Wednesday, 30 December 2009

Drawing - the charge of 2009


Just a quick blog during the festive season to celebrate the 'best wargaming moment of 2009' for me... In this case, it occured when my 75pts of roughriders caught 350pts of Crisis Suit Retinue.

After two turns chasing down the tricksy Crisis Suits, they finally got a smashing 12" of move and run and 12" of charge... they cause 6 wounds and downed two Crisis Suits (two invlunerable saves coming into play) on the charge, the Tau retinue was sent reeling and my opponent failed to make a single wound. Even Ld10 struggles with a -4 modifier and the I5 horsemen cleaned up the I3 Crisis Suits...

Best Fight of 2009.

Sunday, 27 December 2009

New Toy for Christmas

This was done using GIMP2 (free download software) in about 20 minutes.

Yes yes yes, I know that there will be a requirement to place a downpayment on Tyranids in the near future, but as my birthday drops just before the 16th ... I'm comfortable that buying bugs won't be a problem. My target is potentially a Trygon/Mawloc and 20 Gargoyles...

What I'll do with the 'scratch built bunch' I was to build is a painful consequence.

On another note, I was gotten a small Bamboo fun drawing pad for Christmas. It's simply incredible! As a budding artist (who isn't in 40k circles) the pad combines the best elements of the repainting and layering of oil paints, the sketching of pencils, the delicious layering of watercolours....

It is my best best buy...

As such, I'll be dropping in a few more 'graphics' to compliment both the batreps and written stuff. It's a very exciting tool ... very exciting.

So as a taster I slapped this together in a couple of minutes (obviously), and hopefully my skills will improve with some practice.

Be nice...

Tuesday, 15 December 2009

Painting Update - Stuff left to do before January 16th

BASING

Painting is definitely entering it's final stages ... with 4500pts of Imperial Guard built and painted, there's only a long laborious basing project to undertake, to 'finish' the models off. I'm not a big fan of basing ... its tiresome and boring ... but I believe that those that don't base are just those that don't paint under another guise.

Basing a model is like framing your portrait correctly - it finishes the piece and a bad job can ruin one. That said, I've also seen some awesome (and very time consuming basing) ... considering I have probably 160 models to base ... any suggestions people?

PAINTING

Firstly, the least painted army (the nids) are in a hiatus awaiting the new codex. I've already seen the Mawloc, Ravenors and Gargoyles in the flesh and they are beautiful (well in that ugly way) ... I've painted up nearly all the hormagaunts, termagaunts and genestealers ... I think I'll wait on the Warriors until I've got a better idea over weaponry.

So the Imperial Guard are finished. I painted up the 'commissar lord' on Saturday (he subsequently died tragically due to an overabundance of gatling fire from a stomper. 57 hits on the 31 man squad left 8 standing, 44 hits on the 6 man command squad killed everyone, obviously).

So the target is to complete the Tau before the Nid Codex arrives. I finished the last of the firewarriors in my Tau force yesterday. This means I have the following completed:
  • 36 Firewarriors
  • 12 Kroot, 2 Kroot Hounds and a Shaper
  • 6 XV25 and 3 XV15 Stealthsuits
  • Ethereal
  • 1 Broadside
  • 2 Devilfish
The below models need completion:
  • 5 Crisis Suits need repainting and magnetising ... weapons choices a go go!
  • 2 Broadsides need painting
  • 2 Hammerhead/Skyrays need painting
  • 5 Gundrones need painting
  • 1 Markerdrone needs building and painting
Well that's achievable isn't it?!? I've already got the Tank paint scheme sorted out, so they should go faster than the first - espaecially if I do them in a batch! The gundrones are up first though, and then I'll finish the Broadsides and Tank.

So a month to go and the cadre should be finished...

Time to buy a Piranha maybe?

Wednesday, 9 December 2009

GiftsforGeeks Tournament Update (Dec)

The Geeks all got together for another round of the tournament with the following head offs...

Where Necrons Dare V The Dirty Dozen: Mark and Jack's combination of a FNP Smurf Biker Horde and Marks Guards nasty uber command unit of hero's, 2 Vendettas and 2 Basilisks was like a bad dream for the necrons. In spite of some great shooting rolls by Hutch, the necrons got rolled by the Marine/Guard combo thanks to a lack of power weapons or instantkill shots.

Moment of note: Jack manages to elbow Marks Vendettas off the table and spins one across the floor ... the vendetta is unharmed although the autoejectmust have triggered as the canopy came off.

The Chaosmarine has Landed V Apocalypse Tau: Predictably bloody, I didn't stay for the end ... but the Chaos boys had a 200 points of extra nastiness (thanks to planetstrike). Ant's save rolling skills were put to the test as Dustin and Spence's Tau pummelled the encroaching deamons and marines with Plasmarifle and pulse fire... Despite this I had to leave before the end ... and so ask Anton to fill us in? Who won?

Moment of Note: Anton rolls 7 saves of 5+ on his deamons... Nice.

300 (Thousand) V Full Metal Waargh: Orks aren't designed for defending. In this case the planetstrike proved pointless as we hit nothing (despite 14 firestorm shots)... The Guard arrived on mass turn one and the Roughriders were picked off quickly. The mortars were targetted by Adam's counter attack and the S6 arsenal (Primaris Psyker/Hellhound/Grenades/Multilasers) proved too much for the Deffkoptas. The Guard managed to deny/defuse the exterior forces while the Space marines cracked open the Fortress of night (?!?) innit and proceeded to massacre over 60 orks over three turns. For 'cunning plan' reasons, Adam's Warboss in a Battlewagon spent the whole battle hiding at the back of the field...

5 objectives captured to two left empty ... demonstrable victory.

Moment of Note: many, many. An assault cannon achieve rending hits on all four shots needs mention. The Chimera behind the hellhound immobilising the hellhound (doh!). The mortar pinging every truck in range and the Primaris Psyker shooting up 8 shots a turn of S6 goodness.

Conclusion

At this stage the two Guard/Smurf armies are demonstrably ahead... so much so that they look like they could just wipe the Xenos from the face of the planet. The Chaos Lords are doing better, and the Tau struggle on and the Necron and Orks become the whipping boys of the group... and yet there's a glint of a plan in Adam and Hutch's eye.

Next up, my team face off against the other Guard/Smurf unit in an open battle. It'll be Chimera armour infantry versus Vendettas (eek!) and Terminators/Assault marines versus biker horde (double eeek!) - it'll be close.

Tuesday, 8 December 2009

Codex Tyranids Models - Lovely New Gribblies!

Image Curtosy of GW ... gribble gribble
I've just got the email from GW for the following, and Oh my God, I'm going to be bankrupt!

Ravenors: Click Here
First Impression: They better be seriously buffed from the last codex or they'll never shift on a £27 for three pricetag. I'm not too sure on the model as it looks like a Tyranid Warrior with a tail...

Trygon: Click Here
First Impression: We all know of the Trygon, and I can't see any big changes from the IA books. Great options, not overly tough, mainly points balance will se this guy bought ... but I'm intrigued by the...

MawLoc: Click Here
First Impression: What's this? A predator mated with an Alien and took growth hormones. In the speil it states "Eats things" ... nice. For £30, depending on statline - I want one.

Pyrovore: Click Here
First Impression: Looks like the Biovore took a meaty upgrade... nice agressive looking model for a artillery unit! It better be good if you're choosing these over Carnifi/Trygons etc.
Venomthrope: Click Here
First Impression: Malanthrope/Venomthrope - yep... looks like the Venomthrope combines some awesome antiinfantry close combat with a unit hiding spore effect... depending on rules, this could be an essential at £20.

Tyrant Hive Guard: Click Here
First Impression: Who gave that Hive Guard a gun... impaler cannon... looks interesting and would be a real asset alongside a 'gun toting' Tyrant. Something to keep the vehicle out of LoS methinks. And the cannon can shoot indirect?? Nice!
Gargoyles: Click Here
First Impression: Thank GOD for that. Metal gargoyles was a literal lead baloon. Nice neat model although pricey when compared to the Gaunts. It should be noted that Gaunts are going up (ish) to £15 for 12 (instead of the previous £16 for 16)

Finally the biggest shocker...

In the GW email it actually states that Hormagaunts will be half the points cost of the last codex... 5 points each for a 24" charging choppy nasty thing ... expect a major nerf though...

Now £15 for 12. See here.

Monday, 7 December 2009

BATREP: Waylaying the Saim Hann

The Kochi 'Waylayers' in all their glory "Come and get me, pointy!"

THE HYPE: Thanks to everyone who voted ... here's the payoff. Obviously I must talk some sense sometimes, as 50% of you voted me as a marginal victory - clearly you've never attempted this yourselves... well done 1 person.

THE OBJECTIVE: Defeat the Seer Council (and attached Saim Hann) without resorting to 'special' units or tricks (Inquisitors, Psychic Hoods, Psyker Battle Choirs or Assassins)... this was gonna be an old fashioned, high casualty, grudgematch.

THE PLAN:
THE 'KOCHI TURTLE', basically use a wall of Chimeras as a defense screen to stop the Warlock's 'Destructor' killing my tarpit and then tarpit or roughrider them into tarpit...

THE CONTENDERS: Great example of quantity over quality, the list provides lots of dedicated high AP firepower that'll suppression fire the opponent to death and force LOTS of 1's and 2's.

Kochi 'Waylayers' -1500pts

NB: All Chimeras are armed with Multilaser, Heavy Bolter and Heavy Stubber
  • HQ: Command Squad with Regimental Banner, Vox-caster, Heavy Bolter in Chimera.
  • Troops: Platoon #1: Command with 2 Sniper Rifles and a Heavy Bolter in Chimera.
  • 3 Infantry Squads with 3 Autocannons, Commissar and vox.
  • Troops: Platoon #2: Command with 1 Sniper Rifle, 1 Grenade Launcher and a Heavy Bolter in Chimera.
  • 3 Infantry Squads with 3 Lascannons, Commissar and vox
  • Additional Chimera
  • Fast Attack: Rough Riders [5]
  • Fast Attack: Rough Riders [5]
  • Fast Attack: Banewolf, extra armour, heavy bolter, heavy stubber, smoke
  • Heavy Support: Leman Russ Battle Tank, 3 Heavy Bolters
  • Heavy Support: Basilisk, Heavy Bolter.
THE OPPONENT: Ant's Saim Hann force was back, upgraded and ultimately nasty. With lots of rerolls all round and some serious firepower, they were a force to be reckoned with.
Ant's Saim Hann Force 'the Fat Bottomed Ladies'
  • Seer Council on Jetbikes, Farseer Bob (Doom, Fortune, Mindwar, Runes of Witnessing, spirit stones), 5 Warlocks (4 destructor, 1 Enhance), 2 with Singing Spears.
  • 4 x 6 man jetbikes squads (2 Shuriken Cannons)
  • 3 Vypers (twin shuriken cannons)
  • Fire Prism, Holofields
  • Falcon Grav Tank, Scatter Laser, Holofields
DEPLOYMENT: SPEARHEAD
GAME: ANNIHILATION (AGAIN!?!)
SUNEOKUN WINS THE ROLL AND DEPLOYS FIRST...



DEPLOYMENT

With the cunning plan in the back of my mind I decided on the best approach. By building myself across one whole corner I could comfortably turtle up and wait for the subsequent Seer Council charge. Hopefully, by luck or judgement, I could catch the seercouncil with either a roughrider charge and subsequently tarpit them. This would then free up the rest of the army to punish the enemy.

The Eldar cower at the rear, out of sight and all that...

I held the banewolf in reserve, it could enter from my nearside edge - and hopefully drop in behind the seer council - offering a serious 'scare factor' to my opponent. With it's 18" move and smoke it could also prove a durable opponent.

The Eldar largely deployed at the back of their area in cover or out of sight. A squad of six jetbikes reserved as did the three vypers ... thoretically denying me some easy kill points.

TURN 1: "WHO WANTS SOME?"

Ant chews on some chips and burger while considering how to circumvent my cunning plan

The Guard line moved little and started pinging away at the Eldar in range. The basilisk missed entirely (a first turn 50% kill chance on the seercouncil lost!) , but the massed firepower of the Leman Russ and the oblique angles autocannon uberunit and Command Chimera blew great holes in the 'painted' Eldar jetbike vanguard unit. Spreading out to the side with a 'Chug gunship' was proving useful because it meant I could get multiple eyeball on a unit and grind it down. Despite the pounding down to 2 men the Eldar unit held.

Ant's completed Saim Hann unit - stunning and about to be chewed out with low grade firepower...

The Eldar flitted forwards and managed very little. The Giant Crystal tank managed to kill 2 men after scattering ... and the Seer Council loomed. Largely the jetbike squads all 'turbo boosted' to avoid further casualties - which I'd planned for...

First Turn 0-0

TURN 2: 'Not yet you fool!'

My reserved BaneWolf turned up and I was given a difficult choice. Do I go for 18" and pop smoke, or do I go 12" and get a turn of shooting at the seercouncil? Psychologically, I wasn't convinced that Ant would consider the Banewolf a serious enough threat - so I decided to make it a more 'tempting' target - while keeping my options open.

Moving on 12", the banewolf unleased heavy bolter, heavy stubber and chemcannon on the SeerCouncil - provoking 1 death in return. It would hopefully force Ant to deal with the banewolf and buy my guard another turn or so of dakka dakka.

The banewolf successfully buys more time for the rest of the army...

The rest of the army opened up on my opponent. Remembering the 'master of ordinance' I launched his indirect attack and suddenly discovered that he was even less effective than the Basilisk (which didn't hit anything either)... The Leman Russ showed its worth though, with the line of tanks pivotting and offering some serious punishment to the two squads in show. Both units were pounded down to half strength. Surprisingly, both units held for the moment - although for the look on Ant's face, they'd be retreating shortly.

The combined firepower of targetted uber units and Leman Russ led dakka clears the view for the Guardsmen as the whole Eldar army flanks to the right...

The Lascannons also targetted the Fire Prism and managed a stunned result - no moving or shooting for you!

Ant rolled for the arrival of one of his reserves and got one Vyper. It hovered onto the board, but was out of range of most targets, it decided to hunker down behind a bunker. The Seer Council bit the bullet and leapt back to engage the Banewolf, this forced them back into the corner but did offer them a rear shot. They took it and one hit became and penetrating hit and a wrecked result - I cursed those tricksy dice! The seercouncil used their assault move to move back towards the Kochi defenders.

Despite a 24" a turn move, the distraction of the BaneWolf manages to hold the opponent at arms length...

The Fire Prism couldn't move, but the falcon could. It moved forwards and took some pot shots at the 'isolated' chimera, to no avail. The other jetbike squadrons also moved into attack range for the first turn and went to work with their shuriken cannons. Despite some valiant shooting, nothing was doing and they slunk back behind cover.

Saim Hann operate the complex shielding device of highly advanced technology ... or hide behind big thing.

Second Turn: 1-0 to the Saim Hann

TURN 2: "Concentrate fire power on those damn Eldar Seer Council!"

I spotted a couple of opportunities and weighing up the alternatives I went for it. I broke the tank line and redirected several tanks forwards to draw a bead on the Seer Council. Despite myself I wanted to cause as many wounds on them as possible. Not losing sight of the objective, this also allowed me to unleash the rough riders and charge them into combat with the remaining two jetbikes in the centre.

The Seercouncil takes a pummelling and despite losing a further two members, just keeps rolling

The lascannons had also spotted the lone vyper, and a quick burst of 'bring it down' later and one smoking vyper littered the scene, breaking the score even. Intending to further my lead I pumped serious firepower into the other visible jetbike crew while the command chug and other rough rider squad then moved quickly towards his 'hideout' for the remaining jetbikes.

The Kochi break ranks and go pointy-huntin'

The combined fire of 40 odd lasgun shots and 6 autocannon caused 9 wounds on the jetbikes. Defying the odds, Ant saved every roll. The Leman Russ bowled in landing some serious firepower on the now limping Seer Council, killing two council (thank you uber dakka!) and also killing a single jetbiker under the template. The other jetbike crew broke!

Finally, a bit of lucky shooting proved too much for the Fire Prism, as the Basilisk blew off its crystal ... nice!

I was 2-1 up!

In Ant's turn ... he rolled for reserves and got all his remaining. Two vypers and the remaining two jetbikes targetted the victorious roughriders in the centre and gunned them down with shuriken shards. The other jetbike squad swarmed onto the board and downed the other small group of roughriders. The Prism Cannon in the centre hid away as the Falcon tried (and failed) to kill another chimera.

The Seer Council moved within range and threw at the infantry command HQ Chimera in the 'exposed' position. The tank exploded, killing all but one inhabitant. The lieutenant then had a hissy fit and fled the field - sacrificing 2 killpoints.

Despite the whispering of Spence ... another Eldar player and 'adviser to the king' throughout the game, Ant wisely retreated his Seer Council to just outside assault range.

Wholesale execution of horse's is mean, but a very effective way of racking up killpoints...

In one turn Ant had racked up an impressive 4 killpoints.

Turn 3: 5-2 to the Eldar.

TURN 4: "Baby, baby hold together!"

Now comes the second mistake of the game ... I'd opened my trap too early and now my side armours were exposed. If I couldn't hit the Eldar hard and even the score, he'd be in-amongst me.

I decided to move my autocannon uber-unit. They rolled a 2, they move 2", only 4 men were within the 12" rapid fire rule ... I buggered up. Using 'FRFSRF' while stationary would have garnered me in excess of 40 flashlight shots plus 6 autocannon. Plus I would have been over 6" into the terrain forcing the Eldar some difficult terrain tests. As it was I'd sacrificed range, hitting power and a charge... doh!

The uber-mistake with my uber-unit was like a hit in the gut. It something to take a blow, its another to walk onto the contact... the few lasgun shots pattered harmlessly on their fortune. I think what provoked this was the realisation that the Farseer COULD actually mindwar my commissar and effectively remove 'stubborn' from the tarpit. The resulting carnage would be devastating ... in realisation of this I panicked.

The other Eldar were slightly less lucky. The Leman Russ and Basilisk opened up on the 'surprise' Eldar unit killing all but one, the remainder man held but was pinned. The rest of the army successfully picked off two Vypers, but my error cost me dear as I sacrificed valuable shooting at a Seercouncil that should have been rapidfire toast.

Ant gloats over his destructor templates ... they hurt a lot! Note the crater too, there lay two killpoints ... sniff sniff!

With a roar of ethereal jetbike gases (yes, as you ask, jetbikes are powered on Ethereal!) ... the Eldar plowed in. Ant used fortune and Doom on my boys - which was a mistake as the mindwar would have been so more efficient. It did mean that 16 destructor hits became kills and my unit was down to a few men, 3 sergeants and a commissar. In close combat the 'luck' turned the I survived fairly well, losing a few men - but they held. The Seer Council were tarpitted - despite my best attempts otherwise.

In the Eldar turn, they mainly limped away and hid ... except one - the falcon moved across and put two penetrating hits on another Chimera - wrecking it...

Final Turn 4 Score: 6:5 to the Saim Hann.

CONCLUSION

At this point we decided to call it a day as I have children and can't keep coming home at midnight ... however the game was certainly in the balance. If we'd played out turn five, I could have certainly killed one more jetbike and had a good chance of killing the Falcon in the open.

The Seercouncil would have won the following combat and then consolidated, but with good movement I could have avoided their worst. It's even odds whether I could have landed a blow on the Fire Prism or the hiding jetbikers to gain two more points. If we'd gone to turn 6 or 7 then the Eldar would have have only a single unit on the board with only three men ... tough.

My mistake with breaking the turtle lines and risking my roughriders was a big one, only overshadowed by my blunder with moving the autocannon uber unit. The combined fire of the uber unit had a statistical chance of downing one more Eldar. The torrent of fire would also have given me the opportunity to go after the Farseer ... offering me further opportunities.

Overall, I'm both pleased a dissapointed. My Early play was solid, with the Banewolf suckering the seer council and the castle holding well. My ambition to 'mop up' killpoints made me vulnerable and my mistake at the crunchpoint proved too much.

Saying that, the tactic deployed worked pretty well - and better with the deployment (which was pure luck), with the Eldar Seer council forced to choose a single tank or approach in front of serious guns. Each gunship provides a 45% chance of a single kill, and the amount of dice bouncing around could make any Eldar player nervous.

The addition of the Leman Russ was also brilliant, as the battle cannon proved itself a very versatile tool. The Basilisk was less useful, a single shot which constantly missed and failed to really threaten the opponent. Many times the Bassie was actually worse than useless. Was it better than the mortars ... 6 mortars versus one Earthshaker round - well it should be simple, but its not - plus you can feed mortar teams to the seercouncil to buy time - you can't do that with a Basilisk.

The master of Ordinance proved even less engaging - he was demonstrably useless and missed everything... an experiment proved, I think.

SUMMATION

So on reflection, I'd consider dropping the bassie and MoO (appropriate) for another banewolf. I would also consider combining the two rough rider crews into one 10 man unit. Another consideration would be to bring a three man autocannon, missile launcher or heavy bolter squad in replacement, these guys could occupy the 'spare' chimera and chuck out lots more shots. This is actually a tactic I may consider in future as a HWT+Chimera could give out a mind-boggling 15 shots at S5-6...

I'd also drop heavy stubbers and sniper rifles ... the grenade launcher has a much better chance of wounding point for point against T4 3+ opponents. It lacks the range (just), but also give you flexibility in compensating the cost of moving your chimera.

I hope you all enjoyed.

Wednesday, 2 December 2009

Quick Painting Update

Work's very hectic at the moment ... hence why there's still a great deal of excitement brewing over the Saim Hann battle report upcoming. Once I get five minutes I'll commit the battle to blog and the result will be told.

In the mean time, I have managed to shuffle out 13 Hormagaunts and 3 Termagaunts from the painting process. The growth of the Devlan Mud continues, with the painting process shortened to 5 stages before varnishing:
  • Red Gore/Shadow Grey mix 'purple' armour
  • Shadow Grey skin
  • Elf Flesh bone blades/hooves/teeth/tongue (Some models have red gore tongues)
  • Devlan Wash
  • Blue/Purple highlight
Keeping it (reasonably) short, I can push out 16 models over 2-3 nights. The Devlan seriously reduces the paint time and the difference in final quality is negligable.

To keep things interesting, I'm approaching the 10 remaining firewarriors next and then it's on to the Commissar Lord with powerfist giving his sermon on the mount (I had to get him, just love the model)...

I've been looking over Christmas Ideas and been considering the value of the Vanquisher turrets from Forgeworld ... does anyone have experience. 2D6 + 8 penetration feels pretty good... Any thoughts? Also, are griffons worth the £35 buy, when I can pick up a bassie for £20?

Monday, 30 November 2009

Vote Reminder ... Guard V Saim Hann Round 2

To everyone who hasn't voted ... come on over and cast your lot at pathfinder. The battle's been fought, my mighty Kochi versus Ant's dirty scoundrel Saim Hann Eldar... Many of the techniques, concepts and plans adopted.

Only 2 days left to vote ... so let me know - Who do you thinks gonna pull it off!?!

See below for the synopsis and background and check out the last kicking my Saim Hann dealt out ...

Thursday, 26 November 2009

1500pt REMATCH "Waylaying the Saim Hann": PART 1


INTRODUCTION

A month ago, I dealt a fairly dismissive annihilation battle victory on my good friends Ant's much dust encrusted Saim Hann Eldar force. At the time I crowed my victory thanks to the 'rubix cube' of the Tarpits and Imperial Armour that gave me a solid win. Mortars were my mainstay, with 15 of the buggers pounding the Jetbikes into submission.

It quickly became clear that (thanks in no small part to the specialist assistance of Fritz from Way of Saim Hann and Dwoemer from Maunderings of a 40k Gamer that I'd survived my first outing against Saim Hann in a state of unknowing arrogance.

The combination of a S9 shot or close combat attack, combined with the use of destructor makes Saim Hann Seer Council's absolutely lethal to Guardsmen. Simply put, there is nothing in the guardsmen list which can gain any kind of 'save' from this attack.

Now, many players were suggesting Deamon Hunters or Witch Hunter Allies (with their anti invulnerable armour shots AND anti-psyker hoods) or maybe Psyker battle choirs or Assassins... or Vendettas/Valks ... or some other intervention...

I'm not a big fan of doing this. I'd challenged Ant to a rematch, one he deserved, and I wasn't going to besmirch my honour by 'buying my way out' of trouble. I was fixed on beating Saim Hann with a standard guard guys and tanks ... surely there must be a way of nullifying or overcoming the seer council with my normal army??!?

KOCHI 'TURTLE' - ANTI ELDAR TACTICA

This approach isn't fullproof, but it does give you an even chance of cancelling out a seer council while still holding your lines. Let's face it, the Seer Council rules, but they have one weakness - the witchblade...

'Wohwohwoh!' I hear you cry, the witchblade? Yes the witchblade. While the witchblade is a S9 weapon against tanks and wounds everything on a 2+, it is neither a force or power weapon. This nutshell means that the opponents of the witchblade get both a saving throw AND other bonuses like FNP etc! This significantly reduces the efficiency of witchblades, and undermines the benefit of bonuses like 'doom' for the witchblade or destructor. Why bother, you wound everything on a 2+ anyway?!? This means that a Seer Council would still really struggle against the likes of a Space Marine Command squad with apothacary ... 3+ (or 2+) saving throw plus 4+ FNP ... that kinda beats your 4+ rerollable.

This doesn't help Guard very much, as I have no MEQ equivilents (my squad of DeathWatch Killteam Space Marines would have been perfect!). The best I could do on this front would be a carapaced and medipacked command team. They would effectively 'equal' the seer council on saving throws ... but at +50pts, plus weaponry etc - they weren't actually that useful. I could consider beauties like Straken (but I don't have him!)...

So I went away to a small room and did a little Math-Hammer. I established that (ignoring uber death destructor), a farseer and crew would do on average 10 wounds on the charge and 6 wounds per turn in combat. 6 wounds per turn is rubbish. Now if only I could 'catch' him in close combat with a 30 man tarpit with a stubborn Commissar ... goodbye and goodriddence!

So the next question ... how do I get to charge and uber fast unit with plebs and without being flamed to death on their charge? I came up with the followingGo for open terrain or difficult terrain you can park your vehicles on (craters etc) honeytrap:
  1. Deploy a line of Chimeras across the front (this presents a nice big 'shoot me' target to the opponent)
  2. Deploy 3-4 combined Guardsmen between the Chimeras and behind. The ideal is to place 4 lascannons/autocannons in the open between three chugs. Majority of Troops are 8" behind Chug/HWTs.
  3. Deploy a 10 man RoughRider unit nearby.
This results in the following options:
  1. If Seer Council goes in for assault, can only achieve a maximum of ten hits with Destructor (ie 2 each for heavy weapon teams and then kills 10) they are then tied up in a 10-20 men tarpit. Add more guardsmen to keep them tied down.
  2. If the Seer Council attack a Chimera and then retreat max 18" away. Charge and assault with the Rough Riders. The Rough Riders should hold them for a turn and may cause 1-2 wounds. Follow up with tarpit and trap them.
  3. If brightlance/starcannon etc hits and then Seer Council attacks - you're dead meat.
Soooo not exactly fullproof, but it gave me options... finally I backed this up on

ARMY LISTS

Kochi 'Waylayers' -1500pts

NB: All Chimeras are armed with Multilaser, Heavy Bolter and Heavy Stubber
  • HQ: Command Squad with Regimental Banner, Vox-caster, Heavy Bolter in Chimera.
  • Troops: Platoon #1: Command with 2 Sniper Rifles and a Heavy Bolter in Chimera.
  • 3 Infantry Squads with 3 Autocannons, Commissar and vox.
  • Troops: Platoon #2: Command with 1 Sniper Rifle, 1 Grenade Launcher and a Heavy Bolter in Chimera.
  • 3 Infantry Squads with 3 Lascannons, Commissar and vox
  • Additional Chimera
  • Fast Attack: Rough Riders [5]
  • Fast Attack: Rough Riders [5]
  • Fast Attack: Banewolf, extra armour, heavy bolter, heavy stubber, smoke
  • Heavy Support: Leman Russ Battle Tank, 3 Heavy Bolters
  • Heavy Support: Basilisk, Heavy Bolter.
Ant's Saim Hann Force 'the Fat Bottomed Ladies'
  • Seer Council, Farseer (Doom, Furtune, Mindwar, Runes of Witnessing), 6 Warlocks (Destructor), 2 with Singing Spears.
  • 3 x 6 man jetbikes squads (2 Shuriken Cannons)
  • Fire Prism, Holofields and spirit stones
  • Falcon Grav Tank, Starcannon (the S8 AP2 Heavy 2 one) and a scatter laser
  • 3 Vypers (twin shuriken cannons)
PREFACE

So it was going to be my thin tank line and horde versus Eldar speed and Fortune tomfoolery ... we rolled for battle and Ant groaned as we rolled Annihilation - but that wasn't so good for me either with all this transports... and we rolled for Spearhead.

I won the roll and opted to go first ... time to turtle up in the corner gents.

So place your bets, ladies and gentlemen ... who do you think will win? Vote on the Poll! Give me your reasons ... what will be the final score?

Monday, 23 November 2009

Running an insane GUARD HORDE!


I won a poll result! For the second time ever, I've won a poll at WARPSTONE FLUX! In this case I'm actually joint winner ... but what pleases me greatly is that I seem to have capped the first and last polls of 2009 with wins...

Yeah me!

FUTURE METAGAME THOUGHTS

With the influx of codex Tyranids and the rumours (they are just rumours) of the Tyranids going even more horde focussed ... some people out there are suggesting (Goatboy for example) that beyond the Mech/Melta lists lies the return of the horde.

His reasons for this are fairly suggestive. Firstly that deploying looks of troops FOC gets you more bodies on the field and more options to take and hold objectives. GW are metagaming troops to smaller and smaller points, meaning that you can field a whole bucket load of troops for little worry. While this 'lacks' the punch of elites or Heavy support ... you'll be doubling the number of models on the board.

As Joseph Stalin said "Quantity is it's own quality."

PLAYING WITH GUARD

The Imperial Guard are actually getting interesting in forcing some tricky choices. Guardsmen are a bare 5pts each. And a Sergeant is the best 5pts going, with 4 S3 attacks on the charge. That's enough to make any space marine blush... Currently I'm struggling to justify anything in the ELITES section (except Marbo) on the basis that:

1 Ratling = 2 Guardsmen
1 Ogyrn = 8 Guardsmen
1 Stormtrooper = over 3 Guardsmen

On the other side ... I'm struggling to justify anything but the mighty Chug...

1 Leman Russ = 3 Chimeras
1 kitted Leman Russ Exterminator = 4 Chimeras
1 kitted Vendetta = 3 Chimeras
5 Ogyrns = 4 Chimeras?

Even Vets and other troop options look a little pointless...

WINNING LIST

So what could win the game in a hordes future?

What took my fancy was talking about my (joint) winning army list I concocted for the Warpstones most recent challenge... its a little 'left field'...
  • Primaris Psyker - 70
  • Primaris Psyker - 70
  • Plt #1 HQ, 2melta, 2GL - 60
  • 6 Squads with melta plus Commissar with 2 powerswords - 415
  • 7 Chimeras - 385
  • Plt #2 HQ, 2melta, 2GL - 60
  • 6 Squads with melta plus commissar with powersword- 405
  • 7 Chimeras - 385
Total 1850 (6-16 killpoints depending on setup)

Yes, that is 14 Chugs. Yes that is 14 Heavy Flamers, or 42 S6 Multilaser shots a turn (or even another 42 heavy bolter shots if you were inclined). Yes, that is 132 bodies armed with melta and with commissar stubborn tarpit options...

And that got me thinking ... what wouldn't struggle against this list? The abundance of Multilasers would put paid to bikes, jetbikes, rhinos and assault marines, not forgetting Carnifex/Greater deamons and the like. The huge number of melta shots could potentially kill a lot of armour, or wipe out whole deathguard squads at a turn. Every squad is scoring, and every transport doesn't sacrifice a killpoint.

You also have the open options (through 'Combined Squads') of either two sixty man stubborn squad, you can FRFSRF over 144 lasgun shots at 12" (on top of the 6 meltagun and 7 laspistol). Alternatively, you can split the squads anyway you see fit (pregame, depending on the opponent) and you still have the chugs for transport...

On the killpoint side, you can reduce your army to a paltry 6 or have as many as 14 scoring units (16 killponts). The Psykers can play havoc against Ork anti armour (Night Shroud) and can pump out 2d6 S6 shots to go with the command squad meltas and grenades.

Against other horde armies, you can either play block and field with the chimeras, or even advance and vent the buggers with 14 Heavy flamers...

The only options I would consider on the boundaries of this would be mortars and rough riders ... two of the best value for money anti hiding and anti deep striking units.

The options are actually pretty daunting. So what do you think ... is Horde Guard the way forwards?

Thursday, 19 November 2009

Painting Update: Imperial Guard Finished

The Kochi Infantry (sans Tanks and heavy weapons teams) - click for a larger image.

It is with a sad face and dispondent attitude (but some little pride) that I report that the Kochi 20th Light Infantry/ 8th Mobile Infantry are complete. I finished the last Chimera last night.

This labour has taken just under two years to complete. While I still have three little men (leftovers from the last codex) to convert ... I'm not sure what I want them to be yet. The finished army can be fielded as a mobile infantry or a light infantry force. The 4 Chimeras are enough (although I'll probably get another at some point), and I may consider another Hellhound (the new model is SO nice).

As usual, my army is built around plenty of Chugs offering mobile firepower, lots of mortars and roughriders in support. I've steered clear of Valks/Vendettas and melta spam as actually I'd rather kill all the squishy little men and I meet very few Landraiders...!

They include:

HQ
  • Commissar Yarrick
  • 5 man Cadian (metal) Command Squad (Commander, Medic, Standard, Vox, injured and Melta)
  • 1 Al'rahem conversion
  • 1 Primeris Psyker
  • 1 Techpriest Enginseer and 4 Servitors
  • 1 Nork Deddog
Elites
  • 6 Ogryns
  • 9 Ratlings
  • 12 Karskin Storm Troopers (incl melta/plasma/grenade launcher/flamer)
  • 1 Sly Marbo conversion
Troops
  • 5 Missile Launcher Teams
  • 15 Mortar Teams
  • 3 Lascannon Teams
  • 3 Autocannon Teams
  • 3 Heavy Bolter Teams
  • 65 lasgun guardsmen
  • 25 special weapons guardsmen (flamer/plasma/melta/sniper rifle/grenade launcher)
  • 2 Heavy Flamers
  • 8 Platoon Officers/Vet Sergeants
  • 8 Standard Sergeants
  • 1 Harker conversion
  • 3 Commissars
  • 4 Chimeras
Fast Attack
  • 10 roughriders
  • 2 Hellhounds
  • 3 Sentinels
Heavy Support
  • 2 Leman Russ
  • 1 Demolisher
  • 1 Basilisk
Future of the Guard?

As stated previously, I'm intrigued by Psyker battle squads and I might buy a few priests, getting Straken at some point is on the agenda... but these things are all thinks for the future.

In the meantime, I have a Tau and Tyranid army to paint ... an a Nid army to remake after January.

Tuesday, 17 November 2009

Pathfinder "Potboilers" - A concept in the making


A BIG NEW IDEA FROM THE FURTIVE MIND OF SUNEOKUN
(which isn't really that new, but it's new to me ... ummm ... you get the point!)

As readers of the pathfinder blog will be aware, I'm a keen and budding writer. Now, under the aucsipes of the pathfinder brand, I've produced one or two short stories along the way ... typically, these works are all about the 40k universe and a bit straight off the bat. For example:
  • Staff Sergeant Hagard Munk: a brief story introducing a crafty new character ... a nasty veteran NCO who leads the Kochi 20th, with a sadistic streak and the habit of saying the wrong thing at the right time ... with the right results. "You watch yourself boy, 'cause I ain't nice. I'm a nasty piece of work and I fight dirty and I win. You want my pipe, I'd give you better odds with the Tyranid." - Go HERE for more.
  • Snow Patrol Part 1: Introducing Corporal Geffin and his troop of undesirables. The Kochi 'regulars' are a confrontational bunch and not a patch on the 'irregulars' ... but can Geffin get them through the patrol? "Yah well, Toftsk only desire is for your pins and he don't care how we gets it. He thinks chipping away at your feelings gonna make you crack. He also think we others want him for a corporal. I think he gonna be sorry how wrong he is, soon enough, soon enough." Again the deep chuckle jumped about Granthem throat. Geffin smiled at the trooper. See more HERE.
  • Snow Patrol Part 2: We learn more about Corporal Geffin ... while out in the cold, Corporal Darl Hammound is not having a good day at all. "Darl Hammound couldn't actually feel the kroot blade buried in his guts. At least until it was twisted by the Kroot carnivore holding it. The corporal writhed beneath the pain as his hands pushed limply at the stock of the hunting rifles. Squinting up at the figure above him, a part of his reeling brain couldn't help but respond to the sheer xenotic quality of the alien above him." Read more HERE.
  • Snow Patrol Part 3: Geffin investigates the abandoned outpost, as his squad are ambushed from above. "A lean black shadow dropped down behind its convulsing vistim. With a lightning flick it jerked the sticky blade out of Penroses head. There was a wet pop as the blade came free, and a spray of compressed blood. Penroses body piroetted slowly and slumped head first at the feet of his killer, his dead face craking loudly against the trunk of the tree." Follow the exploits of Geffins Patrol HERE.
PATHFINDER POTBOILER CONCEPT

A blog based largely around the creation of great stories and artwork. The idea is to use this forum as a spur for me to create more writing, more regularly. Its also (obviously) a showcase to publish my work and get some feedback from you all out there in blogland.

My ambition is to produce:
  • One finished 'Chapter' a fortnight.
  • A Chapter comprises approximately 3500 words
  • To serialise the work into PDF books for user download
  • To Draft work inbetween to garner feedback
  • To improve my writing
  • To increase my volume of production
  • To produce artwork to inspire and activate the old brain-box
  • To collaborate with others
The planned launch date is for January 2010 With the first 3500 word release aimed for the end of January.

FEEDBACK

So what do you think ... feel free to have a perusal of the blogs above and let me know if you'd like to contribute. If you have thoughts already, or would like to give feedback ... please feel free. Do you have a suggestion over a topic or concept that you'd like to see written, let me know.

Monday, 16 November 2009

Devlan Mud: Reality in the Small Pot

Call me a oldie-woldie-biblically-backward painter, but I was particularly suspicious of the new 'washes' when they came out. While I am a big supporter of the 'foundation' paints (at least in red and yellow - those colours never covered...), washes struck me a a bit of a waste of money.

One of my Early Leman Russ battle tanks - now 'dirtied' and well used!

After all, I'd been watering down my paints for years and using that to give quick washes. Then, like Mael trapped on a stormwracked hold, I was barraged by a deluge of posts (seemingly unconnected) and like a man who's just bought a new car - I start seeing 'Devlan Mud' everywhere.

The same treatment for a 'pre-retirement' Chimera transport - the 'ageing' effects took about 15 minutes.

The post the clinched it for me was a fellow painter where he effectively painted his whole model as gaudily as possible and then applied a 'reality coat' of Devlan Mud that tied all these disparate colours together, toned them down and melded an 'odious' paintjob into a spectacular one.

No part of this Zoanthrope escaped un-Devlan'd

Now maybe I'm brushing over the tougher details ... but does anyone else feel like washes are well, a bit like cheating? My personal feeling is that a chimp with a 10" brush could get some great effects by splatting the mini-world with a wash.

But Devlan Mud's great isn't it? I've already used it on two 'over bright' tanks and melded them down to the agreed paint scheme. Despite its 'mud' title, the wash compliments greys, blues and even added some lovely details to the purple Zoanthrope I finished. The wash also finishes off skin tones of elf flesh nicely with a gaunt but detailed layer.

I'm finding my Soul in an abhorrent struggle ... I hate the 'idea' of washes, but I love Devlan Mud... what to do, what to do?

How do you feel about washes, are they effectively undermining painting so couldn't you give a stuff because it's all about the finish? Are washes what mini-painting is all about?

Let me know.

Three Catachan Snipers, another attempt in vain to delay the completion of the Kochi Army.

On another note (C flat), the Guard are now finished. I have polished off the 4 servitors AND the three sniper vets I bought the week before last. All that's left is to finish off a Chimera (now built) ... and that's it.

The Servitors are complete and the most useless unit is now deployable...

Saturday, 14 November 2009

GiftsForGeeks Tournament Update and Battle Reports

The situation at the end of the third round of the Gifts for Geeks Tournament is as follows:

1st-Chaos-11-Tiles
2nd-300-Thousand-11-Tiles
3rd-Tau-11-Tiles
4th-Guard/Stormbringers-10 Tiles
5th-Orks-8-Tiles
6th-Necrons-6-Tiles

And here's why...!

Round One Roundup: SEE HERE

Round Two Roundup

300 Thousand v Apocalyspe Tau:
(no piccies, unfortunately) Despite my Kochi and the Sons of Sparta Space Marines decimating the joint Tau lines and reducing the army to a few tanks and a Shas'El, our lack of dedicated antitank proved meddlesome as the Tau could contest themselves out of the battle.

Moments of note: 75 pts of roughriders catch and kill over 350pts of Tau Crisis Suits and Commanders. Mortars decimate the Tau lines, despite the 3+ cover save afforded by the bastions.

Full Metal Waargh v The Dirty Dozen: The combination of Mark's Basilisk and the Vendetta gunships just rolled over the boy heavy lines. Too much ordinance in too small a space. The Orks are forced to cling on to the objectives and get whittled down. Clean victory for the Guard.

Moments of Note: Basilisk "Nob Crusher" manages to decimate and rout a horde of Orks holding the left flank with a single AP3 S9 shot...

The Chaosmarine has Landed v Where Necron's Dare: Despite Hutch's high hopes for the Necron boys following Chaos' defeat at the hands of some guardsmen, the combined attacking list including Deamon, Deamon Princes, Nurgle Terminators and Noise Marines just blows enormous chunks in the Necron horde. The Chaos boys defend their objective well.

Blasted Havocs ... or should that be blasting Havocs?

Moments of Note: Reports from the front lines highlight just how effective the noise marines prove, although with the amount of FNP power weapons floating about, one pitys the robo-skelly.

Round Three Roundup

The Chaosmarine has landed versus The Dirty Dozen:
Despite taking horrendous losses from their own inaccurate Ordinance and rolling multiple 1's on dangerous terrain for their bikers - the Chaos boys manage to roll over the Space Marine/Guard force in a typical tour-de-force.

Mark cleverly convinces Jack that his Stormbringer Marines make the best bullet shield ... honest!

Watching the final two rounds, the Guardsmen evened the odds a little, but turn three-four had really stamped a 5 killpoint lead on the servants of the Emporer.

Ant's Spectacular Forgeworld Terminators - luuuvvelly (my precious, dribble, dribble)...

Moments of Note: Guardsmen take both Summoned Deamon and a Deamon Price with nothing but heavy bolters and flashlights. 'Willy the Coward' runs the length of the board to deny a pointless killpoint to the Chaos Boys, and Mark is stunned to discover that his Ratlings are both I4 (good times) and T2-S2 (bad times).

Part of the 'reserved' Chaos army, note the widespread use of Hordes, WFB and other models ... these guys mean business!

300 Thousand v Apocalypse Waarghhh:
A battle I wasn't liking the look of turn our way as Coop cancelled earlier in the day due to poorliness. Get well soon Coop, but an autowin for the 300 Thousand boys! I gain preferred enemy to compliment the FNP and fearless on my Primaris Psyker and the Rough Riders gain Furious Charge (Yes I did actually roll it and yes it was witnessed and I am very pleased.)

Apocalyse Tau v Where Necrons Dare: Hutch canned the battle late (which left the Tau boys high and dry and playing with their 'greater goods'), this also meant they weren't able to reconvene against the 300 for a rematch. Spence and Dustin rolled for bonuses accordingly.

Thanks to Coop's early warning, Paul and I were able to reconvene our partnership into a head to head 1500pt battle ... and I had a chance to try out some cunning plans...

Battle Report: Kochi (Not so) Mobile Infantry versus 'Sons of Sparta' Space Marines

Army List

Kochi VIII Mobile Infantry (otherwise known as 'bring your own pillbox')
NB: All Chimera's are Multilaser and Heavy Bolter variants, upgraded with heavy stubbers.
  • HQ Command: Vox-caster, regimental standard, Heavy Bolter in Chimera
  • Infantry HQ: 2 Grenade Launchers, Heavy Bolter in Chimera
  • Infantry Combined Platoon (30): 3 Autocannons, Commissar, Vox-caster
  • Infantry HQ: 2 Grenade Launchers, Heavy Bolter in Chimera
  • Infantry Combined Platoon (30): 3 Lascannons, Commissar, Vox-caster
  • A Spare Chimera
  • 5 Rough Riders with Lances, Frag and Krak Grenades, Laspistols and flak armour.
  • 5 Rough Riders with Lances, Frag and Krak Grenades, Laspistols and flak armour.
  • Banewolf (Heavy Stubber, extra armour, smoke, multimelta)
  • Basilisk: Heavy Flamer and Earth Shaker Cannon.
  • Leman Russ Battle Tank, 3 Heavy Bolters
Paul's Sons of Sparta Marines
  • Lysander
  • 10 Terminators
  • 10 man Tactical Squad (Missile Launcher and Plasma Gun)
  • 10 man Tactical Squad (Multimelta and Meltagun)
  • Dreadnought (Multimelta, Dreadnought CCW and Storm Bolter)
  • Space Marine Attack Bike, Multimelta and twin linked bolters
  • 10 man Assault Squad, Sergeant with power weapon and meltabombs
  • 5 man Assault Squad, Sergeant with power weapon and meltabombs
Battle Type: Annihilation
Deployment: Pitched Battle

Deployment

I won the roll for a change and opted to go second. I decided I wanted to see how Paul deployed and act accordingly. My army above was opting for a new option for me, optimising volume of fire in preference to AP penetration. As such, I was facing a bit of a problem with 11 Terminators facing my lines only so many inches away.

The Space Marines deploy in the open ... now if only I can steal first turn and hit with that Basilisk?!?

Paul brazenly placed his Termies, attack bike and Dreadnought in the middle, making a move for my lines, meanwhile he divided his tactical squads into combat squads and placed the missile launcher at the top of a building to the right flank. He then placed his other units in the open across his lines. The assault squads were placed as far forward as possible on the extreme left and right flanks, ten on the left and five on the right.

For myself I quickly established that Paul didn't have the long range firepower to threaten my tanks. This meant I would have several turns of shooting to down the arrogant smurfs. The Basilisk I set up on the far left flank (opposite ten assault marines), but positioned two rough rider unit in front of it. The two uber-units of guardsmen spread across the middle, forming a nice tarpit, with the Leman Russ holding centre stage and flanked on either side by 4 Chugs. The command and two platoon squads held sway from the Chimeras. The banewolf was positioned out on the right flank to 'tempt' the Assault marines in.

TURN ONE
'Charge of the light brigade!'

The Space Marines move forwards, with the Assault marines making serious tracks on the left and right flank. The terminators Attack Bike and Dreadnought stormed up the middle, but all the antitank shots (umm 3) missed in a spectacular display of 1's ... this was going to be interesting. The combat squads ran out of the open and went for cover. The terminators targetted the autocannon squad and killed 7 thanks to their reroll to hit (Lysander), but not enough to force a leadership test.

The Guard gunline opens fire as the Space Marines trudge towards them

Only the Rough Riders moved, making serious headway towards the 10 man assault squad. The Basilisk targetted the far right flank Assault Marines (in the open) but missed. The commander chose 'bring it down' for the Autocannons on Dreadnought and FRFSRF on the lascannon unit for the Terminators. The Autocannon managed to blow the Multimelta off the Dread. The Lasguns proved highly ineffective as Paul rolled lots of ones. Two command Chimeras opened up, laying down a total of 12 36" dice (3 multilaser, 6 heavy bolter and 3 heavy stubber) and despite this nothing rolled a one! The lascannon team changed that and killed a single Terminator.

The Leman Russ redressed the inaccurate fire of the Basilisk and killed 2 men, the follow on heavy bolter fire reduced the squad to a sergeant. The Rough Riders rolled well on their run and charge and smashed home. Despite fighting two battles alongside roughriders and watching them attack terminators (or try to, the termies died squirming in a wall) and massacring a whole Crisis Suit force 4 times their price, he was surprised.

Survivors after the first round of combat ... 6-5 to the Space Marines (well I should hope so!)

First he was surprised that rough riders have frag grenades. Then he was surprised that the unit had I5, S5 power weapons. Why was he surprised? The two guardsmen cavalry units smacked home and a total of 22 hits resulted (through evil dice gods - blah) in 5 dead space marines. The Roughriders had made back their cost in a single charge. In return the Emperors finest killed 6 horses (yah-boo), but the Rough Riders held firm... tying up the assault marines and buying my Basilisk another turn.

TURN TWO
'You may fire when ready...'

The Space Marines came closer, with the assault squad sergeant on the right flank leaping forwards. The left flank tied up, the Terminators hot footed it towards the autocannon uber-unit and opened fire. He killed a further 7 men, but not enough to cause me concern. The Multimelta bike targetted the Leman Russ, and at less than 12" I had a sweaty moment before Paul rolled a 2.

Paul's Terminators trudge towards the guardsmen's line

'I should really do something about that bike.' I thought to myself. 'It's quite dangerous and might actually roll a 3 in turn 3.' The Dreadnought added its stormbolter to the attacks killing the autocannon guardsmen (I still don't know what he had against them, very confusing)... The missile Launcher also rolled a 2 to hit (a pattern perhaps). The other combat squads moved into cover.

The Roughrider succumbed to the Assault marines, but not before the two sergeants had killed the Space Marine Sergeant - no meltabombs for YOU! The remaining 4 assault marines moved into cover.

With half his army out of range I concentrated considerable firepower on the real threats. The Leman Russ blew a hole in the Assault squad and the combined fire of this and the command HQ chimera reduced the assault squad to a single member. The Banewolf moved 18" and sailed past the single assault marine looking to hit it. He was subsequently gunned down by another 'gunship' chug which added 2 krak grenade launcher shots to the fusilade.

The Attack bike came under furious fire, but I underestimated its T5 and it lost only a single wound. The two uber-units targetted the Dreadnought (doing nothing) and the Terminators... the combined fire of this lascannon unit, the basilisk shot and an empty Chimera resulted in just one dead Terminator. Paul was rolling 2+ like he was born to it.

The last Infantry Platoon HQ lined up and fired it's 14 gun salute. And Paul rolled 3 1's on 6 dice. Now we're getting somewhere. 5 Terminators down, 6 to go.

TURN THREE
'Will somebody please shoot Chuck Norris over there...'

The surviving member of the Assault squad bounced towards the Basilisk. For a moment I panicked - why hadn't I moved that damn model at least an inch, but he was outside 6 inch charge and couldn't grapple me with his krak grenades. The squads at the back moved into cover. The Multimelta in the centre squad lined up for the banewolf, as did the Missile Launcher. Luckily for me the Space Marines had been training with the local PDF too long and ridiculous missing occured again.

The Attack Bike was less frugal and switching targets from the 'lucky' Russ, he wrecked an infantry command Chimera. The Infantry command piled out and stood next to their wrecked tank - ready to fire.

The Dreadnought (with only a stormbolter) wasted a run combining his fire with the Termies against the Autocannons. I should point out that Paul repeated pointed out that he 'couldn't wait for them to run off the board', but with a regimental banner and a commissar I had three rerolls on a Ld9 effectively. Like any smart player I kept this to myself. This turn, he had whittled the poor autocannon crew down to its last remaining plebs. So much so that only the NCO's, the commissar, the autocannon teams and the comms model remained. They passed their Ld9.

First up I moved up with the banewolf and the Basilisk. With no where to run - I move to point blank range with the assault marine and pointed my heavy flamer at him. Not trusting the heavy flamer, I also pointed the command HQ's Chimera's guns at him. My cunning 'Plan' is to kill the assault fly with the HQ transport,which frees up my basilisk to shoot something juicy.

I roll a total of 11 dice at the guy (heavy stubber, multilaser, heavy bolter (BS4), 2 krak grenades (BS4)) and Paul jokes that if this guy saves from this lot, he'll be Chuck Norris. He saves 6 wounds on a 3+ ... I revert to plan B, the heavy flamer - he saves.

'Sticking to the plan' is something I believe in. This is why my Leman Russ didn't shoot this man, but instead targetted the termies. The BattleCannon Blast caused 5 wounds and the heavy bolters a further 4, but he saves everything.

The banewolf is more successful. moving 12" up to the plasmagun combat squad it toasts 4 out of 5 on a 2+. Paul says 'Eeek!' and we carry on. I kit out my Banewolf with a multimelta and a heavy stubber for just such a 'survivor' - in this case it wasn't much help as I fail to kill the plasma gunner. I have to distract the 'unmanned' Chug to kill him. The other Chimeras and two uber-squads plow firepower into the Attack Bike and the Dreadnought. The Attack Bike soaks up a horrific amount of firepower - draining away all my attacks for the termies. However he's eventually murdered by a FRFSRF command from the autocannon survivors. This 'redundantifies' (to use a Bushism) the autocannons though.

Frantic shooting at 'THAT DAMN DREADNOUGHT' results in another weapon destroyed result. Facing an armless uninjurable dreadnought proves too amusing, as the 40k equivilent of 'the black knight' prepares to charge my 'unhurt' 31 man lascannon ubersquad.

TURN FOUR
'Tis but a fleshwound...!'

Chuck Norris makes it to his target and puts a bolt round in the side of the tank to let the crew know he's there. The Dreadnought charges into the Lascannon horde. The terminators shooting allows me to peel of the obvious target, but the Terminators still make close combat trudging across terrain.

The Missile Launcher proves resplendently useless at killing my banewolf (again!) and the multimelta team have no target on the anti MEQ tank.

So it all come down to close combat. Chuck Norris scores a hit, but fails to penetrate the Basilisk.

'You may be quite hard to kill, Chuck Norris, but you're crap with a krak grenade!'

The Terminator Sergeant AND one Terminator get to combat. He killed puts two wounds on a weapon squad (only S4), I roll a surprising 15 dice in defence (3 sergeants, commissar, heavy weapon team and a comms boy) and cause three wounds but none provoke a 1. My remnant (surrounded by littered bodies) fail by three, but the commissar in Stubborn, Ld9 and has a regimental banner nearby.

The 'Black Knight' squashes one man beneath his mighty carapace. I can't hurt the Dread but pass my morale check easily.

In my turn, the banewolf 'disolves' all but one squad of the missile launcher team, while the Chimeras break left and right to avoid the Termies. The furthest Chug gets immobilised (bloody 1's) and decides to shoot up the remaining Missile Launcher. The Basilisk floors it (a whole 7 inches) and flattens the assault marine (who had a choice between being pushed off the board or do or die ... he did, he died!)

The Leman Russ Rolls straight past the Termies and opens fire on the 'multimelta' squad that had shot at my fleeing Chugs (and missed). He caused multiple wounds with the battlecannon and heavy bolter, reducing the squad to 2 men.

In close combat the Dreadnought fails to wound with its single attack and the guardsmen stand around, not even able to attack it with frag grenades.

The other uber-horde is less lucky. With the remainder of the Termies piling in and Lysander joining the fray, only one round of combat was holding back this unit. As the combat is now moving into my turn, I'm hopeful that at least one man can hang on... this hope is dashed as the space marine sergeant quickly dispatches everyone but the commissar. My commissar stands alone against Lysander and buddy and manages 3 hits and 2 wounds. Paul rolls a 1 and the squads sergeant goes down. Autocannon Horde is down, the termies consolidate next to the Leman Russ

Commissar Bob sacrifices 30 men to get one good jab into the Terminator Sergeant

TURN FIVE
'Mopping up...'

The turn starts with the missile launcher taking one last pop at the banewolf with his missile launcher, S8 v AV12 is a bit much and HE fails again. The multimelta in the middle has little or no target and the squad on the other side are now playing 'killpoint deniance'. The close combat in the centre is predictable, with the dread killing one more guardsmen. The terminators destroy the leman russ and mange to kill a few more 'close combating' guardsmen in the mix.

In my turn, the mobile units near the terminators scatter. The Command Chimera and freed up Basilisk target the meltagun squad on the left flank and manage to kill them all. The banewolf melts the remaining missile launcher, leaving two tactical marines with an out of range multimelta. The immobilised infantry command chimera (still thankfully out of charge range) pummels the termies with fire to no avail.

TURN SIX
'Final points...'

The banewolf, remaining chimeras and other units target the last combat squad as the terminatiors and lysander dive into closecombat with the lascannon horde. The horde looses two combats badly, but manage to kill another terminator and Lysanders brough to a single wound. The Commissar continues to care not a jot and Paul is surprised to discover that the commissar is a squad upgrade and not an independent character (and therefore cannot be singled out!).

FINAL SCORE: 7-4 to the Guard.


CONCLUSION

I was very pleased with the performance of this army. Albeit Paul had brought the wrong weapons. I'd designed this army to face tough opponents and to 'nullify' an uber unit. The 10 terminators and Lysander were certainly that. What surprised me was the lack of drop pods, rhinos etc. He appeared to bring a short ranged gunline to fight my gunline - which is odd.

CHIMERAS: I suppose, when he saw all the chimeras fielded against him he thought 'lots of melta-targets', but in using the Chugs as a pillboxes they were invaluable. Throwing 14-15 dice per tank (thats 14 shots for 115 points BTW) was awesome, and it gave me a bit of tactical flexibility that was lacking with the 'uber-units'.

UBER SQUADS: The uber-squads are great. Ld9, double reroll Ld tests and stubborn are awesome lynch pins. The ability to offer a 'bring it down' or FRFSRF (or 'fire by rank' as I prefer to call it!) are the most useful combo's. Otherwise the boys just sit tight and soak it up. Flamers would have been my bane with this formation though, and this does concern me.

BANEWOLF: The banewolf was great, but in its anti-MEQ roll I'm seeing a strong justification for saving 15pts and dropping the multimelta. Yes, it'll reduce its antitank threat but thats no bad thing. However in multiple situations the chem-cannon failed to kill a single model - resulting in only 4 additional shots. A support heavy bolter would bring 6 shots to finish the job. Ok, they'd get saving throws ... but the odds are pretty good that they'll fail one. Better in fact than the chances of me hitting with a multimelta (it miss all game) or the space marine failing his cover save.

BASILISK: I was expecting great things from the bassie, but the leman russ actually killed much much more. The bassie was a great 'assault marine' magnet and the fact it survived was tops. I suppose I shouldn't underestimate the bassies threat on the game, which basically forced all the smurfs into cover for fear of their power armour. On average, a good buy for just 125pts.

ROUGHRIDERS: Who'd want to leave these beauties at home. They're great. The shock for Paul was being hit in cover first (frag) with I5, S5 power weapons. Despite really poor rolling they made their points in a charge. I'm struggling not to find a role for these guys as the Guard usually roll with at least one indirect fire attack option. Roughriders are the perfect bargain unit for complimenting them.


CRITIQUE
'If I'd been running the space marines, what would I have done?'

Terminators: Ok deepstrike is scary, but running the length of the board is meh? If you are going to run them ... RUN THEM ... paul stopped off for too many shooting at an unroutable squad - which were pointless. They would have worked better running the length of the board and getting into stomp range the sooner.

Tacticals: These guys were desparately needing transports. Tactical squads without razorbacks and rhinos meant that I could effectively ignore half of Pauls army. By the time I moved in for the kill, each five man squad was facing torrents of fire that would decimate his lines. Even running a couple of squads in behind the Terminators would have given him options and threatened my hordes with overwhelming attacks, and my tanks with krak grenades. As it was the banewolf was perfectly placed to kill and kill again.

Assault Marines: I love assault marines, but against this torrent of fire they had no chance. The roughriders did a wonderful job of killing them on the left flank and neutering the threat of such a large squad. Once down to 4-5 models these guys were easy meat for the ordinance and heavy dakka on the board. I was very lucky to have the bassie survive, but that's only one killpoint and the assault marines were outside of range. They would have been much better running down the middle or jump moving behind a rhino shield wall.

Dreadnought: I was actually pretty impressed with the vanilla dreadnought - it shrugged of firepower that should have downed it. It wasn't a game maker, but it tied up 31 men for half the game. Doh!?!

Final Thoughts...

A thoroughly enjoyable game, leaving the mortars at home proved less painful than expected. The sheer amount of shots the chimera pillboxes and leman russ delivered was breathtaking (60 S4-6 a turn, plus a S8 AP3 ordinance blast) and the uber-squads provided durability and good shooting with 'bring it down' and 'fire by rank'.

The real advantage for me in this game was my opponents unfamiliarity with facing guardsmen. He espected a commissar led uber squad to rout (not going to happen), he was surprised that roughriders had frag grenades, and he was stunned at the killiness of the Banewolf. He simply shouldn't have been.

His ignorance of my forces basic strengths proved the spacemarines undoing. The Assault squads were undermined by roughriders, the tactical squads in cover gained no advantage against the banewolf and the firepower alloted (A total of 73 shots at 32") made cover or no cover irrelevant ... I just rolled enough shots until he rolled enough one's. Against heavy armour I might struggle, but three lascannons are enough to worry most tanks and the amount of mid strength shots can take out light and medium transports...

In Annihilation games, against an opponent willing to march onto your guns, this is ok. against a more wilely opponent (or mechanised) it may prove less useful. Plus both the last games have been annihilation ... which has allowed me to sit back and shoot. I shall bend my mind into adapting the force to 'break' into a competitive objective grabbing force, without sacrificing too much firepower.

This shouldn't be too hard, thanks to the flexibility of choosing to combine units before a game and the number of Chimeras enabling me to 'split' the force very quickly.

Friday, 6 November 2009

Taking Down a Seer Council - err, how?

Fritz' Way of Saim Hann Seer Council ... leading the way to munching my guardsmen.

The Eldar Seer council is a particularly nasty option for guardsmen. The unit (once fortuned up) has an 88% save against most things and a 75% invulnerable save. To add to this, the S9 antitank options available to the Seer Council of Witchblades and/or Singing Spears means that you have a fast, S9 assault unit OR a fast S9 24" (12" move plus 12" shooting) tank killer unit.

This is bad news for ALL tanks AND transports as the unit is purpose built for moving up, popping the transport and then chopping up the inhabitants.

The Eldar have another trick up their sleeve though - destructor. This is basically a heavy flamer at S5 and AP4. Did I mention that each warlock can take this and assault fire ... this means that guardsmen plus commissar doompits will take horrific numbers of wounds even before combat is joined. 5 Warlocks spitting destructor would kill 25 odd guardsmen.

Oh and the obvious combo is doom for the farseer. This means that the farseer can ensure absolute killiness on every guardsman in the enemies force.

So what on earth do I do about this.

I don't have lots of 3+ armour options in my army, let alone 2+. My main strengths are my tanks (which the witchblades/singing spear mock) and my hordes (which destructor will LOL at repeatedly) ... so how do I take down this horrible unit...?

CHALLENGE

However I do it I need to work out soon. The fact of the matter is that after my overblown hyperbole in our last battle, Ant has every right to give me a damn good spanking. So in just over two weeks we face up against eachother.

I'm developing a 'cunning plan' phaze 2 ... but I'll need your help. So does anyone have any ideas??

Help me Obi-wan (and all that jazz) ...?!?