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Thursday, 16 December 2010

Battle Brothers - NidCrons

My local store is running a tournament in a few months time, a doubles tournament called Battle Brothers with players only using the contents of a single battalion/battleforce box plus an HQ. Other than that you've got a free hand to field anything you can manage from that one box.

I'm expecting to see tables full of pairs of Space Wolf players spamming Lone Wolves and Wolf Guard, but that's not really my style. So I'm planning on teaming up with long-time opponent Shrooms to see how much carnage we can cause. As there's no Terminator battleforce it was either more for my Eldar or start something new, and I must admit I'm uninspired by the Eldar box. So, it's time for me to start yet another 40k army to sit next to my almost painted Eldar, unpainted Terminators and partly painted Warhammer Dark Elves.

Back in the day when I was first getting into 40k (some time during 2nd Edition) the Necrons were just being released. I had something like a Lord (metal model), two Destroyers (metal "tricycle" models), a handful of Scarabs (individual metal models) and a couple of dozen Warriors (metal models). How things have changed, modern Necrons have their own codex, and a whole range of some rather nice plastic miniatures.

So I've been reading up on a bit of Necron tactics, mostly from Fritz40k who certainly seems to know what he's doing. There's also rumours of new Necrons soon which really means I should hold off a bit, but probably means I'll forge ahead and end up with a redundant army!

And while I'm sending out my shooty robots what will Shrooms be doing? Well, last we talked he seemed pretty keen on finally getting around to building that Tyranid army he's been meaning to do for years now. This could make quite a nice combination, his swarmy bugs can run up front and get shot leaving my Necrons quite safe. Oh, and I should probably say something sensible about a mix of tactics and style too.

Friday, 6 August 2010

Bit by the war hamster (but what army to play?)

I finally caved in and bought the Warhammer Fantasy rulebook last night from a frighteningly enthusiastic staff member at the local Games Workshop. And for the size of the book alone this thing is epic. Skimming through it I'd guess at about 1/3 rules, 1/3 storyline and 1/3 hobby/painting, so it's got a bit of everything for everyone.

I've now set myself a week to decide which army to play, after that I'm just going to have to bite the bullet and go for it. For now I'm trying to choose between Dark Elves, Chaos Warriors or Chaos Beastmen.

As we stand the Elves are in the lead slightly. Massed ranks of spears is exactly the type of awesome I'm interested in, and the presence of some worthwhile shooting ability is something I'd like too (what's not to like about repeater crossbows?). There are a few bits of Dark Elf storyline that I'm not 100% convinced by, but I expect a large amount of that is just down to unfamiliarity. And hey, any army that rides into battle on the backs of dinosaurs is pretty cool in my books.

So, hopefully by this time next week I'll have figured out what I'm doing with this and picked up my army book and battalion box to get started with. Which will mean I'll have a third army to paint. Ah well.

Monday, 28 June 2010

Dangerous war hamsters

I was in Games Workshop over the weekend picking up some paints/supplies, and was subject to the usual sales pitch about the latest awesome whatever that I absolutely have to buy. This was, of course, Warhammer Fantasy Battles which is about to move on to the new version.

Now I haven't played WHFB in about 10 years, but I have to admit I'm quite tempted. There are all sorts of reasons that I'm not going to, of course; I can't afford the time or money and already have two 40k armies in desperate need of painting. But a quick play-test with a couple of units in the store impressed me with how much quicker and more flowing the game now seems to be.

So what might end up happening is once I've got my Eldar painted up and ready to roll I might think about a small WHFB force just to scratch the fantasy itch that I seem to have picked up (yes, I just compared Warhammer to an irritating rash). Top of the ideas list at the moment is High Elves, simply for the sake of all those spears. I do like spears. But then Elves are somewhat poncy, and it might be a bit close to my Eldar for my liking. If not that, then what? I used to play Brettonians, and they are quite a cool-looking force. I do medieval reencatment, so the idea of a mass of peasants, men-at-arms and knights does have a strong appeal.

But what all this thinking about Fantasy has made me realised is that I can remember so little of the lore surrounding it. So I may spend some time browsing places like Lexicanum getting myself read up on the back story so I can make an informed decision.

Tuesday, 25 May 2010

It's deep strike that swings it

I've seen a few articles on deep striking recently (From the Warp, Tech Bay Four, probably some others I've forgotten), which is a subject I've been thinking about recently.

The last couple of times I've played my Slaanesh Terminator force I've been using the Space Wolves codex. Besides simply being shiny and new the Wolves get stronger independent characters and more fun wargear/rules toys. And lets not miss out the main reason I switched to Wolves - real Cyclone missiles!

But I'm thinking of going back to a Deathwing based list. The Cyclone thing isn't too big a deal, I don't really play tournaments so I can just pay the extra point for a proper Cyclone launcher. The weaker characters are a bit of a pain, but this is Fifth Edition where troops choice swings it, and with the selection of models I've got it's about six and half a dozen between the codices.

The Deathwing have deep strike. Ok, so Space Puppies can climb into drop pods, but it's just not the same. For one thing, I don't want to go spending all that cash on a drop pod model for each squad. On top of that, teleporting is just plain cool. And let's not forget that deep strike should put me close enough to dish out some heavy flamer based pain.

Now that still leaves my Dreadnaughts and Land Raider. I could put the Dreads in pods, then either ditch the Raider or run it solo, but I'll probably be better off keeping them on the go. They'll form a solid anvil to complement my deep striking hammer. Trundle up to pin the enemy down with that lot, Dreads can screen each other and the Raider while popping smoke and that will buy me time to get into position and start zapping Terminators onto the battlefield.

So far it's all theoryhammer, and may turn out to be full of fail. Regardless, I'm pretty tempted to give it a go and find out how it works, it's not a style of play I've ever had a chance to use before so if nothing else it's a learning experience.

Monday, 3 May 2010

Scorpion Seer

So this is something I tried out once or twice in 4th Ed and totally forgot about until after seeing a poll on Awaking Ynnead.

While I typically use my Farseer to boost shooting power there's no reason they can't up combat ability too. As long as you're not running into squads full of power weapons a quick roll of Fortune before the combat is going to turn Striking Scorpions into some pretty resiliant dudes. If my math-hammer is correct somewhere near 90% chance to pass saves, which even on the toughness of an Eldar is going to make a solid unit. Add into that Doom and they'll be cutting a pretty clean path through for little damage in return.

So though I previously said I was going to drop the Scorpions from my list I may rethink that. Besides which, Scorpions are obviously the coolest Aspect out there!

Wednesday, 28 April 2010

A new role for the Reapers

Thinking things out after reading a post about Dark Reapers by Fritz40k. Now I've always put in my 5-man reaper unit to wipe out any squads of Marines who are daft enough to show their faces, but I may have to try doing things differently next game.

See, for under 150pts I can have two BS5 Krak Missiles a turn. That's some pretty heavy anti-tank fire right there. And anti-tank is something I have to admit that I'm lacking right now. Light vehicles shouldn't be too much of a problem with the Scatter Lasers and Shuriken Cannons, but when it comes to anything tougher I would have to rely on shots from my Prisms. With a Reaper Exarch hanging around I've got another chance to pop tanks, and once that's dealt with I'll still have my Eldar Missile Launcher and two Reaper Launchers to shred some Marines.

Are there better ways to get some more anti-tank into my army? Probably. But I've already got my Reapers, and it's an Aspect I really like. And by running a smaller squad I've freed up some points for something else, possibly another Vyper or some extra Warlocks in my Council. Of course talk is cheap, so the real test will be after I've tried it out on the battlefield.

Monday, 26 April 2010

Cleaning up the list (1500)

I managed to get back around to some painting this weekend, so I've finally got those Jetbikes and Vyper table ready. I've also pulled out a handful more Guardians to paint up and bulk up my squads of them. After that I'm not sure what will get painted. Before I get too into anything else I want to finish my list.

If I'm playing Ulthwe I want to do it properly, so to start with I'm cutting some of my Aspects. In my 1500 list I had been tempted to run small squads of Dire Avengers, Swooping Hawks, Striking Scorpions and Dark Reapers. However I'm now looking at cutting the Avengers and Scorpions, which not only brings my list back within 1500, it also gives me some spare points to play with.

I get the impression from what I've read online that Hawks aren't a very popular choice, but I think they'll fill a nice role in my list. I've not got a lot of anti-tank, so the ability to deep strike a flying squad with haywire grenades will mean I can threaten tanks anywhere on the battlefield. Their weapons are weak, but good range means a couple of rounds of shooting I might otherwise have missed out on. This will hopefully give enough extra ranged ability to augment the Vyper and Jetbikes for my rapid-strike component, and if opponents get distracted picking off the boys in blue then it means less shots on my objective-scoring Jetbikes.

As well as fitting the Ulthwe fluff, Dark Reapers are making up some much-needed anti-Space-Marine power. This will mean I can rely on something more than a silly number of soup-tin-lids from the Guardians. The only doubts I'm having with the Reapers is that they're likely to be stuck off on their own on a rooftop while the rest of my army advances, but again the speed of Jetbikes, Vyper and Hawks should mean I can pull some forces back to defend them if needed.

I've had a few ideas for changes to make to the list that I can now look at with the points I've saved. I've dropped the idea of taking a Wave Serpent, since it would mean pulling more bodies away from the bulk of my force and into the rapid strike section, something I'd like to avoid. A squad of Pathfinders hiding near the Dark Reapers or going to ground on objectives is also tempting. However I'm currently leaning towards a few Warlocks to support my Farseer. This should improve the power and resilience of my HQ, providing a better anchor for my force. It also fits with the Ulthwe theme, which is something I'm keen to emphasise. But the most important part is that I enjoy painting them. So chances are that that's the direction I'm going to go with this.

Thursday, 25 March 2010


So there's three of us around that play Aetherverse, a little indy-game from Triskele which is sadly no more. It's a "design-your-own-army" type of thing with some fun mechanics like drawing initiative counters to activate units and such like. Well, we'd tried some various 1/72 scale gaming with it before, and are now going to try setting about it in a more organised manner.

Given the sheer number of models available in this scale, WWII was the sensible route to go down. One of our players already has a good collection of 1/72 WWII stuff, so is just dusting off his Germans (possibly runnign them as Polish SS) and he'll be sorted. The other guy has decided to play British Commonwealth (just using regular Brit models). After briefly toying with the ideas of Italy or Japan I've now settled on playing the Soviet Union.

The one problem I'm having is settling on a TEK level. TEK 3 suits the period and the army I want to build, but since there's no way to increase the TEK on a vehicle my tanks are going to be stuck with sub-standard weapons. If I do go with TEK 4 for the tanks all of my infantry becomes overpowered. Alternatively, I could overpower the guns on the tank, as I'm setting them up as anti-infantry any backfire shouldn't do them any harm. Of course this is all still theory, I've got some more research to do into how the T-34/76 was used in combat (was it more infantry support or did they operate seperately using high speed?).

Anyway, I've got about 100 infantry, two T-34s and a pair of Zis-3 anti-tank guns showing up in the next few days, so I'll have to get my list sorted and organise a game.

Wednesday, 24 February 2010

Lining up the next game

So I'm looking to get a game organised in the next few weeks against a fairly regular opponent who's got no problem with the fact my army's not fully painted yet, in fact large parts of his are barely painted at all! Though I've been writing my list for 1500 points so far I'm going to see about pulling out some under-used models and pushing it up to 2000 for added joy.

I can do this from either the Eldar or the Terminators, and will be up against Black Templar. I think both armies are in a position to give some Marines a run for their money, though as both are also fairly genericly-built lists I doubt either will excel at dealing with the Templar.

Eldar will mean playtesting my new group of Jetbikes and Vyper for some fast response action, largely inspired by the tactics at Way of Saim Hann. I've also got a small squad of Hawks in there that will be used to drop in and haywire any Predators or Land Raiders lurking near the back. Guardian squads are bringing scatter lasers which combined with my Jetbike squads shuriken cannon and the shuriken cannon/scatter laser combo on the Vyper should give Rhinos something to worry about. Fire Prisms either bust up big tanks or fry Marines one foot (or those whose transport has been destroyed) and Dark Reapers fill the usual role; total Marine destruction!

With the Terminators I'll be trying to switch at least one Dread to pure tank-busting with a lascannon/missile launcher combo, other two most likely on lascannon/combat so they can fry armour for a couple of turns then wade into any Marines close enough. Terminator squads have a mix of cyclones, assault cannons and heavy flamers and all are set up with power fists so I'll be trying to flatten any power weapon squads before they reach me. Land Raider is likely to do the same thing as last time I played against him; sit up the back absorbing lascannon fire that could be aimed at my Terminators or Dreads. I'll have to go back take another look through the Space Wolves codex to see quite how I'm best kitting up my psyker, for all the awesome Wolf psykers are meant to have he was a major under-performer last time.

So, it looks like I've got about two weeks to settle on which army to use and how my list will look, and hopefully I'll get some more painting done in the time running up to it, but I wouldn't bet on that happening.

Thursday, 18 February 2010

Where we stand

Just a quick warm-up post on what position I'm in with my 40k gear.

My Ulthwe Eldar are probably closing on half-painted, currently finishing up a Fire Prism, working on a squad of Jetbikes and getting ready to start a Vyper.

My Terminators (Slaanesh Renegades using a Space Puppies Wolfguard list) are built and (mostly) converted up, but I've only started painting one squad.

The Termies are a pain to paint, so they're staying on the back burner while I do my Eldar, so at least I'll have something to put down on the table.

This blog's a bit of an experiment, don't think I've blogged on 40k stuff before, but been reading plenty of them so that makes me an expert, right? >_> I'm mostly hoping that having a blog will keep me focussed getting some painting done... and maybe even get me playing a few games!