Sunday, June 23, 2013

Knight Commander who?

Soooo, I've tried the Imperial Armour 1 Armoured Battlegroup army list 3 times now...

Game 1 vs John's Eldar: The tank company was taken apart most horribly. It takes ONE lucky warlock on a jetbike with a Singing Spear amidst my tanks to ruin my day. Admittedly, I rolled horrifically this game, so I daresay I'm very willing to give this another go. I blame these dice, which I had acquired just before the battle and I thought just looked too good to pass up...

Note to self: Never use these guys again except when I'm putting Chaos on the board...  

Game 2 vs CK's Iron Warriors: On turn 1, CK had 2 Forgefiends, 2 Rhinos full of Chaos Marines and a Hellbrute hiding behind a ruin, at night, while I fired the first salvo. Pretty much wiped out his army for almost no losses, but CK's list very ill equipped to take on mine, with only Raptors with meltaguns and a team of Obliterators being the only real threat to my tanks. It was an objective game, and CK could conceivably have won had some Chaos Marines crawled deep into a ruin to camp an objective for the rest of the game, but seriously, what kind of game would it be if you had one beleaguered squad sitting in a hole, while the rest of your army got blasted apart by a collection of guns mostly meant for games of Epic 40k?

Game 3 vs Ian's Orks: I say again: ORKS. A marvellously fluffy game: A tide of green hurling themselves at the armoured might of His Divine Majesty's Imperial Guard. It was a Kill Point game so it really came down to whether I had the firepower to keep the greenskins away from my soft squishy rear armour. Ian's list had undergone some tweaks, adding bikes and trukks for some serious mobility. Fortunately, I had 3 things working for me: First, Hammer and Anvil deployment, which gave me a little more room to back away and shoot up more Orks. That having been said, it also made it more difficult to maneuver into a position to bring more guns to bear on trouble spots. Second: I had the first turn, which I promptly spent blowing away 3 vehicles full of nasty greenskins. Third: His primary ranged armour-busting unit, the Tankbustas with their Weirdboy, spent most of the game cowering in a forest due to the Weirdboy's destructive fits.

Troll wargamer shirt, courtesy of my dear fiancee... 

In the last game, the Commisar Tanks really shone, showing what an Exterminator with 3 heavy bolters and BS4 could do. This was also aided greatly by the Command Tanks issuing orders to force opponents to reroll successful cover saves. I often get asked why I don't used Leman Russ Eradicators, and the reason is simple: When your tanks are threatened by a single model, even a Demolisher Cannon can, at most, force him to make one save. A Terminator with his Powerfist, or a Nob with a powerklaw skulking in a forest, if he's in charge range, can quite reliably be expected to take down a Leman Russ of any flavour. But an Exterminator with its sponsons can quite easily sort the problem out by forcing such a troublemaker to make an unreasonable amount of saves...

The Beast Hunter shells were also absolute gold, and really plug a serious weakness in the armoured company. That dinky blast makes a big difference when all my guns are turned to the task of blowing up swarms of infantry before they reach my lines. I've yet to inflict it on a Monstrous Creature, though...

Anyway, I am pleased as Punch with this list. It's interesting, it hits stupidly hard, it's fluffy, and, most important, it's a completely different playstyle to ALL my previous lists, and achieves on old ambition of mine, that is, establishing a true, 100% gunishment army, with the added bonus of me not actually having to paint a single infantry model (though I suppose I'll paint one for my Warlord Command Tank).

So, that's it from me. Until next time, happy wargaming...

Saturday, June 15, 2013

Tanks and pew pew and stuff

In the grimdark future of the 41st millenium...

I got the chance to try out the Armoured Battlegroup I had mentioned in the previous post against, of all things, the new Eldar. Some salient points of the scrap:

  1. John's Eldar list was a reasonably TAC list. Jetbike squadrons for scoring, accompanied by Warlocks, so stupidly fast scoring units with, insane cover saves. i.e. An extremely hard army to kill.
  2. Since it was TAC, it was loaded out mostly with Starcannons. Quite meaningless against my list, so I let him switch 'em all out for Bright Lances.
  3. My army was half painted and mostly proxies. As we know, the dice gods do not look fairly upon such silliness. This is also why I didn't record any pics of the scrap. Too ugly to look at!

So how did it go? Honestly, I think I suffered some cripplingly bad luck throughout, most notably one Commisar Tank getting immobilized on terrain in the 1st turn, effectively depriving me of 3 BS4 Heavy Bolters. Given how much I needed those to hurt his scoring units, that was quite a blow. Bad reserve rolls delayed my Vendettas and a Command Tank. And holy hell, John's dice were hot rolling for his cover saves...

All in all, this was a game in which the dice really screwed me over. Still, the list was great fun. BS4 Exterminators with heavy bolter sponsons are awesome! As such, I like this list, I shall try it out a few more times and construct it.

Meanwhile, a long time ago in a galaxy far, far away...

I've been trying out a fun 100pt list using the Imperials which I like to call Top Gun...

Tie Advanced with Darth Vader, Engine Upgrade, Push the limit and Concussion Missiles
Tie Interceptor with Soontir Fel, Push the limit and Shield Upgrade
Tie Interceptor with Toor Fenirr and Veteran Instincts

Yah. 3 skill 9 fighters, all of which are insanely maneuverable. Against a standard Rebel 3-fighter list, I surmised it would be ludicrously hard for the Rebel player to manage to both get one of these guys in their sights AND shoot it down before taking a horrible amount of firepower first. So I hurled this list against the great equalizer, the Millenium Falcon. Well, Han Solo with Chewbacca and a gunner as copilots, at any rate. This combination makes a mockery of any attempts to outmaneuver it. 2 salvos would quite likely take down one my meager 3 fighters, and the remaining 2 simply wouldn't have the firepower necessary to kill Solo in time before getting picked apart themselves.

The conclusion is: while Top Gun is in concept great fun to use, Solo ruins it for everyone. I just don't think it's possible or even fun to try and take on Solo with a gunner with this list.

That having been said, I took on the list that murdered my poor Top Gun list using a more traditional list:

Tie Interceptor with Soontir Fel and Push the limit
Tie Fighter with Howlrunner and Swarm Tactics
Tie Fighter with Obsidian Squadron Pilot
Tie Fighter with Obsidian Squadron Pilot
Tie Fighter with Academy Pilot
Tie Fighter with Academy Pilot

Nuked Solo and the 2 X-Wing Rookie Pilots flying with him in pretty short order. I'm now satisfied that the Millenium Falcon is far from broken, but I really, really don't like the way its turret and the obscene number of rerolls to shoot so easily renders highly skilled pilots in excellent machines utterly useless...

Thursday, June 13, 2013

Tanks! Build more tanks!

So... I took a peek at Imperial Armour Volume 1 (2nd Edition) - Imperial Guard. And I thought two things:

One - There is a gaping hole in my armies. I have:

Blood Angels - Ludicrous violence in gun and blade with little regard for actual objectives.
Necrons - A relentless, nigh-unkillable phalanx with lots of technological wizardry to mess up any opponent.
Chaos - A traditional MEQ list (or at least as close as I'm willing to come to one), with lotsa different support units for all occasions.
Deathwing - A super elite army with tremendous durability and killiness per model, and almost no room for error.

I need something different...

Cue Prokofiev's Dance of the Knights... 

 I need tanks. 1,750 pts of NOTHING. BUT. TANKS. And a pair of Vendettas, just because.

The other thing I thought of was this guy.

Sunday, June 9, 2013

Batrep: Necrons Vs Chaos Marines, 1750 pts

It had been a while since I'd engaged CK's Iron Warriors, and from what I've been seeing, his list has evolved quite a bit. Today, the Crimson King goes to war...

My Necrons:
Overlord with Mindshackle Scarabs, Warscythe, Sempiternal Weave, Phase Shifter and Resurrection Orb
20 Warriors (the Crimson Guard) and a Ghost Ark with a Harbinger of Eternity, Chronometron
9 Warriors and a Ghost Ark with a Harbinger of Destruction, Solar Pulse
8 Warriors with a Harbinger of Destruction
Doom Scythe
Doom Scythe
6 Canoptek Wraiths, 2 with Whip Coils
4 Canoptek Scarabs
4 Canoptek Scarabs

Warlord Trait: Strategic Genius (reroll reserve rolls!)

What can I say? Same old list which hasn't been changed for months.

CK's Iron Warriors:
Chaos Lord  with jump pack, Mark of Khorne, Sigil of Corruption, Axe of Blind Fury and plasma pistol
Hellbrute with plasma cannon and powerfist with combibolter
10 Chaos Marines with bolters, 2 with plasmaguns in a Rhino
10 Chaos Marines with extra CCWs, 2 with plasmaguns in a Rhino
Helldrake with Hades Autocannon
10 Raptors with 2 meltagun,  the Mark of Khorne, Icon of Wrath and Lightning Claw for the Champion
Forgefiend with 2 Hades Autocannons
3 Obliterators with Mark of Nurgle and Veterans of the Long War

Warlord Trait: Master of Deception (CK let the Raptors and both unites of Chaos Marines have Infiltrate)

I don't remember the details exactly, but it was a list very similar to this one that laid my own Black Legion low not very long ago. Big horrible daemon engines all over and some pretty mean guns for all occasions.

Mission: The Scouring
Deployment: Vanguard Strike. CK won the roll off and had me go first. Night Fighting was active on the first turn.

The Necrons deployed in the usual phalanx formation, with Wraiths to the left. CK deployed way out of gauss range. Previous experiences fighting the Necrons had no doubt left quite an impression regarding the effects of the Crimson Guard on unwary vehicles. The Raptors and Chaos Marine squads all Outflanked.

My plan was the standard plan for this formation when I clearly outgun the enemy. March forward, guns blazing. Wraiths and Scarabs are to dart ahead and either destroy or tie up anything that could threaten the phalanx. The Doom Scythes were to lay down extra pain where necessary. Simple, really, though in fact, things went a bit more interestingly than I'd predicted...


Those of you who know me would know I'm a big fan of KR Multicases. Today, I just got my hands on this:

Handsome little thing, yes? 

Lotsa pockets to the front, sides and back...

This lurvely bag is big enough to hold 1 KR cardboard case. In my case, this would mean:
  • Deathwing;
  • a Blood Angel Jump army;
  • a nice Khador or Menoth army; or
  • all my X-Wing ships!
Of course, I didn't just pick up the bag. I also got myself a KR Cardboard case for my X-Wing minis. Here it is...

And all the foam trays in all their glory...

Me likey. The way I used to carry my X-Wing minis, it would take something like 10 minutes for me to unload the minis, assemble the squadrons and ready a battlefield. This is MUCH easier and more convenient (though perhaps not as aesthetically pleasing) as lugging them about in a happy little furoshiki.

Note the tray for the tokens. Easily enough there for Focus, Evade, Shields, Stress, Target Locks, Critical Hits and Ion tokens and space for a few more.

Here's a closer look at the slots for the fighters:

A nice little fit, keeping those fragile little X-Wings safe and sound. The slots are big enough to squeeze the movement dials in there, too. And where are the TIE Fighters, you ask? Well, that's one little area in which the KR foam trays fell short... Have a look-see...

Dammit. Maybe with double-length stands?

Ah, pity... Still, it's not that much of an issue. The pros far outweigh this one minor con. So, yeah. If you're an X-Wing fan, KR's got something for you. I luv you, KR... 

Saturday, June 8, 2013

Batrep: Chaos Marines vs Vanilla Marines, 1750 pts

At long, long last, a batrep! It's been a while since I've gotten round to one of these. Today, the Black Legion takes on their age old enemies, the Ultramarines, led by Shazli. I do believe this is actually my first game against Shazli, and thus felt it well worth jotting down. That, and I do believe this is the first time my Chaos Marines have actually engaged a Vanilla Marine army. So, here are the armies...

My Black Legion:

Chaos Lord on bike, with Mark of Khorne, Sigil of Corruption, Axe of Blind Fury, Gift of Mutation (Blade of Chaos - My axe now has Fleshbane!)
10 Chaos Marines with 2 plasmaguns, extra close combat weapons and a lightning claw and meltabombs for the champion, all in a Rhino with Dirge Caster
10 Chaos Marines with 2 meltaguns, extra close combat weapons and a lightning claw and meltabombs for the champion, all in a Rhino with Dirge Caster
10 Chaos Marines with 2 meltaguns, extra close combat weapons and a lightning claw and meltabombs for the champion, all in a Rhino with Dirge Caster
7 Bikers with Mark of Khorne, 2 meltaguns, Icon of Wrath and a lightning claw and meltabombs for the champion
Helldrake with Baleflamer
Forgefiend with 2 Hades Autocannons
5 Havocs with 4 Autocannons
Vindicator with Siege Shield

All units which can take Veterans of the Long War have it, except for the Havocs.

Warlord Trait: Master of Deception (all 3 of my Chaos Marine units Infiltrate!)

Same list as before. Again. I can't really remember ever using a different CSM list successfully. Well, not in 6th edition, at any rate. And that time I partnered them with the Imperial Guard most certainly doesn't count. I like this list.

Shazli's Smurfs:

Chaplain Cassius
6 Sternguard Veterans with 4 combimeltas and 2 plasmaguns in a Drop Pod
Ironclad Dreadnought with 2 Hunter-Killer missiles in a Drop Pod
5 Assault Terminators, all with Thunder Hammers and Storm Shields
10 Tactical Marines with flamer, missile launcher and powerfist for the sarge in a Drop Pod
5 Scouts with sniper rifles, camo cloaks and a missile launcher
Land Raider
Land Speeder Typhoon
Land Speeder Typhoon
10 Assault marines with a power fist for the Sarge

Warlord Trait: Legendary Fighter

1,715 pts, by my reckoning. Looking at those Drop Pods, I knew I was going to be on the ugly end of a pretty fierce alpha strike on turn one.

Mission: The Emperor's Will
Deployment: Hammer and Anvil. Shaz won the roll off and forced me to go first. Night fighting was active on the first turn.

I kept the Vindicator in reserve, together with the Helldrake. Shaz kept his Scouts in reserve, and of the Drop Pods, the Ironclad and the Sternguard were set to arrive first, the Tacticals later. Looking at the photo above, I know the deployment looks kinda strange, but there's a method to the madness! Apparently, Shaz's plan was to use the Terminators to draw me in, then launch a massive counterattack. That's what I had gathered from the deployment, anyway. Suffice it to say, I had other plans.

For the life of me, though, I know not why Shaz bunched his forces along the centre line like that, letting me put 2 Rhinos full of nasty Chaos Marines right behind that building ready to burst out and give the Terminators some dakka. My plan at this point was simple: The Chaos Marines move, disembark, dakka, then let the Rhinos move flat out to screen them. They take the brunt of the enemy counterattack, then the Bikers sneak up and maul anything the Chaos Marines are having trouble with (I'm looking at those Terminators). I didn't particularly care what the Sternguard and Ironclad would do. I knew they'd turn up behind my Chaos Marines, so I could leave them to the tender mercies of the Helldrake and my Heavy Support choices.

With the Terminators and Assault Marines out of the way, I'd push straight through, killing anything in my path, confident that whatever scoring unit Shaz put in my backfield would easily be dealt with by the two daemon engines (i.e. the Helldrake and the Forgefiend). That was the plan. Here's how it went...

Monday, June 3, 2013

Out with the old...

 Bye-bye, lovely hammer and shield sergeants...

Hello... you lot. Ugh. 

It's a good thing I acquired another 2 sets of Dark Vengeance Deathwing from Ebay. I really couldn't be bothered to get another box of Deathwing just to put these in my squads...

That having been said, the lack of hammer & shield sergeants isn't that much of a deal. I find that, as long as I've got Deathwing Knights on the board and in a place to cause some pain, they're going to be the ones who take the brunt of the enemy's firepower, and as such, the other Deathwing squads can plod around and do their thing.

I'll bang together another list and hopefully, put stuff down in a batrep and see just how horribly GW has nerfed Deathwing... Until then, happy wargaming. And GW? Please stop f**king up Deathwing.... 

Sunday, June 2, 2013

Deathwing woe!


Seriously, I thought I had a pretty good thing going with my dear old Deathwing... This is the list I'd been fielding for the past few months. It's great fun (if absurdly stressful when those squads of Terminators come teleporting in...) and has held its own against some excellent armies. Now, during a scrap against David's Ravenwing, I learnt that Deathwing Sergeants aren't allowed to take Storm Shields and Thunder Hammers!

Blast and damnation... As it is, I've got 3 lovingly crafted Sergeants with hammers and shields. Guess they're going to have to be proxies for plain old Storm Bolter and Power Sword sergeants until GW does something to rectify this lunacy...

In the meantime, there's plenty else to keep me occupied. Things like my trusty Necrons and Blood Angels. And the Black Legion, of course. So many lists to try... so little time...

On the X-Wing front, oh man, I really couldn't resist expanding my fleets. It's an awesome game, with an excellent balance of luck, skill and Star Wars coolness. If I had to name one big gripe about this game, it's that Darth Vader isn't more killy. I mean, come on! It's Vader!

How am I supposed to fit the Millenium Falcon in there, eh?
 And that's it from me. Haven't been doing batreps for a while, alas. Been kinda busy on several fronts. Anyways, here's a shot of what's on the workbench now, besides the usual pile of models to paint, of course...

Yep... Frickin' Deathwing Sgts... Coz if there's anything I hate more than a FAQ that hurts my armies, it's going to war without WYSIWYG models...