Sunday, January 31, 2010

Daemon Armies Without Icons

As I make tweaks to various army lists, I try to note whether it has made a dramatic difference to the army (a big change) or very little difference (minor change). I try to do this over the course of many games and often space them out over several months(!).

One recent tweak that I've been toying about with is making daemon armies without any icons. I have multiple motives for doing this which include:
(i) Icons in the daemon army are very expensive (points-wise that is);
(ii) I don't have the time to model too many icons on to pink horror squads (there are no dedicated miniatures manufactured for pink horror icon bearers);
(iii) The first wave of the daemon's army deep strike is always going to be without icons to help;
(iv) Daemon armies are kind of random anyway... ;) I guess if you're playing daemons, you know what I mean by that statement. They're fun like that!

What I want to report is that in the games that I've played with and without icons, there can be either a very dramatic difference (meaning the those armies with icons do significantly better than those without), or it makes only a very minor difference / none at all to the game. There is rarely little in between.

If I try to draw a general conclusion, it is that the typical army that I needed the icons against were usually very well constructed and / or very well played by their owner. Icons have certainly helped to mop up space marine equivalent units in the late game for me from time to time.

I'm going to play more games without icons from now on (saving myself at least 50 points in my average 1500 point daemon army) and see how they go.

Friday, January 29, 2010

Mixed Daemons Army List (1500 points, Introductory)

This army list is a slight alternative to my previous 1500 point army list that I took to GT2009. In some ways, it is an earlier evolution of the same list, but one that I have returned to in recent times. It is also an evolution of the changes that I shadowed much earlier.

To be clear: this is not a top-tier daemons list. It is one that I use to introduce other players to daemons. Hence you will see things like instruments on the daemonettes and unholy might on screamers. I don't make such upgrades to proper tournament lists.

Herald of Khorne on Juggernaut with Unholy Might (120 points)

10 Bloodletters (160 points)
11 Bloodletters (176 points)
10 Plaguebearers with icon and instrument (180 points)
10 Plaguebearers with icon and instrument (180 points)
10 Daemonettes with transfixing gaze and instrument (150 points)

Fast Attack:
6 Screamers with unholy might (101 points)

Heavy Support:
Daemon Prince with daemonic flight and iron hide (170 points)
Daemon Prince with iron hide and daemonic gaze (130 points)
Daemon Prince with iron hide and daemonic gaze (130 points)

In many ways, it is very illustrative of what daemons can do without being over the top in any particular direction. It struggles with fully mechanized army lists and doesn't like Tau flechette dischargers especially. But I like to use it with people who have never faced daemons before. I suspect that there must be other people out there who use under-powered lists to introduce other players to some of the other (more rare) races and codices.

Thursday, January 28, 2010

Winner of the January 2010 Army List Challenge

And the winner of the January 2010 Army List Challenge is:


Congratulations and well done!!! You tallied over 50 per cent of the vote in the end, which is a very strong showing in these contests judging by previous months and the high level of competition from the other entrants (Suneokun and Heinz).

A new challenge will be posted next month.

Tuesday, January 26, 2010

Glamour of Tzeentch and the New Tyranid Codex

I'm a little behind everyone else, but I finally got the new tyranid codex this week. One thing that I immediately thought about when reading all about the new swarm was "How are my daemon and chaos marine armies going to go about tackling them". Although my answer to this question is going to be a work in progress for some time, I did have one quick thought about daemons.

In short: does the Changeling still work? I've written about the Changeling facing off against Tyranids about a year ago; but obviously under the old codex. But just to recap: this squad upgrade can force other units to take a leadership test which if failed, can cause the opposing unit to fire at their own squads. As I read the new tyrandid rules, I believe that this tactic is still valid. Hormagaunts: prepare to be glamour'd by Tzeentch! With a leadership value of 6, they make ideal targets in the Tyranid army for the Changeling to target. Gargoyles, biovores and pyrovores all have similarly low leadership.

But my new aim is to find a Tyrannofex to use the glamour against...
Or maybe even build a flying swarm army ... I really like the plastic gargoyle models!

Saturday, January 23, 2010

WFB: Nautican Army List

Available for download from Sigmar's Nautica blog: The WFB Nautican Army List.I'm excited about this release for a number of reasons, not least because it uses some of my own painting (imaged above) to illustrate Stingrays (a core unit) with. If you regularly play Warhammer Fantasy, then why not head over to the Nautican blog and check out these new rules and provide some feedback (on the battle reporter forum)!

Although I don't play WFB regularly these days, the scope and level of detail of this project is highly impressive. The diversity in the types and number of units are superb and are well backed up by the gaming rules behind them. The "Lobstrosites" in particular are well worth checking out :)

Thursday, January 21, 2010

Poll Open for the January Army List Challenge

There are three army lists to choose between this month: Heinz' Ultramarines, Suneokun's Guard, and Farmpunk's Sisters. This month, the theme of the army list challenge was to design a list capable of taking on a tyranid horde in a standard battle (Capture and Control with Table Quarters set-up). But the horde was not the normal one: it consisted of lots and lots of flying tyranids (gargoyles, flying tyrants, and so on).

Which of the three lists do you consider to be the most effective army list that also best articulates the theme? The poll is open! Results will be tallied and posted on 28th/Jan.

Here's the lists:

(1) Heinz.
Landing on a Tyranid infested planet to delay the inevitable and retrieve artifacts? Who else but the Emperors finest for such a task! And if it's going the be the Emperor's finest; Who else but the Ultramarines!!

The Ultramarines Special Character Army!


Sternguard Squad (8)
Power Fist, Combi-Flamer, Drop Pod

Tactical Squad 1
Power Fist, Combi-Flamer, Flamer, Missile Launcher, Counter Attack, Drop Pod

Tactical Squad 2
Combi-Plasma, Plasma Gun, Plasma Cannon, Rhino

Scout Squad (10)
Tellion, Heavy Bolter

Chronus, Siege Shield



Total 1500pts.

Upon reaching the planet, Sicarius deploys Tellion and his scouts right away to confirm the location of the artifacts and scout out the digestion pool. Fortunately or not, they are both close by! Tellion regroups his scouts back to the ruins where the artifacts are hidden.

Meanwhile, under the command of Chronus, a defensive armoury consisting of a Vindicator, 2 Whirlwinds and the Second Tactical Squad in Rhino was prepped and deployed in two thunderbird transporters right after the scouts to secure the artifacts.

Once word reached Sicarius from Tellion that the digestion pool was so close to the artifact, Sicarus wasted no time ordering an immediate strike after a brief glance at the tactical map; deploying himself with the First Tactical Squad via drop pod to land just as Chronus' detachment started bombarding the digestion pool. The Sternguard Squad would be deployed from reserve to pump rapid fire hellfire rounds into the flying Tyrant spotted in the area.

Well... At least that's how I envisioned it in my head...

Sicarius drop pods next to a forward brood of gargoyles and burns them with the dual flame templates. The drop pod will provide valuable cover for the Vindicator. Sicarius and the squad should be mostly okay considering the the support from 2 Whirlwinds, a Vindicator and Tellion's full sniper Scout squad. It's just a simple case of blast & blast away.

The second Tactical squad's role is be a mobile plasma pillbox to target TMC and other 2+ nids. It's also the only mobile scoring unit depending on which objective requires more scoring units.

The Sternguard land next to the flying Tyrant and just pump hellfire rounds into it. It's got to fail some saves. The Power Fist will finish it off.

Some odd justifications
- Use of expensive special characters mean I had to multiply my firepower by using as many large blast weapons, blast weapons and templates as possible.
- Siege shield to brush aside the lush flora and fauna that first drew the Tyranids
- Chronus because he keeps shooting that lovely demoliser cannon until weapon destroyed or wrecked.
- Missile Launcher on the first Tactical squad because it's the classic counterpart to the flamer.
- Combi-Flamer on the Sternguard incase they need to drop next to a brood of gargoyles.

(2) Suneokun
When facing flying nasties the key to victory is speed and firepower. It also helps if your whole army comes in a nicely armoured shell!

Option #1: Flight of the Mad Brigade

Primaris Psyker #1 70
Primaris Psyker #2 70

Sly Marbo 65

Veterans #1: shotguns, 1 Grenade Launcher and 2 Melta Gun's, Demolitions 125
Veterans #2: shotguns, 3 Melta Gun's, Demolitions 130
Veterans #3: shotguns, 3 Melta Gun's, Demolitions 130
Veterans #4: shotguns, 3 Melta Gun's, Demolitions 130

6 x Valkyries with Rocket Pods: 780

Tactics: this list is designed to out dogfight the horde. It starts on the board and immediately lights up any larger creatures (Flying Warriors for example) with S6 dakka. Once the badguys have closed then the Valks revert to a 12" move and 6 rocketpods a turn to keep the hivemind away. Marbo's your 'ace in the hole', giving you an anti lictor or Warrior killer option with his Demo pack. The melta's may look out of place, but they're actually 'sacrifice' units for killing Warriors and MC's... I think these guys would give a good game, but my option 2 is the 'meat and potatoes'...

Option #2: Come and get me...

Primaris Psyker #1 70
Primaris Psyker #2 70

Sly Marbo 65

Infantry HQ #1 with heavy flamer and 3 flamers, in Chimera with extra armour, heavy stubber and heavy flamer 145
Squad #1: Flamer in Chug as above: 135
Squad #2: Flamer in Chug as above: 135

Infantry HQ #2 with heavy flamer and 3 flamers, in Chimera with extra armour, heavy stubber and heavy flamer 145
Squad #1: Flamer in Chug as above: 135
Squad #2: Flamer in Chug as above: 135

3 x Hellhounds (separate) with heavy bolter and extra armour.

This lot are designed to take the first punch. The Multilasers, Primaris Psykers and Heavy bolters bring S6 death to any warriors on the board. This gives them a potential 'protection zone', as the gargoyles struggle to close without synapse.

The tank take a shooting/charge and then smack the nids with tank shock and apply multiple flamer death.

Each command Chug can pump out 2 Heavy flamer and 3 flamer shots (and a las pistol too - woop!) each squad chug can offer a flamer and a heavy flamer. The primaris psykers go dark on the lead chugs (Nightshroud), forcing lots of low level leadership nids to 'try' to shoot them.

As above, Marbo's the ace in the hole. Killing Warriors when he arrives.

(3) Farmpunk.
ok, so here I go to take a crak at the newest codex using one of the older codexes. I ACTUALLY get to use some of the WitchHunter's toys for this one. primarially, I'm going with a nasty one:
Blessed Ammo.
What's that? ah. psychic charged bullets that ignore cover. so here goes:

Ordo Hereticus Inquisitor Lord (Bolt pistol, CCW, Psychic Hood, Psi-tracker, #Hammer of the Witches) (159pts)
2 Hbolter Servitors
1 penitent

The old school psychic hood works against any psychic power on the board, the Psi-tracker lets any unit in the force re-roll one to-hit roll vs a psyker, or psyker attached to it (probably will go to an exorcist shot).
Hammer of the Witches psychic power makes D6 psykers take Ld tests, or suffer a Perils of the warp.
The Penitent gives the squad 4+ save to psychic attacks directed against them, or that they are in the area of effect. if the save is made, the power is nullified.

Celestian squad (3 bolters, 2 meltaguns)
Immolator (twin-linked Hflamer, that can move 12" and fire)(E. Armor) (158pts)

Celestian Squad (3 bolters, 2 meltaguns)
Immolator (twin linked Hflamer) (E. Armor) (158pts)

Sisters of Battle Squad (7bolters, Hflamer, Flamer)
Veteran Sister Superior (bolter, book of St. Lucius)
Rhino (E. Armor, Pintle mounted Storm bolter, Blessed Ammunition) (222pts)

Sisters of Battle Squad (7bolters, Hflamer, flamer)
Veteran Sister Superior (Bolter, Book of St. Lucius)
Rhino (E. Armor, Pintle mounted Storm bolter, Blessed Ammunition) (222pts)

Sisters of Battle squad (7bolters, Hflamer, flamer)
Veteran Sister Superior (Bolter, Book of St. Lucius)
Rhino (E. Armor, Pintle mounted storm bolter, blessed Ammunition) (222pts)

Heavy Support:
Exorcist (E. Armor) (140pts)
Exorcist (E. Armor) (140pts)
Immolator (twin-linked Hbolter, Blessed Ammunition, E. Armor)

ok, all of the Celestians and Sisters have a 5+ to nullify psychic powers used against them, the inq. has a 4+.
I've brought a psychic hood to nullify psychic powers as well. Hammer of the witches is to annoy psykers, and because I don't ever use it. The psi-tracker re-roll to-hit once a turn vs. a psyker is nice as well. It should help take down the big controller bugs.

Immolators are nice since they can move 12" and still use their twin-lined Hflamers. if needed, they can move 6" and also fire the 2 meltas on the Celestians.

The Sisters Squads should be good harassment with the 4 Stormbolter shots that ignore cover from their rhinos. The Hflamer/flamer combo should be able to make a LOT of crunchy bugs.
If the rhino gets popped, the Book allows the squad, and anyone within 6" to choose to make unmodified Ld checks at the Veteran's Ld.

The Exorcists are there to Kill Monsterous Creatures. Especially lynchpin bugs, and big gun bugs. They love to see high T, 2+ armor go splat.

The Immolator with Blessed Ammo is for the Inquisitor to get in, and to gun down bigger bugs hiding in cover.

I figure that with most of the nids having 5+ armor, ignoring cover saves will be nice. I've got a lot of Hflamers with mobility, and bolters that ignore cover.

My entire force is meant to stay in their vehicles, and out of CC, unless they can deliver a devastating blow, and stay out of assault range. All of the Sororitas units are covered by 5+ nullification to psychic powers, and can all use faith. Depending on the situation, I've got 5 faith points to work with, and a good variety of ways to use it.

I should be able to make my way across the board to get the objective, and then die the glorious death of martyrs.

Monday, January 18, 2010

Battle Missions and Releases

Reading through White Dwarf and the numerous blogs online, it is readily apparent that a number of miniature releases will be coming along with the availability of the Battle Missions expansion book.

There is plenty of chatter along the lines of Imperial Guard (Basilisk and Chimera models), but less so about other races. In particular, I'm left wondering whether there will be a significant daemons release.

The reason that I mention this is that the "second wave" of daemons release has been talked of for a long time now. We know that models such as the plastic daemon prince have been in the pipeline and photographed for some time, but never appeared yet. I'm wondering if Battle Missions will be the opportunity that Games Workshop have been waiting for to release the plastic daemon prince and (perhaps) other exciting daemons (cf. plastic plaguebearers or pink horrors?).

Here's hoping...!!

Saturday, January 16, 2010

Rogue Trader Era Chaos Renegade

This is a miniature that I recently dug out of my old collection. It is a chaos renegade from the Realms of Chaos / Rogue Trader era, but minus the backpack.

The overall feeling of the miniature is one of Slaanesh. This is deduced from the head of the miniature: a little reminiscent of a Keeper of Secrets head mutation (an old mutation available to models with the mark of Slaanesh in the Realms of Chaos: Slaves to Darkness book). Of particular note is the left hand of this miniature. It is intended to be a power fist. But note the size of the fist -- tiny in comparison to modern standards!

The marine is probably going to wind up in my noise marine squad - just as a regular squad member. Maybe I'll add a blade on to the left hand to turn it in to a power weapon and make the miniature in to a noise champion.

Thursday, January 14, 2010

Reminder for the January Army List Challenge

Can you beat Heinz' Space Marine Army List to take on lots of flying tyranids??! The entries for the January Army List Challenge are still open.

If you've never had a go at one of these, then try it out! The idea is to create a themed army list to take on a specific scenario. The winner is then chosen by popular vote. Although there are no prizes beyond honour and kudos, entering these challenges can help others think about how to build better themed armies.

Full details for this months challenge can be found here. Good luck!

Tuesday, January 12, 2010

Orky Table

This is a picture that I took of a table from a 2009 tournament that I played in. I found it in my archives and thought that it was worth showing!
The table is a desert world cut up by a river, with Ork buildings constructed in a typically orky / hap-hazard manner strewn across the field. Looking at each individual building, it is possible to see that each one is made of composite bits from multiple sources (Space Marine rhinos, and so forth). Enjoy!

Saturday, January 9, 2010

Tactica: Summoned Lesser Daemon Threat Range

In the Chaos Space Marine codex, lesser daemons are able to assault after deep striking off an icon. The number of models in the lesser daemon squad effects the threat range of the squad. In this post (mostly aimed at the newer player), I wanted to quickly summarize what the threat range actually is for lesser daemons on standard round bases.

The lesser daemons can deep strike within 6'' of an icon. Their assault range is a standard 6'' on top of that, so their base threat range is 12 inches -- i.e. they can assault anything within 12 inches of the point they come in to play (ignoring terrain!). When they come in to play, they must be arranged in a circle around the first miniature. Hence with the minimum squad size, the maximum threat range is approx 13 inches. To get this up to 14'', the squad must be a minimum of 8 members strong -- one central model, 6 further models in the first circle around the central one, and the 8th one forming the start of a second circle (see also Order Minoris).

To get the threat range up by another inch to 15'' requires a complete second circle (12 models to complete the second circle, 6 for the first circle, plus the central miniature, making for a total of 19) plus one that starts the third circle. That means a total of 20 models in the squad (which is also the maximum squad size for summoned lesser daemons).

Although I tend to field my Nurgle daemons in squads of 7 (to be fluffy) when I have a Death Guard army running, the above suggests I probably should invest some points in an 8th model to improve their threat range!

Lastly, it is worth noting that we could employ any type of lesser daemon in chaos marine armies. So, we could field a nurgling unit for instance. With a larger base size, this improves the threat range further (as suggested by Bell of Lost Souls some time ago).

Finally, let me acknowledge the sources of inspiration for this article:
Zombie Summoned Lesser Daemons from Order Minoris;
Death Guard Triple Vindicator 2000pts List from BoLS.

Thursday, January 7, 2010

January Army List Challenge

Welcome to the first Army List Challenge of 2010! This one taps in to the Tyranid feeling that abounds this month.

Overview of the Challenge
Your team has been tasked with landing on a Tyranid target planet that is in the early stages of infestation. All around, there are flying tyranids that are mobbing and killing the local fauna (i.e. gargoyles, flying hive tyrants, etc.). Soon, there will be more tyranid life forms present on this doomed world, but for now its still early days. If you can capture the Tyranid digestion pool (an objective), then you will delay the inevitable for a little while longer and enable other parts of your army to retrieve important artifacts elsewhere on the planet's surface.

The game is a standard mission: Capture and Control with a spearhead deployment (table quarters). You opposition features a tyranid list in which nearly all of the models are able to fly. That means lots of gargoyles!

(1) Design a 1500 points army list for this mission from any codex.
(2) Post your army lists as a comment to this posting and suggest why they're well suited to this mission. In particular, specify why they'll be good at tackling a large mob of flying tyranids and well-able to capture both objectives despite the large numbers of the opposition and their ability to swoop in at the last moment.
(3) On Jan 21st 2010, I'll start a voting poll that will be open for 1 week to vote for what Warpstone Flux readers consider to be the "most effective army list that also best articulates the theme" (whatever readers interpret that to mean) out of all entrants.
(4) Winner will be tallied and announced on Jan 28th.

Remember, the real aim of these challenges is to help others design effective army lists that are both themed and effective. There are no prizes beyond honour and kudos!

Tuesday, January 5, 2010

Painted Possessed Chaos Marine

When I sat down to paint up my possessed chaos marine that I'd assembled earlier, I was thinking that perhaps I'd do another Night Lords colour scheme. Hence, the basecoat on this chap started out as blue.

However, my previous attempts at Night Lords colours still hung over me (I wasn't 100 per cent happy with it!). So, instead of looking at that model -- or indeed, looking at any picture I had of a Night Lords colour scheme -- I decided to just paint the miniature how I thought it should be.

After washing the basecoat several times in blue, I applied progressively lighter blue tones, interspaced with several more blue washes. The ridges of some of the most prominent surfaces are almost white in colour. But I'm very happy with the level of blending here. I actually took my time for once and painted slowly, and am very pleased with the outcome of the skin (armour?) tone.

The contrast colour for the should pad edges (etc.) was done in bleached bone. This may seem at odds with the photograph, but then I applied a deep was of chestnut ink to created a slightly rusty / bronze colour. I think this really accentuates the blueness of the main armour.

As can also be seen from the shoulder pad, I've carefully gone around the edge of the main pad with space wolves grey (using a treble zero brush). I'm yet to decide which chapter or legion this chap belongs to, hence I left the shoulder pad blank in the iconography department.

The base was painted in browns and creams to suggest broken ruins, but not so bright as to detract from the main paint job. Final highlighting on the miniature included dotting the eyes and the bolts around the armour in a slightly off-white colour.

Monday, January 4, 2010

White Dwarf and Exchange Rates

Happy New Year!

I've been away for a while -- visiting the UK for the first time in several years to see family and work with distant colleagues more closely. I've just got back Down Under and am a bit jet lagged! On another note, this year will see some changes for me as I'm taking up a new job soon and moving house.

Whilst I was in the UK, I visited a few old haunts and several Games Workshop stores to generally have a look around. As well as getting a good peek at the new Tyranid range (which I'm very excited about; despite being primarily a chaos player -- particularly the plastic gargoyles...!!), the difference in prices compared to Australia was also painfully obvious.

Let me illustrate this by comparing White Dwarf prices. Here in Australia, I just picked up WD361 today for AUD 11.95. Whilst I was in the UK, I picked up the previous one for UKP 4.50. Today's exchange rate is about 0.56 UK pence per Aussie dollar. So: I effectively just spent UKP 6.69 on WD361...!

Since exchange rates have been on my mind recently, here's a mini-list of White Dwarf prices for a number of different countries and currencies (apologies if I missed out your favourite currency!) and that same price in Australian dollars (AUD) using the exchange rate at the time of writing. Just to remind ourselves: WD costs AUD 11.95 in Australia.

UK: Cost = UKP 4.50; = AUD 8.04
USA: Cost = USD 9.00; = AUD 10.11
Canada: Cost = CD 10.00; = AUD 10.58
Europe: Cost = Eur 7.00; AUD = 11.23

As with most of last year, I reckon I'll be ordering in most of my Games Workshop products from the UK due to the exchange rate!
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