Sunday, September 30, 2012

Wayland Games: Recent Announcement

Many months ago, Wayland Games published a response to Games Workshop's imposition of "Rest of World" export policy.  To sumarize, they said over time that they were considering ways of legally circumventing it.  A few days ago, I caught this announcement on their facebook page (emphasis on the last few words):

"10 days to go until Live Stock Levels on the store... The busy bees in the warehouse are working flat out preparing, almost everything is ready now. It has been said already but will say again we will close the store for a few hours on the 8th to make the transition. The way we process orders will change with the migration, once its bedded in we are all steam ahead with some other often asked for projects."

Could this mean they're readying to export GW merchandise outside of Europe, but for European (British) prices?

Saturday, September 29, 2012

Wargames Gallery: Bloodcrusher Battle


This one needs a caption!  

The terminators and librarian had charged the bloodcrushers, but are getting beaten back.  So why is the thunder hammer armed veteran looking the wrong way?

Forge World Releases Betrayal and Angron

New Releases From Forge World:

Horus Heresy Book 1: Betrayal.  Cost = 70 UKP.

Angron, Primarch of the World Eaters.  Cost = 50 UKP.


Thursday, September 27, 2012

Bloodcrusher Icon Bearer Painted

The final plastic bloodcrusher from my collection has now been painted.  I like how the base has turned out on this guy: lots of debris scattered around a cluttered battlefield.  Some static grass might be added as a finishing touch later.  The highlighting of the bloodcursher might need a little tidying up (some of the extreme highlighting was done with a worn brush that resulted in lines that were too wide), but otherwise, I'm happy with this one -- he's tabletop ready and poised to take on the might of (yet more!) space marines in the next league battle! 

Wednesday, September 26, 2012

Mortarion from Forge World

The primarch that just won't die: Mortarion.  His stats from the new Forge World book, Betrayal, have been posted over at HERO's, along with Fulgrim. 

Taken at face value, it looks like Mortartion will be neigh-on impossible to lay low.  Not only does he have high toughness that we've come to expect from Death Guard (T=7), more wounds than a Great Unclean One (W=7), and a 2+/4+ save, he re-rolls any failed "it will not die" rolls! That means that 55.5% of the time, he's regaining 1 wound per turn ... assuming that he managed to take *any* wounds in the first place.

Additionally, he can "sweep" attack -- going for every model in base-to-base contact with him and redeoply himself up to 10" to get closer to the combat before doing so.  Hopefully he's got a nice big base when Forge World produce his model so that the enemy can crowd in nice and snugly for the reaping...

Tuesday, September 25, 2012

Angron from Forge World

If you've been in the hobby a long while, you'll be aware of the unspoken creed that primarch's will never get statistics in any rulebook.  That was broken in Apocalypse when Angron (as a deamon primarch) acquired some statistics

Now, Forge World are poised to not only release game play stats for all the primarchs, but also do the miniature range.  I'm not sure I can resist collecting the entire set of 18 (maybe 19?) primarchs!  But seriously: have a read of the leaked rules if you haven't already done so.  Angron is a sheer beast.  He hates everything.  EVERYTHING!  He is able to divide his attacks between multiple challenges and thanks to his "Butcher's Nails", he gains extra attacks as the game goes on for kills he makes.  Weighing in at 400points, he can take on anything in the game and do well against it toe-to-toe. 

Horus is also leaked, costing 500 points with different rules that reflect his tactical genius and decapitating strike approach to close combat.  I'm looking forward to seeing what they do with the perfection approach of Fulgrim, and the sheer "he won't die" quality of Mortarion.

Heck, I'm completely intrigued about what Alpharius (Omegon?)'s special abilities are going to be.  Something infiltrat-y and sneaky, I bet.  And, I hope, these primarchs will evolve over the course of the Horus Heresy books that Forge World will be releasing.  Tis a good time to be a chaos player once more!

Sunday, September 23, 2012

White Dwarf Evolution or Revolution?

Inspired by the new format White Dwarf this month, in this post I examine the contents of White Dwarf (WD) through the years.  To do this, I take four WDs:

(1) October 2012 -- i.e. this month's "re-launch" or "re-boot";
(2) August 2010 (WD368) -- representative of both fantasy and 40k since it launched daemons;
(3) June 2007 (WD330) -- the 30th anniversary edition and therefore probably broadly representative;
(4) February 1990 (WD122) -- an old White Dwarf from a different era that may not be totally representative of the era.

I wanted to include earlier ones still, but couldn't locate them, so these will have to suffice for my little experiments to consider how WD has evolved.
Here's the experimental aim: to categorize and find the percentages of the content of each magazine in to several different bins:

(a) Adverts (including not only Citadel, but Marauder, etc., in the case of WD122).
(b) Battle Reports (whether 40k, fantasy, LoTR, or otherwise).
(c) Rules (mostly new rules that don't appear elsewhere ... unless its WD122 which includes what is was re-printed in Realms of Chaos, etc.; I note that WD330 included Blood Angels codex for instance), also scenarios (e.g. new Space Hulk missions).
(d) Painting (by whoever, of whatever, including showcases of armies), and conversions / conversion ideas.
(e) Editorials about miniatures and their abilities, background fluff and details about the Warhammer (and 40k) Universe / flavour text, gaming, design notes, etc. This overlaps somewhat with adverts.  Therefore to distinguish between the two, "Adverts" must show the price of the product, editorials about them don't contain the price.
(f) Contents pages, news, filler, tournament adverts, retailer locations, gaming clubs, general artwork, and other things that I couldn't easily put in to other categories!

The uncertainties on each category should be taken as at least a few per cent, possibly up to 5% -- this isn't a totally scientific experiment!  Let me also declare that there's also plenty of subjectivity involved as well, clearly.  And the new WD is at least 1 cm shorter than the old ones in height (hence less room for text, pictures, etc.).  Here's the results.

1. WD Oct 2012:
N(pages) = 153.
(a): 7%
(b): 11%
(c): 0%
(d): 16%
(e): 50%
(f): 20%

2. WD 368:
N(pages) = 121.
(a): 11%
(b): 18%
(c): 0%
(d): 7%
(e): 45%
(f): 21%

3. WD 330:
N(pages) = 129.
(a): 20%
(b): 9%
(c): 11%
(d): 10%
(e): 37%
(f): 13%

4. WD122:
N(pages) = 81.
(a): 21%
(b): 0%
(c): 58%
(d): 7%
(e): 4%
(f): 14%

So, what has happened over the years?  WD has moved away from presenting plenty of new rules and ideas and, perhaps surprisingly, advert content (as many people proclaim that recent era WDs are mostly adverts).  Instead, they've moved toward blending together their miniatures and fluff using editorials and writing about how cool the miniatures are.  This is supplemented with battle reports and tactica.  Painting articles have also increased in percentage terms.  Seen in this light, the new WD is not so much a revolution, as much a part of a continual evolution wherein we see much more detailed text surrounding the miniatures.  The lack of new rules and scenarios is the clearly demarkation between the old format and the new, and I think ultimately, that is where the new format WD needs to pick up the baton once more if it is to appeal to subscribers again.  Just an opinion.

Friday, September 21, 2012

Dark Apotheosis in the new Chaos Space Marine Codex


In an echo of the old "eye of god"from Realms of Chaos / rewards of chaos chart, the aspiring chaos champion in the chaos space marine codex now stands a 1 in 18 chance of becoming a daemon prince during the course of a game -- every time he defeats an opponent's leader in a challenge.  This dark apotheosis is balanced by there being a similar probability of becoming a chaos spawn!

Equally, there are various things in the new codex that would seem to grant a re-roll on this table if the first result is not desirable (e.g. new warlord traits).  A re-roll means the chance of daemonhood becomes 1 in 9 -- this is the kind of resultant probability that may plausibly happen once every few games.  I'm very excited by this new interpretation of the chaos rewards table!  

It also reminds me strongly of the old Realms of Chaos narrative campaigns. These kinds of random upgrades and bonuses are good (in my opinion) and bring a new dimension of risk taking for the chaos general back in to the game.  Opimization of this chart (and others) contained within the new codex will take some digestion to figure out.  Coupled with the cool new miniatures heading our way, its a good era (suddenly) to be a chaos general once more!

Thursday, September 20, 2012

Battle Summary: Daemons vs. Space Marines (1500 points)

Another League Match, this time against what I expected to be a strong Space Marines contingent.

Space Marines List:
Sevrin Loth (IA9)

Full Tactical Squad, flamer, lascannon
Full Tactical Squad, multi-melta, melta, rhino transport
5 scouts, sniper rifles, camo cloaks, missle launcher
5 sternguard veterans, 1 power fist, 2 combi-meltas, 3 combi-plasmas, drop pod
5 Terminator assault marines
Stormtalon gunship, twin-linked assault cannon, twin-linked lascannon
5 devastators, 3 missile launchers, 1 plasma cannon
Whirlwind

Daemons Army List:
Herald of Tzeentch, chariot, bolt of Tzeentch, breath of chaos, master of sorcery, we are legion
Herald of Tzeentch, chariot, bolt of Tzeentch, breath of chaos, master of sorcery, we are legion

Herald of Khorne, juggernaught
Flamers of Tzeentch x 3
Bloodcrushers x 3
Pink Horrors x 9, icon, bolt of Tzeentch, the Changeling
Daemonettes x 12
Plaguebearers x 7, instrument of chaos
Screamers x 5
Daemon prince, iron hide, wings
Soul Grinder, Mawcannon Phlegm

Scenario and set-up:
Mission = The Relic (mission number 6 from the 6th ed rulebook), with hammer and anvil deployment (short table edges). 

My warlord trait is rolled as "Night Attacker" which means I can elect to start the game with night fighting in effect.  Which I do!

Early Turns.
My opponent sets up on the short edge that I've chosen for him.  The terrain is a mixture of ruins, open ground and area terrain.  Deepstriking in to all this will be risky and my opponent is forcing me to go first so that he ensures he has an extra turn of shooting at me!  Sevrin is deployed with the terminators which I find curious, but don't question.  The squad in the open looks like a prime target for some of my breath of chaos guys (heralds and flamers) whilst I think I'm just going to have to tangle those terminators up for a few turns to be honest.  The scouts scuttle in to some scenery to begin the game to gain a cover save.

In my first turn, my preferred wave comes on and I suffer a deepstrike mishap with the daemonettes -- they get repositioned in the far corner of the board and will play no further part in the game (other than getting shot up in the last turn by the stormtalon...) as they try to slog to the centre.  Most of my deepstrikes scatter and I take two dangerous terrain checks, but no wounds are caused.  My opening volley sees off most of the scouts by the flamers (so much for cover saves!) and one terminator from my pink horrors.  They hold the centre of the board and capture the relic.  I'm going to back them slowly away during the game!


The first of my Tzeentch heralds sees to the tactical squad on the flank with breath of chaos and some gazing.  The take a wound or two off him in exchange from rapid fire.  The drop pod with the sternguard join the party and take more wounds off.

The terminators charge in to the bloodcrushers (just in front of the pink horrors) and both sides take a few wounds.  The devastators meanwhile are holed up in a fortification and cannot see much due to night fighting (phew).

Middle Turns.
The game gets interesting during turns 3 and 4.  A squad of marines disembarks from their rhino to try to shoot down my flamers.  But the Changeling is in range and by some miracle takes over their shooting!  I've not had the Changeling's ability work for me in a long, LONG while -- to see it go off at such a critical juncture changes the momentum of the game for me I think.  The marines shoot at other marines (and not me!) and my flamers follow up by consuming the entire squad in Tzeentch's fire.

Still locked in the centre of the board, my bloodcrushers are taking punishment: the herald of Khorne is gone back to the warp, but not before a few terminators are also contributing to the skull throne.  Sevrin has a wound from perils of the warp, but everything is still even and locked up.  My pink horrors retreat further with the Relic, shooting as they travel.



With more of my reinforcements on the board, I head quickly for the fire support.  The whirlwind has already destroyed 5/6ths of my pink horrors and it needs to explode quickly.  So, I set my screamers to the task.  A handy explosion results as can be seen from the just-after-charging image below.



Late Turns.
The extra herald makes an appearance and combined with the first one sees off the sternguard and the remains of the tactical squad.  The flamers take care of the devastators.  Meanwhile, the plaguebearers join the bloodcrushers to completely tarpit the remaining terminators.  Several poisoned weapon attacks later, Sevrin is dead and the terminators are wiped out.  Only the stormtalon remains on the board and it has already had one weapon destroyed result.  At this point, my opponent concedes as my soul grinder finally puts in an appearance after being repeatedly deepstike mishapped.  A full victory to the forces of chaos, and perhaps a little unexpectedly.  The daemon of the game for me is the Changeling for finally doing what I pay the points for him to do (it doesn't happen often!).  But Sevrin was really scary.  A regular 2+ invulnerable save coupled with a ridiculous number of powers (think: assault terminators with feel no pain) meant that I almost wished I'd had taken boon of chaos instead of breath, or bolt of Tzeentch on one of my heralds.  I think I got lucky this time.

Wednesday, September 19, 2012

Helldrake Hello and Thoughts on the Oct 2012 White Dwarf Images

The images of the new chaos helldrake, forgefiend, warpsmith, warp talons, maulerfiend et al. are now available.  I must say: I'm excited by what I'm seeing. 

Firstly, the helldrake.  The image of it makes it look like a half crazed dragon that is eager to chase down prey.  When I read the description of this thing a while ago, I was worried.  But having now seen the image, I'm actually very pleased.  The chaos motif of warped and fused daemonic entities and corrupting auras combined with industrial warfare really comes to the fore for me with this flyer.  I hope the rules will make this helldrake a must-have for chaos marine armies, as I really want to purchase and utilize this model!

The forgefiend and the maulerfiend look like they are the same model, but with some bits swapped around (e.g. the fists and the mouth).  I like the look of both of them: the only concern is that they look aesthetically similar to the bloodcrusher juggernaut family of sculpts in some weird way (overlapping armour on the undercarriage perhaps?).  Still, from the pictures, I'm liking the forgefiend best out of the pair: and open gaping maw with a cannon inside ready to fire.  Couple that with rules that suggest it might be a pseudo-dreadnought with daemon-like saves, and I'm liking it.

As for the warp talons: I want to like them, but it looks like the sculpts are limited in their variety and poses.  A squad of lightning clawed raptors with (potentially) the ability to rip the fabric of reality and jump in to battle sounds cool.  That said, the visual of these guys really sets the tone nicely: these boys have spent much too long in the warp and have been ... distorted ... as a result.  Anyone also notice the lightning claws were called "vorpal claws" as well?  Oh, how that takes me back to AD&D.  Snickersnacker!

Finally, the warp smith looks very good as the chaos analogue to the techmarine.  With tentacles, snake-like maws and weapons brimming out from the body and an Iron Warriors vibe, its all good.  Just hope this one won't be too delicate to transport.

And finally, the new-look White Dwarf.  Gone are the traditional logos that have been with us for years to be replaced by a clean-looking font in the upper left corner of the cover. We can hope that the new look will be reflected by a new approach to the magazine that moves away from the advertizement laden content of recent epochs. 

Monday, September 17, 2012

Be'lakor -- Conversion and Painting

One of the old gems of Warhammer Fantasy: the Be'lakor miniature is an ideal representation for a daemon prince with a round base attached.

I've had this guy in my collection for quite a while.  When I bought it, I was going through a bit of a Slaanesh phase (*ahem*).  Hence this one sports a minor conversion: a pair of scorpion claws (from a very, very old games workshop scorpion) has been added below the two main arms.  They are pinned in place using a long section of paper clip.  Naturally, drilling the metal miniature was a pain to do this, so I don't recommend it any longer.  That said, the overall vibe of the converted miniature does cry out "Slaanesh" very effectively in my opinion.

The painting features a blue palette.  I chose this over the standard Be'Lakor grey / black as I wanted a miniature that stood out from the others in my army; as might befit a daemon prince who leads armies.  The painting features an ultramarine blue basecoat coupled with a dark blue wash and electric blue highlights. 

For the scorpion claws, a more muted brown-grey colour was used and shaded.  The bobbly bits are picked out in a muted pink colour (again, Slaanesh inspired).  For the metal parts of the miniature (knee guard, etc.) I used gold (actual metallic paint) for a change.  The various skulls in the wings are picked out in a variety of shades of grey (no pun intended).  The chaos star on the chest of the beast was picked out in white and gone over (with a steady hand) in yellow to provide a sharp contrast with the blue of the skin. If I were planning this more carefully, I would have gone for a "glowing" chaos star in hindsight, but I think the final product still works well for the contrasting colours.

I wanted the sword to stand out so I attempted one of my first "lava" style paintings.  It features a black undercoat, with progressively more "warm" colours building on top of one another: reds, oranges, and yellows. I'm not too happy with the sword: my modern bloodcrushers (and bloodletters) are better for a wet blending technique, I think.

The base of the miniature was scratch built from a series of cork layers.  Each layer was glued on top of one another and then painted with a stone-like slate colour.  I decorated the base with a few skulls from spare skeleton sprues and flocked it with green and brown grassy areas.  The overall feeling is one of a beast standing on a small mound or hillock and field-marshaling his chaotic troops.

Sunday, September 16, 2012

iPhone Psychic Powers

Physical Deck: 35 Cards, Plastic Container, Room for expansion, 8 UKP.

iPhone Deck: All the psychic powers, add photos, rules for force weapons, potential to expand perhaps to new codex powers, 8 UKP (well, 7.99 really).

For the moment, the virtual product price is not quite low enough for me (personally).  It depends on how / if it is updated in the future really.  But to be fair, about the only thing I want online is my army list(s) to consult during games at the moment.  The physical codex and rulebook still work well for the game and I need to be convinced that swapping to a digital format results in positive gains.  Perhaps the key is to make all of these digital products fully searchable and indexed thoroughly (very thoroughly). Still, as BoLS points out: it seems that going digital is the future option for GW.  I trust they'll work hard to get this transition done and done well!

Saturday, September 15, 2012

Vector Strike (Notes to Self)


In my daemon and chaos marine armies, I regularly take flying monstrous creatures -- even in 4th and 5th edition.  Now that 6th edition is upon us, I feel I'm really missing out -- forgetting -- about the vector strike ability.

Given how many of my opponents are fielding flyers themselves, I really think I need to remember this rule more often.  d3+1 hits against any enemy, including opposing flyers, at AP3 is good news!  I haven't remembered to use this rule a single time yet.  I've been systematically taking pot shots at opposing flyers up to now and generally trying to bolt of Tzeentch them out of the skies.  Hopefully writing this note will help me remember!

Anybody got similar stories?  What are the new rules you're forgetting?

Wednesday, September 12, 2012

Wargames Gallery: Demise of the Wolf

Calling upon the Warp for your powers won't help you now, Son of Russ.

Monday, September 10, 2012

Imperial Guard Allies for Deepstrike Armies


Here's a concept that I've been thinking around over the past few weeks: an Imperial Guard Ally detachment for deepstriking armies.  

The idea is to use the Imperial Guard specifically as a way in which to augment a fully (or mostly) deepstriking armylist such as Death Wing, Daemons, and the like.  It revolves around manipulating the reserve roll: taking options like the astropath to improve early, rapid deployment.

Here's one option:

HQ
Company Command Squad, 1 Astropath, 1 Officer of the Fleet (110 points)

Troops:
1 Veteran Squad (70 points)

Fortifications:
Aegis Defence Line, 1 Communications Relay (70 points)

Total = 250 points.

Now, combine with your favourite (e.g.) daemons list and you have a 35 in 36 chance that all your units will be on the board on turn 2.  The Officer of the Fleet is there to oppose enemy deepstrikes so that your own army can take down the enemy piecemeal if they're employing a similar army.  Deploy somewhere out of sight (perhaps even add a Chimera) and behind the defence line to control communications array and keep them there until the start of turn 2.  Then redeploy and engage as required.

At 250 points, it might not be so worthwhile in a 1500 points total army, but at greater points, I think it would be invaluable.  

Saturday, September 8, 2012

FAQ Digest

Given the recent release of the plethora of FAQs, I thought I would take a bit of time to digest what it means.  My assorted thoughts are below, and I focus on the chaos codices unapologetically.

Core Rules.
* The "look out sir" rules got clarified, and as some folks put it, nerfed.  The crazy multi-character mobs of Nobz and the like can no longer pull their tricks.  The closest model is now the guy that tries to save the character's life and there's only going to be one character per squad as I see it.  The phrase "or unsaved wounds" has left the building.

* An interesting gem is that "very bulky" is added to bikes and jetbikes.  That means that they take up 3  spaces in a vehicle.  I can't recall the last time I loaded up a vehicle with bikes and jetbikes .... makes me wonder what is coming down the road!

* A grounded swooping monstrous creature becomes gliding immediately.  As suspected!

* The problems with Deny the Witch and multiple targets that are hit from beams (etc.) is clarified: only the target -- the first unit in the line -- can make the save.

* Ageis defence lines can't be split in to smaller segments. (Darn!).  I think this one is a pity really.

* Modifiers to reserve rolls do not apply to units from allied detachments.  This one is bad, I think, as it means CSM + Daemons detachment won't *all* benefit from having a communications relay captured (e.g. with an Aegis defence line).



Daemons Codex.
* This one (and the analogue in Chaos Space Marines) intrigues me:
Q: If Chaos Daemons are allied to Chaos Space Marines, do they roll for scatter if Deep Striking within 6" of a Chaos Icon carried by a Chaos Space Marine model? (p73) A: If the wording on the Chaos Icon’s description refers to ‘all friendly units’, then yes. If not, then the Chaos Icon only affects the specific units referred to in its description.
This implication being that the next iteration of Chaos codices will be fully interactive.


Chaos Space Marines Codex.
* Daemon Princes with wings are Flying Monstrous Creatures.  As suspected!

* Daemon weapons are AP2.

Friday, September 7, 2012

Architect of Fate

When confronted with a being, or power, calling itself the "Architect of Fate", I get worried for the main forces of the story.  As a reader, we know that they're going to get sucked in to some twisted plot involving death, daemons, fire, and if they're really unlucky: Nurgle worshippers as well.  

I can't help but think how things might have been different if the Emperor was upfront with his primarchs from the start.  "Hey, Lorgar.  When you're out and about in the big wide Universe, watch out for this belief called chaos.  There's these warp aliens called Khorne, Nurgle, Tzeentch and Slaanesh.  They like to be worshipped by realspace inhabitants.  It's really bad stuff, son.  They lie as well and call themselves by other names such as Blurrrghh.  Stick with the Imperial Truth, okay?  No?  Okay -- its better to worship me than those others then".

The interested thing about the above thought train is that this is exactly the kind of conversation that happened in the alternate Universe Dornian Heresy where Lorgar's Word Bearers became the good guys of the piece.  And look what good that did: Dorn got corrupted instead of Horus... hmmmmm.  

Wednesday, September 5, 2012

Note to Self: Deny The Witch

Dear Jabberjabber,

In 6th edition, all models may attempt a Deny the Witch saving throw against hostile psychic powers and sorcery.

Please remember that you're not playing 5th anymore and don't need a psychic hood, or anything similar, to attempt Deny the Witch.  Sure, its not likely to succeed most of the time, but you might as well roll the attempt and see what happens. :-)

Oh -- and don't forget the bonus if you have a Witch of your own that is superior in Mastery Level to the incoming hostile psychic power caster.

Best regards,
Jabberjabber.

Tuesday, September 4, 2012

Wargames Gallery: Targets Locked

++ Multiple targets sighted and closing. Traitors, and foul daemonkind. ++
++ Targets acquired, sir. The Machine Spirit has the firing solution mapped. ++
++ Fire at will, brother. ++

Monday, September 3, 2012

Hellbrute Thoughts

When I first saw the initial glimpses of the Hellbrute that were leaked on to the web, the excitement was almost tangible and manifest.  Having now seen the hellbruet rules, I'm struck by several thoughts.

Firstly, to state the obvious: the hellbrute is little more than a dreadnought with a multimelta and a powerfist (or perhaps dreadnought close combat weapon) inside the game.  I realize that the new chaos codex is not yet out, but I was personally hoping for a little more.  Some rage?  Some "crazy" rules?  Some warpage of space and time in the vicinity of the hellbrute?  There is little to differentiate the hellbrute from a regular dreadnought except for the name.

Secondly, the sculpt itself is fantastic: but only from the front. The rear of the hellbrute is ... well ... somewhat plain to be honest. In comparison to the forgeworld Nurgle dreadnought that I own, there are lots of little details on the rear: ranging from little sores and pustules, to larger cracks and amorphous looking indents. I know that the piping at the rear is meant to be there, I was just hoping for something a little more chaotic on the reverse, that's all.

Looking forward, I trust that the new chaos codex is going to include some neat rules for the hellbrute.  I'm aware of the marks that this thing can get -- the Nurgle one inparticular is appealing (i.e. self-regeneration / repair), but I imagine that the points cost will be steep for it.

Saturday, September 1, 2012

Battle Summary: Space Wolves vs. Daemons (1500 pts)

Round 1 of the new league saw my daemons take on a mighty force of Space Wolves.  I thought I was going to lose for sure.  And that was the way it was looking until about turn 2...

Space Wolves Army:
Wolf Lord, runic armour, frost axe, storm shield, thunderwolf, wolftooth necklace
Wolf Priest, runic armour, plasma pistol, wolf tail talisman
Rune Priest, runic armour
Grey Hunters x 8, plasma gun, power axe, wolf standard, mark of the wolfen + Wolf Guard, power fist, combi-plasma + Drop Pod
Grey Hunters x 8, melta gun, power axe, wolf standard, mark of the wolfen + Wolf Guard, power fist, combi-melta + Drop Pod

Blood Claws x 8, power axe + Wolf Guard, pair of wolf claws, melta bombs
Wolf Scouts x 5, plasma gun, melta bombs + Wolf Guard, combi-plasma
Lone Wolf, frost blade
Long Fangs x 6, melta bombs, missle launcher x 5

Daemons Army List:
Herald of Tzeentch, chariot, bolt of Tzeentch, breath of chaos, master of sorcery, we are legion
Herald of Tzeentch, chariot, bolt of Tzeentch, breath of chaos, master of sorcery, we are legion

Herald of Khorne, juggernaught
Flamers of Tzeentch x 3
Bloodcrushers x 3
Pink Horrors x 9, icon, bolt of Tzeentch, the Changeling
Daemonettes x 12
Plaguebearers x 7, instrument of chaos
Screamers x 5
Daemon prince, iron hide, wings
Soul Grinder, Mawcannon Phlegm

Scenario and set-up:
Mission = Crusade (mission number 1 from the 6th ed rulebook), with 3 objectives (all mysterious), dawn of war deployment. 

Handily, my warlord trait is rolled as "Divide to Conquer" which means my opponent has -1 to reserve rolls. 

Early Turns.
Daemons gain the first turn, and their preferred wave (one herald of Tzeentch, herald of Khorne with the bloodcrushers, flamers, pink horrors and daemonettes arrive).  The Space wolves have two drop pods in reserve.  The long fangs take position in the corner of the board, granting a commanding view of the terrain for their fire arc, whilst the blood claws skulk behind cover with the wolf lord.  The lone wolf takes point in an advanced position.  Almost all of my deep striking daemons scatter: but none of them scatter badly.

The daemonettes arrive behind hard cover with no line of sight to enemies and they immediately race up to the first mysterious objective.  It turns out to be a grav-wave generator (meaning any unit attempting to charge my daemonettes halves their charge range).  The daemonettes huddle around it for the moment, daring anyone to come and take it from them.

I place my Khorne herald and bloodcrushers in the open, aiming to charge right for the wolf lord and some of the blood claws.  The horrors scatter backward, so I reinforce them with the Tzeentch herald for the moment.  The flamers meanwhile cunningly hide behind some ruins and wait their next turn to zoom around.

Running my bloodcrushers up the board was probably a bad move.  In my opponent's turn, the wolf lord comes to meet him, with avengeance.  The blood claws pile in and in two combat rounds, its all over.  At least we got to reveal the second mystery objective was "nothing of note" -- i.e. a regular objective that does nothing else.  My bloodcrushers and herald failed to perform -- indeed, the herald went down to the wolf lord in a one-on-one challenge that the wolf lord issued. 

In the rear of the field, a drop pod arrives with the rune priest with a nova power.  He readily whacks my units (horrors, Tzeentch herald) and I fail a good number of saves.  Ouch. The bolt pistols also take their toll, and the Changeling fails to take over their minds.  Darn.

Middle Turns.
At the start of turn 3, its looking bleak for me.  Only my daemon prince has come on from reserve and I've not caused many space wolf casualties yet (one or two from the bloodcrushers who attacked the blood claws, and a few scouts who infiltrated up the field too close to the herald).

To my amazement, my luck changes this turn with several battle turning events.  The first of which is the zooming of my flamers up to the long fangs who have been whittling down wounds on my herald of Tzeentch and daemon prince.  In one fell swoop, the flamers remove three quarters of the long fangs.

Secondly, the Tzeentch herald also uses breath of chaos to see the scouts off and proceeds to daemonic gaze the grey hunters that arrives with the rune priest.  The pink horrors decimate the squad further, leaving only the rune priest and one grey hunter left.

The drop pod of other grey hunters fails to show up until turn 3. This leaves me much more chance to level the playing field.   On turn 4, my plaguebearers arrive from reserve and put a wall of pestilence between the rune priest and my more valuable pink horrors.  Although they will get charged by the rune priest, they can tar pit him for the rest of the game if need be. 

Meanwhile, the daemonettes face off against the blood claws and slaughter them all in one turn, taking only 1 overwatch casualty in exchange.  Although this has taken me off my precious objective, I aim to run back soon.
My second herald of Tzeentch shows up and mops up the remaining bodies (e.g. lone wolf) in the vicinity.  The flamers finish off the long fangs. 

And the wolf lord does something brave: he decides to charge the flamers.  This is where I get a true introduction to 6th edition.  I hadn't realized my flamers could overwatch against a charge.  Apparently they can and score d3 hits on the charging unit in question each. This is rolled as 6 hits.  Now, breath of chaos is nasty: it causes a wound on a 4+ with no cover or armour save permitted.  The wolf lord fails his last two invulnerable saves and gets blasted to the warp as he tries to charge the flamers.  The tide has well and truly turned now.

Late Turns.
The rest of my crew arrive.  The soul grinder launchers a phlegm against the newly arrived second drop pod and kills many.  The daemonettes suffer many casualties as well: down to 4 left.  But the second Tzeetch herald zooms in over the terrain and uses breath of chaos to finish them off.

The plaguebearers finally take down the rune priest, leaving the screamers nothing to charge at.  The daemon prince gawks around and thinks about wrecking a drop pod that has been taking pot shots for several turns, but my opponent concedes at this point with only two drop pods left on the board.

Although first blood went to the Space Wolves (with the slaying of the herald of Khorne and the bloodcrushers), all other objectives belong to the chaos daemons. I still can't help but feel this is a game I should have lost.  I cannot believe that my flamers took down the wolf lord with overwatch shooting.  Heck, I didn't even know template weapons could do overwatch before this game.  I feel like such a noob with 6th. 
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