Thursday, 7 November 2013

Codex: Adepta Sororitas (eBook Edition) Update (updated 7th Nov and again on 14th Nov)


There has been rumours that the Adepta Sororitas digital codex had changed the wording for Condemnor Boltgun on DakkaDakka for the last couple of days, and one person even e-mailed the GW Digital team and got the response that nothing had changed.  Another person had redownloaded their eBook version 5 times with no change.

However today for another reason I was on the Black Library website, and saw this little blurb on the page of the Codex: Adepta Sororitas (eBook Edition) web page:

"Latest Update:
November 6th 2013 - Condemnor Boltgun and Allies rules clarifications"

Unfortunately I'm at work and don't want to download the ebook onto my work computer, but I will redownload it as soon as I get home and will update this post as soon as I know the changes.

In the meantime I will surf the web, because I am sure some people have downloaded the update and talked about the changes online.

I suppose this post also gives away my next modelling project :)


Update (7th Nov @ 17:30):

From checking the web it looks like the Condemnor Boltgun has been clarified that only a psyker hit takes the perils, so you can't hit a psyker in a unit unless you precision shot him and he fails the Look out Sir roll.

The other change was that in that it clarifies that you should take references to Sisters of Battle in the allies matrix to mean Adepta Sororitas.  Lets hope this will mean no one tries to argue that you can't take a Repressor tank (Forgeworld) because it mentions "can be used in the following squads from a Sisters of Battle army"...but you know someone will :)

2nd Update (14 Nov):

While checking the DakkaDakka forum thread on Sisters of Battle Tactics (it's a long thread with peoples thoughts and experiences which I would recommend as a good read for any Adepta Sororitas player), I came accross a post saying the Adepta Sororitas had been updated again and that the wording of Psi-Shock has changed to the following:

"Psi-shock: Any Psyker that takes an unsaved Wound from a stake crossbow shot suffers the Perils of the Warp in addition to any other effects."

...effectively meaning the death toll for this new piece of wargear.  If there was a psyker that I had a good chance of doing a wound to with a str5 ap- shot I would need any extra chance of killing it.  Apparently this is the same wording as a similar piece of wargear in the Grey Knights codex, and there a good reason I never new it existed after playing copious games against Grey Knight armies.

The Condemnor Boltgun is no good against Screamer-Star, as the heralds, particularly the one with the Grimoire will be in a unit, and even if you could precision shot him, he has a 2+ Look Out Sir and an invunverable save.  Against Fateweaver the chance of hitting him (particularly if he's still flying), wounding him and him failing his save is very very small.

Psyker Monstrous Creatures (the ones that are most likely not be attached to a unit and can be targetted easier) are likely to be T6+ and have a good armour save meaning the Condemnor Boltgun has little chance of causing a unsaved wound.

Against a Seer Council the Warlocks should be at the front, so if you do the unsaved wound you will have already killed the warlock, plus any Farseer who actually is hit can Look Out Sir the wound away on a 2+.

If I take combi weapon on my Adepta Sororitas characters it will probably be a combi-plasma in dominion squads (to give them more shots against infantry, I think 4 meltaguns should have vehicles covered) and a combi-melta in a Battle Sisters squad trying to be a back-up dominion squad (however I prefer the dual flamer squads).

Shame nice fluff for the Condemnor Boltgun, but no way it'll make it into my lists.  Would have been a nice modelling opportunity as well :(

Tuesday, 22 October 2013

Where is the meta now ?


The meta is changing so rapidly now that the codex releases are so much faster than before.  I'm particularly feeling this as I paint so slow.  One thing I can do is look at the army composition at big (and competitive) tournaments to see where things are going.  Another tip is listening to tournament report podcasts.

Anyway this weekend is the Mayhem tournament in Tolworth (London) which just posted the make-up of the armies attending on Facebook.  I haven't been for a few years, but the tournament is pretty competitive, and is the type of competitive tournament I will hopefully work my way up to playing during 2014.  Here's the make-up of their tournament from their Facebook post:

"Mayhem Tournament
All the army lists are in (bar 2) and a well represented array of armies
9 Eldar (both varieties)
8 Daemons
8 Necron
6 Tau (both varieties)
4 IG
3 Space Wolves
3 Blood Angel
2 Space Marine
2 Grey Knight
1 Ork
1 Tyranid
1 Dark Angel
1 Dark Eldar

21 of you decided to take Allies with Space Marines being most popular (5) followed by Guard (4) Space wolves and CSM (both 3)"

With all tournament army spreads it has to be taken with a pinch of salt, and any army should be given a +2/-2 margin of error.  However I guess none of us are surprised by the top 4 armies, particular the rise in Eldar now the codex has been out for a while.  I expect the next big rise to be marines, as people paint up bikes and the new anti air tanks.

You are still likely to face a lot of MEQ it's just spread between the codexs (11 Imperial MEQ, plus 2 more CSM), and as said this will only rise when marines increase in popularity.

An interesting point is that there are more CSM allies than there are CSM primary detachments, and I bet the helldrake is likely to be in all the CSM allies and feature heavily in the CSM primary detachments.

As one of my main armies rises in popularity (Tau) the other sinks towards the bottom (Dark Eldar).  Dark Eldar really stuggle against both Tau & Eldar, and the general trend towards multiple shot mid strength weaponry to strip hull points, because while they are good to strip hull points from regular vehicles these weapons murder Dark Eldar vehicles.  On the plus side opponents will be less likely to be ready to face the speed of the Dark Eldar (let alone the fearsome early shooting they can put out against an unprepared opponent).  A more common occurrence will be that Dark Eldar are underestimated, helping the Dark Eldar hopefully punch above their weight.

What do you think of where the meta is moving to at the moment.  Does your army have the tools to deal with top lists while still being balanced enough to take on other lists ?


Thursday, 10 October 2013

The Tau have been bloodied - Part 1 Army Thoughts & Prep (incl pics)


Well first things first and my Tau have been bloodied in their first tournament with the new book.

The Early List Issues

My initial games made me have a rethink of some specific parts of my list.  The first part was markerlights.  Markerlights are excellent for the Tau useful in so many ways but mainly to increase the medicore BS3 and removing cover, I particularly like increasing BS to 6+ to give a reroll on the Gets Hot roll for Overcharging Ion weapons.

Pathfinders have improved this edition in that they are cheaper, and you don't have to bring a devilfish for them, therefore compared to bringing one unit under the last book I immediately moved to using  2 units without a devilfish.  However pathfinders have also got worse in that they have gone down to a 5+ armour save meaning it is essential they hug cover which can restrict where they can deploy which applifies their other big weakness...

Pathfinders are very static, and with the increased movement in 6th edition compared to 5th, and the emphasis on putting a decent amount of terrain on the board this can be a big weakness.  So I decided I wanted mobile markerlights, and I believe the Tau codex has 2 good options (a Skyray is not that mobile and can not be the main source of markerlights).

I think the best sources of mobile markerlights in the Tau codex are marker drone squad with a commander or markerdrones with crisis suits (with or without an attached commander), ok so really only one source.  I think a commander with markerdrones is not the best use of a commander.  Yes you can have upto 12 markerdrones boosted to BS5, but it's very rare that a single target needs on average 10 markerlight tokens put on it.  The commander also is not boosting a unit with a PENchip (Purtide Engram Neurochip to give either Tank Hunters or Monster Hunter).

Ideally I'd like a Commander with buffing abilities, with 2 marker drones joining 3 dual missile pod suits with 6 more markerdrones.  However this came to a lot of points and I didn't want to put so many points in one unit, so I went with a MarkerRain lite team (the Rain referring to Deathrain the old config name for dual missile pods):
Shas'vre with Control & Command Node, Drone Controller & PENchip
2 Shas'ui with 2 Missile Pods and a Target lock each
accompanied by 6 marker drones
A nice tidy 256 pts, that throw out 8 twin-linked str 7 shots at up to 2 targets buffed by either tank hunters or monster hunter, plus 6 markerlights at another target that hit at twin-linked BS3 rather than their normal not-linked BS2

Now I think you need more than one source of a decent number of markerlights, so I needed another source, so for this I went outside the Tau codex.  As forgeworld was allowed for the upcoming tournament I choose Tetras.  In the Imperial Armour 3 - Second Edition they had been reduced from the ridiculous 4 shot markerlights to 2 shots twin-linked and cost 35 pts for 2 hull points av10.  I took a squad of 3 for 105 pts, so just under the cost of 9 pathfinders with a shas'ui.  They give (on average) the same 4.5 markerlight hits a turn, but their mobility should really help.  My only concern was that with the only other vehicles in the army being av13 they would be targeted by a lot of mid to low strength heavy weapons (not to mention basic bolters) and die quickly, but time would tell.

Next I was worried about my shooting against monstrous creatures particularly a troublesome wraithknight that my Dark Eldar had been on the receiving end of a couple of times.  With no plasma or rail weapons in the army I choose to give 20 of my kroot sniper rifles, particularly now they can benefit from markerlights.

Also a concern for me was anti-air (even though this tournament was comped and limited flyers and flying monstrous creatures to 3).  I have a skyray which is good, but I needed more.  A Quad gun on a Aegis is another good option, but I've found that the Aegis can make my playstyle too static.  A flyer of my own was the solution I went for to aid the Skyray, and I already had a Barracuda plus I don't like the look of the codex flyers so that was that.

I've found that the Tau work best when boosted by markerlights, so putting skyfire and interceptor on riptides is ok, but not brilliant as they have to use their poor BS3, while waiting for the next Tau turn they can be boosted.  Also I've found that the riptides are best putting ion templates to infantry and leaving flyers to the skyray and the twin-linked str 7 shots from the broadsides and crisis suits (once they get a markerlight hit or two to boost their snap shots).

Lastly I was concerned with low ap.  I had been using piranha squadron which is very effective at thowing out more str 5 shots.  You can't complain with 8 shots for 40 pts, however my infantry firebase already did this.  I didn't want to reduce the infantry firebase because the Ethereal's buffing abilities would have less targets so the piranhas had to go to put in more low ap.

With this codex I have fallen in love with large blasts from Ion Weapons, so to compliment my Riptides Ion Accelerator and Hammerhead's Ion Cannon I added a second Riptide and the Ion Cannon on the aforementioned Barracuda.  Not only did I now have 4 large blasts to throw at the enemy it also gave me longer ranged weapons.  With rail weapons not used I lot of my army was 36" range (or less), these 4 Ion weapons had a 60" range, meaning it was less likely that the pesky Eldar could out deploy me so bad that I had a totally ineffective 1st turn, giving them both the early alpha strike and last turn to objective grab.

The List

Baring in mind that the tournament had comp that disallowed 3 of the same unit in a non troop force organisation slot here's what I came up with for my first tournament (1800 pts) outting:

Ethereal  - 50

XV8 Crisis Team - 256
Shas'vre with Command & Control Node, Puretide Engram Chip & Drone Controller
2 Shas'ui with 2 Missile Pods & Target Lock each
6 Marker Drones

XV104 Riptide - 190
Ion Accelerator, Twin-linked Fusion Blaster, Early Warning Overide (Interceptor)

XV104 Riptide - 190
Ion Accelerator, Twin-linked Fusion Blaster, Early Warning Overide (Interceptor)

10 Fire Warriors - 90

10 Fire Warriors - 90

10 Kroot with additional Sniper Rounds - 70

10 Kroot with additional Sniper Rounds - 70

10 Kroot - 60

3 Tetra Scout Speeders (Forgeworld) - 105
Twin-linked Pulse Rifle, High Intensity (Heavy 2, Twin-linked) Markerlight

Barracuda Air Superiority Fighter (Forgeworld) - 130
Ion Cannon, 2 Auto-Targeting Burst Cannons, Twin-linked Missile Pod

XV88 Broadside Team - 258
1 Shas'ui with High-Yield Missile Pods, Smart Missile System & Target Lok
2 Shas'ui with High-Yield Missile Pods, Smart Missile System & Early Warning
  Overide (Interceptor) each
4 Missile drones

Hammerhead Gunship - 126
Ion Cannon, Twin-linked Smart Missile System, Blacksun Filter

Sky Ray Missile Defense Gunship - 115
2 Networked Markerlights, 6 Seeker Missiles, Twin-linked Smart Missile System
Velocity Tracker (Optional Skyfire)

I faced Eldar for my first game with some usual toys, Farseer, Spiritseer with Wraithguard in a Wave Serpent, Wraithknight, Warp Spiders, Dire Avengers, Support Battery, War Walkers.  I followed this with a game against Necrons with Wraiths, Scarabs, Tomb Scorpions, Annihiliation Barge, Warriors in a Ghost Ark, Warriors in a Nightscythe & a Warrior blog with an Overlord, Monolith.

Finally I faced Dark Eldar for the last game of the tournament sporting the Duke with Trurborn with lots of poison shots (24 between the 8 models when on the move) in a Raider, Warriors in a Raider, Wyches in a Venom, Warriors on foot with a Dark Lance accompanied by a Haemonculus, Incubi in a Venom, Wracks on foot with a Haemonculus with a Hex Rifle, Ravager, Razorwing.

Brief battle summaries, and key learnings I took from each game will follow, but in the meantime here's some pics of my army taken at 6:30 the morning of the tournament.  You'll see I didn't have time to wait for the Riptide, Barracuda and Broadsides bases to dry so I could add flock, yep that's right I pulled an all-nighter to get the army done, so I went to the tournament with no sleep, no breakfast and only some energy drinks to keep me going :)

Let me know what you think of my list, and how you think I would get on ?


The Pictures

Tuesday, 24 September 2013

Grav much ?? (including Centurions vs Bikes)

How much ??

It's not surprising being a Dark Eldar player that I like fast armies.  The ability to outmaneovre your opponent, and slaughter what appears to be a tougher force by taking it apart bit by bit is very rewarding.

However the problem comes when you want to play marines.  They have a wonderful stat line, and the new codexs dropping the basic points to 14 is one of their great strengths imho.  But the problem with tactical squads is that they are slow, and even with a rhino it doesn't take away the fact that they are slow.

You could try having a fast attack focussed army, and to be fair I've got a Space Wolves army with Thunderwolves, Fenrusian Wolves and a pair of Landspeeders.  However I really wanted fast marines.  Unfortunately assault marines don't really cut it in this edition, and Bloodclaws are not good bikers.

Now with the new marine codex I am (like loads of people) going gaga over the lower cost of bikes, the ability for them to be troops, and Khan giving them scout.  Not to mention that imho they are the best platform for grav weapons.  Lets compare 3 devastator centurions against bikers:


3 Centurions with Grav Cannons, Grav Amps and Missile Launchers = 270 pts
2 x 5 Bikes with 2 Grav guns each, and a combi grav on the serg - 2 x 145 = 290 pts

The centurions throw out 15 grav shots (rerolling to hit) and 3 missile launcher shots.  Their best chapter tactic would probably be Imperial Fists to give them tank hunters.

The bikes throw out 12 grav shots and 6/12 bolters shots (or for one turn 18 grav shots and 4/8 bolter shots. Best chapter tactic would be White Scars, and a bike mounted captain or chapter master makes them troops.

Now for raw firepower I think the centurions have it, particularly with the grav amps allowing the grav cannons to reroll to wound.  However what I think brings it back in for the bikes are the resiliance (they have more wounds, have a jink save, and can lose some wounds without losing grav weapons) and their speed (although both centurions and bikers with grav weapons have a 30" threat range, the option to turbo-boost with the bikes is great to redeploy mid game).  When you add Khan can make bikes scout, and that they can be scoring I believe Bikes win out.

If like me you have choosen bikes as your grav platform (that's if you want grav weapons at all, which is a perfectly valid option) then you have to source the grav weapons.  GW gives one in a tactical squad, and a combi in the sternguard squad.  Therefore not surprisingly ebay prices are insane (like £6+ per gun), and Bitz sites are no better (if you can find one in stock).

However if you like me you go to independent tournaments and aren't likely to ever go to a Throne of Skulls tournament than a blog has come to the rescue.  Not this one, but Against the Grain, which recently posted a great post on options among the many 3rd party manufacteurs with pictures and links to the various manufacteurs.  Although I was tempted with a couple of the examples shown, surfing the websites linked I came across the following:

for Grav guns and Combi-Gravs from Anvil Miniatures, here's a link to their Specialist/Energy weapons.  Although the nozzle does look a bit like a melta gun, the cabling from the nozzle should make it stand out as a different weapon, plus painting the ridges down the sides of the gun a distinctive colour will make it look very different to a melta gun.

If you don't like this gun I recommend you check out the blog listed above, as there are many more options including one which had a nozzle very similar to a Grav gun.

The 3rd party manufactuers are definitely worth a look, whether it's for a special gun, shoulder pad, or something different you want to add to your force.

My marines/wolves will have to wait as I'm busy painting up my Tau, as I've been given the go ahead for my alternative Riptide model by the tournament organiser, so its lots of painting required to get the other elements of my army ready in time.

I'm torn on my marines whether to have Khan and 2 full bike squads with either Imperial Fists Tactical squads and Devastators, or to ally them with my Space Wolves taking a Rune Priest on a bike, Grey Hunters, Thunderwolves, Fenrusian wolves & Long Fangs (in this case the Bikes will bring along a Stalker and a Storm Talon for anti-air).  I'm sure I'll have fun trying out both ideas.

Until next time...


Monday, 16 September 2013

Tau Re-Emerge & Moray Battlesuit

A Tale of Two Tau's

It's been a long hiatus since my Tau hit the gaming tables.  Hitting the Tau label on this blog takes you back a while.  There was a game (here) at the University gaming club, when I didn't want the first game they saw me play to be with my, very tuned by multiple tournaments, Dark Eldar list.  Then you would be sent back to 2011 when the Dark Eldar codex was released, and Dark Eldar were added to the painting log.  It was a time where Tau were struggling, but also a time where I had many years of experience of taking them to tournaments, and could still surprise a few people with how effective they could be.

Now the same is happening with my Dark Eldar.  They are not struggling as much as my Tau were back in 2011, but the inclusion of Tau & Eldar which bring av12 & 13 vehicles, plus high rate of fire medium strength guns to the meta is making it harder (but more on that in a later post).

Before the new Tau codex came out I took them to a 500 point tournament at the local GW as part of a final send off to the old codex.

I took a list that had lots of models, but was a bit lacking in low ap and anti tank, so I got a swift lesson when I faced this in my first game:

Overall I learnt that although there was lots of blob squads and cheap troops allied in you still needed to have decent low ap for when heavy infantry turned, plus you still needed to ensure you can crack an av13/14 tank.  On the plus side I continued to enjoy the improvement 6th edition had given rapid fire weapons, and my fire warriors and kroot were very effective over the day.

Next I tried a before and after pair of games against my mates Dark Angels.  I took the following army:

It was a close loss for the Tau, so when the new codex came out it was no surprise that I got a good (but not excessive) win.  My initial army was below:

Quick changes I made was changing 2 broadside units for 2 hammerheads, and swapped a pathfinder devilfish for a second unit of pathfinders.  Not surprisingly a unit of crisis suits got upgraded to a Riptide.  A new addition was a unit of Piranhas for more str 5 firepower.  Also trying something new out I dropped the commander for an Etheral as he wasn't compulsory anymore.  You can see the Moray Battlesuit, that I have had since I first started Tau standing in for the Riptide in the above pic.

Other changes that have since happened to my list, because I didn't appreciate the change after my first read of the codex include:

1) Not being limited to 2 drones a crisis/broadside team.  This is huge and allows some cheap ablative wounds that can take the first str8 shots that would instant kill the suits.  The drones are worth it for that let alone what they add to the unit's firepower, particularly if they compliment the units role and range that they want to operate.

2) After the knee jerk reaction of removing broadsides from my list due to drop in the strength of their rail weapons I added a small unit of 2 with high yield missile pods back in the list along with 4 missile drones.  In my first few games they have done well, and will be a stable of the my lists going forward, and points permitting I would expand the unit, but I am wary of having a lot of points tied up in the same unt.  Too many battle reports I have seen on Youtube of big units being killed/decimated completely turning the battle.  The last example was a full broadside team with maximum drones and attached commander and etheral; when a close combat unit weathered the counter fire and massacred the unit it combat it was immediately game over.

3)  If pathfinders were fragile and an opponents first easy target before they are even more now with improved markerlights and worse armour save.  Although I haven't had a game with them yet I am going to try out Tetras, now that their markerlights are a reasonable Heavy2 rather the ridiculous Heavy4 they used to be.

4) I have fallen in love with Ion weapons.  Although risky (which can be mitigated by using markerlights to raise BS to 6) having low ap large blasts is lovely.  Initially I had 2 Ion weapons in the army, and I'm considering increasing that.

5) I've added a skyray, which helps with anti air wonderfully.  In most games I will just markerlight turn one, and then unleash all or most of it's missile against a key flyer on turn 2.  So far the skyray is my only skyfire model, relying on a few markerlights hits and twin-linking on my str7 firepower to help out.  However I haven't faced a heavy flyer list or the dreaded Helldrakes, so I may need to revise this.

At the moment I am rushing to paint up my new additions (Broadsides, Tetras, loads of Drones) to be able to take the Tau to their first tournament in nearly 3 years.  Time will tell if I can quickly adapt to the new playstyle compared to my Dark Eldar in such a sort length of time with a lack of test games.

Moray Battlesuit

So here's a close up picture of my Moray Battlesuit:

I got him at the same time I started my Tau, and for a few games I proxied him as a Hammerhead against my mates until I painted up the proper model.  His weapons of Ion Cannon and 2 Burst Cannons then, would need to change to Ion with Fusion Blasters.  The fusion blasters were already under the shoulder pads, so the burst cannons just needed to be removed for WYSIWYG.

He'd suffered a bit of battle damage, so I had to find a new gun for his right forearm mini drone.  It's only cosmetic but I wanted the model looking for his new outting. Finally I could use the model as I wanted, as a large crisis suit, now that the codex had Riptides in it.

Comparing him to the Riptide model, he needed bigger thusters.  I dithered over using piranha or tetra engines, but eventually decided on hammerhead engines with some crisis circular shields to cover where they attached to the hammerhead..

Like the Riptide I placed them higher than the shoulders. I removed the burst cannon barrels, leaving the nibs to make it look like they were tracking the sky. Finally my Moray is reborn as a Riptide.  Here's a picture of the final model against a normal Riptide:

What do you think of the model ?  Would you be happy playing against him ?  I think it's got the right height and size.  The big difference being the existing Riptide model has the gun outstretched, but as a gun doesn't count for Line of Sight it shouldn't be an issue.

All comments are greatly appreciated.


Next time, it'll be back to Dark Eldar, and my experiences facing the Wraithknight along with the rest of the new Eldar codex

Thursday, 12 September 2013

Mind the Gap (Space Marine Allies)


The new Space Marine book is out, and while it’s definitely an improvement, time will tell if the new lists people are coming up with are enough to make a Pure Space Marine army competitive.

Perfect for filling multiple Gaps ?

However one of the biggest things that they bring to the meta are perfect allies.  Space Marines seem to have good units in every slot, and have units that are good at particular aspects of the game, eg. tough troops, flyers, anti-air, anti-tank etc.  Not only that but there is normaly multiple units across different force organisation slots that can perform the same task (eg, Stalker in Heavy Support & Storm Talon in Fast Attack).  This makes them very good for filling the gaps in other armies.  This is magnified by Chapter Tactics which allows you to pick the Chapter tactics which benefits the gap you are trying to fill.

Lets take a look at my armies; both Space Wolves and Tau can ally with Space Marines as Battle Brothers.  One of the big weaknesses of Space Wolves is their anti air.  Now the Space Marines can bring some brilliant anti air in the form of either a Stalker or a Hunter, plus a Storm Talon.  When combined with a Quad gun it gives a Space Wolves chance to compete against multiple flyers a bit easier.

No more huddled in cover from flyers at the end of the game for Wolves ?

Space Marines bring some nice firepower when used with the Imperial Fists Chapter Tactic, which allows shots with Bolter Weapons (excluding Sternguard special ammo) to reroll 1’s to hit and give Devastators and Centurion Devastators Tank Hunters.  For 144 points you can have 6 Devastators with 4 Missile Launchers, which should contribute 2 HPs against Wave Serpents (before cover saves) a turn.  Now this is not quite  as good as MissileSides or Deathrains (dual missile crisis suits), but is good if you gave run out of Heavy Support slots, as Hammerheads, Skyrays & Riptides all compete for the same slots as Broadsides and Deathrains.  It also allows you to spread your long range anti tank across another unit, making it harder for the enemy to eliminate all of your long range anti tank quickly.

Tau lack an in your face distraction unit that will distract the enemy from advancing towards the Tau.  Basic marines in a drop pod, can be a great distraction that doesn't break the bank.  A full tactical squad with Heavy Bolter, Flamer and Combi-flamer in a Pod is only 200 pts, and if played right can be a thorn that is hard to get rid of that demands the enemies attention.  In some games the distraction and the damage they can do coming down turn 1 can win the game there and then, by giving the Tau elements the extra breathing space they need to decimate the enemy.

Another unit to distract and get in the face of the enemy fast is Space Marine bikes, which got cheaper, access to multiple Grav weapons (which are great on relentless platforms) and can still be made troops.  Again picking the right Chapter Tactics (in this case White Scars) can make these allies even better at their job.

Normally Chapter Tactics will make some of a pure marine army better (sometimes the majority of the list if it is built well, but that risks making the list unbalanced), however when picking only a few units to plug a gap you can choose units which will all benefit from the Chapter Tactics you are picking, as you are not picking a balanced Take All Comers force, but only units to fill a specific requirement.

Overall Space Marines add a lot to the game, before you even consider the new units (eg. my Riptides will target Devastator Centurions with Grav Cannons with extreme and excessive prejudice !!).  Whether they can really affect the top armies will take a bit of time to see.  The next tournament I am going to will be allowing the new codex, so it will be interesting to see the effect they have.

How do you think Marines will change the meta ?  Are you tempted to use them as allies ?  Do they add enough as allies to take points away from the main detachment (and in the case of Tau using the excellent Farsight Enclaves supplement) ?


PS. It’s been a while since my last post, but I’m hoping that after my hiatus things will get back to a more regular posting schedule.  Upcoming post will include:
How my Space Wolves from my last post (here) got on, and my learnings
How my Dark Eldar have got on over the year, including a one-day tournament win
My experiences facing Eldar and in particular the Wraithknight & Wave Serpents
And finally my Tau, which I am busy expanding so they can attend their first tournament in a couple of years.  As a tease my list has no rail weapons, no pathfinders, no plasma and no gun or shield drones (all stables in my previous lists).

Friday, 25 January 2013

Sin6 Tournament - Army Ready to Tabletop Standard [Space Wolves]

[WIP Pic of some of the extra models needed for the tournament
(2 of the Thunderwolves and one of the riders were in the list last year)]

After leaving it much to late to start painting the extra models I needed for my Space Wolves I started on Monday evening, and 4 evenings (followed by very little sleep) later I have got the army up to table top critera (minus 13 bases I have to flock tonight round my mates house near the tournament venue).

Now the army is getting sizeable  after the tournament will be the time to go back over the army to bring them up to a decent standard, giving extra details (such as the helmet grill etc.) and adding more highlighting.  Below is a pic of the whole army:

[The whole 666 point army - 13 bases left to flock]

I think the addition of hounds makes the army look quite large for an MEQ army.  Facing 39 models in 666 pts should hopefully look daunting for my opponents.

It's a bit annoying with the hounds.  6 were on square bases so I've carefully clipped them off their original bases and put them on new round ones.  However if I had time I'd like to rebase them all in the same snow scheme as the grey hunters and thunderwolves, but with 13 bases to do tonight I don't really want to add rebasing 6 more models to the list.  I will probably go with a comprimise of basing the 6 new hounds the same as the existing ones, but then adding some snow flock to the base and painting the edge of the base grey, so it matches the rest of the army better.  That's the issue with leaving things so late.

Now with a long train journey, and basing to do tonight, I hope I'm not so tired that it affects my performance on Saturday.  Things I'm hoping to understand better after the tournament is whether the close comat thunderwolves and hounds are ok in the shooting environment of 6th edition, and whether the grey hunters operate ok without wolf guard and rhinos - what's your thoughts and experience on this ?


PS. The army list for the tournament can be found here.

Monday, 14 January 2013

Sin6 Tournament - List Locked In [Space Wolves]

[My army from last year's 600pt tournament]

My last post showed I was dithering about my final list for this year's Sin6 tournament which is later this month.

As usually happens I considered all the options I was dithering over and went "Sod it, I'm going to try something new".  In reality I decided that having a sizeable long fang unit or a big unit of 4 thunderwolf cavalry was probably putting too many eggs in one basket.  I was also still worrying about tzeentch daemons who, with their screamers and flamers, invalidate a lot of the marine advantages (good toughness and armour save).

My idea was to add some cheap attacks into the list, and that was through adding in fenrisian wolves.  By cutting all the other units down slightly (and removing the quad gun) I was able to come up with the following list:

10 Grey Hunters (2 Flamers) - 150
10 Grey Hunters (2 Plasma guns) - 160
3 Thunderwolf Cavalry (1 Lightning Claw) - 170
12 Fenrisian Wolves - 96
4 Long Fangs (3 Missile Launchers) - 90
Total: 666 pts

Of course rewriting a list less than 10 minutes before the submission deadline has it's risks, particularly when I have only used fenrisian wolves once (about half a year ago).  In this case, can you guess which special rules affecting fenrisian wolves that I remembered the wrong way round ?  The error does leave a big weakness in the list, and I would definitely would have changed the list slightly to mitigate the weakness.

Let me know what you think of the final list.

I just hope it stops snowing so I can undercoat some models tonight :)


Friday, 11 January 2013

32 Hours to Army List Submission Deadline [Space Wolves]


For those of you that have been reading my blog for a while you may remember the army above that I took to Magnificent Seven, a 600 point tournament last January.

Well the tournament has come round again (it's in 2 weeks this Saturday), and I've decided to take my Space Wolves again, especially as it will force me to paint more of them.

Back then I used the following list:

Wolf Guard (3) - 84
1: Powerfist & Combi-melta (joins the first Grey Hunter squad)
2: Combi-flamer (joins the second Grey Hunter squad)
3: Basic chainsword & pistol (joins Long Fangs)

8 Grey Hunters with Meltagun & Standard - 135
   transported in Rhino - 35

8 Grey Hunters with Flamer - 120
   transported in Rhino - 35

2 Thunderwolf Cavalry, one with a Frost Blade - 125

3 Long Fangs with 2 Missile Launchers - 65

24 Infantry & 2 transports, totalling 599 points

This year the tournament had increased to 666 points, so I had extra points to spend.  I also wanted to try out a fully foot list, in preparation for my current theory-hammered list, which used Guard allies, with only two vehicles (a Whirlwind and a Vendetta) - I know nothing radical as quite a few people have similar lists.

The tournament allowed lists to have a single flyer, and units were allowed to buy a fortification gun without taking the fortification.  So taking units out of my main list I came up with this new list for 2013:

10 Grey Hunters (2 Plasmaguns) - 160
10 Grey Hunters (2 Meltaguns, Standard) - 165
3 Thunderwolves (Frost Sword) - 175
5 Long Fangs (4 Missile Launchers) - 115
Quad Gun (to be manned by Long Fang Squad Leader) - 50

Total: 665 points

It's a good basic list to try out.  The tournament has a bonus point if you can make your list exactly 666 pts, but as all the options for the units I've taken are in multiples of 5, the only I would be able to do that would be if I rewrote the list to have wolf guard in it, which I don't think is worth it for 1 extra tournament point.  Wolf Guard storm bolters are one of (if not the only) upgrades which isn't a multiple of 5.

I'm still dithering over going all foot.  Rhinos will allow the grey hunters and the thunderwolves to be in the opponents deployment zone all together on turn 2, plus the steel box of a rhino is a good way for the grey hunters to get the alpha strike (of alpha rapid fire shot) at units such as screamers or flamers.  Maybe I'm just worried about daemons too much :)

Thunderwolves are improved in 6th edition, so I'm considering losing 2 missile launchers to get a 4th model.  The reduced long fangs can still thow out 2 missile launcher and 4 twin-linked str 7 shots a turn.  Deploying them far back defensively will help to offset their fragility from being so small a unit.

Also are meltaguns needed in 6th, when only combat patrol vehicles will be allowed and everyone has krak grenades.  I picked meltaguns in the squad with the standard because it's an assault weapon so I would fire it and assault, but would 2 flamers be better ?

Well I have until tomorrow night to submit my list, so any suggestions on the points I'm pondering, or anything in general about the list would be appreciated.  Now I have to start painting like crazy to get the few extra models I need assembled and painted in time :)


For those interested below is my 1750 point Wolves / Guard list I'm building towards.  It's nothing unusual compared to other SW/IG lists I've seen:

Rune Priest (Rune Axe) - 100

3 Wolf Guard - 90
    1: Combi-Plasma & Storm Bolter (26)
    2: Combi-Plasma & Storm Bolter (26)
    3: Frost Axe (38)

10 Grey Hunters (2 Plasmaguns) - 160
10 Grey Hunters (2 Plasmaguns) - 160
10 Grey Hunters (2 Meltaguns, Standard) - 165

6 Long Fangs (5 Missile Launchers) - 140
6 Long Fangs (5 Missile Launchers) - 140
Whirlwind - 85

Aegis Defense Line with Quad Gun - 100

Primis Psyker (Force Axe) - 70

Psyker Battle Squad (Overseer & 8 Psykers) - 100

Platoon Command Squad - 50
  with 4 Flamers

4 Platoon Infantry Squads - 260*
  Squad 1 & 2: Power Axe and Autocannon
  Squad 3: Power Axe
  Squad 4: Autocannon

Vendetta -130

Total: 1,750 pts, 100 models, 12 Units, 5 Troops

* Intention is to go in one big blob, joined by the Runepriest for ATSKNF and the Primis Psyker.  In some games squad 4 may not join the blob, and instead sit on a backfield objective.  When together the blob and 2 psykers have 3 autocannons, 5 poweraxes, and a sacrifical sergaent who no upgrades to throw himself in front of any nasty characters, and most importantly another 30 bullet catchers.

Tuesday, 1 January 2013

Quick Rune Priest Conversion


After my heavy tournament schedule in Oct and Nov I haven't touched any of my 40k armies since then.  Everyone needs a bit of time away :)  I have played 3 Dystopian Wars games (but more about that in a later post), and I've come up with a new Dark Eldar list to test in 2013 (after a shocking slaughter at the hands of necrons in the one 40k game I have got in during the last 2 months).

However today my son wanted to do some painting so it was a perfect excuse to do a quick conversion on the opposite side of the table.  A while ago I got the Dark Vengeance Libby because I liked to pose with the outstretched arm.

The chest and loin cloth is one piece and glues straight onto the body and head section, while the sword arm is seperate with just a small pipe shaped bit of plastic for the sword arm to slide on to.  I made a new arm, using a generic pistol arm and a forge world axe.  I then had to drill a hole (using the large drill bit) at the diagonal angle to match angel of the bit the arm had to attach to.  The hole went from where the shoulder attached down the arm towards the wrist.

I tried cutting off the Dark Angels symbol from the chest, but as it's not flat that didn't work, so later I will obscure the symbol with green stuff.

Now, because I took the little extra time to drill a hole in my new arm, and didn't just cut off the bit the existing arm slotted onto, I can have either a force sword or a force axe for my librarian:

January will see me painting more of my red/blue space wolves as I have a 666 point tournament at the end of the month.

Until next time (which won't be so long of a wait).



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