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Monday, March 30, 2015

Miniature Monday - 03/30/2015

For #minaturemonday, here are my paintups of the special edition Blood Angel and Crimson Fist. It was a lot of fun referencing my old book covers to get the highlights and black flame details just right

Friday, March 27, 2015

End Times Tournament at Adepticon2015 Photos

Some of the armies from the End Times Tournament at Adepticon 2015.

  Adam Hilton's Host of the Eternity King
 Kent Sheldon's Lizardmen
 Jeremy Fay's The Empire
Jeff Teer's Undead Legion

Thursday, March 26, 2015

Monday, March 23, 2015

Around the Net: Skitarii Rules

Via Facing the Grey Tide & DakkaDakka

Around the Net: Skitarii Models

Miniature Monday - 03/23/2015

Decided to change things up and work on a Tyranid model.  Longtime readers of my blog will recall that my original Tyranid army was purple and brown.  I was never fond of the color scheme, but it worked at the time.  This color scheme is closer to what I am wanting in a Nid army.  The biggest challenge with this model was deciding on a conversion that worked but wasn't #ODT.  I also knew it would be a risk to use the same color scheme for the talons and base, but it seems to work for me.

Tuesday, March 17, 2015

Around the Net: Ad Mech are Coming

The April 4th release just got a really strong hint via this Saturday's White Dwarf.

Monday, March 16, 2015

Around the Net: Codex Khorne Daemonkin

The above picture was taken from L'Astropate
Let me begin by stating that the picture above is awesome and I am bitz shopping today to recreate the model for my army.  ARGH....  Cannot resist the draw of this project.   .
According to Faeit 212:

Codex: Khorne Daemonkin

120pg hardback Codex. Rules for fielding a combined force of Khornate Chaos Space Marines with Daemons of Khorne.

Warhammer 40,000 Datacards: Khorne Daemonkin
45 reference cards; 36 tactical objective cards; and 9 large-format ‘Blood for the Blood God’ cards.

Khorne Daemonkin Warband
10 Chaos Space Marines; 5 Possessed Chaos Space Marines; 5 Chaos Terminators; a Chaos Helbrute; 3 Bloodcrushers of Khorne; 12 Khorne Berserkers; and a Resin Herald of Khorne.

Miniature Monday - 03/16/2015

I'm feeling kinda Nurgley today, so here are Monday's miniature(s):

They work great as a Kill Team, with one Plasma Gunner taking Ignores Cover, another taking Preferred Enemy, and a Bolter buddy taking Poisoned (4+) for his gun.

Miniature Monday - 03/16/2015

 This Miniature Monday is a little something different since it is Adepticon week.  I completed this model over the weekend for one of the tables at the End Times Tournament.  I admit it is not my best work as I rushed the project and relied on doing a lot of heavy handed washes.  The picture also highlights the additional drybrushing I did on the stone staircase after the washes.  After Adepticon, I may revisit the piece and try to get it up to snuff, but for now, it is playable.


Thursday, March 12, 2015

Rumors: Tau Codex in 2015

While the podcast does tend to share rumors on our Facebook page from other sites, we rarely post ones that originate with us.  That said, this one is prompted by the recent rumor posted by the Lords of Wargaming in response to the release date of a plastic Horus Heresy kit

Shit, you will see a Tau codex before you see plastic Horus Heresy.

On the surface, this could be taken as a sarcastic response to the current rumors.  However, I do believe this is confirmation that we should expect a Tau release later this year.  The reason I believe this is I have also heard of Tau coming from two different sources over the last few months.  One source simply shared that there would be a Tau release later this year.  The source has been pretty reliable, but frankly I had not seen anything from other sources so I didn't think much of it at the time.

The other source shared that Kroot would be removed from the Tau book, and that Tau and Kroot would each be getting a codex later this year.  More interesting, my source indicated the Tau release will have a few new kits (1 or 2) with a focus being on the new Kroot models.  Just for the record, the rumor about Tau/Kroot was received a few weeks before a similar one appeared on Faeit 212. 

So what does this all mean?  I believe we can expect a new Tau codex sometime later this year. If I were to hazard a guess, I would expect to see it in October or November.  By the end of the year, time will have determined if my attempt at using a crystal ball was successful.

Tuesday, March 10, 2015

Tuesday Tactics - The Legion of the Damned

The Legion of the Damned is a unique unit to the Space Marine codex, and it is almost never used by players because of competition from Assault Terminators and Sternguard. I think this is a shame because they offer a marine player more diverse options than the standard "must take" options.

The Good
They come with a bucket of handy special rules: Unyielding Specters, Flaming Projectiles, Slow and Purposeful, Fear, and Fearless. They even have an extra pip of Attack each without needing a second close combat weapon. Their points decreased by five each, which is nice. They benefit from a few special character's abilities and rules, unlike last edition. Lastly, their sculpts are all AMAZING. They are such beautiful marines to drop onto the table (not literally! eek!).

The Bad
They cannot run, but this is offset by moving and shooting heavy weapons at full effectiveness. They must arrive by deepstrike, but this is offset by being able to reroll it. The real downside is not being able to Overwatch, but combined with their other abilities that shouldn't be a problem.

The Ugly
Finecast. On the other hand, this works for converting your own weapons other than what GW provides.

To many, they are simply a glorified Tactical squad that are more expensive. Well sure, when you look at the end result, but sometimes you have to think outside the box. For instance, take into account some of their special rules. Being able to deepstrike, for a Tactical Squad, means to buy a drop pod. This also means another KP to give to your enemy. That 3+ inv save? That's the equivalent of a storm shield on each dude.

Take my basic all-rounder squad:

10 Legion - plasma pistol, power axe, plasma gun, multi-melta [305 points] (used to be 385!)

Take the standard costs listed in units and subtract them from the total (drop pods and storm shields are easily found):
305 - 35 (drop pod) - 100 (storm shields) = 170

This is cheaper than a similarly equipped Tactical Squad, by 25+ points. How about that! Not only that, but you still get Fearless, Fear, being able to move and shoot heavy weapons with full BS, reroll the deep strike scatter, ignore cover saves, and an extra attack for free too (oh, and the sergeant is WS 5)! This happy feeling is off-set by three things though: not being able to run, not being able to overwatch, and the fact they cannot make use of any Chapter Tactics. All in all, the points are truly not as high when think of it this way; you've just taken all the pimp upgrades (that a Tactical squad can't take) as part of their base cost.

One of their new abilities, Fear, will be interesting to see, should it ever come into use. Most Xenos (except Tyranids and Orks) should fall prey to it's affects every once in a while, but the far more often seen Space Marine opponents know no fear, so oh well to that.

Their closest equivalent, the oft-used hammernators, cost a lot more and have no ranged weapons while getting a better armor save and more smashface in close combat. I think I prefer to be able to meltface at 25-30" every turn instead.

Putting them to Use
I use them as a hard-to-remove mass of bodies and bolters that will always do their job. They will never abandon their objective and hold it til the end; even though they can't score it, they can certainly contest it! In objective games they're always landing on or near the enemy's, with support if necessary (it usually isn't). As they are Slow and Purposeful, you'll usually always want to land near their endgame target because they are too slow for tactical redeployment.

The big new perk for this edition is Flaming Ammunition, and this applies to every ranged weapon they carry! This generally gives them two main purposes: Anti-Infantry (hiding in cover), or Anti-Skimmer (to get past Jink saves). Good thing they have every weapon to choose from to best complete this task.

They can be used to contest and tarpit and stand happily in the open in the face of battle cannons, due to their 3+ invulnerable save. Rampaging carnifexes and daemon princes are often brought low or stopped in their tracks. Being able to shoot to full effectiveness all the time on the move gives them so many more options; rapid fire and assault, ping lightly armored targets farther away, simply assault with the effectiveness of an assault squad, etc. They are what a Tactical Squad should be, in my opinion; the true Swiss Army bolter that can take on any opponent (well, not walkers or Wraithlords in combat). Just remember, they can't fall back and weight of fire will kill them as easily as Tactical Marines. This means they should be equipped to deal with whatever they might come up against.

[Codex: Legion of the Damned only]

Should you desire to take the Legion as your primary detachment, you now can do that. Remember though, as they are stuck in Reserves, you do need to take allies so that you don't lose the game.

Consider that you still get to take 6 units from the Space Marines codex, and you'll have plenty of options for supplementing their abilities.

Special Character/Rule Interaction
The Legion of the Damned benefit from the abilities of Captain Sicarius, Chief Librarian Tigurius, Vulkan He'stan, and Pedro Kantor. They also benefit from the Standard of the Emperor Ascendant, if only part of it.

From Captain Sicarius, they gain +1 to their Reserves roll. Only useful if you want them early, but still useful.

From Chief Librarian Tigurius, you may reroll their Reserves roll (pass or fail), allowing you to make sure they come in or stay out. Combine with Sicarius to make darn sure they show up ASAP! They also benefit from his psychic potential: Endurance makes them ridiculously tough to deal with, Prescience makes them shootier, Fireshield protects them from assaulters after they arrive, Telekine dome can potentially redirect some of those big shots, and Invisibility can make them nigh invulnerable if they dropped into cover (bonus: protects from assaulters too!). The best part is that most of these powers are 24", allowing the Chief to stay far away but still help out.

From Vulkan He'stan, their melta weapons gain Master-crafted, which is good for a tank-hunting unit.

From Pedro Kantor, they gain Preferred Enemy (Orks). If they are within 12", they also receive +1 Attack, which is awesome. Drop pod Pedro next to them for a shooty/punchy combo.

While the Legion isn't affected by the first part of the rules for the Standard of the Emperor Ascendant, they do gain Hatred and +1 combat result.

Squad Size: While I generally recommend the full ten to have best battlefield performance, there's something to be said for smaller squads too. The first and most obvious is that they cost less, but also have a smaller Deep Strike footprint. Any number in between should be relatively fine.

Special Weapon: The Plasma Gun has a nice range that matches the rest of the unit's weapons, allowing them to potentially wreck nearly any vehicle, but especially skimmers, while on the move. While there is a chance of overheating, I find it's complementary nature most useful for the unit. A secondary choice would be the Flamer, for although the rest of the unit already ignores cover saves, being able to hit a large amount of models (say, Imperial Guard or other hordes) and roasting them prevents your from taking that many more in the charge.

Heavy Weapon: The Multi-melta is a true winner, both for it's cheapness and utility. Slagging tanks on the move is so awesome, and extremely useful in any situation as it cuts through all armor and has a high strength. Now that it ignores cover, it's great for smashing tanks hidden in cover, Monstrous Creatures, or moving skimmers (especially because none are AV13+). It also keeps with the 24" theme so that you don't waste the single shot on a target far away. The Lascannon is my second choice, for while it breaks the range barrier, it greatly increases long-range infantry killing potential because of the wonky FAQ, has Strength 9, and is generally quite useful.

Sergeant Gear: The Sergeant can perform a variety of tasks, and his equipment is generally best when matched with his unit. Should you want an AP2 killer squad, I'd suggest the above plasma/melta for all general purpose units, along with a plasma pistol and power axe. His save should keep him around to cut through terminators and the like. If you want a Monstrous Creature blaster, give him a Combi-Graviton Gun and Power Fist (though this is also decent for AP2 killing). The Combi-Graviton Gun benefits from his Slow and Purposeful, giving you three chances to knock down that Hive Tyrant's (or Mephiston's!) ridiculously high Initiative to 1 (and seriously wound it too!), giving the rest of your unit a chance to finish it off before it even attacks. Should they fail, he'll be assured of getting his two punches in to do the job.

[Codex: Legion of the Damned only] The Animus Malorum can be very potent. Not only does it make your rock hard space ghost marines even harder to kill, it also improves on the Feel No Pain shared by the unit, should enemies fail Morale, Pinning, or Fear tests. Needless to say, this item is gloriously undercosted and an auto-include. Even though it costs ten more points than a Legionnaire, the overall points of the unit is still less than a similarly equipped unit from the previous codex.

Combine this item in an army that features a high amount of Morale and Pinning tests on the enemy, to better the chances of making them fail, as well as any gear or special rules that lower the Ld value of your targets. With this item, you really want the LotD in the thick of it, and it makes it so your enemy has to apply 50 to 600% more non-instant death wounds to kill off the whole squad in a given turn.

Warlord Traits [Codex: Legion of the Damned only]
The Legion got a great set of warlord traits. Soul Blaze, Leadership penalties, Feel No Pain, choice on arrival, and Preferred Enemy all have their uses, but really, Ethereal Bolts takes the cake. This turns your entire unit into a tank killer, as all your bolt weapons gain Armorbane. With the standard set up I've listed above, should you score this trait, that unit can do absolutely everything, from killing tanks, to shooting/chopping infantry, to withstanding battle cannon hits, and so on.

The Legion of the Damned takes a little getting used to and usually works independently of the rest of your forces, but then the abilities and personal upgrades they have allow them to do so without much trouble. In almost every single game they've given me the victory where a different unit would not have been able. They do have their drawbacks, but to me they are nothing compared to what they have to give in return.

Monday, March 9, 2015

Miniature Monday - 03/09/2015

This is the first model I painted for the year: Durthu! I particularly like the finish on the sword. He's so angry!

Miniature Monday - 03/09/2015

The next CSM for the squad. Since this marine is wearing a helmet, I felt the need to add the green element via the clawed hand.  It was a bit of a lazy conversion, but one I figured fit with the overall look of the unit.

Thursday, March 5, 2015

Review: New Avengers - Issue #30

(Warning: This review includes spoilers from New Avengers issue #30)

If you have been following the Time Runs Out storyline, you know that things are looking bad for the Marvel 616 (original Marvel universe).  Since the story began in New Avengers #1, the story has been building on the premise that the Marvel heroes are finally facing their Kobayashi Maru scenario.  Issue #30 does a fantastic job of ramping up this idea by providing some much needed details about what is happening.

(Warning: Spoilers are about to be dropped in this article.)

Over the last eight months, Hank Pym has been travelling the multiverse with the purpose of finding out who is responsible for the incursions that have been wiping out realities.  It turns out that in part, the Beyonders are responsible for what is happening.  It also turns out that they are in control of the Mapmakers and are using them as a way of trapping the abstracts and other powerful beings of each universe. 

What makes this issue so fantastic is the tone it sets for the remainder of the story.  The heroes have run out of options and even the Deus Ex Machinas (infinity stones, celestials, etc…) have all been taken off the table by the end of this issue.  Of particular note, the death of Living Tribunal was finally explained after being shown over a year ago. 

The reveals of this issue made for a great read, but did leave me with a bit of a lingering sadness over the state of the 616.  With hope all but lost and future solicitations pointing to things becoming even worse, I was left not wanting to continue the story.  DC comics are known for the occasional reboot, but to see it unfold in the Marvel universe is a different experience.  Reed Richards holding his son after a failed attempt to save everything is a powerful image for a father like me.  More so, hearing characters who I have always known to be hopeful to finally admit defeat is simply a tough story to read. 

If you have been following the storyline, issue #30 is a must read.  If you haven’t been following it to this point, I would suggest starting back at issue #1 and working your way to becoming current.  Time Runs Out is likely to become one of those rare events that sticks with the community for generations.  It will all come down to how Marvel wraps things up in the next two months.   

Tuesday, March 3, 2015

Tuesday Tactics - Skeleton Chariots

Many people have asked me how I use Skeleton Chariots in my Tomb Kings, and indeed I've made something of a name for myself on the Tomb Kings forums (not intentionally!) for advocating their successful usage. I figured a little blurb on how I do it would be a good way to kick off Tuesday Tactics.

When I first started Tomb Kings, I just had one unit of three Chariots. While I played small games, I found their capabilities to be a bit limited. 6 BS2 shots won't clear chaff, but the 3D6 S4 Impact Hits will! Still, with only nine wounds to share, they didn't survive long. I soon got a second box and made it a unit of six Chariots. Now this fared better, being twice the size and double the shots...still only 3D6 Impact Hits, but at S5 they really started to put on the hurt.

This unit of six really started to rock and roll for me, supported by ranks of Archers and Constructs (and most importantly, magic!). I then picked up Settra, because who better to lead the Chariot legions than the big man himself? He really added more oomph to the unit, making them that much killier. I then took it to a primer event and played some games at a higher point value; I think it was 3000. There, I learned the downside of my idea.

I kept getting flanked, crushed, and overwhelmed by what I was running into. That day I learned a valuable lesson: use the buddy system! That is to say, take a second unit of six Chariots, because MOAR CHARIOTS IS MORE BETTA. I was really getting on a Chariot kick and having a TON of fun with it, but once I determined the buddy system is the way to go, they really took off. Now, instead of striking at a weak point hoping to overwhelm, I was presenting a prickly frontage that could smash multiple targets; indeed, my catchphrase became "Chariot SMASH" on the forums, with batrep after batrep recording how they would plow into units and just wipe them out.

This was especially true as the Elves were just coming into power, and slow slow Undead didn't know what to do against them. Enter the Chariots: Arrows that always hit on a set number can reliably whittle down weakly armored and statted Elves, and what strikes in CC before Always Strikes First? Impact Hits! 3-6D6 S4-5 destroyed so much that I would often only lose a single unit over the course of a game.

Thus, the first and most important lesson of using Chariot units, of any size (even for other races), is the buddy system. Pair up units for mutual protection and destruction. They can cover each others' flanks, set up traps, and so on.

The second big lesson is to give them magic support. Even just one spell is strong enough to make them worth far more than their points, and this is where Tomb Kings Chariots really shine over other races'. I'll go through those that I use:

- Incantation of the Desert Wind. This spell is very powerful for the mounted army. As a bubble it will hit both of your units and heal them. What's more awesome is that they get a second move, effectively letting them march, where other Chariots never can. As another workaround, when dealing with terrain, they never take DT tests when moving normally (it's only when you march, charge, flee, or pursue), thus letting them move through seemingly Impassable Terrain with impunity. This maneuverability, combined with their speed, makes them great for flanking, or getting in your opponent's face quickly. Overall, a pretty sweet spell (decent when using Settra with them).

- Incantation of Cursed Blades. This is a pretty simple spell, giving the unit Killing Blow, which at first glance gives a "meh" feeling, right up until you realize that it also affects their Impact Hits. Yes, 3-6D6 auto-hits with KB? Put the fear of the Tomb Kings' wrath into your armored opponent as they melt away. Plus it heals, like all other augments in the Lore of Nehekhara. Good stuff!

- Incantation of Protection. Gotta love giving them the same invulnerability as daemons! A 5+ ward save has saved my bacon too many times to count, and against shooting armies, keeps the unit strong on the way in.

- Incantation of Righteous Smiting. Combine this potent spell with Cursed Blades when you really want to carve up anything in front of you. Again, it seems blah at first glance, but the spell gives each horse and each rider +1 Attack, and there are two of each. That bumps each Chariot's attacks up from 6 per to 10 per. Pushing out 30 attacks, plus Impact hits, plus whatever else you have, makes serious dents, even in Knights of most stripes. Bonus: if you're not in combat, you're tossing out 24 arrows, for kicks.

The best part of all these spells? They can be cast in bubble form and affect both units with every casting. This is very good stuff! Keep in mind, as you heal up the Chariots, if you put more in base contact they will not inflict more Impact Hits; however, if you rank them up, you will get the rank bonus to Strength. Thus, you can lose one on the way in, then replace it and still be strong.

Other perks of using large amounts of Chariots is that they fill up your Core points quickly with strong units, instead of thinking of Core as a tax filled with chumps. As well, they are durable on the field, what with constant healing and protection. On the other hand, if you lose them, you're pretty well boned. Trust me, it does still happen and they are certainly not infallible; I've done poorly with them (especially in deployment) and lost as a result.

Overall, I maintain that multiple large units of Chariots make best use of the assortment of special rules in the Tomb Kings book: they heal up the best, get more bang per model with spell boosts, and take most advantage of what the game, and armybook, have to offer.


Suggested loadout:

[360] 6 Chariots - Standard Bearer, Musician, Banner of Eternal Flame
[350] 6 Chariots - Standard Bearer, Musician


Check out my old battle reports here: DAS LINK

Feel free to drop some comments and counterpoints; I'd love to hear them!