Friday, 5 December 2014

Facing The Grey Tide: Painting Challenge - Part 01

Painting wise since I painted up 4 Grotesques for my last tournament, my painting has ground to a halt.

Being able to play in my local GW which allows some unpainted models (not that I've done much of that either) and having no tournament on the horizon has really zapped my enthusiasm.  What's worse is that I also have quite a few Space Wolves sitting on my desk in various states, from just assembled, uncoated, needing a repaint to nearly finished,

Then from out of the blogshere Evan over at Facing the Grey Tide threw down a painting challenge inspired by the old White Dwarf series Tale of Four Gamers:

The goal is very open, you set your own spending limit a month that you aim to get painted each month, they suggest $75, but it's up to the individual (eg. because I paint slow I've given myself the lower limit of £35).

You also do not need to buy more models if you have (like most of us) I heap of grey plastic/resin sitting around the house.  You can use the spending limit to purchase from yourself so to speak, once you aim to paint up models to the value of your spending limit.

You can have double the budget for one month, if you want to go crazy one month (or just need to buy a big kit), and the challenge runs from 1st Dec '14 to 1st June '15.

What sets this painting challenge apart is the organisation and the community.  Here are some links:

The Rules
and most importantly the Facebook page

With new enthusiasm I looked at my models from my 3 main 40k armies and tried to decide what I wanted my goal to be:

My Tau are fully operational and competitive, they only thing I really wanted to do was a Tau Knight.  I'm sure some of you may have seen the model below from a few years ago that I recent came across:

[It's from the very talented people at Master Minis, and you can follow the link to see more stunning pics of the model]

I would also like a Ra'Varna for my Tau, but my other two 40k armies are in need of more attention.

My Dark Eldar army got affected badly by the new codex; my Wyches, Hellions & Razorwing Flocks will rarely see the gaming table, and to a lesser extent Wracks and the Voidraven Bomber may see the same fate.  I have been considering some of the big melee units, so would like a Court, another Beastmaster unit (with Clawed Fiends) and a 2nd Grot unit (using GW models so I could use them in my local GW).

My Space Wolves progress grounded to a halt when I made the decision to take my Dark Eldar rather than the Space Wolves to the last tournament.  They need a few units finished to make it to 1500 points, however I would like them to get over 2000 points, so I have lots of choice when it comes to making a 1500 or 1750 point list.

I listed all I wanted to paint, but quickly realised that at my normal pace I wouldn't get everything done, so I had to leave out Space Marine Allies (Bike Captain, Bikes & Centurions).

So without further ado, here's my schedule (for models which were part painted I reduced their value for the budget challenge (HV=half value, QV=quarter value):

Space Wolves: Complete Canis (QV)
Space Wolves: 3 Fenrusian Wolves
Space Wolves: Update old Bloodclaws, ie. weapons painting, should pad rims & basing (QV)
Space Wolves: Complete 2 Thunderwolves (HV)
Space Wolves: 2 Extra Riders (Leader with Shield, Wolf Claw)

Space Wolves: Iron Priest Conversion
Space Wolves: Squeese In Completing Drop Pods
Dark Eldar: 4 Trueborn, 2 of which with Blasters (to flesh out 2 units of 3 to 2 units of 5)
Dark Eldar: Repair 6th Venom & 3rd Ravager

and then start 3 months of monster mash...

February (Double Month)
Dark Eldar: Court of the Archon (4 Lhamaens, 5 Ssylths)

Dark Eldar: 5 Clawed Fiends (Corrupted Wraithguard)

Dark Eldar: 4 Grotesques (Converted from Rat Ogres and Talos parts)

and to finish off...

Dark Eldar: 5 Scourges (Converted from Raider Crew with Blood Angel wings)

and in case I get ahead of schedule...

Stretch Goals
Space Wolves: Void Claws (Converted with Robes)
Space Wolves: 4 Iron Priest Cyberwolves (using Ogre Sabertusks)
Space Wolves: Arjack Conversion (Robed)

and finally a sneak peek of two of the monster mash months:

Happy Gaming :)


Wednesday, 15 October 2014

Last Tournament with the Old Codex & Grotesques 1st Run Out [Dark Eldar]

So 8 days after the new codex hit I went down to Promethean Games in Bracknell for 3 games of 40k.  With the Grotesques finished to a state I could take them to the tournament (I need to finish the, vials, spines on their back & a light green wash on the edges of the weapons):

I put the army out on my kitchen table (always a good check before a tournament):
[sorry about the poor light]

The army looked sizable, and I was confident that with 22 haywire grenades I would be fine against vehicles.  However I failed to notice just how much I had reduced my ranged anti-tank.  Turn 1 I just had 1 ravager, and then a Voidraven if it turned up on turn 2.  This led to fun agressive tactics to get my assault elements (most of my army to be fair) in range.

My final army list was very slightly changed from the list I posted in my last blog post.  I lost the Hellion Helliarch with an Agoniser (41pts) to gain a 4th Grotesque (35pts) and give haywire grendes to the trueborn (6pts).  The full list used is at the bottom of this post.

Game 1 vs Orks

Getting the warlord trait which allowed me to infiltrate my warlord and 3 non vehicle units, allowed me to keep my cards close to my chest even though I was going first.

By using the infiltration I was able to refuse flank the orks and move the game into a diagonal front rather than the initial Dawn of War straight accross from each other.  The game started well with me mauling a large storm boyz unit spread in front of his army, and then on turn 2 sacrificing a small wych squad and the hellions to surround the truck with 5 mega nobz in it and wreak killing all the occupants.

Then I made 2 huge errors which cost me the win.  My beasts who were threatened by a bike squad with a warboss and painboyz decided to charge them thinking better to charge than be charged.  With hindsight I was always going to lose that battle very badly and the better option would have been to move forward and and kill the remainder of the stormboyz.  This would force the bikes to deal with the beastpack rather than advancing on the rest of my army.  Instead the beastpack was killed in my own turn for the loss of 1 bike allowing the ork bike squad to advance on my army straight away rather than a turn later.

Second mistake was when I sacrificed the small wych squad and hellions, I moved my grotesques and large wych squad too far back, so that when 20 ork boyz shoot and charged them my main assault units were not close enough to counter charge.  So when my shooting failed to deal with them they were able to contest the last objective, drawing the game with all objectives contested, and vps at 2 (first blood and line breaker) - 2 (warlord and line breaker).

With the game ending early because of the tight game length (only 2 hours), it could have been anybodies game if the game had gone the full distance.

Game 2 vs Imperial Guard with an Imperial Knight

The game was Purge the Alien (or as I say for Dark Eldar "Table your opponent or lose" in a Hammer & Anvil (sideways) deployment.  At least I was going first and wasn't seized upon.

I gave the Guard a bloody nose, but some failed morale tests on turn 2 meant I was eventually wittled down.  However not only did the haywire grenades do well (although they were a bit of a one hit wonder being carried by wyches) the beastpack also showed how good it was with it's speed and huge number of attacks (finishing off Pask and doing 8 out of 9 hull points to a hydra squadron in a turn).  Even without the Baron and reduced to 12 models I think they can be a useful unit.  The Grotesques also smashed a vehicle with ease and absorbed a lot of firepower before they went down.

At the end of the game I had 4 units left and the guard had 5 units, but I still lost 17-6.

Game 3 vs Eldar

Moving towards the lower tables I faced Eldar.  No Wraithknights, but 2 Wave Serpents (filled with guardians), Fire Prism, 6 Vipers & 6 War Walkers, 2 x 3 Jetbikes.

The last mission was a maelstrom mission.  The basic one where you get to draw additional cards to fill your hand up to 3 each turn.

I knew my army couldn't face that firepower, so my only hope was to be agressive to pin the Eldar back, while concentrating on the objectives to build up a lead in victory points.

My opponent made a mistake of outflanking the war walkers.  With so little ranged anti tank he would have been better with them on the board to be firing from turn 1.

My Grotesques and large Wych squad went flat out towards the enemy (with their pilots ready to jink for all they were worth).  Venoms tried to get a bead on the enemy jetbikes, but poor rolling only killed 1.

My opponent was intimidated by the grotesques so after killing the raider he fired loads into them including a disembarked full guardian squad.  This bought the rest of the army the time it needed.  On the flank with jetbikes and the other wave serpent a small squad of wyches got turfed out of their venom (after getting an objective point on turn 1).

With the grotesques absorbing so much firepower the rest of the army was ready to get revenge. The large wych squad haywired the fire prism to death (I probably should have tried to multi assault the nearby wave serpent as I did 7 hull points).  The small wych squad, which had it'd venom wreaked the turn before, managed to down a wave serpent on their own.  Finally the beastpack multi assaulted the disembarked guardians and their wave serpent putting most of the unit including the Baron on the wave serpent.  The guardians ran off the board, however the wave serpent was left on 1 hull point.  The Voidraven also helped the Ravager reduce the Vypers to 2 units of 2 (rather than 3).

With a good tally of 5 victory points in the first turn, and getting at least 2 each turn after that I built a good lead (even drawing 2 cards it was impossible for me to achieve - one about fortifications and the other about mysterious objectives).  With my opponent not scoring at all one round, and an annoying objective secured venom not dying preventing a vp I was able to hold on for a 13-9 win.

Other Notable Points

Other highlights of the game 3 were three wyches from the small squad that killed the wave serpent charging 2 jetbikes, after killing one on the 1st round, they then failed to kill the other over a number of combat rounds even losing one of their own members to the jetbike.  Without haywire grenades I can't see them being efficient with the new codex.

The beastpack was good in both the 2nd and 3rd games, and were just outmatched against the ork bikes with characters in game 1.  However you have to consider them and the Baron together which comes to 291points for 16 models.  The Baron's stealth, ld9, Hit&Run are all big losses, but with the price decrease in the new codex on Krymera I can get 2 units with 2 beastmasters & 10 Krymera each for 51 points less.  Unfotunately my Dark Eldar only have 10 Krymera, however my Space Wolves use the same models (just different basing) for the Fenrusian Wolves so I may have to transfer the models and give it a go.  It's the sheer speed of the packs with 12" move, and charging while ignoring terrain movement penalties plus fleet means they can cover huge distances regardless of terrain.

The Wracks performance was medicore thoughout the day.  Even with their new ranged gun (24", Fleshbane, AP2) I don't think they would as efficient as a gunboat warrior squad and spending the points saved elsewhere in the army list.

Hellions were another medicore performing unit.  It could be that I wasn't using them well (as it was my first time using them), but it'll probably be my last for some time, as they have lost an extra attack (from the Hellglaive) and they are forced out of contention by Scourges and Reavers who are both tougher than them, for only 3 points more.

So it's looking like a serious redesign of my army list with the new codex, with all 6 troops choices that I used in the tournament not making it to the new codex list.

New List Design

I read it many a time, on blogs and forums coming up with lists for the new codex, that when they compare Dark Eldar units to Eldar ones the Eldar ones are always better, a perfect example being blasterborn (trueborn with blasters) against fire dragons (cheaper and better).  Well lets looks at that, coming up in my next post will be what I think Dark Eldar do best and attempt to build a list round that.

Also I think Dark Eldar will always find it hard (if not nearly impossile) to out shoot Mech Eldar or Gunline Tau so maneovrability and combat (yes, even in shooty 7th edition rules) will play a part.

Until then, what are you finding that works in the new codex ?  Are you enjoying the new codex ?


The army list I used for the tournament:

Baron - 105
Haemonculus with Venom Blade - 55

3 Trueborn with 2 Splinte Cannons & Haywire Grenades - 62
Venom with 2nd Splinter Cannon - 65
4 Grotesques - 140
Raider - 60

9 Wyches with Haywire Grenades - 108
Raider - 60
9 Wracks - 90
Raider - 60
5 Wyches with Haywire Grenades - 60
Venom with 2nd Splinter Cannon - 65

5 Wyches with Haywire Grenades - 60
Venom with 2nd Splinter Cannon - 65
3 Wracks - 30
Venom with 2nd Splinter Cannon - 65
9 Hellions - 144

Beastmaster Pack - 186
   consisting of 3 Packmasters, 10 Krymera, 2 Razorwing Flocks

Ravager (3 Lances) - 105
Voidraven Bomber with Void Lances & 2 Shatterfield Missiles - 165

Total: 1750 Points (73 models)

Saturday, 4 October 2014

The Dawn of a New Era & A Last Tournament Send off [Dark Eldar]

The Dark Eldar codex is released tomorrow, any many of the rules have already been leaked on the web by peopel who already have their copy.

The Current

I will be picking up my copy of the new codex in the morning, but for the moment my thoughts are still with the old codex as I have a tournament next week that I am going to take my Dark Eldar to.  Also tournaments seem to be the best thing that motivates me to paint up new units.

One unit that's been on my thoughts is Grotesques.  The main reason was to have another option to combat vehicles.  Vehicles seem to be getting harder and harder to shoot down, when you consider the softer damage table, jinking and the availability of cover.  It was just seeming that unless you were Tau with markelights to remove cover and boost BS it took an inordinate amount of firepower to kill vehicles.  Then I considered close combat.

Dark Eldar already have easy access to haywire grenades (it'll be a shame to lose that in the new codex), and to support them Grotesques could add a good volume of high strength attacks (Str6 on the charge with an accompanying Haemonculus giving them Furious Charge).  A unit of 3 would throw out 12 attacks which should do 4 hull points on average to a vehicle with a back armour of 10.

Oddly enough the new codex will not give Grotesques Furious Charge till later in the game making them worse against vehicles, however the addition of Flesh Gauntlets (and the rumoured close combat weapon in addition to the Flesh Gauntlet giving them an addition attack in close combat) makes them better against non-vehicles.

Here's my converted Grotesques ready for undercoating:

Next week will my first and last time using Grotesques with their current rules, and the same for Hellions.  The tournament I'm going to has no strict comp, however in addition to the 9 tournament points available for winning the 3 games there are a bonus point for each of two critera below:

  • If there are no duplicated units outside the Troops selection
  • If you do not have a 2nd Non-Troop selection unless you have at least one selection from each of the Non-Troop selection, and you do not have a 3rd Non-Troop selection unless you have at least 2 selections for each of the Non-Troop selections.
With these 2 points worth more than a draw in a game I've designed my army to meet these critera, and the give me the opportunity to try out units I haven't tried before in preparation for the new codex (ie. Grotesques & Hellions).

Below is my draft list, let me know what you think ?  Also let me know how you deal with multiple tanks ? Now before I show you my list I want to give the sorbering thought of how many Dark Lance / Blaster shots it takes to strip the hull points from common vehicles (ie. ignoring the small chance to roll a 6 on the damamge chart to explode a vehicle):

AV11 in the open: 6.75
AV12+ in the open: 9
AV12+ with 4+ Cover (eg. Jinking or behind Ruins): 18
Eldar or Tau Skimmers Jinking with Holofields/Disruption Pods: 27
(yes 3 Ravagers firing for 3 turns to kill one jinking skimmer with a 3+ cover save)

I will pack as many as possible Dark Light weapons in my army, but there needs to be other answers, and I think this may be one of the big challenges of the new codex.

Anyway onto my list for the tournment:

Baron - 105
Haemonculus with Venom Blade - 55

3 Trueborn with 2 Splinte Cannons - 56
Venom with 2nd Splinter Cannon - 65
3 Grotesques - 105
Raider - 60

9 Wyches with Haywire Grenades - 108
Raider - 60
9 Wracks - 90
Raider - 60
5 Wyches with Haywire Grenades - 60
Venom with 2nd Splinter Cannon - 65
5 Wyches with Haywire Grenades - 60
Venom with 2nd Splinter Cannon - 65
3 Wracks - 30
Venom with 2nd Splinter Cannon - 65
10 Hellions including Helliarch with Agoniser - 185

Beastmaster Pack - 186
   consisting of 3 Packmasters, 10 Krymera, 2 Razorwing Flocks

Ravager (3 Lances) - 105
Voidraven Bomber with Void Lances & 2 Shatterfield Missiles - 165

Total: 1750 Points (73 models)

The Future

From the rumours of the new codex I know this list will change significantly.  The lack of haywire grenades will mean that I will have to cram as much anti tank into the list as possible. So the 2nd Ravager will come back.  The Voidraven will lose it's missiles, but will probably be supported by a Razorwing Jetfighter in Fast Attack.  The Splinterborn will change to Blasterborn.  The small wyches and wrack squads will disappear, to be replaced probably by warriors.  The beasts and hellions which both get worse in the new book (Hellion's Helglaive no longer gives +1 attack) so they are both up for the chop.

The rumours give some nice ideas, eg. a character with the armour that gives -2 ld, with the artifact that forces a ld test at -2 on nearby units causng wounds for each point they failed the test.  Combine this with an allied Spirit Seer and the Webwy portal which allows deepstrike without scattering.  Such things could be good, but I will need a full read of the codex and the total points costs to see if it is viable.

How will your army change ?


Tuesday, 30 September 2014

Space Wolves - New Codex Winners & Losers


The Space Wolves codex has been out for a few weeks, and I've had a chance to go through the codex quite a few times tweaking my old list to see what would be better now, and playing a few games.

Here are my top winners and losers.  There are quite a few winners in the new book, so these are my top 3:


[These models are from the Spears of Russ blog, click to check out his excellent blog, here, with other stunning models]
1st - Thunderwolves / Thunderwolf Mount:  From the 20% drop in the base cost of thunderwolves, to the increase in their maximum unit size, to all their attacks counting as rending (not just the basic attacks), to the extra wound it gives characters now (not only the wolf lord but the wolf guard battle leader and iron priest really benefit from this) to all thunderwolves being allowed special melee weapons.  This is alos not counting the warlord trait that Canis and Harald come with (that all warlords have a chance of getting) that makes thunderwolves stubbon and furious charge if they are within 12" at the start of the assault phase.

2nd - Wolf Claws:  These changed from Lighning claws that could reroll to hit or to wound to +1 Str Shred.  The +1 Str combined with the reiability of rerolling to wound make these excellent weapons.  Especially when you can combine it with a 2nd specialist weapon to gain the extra attack.  A powerfirst or thunderhammer would be a good choice to give the option of Str10 attacks against vehicles and monstrous creatures.

3rd - Bloodclaws & Skyclaws:  With a 3 point drop these can much better compete in their respective FOC slots.  I think a cheap 10 man bloodclaw unit in a drop pod for only 155 pts is a real contender for one of your troop choices.  Skyclaws get very stiff completeion from thunderwolf cavalry, but if you have the models and don't fancy buying more thunderwolves there's nothing wrong with putting them in your army.  Although swiftclaws also got reduced in cost I don't think they quite compete within a very tough fast attack selection.

Honourable mention must to rune priest with their significant points drop (even if the Wolves magic lore is poor).


1st - Power Armoured Wolf Guard:  Although these guys start out at the same base cost as they had before, their downfall is all about the cost of their upgrades and their cost when added to units.   When added to units wolf guard are a 10 point upgrade on a basic model in the unit, making them  more expensive in infantry squads such as Bloodclaws & Grey Hunters (although significantly cheaper in Skyclaws and Swiftclaws).  Next the Wolf Guard previously had cheaper weapon upgrades, now they choose from the generic weapon upgrades list, which means many of the weapon options are more expensive, the chief among them the combi weapon which doubled in cost.  The typical aggressive unit wolf guard upgrades were powerfist and combi weapon, this set-up has increased from 43 pts before to 59 pts for a unit of Grey Hunters (or 53 points in a unit of power armoured wolf guard).

When you add in the fact that Space Marines in general do not suffer too much from morale issues (due to And they shall know no fear), so they don't need the leadership buff as much, I think you will see less wolf guard in power armour in armies

[Taken from Aruboyz page on CMON, see here for more of his pics]
2nd - Long Fangs:  The split fire rule changes to the same as the main rulebook rule so you can only split off one shot rather than as many as you like into the 2nd target.  The weapon cost got increased to the same as Space Marine Devastators, so a full missile launcher unit went up from 140 to 165 points.  I used to use a 5 man squad with 4 missile launchers which went from 115 to 135.

Now Devastators are rarely seen in competitive lists in any great number, and if I was going to use them it would be in a Imperial Fists detachment where they get tank hunter (an excellent USR), so 5 points more for Counter Attack and Split Fire vs Tank Hunters seems like a poor comparison.  Next the competition got slightly better.

7th edition vehicle tables made vehciles harder to one-shot kill, plus the Whirlwind came down to the cheap 65 pts, and the predator with sponsons went down in cost.  A predator with Autocannon turret and Lascannon sponsons is now 115 pts, 2 Str7 and 2 Str9 shots for 20 pts cheaper than 5 Long Fangs with 4 Missile Launchers.

On the plus side for Long Fangs, Plasma Cannons & Lascannons came down in points in line with the Space Marine codex, and the points increase is not that drastic.  Putting them on the table would not seem strange, but if you have other heavy support choices you may look elsewhere, and I think the days of double and triple long fangs squads are gone.

3rd - Scouts:  With the lose of Behind Enemy lines, these are just scouts from the marine codex with WS & BS 4 for the same cost as Grey Hunters.  They do get the option to take a special weapon instead of the heavy weapon in the Marine codex, but at the same cost as Grey Hunters and not being troops I don't see you will see many of them on the board apart from Sniper Scouts to hold a back field objective.  Even the option to get a second melta shot the turn they turn up from reserves (a Wolf Guard pack leader with a combi-melta) has gone up from 23 pts to 34 pts.

Even the option to do a close combat scout unit is not as good as the vanilla marine book because they do not have a landspeeder storm as an option.  For the same cost a Grey Hunter unit in a drop pod will do better.

The only saving grace I can see is that they are the 2nd cheapest elite slot (after Lone Wolves) if you need a 2nd Elite slot to fulfil the detachment requirements in the Space Wolves suppliment.  However even then a few points more gets you a dreadnaught or a tooled up Lone Wolf.

Honourable mention goes to the Cyberwolf which lost T5, however they are all characters, even the ones accompanying the Iron Priest, so they can accept challenges.  Oddly enough the Rune Priest gets an honourable mention in the losers section as well for the nerf of the great psychic powers Living Lightning and Jaws :(

Those are my top 3 winners and losers.  What units do you think got the best buff or nerf with the new codex ?


I leave you with parting shots of my Dark Eldar who are in transit to their new realm in Commorragh (a new storage case) to house some new additions (Hellions) and make room for more Coven members (Grotesques).

The rumours of the new codex means I may use less wracks (as I'll have too many Elites) but will keep my 6 Venoms (with only a possible slight increase in cost, the likelihood that I can take them as separate Fast Attack slots, and the specific Dark Eldar detachment allowing 6 Fast Attack slots).

Rather than leaving the battles to his Wych Cult & Coven allies, Archon Rathstar may return to the battlefield :)

and it will be interesting to see which Flyer makes my army list (or maybe both as I can still have 2 Ravagers and both fliers):

Only a few days left to the codex now...

Monday, 22 September 2014

First Voidraven Pics and Codex is close [Dark Eldar]


It's been an agonising wait, but titbits from the new Dark Eldar release is starting to come out.  Last weekend there was the new Wracks, and today there is pictures of the new Voidraven.  I really like the model, and I'm happy that it looks similar to the model I've comverted and have been using for the last year or so:
I really like the fins either side of the pilot on the new official model, as it sets off the thin neck of the flier (I may add that to my conversion).  Another difference is the official model has a large central fin (like the razorwing), while mine has a much smaller central fin (to make room for the Void Bomb):
If I did not already have a converted Voidraven I would definitely be getting the new model.  My only hope now is that they move the fliers to Fast Attack slots in the new codex.

Which leads me onto the codex.  Most recent rumours is that the codex will be up for pre-orders this weekend, being released on the 4th October along with the Voidraven and the Data Cards.

Last week White Dwarfs mentioned that Wracks are Toughness 4 and have Feel No Pain, and the latest rumours point says the battle report in White Dwarf next week "indicates that pain tokens are now a static effect with different effects automatically gained at the start of the turn depending on what turn number it is. My source says that army wide FnP, for example, is gained at the start of Turn 3".

I'm not sure what to make of this.  Dark Eldar has always been an alpha strike army, it hits hard and fast.  Feel No Pain on wracks, or wyches with the help of a haemonculus, was very useful for getting the assault troops to their target on turn 1 and 2.  Turn 3 Feel No Pain might be bit too late, but it's too early to worry, best to see what other information comes out.

I can't wait to see what the new codex brings.


PS. What's been keeping me away from blogging is a demanding work schedule, and painting up my Space Wolves for a tournament in two weeks.  I've converted Archeon's horse with Tyranid armour plates to be the mount for my new Iron Priest:
and I have to paint up Canis, increase my thunderwolves from 4 to 6, upgrade the painting on my bloodclaws and skyclaws to my latest army colout scheme, and various bits and bobs.

For my last tournament I painted up my 6th (and last for some time) Broadside, to replace a converted model I had.  Now my Tau thoughts turn to more mobility and increasing the long range anti tank against AV14 after an Imperial Knight and 2 summoned Bloodthirsters pinned me in allowing Pask and Wyverns to pound my army unmolested (but more on that in a later post).

Wednesday, 6 August 2014

Space Wolf Codex Pics (Spanish) hit the Internet


With only days to go until the Space Wolf codex hits the shelves the first good pics of the codex have come out.  Head over to Grot Orderly's post (here) to see the pics.

Unfortunately the pics of the Spanish codex, but you can see all the points costs of the models.  The pics generally confirm the rumours (but also give us some new info) on the base cost of units:
Bloodclaws - 12
Wolf Guard - 18
Skyclaws - 15
Long Fangs - 15
Dreadnaught - 95
Bjorn - 220
Harald Deathwolf - 190

[A Great Harald Deathwolf conversion, see here for the full forum post including more pics]
Harald has the stats of a Wolf Lord, with +1 Atk, Str & T for being on a thunderwolf, while being only 5 points more than Canis in the old codex it does suggest that thunderwolves and thunderwolf mounted characters may be a bit cheaper. The only bad thing I can see from the stats page is that Wolf Lords are still 3 wounds, unlike Chapter Masters, so I see most combat lords being mounted on thunderwoves to get the 4th wound (so no change there).

Grot Orderly's post contains over 40 pics of the new codex, and includes weapons stats, the summary page (with both unit & weapon stats), the alternative formation (with 6 HQs), so head over to check them out.

Early Draft Changes To My Army

I've got a couple of games with my Space Wolves at 1500 points in the last fortnight, and I was pretty pleased how the army performed.  My army is based around a cheap Wolf Guard Battle Leader on a thunderwolf accompanied by a full unit of fenrusian wolves, which along with 5 thunderwolves is my main assault force.  To sow confusion and take out key units I have 2 units of grey hunters in drop pods with dual meltaguns, and advancing into the mid field I have a unit of grey hunters with dual plasma guns.  The back field is held by 10 long fangs, and coming in via a drop is 5 wolf guard with nothing but 5 combi-plasmas to take out a key unit with 10 plasma shots.

The mid field grey hunter unit with plasma guns didn't get into combat in either game, and I doubt it will see combat much, so I'm going to save points and not give them close combat weapons.  This means even with the increase in weapons costs they will only go up about 10 pts.

The drop melta grey hunters do normally see combat, and I think 2 pts each for close combat weapons is worth while to give them an extra attack each, particularly as counter attack now doesn't need a leadership test to activate.  Also as wolf guard are an upgrade for the unit it's probably worth the 20 points (estimated) to upgrade one grey hunter to a wolf guard with a combi-melta to make the alpha strike against a vehicle more effective.  This would increase the cost of this unit from 155 pts to 200 pts, which is a significant increase.  I'll try it out for a few games before I do anything rash, however with only a slight increase in effectiveness (basically 1 combi melta shot) a 30% incr in cost is a tough pill to swallow.

Not surprisingly I haven't got any bloodclaws in my list, but with a drop to 12 pts they are looking tempting.  Funny enough I even have some painted bloodclaws (back when bloodclaws were better than grey hunters (I think that was about 10 years ago in 3rd edition).  A 10 bloodclaws can still win against non-assault units, and 120 points is a bargain for 10 models with Str/T 4 and a 3+ save.  So rather than 2 drop pod melta units, I'm considering a drop pod melta unit and drop podd bloodclaw unit.

If I go with taking the close weapons off the plasma grey hunters, and swapping one of the drop pod melta squads for bloodclaws I'm roughly even on points.  In my view my 3 troop choices will not be as effective as they used to be, but then again everybody thought grey hunters were a bit too good for their points.  Hopefully they'll be good news in the changes to the rest of the codex, and I'm sure it won't be long before the community translates the Spanish codex pages.

Are you painting up anything new in anticipation of the new codex ?  Or just more relieved that you con't have to replace close combat arms on grey hunters (like the early rumours were suggesting).


Tuesday, 8 July 2014

We Interrupt Your Scheduled Browsing - The Wolves are coming back !!


The last time my wolves went to a tournament it was a 1250 point tournament in Janruary.

Here they are before a pre tournament test game:

To say the Wolves did poorly is an understatement.  The plan was that the Wolf Guard with combi weapons would alpha strike a key enemy unit turn one (arriving by drop pod).  The wolves and thunderwolves would rush towards combat, and by the time the enemy was free of those there would be 30 grey hunters all over the mid field with a small long fangs squad to take pot shots at units of opportunity.  So what went wrong...

Rather than the army working together perfectly they seemed to work in bits, not quite supporting each other.  The wolf guard would likely get killed or ignored after their turn one alpha strike, and with no other drop pods were forced to come in turn one, when key targets were in their transports.

The Thunderwolves and Wolves did ok most games, well the Wolves were always good for their points (albeit with low leadership) while the Thunderwolves seems a bit unreliable with their medicore WS4 and relying on rending.  Also in their rush to get into combat they rushed away from the Grey Hunters and the Grey Hunters were unable to give them much support.

This gave me lots of ideas on what to do as a moved the Wolves up to 1500 and 1750 pts to become a 3rd fully sized army I could use (along side my Dark Eldar & Tau.

I'd decided to add in Canis, and give the Rune Priest a bike (or more likely replace him wuth a cheap Battle Leader on a Thunderwolf now that the Rune Priest has been reduced in effectiveness).  Next I would put two of the Grey Hunters squads in Drop Pods.  I was just repairing and about to start the repainting of a Drop Pod I got from ebay when my surfing uncovered:

Now there was still the uncertainty that the Wolves and Orcs boxset was the new Planetstrike boxset, however more rumours came in to say that this is the new Starter boxset, with the contents of the Starter boxset being given here on Bols.

[Update: It now appears that this is a Veteran/Campaign Boxset, with sprues of existng kits (rather than snap fit models that are normally in starter sets), along with 2 new characters a mini 7th edition rulebook & a campaign book  For further pics of White Dwarf follow the link here]

Other more unsettling rumours (again from Bols linky here):

"The next set of Space Wolves murmurs and rumors are flying... and various sources are saying one Space Wolf isn't coming back...

This set is fresh off the rumor wires coming to us from a set of both known and unknown sources.

- Space Wolves move into the "modern age" with access many of the new Astartes kits and toys:
- The Hunter / Stalker is in
- The Stormraven is in
- The Stormtalon is out...
- Canis goes the way of the Dodo...

Rumor Reliability: Medium-Low"

Now I just wanted to comment on these new rumours:

[Will he be just a generic Thunderwolf Leader/Lord by the time he gets on the battlefield ?]
Canis:  I'll know I'll be in the minority here, but I liked Canis and his rules, however in his absence I'd just use a Wolf Guard Battle Leader with Saga to give Fenrusian Wolves I5 & Ld7.  I'd be really surprised if this rumour is true as normally whether a special character goes or not is based on whether there is a model for the character.  Even Aun'shi who disappeared from the previous Tau codex came back in the one that was recently released.

[Now coming to Space Wolves ?]
Stormraven:  It'll be nice to have the flying brick as an option, and the assault ramp, improved jink and better vehicle damage table in 7th edition could make the stormraven a good assault unit delivery option, however whether it'll be better than a landraider crusader is debatable.  It's main benefit is being a flyer to help with anti-air, however that role is normally better done by ...

Stormtalon:  Not being in the new codex would be a right pain (if true, because it'll just limit sales for GW).  Wolves big weakness at the moment is anti-air, and if I was to pick the top three things I would take from the Space Marine codex to ally with my Space Wolves, a Storm Talon would be up in the top 3 (along with a Stalker & Thunderfire Cannon, with competition from Imperial Fist Devastators with Lascannons).  However again it seems an odd choice for Games Workshop given it would reduce sales (maybe they think we'll just spend our money on other kits, particularly the Stormraven)..

Overall I think some of these rumours are likely to be wrong, and after all the codex is still rumoured to not be with us still Late September.  Well have to wait and see.

For me I will continue to build up my Space Wolves list, including the Drop Pods and Canis.  Luckily I had already decided to magnetise the arms, so I already have a powerfist arm on the painting table along with lightning claws :)

What do you think of the impending Space Wolves & Orks boxset ?  As I have a lot of Wolves on sprues I'll be more interested in the Character and the mini rulebook (although not so essential as last edition as the new 7th edition rulebook is smaller and fits in my army case).  Mainly I think if you are interested in the models this boxset will be great value (whether you're selling off the models you don't want or can split the boxset with a mate who is doing the other army).

In between my last Tau bits (just a Tetra and a couple of weapons, and some Grotesques for my Dark Eldar I'll be slowly increasing my painted Wolves in anticipation of the new codex.  I can't wait for September to get here :)


PS. The current Wolves list I was building towards (comments appreciated) is:

Wolf Guard Battle Leader - 170
  on Thunderwolf, armed with Powerfist & Wolf Claw
  and having the Saga of the Beastslayer

Canis Wolfborn - 205
  on Thunderwolf, armed with twin Wolf Claws
  accompanied by 2 Fenrusian Wolves

[The two characters will go with the thunderwolves and the fenrusian wolves]

6 Wolf Guard - 178
  5 in Power Armour each with a Combi-Plasmagun & Bolt-pistol
  1 in Terminator Armour with a Cyclone Missile Launcher, Power Axe & Stormbolter
Drop Pod - 35

10 Grey Hunters with 2 Plasmaguns - 160
Drop Pod - 35

10 Grey Hunters with 2 Meltaguns - 155
Drop Pod - 35

10 Grey Hunters with 2 Plasmaguns - 160

5 Thunderwolf Cavalry, one with a Powerfist - 275

14 Fenrusian Wolves - 112

5 Long Fangs with 4 Missile Launchers - 115

5 Long Fangs with 4 Missile Launchers - 115

Total: 1750 Points (72 models)

A quick update:

As it's possible that Canis might not be in the next codex and the fact that I do not have a second thunderwolf character model, rather than buy another thunderwolf lord  or Canis model that I may not use after the new codex, I'll just going to reduce the army to 1500 points, and play with that until the new codex is out.

To reduce the points I lost the Wolf Guard Battle Leader on a thunderwolf and the wolf guard terminator.  The last few points were found by swapping Canis' 2 wolves for one normal wolf and switching plasmaguns for meltaguns on the first grey hunter unit.  This makes the list I'll be building towards:

Canis Wolfborn - 185
  on Thunderwolf, armed with twin Wolf Claws
[Canis will go with the Fenrusian wolves]

5 Wolf Guard - 115
  All in Power Armour each with a Combi-Plasmagun & Bolt-pistol
Drop Pod - 35

10 Grey Hunters with 2 Meltaguns - 155
Drop Pod - 35

10 Grey Hunters with 2 Meltaguns - 155
Drop Pod - 35

10 Grey Hunters with 2 Plasmaguns - 160

5 Thunderwolf Cavalry, one with a Powerfist - 275

15 Fenrusian Wolves - 120

5 Long Fangs with 4 Missile Launchers - 115

5 Long Fangs with 4 Missile Launchers - 115

Total: 1500 Points (69 models)

Tuesday, 24 June 2014

10 Games in 10 Weeks - Part 2 (ASMOH Tournament Games 1 & 2)


So I'm a third of my way through the 10 weeks with one tournament and 4 games under my belt.  As well as getting the 4 tournament games in I'm managed to get in 2 games at my local GW and another 2 against my mates tournament winning Eldar army (also my 1st 2 games of 7th edition).

Last post I left off with the final basing needing to be done on the new models in my army and the models I painted up for the last tournament I went to could do with the basing being improved.  Well I added the flock to the necessary models, however I didn't have time to paint the edge of the bases dark brown, so they were left black:

[All Flocked & Ready To Go]

The 1250 point army list I could be using in the first two games was:
Ethereal with 2 Marker Drones
Crisis Team
  Shas'vre that made everyone twin-linked, the drones BS3 and the unit either Tank Hunters of Monster Hunters
  2 Shas'ui with 8 Str 7 Ap4 shots between then
  6 Marker Drones (with the buffs to get as many makerlight hits as 9 pathfinders)
Fire Warriors
3 units of Kroot (no Sniper rounds)
Firebase Support Cadre consisting off
Riptide with Ion Accelerator & twin Fusion Blaster
2 units of broadsides consisting of 3 broadsides (all the missiles) and 6 missile drones each

A very quick summary of my games were:

Game 1 (1250 pts):

I faced a generic marine army with a bit of everything; devs (strangely with heavy bolters), couple of tac squads in rhinos, 2 land speeders (multi-melta & cyclone), libby (iirc).  With the rules of the tournament meaning that the 1250 list couldn't be changed when it increased to 1750 and the fact that the models I wanted to use from the Tau dataslate were over 500 pts meant that I had to squeese them in my 1250 list, however facing marines (the dataslate gets preferred enemy marines) and facing a few light vehicles (the dataslate also gives tank hunters to it's members) it was an immediate uphill struggle for the marines.

I deployed centrally with the landspeeders hiding, the devs were central in ruins and the rhinos tried to pull a refused flank where they could approach behind some ruins.  However the ruins did not completely block line of sight and a crisis unit wreaked one rhino, and the other was wreaked turn 2.  After the landspeeder and devs took the riptide down to 1 wound it shot and charged them to wreak the landspeeders and then did shot of the match with a long shot into some disembarked marines to kill 8 of them with an overcharged ion accelerator blast.

Game 2 (1250 pts):

For game 2 the Tau dataslate would do nothing for my army as I wasn't facing marines or any vehicles, as I was against Daemons.

My opponent had (very roughly as the tournament was a while ago):
Tzeentch Daemon Prince with the Grimore (and appeared built for combat)
2 Units of Cultists (Belakor was the HQ of a Choas Space Marine ally detachment)
2 Units of Horrors

I can't remember anything else, however the 3 Flying Monstrous Creatures (FMCs) probably took up around 800 points.

We were playing with the diagonal deployment, and my opponent had first turn.  He deployed aggressively forward (with some ruins and walls in between us) with the 3 FMCs, deployed one unit of cultists while putting the other cultists and both horror units in reserve.

I was considering deploying as far back as possible to create the maximum number of turns before the 3 flying daemons could charge, however from previous experience this has done two things:

  • It left me castled far in my own corner making it impossible for my slow infantry to make it out of the corner to get to objectives, so that even if my shooting stopped the enemy from smashing my castle I still lost on objectives.
  • It didn't really extend the number of turns that flying monstrous creatures could charge me.  I was still looking at a turn 2 charge when you factor in a 36" swoop, and a 12" move plus 2D6 charge (a minimum 50" with an average charge of 55" from where they started on turn 1).

Therefore I decided to be ballsy.  I told me opponent I couldn't deploy out of the range of a turn 2 charge so I was going to deploy to seize.  I deployed the broadsides just within 36", with the crisis suits within 42" (6" move plus 36" range).  My Kroot were positioned in front of the whole army trying to ensure a turn 2 charge would be into them rather than giving the FMCs the space to jump over them and charge something juicy.

What helped my decision on the aggressive deployment was there was little else in the Daemon army on the board apart from the 3 FMCs.  This gave my army loads of space to spread out once the game got going.  With the Riptide on one side and the crisis suits on the other I could move out to make it hard for him get to all of the good bits of my army.  I knew he would be staying partially together to use the Grimore.

After a more gutsy than usual deployment the dice gods looked down on me...

...and I seized.

Now the centre of the board had pretty good terrain in the form of Gale Force Nine's ruins:

Now these are lovely pieces of terrain (which reminds me I must get some for my table) and initially look like they wouldn't block line of sight with all the window slits.  However the window slits are quite narrow and yet thick, so even though it looked like they wouldn't block line of sight, because the window slits were at a diagonal to my models they couldn't actually see through the ruins to the FMCs.

Tip:  When deploying make sure you go down to your models eye view to check line of sight.  It may be shockingly different to what it looks like 3 feet higher up.

This limited my turn 1 firepower, but Fateweaver was clearly visable to a broadside unit and the crisis suit unit so he easily died.  However I couldn't see the Grimore Tzeentch Daemon Prince, but I did take a wound off Belakor.

On the daemon 1st turn the two remaining FMCs flew 36" towards me.  The Grimore was cast on Belakor giving him a 2+ inv save (not rerollable), and Belakor returned the favour by casting Shrouded (& Stealth I think) on the Tzeentch daemon prince.  Belakor then decided to momentarily take over my Riptide and he overcharged the ion cannon and placed a str8 ap2 large blast over three broadsides.  The broadsides were closest to the Riptide and luckily my opponent rolled a 1 on one of the 3 to-wound rolls so only 2 broadsides were instant killed.

The next turn effectively killed the game.  I used the kroot units to rapid fire at Belakor until he failed a gounding test (won't be able to do that in 7th edition) then the untouched broadside unit gave him so many saves to make that he died.

The rest of the army poured their firepower into the Tzeentch Daemon prince.  The twin-linked markerlights allowed another unit to ignore cover, but the good armour save saves most wounds leaving the Tzeentch daemon prince alive.  However because he was so close I was able to move the kroot that was that side to ensure that he couldn't fly over them to charge something else leaving him choice of charging them or swooping over them to charge turn 3.

Tau Tip:  If you don't have skyfire you had better have twin-linked markerlights

Meanwhile the fire warrior unit I put in reserve did a one on one fight with 10 cultists, and having the alpha strike in that fight and having higher strength guns they won that fight over a few turns.

Next turn the Tzeentch daemon prince charged the kroot, and killed most of the unit, and the kroot dutifully broke and were run down.  A unit of horrors deepstriked onto an objective, but not much else happened.

Next turn the daemon prince died and my army started to rush out of my deployment zone to help clean up the horrors (apart from the last broadside that had seen his 2 colleagues die to the Tau's Riptide who stayed to claim an objective (as it was Big Guns Never Tire).

So two bigs wins shot me up to table 1.  On table 1 a lovely Tau army had just won.  The army had a stunning white paint scheme, as was painted by a Jason:

Although Jason's army was all infantry like mine, there were obviously big differences, obviously having 3 Riptides stood out, as did the broadside armament.  Using pathfinders (that I find static and fragile) was also different (although we both used markerlights).

However we never got to face each other as a both myself and a Marine player had leapfrogged Jason onto Table 1.  The last two games would also be played at 1750 points.

This tournament report will be concluded in the next few days, as this post is now quite long.  Look forward to a perfect blend of Wolves, Fists, Inquisition & Forgeworld, followed by more Daemons.  I was now with the Big Boys - could I hold my own ?

Until then i leave you with the screen capture of my commander from when I played Dawn of War - I miss that game, from the Broadsides firepower, the Steaths suits utility, to the forever satisfying enjoyment of unloading a full skyray squadron and watching a whole section of the screen glow bright white from the multiple missile impacts :)


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