Thursday, May 31, 2012

Wargames Gallery: Scouts in Chaos Terrain

Deep in the hostile terrain of a chaos-held Moon, scouts from the Blood Ravens space marines chapter hold off an assault of heretics with some well placed sniping bolstered by a missile launcher.

Monday, May 28, 2012

6th on the way and Burning Scenery

The old 5th edition rulebook is now no longer available through Games Workshop online retail.  This can only mean that the 6th edition will be on its way very soon.  Coupled with the rules in White Dwarf about the flyers, new chaos marines, Dark Angels on the spine of White Dwarf (etc.): there's a lot of change in the air at the moment.  

The snippet of information that I've been liking most is the possibility of flamer weapons setting alight scenery pieces.  Although there have been some arbitrary rules about things like this for some time (cf. the Battle Missions book), having this canonised in rule form for all to have access to is good.  I'm hoping the flamer will become a tactic in its own right: multiple units of chaos marines that really are making the galaxy burn one building at a time!  Consider this: units of chosen advancing behind a screen of flames until they're ready to unleash some hidden power weapons... well: I can dream anyway.

Sunday, May 27, 2012

Dear Alpharius (vol.II)

Dear Alpharius,

In my earlier letter to you, I talked of the dichotomy of your schemes: of Corax, of subversion of whole worlds to Horus and more.

Now it would seem that this is being played out more fully: you are moving against thy self; you have a serpent within as well as without.  And perhaps other serpents yet hidden beneath.  Wheels within wheels to which you nor I know the full details of.  Hydra dominatus hydra: the centre conflicting with the core.  The Scars have been set moving.

That said, I seek to establish the connection between your good self and your other good self.  Do you know of each others minds?  Does the soul connection also connect thy minds, or are we divided against the whole?  Divided loyalties; secrets and lies.

Being the latter, I trust that the triple paradox found within the serpent within can be extrapolated.  For the first, is it that we must support the enemy to result in the final victory?  For the second, that we must simultaneously aim for the opposite?  Just in case?  In which case the third justifies the divide against the self?  Of us all?  Or perhaps there yet exists a "third way" we need to establish?  And divided is the sole way forward and onward.  Or truly we divide.

Your Loyal Servant,

Saturday, May 26, 2012

Battle Report: Crimson Fists vs. Black Templars

Crimson Fists vs. Black Templars (a Wasp Campaign report via Chuck Thunder)
Mission: In the thick of it (primary targets), Humiliation (secondary targets)
Deployment: Pitched Battle

Crimson Fists list 1226pt:
Pedro Kantor, 175pt
Tactical squad (10 man), flamer, lascannon, power fist  205pt
Tactical squad (10 man), flamer, lascannon, power fist  205pt
Sternguard veterans (5 man), power fist, 3xcombi-plasma, 2xcombi-melta 175pt +Infiltrate +BS1
Razorback, twin-linked lascannon, dozer blade 85pt
Devestator squad (6 man), 2xplasma cannon, 2xmissile launcher 186pt
Drop pod, deathwind missile launcher 55pt
Ironclad Dreadnaught, close combat weapon, seismic hammer, meltagun, heavy flamer 145pt

Black Templar list 1276pt:
Emperors Champion, Vows: Accept any challenge, no matter the odds 140pt
Marshal, power weapon, storm bolter,iron halo, artificer armour, melta bomb, frag grenade 151pt
Sword Brethren Terminator squad (5 man), power fists, storm bolters, 2x cyclone missile launchers, tank hunters 265pt
Sword Brethren squad (5 man), pair of lightning claws, power weapon, furious charge, frag and krak grenades 150pt
Rhino, smoke launcher 53pt
Crusader squad (5 initiates), lascannon, plasma gun 101pt
Crusader squad (5 initiates), lascannon, plasma gun 101pt
Predator Anihilator, power of the machine spirit 175pt
Land speeder Typhoon 70pt
Land speeder Typhoon 70pt

With three primary targets to take down the Crimson fists chose to immobilise the Black Templar, knowing of their might in close combat. They targetted the rhino and both land speeders. The Black Templar targetted the razorback, sternguard veterans and the chapter master Kantor, a plan that backfired when the Crimson Fists decided to bring the veterans in from reserve in their transport. The Crimson Fists won the initiative and chose to deploy first, setting up a firing line largely protected by cover. The Black Templar also made use of cover where possible, hiding the fast vehicles and rhino behind buildings, and the initiates using their predator for cover.

Turn 1:
The Crimson Fists drop pod descended deep into the heart of Black Templar territory, landing between a rhino and land speeder and releasing the ironclad dreadnaught inside, which immediately unleashed its armour piercing melta gun, dropping a land speeder (1st primary objective).  Concerned with the grunt inside the Black Templar rhino, the Fists bombarded it with lascannon, plasma and krak missiles, but the transport made it through unscathed.  The rhino and remaining land speeder moved clear of the mighty deadnaught, allowing the tank-hunting terminators bring it to its knees with krak missiles and a barrage of storm bolter fire.  With no other vehicle to shoot at, the Black Templar aimed their heavy arsenal of lascannons at the tactical squad led by Kantor, but the Emperor was favouring Kantor and his men, and the casulties were minimal.

Turn 2:

Still adament on stopping the Templar's charge, all heavy fire was aimed at their rhino, which withstood more than imaginable, before finally succumbing to multiple plasma cannon blasts (2nd primary objective).  Black Templar lascannon fire zipped across the battlefield in the direction of Kantor, but they must have angered the Machine God, as they yield little damage.

Turn 3:

The Crimson Fists sensed the opportunity left by the misfiring Templar, and called in their legendary sterngurd veterans from reserve.  They attempted to outflank their opponents, but did so from the wrong side of the battlefield, leaving them short of firing range.  Kantor, seeing this misjudgment calls in an orbital bombardment, taking out 2 terminators.  His tactical squad and the devastators drop 2 more.  Stunned by the fall of their battle brothers, the Black Templar sword brethren forget to advance.  Their multitude of lascannon fire is again deflected, this time by the approaching razorback, before it is shaken by a krak missile.  A squad of initiates reduce Kantor's tactical squad to 2 men.

Turns 4 and 5:

Confident with the swing in momentum, Kantor moves to higher ground to re-assess the battle.  A combination of plasma and krak destroy the Black Templar predator, and immobilise their remaining land speeder, but can't manage to destroy it.  The Crimson Fists razorback withstands another barrage, protecting the sternguard within, who never reach the frontline to disembark.  The Templar initiates and sword brethren charge forward for a final hurrah, but don't manage to reach any primary objectives.

Final Result: Crimson Fists Victory

Crimson Fists: 6pts 
Black Templar: 3pts

Friday, May 25, 2012

Price Increases

Looks like GW are increasing their prices if the post from BoLS is to be believed.  Whilst an annual increase is not an issue for me personally, the steep rise of some of the prices is.  In particular, the percentage increases are above what might have been expected given the general state of the global economy coupled with "disposable" income. 

So, I'm saving up for the new chaos codex!  I feel the pain of the horde army players and painters out there.  Perhaps small elite forces are the way forward for me now.

Tuesday, May 22, 2012

Battle Report: Blood Ravens vs. Chaos space marines

Mission: Primary targets, Humiliation
Deployment: Spearhead

Blood Ravens (space marine) list 1150pt:
Librarian, Plasma pistol, Null zone, Avenger 115pt
Tactical squad (10 man), Veteran: Infiltrate, meltagun, multi-melta, combi-melta 185pt
Scouts squad (5 man), Camo cloaks, missile launcher, Sniper rifles 100pt
Sternguard veterans (5 man), Power fist, combi-plasma, upgrade: +1BS 175pt
Rhino, H/K missile 45pt
Assault terminators (5 man), Thunder hammer and storm shields, Bastion upgrade: Fleet 200pt
Predator, autocannon, lascannon sponsons, H/K missile 130pt
Grey knights Purifier squad (5 man), Psycannon, Nemesis force halberds x 3, Master-crafted Nemesis Daemon hammer 146pt.
Grey knights rhino, dozer blade 45pt
Chaos space marine list 1250pt:
Daemon Prince, Mark of Nurgle, Wings, Doombolt (160 points)
Daemon Prince, Wings (130 points)

5 plague marines, 1 flamer, 1 melta, 1 plague champion with powerfist (170 points)
5 plague marines, 1 flamer, 1 melta, 1 plague champion with powerfist (170 points)

1 Rhino with Havoc Launcher (50 points)
1 Rhino with Havoc Launcher (50 points)
1 Rhino with Havoc Launcher (50 points)

1 obliterator (75 points)
1 obliterator (75 points)
Chaos Vindicator, Daemonic Possession (145 points)

9 Genestealers, 1 broodlord (172)

With the forces of chaos rapidly gaining ground on Wasp’s moon and the weakening of the Black Templar presence due to their unwelcome inquiry into Blood Raven loyalty, it was time for the Blood Ravens to move against the heretics.
The mission was to strike quick and true against primary targets so as to weaken the enemy for future major engagements. Also, striking at the revered heroes of the enemy to humiliate and weaken their resolve is always a good thing!
Being spread thin by their large territory control the Blood ravens called upon the aid of the Ordo Malleus. Fortunately the Grey knights obliged by sending a detachment of Purifiers to help control the Chaos presence.
The Heretics had plans of their own, unleashing a group of genestealers from their bonds to harvest Loyalist geneseed.
Both armies with a wealth of resources behind them had several Command bastion bonuses and Initiative bonuses from their power plants. The Blood Ravens won initiative and managed to avoid having it seized after deploying first. Blood Ravens deployed in a very forward wedge, the infiltrating tactical squad and scout squad taking up dug in positions on their flanks. The forces of chaos responded with very forward positions also hoping to get the jump on the loyalists. The Genestealers were unleashed behind the Blood Ravens lines, looking to catch them by surprise and keep them from lashing out at their chaos captors.

Turn 1:
“With Me brothers, Advance!” Shout the Blood Ravens assault terminators as they charge forward toward the foe. Unleashing a volley from the Predators guns an obliterator is vaporized (1 secondary target). The dug in scouts and tactical marines opened up their guns on the horrifying demon princes taking a wound off each. Librarian Zaphel sensing a disturbance in the warp ordered his rhinos’ driver to move to the back of the Blood Ravens lines at full speed. He and the Sternguard veterans accompanying him disembark to see a disturbing sight, Genestealers! Unleashing the power of the warp the Librarian burned 3 with his Avenger ability. All but a wounded Broodlord remained after the Sternguard opened up on them with Hellfire rounds. The Grey knights advanced toward their quarry lashing out with Psycannon and storm bolter but failed to remove another wound from the closest demon prince.
In reprisal, the Heretics opened up with Vindictor blast and plasma from a disembarking plague marine squad to stop the advancing Terminators killing 2. The Demon princes advanced but failed to make close combat, The Grey knights rhino was wrecked by a well placed lascannon shot from the obliterator atop a whirl of warp energy, The purifiers were quick to disembark taking cover behind the wreck of their transport. The Brood lord charged the Librarian and his veterans seeking geneseed, and he tasted a little of Librarian Zaphel but was cut down soon after. Whilst the havoc launchers from all 3 chaos rhinos killed 4 of the dug in tactical squad, but they held their ground.  
Turn 2:
Their job done, Librarian Zaphel and his Sternguard re-embark their Rhino and move back toward the fray popping smoke launchers for cover. The Assault Terminators perform a daring multi-charge into the Vindicator and the disembarked Plague marine squad. Destroying the Vindictor (1 primary Target down) and killing a Plague marine. The tactical marines concentrated fire on the too close for comfort demon prince and removed yet another wound. Meanwhile, the Predator focused all its firepower on the other demon prince reducing it to 1 wound and the scouts finished the wounded demon off (2 primary targets down). Finally the Grey knights found their quarry, they advanced on the second wounded demon prince and readily put it down (3rd and last primary target) before it had a chance to react, then moved toward their next foe.

Battered and bruised the remaining chaos forces continued their advance. Hammering the dug in Tactical squad yet again with havoc launcher missiles and a plasma cannon round from the “floating” obliterator.  They were forced to break and began their retreat toward the game board edge, the second plague marine squad disembarked their rhino next to the purifiers and opened fire slaying two. In the ensuing melee 2 more plague marines were reduced to pulp and pus by the Terminators thunder hammers.

Turn 3:
Forced to continue their fall back due to the proximity of the enemy, the tactical marine squad retreated from the board (1 Primary target to chaos). The Predator lined the floating obliterator up and removed it from existence (2 secondary targets down). With a volley of stormbolter fire and following assault the remaining Purifiers wiped out the nearby plague marines (3rd and last secondary target down). The Assault terminators slew the last plague marine and moved on. Disembarking their rhino once again, the Sternguard and Librarian opened up with plasma on a nearby chaos rhino removing its weapons and immobilizing it. Meanwhile, with a missile the scouts stunned a second rhino.
With only one rhino to move, chaos withdrew. A massacre victory was awarded to the Blood Ravens given the state of the battlefield.  Chaos did kill two of their secondary objectives (but we cannot recall what they were…)

Sunday, May 20, 2012

Currency Conversion

Following on from showing that the cost of my Death Guard army has risen nearly seven per sent in some one and a half years, I thought it might be illuminating to also cost the same products in Australian Dollars.  I'll do this in two ways: simply converting directly using an exchange rate, and computing the cost if I'd purchased the same parts through Australia's arm of Games Workshop.

Firstly, let's have a look at the cost of the parts in AUD, bought directly from the outlets.  Of these items, the plague ogryn and the dreadnought are the only items not sold directly in AUD, so I'm forced to use an exchange rate for those (0.6 UKP to 1 AUD).

Daemon Prince -- a forge world plague ogryn (32 AUD) combined with dragon wings (17 AUD)

Dreadnought from Forge World -- 45 AUD (body), + 12.50 AUD (left arm), + 12.50 AUD (plasma cannon)

3 squads of 7 plague marines in rhinos. Assuming they're just basic chaos marines, that's 3 boxed sets (3 x 62 AUD) and 3 rhinos (3 x 55 AUD).

1 predator (83 AUD).

2 Vindicators (2 x 83 AUD).

That's a total of 719 AUD.

This compares with 290.65 UKP that I computed yesterday.  If I use an exchange rate of 0.6 UKP to every 1AUD, then this would amount to 484.4 AUD.  Only if the exchange rate were more like 2005 ish rates, (i.e. 0.4 UKP to every 1 AUD) then the prices would be about the same. So at present, I'm spending about 200 AUD more than I have to it seems here in Australia.  Food for thought!

Saturday, May 19, 2012

Cost of an Army in 2012

Inevitably, talk of price rises abound at this time of year.  So, I wanted to return to my own armies and see how much they'd cost to build up these days.  In 2010, I posted a costing of a 1500 points Death Guard / Plague Marine centric army.  Today, I want to return to that post to see how times have changed (and if I'd build it slightly differently).  I'll use UKP rather than AUD or USD in this analysis.

Daemon Prince -- a forge world plague ogryn (19 UKP) combined with dragon wings (6.15 UKP)

Dreadnought from Forge World -- 27 UKP (body), + 7.50 UKP (left arm), + 7.50 UKP (plasma cannon)

3 squads of 7 plague marines in rhinos. Assuming they're just basic chaos marines, that's 3 boxed sets (3 x 23 UKP) and 3 rhinos (3 x 20.50 UKP).

1 predator (31 UKP).

2 Vindicators (2 x 31 UKP).

Would I build it differently?  Perhaps some Forge world death guard bits, probably finecast plague marines (because bubbles in finecast don't truly matter for plague marines in my humble opinion), and of course, I'd be changing the army list around a bit ... based on the new codex of course (whenever it shows up).

The grand total for the above comes to 290.65.
This compares to 272.50 in September 2010.  That's an increase of 6.6% over 1.5 years.  I don't believe that my disposable income has scaled at the same rate as that though.  So, as with other folks in this hobby, I'll be more discerning about what I'm buying when the new chaos codex warps to us.

Thursday, May 17, 2012

Wargames Gallery: Obliterator Vantage Point

Sat on top of an acrane fulcrum on a chaos-possessed Moon, the obliterator takes advantage of the great line of sight afforded to him to take pot shots at the Imperial hounds who dare assail these taken lands.

Monday, May 14, 2012

Cratered Table Basecoat

Following a thorough texturing, I under coated my new cratered gaming table with an acrylic black paint mixed with hints of browns, purples and reds.  The reason for multiple colours was to create a greater volume of "black".  If you've ever conducted a chromatography test in high school chemistry, you'll be aware that the colour black is actually made up of copious amounts of other colours.  Hence adding these other colours to increase the volume of black available is a viable option if one is a little short of black paint!

For the base coat, I went with the original plan of something that is vaguely Martian looking.  Hence, using a mixture of red, brown and orange, I dabbed away at the board in large swipes and stippled (jabbed) along the none-textured region to avoid an obvious brush stroke showing up in the paint work.   I'm very happy with the appearance of the board so far, but I need at least to touch up some highlights on the board and add some fine detail before its finished off.

The interior of the craters has not yet been base coated.  The simple reason is that I'm uncertain what colour they should be.  Are they a lighter or darker tone than their surroundings?  I guess that it could be either given the (volcanic) history of the planet in question, but I wanted to do a bit more research before committing to a certain colour. 

Sunday, May 13, 2012

Genestealer with Feeder Tendrils

In common with other tyranid organisms, genestealers can exhibit a wide variety of adaptations and mutations.  In that regard, tyranids appeal to me as much as chaos does.  One of the more common adaptations are the feeder tendrils (as the old tyranid codex labelled them).  In the new tyranid codex, they do not serve any in-game purpose other than perhaps marking out Ymgral genestealers, but they can certainly add a degree of uniquness to a brood of genestealers that otherwise look similar.

The image is one of a batch of genestealers that I'm preparing to model and paint up for our continuing Wasp Campaign.  In that campaign, we're using *liberal* allies.  And since the old genestealer patriarch from rogue trader days sat on a throne with a chaos symbol on it, I thought "why not?". 

So, the only question remaining is what colour scheme should chaos-aligned tyranids be painted in?  What hive fleet might ally itself with a dark power? 

Saturday, May 12, 2012

How Slaanesh is infiltrating the Olympics?

Did you hear the one about the 2012 Olympics and Slaanesh? It would seem that Slaanesh has loaned some sonic weapons to the organizers.  Or perhaps in the pursuit of perfection, the Emperor's Children have decided that they're going to show Terra how good they are at, ...well, everything.

Pet theories not withstanding, it was this BBC online article that caught my eye.  It concerns how "sonic weaponry" is being deployed in London for security and announcements during the 2012 Olympics.

Thursday, May 10, 2012

Wednesday, May 9, 2012

Wasp Campaign: Round 3 Prologue

As round three approaches, the campaign board has got tight: all of the available land space has been claimed by the various factions and many of the tiles have had upgrade built upon them.  The Blood Ravens are out in front in terms of the sheer amount of land that they've claimed, but have they over-expanded?  The spread thin rule means that they will be at a disadvantage compared to all of the other players.

In round three, the battles will be as follows:

(A) Black Templar (1275pt) vs. Crimson Fists (1225pt)
(B) Blood Ravens (1150pt) vs. Chaos Space Marines (1250pt)
(C) Orks (1200pt) vs. Dark Eldar (1175pt)

The uneven points reflect the spread thin rule, as well as the number of manufactoria held by each player. Interestingly, this round pitches both players without a loss (Blood Ravens and Chaos) against each other, and both players without a win (Black Templars and Crimson Fists) against each other.  But the one that I'm most interested in seeing the result of is the Orks vs the Dark Eldar -- that is going to be an interesting contest given how both of those armies have been operating.

Can the Blood Ravens resist the temptations of Chaos?
Are the Crimson Fists doing as good a job of defending the hive city as the Black Templars think they should?
Are the Ork boyz going to Waaaaarrrgh?  Do Dark Eldar like Ork souls less or more than others?  These and other questions may be settled in round 3....

Tuesday, May 8, 2012

Wasp Campaign: Round 2 results

In round 2 of the Wasp Campaign, the players scored the following points:

Blood Ravens 8 -- 3 Black Templars
Dark Eldar 3 -- 7 Chaos
Orks 7 -- 3 Crimson Fists

The Blood Ravens expanded even more, but the orks and chaos made little or no inroads (squabbling amongst themselves over a spaceport).  All of the players generally chose to reinforce their squads and tile positions.

Monday, May 7, 2012

Battle Report: Orks vs. Crimson Fists

From round 2 of the Wasp Campaign via cosec:

Mission: Battle Missions: Pillage (aka Resource harvesting), with 4 collection points
Deployment: Spearhead

Orks (1275 points) vs.  Crimson Fists (1150 points) -- the points disparity is due to the empires held and the spread thin rule.

Pre-game: The emergent Ork Waaagh! on WASP-987c has so far failed to gain momentum, following the decisive actions of the Blood Ravens in round 1.

The Crimson Fists, following in the steps of their Adeptus brothers moved in to crush the Orks yet again, attempting to remove the Ork blight from the West side of Wasp.

The emergent Waaagh! had attracted more orks from across the planet than last time, as more orks became aware of, and rushed to fight under the banner of Warboss Gutzspilla.

It was into these superior numbers that the Crimson Fists charged, bringing all their might to bear on this immense horde. The Crimson Fists brought an immense arsenal of heavy weaponry, including their newly requisitioned Whirlwind Missile Launcher. Pedro Kantor knew full well that he would need to bring his largest ordnance weapons if he was to stem the Ork horde.

The Orks saw the Crimson Fists slowly marching towards them, but elected to hide their numbers for as long as possible, choosing to deploy second. The battle was fought amidst the cratered landscape left behind from an earlier battle, littered with broken imperial buildings. Pedro Kantor and his Crimson Fists approached from one corner of the game board and quickly set up heavy weapons in the old buildings, whilst deploying their Whirlwind well behind their lines. The Ironclad Dreadnought that had fought boldy for the Crimson Fists in past battles waited excitedly for the battle to begin - he had been granted use of a drop pod, and eagerly anticipated flying in from the heavens to smite the orks.

Seeing such a devastating array of firepower gave the orks something of a shock. Most of them brazenly deployed in craters or behind barricades, whilst the Deff Dreads, Killa Kans and Trukks deployed on the flanks of the army, ready to provide cover as the ork horde swarmed forward. The Orks were led by one of Gutzspilla's key generals, Warboss Stabbyface, who, even though mounted on a warbike, cowardly deployed underneath some ruins. He however argued it was prudent, because he had a great fear of Pedro Kantor's Orbital Bombardment.

After deployment, a cunning unit of Devastators who had developed a knack for infiltration deployed in the centre of the battleground, holding one resource point. Simultaneously, an Ork Deffkopta turbo-boosted quickly onto an objective. Being a rather lazy fellow, he didn't move any further than this throughout the battle.

Turn One 
The battle began decisively for the crimson fists, with them throwing every possible pound of firepower at the Orks. Pedro ordered an Orbital Bombardment, which destroyed the Ork Trukk carrying the 'Ard Boys, and one Killa Kan. Lascannon fire immobilised another can. Whirlwind fire bathed the slugga mob in incendiary ammo, and pinning them until the next turn. The Ironclad dreadnaught arrived from orbit in its drop pod, and wrecked the Deff Dread with its meltagun. The Ard' Boys that had been in the trukk were blasted by the devastators, but fortunately passed their morale test.

Meanwhile, one squad of tactical marines ran for an objective, not quite making it all the way.

The Ork response to this barrage of fire was quite pitiful, the green-skin horde thoroughly embarrassed by being caught with its pants down by enemy fire. The Warboss turbo-boosted away quickly, hoping to make the most of his cover save. The remaining trukk sneakily hid behind a building hoping to outflank Pedro, and shoota fire took out one devastator.

Points from this round/Total points - Orks 2/2, Crimson Fists 1/1

Turn Two:
The crimson fists launched into the next phase of the battle with confidence. Torrents of bolter fire rained down upon the orks, as the devastator squad shot to pieces every remaining 'ard boy. The ironclad launched a barrage of close range flamer and melta weaponry on the remaining useful killa kan, exploding it easily. Lascannon and sternguard bolter fire managed to cause one wound on the warboss, who was threateningly poised to assault Pedro and his unit. Meanwhile, one tactical squad quickly sneaked around the side of the battlefield and secured an objective.

The Orks were however heartened by the scatter of this rounds whirlwind fire, and perhaps viewing it as a sign that they should attack with vigour, launched a strong assault on the space Marines. One deffkopta turbo boosted to the crimson fists table quarter, whilst the remaining trukk moved 12 inches to bring its cargo of nobz close to the tactical marine line. The slugga boys moved threateningly towards the dreadnought, seeking power klawed glory, whilst the shootas brought a wave fire down upon the devastators, killing one, and even spooking them into retreating off the objective due to their low squad members. Excited by the possibility of combat, at the beginning of shooting, Warboss Stabbyface screamed WAAAGH! thrilling the horde which joined in his chorus. The nobz ran and assaulted the tactical Marines, winning convincingly before consolidating onto the objective formerly held by the devastators. Warboss Stabbyface charged at Pedro, unleashing all his Power-Klawed might at the Crimson Fists commander (in particular trying to stab his face!). This suicidal manoeuvre cost him his life, but he caused instant death to Pedro also, somewhat redeeming him for his earlier cowardice.

Finally, the Slugga Boys near the dreadnought assaulted. The Dreadnought took out two boys, before a power-klawed nob dug into his armour, causing him to explode, a process which killed a couple more boys, who died quite happily, knowing they were still able to use their 6+ armour save!

Points from this round/Total points - Orks 2/4, Crimson Fists 1/2

Turns Three, Four and Five:
From this point, the battle became a lot more quiet. The orks sat on their objectives whilst being harassed by space marine shooting. Despite the valiant efforts of the space marines, there were just too many orks to shoot, and they had all managed to find some cover. Notable moments however came when the Sternguard Veterans ripped into an Ork Trukk, destroying it with Melta bombs, and then proceeded to shoot to pieces all they could of the remaining slugga mob. The Whirlwind missile launcher also rained down havoc from the sky, killing Orks, but not killing enough.

Turn three: Points from this round/Total points - Orks 3/7, Crimson Fists 1/3
Turn four: Points from this round/Total points - Orks 3/10, Crimson Fists 1/4
Turn five (final score): Points from this round/Total points - Orks 3/13, Crimson Fists 1/5

A great game was enjoyed by both players. The initial two rounds were quite epic. The first round definitely belonged to the Crimson Fists, eliminating all of the Orks heavy support, whilst the Ork assaults in round two changed the game back into the Orks favour. Some bad luck definitely hit the space marines when the devastators retreated from their objective, which helped the Orks secure a commanding hold early in the game. The later rounds were comparatively quiet, with the Orks happy to hold the objectives and win on points.

Sunday, May 6, 2012

Cratered Gaming Table Progress

After gluing the craters, tiles, styrene sheet and tyranid bits in to place, I started work on creating the texture of the gaming board.  The goal here is for something slightly Martian, or barren world / asteroid.  Whilst the final colour may not be red, the idea is to have a gaming board that is representative of a cratered world. To achieve a good texture basis, I used a lumpy composition of polyfilla mixed with grit and water.  Some of the polyfilla in the image is slightly a different colour: this is due to a different compound being used and a little bit of brown paint added in for good measure.  Although I'm aware that if my painted polyfilla chips it'll reveal the underlying colour, I figured that it'd take too much paint and trial and error to achieve a colour match with the eventual overcoat.  

After the texturing using the polyfilla, I used three different grains of sand (with PVA glue): a very coarse grain that I used next to the primary ridges and adjoint to the craters, a finer (red) sand for the main part, and a very fine (black) sand grain to complete the effect.  Noticeable in the image is that I've tried to stick the sand grains on one side of the craters to make them feel like a wind-swept planetary surface.  

I will probably use a bit more polyfilla on the lower board to create about the same percentage of texture coverage as the upper board in the image before progressing to a painting stage.  But overall, I'm happy with this level of detail so far.

Friday, May 4, 2012

Battle Report: Dark Eldar vs. Chaos Marines

Round 2 of the Wasp Campaign saw my Chaos Space Marines being challenged by Anthony's Dark Eldar forces. We're both after resources to better our supply lines.  We're both keen to get superiority over the other ... in the event of an evil alliance later on (mwa ha ha!).

Mission: Battle Missions: Pillage (also known as "Resource harvesting"), 3 collection points.
Due to the rules and the current campaign situation, the points levels are not equal, so my marines have a slight advantage.  I've also got more power generators which gives me important advantages and as a result, I get first turn.

Dark Eldar Army List (1100 points):
Succubus with agonizer (85)
Haemonculous, scissor hands, liquifier gun (75)
4 Incubi (88) with raider (60)
10 kalibites with shredder, darklance (120)
9 kalibites with syrabite, blaster (106) with raider (60)
9 wyches, shardnet and impaler, syren, agonizer, haywire grenades (148) with raider (60)
Ravager gunship with night shields and flicker field (125)
6 jetbikes with 2 cluster caltrops (172)

Chaos Space Marines (1150 points):
Daemon Prince, Wings (130 points)
Dreadnought, plasma cannon (105 points)
5 plague marines, 1 flamer, 1 melta, 1 plague champion with powerfist (170 points)
5 plague marines, 1 flamer, 1 melta, 1 plague champion with powerfist (170 points)
1 Rhino with Havoc Launcher (50 points)
1 Rhino with Havoc Launcher (50 points)
6 Chaos raptors, 1 aspiring champion with power fist, 2 meltas (180 points)
1 obliterator (75 points)
1 obliterator (75 points)
Chaos Vindicator, Daemonic Possession (145 points)

Set up: There are four buildings (roughly one in each table quarter) and five craters (in a "plus" shaped pattern across the table).  The three objectives are set up with two in opposite buildings and the third next to the crater in my deployment zone.  

Turns 1 and 2.
I open up with a volley lethal enough to whack several of the Dark Eldar's vehicles with the obliterators whom I've set up inside the buildings.  Sadly for me, armour penetration rolls are all ones.  Doh.  I advance my flying troops (raptors and a daemon prince).  I manage to get about one kill in the first turn overall due to my dreadnought, which isn't really good enough.  My vindicator is useless.  The plague marines set up in the building with the objective so that at least I can score points (1 per turn per objective as per the mission rules), whilst the second marine squad sits in their rhino behind the vindicator, jealously guarding a second objective.  The dark eldar keep to this buildings on the opposite side of the table -- I think I'm going to need a flamer over there eventually.
In their turn, the dark eldar move to meet my raptors as pictured below.  Sadly for my raptors, they're little match for the high initiative of the deadly dark eldar.  They're annihilated in one turn.  Flat.  But I think I can turn that to my advantage.  The dreadnought cannot be hurt by the dark eldar that slew the raptors, and -- thanks to their charge -- are in range for a counter-charge of my own.

Meanwhile, the daemon prince laughs off the puny shooting of the dark eldar HQ's squad.  Things are swimmingly over on that side of the board.  Even my plague marine squad manages one kill on that squad from their comfortable place sitting on top of the objective.  The vindicator finishes off the job before the daemon prince needs to get too involved.  Sadly for me, the vindicator goes up in smoke the next turn from a well placed dark lance.  Boom!  Why did the die roll ones for me on the first turn?!  Darn!
Turns 3 and 4.
I execute my plan and get my dreadnought in to combat with opponents that cannot hurt it back.  Sadly, all the attacks miss, or fail to wound.  Yet more ones on my die rolls are stuffing up my plan!  Still, the dreadnought is happy to sit pretty (or ugly?) for the rest of combat - secure that nothing bad can happen to it.

The jet-bikes launch their assault and skim over the daemon prince -- taking several wounds off him.  A few shots later and the daemon prince meets its maker.  I can't let those jet bikes live, so I target them with several well placed havoc launcher shots and a rapid fire from the plague marine squad that was sat behind the (now smoky) vindicator.

Meanwhile, my dreadnought finally finishes the job and moves right along.  But singularly fails to blow up the ravager gunship with its plasma cannon.  What is it with my dreadful vehicle damage rolls today?  Still an immobile ravager is an okay result.  Next turn, I'll be able to charge it and hit automatically!

The obliterators, meanwhile, continue to decimate the opposition.  There are very few dark eldar troops left, and only the ravager by this stage.  I decide that I've now got enough pillage points from sitting pretty on my two objectives that I can move the marine squads away from their objectives and try for the massacre.  

Turn 5.
The dreadnought destroys the ravager with ease in close combat, but gets blasted to bits in the next turn.  

The plague marines really suffer as they approach the kalibite held building (and objective).  The liquifier guns roll 1 for armour penetration for the second consecutive turn, reducing my squad to two marines.  A return flamer shot reduces the kalibites down to four men (or women?).

Simultaneously, my second plague marine squad moves up to where the first one used to be -- on the objective near the crater and holds that. I have both plague marine squads left (albeit with 2 in one of the squads), both rhinos and one obliterator left.  Anthony has four kalibite warriors sat on his singular objective.  And the game ends!
I didn't make it across the board fast enough to secure a massacre.  But it has been a decisive victory: 9 to 5 in terms of pillage points, and the secondary objective (kill the HQ) secured.  That means in terms of Empire Points, the score is 7-3.  Another victory to the chaos space marines.  I trust the dark eldar will serve us later in the campaign when we go 2 on 2, or 3 on 3 apocalypse style...
The star of the show for me were my obliterators.  Despite rubbish armour penetration rolls initially, their plasma cannon shots decimated the opposition's foot soldiers.  And for the dark eldar, those liquifier guns were terrific!  At AP1, even plague marines die with ease.  

Thursday, May 3, 2012

Dornian Heresy: Salamanders (Malalamanders)

Although its early days in terms of writing up the Malalamanders, I wanted to give this one a plug as a chaos legion devoted to Malal has so much promise and excitement surrounding it!

Indeed, the premise for this entire Dornian Heresy series is very intoxicating: it is to invert the good guys and bad guys from the Horus Heresy.  i.e. What would happen if the Emperor had helped out Angron instead of snatched him away?  What would have happened if there were an alternate solution to the council of Nikea?  What if Horus resisted temptation and the powers of chaos were forced to turn to an alternative?  An alternative like Dorn of the Imperial Fists?  That's the broad overview of the idea behind the Dornian Heresy, and I've been following it for a while (going so far as to have a go at building and painting some alternate universe Blood Angels and Iron Hands).  

For the Salamanders, the idea is that Vulcan got horrendously burnt as a child and this started a cascade of events to turn him in to a bitter individual.  This will eventually lead to him devoting the legion to the chaos power of Malal.  I'm really interested in this option -- its a great way to launch a chaos marine force devoted to this old chaos power.  The serialization also provides opportunity for a bit of feedback if folks are interested.

Wednesday, May 2, 2012

Battle Report: Blood Ravens vs. Black Templars

Battle Report from paladin84 from Round 2 of the Wasp Campaign.

Mission: Battle Missions: Pillage (also known as "Resource harvesting"), 5 collection points
Deployment: Spearhead

Blood Ravens (space marine) list 1150pt:
Captain, Storm Bolter, Artificer armour, Relic blade 148pt
Tactical squad (10 man), flamer, missile launcher 170pt
Razorback, twin-linked heavy bolter 40pt
Tactical squad (10 man), meltagun, multi-melta, combi-melta 185pt
Rhino, H/K missile 45pt
Sternguard veterans (5 man), Power fits, combi-plasma 175pt
Drop pod, Deathwind missile launcher 55pt
Assault terminators (5 man), Thunder hammer and storm shields, Bastion upgrade: Fleet 200pt
Predator, autocannon, lascannon sponsons, H/K missile 130pt

Black Templars list 1200pt:
Emperors Champion, Vows: Accept any challenge, no matter the odds 140pt
Sword Brethren Terminator squad (5 man), Power fists, storm bolters, 2x cyclone missile launchers, Tank hunters 265pt

Sword Brethren squad (5 man), Pair of lightning claws, Power weapon, Furious charge, frag and krak grenades 145pt
Razorback, Twin-linked lascannon, Power of the machine spirit, smoke launcher 126pt
Crusader squad (5 initiates), Lascannon, Plasma gun 101pt
Crusader squad (5 initiates), Lascannon, Plasma gun 101pt
Predator Anihilator, power of the machine spirit 175pt
Land speeder Typhoon 70pt
Land speeder Typhoon 70pt

With the aid of their power station the Blood Ravens won the initiative and chose to deploy first. The Blood Ravens would show no mercy to those questioning their honour. The Black Templars deployed all units in a firing line and hoped to sieze the initiative but such was not their luck.

Turn 1:

To open the game the Blood Ravens Sternguard veterans accompanied by Captain Vystian arrived via drop pod with surgeon like precision next to coffee_samurai’s Sword Brethren terminators with plasma weapons charged. Moving rapidly in their transports, the Blood Ravens seized 2 of the harvesting points with tactical squads, another with the predator and the Assault Terminators stopped at 1 in their advance.

The opening volley slew all but 1 of the sword brethren terminators, an initiate and 2 sternguard veterans due to their own weapons blowing up. The Black Templar harvested 1 resource having deployed on a collection point. In reprisal, the Templars reduced the sternguards to 1, retreated their units vaporized and assault terminator, and slew 2 tactical marines on their flank, but their anti-tank volley was greatly nullified by smoke launcher cover. The final Sword Brethren Terminator, after blasting two sternguard in the face with missiles was hoping to finish the squad, but captain Vystian cut him down before his power fist charged. Having maintained control of their harvesting points, the Blood Ravens collected 4 resources.

Turn 2:
The Blood Ravens continued their advance, with the assault Terminators charging forward along with the captain, the remaining veteran split off to introduce the Templar predator to his power fist. The remaining 3 tactical marines moved through cover toward the forward Initiate squad and the second tactical squad moved at full speed along the flank, and deployed ready to shoot.
The ensuing damage was a removed twin-linked lascannon from the predator, the captain charging into the forward initiate squad slaying only 1,the assault terminators charging the razorback leaving it a wreck, and the full strength tactical squad on the flank stunning the land speeder nearest to them. The Black Templars still holding one resource point collected another resource.

With not much to shoot the un-stunned speeder moved flat out to take the center collection point, the Templar sword brethren lead by the Emperor’s champion charged the advancing assault Terminators and cut them down to 1 without suffering a wound. Whilst the engaged initiates were all cut down by the captain who now found his sword… The blood ravens still holding 3 collection points collected 3 more resources.

Turn 3:
The Captain turned his attention to the initiates holding the resource point and charged! The flanking tactical squad advanced and opened up a second volley on the land speeder destroyed it and a sword brethren was impaled upon a piece of flying debris, but alas that did not prevent the sword brethren from cutting down the last assault terminator. The sternguard had another go and this time wrecked the predator with his fist. Despite launching a tirade of firepower at the advanced land speeder, cover was its friend and it survived being merely stunned and collecting another resource for the Black Templars.

The Sword Brethren and Emperors Champion parted ways seeking separate targets. The Emperors champion cut down the 3 remaining tactical marines to his left and the sword brethren slew 8/10 tactical marines before they made a tactical withdrawal. The initiates fighting the captain were not so lucky as he cut them all down and moved onto the resource collection point. Now controlling 4 collection points the Blood Ravens collected another 4 resources.

Turn 4 and 5:
While Emperors champion was felled by long-range fire, the captain launched an assault on the advancing sword brethren, but only killed one and was readily cut down, “Hazzaar!”, shout the sword brethren. In their blood thirst they proceeded to cut down the sternguard veteran coming to help his captain. The falling back tactical marines regrouped and with the combined might of a tank shocking rhino forced the sword brethren to fall back. Meanwhile, cover protected the advanced land speeder from being destroyed yet again.

Turn 6 and 7:
Game continuation rolls enabled the Blood Ravens to mop up the remains of the Black Templars force for a Massacre victory.

A veritable blood bath! Both sides took heavy losses, I was just lucky I got the jump on Coffee_samurai! The accusation of heresy did not sit well with the Blood Ravens and they responded with resolve. I wonder whether the Black Templars will be game enough to question the loyalty of the Blood Ravens again any time soon.

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