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.


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

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

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:


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.


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.

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