Tuesday, July 31, 2007


I mentioned that I managed to get some good use out of my chimeras during the tournament this weekend. They usually worked well as a screen for my infantry and other tanks, limiting their exposure to enemy heavy weapons and enabling the big guns to get closer to enemies. It’s true that these walls cost 93 points each, but they also include 6 anti-infantry shots good for killing another 1-2 MEQs. In games against smallish forces (seemingly more rare nowadays), I can deploy my platoon command squads inside the transports and use them to spread my line out further and grab objectives early on in the game.

Today whilst flipping through the rules, I remembered that vehicles can be tank-shocked just like troops, so long as your front armor is greater than that of your target. Chimeras have a front armor of 12, so they would be able to push Rhinos and other light vehicles around. Right this second, I can’t think of a specific instance where this might be useful, but it’s something to keep in mind for the future. Something else to remember: a Leman Russ, with its 14 front armor, can drive over a wrecked Chimera or Hellhound. Another time where that dozer blade will come in handy!

Monday, July 30, 2007

Tournament: Austin Citywide 7-28-07, 7-29-07

Twelve players, four from each major store involved in the tournament (Dragon's Lair, Thor's Hammer, and Battleforge Games), gathered this weekend at two of those stores to decide who really was "the Ace" (snicker). There were plenty of familiar faces: Becker, Kingsley, Sherman, and Dave (Cameron wtf?!), as well as some new ones. I finally had the pleasure of meeting Larry, a.k.a. Bigred of The Bell of Lost Souls blog, and I can report that he is indeed both a gentleman and a scholar.

Game 1 - Eldar - Annihilation

I was pleased to find myself facing Bigred for the first match, but that was only because I didn't realize what his Eldar army had in store for me. It was a very pretty collection of aspect warriors, anchored by an Avatar of Khaine. My deployment was pretty weak and good luck fled screaming as a wave of ouch engulfed the fightin' 14th. I inflicted heavy casualties on Striking Scorpions and Dire Avengers, but the combined forces of the Warp Spiders, Fire Dragons, and Falcon tanks tore all I had to shit, piece by piece. The only comfort I got was when my surviving veteran squad deep struck in (the first one had scattered off the board) and killed the Avatar with my last shot of the game. The big lugs may be immune to melta fire but plasma still does the trick! Here's Bigred's own brief rundown of the tourney, with some great pictures of his army as well as one of mine. Eldar won, victorious slaughter.

Game 2 - Chaos - Secure and Control

Joseph had a relatively mixed force of straight marines, khorne bikers, obliterators, a defiler, and havocs. He was irritated to have been stuck on the same table two turns in a row, and it got worse when I rolled to choose table edges and he was forced to take the same side, too. And a bad side it was. Lots of space for him to cross between his cover and mine. Still, the bikes and both marine transports made it to me, wiping out my left infantry wing pretty well, but the guard guns eventually proved too much and I destroyed everything he had. One of the vets scattered into a marine squad, but the other arrived to shoot up the same unit. Imperial Guard won, victorious slaughter.

Game 3 - Dark Eldar Wyches - Cleanse

Blast! I forgot to take a picture of this one, mostly because I was waiting for all of Dave's gated raiders and ravagers to arrive, and then once they did we were both a little busy. After downing a raider squad and busting his Sybarite's shadow field early on, insta-killing him with a multilaser, the rest of the game came down to a repeating sequence: Wyches would charge an infantry or weapons squad, slaughter it, and what happened next depended on my leadership roll. If the Wyches could follow up into another squad, things went his way. If not, I could usually shoot them up pretty well. Spreading my forces and making quick tracks into his adjacent quarters with chimeras and the hellhound diluted his nasty little gladiators nicely. The veterans did great in this game, killing the other HQ and a ravager. It was very close for the entire game, but he "solidified" a win by knocking out my Leman Russ on the last turn. Dark Eldar won, solid victory.

Game 4 - Ultramarines - Patrol

The second day of games went down at Thor's Hammer, where Frank and I drew the cityfight board for the first match. I haven't played too many games on this boxy type of terrain, and so I wasn't great at anticipating many of his firing lanes, with disastrous results. The Leman Russ was immobilized just rolling onto the table. Frank has a ridiculously powerful army though, something like a hundred marines with tons of lascannons and heavy bolters that picked enough of my units apart to build a large margin of victory. Ultramarines won, crushing victory.

Game 5 - Eldar - Recon

Amy had a mixed force of Eldar assault troops and heavy weapons, including banshees, harlequins, pathfinders, reapers, war walkers, a fire prism, and Mr. Big Gun himself, Maugan Ra. Honestly it was a pretty cool themed force but she had ridiculously bad luck. It was wide open terrain and I drew first turn, knocking out the Reapers and the howling banshees in their respective wave serpents, pinning them both. I also disabled the fire prism and one of the walkers. It was a tough place to come back from. I set up a nice screen for the hellhound, who accomplished his all-time favorite objective: burn Eldar pathfinders! Both squads of veterans performed well, and in the end I wiped out everyone but Maugan Ra. Imperial Guard won, victorious slaughter.

Game 6 - Necrons - Take and Hold

For the final match, I was paired against J.D. (or was it J.T.?) on the desert board. Other than a big squad of immortals, his army was fairly similar to Mack's. In other words, one of the main forces that influenced my composition. It started off quite well in my favor - I destroyed the Monolith with a sentinel lascannon and one of his two destroyer squads failed their WBB rolls after I lay them all down with the ratlings and other heavy weapons. His destroyer lord was a real thorn in my side, swinging wide around my left flank, sweeping through my heavy weapons teams and into my infantry squads trying to rush the center. When he teleported his immortals and foot lord into the middle of the table, my basilisk and demolisher blew them away completely with two direct ordnance hits. I had earned a win but I misjudged my lead (or maybe just got greedy) and rushed the two tanks into the middle to get their points back. Gauss fire and a tomb spyder's claws destroyed the demolisher and immobilized the basilisk. The extremely bloody game ended in a draw.

Bigred got something like five slaughters and one draw, taking the top slot. I believe I came in fifth out of the twelve players, not too bad for the Guard I think. Battleforge came away with the winning store trophy, Bigred won best general, Joseph won best sport, and I won best army. Woo hoo! Two years in a row! I got a nice trophy with a bronzey Tau battle suit.

I lucked out and drew six great games. Even the losses were still enjoyable and instructive. I learned the most about effective unit groupings and objective management. Using Chimeras to screen my battle tanks worked like a charm. The standard Russ would be better off with the dozer blade than the Demolisher, at least outfitted with plasma cannons. Hellhounds still eat Pathfinders alive.

Saturday, July 28, 2007

Putting the wide into citywide

The Dragon's Lair vs. Thor's Hammer 40k tournament this weekend expanded to include gamers from Battleforge Games as well. Wunderbar! First, my list, and then another post with the results. Thanks to Frank for the picture above.

I used the latest incarnation of the Tiefwalder 14th. The major changes included removing light infantry, being more particular about who gets sharpshooters, adding a second veterans squad, and bringing back the much beloved ratlings. I also added dozer blades to the Hellhound and Demolisher.

Drop Troops
Iron Discipline


Command HQ - 1 grenade launcher, 1 missile launcher team
Junior Officer - bolter, carapace armor, iron discipline
1 Veteran - standard bearer

Anti-Tank Squad - 3 lascannons, sharpshooters

Fire Support Squad - 3 heavy bolters, sharpshooters

Sentinel - lascannon, searchlight


4 Veterans - 2 meltaguns, 1 plasma gun
Vet Sgt - bolter

4 Veterans - 2 meltaguns, 1 plasma gun
Vet Sgt - bolter

6 Ratlings


Platoon A
Command Squad - 1 meltagun, 1 grenade launcher, 1 missile launcher team
Junior Officer - bolter, iron discipline
Chimera - extra armor, smoke launchers
Squad 1 - 1 plasma gun, 1 missile launcher team
Squad 2 - 1 plasma gun, 1 missile launcher team

Platoon B
Command Squad - 1 meltagun, 1 grenade launcher, 1 missile launcher team
Junior Officer - bolter, iron discipline
Chimera - extra armor, smoke launchers
Squad 1 - 1 plasma gun, 1 missile launcher team
Squad 2 - 1 plasma gun, 1 missile launcher team


Sentinel - lascannon

Sentinel - lascannon

Hellhound - pintle heavy stubber, extra armor, smoke launchers, rough terrain modification


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

Leman Russ Demolisher - hull lascannon, sponson plasma cannons, extra armor, rough terrain modification

Basilisk - indirect fire, extra armor

Sunday, July 22, 2007

The Purging of Tartaron: Witch Hunters 2000 Points


Cannoness - jump pack, cloak of St. Aspira, blessed weapon, inferno pistol


Inquisitor - liber heresius, hammer of the witches

Callidus Assassin


10 Battle Sisters - 1 storm bolter, 1 meltagun, 1 imagifer
Veteran Sister Superior - book of St. Lucius, bolter

10 Battle Sisters - 1 storm bolter, 1 meltagun, 1 imagifer
Veteran Sister Superior - book of St. Lucius, bolter

Infantry Platoon
Command Squad - 2 plasma guns, 1 lascannon team
Junior Officer - bolter
Infantry Squad - plasma gun, lascannon team
Infantry Squad - plasma gun, lascannon team

Armored Fist Squad - plasma gun, autocannon team
Chimera - turret multilaser, hull heavy bolter, extra armor, smoke launchers

Armored Fist Squad - plasma gun, autocannon team
Chimera - turret multilaser, hull heavy bolter, extra armor, smoke launchers


10 Seraphim - 2 twin-linked hand flamers
Veteran Sister Superior - plasma pistol, eviscerator, book of St. Lucius

Sentinel - Lascannon


Leman Russ - hull heavy bolter, 2 sponson heavy bolters, pintle heavy stubber, extra armor

Immolator - extra armor, smoke launchers

Exorcist - extra armor

Saturday, July 21, 2007

The Purging of Tartaron

"Then I say the planet is lost! The Emperor's grace must be granted to those pitiful souls, and the heretics responsible for this debacle should be destroyed, vanquished before their filth can taint the system's citizenry any further."

Murmurs of agreement echoed from the darkened cells spaced evenly along both walls of the council chamber. Princep Franco looked obviously satisfied with his colleagues' positive response as he folded his arms and retreated backwards into his own recess. For a short time, each council member conversed quietly with his immediate neighbors. Finally, a slow, deep stocatto counted five beats as the council speaker signaled for attention with his gnarled staff on the ancient wooden floor.

"Bring to order, brothers. If there are no counterpositions, and we have not heard one yet, I believe we should draw the debate to a close. The resolution for martial response to the so-called Usurpers of Tartaron is hereby passed, let the Emperor be praised. Call end of session."

"Here, here," the council answered, before the members began to quietly shuffle from their stations. Tradition demanded total silence until the last man had left the chamber.

As Speaker Wendell passed through the outside doors, he began to move more briskly, his posture straightened, and his demeanor darkened substantially. The humble and wise personality of the council elder gave way to the cynical distrust of the inquisitor. He gestured to a servant waiting nearby in the chamber wing and spoke low and tersely as they walked.

"Fetch ye to Sister Belandra, and tell her our hands are become free on Tartaron. The mercy of His flame will be granted. Also, instruct Captain Braun to muster a small force of his best men and equipment. Several platoons with support elements. Our adversaries will have the advantage of defending their own homes, and I shall want a diverse set of tools if I truly intend to excise this sickness."

"Of course, Lord. I'll arrange it at once." The attendant bowed and turned to deliver the inquisitor's orders. Belandra and the Sisters of Banon could be depended on to accomplish their righeous task and inspire the men of the local garrison to their fullest potential on the battlefield. Still, with so much lost and so much left to lose on Tartaron, it was not enough to be highly prepared, highly capable. Tasks like these required a stacked deck. He would need just one more tool for this job.

Tuesday, July 17, 2007

There Goes The Galaxy...

Oh shit! They shot the Emperor! What does this mean for the future of humanity?

All the Shamans' sacrifice for nothing. It appears that after he emerged from the warp, the Starchild got all dressed up in a new tux and travelled to the nearest seat of government, which was apparently the Denver Capitol office. From there, things turned sour... ah well.

Monday, July 16, 2007

Tournament: Battleforge Games 7-14-07

I joined in for another 2000 point tourney at Battleforge this past weekend. It was a good time, although I skipped out on the last game after being paired up against Mack. Basically I didn’t want to break his heart by slaughtering him in front of a bunch of strangers (OK, maybe we were both a little tired and hung over after staying up partying the night before). In any case, I think we were both bottom bracket and we play all the time so I’m sure we’ll duke the match out sometime soon. I brought chaos, with slightly larger than usual squad sizes for the berzerkers and havocs and a few less bloodletters and wargear. I also made the mistake of bringing c2’s chaos dice to use – apparently they hate me!

Game 1 – Imperial Guard (‘Nid Hunters)

The highlight of the tournament was drawing K. in the first round and getting a chance to play against his bug hunting guard army. He’s not completely finished with the paint job but they all look awesome so far; everyone’s got sculpted chem-inhalers and tyranid armor and trophies all over them, and he’s got a small deathwatch team running around in there, too. It’s not a gimmicky army by any means but he’s pretty vicious with it so far as I can tell. We were playing basic annihilation with some kind of sunset action that was a little annoying to figure out in the hustle of a tournament. In retrospect, though, it was a pretty interesting variation of nightfighting and I might be inclined to replay it now that I understand the tactical effect better. The game itself was an uphill battle the whole time; he was able to infiltrate first and forced my hand a little bit when placing my havocs. As such they ended up out of cover and easy pickings for various storm troopers and weapons teams. He also rolled for first turn. I had a nice khorne attack wing ready to make a strong flank but the berzerkers went crazy, ran out in the open, and got demolished and inferno’d in short order. The bloodletters and bikes had a few kills but were brought down by mass fire after being left stranded out of assault. The demon prince dropped the deathwatch’s librarian (a side objective) but completely whiffed on the next turn and was killed himself by a commissar (three failed invulnerables in one turn - nice). The obliterators and terminators deep-striked (deep-struck?) in and earned me some satisfying victory points by shooting up the backs of his two main battle tanks and destroying them both, but since I had already lost so many expensive units it was still not enough to eke out a draw. He won a solid victory.

Game 2 – Eldar

For the second match, I’d never met my opponent before and he didn’t seem eager to change that situation. I don’t think he was having that good of a time (except when he was winning) and he was pretty reluctant to meet me halfway on sketchy situations. Communication was stilted and he was always very reticent to declare what his units actually were until I specifically asked; I didn’t know his farseer was really Eldrad Ulthran until the last turn of the game (he kept calling him a spirit seer or something - he did use the actual Eldrad model but so has every other eldar player for the last ten fucking years). Whatever, people are different I guess, and his definitely wasn’t the worst personality I’d ever played against, but it was still a little stifling. Game-wise, I was making good progress until two things happened: I tried to attack the avatar with berzerkers (first encounter with one since the new rules - I6, WS10 and T6 is no fucking joke!), and also any luck I had left completely evaporated and I started rolling ones and twos at the end like nobody’s business, losing the rest of the terminators as well as the obliterators. The possessed were able to get some kills after being totally worthless during the previous game, and the 6 bloodletters somehow survived being hacked on by guardians, dire avengers, and the avatar for at least 4 phases of close combat. In the end I lost; he won a solid victory by some 10 or 15 points. Huzzah.

Monday, July 9, 2007


I'll be taking the first step this week in a project to create what will hopefully be a centerpiece for my guard army: 8 rough riders on giant boars. I figure since the Tiefwalders are more of a forest/jungle theme, the big swine would be more appropriate than horses. I've gathered a selection of bits for conversions: their hunting lances will be wooden staves with combat knives and grenade packs tied on one end, and the vet sergeant will have some choice trophies - ork, genestealer, chaos marine helmet - to help him stand out. The biggest challenge will be actually mounting the men on the boars. I don't actually have any in front of me yet, but from pictures it looks like the ork rider legs seem a little too big for a catachan body, arms, and head. I may have to resort to whittling in the end.

For all the work it will take me, the value of the unit is honestly debatable. They'll be highly fragile one trick ponies (or piggies, as it were), but they only cost 94 points and they're good for a far-reaching counterassault, killing 4-5 MEQs on the charge before they get swung back on. They're basically one more finger in the leaking dam, hopefully granting a bit more time for the big guns to do their work. Overall though they're more about bringing in a unique unit and giving me some fun modelling opportunities.

To work them into my current list, I'll have to consolidate two of the sentinels into a single unit and drop one of the chimeras; no big whoop. There's no way I'm giving up that hellhound. He's just too sweet a killer and many seem to fear him more than the demolisher.

Saturday, July 7, 2007

Unwitting Foes

Sergeant Ackerman and his squad crept through the silent forest, the snow dampening the sound of their progress to a muted rolling crunch. To his left, Lilienthal and Stryker carried a rocket launcher, broken down into manageable sections. The rest of his squad, including Yager and his plasma rifle, extended off to his right in a tight, even line. Tiefwalders fought shoulder to shoulder, ready to fill any gaps left by falling brethren. Suddenly, he called for a stop. The men quickly took cover behind rotten trees and snowdrifts, readied their weapons, and waited. As the snow continued to fall, their forms melded with the terrain and became indistinct. The trap was set.

Ackerman squinted to see through the fog hanging at the edge of the forest. Dawn was breaking, and he was just beginning to make out a line of figures extending as far as his eyes could see, widely spaced, approaching their woods at a slow pace. Normally the sight of Ultramarines on patrol would fill him with pride and awe; in this case, however, he had good reason to fear this awesome spectacle of arms. Ackerman just happened to be connected enough to know that the governing council of this particular planet was using his outfit for political cat-and-mouse, trying to entice a space marine chapter into breaching a contract the governors no longer wished to honor. They were pawns in the game, but there was nothing unusual about that. It was the same job it always was.

Slowly, he brought his arm over and tapped Yager’s shoulder. One traced circle and a quick tap signaled that he had acquired a target for the plasma gunner. He turned his head and beckoned the soldier to follow his gaze. One marine in particular stood out from the formation, his immense shoulder pads covered in bright gold, wearing on his back a personal jump pack capable of launching him great distances into the air in the blink of an eye. It would only be a few more moments before their position was overrun by other similarly equipped skirmishers emerging from the marines’ line. The larger mass of supermen was slowing its approach and spreading out, surrounding the woods. They had a very small chance of successfully holding out against the angels of death today, but perhaps bringing down one of their seasoned commanders would shift the momentum to their side, if only for a little while.

Ackerman raised his hand, flicking two fingers forward, and Yager tightened his grip, disengaged the trigger lock, and took careful aim at the marine officer.

Two white hot bursts issued from his weapon and exploded into the power-armored captain a short distance away. He flew backwards several meters, coal black smoke issuing from the giant holes in his chestplate. Almost immediately his battle brothers reacted; tactical marines leveled their bolters and began firing as assault troopers leapt over them and sprinted towards their position.

A short time later, a fatally wounded Sergeant Ackerman watched as the downed marine captain passed by his ruined body. The grim figure stopped briefly to administer the emperor’s mercy before engaging his jump pack and taking off through the sparse winter canopy.

Action Report: 54th Tiefwalder vs. Ultramarines 7-06-07

I played a game down at Battleforge last night against F., who I've played a couple of times before. We rolled the take and hold game type and I picked my side. The last match I played on this table I was on the other side against Thousand Sons, and it felt like too many lines of sight were blocked for me, not to mention it created a ton of ways for assault troops to approach unseen.

F. was rolling with some 82 marines, consisting of command squads, tac squads, assault squads, devastator squads, and scout squads. I switched out sharpshooters for a powerfisted, hardened fighter commissar in my command HQ squad. I would say the results of that decision were pretty even - many ones went by that I would have liked to re-roll, but the commissar finished off a lone assault squad survivor that was cutting into me, as well as inflicting the last wound on his flying lightning claw captain who was about to do the same.

I separated my main battle tanks and he was able to keep them running or shaken for most of the game. The regular leman russ in particular had some shite shooting. The hellhound got in one round of shooting before assault marines busted him up. The basilisk also went out fairly early. For some reason I decided to get cute and deep strike my sentinels, when I should have just started them on the board from the beginning. Only one of them got off a decent shot, finishing off the last member of one of his two devastator squads. The veterans, on the other hand, performed like fucking champs and burned four or five assault marines with plasma and melta fire. God love that BS4! Everyone else did about average, wiping out two whole assault squads, one each of his dev and tac squads, and a big squad of assault scouts. It was a victory for him, no doubt, but we didn't calculate the margin (it was fairly large, I'd say).

Monday, July 2, 2007

Chaos Postulatin'

More thinking about Toggog's Marauders transitioning in September...

The demon prince stats sound good, but I don't know if you can give him a demon weapon. That khorne demon weapon (blooddrinker?) sounds totally retarded! 2d6 extra attacks is ridiculous, but for a one third chance of catching a wound? Yeesh. At least he'll come with 4 wounds automatically now. Strength 7, possibility of 17 attacks charging (can that be right?), he'll still be rocking pretty hard (even with only a 3+ regular save).

I'm crossing my fingers that LCs will be available for terminator champions, in which case Gazak the Merciless (my former terminator champion with the old chaos termie skull face) will be able to rejoin his colleagues as a simple (cheap) terminator champion. Otherwise I'll have to pay to make him a lord, but I guess that wouldn't be the end of the world. I will have to scrounge up two of the (will be) old chaos terminators to make a squad of 10, as it will be necessary to keep my second reaper autocannon.

I'll get another box of berzerkers, which will provide me with enough extra models to have 2 squads of 8 berzerkers. I'll have to scour ebay for another old-model rhino for the second berzerker unit. Transporting them will be a breeze because they'll behave now without blood fury (plus plasma pistols will be "hot" again!). Then I'll use the berzerker leftovers to add 2 more "khorne" raptors to make 8 total, and get two more chaos bikes to make a squad of 6 "khorne" bikers. Sure, now those units just count as "having an icon" but there's no reason they couldn't be dressing the part.

Depending on how the points shake out, I might be able to fit the dreadnought back in (Old Man Ephaedrel). That would be nice. Also I'll probably expand the havocs to have a squad size of 10. The demons will be cheaper so I should be able to fit 2 more of those in for 10, no problem. I don't really get why they made them generic, given that they have such a varied model range, but oh well. 10 MEQs bouncing around in the killzone definitely won't hurt and it looks like they'll be almost 1/3 the price. Still, I'll no doubt long for the days of their S5 power weapons and 3+ save. I read that Jervis mentioned a demon army codex might come out in another year; maybe I'll go for that nurgle ork army I've been wanting to make ever since I saw the artwork in the Demonhunters codex.

So all in all, a box of berzerkers here, a couple of arms and jetpacks there, and I should be able to fix 'er up fairly easy to give everyone greater numbers, even if their powers will be somewhat diluted. Bah, who cares! Teleport homers for everyone!

Sunday, July 1, 2007


Me and c2 got in a game today, 2000 pts, loot, chaos vs. imperial guard, using the two armies I posted recently. We didn't calculate the margin of victory but it was a sure thing that I had won. The collapsible infantry line worked well, with my anchors of armor surviving to do pretty good damage to the chaos units. There were several close calls, however, and c2's terminators were poised to smash my army's core to pieces, but my command HQ junior officer survived just long enough to leave them stranded out of assault in my turn for heavy and special weapons to wipe them out. I might have inflicted a few assault kills myself if I had a hidden-pf commissar embedded in my line. I'm considering switching him in for sharpshooters. Bah, I'm so fickle about that damn doctrine! Both the basilisk and leman russ had to beat a hasty retreat in the face of the demon prince but he himself fell back to chase a hellhound threatening to take an objective. As regards the elements I had changed up in my guard list recently, the sentinel autocannons weren't particularly effective but I did like them in the fire support squad. The veterans performed brilliantly, with some good plasma rolls. I came close to discarding one of their shooting hits - almost forgot the BS4! They wiped out the 5 remaining possessed to a man, who was then finished off by indirect fire from the basilisk. Unfortunately they were soon charged by two berzerkers and they got mopped up pretty handily. A power weapon in this case wouldn't have made a difference but I'm thinking about giving the vet sergeant one with a bolt pistol instead of his bolter - only 5 points after all, and a bolt pistol might get one fewer shot but 4 buried power weapon attacks might help them earn even more points back. I might even work in hardened fighters for them somehow as well. All in all, a good, fun game.

I did look over a summary of chaos codex "rumors," and I'm not as enthusiastic as I was before about my army making the transition to the new edition. To make an effective conversion, it will probably involve more buying and painting, and that pisses me off.