Thursday 30 July 2015

Wargames Trenches

There is something iconic about the image of rank after rank of Imperial Guard (Astra Militarum to our younger readers) fighting the enemy from a large trench network. After reading the fantastic "Straight Silver" Gaunt's Ghosts novel, I was inspired to create a trench network for my own guard army to fight over and defend.
The idea was to create a modular trench network, made up of 1 foot square sections. This would help both with storage and with variety, as I could re-arrange the battlefield to save me fighting over the same layout over and over. I decided to make eight sections, as this would allow me to deploy the trenches in a 6' x 1' arrangement for a long board edge or in a 4' x 2' arrangement for short board edge fighting.

The complete trench network.

Monday 27 July 2015

Age of Sigmar- Battle Report and First Impressions

I know, I know, I'm a little late to the party with the Age of Sigmar, I've just been enjoying the new Space Marine and Dark Angels codex too much to get in to it. I finally got round to playing my first game of Age of Sigmar at the club last week against Matt's Orcs and Goblins.
My army consisted of:
Vampire Lord
9 Black Knights
3 Crypt Horrors
30 Zombies- standard bearer
20 Skeletons- Champion, Standard bearer, Musician
Corpse Cart
I took a nice mix of troops and heros from the war scrolls to try and have a bit of variety for my first game.
Matt's army consisted of:
Orc Warboss
Orc Shaman
18 Boarboyz
27 Wolf Riders
2 Stonethrowers
Doom Diver
Spear Chukka
Some fast moving units and a lot of shooting to go up against.


Thursday 23 July 2015

Battle Report 13- 1500 pts Dark Angels Ravenwing vs Orks

This week's battle report was 1500 pts of my Dark Angels Ravenwing army facing off against Sebastian's Orks. When I arrived at Dundee Wargames club, I found that our 6'x4' board had been laid out with the foamboard cityfight terrain that I had recently brought to the club, providing plenty of cover for the Orks and some lovely dangerous terrain for all my bikers. We rolled up The Relic as the mission we were going to play.
My army consisted of:
Sammael (in CS)
Librarian- Mastery level 2, Bike (in RB1)
6 Command squad- Champion, Apothecary, Ravenwing standard (CS)
5 Ravenwing bikers- 2 Grav guns, sergeant with meltabombs (RB1)
5 Ravenwing bikers- 2 meltaguns, sergeant with meltabombs (RB3)
5 Ravenwing bikers- Flamer, sergeant with meltabombs (RB2)
5 Ravenwing bikers- Plasma gun, sergeant with meltabombs (RB4)

Darkshroud- Assault Cannon
3 Ravenwing Landspeeders- Heavy bolters, assault cannons

For this battle, I decided to field an all Ravenwing force. The Ravenwing strike force consisted of Sammael leading a full Ravenwing command squad. I took a Librarian on a bike to lead one of the other bike squad and was keen to see what his powers could do against the Orks (technically not a legal choice in the strike force, but my opponent was kind enough to let me field him). I took 4 bike squads to fill out the strike force, each squad with different special weapons to face whatever the Orks could throw at me. The last choice in the army was a formation I was wanting to test out, the Ravenwing support squadron. I was keen to see how the Ravenshield ability would work out and thought that this was a great chance to test it (the Ravenshield allows the support squadron to fire overwatch at a friendly Ravenwing unit being charged within 24").

My psychic powers were; Mindworm, Seed of Fear and Righteous Repugnance. Seed of Fear would be great against the Orks, forcing them to fail more morale checks would mean more casualties for the mobs. Righteous repugnance would also be very useful for giving the command squad the extra attacks to deal with any large mobs I may come up against.

Tuesday 21 July 2015

Astra Militarum Army (Picture heavy)

I blame Dan Abnett.
I was re-reading the Gaunt's Ghosts series of novels (a series that I would highly recommend) and his description of the battles of the Imperial Guard were so fantastic that it made me want to collect an Imperial Guard army (back when they were still the Imperial Guard).

My guard army in full.
I hit ebay to pick up the beginnings of an army and one of my first purchases was the Gaunt's Ghosts squad and some Tanith troopers. When I started the army, these were no longer available from GW directly, so I probably paid more than I should have for them, but I had to own the models that got me collecting them in the first place. My initial plan was to use them as the command squad for my army; Gaunt as the commander and his unit as the command squad. In games these days they tend to be used as a veterans squad with sniper rifles. I would love to have collected an entire Tanith First and Only army, but my modelling skills are insufficient to kit out an entire guard army with camo cloaks.

Sunday 19 July 2015

Hobby Sunday 19/07/15

This week I managed to get some work done on my Ravenwing and White Scars armies.
The grav gun arms that I had previously undercoated were painted and attached to my Ravenwing bikers. The paint scheme on guns was kept simple, in line with my other bikers. The grav gun was given a drybrush of boltgun metal and then painted blood red.

Thursday 16 July 2015

Battle Report 12- 2000 pts Dark Angels vs Sons of Horus

This week's fully written battle report is 2000 pts between my Dark Angels and Josh's Sons of Horus army. The battle was The Crusade with 3 objectives on a 6'x4' board.
This was my first battle with the new Dark Angels Codex and I was looking forward to testing it out.
My initial plan was to take an all Ravenwing force, but when I totalled up my army, I couldn't quite stretch to 2000 pts, so I decided to incorporate some Deathwing and other units. My army consisted of:
Sammael (in command squad)
6 Ravenwing Command- Ravenwing Banner, Apothecary, Champion, Grenade launcher (CS)
6 Black Knights- Grenade launcher, Meltabombs (BK)
6 Ravenwing Bikers- Sergeant with power sword and meltabombs, 2 grav guns (RB1)
5 Ravenwing Bikers- Veteran sergeant with power fist and meltabombs (RB2)
5 Ravenwing Bikers- Sergeant with meltabombs, 2 meltaguns (RB3)
Landspeeder- Heavy Bolter, Assault Cannon (L1)
Landspeeder Darkshroud- Assault Cannon (D)
Librarian- Mastery level 2, Bike, Auspex, Conversion Field (L2)
5 Tactical Marines- Lascannon (TS1), with Rhino (R)
5 Tactical Marines- Plasma Cannon (TS2)
5 Deathwing Knights (DK)
Sammael was the warlord, so got Rapid Manoeuvre as his trait. The Librarian got Mind Worm, Mind Wipe and Seed of Fear. A nice batch of powers to try out.
The army had a strong Ravenwing component and I was keen to see how the Black knights would perform. The Darkshroud was there to provide a buff to the Black Knights (2+ re-rollable cover save!). The combined arms detachment was taken as I wanted access to a Librarian on a bike. I took the minimum tactical squads with a heavy weapon each. I also wanted to take some Deathwing Knights to take on any power armour in the enemy army.

My army arrayed for battle (almost made an all Ravenwing force)

Monday 13 July 2015

Dark Angels Codex Review Part 7- Formations

This is the final part of my 7th edition Dark Angels Codex review, focussing on the new Formations in the book. Unlike the previous sections of my review, I am going to repeat the reviews I have already posted for the Ravenwing and Deathwing formations that I have previously covered. This is so that I can put them into context when looking at the formations in general and when looking at the Lion's blade formation.

Battle Demi-Compay:
Though similar in name, the Dark Angels' Battle Demi-company is different to the Codex Space Marine formation. It consists of either a Company Master or Chaplain, three units of tactical marines, a unit of assault marines and a unit of devastator marines. It has the option to add up to one unit each of the company command squad, company veterans and Dreadnoughts.
The bonuses you get are overwatch at BS3 if you did not Jink (technically, a Chaplain on a bike could join a unit in the formation and Jink) and gives the formation objective secured.

The battle demi-company is a decent formation and gives a nice bonus to your overwatch attacks. You are forced to take some mediocre unit choices that I have covered previously, namely the assault marines and Company Master/Chaplain, though these units do get some bonuses in the formation. Having objective secured devastators and assault marines is good, the high mobility of the assault marines should help with objective grabbing, especially in maelstrom missions where they can move from objective to objective and the objective secured should help them with scoring.

There are obvious comparisons to the battle demi-company in the Space Marine Codex and I am torn as to which I prefer. The space marine demi-company gives you more choice as to which heavy support and fast attack choices you can add. You have a unit of Devastator centurions in place of the devastator squad, and for the fast attack choice you can take a bike squad, attack bike squad, landspeeder squadron or Centurion assault squad. In addition, you can have a choice of the three Dreadnoughts available in the codex. I feel that this range of choices will give you much better options for how you want to build your army and the Dark Angels battle demi-company is more restrictive.
The space marine formation also allows you to enact the Tactical Doctrine, a one-use only ability should increase the damage output of the company, particularly the tactical marines. The Dark Angels formation gives you the overwatch bonus and should essentially triple your damage output from overwatch. Depending on the armament of your tactical and devastator squads, this could amount to significant damage for any unit that is charging you. This ability is always active and not one use only, though it does rely on your opponent charging you, so may be of less use against certain armies.

Saturday 11 July 2015

Dark Angels Codex Review Part 6- Heavy Support and Lord of War

Welcome to the penultimate part of my 7th edition Dark Angels codex review. If you missed the previous parts, there are links at the bottom of the post to take you to them.
In this part, I cover the last two sections of the force organisation chart, the Heavy Support category and Azrael, the Lord of War for the Dark Angels.

The first entry in the category, the Ravenwing Landspeeder Vengeance, was covered in the Ravenwing review section.

Thursday 9 July 2015

Battle Report 11- 1500 pts White Scars vs Orks

This written battle report features my White Scars taking on a rather unusual Ork army (at least in my opinion) commanded by Ross, played at Dundee Wargames Club.
The battle was big guns never tire and we ended up with 5 objectives on the board.

Battlefield terrain. The shield represents the objectives in the game.

My army consisted of:
Kor'sarro Khan on Moondrakkan (K)
Librarian- Mastery level 2 (L)
5 Bikers- 2 grav guns, sergeant with meltabombs (B1)
5 Biker- 2 meltaguns, sergeant with meltabombs (B2)
3 Bikers with attack bike- heavy bolter (B3)
10 Tactical marines (TS)- Flamer, in a drop pod (DP) with deathwind launcher and locator beacon
5 Scouts (S)- sergeant with meltabombs in a landspeeder storm (LS)
10 Devastators (D1 and D2)- 4 Missile launchers, in a Rhino (R)
Dreadnought (D)- Multimelta, Heavy Flamer
5 Assault terminators (T)- Storm shields and thunder hammers
My warlord trait was fixed with Khan and the Librarian got Prescience, Precognition and Foreboding. Not a great batch of powers; Prescience was always useful, Foreboding could come in handy, but if the Orks are at my devastators, then I am in trouble. I don't rate Precognition at all for a marine librarian.
My army was quite different from what I normally field, I wanted to try out some units that hadn't seen the battlefield yet and have a change from the blog wars list I have been playing with recently. In addition to Khan, I added the Librarian to see how he performed. I reduced the size of one bike squad and added an attack bike with heavy bolter to deal with the orks. I also got rid of the grav guns as they would have limited use. One unit kept them in case any meganobz turned up.
I took the scouts and landspeeder storm. With the Cerberus launcher going up to S4, it could actually do some damage against the Ork horde, plus blind tests are great against I2 as standard in the army.
I also added the Terminators. I knew that Ross was keen on walkers and thought these could deal with any walkers or even a Stompa if it showed up. A dreadnought rounded out the list. I was keen to see how it performed with its increased attacks.
When making my army, I tried to use the new Detachment rules in the space marine codex. However, I really struggled to fit it into 1500 pts. I had enough models for the basic demi-company, but when it came to the auxiliary choices, I could only go with the Stormwing or with the 1st company formation (with a unit of terminators and two units of Sternguard). These ate up way too many points to be able to field a decent demi-company list with any upgrades at all. I do want to try these out at some point, but it will need to be in a bigger game.

Wednesday 8 July 2015

Dark Angels Codex Review Part 5- Elites and Fast Attack

Here is part 5 of my 7th edition Codex Dark Angels review covering the remaining Elites and Fast Attack sections.
The Deathwing units in the elite section have been previously covered in the Deathwing review.
Company Veterans:
These veterans have exactly the same cost and options as the previous codex (with the additional option of grav weapons). They can get two special weapons in a 10-man squad and every member has the option of taking meltabombs. They can also swap the bolter for a chainsword, giving them a good number of attacks on the charge.
In a vacuum, the veterans are a decent unit. They can take two special weapons and each veteran can take a combi-weapon. With the addition of a drop pod, they can be an effective alpha strike unit.
However, Sternguard and Vanguard veterans are a superior choice. The Sternguard get access to special issue ammunition and the Vanguard can be equipped with jump packs and cheap power weapons, making them a more viable assault force. Company veterans are a decent choice, but there are more effective units on the codex for any role you may want to use them for.
In addition, the next choice on the list renders this unit obsolete.

Monday 6 July 2015

Dark Angels Codex Review Part 4- HQ and Troops

Welcome to part 4 of my Dark Angels 7th Edition codex review, which will focus on the HQ and Troops choices.

I have already covered my review of Belial in the Deathwing review and covered Sammael and Sabreclaw in the Ravenwing review. This section will look at the remaining HQ units in the codex.

For an additional 20 pts on a regular Chaplain, you get +1 BS, A, I and W, in addition to getting Fear and Fearless (through the Deathwing special rule). I think that this is a pretty good bonus for the points cost. The fact that he grants Zealot and Fearless on a unit makes him a strong buff for any unit he joins and he would be absolutely brutal mounted on a bike to accompany some Black Knights or a Ravenwing Command Squad (in fact, I have just purchased a Chaplain on a bike to do this very thing). He would also be useful in a unit of Deathwing Knights or Deathwing close combat terminators, as their low model count and low number of attacks would allow the Zealot re-rolls to make them more powerful in the first turn of combat.

I thought that joining a character on a bike with a unit of Black Knights or Ravenwing would diminish the bikes by making them lose the Hit and Run or Scout special rules, but after reading the rules it states that only one model in the unit needs to have the special rule for it to take effect. This means that you can add a bike-mounted Interrogator-Chaplain, Chaplain or Librarian to a unit of bikers without losing some of the special rules that make them more effective.

The only downside of the Interrogator Chaplain is that the Crozius Arcanum is AP4, meaning he will struggle to deal with power armoured foes. Other than that, a very solid HQ choice that I look forward to fielding.

Sunday 5 July 2015

Hobby Sunday 05/07/15

This week I assembled some marines that I had recently purchased and finally got to a terrain project that I have been thinking about for a while.
Yesterday, I put together the assault marines and heavy bolter devastators that I purchased last month. These were bought to go towards making a Skyhammer annihilation force to try out the formation.

Saturday 4 July 2015

Dark Angels Codex Review Part 3- Special Rules, Traits, Psychics and Relics

Here is the third part of my 7th edition Dark Angels Codex review. Part 1 covered the Ravenwing, while part 2 dealt with the Deathwing. With the two most flavourful companies dealt with, I thought I would take a look at the parts making up the remaining companies. These reviews will be split into several parts, as there is a lot more to cover compared to the Ravenwing and Deathwing. This part will focus on the various special rules, warlord traits, psychic powers and relics for the codex. I will try not to repeat rules that I have covered in the previous parts (such as Deathwing and Ravenwing rules and units).

Grim Resolve:
This special rule grants your units Stubborn and overwatch fire at BS2. Now, the benefits of Stubborn are not be immediately apparent on Space Marines. With marines having "And They Shall Know No Fear", losing combat is not such a big deal. If they are caught in a sweeping advance, they simply remain locked in combat.
Where I think Stubborn may be useful is for your backfield heavy weapons units and objective holding units. As these units are likely to be deployed close to the board edge, there is a real danger that they could flee off the board. Stubborn should help to mitigate this, allowing your units to test on unmodified Ld 8 (in most cases) and should help them remain on the board in the final turns of the game (when a backfield assault is more likely to occur) and secure objectives or tie up rampaging enemy units.
Overwatch firing with BS2 is a nice bonus that should double the number of overwatch hits that you get. This ability will be more useful against lightly armoured assault units (Ork boyz, Tyranid swarms, even guard infantry) where the bolter is likely to do more damage. At the very least, this should reduce the number of attacks coming your way and at best, could lead to some failed assaults, giving you extra time to reduce their numbers even further. The fact that this rule can be improved even further with the use of formations to give you BS3 overwatch or even full BS overwatch, this becomes a great ability. The chance for essentially an extra turn of shooting at a charging enemy cannot be underestimated and will make a mess of many armies.

Friday 3 July 2015

Hobby Costs June 2015

Hello and welcome! Today is the first of what is going to be a monthly ritual, where I detail the wargaming costs for the previous month. The purpose of this is to see exactly what I spend my money on when it comes to 40k (and fantasy to a lesser extent). Hopefully you may find this interesting, charting my progress as the total slowly mounts up and I sit in the corner and cry about how much I have actually spent. If not, please come back for the battle reports and random ramblings.

Wednesday 1 July 2015

Dark Angels Codex Review- Deathwing

Welcome to part two of my Dark Angels 7th edition codex review, part 1 covered the glorious second company, the Ravenwing. Part two will cover the illustrious Deathwing, the terminator elite of the Unforgiven.
I wanted to do something a little different with these reviews. Rather than go through the codex each force organisation at a time, I wanted to focus first on the aspects that make the Dark Angels unique; namely the Ravenwing and Deathwing. As before, I will cover the special rules, different units and formations that apply to the Deathwing.

All Deathwing units have the (aptly named) Deathwing special rule. This grants them Fearless and Hatred (Chaos Space Marines). Fearless is always a very useful special rule, enabling your units to stay in the fight. The fact that most Dark Angels characters have the Deathwing rule means that they can make almost any unit fearless.
Deathwing now grants Hatred of Chaos Space Marines rather than Preferred enemy that Inner Circle granted in the 6th edition codex. This is an improvement, allowing a re-roll to all failed to hit rolls the first turn of combat, rather than just the 1's. Obviously very situational, but a nice bonus when playing Chaos marines.