Saturday, February 27, 2010

Tzeentch Flamer: Blue Fire and Earthy Body

Not my best work, but rather an exploration of contrasting colours. Here, I've painted the torso of the flamer in very earthy colours such as browns and oranges, with subtle highlights toward bright orange and yellow on the back's ridges.

The contrast colour to this is the blues found in the flame sprouts at the bottom skirt of the flamer and the flamer arms. Additionally, there are blue heads on this flamer as well (somewhat akin to my pink horrors painting schemes that have blue-in-pink ideas coming across). I think the photo doesn't show this aspect well, but in real life, it is reasonable!

Some of the finer detail included yellow-white flames coming from a couple of the "mouths" of the flamer's "face" and white needle-teeth and eyes scattered about the place.

Overall, it's not a great paint scheme to be fair (in my opinion), but okay. I am pleased with the vibrancy of the blue juxtaposed to the muted brown colours. If I were doing this again (and had more time!), I would probably pay more attention to the blues and have them "reflect" off the lower body of the flamer in a more fancy manner.

Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Imperial Ruins Project - I. Straight Sprues

CNC Workshop Miniature Scenery is an Australian company that produce a range of scenery for use with 25 to 28mm games such as Warhammer 40,000, WFB and Lord of the Rings. On a whim, I bought some of their product and am setting about assembling it. I will call this new project my "Imperial Ruins Project" and will update my blog with progress as I get further along.

In this, the first part of the series, I wanted to briefly post the pictures of the particular product that I purchased and am in the process of assembling. It is called Imperial Ruins and it is sold in several different varieties (straights, corners, entry points, and access points). The picture below is of a "straight" segment of the ruins.
As can be seen, the product comes unpainted with detailed assembly instructions and in the form of a thick cardboard sheet. The pieces are held in to place by small tabs on the sprues. Below are pictures the two sprues that come with the straight:
There is much assembly work required here. After cutting the bits from the sprues, it is necessary to ensure that any remaining sprue is cleanly got rid of from the bits. This can be done by either cutting the offending tabs away further, or using sandpaper. Sandpaper seems to work very well on these bits and I'd recommend gentle use of it for most of the parts. More on this project at a later date...

Monday, February 22, 2010

Winner: Feb 2010 Army List Challenge

With one of the tightest votes in recent history on the Warpstone Flux Army List challenge, the winner of the Feb 2010 challenge is: SandWyrm!!! Congratulations mate, you pulled 36 per cent of the overall vote, just slightly edging out Suneokun. Your name has also been recorded in the hall of fame.

I enjoyed all the lists entered -- of course, I have a soft spot for the Slaanesh themed ones myself (being a chaos player), hence I reckon I've picked up a thing or two here as well :)
Thanks to all the competitors who entered this month's contest. Another one will begin early next month - look out for it!

Friday, February 19, 2010

Battle Summary: Mixed Daemons vs. Ultramarines (2000 points)

It's rare that I play at more than 1500 points in something that isn't an apocalypse game. But it does happen from time to time. Here's an abbreviated battle report from such a (friendly) game. It features one of my extended Mixed Daemons list against space marines which were ran by two seperate people.

My Mixed Daemons:

HQ:
Great Unclean One with cloud of flies and aura of decay (185 points)
Skulltaker (140 points)
Herald of Khorne with Juggernaut and unholy might (120 points)

Troops:
10 bloodletters (160 points)
11 bloodletters (176 points)
10 plaguebearers with icon and instrument of chaos (180 points)
10 plaguebearers with icon and instrument of chaos (180 points)
10 plaguebearers with icon and instrument of chaos (180 points)
10 daemonettes with transfixing gaze (145 points)

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

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

Opponent's Ultramarines:

HQ:
Chaplain with jump-pack (115 points)
Chaplain with jump-pack (115 points)

Elites:
Dreadnought with lascannons and missile launcher (145 points)

Troops:
10 marines, missile launcher, melta gun, sergeant with powerfist, plus rhino (235 points)
10 marines, missile launcher, melta gun, sergeant with powerfist, plus rhino (235 points)
10 marines, missile launcher, melta gun, sergeant with powerfist, plus rhino (235 points)
10 marines, missile launcher, melta gun, sergeant with powerfist, plus rhino (235 points)
5 scouts, sergeant with power fist and combi-flamer (110 points)

Fast Attack:
10 Assault marines, 2 flamers, sergeant with power fist (225 points)
10 Assault marines, 2 flamers, sergeant with power fist (225 points)

Heavy Support:
Predator with autocannon and side sponson lascannons (120 points)
Predator with autocannon and side sponson lascannons (120 points)
Predator with autocannon and side sponson lascannons (120 points)


Okay, so neither list is typical tournament fare, but that wasn't the point.
The game is determined to be capture and control with a pitched battle set-up.
The terrain is completely un-remarkable: a 6 x 4 foot board in a desert style with only a very few scattered craters. Absolutely no other features!

My initial reaction and plan is to leave one squad of plaguebearers from my second wave to capture my own base (which I place in the centre of my board edge) and swoop in to contest my opponents (almost directly opposite). I'll assualt and tie up anything else to stop my plaguebearers to get shot up.

Early Turns.
My opponents wins the die roll and go first. That makes me happy. They carefully set up their tanks to have overlapping fire lanes through the craters (which they can see over anyway) and place a tactical squad right on top of their marker inside of a crater. My first choice wave arrives (Herald with bloodletters, two lots of plaguebearers, screamers and the flying deamon prince). One of my plaguebearer squads deepstrikes near to my home objective and then runs on top of it with a lucky 6 on the fleet roll. In an unfortunate turn of evens, my flying daemon prince scatters off the board by 1 inch. He is returned to my reserves pool by a lucky dice roll. The other plaguebearers land near the centre of my opponent's line, with the bloodletters not too far away from them. The screamers land near one of the corners and fleets toward the nearest predator. The only marines not on the board are the assault marines plus chaplains. I hope to capitalize before they show up.

In shooting, the marines whittle my screamers down to a single miniature. The plaguebearers are badly shot up as well -- 6 of them are downed by a rapid firing tactical squad that decides to leave the safety of their rhino. This is an area that I also feel I can capitalize on. They'll regret not finishing off the plaguebearers. Meanwhile, the bloodletters take several autocannon and missile launcher shots to the head without a scratch! However, 3 of them perish to the dreadnought and a further two from bolter fire.

In my turn 2, the Great Unclean One, and my two daemon princes without wings arrive. The Great Unclean One deep-strikes off my plaguebearer's icon whilst the two princes drop near to predators. Hopefully the princes will take some of the heat off my potentially more deadly bloodletters. In assault, the plaguebearers charge in to the tactical squad. Only one of them dies, but they cause two wounds in exchange. The marines stay put though. In an amazingly lucky roll, my single screamer causes one of the predators become wrecked. The bloodletters swarm over one of the rhinos and completely wreck that too. The marines inside lumber out.

Middle Turns.
One of the assualt squads arrives and lands near to my home objective that are being held by my (gone to ground) plaguebearers. Although the flamers are not in range, the bolt pistols kill 1 of my daemons. At the other end of the board, my single screamer is annihilated, along with 3 more bloodletters thanks to some rapid firing marines that hopped off their wrecked rhino. The Great Unclean One takes several las cannons and autocannons to the gut that cause 2 wounds.

A marine assault squad arrives at my side of the board (with chaplain) to stare down at my plaguebearers. Although shot up, none of them die thanks to the feel no pain special rule. Skulltaker decides to put in an appearance next to these plaguebearers. I'm hoping he'll be enough to finish the marine squad off in one round. Hmmmmmmm.

At my opponents end, my bloodletters destroy the marines who dared to get out of the wrecked rhino and they head toward another rhino. The Great Unclean One wrecks a predator and one of the daemon princes wrecks a second. The second daemon prince doesn't do anything other than get shot up (and subsequently dies horrendously next shooting turn).

Late Turns.
By turn 5, everything else has come on the board and things start to get ugly on both sides (along with my note taking). I think at this stage, its easier to list what is left surviving than give a blow by blow account.

Skulltaker and an intact squad of plaguebearers have seen off the assault squad and chaplain near my objective.

At the other objective, I've got my Great Unclean One (with 1 wound left), the daemonettes (who have just put in an appearance), the flying daemon prince and my third lot of plaguebearers. Facing them off are 2 squads of tactical marines (out of their rhinos), the scouts, the dreadnought and one predator.

In my opponents turn 5, the second assault squad arrives next to my home objective. Although my plaguebearers lose a few members, they're otherwise okay. I use skulltaker tactically to "pull" the marines further away from my home objective (I hope that they'll be tied up with him for the remainder of the game).
At the other end of the board, I'm getting whacked. The daemonettes get wiped out in one turn flat, the Great Unclean One finally dies to a predator's las cannon and the third lot of plaguebearers are being whittled down in combat with the dreadnought, scouts and one tactical squad.

Luckily (for me), the game goes to turn 6. Ignoring most other concerns, I fly my daemon prince close to the objective and charge the remaining tactical squad that is un-engaged. That move singularly keeps the prince alive whilst contesting the opposing objective. At the other end, Skulltaker gets reinforced by a fresh squad of bloodletters (who came in last turn) and slaughters the remaining assault marines.

At the end of turn 6, the game ends. I hold my home objective and my plan to use my winged daemon prince to swoop in to contest the other one has paid off. Game won by 1 objective to nil.

Concluding Thoughts.
Plaguebearers are the unsung heroes of the daemons army. But let's face it. They weren't as cool as Skulltaker was in slaughtering 2 full squads of marines and chaplains (with some help) and the winger daemon prince helping out at the other end as well.

On my opposite side, I think that the dreadnought and the predators were well utilized - particularly to finish off heavies such as my great unclean one, the daemonettes and a daemon prince.

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

Fate Dice

One scenario that I played in recently involved "fate dice" and I wanted to share this concept with you in case you've not come across it before.

Essentially, it boils down to each player being given a small number (say 3 or 4) of special d6's -- called fate die. They can be used to re-roll any other d6 roll in the game apart from die that have already been re-rolled.

Having played in one of these games, let me tell you that they can absolutely add a certain something to the game for both players. What turns out as a very bad roll for any chaplain's attacks, or an instant death against a tyranid suddenly turns in to something else entirely. But it only happens every so often given the finite number of these re-rolls. And even the fate die cannot save you sometimes from bad rolling!

It becomes a tactical challenge to decide when to use these fate die. Should you expend them on re-rolling a 2+ terminator save (yes probably!) or use the to re-roll your daemon prince's attack against a marine captain (a more interesting choice). Or perhaps a krak missile's roll to wound even (also an interesting choice, but probably a also "yes").

Whilst I'm not sure I'd want to use this idea in every game, it can make for a fresh change from the usual standard missions.

Monday, February 15, 2010

Poll Re-Opened for Feb 2010 Army List Challenge

Due to the vagueness of time zone differences, I'm re-opening the Feb 2010 Army List Challenge Poll due to an extra entry. The extra entry was entered in their own time zones before the deadline .... this is entirely my fault - I shall specify when the deadlines are in GMT or something in future!!

Extra entry as follows.

Lord:

Captain, Power Weapon, Bike=150

Command Squad, Bikes, Apothacary=205

4 Bikes, 2 Flamers, Attack Bike=165

4 Bikes, 2 Flamers, Attack Bike=165

4 Bikes, 2 Flamers, Attack Bike=165

10 Tactical Marines, Flamer, Multi-Melta, Drop Pod=205

5 Terminators, 3 TH/SS, 2LC/LC=200


When I read about unprepared eldar, and seizing objectives, I quickly decided on White Scars. Who else would have the speed to land on a planet, massacre cheap troops (Guardians), grab objectives and get out, within a short time frame, in a inhospitable country.

The plan would be to create an exit with the tac marines, guarding the ship, or thunderhawk, or whatever. The four bike squads together march towards the first objective, and a single bike squad peels off, to take it back to base after capturing it.
The Terminators are designed to be a rock that cannot be broken, as there is no avatar, or other heavy hitters. I drop them on the furthest objective, and force the enemy to deal with them while the rest of my army grabs objectives.
All of my troops are very fast, with the Drop Pod coming in T1, and the bikes using their fast speed to overwhelm defenses, and grab territory before the less well trained eldar even realize they are there. The terminators would simply be teleported down, to cause havok!

Poll Open: Feb 2010 Army List Challenge

The poll is now open to determine the winner of the Feb 2010 Army List Challenge. The theme was a 1250pt strike force on an un-prepared eldar craftworld. So, the question is this: which entry is the most effective army list that also best articulates the theme? Here's the choices:

Suneokun:

Demolition Force.

All infantry Demolitions Company lead by Sly Marbo ... he's led his favourite platoons onto the Eldar Craftworld without them knowing it. No vehicles ... this is pure blast template carnage. I fought Eldar for many many years, and the way to kill basic Eldar is simple - grenade launchers! S6 to kill the heroes and s3 scattering death for everyone else!

Command HQ, 4 Grenade Launchers
Command HQ, 4 Grenade Launchers

Sly Marbo

Platoon #1:
Platoon HQ: 4 GLs
Squad #1: Mortar and GL.
Squad #2: Mortar and GL.
5 Mortar Teams

Platoon #2:
Platoon HQ: 4 GLs
Squad #1: Mortar and GL.
Squad #2: Mortar and GL.
5 Mortar Teams

Total 1245 (choose a squad and give them krak grenades?)

Tactics: Yes that is 34 x pinning barrage S4 templates a turn ... Elf pate anyone? To top it off the 20 grenade launchers offer better move and fire possibilities for grabbing the objectives.


Anton:

No surprise to some I'll be choosing a chaos list,

Chaos Sorcerer:
Mark of Slaanesh
Termi Armour
Lash

Choosen:
6 man squad 3 flamers Mark of Slaanesh

Chaos Terminators:
3 man squad, 1 heavy flamer, 2 combi weapons (guess what flamers!)

Plague guard:
7 man squad, Flamer & Melta, Icon
7 man squad, flamer & melta, Icon
7 man squad, Flamer & melta, Icon

Noise marines:
5 man squad all with sonic blasters

9 summoned deamons

and that little lot comes to 1238

the idea would that choosen would support the death guard as they advance and sit on the objectives the noise marines blast the bejesus out of heavy weapon guardian squads,

the terminators would deepstrike either using the icons or just going for it causing havoc, and the sorcerer using lash to group the guardians togeather for the flamers to have max effect,

the summoned deamons would be the counter charge unit for units that got that little bit too close...


Chris:
Who better to attack an unsuspecting Eldar craftworld than the servants of She Who Thirsts?

I've gone for an all Slaanesh themed Chaos Space Marine force:

Lord, Mark of Slaanesh, Jump Pack, Pair of Lightning Claws 145

6 Chosen with Icon of Slaanesh, 5 flamers 153
6 Chosen with Icon of Slaanesh, 5 flamers 153

5 Noise Marines, 4 with Sonic Blasters, one with a Blastmaster, Noise Champion with Doom Siren 210

5 Noise Marines, 4 with Sonic Blasters, one with a Blastmaster, Noise Champion with Doom Siren 210

6 Raptors with Icon of Slaanesh, 2 with flamers 150
6 Raptors with Icon of Slaanesh, 2 with flamers 150

6 Summoned Lesser Daemons 78

Total 1249

I've kept everything in multiples of 6 for fluffy reasons, and tried to max out on flamers to cook up some lightly armoured Eldar.

The Chosen would have infiltrated the Craftworld ahead of the main force, and the Raptors and Lord would press forward using their jump packs to mash up some Guardians in close combat. The Noise Marines can quickly move and fire as they've got an array of Assault weaponry.

Not sure on the lesser daemons bit, but I had to points and couldn't fit anything else in. Game wise they're good, but I'd ahve thought an Eldar craftworld would be pretty well shielded from stuff coming from the warp.


SandWyrm:

Got lots of Eldar coming at you on foot, hiding behind their singing trees and carefully pruned lollipop plants? Drop the Promethium on them!

HQ
70 Primaris Psyker

Troops
155 Veteran Squad w/3 x Melta, Chimera (Hull Heavy Flamer)
155 Veteran Squad w/3 x Melta, Chimera (Hull Heavy Flamer)
115 Veteran Squad w/3 x Flamer, Demolitions

Fast Attack
140 Vendetta Gunship w/Heavy Bolter Sponsons
145 Hellhound w/Hull Multi-Melta
145 Hellhound w/Hull Multi-Melta

Heavy Support
165 Leman Russ Demolisher w/Hull Heavy Flamer
160 Leman Russ Eradicator w/Hull Heavy Flamer

Total: 1250

The Hellhounds and the Eradicator will hit their infantry hard with S6 AP4, denying them their dainty cover saves. While the Demolisher will wipe out any who are foolish enough to run into my line.

The Vendetta is there to kill whatever flower-painted vehicles they're able to bring at me. While the vets inside are ready to drop on their precious aspect warriors and wipe the xenos out in a single turn of flamer/demo template spam.

Once the Eldar's back is broken, the Chimeras will move forward and cleanse whatever heroes or vehicles survive the firestorm. Assuming they haven't run away. :)

Saturday, February 13, 2010

New GW Melbourne City Store

Today was the official opening day of / party for the new Games Workshop store in Melbourne, Vic (Australia). The new store (pictured) replaces the old one that was in the Melbourne Central shopping mall. The new location (Shop E9 Southern Cross Lane, Little Collins Street), however, is somewhat removed from the previous location; it doesn't have as many shops around it; and it is situated on a road (with a taxi rank outside - as can be seen!) rather than in the comfort of an indoor air-conditioned mall.

The first thing that strikes me about it was how light it felt. Compared to the old Brisbane city centre GW (which had dark painted walls and felt a bit dingy), this one is a breath of fresh air. (I should add that the Brisbane city GW moved late last year as well to a very nearby location that was much lighter and better lit).

The store itself is not that large. With all the people in there for the opening party (who were playing a game of Apocalypse), there wasn't too much room to move around inside. Regardless, on the opening day, they gave out cake and had a 3PM auction of random bits (e.g. a Black Templar Squad; green table top grass cloth; etc.) which was good. Whilst nowhere the size of a battle bunker (such as in Mt. Gravatt, Queensland), this one is a good addition to the GW fleet. But I can't help feeling that the location is sub-optimal for a city like Melbourne. Adelaide, Brisbane, Hobart, and Sydney city centre stores all have superior locations in my opinion (sorry, haven't been to the Perth one yet - it's a long way from the East coast and my business doesn't take me there all that often at all!). That's not to say it is a totally poor location with no redeeming features, it is just a bit of a hike uphill from the main shopping precincts in Melbourne.

Good luck Games Workshop Melbourne City!

Thursday, February 11, 2010

Top 10 Search Terms

A bit off-topic, but today I wanted to share with you the top 10 search terms / keywords from all search engines (as judged by Google Analytics "traffic sources") that lead to a web page on Warpstone Flux.

10) Typhus Tactics. I'm a little surprised by this one, as I wrote my article on Typus some time ago now and the photo isn't all that crash hot! Still, this Warpstone Flux page ranks as the number 1 entry if you search for those words with google.

9) Plague Marine Conversions. Third in the google list for results from this search term, the snail shell concept is only one such plague marine conversion that I've undertaken (more here and from link-within).

8) Beast of Nurgle. My tutorial on how to build beasts of Nurgle ranks 5th in the search results for beasts, but without actually explicitly mentioning "build" or "assemble" in the search term.

7) Daemon Name Generator. Perhaps a little surprising, it certainly indicates to me that people like to give names to their pet daemons ... especially the big ones. Ranks 5th on the results page.

6) Golden Daemon Varnish. Erm. Yeah. What the? Look, I've no idea where this one comes from. Moving swiftly along.

5) Dark Skin Daemonettes. Way down on the search results (rank 13th) -- on the second page of google search results no less, my daemonettes suggest that people are looking for alternatives to the pale purple paint schemes we see in the codex and White Dwarf. As can be seen from my squad picture, I have many different skin and clothing tones for my daemonettes.

4) Daemon Prince Base Size. Still a popular debate, the Warpstone Flux page on this topic is top of google's result page.

3) Assembling Noise Marines. It looks like I'm not the only one to struggle with this issue! Top of the google search results page for this phrase again.

2) Death Guard Army List. Perhaps not so surprising at all. People always want to read about solid army builds that have been used by others and to be recycled and copied. As of today, this search comes up second (behind bolter and chainsword) in the google search results page for these terms. However, it is only one of several Death Guard and general chaos space marine army lists that I've posted on Warpstone Flux over the years. I'm pleased with this result!

1) Warpstone Flux. Oh yes, if you search for "Warpstone Flux", then this blog is top of the search results page. Score! I'm sure some of these searches were by me at some point or other, but not all of them! This is the most popular search term that leads to a page on my blog!


And that's the end of the list! I'd love to hear from any other blog owners about what searches lead to their own sites and how it relates (or not!) to their content.

Other entries that I thought might have been higher included "painting bloodletters" at 16th; "how to assemble beasts of nurgle" at 27th; and "chariot of Tzeentch" at 40th. Perhaps I'll write up what search terms exist at the other end of the popularity scale one of these days. They're probably no less interesting, but for different reasons!

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

Hunter

This chaos space marine conversion was built primarily to explore the pose -- a "hunter" with a large spear as a close combat weapon.

The components consist of a loyalist marine (torso, head, bolt pistol arm, right arm stub, 1 shoulder pad), traitor marine (shoulder pad, power pack, legs, bolter) and a spear hand and arm from the WFB zombie boxed set. The zombie hand was pinned to the stub of the right arm using a small length of a paper clip and posed such that it looks like the marine is jogging along, pursuing some prey. Meanwhile, if you look closely at the left leg, you can see that I've totally removed the thigh and replaced it with a small number of bunched together paperclip lengths that are glued together.

The base consists primarily of Hirst Arts cast-off bits that didn't get used on other scenery projects, plus some plastic bits at the rear (just out of the line of sight due to the Hirst Arts bits).

As a final touch, I performed a bit of weathering on the marine by drilling in some bullet holes scattered around the miniature (e.g. the left shin). Overall, I like the feeling of this miniature. I may add it in to my long-planned Night Lords unit.

Monday, February 8, 2010

Army List Challenge Hall of Fame

Here it is: the Hall of Fame! Congratulations to all the winners and all the other entrants who have helped us to think about how to build effective and themed army lists through these challenges.

2012:
February: Suneokun

2011:
December: Fester
November: Quite_Thor
October: Ming from B&C
September: DimmyK
August: TheGraveMind and Cody J (joint winners)
June: CodyJ
May: Tenzing
April: TheGraveMind
March: Suneokun
February: David
January: AbusePuppy

2010:
DecemberDimmyK
June: TQA
May: Folkert
April: Suneokun and SandWyrm (joint winners)
March: SandWyrm
February: SandWyrm
January: Farmpunk

2009:
November: Gamers World and Suneokun (joint winners)
October: Heinz
September: Folkert
June: Erfunk
May: Chris
April: Suneokun

Note, this is a page that I will update as more Warpstone Flux Army List Challenges are issued and completed.

Sunday, February 7, 2010

New Format and Logo for Warpstone Flux

I felt that Warpstone Flux was showing its age and it was time that it got an over-due update. Hence, I've been messing around with several different types of templates over the past 48 hours to try to update this site to make it a little more modern.

I've finally settled on the present format and template that you now see. As well as updating the template, there's also a new logo to replace the distinctly retro-looking old one that has been here for the past 14 months. I hope you like it. It comes from NASA's Soho satellite (designed to observe our own Sun with). (Aside: The beauty of using NASA images is that they're all considered to be in the public domain). Comments and feedback welcome.

Saturday, February 6, 2010

Battle Summary: Death Guard vs. Necrons (1500 points)

Although the actual battle happened a little while ago, it was enough fun that I thought I'd write it up ... that, and I haven't posted a battle report in some time.

On this occasion, I used one of my standard Death Guard army lists.

HQ: Daemon Prince with mark of Nurgle, wings and Nurgle's Rot (165 pts)

Elites: Dreadnought with plasma cannon (105 pts)

Troops 1: Plague champion with power fist along with 6 other plague marines (1 melta gun, 1 flamer) in a rhino with a havoc launcher (266 pts)

Troops 2: (Identical to above): Plague champion with power fist along with 6 other plague marines (1 melta gun, 1 flamer) in a rhino with a havoc launcher (266 pts)

Troops 3: Plague champion with power fist along with 6 other plague marines (2 plasma guns) in a rhino with a havoc launcher (281 pts)

Heavy Support 1: Vindicator with daemonic possession (145 pts)

Heavy Support 2: Vindicator with daemonic possession (145 pts)

Heavy Support 3: Predator with autocannon, heavy bolter sponsons, havoc launcher and dozer blade (120 pts)

Total = 1493.


My opponent's necron army list was the following:

HQ: The Nightbringer (360 points)

Elites: 7 Immortals (196 points)

Troops 1: 10 Warriors (180 points)

Troops 2: 10 Warriors (180 points)

Troops 3: 10 Warriors (180 points)

Fast attack: 3 destroyers (150 points)

Heavy Support: Monolith (235 points)


My initial reaction: The Nightbringer and a Monolith...?!? Yikes!
Opponent's initial reaction: Three heavy support tanks...?!? Yikes!

The mission is to be played over 4 objectives with table-quarters set up. The tabletop is a rugged green (Lord of the Rings) style table. There are a number of hills and several woodland areas, coupled with a small ruin toward on side of the playing table. Below, I've used Battle Chronicler to try to depict the situation (along with a compass in the top left corner!). If you've not seen this application before, then check out their web site. It's pretty cool!
The four objectives are placed as follows:
one in each of our deployment corners (necrons choose north west corner, Death Guard in the south east corner), one on top of the central hill, and one in the ruins on the left hand side (west) edge.

Early Turns.
Everything but the monolith deploys on the necron's side. I choose to reserve everything. My opponent wins the die roll and chooses to go first. I think this gives me a bit of an edge personally. His troops move around: one set secures the objective in the corner and another secures the objective in the ruins. The C'Tan Nightbringer starts to cross the table, along side the destroyers. The other troops and the immortals stalk in the centre of the north west corner.
As my troops come on, I start to think through what I need to do. I aim to keep one lot of troops back to secure the south east corner corner objective, use another set to grab the central one and then think about contesting one of the others. Probably the one in the ruins. I don't really care about the one that is deep in their territory. Secondly, I'm going to completely ignore the monolith. Sure, its going to whack me around, but I've better targets to think about. And as for that C'Tan. Well. The aim there is to keep it occupied. So, I'm going to engage it with my dreadnought and possibly my daemon prince. I get two lots of my troops on the board early and one vindicator and the predator.
Despite some shooting in the early turns, nothing of much consequence happens!

Middle Turns.
I start to think that I've mis-calculated. I forgot that the Nightbringer can walk through walls (and hills). He strides toward my troops who are aiming for the central objective on the hill. The rhino transport readily gets smashed up. I manage to get one wound on it from a melta gun shot, but that's it.
The monolith comes on the table in turn 3 and sets about immobilizing my vindicator and blows up my predator. Ouch.

In exchange, my daemon prince deep strikes in near to the ruins on the west edge. After shooting up the necrons in the ruins (who promptly die and then get back up again), he charges in and slays 4 of them. Permanently. Although he does take one wound in return.

The immortals meanwhile whittle down the plague marines whose rhino was wrecked by the Nightbringer.

Late Turns.
By turn 5, it is looking like my daemon prince can hold his own on the ruins, successfully contesting the objective from the necron squad that he is taking on single-handedly. My central plague marines are destroyed and I move my dread in to place to keep the Nightbringer occupied. My second vindicator manages to immobilize the monolith (wow), but gets blown up for its trouble. I roll my third plague marine squad toward the centre, but it gets entangled with the immortals and shot up by my opponents destroyers.

When the game ends at the end of turn 5, we both have 1 objective each (in the corners). The Nightbringer is slaying my dreadnought slowly and the other plague marines are struggling with the immortals and destroyers. All my tanks are gone. My daemon prince wiped out the remaining necrons who were facing him though -- he's been a star!

After-thoughts
Well, I did manage to ignore the monolith for the most part. But it did tear through my tanks in next to no time! My mistake was not remembering that the C'Tan could move through scenery. If this was an annihilation mission, I would have lost by a good margin. As it was, I was lucky to get a draw. Perhaps I should have aimed for a phase-out victory instead?

Friday, February 5, 2010

Experiences of Running Chaos Spawn

Hands up. Who's ran Chaos Spawn in their chaos marine armies? Or faced them from the other side of the board? I don't mean turning enemy combatants in to a chaos spawn through a psychic power and toughness tests, but actually running chaos spawn as a part of their original army list.

As you can see from some of my historic army lists, I'm certainly not above such a tactic (especially since I purposely try to not play uber-kill-all-comers army lists in order to give some obvious concessions).

Many of the more experienced players that I face tend to treat the chaos spawn with a little surprise, but know how to handle it. It's not really too much of a significant threat and can be an easy (ish) kill point in annihilation missions given its lack of armour saving throw. Otherwise, in a non-annihilation mission, such experienced opponents tend to mostly ignore the chaos spawn until it comes too close and merits a little rapid fire.

But with some of my less experienced opponents, it generates a different kind of surprise. They tend to treat it as a bit of a fire magnet. Much in the same way that my daemon prince tends to attract a lot of unwanted (but well deserved!) attention. I confess to being a little fascinated by this latter reaction. Perhaps it is because spawn are large miniatures and look kind of intimidating and (therefore) bullet-worthy? Or maybe something else.

One thing that I've long wanted to try is running a whole load of spawn (i.e. go overboard with the number of spawn ... perhaps just like that crazy apocalypse formation). But then, I'm not sure its worth the financial investment versus how often I'll use them! So it'll remain just a crazy idea.

Thursday, February 4, 2010

Tyranid scenery from the New Codex

So, I've been having a closer look at some of the pictures in the new Tyranid codex. In particular, I've been looking at some of the towers / spires -- the ones with the teeth sticking out of them. If you inspect them closely enough, it becomes apparent that they're all the same cast with all the intiricate details being exactly the same on each of them.

To be specific: I'm suggesting that they're all from the same mould / production process; just painted a little bit differently and photographed with different light conditions / directions. On the back page of the codex, I count at least 10 of theses toothed monstrosities reaching for the sky. Hence they've been mass produced prior to the release of the codex.

I'm wondering if these gems are going to be released by Games Workshop at some point in the future, in much the same way that we saw the fortress of redemption released? Has anyone seen them anywhere else? Just a random thought :)

Tuesday, February 2, 2010

Feb 2010 Army List Challenge

Welcome to the February 2010 Army List Challenge. As with all the Warpstone Flux Army List Challenges, this one is meant to get you thinking about how to design themed and effective army lists to take on a specific scenario or challenge in Warhammer 40k games. There are no prizes, just kudos and honour!

Overview of the Challenge
Those sneaky eldar! They've used their cunning and manipulative ways to grab important (artifacts / data crystals / energy dumps / wraithbone / biomass) from one of your (colony worlds / daemon planet / tomb world / hive fleets) and you need it back! There's nothing for it: you'll have to assemble a strike team to go in to the eldar's craftworld.

The game is a standard game played over 3 objectives with table quarters deployment. Your opposition is craft world eldar. They have not had time to awaken their avatar to take on your strike team, however. They have plenty of guardians available, but only a few squads of aspect warriors - you have taken them by surprise! The game lasts 5 turns, after which you must evacuate with your objectives before the avatar awakes and more aspect warriors outnumber you.

Rules.
(1) Design a 1250 points army list strike-team to take on an unprepared eldar craft world in this objective based mission. Your opponent has been taken by surprise, so is unable to bring most of his heavy hitters to the table.
(2) Post you army list as a comment to this challenge posting and suggest why they're well suited to this mission. In particular, note that the action will take place on a craft world rather than a plantary surface and suggest why your team would be well-suited to striking swiftly at an un-prepared eldar craft world.
(3) On Feb 15th, a poll will open for Warpstone Flux readers to vote on which entry is 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 Feb 22nd.

Good luck!

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