Saturday, 25 December 2010

Challenge Suneokun Update #8 - Christmas Present for you all.


It's 1.55am on Christmas Morning, Mrs Suneokun and myself have been up half the night prepping the kids presents, finishing food, cleaning rooms and other sundries...

After completing all the painting last night ... I decided to hold off posting and finish the basing tonight...

May I present the completed army...






I'm going to bed now, kids'll be up early ... Christmas morning.

That DEFILER is mine!


Friday, 17 December 2010

Challenge Suneokun Update #7 - closing stages?


With a dazed expression, it almost feels like the end?? I've got 5 Tyranid Warriors which are basecoated and require 'Lashwhips' modelling. I have a Mycetic Spore in need of some conversion work and the amalgamation of three plastic Termgaunts.

I have built and base coated the Zoanthrope and 2 Hive Guard.

And that's it? With a slightly shifty look around, and a sense of deja vu... am I nearly there yet?

I've got no DIY monsters on the calender, but 4 tough days of installations and commissionings next week... best put this one to bed this weekend - methinks!

...and I would have gotten away with it...

Wednesday, 15 December 2010

Challenge Suneokun Update #6 - Knuckling Down to Herculean Effort


Thanks for the feedback on the previous post. Heading into Christmas, I have a mountain of responsibilities at work to arrange ... none of which will be easy and involve a lot of travelling. While the DIY has quieted down ... Christmas approaches! And this morning I have woken up decidedly ill!

Rubbish eh?

However the painting progress has been spurred on by two herculean nights of very fast (and questionably accurate) painting. On Monday night I completed the paint job on the 20 Gargoyles (tongues, claws and stipes, oh my!), 80% completed the 10 rippers and start to finish completed the paintjob on my second Trygon.

It was a monstrous effort totalling 4 hours of concentrated effort.

Last night I finished the Rippers and started both the HiveGuard and the Tyranid Warriors (next weeks challenge). All the above require basing, but I've decided to 'lump them up' on that front after all the other basing took about an hour.

This leaves me with:
  • 5 Tyranid Warriors, half painted and ready to convert.
  • Hive Guard (half painted)
  • Hive Guard (pending)
  • Mycetic Spore (pending)
  • 5 Termagaunts (2 metal to be painted, 3 plastic to be converted onto the spore).
  • Zoanthrope (unbased, unpainted, missing arms and looking pathetic)
  • 1 1/2 converted flying warrior ... what to do?
So question 1 ... do I base the gargoyle flying bases?

And question 2 ... what do I do with a random half converted modern Tyranid Warrior? When all my other warriors are 'turkey heads' and the other two modern warriors have become a prime AND the Parasite?

Help me Obi Wan, luke stole my speeder bike.

Monday, 13 December 2010

Challenge Suneokun Update #5 - A Week in the life of a busy boy


"If I can get the base coats done on these Gargoyles - I can hopefully get them out of the way over the weekend." - Suneokun, 2nd December 2010.

Hmm ... what do they say about mice and men and the planning strategy ... it didn't go quite according to plan. As I did highlight during the email - there was a fair amount of work going on at home ... a fair amount of 'stuff' which would get in the way - and it did!
  • Thursday 2nd - Hugely Optimistic and spend evening de-constructing the dining room of all furniture in preparation for bedlam.
  • Friday 3rd - Last minute confirmed installation at a London University followed by an evening of Ironing - what fun! Wrong coving is delivered.
  • Saturday 4th - Install wrong coving (which is prettier anyway), but don't have enough to finish room.
  • Sunday 5th - Christmas Tree collecting, Santa visiting and painting all evening (the dining room that is)
  • Monday 6th - Painting room all evening
  • Tuesday 7th - Surveys in Leciester, grab missing bit of coving and bring home, install coving and painting room all evening with in-laws
  • Wednesday 8th - Carpet installed in afternoon, I deliver chunk of old carpet to brother in laws house and am entertained all evening, wife repaints both cream and green walls - much deserved deadly ninja stares and cold shoulder behaviour on return.
  • Thursday 9th - Relocate all furniture back into Dining room, cooking and cleaning in preparation for party... finish off coving and refit light fittings/curtains and other sundries.
  • Friday 10th - late night shopping, going out with wife and small people to look at Christmas lights/buy light sabers/buy presents/separate light saber wielding Children. Come home and crash.
  • Saturday 11th - Carol singing out doors with lispy, padre hatted religious people. Frozen small people. Return home to entertain a dozen people for dinner. Wife's curry goes wrong and she recooks entire curry (madness) ... fantastic night until 3am.
  • Sunday 12th - woken at 5.45am by brother in laws baby and wife GOES OUTSIDE and de-ices car while I hide like the coward I am. Children jump on me demanding TV at 7.30am, as I'm sleeping on a lilo on the floor in the lounge (baby and in-laws having our bed).
Finally paint 20 Gargoyles and 10 Rippers at high speed on Sunday night until 1am.

NB: In laws 'steal' wife's book 3 of the Millenium series from bedside table, complete with her bookmark (which is weirdly an old password sheet) ... much bitterness and rivalry begins.

It's been a tough week, still - nearly Christmas. That'll be relaxi ... oh no.

Wednesday, 8 December 2010

Challenge Suneokun Update #4 - Delays and Upsets


New carpet is being installed today, so the last couple of days have been pure DIY mania get the coving (cornicing) installed, painting newly re-skimmed walls and finishing the skirting boards...

Madness! Oh and I bought a new TV and BluRay - it's Panasonic, 37" and it's very nice.

As such, no painting has occured. So we're back under pressure to finish the Garogoyles (tonight, I promise) and to start (and finish) the Rippers.

Crikey I was over-cocky!

PS: If the photo makes no sense, just type 'delays and upsets' into google.

Monday, 6 December 2010

Challenge Suneokun Update #3 - Gargling


Despite a night of ironing, and multiple nights of replastered, re-coved and repainted dining room painting I am currently ahead of schedule. The blog is keeping me focussed, combined with the sneaking suspicion that while I may have vastly overestimated the amount of time required to base 100 mini's (it's a couple of hours, not 5 evenings) I'm concerned that my planned layout for weeks 3 and 4 are ridiculously light.
  • Week 1 objective (last week): base 100 mini's. DONE!
  • Week 2 objective (this week): paint and base 21 Gargoyles and 15 Ripper Swarms. GARGOYLES ARE 80% THERE WITH ONLY INKING, BASING AND HIGHLIGHTS REQUIRED. RIPPERS TO GO.
  • Week 3 objective (next week): paint and base Trygon, 2 Hiveguard and a Zoanthrope.
  • Week 4 objective (week before Christmas): convert, paint and base 5 Tyranid Warriors and a Mycetic Spore.
So... I should get the Gargles finished tonight. 5/15 Ripper Swarms (now there's a survey worth reading!) are complete, requiring only basing, which leaves me 10 swarms left... infinitely doable. So do I try to add in the Spore conversion this week, or break in the Trygon?

It's certainly an interesting psychological aspect to this. I've never 'scheduled' my painting before. It's always been at my 'regular' whim or because I have a game coming up. Simply writing down an expectation online seems to have galvanised something in me, and I'm finding myself flying through 20 models at twice the speed I would normally.

The added incentive is that I'm also riven with guilt that these models have been languishing in the 'almost complete' pile for too long. Truly completing my first army (my forth one, Chaos Space Marines) seems to have galvanised my desire to see the others done. And showcase them here.

Friday, 3 December 2010

Challenge Suneokun Update #2 - The Ironing


In a bid to extend my lead further, I aimed to paint the Gargoyles last night. I instead spent the entire evening doing ironing. I don't know about you, but I suck at ironing, hence why it took me all night.

Watched 'Domino' and 'Glourious Basterds' - first film is shite, second really good but well ... random.

Stuff is now flat. Enough said.

Thursday, 2 December 2010

Challenge Suneokun Update #1 - The Baseless


In a random panic I got confused and thought yesterday was today and I was out all day tomorrow. In an odd twist of events, so did my other half. It's like being in a house when the clocks go back ... A WHOLE DAY - very weird.

Apart from gaining another 24 hours, the panic also spurs some mad flocking death rolls and so I can proudly boast the following 82 flockers:
  • 21 Genestealers
  • 24 Hormagaunts
  • 31 Termagaunts
  • 5 Spores (I misplaced two!)
  • 1 Broodlord
BASELESS: MISSION ACCOMPLISHED

I also black-based the two Hiveguard and the Trygon and prepped the Gargoyles for painting...

A productive day. The danger is that I now take the foot off the pedal, but I have a whole room the cove, paint and have re-carpeted before next Wednesday. So whatever I can achieve this week will ease the pressure next week.

If I can get the base coats done on these Gargoyles - I can hopefully get them out of the way over the weekend.

Here's hoping - but a good start.

Tuesday, 30 November 2010

Challenge Suneokun


The objective is to attempt to pull myself away from Fallout 3 long enough to complete the following before Christmas.

NB: This 'finish the Tyranids before Christmas' challenge was attempted two years ago and was an epic fail then as well .... many of the challenges today are leftovers from yesterday - so here's to trying!!

Completed Nids (painted and based):
  • Warrior Prime (thanks for the FAQ nerfing GW - he's now pointless!)
  • 4 Rending and Deathspitting Warriors
  • Zoanthrope
  • 2 Mycetic Spores
  • Trygon Prime
Baseless Nids (Nids in need of basing):
  • 24 Hormagaunts
  • 21 Genestealers
  • 30 Termagaunts
  • Broodlord
  • 8 Spore Mines
Unloved Nids (Nids in need of painting and basing):
  • 2 Hiveguard
  • Zoanthrope
  • 20 Gargoyles
  • 14 Ripper Swarms
  • 1 Trygon
Barely Nids (Nids in need of Coversion, painting and basing):
  • 5 Tyranid Warriors with Lash Whips and Boneswords
  • 1 Mycetic Spore
Da Kunnin' Plan (Tyranid Variant Unknown)...

Week 1 (29th November - 3rd December): Base the minions. Getting in on a high and trying to get the momentum going ... I intend to base all 79 mini's in a week. That's 15 a night... which is achievable!

Week 2 (6th December - 10th December): Paint the Gargoyles and the Rippers. This will be the biggest challenge. But don't bleed hearts as the Gargoyles are already half completed and the Rippers are a) half painted and b) very small.

Week 3 (13th December - 17th December): Trygon, Hiveguard and Zoanthrope. The numerous stuff is out the way. 4 big/detailed models stand between me and the final conversions

Week 4 (20th December - 24th December): 5 Warriors and a Spore. Conversion, Painting and Basing is the final part.

The final adjudication will be in the new year... with the prize, A DEFILER for the Chaos Boys!

Does Suneokun have a hope in hell ... encouragement, reverse psychology and mockery welcome...

Wednesday, 24 November 2010

Why Huron is pants and other Tyranid Questions...


Huron 'high cholesterol' Blackheart

Well I've been fielding Huron "the old" Blackheart for about half a dozen games so far and I'm mightily unimpressed. His most impressive feat so far is NOT getting punked by Lillith in a single turn, he did however fail to land a blow with his powerfist.

So am I playing him wrong ... well I don't think so. My application of 'warptime' could be more consistent (I keep forgetting it) ... but I don't see Huron as a 'stand back and support the troops' kinda guy ... he should be in there mashing face.

And that's where it falls apart. With only a 3+/5++ and T4 he's got "I love powerfists" all over him. The lack of Eternal Warrior on all the Chaos Special Characters really tells here. Additionally, although he's AT LEAST at bionical as Iron Hand Straken, he'd get punked in a fight hands down. Straken's got S7 powerweapon in initiative order ... that beat power weapon (albeit with a reroll to hit and wound) or powerfist at I1. Plus Straken's got a +1 to toughness ... where's Hurons?

At 170pts, he's seriously overpriced for his potential punch. Especially as he can be pick'd out and punk'd by the p'fist, yaknow?

Maybe I'm running him with the wrong crowd. The Deathguard were a tough bodyguard, but the I3 and blight grenade aren't really designed to 'encourage' the charge... the Chaosmarine squad he's with now is fine against guardsmen and gaunts, but desparingly squishy to anything with intent.

The problem is that beyond slapping him with Terminators, (and losing their deepstrike) ... there's really nothing in the codex offering the bulletproofing to Huron's (admittedly) lacklustre combat potential.

So my Huron will henceforth become "Chaos Lord with Mark of Slannesh and Lightning Claw", I'll get my reroll to wound every time, and save myself 50pts. I don't regret buying the model, but Huron, like most of the Chaos Special Characters, doesn't offer the cool 'tempering' options of the latest codici, moulding the codex about them in interesting shapes.

The lack of Eternal Warrior is the icing on the cake... enough said.

Tyranid Conundrums

In a vain attempt to distract myself from starting an Ork Army (and yes, I've already worked out that I can build 1500pts of Orks from existing models (and the 5 lootas I bought!) ... I'm turning back to my Tyranid Horde.

I really haven't given the nids the love they deserve. The new (now slightly tarnished) codex is great, although it broke a number of my old toys. That said, I'm giving it another go and importantly, I'm trying out new tactics (well slight variations on a 'take everything' theme)...

Tyranid Prime (Lash Whip and Bonesword, Adrenal Glands) 105
Parasite of Mortrex 160

Lictor 65
Zoanthrope x2 in Spore 160
Hive Guard x2 100

Tyranid Warrior Brood x 5, Lash Whips and Boneswords, Devourers and Mycetic Spore 265
Genestealers x 13 with Toxin Sacs 221
Genestealers x 13 with Toxin Sacs 221
Hormagaunts x 17 102
Termagaunts x 17 in Spore 125
Tervigon with Acid Blood, Catalyst, Adrenal Glands and Toxin Sacs 210

Tyranid Shrikes x 4, rending claws, deathspitters and toxin sacs 200
Gargoyle Brood x21with toxin sacs and adrenal glands 168

Trygon 200
Trygon 200

Points (2500)

Analysis

Just wanted all the best toys didn't I? Its an 'in your face' option, with the Genestealers infiltrating to dominate the tactics of the game. They either, area deny (go to ground) or pounce depending on opportunities. The Shrikes and Gargoyles escort the Parasite and attempt to flank across the board... from experience, both units offer average anti-mech and good anti unit attacks.

The Spore based units, Zoans, Termagaunts and Lash Whips Warriors and Prime, are there to provide serious distraction while the hormagaunts charge across the board... the Trygons, Elites and Tervigon are there to fill space and pop tanks...

It's a MSU and mixed list ... what's the thinking?

Monday, 15 November 2010

2000pts CSM v Dark Eldar

Anton's new paint scheme ... loverley!

My now ubiquitous list of deep striking nasties versus a surprise entry from Anton - he'd succumbed to the 'other' dark side and brought along soul eating death elves for tea! I'm not entirely sure of the validity of attacking a 'largely' slanneshi army with your death elves - but clearly there was a logic somewhere (Rick Priestly's head) so there you go!

Swords of Alpharius: I decided to leave the Mark of Slannesh on the Terminators at home and bring an additional lesser Deamon, allowing me to field two squads of 5 Deamons.
  • HQ: Huron Blackheart [170]
  • HQ: Chaos Sorcerer - Terminator Armour, Lash of Submission, Combi weapon (plasma) [130]
  • Elites: 5 Chosen - Chump w. PF, 4 meltaguns, icon [175]
  • Elites: 5 Terminators - 2 Chumps with Lighting Claws, Chainfist and Combi-melta, PF and Heavy Flamer, PF and combi-flamer, Mark of Slaanesh [265]
  • Elites: Dreadnought - Plasma Cannon and Heavy Flamer [110]
  • Troops: 9 Alpha Marines: Icon, Flamer, Rhino [185]
  • Troops: 9 Alpha Marines: Icon, Flamer, Rhino [185]
  • Troops: 7 Plague Marines: Icon, Chump with PF, 2 Plasmaguns, Rhino [271]
  • Troops: 5 Lesser Deamons [65]
  • Troops: 5 Lesser Deamons [65]
  • Fast Attack: 5 Raptors with Icon and 2 meltaguns [130]
  • Heavy Support: Greater Deamon [100]
  • Heavy Support: 2 Obilterators [150]
Total 2001

Dark Elves with Splinter guns: this was an intro to the Dark Elves, so I was intrigued and a little bemused by the bunch of them...
  • Archon carrying nasty stuff with four incubi carrying nasty power glaves in a Venom
  • Lelith (accompanying the Wytches).
  • 5 incubi in a Venom
  • 10 Warriors in a Raider
  • 10 Warriors in a Raider
  • 10 Wytches in a Raider
  • 3 Reavers
  • 3 Reavers
  • 3 Reavers
  • 2 Talos Pain Engines (left at home)
And that's about all I can tell you, they had some nasty guns ... but luck favoured the brave (or the ignorant over the inexperienced in this case).

The Deployment was Spearhead (which suited me fine) with the objective was seize ground (4 markers). These were spread out fairly evenly.

TURN 1: The Reavers and right hand side shot forwards, attempting to kill my Chosen which were deployed way out on the left flank in their deployment zone. The range was perfect, and although they managed to kill one raptor with Raider fire, they didn't get into close combat with my Chosen. The Reavers and Raiders made a main push down the right flank, targetting my Rhino's and Dreadnought with fire. Many shots later nothing had happened.

In return I went to work. The reserves rolls were VERY pleasent, giving me the greater Deamon, a squad of lesser deamons, and the Terminators. Huron and his Chaosmarines stayed away, as did an 'ace in the hole' Deamon unit.

The Terminators and little deamons (Li-mons?) bounced off the Chosen's ICON. Allowing them to position themselves perfectly. A quick LASH later and I could unleash multiple Heavy and Flamer shots on the bunched up Dark Eldar while 'shooting' at the Reavers behind them. The massacre was complete and no Eldar survived. Three of the chosens Meltaguns then barked at 12" and demonstrated that 1D6 + 8 is more than enough against a AP10 vehicle, and the doom of open topped reared it's head, at +2 on the chart the vehicle was doomed.

So the left flank was secure, but what of the right? Well the obliterators went to work on the Raiders and Venoms, although I failed to destroy a single vehicle, I did manage to roll lots of ones, which automatically went to 2 - which stalled the entire advance of the dark Eldar.

Three Reavers also flew like blazes behind my Rhino and Dreadnought on the right flank. They were met by the Greater Deamon (Gri-mon) who killed the PlagueMarine Chump (there's got to be a cheaper way!) and 4 Raptors. The Grater Deamon killed all the Reavers, while the Reavers killed a Raptor.

TURN 2 : Without being able to move or fire, and being too far away to jump out and charge ... the Eldar were left with limited shots and limited options. The non immobile Incubi raced after the marine squad in the centre (going after a central objective), jumped out and charged the rhino. At this point we realise that although Incubi have AWESOME power weapon death - they are fairly useless at using their standard issue tin openers. Even with autohit (the rhino had gone and immobilised itself) they had no dice.

In return I continued to pin the other vehicles while Huron and his squad plowed into the back of the rearmost Raider and the Terminators and Chosen realigned. Now was my time for an 'accident' as the flamer from my squad proved to only kill one Incubi. I Lashed them closer to the terminators, but Only had a few bolter shots to throw (combi-plasma on the Sorceror is useless if you're lashing every turn ... but is lash a shooting spell?) Down to three incubi, I charged in the Lesser Deamons (bouncing off the chaosmarine ICON) and met with an abject fail. Lesser Deamons suck in close combat! Against warriors yes, incubi - NO!

Huron and his squad come on from the back and manage to complete fail to wreck the Raider, although they do immobilise it.

At this stage, Anton's killed one raptor, and I've killed two (one through possession and one plaguemarine through a plasma overheat!) ... so I'm kinda winning on all fronts.

TURN 3: Anton manages to get both Incubi into combat. The first incubi group manage to charge my terminators and KILL ALL OF THEM. I5, S5 and power weapons ... hang on, thats a rough rider! They then rout the Sorceror and kill him. The Archon also discovers that haywire grenades only give ONE attack - which fails to pop my rhino.

At the back, Hurons less lucky. He manages quite well to survive a charge from Lelith. With only three attacks and S3, she only manages one wound. However Huron fails to land a punch (thanks to him NOT casting warptime). He loses all but three marines to Wytches and Warrior fire from the downed unit. However he ties up the wytches for a turn and with the warriors holding one objective, it all comes down to nullifying Anton's contestors!

The Chosen step up first of all and shoot down the Incubi with vastly overpowered meltagun shots (good job as they had a 2+ save, FNP and furious charge by this stage!). Meanwhile the last Reavers are attempting to contest my home objective (they would have been wiser to challenge my Lesser Deamon and Chosen held one!) ... and they get eaten by the Greater Deamon. The Dreadnought steps up and manages to kill 4 Incubi with a plasmacannon shot at point blank and kill the Venom with a heavy flamer shot. He then tries to punk the Archon, scores 5 instantkill hits to which the Archon rolls 5/5 2+ saves... doh!

The Raptors target the remaining Venom and kill it dead while the Oblits target the mobile Raider and stun it. The marines in the centre dive out of their tank to claim the central objective. Huron dies, but with only one objective in DE hands, and only the Archon able to contest my home objective, it's all over for the DE.

Final Score 2-1 to the marines.

CONCLUSIONS

The DE are a really fun army to play and play against. The biggest weakness is their AV10 vehicles, as despite their speed and their cover saves, their combination of AV10 and open topped meant that stopping them from moving AND firing and effectively nerfing the DE charge was too easy.

The Incubi in Venoms were nasty, but the DE really lack in close attack weapons which can crack open vehicles. Haywire grenades are not enough really. Overall, Anton's army lacked enough firepower to crack open three rhinos, and he couldn't even crack them open when stationary in close combat. Definite rethink needed there! Incubi are not something to attack in close combat, and the only proper solution is to shoot them down... at T3 and 3+ save - there are plenty of options there. I think Incubi are awesome against marines ... but against guardsmen, one battlecannon shot is all it takes.

Overall, Anton needs to work on his timing. His reavers are standard Saim Hann and cannon fodder to decent marine units. Against Guardsmen, those D6 S6 flail attacks will signal the end of many a Heavy weapon team and would be useful against Tyranid MC's. However they cannot take fire and should have danced at a distance instead of coming in close. The tricky thing with the DE is getting it all to hit at about the same time. It's very very easy to delay those AV10 skimmers ... and then mob the ones that do get through with flamers, terminators and other death weapons.

Overall I think this was a demonstration of how familiarity breeds effectiveness. The reserves rolls for me were perfect, allowing me to fully exploit the 'tempt and ambush' aspects of my army. Anton's DE were the perfect example as he was a little too keen to take the bait (as he was thinking about FNP bonuses through power through pain) ... as such I was able to take his army down piecemeal without the DE able to really threaten my core force. Ironically, this was exactly what he should have been doing to me.

If he'd held back and gone for an objective grab, he would have forced my 'ambush' units to deploy without a target, holding objectives... he could then have gone in at speed with all force. Using all three reaver units on the same squad (3D6 S6 hits) and followed up with incubi and wytches. HE could have had me so easily...

At the end of the game I'd lost 2 raptors, 5 terminators and the Sorceror, 5 Le-mons, 9 Marines and Huron. He'd lost a warrior squad, 2 venoms, 2 incubi units, lost all three Reavers units and lost a raider and had an immobile Raider.

Tuesday, 2 November 2010

Swords of Alpharius Nearing Completion...


Just a quick update to say that everything is nearly completed, finished and based. I completed the last chaosmarine squad (the 'converted'), my first CSM Biker and the lesser Deamons too. All that's left now are two rhino's and the two more Chaos bikers.

It's been a fun army to paint and my least 'difficult', amassing 2000 points of marines is pretty easy (it's the stopping buying them that's the problem) ... one thing that this army has taught me is the benefit of properly basing my models. Up until now I've been blindsided towards basing ... now I see it as an insult to a well painted model NOT to finish it properly.

It'll take time, but I'm going to revisit both the Tau and the Guard (and eventually the Tyranids) and base the bloody lot. That'll take until like next Christmas.

Not much to write about as all my spare 'blogging' time has been sucked down a fallout 3 timewarp... I totally dig this game.

The 'Converted'


Basically a bunch of RT era marines with light conversions that I had been using as a Death Watch unit early on. Couldn't bring myself to overpaint the hand-done insignias so I just left them. I guess this unit represent a selection of 'converted' marines who have seen the light of Alpharius and turned against the rotting Imperium.

The Converted show off their shoulder pads ...

The Lesser Deamons

All I can say is ouch?!?

I'm gonna have some fun with this ten! The Omega (Techpriest Chaos Sorceror) who is dabbling in Necron tech has decided to impregnate the most impressive human enemies with glowing stones. When I say impregnate ... I mean stab full of?!? The stones can then be used to rip the individuals clean through reality into the cusp of battle. The resulting mutations result in stronger and insane subjects, although their life are necessarily foreshortened.

First Biker


The last fella is a Chaos biker. All the armies I've collected so far have only ever included one fast skimmer (the Tau Piranha). After facing down jetbikes and marine bikers over the years, this is my first foray into the realms of 24" turbo boosting about the place! Should be fun!

Wednesday, 20 October 2010

Quick Battle Report: CSM V SM


Disclaimer: This batrep is short sharp and reasonably rude. Enough said ... you are warned!

So I took the newly minted Swords of Alpharius out for their first 2000pt outing last night... interesting times. Jack (furthermore known as JakJak) brought 2000pts of a 2500pt anti world eaters army. It ran something like this:
  • Captain in Artificer Armour and Lightning Claws
  • Chaplain in Terminator Armour with Storm Bolter and Crozius
  • 10 Termite Thunder Chumps
  • 1 Ironclad Judge Dread with unfriendly hairpins and 2 hunter killer missiles
  • 1 Normal(ish) Dreader with a plasma bazooka and a giant hand
  • 10 Smurfs with melta
  • 10 Smurfs with plasma
  • 8 Assault Marines
  • Vindicaaaaaator
  • 5 Laaaazer Cannon Deviators in a Razorback with heavy thumper
Which was an awful lot of tough, non squashy shit for a mere 2000pts. I would be fielding my normalish (and frankly ridiculously uncompetitive) list of...
  • HQ: Huron Blackheart [170]
  • HQ: Chaos Sorcerer - Terminator Armour, Mark of Slannesh, Lash of Submission, Combi weapon (plasma) [145]
  • Elites: 5 Chosen - Chump w. PF, 4 meltaguns, icon [175]
  • Elites: 5 Terminators - 2 Chumps with Lighting Claws, Chainfist and Combi-melta, PF and Heavy Flamer, PF and combi-flamer, Mark of Slaanesh [265]
  • Elites: Dreadnought - Plasma Cannon and Heavy Flamer [110]
  • Troops: 9 Alpha Marines: Icon, Flamer, Rhino [185]
  • Troops: 9 Alpha Marines: Icon, Flamer, Rhino [185]
  • Troops: 7 Plague Marines: Icon, Chump with PF, 2 Plasmaguns, Rhino [271]
  • Troops: 9 Lesser Deamons [130]
  • Fast Attack: 5 Raptors with Icon and 2 meltaguns [130]
  • Heavy Support: Greater Deamon [100]
  • Heavy Support: 2 Obilterators [150]
Total 2003

I'd dropped a lesser Deamon in favour of the Slanneshi Terminators...

We get Dawn of War (again ... yawn) and annihilation (again!), missions always seem to come in threes. I win the roll and go first (again!).

TURN 1: "Where is everyone?"

Deploying Huron and the Plaguemarines in a Rhino in the back field, I then decide to keep everything bar my Dreadnought and Obilterators in reserve to pick and choose my moments... The dreadnought arrives, goes bonkers and runs about a bit (this will be the apex of his contribution), the Obilterator on the left shoots plasma, the one on the right shoots plasma... despite mundo shooting only two marines die? I realise I have caught "ShiteDicealitis" from Mark ... poor rolling continues.

JakJak brings everything to the party. The uber-dread on the left with the big fist manages to unarm and immobilise the jogging Chaos Dreadnought ... effectively nullifying him. JakJak's Razorback drops off the Devastators, who start walking to the top of a high tower, Jump pack troops and the other dreader arrive on the left and start pinging anything they can see (although they miss the oblit), on the right flank 11 Thundertermiedeathstarstompers walk on the board from the edge and start a very long walk towards my lines... hidden behind a squad of Tacticals with the Captain attached...

...guess where I won't be next turn?

TURN 2: "Run rabbit run rabbit run run run..."

So I roll for my reserves, relishing the idea of dropping 4 meltagun shots into the side armour of that Ironclad Dreader ... and get nothing. Out of 7 units I get one unit arriving from reserve, the bloody raptors - ruddy marvelous!

The dreadnought stay sane and has a sulk, meanwhile the Plaguey-Rhino and Raptors move right towards the centre back of the board and away from the Terminator death. The Two obilts take potshots on the Demolisher and the plasma Dreadnought, but both are rubbish. My reserves have failed me and I'm facing a veritable horde - gulp!

JakJak gets the Devastators into a good position and starts potshotting my Deamons, Raptors and Armour from range... luckily for me nothing sticks! Oh good.

TURN 3: "And where were you?"

Ok, so not perfect, but a vast improvement... I get one Mariney-filled Rhinocake, a Greater Deamon (who can only kill the PlagueMarine Chump - grrr), the lesser Deamons and the Terminators (and Chaos Sorceror) and ... nothing else. Other Chaosmarines and Chosen are yet to arrive... grr.

The Greater Deamon burst from a rhino and runs at the tactical squad in front of it followed by 9 lesser Deamons, the ensuing combat results in a devastating win for the Deamons, but the Marines employ the "we're cheats and we mock your leadership system" rule and stick in there. Meanwhile the Obilt on the left does a cracking job immobilising the Demolisher meaning its only target in range is the deamonic close combat (Guffaw-guffaw). The Plaguemarines, Huron and the newly arrived rhinocake of mariney goodness line up in front of the Assault marines and pour bolter fire, flamer and Hurons heavy flamer into them...

(When I say pour, I actually mean lightly piss on their shoes - it was a shocking example of poor rolling), to add insult to injury, the Dreadnought goes mental shooty style and pour heavy flamer death on my Deathguard - doh! One dies.

The other oblit kills a couple of marines, as I manage to single handily give away killpoints. Firstly, I "lash of submission" the tactical squad plus enemy captain (let's call him Edward) and instead of pushing them away (and giving me a turn to arrange the charge from the Assault marines and Terminators), I randomly pull them closer, shoot a few ineffectual shots into them and then charge in my Raptors.

Second game, same lesson - raptors are shite in combat! Killpoint given away, I then consider if my brain is alright?

JakJak returns the favour with some cunning killpoint grabs. He starts massacring the Chaosmarine squad in prep for a charge by the assault marines, he goes too far in fact and thwarts his own charge as the surviving 3 marines stagger away from their blown up Rhino-cake. On the left the 'captains retinue' charges into the Terminators and discover that they are facing I5 lightning claw nasties. All die except the captain (who take a wound) and the sergeant. They kill one in return, but again deploy their 'we cheat' rule. Hmmm.

TURN 3: "Why won't you just fecking die, you fecking fecking fecker!"

So I'm locked in combat, I need to kill more dudes - what do I do? The reserves rolls are shiter than shiteness with bells on, in fact, in full knowledge of how shite they'll be, I completely forget to take the 2+ rolls and therefore pretty much forfeit the game. Ahhh hindsight!

The plague marines break from Huron (again, will I ever learn), and Huron and the Greater Demon (who was busy killing stuff) lay the smackdown on the Assault marines. They do fantastically well, but the sergeant survives and pwns Huron (AGAIN...?!?). Meanwhile the lesser deamons do nothing more than 'hump' the tactical sergeant armour (5 wounds, 5 saves, grrr) and the Captain, despite losing combat again and being surrounded by lightning clawed terminators and instant-pwn powerfists lives...

I do manage to kill 3 lascannons devastators, but poor positioning and good LOS blocking cover (I did the cover, yeah me! Oh, hang on?) denies me any shots on vehicles.

We then have to wrap up the game due to the late hour....

CONCLUSIONS

Null deployment ... well that backfired, didn't it. Parts of my army worked brilliantly - the Oblits continued to perform well, and the Terminators were lethal (ok against tactical marines, but look how good my raptors and lesser Deamons were?) ... the Greater Deamon added a nice touch and him and Huron are an awesome double team, BUT...

I'm lacking speed ... seriously, once I'm deployed, I cannot redeploy and respond easily. The Raptors help, but I'm currently using them like a complete pleb. I need to be more selective with my fights and engineer the combats better. I'm used to large armies which (mainly) defend, and the requirement to deliver surgical combat/shooting in new.

That said, I need to shot putting Huron with the Plaguey's, that's just dumb. I'm also hiving him off on his own (which is stupid). The chosen and the Raptors are both high threat and un-ignorable) as they offer lesser and Greater Deamon and Terminator delivery - I failed to use this.

Overall, I quite like the format of this army. Maybe more Obilterators or a Tank/Walker would add ranged threat ... but I've invested in a bike. I intend to have just 3, for objective contesting and haranging ... it might even work.

More work to do on this army type ... but it's great fun to play!

Thursday, 7 October 2010

Army Showcase: Swords of Alpharius

Embarrassing Family Photo's, who needs 'em eh?

I'm at 2000 points already? When did that happen? Crikey, but space marine armies are too easy? You do a bit of painting every night, build a few mini's and bobs-your uncle, 2000pts...

The Plague Marines

Did I say it was a good army, well not really?

Here's the damage:
  • HQ: Huron Blackheart [170]
  • HQ: Chaos Sorcerer - Terminator Armour, Mark of Slannesh, Lash of Submission, Combi weapon (plasma) [145]
  • Elites: 5 Chosen - Chump w. PF, 4 meltaguns, icon [175]
  • Elites: 5 Terminators - 2 Chumps with Lighting Claws, Chainfist and Combi-melta, PF and Heavy Flamer, PF and combi-flamer, Mark of Slaanesh [265]
  • Elites: Dreadnought - Plasma Cannon and Heavy Flamer [110]
  • Troops: 9 Alpha Marines: Icon, Flamer, Rhino [185]
  • Troops: 9 Alpha Marines: Icon, Flamer, Rhino [185]
  • Troops: 7 Plague Marines: Icon, Chump with PF, 2 Plasmaguns, Rhino [271]
  • Troops: 10 Lesser Deamons [130]
  • Fast Attack: 5 Raptors with Icon and 2 meltaguns [130]
  • Heavy Support: Greater Deamon [100]
  • Heavy Support: 2 Obilterators [150]
Total 2016

Chapter Background

The Alpha [Huron] leads his Alpha Marine legion into combat

The Swords of Alpharius are a chapter seeded within the Eastern fringe. As an autonomous splinter of the greater Alpha Legion, this new chapter was born of the nefarious deeds of the Alpha Legion on Ghorstangrad. Over near to three centuries the Alpha Legion seeded subconsciously en scribed rites and indoctrination on the sects and gangs of Ghorstangrad. Such was the pervasive success of their infiltration that many of these gang members were wholly unknowing of their hidden corruption as they aspired to inception in the Emperor's Swords loyalist Chapter on Ghorstangard.

Chesney Hawkes leads the Chosen in another burst of "I am the one and only", much to the chagrin of the terminators...

When the Alpha Legion struck, it was with complete skill and utter destruction. Utilising all their subconscious and indoctrinated triggers, they turned loyalist marines on each other. Ghorstangrad fell as the Swords of the Emperor were divided and conquered. The Emperor's Swords were destroyed, Ghorstangrad razed and the geneseed stolen.

...but with all aspects of the most secretive of Legions, the end of the Swords was not obvious.

The Terminators and Raptors lead the charge, backed up by Obliterators and the Dreadnought called 'Relic'...

The Swords Reborn

One hundred years later, reports came of a new Renegade Chapter sporting the colours of the Alpha Legion but separate heraldry. The Swords of Alpharius had been embedded deep within an enveloping nebula and had been biding their time. Infiltration specialists from the Alpha Legion had twisted and reworked the rigid regime of the Swords. They were now a guerilla force in every aspect as potent as their master chapter.

Infiltration into the Imperiums upper echelons had resulted in the wholesale capture of materials, slaves and even intergalactic starships to further their unknowable goals.

The lot so far, a few smurf-boxes and lesser deamons to go...

The Leftovers

As you'll notice from the photo's, I'm missing 2 Rhinos (to be built), 10 Deamons (under construction) and 9 Alpha Marines (basecoated and so near completion). So a few more posts to follow.

Wednesday, 6 October 2010

A different Lash Sorceror and Razzle-Dazzle Rhino


Techpriest Enginseer?

First up is my latest Character model. He's running as a Terminator Lash Sorceror in order to boost the impact of my Slanneshi Terminators by drawing enemies into the web.

I've had the old Techmarine model knocking around for ages (I bought him as a cheap way to getting 4 servitors for my Guard), I've always like the model as Vanilla Smurfs go. I undertook a quick conversion in turning his backpack upside down and dremmeling off the upside down skullcogs... This then allowed me to extend a banner pole out of the trailing tendrils from his backpack.

In painting him, I wanted to keep him ALL techmarine and all Alpha Legion. The Alpha's aren't known for their psykers, so I think a 'super-techmarine' fills the bill perfectly. To add to the effect, I've painted the crystals on the banner red and green and given him green and glowing armour... looks like this Techno-sorceror has been plundering some Necron stones.

Thus his inimical ability to 'pull' others to him, is it Dark Mechanicus Viruses, Communication interception and misdirection, or more insidious Necrotic technology... I'll have to think on that!

RAZZLE DAZZLE RHINO

Go buy it and read it ... it's like a who's who of brilliance and deviousness - and you discover what Ian (and his brother Peter) Fleming did during the war ... and where BOND came from.

I've been reading a brilliant and inspiration book over the last few weeks called "Churchill's Wizards" by Nicholas Rankin. Within this is an excellent work on the birth of Camoflage in WW1. A we are all aware, Space Marines generally have an understanding of camoflague equal to the early WW1 years.

Razzle Pattern Rhino...

Razzle was a technique employed in WW1 and WW2 which follows the principles of the Zebra. By introducing bright contrasting lines in contradictory patterns across a target, it can decieve the viewer (especially from a low trajectory, like a periscope) and make them think the ship is travelling in a different direction. To paraphrase, "it makes the enemy think you stern is where your bow is"...

Razzle Pattern - Image from Wikipedia, check out their great breakdown on Razzle Camoflague

This inspired me to adopt a 'razzle' pattern on the Rhino. I was aiming for something a little more unique than the standard "I'm bright blue, I'm an ultramarine!" approach ... and also harking back to the late 80's of space marine design ... when pagentry colour marines would hunker down inside highly camoflagued landraiders...

Camoflagued Landraiders ... well if there was ever a vehicle that didn't need it!

What do you think?

Tuesday, 5 October 2010

Painting Update: Plague Marines


Finished and based the Deathguard last night. The Swords of Alpharius are looking as follows:
  • 1 Huron - complete
  • 1 Chaos Sorceror Conversion - converted, nearly finished.
  • 5 Terminators - 3/5 painted, 2 are being painted by my 3 year old daughter and 1.5 year old son ... interesting.
  • 5 Chosen - complete
  • 9 Chaosmarines #1 - complete
  • 9 Chaosmarines #2 - 60% painted
  • 7 Plague Marines - complete
  • 5 Raptors - complete
  • 1 Dreadnought - complete
  • 2 Obilterators - complete
  • 1 Greater Deamon - complete
  • 10 lesser Deamons - bought and to be built
  • Rhino #1 - built and basecoated
  • Rhino #2 - to be built
  • Rhino #3 - to be built
UPDATES

You will have noticed that two of the Terminators have laid their lives down for the Dark Gods (or Greater Good?) and become sacrificial test models for my daughter and son.

Another shot of the completed Plaguemarines ... note the blue fists as a nod to they allegiance to the Swords of Alpharius.

My boy is 18 months and my daughter 3 and they both love "paint'n monstas" first thing in the morning (circa 7am), so we have Monster 'E' and Monster 'Pt' for her and him respectively. See the results below, it's great fun painting them together, although I've been informed that I can NEVER OVERPAINT THEM by She who must be obeyed... oh dear!

Monster E and Monster Pt.

It's a lot of fun though.

Monday, 4 October 2010

"Baying for Blue Blood" Tau v Blood Angels Battle Report


"Ahh", said the Reclusiarch, "There's the Broadsides ... let's go smack em!"
"COWABUNGA DUDE!" Cried the Captain. (Common Emo-Marine Cry I hear?)

INTRODUCTION

When I challenged Mark to 'another' game, I decided that I fancied a bit of 'Tau love' after their mighty demolition of Anton's Chaos Deamons. Mark sportingly offered to take his Black Templars instead of his Guard along ... I was dreading facing guard with Tau (it rarely goes well), too much cheap armour, mortars and antitank is a nightmare for the selective Tau. Just too many targets.

Plus Mark had Manticores, Vendettas and even a Deathstrike Missile to pull on ... out technology-ing the Tau'Va. I'm yet to see a Tau army compete against Guardsmen - its just the wrong fit. After a brief discussion, Mark suggested he ran his Black Templars as 'Black Angels', using the Blood Angels codex ... I said ok.

What met me at the other end was a serious surprise ... and I practically packed up the bags there and then!

ARMY LISTS

Joetsu Tau'Va (1505pts): slightly tweaked list from the one posted, with the Target lock on the Broadsides being swapped at the last moment for a multi-tracker. I had 'comically' nicknamed the army "Smurfbane" AND "Lightning Shatter Squish" - which would prove more apt?
  • HQ: Shas'El, 2 Flamers, fusion blaster, 1 gun drone (78pts)
  • Elite: 2 Crisis Suits, team leader with Plasma Rifle and Missile Pod, hard wired Multi-tracker and targeting array, 2 Gun Drones, Shas'Ui with Missile Pod, targeting array and Flamer. (148pts)
  • Elite: 2 Crisis Suits, team leader with Plasma Rifle and Missile Pod, hard wired Multi-tracker and targeting array, 2 Gun Drones, Shas'Ui with Missile Pod, targeting array and Flamer. (148pts)
  • Troops: 6 Fire Warriors in a Devilfish with Disruption Pod and 2 Seeker Missiles (165pts)
  • Troops: 10 Kroot and 9 Kroot Hounds (124pts)
  • Troops: 10 Kroot (70pts)
  • Fast Attack: 6 Pathfinders with a Devilfish and Disruption Pod (157pts)
  • Fast Attack: Fusion Blaster Piranha with gun drones, targeting array, Disruption Pod and Fletchette Dischargers (85pts)
  • Heavy Support: 2 Broadsides with targeting arrays, team leader with hard wired multi-tracker and 2 shield drones (200)
  • Heavy Support: Sky Ray with Smart Missile System, Targeting Array, Multi-tracker and Disruption Pod (165pts)
  • Heavy Support: Sky Ray with Smart Missile System, Targeting Array, Multi-tracker and Disruption Pod (165pts)
Tactics: My plan was to split the bases and force lots of side armour shots on the rhinos, predators and razorbacks from the Broadsides, Sky Rays and Missile Pods. Those cracked vehicles would then give me the speed advantage to get clear and loop their target/stay out of charge range.

Marks Blood Angels: Instead what I got was the following ... and it chilled my blood!
  • Blood Angel Reclusiarch
  • 10 man Assault Squad with Jumppacks, leader with Powerfist and 2 melta pistols
  • 10 man Assault Squad with Jumppacks, leader with Powerfist and 2 melta pistols
  • 10 man Assault Squad with Jumppacks, leader with Powerfist and 2 melta pistols
  • 10 man assault squad with powerfist and 2 meltaguns in a drop pod (storm bolter)
  • 10 man assault squad with powerfist and 2 meltaguns in a drop pod (storm bolter)
  • Dreadnought with Muiltmelta, Heavy Flamer and CCW in drop pod (storm bolter)
It was a fast, multiple redundancy spam list of Tau killing ... gulp! With 5 large 10 man troops choices ... I was in real, real trouble.

DEPLOYMENT

I 'luckily' won the roll off and opted to go first. I had been reading an article about area denial, and unluckily we rolled for Dawn of War AND take and hold (I think ... it was the one where you have one objective and the enemy has the other...) - Dawn of War was going to be a real pain, as Mark would get a free turn to run his 2 assault units at me AND the droppods would be coming down in darkness - not good.

I deployed the 10 Kroot squad in the centre of the board with a Devilfish 18" behind them. Meanwhile, a six man squad of Fire Warriors clambered to the top of a three storey building and got out their range finders. The Shas'El sort of hung about looking hopeful.

To compound my fatalistic streak, I planted the objective smack in the middle of the board and right in front of my Tau ... so I was doomed. The double fire base plan was put to the sword, and I had some serious jump-move-jumping to do.

Mark arrayed his two hordes of Jump troops 18" from my Kroot and prayed to a 6. It didn't come (thank god).

They look such a long way away ... but 18" ain't nothing to a Emo-Marine!

TURN ONE - "I'm covered in Emo-Bees!!!"

MY TAU'VA STUFF

I opted for my second tactical genius move and decided to bring on everyone apart from the large Krooty band that I blatantly just wanted to flank their objective with ... obvious - dah!? Only after starting deploying everyone did I realise that I'd just brought out every target for the impending double tap drop pods arriving imminently.

As such, although I'd committed everyone, I placed them in a cunning corral and tried to 'manage' (or massage) the impending death death death.

Broadsides and Crisis Suits target the Left Flank...

The SkyRays formed up a right flank in the centre of the board, with the pathfinder stuck out uselessly in the deadlands in the middle of the board. The pathfinders ran to their objective while the SkyRays tested to 'see' the enemy, or the leftmost horde of Emo-marines. The Broadsides stalked on, but without ASS (which allows them to move and fire), they could only run to a good-ish position. The Piranha turbo'd into the open and dropped his drones, as did the devilfish - giving me good 'space filling' units to stop the drop pod bisecting my cluster.

Oh look, a drop-pod, what fun!

The Skyray scored some hits and the subsequent firepower of the Skyrays and Missile Pods downed a few jump troops. They actually failed their leadership test and backed away ... at which point the "I'm a space marine and rules are for other numpties" rule kicked in, and they were back in the fight.

Pathfinders get into position as the Kroot clamber aboard the joyship... and drones are jettisoned.

The Kroot in the centre, well they legged it to a Devilfish and climbed on board. Now labelled the 10 Kroot scoring joy-ship, camp enough for you?

HIS EMO STUFF

Marks Drop Pods arrived and didn't scatter worth a damn. Out stomps a multimelta dreadnought from one and 10 meltagunning 'normal' assault troops from the other. I'm COVERED IN EMO MARINES - HEEELLPP! Meanwhile the other assault troops arrive to charge at my army. The first two groups are a bare 19-ish" away and still running. I need to hurt them hard AND now!

The Dreadnought fire his multimelta and fluffs his penetration. Considering Marks constant litany of 1's and 2's during our last game, I should never underestimate his ability to miss with a multimelta. Meanwhile the meltaguns rip open the side armour of the furthest SkyRay to the right and wreck it. Boo-hiss! And that's it, no more shooting.

TURN TWO - "Whoever invented jet-packs... I love you!"

MY TAU'VA STUFF

The Kroot arrive on the right flank (which is the RIGHT flank), follow me? And run towards the enemy objective. Meanwhile the Tau start flitting about in the Tau'Va shuffle. The Devilfish full of Kroot (Loveboat #1), drops bak and the Kroot jump out to pepper the Assault marines. The gundrones also leap out and play 'blockers' to the rightmost assault marines, wanting to charge. The Kroot are backed up by a move-fire-move Crisis Suit team. Meanwhile the SkyRay backs away from the impending enemy and lines up on the left-most assault team.

That's the strength of Tau ... you may have thought you were fighting the left flank of my army, but now they've just switched...

Kroot assist the pathfinders and Crisis Suits in shooting up the assault marines (hiding in the top right corner behind their drop-pod)

The Pathfinders light up the assault squad at point blank range, while the SkyRay lights up the jumpy assault squad.

The Piranha and 2 Broadsides have a lovely line of sight on the side armour of the Dreadnought. Three shots later and he's immobile and cannot shoot for a turn (the fusion gun missed ... maybe Marks "thing" with melta is catching...?).

The fire warriors, crisis suits and Kroot shoot up the assault squad and manage to kill 3, forcing a leadership test which the squad passes with ease. Ld 9 - good grief.

The left most Assault squad is less lucky and gets peppered well and truly, reducing them down to three members. Everyone backs off from assault range - how annoying (snigger snigger).

HIS VAMPIRE STUFF

Mark drops another Pod full of assault marines at point blank of my left flank ... I'm starting to feel a little boxed in here! The jump pack squad I pummelled last turn decide to turn their ire on the right flank and break away. Meanwhile, a full squad of assault marines break off to chase the kroot down. A jump and a run latter and they'll be in assault range next turn - gulp!

The command group leap towards the loveboat but are held up by the drones ... 1" please. This means they are out of assault range. To compound the irritation, their fusion pistols (who sold them them, eh, Fio'la quartermaster work if ever I heard it) fizzle... melta fail again!

The pathfinders are equally shocked when they find themselves charged by the Assault squad and chewed up into little pieces. The assault squad on the right flank target a crisis team with melta. But I sacrifice the drones to the greater good and make good on my bolter saves.

NB: At this stage I'm feeling awfully vulnerable. I'm still waiting for the close combat monster to eat me, but the wriggling is helping.

TURN THREE - "Time to turn on the fireworks!"

MY TAU'VA STUFF

The Devilfish 'Loveboat' races away with Kroot aboard. Meanwhile, the Fire Warriors try and fail to debark they lofty perch - I failed to roll a 6 which would have allowed them to leave - and they concentrated on the shooting. The Missile Boat relocates to the corner of the board. The Crisis Suits on the left flank (with the Shas'El in tow) targets the assault squad.

Sooner or later in any Tau force, you have to absolutely kill every motherf***er in the room, or face near certain close combat death. I had reached that point. The Crisis Suits, gundrones, Broadsides, SkyRays and other Crisis Suits, not to mention the Devilfish (including loveboat) opened up everything on that assault squad.

The last three men went down to Broadside shots (one each) and the last to concentrated gundrone fire (I was desparate). Throughout the game, gundrones killed about 4 marines. I have to note that I failed to request a single pinning test throughout ... doh!

With a small assault squad still in range, I ducked the Crisis Suits out of sight and barricaded the door with two two drones squads of gundrones.

On the right flank, the Kroot moved up to open a volley on the Assault marines. They manage to down two troopers, leaving eight assault marines to engage in the attack.

NB: At this stage, I still felt vulnerable, despite wiping out the immediate threat, there were still lots of close combat monsters in range ... but I had managed to turn a weak play into a stronger one. I had a strong hand at a draw and an outside chance at a win?

HIS BLOOD SUCKING STUFF

The Jump pack Assault Command Squad (Reclusiarch and Captain intact) moved up to the bottom of the building I held with my abandoned fire warriors. The other squad ran forward, positioning for my objective. Meanwhile the far 'kroot hating' assault squad made ready to charge, popping a few krooty on the way in (that's just mean).

Meanwhile the smaller assault squad started out towards the Kroot as well. Probably looking to deny me a draw. Ho-hum.

The kroot got jumped. The 9 Kroothounds went first and downed 3 marines (woop!), the Marines went second a killed 5 hounds (sorry hounds, but your work was done). Then the normal Kroot killed a further marine. I'd lost the combat! With only Ld7, reduced to leadership 6 - I rolled ... a 3! Ironically, he'd killed a quarter of my troupe, while I'd killed half of his, things started to look a little more lucky.

TURN 4 - "Can the Tau really, really win this one?"

MY TAU'VA STUFF

Once again I found myself facing a kill-all unit with the whole of my army. Luckily for me, Mark had placed the 'thunder hammer' of this captain through a window. Otherwise half my army couldn't shoot at his. He was reluctant to remove that model (oddly really). And paid dear. By the time my pulse batteries were empty, only the Reclusiarch, Sergeant and Captain had survived.

The Kroot battled on against the Marines. The hounds killing a further 1 marine, the marines fluffed their attacks, killing a single kroot (despite no body armour - amazing!). The kroot (probably sensing victory) then cut the whole unit down to a single man. Who failed his leadership.

He was easily within 'running off the board' range on 3D6, but I managed to catch him with my paltry I3. At which point, the 'massacre' turned into a 'business as usual' as the marine pulled the 'I don't like leadership rules' rule and held my boys up another turn. Grrr.

HIS VAMPY STUFF

The Kroot win a worthy victory ... who's needs armour, its overrated ... chow down lads!

The command leftovers mounted the parapet and quickly slaughtered the fire warriors, denying me a scoring unit within 6" of the objective. Meanwhile the assault squad moved up to stalking range of my objective and the dreadnought shot a fire warrior (prior to their slaughter). The mini-jump squad beavered off towards the other side of the board and the Kroot finally, finally got the victory they deserve ... killing that last marine.

TURN 5 - "tying it up!"

MY TAU'VA STUFF

The Crisis Suits, Piranha and markerlights lit up the retreating mini-jump pack troops. The Kroot moved into position, ready to take a shot too. It wasn't necessary, as the last remaining markerlight hits gave me BS5 on the crisis suits (Targeting Arrays too) and a smart missile in the back. The fusion gun on the piranha missed ... again. But the 3 marines died. The Kroot then ran to the objective. Secure.

How secure is my objective (the gun in the middle) ... not much.

Meanwhile, the Tau'Va Shas'El targeted an immobile Dreadnought in the back at point blank range with a fusion gun and err missed. What is it with melta and this game?!? That dreadnought must have been break-dancing his heart out to dodge that shot!

The rest of my army moved up, comfortably contesting my objective and offloading a mountain of firepower on the command squad. Plasma and Railguns don't mix with power armour. Three 'poofs' (in the non-sexual sense I assure you!) later and the day appeared to be mine.

HIS VAMPS STUFFED IN A BOX AND TAKEN HOME FOR A GOOD TALKING TOO!

With only an immobile Dreadnought, a battered assault squad and some dead drop-pods, Mark ceded defeat.

CONCLUSIONS

Mark was a top opponent throughout, and a top laugh. Considering he 'almost had me' for two turns, he took the final scoreline well ... I don't think it reflected the game.

It was a bit of a surprise, not just to win - which I would have given myself an outside chance at ... but to win convincingly?!? The dice were hard on Mark, especially with the Kroot combat at the top, but I thought I was going to get trounced ... so what went wrong.

Mark had killed barely 317pts of Tau, compared to a nigh on elimination. We have a lengthy after game chat (always necessary after a drubbing), and we discussed his options...
  1. He should have come harder and faster at me. Alike to our previous game, he'd let me distract him with sacrificial units (pathfinders, empty Devilfish, flanking Kroot) when he should have been in my face killing Crisis Suits and Broadsides. By coming in waves he gave me the chance to 'concentrate firepower' on one squad after another... allowing me to win.
  2. The immobilising of the dreadnought was a real blow, as he immediately lost an excellent antitank monster. It could still shoot, but only at Pathfinders and Fire Warriors - wasted. However, one Dreadnought on a board against Tau was never going to last long ...
  3. All troops, nearly all jumping was a masterful stroke. It undermined my Broadsides, Crisis Suits and Piranha, who carried on regardless, but were misled by the lack of armour. It made a mockery of my tactics, and had me on the backfoot, with no clear plan beyond 'get away, get away'. For the first two turns Mark was completely in charge, but failed to drive home the stake. In addition, all those points I spent for disruption pods were made useless as MArk ONLY fire from <12".
  4. He failed to 'close the box'. Mark admitted afterwards to a perennial fear of the deep strike and the didn't want to risk losing drop pods by going too close to the board edge. However, if he'd dropped a pod on my far left flank I would have been trapped between the anvil and hammer, and my crisis suits and broadsides would have bought it.
Suggestions in the list. Although, you are going against Tau - two Dreadnoughts in drop pods would have been an awesome combo. In addition, the attachment of a Sanguinary Priest would have made all my S7, high AP shots pretty pointless.

FEEDBACK ON THE TAU
  1. Targetting arrays do help, although twin linked would have been better - saving me many many points.
  2. SkyRays are useless against Guard, but awesome against Marines. All that AV11 and AV12 armour, combined with a S8 AP3 missile for instant-gibbing the enemy... nice.
  3. Broadsides are awesome, whatever the weather. As demonstrated in my game against Deamons, the twin linked Railgun spoke again and again this game. Although shooting on Assault marine felt like a total waste.
  4. Piranha, its an ace in the hole. That speed gives you real tactical advantage. It did very little, but played backup to a load of options which came off, well worth it.
  5. Gundrones were the star of this game. When not blocking deep strikes, they were playing anti-charge screens and repeatedly taking hits for the 'big dudes' and killing marines. Again, against guard, I find them pathetic - against marines they are invaluable.
  6. Need more plasma rifles. I really missed out on the lack of plasma in this game. Build more.
  7. Fusion sucks. Most of marks melta and my fusion either missed, failed to penetrate or was negated by cover saves.
  8. Markerlights are my favourite thing. Hands down.
So chalk up a good result for the old Tau.

Tuesday, 28 September 2010

Tau Tactica - trying something different

I like running multiple armies, my burgeoning Guard army are now accompanied by Tau, Tyranids and the new Swords of Alpharius Chaos marines force... and I still have 114 Orks in a box to paint. The beauty of its is multiple. Firstly, painting one set of mini's can get dull after a while. The paint scheme or fur/chitin/power armour/cloth effects can get repetitive.

Mixing things up with another set of mini's is a perfect way of keeping things fresh and the 'painting doldrums' at bay. The second reason is that with different armies you have very different games. Name a man who's played Dawn of War and hasn't 'tried it out' with every faction, well playing different armies (and you don't get much more different than mine) means keeping it fresh and playing an army to your mood and temperament of the day...

It also means that you CAN have games against that great guy with the rock hard Blood Angels army, because you don't HAVE to take the Tau.

Or for tonight entertainment and in my case ... I do.

TAU CADRE LIGHTNING SHATTER SQUISH

I'm trying something different here (and as usual, potentially suicidal). Way back when I looked at deploying SkyRay missile boats and found it a remarkably unhappy experience ... so I've decided to do it again! The concept and tactics for this army are inspired by the excellent work of Sholto and Old Shatter Hands and hopefully should make for an entertaining fight against the Gue'la Emo Vampire Astartes.
  • HQ: Shas'El, 2 Flamers, fusion blaster, 1 gundrone (78pts)
  • Elite: 2 Crisis Suits, team leader with Plasma Rifle and Missile Pod, hard wired Multi-tracker and targeting array, 2 Gun Drones, Shas'Ui with Missile Pod, targeting array and Flamer. (148pts)
  • Elite: 2 Crisis Suits, team leader with Plasma Rifle and Missile Pod, hard wired Multi-tracker and targeting array, 2 Gun Drones, Shas'Ui with Missile Pod, targeting array and Flamer. (148pts)
  • Troops: 6 Fire Warriors in a Devilfish with Disruption Pod and 2 Seeker Missiles (165pts)
  • Troops: 10 Kroot and 10 Kroot Hounds (130pts)
  • Troops: 9 Kroot (63pts)
  • Fast Attack: 6 Pathfinders with a Devilfish and Disruption Pod (157pts)
  • Fast Attack: Fision Blaster Piranha with gundrones, targeting array, Disruption Pod and Fletchette Dischargers (85pts)
  • Heavy Support: 2 Broadsides with targetting arrays, team leader with target lock and 2 shield drones (200)
  • Heavy Support: SkyRay with Smart Missile System, Targeting Array, Multitracker and Disruption Pod (165pts)
  • Heavy Support: SkyRay with Smart Missile System, Targeting Array, Multitracker and Disruption Pod (165pts)
Total: 1504 points

Sacrifices had to be made at this points level, and were made heavily. Another Broadside or a couple more gizmo's on the crisis suits would have been nice ... as would my stealthers - but I've got a cunning plan - well that's probably taking it too far.

I have a plan at least.

What are your thoughts fellow Tau'Va - suicide or inspired?

Friday, 24 September 2010

Painting Update: Marines and Deamons

Out of Production, Small and perfectly formed ... he's almost a mini-monstrous creature and can quite simply hide behind a landraider!

Just a quick update ... the jury's still out (well at least for me) on the ideal shininess of models... but that aside, I've been taking some steps in painting. Currently the Chaos Marines stands as follows:

Huron leads the first two terminators
  • Huron - complete
  • Chaos Sorceror Conversion - converted, unpainted
  • Terminators - 2/5 painted
  • Chosen - complete
  • Chaosmarines #1 - 7/9 painted
  • Chaosmarines #2 - 60% painted
  • Plague Marines - 1/7 painted
  • Raptors - complete
  • Dreadnought - complete
  • Obilterators - complete
  • Greater Deamon - completed
  • Rhino #1 - to be built
  • Rhino #2 - to be built
  • Rhino #3 - to be built
Some basing required...

So there's a fair amount of work yet to complete ... next up are the troops ... Plague Marines and Chaos Marines look fantastic in their blue and green... much satisfaction.

But I'm lacking long ranged punch and a big 'boomer', the Vindicator, Land Raider and Defiler all bring different sort of long range punch ... but Obliterators give you the most variety and flexibility ... but deploying 6 Oblits is pretty dull... so what would you recommend?