Wednesday, October 31, 2012

KR Multicases are tough...

... and comfortable. So attests my cat.

WIP: The Crimson Guard

I swear, one the greatest strokes of marketing genius on GW's part was making Allies an official (and controlled) part of 6th ed list building. For the longest time, I'd been sitting on my Guard, wondering when in blazes I'd get the energy to paint enough of those horrible hordes of flashlight-armed mere mortals to actually see them in action. Now, with the option of allies, I get to attach the glorious, mighty guns of the Imperial Guard without having to while away absurd amounts of time churning out enough Troops to field a legal army.

So, I've finally gotten properly started on getting the Guard on the table and here's what's cooking:

Simple stuff, really. A little injection of pure brutality for any army I field:

Lord Comissar
Sly Marbo
Veterans in a Chimera
Vendetta Gunship

Haven't settled on the loadouts for the Commissar and the Veterans yet, but a Vendetta is always a solid choice. And I just love the sheer ludicrous firepower the Manticore has. Yes, I know it's fragile and squishy and is just inviting some nawty trick from my foes... That's kind of the point. There's a few ways to play this:

1) I could castle up and protect it, making it more trouble than it's worth to attack it. With the right primary detachment, one can draw the opponent into a horrible game of attrition, running into my guns while the Manticore piles on the pressure in the form of Strength 10 pie plates.

2) I could deliberately leave it unprotected. Doing this leaves an enticing target for the enemy, taking attention from the rest of the army. How unprotected kind of depends on what I'm facing and what I can expect the enemy to throw at it.

Of course, there's always the off-chance that, me being me, I'll throw all cunning plans out the window and revel in the joy of bring big honking explodey rocket death to the battlefield...

I also figured I'd make use of Sly Marbo. Always useful to have one BS5 AP2 battlecannon shell tucked aside, just in case, yeah?

Anyway, that's it for this update. There's painting to be done...

Btw, that colour is Krylon Burgundy, drybrushed with Mephiston Red. The Guardsmen haven't been drybrushed yet, so you can see the difference a little drybrushing makes.

Sunday, October 28, 2012

Chronicles of the Spikey Bikey Lord

One of the big advantages I feel 40k has over Warmachine is the sense of narrative. Since 6th edition came out it just seems to me that 40k isn't so much a deeply cerebral duel of cunning and finesse as Warmachine but is more simply about fun and watching an awesome story unfold on the board. I find what really adds to this is the way characters work.

I don't know about the rest of you 40k players out there, but I like the Look Out Sir! and challenge rules. It really gives a sense of the characters in your army standing out from the crowd. They don't feel like faceless grunts anymore, you can kit your sergeants and captains and lords and what-have-yous out so each is a minor hero in your army. The wound allocation rules force you to be that little bit more careful with them. Characters have made the game more characterful.

Anyway, what brought this about was the way my Chaos Marines have been playing lately. Around the time I created him, I'd also been toying with the idea of Space Wolves. On reading the Space Wolf codex, I loved the idea of an army centered around sagas and telling the story of whatever great hero (or 4, in the case of Space Wolves) you've lovingly crafted to lead your army. I've always been attached to that idea, and my Necrons and Chaos Marines, while not my most lethal armies, have always been a little special to me for being my more characterful. My Necrons, with the Crimson King marching with rank upon rank of relentless, implacable Warriors. My Spikey Bikey Lord, hurtling into battle with his cohorts, ever questing for Daemonhood, and somehow falling behind his bike.

The new Chaos Space Marine Codex has been very kind in this respect. 40k feels like more than a game. It feels like something from the Black Library. Across the battlefield, you're drawn into the myriad of little stories that play out as each aspiring champion fights tooth and nail for daemonhood, and at the head of it all, SBL the Cursed. I haven't figured out a name for him yet, but he will most certainly have the words, "the Cursed" behind his name. For the moment, we'll call him SBL for short. Why? Here's how his first 2 battles went.

Battle 1: 1750 pts vs Jun Tseng's Chaos.
SBL takes the lead, first blazing away with his bike's guns at some nearby hostiles as they spilled out from their shattered transport. Seeking a foe worthier of the attentions of the Axe of Blind Fury, he and his squad roared across the battlefield to smash into none other than Huron Blackheart, the Tyrant of Badab! They dueled mightily to a standstill, both reduced to their last wounds and then, the fates turned their backs on SBL. The daemon in the Axe of Blind Fury turned on him, and SBL fell most ignominiously to his own weapon...

Later in the battle Huron was slain by overwatch fire from SBL's squad. 

Battle 2: 1750 vs Red's Blood Angels and Tau alliance
Once again, SBL and his squad zoom into the teeth of the enemy's guns. This time, though, those guns included 3 demolisher cannons belonging to Blood Angel Vindicators. Still, in the manner of a true Lord with the patronage of the Ruinous Powers, his squad were there as mere meatshields for him to get close enough bring the Axe of Blind Fury the blood of his foes. A team of Crisis Suits were first to face his wrath. Overwatch fire from plasma rifles and a lucky swing took 2 wounds off SBL, but he tore them and their drones to pieces while the rest of the bikes held the attention of other big guns. After finishing with them, a nearby squad of 5 assault marines found themselves on the nasty end of SBL's daemon weapon. And as he ripped the hapless marines to shred, the Ruinous Powers saw fit to touch their enterprising son with a blessing of change! Bike, rider and diabolical weapon were twisted and melded together as hellish powers wrought them anew... into a spawn. Moments later a squad of Fire Warriors arrived from reserve and blasted the abomination that used to be SBL to pieces. 

And that's the story so far of SBL the Cursed. I expect there will be many more similarly entertaining, albeit pathetic tales to be told, but for now I'll leave you with just the two. Happy wargaming, all...

Saturday, October 27, 2012

Batrep: Chaos Marines vs Chaos Marines, 1750 pts

Civil war has come to the Black Legion! Got a game in against Jun Tseng with my Black Legion against his Black Legion. Neither of us have Heldrakes ready, so it's mostly groundpounding all round.

My List:
Chaos Lord on bike, with Mark of Khorne, Sigil of Corruption, Axe of BlindFury, gift of mutation (Meteoric Charge)
Plain old Hellbrute
10 Chaos Marines with 2 plasmaguns, extra close combat weapons and a lightning claw and gift of mutation (Witch Eater) for the champion, all in a Rhino ("Plasma Squad")
10 Chaos Marines with 2 meltaguns, extra close combat weapons and a lightning claw and gift of mutation (fail!) for the champion, all in a Rhino ("Melta Squad 1")
10 Chaos Marines with 2 meltaguns and a lightning claw and gift of mutation (+1 Attack) for the champion, all in a Rhino ("Melta Squad 2")
7 Bikers with Mark of Khorne, 2 meltaguns, Icon of Wrath and a lightning claw and gift of mutation (fail!) for the champion
Forgefiend with 2 Hades Autocannons
Defiler with Havoc Launcher
Vindicator with Siege Shield

Warlord Trait: Master of Deception (3 units)

1,747 pts in total. Note that in my list, wherever possible to take Veterans of the Long War, I took it. It's bad enough that these twits don't even have And They Shall Know No Fear. I was a bit disappointed with the gifts of mutation, seeing as ALL FIVE turned out to be nigh useless in my army.

Jun Tseng's list:
Huron Blackheart
Khornate Daemon Prince with wings, power armour,  Axe of Blind Fury, ichor blood and the Burning Brand of Skalathrax (285 pts!!!)
Plain old Hellbrute (Yeah, we both got Dark Vengeance 'brutes...)
10 Khorne Berserkers with powerfist and meltabombs for the champion, all in a Rhino with havoc launcher
10 Chaos Marines with Mark of Khorne, Veterans of the Long War, 1 flamer and powerfist and meltabombs for the champion, all in a Rhino with havoc launcher
10 Chaos Marines with Mark of Khorne, 1 flamer and powerfist and meltabombs for the champion, all in a Rhino with havoc launcher
5 Warp Talons with Mark of Khorne and 2 gifts of mutation (Fleet and +1 wound) for the champion
1 Obliterator
1 more Obliterator
5 Havocs with 4 Autocannons

Warlord Trait: Master of Deception (2 units)

1,771 pts, by my reckoning. Bear in mind that, unlike myself, Jun Tseng has elected to give Veterans of the Long War to only ONE of the Chaos Marine squads. Also, his Chaos Marines are all armed with bolt pistols and chainswords. Those troops were completely geared for close combat, and could easily achieve 4 attacks each on the charge. I'd have to take care to avoid that...

Mission: Crusade. 4 objectives.
Deployment: Hammer and Anvil. I won the roll off and deployed first. Night fighting was active on the first turn.

Okay, I haven't played to objectives for a while, no thanks to my ludicrous Blood Angel FTO list, so I need a better plan than "kill everything in sight". My plan this time round was for the Spikey Bikey Lord to take the center, advancing under close fire support from the Daemon Engines (the Forgefiend and Defiler). If all went well, the onslaught would hit hard enough for my Chaos Marine squads to roll forward along each flank as a second wave, mopping up after the boss and the beasts. Even if the intial onslaught didn't quite deal as much damage as I'd like, 30 MEQs with melta and plasma weapons should be able to do something, right?

Sunday, October 21, 2012

Batrep: Blood Angels Vs Space Marines & Guard Allies, 1750 pts

It had been a long, long time since I'd gotten a good game in against Wong, so I was rather pleased to get a chance this weekend. At first, I was looking to get an excuse to try out my fledgeling Chaos Marines, but I figured this would be an excellent opportunity to try out my most lethal list to date against one of the most experienced and solid players I know, so, out came the Angels...

My slightly tweaked Blood Angels FTO list:

Reclusiarch with plasma pistol and melta bombs
Furioso Dreadnought with frag cannon and heavy flamer
10 Death Company with 2 power swords and 2 power axes
Death Company Dreadnought with Blood Talons
5 Devastators with 4 missile launchers
2 Stormravens with twin-linked multimelta, twin-linked assault cannon and hurricane bolters
2 Baal Predators with heavy bolter sponsons
2 Land Speeder Typhoons

Only a slight alteration from my previous list - I switched out the Devastators' weapons for missile launchers and used the extra points to give my Reclusiarch a plasma pistol and meltabombs. I also dropped the Land Raider Redeemer to bring it down to good old 1750 pts.

Wong's Marines and Guard:
Cato Sicarius
5 Assault Terminators with Hammers and Shields
Land Raider with multimelta and extra armour
10-man Tactical Squad with lascannon, plasmagun and the Tank Hunter USR
5-man Scout Squad with boltguns, and a Sergeant carrying a combi-plasma and sniper rifle
Land Speeder Storm
Storm Talon with twin-linked heavy bolter
Company Command Squad with Astropath and Master of Ordnance
Veteran Squad with 3 grenade launchers, led by Gunnery Sgt Harker
2 Vendettas with heavy bolter sponsons

This is the list as far as I could remember, though there's a couple of bits of wargear that I'm forgetting. That's mostly coz I slew the poor devil carrying said wargear before he got a chance to use it.

Just looking at the list, I knew this promised to be interesting. Troops choices clearly meant for holding and stealing objectives, a Terminator Deathstar in the traditional Land Raider, and some serious air superiority firepower, which is to say, guns which could concievably knock one of my Stormravens out of the sky before they unleash their cargo.

Mission: Crusade. 3 objectives.
Deployment: Dawn of War. Wong won the roll-off and let me deploy first.

As usual, I kept a Furioso in one Stormraven (Furyraven) and the Death Company elements in the other (DCRaven). On Wong's side, Sly Marbo, the Stormtalon, the Land Speeder Storm carrying the Scouts, the Vendetta squadron and Harker's squad were in reserve.

I knew this wasn't going to be an easy fight, especially given what my list was designed to do. I had deliberately placed the two of the three objectives in the open, where I could easily blast or charge anything that tried to claim it. Being unable to claim objectives myself, I knew I had to kill all his scoring units. After that, my only path to victory lay in the secondary objectives. Is my list killy enough? Only one way to find out...

Thursday, October 18, 2012


So... much... gold...

Man, I can't even imagine what painting a Heldrake will be like...

Tuesday, October 16, 2012


Just a couple of pics of some stuff I'm painting up for my first 6th ed CSM list...

8 S8 AP4 shots. I don't care that it's only at BS3, that kind of dakka, with a model that looks this cool is simply going to find a way into this army. Since my Helbrute, I've kind of decided that all daemonic fleshy bits will be done in Mephiston Red and Devlan Mud.  Speaking of the Helbrute...

Here he is, in all his glory. Just some minor touching up left to do, like highlights and sticking more stuff on the base, but I'm perfectly happy to let him on the board as is. Here's a look at the back:

I swear, Devlan Mud/Agrax Earthshade is just magic. 

The new Chaos Space Marines are quite possibly the most flexible troops choices in the game. As such, I've bulked up the ranks with some more plug n' play marines. You may notice there are two shades of black here. After spraying I noticed that Krylon's Matt Black was a little too Matt, almost grey. So I pulled out a pot of old, old Undercoat Black, which I found gave a deeper, slightly glossy black finish.

Here's another Dark Vengeance model that just looks too cool not to play. At bare minimum, you're looking at 100 pts worth of Chaos Lord with a plasma pistol, power sword and Veterans of the Long War.  One could easily give him a Sigil of Corruption and Mark of Tzeentch. A 40 pt 3++ save, compared to 20 pts for the loyalist Captain's Storm Shield, BUT you get to have 2 close combat weapons... And let's say that sword is the Murder Sword. 160 pts of badass, and woe betide the target of the Murder Sword. He hasn't got a place in my army yet, seeing as the position of Warlord is taken by the Spikey Bikey Lord.

Man, I love Mephiston Red... 

I've neglected the Defiler for many months now. He's another model which I field coz it looks cool, though back in 5th, AV 12 was pretty crap for the points you pay. Now, however, he's stomping around with 4 hull points, a 5++ save and It Will Not Die. And the battlecannon is even more hurty on vehicles. Hell, yes...

One thing I noticed about the new Codex and the buzz all over the net is that the Chosen are rubbish. Well, they're crazy expensive to field, and there are simply better options in the codex. Still, no point letting those lovely Dark Vengeance sculpts go to waste, eh? I think they'll look absolutely stunning as Aspiring Champions. They certainly look nice and bulky compared to my current ones.

Warmachine batrep: Khador vs Skorne, 35 pts

It's been a while since I'd done one of these. It's not that I'd stopped Warmachine, it's just that my last couple of games were:

1) Using Irusk. Badly. Long, stupidly draggy game, too boring to record in a battle report. Completely my fault for mistiming my feat and reducing the game to a long ugly slugfest of attrition.

2) A doubles game, totalling 70 pts a side. Even longer and draggy-er and boring.This is where I found that Warmachine's system of model-by-model combat, while more detailed, more intuitive and generally fairer than 40k, is just slow as hell in larger games.

They weren't a complete waste of time, though. In those games I'd learnt that 35 pts is the absolute limit of my interest in Warmachine. At any higher points value, the game system is simply too slow to keep my attention. Also, I've established that I have no interest whatsoever in the use of Colossals. At 35 pts they unbalance the game, so I hear. Any higher number of points in a game is too slow, as I'd mentioned. And, at the end of the day, if I deign to purchase, assemble, paint and put a model on the table purely for its awesomeness... It's going to be in 40k.Colossals look nice and all, but seriously, at that price for something that size, just gimme a Heldrake or Land Raider Crusader or something. At least I'd get more mileage out of them.

Don't get me wrong here. I appreciate Warmachine as a quicker, smarter and deeper game at smaller scale engagements. But in terms of the fun of the fluff, the depth of the mythos and the raw awesome of the models... Warmachine cannot hold a candle to 40k. A Cygnar Cyclone, though it fulfills the same battlefield role, is a tinkertoy compared to a Forgefiend. A Winter Guard Deathstar is a small scruffy mob compared to a Valhallan Infantry Platoon. Lich Lord Terminus is a mewling child compared to Anggarath the Unbound.

What I'm saying is, I like Warmachine for a very different reason from why I like 40k. I like Warmachine because it's a very good, deep and engaging game at 35 pts. I like 40k because I like watching pure, unreasoning, epic sci-fi violence unfold.

Anyway, I got in a game of Warmachine against Lexiss' Skorne. I'd gotten murdered using Irusk against that list, and was most eager to try out my Butcher against it, mostly to assure myself that I hadn't suddenly gotten really crap at this game...

My army:
Orsus Zoktavir, the Butcher of Khardov
10-man Winter Guard Infantry, with 3 Rocketeers and Unit Attachment
Kovnik Joe
Widowmaker Marksman
Man-O-War Drakhun

Ah, my good old Butcher list. Nice and straightforward, with a good, righteous kick to it on feat turn. Against high DEF infantry, there's nothing quite like the Butcher's feat and Kovnik Joe's speeches with the Winter Guard's grapeshot. Against high ARM targets with lotsa hitboxes, just switch to solid slug CRAs, for boosted POW 14 goodness. A good opening salvo from the Guard generally softens up an opposing army enough that the ensuing close quarter violence ends with the Butcher on top. 

Lexiss' army:
Master Tormentor Morghoul
Bronzeback Titan
Titan Gladiator
Molik Karn
4-strong Paingiver Beast Handlers
Paingiver Task Master
5-strong Gatorman Posse

I had encountered this list once before, and that was the game in which I used pIrusk, which I mentioned earlier. I had gotten so used to the Butcher's way of sudden, vicious carnage and pSorscha's  assassination methods that Irusk was something of an engima to me. As such, I hesitated somewhat and found to my dismay that outside of feat turn, it was really hard to squeeze out the hitting power to kill Lexiss' list before it killed me.

We played a simple caster killing game. I forgot to take a pic of our deployment, so just read on for Turn One...

Wednesday, October 10, 2012

The Black Legion stirs...

Just got my hands on a copy of the new Chaos Space Marine Codex, and I have to say, I like it. 3 things in particular stand out:

1) BIKES! Seriously, these have gotten SO much better! In the past, my 7-man bike squad with 2 meltaguns, a powerfist champion and an icon of Khorne was 321 pts. Now, I can get the same, plus Veterans of the Long War, Furious Charge and rerolling charge distance for 236 pts! Spikey Bikey Lord is pleased, too. With a Mark of Khorne, the Axe of Blind Fury and his posse rolling with him, he's hurtling at the foe with 6 + 1d6 S7 I5 AP2 attacks on the charge! This is NOT something you want to face in a challenge!

2) Troops choices - The basic Chaos Marine has gotten a LOT more versatile. Starting at a paltry 13 pts for a basic MEQ statline and equipment, there's a crazy tonne of options for a Chaos general to get just the right flavour out of your CSM squads. Also of note are the Cultists. I've always liked the image of swarms of screaming, psychotic Cultists running willy-nilly into the enemy's guns as Chaos Marines march in steady, disciplined ranks behind them. At last, Chaos players have a codex that actually makes such a thing viable on the tabletop! The question is... could I be bothered to paint that many Cultists?

3) Daemon engines - I'd always loved the whole concept of the Chaos Marines marching alongside diabolical constructs blending technology and sorcery in equal measure. As such, I'd fielded a Defiler and a Daemonically possessed Vindicator. Now, there are even more daemon-haunted freaks in the Chaos army, notably the Forgefiend/Maulerfiend and the Heldrake. Now, together with the Defiler, all of these have Daemon, Daemonforge and It Will Not Die. A 5+ invulnerable save at all times PLUS the ability to regenerate lost hull points each friendly turn on a 5+! Sounds pretty good to me. I've already put it my order for a Forgefiend, and can't wait to unleash its gunishment...

Well, that's enough ecstasizing for now. Stay tuned and we'll see if I can put a Chaos army through its paces...

Sunday, October 7, 2012

WIP: Hellbrute progress

Dabbed a little more paint on. I like how it's turning out, and just can't wait to see it in battle, even though I get the feeling it'll perform pathetically. Still, if I've a spare slot and the points costs isn't too prohibitive...

The horny, boney, toothy bits were all based in Screaming Skull, washed with Devlan Mud, then touched up again with Screaming Skull.

I'm still thinking about what colour to paint the all that piping. Stay tuned, and we'll see the finished product soon enough...

Friday, October 5, 2012

Batrep: Blood Angels Vs Black Templars, 2000 pts

Vengeance! The Blood Angels demand vengeance! Got a game in against Louis' Black Templars on Friday night. From my last scrap against Louis' Black Templars, I figured they were a most worthy foe that I didn't need to pull my punches against, so I threw together the meanest, most vicious list I could concoct. Naturally, this meant the Grey Knights could just bugger off and stay the hell away from the battlefield... 

My Blood Angels FTO list:
Furioso Dreadnought with frag cannon and heavy flamer
10 Death Company with a power sword, a power axe and a thunder hammer
Land Raider Redeemer with multimelta and extra armour
Death Company Dreadnought with Blood Talons
5 Devastators with 4 plasma cannons
2 Stormravens with twin-linked multimelta, twin-linked assault cannon and hurricane bolters
2 Baal Predators with heavy bolter sponsons
2 Land Speeder Typhoons

This is a variant of the list I'd fielded against Ian, with a little change in overall strategy. Basically, I've decided to ignore all this objective-taking silliness and just go for maximum killing power. Hence, FTO (F*** the Objectives).  The 2 dreadnoughts and the Death Company would come in on the Stormravens, of course, and do their thing, charging where it hurts most. I was most interested to see if the sheer volume of attacks from the Death Company would be enough to overwhelm Louis' Assault Terminators. At I4, I was hitting with 35 S5 attacks with rerolls to hit and wound on the charge, and a power axe and thunder hammer still waiting to go. Other than a serious Tyrantstar, I can think of very few things in the game that can withstand that kind of abuse. Let's put it to the test...

Louis' Black Templars:
Reclusiarch with Thunder hammer and 2 cenobyte servitors, one with a Holy Relic
Reclusiarch with Thunder Hammer and jump pack
Emperor's Champion
Venerable Dreadnought with Assault Cannons and Tank Hunter
5 Sword Brethren Terminators with 2 Assault Cannons and Tank Hunters
7 Sword Brethren Assault Terminators with 4 Lightning Claws, 3 shields & hammers and Furious Charge
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, all with meltabombs
Land Raider Crusader

Vow: Accept any challenge, no matter the cost (Preferred Enemy)

This is as much of Louis' list as I could remember at the time of writing. I tried to look up what's what and tally up the points with my copy of the BT codex, but man, that thing is such a pain to read! I noted 2 mistakes with the army composition on preparing this batrep:

1) One cannot have 2 Reclusiarchs, since the Emperor's Champion is a compulsory HQ choice.
2) A Holy Relic may not be borne by a cenobyte servitor. It has to come with a Standard Bearer in a Command Squad.

I'm not sure if there are any more such errors, or even if the points tally up. My eyes hurt to even look upon that abomination of a codex...

Mission: Crusade. 4 objectives.
Deployment: Vanguard Strike. I won the roll-off and deployed first. Nightfighting was active for the first turn.

My cunning plan was simple enough. I have no scoring units, therefore everything on the table not in red armour must DIE. How? Like this:

1) Turn 1: Shoot, shoot, shoot!
2) Turn 2: Stormravens! Shoot, shoot, shoot!
3) Turn 3: DEATH COMPANY!! GRAAAARRRGGGHH!!! Shoot, shoot, shoot!
4) Turn 4 and above: Why are you still on my table?! CHARGE! SHOOT! KILL!!!

And that's the plan. All Louis had to do was get an objective and stay alive. Our tasks were exceedingly simple in theory. As for how the story played out, read on...

WIP: Hellbrute!

I got started painting this guy and I have to say, I love this model. The detail is excellent, the mould lines are easy to remove, it fits together beautifully and it's just nice to paint a nice, big, whopping monster after months and months of Angels, Knights, Khador and Necrons. Here's how he looks now:

Started with the fleshy bits first. Quite simple, really. Just Mephiston Red and a Devlan Mud wash, with a little layering of Mephiston Red to bring out the shape more. Like any Chaos Marine kit, there's loads of gold banding to paint. Still, he'll get done sooner or later.

I'm keeping my fingers crossed that the new codex is reasonably kind to him - I really want to field this guy! And the Defiler. And the Forgefiend. I don't know about the rest of the Chaos players out there, but I'm really excited about the prospect of daemon engines and cultists and the possibility that my Spikey Bikey Lord can possibly do some serious damage...

Anyway, enough of that. Will post more pics when the Hellbrute is done. Next up, a batrep - Vengeance of the Blood Angels!