Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Space Wolves

Will die.

It's really as simple as that.  They are almost here.  They have been studied.  I have found them wanting.

My goal?  Build up a themed Khorne list and trounce them.  Oh, don't get me wrong, the Space Wolves get some new love, they have an awesome theme, get new models, and they aren't the same as other Space Marines out there.  But with all that, they aren't an unstoppable wrecking force.

Space wolves will do well because they are brand spanking new marines that aren't normal Space Marines.  They are a different style of play.  They have new tricks, and time will tell which ones are really worth it, but I'm not worried.  They aren't game breakers.  Good generals will still be good generals.  Space Wolves aren't an "I Win" button.  I'd go further and say that for players lacking skill, Space Marines will still suit them far more than Space Wolves will.  The Space Wolves aren't generalists like Space Marines.  This means you have to take advantage of the Space Wolves strengths.  You can't rely on the Space Marines default abilities doing the work for you.

So, what do I expect you'll see?  People jumping onto the new Marine codex using their current marine armies.  They'll do this for one of two reasons.  They are losing a lot, or they actually prefer the style of the Wolves.  The latter will be greatly outnumbered by the former.  The former will die, and die a lot.

That being said, GW should put out a bits kit of just wolf capes.  I'd love to throw them on the backs of my berserkers to represent all the puppies they killed.

Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Chapter One: Dawn's Gate - Part 2 - Chaos Battles of Kettamet IV

The metallic beast was christened Gutwrencher, and it wore that name proudly.  The men inside the tank were squeezed in, not only because of the little room the cabin provided, but also to limit the amount of tossing about they’d have to suffer.  The transport was old, very old.  Tare couldn’t remember a time when he hadn’t gone into battle riding Gutwrencher.  The vehicle was old, sure, but like most old things still in service, it was tough.  Tough beyond all measure.  Gutwrencher had taken hits from countless missiles, plasma guns, cannons, melta fire, innumerable tyranids, and the rhino would not stop.   Oh, sure, Tare could remember countless times the vehicles tracks had been thrown, the hull ripped into, the drivers killed, the doors blown wide open, the engine melted.  But always the rhino was recovered and repaired, back in service a short time later.  It wasn’t a clean vehicle, either.  It carried no fancy decorations like the fool Space Marines adorned their transports with.  Beyond the sigil of their war band, the Death Fly of Rabis Prime, it was undecorated.  It was a machine that had a purpose, a job to do, and it did that job well.

 Gutwrencher embodied everything the Death Flies aspired to: unstoppable, unrelenting, unwavering monsters of war free from the tyranny of a false god-emperor.

Beyond the cloud of dust churned up by the tracks of the tank, Tare could see the other two transports following behind.  Up ahead, the bilecannon Rolling Grim lead the force toward the town of Dawn’s Gate.  The dozer blade, a wall of hardened steel and other metals, cleared the way in front of the Grim while it’s single, large cannon protruded from a small cutout in the top of the blade, waiting to release the shell it invariably held ready.  The crew of the Grim was a tough lot.  They had to be.  Enemies the band faced would focus their fire at the bilecannon in an attempt to bring down the lumbering monstrosity.   A lesser man would fall under the fire that tank received, and would not stand the thundering shot it sent in return.  Even Tare could not imagine how the once-men operated with as much efficiency as they did.

“Sergeant Tare, Sergeant Telurn requesting comm hook with you,” said a voice through the vox unit.  It was Gutwrencher’s driver, Soldier Moratoro, a solid once-man from the moon of Rabis Prime, Rabis Nox.

“Patch him through, Soldier,” Tare said.

A crackling sound indicated the channel switch, and a second later, an voice of a cement brick being dragged across stone came through Gutwrencher’s vox unit.

“Tare, I’m getting readings from up ahead.  Can you confirm?  Five hundred meters, dead center of town if the reading is right,” Telurn said.

“Hold on, let me check the boards,” Tare said, closing the panel on the door and turning around to look at the monitors and readouts on the inner wall of the rhino.  A quick glance later, he said, “I have nothing on thermal imaging, everything looks…” but an electric click sounded as Telurn cut in.

“Check audial, it’s there.”

“Right.  Checking now,” Tare said, flipping a few dials and pushing a button.  A few seconds later, the screens blinked rapidly as they changed displays, and slowly a picture came into view.  Over four-hudered meters ahead a large grouping of targets were massed, and they were moving toward them. “Damn it, Telurn.  Four hundred meters confirmed,” Tare said.  He opened vox channels to Muldaven, Sergeant Getling, Honor Sergent Vorn, and Cult Master Maem. “Contact at four hundred meters ahead, and closing.  Audial readings confirmed.  The bugs are coming for us!”

Tare turned around to face his squad of five.  Already Muldaven was laying in commands over vox, but the soldiers of the Death Flies already knew what to do.  Tare smiled at his squad, already with helmets donned and weapons at the ready.  He felt the Rhino shift into higher gear as it propelled itself faster and faster toward the awaiting enemy.

“Death Flies! Battle arms, once-men!” he bellowed.

“For the glory of Rabis!” his squad shouted back.  Gutwrencher’s front pitched up, then down, and Tare could hear the crashing glory of the rhino smashing through half destroyed ruins.

“For the glory of Mygar!” his squad shouted again.  Tare could feel the battle heat take him.  He could smell his blood, taste his blood, feel his hearts pound faster and faster as it prepared for the oncoming battle.  Raising his powered fist before him, he let the final verse of the Death Flies battle call fall over him.

“For the glory of Father Nurgle!” they finished with a final shout that shook the insides of the rolling box with it’s might.

“Yes, my kin, for the Lord of All!” Tare intoned.

Chapter One: Dawn's Gate - Part 1 - Chaos Battles of Kettamet IV

Daemon Lord Muldaven looked across the wasted lands of Kettamet IV, a once prosperous planet of the Imperium of Man, now a warzone where the few prizes that remain are killed for without hesitation.  Kneeling low on the hill top, his gaze settled on a long abandoned outboard town that must have once housed a refueling station.  The scouts had named the town Dawn’s Gate.  Whatever gave the town its name, however, was not apparent.  Dawn did not visit the planet anymore; the blackened skies saw to that.

Flexing his great wings, the daemon looked back over his shoulders and beckoned with clawed hands for Sergeant Tare.  The once-man felt the command and started to make his way up the hill.  Muldaven turned again and looked out once more across the land, this time focusing on the earth between him and the remains of Dawn’s Gate.

Countless battles and orbital bombardments had driven the soil into a dead and dying state.  He smiled, letting his thoughts linger on what had caused the Imperium to attack this planet.  A few well placed ambitious and hungry men had caused enough dissent in the populace, enough to draw the attention of the Imperial Inquisitors.  When they failed to quell the threat, the fleet came to resolve the matter militarily.  Getting spies on board the Indoctima Primus had been easy.  Mygar had known the precise codes needed, and a few well doctored scans of the planet made it very clear to the orbiting fleet that Kettamet IV was overrun with daemons.  In ignorance, they sent a single detachment of Howling Gryphons space marines to the planet where they were met by Muldaven’s forces.  The daemon lord’s smile broadened as he remembered that battle.  They were overrun and were forced back, at the last moment being rescued.  But the battle had served its purpose, and the Imperium laid the planet to waste.  An entire planet of loyal Imperial humans had died to the hands of the people that they had come to see as their saviors.  The fleet was destroyed in the middle of the bombardment.  Mygar was efficient and quick.  Muldaven still remembered the fire raining down that night.

“My lord,” the Sergeant said, “the once-men are ready.  The armor is repaired from our last engagement.  The fleet reports…”

“I have heard the fleet’s report, Sergeant.   I need not here it again.  They claim the town is vacant and what we seek is there.  Do you doubt Lord Mygar?” asked the daemon prince, his head turning slowly to face Tare.  He let his teeth show through his smile.

“No, Lord.  I do not doubt Mygar.  I do doubt his source, though.  Something stirs in the town below.  We should go in cautious and ready,” Tare said.  His face was stone.  Only his shifting eyes gave away his nervousness.  Doubting Mygar was always dangerous, even for a Daemon Lord, and especially for a Sergeant.  Battlefield promotions were rarely questioned.   Muldaven turn back toward the town, letting Tare sweat a bit.  Let the man think Muldaven was giving thought to this.  Let him think he had made a mistake.

“Do not fear, Tare.  I agree with your assessment.  Have the once-men board Rhinos in battle formation.  Get the Bilecannon up front.  I want it clearing the way,” the daemon said, the smile leaving his face.  Battle was coming, he was sure.  He smelled it in the air.  He felt it in the earth.

“Yes, my lord.  At once,” Tare said, standing as he walked back down the hill.

Muldaven smiled again.  Yes, battle was coming.

Chaos Space Marines v.s. Tyranids 1500 points Battle Report - Part 2

Part 2 of the CSM v.s. Tyranid battle.

Monday, September 28, 2009

Chaos Space Marines v.s. Tyranids 1500 points Battle Report - Part 1

Just a little something before I get the other 2 parts done.  I also plan on doing a narrative of the battle.  However, enjoy the first part.

Sunday, September 27, 2009

Lots of Dice Logo

My wife thinks my site sucks. At least the look of the site, and the logo, or lack-of one, inspired her to come up with a new logo. These are the ones she came up with. Oh, she had other logos, but weren't happy with them. These are the logos that made it, and even then, she has her favorites. Each one has an element I like. Considering I'm planning on using this logo in the future for other ventures beyond just a website, the logo is important to me. I want the logo to be something that can easily be made black and white, or at least keep the elements recognizable without color. The logo should be easy to put on clothing or business cards, and it should also go a long way toward telling people what the site is about. For these reasons, I had her make a d20 sided dice to see how that would fit in. So far, #4 is my favorite. Numbers 1 and 2 do a great job at making a simple logo, though I fear the potentional confusing between gaming and gambling.

On a side note, I had fun exlaining to her that dice are numbered in a particular way. Opposite sides add up to the total number of sides plus 1. So 1 is opposite 6, 2 is opposite 5, and 3 is opposite 4. I'm not sure if her d20 follows the same rules, but if I went to far, she'd probably smack me upside the head.

So what are your thoughts on the logo? Color schemes can be modified, I'm sure, but I'd like to know what you think.

Friday, September 25, 2009

Custom Content v.s. By the Book

For your average role player, coming up with home brewed content is as commons as coffee in the morning.  That is to say, so common that you can't imagine role playing without it.  So why is it in the world of 40k custom content is so often frowned upon or at least avoided?

Most other war games don't suffer this fate either.  They present rules but expect you to do what you will with them.  Heck, even Games Workshop goes out of their way to say "Play how you want to play!"  Even Gav Thorpe went out of his way and basically told everyone that they can do what they want, it's their game and if they want to do things a certain way, they can.

The problem is that so many people out there, myself included, get hit with this road block.  The feeling that the community online and at clubs have built up that the rules are exactly that: rules.  No, you cannot break the rules.  It's wrong.

That's not to say we are wrong to think that way.  After all, in a game where I want their to be an even army on either side of the table, I make the assumption that the point values are a certain value for a reason.  A 15 point CSM is about right in the grand scheme of things.  I'm under the assumption that GW has some sort of system they use, however basic, that tells them what point value to set things at.  Why are CSM 15 points?  A combination of things, I imagine.  The squad size they are required to have, their stats, the type of unit they are, what weapons they can take and when they can take them.  At 15 points, they seem right.  But if I want to give my CSM Feel No Pain, how much is it worth then?  Not 23.  That's Plague Marines with a toughness of 5 and Blight Grenades with 1 less Initiative and limited weapon choice but can take more of them at smaller squad sizes.

The problem is, we don't know how they got their numbers, so we can only guess.  That's important to us.  Why? Simple.  We want to create units that are fair.  I want to build an army I want with my theme inside the 40k universe, but I'd like to know how.

Of course, I can just build units and call them one thing and use them as "counts-as" units.  That's fine, I guess.  But it only works so far.  The play style is also different then what you would want.  Do you want an entire army of Jump Packs? Can't, even if you might want to theme it that way.  Oh sure, you can say "yeah, these Jump Packs only go 6 inches," but then that kinda ruins the feel when the opponents Jump Packs move 12", or your Jump Packs move 2 inches through difficult terrian.

You also have the problem of mission types.  Now, the tournaments do this really well, I must say.  The mission types they come up with are pretty interesting.  But the default book is pretty bland, with a heavy emphasis on troops for objectives.  Don't get me wrong, trying to emphasize the lowly troop is a good thing.  It limits the people taking only the bare minimum of troops and leaving it at that, but they could have done so much more with the missions inside the main rule book.

So, where does this leave us?  Tied to the hip to our favorite army's codex.  For me, I enjoy the story behind the army, not the stats.  But the story behind an army also features that armies style of warfare, and all too often, this isn't carried over into the game.  So, if my codex doesn't allow me to play the army theme I want, it disappoints.

Now, let's be honest.  I don't want my themed army to suck (unless of course that was the theme of the army).  If the army I'm playing did well using this tactic in the story behind the rules, then it should work well on the table as well, or at least moderately so.  Enough that I'm not feeling like I'm wasting my time.

Why is it like this for 40k? After all, D&D players come up with custom content all the time.  We drown in it!  Well, the answer isn't pretty simple.  D&D players are generally playing together throughout a campaign and it's generally for the long haul.  No one is really against anyone, and the rules are subject to change at the DM's whim.  With 40k, you aren't playing that way.  The game is designed around two people meeting up and wanting to play a war game.  They may not know one another, or they might not play together often.  They need a balancer, and those are the rules.

It's why you don't see a lot of custom cards in Magic.

Of course, their is also the tournament angle.  Throw in any competitive aspect to a hobby and suddenly everything is very official.  Look at WOW.  As soon as battlegrounds and the honor system were put in, people started shouting if their classes weren't efficient in group PVP.  Then you had Arenas, and people got even crazier with the number crunching.  Suddenly it just wasn't good enough that you were close: every little number was calculated.

Seriously, Mathhammer has nothing on what the WOW freaks (of which I used to be one) would go through.

Of course, another reason D&D does so well in supporting custom content is that the game itself tells you how to make it!  The game gives you countless monsters to throw at your character, but if that's not enough, you can make your own as well.  It gives you the rules, or guidelines to creating them.  The point is, when you are done creating your monster, you'll have a fairly good idea of it's relative power level to other monsters.

So, if WotC can pull that off, I can't help but wonder why GW hasn't done the same?  I'm fairly confident that eventually they will come up with something like that.  Of course, it will be limited in some ways so they can still sell an army codex, but at least they might come up with some guideline on how to create, manipulate, or otherwise alter existing units in a codex.  That would at least give us a start.

What are your thoughts on this? Do you want to see user created content?  Does codex legal mean anything to you? If someone came with a home brewed army, would you have an issue?  Should tournaments support user created content?  Let me know!

The Horus Heresy: False Gods and Galaxy in Flames

I finished reading the final two books in the first trilogy of the Horus Heresy series yesterday: False Gods by Graham McNeill and Galaxy in Flames by Ben Counter.  I want to discuss these books, along with Horus Rising, all as one giant tale.  That's really what it is, and frankly, it doesn't do the story justice to discuss any single book alone.

Let's also agree that I burn through books far to fast for my own good.  Fast enough that I've gone ahead and picked up the next 4 books in the series.  But let's get back to the first three books.

False Gods is exactly what it should be, a good second book.  It shows how Horus became corrupted, how he came about making the choice.  It also gives us the clear rift that forms among the members of the Mournival.  Loken is still our main character here, but several of the remembrancers also take center stage.

Galaxy in Flames continues after False Gods, showing us the battle of Istvaan III, as well as the ultimate betrayal of Horus as well as setting us up for the next series of books.

I have to admit, despite knowing how everything turns out, I couldn't help but wonder that maybe, just maybe, things might turn out differently.  The justification for why he turns is sound enough, but evil enough, that it hurts to see the brother Astartes turn on one another.  You can't help but wonder if they are all so loyal to Horus.  The battle between Horus Aximand (Little Horus) and Torgaddon, as short as it was, exemplified the reality of the battle, and I wish it had been featured more.  Abbadon's thoughts on the matter, however, were perfect, and demonstrated there, in five simple words, what the traitor legions would essentially become.

One thing that I found interesting was the use of the words "traitor" and "loyalist" in GoF.  Both sides were using the terms, and it really helped nail the point home that the truth was, both sides believed they were doing what was truly right.  This really makes the entire thing that much more tragic.  Sure, Abbadon might be showing signs of being corrupted, but I don't believe he was the norm.

Of course, looking back on False Gods, I can't help but be amazed that Horus would listen to Erebus even after Magnus comes in and reveals him for lying.  That, I think, demonstrated clearly that while Horus was deceived in some ways, it was his choice in the end, and he made it.

And I think that's the important point here.  Despite all the tragedy and despite all the second guessing, the traitor marines knew what they were doing.  On the surface, they might think what they are doing is right, and that might suit them for a time, but deep down inside, they know what they are doing is wrong.  But they still made that choice.

Galaxy in Flames ended well.  I didn't enjoy the ending, for reasons that I'll avoid discussing because it will give away things that I shouldn't.  But I didn't enjoy it because it happened the way it should have happened.  It's Warhammer 40k after all.

The Flight of the Eisenstein is next, which I'm excited about.  Death Guard!  Captain Garro's short but awesome storyline in the previous books got me all excited.  I'm sure a lot of it has to do with my love of the Death Guard itself.

I would like to add that a lot of the fun with these books is thinking about recreating some of the armies.  It's so much more fun when you can build an army and have a story behind it.  Now I know why there are so many pre-heresy fanatics out there.

Thursday, September 24, 2009

Rogue Trader RPG

I gotta say it: YAY!!!!  I've been anxiously awaiting Fantasy Flight's Rogue Trader RPG for some time now.  I remember the release of the Collector's Edition and jumping on the chance to get it.  I dig this sorta stuff.  Not only is the CE limited, but it's tied to my personally: Rogue Trader Jason Michael; my first and middle name, if you're wondering.

The game itself is all sorts of fun.  I've been reading every entry they have, loving every single one.  Ship combat and constructions, character creation, everything.  Not only is the game down right awesome, but... well, it's on its way!

I also have a lot of work to do now, because I think a few fellow role players are eager to get in a game of Rogue Trader, and I'm expected to DM.  Which is only fair, considering one of those guys is the DM for the D&D game I'm in.  But that's alright, I could use some scifi-40k-genestealer-rogue-trader role playing action.

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Small games are fun, two!

Recently read the article Small games are fun too over at Imperius Dominatus talking about smaller games being fun.  I'd have to agree.  Of course, the article was referring to games at 1000 points.  If you look back through my posts, you'll see discussion of 500 point games.  So I'd like to talk about this for a bit.

What I learned at 500 points
At 500 points, you don't have a lot of room, especially when playing CSM.  You need your HQ and you need your troop choices, and that right there will eat up a large portion of your points.  Even if you go with the minimum (1 Lord, 90, 2 CSM troops, 150, for 240), you've already used up almost half your points with no upgrades and debatable usefulness.  In all the 500 point games I've played, I've had to build for both going against SM, Tyranid, and Ork armies.  This meant having to build my small army for horde killing as well marine killing.

This isn't easy.  You can't just load up a Rhino with 7 Plague Marines and 2 Meltas and be happy (216 points; 256 if you have a Champ with PF).  Of course, you can leave off the Rhino as 500 point games are usually played on 4x4 boards, but even that is risky business.  A Daemon Prince get's expensive really quick, and 3/5 saves are good up until you get jumped by a large mass of Orks.  The shear numbers are on their side.

The point is, just like in larger games, every unit has to have a specific role.  More importantly, every role must be self sufficient because you probably won't be able to double up.  Finally, and most important, you still need to cover all the roles needed.  You need close combat, you need anti-armor, you need everything you'd normally need at larger games to one degree or another.

For me, this meant clearly defining the rules of each squad as well as making the most out of each unit.  This also meant being intelligent about deployment.  A bad deployment will hurt you.  With the small number of units you can take, every unit out of place can cost you.  One unit dead is 1/4 your fighting force, generally, and that's a big blow at any level.

In my 500 point games, I found the following worked well for my CSM.

5 Noise Marines with Sonic Blasters: 125 points.
Role: Ranged anti-troop support.  15 shots at 24" with pinning is nothing scoff at.  Even better is the 10 shots at 24" while moving.  If you can get them into a position on the board with cover, they can provide support without moving, covering a large number of objectives and putting out a large amount of fire.  125 points is also reasonable for this type of fire power, considering that 8 CSM can only put out 8 shots at 24 inches while not moving, are not fearless, put out only 1 more shot while moving but only at 12 inches, and have 1 less initiative.  So, for 5 more points, I felt like I got a lot more.  Also, since they have longer range, and are fearless, I can keep the back away from the fighting holding a point.  They'll still be useful, and will be out of close combat range.

5 CSM with AC w/PF and Flamer, Rhino w/TL Bolter and Dozer Blade: 165
This is my assault squad.  The only scary part here is the non-fearless aspect of the group.  I might drop the Dozer and the extra TL Bolter, but really, they are cheap for the added firepower and assured mobility.  If there is only place where I have bad luck, it's dangerous terrain checks.  They plague me like nothing else.  But the Chaos Lord travels with the group.  The Flamers give them the ability to help clear out hordes, and the PF help with armor killing should it be needed.  Two TL Bolters on the Rhino also means it's got more weapons to fire.  I mean, 5 more points for an extra TL bolter? Not bad.  Easier to get in then a whole new SM at 15 points.  Besides, in smaller games, you don't have as much anti-armor fire coming your way.
5 CSM with Melta: 85
Footslogging isn't always advised, but it's not bad.  Remember, you are usually playing on a 4x4 board at 500 points.  This means you don't have far to go.  The melta is there for two reasons.  The first is to provide a clear anti-armor ranged weapon.  The other reason for the unit is to provide support for the troops in the Rhino.  These marines will move in slower, of course, but not that much if they can afford to run the first turn.  The unit is also small, meaning anyone firing at them is not firing at something else.  Indeed, firing at my Melta squad is almost a waste.  Again, morale might be an issue (and it was in one game for normal CSM), but these guys generally do their job well.

1 Chaos Lord w/PF and Combi-Flamer: 125
At this level, he's pretty strong.  At 3 wounds, with a PF, and a Combi-Flamer, he's packing a punch.  Coming in with the CSM squad in the Rhino, it's a fearsome force.  Sure, he's no DP, but at a lower point value, he allows me to take more options in other areas.

This small force at 500 has the following:
  • 2 Power Fists
  • 1 Melta
  • 3 Anti-Armor weapons
  • Long Ranged anti-troop support
  • Mobility
  • Template weapons for Hordes
  • 3 Scoring Units
  • Small Unit sizes for easier cover 
 At 500 points, that's not bad.  Each unit is vital, but none are essential.  This sort of goes against what I said earlier, about each unit not having a backup.  In a way, it's true: each unit has a backup, but not the same type of backup.  If the Melta is destroyed, I don't ranged anti-armor.  If the Flamer squad goes down, I don't have a close combat squad and I've lost a template weapon.  In larger games, I could double up on these units, but in smaller games, I have to find a way to double up in different ways on each of my units goals.

In some ways, larger games can get easier.  You can throw more and more on the table.  You can take all the wicked combos with ease.  With smaller games, you have less to work with.  You can't just throw those same combos on the table without suffering.  Each unit needs to be able to fill multiple roles.  And you have to fill those multiple roles while still giving you a solid model count in case a squad get's torn through early because of failed armor saves.

Thursday, September 17, 2009

Death Guard Warband Rules - Initial Thoughts

Death Guard Warband Rules
Version 0.1

Force List

No vehicles which aren’t classified as walkers can be taken.

  • Typhus
  • Chaos Lord/Terminator
  • Chaos Lord Sorcerer/Terminator
  • Daemon Prince in games 1500 or more points
  • Summoned Greater Daemon

  • Chosen Chaos Space Marines
  • Chaos Terminators
  • Chaos Dreadnought
  • Possessed Chaos Space Marines

  • Plague Marines
  • Chaos Space Marines
  • Summoned Lesser Daemons

Fast Attack
  • Chaos Raptors
  • Chaos Spawn

  • Chaos Havoks
  • Obliterator Cult
  • Chaos Defiler

Unit Changes

Each Infantry and Jump Infantry model gains the following at a cost of 3 points a model:
  • Toughness 4 (5)
  • Feel No Pain

Plague Marines gain an additional bonus:
  • Relentless

All infantry must pay this cost.

Chaos Space Marines and Plague Marines can only take squad sizes of 7.  However, 7 is considered to be a squad size of 10 for obtaining additional weapons.  This squad size includes the champion.

The only Icon a unit can take is a Personal Icon.  Any unit that can take an Icon can also take a Personal Icon for 5 points.

Possessed Chaos Space Marines do not roll for their ability.  Instead, they get the Scout ability.

Walkers cost 35 more points at the base.  They get the following as default:
  • Extra Armor
  • Venerable

Walkers can also spend another 20 points and upgrade their Front and Side armor by 1.

All Monstrous Creatures cost 10 more points a model, but get the following:
  • +1 Toughness
  • Feel No Pain

Chaos Havoks gain the following:
  • Tank Hunters

All Chaos Sorcerer Lords are considered to have the Mark of Nurgle for the purposes of selecting powers.

The goal here is to follow the theme of the Death Guard and provide an army of walkers.  They need to be able to weather the fire, so an increase in toughness and Feel No Pain abound.  I'm still not sure about the point values and abilities.  I'm also not sure Plague Marines are worth it over normal Chaos Space Marines.  I'm also considered about the lack of speed.  Maybe Plague Marines should get a bonus to movement? Maybe be able to move 1d6 inches in the assault phase instead of assaulting.  This would symbolize their constant movement forward, as well as given them some additional speed.  Coupled with Relentless, they might be worth the points over Chaos Space Marines.

I'll probably post this on Heresy Online after I've had some time to mull over it.  Thoughts? Comments? Ideas?

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

Horus Rising by Dan Abnett

I read. A lot. So far, this year, I've read (with the help of audio books for some): The Wheel of Time series, the Harry Potter series, Starship Troopers, Ender's Game, Dune books 1 and 2, World War Z, Lucifer's Hammer, One Second After, New Spring, Hannibal: One Man Against Rome, Wizard's First Rule, Duma Key, the Final Empire: Mistborn, and a few others I don't remember. I also just finished Horus Rising, the first book in the Horus Heresy. I'll say this: it is an excellent book, much better then I expected. I had expected it to be good for a book based on a game considering the reviews it's gotten, but it's just a great book. You don't need to mention the game part. I was curious how someone was going to write a book based on Space Marines. Was it going to be filled with lots of combat? A part of me was prepared for a lot of chapters that read more like battle reports.

Hardly. The book is a far cry from what I expected, and a pleasure to read. It's filled with a lot of character building, a lot of good dialog, and a great story. It's a setup for what we all know is coming, and I think knowing what is coming makes what I read even better. To read the subtle changes in Horus and company, to see how the Luna Wolves were and see their slow decline. Even that is done well. The start of their decline is apparent only because we know what's going to happen, and to read about it, I can't help but feel sorry for them, to emphasize with them. In fact, I can't help but feel like so far, they are in the right.

Horus Rising does an excellent job at setting up the fall. I'm going to start False Gods tonight by Graham McNeil. He has big shoes to fill. I hope he delivers. The Luna Wolves have come alive under Mr. Abnett and in a way, I want to see them succeed. Another surprise was the books main character wasn't Horus. It was the Luna Wolves Captain of the 10th company, Garviel Loken. Loken is an interesting character. I see his setup as well, and of course, I know what happens with him, which makes everything so much more tragic.

This book has made me so excited to learn more about the space marine chapters, the chaos space marines, the history of the Imperium, and, well, the background of the 40k universe.

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Battle Report - 1500 pt Nurgle v.s. SM

So, I took my list I built yesterday over to BD Cosmos and played against my friend Tommy's new Holwing Griffons army. I forgot my camera. I know. I suck. Here is the report.

It was Command and Control and Pitched Battle. We had actually rolled Dawn of War, but we'd played a bit to much DoW lately, so rerolled. I got to go first, and choose an objective on top of a nice little hill behind some solid cover. I setup my Obliterators and my Plasma squad there to hold the objective. To their left was a melta marine squad in a rhino. On my right was an empty Rhino, a Vindicator, 2 more oblits, and my DP. Right heavy because his objective was in the right corner. The Chosen were in reserve.

Let's start off with what worked. My Daemon Prince rocked! He took out a squad of 5 bikers, 2 dreadnoughts, and a squad of marines before being taken down by mass bolter and melta fire. He was the wrecking ball that cleared the right flank.

The Chosen Marines also did very well, though for reasons beyond what they were created for. They came in on turn 2, which was nice. They also were able to come in on the right flank, which is where the SM player had placed his objective. So, they came in and were basically right next to the objective, but since they couldn't take down the Dreadnought they were firing at, the next turn bad things happened. The SM marine squad came in and at point blank range destroyed the Rhino with a melta weapon. The Chosen were then assaulted by a Dreadnought and the 5 man marine squad.

The three units were stuck in combat until the 4th turn! The Chosen held out that long! They are, after all, Chosen. The Dreadnought did poorly, constantly missing, and I was making save after save. And considering we were so close to the edge of the board, the SM player wouldn't take the risk of combat tactics to get out of combat.

So, what else happened? The Vindicator lasted until turn 2. The SM had a Vindy as well, but theirs got blown up in Turn 1. The Vindy didn't do much except attract a lot of fire. This was as planned, and did well. It did stop a Rhino for a turn (this turned out to be a theme), but I question using a Bile Cannon as a firing magnet.

The Obliterators used their lascannons effectively While they didn't destroy as much as I'd hope, they did keep a lot of rhinos from moving, and that helped out a lot, slowing down the progression of the SM on my left flank. And the left flank was the weaker flank.

My marines on the left flank did surprisingly well, too. For such a small force, the obliterators provided ample covering fire. The marines were able to take out 2 Land Speeders. After the game, we decided that the Land Speeders were played wrong, as were the bikers, but even still, the marines did their job admirably. They didn't go down until the SM Librarian and squad got into close combat with them near the end of the game.

The big moment in the game was a blunder on my part. I over thought and forgot to include Combat Tactics. I fired at a 2 man SM squad wanting to only kill one. So, with 1 Melta firing, I killed one, and the lone marine fell back. I had intended to assault the remaining marine, giving me 4 more inches of movement, and then after killing him, get a consolidation move afterwards getting me close enough to the objective to hold or contest it.

Ahh, my failure. Granted, if the game had gone to a 6th round, I would have contested the objective, and most likely have held it long enough to win 1-0. We rolled a 1 though and the game ended at 5.

It was a great match, and I enjoyed the feel of the army. I still have a bit more to play around with.

There are however a few things I would change.

First, I want to lighten the load on the Chosen. Two meltas would be better. They are in a Rhino, and only 2 can fire out. Once they get out, they are foot sloggers, and foot slogging with meltas doesn't give you a lot of range. However, I would like to add a Combi-Melta to my Rhino. It gives me a bit more punch as I come on the board. Overall, I can come in firing with more for less. I'd also drop the Flamer, giving me 26 points to work with. Not sure where to use it. Maybe give my Chosen some Close Combat weapons for when they get assaulted.

Beyond that, I'm happy with the list. Now to test it out on a horde army.

Of course, I also have to plan out a 1750 list, 1850 list, and a 2000 point list. All based around this core. For the 1750 list I might cut out the Vindy and swap in a LR with Termies. Not sure yet. I'll let you know. I want Abbadon in somewhere.

Monday, September 14, 2009

Army List - 1500 - CSM Nurgle

Tomorrow I'm playing against a new SM army my friend picked up. We are playing at 1500 points. I have no idea what toys he's bringing, but I saw the army, and it's rolling armor and other typical SM fare. So I've had to build a list with that in mind. I'm throwing my Nurgle force at it with the high hopes that it will hold out.

HQ: DP MoN WT - No surprise here. My DP has always proven reliable. Sure, he tends to die, but usually not before he does his job and takes out what he needs to. Tomorrow he's there to clean up dying units as well as the IC killer.

3 Squads of 6 w/PF, 2 w/Melta x2; 1 w/Plasma x2 - I find my PM's do well in small squads. Even at only 6 strong, they pack a mean punch. It get's more special weapons on the table, gives me more scoring units, and they don't miss out on much even if they did have a seventh. The plasma unit is there to hold the rear. They sit on the objective in the back and keep a watch over a section of their board. Depending on the setup and the board we play on, I might put them in reserve and have them come on late to hold the rear objective.

2 Squads of 2 Obliterators - I'm hoping we are playing on the city board Cosmos has. These guys will setup nicely at the top of the buildings there and have free range. They are Oblits. What more is there to say?

Bile Cannon - Vindicator with DP - What can I say, I love my Bile Cannon. It's pretty, it's sweet, it's everything neat. And it blasts big holes in things. I expect to get one round of fire out of him before he quickly becomes threatened by tank killers. I plan on Rhinos providing cover to the sides for the first turn. Again, really depends on mission and deployment. He's also there to attract a lot of the high strength fire I know is coming at me. This will keep the fire off the Oblits for a round or two. If he get's left alone, he'll provide a world of hurt.

5 Chosen w/Rhino, 4xMelta, 1xFlamer - Yeah, I know, flamer in a melta squad. Well, I had 6 points sitting around. Since this squad is going to be in close to whatever they have to deal with considering the meltas, and this gives me the ability to lay in with a lot of wounds. They will be held in reserve and come in late hopefully to push something off that is causing problems. This is the first time I've used the Chosen. Here's to hoping they work out well!

So, let's tally up what we have here.

  • 3 Scoring Units
  • 8 Power Weapons/Fists with the Oblits
  • 15 AP1/2 capable models inc/Vindicator
  • 6 Templates inc/Flamer
  • 12 KP's
The Oblits and in some ways the Vindicator is there to give me range. The Plasma Marines are there as well to provide backup and support. Everything else is close range. This is important considering what my opponent my bring. He's fond of using a drop pod to get his Dreadnought or Stern Guard in close to cause havoc giving him time to get everything else into position. If he doesn't bring it on tomorrow, it will make my life a bit easier. If he does, however, I'm keeping everything deployed closely. This means when the DP does drop, I can handle it quickly and efficiently. I can't let whatever he drops stall my advance.

However, knowing that he has a new fancy Rhino filled army to play with, I imagine he's going to want to use them. With that in mind, I have a feeling I know what he'll do. Split a Tac squad into combat squads. Move in while his ML sits back and fires on my armor with the rest of the squad in cover. They will likely be sitting on an objective.

Anyways, the goal with my army overall is simple enough. Provide enough options that he will have to split his fire. Everything in the army is a potential tank killer. Everything is a tough nut to crack or simply not on the board at the start to die. There is also a lot to shoot at. 3 Rhinos, a DP, 2 squads of Oblits, and a Vindy make for a large number of options. And really, they all can hurt. He knows the danger of the Oblits though, so I imagine he'll work hard to take them out. I can't blame him. Hopefully they get in a couple of rounds of fire before being taken down.

Now, I'm hoping this list will serve me well as a core 1500 point all-comers list that I can build on. It has things to handle the different types of lists I face (Orc, Tyranid, and SM).

I'll bring my camcorder along to get a video of the battle and hopefully put together a nice looking battle report.

Sunday, September 13, 2009

Comments Working Again

Yeah, so the old blog template, I guess, didn't have working comments. Forget it. Not gonna mess with it anymore. Simply easy template that doesn't get too fussy and it works. Sorry, now back to the regularly scheduled program.

Friday, September 11, 2009

Obliterators v.s. Land Raiders

So, Obliterators are pretty awesome heavy choices for CSM. 75 points, 6 weapon options, and you can have 3 to a squad, or as few as 1. They have 2 wounds, 2+/5+ saves, and can deep strike in. All together awesome.

With a toughness of 4. That's the big downer, here. So, you essentially find a place for them to sit, in cover, while pestering the board with your lascannon fire. I mean, not bad, not bad at all.

But at 225 for 3 of them, is it really worth it? A Land Raider is cheaper, though you have a much more limited choice in weaponry, but still you get 2 TL lascannons a TL heavy bolter, and a TL bolter for the same price. At 14 armor all around. And let's face it, the chance of taking out the LR is lower than taking out the obliterators. Granted, it's easier to hide the obliterators then the LR. Oh, and a single melta attack can spell good night to that expensive LR. The obliterators also look less threatening. They do!

Which makes me wonder. So often for Nurgle armies I see 3 Oblit squads, or 2 Oblit squads and a Vindicator.

As a side note, I love Vindicators. I love the models and the look of them on the battle field, so I have a soft spot for them. Anyways, back to the point:

Why not instead of 2 Oblit squads, go with a Land Raider and an Oblit squad? Maybe throw in a Vindicator as well. Throw in a small 5-man squad into the LR if you want it scoring, but it's not needed. With those three titans on the field, you'll be paying lots of points, but honestly, I'd throw down with 2 DPs and Plague Marines to fill in the rest. Besides, with the Vindicator you can cover one side of the LR, and a Rhino covers another side, potentially providing ample cover if you play it right. Besides, the LR provides more cover for your Oblits or DP, too.

This gives your opponent even more to think about. With 3 Oblit squads, it's kinda easy to say "I'm firing at the oblits." With a Vindicator, it takes a bit more thinking. With a LR, you have the real potential to cause some concern. Does he focus fire and risk doing no damage? Does he go after the Oblits first hoping to get through 3 models (assuming instant death here).

I'm gonna have to try this out.

Monday, September 7, 2009

Iced Tau of the Nest'La Sept

I didn't like the Tau I had. See, I have a Nurgle armor all green and Nurgley, and I was planning on doing the Tau as a woodsy-forest Tau. That meant green as well. My wife didn't want more green. Vomit Brown was going to be the happy medium, but even then, I was still going to include green, which still would defeat the purpose because I wanted something bright.

So, I mentioned white... and green. She said I was dumb and pretty much asked me why I didn't do white and blue. And this is the outcome. A quick mock up of a winter-based Tau army. So, it will be a white base with Icy Blue for the highlight and a Asurmen Blue wash on the legs. Enchanted Blue is the darker blue. Luckily, all my basing is easily "snowified." I plan on picking up some blue and clear crystals tomorrow from the craft store to include on the bases to add something interesting. Blazing Orange is the contrasting highlight.
Below you can see the other Tau color schemes I was working with. Between the shoulder pads and the helmets, things were going horribly wrong. I have to say, I'm much happier with the Iced Tau, from the Nest'la sept. Get it? Get it? Nest'la Iced Tau.

Okay, yeah, I know. It was wrong. So very, very wrong. But as my D&D character, Wrenn Pickleton, Wild Sorcerer would say, "It's Wrenntastic!"

Sunday, September 6, 2009

Fly on a Rhino

Space Marines have their fancy little arrows on the top of their transports, so I did a little experiment of my own, and I gotta say, I like the way it looks. It has that same effect. The "arrow" shape of the fly gives the Rhino a visual indicator. Frankly, I think this is just the touch I've been looking for to add to my Rhinos. After that, I just need to finish the detailing and then they'll be done. That will get me very close to finally completeing a solid sized Nurgle themed army.

I'm still struggling for a good Nurglish name for the army. They aren't Death Guard (way too much armor on the table). I'm also debating whether I want more armor with another Vindicator and a Predator. I love tanks (which makes me wonder why I don't start an IG army) and heavy vehicles, so this would fit my play style more.

500 pt 3-way

My two friends and I met up yesterday with the intent to play a quick and easy 3 way game at 500 points. 500 point games are fast and easy, and make it easier to get in a 3-way rather than sitting one person out and waiting. I changed up my last 500 point list.

500 pt
Chaos Lord, Combi-Flamer/PF - 125 pts

CSMx5 - AC w/PF, Flamer, Rhino w/TLBolter - 165 pts
CSMx5 - Melta - 85 pts
Noise Marinesx5 w/Sonic Blastersx5 - 125 pts

My opponents were Codex SM and Tyranids. I had to deal with both high numbers and armor (Dreadnoughts and Razorbacks). I got to set up first, and decided to take a corner, set up my Noise Marines on a high, well defended hill. The board, btw, was only 4x4. Anyways, my Noise Marines would be able to completely cover the objective from their vantage point without moving and be able to take cover as needed. My Flamer squad and Lord were put into the Rhino, and my melta squad started behind the Rhino.

I was able to take out the Dreadnought by turn 3, which was actually really lucky all things considered. It was my first shot with the melta, and Destroyed it with ease. The next turn I took out the Razor back which had cover, but failed it's cover save. My melta squad really did well, even on foot!

My rhino lasted until turn 4, so turn 5 I had to disembark. However, by that point, I was able to split up my squad and HQ and get both sides of the Tyranids in front. Through some skillful positioning, I was able to flame and large number of gaunts and still attack the Hive Tyrant. Though my squad failed their morale check to assault, my Lord got into close combat easily enough. He suffered one wound from the Hive Tyrant, and turned around and was able to easily deliver the final wound needed to bring down the beast.

The Space Marines, having been whittled down to 5 models, actually pulled off the win at turn 5. He needed several lucky things to take place. First, he killed off my contesting Melta unit with 2 kills (having the Tyranids killing off 2 earlier). From there he was able to take my flamer unit down to 3 and they failed their morale check and started to fall back. But by then, he was the only unit with the objective. He just now needed the game to end, which it did with a roll of 2.

It was a great game, despite losing. The Emperor's Children were also really effective. 24" Heavy 3 gave them 15 shots a round. Very, very effective against the Tyranids and Space Marines. Whenever they fired, something was going to die.

Despite losing, I feel I played well. My troops all did exactly what they were supposed to do, and I don't think I could have done anything differently to really change the outcome too much.

Friday, September 4, 2009

Space Hulk Tileset Creator

Just found a Space Hulk Tileset Creator via BGG, a way to create your own custom Space Hulk maps. Looks pretty awesome for sure, and it's easy to use.

Incredibly easy to use, intuitive, and the end result is very impressive. Gonna have fun with this once I pick up my copy of Space Hulk!


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