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.


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


Eversor Assassin


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?


Greater Demon

Chaos Aspiring Champion


8 Big Mutants


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


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


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:


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

Broodlord - acid maw, 6 genestealers with extended carapace


10 genestealers with extended carapace

10 genestealers with extended carapace

10 genestealers with extended carapace


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!


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!

Monday, October 15, 2007

Lion El'Johnson Hutz, Rulz Lawyer

I got linked to this PDF of 2007 Grand Tournament house rules and I was surprised at some of the answers to disputed questions I’ve come across in the past. Problem is, these are still specific tournament house rules and GW hasn’t answered these in a more definitive FAQ on their website. I’ll get back to that in a sec. The ones that really mattered to me were:

- You only make one armor save for a Gets Hot!, even if you shot twice and rolled two 1’s or 2’s. Now that I go back and read it, this does seem to be spelled out in the RAW, I just never realized it. Sweet!

- You must try to remove whole models that suffer instant death wounds before removing already wounded models. Since I personally don’t play with units of multiple wound creatures in any of my armies outside of Nids (and those are generally high T anyway), this sounds great to me!

- Passengers of a vehicle that has been wrecked or blown up can disembark into the wreck or crater. What?! Bullshit! I hate it when people do this. Most if not all vehicle models are not made to be stood upon by a bunch of little round bases. And then when people complicate it further by saying “oh, I don’t want to scratch my model so I’m going to line them up around the wreck, but they still count as being in cover...” Come on, their transport is dead, if they aren’t behind it, they’re out in the fucking open, get over it. They had to jump out of a burning vehicle for chrissakes! Bah, I disagree with this. By the way, when a vehicle is annihilated, that’s a 6 on an ordnance penetrating hit and I believe all passengers are automatically killed. They probably meant to say explodes, but it’s still an unnecessary typo that could just lead to more confusion.

- An IC in a retinue or otherwise joined with a squad returns to being an IC immediately after the last squad member was killed, and is not compelled to take an ensuing leadership test at -1. I thought he would test at -1 for shooting casualties taken THAT turn but would test Ld as normal on the following turn. I’ve suggested the opposite in past games, but honestly I could go either way with this one. At least they realized it was important enough to clarify for the tournament.

- The short 12” edges of a long board edge deployment zone count as deployment zone board edges. This might make a critical difference in determining direction of a fallback move.

- Deep-striking jump infantry have to take dangerous terrain tests when landing in cover. Meh, I could go either way, in any case, nice that they at least thought out an answer.

- Psycannons don’t ignore cover saves, and neither does Mind War! W00t!

- Eldar bikes may not move the extra 6” in the assault phase after turboboosting.

While I don’t agree with all of these particular rulings, the main thing that hacks me off is how GW seemingly refuses to acknowledge around 50% of the most unclear and thus most heavily disputed rules conflicts in any kind of official capacity. It’s such a tease to read these and get clear answers, when they count for pretty much zippo outside of these events. I think the online FAQs and errata did a relatively good job of clearing up many old issues; why don’t they consider adding some of these little gems to those documents?

Whoever Pelt It, Dealt It

As I poked the embers of my old Space Wolves army, I noticed a rule nuance that bears mentioning, something I know I’ve played wrong in the past. It has weighty consequences on the use of a particular piece of wargear, namely, the wolf pelt. Fellow sons of Russ know this as a cheap way to give a character or wolf guard +1 attack when the squad gets charged. Maybe I’m just the last to know, but after I reviewed the specific counter-attack rules as written in the USR section of the rulebook, it appears that wolf pelts might be a little harder to use than I previously thought, especially for a drop-pod force like mine.

First of all, according to the counter-attack USR, only unengaged models from a unit that has been charged can move the 6” to get into BTB with an enemy model. “Engaged” models are defined as those being either in BTB or 2” away from a friendly model in BTB with an enemy. So a model with a wolf pelt would not be able to counter-attack, and thus get the +1 attack, unless it was farther than 2” away from an amigo in BTB. Unless you’re getting charged by only a few models, which seems like a foolhardy thing for anyone to do against space wolves, it will be difficult to keep your pelted model from being immediately engaged and having their wargear short-circuited, wasting *gasp* all of 3 points, but more importantly, an extra attack with a power weapon/fist. In previous games I was just moving characters/wolf guard into BTB and granting myself the +1 attack just as long as he was not personally brought into BTB by the initial assault (which, I now realize, was actually illegal).

It doesn’t say that you actually have to make it into BTB with your counterattack move to get the +1 attack, so it appears the main issue is to keep a pelted model more than 2” away from anyone in the squad who would come into BTB with an enemy assault. This might be a simple matter with a big spread-out foot squad of blood claws, but with a drop pod you only have so much deployment space to begin with, and keeping your choppy pelted guy far enough away to counterattack could be a problem. Taken with the fact that an IC has to be personally in BTB to even join the combat, and that he only gets a 6” move to do it, it appears that you have to be pretty tricky to actually benefit from the pelt.

Example 1 – A squad of asscan/boltplas terminators led by some kind of pelted character, in this case a Wolf Priest. I don’t see how you can ever keep the character unengaged by an enemy assault, pretty much regardless of size. Even if you put him on the end of the line, around the drop pod and possibly out of range/LOS for his shooting, he’s easily going to be within 2” of a friend in BTB when an enemy assaults them and therefore missing out on the +1 A. You really need to spread them all out 2” away from each other around the pod, with the character as far away from a charging enemy as possible, and your assault cannons and powerfists closest to the character. The larger terminator bases will help. Now I’m starting to think that I should drop my potion pouring, plasma pistol waving Wolf Priest that I had been running with my terminators and bring back my old black helmed WGBL with lightning claws. If he’s not going to be in LOS to shoot, he might as well be able to reroll wounds when he comes running around the other side of that pod (plus he’s much cheaper!).

Example 2 – A 10-strong squad of grey hunters led by a pelted wolf guard. Placing the guard on the farthest side of the drop pod from a nearby enemy might put him far enough away to stay unengaged in the oncoming assault, but that leaves him and possibly several other models out of range for shooting. Again I see folly in giving him anything other than a bolt pistol for a gun if I want to get the pelt love on the counterattack. I had given the Grey Hunters’ wolf guard a plasma pistol for one more AP2 zinger (to make a total of 5 plasma shots from the squad). The question is: what’s more important, +1 attack with a power weapon/fist if and when they do get charged, or an additional plasma shot (that costs 15 points and might overheat and kill him anyway)? My instinct tells me trying to get the extra counterattack is better.

Example 3 – A squad on foot. As I stated before, it might be simpler to keep the character/squad leader out of engagement range if they’re part of a big spread out squad. But against any hack shooting army on a board with 25% cover, this seems like suicide. I changed my wolves to be more mechanized for a reason: they were constantly getting caught out in the open and mowed down before they could have any effect on the game’s outcome. As it is, if I consolidate all the elements into one big push, I can sometimes hit real hard FTW, but any halfway mobile army can just stay out of the big push’s way and pick off squads at their leisure.

I haven’t actually played with my wolves in ages, but having gotten a little burnt out on Witch Hunters (except for my assassins, I still love you guys!), I think I’m ready to pick them up again. I need to really rethink my general strategy, retool some wargear loadouts, and I’ll definitely have to take a moment to think before placing anyone with a pelt in order to give them the best chance of actually using it. I’ll report back on my experiences as soon as I get a few games in.

Sunday, October 14, 2007

Warhammer 30,000: Week 2

The second week of the campaign featured a lot of soon-to-be traitor legions whupping up a little overzealously on faithful worlds. Given that the names and places of these have been described in more detail in the fluff than most of last week's matches, the stuff I wrote up beforehand didn't really apply. Oh wells, I still had a couple of interesting games against two tough legions with the 2000 point witch hunter list I brought.

My first game was against the Luna Wolves, playing the Rescue scenario, as they swept the wounded Warhamster, er, I mean Warmaster, to safety from one of the moons of Davin. My forces represented the Davinite Cultists, in the middle of a surprise attack on the Wolves' positions. I inflicted a few casualties in the beginning, and I believe my Seraphim and sisters managed to drop one of the special characters, but his drop pod squads really made the whole thing a non-starter. Once he discovered the correct token, Abe's drop pods were able to land directly onto the objective, shuffle it around in his marine squads and move it backwards. I didn't take any pictures, as the DreamBlade boxes he pulled off the rack and used for his drop pods just looked a little too retarded to be captured for posterity. I mean, I understand you do what you have to do, but I just think posterity would have been disappointed. Anyway, after he moved the objective out of my reach we called it early, Luna Wolves win.

The second match was against Jon's Night Lords, as they attacked the previously compliant Imperial world of Anargo. We played an alpha night fight mission. Nightfighting was always in effect, using table quarters as the objectives and deployment zones. We both deployed in two main wings, his bikes, vets, dreadnought, and assault squad heading towards my seraphim, assassins, repentia, sisters, retributors, and inquisitor retinue, and on the other side,
his infantry squads and land speeders against my exorcist, penitent engines, storm troopers, and another squad of sisters. I managed to play rope-a-dope for nearly the entire game, inflicting damage on units here and there and trying to stay out of his grasp. It was a very challenging game; perhaps without Night Fight I might have been able to get enough early shooting in to prevent myself from being so inevitably overrun. Probably the most fun part was launching into the oncoming bike squad with the last few repentia and two of the death cult assassins, wiping them out, then sweeping into his deep striking terminators and teaming up with the Seraphim to take them out. The Eversor and third death cult held off the veterans and brought them below scoring. I was contesting every quarter until I failed four or five armor saves on my retributors in his last turn, bringing them below 50% and giving up the home table quarter. Night Lords win a really great game.

I witnessed my first game of Apocalypse being played between Mkerr and Bigred from BOLS. It was a massive 5000 point battle pitting a ton of Death Guard and a titan against a large Witch Hunter/Guard force. It looked very cool but perhaps a little tedious, but as I was playing my two games I didn't really watch enough to get a feel for the mechanic. You can read Red's specific comments on the game here. The BOLS rundown of 30k Week 2 is here.

Wednesday, October 10, 2007

In Defense of the Priory Scarlet: Witch Hunters 2000

I'll be taking this 2000 point Witch Hunters list to the second week of the Warhammer 30k campaign, being played at Battleforge. It's a pure list, focusing mainly on close quarters fighting, using all of the WH assault models I have - the Cannoness, Seraphim, Repentia, Engines, and Assassins - as well as some core troop and support units to back them up. It's the best I could do at representing a loyal crusader force about to be betrayed and viciously attacked by the Emperor's 8th legion, the Night Lords. With night fighting in effect, I have no worries that this one's gonna be a bloodbath!


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

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


6 Repentia
Priest - power weapon

1 Eversor Assassin

3 Death Cult Assassins


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

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

10 Storm Troopers - 2 flamers
Rhino - smoke launchers


10 Seraphim - 2 flame pistols
Veteran Sister Superior


2 Penitent Engines

1 Exorcist - extra armor

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

The Treachery of the Legio VIII

“Praetor Tomas, there are men here from the borderlands that urgently wish to speak with you. The colony at Vilneus has been laid to waste, sometime in the night! One of them swears it was the work of the legions - had a look at them himself, he says!” Getting no response, Nicodemus licked his lips and collected himself. “They await you in the Epistolary, Praetor.” He retreated backwards through the reliquarium door with a deep bow, closing it behind him. The Praetor did not look after his assistant, but remained apparently motionless on his meditational slip. A closer look might have revealed that the aging magistrate was shaking in his robes. He was, in fact, terrified.

Skar! Praetor Tomas cursed quietly in the old tongue. The Astartes commander had assured him not three days ago that he would have the rest of the month to deliver the regular tithes. Now it appeared their time was up, and they would all likely be dead come next nightfall.

The audacity of it all! Why, there were none so loyal in this sector as the Priory Scarlet! Had this very mission not reclaimed scores of human worlds in the past 300 years? In their glorious history, had they not overthrown vast hordes of defiant militiamen, scourged forgotten tribes of mutants, and pushed back the cursed xenos time and time again? Why, the Emperor himself had recognized the Priory specially, granting them the blessed armor that had so protected their faithful in the countless battles of their crusade. And now one of his trusted legions was attacking them over what amounted to nothing more than a slightly late harvest?

Bah! The outriders of the Priory Scarlet had been wielding boltgun and flame in their righteous quests long before these arrogant goliaths, these overgrown psychopaths, started roaming the stars, dispensing their cruel and twisted sense of justice with no fear of retribution. If he and his fellow crusaders were destined to die, it would be in glorious battle! They would raise such a din as to wake the sleeping Emperor, perhaps make him realize the imminent danger inherent in loosing such powerful madmen upon his kingdom. True, the angels of death had earned fearsome reputations as merciless deathbringers, but the Praetor’s own ranks were filled with fearless devotees, lunatic martyrs, and arcane machines of death that had successfully purged three death cults in the past month alone! Well, perhaps not so much purged as absorbed, but it was all really a matter of perspective in the end, was it not? The most dire fanatics were easily brought from one cause over to another, and he would surely need their special talents in the hours to come if they were to have any chance of surviving.

He stood up with a speed belying his age, gathered his robes, and strode to the door. There were many preparations to be made, and time was of the essence – they would soon have guests to entertain!

Monday, October 8, 2007

Tournament: Thor's Hammer 10-6-07

I went to a standard tourney at Thor's last weekend with a slightly changed around Witch Hunters list that I for no good reason at all call "the Horsley Chastisement." It's the same Witch Hunters/Inducted Guard units that I've been using so heavily in the last month or two, just a little more streamlined, with a full Inquisitor Lord and heavy bolter servitor retinue, an immolator with heavy bolters, and retributors switched in for the Leman Russ. I did alright, coming in third place overall out of 6 (7 initially, but he left after catching the the first round bye).

Game 1 - Space Marines - Recon

I drew Brian for the first round, who I had first played against at a Battleforge Tourney a month ago. A nice guy with some awesome dreadnoughts and terminators (love those bases), he had some bad luck and things started rolling downhill in a hurry. The mission was Recon, which I don't think I've ever played on the very first round of a tournament. I grouped all my mobile elements together on one flank that was defended by one venerable dreadnought and a small devastator squad, with a largish assault squad hiding behind a hill. After heavily disabling the dred and wiping out the devastators with my own heavy bolters, I moved up the armored units and drew the assault troops out into the open with the armored fist squad. They took shooting casualties and fled on cue, leaving the assault team open to a shooting gallery, led by the canoness and seraphim. The other side received no less than 2 different terminator deep strike assaults, but always managed to wipe the armored troops out before they could dig in. The Eversor led one particular counterassault and took out the last three terminators by himself. The retributors took most of my shooting casualties, leaving the guard lascannons to harrass the dreadnought and tac squad on the opposite temple as well as the terminators that approached on foot. When the smoke cleared, most of his force had been destroyed and several of my most expensive units were in his deployment zone. Witch Hunters win, massacre.

Game 2 - Tyranids - Seek and Destroy

I had watched from a distance many times already as Sean's bugzilla list chewed through anyone and everyone at Battleforge, and for my second game I finally had the honor myself, with Seek and Destroy as the mission no less. He's an agreeable dude, really experienced with this extremely powerful army. Fully guarded tyrants, 6 shooty, extra wound carnifexes, and 6 small teams of genestealers. Fucking retarded. I lined up and hunkered down, stretched out my firing line, and did my best to shoot what I thought were priority targets. One heavy fex went down first turn to the retributors holding the middle, but after that they had terrible luck with shooting and eventually died when the big, fat, T6 wave finally broke on my shore. At the end of the game, I had managed to drop several tyrant guards, weaken or destroy half of the genestealer squads, kill two of the heavy fexes, and kill or wound two elite fexes. I was left with one squad of sisters, a depleted but scoring seraphim squad, and the immolator. The Eversor performed like a champ and dropped in on one of the heavy fexes, rolling 6 extra attacks and inflicting the last four wounds on the big lug. He segued into some genestealers, who chewed him up a bit before he exploded, unfortunately only killing one of them. The canoness also survived longer than expected but only killed a couple of genestealers before they pulled her down, too. Tyranids win, major victory. Robert also played Sean with his Thousand Sons and only lost by a minor victory. I never really thought about it, but AP3 bolters and 4+ invulnerable saves are a decent answer to some of bugzilla's challenges. Plus Robert wields them like a scalpel, or at least he has in my experience.

Game 3 - Tau - Recon

I totally forgot my opponent's name for this last round, but I've seen him around before at Battleforge, nice guy. He had a decent tau mixed force, with two crisis hq's, another crisis suit squad, pathfinders, two stealth teams, two squads of kroot, two squads of firewarriors with devilfish, a broadside, an ionhead, and a hammerhead. Sigh, Tau is never an easy game. You start not taking them seriously and all of a sudden squads completely behind cover are being wiped out by shooting from god knows where. The eversor started the game out in the open, in position to charge into three crisis suits, but my opponent rolled first turn and shot the assassin down before he could do a thing. The exorcist, guard, retributors, and inquisitor did their best to shoot up anything that poked its head out, including the suits and stealth teams, while the canoness, seraphim, and a sister squad rushed across the board, taking out the pathfinders, broadside, and kroot that were holding one of his objectives. We ran out of time or he would have easily reclaimed it with his devilfished warrior squads, which had sat untouched behind buildings for the whole game. He managed to fight my mobile units off though, and I ended up with just two objectives to his one. Witch Hunters win, minor victory.

Thursday, October 4, 2007

Warhammer 30,000: Week 1

Today was opening day in the Horus Heresy campaign being played out at Battleforge Games, using the ruleset developed by the folks at Bell of Lost Souls. I was promised by Bigred that if I brought my Guard I'd definitely get a game, and that's just what happened. I used the old citywide Tiefwalder army, with the dozer blade switched over to the standard Russ instead of the demolisher. Chris and Amos teamed up their small pre-heresy legions to try and bring to heel what would eventually be one of the most loyal and valuable system of planets in the Segmentum Obscuris.

*Wayne's World flashback sound*

Way back when, the Walder system was defended by the Gruene Wehrmauer, the extremely well-armed militia of Kronprinz Chamblais, ruler of Hauptwald. And they didn't have Leman Russes or Leman Russ Demolishers, but rather Hauptpanzers and Megapanzers. Who is this Russ guy anyway? And more importantly, who the hell are these highly armored pituitary psychos that are laying siege to Eiswald, the furthest populated planet from the system's sun? Apparently, they're some of the so-called Emperor's finest: Space Marines from the Salamanders and Thousand Sons legions. Shit, they look mean! And brr! We should have brought sleeves!

The forces on both sides declared battlefield objectives and set out to secure and control them, ready to open up on anything that moved. As the Wehrmauer moved into position, they were suddenly attacked by a wave of Space Marines along a wide front. Ordnance, rocket, and heavy bolter fire ripped through the defenders, who came about and returned the favor as best they could. The Wehrmauer poured it on thick and managed for the most part to keep the invaders at bay.

One giant warrior, leading a large squad from one of their transport vehicles, actually charged the flamethrower tank and set about it with a giant powered hammer, but was thankfully unable to damage it. His squad was roasted alive for their trouble, though the last heroic survivor managed to stagger off a short distance before Hauptwalder ordnance and anti-infantry fire finished him off.

The Emperor's soldiers were able to mow through the Wehrmauer foot troops with ease, but they were rather ill equipped to handle Hauptwald's fine heavy armor. The Lema... er, Hauptpanzer, went down in the end to a squad of Thousand Sons terminators pulling the ole lightning claw rear admiral, but by then the guns of the Hauptwald pride had reduced the arrogant invaders to a few loose stragglers. Unfortunately, those won't be the last bunch of maniacs this hippy hair, gold-wearing nutbag sends to Walder. The resource-rich system is too valuable an asset to let languish out of his reach. They'll be back.

Word around the solar system is that the Emperor's legions ran into similar trouble on a planet called Mordia. You might want to put some training wheels on those Rhinos before you send 'em our way, big guy!