Tuesday, May 28, 2013

Chaos Daemons Review: Seekers of Slaanesh

The fast attack slot of the daemons codex feels like it is jam packed with quite reasonable and darn good choices.  Seekers of Slaanesh are probably in the quite reasonable category.

Think of them as enhanced daemonettes.  In addition, they have outflank and acute senses.  This makes them very agile.  And did I mention swift?  As cavalry, they can certainly cover a great amount of distance and combined with the mark of Slaanesh mean they can move with an additional 6" when running.  That's phenomenal - and in some ways: game breaking.  There's almost no other unit that can move that far.

For the upgrades, the rapturous standard is interesting and could be used for high priority target hunting.  The etherblade and the heartseeker upgrades seem worthwhile on face value and probably should be taken on most squads.  The lash of despair could be useful for its 2d6 assault value, but the strength is poor - as is the AP.  So perhaps best to stick with an ether blade in my opinion.

Here's a pair of builds to consider:
12 Seekers of Slaanesh, including 1 Heartseeker with Etherblade. (159 points)
A large squad of rapidly moving seekers that should take a herald on a steed with them in many cases to go forth and target whichever squad they like with their rapid movement.  They are a herald delivery system to some extent.

6 Seekers of Slaanesh, including Icon upgraded to rapturous standard, 1 Heartseeker with Etherblade. (117 points)
The HQ hunters.

Thursday, May 23, 2013

Theogonies (Angel Exterminatus Spoilers)

I have recently been reading Horus Heresy: Angel Exterminatus by the excellent Graham McNeill.  I don't want to tell you anything about the actual story itself.  But I wanted to discuss a few parts of the novel here.

Specifically, there are three (sub) chapters entitled "Theogonies".  Within those chapters, we read and learn of the earliest days of Perturabo, Ferrus Manus, and Fulgrim. Of these primarchs, there are clearly variations in their histories and their planet of landing. But what really struck me about the early histories are the age of the primarchs upon landing.

Fulgrim is still a baby essentially and lands as such before being discovered.  Ferrus Manus on the other hand is a fully grown youth (teenager equivalent perhaps?) when he steps out of his pod and looks around his environment.  Perturabo is a bit more ambiguous as we pick his story up during an ascent of a cliff -- it is hinted he doesn't quite know how he got there. So we can't draw too many conclusions there.  But why should the newly landed primarchs have such different ages / maturities?  Was is that their pods took different times to fly through the warp?  Do their ages relate to the distances of the planets (Medusa, etc.) away from Terra?  Or did they genuinely age differently?

But even more puzzling to me is this: why did most of the primarchs have their names given to them, whereas Perturabo remembers what his name really is?  Who named Perturabo?  Was it the Emperor, or did he decide himself?  An entertaining conundrum!

Tuesday, May 21, 2013

Do Primarchs have 2 Hearts?

Here's a question for you all.

The sons of the primarchs have 2 hearts (and all those other implants associated with becoming space marines).  But -- do the primarchs themselves has those very same implants?  Given how they matured to adulthood on wildly distant planets away from Terra, were they retro-fitted with such implants?  Or have they never received them?  In the background, the implants must all be implanted during the years of maturation - clearly missed by the primarchs.  But yet, surely they must have the black carapace, otherwise their power armour would not function correctly?

Ah well!  Love to hear your thoughts on that conundrum!

Monday, May 20, 2013

Of HH Weekends

There are now many websites discussing the Horus Heresy Weekender.  My own take on it is one of excitement! I'm particularly pleased to see the new legions that are going to be described in the forthcoming editions of the codex-like books.  The splitting of Isstvaan 5 in to two parts is slightly annoying, but only in the sense that I have to wait 6 months from book 2 to 3 and learn more of the Alpha Legion et al.

The pictures of Fulgrim look fantastic as well. The keening edge of his blade and the dynamic modelling looks awesome.  Can't wait to see how they model Ferrus Manus as the counterpart of the duel.  But that leads me to another thought: Horus himself has not yet been released.  Nor Mortarion.  It strikes me that Forgeworld is a little bit behind where I'd ideally like to see them.  Especially now that miniatures such as Vulcan must be forthcoming.

Of other legions such as the White Scars, there is little to go on.  Looks like they'll be one of the last legions simply because they didn't play a large role in the Heresy until the siege of Terra itself (wherein they were critical).  But its nice to see that the daemons will be getting some attention - alongside the Blood Angels.  Presumably re-enacting the Cathedral of the Mark scenario.  I hope its not just Khorne and Slaanesh that get the attention though.  It'd be good to see the others in there as well.

Thursday, May 16, 2013

Chaos Daemons Review: Chaos Furies

Chaos furies have been in the daemons pantheon for a long while. Even back in the old realms of chaos, there were independent daemons who owed no allegiance to the big powers. In the new daemons codex, the furies can be bought unaligned, or bought corrupted by one of the big four. The option to upgrade with to a daemon of the big four is what makes them really shine in my opinion:  shrouded Nurglesque furies; red Khornate furies with hatred; rending Slaaneshi furies -- there's little not to like. Perhaps Tzeentch is the only one that is not so wonderful since they are not spellcasters, but re-rolling a save of a 1 is just about okay. So themed armies only for Tzeentch furies.

The final point is their cost. They are cheap. Darn cheap. The fast attack choices in daemons armies has gone from "yeah Screamers of Tzeentch of flesh hounds are okay" to "what to choose ... hmmmm...". And that can only be a good thing. I could see the potential for fury hordes here -- in the same way that Tyranids can field gargoyle hordes.

Here's a few potential builds.

20 Chaos Furies (125 points)
Cheap jump infantry. A smoke screen and flesh shield. A late game contesting squad. Expendable. Fun!

14 Chaos Furies, Daemons of Nurgle (117 points)
More expensive than the above, but they get shrouded, at the expense of slow and purposeful.

16 Chaos Furies, Daemons of Khorne (133 points)
Slaughter and skulls for the skull throne!  The boost from Khorne is powerful: might as well take a reasonable sized unit to take advantage of that fact (and 16 is a multiple of Khorne's sacred number).

18 Chaos Furies, Daemons of Slaanesh (149 points)
Go and rend things!  Move with fleet otherwise.  A fast and quite hard hitting unit thanks to rending.  They could be a real danger.  And you can do everything that basic furies can as well.  Very worth while for this unit I think -- lots of potential!

(Image: WFB Strigoi collectors miniature -- I know its not a fury, but I think it looks like a good approximation to one and I think a unit of these as furies would look very cool).

Monday, May 13, 2013

Chaos Daemons Review: Plague Drones of Nurgle

New for this codex is Nurgle's entry in the fast attack section: plague drones.  Sadly I always get confused with this name and "Blight Drones", but that is about my only criticism.

What are they good for then?  Well, they move fast.  And if you're a long time Nurgle fan, then you will know what a huge boon this is.  Seriously: a Nurgle unit that moves fast breaks the Nurgle rule of being slow and purposeful (literally).  With shrouded and a toughness of 5, these guys are going to be quite mean to take down.

But therein, there's a conundrum.  On their own, they don't have a particularly great role.  The only way that they are going to take enemies down is through their sheer numbers (and sheer number of poisoned attacks).  And as such, the way to play them is either (1) as a tar pit or (2) as a final turn swooper to claim or contest objectives (depending on which of the standard games is being played).  They are simply not geared to take down armour, and not particularly great at taking down terminators and their ilk.  But they might be able to tar pit for long enough that it won't be an issue.  An etherblade or greater etherblade would be a nice way to cause a threat to 2+ save models though and is a serious contender for spending points on.

Death heads give a 12" ranged attack which is also poisoned.  This could actually be good on this unit since they're about the only one that might benefit from it (i.e. being able to position themselves quick and accurately for their use).  Venom sting inflicts instant death and could be a useful idea for character hunting (but is expensive).  Rot Proboscis give a 3+ poisoned rule which is nice, but again: also expensive.  And as with many units, icons and instruments can be added to taste.

Here's a few ideas on builds.

5 Plague drones of Nurgle, Venom Stings, Plaguebringer with Greater Etherblade (260 points)
This is a pricey unit (in comparison to say, thunder hammer terminators), but is fundamentally a character hunter and killer.  Seek out enemy characters and try to instant death them.  You only need to score that one wound and it could be pulled off by this unit effectively (with some good die rolling).

3 Plague drones of Nurgle, Plaguebringer with Greater Etherblade, Icon of Chaos, Instrument of chaos (176 points)
A fairly bland set up, but potentially very useful with the instrument inside it.  Use it as a tar pit to stop pesky fire warriors shooting everything else out the the sky?

3 Plaguedrones of Nurgle, Plaguebringer with Etherblade, Death Heads (156 points)
A slightly cheaper tar pit unit.  If it survive (or if you hide it), use it to swoop on an objective in the late game.

Wednesday, May 8, 2013

Wargames Gallery: Dark Eldar Iconography

One of group's free-hand painting work (not my own!) that I thought was really, really cool when I saw it up close.  Enjoy!

Monday, May 6, 2013

Chaos Daemons Review: Screamers of Tzeentch

It had to happen: the screamers of Tzeentch foresaw the battering that they'd get by asking Kairos.  Instead of all their attacks being at AP2, they may now swap all available attacks for a singular AP2 attack in close combat.  But you know: that really isn't so bad.  Such an attack in a reasonably sized shoal of screamers will still cause headaches for terminators.

They are more readily shot down and generally dealt with by enemy armies as well now -- a S8 hit will kill them outright due instant death.  A bit more like what they were when daemons came our really (with armourbane).  Since I have been using them before they got good, this sits well with me.  But the real strength comes from the fly-overs that they can do.  Their slashing attack can cause certain armies quite a headache for little effort.  Combine with other flying units and the screamers will still, no doubt, have a strong place in daemon armies.

Fundamentally, they're still jetbikes as well.  Two wound jetbikes as well.  And they're a reasonable price.  Expect to see them execute late game swoops on to objectives to contest them (or claim them if playing that mission!).  I'd be tempted to field them in squads of about 5 or so -- enough to prevent them all dropping dead in one turn (unless they get really concentrated and sustained incoming firepower - in which case they've probably soaked enough wounds to allow other army elements to move in to place) and significant to cause headaches where required.

Thursday, May 2, 2013

Chaos Daemons Review: Flesh Hounds

We turn to the first of an expanded fast attack section of the Chaos Daemons codex.  Flesh hounds are one of the units in the new codex that retain their attraction -- albeit, a different attraction to the older codex.  Firstly, they have a space marine-like stat line.  But moreover: two wounds each.  But the key attraction is surely their price tag.  They are very points cost effective for what they give.  Two wounds each and a space marine stat line.  Its a winner really.  Even if their armour save is 6+/5++.

On the battlefield, they could fulfil several distinct roles.  As an escort, they could readily take Karanak or a Khorne herald to the front lines.  On their own, use the scouts rule to get rapidly in to position and get stuck in to a heavy support (infantry) squad.  Use their wounds to soak up firepower and tar pit critical enemy units.  Use them to buy time for other elements of the daemons army to get in position.  Surround an enemy psyker and give them a jolt when you tell them what a collar of Khorne does.

Ideally, they don't want to be left on their own though.  They're probably not quite buff enough on their own to tar pit forever -- leave that to plaguebearers and plaguemarines.  They'll probably need support eventually.

Two build to consider for you:
8 flesh hounds of Khorne (128 points)
Small enough to deep strike accurately, sleek enough to cause head aches.

16 flesh hounds of Khorne (256 points)
Start them on the board with a herald or Karanak (or both?!) and move up the board as a significant fire magnet and threat.  They will die, no doubt, but remember even their blood is welcome...
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