil of the rest of your army.
No Transport: Terminator sacrifice guys to have one. So while cheaper, they are a smaller squad which means less wounds. No transport also means a character can be added, though they lose heroic intervention to do so.
Frag grenades: While most of the squad has thunder hammers, keep in mind that two of them do not, so when you assault into cover, they will be going in I order. And if you assault thunderhammer/powerfist wielding squads, the TH vanguards strike I order too.

Now you see the differences, you can see why the Vanguards are appealing. To me they have more advantages for sure. Maybe not for most games, but for larger, and definitely Apocalypse games, they may very well be worth it.

So now to explain a little bit about the tactics of the Squad.
You can choose to heroic intervention them or start them on the table. Either way their goal is the same thing. Hunt big stuff. Monstrous creatures, vehicles, HQ units, nob bikerz. Anything with high saves and high toughness. You have 10 power weapons, 8 of which are S8, and you have 3+ invulnerable saves, so you will dominate in a combat. The idea of the lightning claws is this. On the assault, you will get 6 (2+1 per marine) power weapon attacks that re-roll to wound at the same time or before your opponent strikes. This should leave him with less attacks before he hits your squad back, or at least ensure that you get all your attacks. How does it ensure you get all of them? This is another reason why it is called the Hammer and Anvil. Well, when your opponent strikes back I imagine he should do no more than 6 wounds. It is rare for a squad to get more on SM unless they have excessive attacks. Maybe they will, but this is still a good tactic. Seeing as he got so few wounds, you should only fail 1/3 of your saves, which means 2 guys die. You of course remove the lightning claws. So you get all your Thunder Hammer attacks (all 24 of them). See, the Lightning Claws (ironically) were the hammer, and the Thunder Hammers were the anvil. You just crushed your opponent between them. As an added bonus, multi-wound models that somehow survive the assault (though S8 is usually instant death) are I 1 next round as long as they took 1 wound. This means that they and the Thunder Hammers will strike simultaneously.
Key to the squad: Take Vulkan He'stan as your HQ choice. Now you have 8 master crafted thunderhammers. On the charge, that is 24 S8 attacks that re-roll to hit and ignore armour saves, + 6 S4 I4 attacks that re-roll to wound and ignore armour saves.
There you have it, the first of my so called “Power Units.” Sure they are expensive, but they are crazy good.
Original Image Here.

Friday, April 24, 2009

BFG Fanatic: My Lego Lunar Class Cruiser

So here is a project I did a few years back. A Lego Lunar Class cruiser. All in all it is within 85% to scale with the model, limited by the size of cetain lego pieces and a little short towards the aft (running out of critical structural pieces). The level of detail is better in person. The colouration (red) washed out some of the depth perception in these photos. Speaking of colour, I would have liked it to be more uniform, but I worked with what I had. Another let down was my inability to incorporate torpedo tubes, due to the complexity of the armoured prow (which is ironically the most fragile part). Although, I do like how the prow turned out, eagle and all.

Not shown is the interior. Ther are 3 decks and the bridge, each with crew on them. Unfortunately, due to space limitations with keeping it to scale, I had to put the strategium on the main deck rather than the bridge. It still has a rotating door and a command throne though. Right behind the Stategium (which is directly under the bridge) are the engineering spaces and forward of it is a main space, then a hatch, then the gunnery decks. Each Lance turret has operators and the weapons batteries also have crews.

Thursday, April 23, 2009

Evolution of a List: SM 1500 pts (Salamanders)

Check out part one of the SM list evolution here.

Part 2

Forgefather Vulkan He’stan: 190
Tactical Squad (10): 235- Sergeant, bp & chainsword; Melta Gun; Lascannon; Rhino, Extra Armour
Tactical Squad (10): 225- Sergeant, bp & chainsword; Melta Gun; Multi-Melta; Rhino, Extra Armour
Tactical Squad (10): 225- Sergeant, bp & chainsword; Melta Gun; Multi-Melta; Rhino, Extra Armour
Stern Guard Veteran Squad (5): 190- 2 x Combi-Meltas; Razorback, Extra Armour
Whirlwind: 95- Storm Bolter
Assault Squad (5): 130- Lightning Claw (or Power Weapon), Combat Shield; Flamer
Land Speeder Squadron (3): 210- 3 x Heavy Flamers, 3 x Multi-Meltas

Pts: 1500 Scoring Units: 3-6 KPs: 8, 14

Hobby Notes:
Be ready to switch the Flamers in the Sternguard to melta-guns and the chainswords to power weapons. The Sternguard Rhino should be able to be converted to a razorback with both HB and an Assault Cannon. My recommendation to do this is buy 2 razorback kits. Use one as a Rhino for the Tac squads and then use the parts to make two seperate turrets for the Razorback.

Inclusion of a Heavy Support Choice, Skimmers, and dedicated Assault troops. The Heavy Support is further a new concept with Ordnance Barrage. The assault troops are jump troops, another new concept.

This list is very similar to the 1000 pt list with the units that are the same.

Vulkan stays with the Sternguard, who get upgraded from a Rhino to a Razorback. This gives them some covering fire with the Twin-Linked Heavy Bolters. Since you now have the Heavy Bolters, I went ahead and switched the flamers in the squad for Meltaguns. High toughness targets beware. The flamers are no longer as needed because in 1500 points, excessive horde armies shouldn’t appear all to often, and the Bolters of the Tactical squads, plus the Land Speeder Squadron I added (heavy flamers), should be able to handle any large infantry block. Couple that with the whirlwind, and hordes beware.

Anyways, you get within rapid-fire range with these guys, preferably 6 in, unload in the shooting phase. Meanwhile you  broke Hestan away in the movement phase and kept him next to the Sternguard. You then assualt with him and break the squad.

The Tactical squads serve the same roles. Don’t hesitate to use the combat squads rule to capture objectives. Besides, 4 of the combat squads have Melta-Weapons. Monstrous creatures will fear you. Lascannon is in there for some 48” reach. Take out that hammerhead before it becomes too much of a nuisance.

The Assault Squad now gives you dedicated assault troops that are jump troops to boot. Assault squads are always nice. They negate any advantage inherent in non-jump assault type units/armies (Khorne Berserkers being a prime example). They should always get the assault, and if they don’t, you are doing it wrong. Use them against easy to beat units, such as enemy troops choices. You can assault into objectives with the frag grenades, flaming them before hand, negating out their cover saves. The lightning claw/power weapon choice is down to your personal preference. The power weapon gives you +1 A, but the lightning claw lets you re-roll your to-wound rolls. Choose which ever you like more, both have their advantages. The former is best for the intended roll of the squad, but the lightning claw lends some diversity, allowing them to engage high T units or enemy characters. Combat shield also lends nicely to this role.

The Land Speeder Squadron is a two-fold unit and in mega-amplified by Vulkan. They can easily flame their way through infantry then end up slamming into your opponents Armour. They are particularly nice against Guard or Tyranid armies, where the heavy flamers take out infantry one turn and the multi-meltas engage Monstrous Creatures or Leman Russ the next.

The last addition is the Whirlwind. Set it up behind cover and fire every turn of the game. For only 95 points, it is a great choice and I personally believe it to be a shoe-in for any Vanilla SM builds. Three types of ordnance in one choice. Golden. The storm bolter is for defensive purposes, but if you’d rather spend the 10 pts elsewhere, be my guest. May I suggest melta-bombs on the Assault Sergeant.

There you go. Part two of the SM evolution done. Sorry it took a while to get it up. Expect this line to finish late May/early June. I made a writing schedule yesterday, so I should be able to stick to it.

Tuesday, April 21, 2009

Mega Battle Guard Review

So the new Guard was used for the mega-battle.

List- (only weapon upgrades mentioned)
Creed, Kell, Deddog in Command Squad: Melta Gun
Commissar Lord (attached to combined Infantry squad)
Commissar Lord (attached to Ogryn Squad)
Tech Priest Enginseer w/ HB servitor
Ogryn Squad (5)
Stormtrooper Squad: GL, Flamer, Plasma Pistol, Power Weapon
Infantry Platoon
-Platoon Command Squad: Lascannon, Power Weapon, Plasma Pistol
-Infantry Squad: GL and ML
-Infantry Squad: GL and ML
-Special Weapons Squad: 3 x Sniper Rifles
Infantry Platoon
-Platoon Command Squad: Lascannon, Power Weapon, Plasma Pistol
-Infantry Squad: Flamer and Autocannon
-Infantry Squad: Flamer and Autocannon
-Veteran Squad w/ Bastonne: GL and HB
4 x Leman Russ
-Pask on one
-Sponson HB x 3, Plasma Cannon x 1
-Hull Lascannon x 3, HB x 1

I did 2 squads of DKK Deathriders as well. Better than normal Rough riders, as they have a 6+ invulnerable save and can have Laspistol, CCW, AND the lance.

All in all, the list worked pretty well. The Leman Russ are of course superior than before. And the Orders are very nice, especially with Creed issuing 4 a turn. When on the defence in a scenario like this, they were golden, and everyone was in his command radius.

We combined one of the infantry platoon's squads, since he was facing a Khorne army, we wanted to make the assaults get bogged down rather than take only one turn. 20 guard and a Commissar Lord CAN beat a squad of Khorne Beserkers. I know because these guys did. We chose the Autocannon/Flamer squads so the ML and GL ones could target armour independently if need be. The Commissar Lord was definitely key in this sucess though, having the unit hold with his leadership of 10.

Bastonne is a nice upgrade, but if you take Creed I almost wouldn't bother. We had more orders per turn to issue than squads to receive them it seemed. Although, if you put Bastonne with a squad in a chimera, and give them say... 3 melta guns, you can go hunting and have orders right there handy, plus the squad will always regroup with his Never give up rule.

Stormtroopers are ALWAYS worth it now. AP3 weapons. Take them. Depending on your interpretation of the rules First Rank FIRE Second Rank FIRE may be extremely useful (it says lasguns and they use Hot Shot Lasguns, so how literal are you? Expect to see that in an FAQ). Bring it down can be usefull if you have 2 metal guns or plasma guns. And their Special Operations rule make them rather flexible and you no longer have to pay to infiltrate or deep strike and they are better at it!

Mega Battle: Photos from the Front

Defenders are deployed.

Right before Turn One.

A view of the walls. Paper was used so segments could be torn out, allowing us to actually destroy the wall when needed.

Kharne the Betrayer...er faces hordes of assault marines, but lasts through two assault phases before being dispatched by a Dark Angel Power Fist.

The Roughriders arrive to attempt and turn the battle for the first objective, assaulting the Chaos Space Marines in amongst the Imperial Guard. Even with initial sucesses, their momentum could not be maintained.

Kharne dispatches the last of the roughriders, slaying each with a "decapitating" blow.

The Daemon Prince makes his fatefull assualt, that see's himself chased back to the Warp without doing any harm on the Imperials. Go 10th Squad Devs!

The Necrons advance around Razorwire, and even dare attempt the minefield.

Monday, April 20, 2009

Mega Battle Coverage

See the forces here and the scenario here.

So the game went well overall. I don't have detailed notes but I can give a brief over view.

Turn one saw a relatively effective shooting phase from the defenders, as well as our blind barrage blocking off the Pylon and half the field of fire for the Doomsday Monolith. For the attackers, it brought in the interdiction force and the Monolith Phalanx.

From then on the turns really lose focus in my mind. I know the Dark Eldar Splinter force appeared in turn 2, bearing webway portals, allowing for the arrival of Dark Eldar Infantry in turn 4. A blind barrage helped to cover their arrival within our fortress from the Ultramarines and Imperial Guard upon the parapet.

Turn 2 saw the first objective fall to Flank marching CSM. This was on the outside left of the fortress, an area defended by the Imperial Guard, who even though became swamped with CSM and Dark Eldar, managed to last until turn 5, seeing the battle through with one tank remaining at the end.

Turn 3 saw the second objective fall, taken by Tau Battlesuits. This was the outside objective on the right side of the fortress defended by the Defender's Tau.

Turn 4 saw the third objective fall; this one to CSM Terminators that had flank marched back in turn 2. Though valiantly fought over by the Ultramarines directly under Calgar, and requiring the sacrifice of a bike mounted Master of the Forge, the objective was lost.

Turn 5 was down to the wire. The Necrons and Tau were unable to make headway on the second objective on their side, and the Dark Angels had decimated the forces assaulting the front of the fortress. In a desperate gambit, the Tau force on the attackers rushed one Objective with a devilfish, tank shocking through Belial's Terminator Squad. Boldly, a lone Terminator stepped forward with his chain fist, and after some confusion with the Death or Glory rules, it was realized that he had destroyed the Devilfish, forcing the fire warriors within to disembark short of the objective, and with too much resistance between them to run to/assault the final position. At the end of turn 5, the game stood at 3/3 in terms of objectives.

Though we called the game here, it was called for the attackers. In terms of Kill Points, they had given up far less then the defenders as a ratio of their total force and were in place to definitely capture one, if not 2 more objectives had we played out the planned turn 6. Though the Imperium fought with gallantry, they could not stem the relentless Xenos advance.

Highlights of the game:
Samael's death at the hand of 2 Gundrones from a destroyed Piranha.
A Commissar Lord besting a Chaos Lord on a juggernaut in single combat after 3 turns of fighting (to be fair, the Lord's Daemon weapon loped his own head off, I assume it wass displeased for not havign dispatched of the Commissar, then going on to assault a Stormsword (though failing at it).
A deepstriking Monolith being blown to smitherines by the Hammerhead it displaced.
The Ork force entirely strategically re-deploying amongst the Tau to aid them on their quest for an objective.
A unit of roughriders eliminating 9 Khorne Beserkers only to leave Kharn there to dispatch the entire squad (6 in one turn, the remaining 4 the next).
Deddog, Creed and Kell weathering 2 turns of assault to fall to shooting later on.
A unit of witches miraculously surving a turn of combat against Marneus Calgar and his command squad, allowing other DE to come in next turn and dispatch them.
The Pylon failing to destroy the Baneblade for 2 turns, then annihilating it all at once.
The Necrons failing to breach the door, dying in multitudes at the entrance.
A khorne DP assaulting a Dev combat squad and dying without inflicting a single wound.
A squad of CSM Terminators with a Sorceror and Lord deepstriking of the table, wasting the Vortex grenade with them.

Forces of the Megabattle

Dark Angels- 8400
Imperial Guard- 3225
Ultramarines (Right)- 4500
Ultramarines (Left)- 4000
Tau- 2200

Chaos Space Marines (Khornate)- 5000
Dark Eldar- 3940
Tau- 6000
Necrons- 7065
Orks- 740
Renegades (Khorne CSM and Armoured Company)- 4580

Defenders Assets-
Blind Barrage
Supreme HQ
Shield Generator
Disruptor Beacon
Obstacles- Razor wire

Attackers Assets-
Blind Barrage
Flank March
Vortex Grenade
Strategic Redeployment
Shield Generator
Careful Planning

Defender Formations/Legendary Units:
Dark Angels Battle Company
Dark Angels Masters of the Chapter
Ultramarine Baneblade

Attackers Formations/Legendary Units:
CSM Stormsword
Tau Rapid Insertion Force
Tau Armoured Interdiction Cadre
Tau Firestream/Ranged Piranha/Patrol Wing (one is reload, one is website, same thing, different names).
Necron Gauss Pylon
Necron Monolith Phalanx
Necron Doomsday Phalanx
Necron Shroudweaver War Cell
Dark Eldar Splinter Raid Force

Defender Special Characters-
Lord Castellan Usarkar E. Creed
Colour Sergeant Jarran Kell
Knight Commander Pask
Nork Deddog
Sergeant Lukas Bastonne
Azrael, Supreme Grand Master of the Dark Angels
Ezekiel, Chief Librarian of the Dark Angels
Belial, Master of the Deathwing
Sammael, Master of the Ravenwing
Marneus Calgar, Lord of Macragge
Tigirius, Chief Librarian of the Ultramarines

Attacker Special Characters-
Kharn the Betrayer
Kharn the Betrayer…er
Shas’o R’myr
The Nightbringer
The Deceiver

Units of Note:
4 Exalted Champions of Khorne, Kharn, and 4 Berserkers in 1 Squad
Azrael, Ezekiel, 4 Captains, Chaplain, and Honour Guard in 1 Squad
Creed, Kell, and Deddog in one Squad

Saturday, April 18, 2009

Mega Battle Scenario

Defender/Attacker Ratio:
Still not exactly sure. My side was down 6k and it was okay. What hurt was a lack of Ordnance, Super-heavies and Formations as compared to the opposing side.

The Defenders start with a fortress in the shape of a U (See pictures). The long walls are 48” with 6” doors. The angled walls are 18” with 4” doors. The short walls at the “top” of the U are 12” (giving the fortress a depth of 12”) with 3” infantry only doors.
There are 6 objectives, 4 in the fortress, two outside, but still in the defender’s deployment zone. To capture the objectives, any offensive infantry/jump infantry/cavalry that deployed on a table edge (so no deepstriking units) must be in contact with the objective at the end of their player turn. The objective then “explodes” as if it were a vehicle. This represents the enemy “bombing” key buildings. Once an objective is detonated, it may not be retaken by the defenders.

The walls give a 5+ cover save on the parapets. Each segment is 7” (48-6 = 42, 42/6 = 7). Wall segments are AV 14 and have 2 structure points. When a segment loses its first structure point, the cover save is negated on that segment. When it loses its second, anything on the parapet must “disembark” that segment and pass a dangerous terrain test. There then is a 7” gap in the wall. Penetrating hits remove a structure point on a 3+, glancing hits on a 5+.

Doors are as follows:
6” – AV 13
4” – AV 12
3” – AV 11
3+/5+ destroy the doors, each is 1 structure point.

Doors may be opened/closed at the beginning of the movement phase only. May only open/close a door once per game turn.

Victory Conditions:
Defenders hold 4+ objectives- Victory
Attackers take 4+ objectives- Victory
Defenders hold/Attackers take 3 objectives- Tie Breaker

If opposing is below ½ starting Kill points, receive 1 point. If opposing side is below ¼ starting kill points, receive 2 points. Side with more points wins. If still tied, then game is a tie.

Each player rolls a d20. Go in order from highest to lowest. Each player deploys 2 pieces of terrain. Tied d20 rolls are rolled off to determine who goes before the other. Terrain may not be deployed inside the fortress.

Defenders deplow first. Attackers second. May use full 30 minutes each. We also set the condition that no unit may deploy 8 ft from another in the army, to make the battle run smoothly without players running all around the table during the game.

First Turn:
Defenders go first.

Strategic Reserves:
The attackers follow normal strategic reserves rules.
The Defenders may each only hold ¼ of their forces in reserves (not cumulative for the whole force)

Formations/Legendary units:
All allowed, including FW and Reload

Game Length:
We tried for 6, but only got in 5.

Each side receives one for each player on the largest team (Our game was 6 v 5, so both sides received 6, plus any from formations).

The following assets are not allowed:
- Vital Objective
- Jammers
- Anti-Plant Barrage
- All Reload Assets (except ork rok attack)
- My club also banned any form of bombardment, but this need not be done.

The following assets are modified as follows:
-Ambush, when used by defenders, may not be used against enemy units flank marching
-Obstacles may not be placed in front of any doors
-Flank March, when used by the attackers, may not bring them within the fortress walls
-Tunnels may not be put inside the Fortress or in the Attackers Deployment zone.
-Bunkers may not be put in front of doors.

Other Rules:
Necron Wraiths may not score objectives. Moving through walls is cheap, and how can you carry a bomb when you phase in and out.
Monoliths and Super Heavies may not deepstrike into the fortress. That is too cheap.

Coverage of the game tomorrow. I am still waiting on some players highlights of the game and need to narrow down which pictures to use. But it will be up, I promise!

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

Guard Releases

So page 21 of White Dwarf 352 gives us a look inside the new Guard command boxes. Each box has 70+ parts, ranging from legs and torsos to weapons and canteens.

It looks like the only heavy weapons avaliable in the box are the Heavy Flamer and a Sniper rifle (with a cloaked torso to boot). There are only 5 legs, so one guy will be kneeling if you don't buy this along with a normal guard squad. There are only 4 torsos with Carapace armour. The biggest oddity of this is the Officer one lacks the armour, while the Catachan officer torso posseses it. As well, if you want a power weapon, it will be on a bionic arm. Two different banners, one regimental and one platoon, also appear, with some bitz geared to be affixed to them.

5 legs and torsos again (no surprise there). 3 of these though are attached, so less customization in their poses, especially the officer. The medic gear in this set is particularly nice to me and captures the image of a battlefeild surgeon quite well. The arms and weapons in this squad are free of each other, so the poseing in this respect has more options. Some of the coolest bitz are the 4 catachan fangs it comes with (2 sheathed). Infinitely better than SM combat knives.

My recommendation: Buy the 2 kits to make the new Veterans Squad in the Guard list and use leftover bits through out your guard. Use the old metal squad for the Company command if you play cadians. Catachans can go old or new. Although, Schaffer still makes one of the best models for a Catachan commander. And since he does not appear in the new codex, he can be used as anything.

Pages 31 and 32 may further confirm the lack of bits in the new guard boxes, displaying what seem to be 2 standard squads. Maybe there is a wave 2 release with all the advanced bitz people are talking about, but I have my reservations on them being in the new box.

I am sure many of you have seen (or at least heard of) the leaked Guard Codex. JWolf over at BoLS (--> over there somewhere) even has a list up.
Well, I'll have some brief snippets of its performance in tomorrows post on my Clubs end of the semester Mega Battle. It was an epic apocalypse game of Imperials holding a fortress out against foul Xenos invaders! Special apperances: Marneus Calgar, Samael, Belial, Ezekiel, Creed, The Nightbringer, and Kharn. More next time.

Thursday, April 9, 2009

Guard Price increase

So looking on the site, the Guard are getting what is essentially a price increase on normal guard squads.

Instead of the $35 for 20, they now are doing it as $22 for 10 ($7 increase). AND if you read the description of the unit, it is the same sprue. Nothing new. No heavy weapons, no melta/plasma guns to justify the proce increase.

"This box set contains 10 multi-part plastic Cadian Shock Troops, and includes: five leg variants, seven head variants, 10 lasguns, two chainswords, two laspistols, two grenade launchers, two flamers and two Vox-casters. Also included are a host of additional components allowing you to assemble a Sergeant and personalise your squad. Models supplied with 25mm round bases."

That describes the exact same sprue.

This is only on Cadians though. SO if you are thinking of starting Guard, consider playing Catachans.

Here is the new setup: 10 man squad (note how it says out of stock)

Here is the old $35 one: 20 man squad (note how it says no longer avaliable)

This seems to be a trend with the New Guard. First they raised the price on the Valkyrie, but that wasn't too bad. Then the battleforces became way overpriced for what you get (an equivalent cost SM battle force would decimate the Guard battleforce: 5 Assault Marines, 15 Tactical, 5 Scouts and a Rhino for $90) and especially compared to what it used to be (3 heavy weapons, Leman Russ, 20 Guard and some ruins).

Friday, April 3, 2009

Book Review: Damnation Crusade

So I picked this up and read it the other day. A 40k Graphic Novel from Boom Studios.

I figured anything associated with Dan Abnett would be decent.

Overall I appreciated the read. Quick and visually impressive. Certain chapters are done by different artists, one of whom was better in my opinion. Less cartoony, more gothic. Better fits 40k.

The book follows three Black Templar heros, a Neophyte named Radclaw, a Sword Bretheren named Gerhardt, and a dreadnought named Tankred. It jumps from campaign to campaign, detailing the levels of zealotry and piety that the Black Templars posses. Some fluff details are a little off, like a Dread taking 3 dead on hits from a broadside (I wish it could in game). But there aren't too many, and they are spawned more for artistic awesomeness than just to disprove fluff. It covers almost every enemy there is (excluding only Dark Eldar I believe, and generalizing Chaos). So there is something for everyone. Of course though, it sees the Templars triumph each time, so if you are looking for some sweet Xenos victory, look else where.

At a price of $15 USD I wouldn't reccommend buying it unless you are into comics/anime/graphic novels. But, it is definately worth killing a half an hour to an hour at your local border/B&N sitting down and reading it. Most of these places have a cafe as well, so you can buy a cofee or cookie or something to go with it.

So 3 out of 5 aquillas. Short, pointless in the grand scheme of 40k, but rather entertaining. Maybe it can give you some inspiration for painting or converting. Just fun to look at. So go down to your bookstore/library, pick up Tales of Heresy, Gunheads, or Hellforged (or if you are into Halo, the Cole Protocol was pretty good), and while you are there, give Damnation Crusade a look.

Final Verdict: 3 out of 5 aquillas

Wednesday, April 1, 2009

Book Review: Gunheads

So I am going to start doing some book reviews, as often as I finish them (which is rather quite often, I assure you).

First one will be Steve Parker's Gunheads. This is one of the generic "Imperial Guard" novels, but I say is better than the rest. And for Parker's second novel, he has Improved upon the Vostroyan based Rebel Winter. I personally think he was more interested in this book and in its characters.

Before you pick up Gunheads though, I recommend getting a copy of Planetkill. In it is a short story entitled "Mercy Run". That is a prequel to the novel. Not neccesary, but it can't hurt. Plus Tales is a good read itself.

The novel is of a much more feasible sort than the others in the same series. Nothing quite as rediculous occurs, nothing quite as miraculous. In fact, the guard take a pounding in the book. And none of the main characters are the unstoppable forces other books make, they aren't the miracle makers. Pretty much fluff true to Guardsmen. It is just about honour, duty, grit and guts. In a nutshell, it is Cadians.

The basic plot is that Yarrick lost his mighty tank, the Fortress of Arrogance (like the one in the Apoc book) on the world of Golgotha, during a campaign against Thraka. So army group Exolon is sent to recovery it 40 years later, lead on by the Adeptus Mechanicus, who are really in it for their own mechinations. The story follows the Cadians grim tale as the are lead on by a senile glory hound in a desperate fight for survival hinged on the tanks of the 81st Armoured Regiment.

The novel mostly follows Sergeant Wulfe, the main character of Mercy Run. Other characters of note are Wulfe's rival, Corporal Lenck, the army group commander, General DeViers, the head Magos, and the Armoured Division's commander, Major General Bergen.

It is nice to see a very detailed piece of fluff, such as the fortress, become the hinge of a novel of unknown (untill now) regiments and characters. The only known character from the game that appears is Yarrick, and then mostly in name.

All in all I'd give it between 3.5-4 out of 5 Aquillas. Good fun read. Left open for a sequel, despite the death toll. Not a Guants Ghost's, Horus Heresy or Ultramarine novel, but better than alot of BL stuff. 

Final rating: 4 out of 5. Give it a read.

2500 Pt Daemonhunters List: an attempt to make them good (UPDATED WITH NEW GUARD)

So I know they are rated rather low right now, but here is a list that I think can give armies a run for their money. 

HQ- Grand Master: 241- Master Crafted Nemesis Force Weapon, Incinerator, Targeter, Holy Relic, Scourging, Word of the Emperor
HQ- Retinue (4): 209 – Psycannon
TROOPS- Inquisitorial Storm Troopers (10): 233- Veteran Sergeant, teleport homer; Melta gun x 2; Chimera, Multi-Laser, Heavy Flamer, Extra Armour, Smoke Launchers
TROOPS- Inquisitorial Storm Troopers (10): 233- Veteran Sergeant, teleport homer; Melta gun x 2; Chimera, Multi-Laser, Heavy Flamer, Extra Armour, Smoke Launchers
TROOPS- Veteran Guard Squad (10): 185-Veteran Sergeant, Shotgun; Lascannon; Plasma gun; Chimera, Multi-Laser, Heavy Bolter, Extra Armour,  Heavy Stubber
TROOPS- Veteran Guard Squad (10): 175-Veteran Sergeant, Shotgun; Lascannon; Sniper Rifle; Chimera, Multi-Laser, Heavy Bolter, Extra Armour, Heavy Stubber
HEAVY SUPPORT- Leman Russ Battle Tank: 200- Lascannon, Heavy Bolters, Extra Armour, Smoke Launcher
HEAVY SUPPORT- Land Raider: 256- Extra Armour, Searchlight
FAST ATTACK- Grey Knights (5): 172- Justicar, Frag Grenades, Targeter; 2 x Incinerator
FAST ATTACK- Grey Knights (5): 172- Justicar, Frag Grenades, Targeter; 2 x Incinerator 
FAST ATTACK- Grey Knights (5): 172- Justicar, Frag Grenades, Targeter; 2 x Incinerator
ELITES- Vindicare Assassin: 110
ELITES- Ordo Malleus Inquisitor: 71- Psycannon, Teleport Homer, Targeter, Word of the Emperor
ELITES- Ordo Malleus Inquisitor: 71- Psycannon, Teleport Homer, Targeter, Word of the Emperor

Pts: 2500 Scoring Units: 4 KPs: 14, 23 ('ard Boyz)

So I know it has some light scoring units, but check out these Tactics.

So you deploy the 2 Inquisitors with your Veteran Guard squads. These 2 squads are your firbase. A Lascannon, Plasma Gun/Sniper Rifle, and a Psycannon, plus the Chimera's weaponry of a Multi-Laser, Heavy Bolter and Heavy Stubber (or storm bolter if you'd rather that). Then you have 7 lasguns. Preety much a 36" ring of death and a 24" ring of doom. The Word of the Emperor also helps protect them from assaults. Set them on an objective and hold it with your firepower. The Leman Russ Battle Tank will definately lend a hand to this. Some good ordnance.

Your Stormtroopers are your other scoring units. These guys can push over armour with 2 melta guns. They are to go and take objectives. Their chimera's have heavy flamers to help in this respect. Frag grenades, 4+ saves and hellguns. But you may have to rely on the following to complete their role though.

Okay, now notice hom all of your troops have a teleport homer with them (on the Inquisitors for the Veteran Guard squads).  You have 3 squads of Deep Striking Grey Knights, and Terminators that can as well (although the Terminators have a Land Raider too).  Basically, when something too nasty appears infront of your troops, you drop in a squad of Grey Knights. Two incinerators in each squad will crisp up an enemy to be followed by some S6 attacks. They can be used to help take an objective for the Storm Troopers or hold one for the Armoured fists.

The Terminators can Deep Strike, or mount up in the Land Raider (or deep strike then mount up). The squad has a Psycannon and Incinerator, plus Scourging for when you are just out of range with the Incinerator. The Land Raider along with Word of the Emperor should help keep hard hitting units like Blood Crushers and Nob Bikerz off these guys, and if not, they have S6 Power Weapon attacks and a Holy Relic to beef them up even more. Plus the Grand Master has a +2 S master crafted force weapon. He can dispatch any warboss with ease.

Tons of Targeters. For 1 pt a piece, it is worth it to be able to measure like crazy, checking multiple targets before shooting. My suggestion, keep the tape measure in your hand or have multiple on the table.

A Vindicare is just icing on the cake. Kill characters and heavy/special weapons. My recommendation: Put him near the Armoured fist squads. Have him take out anything with a flamer. Keep those Guardsmen safe.

So there you go, a mechanised/deepstriking army with a magnitude of firepower that Rebel Cruisers couldn't repel.