Monday, December 31, 2012

2012 Review: Most Hit Article

The top 5 articles from Warpstone Flux this year were a bit of a mixture, but several revolved around rumours and the new CSM codex (as might be expected!):

5. Ghost Knight Terminator Justicar.  Demonstrating once more that a simple head-swap can make a huge difference!

4. Of Helbrutes and Dreadnoughts.  Can we please retain the name "dreadnought"?

3. CSM in 6th Review: Chaos Lord.  The Warpstone Flux review of the Chaos Lord seems to be highly popular with visitors, with many many searches landing on this page.

2. Typhus and Plague Zombie armies.  Can lots of zombies be bought for this unit, or does that count as an "upgrade".  At the time of the post, there were lots of opinions either way!  We now know we can buy extra members of the squad thanks to the FAQ.

1. Dark Apotheosis.  Concerning rumour of leaked pages from the new CSM codex.

Happy New Year!

Sunday, December 30, 2012

2012 Review: Painting

Gaming seems to have come strongly ahead of painting for me this year: very few new miniatures got their paintwork completed compared to previous years.  Here's the top 5 from 2012:

5. Possessed Raptor Lord.  Although I've not played him as much as I would have liked to, this guy really stands out for me on the tabletop and within my collection.


4. Bye bye Goblin Green... I got a bit nostalgic and the old paint pots no longer being produced.  Although I do like the newer paints now, I still miss the names of the old ones and did get frustrated that my formulae can no longer be applied.


3. Ghost Knight shoulder pad painting experiment.  How can I get the ghost knights of Mordrak looking like they have a good, un-natural effect?


2. What colour is ceramite?  Not so much an article about painting, but a discussion about what colour unpainted ceramite should be!


1. Power Claw Daemon Prince.  This beastie has seen action on multiple fronts for the best part of the year and I've enjoyed taking numerous images of him during battles.  He typically doesn't survive despite the good paintwork though!

Saturday, December 29, 2012

2012 Review: The New Chaos Space Marine Codex


In 2012, the new chaos space marine codex was reviewed.  Warpstone Flux took an indepth look at all the options contained within the new codex, gathered together under the CSMin6thReviews label.  These posts were, naturally, very popular with readers and were the most read articles on Warpstone Flux this entire year.  But which of them topped the reading charts?


In reverse order, the top 5 were:

5. Chaos Terminators.  The changes to the rules see chaos terminators as popular as ever: they're still cheaper than the loyalists, but there are shortcomings by comparison, yet they're highly customizable.  What battlefield role would you like them to execute?

4. Heldrake. Its new.  Its being talked about extensively.  And I hope many other chaos players got one from Santa.  He's going to be awesome I think.  Except I still think the name should have two "l"s in it.

3. Daemon Prince. Despite a power drop in comparison to the previous codex, the daemon prince clearly remains popular.  I'm saddened at how the daemon prince has gone down myself, but its still got a place in my heart.

2. Chaos Space Marines troops themselves score second place.  The bread and butter of the chaos force (even despite the cultist option) remains exceptionally popular.

1. Chaos Lord.  Naturally, one of the cheapest and most customizable HQ selections out there, the chaos lord topped readers interest in 2012.  There's so many ways to think about the humble(?) chaos lord, that its no surprise that this review was so popular.

There were a few other CSM posts that were also highly popular, particularly the rumours and early image leak discussions (e.g., challenges in the new codex and dark apotheosis). Indeed, dark apotheosis would have topped this chart if I'd have put the CSMin6thReviews label on it!

Friday, December 28, 2012

2012 Review: Wargames Gallery

In this period between Christmas and New Year, I thought I would create a few posts about which of my 2012 articles gained the most "hits", or those that I simply thought were interesting.  First off the rank, are my Wargames Galleries: a collection of action shots of miniatures from our local league.

In reverse order of number of hits:
5. Group Hug.
++These crimson sands are ours++    The last stand of a pair of assault terminators, surrounded by daemons of Khorne and Tzeentch with a looming Soul Grinder.


4. Tau Overrun.
The Tau attempted a turn 1 victory against daemons by using a huge amount of firepower to cleanse the board of the daemons' preferred first wave. Despite a near perfect set-up, the firepower of the Tau was unable to overcome the string of (frankly) amazing invulnerable saves made by the daemons.  The remaining bloodcrushers raced to overrun the Tau positions as the second wave comes down to support the ground assault.


3. Heretic Blood Ravens.
Suspected of heresy in the Wasp campaign, the Blood Ravens captain prepares to face the onslaught from the Black Templars finest.


2. Daemonette Captures the Flag.
The daemonette secures the objective flag, supported by a soul grinder in the background.


1. Blood Crusher / Blood Raven.
Charging in to a squad of Blood Ravens, a Bloodcrusher lets out an unearthly battlecry as his steed's part-mechanical, part-deamonic feet cause the ground to tremble at every footfall.


So, it seems like I've been gaming a lot with my daemons this year!  And the bloodcrushers seem to be a strong theme - perhaps they're just very photogenic and a camera attractor?

Monday, December 24, 2012

Special Battle Report

Mission:
Tire the children (...so that they sleep tonight!).

Deployment:
Local Neighbourhood.

Set-up:
HQ and troops only.  HQ carries a letter (but no stamps), drinks, pram/pushchair/stroller (delete as culturally appropriate), change of clothes, nappies/diapers (delete as culturally appropriate), a small amount of money, mobile phone/cellphone, and other items essential to the troops well-being. The HQ is on foot only - no tanks other than the pushchair (which is too small for him to fit in).

Primary Objective:
Tire the children!

Secondary Objectives:
(i) Visit the playground.
(ii) Visit the post office and postbox.
(iii) Stay out for 2 hrs minimum (to give wife/fieldmarshal a break).

Special Rules:
(a) if the primary objective is met before secondary (iii), the entire mission is considered a failure.
(b) if it rains, the troops must not get wet (jumping in muddy puddles also counts), or if they do AND the fieldmarshal finds out, then the entire mission is considered a failure.

TURN 1.
HQ and troops leave the field marshall and progress in to some terrain.  Going is difficult, but the troops locate some discarded mighty Khornate chainaxes (also known as sticks).  This might not end well already.

TURN 2.
HQ takes a wound to the left shoulder from impulsive (inevitable?) chainaxe attack.

TURN 3.
Heading uphill, the post office is on the horizon.  HQ joins the troops unit (i.e. hold hands!).

TURN 4.
Secondary objective (ii) achieved.  Letter stamped and posted.  Troops request to ride on HQ shoulders.  Challenge accepted.

TURN 5.
Head to the playground.  Troops fail dangerous terrain roll and stumble over losing a wound through grazing a knee.

TURN 6.
The game continues in the playground.  Secondary objective (i) achieved.  Primary objective achieved a little while later.  Drinks used up.

TURN 7.
The game continues.  Troops tired and request ride in pram all the way home.  Side effect: Primary Mission achieved for HQ as well as troops.  Arrive home: secondary objective (iii) achieved.

Phew!  What luck!  It didn't rain and there were no muddy puddles.  I got really lucky considering the skies were darkening with rain cloud!

Merry Christmas from Warpstone Flux!

Sunday, December 23, 2012

Justaerin Terminators from FW

Forge World has recently put up some new Justaerin Terminators for advanced order.  These terminators are the Sons of Horus' elite: lead by none other than Abaddon in his Legion heyday.

The sculpts combine the aesthetic of the cataphractii terminators with some great touches of iconography: the Eye of Horus can be seen prominantly across the armour, the shoulder pads are studded as is one of the legs in this particular example.  Moreover, the bodies can be fitted with any of the cataphractii weapon options: power axes and twin-linked bolters as illustrated, or power fists and the like, very readily.  I think these guys look excellent and would certainly fit in well with any 40k chaos space marine force.  Moreover, I think they could also be the core of a "Fallen" Death Wing army for a Dark Angels army.  But that's a thought for future development...


(IMAGE taken from Forge World: its not my own).

Saturday, December 22, 2012

On Death Wing Assault

One of the main rumours that stood out to me about the new Dark Angels codex is the Death Wing assault rule.  BoLS suggests that the new version of Death Wing assault allows all the miniatures (i.e. Death Wing Terminators!) to arrive in turns 1 and 2.  With no rolling.  And the player gets to choose which come on.  This is strong.  Stronger than daemons in fact.  Consider that daemons have to randomize which wave comes on first turn (half their army) and then has to roll for reserves for the rest of the army coming on as per normal.  Death Wing assault - if true - surpasses this and makes the first company of the Dark Angels supreme in the early rounds of the game and is strictly better than the current Death Wing Assault rules.

*even more tempted by a Fallen list now...* 

Thursday, December 20, 2012

Dark Angels Codex -- Fallen Codex more like...!

So, the leaked pictures of the Dark Angels codex / next White Dwarf is now all over the internet.  I'm not going to post the images, you can look other blogs for them.

What I do want to comment on is the Death Wing miniatures.  I took one look at them and my immediate thought was their conversion potential for Fallen and other generic CSM terminators. The robes, combined with the positively archaic look (maces and shield) screams out an appeal to chaos in my mind.  I can certainly see some mixing and matching CSM terminators with those bits to achieve a unique and gothic look for some Fallen Dark Angels.  Hence I think I'm going to get the codex when it comes out and look for some conversion potential for a Chaos Fallen force.  Plague Wing; Blood Wing, etc. are all appealing to me here...!

Wednesday, December 19, 2012

Horus Heresy Review: Crysos Morturg and Durak Rask

There are two HQ selections for the Death Guard player, apart from Mortarion, in Betrayal.

The first is Crysos Morturg (loyalist).  He has the dubious distinction of being an Isstvan III atrocity survivor because he simply would not go down.  A very typical Death Guard trait methinks! Hence as a loyalist Death Guard player, he would make an ideal HQ choice for Betrayal.  To be fair, Morturg is a fairly "typical" space marine commander in terms of stats.  What does set him apart is his combination of special rules.  Alongside the usual Death Guard Astartes rules, he gets infiltrate, stubborn and Endurance (from biomancy) as a level 1 psyker. These are an interesting set of abilities, but not outstanding.  Hence, I think Morturg is a good (only!) selection for a named loyalist character, but I'd think a well built praetor is actually superior.  Therefore, we'll be playing Morturg for fluff reasons only.

The second HQ characters is Durak Rask (traitor).  Unlike Morturg, he didn't survive Isstvan III.  The character is a vehicle wrecker going by his wargear (thunder hammer) and special rules (wrecker and tank hunters).  He also grants the warlord trait of target priority which is a real boon (multiplier even) when played alongside friendly units.  Although he's probably not as good as a well thought-out praetor, he is worth taking in my opinion.  Team him up with some legion tactical support squads or legion heavy support squads and see what happens when you shoot opponents off objectives.  Move in to close combat (detaching from the squad in doing so) to mop up any final resistance.  Job done.  Worth taking.

Tuesday, December 18, 2012

HH Review: Deathshroud

The confirmation of the Forge World jigsaw as Deathshroud this week leads me to the first review of Forge World's Horus Heresy Book 1: Betrayal.  I'll be using the tag "HHReview" throughout this series and will eventually cover all the possibilities in the same way Warpstone Flux did for the new CSM codex this year.

The Deathshroud are the chosen of Mortarion's Death Guard.  In essence, they're terminators with 2 wounds, always scoring (despite being elites) and come armed with deathshroud power scythes (also known as manreapers) and hand flamers with chem-munitions (i.e. a flamer with shred and gets hot!).  The scythes are interesting: the deathshroud may replace their natural number of attacks for a number equal to the number of enemy models in base contact with them and perform a sweep attack.  Lots of S5 AP2 attacks are deadly to most units in 40k and can certainly bust light transport tanks.

I see them in two roles: (a) as shock troops, and an escort for a terminator praetor, even Mortarion himself; (b) a deep-striking nuisance unit that can disrupt back lines and claim objectives with near impunity.

Here's a couple of example builds:

4 Deathshroud terminators, melta bombs, Land Raider Phobos dedicated transport with frag assault launchers (450 points)
This is a real points sink, but could be very worthwhile.  Attach the Death Guard praetor or Mortarion himself and go forth and assault the heart of the enemy, especially large hordes of elites and opposing terminators.  

3 Deathshroud terminators, melta bombs (145 points)
A reasonable price for a small unit of genuine nuisance that demands to be dealt with by any opponent.  Not invincible, but opponents will think twice before charging them.  Run a couple of these squads via deep strike and disrupt the enemy.  Charge any objective holders as Mortarion commands.  Take, control and hold said objectives in the late game.

Monday, December 17, 2012

Is First Blood correlated with First Turn?

A question for those of you who organize tournaments or play a whole lot more games than I do.  Do you believe that the "First Blood" secondary objective in 6th edition is correlated with First Turn at all?

We're currently having a little debate within our own league about this one.  Although we have gone through a combined total almost 50 games in the past few months, we're none the wiser as we didn't record any solid statistics on the matter and only have our memories to rely on.  We can all recall games that went either way though.  But the question remains: does having first turn mean that you are (statistically) more likely to get first blood?

Opinions welcome.

Sunday, December 16, 2012

Warpsmith; League Winnings

Very happy to receive a prize in the local league: a Warpsmith!  (very apt as well!).  Sincere thanks to palad84 for organizing the league and everyone else who I shared some great games and moments with!

Now, how should I best use a warpsmith?  Mark of Nurgle and within a scary Death Guard list?  Appealing ... and I'm yet to seriously game with my Death Guard in 6th, so I'm certainly leaning in that direction at the moment.  Suggestions welcome!

Wargames Gallery: Space Wolves, Imperial Guard and other Space Marines traffic jam

An epic melee: the Space Wolves drop pod in to the lines of another space marine chapter that have teamed up with Imperial Guard allies who are hunkered down behind an Aegis Defence line.  The shot was taken a week ago from one of our league matches - I really like the composition of this one!  Enjoy!

Saturday, December 15, 2012

Forge World is Cheap (in AUD)

Consider this.  Forge World Mk.V Heresy Armour Marines (resin) x5 = 23 UKP.

Assuming an exchange rate of 1AUD to 0.65 UKP, this works out as 35.38 AUD for 5 marines.

1 box of Space Marines direct from Games Workshop is currently priced at 62 AUD.  That's 5 marines for 31 AUD.

Compare also a box of "combat squad" space marines, cost = 41 AUD for 5 marines.

So, we're now in an interesting era where Forge World resin marines cost significantly less than combat squad marines.  They're only a few AU dollars shy of a full boxed set of marines (when doubling the squad size to 10).  Is it a good time to be purchasing Forge World armies for the Horus Heresy?  Yes, I think so!  But note, that these Forge World marines don't come with armaments, so its probably not such a good comparison.  Moving on...

Let me illustrate something else that folks may find entertaining / depressing / interesting.  Consider an assault squad.  They cost 55 AUD at retail from Games Workshop Australia.  Compare this to a Forge World assault squad of Mk.II or IV or V power armour for 33 UKP.  Converting, 33 UKP = 50.77 AUD.  That's 5 dollars (ish!) cheaper than Games Workshop's plastic assault squad!  That's really quite remarkable!

Finally, I'll add that 5 cataphractii terminators are also valued at 33 UKP.  Add in the armaments (12 UKP) and that comes to 45 UKP.  A squad of terminators in Australia now retails for 74 AUD.  Doing the conversion, 45 UKP = 69.23 AUD.  That's once more cheaper by approx 5 dollars!  Again, I'm amazed!

Friday, December 14, 2012

Forge World Jigsaw: Parts 1 and 2 Joined

Here's my attempt at joining together the first two parts of Forge World's teaser jigsaw.

This guy is really taking shape now.  The second part (on the left hand side as viewed) is clearly holding some kind of staff weapon.  Given the previous discussion about the type of armour that is being depicted here (likely Tartaros Plate) we're looking at a terminator.  But for me, the curve of the staff part is a strong - very strong - hint that we're looking a a DeathShroud marine: the weapon will be revealed to be a scythe in my opinion!  I'm quietly holding out on an outside chance that this is the big guy himself though... Greetings to my fellow Legion XIV brethren.

Thursday, December 13, 2012

CSM in 6th Review: Warlord Traits

The CSM codex allows the chaos general to roll on a new table for warlord traits, or have the option of rolling on the standard table contained within the 6th ed. rulebook. Which is worthwhile? Let's have a look at the possible outcomes.

1. Black Crusader. Preferred enemy to space marines is a potent cocktail when mixed with Veterans of the Long War. The is doubly so if the (local) meta-game is space marine heavy. Afterall, this is what chaos space marines are there for.  Hence I think this is a useful roll if you're likely to be playing against space marines (or their variants).

2. Flames of Spite.  The Soul Blaze rule for the warlord and his unit seems kind of cool on the surface.  But scratch down a little bit, and soul blaze isn't too "hot".  Take a look at my earlier evaluation of the Icon of Flame for some insight.  An extra bolter shot is neat, but its not a game changer.

3. Master of Deception.  Having infiltrate on up to three units is certainly a good outcome.  The havoc that can potentially be caused from this makes Master of Deception an excellent outcome.  Infact, its so good, that chaos commanders I know are seriously looking at building lists around Huron and Ahriman to guarentee that this is the warlord trait they're going to get! 

4. Hatred Incarnate.  Granting hatred to the warlord and his unit is useful in many situations.  But this is a waste if they're facing space marines thanks to Veterans of the Long War. 

5. Lord of Terror.  Because there are so many fearless and "They Shall Know No Fear" units out there, this one is not so great.  Poor Typhus gets this one automatically.

6. Exalted Champion. And finally, the most interesting ability is to re-roll rolls on the Chaos Boon table without having to resort to a Dark Apostle.  A nifty ability for the chaos lord kitted out for melee, not so cool for long-range warlords (e.g., Ahriman). 

For me, I count one great one (#3), one really bad one (#5), one potentially good one (#6), one mediocre but still okay one (#2), and two iffy ones that depend on the situation/s and army builds (#1, #4).  Will you be rolling on this chart, or deferring to the main rulebook charts?
 

Wednesday, December 12, 2012

CSM Options: Familiars

The new chaos codex offers two different flavours of familiar for the best dressed chaos lord: a spell familiar and a combat familiar.  Speaking as an old-timer (read: Realms of Chaos era), I fully welcome the addition of these two familiars to the codex family!  Its great to see them both have a place!  We'll have a look at each in turn.

Firstly the combat familiar.  This guys is a cheap-ish way to purchase two extra attacks per round.  The only drawback is that they are S4 AP- attacks.  Hence, the combat familiar isn't too great.  If the attacks were made at the same Strength as the chaos lord, then this would be fine and a reasonable upgrade.  But given the price tag, a power weapon would prove a better investment surely.

Secondly: the spell familiar. I like the idea presented in the codex relating to the Thousand Sons.  Particularly that these familiars are tutelaries as we read about in the Horus Heresy books! The spell familiar allows the user to re-roll failed psychic tests.  This is quite valuable in the long game.  Having said that, all the dark sorcerers have Ld10.  Even the aspiring sorcerers of the Thousand Sons beat out the other cult units in having Ld10!  (e.g. plague champions "only" have Ld9).  So, such psychic tests are going to fail 3 times in 36, which is once every 12 times.  But if we're considering a Sorcerer Lord with a level three mastery level, they could be throwing out 3 spells per turn: a total of 15 spells per (5 turn) game.  Hence in a game of 5 turns, we could expect (on average) at least one failure.  Is it important to have 15 passed tests instead of 14?  Probably not.  But knowing my die rolls, its probably going to be the one time that its really, really needed!  Even so, I cannot contend that the spell familiar is a good investment of points. 

For interest, in the previous codex, a spell familiar cost 5 points and granted the player an extra psychic power.  This was a totally superior familiar, but I can see why it was done away with!  As an additional note, the version 3.5 codex also had the same familiar: 5 points for an extra "major power".  But I think a full discussion of what a "major power" was (as opposed to a randomly rolled "minor power") is best left alone for the time being!

Tuesday, December 11, 2012

Forge World Jigsaw Teaser

In their latest newsletter, Forge World has released their traditional teaser for a future miniature. This year, they're doing it as a jigsaw, rather than one big "reveal".  This is part 1.  The other parts will be released progressively.
So, the question is, what could this be?!

From the base and size of the lower leg, I'm going to go out on a limb (bad pun there!) and suggest its a terminator.

Now, if its a terminator or similar, what would Forge World consider to be worth teasing us with?  I'm going to extrapolate and suggest this this guy is going to be one of the miniatures for the Horus Heresy series, especially given the tabard and general Heresy era feel of the picture.  They've already released Angron, so could this be another primarch?  I don't think its Horus or Mortarion (they've got capes, and look different in their images in my opinion).  There's an outside chance it could be Fulgrim, but I'm not keen on that hypothesis.

So I'm going to put it out there and suggest that it COULD be Abaddon.  What do you reckon?

(image copyright Forge World).

Monday, December 10, 2012

Blight Drone, Magnetized

One of the newer additions to my collection is a Blight Drone of Nurgle.  This guys comes in quite a number of parts, including two counter rotating fans for each armature, a head and tail section, several guns, and a small heap of wires to add on the under-carriage.

Assembling the beastie was not troublesome at all.  Plus, a little bit of uncaring assembly always does Nurgle miniatures the world of good as well.  The one change that I did make was to add on a pair of magnets on the armatures.  This required a little bit of filing away at the holes in which to insert the arms to make them a little bit deeper and rounder so that they could take a magnet. The ends of the arms then had the counterpart magnet glued on to them.  Although there is a wire to connect the fans to the main body, I haven't included them as I thought they were excessively fiddly and got in the way of having a good magnetized drone.  The magnetization really helps with transportation of this miniature. Without it, I think there's a really good chance of it breaking in transit. 

Finally, the base is one that I bought, and I mounted the drone using a thick copper rod to the base to give it a little elevation.  Can't wait to get around to painting this one!

Sunday, December 9, 2012

CSM Options: Evaluation of Ichor Blood

One of the more interesting options in the new codex is the Ichor Blood upgrade. Harking back to the old Realms of Chaos rewards, the Ichor Blood strikes back against any unit that is good enough to mistreat a Chaos Lord.

Ichor Blood is very situational.  Basically, it strikes back against a unit with a S3 AP4 hit.  Let's imagine that this is directed against a standard space marine and compare it to (for the sake of argument) a combi-bolter (i.e. a twin-linked bolter) which costs only fractionally less on a marine lord (slightly more on a terminator lord).

S3 hits automatically and wounds on 5+.  The unit gets a 3+ save (hypothetically), so each wound from ichor blood stands a 0.111 chance of causing a wound.  Compare that to a combi-bolter.  It hits on a 3+ (re-rolling missed hits).  Wounds on a 4+ and the unfortunate hypothetical marine survives on a 3+.  That makes a 0.148 chance of an unsaved wound.  Hence, I think that the offensive option (combi-bolter) outweighs the defensive option (ichor blood).  But then again, if the chaos lord is a close combat orientated chap, then how much use will the lord get out of the combi-bolter in comparison to the ichor blood is questionable.  But equally, ichor blood also relies on a wound being caused on the lord himself.  Shouldn't the lord be winning against opponents if constructed well? :)

So to conclude, I'm torn on Ichor Blood.  I want to take it if I think I'm going to get the lord in to melee and take an odd unsaved wound from another character that we've challenged.  Mayhaps I'll save the points for something offensive to be fair: better to cause problems than react to them?

Friday, December 7, 2012

Wargames Gallery: Iconic Clash

An iconic scene of Tzeentch vs Nurgle: the Thousand Sons take on a squad of plaguemarines to contest an objective nearby. Backed up by chaos terminators, the traitors attempt to overwhelm the daemon forces.

Thursday, December 6, 2012

What Advice to give First Time Apocalypse Players?


I have played numerous Apocalypse games since the supplement came out.  Most were completely chaotic (double entendre intended) and complete mayhem.  Some featured vehicles only.  Some were full on, using every single rule imaginable and then some (did you ever receive a phone call from the store down the road for an incoming template blast on that table you're playing on, in a different store?!).  I actually really like the complete madness that comes with the territory.  But I know its not to everyone's tastes. 

In the coming weeks, I'll be introducing the gaming group to Apocalypse in a 5 vs 5 match.  I'm the only person (I think) who's had any experience with Apocalypse though. So, what advice do you think I should dispense to my friends about playing Apocalypse for the first time?  Any words of wisdom would be gratefully received!  (I'm also preparing a minor scenario, and certainly not going to be allowing flank march, but most other things are possible!). 

Tuesday, December 4, 2012

CSM Options: Icon of Wrath

The Icon of Wrath is for the Khorne Boys amongst us.  In short, the equipped unit can re-roll charge distances and gain furious charge.  Both are totally worthwhile on a close combat squad!


The average price for the icon is 20 points, but a little less for some squads, e.g.: Khorne Berzerkers. This is understandable since they already have furious charge.

So, some players may hesitate to purchase an Icon of Wrath for Berzerkers.  But you'll only do that once.  That'll be the time that you roll 3 or less for your charge range, but needed a 6 or so to get in to combat.  With Kharn in your unit as well.  After that, I assure you that you will want to take this icon!  (although it'd be even better if it still acted as a teleport homer, but thats another post!).

Monday, December 3, 2012

CSM Options: Icon of Flame

The Tzeentch marked boys have the option of getting the Icon of Flame: an interesting tactical icon that grants the soul blaze special rule to anyone armed with bolt-spitting weapons. 

Now, soul blaze in itself is an interesting idea.  If a unit takes an unsaved wound, there's a 50% chance it'll take a further d3 S4 hits at the end of each turn.  That's basically a mean of 2 extra bolter rounds.  Sure, they still have to wound.  So that means 1 wound (if against a space marine).  And said space marine stands a 1 in 3 chance of perishing from this.  This isn't great, but can be enough to finish off a pesky unit that has been whittled down to the last man (or two) on occasion.  Its probably better against beasts (e.g. chaos spawn), the odd low toughness character (or even monstrous creature), and hordes of tyranid gaunts (in which case, take an icon on every squad so that you can soul blaze every opposing unit!).  It could be worthwhile with havocs armed with bolters, but here's the but:

Given the average price of this icon is about 15 points, we must weigh it up against something like purchasing a heavy bolter (5 points cheaper!) or a plasma gun (same price).  Due to the high S and low AP, the plasma gun is going to win every single time. 

Hence, I might consider the odd Icon of Flame on a (fluffy) Tzeentch-themed army, particularly on havocs or terminators, but that's about it.  Otherwise, in a generalist list, I can't particularly see the worth in them.  Invest in a plasma gun instead.  Or a heavy bolter plus flamer.  Or meltagun plus flamer.  Or a missile launcher.  Any of these are probably going to earn their points back quicker than an icon of flame, sadly.

Sunday, December 2, 2012

CSM Options: Icon of Vengeance

The ability to confer the fearless rule on any unit that takes this option can be a fantastic investment (as well as the +1 combat resolution that all icons get).  In the old chaos marine codex, the equivalent icon (icon of chaos glory) simply allowed the re-rolling of failed leadership rolls.  Hence the new codex is strictly different.  Depending on the unit in question, the icon of vengeance's price varies from 5 points, through to 35 points, with the median cost being 25 points. 

Instead of reviewing why fearless is so good, let me point out a few negatives about being fearless and having this icon (in general).  Firstly, if you lose the icon, the unit loses fearless.  Clearly snipers can cause this, and also poor positioning within a squad.  Secondly, fearless means that the unit can never go to ground voluntarily.  You've got to keep the unit going onward and upward all the time!  Thirdly, they cannot elect to fail morale checks simple due to having useless weapons against a target.  They will nibble the enemy to death!  Personally, I don't like this latter one, as it confuses "fearless" with the old-fashioned "stupidity" rules (must go to nearest enemy, and try to kill them!).  Clearly this latter one is a problem if the unit is not kitted out correctly.  Being tarpitted against a soul grinder is not fun for a fearless unit that cannot hurt it, ever.

So, I regard this icon as being totally worthwhile on the correct unit.  And that unit is probably going to be a front-line close-combat unit that does not have a character associated with it.  That said, there is a mild case to be made for devastator squads (etc.) since we don't want them running off when the first couple of casualties come in either.  But the price of these icons do add up pretty quickly.  I think adding a fearless-conferring character to a squad, where possible, is preferable to the icon.  A few choice look-out-sirs and it should be all fine if the die are rolling well.

Saturday, December 1, 2012

Dear Alpharius (vol. III)

Dear Alpharius,

  Just As Planned.

Your faithful servant,
  Alpharius.


+++ Thought for the day.
+++ Let the Galaxy Burn, For the Emperor!

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...
 
Blogger Templates created by Deluxe Templates • Wordpress designed by Acosmin