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) ...?!?

Thursday, 5 November 2009

BATREP: "This Place CRAWLS sir!" Guard v Nids 1000pts

Hormagaunts plow into the Guardsmen's front line.

Scenario: "This Place Crawls sir!"

The corruption continues. Cory was up for another game of 40k and so was I. Based upon the previous game I decided to do somthing a little differently and went for a scenario based game.

The key reasons for doing this were as follows:
  1. Playing a scenario takes the competitive edge off the game. You still want to win, but the scenario rules can tilt things so far against you that being 'competitive' about it ain't worth the effort.
  2. I enticed Cory (and Dawn ... although she bugged out ... boom boom.) with an explanation of the battle as follows: Think Aliens meet Starship Troopers.
I was beholden to recreate a classic (albeit wonderfully cheesy) bit when the Mobile Infantry is surrounded and taking on the bugs with everything they have... so how to make it interesting.

CONCEPT

The table ... providing the guardsmen with good fire lines and a strong defensive position.

The scenario would broadly follow the Dawn of War setup rules. The only variance was in the Tyranid Deployment. The Guard would deploy an HQ and two troops choice (IE most of the army) and the Tyranids (going second) would only deploy a Lictor. The guardsmen would then have two turns of 'spook hunting' to attempt to kill the Lictor.

If the Lictor was still alive, the Tyranids would gain a reroll on EVERY reserve roll. If the Lictor died, they wouldn't. As the guard already had most of their army on the field this wasn't actually that bigger threat, but then they were pulling a gunline against a pretty nasty threat.

ARMYLIST

Kochi 20th:
A stationary heavy weapon army with two mobile anti-horde tanks and lots of template and S6-7 firepower. 1000pts
  • HQ: Primaris Psyker
  • Troops: Infantry HQ - 4 Grenade Launchers and Powerfist in Chimera (Multilaser, Heavy Flamer)
  • Troops: Squad #1: Flamer and Commissar
  • Troops: Squad #2: Flamer (Combined Squads)
  • Troops: Special Weapon Team: 2 Flamers and a Demolition Charge
  • Troops: Heavy Weapons #1: Mortars
  • Troops: Heavy Weapons #2: Autocannons
  • Veterans Squad: Harker with payback (relentless heavy bolter), 3 grenade launchers and a heavy bolter team.
  • Fast Attack: Hellhound with heavy flamer, extra armour and heavy stubber
  • Rough Riders [8] with a power weapon.
Hive Splinter Orobus: I hadn't fielded Nids in ages, and my rustiness to the rules was only matched by my forgetfulness about what a pain putting a nid force together is. All those 'per model' upgrades leads the price all over the place.
  • HQ: Broodlord - Flesh Hooks and Feeder Tendrils and rending claws
  • Elites: 'Harikari the' Lictor - Camo, Flesh Hooks, feeder tendrils and rending claws
  • Elites: Tyranid Warrior Brood [3] - Devourers, Toxin Sacs, Scything Talons, Leaping and Enhanced Senses.
  • Troops: Genestealers #1 [8] with flesh hooks
  • Troops: Genestealers #2 [6] with flesh hooks
  • Troops: Termagaunt #1 [7] with fleshborers and without number
  • Troops: Termagaunt #2 [7] with fleshborers and without number
  • Troops: Hormagaunts [10] with flesh hooks
  • Heavy Support: Carnifex, Spine Banks, Extended Carapace, Bonded Exoskeleton, Regenerate, Barbed Strangler, Scything Talons, Tail - Mace.
  • Zoanthrope: Synapse Creature and Warp Blast.
DEPLOYMENT

The Guardsmen castle up!

The Guard setup first and deployed around the central 'base' with the Autocannons in the middle. The mortars setup at the back. The Primaris deployed with the Autocannons to control firepower in the centre. In front of the 'castle' the two combined squads setup with the Commissar and in the fore of them the 6 special weapons teams deployed ready to sell themselves dearly. The Chimera took the right flanking position with the infantry command inside.

The Lictor hid in some area terrain, then Harker infiltrated with a line of sight to the Lictor.

TURN 1 or 'Its too damn quiet, shoot something!'

'Harikari' the Lictor tries not to live up to his name.

Realise that Lictor's spiky scything talons are a fire magnet ... gulp and start to not roll 1's. All the shooting of 700pts worth of army results in one wound.

TURN 2 or 'Everyone's here, where's the enemy?'

GUARD:
The Guard get ALL their reserves on. The Hellhound comes on the left flank and move 18" in to threaten any bugs. The RoughRiders scoot on behind the Chimera on the right flank as it trundles forwards. Marbo arrives without an opponent and deploys out of sight behind some buildings on the far right flank. The first shooting of the turn (the Command Chimera) results in a dead Lictor. Guess this just got harder and the Guard cement their whole gunline. Harker legs it back towards the barracades and his team go 10" ... but will it be enough?

With 'Harikari' dead, Harker and his teamsprint for their gunline...

NIDS: On the reserves roll I get the Hormagaunts, the 6 monster genestealer brood, the Zoanthrope, 7 Termagaunts and the Tyranid Warriors. The Zoanthrope wobbles onto the left flank and has a pop at the hellhound - failing miserably (BS3 pah!).

The Tyranid Warriors have more luck in the middle. Sheltering behind the small shrubbery (SHRUBBERY!), they pummel the special weapon team and manage to kill three. At 50% lossed the Ld7 unit bottles it and starts pushing backwards past the heavy weapons teams. Nice.

The Tyranid Devourers (S4 reroll to wound) manage to make the special weapon squad break ... halving the Guardsmens available flamers and demolitions.

The Termagaunts come on the right flank and scrabble into the are terrain there (why am I hiding the without number troops?)

The Hormagaunts flood onto the board and hit the Commissar led gunline (my table is quite small), they cause 9 wounds in the first turn of combat and lose 2 hormagaunts in return. The Commissar shrugs, passes his Ld9 stubborn test and pushes another guardsmen into the thrashing melee. How annoying.

The Hormagaunts cause massive injuries on the Guardsmens tarpit - but the Commissar couldn't care less!

The Genestealers fleet of foot and catch Harkers team ...

*****

'Move it fellas, move it!' yelled Harker at his squad as they scrambled backwards away from the Nids. How those things had ever got so close was a shock to Harker. He'd been given the order to down the Lictor and he'd achieved his objective, but now his team was horribly exposed.

Mitch and Johansen were the first to go down. They'd dropped their heavy bolter to gain a few yards but it wasn't enough. Within seconds fleshy tendons were streaking from the darkness and impacting on their armour, Harker turned to see most of his team whipped backwards as chitinous genestealers leaped into combat.

Screaming and clawing at the ground, his men didn't put up much of a fight as flashing claws raced down, pulling arms free and crushing brittle skulls.

"Emperor's Throne!" Roared Harker. "Fek this!" grasping Payback, he levelled the mighty heavy bolter at the nids. Time seemed to slow as his gaze sharpened. Skills took over where consciousness simply shook its head in vain. Somehow he just knew. The stealer leaping from the left met 'payback' coming the other way. Flesh hooks or no, it staggered back. Harker followed up quickly, depressing the trigger he rained inaccurate fire at the other stealers as he leapt at the stunned one.

And threw his own forehead into the side of its skull. The impact twisted the stealers neck clean around. Harker himself staggered now, but he just the sense to keep his figure on the trigger, peppering the stealers and watch them shirk to cover.

Gaining his feet, Harker ran.

*****

Harker headbutts his way to victory...

Yes you read that right. The stealers killed Harkers whole team, Harker responded by killing a stealer - failed his leadership test on a minus 8, rolled a 5 (plus 3) to run and the stealers rolled a 1. Classic - Harker lives!

TURN 3 - "Unlease the hellhound!"

GUARD: The guardsmen respond accordingly. The Hellhound backs up (to hopefully avoid the Zoanthrope) and flames the stealers, the heavy stubber and Harker (running, but with a 36" range) manage to kill all but one stealer. The Autocannons and command Chimera kill two out of three Tyranid Warriors.

The Guards front line is stretched but holds and they have plenty of nasty reserves...

The Zoanthrope soaks up (and shrugs off) a bunch of fire. Marbo comes out from behind the building and hides behind the Chimera. The special weapon team are still running and the rough riders mill about waiting for a target.

The Primaris Psyker sizes up the lone genestealer and rolls a 10 for leadership on his psychic test ... doh!

Primaris Psyker ... 70 pts of shooty goodness (except when he rolls a fail on his leadership test ... doh!)

NIDS: The Hormagaunts dramatically squander their attacks over the two combats. Rolling only 1/3 to hit on a 3+ and then rolling nothing but 1,2 and 3's to wound. The guardsmen kill all but two Hormagaunts in return over the turns two combats, faced with multiple 'fearless' wounds, I heroically roll two 6's and keep the squad tied in with a single gaunt.


The Zoanthrope comes out from behind cover and takes another pop at the hellhound (and fails again). The Termagaunts skulk forward and take pop-shots at the roughriders (killing one). The single genestealer charges the autocannon teams and is beaten down mercilessly.

My reserves this turn are the other Termagaunt brood [7] and the larger Genestealer brood [8]. The Broodlord and the Carnifex are having a cup of tea, or gruel, or bio-soup (not entirely sure, but they ain't coming... yet)

With these reserves I adopt a bulletshield approach and run the termies in front of the genies.

TURN 4 - 'I think we have the situation under control sir!'

GUARD: The hellhound has a crack at the Zoanthrope, but fails to provoke 1's from its armour save.

The Roughrider use 'move move move' command (only command of the game) and run 11" across difficult terrain to gain ground on the Zoanthrope.

The Chimera moves up and prepares fires its heavy flamer and squad into Termagaunt squad 1. Killing all but one.

The mortars and autocannons focus on the genestealers and kill two. The mortars spectactularly scatter onto their own man, but he makes his armour save (and shakes his fist in rage at the mortars).

The Hormagaunt in combat is speared with a lot of bayonets. Unfortunately for the Guardsmen, they only get a 1" consolidation ... say hello to my little genies.

NIDS: Confidentally walking to my reserves tray. I point at the broodlord and roll and then point at the Carnifex and roll. A double 1 later and I'm worrying about being tabled. The single termagaunt moves up to jump into the 'tarpit of doom' against the remaining 12 guardsmen. The larger group break right and shoot up the side armour of the Chimera - no luck ...

The genestealers look to finish off what the hormagaunts began - but the commissar and two sergeants are still standing...

The Genestealers swarm forwards in attack. The single termagaunt and genestealers kill nine men (reducing the unit to just the two sergeants and the commissar. In return the three churn out 9 attacks and manage to kill 2 genestealers and the gaunt. This unit is VERY VERY hard. Needless to say, they don't run.

TURN 5 - Clean up job gone wrong.

The turn start with the hellhound racing forwards and dropping a S6 blast on my lonely Warrior. Luckily the hellhound rolls a 1 to wound (wasted shot yippee) ... but the tank commander takes a turn with the heavy stubber and kills the tyranid... oh, lack of Synapse ... hmm...

The Hellhounds Heavy Stubbber achieves what a whole flame cannon couldn't ...gotta love the hellhound.

The roughriders leg it round the corner and are now approaching walk-run-charge range for the Zoanthrope. The Autocannons have a go at the Zoanthrope. Harker leaves the board, the special weapon team rally and rejoin the fray!

With the combat tied in the middle, Marbo steps out from behind his tank and throws his demo charge at the hapless termies. I happen to mention that Cory shouldn't roll high and back towards himself. The arrow and the 10 does the rest and Marbo (subsequently renamed Bruno for his limp wristed throwing) manages to commit Seppuku.

Marbo is renamed Bruno after an absymal attack...

The heavy flamer on the Chug's more accurate and incinerate all but one of the termagaunts (helped by grenades).

The 4 remaining Genestealers remember who's the monster and kill the remaining tarpit. Finally!

NIDS: The Carnifex and Broodlord appear automatically, as does the 'without number' termagaunt brood. The Broodlord and Termies come onto the right flank, mocing into cover to threaten the Chimera. The Carnifex walks on the left flank and lets rip with its barbed strangler.

The Carnifex finally arrives and routs the Roughriders in a single shot!

The Strangler hits 4 roughriders, 2 make their saving throw, but they fail BOTH theit leadership and pinning test and run off the board. Meanwhile the freed up genestealers in the centre assault both the special weapon and the heavy weapon team and wipe them both out in a massacre. They lose one of their number and termie the surviving termagent survives the combat he'd joined. This leaves the Primaris Psyker (who'd detached earlier) contesting the objective to three genestealers and a lone termagaunt.

The Primaris Psyker is left awfully exposed as the Termagaunt and genestealers contest.

We roll for the end of game, and I roll a 1.

Final score: Central Objective contested. Killpoint 6-5 to the Tyranids. Moral victory for the monsters.

CONCLUSION: Playing this as a scenario made for a lot of fun. The Guardsmen were a real characterful force, with the like of the Primaris Psyker and Marbo fluffing while the Commissar and Harker pulled a blinder. The comedy moments were rife and it was a lot of fun.

The odds were against the Nids without the Carnifex or the Broodlord, but the horde creatures held up well. The speed of the 'unaccompanied' genestealers and hormagaunts was awesome. Bottom of turn four and top of turn five looked like game over, but the dice came true at the end.

Cory thoroughly enjoyed the game, and was content to contest a draw. If we'd both kept a closer eye on the objectives it would have been a true draw as I was one gaunt away from that.

IF the game had continued? Well the Primaris Psyker and Command Chimera would have taken the genstealers (not to mention the Hellhound) ... but the Broodlord, Carnifex and Zoanthrope would have proved a nasty combination to beat.

My money would have been on the Guard though.

Let me know what you think ... were the armies well balanced, what did you think of the drama etc. Oh and for your future distraction and entertainment ... check out the following channel on YOUTUBE: Roughnecks: Starship Trooper Chronicles...

Monday, 2 November 2009

(Not so) Tough Tactica's: Imperial Guard Swiss Army Knife

Marbo steps out of the pub after a quick half and spots some blasted Eldar swinging by ... 'glad I bought this bomb' he mutters to himself.

This post is all about one man. Marbo. For those who've played me recently, Marbo is starting to become a solid (and often the only) fixture in my 'elites' selection. Le Soldat (all should remember) is an awsome character with all the 'upgrades' to give himself a serious chance in every event.

However, as anyone who fields Lictors or Monat Crisis Suits will know, fielding an all or nothing model single model can be a fiddly thing.

STATISTICS

For a meagre 65pts you get (in the words of my previous opponent) a 'broodlord with a bomb'. Marbo's got some nice features, his statline is impressive. He has a WS, BS and I of 5 (god only knows what he's pumping?!?) and he wield 6 attacks on the charge. Ironically he only has a leadership of 7 ... but since he is immune to orders and fearless I'm guessing this is less of an issue. That said, it would make him very vulnerable to a mindwar.

SPECIAL RULES

Marbo's a bit of a who's who in special rules, he's fearless, has fleet, hit and run, move through cover and Stealth. In fact, the list is probably the best thing about him, as your opponent will start to stare in disbelief as he runs about fleeting and hitting multiple times...

KITBAG

The stuff above would be a little lame if it wasn't for the tools of his trade. Marbo comes with an envenomed blade (2+ to wound) and as any Eldar witchblade player will tell you, that's often better than a power weapon as he can force 3-4 saving throws on a MC like a Carnifex or Wraithlord. Against middling troops this can prove overwhelming. He then has a ripper pistol, allowing him to cause a wound on a 4+ on any monstrous creature - oh and that AP2 aswell. Then he's kitted out with meltabombs, frag grenades and a demolition charge.

DEPLOYMENT

Unlike other deepstrikers, Marbo's already there. When he arrives (due to the reserves roll) he is place anywhere on the board outside an inch from the enemy and he doesn't scatter. This is to represent the fact that he like a midgame infiltrator. The combination of the stealth USR means that Marbo deploying in the open is unlikely and he will usually be 'placed' in an area terrain piece. When placed, he can neither move or assault, but he can shoot. His best weapon, the demo pack.

TACTIC

The obvious tactic is to place marbo exactly 6" from the Terminators, Crisis Suits or other juicy targets and 'drop the bomb' on them. The demolition charge, backed by a BS5 means you barely ever scatter and the AP2 S8 blast template has put paid to many a bike squadron, terminator squad or broadside screen.

Now, whis tactic works about half the time. Luck has a lot to do with Marbo arriving when a juicy target is present on the board... so it's not to be assumed, but as a deep striker of a stripped down 65pts, Marbo can easily instantkill an Autarch or zap multiple Terminators or kill a bike squad. He's cheap enough to warrant this 'throw away' tactic, and doesn't force you to drop 200pts on a potentially 'dead and scattered' terminator deepstriking option.

To put the cream on the cake, Marbo also has a lot in common with roughriders. Once he's delivered his 'package', he's mostly ignored. Assuming he isn't gunned down in a moment of vengeance - he has several tactical options.

So Marbo's dropped in, in close proximity to the Tyranid front line and delivered his 'package' into the middle of a genstealer horde. The enemy now has a choice, do they waste time and effort attacking a single model (and potentially getting distracted) or do they stick to their plan and ignore the lone model in their midst - after all he's not got another demo charge, has he?

In my opinion, Marbo gives you the opportunity to be 'brave' in deployment. Marbo is a hard hitting and accurate AP2 blast, but also a wonderful distraction. Just like the Lictor, deploying him far behind enemy lines will make him the only target and in all likelihood get him killed. To keep Marbo dangerous, in contention and alive, search for a 'distraction' point. Somewhere just behind the approaching force where line of sight gives him the biggest impact.

If they turn to kill him (and remember that anything S6 will!) then that one unit not attacking your frontline. If not ... then its onto plan B.

"Where's Marbo?"

MARBO - PLAN B

After delivery is made, Marbo has four secondary choices. He is capable of the following:
  • Tank Busting: Any immobilised (or stationary) tank will rue the day. Marbo can leg it up to 18" (fleet) and plant a meltabomb on their ass. BOOM!
  • Dreadnought Popping: 13-18" run. WS4 dreadnought versus WS5 I5 guy with a meltabomb ... BOOM!
  • Monstrous Creature Bashing: With his poisoned arsenal, Marbo has a better chance than most in downing a wounded Wraithlord or Carnifex. A poisoned AP2 shot gives you a 50/50 to wound followed by 3-4 forced saving throws...
  • Throwing in his lot: Marbo's a great complimentary unit with roughriders (who, lets face it, struggle after the first turn of combat), and his delivery of 5 I5 attacks can easily finish off the work the roughriders started.
And the biggest thing with all of the above ... are any of these targets less then 65pts? Marbo is my personal 'must have' alongside mortars and roughriders - great value for money.

PLAYING AN ANAGRAM OF RAMBO

And also great fun. Marbo can turn up and turn a battle, or he can turn up and drop a bomb on his own head... that sort of 'randomness' makes Marbo a particularly fun model to play. He's always a plotline when he arrives as he'll do something spectacular and the opponent will respond accordingly. If ignored he'll do impressive damage, but if concentrated on he can be a dangerous distraction.

Remember that with Marbo, going to ground is a real option. After all, his cover save is really all he's got. He gains a 2+ cover save from GtG and with with I5, he'll usually go first if they charge.

The hardest thing about Marbo is remembering that this single model is in your reserves. Often I end up 'cradling' him in my hand like some silly mascot to try to remember to deploy him.

CONVERSION

Anyone can field Marbo as he's a very easy conversion. My Marbo is born of a catachan heavy weapon soldier, converted with a autocannon ammo pack and grenades (to build the demo pack) and a 'big knife' from an Ogre Bull (left in my bits box from the Ogyrn conversions). The standard holstered pistol and a catachan knife sleeve give him the finished look (oh plus lots more grenades)... he takes about 30mins to convert and then becomes an essential asset in every army.

So try Marbo ... he's great fun!