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 ├╝ber-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.


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


Carnifex - 2 twin-linked devourers, flesh hooks


6 x 8 Genestealers - extended carapace, scuttlers


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


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:


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 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:


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

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


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


3 Shining Spears - exarch with star lance

2 Vypers - spirit stones, starcannons

2 Vypers - spirit stones, bright lances


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:


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

6 Genestealers - extended carapace



Carnifex - 2 twin-linked devourers


5 x 6 Genestealers - extended carapace


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


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

3 Zoanthropes - psychic scream, warp blast