Friday, 29 April 2011

Blogwars - 1750 part 4

So here's the skinny on my latest attempt at a competent list for the Blogwars challenge in July. Just to remind, my primary objective is to run the sort of list I'm keen on - rather than an uber-tasty net-friendly list.

Attempt 4:

70 Command HQ with 3 Sniper Rifles and a flamer
105 Infantry HQ with 4 Grenade Launchers and a Chimera
255 3 x Lascannon equipped squads, plus a Commissar with power weapon
165 2 x Autocannon equipped squads plus a Commissar with power weapon
300 5 x Mortar Heavy Weapons Teams
155 Veterans with 3 x Melta and Chimera
85 Rough Riders x 8
150 Scout Sentinels x 3
125 Devildog, Smoke, Heavy Flamer
125 Basilisk
215 Leman Russ Battle Tank, Lascannon and Pask

Total: 1750pts

Something a little different and throwing in all the favour I so enjoy. Gone are the Commissar Lord, and any other HQ option. So what do you think?

Thursday, 28 April 2011

When 40k plays like a "Doh", or how I might retire my Tyranids.

3 weeks of expectation built into a frustrating game last night for me. Which is a shame as the guys in Narborough are top and the hospitality was second to none. It was Nids and Necrons versus Orks and WorldEaters in a slugfest.

Prime with Lash Whip and Bone Sword (95)
Trvigon, Adrenally Tox'd with Catalyst (195)
Hive Guard x 2 (100)
Ymgarls x 7 (161)
Zoanthrope x 2 in pod (160)
Hormagaunts tox'd x 12 (96)
Hormagaunts tox'd x 11 (88)
Genestealers tox'd x 6 (102)
Genestealers tox'd x 6 (102)
Trygons x 2 (400)

The tactic for us Nids, get in there and eat something - it didn't go well!?!

My tox'd hormagaunts bounced off everything, killing the odd model - but nothing stuck. All three genestealer units (2xtox'd and 1 Ymgarl) all got into combat and killed next to nothing. The Ymgarls did the best, winning two rounds of combat against generic Deamons before getting punk'd after turning up turn 4.

My Tervigon managed to 'poop out' on a double on the first turn and then got mullered by a lone Ork biker Nob (I thought I might actually win that combat!), my Trygon got 'fearless' punk'd with 9 Fearless wounds when multicharged with hormagaunts... my other Trygon got wooped by two ram hungry deathroller orks and still struggled on until last turn.

My Prime escorted the Hive Guard on the board and then got jumped by a warboss. He killed 4 Bikers before getting punk'd by the Claw.

Only Hutch's Necrons played well - winning combats against Orks, performing funky moves and making the day tricky. Looking at my current list, there's little synergy. While the loss of the Parasite and the Hormagaunts is little to no loss ... I lack supporting models.

So what could I take that would have made the difference. Well from inside my collection, there are two units that could have helped:
  • Parasite: nope, spend so much time avoiding powerclaws/fists he wouldn't have come to visit.
  • Gargoyles: ditto, Termagaunts without a cover save.
  • Broodlord: I decided against, but he may well have swung it with his 'hypnotic gaze'.
  • Spore Mines: tactically tricky, but I'm not sure.
  • Lictor: Powerclaw chump.
  • RipperSwarms: Meat on the way in really, but lots and lots of attacks.
So what would have worked better, and what haven't I got?
  • I have to work better in synergy, I'm sending in too many 'units' into close combat alone. I need to be dominating the close combat and overwelming the opponent - as I'm far too vulnerable to getting killed once my initiative is done.
  • Venomthropes ... I don't love them and I don't own any, but I can see their utility ... a small 2 man (?) venom unit gives a lot of anti-charge and anti-close combat options for just 110pts.
  • Termagaunt 'dakka' unit. A huge unit of Devilgaunts would have brought some significant pain to those orks. 60 s4 shots ... worth considering.
  • Tervigon 2: Yes, Venomthropes, 2 Tervigons and 2 Trygons - sounds like a Fritz List! But it's a proven approach and the combination of FNP, 5+ cover save and anti-charge options are tasty.
  • Tyrant: Although for durability he should have 2 guards and be the swarmlord ... he tactically brings me the best options.
So what do I do with my drunken Tyranids. Although the game wasn't fun, it clearly demonstrates what I've known for a while. Guard, Tau and Chaos Marines can take a 'fun', unWAAC list and still perform well - thanks to their natural 'synergy' of units (and my greater experience with them).

I am still yet to win a game with Nids ... which has got to be more about my lack of XP combined with a lack of practice in running a list that rocks. So my thoughts are as follows:

  • Prime, Lash Whip and Bonesword 95
  • Tervigon (HQ), Adrenal tox'd, Catalyst 195
  • Venomthropes x2 110
  • Hive Guard x2 100
  • Tervigon (troops), Adrenal tox'd, Catalyst 195
  • Termagaunts (10) 50
  • Genestealers (9 tox'd) 170
  • Genestealers (9 tox'd) 170
  • Trygon with Regen (225)
  • Trygon with Regen (225)
Total 1501. The Venoms are key and 'hide' behind something big. The Tervigons advance - pooping Gaunts as the Trygons get FNP and everybody gets a 5+ cover save. I'm gonna give them one more go with this list. Proxing the Zoanthropes for Venoms and borrowing a Greater Deamon as a spare Tervigon. We'll see if we can't make this army work (eventually...)

Thursday, 21 April 2011

Piratey Links ...

Apologies everyone ... gabbling on about this great new game (and it was new - the official launch WAS at Salute 2011 - where I did seen it and everything!), and I've got everyone asking where to find it ... Come on, follow me:

The website is Black Scorpion Miniatures

and a dedicated bit to Cutlass (including pages from the gorgeous playbook!)

Gav Thorpe bloggles along about his very very cool rules at Mechanical Hamster

Here's the FORUM as well (which I'm all over like an overeager rash at the moment!)

The models are stunning and VERY good value for money... I'll get my first game in soon - or Anton will!

Undead Pirates are cool, aren't they?

So further updates to follow!

Go and say hello to Adam Clarke on the forum, pirate name "Mirlo", but nickname "Nobby" - no really, he loves it!

Wednesday, 20 April 2011

First "Stab" at a Cutlass gang!

Privateers ($500)

Alike to infinity, keeping the Captain (or the Lt in Infinity) is essential to the gameplan and winning. As such I've devised the following setup!

* Jean "la pistoller" Bapiste - Captain, brace of duelling pistols, powder monkey, 2 daggers ($120)
* "Chevallier" Dupre - Seasoned Hand, Musket, cutlass, dagger ($74)
* Marcus "de Inde" Fermat - Seasoned Hand, Musket, cutlass, dagger ($74)
* Lemarck "la Boucher" - Mariner, 2 cutlass, pistol ($58)
* "Milord" Merci - Mariner, cutlass, dagger, pistol ($58)
* Olivier "Perroquet" - Mariner, cutlass, dagger, pistol ($58)
* Claude la Chauve - Mariner, cutlass, dagger, pistol ($58)

From left to right: Chevalier, Captain "Pistoller", Milord Merci and Marcus De Inde

The Captain is designed as a mid range wounder, backed up by two seasoned hands with muskets. The Captain can move and reload for just one activation, making him particularly dangerous. With a brace of duelling pistols, he can roll 2D8's (or 1 D10) at 12" - enough to seriously wound most, alternatively he'll ping 2D6 against opponents in cover. His two daggers score 3D (choose highest) on the Combat roll. Although he lacks a parry, the mini doesn't have a sword, so this seemed to fit. Given some XP and plunder, the worthy addition of a blunderbuss or lucky charm could come in handy.

From left to right: Claude la Chauve, Olivier Perroquet and two spare models...

The seasoned hands can bring solid long range fire at D6 to hit (D4 if target in cover, which ain't so great!). They are really there to support the Captain and cover the approach of the mariners, in future they could be given grenades and an additional brace of pistols - plus more powder monkeys would be nice...

Lemarck "la boucher"

The mariner with 2 cutlasses gets a bonus on parry over the others (Mad Jim Jones), while the others have either 3D6 attack (+1 for a second weapon, +1 for the dagger) OR 2D6 attack and 2D6 damage. I'll use their choice depending on the opponent. They can all parry as well. Upgrading them to a brace of pistols in future may be an option, although at their skill level it's unlikely to help... Mariner's roll a D8 in combat - which is better than even the Captain or the Seasoned Hands ... as such I've played a hard core group of toughened fighter supported by some fair shots with some redundancy built in.

My first game is now delayed (boo, hiss) as this weeks just gone mad.

Tuesday, 19 April 2011

Salute 2011 ... and how I've spent too much money again...

Check out Anton's breakdown of Salute 2011 ... he's got all the bases covered...

What impressed me most was the chance to meet so many creative enterprises face-to-face. The amount of creativity in the room was extraordinary and very exciting.

Big thanks to Anton, Lee and Nick (Rick) for putting up with me at Salute 2011. It was my first time, and what an eye-opener to all things wargamer and non-GW... The show was extraordinary and while being quite well behaved I managed to scoop up a plethora of bits, such as:


Forgeworld Llugft Huron in Terminator Armour. My one concession to 40k in a conference lacking in 40k. I love this model - it slightly scares me and it totally intimidating in the detail and lustre - gob smacking in every way - but I love it! Has anyone got any tips on doing FW models?


Infinity models at 4 for 3 - can't pass that up!

2 x Nasmats (two in a box): These little guys are tiny, but very very cool. For 3 pts, you get a little man who can do the doctoring on the front line in mimicry to a Doctor (or engineer). Just very cool. He's also a small target and has Mimetism (which is like Stealth) - awesome!

2 x Viral Rifle Lasiqs. I've run with the Lasiq sniper and found her to be pretty good value, these guys however can offer a lot more Mid range punch. Viral Rifles are nasty lethal to all medium and light infantry. Combined with their x-visor (increases their effective range) and their mimentism - a nice pair of trouble makers.

Azra'il with AP rifle, Flamethrower and Panzerfaust. This guy is a very well equiped deathmonger. The flamethrower and AP rifle are both awesome as anti-infantry work... the Panzerfaust combined with his BS is a nasty combo. This guys a bit of a rambo.

2 x MicroArts Infinity Holoboard walls (need to order more walls though...)

Harbadin IFV from Governance of Technology (so new it's not even on their website!) for Infinity cover/scenarios etc...

Before moving on ... I've spotted that Infinity have a very sexy new website - go check it out and be gobsmacked by the stunning miniatures and biblical gameplay. Also remember - you can download an army builder and the game rules and proxy a game. THEN BUY THOSE MODELS!


And Cutlass ... oh cutlass...

All four of us came together and purchased 2 bands, a leader model and a book each. After reading through the rulebook - this is a perfect addition to my 'year of the skirmish game'.

I bought Mad Jim Jones: turns out to be a close combat monster who automatically kills anyone who he puts down... nasty!

A flurry of Privateers, these guys are a healthy mix between pirates and the army (who I'll be facing on Thursday night!

Rogues. The scum of the universe and the pirating world to boot. Cheap and miserable, then fill a disgusting niche...

The rules are really clever. The crux of it rolls around two concepts:
  1. The better you are, the big the dice.
  2. The wrestle for control of the game turn.
Better=bigger dice

Let me explain. Unlike most games, where skills are all based on conventional stats like BS4 or WS6, the stats in this game are a bit more interesting. A poorly skilled/weak/poor shot would roll a D4. An uber-marksman would roll a D20. You get me. Everything moves up and down that scale.

It all revolves around dice and the multiple concurrents with them. So getting injured results in a -1 die level. So a D8 skilled guy rolls a D6. Taken out (ie on the ground) results in all tests on a D4. And that's the point, you can quickly modify all the players statistics through injuring him, so he'll have dexterity D4 instead of D6, Combat skill D6 instead of D8. You follow?

To follow this up, the player can get bonuses for carrying two weapons, allowing his to roll two dice in combat AND parry (if the weapon allows it)... Other modifiers like this can turn a good attacker into a really nasty one - and beautifully for a skirmish game ... getting hurt can turn a dangerous model into a vulnerable one. Which I've not really seen before outside of RPG.

This would seem overpowered, except for a genius idea. The die are open ended. This translates that the maximum score on any dice allows you to roll again and add the totals together. This is a great leveller, as the poor player with say D4 attack has a 1/4 chance of scoring a 5-7, or a 1/16 chance of scoring a 9-11 etc etc. Suddenly the guy weilding one D10 in attack ought to be careful...

The Wrestle for the Game Turn

Alike the Infinity, the game includes actions and reactions. Unlike infinity, the ability to react is not guaranteed, and the amount of actions taken is not a fixed sum. Most teams roll a D8 at the start of the turn. The player with the highest score goes first. At the point at which the opponent 'chooses' to react, if successful. He goes from being the inactive player to the active.


So player A moves 'Big Jim McGreedy' out into the Line of Sight of 'Lil Phil', Player B doesn't fancy his chances at taking down McGreedy with a brace of pistols, but is desparate. Little Phil (a deck hand) has D6 Reaction roll and must roll a 4+ to react. He does and rolls to hit, he has an Accuracy of D4, whereas Big Jim (a pirate captain) has the dex of D6.

The shot is at point blank range, so Lil Phil gets +1 die level and boosted to D6, however he's shooting dramatically with a brace of pistols, cancelling this bonus - but giving him two shots. Big Jim rolls a 2, while Little Phil rolls a 2 and a four. The four roll extends and he rolls a 3. Giving him a total of 7, +5 over Big Jim.

The 2 misses, but the 7 scores a critical hit - giving him 2 dice to roll on the damage table. 2D6 versus D8 for the captain's constitution. The captain is injured! Player's active turn now moves to Player B. With the captain at -1 level, Lil Phil attacks with his hand axe.


The players keep jostling for control and initiative until all the actions are resolved on both side. At which point you consolidate and restart with an Authority roll.

Cutlass ... the conclusion

This back and forth seems really exciting and has certainly got me thinking. I've got a game Thursday and will report how it plays. The core rules are written by Gav Thorpe, and I think are some of the most interesting I've read in a while. The real heart of the games is on campaign though, with Adam Clarke working in what appears a both delightful and exciting campaign, loot and experience system - which looks to be one of the systems biggest attractions.

Speaking of which, Adam Clarke's models are stunning, and the amount of work involved in developing and creating this new game falls squarely on his talented shoulders. Simply - Wow!

Wednesday, 13 April 2011

BlogWars - 1750 attempt 3

Great feedback from The King and Zacret there ... lots to chew on. Something everyone should take into consideration. I'm not about to start a whole new 40k Guard army. My army's built old school - and as such there ain't no Valk/Vendts or snazzy artillery. It's also a bit of a matter of pride that if it's popular on the interweb, it ain't with me.

It's also a requirement of the competition that every list has a 'special character' in it, hence their reoccurence...

Anyhow, here's my third attempt (second try here, first stab here):
  • HQ: Command HQ with Regi-banner and Officer of the fleet (yes, that simple) @ 95pts
  • HQ: Primaris Psyker @ 70pts
  • Troops: Infantry Command with 4 Grenade Launchers and a Ryanair Chimera (no frills) @ 105pts
  • Troops: 3 x Lascannon, power weapon squads with a PW commissar escort @ 285pts
  • Troops: 5 x 3 Mortar Teams @ 300pts
  • Troops: vets with 3 melta in a Ryanair Chimera @ 125pts
  • Fast Attack: 3 Scout Sentinels with Lascannons @ 150pts
  • Fast Attack: 5 Rough Riders with a meltabomb @ 60pts
  • Fast Attack: Devildog with heavy flamer, smoke and x-armour @ 140pts
  • Heavy Support: Leman Russ Battle Tank with 3 Heavy Bolters @ 170pts
  • Heavy Support: Leman Russ Demolisher, commanded by Pask with Lascannon and 2 Heavy Flamers @ 250pts
Roundup: Gone is the Marbo, but Pask has an upgraded ride. Thanks to his 'crack shot' rule, he rolls a mighty S10 lascannon and S11 Demolisher (equivilent) ... which should put the willies up anyone. The lascannons are clustered together, allowing me to purchase a 'pocket battleship' for the Infantry command squad/Veterans. With two Russes on the board, the threat level is way up ... and AV14's never nice to deal with.

The only question is whether to put Pask in the other russ and have two nasties ... or just one?

It's rocking with a lot of anti-mech firepower, albeit unconventional... which is the way I prefer to roll.

Thoughts anyone?

BlogWars - another 1750 list

I'm doing some serious thinking on what sort of list I want to take to Blogwars in July. My thinking is this ... I'll keep posting up a list every so often, and when I feel I've achieved a critical mass ... I'll run a vote. Sounds fun, nope - but it'll help me out - so that's what's important.

Anyhow, here's my second attempt at 1750pts. You can see my first attempt here.
  • HQ: Command HQ with Regi-banner and Officer of the fleet (yes, that simple) @95pts
  • HQ: Commissar Lord with Powerfist @ 85pts
  • Elites: Marbo @ 65pts
  • Troops: Infantry Command with 4 Grenade Launchers and a Ryanair Chimera (no frills) @ 105pts
  • Troops: 2 x Lascannon, power weapon squads with a commissar escort @ 205pts
  • Troops: 5 x 3 Mortar Teams @ 300pts
  • Troops: Infantry Command with 4 Grenade Launchers and a Ryanair Chimera (no frills) @ 105pts
  • Troops: 2 x Lascannon, power weapon squads with no commissar escort @ 160pts
  • Troops: Special Weapon Squad with 3 flamers @ 50pts
  • Fast Attack: 3 Scout Sentinels with Lascannons @ 150pts
  • Fast Attack: 5 Rough Riders with a meltabomb @ 60pts
  • Fast Attack: Devildog with heavy flamer, smoke and x-armour @ 140pts
  • Heavy Support: Leman Russ Battle Tank, commanded by Pask with 3 Heavy Bolters and a heavy stubber @ 230pts
Concepts: The addition of the Leman Russ with Pask, albeit pricey, gives me a S9 Ordnance Tank killer at 60". This also includes 9 S6 (against vehicle) shots, which should produce enough glances on a AV12 vehicle to take them out. Against MC's, that brings a steady 4-5 wounds on even a T6 MC, which is respectable. Pask can then turn his beady eye on all the others, and lend a hand in taking out the troops.

The Devildog is a bit of an experiment, as I've found it to be a versatile tank in the past against multiple opponents. It's equally at home killing tanks as killing Terminators... and if nothing else, should prove a frustrating unit to bring down. The other variants are well crafted to either anti-GeQ or anti-MeQ, but useless at the other ... hence my choice as the devildog CAN do a little of both.

I opted for three Scout Sentinels rather than 2 Armoured ones. Firstly because it gives me more options in either standing back and hiding behind the Russ, or flanking. Secondly because 3 shots are better than two...

I've opted to reduce the numbers of lascannons and autocannons. The blobs were just a bit too unwieldy. With 20 odd models and 9 power weapon attacks a turn ... they should be painful enough to make attacking twice a mistake. Instead, I've upped the amount of anti-tank mech while keeping tank numbers to four. The Ryanairs are really there as I've found the 4GL unit to be a vertsatile one, offering both anti light-mech and solid move and fire anti-troop shots.

The Command HQ is exactly that, a command HQ. Offering Orders, Regimental rerolls and limiting flanking. Drax would approve.

I've also included a Commissar Lord ... this is mainly for tank shocking or other 'OMG' moments in the back field. His Ld10 bubble should come in handy...

Tuesday, 12 April 2011

Thoughts on the new Tau FAQ

Come see it here, interesting clarifications...
  1. Piranha's can no longer "Buy one disruption pod, get one free." NERF.
  2. Target priority ... well thank goodness for that, target lock Sergeant shoots who he wants.
  3. Markerdrones can't move and fire. Last time I checked, drones have jetpacks, jetpacks allow relentless ... so this seems counterintuitive?
  4. Seeker Missiles are getting better and better. They are now confirmed to ignore all cover except area terrain (for units) and 'special items' for vehicles. So a vehicle can only ever gain a 4+ cover save if you bought the upgrade ... that's nice! SkyRay's FTW!
  5. Markerlights can totally negate pinning leadership OR saving throws ... how can you argue otherwise?
  6. Gundrones don't benefit from markerlights on their vehicle - well no, doh, course not!
  7. Detached gundrones are units and can contest and give away killpoints.
  8. Undetached gundrones (say that three times with a mouthful of mouthwash!) DO NOT, but are destroyed with the vehicle.
  9. Gundrones have leadership 7 and can disembark as if on an open top vehicle (ie anywhere within 2")
  10. Bodyguards/Honour guards are retinue as specified in the 40k rulebook.
  11. Some Ethereal and Sniper Drone clarifications ... but who takes them?
Overall this is GOOD news for the Tau. Seeker Missiles (alongside missile launchers in general) are seeing a resurgence and from XP, they rock. That whole move 12" and shoot everything is very very nice! The rise of light mech (Rhino, Chugs, Orks, DEldar and Razorbacks, Valks/Vends and Hellhounds) over AV14 monsters make seekers a positive choice, especially when they automatically ignore all cover for vehicles. Don't forget that SMOKE, disruption pods or DEldar cheating WILL still apply. But ... awesome!

The main win is obviously on gundrones. The clarification puts the choice in the Tau players hand, I can 'keep' the drones on board to consolidate killpoints, or I can drop a Drone Horde from Piranha's to contest. Very nice.

Friday, 8 April 2011

1750pt list for Blog Wars

So after some long hard thinking, here's my thoughts on a 1750pt list for BLOGWARS.

This will be subject to some tweaking ... further to your responses.

Mobile-Light Infantry Lives!
  • HQ: Company Command Squad (Powerfist, Regimental Standard, 2 Meltaguns, Officer of the Fleet) with Chimera Transport @ 185pts
  • Elite: Ratling Squad (9) @ 90pts
  • Elite: Marbo @ 65pts
  • Troops: Infantry Command Squad (Power Weapon, 1 Grenade Launcher, 2 Meltaguns) with Chimera Transport @ 120pts
  • Troops: Infantry Squad with Autocannon and power weapon @ 70pts
  • Troops: Infantry Squad with Autocannon and power weapon @ 70pts
  • Troops: Infantry Squad with Autocannon and power weapon with Commissar with power weapon @ 115pts
  • Troops: Infantry Squad with Lascannon with Chimera Transport @ 125pts
  • Troops: Infantry Squad with Lascannon @ 70pts
  • Troops: Infantry Squad with Lascannon @ 70pts
  • Troops: Mortar Team x5 (Fifteen Mortars in total) @ 300pts
  • Troops: Harker's Catachan Devils with 3 Sniper Rifles and a Missile Launcher with Chimera Transport @ 210pts
  • Fast Attack: 5 Rough Riders @ 55pts
  • Fast Attack: 5 Rough Riders @ 55pts
  • Fast Attack: 2 Armored Sentinels with Lascannon and smoke launchers @ 150pts
It's a bit different, a slight dastardly and smidge cheeky - but it might just work!

Tuesday, 5 April 2011

Oh look - Crisis Suits!

For those of you who haven't actually seen this - it's pure unadulterated PG awesomesauce! Now that's what a Shas'El training ground looks like!