Friday, May 30, 2014

Night Lords, Realms of Chaos style

Following on from the Realms of Chaos Alpha Legion post, today: I wanted to share with you the Realms of Chaos version of the Night Lords. To put it bluntly (or at least to paraphrase their words), the World Eaters weren't the only chapter to fully dedicate themselves to the blood god Khorne!  Check out the banner and the shoulder pad below it.

Forget dark blue with lightning strikes all over it. These Night Lords are seriously in to the reds and blacks of Khorne! Terrifying!

Thursday, May 29, 2014

Horus Heresy Review: Legion Rapier Weapons Battery

The final entry for the elites section is the rapier weapons battery. It is intended to be a semi-automated portable weapons platform. The core concept is that it is able to be deployed where regular tank platforms would not. With a decent toughness and two wounds, the rapier carrier should hang around for a while on the battlefield and is therefore a viable option for the types of terrain its supposed to transverse.

There are only 4 options for the weapons, but each force organisation chart slot may take up to three of these platforms each.  To be honest, I think we'd be wanting to take 3 of the same type if we decided to field these batteries: same range and same purpose makes for a better squadron than a mixed weapon squadron.

The weapons are: quad heavy bolter, laser destroyer array, quad mortar (a.k.a. the Thud Gun!), or a graviton cannon.

The quad heavy bolter is only heavy 4. Although cheap, it is fundamentally still a heavy bolter kind of weapon (i.e. AP5 and nothing particularly special about its effects). This is not my preferred load out as I think infantry can do this almost as well for similar points.

The laser destroyer array is a great tank killer. Taking three of these would cost 165 points and give an excellent possibility of taking out some of the heaviest enemy tanks on the battlefield. Albeit with a 36" range. After that, targeting heavy infantry or primarchs seems like a good secondary idea! The twin-linked and ordnance can really help with this role.

The thud gun is a bit of a classic. With 4 shots and a reasonable chance of pinning (thanks to the "shell shock" special rule), this can really do the hard work against enemy infantry blobs. And the excellent range (up to 60") is nothing to be sneezed at either. I almost prefer this one for sentimentality stakes, but I'd probably still take the laser destroyer array to be honest.

The graviton cannon depends entirely on how you feel about graviton weapons. Rolling a toughness test is a great mechanic that can help bypass regular Strength vs. Toughness rolls. And haywire vs. tanks gives excellent tactical flexibility.

So overall, I really like the laser destroyer, but could certainly opt for the thud gun as well. The other two depends on how you feel about graviton guns or heavy bolters and can therefore be much more situational. I could easily see the graviton cannon getting plenty of use, but less so for the quad heavy bolter.

Tuesday, May 27, 2014

Horus Heresy Review: Contemptor Dreadnought Talon

The most advanced pattern of dreadnought armour available at the outset of the Heresy, the contemptor features a 5+ invulnerable save due to the atomantic shielding and gains the fleet special rule over its normal dreadnought companion. The weapon load outs are slightly different here as well: plenty more paired weaponry is possible, and, if I'm honest: should be taken full advantage of.

Below are a few sample builds, but in each I concentrate on only a single contemptor. Multiple contemptors can be taken as a single force organisation chart slot and deployed together as a talon but then function as a unit in their own right. Clearly there are some synergies to be had and multiple redundancies.

Contemptor dreadnought, 2 multi-meltas, extra armour (185 points)
A vehicle killer. Plonk inside a drop pod if possible and deep strike near its selected target. The extra armour is to help survive vehicle explosion blasts and other incoming firepower should the need arise.

Contemptor dreadnought, 2 twin linked las cannons (225 points)
Another vehicle killer. Or monstrous creature. Blast away from the back lines.  Good luck!

Contemptor dreadnought, 2 twin linked auto cannons (190 points)
A good deal of withering firepower to build an anti-infantry dreadnought out of.  Probably nicer to take the Kheres cannons (below) instead though.

Contemptor dreadnought, 2 Kheres Pattern assault cannons (205 points)
I regard this one as the de-facto standard build for firepower. Regular dreadnoughts cannot take this option, so one might as well use the advantage of this contemptor option and put it to good use. Heavy 6 rending is really, really significant. Two of them can be devastating. Well worth the points, even on a contemptor with no other upgrades.

Contemptor dreadnought with 2 close combat weapons, each with an inbuilt heavy flamer (195 points)
A classic close combat dreadnought. Replace the heavy flamers for other weapons (plasma blaster, melta gun, graviton gun) to taste. Add on a havoc launcher if you have the points, and place inside a drop pod.

Contemptor dreadnought with 1 heavy conversion beamer, havoc launcher and close combat weapon (225 points)
The conversion beamer and havoc launcher have overlapping ranges (unlike many of the other weapon combinations) and can provide a nice synergy. This guy sits at the back and blasts away - assuming a good line of sight. The close combat weapon is to deal with pesky infiltrators and the like, making for a fully flexible dreadnought role.

Monday, May 26, 2014

The new meta for 7th: Psykers?

When I look back at what I wrote when 6th edition came along, I suggested that the new meta would rotate around flying and flyers. Was that the correct prediction?

In part perhaps. Certainly the advent of flyers such as the Heldrake became defining for a number of Chaos builds. And certainly many marine armies started to feature flyers of their own to a greater or lesser extent.

This had one direct effect on the kinds of armies that I employed: they would either feature flyers of their own, or have multiple ways of dealing with and counteracting flyers. Mark for instance the growth in the number of sky fire squads and fortifications. But I missed out on the sheer growth of deathstar units (but quickly caught on…).

In 7th, I'm going to go out on a (ambiguously sized) limb and suggest that psykers and the psionics phase will come to be the defining feature of the new edition, with unbound armies coming almost in parallel to that (but even perhaps in 2nd place to psionics). Not only will the new system, I think, lead to a huge increase in psykers on the battlefield, but it will also lead to an increase in ways to counter them. Just in the same way that flyers did for 6th. This is not necessarily a bad thing. It just leads to more builds and a different type of arms race. At least in the sense that it is now a very wide open field when it comes to army building. I think we're going to see many armies focusing on psychics, but we're also going to see some other more left-field armies have incredible success as folks build armies on a different meta - perhaps excessive numbers of flyers, infiltrators, jump infantry, drop pod death, fortifications plus defenders or other shenanigans. Being so wide open, its going to see a plethora of builds that will all prove viable one way or another. At least that's my prediction. In so much as the new psychics will open up very specific builds but as armies are constructed around its boons or counter-measures, others will take out the field by some out-of-the-box thinking.

That said, I am concerned as a daemons player. Although I certainly have enough daemonettes, plaguebearers, pink horrors, and bloodletters to summon (and indeed: greater daemons), I worry that a chaos army focussed around summoning extra daemons will be quickly banned in more competitive and casual play.

In the meantime: Vive Le Revolution!

Saturday, May 24, 2014

Horus Heresy Review: Legion Dreadnought Talon

A staple of many space marine lists even before the advent of the Contemptor class dreadnought. And with good reason: these guys can be configured in many ways for a variety of roles. To be honest, I'd be a lot more tempted to field contemptors than the regular dreadnoughts since the price increase is very worth while. That said, the regular dreadnoughts are cheaper and have viable builds. Multiple talons of these dreadnoughts will cause headaches and they're fluffy for Iron Hands, Iron Warriors, and so forth.

One key item to remember here is that one can field up to 3 in a single talon. Although they're deployed together, they are then treated as individual units from there on.

Here are a build ideas. I'm only looking at individual dreadnoughts here, but there is clearly room to add in other dreadnoughts (or similar or different builds) to aid the rest of the talon.

Dreadnought, 2 close combat weapons with in build heavy flamers, havoc launcher (160 points)
A classic close combat build with 2 weapons and heavy flamers for taking out large blobs of infantry. Add on a havoc launcher just because its great. Add on a drop pod if you can and go stomping.

Dreadnought, 2 close combat weapons with built in plasma blasters, havoc launcher (180 points)
Getting a bit pricey, but replace the heavy flamers with plasma blasters and then go hunt down some heavier infantry.

Dreadnought, 2 twin linked missile launchers, havoc launcher (165 points)
Plenty of blast templates and potential to hurt light tanks. Sit around and pick your targets to take down. An excellent support build.

Dreadnought, 2 twin linked auto cannons (140 points)
Classic dakka!

Dreadnought, Multi melta, close combat weapon with in built melta gun (140 points)
Place in a drop pod and go tank hunting.

Dreadnought, siege-wrecker with in built heavy flamer, Flamestorm cannon (150 points)
A mixed purposed dreadnought. Crack open a fort and fry the contents. Beef up the armour if you feel you need to with extra armour or armoured ceramite.

Dreadnought, close combat weapon with in built twin linked bolted, plasma cannon (135 points)
Cheap. Cheerful. Effective. And one of my favourite ways to configure multi-purpose dreadnoughts. Several of these will cause headaches.

Friday, May 23, 2014

Horus Heresy Review: Apothecarion Detachment

The competition for the elites slot heats up significantly with the Apothecarion Detachment (unless you're going for a new-style unbound army of course…).

In a nut shell, they're going to give a selection of your units feel no pain. And this also extends to any independent character who also joins the squad. The utility of these to characters like Praetors and legion consuls is obvious.

However, throw in an augury scanner and they're also going to be useful to back line legion heavy support squads as well as more forward squads to prevent infiltration. Of course, regular squad sergeants can also take these scanners, but in a large points battle, having two of them in a squad can be beneficial if the sergeant perishes and the interceptor rule is still needed.

The other options are a bit bland, but could potentially fit in with similarly armed squads. Combi-weapons, volkite chargers and power swords are all viable in some given situations. Artificer armour is however a reasonable to excellent investment if you think that AP3 is going to be an issue (as opposed to AP1 or 2!).

Here's a few builds.

1 Legion Apothecary, Power Sword, Combi-plasma (65 points)
A lot of points for a 1-wound model perhaps. But this one will be joining a front line squad. Perhaps a seeker or destroyer squad.

3 Legion Apothecaries, all with augury scanners (150 points)
All round utility.

2 Legion Apothecaries, both with artificer armour (110 points)
The apothecaries from Forge World are sold in pairs… so there's two here. Artificer armour to help them survive. And therefore also helps their squad survive. An excellent choice really!

Thursday, May 22, 2014

Hair styles of the Primarchs

Since I'm feeling in a random sort of mood today, I'd like to present (tongue in cheek) the real reason that the heretics lost the war in M30.

Their hairstyles!

Let's start with the loyalists:
Lion El'Johnson: long, flowing, kept blonde hair.
Jaghatai Khan: long top knot.
Leman Russ long flowing, sometimes plaited hair.
Rogan Dorn: short white hair, untameable.
Sanguinius: long, flowing hair.
Ferrus Manus: short, closely cropped dark hair.
Roboute Guilliman: short, closely cropped hair.
Vulkan: shaved /  bald scalp.
Corvus Corax: long, flowing hair.

summary: 5 long, 3 short, 1 shaved/bald.

And now the nominal traitors:
Fulgrim: long, flowing, kept white hair.
Perturabo: bald (or at least unknown under all that cerebral piping).
Konrad Curze: long, lank and probably unwashed dark hair.
Angron: bald/shaved with lots of pipes coming out of the scalp.
Mortarion: bald.
Magnus the Red: long flowing hair.
Horus Lupercal: shaved / bald scalp.
Lorgar Aurelian: shaved / bald scalp.
Alpharius: shaved scalp.

summary: 3 long, 0 short, 6 shaved/bald.

Yes, that's right. The traitors lost because not a single one of them had short closely cropped hair. If only Horus and Lorgar grew theirs slightly longer like Ferrus and Dorn, the tide might have turned… but all that head shaving lost them the war. Or perhaps Curze just needed to be introduced to shampoo. We're not sure.

Tuesday, May 20, 2014

Horus Heresy Review: Techmarine Covenant

Techmarines will no doubt be a central feature in many Legion builds - especially those like the Iron Hands where such characters are central to the ethos of the Legion. But overall, I suspect that the techmarines are a poor choice for a valuable elites slot if one is building a themed army that won't be "unbound".

One can purchase up to three techmarines as a single Force Organization Chart slot, and each of them act as their own independent unit. In addition they can be accompanied by servitors which serve in a number of capacities: ranged weapons, close combat weapons, or just general meat shields. And, of course, the techmarines themselves act to help vehicles survive on the battlefield. Ideally they'd be used around superheavy tanks, or at the very least those tanks that are going to be responsible for pumping out a good deal of firepower. Keeping those kinds of tanks active can be game changing, particularly if a weapon destroyed result gets reversed.

Here's the catch. They only do that on a 5+ roll. So what is the probability of that occurring? Well for 1 techmarine it is clearly 2 in 6, or 0.33. For 2 techmarines, it is 0.56. For 3 techmarines, a probability of 0.71. Therefore if the battlefield role is to keep tanks going, take 3 techmarines!

Below are a few builds to consider.

1 Legion Techmarine, 4 Servo-automata, conversion beamer (128 points)
A sort of cheap build. This one is meant to hang around a critical tank and keep it going. In turns that this doesn't apply, use the conversion beamer to lay down some solid firepower. And use the servitors as simple meat shields for the techmarine. A risk as well since there is only 1 techmarine. Add an augury scanner to taste.

3 Legion Techmarines, each with 4 Servo-automata, conversion beamer (384 points)
As above, but for when you absolutely must keep your shadowsword tank (or similar) alive!

3 Legion Techmarines (135 points)
The naked version of the above. Used purely to keep that vital tank alive. Good luck!

3 Legion Techmarines, Rad grenades, Thunder Hammer, Nuncio Vox (240 points)
Ride around in a transport. Aid another unit disembarking nearby?

1 Techmarine, Rad grenades, Thunder Hammer, Melta bombs, 4 Servo-automata with lascutters (143 points)
A sort-of close combat tank hunting techmarine unit? Better options than this realistically I think, but just pointing it out for completeness.

Monday, May 19, 2014

Assorted thoughts about the Heresy Weekender

So, by now there are lots of pictures and discussions circulating about what was revealed (or not!) at this weekend's Horus Heresy Weekender. Although I didn't attend personally (maybe next time since I'm now in the right country!), I thought I'd share a few of my thoughts.

Vulkan: whoa - totally awesome! I really liked this "reveal" and the sculpt looks plain fantastic. Just how I pictured this primarch in my mind to be honest. I really like this, and if I were an ardent Salamander fan, this would be on my purchase list even if I didn't play 30k.

Mortarion: I might be one of a minority here. But. I actually didn't like the sculpt. As a long term Nurgle and Death Guard player, there's just something about the sculpt that didn't click for me. Perhaps its the recessed hood and odd back-pack. Maybe its the stature of the guy. Could be the pose with the scythe not looking quite right to my eye (but maybe that's just a function of the photography). But there's something there that I just don't like all that much. I thought Typhus was better to be fair. Okay - I said it. Perhaps you're going to flame me in the comments, but its just an aesthetic that didn't click for me.  Roll on Alpharius(!)

Future books: I really would have like to have heard that they were doing the Prospero book and featuring the Thousand Sons and Space Wolves Legions. Instead that one has been put back on the schedule for reasons that I'm not totally clear on. Perhaps relating to model sculpts or rules testing. I'm not sure.  Instead, we hear that the next book titled "Conquest" will be more focussed on campaigns, and provide lists for none-legion armies. I think this is odd. I would have thought that the Legion army lists and special rules are what is driving sales here (even over and above Mechanicum / Dark Mechanicum / Imperial Army lists). Hence I would have at least liked to have seen rumoured a new legion described. Even the Ultramarines at the Battle of Calth would have been awesome to hear about. But without a new legion being introduced, the temptation to purchase this one might be lower than the previous ones.  Hmmmm.

Other than that, I've been impressed with the other miniatures we've been seeing. The Word Bearers possessed look very nice (but similar in some ways to the current plastic range, hence I suspect players like me won't be buying them!). The imperial guardsman looks okay, and the rumour of the guardswoman sounds good as well -- looking forward to seeing that executed in resin. I'm not a fan of the mechanicum, but the vehicles do look good in a kind of reductionist way. Overall, very happy, but would have liked more legions in the next book.  Pretty please?

Sunday, May 18, 2014

Dark Sun Reviews: Valley of Dust and Fire

What lies beyond Athas' Tablelands? What is in the centre of the Sea of Silt? And what exactly does the Dragon get up to in his considerable spare time?  The Valley of Dust and Fire answers many of these questions and then some.

In a nutshell, this expansion book is partly a campaign expansion, and partly an adventure. It describes in great detail the regions beyond the East of the Tablelands and delves in to the Dragon's (secret) home city of Ur Draxa.

The book commences by providing some good descriptions of the very harsh physical conditions present in and around the silt sea, including the Grey Death. Some tables on weather and wind provide a good distraction for folks wanting to randomise these things on for adventuring beyond the city state of Balic (for example). And the descriptions of the various types of terrain are excellent.

But the utility of the book slows down thereafter. This is simply due to the fact that there isn't sufficient motivation for a party of adventurers to go much further in to the sea of silt. It is a truly harsh wasteland lacking in vital resources (like water and food) and filled with deadly creatures (that may or may not be so edible) and physical conditions that make the slave pens of Tyr or Urik seem appealing. The creatures that inhabit these lands are described in the volume (some are duplicated in the Monstrous Manual for Dark Sun). And moreover, the book also describes the silt skimmers (and other methods of transport over the silt's expanse) in detail which is good for any campaign that wanders near this area (but see also Guistenal later on…).

The book then delves in to specific locations in and around the sea of silt: an island beset with tornados, the Vanishing Lake and others. These are neat and could readily be transplanted to other settings since the memes themselves are solid, if a little specific.

After that though, we start to get deeper in to the domain of the Dragon: the Valley of Dust and Fire itself. Why the PCs would venture in to a lava ring around Ur Draxa is questionable at best. Hence from herein, the book is basically a campaign expansion with little reason for the PCs to ever visit. With the Dragon being the (un-killable?) predator of the whole campaign, heading to the Valley and Ur Draxa should be a one way ticket. Perhaps use it as a grand finale in a dubious attempt to slay the beast? Good transportable portions include descriptions of the burning plains of lava, dead forest and the smoking lands. Excellent fantasy stuff (in a post-apocalyptic sense!).

The detail of the Valley and Ur Draxa (a.k.a. the City of Doom!) itself is fantastic though. Ranging from the deathly politics of the nobel houses through to the patrols that guard it against any incursions, the city itself is interesting, isolationistic and xenophobic. Maps of the centre of the city are provided along with some points of interest that might plausibly be of limited interest to other campaigns. The domain/sanctum of the Dragon himself is also given, should the PCs consider slaying him. Which they won't because he's a super-intelligent beast who's been living for thousands of years and is a psionic / magical monster who plans a lot of contingencies in-spite of his prowess.

Three scenarios for campaigning in the Valley are also given: a Visitation, an Entrapment (oh please no: not the you're all slaves meme again!), and the Native Draxan campaign (which would have to be highly divergent from the regular campaign).

My overall impression is that of a good book that is well executed, but ultimately terribly limited by its own extent. A regular Dark Sun campaign will find good use of the opening chapters for near the Sea of Silt, but the rest of the book -- particularly Ur Draxa -- is mostly of little utility since nobody will go there, unless they're insane, psionically dominated to do so, made slaves, or suicidally want to alpha strike the Dragon. Only 2.5 stars out of 5 from me. It would be much higher if the utility was higher. Don't bother buying it unless you're really really intending to use this area of Athas.

Saturday, May 17, 2014

Games Workshop Kingston-Upon-Hull

If you're in to soccer, you're probably talking about Hull (properly: the city of Kingston-Upon-Hull) for other reasons today.  But today, I'm posting about my mystery customer experience of the Games Workshop there following my travels around...

Physically, the store is located a short walk from the Paragon station train and bus interchange. The public transport in this region (East Riding of Yorkshire) is good and Hull seems to be the terminus of a great number of routes. Not that surprising given the geography of the city, being right on the East coast of England. In some ways, Hull is not a city that is visited by accident since it is at the end of the line. But the city itself is excellent and much under-rated by people who have never been there. Not without reason did it score "capital of culture 2017" for England.

The store itself is deep, but thin like a number of other Games Workshop stores I've visited. That's not a bad thing at all. The gaming tables and stock are up to date and the displays are excellent (but then, so are other stores).

My only grumble realistically were the opening hours. On a number of days in the week, the store does not open until waaaayyy after 9am. Although I can probably see the logic behind this (their customer base probably are not morning owls and they'd like to stay open late to conduct games and have school age children in after school rather than open early), I personally much prefer stores opening between 9 and 10am given a choice. Other than that, I was quite impressed with the store and the city itself.

Tuesday, May 13, 2014

Alpha Legion, Realms of Chaos style

As many of you know, the old Realms of Chaos (Slaves to Darkness and The Lost and the Damned) are a rare collectors item these day. But: they are filled with some great background materials for the chaos armies of yore, and today. 

I wanted to display a few images from the Slaves to Darkness volume with you today, for inspiration and research purposes. They are small cut-out pictures from the Slaanesh Warhammer 40,000 colour page featuring the Alpha Legion's shoulder pads and banner. The Emperor's Children are also featured on the page, along with the Iron Warriors and Alpha Legion. The implication of the Iron Warriors and Alpha Legion somehow being a part of Slaanesh worship is tenuous, but partially implied.

I found the Alpha Legion description informative though: "The fearsome contortions in the Alpha Legion's emblem is matched by the twisted minds and bodies of the Legionnaires."

I'm half tempted to paint a few of the Alpha Legion's twisted shoulder pads (see below) - they're much easier to free-hand than the chained-Alpha/Omega, or the hydra (but then again, the latter is now available through Forge World on pre-order - hurrah!). Hope this has also been inspiring to you!

Saturday, May 10, 2014

Horus Heresy Review: Legion Terminator Squad

Let's state the obvious upfront: you cannot make Thunder Hammer and Storm Shield terminator squads in the Horus Heresy era. They don't exist. Further, they cannot automatically deep strike. Orbital strike barges (i.e. mission special rules) or character special rules must be invoked for this to happen.

Other than that, the terminator squads are exactly what you might expect them to be. Moreover, if you've played with Chaos Terminators to any extent, you probably know how you want to build your squads.

That said, there are two different types of terminator armour to think about. The first is the standard type (sometimes named after the forge world where they were manufactured such as: Tartaros, Saturnine, Indomitus). The second type is Cataphractii pattern terminator armour. The main difference is that the latter gives a 4+ invulnerable save at the expense of swapping relentless for slow and purposeful.

I won't go in to detail about the Land Raider option (Phobos or Spartan) as I'll review them separately later on. Suffice to note that these squads are able to take these options depending on the squad size.

So without further ado, here are some sample builds.

Legion Terminator Squad (5 members), 1 plasma blaster, sergeant with grenade harness (200 points)
This is one to place in a land raider and even have an independent along for the ride. Get them in to position and unload from the land raider. Fire off those weapons and charge in to melee to finish the job. Add some power fists to taste.

Legion Terminator Squad (10 members), 2 reaper autocannons (355 points)
There's an interesting scaling of points at work here. The larger the squad, the cheaper it can get (as opposed to fielding two 5 member squads). This squad is good as it can score in any mission that troops can. But moreover, its such an efficient use of points. Add a power fist or few for taste.

Legion Terminator Squad (5 members), 4 combi-meltas, 3 chain fists (233 points)
This is a pseudo "termicide" squad equipped with meltas.  Select only if the mission permits teleportation deep-striking. But it could still be placed in a land raider for good effect regardless. This is one squad that I suggest taking Cataphractii armour for.

Legion Terminator Squad (9 members), 8 with pairs of lightning claws, sergeant with thunder hammer, heavy flamer and grenade harness (445 points)
This isn't so funny on the points side, but is meant to be used as a personal guard for an independent character and transported on a land raider. On the turn they charge, use the flamer and grenade harness and then kill everything. Everything!  Very World Eater Legion I think! But Sons of Horus with their "merciless fighters" rule would also benefit here as well.

Legion Terminator Squad (5 members), 1 heavy flamer, 2 combi-flamers,  3 power fists (214 points)
Remember that these guys are scoring in any mission that troops are also scoring in? Yep - that's what you're doing here. Sitting on an objective. Take cataphractii armour and bunker down for the game. Flame anything that charges you and finish them off with power weapons and power fists. Try to avoid in coming AP2 fire as much as possible though. These guys are not meant to be a mobile threat, they are a "come here and take this objective from us if you think you can" kind of squad. Replace the combi-weapons with volkite chargers to taste.

Legion Terminator Squad (10 members), 10 volkite chargers (395 points)
If you are going to take volkite weaponry, you probably should go for the full lot or not at all really. With this many vokite weapons, you're looking to literally deflagrate the opposition squads in to nothing. But then there's the issue of getting the squad in to position. I think this squad is risky, but fun when it works!

Thursday, May 8, 2014

Space Wolves Grey Returns!

Today, I'm giving a special shout out to my old pal Adam from Space Wolves Grey.

For the upcoming 7th edition of Warhammer 40,000 (and, of course, the Space Wolves), Adam is re-launching the Space Wolves website.

A plan of his forthcoming activities can be found on The Return of the Wolf post. If you're in to Space Wolves, or (like me) would like to simply know more and like cool conversions, and inside intel about how the army plays, then this blog is one that you cannot really go past. I know some of my old local group will certainly find some useful bits contained within it and I'd thoroughly encourage you to check it out.

Monday, May 5, 2014

Horus Heresy Review: Legion Veteran Tactical Squad

The legion veteran tactical squad is an elites option for the 30k space marine army. It blends aspects of the 40k sternguard, (or even chaos space marine chosen) with a whole slew of options available to it.

What sets these guys apart from their brothers is their vast experience. They have a rule called "Veteran tactics" to represent this. In brief, this allows the fielding player to select from fearless, sniper, furious charge, outflank and tank hunters prior to beginning the game. More than anything, this is the singular rule that sets aside these squads from the more regular tactical squads. That, and an extra base attack.

I personally can see a multitude of roles for these guys. So, fundamentally, its up to the controlling player to determine the purpose of these squads in advance and build them accordingly. The real challenge is not to sink too many points in to these squads (in my opinion) and to not waste a valuable elites slot which is dominated by a plethora of very viable and exciting choices (which I already started reviewing with the legion destroyer squads).

Here are some sample builds to whet your appetite.

Legion veteran tactical squad, 10 members, 2 missile launchers with suspensor webs, upgraded with flakk missiles, legion vexilla (270 points)
This is a tank hunters special rule squad. Sit at the back field and shoot at will. Move up (thanks to the suspensor webs) and carry on shooting as you go. Use the other marines to sacrifice in favour of the missile launchers. Take out fliers with the flakk. The legion vexilla provides a re-roll for morale tests, just in case.

Legion veteran tactical squad with 5 members, all with melta-bombs, all with power weapons, rhino (235 points)
A squad that rides up to an enemy tank, applies some melta charges and chews up any transported enemies with their power weapons. Nasty - but its a bit pricey. Terminators probably do this better, especially if equipped with combi-melta guns. Probably give the furious charge rule to these guys?

Legion veteran tactical squad with 10 members, 2 heavy bolters with suspensor webs, sergeant with a power fist, 3 other veterans with power weapons (285 points).
Give this squad fearless. Then go hunting for enemy infantry. This squad is nicely suited to countering enemy assault squads or devastator like squads. The fearless makes them great at moving around the board unhindered. But remember: they still die like every other space marine on failing a 3+ save, so be careful about their placement and deployment!

Legion veteran tactical squad with 10 members, 2 plasma guns, sergeant with combi-plasma and power fist, all with melta bombs (280 points)
Give this unit outflank (or even sniper, to be honest) and set them up to cause a little bit of back line havoc to the enemy. Add a rhino, legion vexilla, and/or nuncio vox (especially if deep striking) to taste.

Legion veteran tactical squad with 9 members, 2 melta guns, sergeant with power fist, rhino (265 points)
This might be an entertaining option to place a legion HQ choice alongside with if the Legion command squad is not doing anything for you. Hop in the rhino and drive around doing general damage and mayhem wherever is required. Take sniper for fun with the melta guns perhaps…?

Sunday, May 4, 2014

Blight Drone model progress

Today, just an action shot of my blight drone's painting progress.

As can be seen, there's plenty yet to be painted, including the forward oculus (eye lens).

The background is simply a cardboard cut out positioned carefully, and I was experimenting a bit with shooting images using it to be honest. I think its turned out well and gives a sense of dynamism to the blight drone model -- particularly given its tilted propulsion fans.
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