Thursday, 24 November 2011

White Dwarf 383 - November 2011

So the new Necrons have finally arrived and this months White Dwarf is the showcase piece for the latest updated army in the 40k universe. As you could probably guess before even thinking of opening the magazine, a very large portion of its contents is given over to showing us what the new Necrons are all about and what new models we can look forward to seeing/modelling/painting/despairing at depending on how you look at it.

Aside from seeing how awesome the new Necrons are, what else is in the magazine this month? In all honesty, not that much else really. A couple of quick tacticas for the Lord of the Rings Infantry and for the Ogre Kingdoms in Warhammer Fantasy.

Then we have a couple of articles of a passing interest, Armies on Parade which features an interesting looking Ork warband with some nifty looking conversions, and an Army Workshop on painting Sisters of Battle, which reminds me of something I really want to get round to doing for this blog.

All in all, not a bad copy of White Dwarf for this month, hypes up the interest in the new Necrons and shows off the new models. In a surprise twist to the 'new' armies appearing in a battle report the Necrons even lost to a coalition of Ultramarines and Eldar, with the Space Marines still being promoted as the Golden Boys of the Galaxy, just as they should be!

And as a signing off note, I really like the new model for the Necron Overlord, as seen below:

Monday, 14 November 2011

The Generous Games Workshop

Following on from my complaints in the last of the White Dwarf reviews I did for this blog, Games Workshop have apparently been very accommodating to my lack of support for their new shipping policy for the magazine.

After telling GW that I no longer wished to be subscribed to a magazine I could often buy in the shops 3 or 4 days before it arrived on my doorstep, they offered me their sincerest apologies, a partial refund on the subscription cost and a voucher for the webstore as a gesture of goodwill.

What I received as part of this goodwill amazed me, leading me to believe that GW cannot be as much of a money hungry organisation as one could assume by their price rises of recent times, and that good souls do reside in their employment. Either that or I just got incredibly lucky. Whichever way, I am very happy with what I could invest in following one complaint.

So, hopefully sometime in the near and war torn future, I will have a Daemon Prince and Defiler ready to join my Slaaneshi Army, sonic weapons to kit out my noise marines so they are WYSIWYG, and buildings aplenty to provide cover and terrain for any battles I ever carry out at home. Very much looking forward to Christmas so I can get all this kit out and put it all together. I will of course keep this blog updated as and when the modelling and painting begins.

And even having cancelled White Dwarf I still had delivered the new issue for me to be able to read on a long plane journey across to Cyprus. Games Workshop, I salute your generosity.

Sunday, 23 October 2011

Chaos Space Marines v Crimson Fists. Report 6


Black Crusade - 2,000pts

This game represents my first using an army that doesn't hail from the ice world of Fenris. As such I wasn't thinking of a competitive list at all for the battle, but a list that would allow me to use and observe the units I chose to deploy. The result was probably one of the most exciting and fun games of Warhammer 40k I have ever taken part in. Kudos to my opponent, another Ian, who also enjoyed the slaughter as much as I did.

Using the Black Crusade mission from the Battle Missions book (pg 12 for those with the book to hand) the battle was pitched at 2,000pts, Chaos leading first, 5 turns decided the victor of the skirmish.




Crimson Fists
Pedro Kantor 
Librarian in Terminator Armour - Storm Shield

Terminator Assault Squad - 2 x Lightning Claws (pair), 2x Thunder Hammer and Storm Shield, Sergeant with Lightning Claws.
Sternguard Veteran Squad - 5 men, Combi-Melta, Power fist

Tactical Squad - 10 men, Plasma Gun, Missile Launche, Power Weapon
Tactical Squad - 10 men, Melta Gun, Missile Launcher, Power Weapon
Tactical Squad - 10 men, Flamer, Missile Launcher, Power Weapon

Vanguard Veteran Squad - Jump Packs, Relic Blade, 4 x Power Weapon

Land Raider Redeemer - Extra Armour, Multi-Melta
Predator - Twin-Linked Lascannon, Lascannon Sponsons, Extra Armour

Chaos Space Marines
Lucius the Eternal
Terminator Lord - Twin-Linked Bolter, Power Weapon

Terminators - 5 men, Icon of Slaanesh, 2xTwin-Linked Bolters,2xCombi-Weapons, Reaper Autocannon, 3xPower Weapon, Chainfist and Power fist.
Possessed Marines - 4 men with 1 Champion

Chaos Space Marines - 8 men, Icon of Slaanesh, Plasma Gun with Aspiring Champion - Combi-Melta and Power fist. 
Chaos Space Marines - 9 men, Icon of Slaanesh, 2xMelta Gun with Aspiring Champion - Combi-Melta and Power fist, Rhino.
Noise Marines - 7 men, Personal Icon, 6 x Sonic Blasters, Blast Master with Aspiring Champion with Power Weapon and Doom Siren.

Chaos Raptors - 4 men, 2xMelta Gun with Aspiring Champion - Plasma Pistol, Power Weapon

Obliterators - 2 men(?)

Land Raider

The Battle

A bloody affair this one was, with both Land Raiders falling in the first turn, the Loyalist machine falling to the lascannons of the Obliterators and the Chaos equivalent going to the lascannons of the Predator. I will talk about some of the effective units from the Chaos side of things shortly, and also some of the less effective units.

The tactics from the Chaos side was to keep the Chaos units relatively close together so they could support each other, hopefully knocking out on flank of the enemy and controlling the battle along one of the short sides. By and large the tactic and units were successful in doing this and once the carnage was called to a close, the Chaos force was triumphant by 13 points to 11.

Lucius the Eternal

I have always wanted to field this guy since reading the opening five Horus Heresy novels. For his debut he didn't disappoint either. He got away with making a few invulnerable saves (5+ for those without the Chaos Codex) which is incredible given I generally fail 3+ Storm Shield saves, while also whittling down a couple of squads in close combat. The one and only time he fell on the battle field was to Pedro Kantor and his Power fist. Upon his return he got close enough to the Vanguard to kill all five of them with his Doom Siren, which is also quite a beastly weapon against units with a 3+ or worse save. 

Noise  Marines

Before fielding them I hadn't really looked too much into their stats, they were put in just to satisfy my need for an Emperors Children/Slaaneshi feel to my army, but, boy, can they throw out a lot of fire power if you don't move them. Thankfully the majority of the action pivoted around their position in a building 10" from the centre line of the long side of the table. They didn't take a single casualty during the game and put various holes in numerous squads.

Obliterators

A good solid performance from these guys saw a Land Raider ruined and the Predator reduced to an immobilised wreck, with only one gun still functioning but unable to see anything by the end. They absorbed a huge amount of fire before being overwhelmed by the fire power directed at them. Being able to select the best gun for the job in hand is a good benefit, especially when coming up against another marine army.

Possessed Marines

And now for the one and only unit that failed to do anything of any particular note. Having no ranged weaponry and getting the Scout special rule at the start of the game, these guys attempted to move up the field behind the cover of the Rhino, before getting in to close combat with the closest unit they could find. Unfortunately by the time this happened they were down to two men against 6, of which they couldn't make a dent before being wiped out and never managing to return to the battlefield. There has to be a way to field them usefully and effectively. Maybe a bigger squad with a better roll for the special rule they get? Needs more testing.

Conclusions

The addition to the Initiative was a handy bonus against marines who generally strike at Initiative 4, allowing this Chaos army to reduce its losses in close combat by killing more of the enemy before they hit them. The army had a good mix of ranged fire power and close range nastiness and Lucius was very fun to throw into combat at every opportunity. Next time I just have to remember to use the Armour of Shrieking Souls when I make those armour saves in close combat.

While there is not much I would change to the base of the army, I feel the possessed marines need to be replaced as they did close to nothing. Possibly dropping the Terminator Lord (although he also made an inordinately high number of invulnerable saves) and the Possessed Marines and using a Daemon Prince to add further strength to the close combat punch of the army would be a possibility and one that I will very possibly try out once I have my DP assembled.

As for the game itself it was immensely enjoyable as I mentioned earlier and has given me an extra thrust in getting back in to war gaming and this will hopefully lead to more content for the blog as I start getting back in to the swing of things! Cheers for reading folks, hopefully I will be back with more content pretty soon.

Sunday, 9 October 2011

White Dwarf 382 - October 2011

I have had a subscription for White Dwarf for the most part of the last year. For the last couple of months the issue has been delivered no earlier than 5 days after the issue has been available on the shelf of my local newsagent. Having contacted Games Workshop for clarification this is the response:


Just so you are aware we have had a change in service to the way in which White Dwarf Subscriptions work. Whereas before your subscription would be posted out at the beginning of the week before release this has changed and now been moved to the Friday before the release so it arrives with you the week after the release. 

So there we are folks, if you have the subscription you will not be seeing it before it is released in the shops, but hopefully you will see it in the week after its released. Bit rubbish, and makes you seriously consider whether the subscription is worth it, given the the magazine is showing signs of turning back to pushing of whatever new army has been released in Warhammer or 40k.

Anyway, that's my moaning over with, we can now see what's going on in this months issue. Unsurprisingly, given the release of Dreadfleet recently, a large majority of the issue is given over to the new game from Games Workshop. Personally I have little interest in the game, but there is a large amount of information that would be very interesting for any of you out there who want to pursue the game. From an introduction to the game to various tactica you can use when playing to a full on battle report, there is quite the information treasure chest for those interested in Dreadfleet.

The Dreadfleet intro section is followed by modelling and painting tutorials for assembling a Wyvern and painting Mournfang Cavalry. This is followed by rules for the scrolls of binding for Thundertusks, Mournfangs and Stonehorn.

Now for the 40k players, Sisters of Battle commanders especially, comes the section of new Battle Missions for the Adepta Sororitas. The three missions shown in the issue are 'Defend the Shrine', 'Recover the Relics' and 'Purge the Heretic'. All missions look like great fun, with the latter two easily adaptable to suit any armies you may fancy pitting against each other. 'Defend the Shrine'  has special rules linked directly to the Sisters' Acts of Faith/Shield of Faith.

The issue finishes off with another painting tutorial. This time it is for the Dreadfleet models and terrain, but there are some useful tips in the there that can be used across 40k/Fantasy such as painting corpse flesh, guts, painting metal, flames and rock amongst many other items.

Again there is no indication as to what we can look forward to in next months issue, but I will be back next month all the same, looking through the issue well after it is available in the shops!

Thursday, 29 September 2011

White Dwarf 381 - September 2011

Am I too late with this months look through White Dwarf? Probably. Those of you who wanted to know about the second part of the Codex: Sisters of Battle will have already found out all you need to know about it, so Ill keep this short and brief.

This months issue is largely devoted to Warhammer and the Ogre Kingdoms. There is of course the second part of the Sisters of Battle Codex alongside a two-page article on the Court of the Archon, which shows off the new models available to the Dark Eldar (Lhamaean, Medusae, Sslyth and Ur-Ghul). 

Reviews of the Sisters of Battle Codex can be found all of the internet, for instance here at 3++ is the new black. While being an interesting read, the codex hasn't made me want to go out and start using a SoB army. However, having read through the Dark Eldar codex, I am quite keen to begin a Haemonculus based army, but that's a story for another day.

As this is so late in being posted up, I feel it is safe to post up the result of the Sisters of Battle v Tyranid battle, which saw the SoB win by two objectives to one. Nice to see my prediction from last months White Dwarf was correct. No idea what's coming up in next months issue, so I will have to wait a few more days and hope for an interesting surprise!

Monday, 26 September 2011

Space Wolves v Imperial Guard. Report 5

After a short hiatus, I am back. I have also used the time away to have a think about the layout of these battle reports and how to revamp them a little to make it easier to find the important points of the battle from the mundane. We'll have to see how that works out as I do tend to waffle a little and if I do, someone please shout at me!


My return to the battlefields saw my Space Wolves against an Imperial Guard army of which I do not have a copy of the list used. I shall therefore just run through the army list I used. The battle was a 2,000 point battle to the death or, as actually occurred, our time ran out and had to judge the contest on kill points.

Space Wolves - 2000pts.
Logan Grimnar
Rune Priest - Runic Armour, Chooser of the Slain, Murderous Hurricane, Tempests Wrath

Wolf Scouts - 6 men, Meltagun

Wolf Guard - Arjac Rockfist
                     TDA, Combi-Melta, Wolf Claw
                     TDA, Combi-Melta, Power Fist
                     TDA, Storm Bolter, Power Fist
                     TDA, Storm Bolter, Power Weapon, Cyclone Missile Launcher
Grey Hunters 1 - Meltagun, Standard, Power Fist, Rhino
Grey Hunters 2 - Flamer, Standard, Power Weapon, Drop Pod
Grey Hunters 3 - Flamer, Standard, Drop Pod
Grey Hunters 4 - Meltagun, Standard, Rhino

Land Speeder x2 - Multi-Melta, Heavy Flamer

Long Fangs - 3 x Missile Launcher, 2 x Lascannon.

Deployment

The Imperial Guard deploy first, spreading their numbers across their table edge, with high numbers of troops flanking four Leman Russ tanks, of which two were part of a squadron and the other two were lone tanks.

The Space Wolves deployment saw one Land Speeder deployed along with both of the Rhinos and the squad of Long Fangs. All of these units were deployed to the right hand flank of the Wolves and mostly covered by a lone building in the their deployment area.

The Space Wolves steal the initiative and the drop pods fall to start things off.

Let Battle Commence

The aim with the drop pods was to strike hard and fast at the tanks lined up in the middle of the Guard deployment. The first pod with Logan and Wolf Guard came down exactly where required, immobilising and therefore destroying one tank of the squadron, while the other tank was left unable to shoot the following turn. The second pod scattered far enough away to keep Arjacs hammer from reaching it, leaving two active tanks on the loose, which wasn't part of my initial plan, but ultimately not too far away.

Heavy Weapons fire from the Long Fangs was sent in two directions - frag missiles at the troops while the lascannons tried unsuccessfully to damage the tanks further. The rhinos moved forward toward the main nucleus of Guard troops and popped some smoke, while the Land Speeder used the tanks as cover.

One thing to learn about terminators is that if they face enough firepower, whether it is AP2 or not, eventually they will fall if faced with massed guns. This was their downfall. As for Arjacs pod, he lost pretty much all of his squad thanks to plasma cannons on the tank I had hoped they would destroy. It is a pretty big hope to try and land a drop pod within 6" of its target. Fortune certainly didn't favour the brave at this point.

Back on the right flank, one rhino was immobilised, the other one still fully operational. By the start of the third turn all Space Wolf reserves had arrived. The Scouts came in behind a few of the troops, shooting then assaulting then sweeping the squad before them for the loss of one man. The command squad fell to flamer and bolter fire, with a heavy weapon squad falling in an identical manner.

After the initial barrage his squad had taken, Arjac fought back resolutely, blowing the battle cannon off of a Leman Russ, and surviving concentrated fire from every conceivable weapon on the table from lascannons and plasma cannons to lasguns and rifles. Shame he ended up losing a wound to a las pistol in the end, but he still showed his titanic might enough to be proud of his performance.

Logan wasn't so lucky, while after smashing off a plasma cannon, died to a quick round of shooting along side his Wolf Guard. It was a fairly quick demise for my flagship drop pod, especially one that cost in the region of 400pts. The lesson here is not to leave any unit, no matter its size, isolated for any period of time, especially in an open location where fire can be easily concentrated upon them.

One Land Speeder was also reduced to scrap metal by a Leman Russ, as a deep striking squad of Storm Troopers attempted to land close enough to the Long Fangs to take them out. The squad scattered out of range and was quickly eliminated the following turn by the remaining Long Fangs with frag missiles and lascannon fire.

The game ended on turn 4 due to time constraints. The result, based on kill points, was a 5-2 victory in favour of the Wolves. The main lessons learnt from this encounter are that distance with the Imperial Guard must be closed down rapidly (drop pods help with this immensely, maybe bikes would also be beneficial in this aspect too), isolated units will generally equal dead units pretty quickly, and Arjac with his 2+/3++ save is pretty difficult to fell.

Wednesday, 17 August 2011

Death from Above - Drop Podding

My favourite method of delivery for any list I have ever written always lands upon the drop pod. Crashing down amongst your enemy, very little to worry about with the auto-correct on the scatter meaning no mishap table to fret over, and half your pods dropping on turn one, what more can you ask for?

With the pods coming down in your opening turn you can surgically strike with the aim of dividing your opponents army, singling out important elements and laying down some fire before your turn is out, the heart stopping moment waiting to determine whether your pod hits the target you need, or scatters either into further danger or, conversely, further away from danger is a definite highlight for the risk-taker in me.

But how can you use the pods effectively and not just waste your armies potential? For me, making a successful drop pod based army relies on three things and we will look at these in turn shortly. The amount of fire power you have walking out of your pods is entirely up to you, I only want to talk about the potential usage and tactics you can employ if you want to go down the route of using drop pods.

Firstly you have to use as many pods as you can possible take, preferably using an odd numbered amount of pods, just to use the special rule that 'half of all drop pods, rounded up, are to drop in the players first turn'. So seven pods in total will see 4 fall in the first turn. If all those pods are full of men, you have potentially 40 power armoured men entering first turn anywhere on the board. If you're playing crazy, that could also be 20 men in terminator armour, or any combination between the two scenarios. I think its fair to say that is a fair amount of fire power to place around the board.

Secondly you have to consider where you are going to attempt to land them and what your objectives are. A singular pod which is dropped in the middle of the enemy will not last much further than its first turn on the table. Of course, if that pod has a special aim like using its melta gun to open up a tank and you don't mind using the troops as cannon fodder, that's all fine, but I prefer to try keeping my guys alive as long as possible. Landing multiple pods close together will increase their individual survivability as your opponent will have more targets to split their fire between, meaning your troops will be taking less damage. The more pods you have drop in one area, the greater their chances of survival are.

From Counterfetts blog, All Things Fett.
And lastly you will also have to consider the units that make up the rest of your army. While you are podding in your troops, your heavy support needs to be able to cover them wherever they may land, taking on any vehicles and monstrous creatures that are near the landing zone. You may also consider using your fast attack, such as bikers or land speeders, to provide further cover, using their increased movement range to get forward and support your troops on foot. These units will also add an additional threat to your opponent and will help to divert some fire away from your drop pod troops.

This type of army is certainly an acquired taste, but when it works can be devastating. Never drop a pod so that it is left at risk of being isolated and exposed to an angry enemy and always make sure that each pod is adequately supported by other pods, bikes or speeders, heavy weapons squads and tanks or outflanking scouts and this type of army can be lethal to your opponent. Let me know your thoughts on drop pod armies and how you make them work.

Thursday, 11 August 2011

White Dwarf 380 - August 2011

The monthly look through White Dwarf is back. It's another useful edition of the magazine for both Warhammer Fantasy and 40k players alike, especially those with an interest in Vampire Counts for WHFB and Sisters of Battle for 40k.

The Fantasy element of the magazine contributes around 75% of its overall content this month. On top of new rules for the Terrorgheist, Tomb Banshee and Cairn Wraith in the Vampire Counts range, there are also additional rules for a new Garden of Morr plastic scenery kit that is also due to be released. Following this you have numerous army lists followed up by a battle report which sees The Empire go up against Vampire Counts.

To complete the Warhammer section there is then a showcase from the 'Eavy Metal team of the various new monsters that were released alongside last months Storm of Magic, followed by an extensive tutorial for the assembly and painting of a Black Dragon.

And then we find the first part of the Sisters of Battle Codex, situated toward the rear of the magazine and filling 14 pages with information on the Adepta Sororitas. While I could not see any new models and cannot comment on whether the information held within this first section is completely brand new, the codex this far makes for interesting reading. The named characters appear to have had a couple of stats boosted, but until we have the second part it is too early to tell what a SoB army will generally comprise and how they can fair on the table.

In other news from this issue of WD, the Dark Eldar have two more new releases due on the 20th August in the shape of Ur-Ghul and Medusae (seen below) and a Chaos Daemons Battalion/Battleforce due to be released the same day.
Hopefully my copy of White Dwarf will turn up on time this month and the full strength of the Sisters of Battle will be shown in a battle report when up against Hive Fleet Leviathan. I'm putting my money on a SoB victory on that one, so we will have to wait and see!

Wednesday, 10 August 2011

The Army List Series Part Two - Creating Your Lists



Where is the best place to start when looking to put together your list for an upcoming battle? There is no right or wrong place to start, but it is worth having a good idea about what you want your army to achieve before you begin putting it together. The aim of this segment is not to tell you what units you must have in your army, but is more of vocalised thought process of what you could consider whilst preparing an army list.

In the opening part of this series, found here, there are a few different builds you can go for.Each list you create you would like to think had a chance of victory given a bit of luck and sound tactics and so I believe that a solid approach to writing any sort of list can at least get you moving in the right direction.

Whether you are confined in your list to what models you have available, or if you have the freedom of being able to use a large amount of 'counts as' models, each and every unit within that list needs to be in some way compatible with the next.

To start with a good knowledge base of your army in general is a must, knowing their strength and weaknesses such that you can then aim to reduce weaknesses while maximising the strengths. For instance, Dark Eldar are exceptional in close combat, while poor at range, while Tau and Necrons rely more on their fire power generally than slicing the opposition up in hand to hand fights and as such these armies will be aligned accordingly.

Knowing your army should happen eventually regardless of whether or not you spend every second studying your army's codex. Knowing your opponents army is a whole other kettle of fish but, simplistically, can be generalised down to help you with your army. Going against horde armies, you want to be packing as many template weapons as possible, while against Marines and similar, plasma weapons and other high AP weaponry is a must, while for mechanised armies you may want to also consider high strength weaponry as well to help blast through that armour. Helpful advice I read somewhere is to always shoot the choppy stuff and chop the shooty stuff.

Once you have considered your army's weaponry you need to think about their delivery system to the forth coming battle. Deep striking elements of your army on to the table, in drop pods for example, could leave units isolated and destroyed within a turn of arriving. So you either need to allow for more units to deep strike with them, enough long range guns to cover them or have fast moving units move to their position to support them. Either way your list will have to accommodate these factors.

Of course, deep striking armies aren't the only way to have your army. If you want to be assaulting as quickly as possible, you need vehicles and mechanisms that allow you to achieve that. However, sending a lone Land Raider up against your enemy will most likely see that Land Raider wrecked before it gets close enough. Sending two would increase both their chances of surviving but the points cost would be very high, but with an improved chance of at least one of them hitting home.

You may also try the foot slogging approach, but to me this relies heavily on their being plenty of cover on the table and units that can move quickly and face up to a lot of shooting before they get into position. For a foot slogging army you will need plenty of ranged fire power to provide covering fire and to find all the cover available, possible using cheaper units to shield your more expensive units running behind them. 

A good, solid army list will not be created without some experimentation, but this very experimentation can lead to many a situation where you can discover more about your army than you thought you knew. An army list compiled with a particular aim (with a back up just in case!) will have more success than a random collection of units that combine with multiple objectives in mind. It makes sense when written down, but how many people starting out would have one maybe two units running around on their own trying to flatten their opponent, while having the rest of the army sit back and try picking things off at range, just to see their whole army get wiped out pretty quickly? Possibly not that many, but I did and have now evolved my early lists to give me more balance and support than I originally had.

What makes you decide what units you are going to take, or do you only have one list and make that work against all armies? Do you consider what you want to aim for before writing your list, or does it change depending on your opponent? Id like to hear more from you guys, so please feel free to leave a comment.

Sunday, 31 July 2011

Review: Warhammer 40k: Kill Team

Since finishing my Blood Claws I have taken a break from doing any painting and have occupied my time with the new Warhammer 40,000 : Kill Team game that has recently been released on the Xbox 360, but will also be released on the PS3. I will give you guys reading this my brief thoughts on the game and if it is worth the 800 MS Points it currently costs.

Kill Team is a very simple game to pick up and play. There are no mind boggling combinations of buttons to press to get slashing through the Ork and Tyranid hordes in close combat and shooting requires you to push the right stick in the direction you want to fire. There is no ammo limit to cope with the endless xeno tidal wave that throw themselves at you on each level, which makes the control system even more simple. If you want to kick back, cut a bloody swathe through the enemies of the Imperium and play a good enjoyable game then this doesn't strike too far wide of the mark for any fans of 40k out there, and can also be enjoyed by those who have never before seen or heard of the events in the 41st millennium.

In the campaign you can play as one of four character types, namely a Librarian, Vanguard Veteran, Techmarine or a Sternguard Veteran (who looks surprisingly similar to a devestator marine to those who know their 40k). Each has a special attack and a selection of weapons with which to take on each of the five levels. You have the same units available in the survival challenge which can be attempted on each level and adds to the replayability of the game. I personally have found each character type immensely fun to use and have enjoyed having to adapt how I approach each level differently as the four characters use different wargear and specialise in different areas, meaning one approach for all will very likely see your marine dead very quickly.

Each of the five levels will take around 30mins to complete the first time you play through them. With additional attempts at the level with the different characters (if you want to be that thorough) taking less time due to being able to power up the marine more on subsequent runs and knowing exactly what you are doing and what is coming up.

I have enjoyed playing Warhammer 40k: Kill Team, with my particular highlights being a battle against a Tyranid Hive Tyrant and finally crushing the Orks aboard the cruiser. I like to be quite thorough on completing games and have been back already to complete the levels again using different characters and in doing this feel like it is a new challenge with each new marine as opposed to retreading the same steps taken previously. The game gets a big thumbs up from me and is very much worth the cost for what you can get out of the game. It also means I should be able to get the power sword on the Space Marine game coming out in the autumn time.

Wednesday, 27 July 2011

Finally Complete

Excluding their bases I have finally finished painting the 14 Blood Claws for my Space Wolves Army, leaving only a small handful of units left to complete before the entire army is done.



Tuesday, 19 July 2011

Blood Claw Update!

Completed so far, 10 Blood Claws. I say completed, but they are still awaiting their pack markings and bases to be done before they are totally complete.



The last four to have their armour painted. Once these guys are painted I will do all the shoulder pack markings in one go.

The Blood Claws started off On the Painting Table and have progressed over the last month. The largest remaining pack I have left to paint of my Space Wolves army, I do enjoy rolling them out every once in a while. I also use them as Grey Hunters if my numbers are ever lacking. Once these chaps are done its on to the Thunderwolf Lord (see above link) and then hopefully on to the winner of the poll on the side of this blog. Vote if you haven't already!

Space Wolves vs Tyranids. Report 4

Another week, another battle for my Space Wolves. Once again I was up against an army I have not fared well against over the last year, but a steely determination to squash some bugs drove me onwards to one day overcome the unstoppable behemoth hive.

Anyhow, the points were set at 2,000, with the Infestation battle mission. The Tyranids were clear favourites at this point, it was going to be one almighty struggle and one I was going to go down fighting with.


Tyranids

Hive Commander Tyrant with 2 Tyrant Guard

8 Ymgarl Genestealers
2 Zoanthropes x2
2 Hive Guard

8 Genestealers and Broodlord x2
10 Termagants with Devourers x 2

15 Gargoyles x 2

Mawloc x2
Biovore

Space Wolves

Rune Priest - Runic Armour, Chooser of the Slain
Wolf Priest - Runic Armour, Wolf Tail Talisman, Wolf Tail Necklace

Lone Wolf - TDA, Thunder Hammer, Storm Shield, Fenrisian Wolf
Wolf Scouts - Meltagun
Wolf Guard - TDA, Cyclone Missile Launcher
                     PA, Combi-melta, Wolf Claw x2
                     PA, Combi-plasma
                     PA, Combi-melta, powerfist

12 Blood Claws - Flamer, Power Weapon
5 Grey Hunters - Razorback, Plasma Gun, Standard
6 Grey Hunters - Razorback, Flamer, Standard
8 Grey Hunters - Drop Pod, Flamer, Standard

Land Speeder - Heavy Flamer and Mulitmelta x2

Vindicator
Land Raider Crusader
Long Fangs - 3xMissile Launcher, 2xLascannon.

Deployment and the Beginning

All the Tyranids deployed 12" away from my marines deployment quarter, with only the Ymgarls, Mawlocs and one of the other genestealers left in reserve. All the Space Wolves deployed, with the Long Fangs and scouts set up in the only bit of cover in the table quarter, the Blood Claws, Wolf Priest and a wolf claw Wolf Guard were in the Land Raider. The Rune Priest joined the Long Fangs and the Land Speeders lined up among the tanks.

The first Tyranid turn saw 6 of the bugs die to dangerous terrain, which was quite the bonus for the Space Wolves. The Long Fangs in cover took heavy fire from the Tyrant, his Guard and the Hive Guard. The only damage was a wound on the Rune Priest. All other Tyranid units moved forward, closing the distance between themselves and the marines. The Gargoyles on the Tyranid right flank swooped forward and assaulted the Long Fangs, getting wiped out in the process, but they did manage to claim the life of the Rune Priest which was a blow to stopping Tyranid powers such as Paroxysm and Leech Essence. The Vindicator was just in range for a strike from the Zoanthropes Warp Lance and as such lost the chance to fire next turn.

The reply from the Wolves saw the flamers come in to play, with many genestealers, gargoyles and termagants roasting in the promethium flame. The heavy weapons fire took wounds from the Hive Tyrant and his guard while the drop pod came down behind the Tyranid approach and began unleashing all the firepower it could at the Zoanthropes. The Razorbacks stood their ground and unleashed their heavy bolter rounds, claiming a wound on a Zoanthrope and a couple more termagants. The Land Raider took down 5 gargoyles while holding its position.

The start of turn two saw the arrival of the Ymgarl genestealers in a building just on the edge of the Space Wolves deployment zone, with them bursting forward the dangerous terrain claimed another Tyranid life. This however didnt stop the rampaging 'stealers and they reached and destroyed a Land Speeder, the resulting explosion killing two of them. A single Mawloc also arrived from reserve, exploding just into the action from under the Long Fang position, killing one of them. The Hive Tyrant moved forward, paroxysm unleashed on the Long Fangs they were reduced to 2 by the end of the assault. The drop podded marines took a lot of focussed fire from the termagants, reducing their numbers by a few, before being assaulted by them. The Wolves fought back and wiped the squad, but losing a two more members leaving three men left.

The lone wolf tried desperately to get in some monstrous creature bashing, but got caught by the three genestealers and broodlord. With Hypnotic gaze in full flow, the Lone Wolf and his companion were sliced up without landing a blow. At least he didn't give away a kill point! The remaining Long fangs were wiped out in the combat with the Tyrant. The scouts and Land Raider unloaded all their firepower into the Mawloc, causing four wounds, while one lot of Zoanthropes were smashed to pieces in close combat by the powerfist Wolf Guard.

The remainder of the battle saw a close escape from an emergency disembarkation by the Grey Hunters in a Razorback after it was swarmed by genestealers and eventually blown up, the resultant explosion killing enough of them to clear a hatch for the Hunters to get out. The Second Mawloc and remaining genestealers arrived to their right flank, by which point the battle was all but over. The marines cleared out the remaining little bugs and Zoanthropes, leaving only the two Mawlocs, Hive Tyrant and one guard, the Hive Guard, two termagants and the last genestealer brood on the table. The Wolves had their Wolf Priest leading Blood Claws survive intact at the end, along with the scouts, and all three Grey Hunter units. One Razorback was still functioning at the end, albeit without any weaponry.

The game was a tie at 8 kill points a piece, but for the sharp eyed of you, the Tyranids were later found to have fielded one more Elite unit than is allowed in the Force Organisation Chart. Moral victory for the Wolves!

Things to Learn From

Apart from taking a chance and splitting two troops on wiping out the termagants and Zoanthropes I don't think I could've done too much different in terms of directing the troops I had on the table. The list probably could've benefited from a second Rune Priest and this could've come from not using the Lone Wolf who had zero impact on the battle anyway. Hindsight is helpful in this instance, as usually the one Rune Priest and Lone Wolf excel in battles against the Tyranids. As a cheeky aside, I will also have to start checking my Tyranid opponents lists before we start to help eliminate any unfair advantages he may try to gain.

These battle reports always seem so long, so if you have read it all, well done, I hope you've enjoyed it and that you can find some useful information within.

Saturday, 16 July 2011

The Army List Series Part One - Types of Lists

There are a large number of ways in which you can approach creating an army list. From 'fluffy' builds all the way up to competitive tournament lists, everyone wants to see their list, their miniature heroes, their army at the very least succeed in some area of battle, if not stand victorious once the last shot has been fired and the last punch thrown.

What I am going to look at next are the type of lists I have seen produced. Firstly we have the fluffy type list. By this I mean the type of list where a named character from a codex is chosen then, based on the information given from any sources to do with that character. For instance my Ragnar fluff list there is the closest I have to a fluff list. The young Wolf Lord is known for using drop pod assaults and that list was written with that fact in mind. These types of list may not be the most competitive and won't turn up on many tournament tables, but they are certainly fun and add to an element of realism (as far as that is possible when imaging the goings on in the 41st Millenium!). They help tie your battle into the established background of the grim dark future, making you a part of the long and detailed story.

The next type of list is not too different from the fluffy list. This list I like to think of as the experimentation list. In this type you try out new units, see what they can do, how they work with other units and, ultimately, whether they are worth another chance on the table. This type of build can be great fun if that new unit does really well for you, but can also be hugely frustrating and disappointing if the unit fails to live up to your expectations. This list from a Space Wolves/Imperial Guard v Necron battle has not just one experimental unit in it but two, as both Ulrik the Slayer and Arjac Rockfist were both untried by myself prior to that game.

It won't take long for an experimentation list to evolve into one of three directions. Firstly you will have lists developed for fun and friendly games. This can be a combination of a fluffy list with an experimental list with a healthy dose of units thrown in that you just enjoy using. Many an enjoyable Friday night has been spent using this type of list. For me it allows the greatest amount of diversity in my lists and really opens up all units in a codex.

Following the experimental list you may develop what is known in certain areas as a 'deathstar' list, in which you will normally find an armies best units and individuals coupled together to form a super unit that can tear huge chunks out of the opposition if they can be deployed successfully. They also tend to be rather difficult to take down and while their points cost may be rather high, the devastation they can cause is phenomenal.

And now we reach the pinnacle, the final, the ultimate type of list there can be - the tournament list. There are a million different types of tournament and all will be crammed full of people who have honed their lists specifically with the aim of being the best. They will have removed all units that have limited use, all units that are very hit and miss with what they can achieve and instead fill the lists with units they know will perform with weaponry that can take on all comers. And this is where I believe the main difference between the fun lists and tournament lists lays. Tournament players have to have a list that will take on anyone at any time in any situation. Fun lists are generally set up for one opponent and can be tailored to suit that opponent as the list writer pleases.

So there we can see five different types of list that I have come across so far in my year or so back in 40k. If you have any further types of list I'd be interested to hear about it and how it fits within the five talked about here. The next part of the Army List Series will look at writing the list itself, what to look out for and how to set it up so you are approaching the table on the right foot.

Monday, 11 July 2011

Beginning a New Army

Whether you are just starting out assembling an army, replacing your current army, or adding another army to the other three you have already got, what attracts you to a new army? Why would you want to change from an army that you have spent a lot of time collecting and assembling, just to do it all over again?

Two questions, most probably a million different answers. Everyone will have their own attractions to each army. Some will like the marines all round ability, while others will prefer their armies to pack large numbers such as Orks or Tyranids. Then you have the large guns each army can pack, with the Imperial Guard packing a fair few. Of course, these are not the only reasons for each of the armies mentioned. Some will just like playing the bad guys while some armies just look plain cool and so people will want to replicate that.

For me, personally, I only have my Space Wolf army operational at the moment. I first picked them up as spotty teenager, back in 2nd Edition, and loved the thought of Bjorn the Fell-Handed and Ragnar Blackmane ripping their way through a battlefield. After a ten year break from the 41st Millennium I returned and started playing with my Wolves again (Ragnar is still ripping up those battlefields, but nowhere near as much as he used to, must be getting old). I do, however, have to side projects that I am slowly working my way through.

The first is a Tyranid army. It is still very much in its infancy and one that I have looked toward as the army can play in a vastly different way to how I can use my Wolves. The idea of a horde army is the attraction here and having swarms of units to swamp the battle table coupled with a few monstrous creatures is the opposite to how Space Marines operate with a limited number of men and a light spattering of galactic heroes.

The second is a Chaos Space Marine army that will be based around the Emperors Children. Largely inspired by The Horus Heresy novels, Fulgrim especially, this army will give me the opportunity to be one of the many bad guys in the universe to combat the many good guys armies out there. Work on these Marines may be a bit slower than imagined originally due to the rumours to do with 6th Edition that began appearing over the last month and the possibilities the Chaos Legions may open up.

I would be very interested to hear about why everyone has chosen their particular army/armies. Is there something about them that you particularly like, or do you just enjoy playing with the latest codex, or do you like the modelling options the army opens up to yourself? The many different reasons may be vast and I would love to hear some of your thoughts, so please leave a comment and let me know about your army.

Thursday, 7 July 2011

Space Wolves vs Eldar. Report 3

This report has taken a while to write due to real life getting in the way, many of the exact points of the battle are a bit of a hazy memory now, but I will try to give as much detail as possible.

The latest battle for my Space Wolves saw a 2,500pt bloodfest against opponents that they have struggled against previously (second only to Tyranids). The Eldar were up this time and the battle mission was set as the Eldar Mobile Defence mission. Three objectives were set up, pretty much along the centre of the table each around 20" from the next.

So with the terrain set and the mission assigned it was time to move on to the deployment of the two armies, which were as follows:

Eldar

Avatar
Farseer - Doom and Guide, Ghosthelm, Rune Armour, Runes of Warding, Spirit Stones, Shuriken Pistol, Singing Spear.

Wraithguard - 5 men + 1 Warlock with Rune Armour, Shuriken Pistol and Singing Spear
Howling Banshees - 9 men with Banshee Masks and Power Weapon +  Exarch with Banshee Masks and Mirrorswords
Harlequin Troupe - 8 man Harlequin Troupe, 1 Shadowseer and Troupe Master.

2 x Dire Avengers - 9 men + 1 Exarch with Power Weapon and Shimmershield
2 x Guardians - 10 men with Shuriken Cannon + 1 Warlock
1 x Guardians - 10 men with Shuriken Cannon
Pathfinders - 5 men.

Shining Spears - 4 men + Exarch.

Wraithlord - Flamer (x2), Wraithsword, Bright Lance
Wraithlord - Flamer (x2), Wraithsword, Bright Lance
Dark Reapers - 4 men + Exarch with Crack Shot, Fast Shot, Tempest Launcher.

Space Wolves

Ulrik the Slayer
Rune Priest - Runic Armour, Wolf Tail Talisman, Living Lightning, Murderous Hurricane
Wolf Lord - TDA, Storm Shield, Wolf Claw, Saga of the Bear.

Dreadnought - Assault Cannon, Heavy Flamer, Extra Armour, Wolf Tail Talisman, Drop Pod
Scouts - 6 men, Flamer
Wolf Guard - 5 men, 2 x Wolf Claw/Combi-Melta, Power Fist/Combi-Melta, Power Weapon/Combi-Plasma, TDA/Heavy Flamer/Power Fist.

Grey Hunter - 8 men, Flamer, Standard, DropPod
Grey Hunter - 10 men, 2 x Flamer, Standard, Drop Pod
Grey Hunter - 8 men, Meltagun, Standard, Rhino
Grey Hunter - 10 men, 2 x Plasma gun, Standard
Grey Hunter - 10 men, 2 x Meltagun, Standard

Land Speeder - Heavy Flamer, Multimelta
Land Speeder - Heavy Flamer, Multimelta

Long Fangs - 5 men, 4 x Missile Launcher
Long Fangs - 6 men, 3 x Plasma Cannon, 2 x Heavy Bolter
Land Raider Crusader

Let Battle Commence

Everything from the Eldar was deployed from the start, and pretty much across the centre line of the board, forcing all the Space Wolves units back at least 18" from the centre of the table. The Wraithlords, Farseer and a couple of Guardians were deployed on the Eldar left flank, covering one of the objectives. The Avatar took the middle position with a squad of Dire Avengers and Guardians. The Pathfinders and Dark Reapers were located in building ruins on their right flank, with the Wraithguard, Dire Avengers, Harlequins and Howling Banshees taking the remaining places of the right flank. The Shining Spears were in reserve and the Eldar held two objectives of three from the outset.

The Space Wolves had the Drop Pod units, a Land Speeder and the Scouts all in reserve. The Long Fangs started in cover centrally and to their left flank. The Rhino with Ulrik and Grey Hunters started behind the central Long Fangs, while the Land Raider with the Wolf Lord and Grey Hunters in were positioned as far on the left flank as possible, backed up by a Land Speeder. The foot slogging Grey Hunter pack were using the Rhino as cover.

With everyone in position, the roll for the first turn hands the initiative to the Space Wolves. The two drop pods fall into position nicely to set alight the Harlequin Toupe and one squad of Dire Avengers. Long Fang fire sees the fall of 3 Dark Reapers and the Exarch leading them. The Land Raider and Land Speeder move up the Wolves left flank. The Grey Hunters on foot moved towards an objective while being shielded by the Rhino.

From the following next few rounds the Eldar lost a lot of troops, including the Avatar and Farseer and slowly relinquished their grasp on the objectives they were holding. The Wraithlords took 4 turns to get to the opposite side of the table than they started on and this is where the Space Wolves (my) masterplan began to unfold temporarily.

Having allowed for only high strength shooting weaponry, once the high toughness Wraithlords got into close combat with the Space Wolves units (predominantly Grey Hunters and Scouts) then there was no way for them to strike back due to the lack of high strength close combat weaponry. More thunder hammers, powerfists or chainfists would have made a difference against the Wraithlords. As it was, with one Wraithlord finishing off a squad of Grey Hunters in the Eldar turn and not being able to move into cover, he was surround by Land Speeders, Long Fangs and the Land Raider and duly succumbed to the onslaught of fire power. By the time the other Wraithlord had finished decimating Space Wolves, he was the sole remaining Eldar model on the table and the game was closed with it being surrounded by plenty of heavy weaponry.

Ulrik Watch

Unfortunatley I struggled to find an outlet for Ulrik to charge from his Rhino and into the thick of the action, bar a final flurry into seven Guardians holding one of the objectives. Ulrik dispatched four of them, leaving the rest for the accompanying Wolf Guard to mop up. So in two games so far for Ulrik he has killed 4 Necron Warriors and 4 Eldar Guardians out of two assaults. It is time to ramp up his opposition and see what he can truely accomplish, or to see if wiping troops out quickly and efficiently is his forte.

Conclusions

Talking with my Eldar friend after the game I get the impression he would have preferred a more mechanised list had he known about the mission before hand. The dice gods also abandoned him as he failed more armour saves than is normal, seeing the majority of squads cut down in one round of shooting. Not alot you can do about luck though.

While a Space Wolf victory was enjoyed on the day, it did highlight the need in the army for additional high strength close combat weapons to deal with tougher opponents. A Lone Wolf with a thunder hammer would be an interesting match up against the towering Wraithlord. Especially if he is given the bonus from Ulriks Mentor Special Rule.  Aside from that the Space Wolves achieved everything they set out for.

Wednesday, 29 June 2011

White Dwarf 379 - July 2011

What is the point in reviewing White Dwarf I hear you asking? It is merely a vessel for Games Workshop to list endlessly and relentlessly everything that they sell, with little to no content that can be deemed useful to the hobby. Well, this month its still a large majority of its usual self, but there is a fair chunk of brand new information within its pages.

WD starts with the introduction of Storm of Magic, something that looks to be quite an expansion to Warhammer. I don't know much about Warhammer as I have never played it, but the expansion sees a host of new models to be released including individual men and a fair few monsters. These come in the usual variety of materials including Citadel Finecast. The remaining coverage in WD looks at various articles surrounding the Storm of Magic release and culminates in a battle report based on the expansion.


The remainder of WD turns its focus on the goings on in Warhammer 40k. Beginning with a Dark Eldar workshop, tutorials are given for preparing and assembling Citadel Finecast and painting tutorials for the skin of Wracks (or quite conceivably any DE) and the vials that pretty much all DE carry. A few handy tips and tricks in there.

Then we move onto the Cities of Death feature which has 12 new official stratagems, giving a new one to each army type, and 4 new scenarios, as well as an article on terrain that has made me want to get going with designing and building my own battle board. The battle report then goes on to use one of the new scenarios and stratagems as the Space Wolves (led by Ragnar Blackmane) take on Huron Blackhearts' Chaos Space Marines.

The July edition of White Dwarf for me has been more interesting than any for a while. The 40k section especially as GW have not used their latest army (Grey Knights if you had forgotten!) to beat everything else to a pulp to prove it is a must have army. Here's to hoping that GW can keep it moving in this sort of useful direction, rather then reverting back to the 120 page advert for GW of recent times. And here's looking forward to the first part of Codex: Sisters of Battle that will be in next months White Dwarf.

Monday, 27 June 2011

Space Wolves and Imperial Guard vs Necrons. Report 2

Deployment Necrons v Space Wolves & Imperial Guard
I finally managed to get at least a partial game in this week, with my Space Wolves joining up with 1500pts of Imperial Guard to take on 3000pts of Necrons. The game only got as far as turn 3, so I won't run out full details of what happened, but I will look at two units I deployed and what they achieved in their short time on the battlefield.

Space Wolves 1500pts

Ulrik the Slayer
Rune Priest - Runic Armour, Living Lightning, Murderous Hurricane

5x Wolf Guard - Arjac Rockfist, 3xCombi-Melta, Combi-Plasma, 2xWolf Claw, Powerfist, Power Weapon
6x Wolf Scouts - Melta Gun

8x Grey Hunters - Flamer, Drop Pod, Standard
8x Grey Hunters - Flamer, Rhino, Standard
10x Grey Hunters - 2xFlamer, Standard

2x Land Speeder - Heavy Flamer, Heavy Bolter

6x Long Fangs - 3x Missile Launchers, 2x Lascannon
Arjac Rockfist

Firstly we will look at the Anvils contribution to the battle. Coming in on turn one with the drop podding Grey Hunters, Arjac had the choice of chasing down the phase out total and smashing apart Necron Warriors, or going after the living God, the C'tan The Nightbringer. Needless to say, Arjac was in God hunting mood and dropped as close as possible to the C'tans position.

With Arjac out of the drop pod, began by firing off his hammer at the monstrous Nightbringer, scoring a wound in his very first attack while under my control, taking it down to 4 wounds. Further lascannon and missile fire saw the wound counter drop to three before the end of that turn. I was hoping to see some close combat with Arjac and his Grey Hunters against the C'tan, but it moved away instead choosing to try and hunt down the Rune Priest.

 
Following the Nightbringers attack on the Rune Priest and his squad, they were forced to fall back and flee, leaving the C'tan perched nicely on the top of a hill. Arjac followed closely behind, taking another wound from the enemy with his flying thunder hammer, reducing it to 2 wounds, which were quickly reduced even further down to zero thanks to some crack shooting from the Long Fangs. Unfortunately, the explosion from the dying Nightbringer caused a wound on Arjac, but the man mountain remained standing as of the end of turn 2.

Ulrik the Slayer
Starting off in a Rhino, the main aim with Ulrik for this game was to get him as quickly as possible to the front lines and then unleash him on the Necron Warriors he found there before moving on to the Destroyers that were hiding out behind them. In the two turns we played, objective one was achieved.

Ulrik took his rhino 12" from his first turn, before the transport was targeted and immobilised on the Space Wolves/Imperial Guard right flank. From here Ulrik and his pack of Grey Hunters set out on foot, managing to get into close combat with a full squad of Warriors. With Ulrik going first, he personally took down 4 Warriors while the remaining 8 men in his squad managed only 1 between them. The strike back from the Warriors caused no casualties and the Wolves sweeping advance saw no Warriors remaining.

During turn two the Necrons took some incredibly heavy casualties, losing two squads of Warriors, one squad of Destroyers with another squad waiting on their 'We'll Be Back' rolls and a Lord down as well. On kill points at the time the game ended it was Necrons 3 - 5 Wolves/Guard.

Conclusions

While Arjac and Ulrik both contributed during the battle it is still a little too early to decide whether or not they were used to the best of their abilities and indeed what those abilities entail. Arjacs hammer throw can damage even the mightiest of opponents, but luck must've played a huge part in getting two wounds out of two off the C'tan. The drop pod delivery system for Arjac also hampered his ability to get into close combat for the first turn, something that could potentially be remedied by the use of a Land Raider in future.

As for Ulrik, the delivery system was fine and got him to where I needed him to be in the time frame I required. He ripped through the Warriors without too much trouble, which leaves me wondering whether he would have been better used going after slightly tougher targets (as his rules suggest) or if using him to take out the most amount of Necrons possible in the quickest time possible was just as useful. Either way, his one turn of use was incredibly productive and leaves me wanting to try using him again.

Tuesday, 21 June 2011

Conversion - Cyclone Missile Launcher

This cyclone missile launcher conversion is one of the simplest conversions I have done. All you need is a typhoon missile launcher from the Space Marine Land Speeder box and some green stuff. So as long as you don't require a Typhoon-pattern speeder, or you have a friend who doesn't want that type of speeder, you are on to a winner!
For the next stage we need to assemble the missile launcher and trim the missile feed to the launcher down to a suitable height. With my launcher I left a couple of the missiles visible in the feed in place. It is possible to take it right down, but all modelling is down to your own preferences and how you want your own models to look.
The last and final stage is to use the green stuff to create a lid to the missile feed to close it off and to hide the cut edge from trimming down the feed. Leave the green stuff to go solid and voila, a cyclone missile launcher. With mine I have used a magnet in the bottom of it and the top of the terminator so that I can have a bit of flexibility in list writing depending on what I want to do.
And that's the sum of it. There really is nothing more to it than that, apart from adding on insignias of your own army and painting it up. So go forth now, and let those missiles cleanse the enemies of Humanity.

Monday, 20 June 2011

Finding New Gamers

Another Friday gone, another night of no action for my Wolves. I was all geared up and ready to take on anyone in a battle to the death, only to have everyone from my gaming group of friends slowly drop out. How often does that happen to everyone else?

The night wasn't a total loss though as I went off to the cinema for the first time since watching Cloverfield a few years back. This time it was Green Lantern and in 3D! Sorry to make that sound like a surprise but it was my first experience of 3D and it was incredible. But that would be an entire different story/review for another day.

Anyway, I enjoy playing 40k and playing for fun as it allows me to explore the codices more fully, being able to try out fluffy as well as the hardcore competitive lists depending on what I fancy. Winning is nice, but having fun with the list I put out is the main aim. But what can you do when you have no one to even put your army out against?

This whole post has been inspired somewhat by this article over at From The Warp about how people react to knowing the hobby we are involved in. Cracking read and everything in it rings true for myself. So where can you go to find other people who will want to join your battles?

First and foremost you have your local gaming stores, where ever they may be. You know everyone in their has at the very least one thing in common with you - miniature wargaming. Whether that is 40k, fantasy or any of the many other different wargames out there, someone will play your game in that store and will be up for a game or two. Outside of the most obvious place though, where can you go? Where can you find other gamers? Who can you convert to playing 40k etc?

None of the answers to those questions can be easily found. The internet is a great source for displaying your finished models, army lists, battle reports, conversions but you would have to cast a very thorough and wide net across many sites to find people in your locality. I found the gaming group I play with through Bolter and Chainsword and its worked out fine.

Other gamers can literally be found anywhere, but as largely discussed in the FTW article above, not many of us shout out from the rooftops about the hobby, so discrete enquiries are generally shunned in preference of keeping quiet about it altogether. This also impacts on trying to convert people into playing the game. Family members can be a good target as even if they decide to mock you for a bit over it, they will generally forget about it quite quickly as well. I am currently working my wife up to playing some 40k with me. Unfortunately she won't come with her own army, so I'm having to set up a second army so she has a force to use, but then I can use that army any time I want when I'm out playing on my own. Swings and roundabouts.

I'd be interested to hear anyones thoughts on how they increase their pool of opponents and how they attract new people to the 40k universe, and how you find existing players to join your gaming groups.

Thursday, 16 June 2011

Space Wolves: Heavy Support

Long Fangs
Their normal load out for my lists are:

6 men, 3 x Missile Launchers, 2 x Lascannons.

This keeps it simple and allows them to focus on two different targets with similar weaponry. The missile launchers can focus on troops/light armoured vehicles while the lascannons focus on tougher vehicles. The sergeant is kept as basic as possible to keep the points cost down.

 They are also normally accompanied by a Wolf Guard in terminator who will also be sporting a cyclone missile launcher. Added to the current set-up thats 5 Str 8 AP3 krak missiles with 2 Str 9 AP2 lascannon shots per turn until they can be cut down. Its no real surprise to see the Long Fangs targeted from the outset as they are able to deal out serious amounts of damage with their weaponry. The sergeants Fire Control special rule allows for vast amounts of damage to be done as fire from the Long Fangs can be directed at two different targets.

The Long Fangs are also pretty decent in close combat. With a full squad you can be looking at 14 I4 attacks on the counter-assault (as assaulting with them is something you don't really want to do if it can be helped).With your Long Fangs generally being in cover they will be striking first more often than not and should be able to do some damage, especially if they have a Wolf Guard with Power Weapon with them. If you read here, these Long Fangs were immoveable in the face of Blood Angels onslaught.

Land Raider Redeemer
As with all Land Raiders, the pinnacle of Space Marine vehicles is available to the Wolf Guard alone as dedicated transport, or as a heavy support choice. If taking it as the latter it is possible to load it up prior to turn one with any unit you have in your army and then run it forward to deliver its payload. Effectively you can launch a 20" assault (move the tank 12", disembark 2", assault 6") in one turn. So if you are loaded up with Wolf Guard, or even Grey Hunters led by a Wolf Priest/Lord, a lot of enemy units would fall under such onslaught.

Outside of this tanks ability to launch assaults half way across the table, the weaponry available on this variation of the machine is rather short-ranged. The Flamestorm cannons, while being Str 6 AP3 still only have the same range as your normal flamer template, which means you will have to be very close to your opponents troops to make them work. The assault cannon with its 36" range will help to clear out one or two men prior to launching any assault.

Land Raider Crusader
With its increased capacity to 16 models (from 12 in the Redeemer variant) this variant can transport up to 8 men in TDA or a full pack of Blood Claws led by a Wolf Priest, the latter of which gives 64 re-rollable to hit attacks on the charge in which you can have up to 8 re-rollable to hit power weapon attacks. The potential for inflicting damage on your opponent is incredibly high, but taking into consideration the cost of the tank and unit inside it you could easily be looking at a 550pt+ point cost.

The Hurricane bolters add in a decent amount of fire against the enemy before disembarking and assaulting, and the frag launchers help to negate the fact that terminators do not carry any grenades that can help while assaulting units in cover. It is fairly safe to assume though, no matter what you are transporting in the tank and what your plans are for the unit, that this flagship vehicle will be target priority number 1 for any enemy that it is used against. Using it in conjunction with drop pods and sufficient fast attack units will give your army enough of a hammer strike to hopefully put a big hole in your enemies lines before they have chance to take yours apart.

This post completes the quick look through the units I have painted and available for my Space Wolves. Hopefully over the coming weeks I will get a bit more game time and will be reporting back on the successes of the named characters and in which configurations and set ups they achieved their success.

In the mean time, please get voting in the poll on the side to decide which character model I will get hold of and get painted up for this blog.

Wednesday, 15 June 2011

Space Wolves: Fast Attack


Swift Claws
The full loadout of this unit is as follows:

6 x Bikes
1 x Flamer
1 x Power Fist
1 x Attack Bike.

Usually they run with a Wolf Guard on bike to prevent the headstrong ruling becoming too much of a problem. These guys still want to get into close combat where possible due to the amount of attacks they can throw out. The flamer in there helps to negate the BS3 of the Blood Claws, while the twin-linked bolters help to diminish the low ballistic skill even further. And with the Space Marine bike having the relentless rule, these guys can shoot then fight their way through a target unit in no time at all.

Due to their speed the Swift Claws can cover a lot of distance around the battlefield, and benefit from a 3++ invulnerable if they turbo-boost in their previous turn, which can become invaluable if your opponent identifies them as a serious risk and turns their heavy weapons on you.

The greatest problem I have faced with this unit is that when fielded at its full size, the physical dimensions of the squad make it difficult to keep them fully covered from the enemy. Having them shielded by a Land Raider can be a viable option, which leaves you with two expensive units running together, but ones that should be able to tackle most things in their path.

As for their most impressive feat, it has to be wiping out almost three squads of Necron Warriors, almost single-handedly forcing the phase-out of that army.

Tuesday, 14 June 2011

Space Wolves: Troops Pt 1

Grey Hunters
One of only two choices for Space Wolves troops but boy, what an option to have. Described by many as the very best troop choice in the game, these guys have it all. With a basic loadout of bolter, bolt pistol and close combat weapon they can shoot up to 24" if they remain stationary as well as getting the +1 bonus for two close combat weapons.


Their special weapons define the role of each Grey Hunter squad. Those equipped with melta guns will be looking for tanks or tough monsters, plasma guns will be your objective sitting troops who will be taking out anyone coming near them, while a flamer squad can be useful for toasting bodies in cover. All of this is added to by the bolter fire the unit can pump out on top of the special weapons.
Grey Hunters are almost equally adept in close combat, as already mentioned. Further to their basic load out they can also take power weapons, power fists, a wolf standard and Mark of the Wulfen. Generally speaking the Wolf Standard is a must have item for all my Grey Hunter Squads. The power weapons and fists I leave to the HQs and Wolf Guard, while Mark of the Wulfen finds a place in one, maybe two squads depending on the overall usage of the squad he will be with.

Grey Hunters can take Rhinos, Razorbacks and Drop Pods as transport and when led by an Independent Character and accompanying Wolf Guard they will lay to waste quite a lot before them, as well as being tough enough to hold on to objectives when required. As with all Space Wolves their counter assault gives them an extra attack (if it goes off) whenever they are assaulted and having a Wolf Standard in there makes all 1s re-rollable for one assault phase which can make a huge amount of difference.

There is another choice for troops for the Space Wolves, the Blood Claws, who will be looked at once they are fully painted and ready for battle. Until that point all I will say is that they are a fun unit who, when everything goes right for them, will dish out a vast amount of damage.

Thanks for reading and I do hope you can place your vote as to what character you think I should look into painting as a mini break to painting up Space Wolves!

Sunday, 12 June 2011

Space Wolves: Elite Units

Wolf Guard
Continuing on with a brief look at the units I have available for my Space Wolves army, next up we have the bodyguard of the Wolf Lord, the Wolfguard.

With so many options these guys can be tailored to suit any army. More often than not a combi-weapon is the first choice of weapon, followed closely by a specialist close combat weapon of the wolf claw/power fist/frost blade variety.

It doesn't even stop there. They can also be equipped with terminator armour which gives access to the heavy weapons of the assault cannon, heavy flamer and cyclone missile launcher. They even have access to all Land Raiders, Drop Pods and Rhinos for transport.

However, the ability that makes the Wolf Guard invaluable to me is them being able to be split up and used as pack leaders for the other Space Wolf units available in the codex if you so wish. They can nullify the Blood/Swift Claws headstrong rule, give the Grey Hunters an extra leadership point as well as adding extra close combat attacks with special weapons to an assault, same with the Scouts, and can add an extra wound (or an extra tough wound with TDA with a cyclone missile launcher) to the Long Fangs. Their versatility really lends it self to whichever tactics are best to overcome the enemy.

Dreadnought
The second dreadnought of this Space Wolf army is primarily used as a long range fire base. With his assault cannon and missile launcher there is a fair chance that anything he can see will be taking some heavy fire.

Used alot during my initial return to 40k almost a year ago now, the dreadnought has slipped down the pecking order somewhat in favour of the Wolfguard, Scouts and Lone Wolves. He does however see a lot of action in games against horde armies (assault cannon and frag missiles will rip holes in large squads) and also against Necrons where the current aim of the game is to whittle them down to phase out as quickly as possible.

A dreadnought also tends to be a huge fire magnet until it is destroyed which means, whilst repeating myself from earlier posts, that while the dreadnought is taking fire, it leaves parts of the rest of your army unscathed and able to carry their objectives. Ideally though, with the longer range weaponry he has equipped, he should be dealing out some damage before the enemy can get enough on him to bring him down.

Wolf Scouts
A very popular unit for many Space Wolf players, the scouts are Grey Hunters with a couple of special rules and slightly different armour. They can pack just as much punch as a squad of Grey Hunters of a similar size, but can turn up from whichever side of the table you need them to, providing the dice rolls go your way!

I have seen these scouts turn up, blow a tank to smithereens and then move on to wipe out a couple of infantry squads. The threat of their arrival helps to shepherd your opponent forward, which will hopefully put them in the target sights of your Long Fangs or other heavy weaponry, and if it doesn't push them away from their table edge, then you have a very real chance to do some top quality damage to your opponents force. A Wolfguard pack leader can also be added to give the unit some additional bite, as they can bring combi-weapons to add to the units main usage.

I have heard a lot of talk of Scouts being a throw away unit but if used as part of a calculated strike against your opponent, it should be manageable to use them in conjunction with, say, drop podded Grey Hunters or some Swiftclaws, to eliminate or isolate part of an enemy force.


Lone Wolves
Equipped with a thunder hammer and storm shield and accompanied by a Fenrisian Wolf, this chap has seen a fair amount of action, which includes, amongst others, taking a Trygon down to its last wound, dispatching Daemon Princes and destroying Leman Russ Battle Tanks.

As he can't take any transport from the outset and being equipped in TDA, transporting him around is tricky unless you have a spare Land Raider. Generally he is run from one piece of cover to the next, until close enough to pop out and strike, or wait for something to assault him in cover.

As long as you wound with the hammer, you will always be striking at a similar initiative as the monstrous creature you have sent him out to take down or fall to while trying. His special rules make hunting anything with toughness 5 or more a priority. 3+ to hit with the wolf tooth necklace, re-rolls to hit T5 or more models and the thunder hammer wounding most things on 2+ makes him a threat to any creature on the table.

However, it is probably best to avoid getting him into combat with large squads or hordes as the sheer volume of numbers will finish him off pretty quickly and his attacks back will not count for anything.

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