Tuesday, March 31, 2009

Proud Member of the Slow Painters Club

I think it is official. I'm in the slow painters club. I take my time painting and am happy to do so!

To show that I'm in the slow painters club, I've used Lone Pilgrim's painting points chart (reproduced below):

* Infantry = 1 point
* Cavalry or bikes = 2 points
* Monster or Dreadnought = 5 points
* Vehicle = 10 points
* Superheavy vehicle = 20 points

So far in 2009, I've collected under 40 points, most of which is contained in my predator, a rhino, and my Nurgle daemon prince. I had aimed for at least 50 by this stage in the year!

Monday, March 30, 2009

Tactica: Instruments of Chaos

Instruments of chaos appear to be a rather good idea on paper. For a very modest points value investment, it is possible to turn a drawn close combat round in to a victory. Are they worthwhile? If so, then on which daemons?

As long term readers will know, I've been playing daemons since the codex came out. In that time, I've been experimenting with various army lists (fully mixed daemons right down to mono-chaos power lists).

What have I discovered? Well, I've come to the conclusion that instruments of chaos are only to be used with one type of daemon: plaguebearers. Let me explain.

First up, bloodletters of Khorne are superb close combat exponents. So long as they don't get shot up too badly on their way in to close combat, they're usually going to win. And they're going to win by a healthy and large margin thanks to all of those hell blades in unison with their furious charge. Bloodletters generally win big, or not at all. They hardly ever draw. Because of that, I find that instruments are a waste of points on bloodletters.

Greater daemons, daemon princes and bloodcrushers of Khorne are in a similar category - they shouldn't need instruments.

Daemonettes of Slaanesh are not quite as good as bloodletters. Yet, with their rending ability and sheer number of high initiative attacks on the charge, they are also likely to win big on close combats; or not at all. They just don't tend to draw combats much - just like bloodletters, but to a lesser extent. Hence, I find daemonettes shouldn't be taking instruments either. By extension, seekers of Slaanesh are also in the same category.

Horrors of Tzeentch are not built for close combat. They are shooty combined with a reasonably high invulnerable save. But their low toughness, low initiative and low number of attacks each (cf. daemonettes who have 3 base attacks, very high initiative, but low toughness) means that horrors are bound to lose close combats most of the time. Even imperial guard will find it okay to take horrors on in close combat. They simply lose big time unless facing isolated troops or small numbers of guard or tau. Therefore, they're unlikely to draw - they mostly lose in close combat.

That brings me to plaguebearers of Nurgle. Now, these are the daemons that can really exploit those instruments. Why is that? Well, plaguebearers have only one attack (base), but they have an incredibly good toughness for troops, coupled with the feel no pain special rule and poisoned attacks. These factors combined mean that they can often dish out as good as they get in close combat. Indeed, I've used them in battles to tie up everything ranging from dreadnoughts (which they cannot hurt!) to tyranid carnifexes for three or more turns. In numbers they can hold out against many other units in the game and, with a little luck, be deadly. But if they've not charged and have got in to their usual "tar pit" situation with an opponent, they can often cause tied combats. This is exactly where instruments come in to their own.

There's one other case that should be mentioned: that of an Epidemius mono-Nurgle army list. I haven't quite made up my mind about this situation. The thing is, plaguebearers steadily (hopefully rapidly!) become uber-troops with Epidemius present. They should, in theory, rapidly outgrow the need for instruments. Hence instruments are only useful in the first couple of turns and/or if Epidemius fails to make an early appearance and the plagebearers accidentally get in to an early combat.

Sunday, March 29, 2009

Rumour: New Australian GW Website "Coming Soon"

I was speaking to the guys at the local Games Workshop. Allegedly, the Australian Games Workshop website will be getting a long-overdue overhaul "soon".

The good news is that I hope that the hobby section will get a much needed update with local (Aust.) events finally being posted for the first time in over a year as well as their new releases being something other than Dark Angels. The flip side of this is that I suspect that the older content might disappear much in the same way it has at other international GW websites.

Hence, if you want any material from the current Australian GW website, download it NOW - it is one of the last "old style" GW websites left in the world.

Caveat emptor.

Saturday, March 28, 2009

Death Guard Melta Gun Plague Marine

Why are all chaos space marines right-handed while their imperial brethren can be either left- or right-handed? I've no idea. This issue does create a modelling problem for me occasionally, but it can also be a blessing.Pictured is a Death Guard Plague Marine that utilizes the Forge World upgrade kit parts to created a highly dynamic melta gun marine. The left arm consists of the melta gun itself glued on to a power sword arm -- both from the standard chaos space marine sprues. For the right arm, there's an imperial space marine chain sword arm. I could have used a bolt pistol here instead, but I like the look of this marine with his out-stretched melta gun -- presumably shooting at a nearby target, coupled with the chain sword held in closer to his body. It make him look like he's ready to take an on-coming charge, but he's going to blast at his enemy before hand. The bolt pistol is instead holstered at his (rear) waist, along with some grenades. I think it looks better like this than with a chain sword or dagger sheathed at the waist.

On the negative side, the "handle" of the melta gun looks way too long. But given that this is a chaos marine, I can just about get away with it! I guess loyalist marines might call such things "master crafted"! It looks more ornate with the long handle. On the other hand (literally), the arm doesn't match up to the standard chaos space marine arm -- i.e. examine the banding around the melta-gun arm. I'm going to inflict a little battle-damage on this arm to make it look more Nurglesque.

Thursday, March 26, 2009

Cork as a Basing Material

Wandering around in the kitchen section of a department store, I came across some cheap cork table-mats. Somewhat impulsively, I bought a few with the idea that they'd make a good basing material for my miniatures.Pictured are two bases - one painted for a bloodletter of Khorne, and one un-painted for a daemonette of Slaanesh. Having been designed as a table mat, the cork has the virtue of having two flat surfaces. This means that not only can you glue it effectively to the base, but also have a relatively flat surface on the other side for balancing the miniature on. By dividing the cork up in to smaller chunks, it is easy to create some "rubble"-like bits and pieces as well (as demonstrated on the daemonette's base), which don't have to be flat in the slightest.

When painting, the cork provides some wonderful textures to explore. On the bloodletter, I've simply drybrushed the cork with skull white. Later on, I'll add some other tones to it as well as adding flock and green bits. The cork can readily represent general rubble and detritus, as well as rock, outcroppings, cooled magma, and so forth.

Wednesday, March 25, 2009

Warp Rift Formations in Apocalypse

Before the Chaos Daemons Codex was released, Apocalypse already contained rules for fielding large cohorts of daemons. The Warp Rift Formation especially caught my eye when Apocalypse came out. I've pretty much used it in every Apocalypse game I've played since with chaos marines!

What are we getting for the points investment? At a most obvious level, we get a forward base - a forward icon - for the daemons to deep-strike in at. This is great for a chaos space marine force who are no longer tied to rushing forth icons across no mans land, but largely irrelevant for daemon armies who use daemonic assault regardless (recall the chaos space marine daemons have to deep strike off an icon - if there are no icons, they cannot enter play - full stop!). But the daemons that do use the warp rift have to be placed inside the rift at the start of the game. This can be a good thing, but can also be a damaging thing.

The reason that it can be damaging is the way in which cunning opponents will counter the rift's presence. All that has to be done by the canny Imperial Guard player is to over-whelm the position of the rift and ensure that there is no room left whatsoever for the daemons to be placed on to the board. It's a legitimate move, but annoying. The chaos space marine player is well advised to carefully consider where to place the rift as a consequence.

This drawback probably makes the rift not so worthwhile taking for purely its icon status. The other effect of increasing the strength of psyker's powers can be awesome, however. Coupled with shutting down other psykers through automatic perils of the warp attacks mean that the rift can be very deadly if played right. An increased strength breath of chaos, doom bolt, or Nurgle's rot attack from a daemon prince can be amazing!

I still need to figure out a cool way of representing Warp Rifts on the tabletop though - suggestions welcome.

Monday, March 23, 2009

Evaluation of 1500 points of Mixed Daemons

Evaluating an army list can be tricky - what works? / what doesn't? / why? Having played a number of games with the following list, it is about time to consider these questions and see if anything should be changed.

First though, here's the list:

HQ: Herald of Khorne on Juggernaut with unholy might (120)
Troops 1: 10 bloodletters of Khorne (160)
Troops 2: 10 bloodletters of Khorne (160)
Troops 3: 10 horrors of Tzeentch with the Changeling, chaos icon, instrument, and bolt of Tzeentch (215)
Troops 4: 10 plaguebearers of Nurgle, chaos icon, instrument (180)
Troops 5: 10 daemonettes of Slaanesh, instrument, transfixing gaze (150)
Fast Attack: 5 screamers of Tzeentch, unholy might (85)
Heavy Support 1: Daemon Prince, daemonic flight, iron hide (170)
Heavy Support 2: Daemon Prince, iron hide, daemonic gaze (130)
Heavy Support 3: Daemon Prince, iron hide, daemonic gaze (130)

That comes to 1500 points on the dot, with an impressive 5 scoring units, a daunting 59 models, and 10 kill points worth of units. Moreover, there's no vehicles (soul grinders) - making this a 100 per cent infantry army. This is interesting in the modern meta-game where there are a whole lot of vehicles and anti-tank weapons knocking around. It can catch some armies by surprise. Its also a fun army list that I enjoy playing and (importantly to me) folks don't mind playing against.

Positives.
The star of the show is the herald, embedded in one of the 10-daemon large bloodletter squads. He has the potential to be a single-daemon army on the (furious) charge. But, best of all, he's a remarkably cheap HQ choice. That leaves plenty of points open for even more quality daemons in the troops section. The unholy might is useful some of the time, but not always. The Juggernaut is what makes the herald truly worthwhile, though. For a comparatively cheap investment, not only does the daemon benefit from a better stat line, but also gets a free iron hide upgrade. There's very little not to like. He's a solid build that only a couple of things could cause his removal from this list. Such reasons would include (e.g.) Skulltaker on a Juggernaut.

The two squads of bloodletters have also been great. Two squads means that typically at least one will survive the usual bolter rapid fire at close range and charge in to combat. With the Herald embedded in to one of them, they make an excellent "Herald delivery system". They could make a great "Skulltaker delivery system" as well! The only point of uncertainty is whether to split them in to different daemonic assault waves, or stick them in the same one? That still needs some thought and experimentation.

The plaguebearers are fantastic. If in the first wave, they hold the line for other daemons to deep strike off their icon. If in the second wave, they go directly for any objectives and hunker down. If playing annihilation, then they preferentially engage the largest monstrous creature available and bog them down until something else (bloodletters or a daemon prince) comes along to finish the job. There's very little not to like about toughness 5 basic troops. Apart from their slow and purposeful rule. But that is out-weighed completely by their other benefits.

Speaking of daemon princes, the two without wings have been awesome. With daemonic gaze, they're not going to kill entire squads in one turn of shooting, but it helps to soften up opponents prior to a charge. The daemon princes were chosen over soul grinders to try to get as many monstrous creatures in to play as possible. In extensions to 2000 points, there's a great unclean one to accompany them as well. However, swapping them out for soul grinders would certainly be an option - but it'd have to be both of them at least. Given the theme of the army is a 100 per cent creature list, this is not a swap that is at the top of the list though. The daemon princes are more than capable of wrecking tanks on their own without the need for soul grinders. Moreover, they're not going to be knocked out by one lucky shots (they are daemons and don't suffer from instant death!); a tank can easily be taken out by a lucky shot. But I do like the look (and firepower!) of the soul grinder models! Must resist....

Negatives.
The horrors of Tzeentch haven't performed very well. On the turn they arrive, they are certainly capable of pumping out plenty of shots that would put rapid-firing space marines to shame. But after that little volley, they are incredibly vulnerable and die all too quickly. For extra anti-tank weaponry, a herald of Tzeentch would have made a better choice than an upgraded horror with bolt of Tzeentch. For close combat, they're rubbish (of course!, but that's the point). Swapping them out for another unit of plaguebearers with an icon of chaos would be a good step forward. But it would pain me to do this! I'm very fond of my paint job on the horrors!! The other reason to keep them in is for their massed ranged shooting -- it can be effective against Saim Hann Eldar type builds.

The winged daemon prince is expensive, to be sure. Often, the wings have been of questionable benefit. They make the daemon prince faster and hence it can readily tie up units in close combat. It can also reach tanks for some tank-busting fun quickly as well. But, it might be better off being a clone of the other two daemon princes - with iron hide and daemonic gaze. This would save 40 points. None the less, the winged daemon prince is very imposing and has a certain psychological effect. It can also swoop in in the latter turns of the game for effective objective contesting duty. Perhaps it shouldn't be ditched all too readily.

Undecided.
The daemonettes of Slaanesh have had some mixed results. They have the potential to be very good - especially on the charge with the rending rule and with their grenade equivalents. But they share the same problems as the horrors of Tzeentch do - very flimsy. In extensions to 2000 points, there wouldn't be much of an issue - they'd make the list. The reason for this is that they are often ignored in preference for more immediate threats such as the bloodletters. They then sneak in and wreck havoc. In a pinch, they can also double up for a bit of light tank busting.

The screamers of Tzeentch have also had some mixed results. The problem appears to be in the small number (5) of screamers that are being taken - there's not quite enough to reliably guarantee their tank-busting duty. Hence tank busting is often shared between the daemon princes in most games. On occasion when they've survived rapid fire situations and charged tanks and dreadnoughts, they certainly do have the potential to deal with them in one turn flat. Further, when they survive to the late turns of the game, their jet-bike status enables them to zoom in to contest objectives with ease. If they were to be ditched, then they would be replaced with some flamers of Tzeentch, or some herald with breath of chaos for extra tank-busting duty.

Summary of Changes.
Certainly Change:
Ditch the horrors (215 points) for a unit of plaguebearers (180), identical to the other plaguebearer unit. This saves 35 points.

Potentially Change:
Ditch the winged daemon prince (170 points) for a clone of the unwinged daemon princes (130). This saves 40 points.

The saved points might go in to one of a number of choices: Skulltaker on a Juggernaut instead of the herald (55 extra points); purchase extra screamers to go alongside the other screamers; potentially think about a herald of Tzeentch or flamers of Tzeentch (or, most things with breath of chaos) for some extra tank-busting duty.

Following the principle of only changing one thing at a time, the horrors are going to go in favour of plaguebearers. Then, the extra 35 points are going to go in to screamers, or more troops of other types. However, I'm still left wondering if there's other changes I can make that retain the horrors (solely on the basis that I like the horror's paint job!). More experimentation required.

Sunday, March 22, 2009

A Painted Forge World Death Guard Plague Marine

This post follows-on from the assembling stage posted last month. The paint job is not one of my best, in my opinion. I used some browns and greens, but made a mistake of having a little too much yellow on the highlights - particularly around the helmet and the cream leg edging.

On the next plague marine I paint, I'm going to revert back to greens in the main part, and steer well clear of yellows for highlights! Still, perhaps the minor yellow additions to the helmet are not so bad. They could just be the general muck sourced from the inside of an unclean rhino or cramped land raider, coupled with Nurgling fluids. I feel I can do much better than this though. Mustn't rush so much.

Friday, March 20, 2009

What is Alpharius (and/or) Omegon up to?

From the great response to the post on Fulgrim, I thought I'd try a different speculative bit of writing today. Spoiler alert, though: if you've not read the Horus Heresy book, "Legion", and intend to, then you may wish to stop reading now. You have been warned.
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Still reading? Okay. Here's my next thought on the primarchs - this time concerning Alpharius and Omegon (and wasn't the twin thing a big reveal in and of itself alone!). Of all the primarchs these guys strike me as being amongst the most cunning, independent and intelligent. Having said that, they did get manipulated by an external agency into supporting Horus. But in doing so, they did so willingly on the basis that their motives always have been and always will be for the Emperor. Moreover, the manipulation may not have even been a lie either. Had Horus have won, perhaps chaos could have been defeated all the more quickly.

So that brings me to my next point: Horus lost. What did the Alpha legion and Alpharius plus Omegon do next? Their plans were laid to waste. Surely they wouldn't have taken that lightly and would have re-evaluated? There's a number of options that I see. Firstly, they carry on fighting the imperium of man on the basis that their overall goal can still be rescued. Presumably that is the option that they appear to have chosen(?) Alternatively, perhaps they now fight for other purposes and simply utilize chaos for their own ends much as a mechanic might utilize a wrench.

At some point, their machinations brought them in to conflict with the Ultramarines. Alpharius, or Omegon, or perhaps neither of them(!) died at the hands of Guilliman. This probably didn't have much of an affect on the legion really. I personally suspect that both of the twins are still alive - if either fought Guilliman, I would like to have thought that Guilliman would have also sustained heavy wounds - something that is not stated or noted. Indeed, Guilliman was probably still at his peak (undiminished from his bout with the Alpha's) when he met his match in the Fulgrim-daemon later.

Next, I'd note that the Alpha legion show very little mutation. Coupled with that, Alpharius or Omegon (whichever was not killed ... or both) would have ascended to daemonhood if they had fully given themselves over to chaos. It wouldn't take 10,000 years for a primarch like Alpharius / Omegon to ascend, surely? (okay - that's a bit anthropic, but no worse than suggesting that if Fulgrim could have got rid of the daemon in 10,000 years, he would have done so already!). Or, perhaps he (or they) have a reason for not seeking daemonhood? I suspect that they're just not that chaotic (for lack of a better word).

All of that places the Alpha legion and their primarch(s) in a curious and unique position. They're neither fully loyal (in the sense that the Ultramarines or Iron Hands are), nor fully traitor (such as the World Eaters and Black Legion are). Given this unique situation, what could they be up to? What long term plans have they got? They're up to something; plotting for the long term; I'm certain of it!! :)

Thursday, March 19, 2009

Some Notes on Special Weapons for Plague Marines

Plague marines get to choose between 3 special weapons: melta guns, flamers and plasma guns. I've made some semi-random notes about the pro's and con's of each for use with my Death Guard forces that I wanted to share with you.

Flamers.
Positives: Cheap, Template Weapon, No cover saves.
Negatives: Uses a slot that could be a melta gun(?)

For the positives, the points cost should be self-explanatory. The second positive is about the weapon being a template weapon. Typically, I find that Death Guard cannot pump out the sheer number of shots that other armies are capable of (see a previous discussion here). Hence taking template or blast weaponry makes up for this short-coming ... somewhat. The third positive is more about the meta-game: 5th edition has lots more cover saves, so flamers have become the tool of choice for digging out entrenched troops from fortifications, ruins, woodland and craters. The singular (debatable) negative point brings me around to:

Melta Guns.
Positives: Its a Melta Gun!, AP 1, Tank Busting.
Negatives: Short Range, Single Shot.

In the present environment, or meta-game if you like, tanks and mechanized army lists are very strong. Therefore, the modern plague marine should be carrying some melta guns to at least threaten opposing tanks and elite troops / monstrous creatures. With AP 1 and the extra die for penetration, the melta gun does all that. It transforms an ordinary plague marine squad in to something more deadly. But, this has to be weighed against the comparatively short range of the weapon and the fact that it is only going to hit two-thirds of the time. The first negative shouldn't be too much of a negative for plague marines - they're fundamentally a 24" army since they can't carry any other weapons. Moreover, they're also likely to be (nay: should be!) vehicle mounted for maximum mobility in the current meta-game. The second negative can be offset by having more than 1 melta gun in the squad (2 meltas and perhaps a combi-melta on a plague champion). Some of them should hit. But a squad with 3 meltas needs to be very mobile and pick its targets with care and speed.

Plasma Guns.
Positives: Plague marines feel no pain, 24" range and rapid fire, good strength and AP.
Negatives: Gets Hot!, Expensive, Uses a slot that could be a melta gun(?).

The first point in both positives and negatives almost balance out. I don't mind taking plasma guns on plague marines since they're less likely to dies from a gets hot! roll compared to "normal" marines. But when one does perish, it is a big loss for the team: 38 points worth of loss to be exact. The range of the gun (24") perfectly matches the bolters in the rest of the squad and the weapon has a reasonable strength and AP that can be used against terminators and light vehicles. However, they're expensive compared to the other two special weapons. When I field them, I usually do so in pairs (and perhaps with a combi-plasma on a plague champion) and tend to sit them on an objective. They can be rather fearful for even bikes to get close to.

Wednesday, March 18, 2009

Another Ork Tyranid Hybrid

"I waz gonna say sumfink, but last time we 'ad a fight, 'is 'eadbutt nocked out seven of me teef. I waz like skint for weeks."

--Attributed to one of the boyz who thought that the new hybrid lot were a bit un-orky.
I'm beginning to warm to the idea of ork / tyranid / genestealer hybrids! This one is a standard ork boy, with a tyranid warrior head part. They've been put together with a combination of glue and milliput (greenstuff). A very, very simple conversion all in all. Yet, somehow, very effective. The tyranid warrior's head perfectly suits the size of the ork's head and fits snugly over the top. For me, it really communicates the concept that I thought about in the original posting I made on this idea. The paint scheme follows the previous one: purple skin, with some Khorne runes here and there from plundered parts. The tyranid head was outlined in ultramarine blue and given some thin line streaks toward the rear of the the head in a grey colour. Otherwise, the painting was rather similar to the previous ork hybrid.

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

Obliterator Conversion Painting

I finally got around to painting the converted obliterator and basing it. The general aim was to make sure that the obliterator was not out of place in either of a generic chaos space marine army, or a Death Guard army. Not that obliterators have Nurgle's Rot, but I wanted this one to have just enough of a rusted feeling to indicate that they've been hanging around plague marines for a while.
The obliterator's armour is painted in a rusted colour scheme: basecoated in graveyard earth and inked in black and brown. The highlights are done in mixtures of bleached bone with a number of shades of brown, working up to nearly pure skull white on (e.g.) parts of the rim of the lower legs.

The blue "flesh" parts were basecoated in ultramarine blue and inked deep blue in to the recesses. I think the blue provides a nice contrast colour to the otherwise dull rusted colours. Moreover, it matches up with the blue coloured plasma coils that I've used on my Death Guard plasma gunners. Highlights were added from a blend of ultramarine blue with white.

There are numerous small details that were done in other colours, ranging from orange power pipework, metallic cabling and weapons, and yellow missiles. I'm happy with the overall result and have already fielded this obliterator on a couple of battlefields.

Monday, March 16, 2009

Beasts of Nurgle in Mono-Nurgle Daemons?

Do Beasts of Nurgle have a place in a Epidemius' mono-Nurgle daemons army list?

In deciding on collecting an Epidemius army (eventually), I've been debating the answer to the above question recently. Here's some thoughts on the question.

(1) In comparison to plaguebearers, they probably work out favourably. Their points cost is slightly more than double than a plaguebearer's. For that price tag, we get the same statistic line, apart from an extra wound and d6 attacks. Both are infantry, both have poisoned attacks, feel no pain (etc.). So, we're looking at an extra wound and about an extra 2.5 attacks (on average). The potential for lots of extra attacks is probably what makes this daemon worthwhile.

(2) Unlike plaguebearers, they cannot claim objectives. They're an elites selection.

(3) They have a large base size (40mm). This can be a double edged sword for daemon packs. It grants a marginal increase in charging range at the expense of a larger "deep-strike footprint" -- meaning they're more likely to cover a difficult terrain area when crashing real space from the Warp.

The conclusion that I come to is that they are worthwhile. But - like many of my daemon army lists - it is a matter of scale. I'll probably not play mono-Nurgle daemons at a 1000 points value game. The reason is that Epidemius' tally will not increase significantly, and/or fast enough. At 1500 points, it just about starts to get worthwhile depending on how you build the Epidemius' list (i.e. plenty of plaguebearers, with perhaps some room for beasts and nurglings). At 2000 points it is a comfortable yes since we don't have to choose between marked daemon princes, Great Unclean Ones (etc.). Apocalypse: you bet.

Sunday, March 15, 2009

Warp Hornets Icon Bearer

A very long time ago, I created this icon bearer for my Warp Hornets chaos renegade chapter. Attesting to its age, the paint job is certainly not the quality of my latter day painting skills. Regardless, like many of my Warp Hornets chapter, I've used it many times and even took it to GT2007.

I've dusted it off primarily to show the icon that it is carrying. When I created the miniature, I was looking for something that was a little bit unusual - something that wasn't an ordinary-looking chaos (daemon-summoning) icon. I came up with the metal piece straight out of my bits box that can be seen in the picture. I think it is from warhammer elves (a dragon-riders chair part??). But to be honest, I'm not certain. Perhaps you could enlighten me if you know?

Anyhow, I am still fond of this miniature as it has a unique look. The dragon head atop the icon is very suggestive to me of something chaotic, without it being a rune or symbol of a chaos power or the usual 8 pointed star. It has the feel of something a little more cult-like. One potential narrative is the thought that perhaps these marines have been duped by a dragon-like daemon prince whom they worship? I feel it works remarkably well as an unaligned chaos icon (or in modern parlance, an icon of chaos glory). The lesson I learnt from building this miniature is that chaos icons need not be a simple pole with a symbol on top - they can be more creative and still work remarkably well.

Friday, March 13, 2009

Death Guard Firepower

This post follows on from my previous thoughts on running Death Guard armies. It is part of my developing philosophy of playing this unique army - not necessarily the best or worst way of playing; simply an opinion.

I've talked extensively about the advantages of Death Guard marines. Hence today, I'm going to start to have a look at what they're lacking, and their negatives in general. The first one of these is sheer firepower.

Reasons for the deficiency.
Simply put, Death Guard (i.e. mainly plague marines, but also other chaos space marines with a small squad size and an icon of Nurgle) are expensive troop choices. Death Guard players simply won't be fielding as many troops as Imperial Guard players or Ork players, or even "normal" chaos space marines tend to. In that respect, they are a little bit like the Death Wing of the Dark Angels. However, unlike Death Wing, they don't have storm bolters: simply the humble run-of-the-mill bolt gun. They get out-shot by loyalist marines and other chaos marine factions with ease. Sure, their toughness makes up for it. But they just won't have the sheer number of shots per turn that nearly all of their adversaries are likely to.

Making up for it.
(1) Manoeuvre.
Death Guard have awesome staying power, but large amounts of incoming fire and a smaller amount of outgoing fire mean they need to be used strategically. When playing with Death Guard, I often ask myself if I need to expose them. e.g.: Do they really need to get out of that rhino? Do they truly need to poke their heads around the blocks-line-of-sight terrain feature? Is the turn clock approaching turn 5 when I need to keep my eye firmly on objectives? Why should I place my plague marines in the line of return fire?

In many respects, much of what Fritz practices with Saim-Hann is applicable here. The Death Guard player must choose targets carefully and not unnecessarily expose his or her own troops to return heavy fire power. Knowing when to go out in to the open to bait or engage a particular unit is half of the trick.

(2) Blasts and Templates.
Re-rolling die to hit or die to wound would make Death Guard much more deadly (perhaps along with Epidemius on the table in an Apocalypse game as well). But that situation is hard to arrange in a standard game using the present chaos marine codex.

Instead, I have moved toward the line of thought that templates and blasts can help to make up for the lack of fire-power. Why? Basically because they are likely to hit more than one target. A well placed flamer can easily account for 3 or more enemy troops - i.e. 3+ hits from one weapon. It seems a simple concept, and it is. I've taken to designing my Death Guard army lists around it. I regularly take flamers in plague marine squads (if not taking meltas for other purposes); I use vindicators (plural) in most standard games; my dreadnought has a plasma cannon (I wish I'd also purchased a missile launcher as well to be honest!); I always take havoc launchers on my rhinos and predators given the option and available points; etc.

I sometimes get an incredible gasp of un-belief from opponents when a single plague marine unit unleashes 3 flamer templates upon a terrain-entrenched enemy unit (2 flamers and one combi-flamer on a plague champion). Havoc launchers are twin-linked making them (quietly) rather good indeed in my opinion. And what's not to like about vindicators? (perhaps they're not as good as they were in 4th edition, but they're still very good!!). Adding the havoc launcher to a predator creates an impressive rate of fire combined with heavy bolter sponsons and auto-cannon for 115 points (that equals less than the cost of 8 chaos marines).

Finally, there's Nurgle's Rot for the psykers and sorcerers in the army. With a 6 inch radius, just get in to a nicely crowded close combat and watch the unlikely casualties mount without rolling to hit in the slightest. I know some folks swear by this ability. I often take warp time on a daemon prince instead for the re-roll benefits, but Nurgle's Rot is (ummm) "growing" on me. Think of it this way: even with warp time, the daemon prince is getting 4 attacks. With Nurgle's Rot, the daemon prince gets the equivalent of more attacks (potentially many more if it is a big combat), but less are going to wound.

Thursday, March 12, 2009

Skulltaker Painting

U'Zuhl, or Skulltaker to his mates (if he has many), is a bloodletter herald of Khorne special character in daemon armies. His points cost is very reasonable, and when embedded in a large squad of bloodletters he can prove to be a real asset for the daemons player, in either a mixed daemons squad or a mono-Khorne list. Moreover, I like the model!

Painting.
The colours of Khorne are typically black, brass and red - and those are the colours that I wanted to stick to for Skulltaker. After undercoating in black, I made a conscious choice to keep Skulltaker's cape black, but with white runes of Khorne stitched to the inside of his cape and brass metal bits. So, instead of worrying about the cape, I tackled the flesh of Skulltaker first.

The flesh was painted in mechrite red for the basecoat. I decided to follow my usual bloodletter painting scheme and go with an inking of red with a spot of black on top of the basecoat to give it some depth. The flesh was then drybrushed with blazing orange and highlighted (or overbrushed) with more solid orange colours on the raised portions. His "bumps" or "spots" (e.g. on his legs) were painted in a cream colour.

Next, I went on to the armoured portions. I didn't apply any basecoat here, but steadily drybrushed up from the black undercoat to a more grey colour. A very light application of skull white drybrushing finished the effect and then I carefully painted brass around the edges of the armour - e.g. the shoulder pads.

The skulls on the rear of the cape followed the shoulder pads and armour - progressive drybrushing up to a more skull white colour. The hooks that support the skulls were picked out brass. On other details, the hellblade has my standard bloodletter molten look; the tongue is done in a couple of blue colours; the flaming skull held in his hand has yellows and reds added to it, with flecks of black to suggest dying embers of heat; and the Khorne runes are picked out in pure skull white.

I've placed a genestealer sprue skull on the base - I'm fairly sure that Khorne doesn't discriminate between different species when it comes to skulls and blood (etc.). The rest of the base is going to get some attention at a later date.

Tuesday, March 10, 2009

The Mouth and Philtrum of a Death Guard Rhino

The philtrum is the the name for the small indent in your skin that sits between the bottom of your nose and the top of your lips. And today's post, whilst potentially learning new anatomically related words, is about a Death Guard rhino conversion. I wish I'd have started this blog much earlier so that I could have shown how this rhino conversion had been accomplished stage by stage -- its an older model in my collection. None the less, I wanted to walk you through the thought and construction process that I undertook to build this rhino's mouth.

Why bother telling you about philtrums? Well, the answer is one of observation. Whenever you take a look at another human being's face, you inevitably (yet perhaps unconsciously) take in their philtrum as well. Without it, the face would lack some definition. It wouldn't communicate as well. Hence, when I was originally considering how to construct a maw at the front of a rhino, I examined a number of photographs of lips - both human and animal. In the end, I thought human lips would look more chaotic somehow. Also, they don't tend to protrude forward as much from the other parts of the face (eyes, forehead, etc.) as, for instance, a dog's mouth does. This meant that I could keep the approximate profile of the rhino intact. Significantly (and the deciding factor to use human-styled lips) was the observation of the philtrum. It was a feature that I felt I could pull off well, given a liberal amount of greenstuff. Moreover, it is also the feature that I think sets this rhino apart from others. It looks like it could have once been human, or is perhaps emulating a human mouth. Hence, I could also use this rhino as a possessed vehicle without stretching anybodies imagination (although I never have!).
Construction.
The first step was to cut out most of the lower half of the frontal armour of the rhino with a sharp hobby knife. I also dug in to the lower "floor" of the rhino where it connected to the frontal armour to create a more oval-shaped hole at the front. This formed the basis for the mouth's opening.

I then assembled the "teeth" of the maw. These were cut from the swords of some rather ancient warhammer fantasy battle skeleton sprues that I had discovered decaying in the nether regions of my bits box. A total of nine were used in the end. I did wonder whether to use scythes (thereby creating warped teeth), but I figured some pointy straight teeth would be better when combined with a decayed paint scheme. (An alternative would be to take apart a plastic hair comb and use the comb's teeth as proper teeth?). The teeth were then glued in to position - alternating between downward and upward pointing ones. They were also orientated such that they were pointing slightly outward from the body - the remains of the frontal armour helped with this as its angle is almost spot on already.

Then, I made up a whole load of greenstuff / milliput. It was pushed in an oval shape around the hole created in the front armour and such that it didn't connect with the pointed end of the teeth. Next, this shape was slowly pushed, with finger and thumbs, in to a more mouth looking shape. This, of course, included creating a convincing looking philtrum and lip regions. The lips were scored with some straight lines to give the impression of a different texture compared to the upper lip / moustache area. The result looks a bit like a snarl!

Painting.
The lips were painted in a purple basecoat, followed up with some inking in purple and black and drybrushing to lighter colours. The lips are ever so slightly a different shade against the other skin region, again to differentiate them from the upper lip / moustache region. The teeth were done in creams, yellows, and some browns to create the look of someone who could do with a swift visit to the dentist.

Evaluation.
A little bit of observation of the real world can contribute immensely to conversions like this. I really like this rhino and try to use it in games as often as possible as a result.

Monday, March 9, 2009

Bloodletters of Khorne Squad

Here they are in their resplendent blood red colours coupled with their lava-like hellblades: a finished squad of bloodletters of Khorne.
Many of the bases are from back-2-basix -- I think they offset the dynamic positioning of the bloodletters wonderfully well. Their colours certainly scream Khorne to me and that can be as intimidating to opponents as seeing eldar jet-bikes in Saim-Hann colours. They demand to be dealt with and not underestimated.

Sunday, March 8, 2009

Apocalypse Datasheet: Relentless Raptor Swarm

"At first we thought that the Great Devourer, the Tyranid Beasts, had returned to finish what they had started a few cycles ago. The sky was dark with their forms coming in from the sky. We soon learnt that it was a new threat. Night Haunter's legion had come for us."

Saturday, March 7, 2009

Addendum: Australian White Dwarf 351

Following on from the previous post, Games Workshop has published the new Apocalypse datasheets.

Additionally there's a number of other new sheets - as described on Bell of Lost Souls.

Thank you Games Workshop!

Australian White Dwarf 351

I purchased WD351 yesterday. I was interested to see all those new Stompas and Shadowstorm variants and how they play (etc.) and was generally impressed with the level of detail throughout the magazine. I have a complaint though.

They give the Apocalypse datasheet for the Shadowsword, Stormlord, Kustom Stompa, Stompa Mob, and Goff Rok'N'Rolla -- which is what I wanted to know. On pages 26 and 27, they have the Doomhammer, Banehammer, Banesword and Stormsword illustrated. However, they don't give the datasheet for these four variants. Instead, it is stated "Visit our website to download datasheets for these items." As of this morning, they're not there! Unless I'm going blind. I'm frustrated quite honestly. With a local Apocalypse game coming up in a few weeks time, it'd be good to know how these four variants worked (especially since the models are now on sale)!

Okay - I don't publish too many rants as I like to remain positive. I'm considering writing to the publishers.

Friday, March 6, 2009

Battle Summary: Daemons vs. Tyranids (1000 pts)

Overview:
Board: square 6' x 4'
Mission: Capture and Control
Deployment: Spearhead (Table Quarters)
Terrain: A number of woodland areas coupled with two brick ruins.

Daemons Army List:
HQ: Khorne herald on a juggernaut with blessings of the blood god (110)
Troops 1: 8 Bloodletters (128)
Troops 2: 8 Bloodletters (128)
Troops 3: 10 Plaguebearers with icon and instrument (180)
Troops 4: 9 Horrors with icon, bolt of Tzeentch and instrument (193)
Heavy Support 1: Daemon Prince with iron hide and daemonic gaze (130)
Heavy Support 2: Daemon Prince with iron hide and daemonic gaze (130)

First Wave: Herald with Bloodletters 1, horrors, daemon prince
Secondary Wave: Bloodletters 2, plaguebearers, daemon prince

Tyranids Army List:
HQ: Flying Hive Tyrant with lash whip, bonesword and venom cannon, toxic miasma (166)
Elites 1: Warrior Brood - 3 warriors with death spitters and rending claws (84)
Elites 2: Warrior Brood - 3 warriors with death spitters and rending claws (84)Troops: 10 Genestealers with feeder tendrils and scuttling (200)
Troops: 22 Gaunts with fleshborers (132)
Troops: 20 Hormagaunts with initiative adrenal glands (220)
Heavy Support: 2 Zoanthropes with warp blast (110)

Pre-game and set-up:
The Tyranid player reserves the genestealers. Presumably, they're to come on and try to contest (or control) my home objective later on in the game. Meanwhile, I roll and see that my chosen first wave IS going to be the first wave. I place my home objective in cover, but otherwise as close to my opponents as I can I probably should have gone much closer. My opponent has his deep within his table quarter. Shouldn't be too much of a problem. I'm more bothered by the sheer number of miniatures I'm seeing across the table. They're nicely spaced out as well even though I don't have template weapons.

My opponent elects to go first having won the die roll. That makes me happy.

Turn 1.
The hormagaunts, gaunts, flyrant and one brood of warriors comes forward. Everything else stays put.

My bloodletters (with herald) arrive and scatter toward the enemy lines. I see that as fortunate as I can now make a turn 2 assault with these guys. My horrors land bang on target and have a wonderful line of sight to the hormagaunts. My daemon prince scatters sideways from where I intended him to be, but still has line of sight for daemonic gaze. Here's the situation sketched below:

The two "X"s are the objective markers, the dark rectangles are ruins and the dark green circles are woodland areas. Firstly, I have the daemon prince open fire on the warrior brood infront of him. With some lucky rolling and poor saving throws, each warrior is already down to 1 wound each. My bloodletters run and space themselves out, expecting some incoming warpblasts next turn. Meanwhile, the horrors let rip on the hormagaunts that are out in the open. They reduce their numbers from 20 down to 9 immediately - again some lucky rolling on my part there.

Turn 2.
The genestealers are still scuttling around and don't show up. The flyrant leaps in to the ruins, the hormagaunts come forward, as does the warrior brood nearest to the daemon prince along with the gaunts.

The flyrant causes one horror to die from its venom cannon. The bloodletters suffer two casualties from the gaunts, and the daemon prince is reduced to its last wound from a combination of both broods to warriors and the zoanthropes.

Now here's a mistake. Having landed in the ruins, the flyrant has to take a difficult terrain test to charge and can only travel 1 inch! It doesn't make the horrors! The hormagaunts easily make the horrors, though. The gaunts charge the bloodletters and the warrior brood charges the daemon prince easily enough through the woodland.

As the flyrant watches on, the hormagaunts tear in to the horrors, inflicting 3 further casualties and reducing them down to 5. The remaining horrors cause 3 hormagaunt casualties in return. It would ordinarily be a draw, but thanks to the instrument, the horrors have won! Still in synapse range, the remaining hormagaunts stay put.

Meanwhile, the daemon prince dispatches the (already wounded) warrior brood with graceful ease. The bloodletter casualties are racking up though: 4 more dead from the gaunts. But since they're at equal initiative with the bloodletters, they strike back hard: 9 dead gaunts. There are two bloodletters left, alongside the herald, but 12 gaunts.

In my turn, the plaguebearers and second mob of bloodletters decide to show up. I deepstrike the plaguebearers near to my "home" objective and run them in to cover during the shooting phase. Meanwhile, the second lot of bloodletters deep strike off the horror's icon to be close to their other brethren. Much like the plaguebearers, they also run during shooting. The daemon prince shoots at the flyrant, causing 1 wound.

In the subsequent melee, my herald readily dispatches 4 gaunts without breaking a sweat (do daemons sweat?). The gaunts fail to cause any wounds on my herald in exchange, leaving the other bloodletters to take the skulls of several of the remaining gaunts. There's now 5 gaunts left.

Although brutally injured by the hormagaunts, the horrors pass all but one saving throw and inflict 3 kills in exhange. This leaves 3 hormagaunts facing off 4 horrors.

Turn 3.
My opponent is determined to use the tyrant to control my home objective. I suggest to him that he might want to consider finishing the horrors off, but he's having none of it and flies toward the plaguebearers position. The genestealers still have not shown up though. In the shooting phase, the zoanthropes finish off my daemon prince with some choice blasts. The other warrior brood opens fire on the second squad of bloodletters. Most of the incoming blast templates scatter far and wide, but one hits and slays one of them. In the assault phase, the flyrant charges the plaguebearers. Here's the sitatuion now:

The flyrant kills one of the plaguebearers. My opponent realizes his mistake now as the plaguebearers, despite having only 1 attack each, can still wound the flyrant on a 4+. Three poisoned wounds later, the flyrant is hurting. Two save, so the flyrant has three wounds left. What might have been a drawn combat turns in to a plaguebearer victory with the instrument. The flyrant loses another wound.

The horrors, meanwhile win by 1 wound and cause a leadership test on the hormagaunts who are now outside of synapse range! The hormaguants are suddenly no more and the remaining two horrors look happy with themselves.

The herald also cleans up the remaining gaunts, leaving the bloodletters freed up.

Finally its my turn. My second daemon prince arrives and deepstrikes in next to the plaguebearer and flyrant melee. My hearld takes his remaining two bloodletters on a charge toward the zoanthropes. My second set of bloodletters know they'll be out of charge range if they follow, so I take a gamble and move them southward toward my home objective. The remaining horrors move in to the central ruins but are out of shooting range of anything.

Nothing to shoot, so it's charging time. The hearld rams in to the zoanthropes. Going first thanks to furious charge and having an extra attack means that the herald and bloodletters slaughter the zoanthropes in a heartbeat.

The flyrant is getting bogged down with these plaguebearers: two plaguebearers die but the flyrant is reduced to its final wound. One more plaguebearer goes back to the warp at combat resolution. There's still 6 of them left though. It should be sufficient, with a bit of luck... and maybe some help from the daemon prince that's lurking nearby.

Turn 4.
The genestealers make an entrance on the right hand side of the map and move toward my home objective. The warrior brood shoots the bloodletters that are headed their way and kills the remaining to bloodletters. The herald is still yet to receive a single wound.

Taking the initiative, the warriors charge the herald of Khorne. The hearald causes a healthy four wounds (two warriors left) and doesn't suffer anything in exhange! At my home objective, two more plaguebearers die. I fail to finish the job though.

In my turn, I charge the daemon prince in to the flyrant and move my bloodletters between the plaguebearers and genestealers. Those genestealers will have to come through the bloodletters to to contest my objective. I also move my horrors in to shooting range of the warrior brood, should my herald fail.

But I needn't have worried. The herald finishes the job readily and smugly sits himself next to the objective. The charging daemon prince also slays the flyrant.

At this point, there's only the genestealers left on the board. I control my home objective and am contesting my opponents. If the game extends to turn 6, my horrors could be in range to claim my the other objective as well. Seeing the bloodletters and daemon prince between the genestealers and the plaguebearers, my opponent graciously conceeds the game.

Result: Daemons win.

Evaluation.
The Khorne Herald was magnificent. Moreover, it is a very cheap HQ choice which leaves open more points for things like bloodletters. Plaguebearers once again proved their worth in objective holding. The horrors were lucky; very lucky.

The flyrant made a number of mistakes but I don't think it would have mattered too much if the flyrant had have finished off the horrors either. There were too many daemons with too many power weapons. The genestealers would have made it in to a different game had they been deployed next to the hormagaunts though.

Thursday, March 5, 2009

Note to Self on Plagueswords

Missed your roll to wound with your humble plaguesword?

Got a strength that's equal to, or greater than your target's toughness? (e.g. plaguebearers against standard space marines).

Re-roll those die to wound! They're poisoned!

Hopefully, I'll remember that more now.

Tuesday, March 3, 2009

Thoughts on Assembling Plastic Bloodletters

Today: some random, unassorted thoughts on building and constructing plastic bloodletters.

From the outset, let me say that I'm biased - I really like the new plastic daemon range. I know plenty of folks don't, but I do. That said, here's the thoughts alongside a picture of one of my bloodletters for reference.

* The heads of the bloodletters are rather unusual for Games Workshop miniatures. The front of the head slots over the tongue and rear of the head! This should be a reasonable process, but more often than not, it results in a poor fit between the front head and the rear head. This can be seen in the picture where there is a small gap just behind the horns. This can be annoying, but its nothing that a little bit of milliput (greenstuff) won't fix.

* Plan how and what the base is going to be prior to affixing the miniature to it. Some of the claws of these bloodletters are really long and noticeable. Some careful pre-thoughts can save a bit of effort later (and some unusual paint brush angles during the painting stages).

* Speaking of paint brush angles, consider how you're going to paint the rune of Khorne on some of the bloodletter's shoulders before gluing. Often, the horns of the head can get in the way.

* There's a sword-arm and off-hand combination that can result in the daemon looking like he's got a two-handed hold of the hellblade. Before assembling these ones, pick out the head carefully. Otherwise, it might not all fit together well and the daemon might end up with a lop-sided head as it cannot fit in the place it is supposed to (yes - I fell in to this trap myself).

* If building a bloodletter with an icon, then check out the angle that the icon pole makes with the base. Sometimes, it can make an angle that is way off vertical. This is bad as the icon is rather tall with a significant amount of weight positioned toward the top of the icon. A poor pose can cause wobbly miniature syndrome. Dry fit before gluing! (Or, if like me, you ended up with a wobbly one, then consider placing a mass / off-cast lead weight as a counter-balance somewhere on the base).

* Have a think about whether you really want a bloodletter with an instrument of chaos. My thoughts on this issue are that they shouldn't need them: they're very likely to win any close combats, and win them big. I'll post a more detailed analysis on this idea at a later date.

Monday, March 2, 2009

Coping with Chaos Dreadnoughts

For a long time, I have deployed plasma cannon armed chaos dreadnought on flanks, usually in isolation, to protect the more expensive components of my chaos marine armies from being hit (twice) when it goes crazy. In reality, this event only happens about once every game (1 in 6 chance each turn, assuming a 6 turn game).

However, after playing a good number of games with dreadnoughts, I feel that I'm going to experiment with changing that tactic of isolated deployment. The simple reason is that dreadnoughts, much like their imperial counterparts, require support to be fully effective. This means they should be close to other units.

So, what units could go alongside them? My standard armament with my Death Guard dreadnought is a plasma cannon - that means reasonably high strength with low AP. My precious and expensive plague marines don't want to be anywhere near this dreadnought; but they'd probably take the risk if the armament was a heavy bolter or a frag missile launcher. The plasma cannon is there intentionally to cause damage to terminators and pesky marines like plague marines!

Moreover, the plasma cannon can also do significant damage to my humble rhinos and even stands a chance of glancing the front of a vindicator or predator. If I regularly ran a land raider, it would be a different tale - no problems there. I'm left wondering what unit(s) I can place next to the dreadnought to minimize the risk and support it.

If I deployed it with a daemonically possessed vindicator directly behind it, the probability of causing crippling damage to the vindicator is low - 1 in 6 to go crazy, 1 in 6 to glance, and if it does glance, the vindicator is safe for crew stunned or crew shaken results. There's still a finite risk of a bad outcome though, but it has been minimized. On the plus side, the dreadnought and vindicator combined provide an awesome amount of fire power to take out pesky elite units like terminators.

With a rhino, the advantage is that it's comparatively cheap, so I don't mind too much if it gets blown away. Moreover, if this happens, the rhino becomes a static piece of scenery which can also be helpful.

Other units that I might consider deploying dreadnoughts with (for melee support primarily) include a Nurgle daemon prince (high toughness, invulnerable save, multiple-wounds); chaos spawn (toughness 5, expendable). However, I'm more inclined to place it in front of a vindicator and therefore provide a screen for the other vehicle.

Another tactic would be simply to arm the dreadnought with a different weapon combination. Perhaps two close combat arms, or a heavy bolter which cannot harm the front armour of a predator or vindicator ... or the side armour of a second dreadnought.

Related Article: Death Guard Dreadnought.

Sunday, March 1, 2009

What Difference Does Twin-Linked Make?

This posting is inspired by Ron, who asked me the other day: will twin-linked weapons matter?, in relation to my exploration of the central limit theorem posting.

What I'm going to do is to compute the likelihood of hitting with a given ballistic skill (BS), and compare it with the likelihood of hitting if the shooter has a twin-linked weapons. One of the most common examples (especially for myself as a chaos marine player) is that of a marine (BS=4) shooting a bolter, versus a terminator (also BS=4) shooting a twin-linked bolter.

Without Twin-Linked.
This is straight-forward to work out. For BS=4, the marine is hitting on 3+ with a d6. This means that two-thirds of the time a hit is scored (or 66.7% probability).

With Twin-Linked.
Twin-linked weapons allow the re-rolling of the die to hit, if a miss is scored. Hence, the probability of hitting on the second time around is also 66.7%.

So what is the combined probability to hit with BS=4 and a twin-linked weapon? The answer is 66.7%, plus 66.7% of 33.3%. (The 33.3% is the probability that you missed on the first d6 roll). Two-thirds (66.7%) of one third (33.3%) equals 22.2%. Therefore the combined probability is 88.8%. That's almost 9 times out of 10 that a BS=4 marine will hit with a twin-linked bolter. Pretty good.

Below, I've tabulated the twin-linked probabilities for other BS's:

NOT Twin- Twin-
BS Linked Linked
1 16.7% 30.6%
2 33.3% 55.6%
3 50.0% 75.0%
4 66.7% 88.8%
5 83.3% 97.2%
6 86.1% 97.2%
7 88.9% 97.2%
8 91.7% 97.2%
9 94.4% 97.2%
10 97.2% 97.2%

Note that on page 18 of the rulebook, the twin-linked rule gets preference over the chart for BS=6 or greater (dice can only ever be re-rolled once!). This explains why all probabilities to hit with a twin-linked weapon at above BS=4 are all exactly the same. Therefore, if the shooter has BS=10, then they don't exactly need a twin-linked weapon.

Finally, I should also add that twin-linked flamers (and the like) don't roll to hit anyway. If twin-linked, they re-roll to wound (rather than to hit) and can re-roll armour penetration against vehicles. Twin-linked blasts are a different story (re-rolling the scatter die), and that's a story for another day.
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