Hobby Update – Space Marines

++++++ Report to Inquisitor Marleck on the Shadow Sentinel Librarius ++++++

For hundreds of years it has been assumed that the Chapter lacked the gene required to manifest psychic powers (this time fueling rumours that they were an offshoot of the Black Templars). This opinion was furthered by the number of Culexus assassins that had been seen operating in tandem with the Sentinels in an apparent effort to neutralise enemy psykers.

It is this agents opinion, that this is another example of the misdirection constantly employed by the Chapter. Although he cannot offer hololith evidence, this agent has personally observed at least one Sentinel manifesting powers from the Librarius Discipline. Whether this Marine is an aberration in the Chapter or one of many Librarians rarely seen, he cannot confirm.

Of probably greater importance is the question of why have they gone to such lengths to conceal their presence.

++++++ Report ends. Sector agent Lucian Grite ++++++

The latest edition to the Shadow Sentinels is one of the very rare Chapter Librarians.

I kept the paint scheme in the same simple green and silver but added a bit more detail, a completely unblended variation of colours on his hand because, you know, that’s what psychic powers being cast look like… I also experimented on the sword (unsuccessfully) using the Nihilakh Oxide after I had edged it etc. with the various blues. At present I’ve not gone back to clean that up but will do so.

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40k First Game incoming

More than 8 months after deciding to retry 40k (after a very brief unsuccessful stint in 7th Edition), i’ve finally lined up my first game of 8th edition against one of the club committee members, Nick.

He knows it’s my first game so said he will not bring one of his nastier lists (which would probably have involved some form of Imperial Knight!) and would use the models from the dark imperium set. Being a glutton for punishment, I of course said bring whatever you like, so we shall see what appears.

I’ve said it many times before on the blog, I’m sure and I’ll say it again (I’m getting older and so repeating myself is not only allowed but to be expected). I suffer from perennial list tinkerer syndrome. It’s a real thing, look it up. I just can’t help myself, I’m sure my laptop is slowly filling up with variation upon variation of lists, most of which never see the light of day but exist just for my theory/list hammer pleasure.

Phew, now I have that heavy burden off my chest, I feel I can safely post my latest creation and chosen list for the game.

The Crusade of the Stalking Tiger

Raven Guard Chapter Tactics

HQ’s

The Light that Guides – Captain – 77pts

Master-crafted Boltgun, Chainsword

The Mind Awakes – Librarian – 120pts

Force Sword, Boltgun, Jet Pack, Armour Indominus

Red Runs the Flesh – Techmarine – 57pts

Boltgun, Chainsword 

Troops

The Mist Convalesces – Scout Squad – 65pts

5 Scouts, Boltguns, Heavy Bolter

The Wind It Whispers – Scout Squad – 84pts

5 Scouts, Sniper rifles, Missile launcher

Moons Rise Together – Intercessor Squad – 91pts

5 Primaris Marines, Bolt Rifle, Auxillary grenade launcher

Elites

The Storm Gathers – Aggressor Squad – 111pts

3 Aggressors, Auto Boltstorm Gauntlets, Fragstorm Grenade Launchers

The Tranquil Garden – Sternguard Veteran Squad – 180pts

10 Sternguard, Special issue boltguns

The Emperor Draws Breath – Redemptor Dreadnought – 202pts

2 Stormbolters, Heavy Onslaught Gatling Cannon, Onslaught Gatling Cannon, Icarus Rocket Pod

The Enduring Rock – Venerable Dreadnought – 165pts

Missile Launcher, Twin Lascannon

The Ground Trembles – Ironclad Dreadnought – 145pts

Chainfist with Meltagun, CCW with Storm Bolter

The Mountain Comes – Ironclad Dreadnought – 145pts

Chainfist with Meltagun, CCW with Storm Bolter

Fast Attack

Swift Strikes the Thunder- Inceptors – 135pts

3 Inceptors, assault bolters

Heavy Support

The Light Should Burn – Devastator Squad – 170pts

5 Marines, 4 * Lascannons, Armorium Cherub

The Fires they Cleanse – Hellblaster Squad – 165pts

5 Primaris Marines, Plasma Incinerators

Dedicated Transport

The Sky Must Fall – Drop Pod – 85pts

Total – 1997pts

List Thoughts

The list has 1 Battalion and 1 Vanguard detachment so with it also being battleforged, will have 7 Command points to use. This seems like a reasonable number.

I have no idea how the list will play but I did have a couple of over-arching thoughts.

The main one was that I had to include all my dreadnoughts. The second was that I wanted to try out as many things as possible.

I feel a bit gamey using Raven Guard tactics (-1 to hit them when 12″ away) but I feel they are the most complementary of the list. If I weren’t using them, I’d probably use Iron Hands (due to the 6+++ save and the specific dreadnought stratagem) or Imperial Fists (due to fire ignoring cover). The advantage of these 3 are the consistent benefits, meaning I’m unlikely to forget them!

With my first few lists, I realised that I had little or no deep striking units so I revised it so that I had 3 distinct elements to the force.

The Pillar Endures

The first is the fire base. This group should do very little movement and camp any deployment zone objectives.

It will be led by the Venerable dreadnought who can, if necessary, burn a stratagem to act as a captain. He will be supported by the Devastator Marines, Intercessor Squad and sniper scouts.

This will give me 5 Lascannons (with one being a twin and one additional one time shot from the cherub) and 2 missile launchers with which to take out heavy armour. The 4 sniper shots will target characters (probably support characters as they usually have fewer wounds). The Intercessors will be used to help protect the fire base from deep strikers and will be the mobile element of the group.

The Blade is Poised

The Assault group will be led by one of the Chapter Captains. He will start within range of much of the fire base to buff them with his aura and will either stay with them or advance as needed to assist the Hellblaster squad, as their ability to overcharge will benefit most from the reroll to hit of 1’s he provides. I also like the idea of a Captain advancing to cleanse the enemy rather than hanging back. I’m contemplating spending an additional command point before I begin to give the captain an addition relic (the teeth of terra) as I do feel that bar the Dreadnoughts, the list lacks combat punch but it may be a wasted point. The other thing I’m unsure on is what warlord trait to give him. At the moment I’m gravitating towards Storm of Fire to give nearby Chapter units a chance to get an additional -1 save modifier.

The Hellblasters will be the mobile ranged hard hitters. I’ve taken the standard gun over the assault version due to the extra pip of strength.

In some ways the Captain, Hellblasters and Intercessors are fluid option, able to move between the fire base and assault groups as required.

The boltgun scouts are there to provide the second part of the deep strike area denial and if possible to capture mid-field objectives at the same time.

This group will have their own fire support in the form of the Redemptor Dreadnought who will advance with the Captain and Hellblasters. The Captains buff should again help with its damage output as moving will impede its hit rate.

The final element of the group will be made up of the units that will be barrelling forward at all due speed. The 2 Ironclads will be advancing towards the enemy as fast as possible. Their smoke launchers and Chapter tactics will infer a one turn -2 to enemy shooting, that should mitigate a lot of hits. The Techmarine will run with them to try and heal as much damage as possible (or he will help with the Redemptor if required). They will be supported by the Aggressors who have the ability to both advance and shoot and should be able to help thin out any potential horde style units that try to chaff up the ironclads. I’m hoping the 2 Dreads will present a greater threat and deflect attention from the more vulnerable Aggressors.

It is tempting to leave a deliberate backfield space near the Aggressors to entice a deep strike but I somehow doubt Nick would fall for that tactic but would capitalise on it if I moved later on.

The Crushing Blow

The final group is the strike force and is made up of those starting from reserve.

The Sternguard will be deployed in the drop pod to allow them the flexibility to go where needed and drop into short range where their special issue guns combined with sternguard stratagem should cause some decent damage and be a distraction. The increased range of their guns also means they can still benefit from the Chapter tactic when in rapid fire range.

The strike force will be led by the Librarian who will jump in with the Sternguard using his powers either as an offensive force or to help buff the unit. As a bonus, jumping in might mean he starts in range to get a deny the witch boost. I’ve given him the armour relic to boost his save and give a one time 3++ ward. It should make him more survivable, especially in combat.

The Inceptors are very much a distraction. They are to drop in to try and thin out any hordes but I’m happy to make them sacrificial and as a fly unit, they are able to fallback and still shoot.

If you are still reading after that wall of text then I’m impressed. If any of you have played many games then please feel free to off any tips you may have.

 

Hobby Update – Neglected Model Feb round-up

With February over and Azazel having posted his wrap up of the neglected model’s completed, I thought I’d better post mine.

This month it has very much been wood elf central, concentrating on my mainly 4th edition models all hailing from the early 90’s.

This involved 2 sets of command models, 14 Eternal Guard and a load of plastic archers. Now admittedly the archers were mainly finished at the end of Jan but I thought i’d slip them in anyway 🙂

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Hobby Update – Space Marine Aggressors

I am on FIRE this month. Three hobby updates in as many days, you must be wondering what they’ve put in my water!

Ok it’s not that impressive as most of these miniatures have been worked on over the last month or so and not finished due to flitting from one set of models to another and I’ve now had a bit of time (and motivation) to finish them off.

I last posted 40k models back in November and despite my growing interest, I’ve still yet to have gotten a game in of 8th ed.

I have to say I really quite like the Aggressor models. They have a really solid feel to them and on the field, the number of shots they can put out, backed up with power fists, seem to be a good combo. I suspect they are still too fragile though as they don’t have many wounds so sheer rate of fire would likely be enough to bring them down.

I’ve kept with the plain green colour scheme of my Chapter, building on the dreadnought paint job and pretty much just using silver to offset it. I must say I like the simple contrast much more than the lighter green highlights used on my tester miniature. I am now going to go back and revisit the Dreadnoughts to add similar touches.

I did start with some middenland tufts as something different (using them for the first time), before adding my normal static grass to the base but all the tufts did were add a slight variation in colour rather than stand out like I hoped. I get the impression that they are best used on, say, a plainer base to add variation. Still, you live and learn. One thing that I was pleasantly surprised at, was the tufts are applied like stickers. I don’t know why but I had been expecting to have to glue them to the models base myself.

Hobby Update – Wood Elves pt 2

Further to my previous post, this month I’ve continued Azazel’s challenge to give some love to some long neglected models. The victims, I mean lucky recipients were the 4th ed. wood elf spearmen that one of the command groups in the last post will lead.

These will make up the bulk of my Crimson Guard (I may have just had an Action Force/GI Joe flashback with that name) and will be fielded as Eternal Guard.

These will be reinforced by 10 of the newer plastic Eternal Guard models (again part painted) and 4 oldhammer models (that are technically high elves and also need some love), to make the unit a more viable size when using them on the battlefield.

I do have the shields somewhere but they are with my stored figures/boxes at my folks so I’ll have to have a rummage when I’m next down there. I did take a quick look on eBay but frankly the cost of the old shields seems somewhat high.

I have also come to the conclusion that I really am crap at painting human/elf faces so I’m going to have to go away and watch some vids on this, as the base, wash and highlight didn’t work very well.

Hobby Update – Wood Elves

My painting time (or more accurately, lack of) over the last few months has been rubbish even by my standards. I have about 6 different projects on the ‘tray’ and am flitting between them without really progressing on any. So I made a concerted effort to at least clear something by the end of the month. (Edit: this post should have gone out at the end of Feb but I forgot to post it – doh!).

I decided to tackle first the oldest items (in age rather than time spent on the painting board, as that ‘honor’ goes to the Glade Lord on Great Stag who is probably verging on at least 6 months. *hangs head in shame*).

In this case the oldest were a wood elf 4th ed. command group. These I painted to match the 1st and 2nd generation wood elf plastic archers I completed over the last few months.

This was very much inspired by Azazel’s neglected model challenge. I’ve only had these models since the early 90’s…

And as a bonus, I completed a second command group (also 4th ed.). These were the matching set of the above but for a melee unit. They were designed to go with the old 4th ed. metal wood elf spearmen, of which I have a load and yes they are also part painted from way back in the day and have now joined the paint board. The spearmen are entitled the Crimson Guard (for reasons that will soon become obvious) and will be fielded as Eternal Guard.

The standard bearer in this group is one of my all time favourite wood elf sculpts. It’s just something about the way he grasping the cloak round himself (and has nothing to do with me wishing I could do that in the artic bloody cold we currently have here!). This is offset by the champion being one of my least favourite.

The banners have yet to be completed but I’m going old school with them and will be sketching/tracing a yet to be decided design onto paper and then painting it, before cutting and glueing it to the pole (in a similar way to my Orcs from the same period).

SELWG 2018 Blood Bowl League

Hey there sports fans, Crassious Clay here to present this special episode of the Witching Hour with none other than Diego Mary-Donna.

Thanks Crass and in this special we will be looking at the up and coming Gronn Fjord Raiders (GFR). A Norse team currently residing in one of the lesser known leagues of south east Londinium.

That’s right Diego, this is a team that has come out of nowhere and quickly become a fan favourite what with their predilection for ignoring the ball to concentrate on what some have said to be an excessive use of violence in their games.

‘Excessive’ Crass? You’re not talking about PEEVS again are you. Good honest Blood Bowl fans should take it upon themselves to hunt down and extinguish the life from any member of ‘The People for the Eradication of Excessive Violence in Sport’ (PEEVS), using extreme prejudice! 

I couldn’t agree more Diego but to get back on track, under the fearsome coaching of the ‘dread Auditor’

Don’t Crass, that man’s grasp of numbers sends shivers up my spine, they say his mother slept with an abacus and he was the offspring of that unnatural union..

err I’m not sure that’s right Diego but anyway crunching the numbers seems to have worked for him as they won two of their first three pre-season friendlies at their Greenvale Stadium.

Let’s take a quick recap of those games before looking at their opening league game shall we.

Game 1 – 02/02/18 – GFR vs Marieni Daulphins (Humans) – Coach – Dan R

The GRN attracted a modest crowd of 3k vs the 10k travelling fans. The numeric advantage meant that everytime one of the opposing human players were knocked into the crowd, they were gentle escorted to the reserves box in the dugout, rather than treated to the infamous hospitality of the average blood bowl fan. Midway through the first half with most of the human team laid out, the Norse runner (Floki the Swift) lived up to his name and scored a touchdown.  The Coach of the Daulphins, Dan R, at that point decided to throw in the towel and this incensed the fans so much that they tore the team to pieces and Dan was forced to go into hiding meaning the league had one less team in attendance.

The bonus for the Raiders was that they not only gained both purses (allowing the recruitment of a thrower for the team) but gained both team MVP’s and in a stroke of luck they both went to the Ulfwerner, Cadoc the Bear who gained Mighty Blow as a result. They also siphoned off some of the visiting fans who, unhappy with their former team’s performance, decided the Raiders were the new team for them.

Final score 2-0 (we used the old BB rules where you always won by 2 touchdowns in the event of a withdrawal – though you don’t gain any SPP’s for the additional TD’s)

Daulphins thrower
Daulphin thrower

Game 2 – 10/02/18 – GFR vs The Orcward Orras (Orc) – Coach – Paul R

The second game undertaken was a favour to one of their new sponsors, who had asked them to play against a rookie coach and offer some tips. The Raiders agreed and proceeded to coach the Orcward Orras in the only way they knew how.

Word had gotten round about the new team on the block and the crowd was much larger this time with the Norse pulling in 9k fans vs the Orcs 10k.

In the first half the Norse slowly wore down the orcs using the ancient art of crowd surfing. The dice gods looked unfavourably on the Orcs and the Norse injured, first the Orc thrower (curtesy of Ragna, the No. 9 lineman) and then a Black Orc Blocker (Uday the Yhettee really took a dislike to him). Luckily for Paul they were just badly injured. In the final drive of the first half, the No. 4 Norse Berserker (Eirik) ran home a touchdown.

The second half saw the Norse team stage a classic flank attack, stacking all their big hitters on the right flank.

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They easily punched through on the wing and with a sure touchdown in the bag, they couldn’t resist going for a cheeky level up, cocked up the hand off from the thrower to Eirik, which allowed an audacious Orc Blitzer to nick the ball from under their noses.

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Not standing for that, the Raiders unsurprisingly knocked the orc into the stands but the orc fans got to the ball first and chucked it half way up the pitch. The Orc No.2 Lineman was first to the ball and passed it into the hands of the No. 8 Blitzer, who managed to scored an outrageous touchdown, using an amazing show of twinkle toes to dodge his way through a mass of tackle zones! Paul’s team then started to improve their Orc Smash! (TM – Paul R 2018) and badly hurt the Norse No.10 lineman Gudmund Stonehand but neither team were able to gain the upper hand and claim the win.

Final score 1-1.

20k winnings each and +1 FF to both.

The Norse MVP was the scorer of the touchdown and this gave Eirik enough points to skill up and unsurprisingly he decided to take mighty blow.

A very fun game and it showed how quickly fortune can turn in this game.

Game 3 – 19/02/18 – GFR vs Skavenblight Scramblers (Skaven) – Coach – Greg F

How the mighty have fallen. The Scramblers fell from grace in a large way and for several seasons were not heard from. They reappeared this year under a new rookie coach hoping to climb to back up to the lofty heights of their heyday. This fall really showed when the Norse counted 12k fans vs the Skaven’s 7k.

With a team value considerably lower than the Norse, the Skaven were able to hire a wandering apothecary for the game.

The Skaven won the toss and elected to kick. Cadoc the Bear (Ulfwerner) started the carnage by badly hurting Skik, the No. 8 Skaven lineman. Ragna Dagfinn then followed this up by fracturing the leg of Strot, the No. 5 skaven lineman (meaning he would miss the next game). The big guys spent the half knocking each other down with no ill effects to either but the rest of the team added to the casualties with a plethera of knockouts. In the sixth turn, Floki (the norse No. 5 Runner) finally managed to actually pick up the ball and he ran up the pitch and in the final turn of the first half, scored the first touchdown.

In the second half, Eirik (No.4 Berserker), outraged that a skaven player had gained a SPP for a completed pass, smashed the hand of the offending skaven thrower (Skeexranq – No. 10) to try and ensure it wouldn’t happen again. This meant a second skaven would miss the following match. Ragna then added his second casualty of the game by taking down the Rat Ogre but the Skaven apothecary leapt into action healing the damage caused (annoyingly I couldn’t find who had taken down the Rat Ogre at the end of the match which meant I missed leveling him up). With the injuries and knockouts to the Skaven team multiplying, the Norse were able to take down the ball carrier and Magnus (the No. 3 Norse Beserker) then ran in the second touchdown of the game.

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3 dead and 3 knocked out. Numerical advantage – check!

The final score was 2-0 to the Norse, who took away a purse of 50k GP and also gained another Fan Factor for the win.

The MVP’s went to the Norse Yhetee, Uday. This was enough to level him up and to follow the trend he took Mighty Blow.

Floki (runner) scoring was enough to also enough to level him up and he took Dodge to give him the Blodge combo.

As an aside, Greg and I met after work for this game and tried out a new (for us) central London venue,  hosted by the London Wargaming Guild, a book and play style meet. It was a very friendly place and crowd, hosted at the Seven Dials Club inbetween Covent Garden and Tottenham Court tube stations (almost next door to the Cambridge Theatre). As a bonus it had a bar next to the gaming tables. The only small thing against it was the volume of the music. Don’t get me wrong I like loud music but it was a touch too loud for normal conversation when playing.

Game 4 – 23/02/18 – GFR vs Cold Sea Hawks (Dark Elves) Coach – Chris R – League game.

In the first of my league games, I faced off against Chris’s Dark Elves. There was a good crowd in attendance with 10k of the Raiders fans and 12k of the elves.

We used the alternative inducement rules for special cards, which allowed Chris to take one for 50K rather than the standard 100k.

The Hawks won the toss and elected to kick to the Norse. The Raiders played a card that allowed them to get +1 on their KO rolls for the game and the Hawks played one that allowed one player to be nominated to receive an extra MVP if they were on the pitch at the end of the game. I know you are thinking what I was…challenge accepted!

In the first half after receiving the ball, the Norse tried to undertake their normal tactics of smash the opponents and knock them into the crowd. Although Cadoc got an early casualty against the DE No. 11 lineman and the team crowd surfed a few other players, the Dark elves retaliated and KO’d 3 of the Raiders, meaning by turn 3, both teams were unable to adequately cover the width of the field. With their high agility, the Dark Elves were able to capitalise the gaps in the Norse line and sack the Raiders ball carrier but with some desperate defending against them, the Hawks failed to convert their advantage.

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In the second half the Norse deployed in a deep defense (to maximise the number of dodge rolls with modifiers the DE’s would need to take) and with a slight numeric  advantage. They quickly increased this with Eirik badly hurting the DE No 4 Blitzer (who had Guard) thus removing the main anchor of the DE offensive threat (edit: it is possible that he was injured at the end of the 1st half rather than the very start of the second). The Dark elf team then proceeded to cage their runner and moved from one side of the pitch to the other (in a manner similar to ‘pong’) waiting for the Norse to make an error. The Norse played the waiting game, slowly closing the net on the cage removing one DE player from the field each turn. Maneuvering for the final sack, the Norse left one lane with minimal cover and the remaining DE blitzer snuck into the Norse half.

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Breaking the DE cage

The DE runner attempted a desperate move to clear the ball from his half and used a Heroic Feat that removed any negative modifiers from passing, giving the long bomb a great chance of succeeding. Not happy with the initial roll (due to the modifiers cast by tackle zones) he used a reroll and completely fumbled the pass leaving them in a perilous situation. The Raiders proceeded to sack the few remaining elves allowing their thrower (No. 13) to run in a touchdown in the final move of the game.

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Have some KO’s. At the end of the game Chris had 3 players left on the pitch!

Final Score 1-0 to the Raiders.

The Norse took home a purse of 70k and used this with their treasury to purchase another reroll. They also gained another FF moving them up to a total of 5.

Cadoc the Bear (Ulfwerner) got the match MVP, which together with the casualty he caused, leveled him up to Veteran status and he added block to his skills.

This was an extremely close and cagey game one of the closest i’ve had in a long while and a definite learning experience. Chris was unlucky not to score in the first half, a 1 rolled when ‘going for it’ really put paid to his plans. The ability of the elves to slip though the smallest gap and his insistence of dodging out of block zones to minimise hits was definitely playing to their strengths and my one slip up in the second half, again, nearly meant he scored.

oh and just to confirm he didn’t get his bonus MVP as the player was knocked out and off the field at the end of the game. Challenge completed!