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16/09/2017

Never Mind the Blog Wars 2017 - 8 weekends to build!

So NMTBW 2017 is coming up in November. I've heard a lot of good things about these tournaments, particularly a focus on fun instead of WAAC, so I've decided to tag along. I still have yet to buy my ticket, so I suppose I should get on that...

The points limit is 2,000, and there are restrictions on the number of the same type of unit (3 for Troops, 2 for everything else). I've decided to select my army based on what is the most painted, followed by how I can actually make a Detachment or two. Here is the result:



I'm going to go for a Blood Ravens and Imperial Guard combination. The Imperial Guard will be led by a Primaris Psyker, to try and tie them in to the Blood Ravens, and I'll have an Assassin tag along to cause a bit of chaos.

Here's the list (1999pts):

Battalion Detachment
HQ
Terminator Captain, TH&SS
Librarian, Jump Pack & Force Stave

TROOPS
Tactical squad, 10 Marines
Grav Cannon, Grav Gun
Sgt, Power Fist

Tactical squad, 10 Marines
Plasma Cannon, Plasma Gun
Sgt, Power Sword & Plasma Pistol

Intercessors, 10 Marines
Bolt Rifles

DEDICATED TRANSPORTS
2x Rhino

ELITES
Redemptor Dreadnought
Macro Plasma, Fragstorm launcher, Onslaught Gatling

Terminators, 5 Marines
4 TH&SS
Sgt, Lightning Claws

HEAVY SUPPORT
Devastator squad, 10 Marines
4 Lascannon, Armorium Cherub

Patrol Detachment
HQ
Primaris Psyker, Force Stave

TROOPS
Infantry squad, 10 Guardsmen
Heavy Bolter, Grenade Launcher

HEAVY SUPPORT
Leman Russ Battletank
Battlecannon, 3x Heavy Bolters

ELITES
Eversor Assassin

So that's the list as it currently stands. Some changes might have to be made if the Astra Militarum Codex makes an appearance before the tournament.

It should be fun to play with, and against. I've gone for plenty of infantry, backed up with a smattering of heavy firepower, and a contingent of deep striking units that will cause some havoc and unpredictability.

I need 6 numbered Objective markers, so I might use these guys and somehow come up with 2 more:


01/09/2017

Bank Holiday Doubles Tournament

Last Monday I travelled over to Durham to take part in the Doubles Tournament, being run by the GW Store Manager there. My team-mate I had never met before, and I hadn't been in a competitive match like this since about 2012.

The format was simple: Maximum Power Level of 50 per player. Position on the tournament table decided by Victory Points across 3 games. Each mission rolled for at the start of each round, and taken from Eternal War and Maelstrom of War. The VPs would then be multiplied by the number of "Best Game" votes received, and if your army is painted, leading to a maximum multiplier of x4 (I didn't know about the multiplier until the results were called, which was quite funny...). Seperate prizes were awarded for the Best Painted competition.

My Army: Blood Ravens
Vanguard Detachment
Terminator Captain with TH & SS "Haliax"
Assault Terminators with 4x TH & SS, 1x LC
Devastator squad with 4x Lascannons, 10x Marines, Cherub
Redemptor Dreadnought with Macro Plasma "Thunderchild"
Venerable Dreadnought with Twin-Lascannons "Azhar"

Chapter Trait: Siege Masters, Warlord Trait: Iron Resolve, Relic: The Shield Eternal

My team-mate's army: Minotaurs

Primaris Captain, Primaris Lt., Primaris Apothecary
6x Aggressors with Boltstorm Gauntlets
5x Intercessors with Stalker Bolters
5x Hellblasters with Plasma Incinerators
Redemptor Dreadnought with Macro Plasma

Chapter Trait: Codex Discipline, Warlord Trait: Adept of the Codex, Relic: The Sanctic Halo

Round 1: The Relic

For the first round, we were facing off against a Space Wolves duo consisting of a smattering of marines backed up by four flyers - 2x Xiphon Interceptors and 2x Storm Eagles.

The set-up at the start:


I'll be honest, when we saw the army being laid out we thought we were screwed! But at least I was able to dust off Gunner 1st Class Jurgen to use as The Relic. Since he's a Blank, he is very valuable to anyone that can lay their grubby hands/paws/talons/tentacles on him.

About halfway through the game, and it seemed that our Auspexes were bring interfered with, and no-one could locate poor old Jurgen. Or maybe his odour just put off both our forces:
I think to everyone's surprise we actually won that round a whopping 6-1, and we did the 2nd best out of all the games in Round 1. Of course, for that we would have a price to pay. But still, the Emperor Protects!

Round 2: Cloak and Shadows

The tournament organiser had to step in and play because one of the teams didn't turn up, which was unfortunate for us. We had to face the 1st best army from Round 1, which won the maximum 7-0, and consisted of this:


There are no words for the horror we were about to face. But it was a well painted horror, which was apparently a commission painted army that belonged to one of the organiser's friends. I don't think he was realistically expecting to have to field it, but it made for quick games!

My 1st Company Captain, Haliax, showed what this combination of Traits can do for survivability. It took around 2 turns of shooting from 3 Knights to kill him:


Down to 1 wound, I had to make 8 3+ armour saves. The Emperor does indeed protect:


This was for VPs for our opponent, and it was such a close game that my Captain simply had to die. He met his end in these ruins, cowering behind his Shield Eternal. Haliax served us well:

The second round we only just lost, 11-9. We did get tabled on Turn 6, but we never expected to live that long! I have to say we were very pleased with how that match turned out, and our opponent made the game much more enjoyable than it otherwise could have been.

Round 3: Secure and Control

The last mission saw us face off against a Salamanders and Ultramarines force:

Another joyous moment for me, as I was able to bring out ye olde Warp Portal that I made around 2011:
I decided on the narrative being that the Blood Ravens were trying to get in touch with their inner-Thousand Sons and pull something through the portal. The Devastators are chanting away, while the Intercessors provide covering fire.

This game didn't go so well for us, especially the dreadnoughts. The Venerable Dreadnought, Azhar, died in rather glorious fashion:
In the end we lost ignominiously 9-1. Another enjoyable game though, despite getting stomped! One highlight was our opponents thinking you can throw a grenade during combat, and not realising you couldn't until a lone marine ran at my Redemptor Dreadnought... And promptly got squished. The marine still took a wound off though, so we presume he shoved his combat blade down the vision slit or something.

The Painting Competition

There were so many fully painted armies there, I felt a bit gutted that I hadn't been able to finish mine. Here are a few from the day that I liked:

My vote went for this Space Wolves army. He paid attention to details, and added squad markings, vehicle numbers, weathering and battle damage. I was torn on my vote, but it had to go to this army in the end! It also came 2nd overall, netting £30 of GW vouchers.





This Deathwatch army nearly got my vote. I just find it really striking on the tabletop, especially when I've played against elements of it in the store over recent weeks. Still, he came 2nd and won a nice £10 GW voucher.



One of the Ultramarine armies won the Best Painted, but I'm not sure which one! Either way, I think they all looked pretty decent. 1st prize was a £50 GW voucher.

The Results:

So, how did my team do in the end? As we didn't know about the score multipliers, we were extremely surprised to find we came 3rd overall! A £10 GW voucher each, which topped off a great day. Apparently each of our opponents voted us "Best Game", and we got a x3 multiplier. Apparently if I had managed to get my army painted we would have actually won the whole shebang. But I'm very happy with my 3rd place, because I usually end up mid-table somewhere!

Our Best Game vote went to the first team we face - it was a close one until the end, and everyone played with good spirits even when things went ploin-shaped. It was tough to decide on the Best Game though, because we had such as good time across all 3 games no matter what list they brought. So yeah, Round 1 just took it.



24/08/2017

All of this has happened before, and it will all happen again.

Now that we have moved house, I can settle down once more and start blogging. I can't tell you how much I'm sick of moving house though...

I swore this wouldn't happen again, but dammit my addiction to purchasing and building plastic toys has outrun my ability to paint them fast enough once more. Obviously this happens to roughly 100% of hobbyists, but I was so sure I wouldn't do it this time.

Here are some photos of my to-do list:








I'm actually very pleased that the only completely unassembled items I have is a Gravis Captain and 5 Hellblasters. Those assassins are very nearly done, I've just go to do the last push on them really, but they're a drop in the ocean now.

At least I can play with everything WYSIWYG I guess...

In other news, we visited Warhammer World the other day since the new place is a lot closer.



We looked for the assassin for quite a considerable amount of time, but to no avail. How the hell you're going to find it in all that I don't know. I'm pretty sure the other discoveries were down to fluke!

But I did buy a cool Ad Mech t-shirt (but I'm currently wearing it, so no picture), and this Ciaphas Cain mug (currently filled with Recaf, not Tanna):


And Hermione seems to like the new house... Although Padmé also loves it, she hasn't been in any hobby-related shots:





I can assure any concerned readers that I don't usually let my cats drink my paint water. This was a new and unused re-fill of the water, and the paint is non-toxic. I also have a lid that I put on the water when I am away from my desk, to prevent them drinking it (you can see a bit of it in the final picture, the purple plastic at the bottom of the photo).

Now, off to watch The Dark Tower! I would say I remember the face of my Father, but I'm a bastard and don't have one on my birth certificate :D

06/08/2017

Some things I recently learned about C:SM, also something about gaming etiquette.

Morning fellow Acolytes of the Emperor!

As the title suggests, in this post I will bring up some points I learned about C:SM along with a little bit of gaming etiquette.

Codex Adeptus Astartes: Space Marines

I got in yet another game on Friday (more on that in a bit), which caused me to read the rules again beforehand and then again when I got home. During this time I found out some interesting things about the traits, stratagems etc...

1) Chapter Traits: Selecting a Trait from here doesn't make your army 'counts-as' or anything like that. It simply means you are a Chapter making use of a Founding Chapter's Trait. We always knew since the Indices that a Successor can't use the rules of a Founding Chapter's abilities on their characters, if that chapter is named specifically. However, this has implications for further on in the Warlord Traits.

2) Stratagems: There isn't anything new here actually...

3) Warlord Traits: Initially, my thought process was such that "I take the Raven Guard CT, and the Raven Guard Stratagem, so naturally I take the same for the Warlord Trait" and so I don't think I read the rules correctly because of the assumption I made. Well, I've read this again, and apparently I misunderstood! You only take the Chapter-specific Warlord Trait if you are actually from that Chapter, without exception: "only if your Warlord is from the relevant Chapter" (p.199). The D6 table for the rest of us, but thankfully there are some great Traits on there. This is why Crimson Fists get their own entry here, where they didn't under CT and Stratagems.

4) Walord Traits, part 2: If the warlord of your army is an Adeptus Astartes Character, then you can take a trait from this table. Depending on what the other Adeptus Astartes Codices say, then you can always come here for your Trait, or if you had an Astartes as a Warlord for another mixed-Imperium army, or Deathwatch. However, what GW might do in the future codices is say "Grey Knights/Blood Angels/Dark Angels/Space Wolves/Deathwatch Astartes Characters must select a trait from this table". EDIT: Page 194 refutes this! (Thanks to someone on the B&C forums for the clarity)

5) Relics: After reading those rules for the Warlord Traits, I'm wondering if it is the same for the Relics. As the Chapter Tactic you select is just you using the Trait of your Founding Chapter, and the Stratagem specifically tells you to use a Founding Chapter Stratagem, then it should follow that you can't use the Relics of your Founding Chapter because it doesn't say you can. I shall play it this way from now on I think.

While it's a bit gutting not having access to those nice options, it does mean there are far fewer variables to consider when selecting your Founding Chapter (unfortunately, I don't think I can actually select Thousand Sons as mine so I'll just have to select a placeholder...).

Gaming Etiquette


Just a picture of one of my cute and fluffy Bio-Titans, to keep us all in a good mood.

So in that game on Friday, we played a 2v2 down my local GW on the Konor mission. We opted for 75 power per player, and it was Tyranids/Cult & Death Guard Vs Blood Ravens/Questor Imperialis & Deathwatch/Ultramarines/Imperial Guard.

I quite often give my opponents the benefit of the doubt, because I think an uncomplicated atmosphere makes for a more enjoyable game than asking to check their rules or army list every turn. However, there are times when you just feel like your opponent has given you a kick to the groin after your own efforts to play nice.

I was going to post a shortish BatRep of the game, because for the first two turns we were stomping them, but the Imperium started to crumble on Turn 3 and our opponents valiantly fought it back to take the lead. At the end of Turn 5 they were winning by 2 VPs, but I had to go otherwise I'd get a parking ticket (we'd been playing a loooong time). Anywho, I was totalling up our lists for the report, and I discovered that the Tyranid player had grossly overspent with his army being 93 power!

No wonder why we started losing when his reserves showed up.

The Tyranids deployed all of their units, while the Cult were fully kept in reserve, and this is what they had. Note that the 75 Power only covers the Tyranids:

Tyranids (74 Power)
1x Swarmlord, 1x Flyrant, 1x Tervigon, 2x Carnifexes, 3x Shrikes, 30 Hormagaunts, 30 Termagants.
Cult (19 Power)
1x Partiarch, 5x Purestrain Genestealers, 5x Purestrain Genestealers, 5x Purestrain Genestealers.

The reason why I'm so narked about this one, is that... well actually there's a few reasons:

  • I gave my opponent the benefit of the doubt when he forgot to do something, or when a dice definitely wasn't cocked when he said it was, and so on.
  • For the first 2 turns when we were stomping them, our opponents started whining (one more than the other though) about how they can't win now and the world is going to end. When they started pulling the lead back, I stayed in the same happy and enthusiastic mood because I WAS PLAYING 40K WHICH MEANS LIFE COULDN'T BE BETTER.
  • We were winning until that extra 19 Power turned up. The Patriarch also took the last wounds off my Knight with Smite, which was a lot of firepower lost even on 3 wounds remaining.
  • There was a lot of discussion beforehand over the Power values, so there was absolutely no doubt in anyone's mind what the limit was per person.
So, some etiquette:

1) Write your list down! Preferably a few lists before you get to the store. I always have some 50 and 100 lists, so it is easy for me to add/deduct as I need to, and I can just start playing as soon as someone wants a game.

2) Explain what your powers and abilities do when you use them. Don't just assume that your opponent will know them, or even remember them from the turn previously. Most of us are too busy trying to remember our own rules, or planning for our next turn.

3) If your units need a lot of dice, have them counted up ready for your turn. We don't need to sit there while you count up a bunch of dice ready to roll X times for 90 shots.

4) In the interest of fair play, let someone know when a move might be a bad decision for them, because they've forgotten one of your esoteric abilities. I often let my opponent know (e.g. I tell them about my Callidus' special rule before they use a CP on Turn 1).

5) Check your mood!

Thought for the day:A single thought of heresy can blight a lifetime of faithful duty.


29/07/2017

Codex Adeptus Astartes: Space Marines

As we are all well aware, the 8th Edition codex for the Space Marines came out today. Being a good little Lexicanium, I pre-ordered last week and picked it up this morning.


Today I'm just going to start with a teeny weeny bit of a rant, and then I'm going to talk about selecting a theme for my Blood Ravens. Hopefully by the end of the post, I will have settled on a set way of representing the Chapter on the tabletop, which will be codified and stored by the Administratum for all eternity (until 9th, or the next Codex anyway).

The Rant

After a read through the codex today, I spotted so many grammatical and typographical errors that really made my inner Inquistor-of-undergraduate-work whince (complete with flashbacks). Why can't Games Workshop invest in good copy-editors?

Another couple of glaring errors I noticed were:

Grenade Harnesses and the Wrist-Mounted Grenade Launcher were in the Index 1 as AP1. These were later FAQd to become AP-1. So a typographical error then. However, in the new codex they are back as AP1. How that got past the editors I don't know.

Every piece of equipment in the codex and indices has a points value for matched play games. Well, try and look up the value for the Auxiliary Grenade Launcher for the Intercessor Squad.

Some might think it sad that I get bothered by these things but hey, I'm autistic, I love the details! Also, items like this codex are supposed to be a piece of professional work. If I made these kinds of omissions or factual errors in any of my research work, it could have significant ramifications. At any rate, it hopefully wouldn't get past the rest of the team working on the research, and then the editors (although there are some hilarious pieces of academic trolling, where authors have slipped some amusing things past journal editors).

Don't misunderstand my mood though, as I do really like this new codex! Anyway, onto more interesting things for you...

Chapter Tactics, Stratagems, Warlord Traits and Relics

There are four sets that stood out to me as possible contenders for the Blood Ravens: Ultramarines, White Scars, Imperial Fists and Raven Guard. I nearly included Salamanders in that list, but they are a bit too deviant from the Blood Ravens I think.

Ultramarines:
Chapter Tactic - +1 Ld. Can fall back and then shoot with a penalty to hit.
Stratagem - Re-rolls in shooting or close combat.
Warlord Trait - 5+ roll to regain used CPs.
Relic - Captain only. 3+ Inv, with 1 Deny the Witch per turn.


White Scars:
Chapter Tactic - +2" Advance, and can fall back and charge.
Stratagem - Can advance, then shoot and charge.
Warlord Trait - After charging, enemy units within 1" get a Mortal Wound on a dice roll.
Relic - Psyker only. +1 to test for Smite.

Imperial Fists:
Chapter Tactic - No cover saves for the enemy.
Stratagem - For bolter rounds, on a 6+ to hit the model can fire another shot.
Warlord Trait - Units in range of the Warlord get +1 to cover against AP-1.
Relic - A unique Bolt Pistol that can target characters, with good Damage.

Raven Guard:
Chapter Tactic - Enemies suffer -1 to hit when more than 12" away.
Stratagem - Deploy in the shadows, where the unit appears as close as 9" before the first turn.
Warlord Trait - No overwatch on the warlord.
Relic - Jump Pack only. Can advance and charge. Re-roll failed charge.

There are some generic Warlord Traits and a Relic that I quite liked depending on the circumstances of the game:

Generic Warlord Traits:
The Imperium's Sword - Re-roll charges with an extra attack.
Iron Resolve - +1 wound, 6+ Feel No Pain.
Champion of Humanity - +1 to hit and +1 to wound in fights against Characters.

Generic Relics:
Tome of Malcador - Psyker only. Can know an extra spell.

Some tough choices to make there. The Ultramarines, as usual, have a nice generic set of things that could apply to pretty much any Chapter that is codex-compliant. The Imperial Fists match up well with how the Blood Ravens are represented in the computer games, but I feel like it's missing some of the cooler aspects of their fluff.

Personally, I'm really torn between the White Scars and the Raven Guard. The White Scars have a psyker relic that nicely represents the psychic potential of the Blood Ravens, and their other items function well to represent how the Space Marine blitzkrieg is represented in the fluff. Also, the Stratagem and Chapter Tactic could represent their prescient ability.

On the other hand, the Raven Guard do completely show that prescience, both in the preparation before battle in the Stratagem, and during combat in the Chapter Tactic. However, I'm not so keen on the Warlord Trait and the Relic - but I could always use those generic ones.

Urgh, I need to think on it some more! An anti-climax I guess...