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


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?


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.


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 '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


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.


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.


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.


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?