Wednesday, December 26, 2007

Stealing Xmas

After another home game where the broodlord and zoanthropes underperformed, I've decided to switch them all out for 10 more genestealers. I also had to take away the 5th wound on both of the sniperfexes but I don't think it will have too much of an impact; they're 15 points cheaper and it still takes 3 T6 Sv 2 wounds to bring either of them below scoring. Thankfully I just happened to have 12 extra 2nd edition plastic stealers in an old box, already painted purple but thin enough to prime and paint over everything. The models do look different sitting right next to each other but in the mix of 48 genestealers I think the older ones will more or less fade into the background. In any case, maybe they'll give the broods a little more variety visually. I was left with a few extra points after the stealer switch, so I gave flesh hooks to the carnifexes to allow them to go simultaneously with most defenders in cover, should they ever want to charge. I also added enhanced senses back to the hive tyrant - I've really been missing those dependable 12-hit devourer blasts in my last few games.

As a side note, after I got some paint on him, I noticed that the elite carnifex that I converted up looks more like a big fat genestealer carrying devourers, so from now on I'm just going to think of him as some sort of giant über-hybrid.

The Megahive was specially bred by the incipient genestealer cult to subjugate one of the last loyalist holdouts on the doomed planet of Vivax. Together with scores of purestrain and hybrid genestealers, the Megahive launched devastating terror raids upon the defiant citizenry of Hullandose. After less than two months of sustained attacks, the cult's army had eroded all organized resistance within the complex and their "membership" had tripled. It would be the last real battle for the fate of the planet. The Tyranid splinter fleet, responding to the cult's psychic signal, arrived shortly thereafter and absorbed the broods into its own hive ships. The Megahive hybrid was presumed to have survived the battle for Hullandose.

HQ

Hive Tyrant - 2 twin-linked devourers, toxin sacs, warp field, enhanced senses, wings

ELITES

Carnifex - 2 twin-linked devourers, flesh hooks

TROOPS

6 x 8 Genestealers - extended carapace, scuttlers

FAST ATTACK

2 x 3 Tyranid Warriors - scything talons, rending claws, adrenal glands (+1 I), wings

HEAVY SUPPORT

2 Carnifexes - venom cannon, barbed strangler, extended carapace, enhanced senses, flesh hooks

Monday, December 24, 2007

Tournament: Dragon's Lair 12-22-07

Saturday marked a long-awaited return to Dragon's Lair for a 2000 point tournament. Last month (or maybe October?) I was one of three people that showed up. It was a weird month then, though, and I figured the last hosted tourney of the year would draw more players to the store this time around. Eight folks in total played on Saturday, all familiar faces to me now, regulars from the Austin community. Kurt, the new Dragon's Lair 40k (maybe more?) coordinator, did a great job of running the games and we finished earlier than any other DL tournament I've attended before. I decided to take my latest tyranid list - basically switching out the lictor and psychic screams for a broodlord and a couple of extra genestealers. It worked alright I guess, maybe not as well as I'd have liked. After several tournaments at Ninja Pirates, I got to feeling pretty comfortable with the 1500 list, but I'm still clumsy with the 2000 point build. I never felt like the Broodlord was giving me anything a few more carapace scuttler stealers wouldn't, and they would move faster to boot. I didn't miss psychic scream, and the warp blasts never performed that spectacularly. I'm getting ever closer to dropping the zoanthropes entirely to fit in even more genestealers. I liked the flying warriors, very fast and lots of rending attacks for the price, but with the 5+ save they are pretty damn fragile and I haven't quite gotten the hang of using them in combination with my other units yet.

Game 1 - Eldar - Seek and Destroy



I knew beforehand Chris would be there with his sick McEldar army and I was fairly relieved to get our game over with in the first round. Chris is a very fun guy to play with, but it's hard not to get pre-demoralized fighting against his tournament eldar list. Extremely efficient and redundant: 2 doom/mind war farseers on jetbikes, 2 squads of 10 dire avengers in scatter laser wave serpents, a small squad of pathfinders, 2 squads of 5 fire dragons, a squad of 5 or so harlequins, 3 falcons with scatter lasers, shuriken cannons, holofields, spirit stones, and the Emperor knows what else. Things went about as I expected. He swears there's an art to it, but honestly it doesn't seem like he even needs to move his shit around that much, other than to just circle your units and apply assloads of doom and shuriken. I would think the odds are low you'll even shake more than one falcon a turn with a moderately shooty force, and with an assault army the odds must get even lower. I will admit that I was at a loss about the best way to deploy my forces and it probably shows in the photograph. I scored a couple of pyrrhic victories in the middle territory against some dire avengers, pathfinders, and half of one squad fire dragons, but eventually his falcons, dragons, and harlies wiped out nearly everything I had. A few squads of stranded stealers, including the broodlord, were holed up in a building away from the action, and if I hadn't had to briefly leave the tournament at the 5th turn he would have killed those too. On a bright note, lightning struck his dice not once, but twice, as both of his Farseers died from perils of the warp attacks. Who needs shadow in the warp, anyway? Eldar won, victorious slaughter.

Game 2 - Chaos - Take and Hold



Chris has been working hard on his pre-heresy Thousand Sons and I had the opportunity to face off against them in my second game. He had a tzeentch sorcerer, a small squad of lightning claw terminators, three squads of thousand sons, two squads of lesser demons, and two units of havocs with 4 autocannons each. I got to grips fairly quickly with few losses from inferno bolts, but he had some really good rolls on all his 4+ invulnerable saves, and the very few rending hits I could get in usually dinged off their magickal shells. The tough game ended in a draw.

Game 3 - Demon Hunters - Secure and Control

*** file deleted by the Inquisition ***



Matt's demonhunter army is slowly but surely coming together, and his girlfriend has applied more and more cool paint touches every time I see them. Since the last time we played, he's added a psycannon purgation squad, a few chimeras full of storm troopers, and a second land raider to drive around his inquisitor. He was getting pretty poor results from all his lascannons (like 5, all twin-linked) and only managed to wound my big bugs a couple of times. I think we both inflicted similar amounts of casualties to each other but I ended up holding four objectives, pushing me pretty far out ahead. Tyranids won, victorious slaughter.

A win, loss, and a draw - not a bad end for the 2007 season! I played in tournaments in four different stores, got to know most of the local community, and had a lot of fun. I won one first place, two second places, one third place, and best army four or five times, including at the citywide for the second year in a row. My tourney record, spread across the four stores, was:

wins/losses/draws

Witch Hunters: 8/2/2
Tyranids: 6/1/1
Imperial Guard: 4/8/3
Chaos: 0/2/0
Total: 18/13/6

My goals for 2008 are to get my guard win ratio up at least a smidgen, finish painting the tyranids and improve their game at the 2000 point level, and get my Saim Hann airborn and shredding some of those primitive monkeighs out there. Thanks to everyone I met and played this year, and a special thanks to everyone who cares enough to check out my blog from time to time!

The Daddi Addi

You can still reach this page through the blogspot address, but it can now also be found at www.40kology.com. Tell your friends.

Thursday, December 20, 2007

You're the meaning in my life, you're my inspiration


I have this scanned image in a miscellaneous documents folder on my computer and I come across it every now and then and laugh my ass off. Warhammer Records indeed. I never actually heard the album, but after seeing the pic again, I'm going to try to find it. Other bands I'm tempted to dig up and poke fun at: Bolt Thrower & D-Rok.

Friday, December 14, 2007

Battle Report: Tyranids vs. Imperial Guard 12-13-07


Last night I threw down with Clay at Ninja Pirates in a 2000 point take and hold match. I used my latest bug list: 36 scuttling carapace genestealers, 6 flying CC warriors, dakkarant, dakka fex, lictor, 2 sniperfexes, and blast/scream zoanthropes. He was playing a big guard gunline army, with a high Ld CHQ with vox, a few heavy weapon squads (autocannons and missile launchers), a squad of ogryns in a chimera, two platoons with three infantry squads each (with autocannon teams), two hellhounds, two HB/LC leman russes, and a basilisk. He rolled to pick his deployment as well as to go first.

Turn 1


After the genestealer squads scuttled forward towards their lines, Clay's guardsmen loosed their heavy guns and tried to squash as many bugs as possible. Several different stealer squads, one sniperfex, and the dakkafex all took wounds from mass ordnance, rockets and autocannon fire. His hellhounds moved forward into the center piece of terrain, one of them burning up an entire stealer squad in great one gout of flame. The ogryn taxi moved up as well. In my turn, all the remaining stealers moved up, hiding in terrain whenever possible, and thanks to a six inch fleet move, a squad of six made it into combat with one of the fire support squads. A predictable amount of bloodshed ensued, and they consolidated into a nearby missile launcher squad. The hive tyrant and winged warriors jumped to face the right guard flank, the tyrant's devourers bringing down the senior officer and three of his attendants, leaving the commissar in charge. The sniperfexes and zoanthropes stunned one of the hellhounds and destroyed the other, leaving it stranded in the center terrain. A damn fine first turn for me! I had managed to turn down the heat some (literally), hurt the command HQ a little bit, and tied up most of his left flank.

Turn 2


In his second turn, Clay pulled the ogryns back to support the center of his line, and finished off the last two stragglers from one of the genestealer squads. He also reduced the stealer squad on my far right to a single man. Then he charged into the melee in progress on his left with one of the nearby infantry squads. With their high initiative, the genestealers broke the missile launcher squad and hacked apart most of the infantry that had just charged them. In my turn, the sniperfexes destroyed the chimera with a glancing 6 from a venom cannon and entangled the passengers. After some unlucky armor save rolls, one of the ogrys died in the explosion, another took two wounds, and the commissar also took a wound. The lictor emerged from a shed in the middle of his gunline and assaulted a nearby infantry squad, only killing one or two before taking a wound himself. The hive tyrant dealt heavy casualties to a missile launcher squad, sending the survivors fleeing for the hills. The flying warriors jumped into assault with a squad of guardsmen but was only able to kill a few of them. The zoanthropes tried to finish off the hellhound in the middle to no avail, only managing to stun it once more. Another stealer squad charged his center left, tying up two infantry squads and killing four men from each unit. The last surviving black-headed stealer on my right was finally made it into assault with an infantry squad as well, but was knocked in the head with a rifle butt and killed after his own swings went wide. Things just kept getting better for the bugs, and we decided to tentatively play out a third turn to see if the guard could turn things around...

Turn 3


They couldn't. It was too late, and his subsequent guardsmen charges into my genestealer units were mostly ineffective. He managed to bring down one of the flying warriors with his commissar, and a command squad helped infantry squad remnants kill off the lictor, but I had dug pretty deep into his lines and we decided to call it as an inevitable victory for the bugs.

This game was probably more fun for me, but there were some great misadventures on both sides. I liked fielding a strong flank with the genestealers - it worked much better than spreading them out across the entire table. The warriors were about as strong as I expected, in other words not that strong, but I thought the one squad definitely served its purpose by supporting the zopes and sniperfexes in the middle, providing synapse and counterassault if necessary. The hive tyrant did well against guard, even with a lower BS than usual; we'll see if the good results can be repeated against marines. I think the most important thing was keeping the stealers away from the leman russes. Even if he destroyed four of the six squads, it only took the two stealer units that made it across the board to wipe out all the infantry on his left flank.

Thursday, December 13, 2007

Action Report: Tyranids vs. Space Marines (The Anger Sharks) 12-8-07


Last Saturday I got in a 2000 point game at Ninja Pirates against Russell and his DIY chapter (using the Blood Angels codex). He had 3 Baal predators (I'm pretty sure we covered every triple testicle joke imaginable), a couple of standard assault squads, a veteran assault squad, 2 melta/asscan land speeders, a death company and chaplain, and a sanguiniously winged librarian with might of heroes. I was running the 2 squads of 3 winged talon/rending warriors for the first time, mixed in with my usual bug army: 2 sniperfexes, 3 scream-blast zopes, 5 6-man genestealer squads, a lictor, a simple dakkafex, a broodlord with a 6-man genestealer squad, and a flying dakkarant. The mission was cleanse, and I believe Russell went first.

This was a great game. The predators and land speeders chewed up several genestealer squads early on, including the Broodlord's team, leaving the stragglers to try and rip up assorted vehicles and assault jump squads. The Hive Tyrant was supporting a stealer squad moving into an adjacent quarter until things started to go bad for me in the middle. The winged warriors had been sent packing, and only one stealer squad remained to fight a standard assault and veteran squad, while nearby the Death Company hacked apart one carnifex and headed towards another. The Tyrant flew over, and together with the dakkafex they put the kibosh on the Death Company in shooting and assault. Eventually the Tyrant was killed, in a manner that eludes me just now, as well as one of my zoanthropes. Near the end of the game, Russell was looking to occupy my home quarter, as well as one of the adjacent quarters, with his maimed but essentially intact landspeeders and predators. The lictor and genestealers had managed to finish off the veterans and assault marines after sustaining heavy losses. Then, in stunning succession, a small squad of genestealers and two of the carnifexes leapt from cover to destroy all 3 of his predators in one turn. It was not enough to keep him from holding my home quarter, however, and when the smoke cleared, he had earned enough victory points to secure a crushing victory. Scree! The bugs scattered into the woods.

I think my main mistake was giving up so many troops to the ridiculous Baal loadouts. I extended myself too far, and thanks to his overcharged engines he managed to fend off two or three units at a time, whittling them down all the while. The armored part of his force is definitely the sharp end against nids. After this game, I decided to ditch the Broodlord entirely and drop a few other upgrades to buy scuttlers for all the stealer squads. The hive tyrant can live without enhanced senses, considering the rerolls he gets for shooting, but he'll keep toxin sacs for the extra odds against marines and vehicles in assault. He's a little cheaper in any case. The warriors are also cheaper now, after I took away their toxin sacs and adrenal glands. They can be startlingly ephemeral in the face of any decent size group of enemies. From now on they'll be either providing mobile synapse and counterassault for the guns of the army, or sneaking up on the more static portions and tying them up for a turn or two. The fexes and zopes were shooting like shit this game, but that happens sometimes. And psychic scream: you're definitely on a fast track to excision. Shape up or ship out!

Wednesday, December 12, 2007

Action Report: Imperial Guard vs. Death Guard 12-6-07


I played a 2000 point cleanse mission against Bigred from BOLS last Thursday using my imperial guard army. He was trying out for the first time his updated 2k death guard list, featuring a nurgle bike lord, three squads of 10 plaguemarines, five squads of 6 lesser demons, and three vindicators. In other words, a tar pit and a half. I knew going in that the bike lord and all the demons he would be able to summon were going to be my main threat. And I was right. I was able to destroy the vindicators fairly easily in the first two turns, but just as I feared, the bike lord pulled up in right front of my gun line in the second turn and started pooping out demons, who in turn began assaulting my squads immediately, tying up their guns and clogging up valuable LOS lanes for everyone behind them. And in case you're wondering, yes, red's mix of nurglings and plaguebearer bases does indeed extend his potential summoning turn charge. I was eventually able to kill a bunch of them with tank shooting, but the wave of plaguemarines following them wiped out just about everything I had. In the end, we both held an adjacent quarter and each other's home quarter (I managed to land grab with some deep-striking vets and a sentinel), but he swamped me with victory points from all the inflicted casualties. A loss for the Tiefwalders, but nevertheless it was a fun game with a very agreeable opponent.

The game pretty well summed up the main issues I have with my guard army. It's great for putting out tons of fire, and has a few fun little tricks, but if a few infantry units get pulled into assault, it's pretty much over. Consolidation and massacre moves allow enemies to get deeper and deeper into my lines, until they're eventually close enough to melta my tanks. Any squads that try to move away from the frays lose their shooting and they can't ever move far enough away to escape assault themselves in subsequent turns. It's a good army in the first couple of turns but gets shitty late-game, especially against any assault-themed force with a decent amount of intervening terrain. Next game I'm going to try using an eversor (and the requisite cheap inquisitor) for counterassault. Maybe down the line I'll be able to make those piggy rough riders and be able to go back to a pure guard force again.

Posts are coming...

I have a couple of action report posts on the way, I just haven't had time to put them up yet. And I swear it's not because I lost those games!

Sunday, December 9, 2007

Tiefwalder 14th Regiment: The Red Rifles


Thanks to Bigred from BOLS for taking these great pictures of my imperial guard army. There's a powerfist captain, a commissar, and a few spare special and heavy weapon troopers not pictured but this is essentially the whole shebang. Here's some tournament fluff I've written for them in the past.


I started this army in 1997 with a Leman Russ bought in a dark and dusty game store, whose name I forget, in Gulfport, Mississippi. Up to that point, I had bought two squad boxes of the metal cadians and 20 or so of the pre-2nd edition plastic guard models, but hadn't really committed to the idea of collecting guard until I started working on the russ. Putting that first tank together was pure joy, except for the stupid track pieces of course. First it had a couple of heavy bolter sponsons and a hull-mounted lascannon. Over the years, I came back many times to update its loadout and appearance through the two codices. Now it rolls out with hull and sponson heavy bolters, a pintle heavy stubber, extra armor, and a dozer blade. I used only a little of the ridiculous amount of leftover track pieces you get in the kits to make the extra armor on all my tanks. The hull heavy bolter, by the way, is a spare sponson from the demolisher tank. If I remember right, you have to kind of trim down the little knob on the top that normally fits into the sponson tops. I don't know who wrote "suck it" on the barrel - I just woke up one morning and it was there. What a mystery.


I can definitely see the merits of having multiple standard russes, but it didn't strike me as varied enough to be interesting, so I bought a demolisher for my second main battle tank. I go back and forth on including the plasma sponsons. Over the past few days I've been considering giving it three heavy bolters and a stubber as well. If I'm not always going to be in range for the heavy ordnance, I might as well be blazing away with the dakka on the move. I don't have the book in front of me, but I think the points exchange would be even-steven at worst. At best it might give me a few more points with which to play around.



This is one of my two chimeras. Your standard armored transport, only mine have plastic catachan lasguns swapped in for the hideous and way outdated hull-mounted ones that come with the model. Also my versions of the tank are pronounced "shai-merrahs." Right now the models have hunterkiller missile launchers, but soon they too will have pintle heavy stubbers. Again, love that dakka.



The Hellhound was the last tank I bought for this army. It too is rocking a stubber and a dozer blade. I know a few folks that consider them wastes of points, but I love my dozer blades. They have saved me from what would have been silly and game-blowing immobilizations on numerous clutch occasions. Recently, though, they seem to be crapping out; I've rolled the dreaded double-one twice in as many games and it wasn't exactly convenient timing in either instance. Other than the standard russ, this is probably my favorite tank.


My sentinels are also later additions to my guard force. I installed magnets in mine at the head/waist joint as well as on their right sides for the gun mount. They've gone out equipped with lascannons, autocannons, and most recently, multilasers. I've had about equal success with each. One of my doctrines is drop troops, and recently I've been holding at least one of the sentinels in reserve to help with last second objective grabs. It works pretty well in conjunction with the veterans.



I gave all my vets backpacks just to make them all consistent and able to be picked out from the other cannon fodder. The centerpieces of the veteran units are the sergeants. The great thing about collecting several factions is that you can use all the leftover bitz from one army to make trophies for veteran troopers in another. One of the sergeants is a veteran of battles with splinter fleet Vivax, while the other has campaign experience battling the black legion marauders led by the demon prince Toggog. Given the propensity of Guard infantry to die before the game is even half over, it's most likely that their experience consisted of hiding really well and picking up stuff off of dead enemies after the tanks and artillery blew everything away. Appropriate then that they should lead noble suicide squads deep into enemy territory and wait patiently in ambush for vehicles or elite infantry to pass by before jumping out and blasting away with their anti-armor firepower. Half the time they scatter into their targets or other neightbors. When this happens, I just sigh and envision their being hidden so well that they got themselves run'd over.


My command HQ has always been led by the bald catachan captain with the cigar and cool carapace armor. I prefer using the junior variety of officer, straight up with just a bolter, and to me the only good guard powerfist is a hidden one, so I will attach a commissar to the unit from time to time and give them all hardened fighters to send them on counter-assault duty. I wrote about the standard bearer in my very first post. I'm still experimenting a bit with the construction of this unit - the various pros and cons of including a heavy weapon (or just giving them a mortar). Firing off a round with the mortar gives you a little edge for correctly ranging subsequent indirect basilisk fire.



Here's one of my two platoon command squads. The junior officer head is from the most recent tank accessory sprue. The one pictured is probably my favorite of the two. I typically give all the command and infantry squads missile launchers. Against certain MEQ variants these can really bring the pain, but they still all miss half the time!

I got a 20-man catachan squad box and a few metals after painting up the metal cadians. The old pre-2nd edition plastic cadians models were horrible models (IMHO) and I chunked the deuce on them pretty quickly. The older metals cats were great. Some of the plastic body parts, on the other hand, were poorly sculpted and didn't always fit as well together as with the cadian plastics that came later. I have noticed that the details and proportions on the newer plastic catachans, such as those that come with the heavy weapon teams and sentinels, are actually quite decent. I worked on my other armies for the next couple of years with the guard essentially languishing on a shelf. When I came back to them, I realized that not having a consistent collection was really bothering me, so I re-upped on catachans with an army box and a few extra sentinels and heavy weapons teams. Then came the basilisk and the hellhound.

The tanks were painted by first applying a dark angels green spray for the primer coat, then successive drybrushings of a mix of dark angels green, goblin green, skull white, and chaos black, with increasing proportions of goblin green and white relative to the other two. I don't know if that explains it very well; I got the whole technique from a Nigel tank-painting article in an old White Dwarf (probably 1997 - it's got a blood angels dreadnought on the cover). The guns are all chaos black. Any eagles on black portions are picked out with white, then washed with purple wash, then highlighted back up to white with mixes of the two. Eagles on green portions are shining yellow, washed with watered down blood red (or just red wash), then highlighted back up to yellow. The metal parts are boltgun metal, washed with black wash, then drybrushed back up to boltgun. The infantry fatigues are goblin green, washed with green ink, then highlighted with goblin green and a touch of skull white. Fleshtones are bronzed flesh, brown or flesh wash, highlighted back up with a mix of bronzed flesh and elf flesh. Darker skin tones are a mix of brown ink and a bare touch of bleached bone (just enough to give the watery ink texture making a dark brown), washed with black ink, then highlighted back up with the original ink mix. The rifles are blood red, washed with watered down black ink, and gone over again with blood red. I'm not that great at highlighting black, so I just kept the plain black look consistent across the entire army (e.g. heavy weapons, boots, belts, canteens) and it's not too glaring an omission. I also can't paint eyes worth a shit so I don't even worry about it - I just try to get enough ink in there to make them all look like they're squinting really hard. Hopefully the Clint Eastwood look makes em all seem a little meaner.

So what's next? I want to apply some decals, possibly some homemade custom jobbies, and experiment a little with microsol in preparation for all the saim hann bikes in my future. Probably when the next codex comes out I'll finally make those boar rough riders.

Sunday, December 2, 2007

Weekend Update

No real big news to speak of this week, other than the usual messing around with various conversions and army lists.

I thought modelling so many little identical bike squads in my SH army might be a little lame, so I've decided to ditch one of them for a 4-man squad of Warlocks with destructor, singing spears, and enhance. They'll all have panel steering left arms, dire avenger exarch right arms, new guardian bodies with greenstuff runes on the chestplates, and helmet-less eldar heads, with white kamikaze bandannas flapping in the wind behind them. I'm hoping they will really evoke the Wild Rider theme. And it's only right for a jetbike army to include Shining Spears as well, so I'm including them for now in my updated 2000 point list:

HQ

Farseer - jetbike, spirit stones, singing spear, doom, edritch storm, runes of warding

4 Warlocks - jetbikes, 3 destructors, 1 enhance, 4 singing spears

TROOPS

5 x 3 Guardian Jetbikes - 1 shuriken cannon

10 Dire Avengers - exarch with twin shuriken catapults and bladestorm
Wave Serpent - shuriken cannon, twin-linked shuriken cannon turret

FAST ATTACK

3 Shining Spears - exarch with star lance

2 Vypers - spirit stones, starcannons

2 Vypers - spirit stones, bright lances

HEAVY SUPPORT

3 Fire Prisms - holofields, spirit stones

I also did a little work on my bugs. I ripped all the guns off my tyranid warriors and replaced them with genestealer scything talon arms. I think they'll fit in pretty well in my newest tyranid 2000 point list:

HQ

Hive Tyrant - 2 twin-linked devourers, toxin sacs, enhanced senses, warp field, wings

Broodlord
6 Genestealers - extended carapace

ELITES

Lictor

Carnifex - 2 twin-linked devourers

TROOPS

5 x 6 Genestealers - extended carapace

FAST ATTACK

2 x 3 Tyranid Warriors - adrenal glands (+1 WS), toxin sacs, talons, rending claws, wings

HEAVY SUPPORT

2 x Carnifex - venom cannon, barbed strangler, enhanced senses, extended carapaces, reinforced chitin

3 Zoanthropes - psychic scream, warp blast

Monday, November 26, 2007

Action Report: Tyranids vs. Imperial Guard 1500


I got in a game on Saturday against Kingsley while he was in town for the holidays. I used the same 1500 tyranid list I used at the last Ninja Pirates tournament, with the bonded exoskeleton (+1 T) biomorph on the two fexes instead of spine banks and the zoanthropes' psychic scream. Kingsley had his guard army: HQ, anti-tank squad, infantry platoon with three squads, armored fist squad, two sentinels, two leman russes, and storm trooper and veteran squads. I was going to write up a full battle report, but it was really too one-sided to be very interesting. I was almost completely wiped out by the end of the third turn. None of my genestealers survived to assault and most of my big bugs were killed. In retrospect I think I spread my forces too thin across a long front; it might have been better to focus my forces on one side. I probably would have still taken heavy casualties, but then at least a few units might have made it into close combat. Kudos to K’s bug hunters!

We did talk a little about a possible 2000 point comp. Since I’m so eager to get cracking on my Saim Hann army, I don't really want to get any more models for the nids, so I wanted to work with what I currently have: a broodlord, a lictor, an old dakkafex, and five warriors. I also had a few old gargoyles lying around, so I took their wings and pinned them to the backs of the warriors.


They might not look as cool as the newest warrior minis, but the price is right and they'll definitely be more effective than they would be walking or leaping. Also, I want to bring back psychic scream and get rid of the bonded exoskeleton. Since people are normally shooting at the fexes with high strength, low AP guns anyway, the extra toughness doesn't seem to make them that much more survivable to be worth the 40 points. Plus they're usually far enough back to have to worry about mass lasgun fire anyway. And long live the screamer choir!

Here's the first 2000 point list I'll be playtesting:

HQ

Hive Tyrant - 2 twin-linked devourers, toxin sacs, enhanced senses, warp field, wings

Broodlord
6 Genestealers - extended carapace

ELITES

Lictor

Carnifex - 2 twin-linked devourers

TROOPS

6 Genestealers - extended carapace

6 Genestealers - extended carapace

6 Genestealers - extended carapace

6 Genestealers - extended carapace

6 Genestealers - extended carapace

FAST ATTACK

3 Tyranid Warriors - scything talons, rending claws, adrenal glands (+1 WS), toxin sacs, wings

3 Tyranid Warriors - scything talons, rending claws, adrenal glands (+1 WS), toxin sacs, wings

HEAVY SUPPORT

3 Zoanthropes - psychic scream, warp blast

Carnifex - venom cannon, barbed strangler, enhanced senses, extended carapace, reinforced chitin

Carnifex - venom cannon, barbed strangler, enhanced senses, extended carapace, reinforced chitin

Monday, November 19, 2007

Tournament: Ninja Pirates 11-18-07

On Sunday I went to another 1500 point tournament at Ninja Pirates, taking along my increasingly painted Tyranid army. After much deliberation I had replaced the two fexes' +1 toughness biomorph with the cheaper +1 wound, and with the 10 points I had left over I gave them spine banks. In retrospect, the extra wound was an excellent choice over the boosted toughness, but the spines were pretty much wasted because most of the time I really don't want enemies to get within 12" of them anyway, and they definitely won't be charging anyone hiding in cover. The zoanthropes' psychic scream also did not have much of an effect in any of these three games, but I'm still not convinced that I should drop it. Usually I keep them hiding in cover, lurking if at all possible, picking off heavy infantry and vehicles when they can. I'd love to give one of them Shadow in the Warp instead, but it's only available to the hive tyrant and I'd have to take away his 2+ save. Given my propensity to jump him out to a forward position and lay into squads with his devourers, as well as the amount of return fire he usually attracts, he needs warp field to stay effective for as long as possible.

So let's just say I drop the spine banks and psychic scream. In return I could put the extra toughness back on the carnifexes, making them more durable but also more expensive (208 points each). Or I could add two genestealers to one of the squads - boooring. I think upgrading the fexes would probably be the better choice (if not the cheesy one), but honestly I still really like scream. Obviously it messes with enemy leadership, but sometimes it also allows me to pre-measure the zoanthropes' big beam shooting range, slightly making up for their irritating BS 3. As far as tournaments go, it may be a moot issue anyway, since Ninja Pirates is moving up to 2000 point tournaments in December (though I won't actually be able to make it to that one). They will also be adding painting scoring as well, so I really need to get cranking on finishing up my yellowjackets. The way things are going it looks like it's going to be late spring before I get the Saim Hann up and running, er, biking. Another question: why shouldn't I put two venom cannons on one of the fexes, and two stranglers on the other? Mixing the guns seems like I'm somehow wasting one type half the time. Two strangler hits on an infantry squad would be awesome, and so would 4 S10 venom shots, even if they can only glance.

Game 1 - Blood Angels - Cleanse


Last time I faced Russell it was at the 'Ardboyz tournament preliminaries, where he was fielding his Imperial Stormtrooper marines using White Scars traits. He has since switched over to the new Blood Angels ruleset, and his 1500 point comp on Sunday included a flying librarian, two large jump assault squads, two Baal predators, two landspeeders, and the inevitable Death Company (7-man squad). I was most afraid of his armored units, each of which could theoretically take out a genestealer squad a turn, and since they were deployed fairly close to the center, I tried to take them out early. One speeder went down to a zoanthrope blast, and the other was destroyed by the hive tyrant's devourer fire. Thanks to a big piece of terrain in the middle and nids' proficiency in moving through cover, several squads of stealers jumped out and rended both tanks to death in the first turn (thankfully, no explosions). He kept one assault squad in his home quarter, and with the other he flew around with the librarian and tried to shoot up a stealer squad that had run into one of the adjacent quarters. The Death Company came streaking out to surprise one of my carnifexes, rending off a limb at a time and leaving him dead before the big guy could strike back. He never had a chance! The blood crazed marines segued into the nearby hive tyrant, so I swarmed them with stealers before they could do the same to him. Once they were quickly disposed of, I moved everyone over to kill the librarian and assault squad. Two more fast-moving stealer squads eventually caught the surviving assault squad in the far corner of his home quarter, but were unable to bring them below scoring before the game was ended. Result: Tyranids win, victorious slaughter.

Game 2 – Eldar – Secure and Control


For the second game I was paired against Ames, who had just earned a slaughter herself against a nurgle chaos force. We only rolled for three objectives, which I think is the lowest number I've ever actually played with before. She picked the side closer to two of the objectives, and set up her two pathfinder squads right on top of them in heavy cover. She also had a lightly armed Autarch (mainly for the extra strategy dice and reserves bonus), a largish squad each of warp spiders and harlequins, three scatter laser war walkers, and two fire prisms. The Autarch paid off and she got first turn, putting a few holes into my fexes and one of my zoanthropes with AP1 fire prism and sniper fire. Unfortunately her units were just too close to my genestealer squads, and a few made it across the board quick enough to catch and rend up the war walkers, warp spiders, and both pathfinder squads. Two of the three War Walkers exploded (always a danger with rending), killing a few genestealers in trade. The Autarch went down under a hail of tyrant devourer fire in my first turn, as did the harlequins in my second turn. One of the carnifexes was eventually finished off by pathfinders and fire prism shooting, but at the end of the game most of my units were intact and I held one objective. Her fire prisms contested the other two, despite the best efforts of my hive tyrant and three squads of stealers. Hiss! Blasted skimmers! Something is just not right about holofields working against assault attacks. Ah, what am I really complaining about? Shut up already! Result: Tyranids win, victorious slaughter.

Game 3 - Tau – Take and Hold


Finally a game against an army with the same shite strategy rating (though for completely different reasons)! For my third and final matchup I was paired against Jay, just like last month, but at this point I probably wouldn't have it any other way. Even though he had made it to the top bracket, he was already a little irritated with his army, which was apparently performing in the precise manner that had caused him to put it in storage lockdown until very recently. He had two 3-man squads of plasma and rocket battlesuits (one with the HQ), another squad of two battlesuits with fusion guns, three units of firewarriors (one with a devilfish), a hammerhead tank, an ion head tank, and a broadside suit with shield drones. I won the first turn roll but elected to go second, partly because I was so used to going second by that point anyway, but mostly as an insurance policy to hopefully allow me to jump surviving units out of cover and into the middle at the last second. The stealer squad attempting to flank his right was wiped out by the various battlesuits and tanks before they could get through their first piece of terrain. The hive tyrant was also brought down in the end, but not before he waxed a battlesuit or two along with a few fire warriors for good measure. The fexes and zoanthropes never made too much of an impact, but two genestealer squads carried the day by charging straight through the center piece of terrain and barely catching one of the suit units just behind it, destroying it and a nearby fire warrior squad over a couple of turns before following up into the broadside. The broadside was really the most challenging foe – he played a big roll in killing the hive tyrant, his shield drones made it extremely difficult for me to shoot him down in return, and he repelled a genestealer squad that literally couldn't rend to save their own lives. The tanks also survived but I had enough scoring units in the middle 12" to grant me a third big win. Result: Tyranids win, victorious slaughter.

I came in first, Robert with his Eldar placed second, and Josef won the morale officer prize. As a side note, the rumors about the 5th edition rulebook (2008?) are flying already, and for Tyranids it looks like the biggest effect will be the changes to rending. With all honesty, after three gratuitous victorious slaughters in which genestealers played the biggest part, I think the changes are a good idea. Skipping the wounding roll was always ridiculous and even the sharpest unpowered claws should not be able to penetrate a goddamn land raider. The changes to skimmers are also welcome for general balance. Forced march, not so much. It sounds a little interesting in theory, but I think it will just add extra confusion to the movement and shooting phases.

Friday, November 16, 2007

Action Report: Tyranids vs. Chaos

My blasted allergies kept me out of the first week of the assault on Terra on Thursday, so I made up for it today by meeting with Rob for a little 1500 point game up at BFG. A host of Thousand Sons marines under the sway of a slaanesh sorcerer searching for lost magicks has stumbled upon the outrunners of a tyranid invasion, and a crappy, decrepit old gryphon statue will soon become the nexus for a battle royale!

I had a winged warp field dakka tyrant, six squads of six genestealers, three zoanthropes with warp blast and psychic scream, and two carnifexes with venom cannons, barbed stranglers, and extra toughness. He had a slaanesh lash sorcerer, three squads of nine Thousand Sons (with sorcerers), and two squads of nine havocs with four lascannons each. Our random mission was Take and Hold alpha.

The cover was a mix of forest area terrain and 4+ ruins and walls. I started most of my shooters on my right behind a big forest with the genestealers lined up along my middle ready to sprint forward. I drew first turn and advanced all the stealers toward his position. Two of the squads hid in cover on my right. Due to some shite distance and line of sight estimates on my part, I wasn't able to get any good shooting in on the first turn. A barbed strangler kill failed to pin one of the havoc squads. He pressed the advantage and creamed three of my stealer squads with his havocs and thousand sons, sending a few survivors fleeing for the hive tyrant on my far right. Another of the squads he lashed backwards, though they passed their pinning test. On my second turn, the lashed squad sprinted back towards the chaos lines, mostly to draw fire away from the big bugs; I realized at this point that all the stealers were going to be AP3'd toast in the end and it was up to the big guys to secure the objective. My zopes moved up and put scream and warp blast pressure on one squad of havocs, while the tyrant and one of the fexes shot up one of the thousand sons squads. In spite of the tyrant inflicting 11 wounds, only of them one fell. However, the zoanthropes and my other gunfex inflicted enough casualties on the havocs to send them fleeing back towards their table edge, unable to regroup. The Thousand Sons barely winced at the casualties and proceeded to double-tap the surviving genestealer squads to death, leaving only two or three stragglers left on the board. His other havoc squad moved out of their terrain piece and moved forward to a better firing position. The tyrant and one of the fexes moved up some more and let fly on the thousand sons again, this time dropping seven of the dusty automatons, leaving only the sorcerer.


On his next turn, he lashed the hive tyrant towards his own position and charged in with one full squad of sons and the leftover sorcerer. Though the Hive Tyrant finished off the straggler, he was killed in the end by the other sorcerer's force weapon (he just barely passed the psychic test due to the psychic scream interference). Scree! Down goes the hive tyrant. His second havoc squad inflicted two wounds on one of my gunfexes and another thousand sons squad finishes off a few remaining genestealers. Mourning the tyrant, the fexes and zoanthropes brought down a few more thousand sons through combined fire. His havocs finished off the wounded carnifex but couldn't inflict any casualties on the other fex or the zoanthropes with his inferno bolts.


On the final turn, my second carnifex charged into the squad of thousand sons that were holding the center. It killed one marine, and a failed "fearless" armor save brought down a second, taking them below scoring capacity. In a last ditch bid for the win, his HQ sorcerer and the last scoring squad of thousand sons charged into the fray with the big beast, but their force weapons were unable to wound it. Instead, it raised up a mighty hoof and squashed one last thousand son taking the last squad below scoring. Victory Tyranids!

This was an awesome game, really a lucky finish for the bugs. I might have deployed everyone more centrally and had a greater number of genestealers survive to assault, but those lascannons would have eaten up my big creatures pretty easily, and the 4+ save on thousand sons makes rending mostly moot anyway. The Tyrant is still my favorite unit in the entire army, and I was once again convinced of the zoanthropes' merits (though they did shoot worse than average in this game). I could switch them out for a third gunfex but I like the variety of tricks.

Saturday, November 10, 2007

Cut and Paste

For some reason I glitched out and didn't realize there was a Saturday tourney at BFG this weekend; I hear there was a 3-monolith army there and no big bugs at all. Interesting shift in the meta, wish I'd been there.

Instead I was impatiently mucking about with jetbikes today, concentrating mainly on converting shuriken cannons to mount up to 6 jetbikes and 2 vypers. With the bikes, I first made a couple of cuts to the original weapon, sawed off the cone portions of the shuriken catapult mounts, and put the catapult barrel on one side and the ammo canister on the other. There were actually 2 different versions of the cannon but they both looked pretty cool underslung in this manner. For the Vypers, I put the cannon barrel in the place of the center stabilizer that normally barely pokes out from underneath the front canopy.


I also toyed around with an old cut up Eldrad model I had in the bitz box, sawing it up even further and attaching it to guardian rider legs to mount him on a bike. His sword arm was cut off and replaced with a guardian arm, and his staff top was replaced by the blade and handle-guard from the metal jetbike autarch model to make a singing spear. On the lower half of the staff I put the little power generator from the base of the bike autarch's laser lance. I cut in deep lines in his bike's wings to set his ride apart a little bit from the rest of the troops. I think he's going to look pretty cool, although I still have to dig out the dreaded greenstuff to clean up his robes.


So, yeah, I was thinking I'd put off the Wild Riders until I was done painting Tyranids, but it looks like that's going to be pretty difficult.

Here's the latest 1500 list I'm working with, updated after several helpful comments from visitors. It's got 11 scoring units, some good anti-vehicle and anti-horde, great on movement, and the big guns are generally resilient. At the very least it should be a lot of fun!

HQ

Farseer - jetbike, singing spear, guide, doom, runes of warding, spirit stones

TROOPS

3 Guardian Jetbikes - 1 shuriken cannon
Warlock - jetbike, destructor, singing spear

3 Guardian Jetbikes - 1 shuriken cannon

3 Guardian Jetbikes - 1 shuriken cannon

3 Guardian Jetbikes - 1 shuriken cannon

3 Guardian Jetbikes - 1 shuriken cannon

3 Guardian Jetbikes - 1 shuriken cannon

FAST ATTACK

2 Vypers - 2 starcannons, 2 spirit stones

2 Vypers - 2 bright lances, 2 spirit stones

HEAVY SUPPORT

Fire Prism - holofields, spirit stones

Fire Prism - holofields, spirit stones

Fire Prism - holofields, spirit stones

Friday, November 9, 2007

Clash of the Titans


I beat Dark Crusade today (on standard) after taking a long hiatus away from DoW, using Necrons. Great army. Once they get rolling it's fairly easy to roll right over anything and everything in your path. My favorite two units are the Immortals and the attack scarab swarms you can make with the tomb spyder. With just three infinitely replicating swarms I held off a full half of the final Ork territory while I walked around destroying everything else. This battle above was at the steps of the main Eldar base in their home territory. I activated the Nightbringer just as the Avatar came strolling down the ramp. Great game and I look forward to the next sequel, Soulstorm, due out in June of '08, featuring the Dark Eldar and Sisters of Battle as the new playable factions. I honestly don't buy their reasons for not including Tyranids, since its most likely the last version to use the original DoW engine. Hell, with all the big bug lists going around, I think everyone would be used to seeing swarmless nids. But whatever, the penitent engine and cannoness look fucking sweet, as do the raiders filled up with DE warriors. Flyers, too, are making their debut. Sounds like a good time.

To Cheese or Not To Cheese

Holo-fields are pretty expensive, and I worry that putting them on Vypers is like putting lipstick on a pig. Fritz at Way of Saim Hann uses them on his 3 squadrons to what sounds like good effect, and quickly put them back on for good after he played a few games without them. Still, if I take them off, I can just about afford to fit a third Fire Prism in my 1500 list! What's not to like about that?

Well, there's the one thing: cries of cheese. The main 3-falcon player in town is constantly under attack for using 3 gravtanks, and though I've experienced the frustration of losing to that list myself, I don't really begrudge him for what is technically a legal (and probably fun) list. My question is this: does the fact that they're Fire Prisms and not Falcons make the list less cheesy, ie, will people keep their pouty little mouths shut? Somehow I doubt it. I love Fire Prisms and I've never seen anyone using three before, and only rarely have I seen two in the same list (around the Austin community anyways). I'm drooling just thinking about bank-shooting three Prism cannons together to get that S7 AP2 large blast! Also I want to see if the triple focus(sed) beam creates an actual black hole on the table. I mean, it's AP0! What does that even mean?

Kingsley emailed me with a few ideas, including dropping those holo-fields, but probably the most interesting notion was changing the 3 squads of 6 jetbikes to 6 squads of 3. I'll probably give this a whirl starting out. Not only will this give me more scoring units (very important for alpha missions), but it will make them easier to hide and thus make their little pop-up attacks easier to manage.

Thursday, November 8, 2007

Eldar Jetbag


Today I finally got my first Apocalypse formation together: the Eldar Jetbag. GW is still putting the final touches on the formal datasheet, but from what I understand, deploying a full Jetbag lets you scatter all the pieces out across the entire board, and any model it touches is immediately dipped in brake fluid and scrubbed to its original pre-painted state. How cruel the arcane magicks of the Eldar are!

Obviously I kid. This is what 2 Windrider Hosts look like cut out of the sprues. Reassembled (over the next several months) they will constitute the larger part of my next project: Saim Hann. Below is my initial 1500 list that I will use to cut my teeth. I anticipate the learning curve will be fairly steep with such a small and delicate army, but I've always wanted to field a bike force and finally decided to go with an Eldar version. The 2000 list will most likely add Wave Serpent-ed Dire Avengers along with either Warp Spiders or possibly a small but expensive Warlock bike squad with enhance, multiple destructors, and singing spears. As an aside, I have a great T-shirt idea that I really need to put together on Cafepress. More on that later. Also let me point your attention to an interesting Saim Hann blog that I recently found and added to my links section in the sidebar. Nice guy, cool army, and great pictures from the Baltimore GT.

HQ

Farseer - jetbike, singing spear, spirit stones, runes of warding and witnessing, guide, mind war

TROOPS

6 Guardian Jetbikes - 2 shuriken cannons
1 Warlock - jetbike, singing spear, destructor

6 Guardian Jetbikes - 2 shuriken cannons

6 Guardian Jetbikes - 2 shuriken cannons

FAST ATTACK

2 Vypers - 2 scatter lasers, 2 shuriken cannons, holofields, spirit stones

2 Vypers - 2 bright lances, 2 shuriken cannons, holofields, spirit stones

HEAVY SUPPORT

Fire Prism - holofields, spirit stones

Fire Prism - holofields, spirit stones

Monday, November 5, 2007

Some WIP




Recently I broke apart my exorcist and immolator and changed around some parts, putting the missile launchers on the immolator turrets and gothic top armor. After a day or two of pondering my leftovers, I used the old whirlwind launcher axle to hold two heavy bolters to remake the immolator. So above we see the final Exorcist. Here's what they used to look like. Still gotta find a way to bring that banner pole back in. I'm probably going to ditch the immolator entirely when I can get my hands on another set of whirlwind and immolator bits and make a second exorcist similar to this one.




I finally decided to add wings to my hive tyrant, so I broke apart two smaller fex scything talons and stuck them on his back where the two double fin thingies used to be. I think it came out looking pretty insect-like, which is great since I designed the army's look around yellowjackets. I took away his psychic scream and gave him warp field instead to keep the 2+ save. He's expensive but I think more ded kunning overall (this new orks madness is getting to me). Here's another yellow bug army that I found on the nets. I like shiny black armor better but the shaded grey is cool too!




You just can't keep an old fex down, and this guy's proof. Probably the first tyranid model I ever bought, only now he's articulated in something of a running pose, with new fex devourers and armor plates above the arms (without them the new segmented arms looked a little goofy coming out of the fat old body). I kept the tusks I had added to him the last time around, but I won't actually equip him with it in the game. He's just a cheap elite dakkafex to soak up wounds, sit on objectives, and maybe squeeze off a few corrosive larvae himself a time or two.

I also put together my new second sniperfex, dabbed various colors of paint on some genestealer carapaces to differentiate squads, and took a 2000 point mess up to Dragon's Lair on Sunday to have a go at their advertised tournament. Only two other guys showed up about 30 minutes late, and it seemed more like they were just friends coming in to play a casual game. Soooo I took a rain check on the whole shebang. The new 40k coordinator at DL, Kurt, said the Sunday tourney was more like an experiment to see if people would show up, so maybe next time more folks will show up on a Saturday. Whathaveyou. I did see their new drop-down game board, and it was quite an impressive piece of lumber - I think they used like 5 sequoias to make the cabinet. The board itself is a cool ruined highway with two sides perfect to scatter buildings on, which they also had handy.

Friday, November 2, 2007

Warhammer 30,000: Week 5


Neither of the two blood angels player showed up for week 2 of the blooding of Signus. It didn't really matter though, since Aventine didn't bring his mutants for the other half of my LatD army. No big deal, instead I just hung out and watched several of the games being played, mostly the Dropsite Landings at Istvaan V, as Sam, proxying his fallen Dark Angels army for the forces of the Iron Hands, attacked bunkers held by the Death Guard (Bigred) and World Eaters (Adam) legions. The Blitz mission rules reward a highly mobile attacker, and in that regard the Iron Hands were in very good shape. Sam always fields tons of rhinos anyway, all with fisty/melty tac squads riding inside, and for this game he rounded out his 3000 points with a vindicator, a land raider, and three or four terminator squads that all teleported in very early in the game. I got to see some heavy casualties (and several World Eaters plasma overheats - must have been a bad batch) being inflicted on both sides before I left for the night.

Wednesday, October 31, 2007

Pumpkins for the Blood God's Throne



Happy Halloween!

The Horsley Chastisement Revisited

I rearranged my 2k Witch Hunters/Guard gunline list a bit. Basically I went back and took out a lot of the 'ard boyz experiments, bringing the seraphim back up to 10 girls, and dropping the russ in favor for the retributors and an extra heavy bolter immolator. In this edition I also took out any and all chimeras and rhinos, so my assault units will have less of a screen than before, but it allowed me to fit in more guns.

HQ

Canoness - jump pack, cloak of st. aspira, mantle of ophelia, book of st. lucius, frag grenades, inferno pistol, blessed weapon

Inquisitor Lord - carapace armor, psychic hood, liber heresius
2 chirurgeons
1 acolyte with carapace armor
3 heavy bolter servitors

ELITES

Eversor Assassin

TROOPS

10 Sisters of Battle - storm bolter, meltagun, imagifer
Veteran Sister Superior - book of st. lucius

10 Sisters of Battle - storm bolter, meltagun, imagifer
Veteran Sister Superior - book of st. lucius

1 Guard Infantry Platoon
Command Squad - junior officer with bolter, 2 meltaguns, lascannon team
Infantry Squad - plasma gun, lascannon team
Infantry Squad - plasma gun, lascannon team

1 Guard Infantry Platoon
Command Squad - junior officer with bolter, 2 meltaguns, lascannon team
Infantry Squad - plasma gun, lascannon team
Infantry Squad - plasma gun, lascannon team

Fast Attack

10 Seraphim - 2 twin hand flamers
Veteran Sister Superior

Heavy Support

1 Exorcist - extra armor, dozer blade

1 Immolator - extra armor, heavy bolters

10 Retributors - 4 heavy bolters, imagifer
Veteran Sister Superior - book of st. lucius

Friday, October 26, 2007

Warhammer 30,000: Week 4


Well, as will sometimes happen when you’re playing a sprawling, ambitious multiplayer campaign, this week’s installment of Warhammer 30k didn’t turn out exactly as I expected. The Blood Angels player didn’t show up, so I went ahead and played a game against a walk-in, namely Nick with his chaos army. I suppose I could come up with an extremely creative narrative to explain why a mixed force of already heavily corrupted Death Guard and Tzeentch Raptors would be fucking about on Signus instead of the Blood Angels, but I’m just not up to it today. In any case, I was grateful for the opportunity to play with the LATD list (thanks again to Aventine for his glorious, livestock-toting mutant horde), and I’ll simply consider the game a warm-up for the real thing next week, if Brian shows up that is. Nick had a bunch of smallish squads in rhinos, mostly plaguemarines, with a couple squads of raptors flying around. The tar pits worked just like they were supposed to, but the new plaguemarines are very tough to beat without power weapons, and the mutants could usually only inflict one or two casualties a turn while taking four or five themselves. As a result, they would inevitably lose combat, fail leadership, and get run down by sweeping advances; this happened with both of the mutant squads as well as the big mutants. The greater demon arrived on my third turn, failed to kill a rhino, and was brought down by two flying sorcerers and their insipid force weapons (at least a mutant squad was able to kill one of them in return). I was able to occupy most of his force until the very last turn when he grabbed a third building to make the game a draw.

Wednesday, October 24, 2007

Paging Ka'Bandha! Ka'Bandha to hospitality!

I'm excited about my matchup in this week's installment of the Horus Heresy campaign - the blooding of Signus. I was going to roll with the Witch Hunters again but I finally decided that they just weren't chaotic enough to represent the khorny minions of Ka'Bandha. So instead I'll be borrowing a couple mobs of muties from Aventine and teaming them up with my guard and chaos models to field a Lost and the Damned list, complete with a greater demon at the head. I'm going to scramble to try and put together some sort of captive blood angel to use for the demonvessel. My bloodletters will get to participate as well, but I'm going to use them as big mutants rather than the lame demon packs. We will actually have two weeks to fight this big battle out - this week's scenario is Firesweep from the Cities of Death ruleset. I know what one of my strategems will be! Can you guess?

HQ

Greater Demon

Chaos Aspiring Champion

ELITES

8 Big Mutants

TROOPS

10 Traitors - agitator, plasma gun, autocannon

10 Traitors - agitator, plasma gun, autocannon

10 Traitors - agitator, plasma gun, autocannon

10 Traitors - agitator, plasma gun, autocannon

20 Mutants - mark of khorne

20 Mutants - mark of khorne

FAST ATTACK

10 Traitors - agitator, plasma gun, heavy bolter
Chimera - multilaser, hull heavy bolter, extra armor

10 Traitors - agitator, plasma gun, heavy bolter
Chimera - multilaser, hull heavy bolter, extra armor

Hellhound - pintle heavy stubber, extra armor, dozer blade

HEAVY SUPPORT

Leman Russ - hull heavy bolter, sponson heavy bolters, pintle heavy stubber, extra armor, dozer blade

Basilisk - indirect fire, extra armor

The evolution continues

With my second place prize at the tournament last weekend I picked up a second carnifex, which I plan on equipping with a venom cannon and barbed strangler. The old screamer killer will go back to the bits box for a while until I put some devourers on him. Slow's ok for gunners but I want my assault units to be quick. That said, I'm going to forget about wings for the hive tyrant for a while and keep him like he is. I had to go down to 6 stealers for the Obeselord's retinue, but that will only make it easier to hide him 12" away from enemies. I also gave him acid maw; theoretically he'll deal 3 wounds on the charge slightly more often but he won't be as good in any subsequent rounds of assault. I just want to play around with it for a game or two.

So here's my newest 1500 list:

HQ

Hive Tyrant - 2 twin-linked devourers, toxin sacs, extended carapace, psychic scream

Broodlord - acid maw, 6 genestealers with extended carapace

TROOPS

10 genestealers with extended carapace

10 genestealers with extended carapace

10 genestealers with extended carapace

HEAVY SUPPORT

Carnifex - venom cannon, barbed strangler, extended carapace, enhanced senses

Carnifex - venom cannon, barbed strangler, extended carapace, enhanced senses

3 Zoanthropes - psychic scream, warp blast

Sunday, October 21, 2007

Tournament: Ninja Pirates 10-21-07

I played in a standard format 1500 point tournament today at Ninja Pirates. They've been pretty quick to jump in and fill the tournament void (in North Austin at least) with the recent loss of Thor's Hammer just before the Hardboyz Regionals (I should have a late report for that one up in the next day or two).

I took my barely painted Tyranids - dakka tyrant with scream, fatlord with retinue, three squads of ten carapace stealers, three zopes with blast and scream, a fex with talons and tusks, and a sniperfex with a venom cannon and strangler. The combat fex was pretty much worthless the entire game and will have to be swapped out for a second shooty fex at a later date. The scream choir did a few cool things here and there but overall it didn't work well on the particular opponents I drew. I think the dakka tyrant needs wings to be more effective; though it will bring him down to a 3+ save and I'll have to cut 15 points somewhere else, wings will make him much more mobile and dangerous. That being said, without wings he still got his points back in every game today. On his worst round of shooting he inflicted eight saves on one unit. Only eight! I drew three agreeable opponents, played three fun games, and won second place out of 15 or so.

Game 1 - Space Wolves


Trent had a pretty mixed Wolf army: wolf priest, venerable dreadnought, wolf scouts, one squad of grey hunters, two squads of rhino'd blood claws, an exterminator, and a land raider. It was the wolf priest that first stymied psychic scream today, as whenever the tyrant or carnifex would shoot up a squad of marines he was always nearby with the blasted fang of Morkai to ignore the subsequent leadership test. I still think he's overpriced for what he does (give him honor of the chapter and litanies of hate already!), but in this game he kept two squads hanging around almost forever and essentially negated 40 of my wargear points. Later I think he polished off the last wound on the assault fex just to prove that he could, the bastard. Early on I tied up the grey hunters and one blood claws squad with the broodlord and his buddies, while everyone else swarmed the middle to grab objective points. They didn't make much of a dent in the hunters but I think it might have distracted him from getting to the center for several turns afterwards. The exterminator earned its name first turn and took out half of one of the stealer squads, but a glancing 6 from one of the zoanthropes blew it up in the third turn. The punchy fex jumped out of the middle to destroy an oncoming rhino full of blood claws, destroying it and pinning the squad for a while. When they regrouped and jumped a zoanthrope, a squad of stealers rended them all to death before they could even strike back. In the end I had two stealer squads and the sniperfex holding the middle against his venerable dread. Tyranids win, solid victory.

Game 2 - Tyranids


I had faced Joseph before at the Citywide this year, when I was playing guard against his chaos. Now we were pitted into a patrol mission - bugs on bugs FTW. I was a little nervous to see that he had much faster and scythier (?) army than mine: broodlord and retinue, two flying warrior squads, a big line of hormagaunts, and two big genestealer squads. Once again, psychic scream was worth next to nothing. I tried to play my strengths and take advantage of the fact that I had the only guns in the game, setting up most of my units on the flanks and in cover where possible. At first I think he was going to split his force to come after me, but he took some early shooting casualties from my heavily armed right and soon started a conga line with everyone moving back towards my left flank. It was there that two squads of genestealers held off a 32-strong hormagaunt squad and four flying warriors inside a set of ruined fortifications (the "roach motel"). On the third turn, they charged into the forwardmost squad and lost eight of their number right off the bat. They hit back with 72 attacks but only generated five unsaved wounds! Though I had begun the game playing for a draw, I started to think I might have a real chance at pulling out a win. Then his gaunts piled in and engaged a second stealer squad nearby, and over the next few turns my two units slowly ripped the 350 point squad to shreds, fending off a nasty slicey warrior squad that tried to jump in to help. There were only four of my stealers left at the end but neither squad had been entirely wiped out and the enemy roaches had been repelled! The motel was mine! Elsewhere, the hive tyrant and carnifex shot down one of his genestealer squads that had made an isolated dash into my deployment zone, pinning them for two turns until they had all been killed. The zoanthropes also got some more shooting in, and by the last turn only his broodlord team and the second warrior squad were left alive. Tyranids win (me), victorious slaughter.

Game 3 - Deathwing (Dark Angels)


Me and Jay are starting to have something of a rivalry now, as this was the second time we ended up in the top bracket, the second (extremely entertaining) ground-out draw, and the second occasion I've grabbed second place from him by a very small margin. He had Belial and a command squad deployed in a land raider crusader, three squads of five terminators (one deep striking), and a plasma cannon dreadought. While my broodlord and 28 genestealers streaked across on the undefended right side, I left the zopes, carnifexes, one squad of stealers, and the hive tyrant on the left to try to repel his entire army. He had some great rending rolls and the fexes went down fairly early, but not before one of them took his dreadnought out with a glancing six from a venom cannon. The zoanthropes immobilized the land raider, ejecting the command squad but not pinning them (fearless!). Belial and the boys charged in and laid the zoanthropes low. Then for nearly three turns they engaged in a 10-yard stare-off in the middle of cover with a stealer squad, neither unit wanting to charge and go second. The Hive Tyrant moved just close enough to hit Belial and only one of his retinue, and of the eight 2+ saves Jay had to take, he failed four and Belial and his buddy were killed! Amazing. The various terminator squads returned fire, leaving him just barely alive enough to stagger over and kill three more terminators in the command squad! Their once fearsome opponents reduced to a man, the genestealers pounced and killed the remaining model. Then they jumped out, tried to stop one of his other terminator squads from moving into my deployment zone, but could not finish the job and bring them below scoring. It was a draw points-wise, but I had two more units achieving the recon objective than Jay did, and I think that's how I ended up placing above him overall. It was a great game to end the day.

Friday, October 19, 2007

Swab the Decks

I cleaned up the blog a little bit by standardizing the margin picture width, consolidating some redundant labels, and deactivating comment moderation and the little verification box. If spam or flaming ever becomes a problem, which is highly doubtful given the number of comments or even hits that I get here, I'll just turn them back on.

Thursday, October 18, 2007

Warhammer 30,000: Week 3

Dire Portents this week, as the Warmaster gathers to him his most trusted brother Primarchs and their legions. During an attack on forces loyal to a traitorous planetary governor, the Death Guard and World Eaters discover a strange ziggurat near a former listening post in the (apparently) frozen wastelands of Istvaan Extremis. As they begin to search the area they come under attack by a human army led by a potent mutant psyker, a.k.a. the Warsinger, a.k.a me! We decided to represent the Warsinger with a model from Aventine's collection - his zealot leader - using the mutant psyker rules in the Witchhunters codex. In exchange for her cost plus the three available psychic powers, the Death Guard took an additional land speeder. It was a rather poor trade in the end for the soon-to-be traitor legions... muahahahaha!

Deployment


For our random special mission we drew "Rescue." The legion players, Bigred (Death Guard) and Adam (World Eaters) decided to use the corner deployment, choosing the one with the most mystery tokens nearby. Apparently there's some dispute over whether your opponent has to also use corner deployment if you do, but it wasn't worth bothering about so I just used a corner too. The Death Guard and World Eaters color schemes looked really great together as they deployed their tac squads along the inside borders of their corner. I basically mirrored them with my infantry squads. It would be a dead sprint to find the right token!

Turn 1 & Turn 2


I rolled to go first. Given the corner deployment zones there had to be a lot of movement before anything really heated up. However, at the end of the second turn, I turned over the very first token and it was the objective! The Warsinger's quarry (a mysterious box) was very nearly in her possession. Of my reserves I only had my hellhound and one sentinel come in. The rest of the Istvaan guard infantry moved forward and hunkered down to wait for the approaching legions.

Turn 3


Turn 3 saw the arrival of the command HQ elements, including heavy weapons and mortar teams, as well as the last two sentinels and one of the veteran squads. My heavy tanks were still waiting in reserve! The squad with the objective passed it off to the command squad behind them. The HQ chimera drove out to supplement the forward lines, and most of the infantry squads got shots off at nearby enemies, dropping a few marines here and there (no thanks to a succesful prayer from Garro as Bigred used his special faith point to give the big Death Guard infantry squad invulnerable 3+ saves). The hellhound helped to inflict heavy casualties on the large World Eaters tac squad, but shortly thereafter a Death Guard landspeeder arrived and killed the flame tank with a precision multimelta shot. The legions' precious Land Raider arrived chock full of Berzerkers, including Khârn, and moved up towards the main event about to go down in the center of the table.

Turn 4


The command squad holding the objective ran back towards my table edge, and the Command HQ's chimera drove forward in front of them, moving into position to cover their retreat from the main body of the marine forces. The heavy armor arrived and reduced the Death Guard squad to less than a "decade." A World Eaters combat squad botched an easy target priority test to kill the objective-carrier and had to shoot at the closer infantry squad, wiping them out. They are indeed the Shaq legion! One of the Death Guard landspeeders pulled up right in front of the guard frontlines and wiped out 6 or 7 traitors with their heavy flamer. Then their dreadnought penetrated the chimera's hull but could not wreck it. The command HQ, including the Warsinger, jumped out but passed their pinning test like champs. The Death Guard and World Eaters infantry charged into combat with the traitorous guardsmen - the World Eaters wiped out their opponents completely and followed up into a sentinel, but the Death Guard were bogged down in the last three members of an infantry squad. They were in perfect position for my Warsinger to bring the pain.

Turn 5


Time left for the legions to stop and retake the objective from the Warsinger's forces were running out. Heavy bolters on one side of my lines shook one landspeeder, and lascannon teams destroyed both weapons on the other. Two of my sentinels came around from cover, one shooting the nearby crippled landspeeder and missing, and the second took a chance shot at the heavily obscured back corner of the World Eaters land raider. Three sixes later: KABOOM! The legions were stunned in the face of such a tragedy, and could only watch as a mighty machine spirit went up in smoke. As the Death Guard began to realize the hopelessness of their situation, the Warsinger pounced and used her mutant powers to turn them against one another. Four Death Guard fell by their own hands, and the legions decided to withdraw. Garro himself was grievously wounded, and the Warsinger and her minions were victorious... for now.

Rescue was a double edged sword for me - the other two special missions could have been total disasters (especially night fight with those Berzerkers and Land Raider). But I also got really lucky when the objective token happened to be the closest one to my deployment. After that it was just a matter of running away from marine shooting, and I got lucky again with some of those World Eater misses (thanks guys). This was probably the most fun week yet of the campaign, but next week promises to be even crazier, with the bombing of Istvaan III. I even feel as if I had some hand in provoking that legendary tragedy!

Wednesday, October 17, 2007

Back of the Napkin


Does anyone else draw shit like this? Maybe I'm just crazy. Lemme quick splain. Probably the most fun part of 40k for me is building armies, so I do this a lot when I'm bored: draw out with little circles and simple rectangle tanks to see what a particular army construction might look like in abstract. I think I've done it since I first started playing. I know plenty of my college notes are decorated in the margins with little guard, space wolves, and tyranid formations.

It's more about understanding the general appearance of the ranks than creating some kind of battle plan. I assume this is because it doesn't really help in the chaos of an actual game - the deployment phase takes two to tango. But who knows? It might help me in some strange way to better organize the various elements of my armies. Or maybe its just another doodle to let me zone out.

Drop me a comment if you do something similarly tragic and maybe I'll skip the sanitorium.

Action Report: Tyranids vs. Chaos 10-15-07

Me and the missus played an extremely fun 1500 point game the other night pitting bugs against new chaos. Incidentally, I think it will be fun to call it new chaos forever. The mission was cleanse. C2’s list included a bike lasher, 10 terminators, 10 berzerkers with a rhino, 10 thousand sons with a rhino, and 10 havocs with a lascannon, missile launcher, and 2 heavy bolters. I played bugs and used a psychic scream dakkarant, three squads of 12 genestealers, 3 squads of 12 gaunts with fleshborers, a sniperfex with a venom cannon and barbed strangler, and 3 zoanthropes with 2 psychic screamers and 1 synapse creature. I think the lists meshed well to create an interesting game but they probably both need a little tweaking (I’ll get to that).

The dakkarant is awesome, like a mobile heavy bolter squad re-rolling hits and wounds. At least three times I inflicted 10 armor saves on various chaos units with the big guy. The fex was hit or miss (hur hur) but when he landed those barbed strangler shots into massed troops it always did some pretty good damage. The infernal thousand sons can and did decimate genestealers at short range; I’ll have to remember to watch out for that. Probably the most interesting elements of the game were the bike lasher and the psychic scream choir. The sorcerer kept a large genestealer squad at bay for the entire game just by himself and it really weakened my whole approach on that particular side. On the last turn, after confirming that lash can indeed move monstrous creatures, she almost kept me out of one of the adjacent quarters by pushing the hive tyrant 8 inches back (a squad of genestealers was barely able to sneak in right at the end and keep it). The multiple approaching psychic screamers made powers and other important leadership tests (target priority, pinning) increasingly difficult, and that coupled with the fact that C2 was rolling pretty poorly for the entire game ensured the Tyranid win. I was able to wipe out the havocs and thousand sons entirely, plus half of the berzerkers, losing two gaunt and two genestealer squads in the process. If I remember correctly, I believe controlling the two adjacent quarters gave me a crushing victory rather than a solid or a draw.

While I was impressed with how new chaos held up to the bug advance, I don’t know how good of an all-comer list it really is. I might drop some squad sizes down a tad (havocs, berzerkers) and change the havocs gun loadout to try and fit in an obliterator or two just for more high strength, low AP weaponry. I’m changing up the tyranid list also, mainly to excise the pointless gaunts, but also take the 3 genestealer squads down to 10 (or maybe 5 squads of 6?), add a broodlord and retinue, and a second carnifex with talons, tusks, and carapace. Without the gaunts I really don’t see a reason to have a second synapse creature in the zoanthropes, since everyone’s Ld 10 and all but the genestealers will likely stay in range of his bubble, as he’ll be hiding behind carnifexes until he gets into shooting range anyway. Just one more scream to add to the choir!