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)


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.


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!