Saturday, September 29, 2012

Batrep: Blood Angels vs Orks, 1750 pts

After the hideous drubbing I'd taken at the hands of Louis' Black Templar, I was in the mood to build a list of as much gun-based brutality as I could throw together. This most certainly meant that a pair of Stormravens was a must. Anyways, I put together said list - a nice vehicle heavy list - and got in a game against Ian's Orks. Excellent! He plays a nice big horde of Orks - perfect for finding out if I had the right volume of firepower...

My Blood Angels:
6 Sternguard with combiweapons
10 Death Company with a power sword, a power axe and a thunder hammer
10 Scouts with sniper rifles, camo cloaks and a missile launcher
5 Devastators with missile launchers
2 Stormravens with twin-linked multimelta, twin-linked assault cannon, hurricane bolters and extra armour
2 Baal Predators with heavy bolter sponsons
Land Speeder Typhoon

This list is a variant of a list I'd inflicted on Louis' Thousand Sons a couple of batreps ago. The previous one was designed to get the first strike in with the Drop Pod. This one forgoes the Drop Pod and just concentrates on pure firepower, with a staggering volume of shots, and the speed to bring the army to bear where it counts. The Death Company are there to provide a great big close combat punch, with a good number of bodies to hit with 40 attacks on the charge, with rerolls to hit and wound, thanks to the Reclusiarch.

Warboss with 'Eavy Armour, Cybork Body, Power Klaw
Wierd Boy with Warp 'ead upgrade
30 'Ard Boyz with 3 Rokkit Launchas and a Nob with boss pole and power klaw
30 Shoota Boyz with 3 Rokkit Launchas and a Nob with boss pole and power klaw
30 Slugga Boyz with 3 Rokkit Launchas and a Nob with boss pole and power klaw
10 Tankbusta Boyz with 2 bomb Squigs
7 Flash Gitz
2 War Buggies with twin-linked Rokkit Launchas
Dakkajet with additional twin-linked Supa Shoota
Looted Wagon with big shoota

There were a LOT of boyz on the board, so forgive me if I don't quite remember all the details of this army. There's a little more stuff in there but for the life of me, I have no idea what. I'd faced Ian's Orks once before, using my Necrons in 5th ed. Pretty straightforward battle. He just moved as quickly as he could towards my line, ignoring the horrific casualties was taking and, after about two thirds of his army was blown away by gauss blasts and lightning death, he smashed into my lines and that was that.

Mission: Purge the Alien
Deployment: Hammer and Anvil. I won the roll-off and deployed first. Nightfighting was active for the first turn.

One Stormraven was full of Death Company and the Reclusiarch, the other held the Sternguard.

The strategies of each player were simple enough. Mine was to bring in the Stormravens and let the Death Company rip up the biggest, meanest unit they could find, i.e. the Warboss', all the while laying down salvos of shooty death with the rest of the army. Ian's was to go forward and hit things til they stop shooting at him. Utterly artless and wonderfully Orky. Here's how it went...

Batrep: Knights & Angels Vs Black Templars, 1750 pts

I'd been toying with the idea of a full-infantry list incorporating some Grey Knights,and earlier this weekend I tried out a new list. Having taken my lessons from an earlier engagement against Deathwing, I figured I needed to kit out my Grey Knights to better combat Terminators. So I put together a list, this time with a few more bodies, and hurled them against Louis' Black Templars.

My Knights & Angels:

Librarian with jump pack, Prescience and Iron Arm
Honor Guard with Storm Shield, Thunder Hammer, 2 Lightning Claws and jump packs
Sanguinary Guard with 2 Infernus pistols, 2 Plasma pistols and power fist
Sanguinary Priest with jump pack
10 Assault Marines with 2 meltaguns, Sgt power weapon and meltabombs
10 Assault Marines with 2 flamers, Sgt power weapon and meltabombs
5 Devastators with 4 missile launchers
Grey Knight Brother-Captain with master-crafted daemonhammer and master-crafted psycannon
5 Grey Knight Terminators with Brotherhood Banner, Warding Stave, Psycannon and 2 Daemonhammers

When you get down to it, a Paladin's 2 Wounds don't really make much difference when you're about to get thumped by power fists, thunder hammers, power klaws, and the like. So I figured I'd use a smaller force of plain Grey Knight Terminators and place the bulk of my points on the Blood Angels instead.

Louis' BlackTemplars:

Chaplain Grimaldus and Retinue
Emperor's Champion
5 Sword Brethren Terminators with 2 Assault Cannons
7 Sword Brethren Assault Terminators with 4 Lightning Claws and 3 shields & hammers
8 Initiates and 3 Neophtes all with bolt pistols and close combat weapons, 2 Initiates with flamers
8 Initiates and 3 Neophtes all with bolt pistols and close combat weapons, 2 Initiates with meltaguns
10-man Assault squad with 2 flamers and 1 power fist
Land Raider Crusader

Vow: Suffer not the unclean to live (+1 Strength, -1 Initiative)

Wow, this army is quite a relic! Still, in its day (and even in 5th ed) Black Templars were amongst the most lethal close combat armies in 40k. Does that still hold true in 6th? Only one way to find out...

Saturday, September 22, 2012

Batrep: Blood Angels vs Chaos, 1750 pts

This time round I tried piecing together a list that concentrates some serious Blood Angel violence in a happy little package. Louis fielded a combined force of Chaos Marines (the Thousand Sons march again, hungrey for vengeance) and Daemons. Coincidentally, I've been listening to the Fear to Tread audiobook. It's excellent stuff and I find it's a perfect accompaniment to painting my good old Blood Angels.  Anyway, the lists.

My Blood Angels: 

Librarian with force axe and plasma pistol, Warlord Trait: Princeps of Deceit
5 Sternguard veterans with 4 combimeltas and heavy flamer, in a Drop Pod
10 Death Company, with 1 each of power sword, power axe and Thunder Hammer
Death Company Dreadnought with Blood Talons
10 Scouts with sniper rifles, camo cloaks and a missile launcher
2 x Stormravens with extra armour, hurricane bolters, twin-linked assault cannons and twin-linked multimeltas
2 x Baal Predators with heavy bolter sponsons

This list has a fairly simple strategy to it.  The Scouts would combat squad and, together with the Baal Predators, take up positions on the board and basically survive. The Sternguard would drop in on the first turn and gun down either the biggest threat to my Stormravens or the most expensive thing they can reasonably be expected to seriously hurt.  With 4 combi-meltas, no single vehicle is safe, and hellfire rounds and a heavy flamer mean lots of anti infantry brutality, too. The Stormravens are each there to dive in and maul infantry with their hurricane bolters the turn they arrive. Of course, the Power of the Machine Spirit means I can let one gun - either the assault cannon or the multimelta - blast a nearby vehicle, too.  The turn after that, the Stormravens go into hover mode and unleash their cargoes where it hurts most.

There's really not much thought put into objectives in this list, other than the token Scouts. This list is designed to kill. For things with a Toughness value, there's massive amounts of infantry erasing firepower in the Stormravens, the Baal Predators, the Dreadnought and the fearsome charge of the Death Company.  For vehicles, I'm trusting in the Stormravens and the Sternguard to do their jobs and woe betide anything which isn't a Land Raider that gets charged by the Death Company...

Louis' Chaos Alliance:
11 Thousand Sons and their Aspiring Sorcerer
10 Chaos Marines with a champion with powerfist, 2 meltaguns and an Icon of Chaos Glory in a Rhino

Bloodthirster with Unholy Might and Blessing of the Blood God, Warlord trait: Target priority
15 Plaguebearers with an icon bearer
6 Flamers of Tzeentch
Daemon Prince with wings, the Mark of Tzeentch Breath of Chaos and Soul Devourer

I'm not sure what diabolical power the aspiring sorcerer was toting but it didn't matter, as we'll soon see.

Mission: The Emperor's Will
Deployment: Dawn of War. I won the roll-off and deployed first. Nightfighting was active on Turn 1.

I know it looks like I've deployed a little further ahead than Dawn of War would allow, but don't forget, all four of my units have the Scout USR. And my Warlord Trait was Princeps of Deceit.

Quick discussion on reserves:
I'm going to lay out the disposition of my forces in reserve, just so I can be sure I read the reserve rules (pg 124 of the Rulebook) right. Here's my summary of the key points of the reserve rules.

1) Half your units (rounding up) may be held in Reserve.
2) A unit and its Dedicated Transport count as a single unit for this purpose.
3) Units that MUST begin the game in reserve do not count towards the total number of units in your army for this purpose.
4) An Independent Character counts as a separate unit for this purpose, regardless of whether it has joined a unit.

Bearing in mind the above, this is how my forces break down:
In reserve (4 units):
Death Company
Death Company Dreadnought

On the table (4 units):
2 x Baal Predators
2 x combat squads of Scouts

Not counted for the purpose of calculating reserves (3 units):
2 x Stormravens (because they're Flyers. Rule 3 above.)
Sternguard Veterans in a Drop Pod (See Rules 2 & 3 above.)

That said, here's two questions I'd like to hear opinions on:
1) Did I allocate my Sternguard Veterans to the right slot?
2) Is it all right to field an army that's competely in Drop Pods (i.e. one starts the game with nothing on the table)?

Right, enough talk, let's battle!

Thursday, September 20, 2012

WIP: Death Company!

Just a little post to prod myself into painting these up:

These guys were amongst the first minis I collected for my Blood Angels, though many never saw action.  Even then I knew I'd never consider giving them bolters or jump packs. 

But seriously, 6th ed appears to have been kind to the Death Company, most notably with the change in the Rage USR.  In 5th ed, playing Death Company was mostly a case of bunging them inside a transport of some sort, then trying to release the buggers at just the right time.  Stormravens and Land Raiders made this task a little easier, of course, but once released, they were pretty much out of your hands.

Now, in lovely 6th ed, the Death Company have reached new heights of lethality, being 3 points cheaper than Khorne Berserkers but with 1 more attack, Feel No Pain AND Relentless, with no disadvantage other than being unable to hold objectives - and let's be honest, if you're putting Death Company on the board, you have only one objective, and that's to wipe the other guy off the board.

I'll be fielding the Death Company differently from the way I did in 5th.  In 5th, thanks to Furious Charge giving +1 Initiative, one could do well with a handful of them armed to the teeth with power weapons, and they could quite often reduce anything they charged to mush (including big horrible Tyranid beasties, I found to my great pleasure).  6th ed, however, requires a different approach.

Overwatch has made assault a more risky affair.  This has been good for my Necron Warrior blob, who have been saved from a charge more than once by their 40 BS1 gauss flayer shots. Not so for my Blood Angels, who now need to work a little harder to get into close combat. Striking at I4 is another thing that's going to sting.  My solution?  More bodies, less shiny weapons.  I'm looking to try fielding 10 Death Company Marines with only 3 power weapons.  We'll see how it goes when I test out my latest list...

Sunday, September 16, 2012

Batrep: Khador vs Skorne, 35 pts

Just got in a game against Skorne.  This is the first time I'm writing a battle report for Warmachine, and the more I think about it, the more complicated it seems... Anyways, this was part of the League going on at Warpspace Games. Basically, it's kind of a worldwide campaign thing that Privateer Press is holding.  I'm not too clear on the details myself, being as I am more or less an apprentice in the art of Warmachine.  Anyway, to business!  Here's my army:

My Khador:
War Dog
Man-O-War Drakhun
Kovnik Joe
10-man Winter Guard Infantry with Unit Attachment and 2 Rocketeers
Winter Guard Mortar Crew
Widowmaker Marksman

This is a variant of a list I'd used before.  Instead of Shocktroopers, I've opted for some more ranged fire support in the form of the Widowmakers (because I'm really rather pleased with how they turned out) and the Mortar Crew, because POW 16 and AOE 4 from 20" away is just fun.

And Johnny's Skorne:
Bronzeback Titan
Titan Gladiator
4 Cataphract Cetrati with Tyrant Vorkesh
4 Cataphract Cetrati
4 Paingiver Beast Handlers

1 point short, by my reckoning...3 points short, had he used Xerxis' Tier 2 theme.

Here's a funny thing about the League games - we play for points, and the person with fewer points gets to pick a region in which to battle.  Since I had fewer points (and a fairly shooty list) I picked a region with no terrain.  As for the scenario, we were both too lazy to roll for whatever funky scenarios you get in the League, so we just went for a straightforward scrap - kill the caster.  Here's how it went...

Saturday, September 15, 2012

Batrep: Knights & Angels vs Chaos Marines, 1750pts

Following my previous outing with Necrons against Edwin's Nids, I realized that I lack a crucial ingredient to make my Necrons truly lethal in 6th: Flyers. A little tweak to the list later, I fit in 2 Doom Scythes and boy, they were lethal. I'll try to make a batrep happen for my Necrons at some point.

In the meantime, I'd been racking my brains for weeks trying to figure out how to field my dear Blood Angels in the messed up world of 6th ed. In the past, my mechanized Angels proved singularly brutal in 5th, combining brutal firepower, speed, maneuverability and a vicious close combat punch in a tremendously flexible package.  A big part of that was being able to move my 3 Razorback squads 12", then disembark 2" and move 6" to shoot, allowing me to very suddenly bring 6 melta weapons and 3 twin-linked plasmaguns to bear in support of the list's other elements.  Disembarking after moving 12" also meant a huge threat range for my Furioso Dreadnought, and my Terminator deathstar.  With the change to the disembarking rules in 6th, my trusty old Double Deathstar list has been effectively neutered.

What's a Blood Angel player to do?  The 5th ed way of mechanized warfare has been brought to a screeching halt.  To make matters worse, the new reserve rules have made a mockery of the Descent of Angels list - no more keeping the whole army in reserve to storm onto the board in the 2nd turn.  So, I'd been brainstorming all manner of strategies around which to base my 6th ed Blood Angels, and I hit upon the idea of pairing them up with my fledgeling Grey Knight force. I threw together a list and gave it a whirl...

My List:

1750pts. Really.

10 Paladins with Brotherhood Banner, 3 Psycannons, Psybolt Ammo, Warding Stave, Apothecary with a mix of Nemesis force weapons
2 Solodins each with master Nemesis force halberds

Librarian with jump pack, force staff, Blood Lance and Shield of Sanguinius
2 x 10-man squads of assault marines, each with 2 meltaguns and a sergeant with 2 Infernus pistols

Quite a simple idea, really. The Paladins march across the board and hopefully don't take too many casualties in turn 1. Turn 2, combat squads of Blood Angels drop from the sky with their characteristic DoA accuracy and kill any big guns which could seriously threaten the Paladins. Frankly, I had no idea how well it'd work, but I figured I'd take my Warmachine approach to learning and just hurl the thing into combat and watch closely what works and what doesn't....

Louis' Thousand Sons:
Sorcerer in Terminator Armour with the Mark of Tzeentch and a combiweapon
5 Chaos Terminators, led a Champion, with an icon of Tzeentch, 4 combiweapons and heavy flamer
2 x 7-man squads of Thousand Sons, including the sorcerer, in a Rhino
10-man squad of Chaos Marines, including a champion with powerfist, 2 plasmaguns, in a Rhino
Chaos Land Raider

Note: This is the list as I remember it. As I was writing up the batrep, I noticed it's about 100 pts shy of 1750.

Mission: The Relic
Deployment: Dawn of War. I won the roll-off and deployed first.

I split the 10-man Paladin squad into 2 combat squads.  One carried the 3 psycannons and would slowly advance, shooting up any tasty targets and providing fire support to the other squad, which had all the close combat nastiness, including Drago, the Brotherhood Banner, the apothecary, and 2 Daemon Hammers. On the Blood Angels' side, one squad split into combat squads, with 2 meltaguns in one squad and the infernus gunslinging sergeant in the other. The other squad would drop in with the Librarian.  The stage was set - here's how it went...

Wednesday, September 5, 2012

Batrep: Necrons vs Nids, 1750 pts

Got in a game with my Necrons on Sunday against Edwin's Nids. My Necrons have been doing great in this edition, largely due to the way Necrons can shred even the toughest vehicles with small arms fire alone. AV 14 makes no difference to 20 Warriors. Quite often a close range salvo from that will end nearly any vehicle. But what about Tyranids and their big stompy monstrous creatures? Only one way to find out... 

My Necrons:
Overlord with Mindshackle Scarabs, Warscythe, Tachyon Arrow, Sempiternal Weave, Phase Shifter and Resurrection Orb

20 Warriors and a Ghost Ark with a Harbinger of Eternity, Chronometron
9 Warriors and a Ghost Ark with a Harbinger of Destruction, Solar Pulse
9 Warriors with a Harbinger of Destruction
10 Immortal with a Lord with Mindshackle Scarabs, Warscythe, and Resurrection Orb

6 Canoptek Wraiths, 2 with Whip Coils and 2 with Particle Casters

Annihilation Barge
Annihilation Barge

I got the Warlord Trait that lets units within 12" roll 2 dice when running then choose the highest result. Pah! Like I wanted to get any closer to those wretched bugs any quicker than a steady walk...

Edwin's Nids*:
(*as far as I could remember...)
Tyrant with Heavy Venom Cannon, Lash whip & Bone Sword
3 Tyrant Guard
Tyranid Prime with Regeneration, Lash whip & Bone Sword
3 Hive Guard
3 Hive Guard
Doom of Malantai in a Mycetic Spore

15 (?) Deathgaunts (Termagants with Devourers) in a Mycetic Spore
Tervigon with Regeneration

Tyrannofex with Regeneration

I forget what Warlord Trait he had and what Psychic Powers were rolled, other than Enfeeble. Not that it mattered, since that was mostly what he used on me...

First thoughts:
This was going to be interesting - an elite Tyranid army with a relatively low model count facing off against swarms of Necron Warriors. My list was built to close slowly and grind away at anything within 24". Vehicles get shredded by the gauss rule and anything else gets it from sheer volume of fire. The Wraiths are there to be nuisance and silence heavy guns or slow down deathstar units. The thing is, there are very few things that can stand up to a fully kitted out Tyrant and his entourage. And those big horrible beasties have Regeneration, making it that much harder for me to whittle away those wounds. All six of them. Each. At T6. This could get ugly...

Monday, September 3, 2012

This wing and that wing and things...

Busy, busy, busy! Just got myself a copy of Limited Edition Dark Vengeance, meaning no new major additions until I catch up on a huge pile of painting!

Not much for me to say about the box that hasn't already been said a dozen times over on various other blogs. What I will point out is that I love the teeny tiny rulebook:

That, and man, GW's plastics just keep getting better and better. I've decided to get started painting the Ravenwing and Deathwing elements first, seeing as the job is already half done just on undercoating the models. I also put together the Dark Angel characters, since they just looked like fun. 

Most experienced painters will tell you that the most difficult colours to paint well are black and white. I suppose the difficulty lies is bringing depth to these two colours. I've gotten started on a Deathwing Terminator and here's a test model stood next to his evil, undercoated twin:

I'm rather pleased with the result. The technique is exactly the same as I've been using to paint white on my Menoth minis:

1. Start with white. Any white, as long as it's whitey white. What you see on the right hand Terminator is Krylon Flat White.
2. Wash Devlan Mud/Agrax Earthshade into all the recesses.
3. Layer and clean up the shading with Ulthuan Grey.
4. Pick out the edges with whatever white you've got. Ceramite. Whitescar. Whatever.

And that's that! I know it's not quite the boney, creamy white so often favoured by Deathwing as they appear in White Dwarf, but personally, I prefer this shade of white. Will post more pics when I've made more progress with my Deathwing. Until then, happy wargaming...