Thursday 28 January 2016

Battle Report 39- 1800 pts Orks vs Dark Eldar

This week's battle report features an 1800 pts match up between Seb's Orks and James' Dark Eldar. Last weeks battle report first of a fantasy game is followed up by another first this week- a battle report that I didn't actually play in! Let me explain.......

Seb and James are both taking part in the Medusa IV campaign that I have been running.
Seb's rise to power in the campaign started off a little shaky. His Orks were initially unable to secure a victory for much of the first turn of the campaign and when they did, despite only needing a 3+ on 2D6 to secure his tile, he managed to roll snake eyes for his capture roll after his first victory.
After the Warboss gave his lieutenants a stern talking to (and cleaned up the resulting mess), the Orks started going from victory to victory. The Mekboyz in the Ork camp have not been resting on their wins and have been busy building crude Ork Manufactorums to supply the greenskin hordes with weapons and armour. Seb was initially joined by Euan in the great Waaagh, but Euan unfortunately had to drop out and leave Seb to fight for the glory of Gork and Mork on his own (claims of bullying and name calling from Seb towards Euan on who was the "bestest Ork" have yet to be independently corroborated). With each victory, Seb's Orks have slowly been making their way south, looking for a good scrap........

James has had even better success in the campaign, racking up a string of victories each and every turn. The cunning Dark Eldar even managed to pilfer an abandoned Guard Command Bastion to help with their raiding parties and have constructed several power plants to keep the lights on during a long nights torturing session. Like any good Dark Eldar Archon, James has not ventured too far from his starting territory, merely expanding his dominion and awaiting the slaves and other such playthings to be brought back to him.

Despite using what is commonly regarded as two of the weakest Codices currently available, both players have managed to build substantial empires, coming out amongst the current leading players in the campaign (alongside Shaun's Tau and Allan's White Scars).

James' and Seb's forces have clashed several times during the course of the campaign. These scraps have been limited to raiding parties and are always bloody affairs. With each victory, Seb has been making a bee-line towards the Dark Eldar settlement and there has been much trash talk exchanged between the players.
When Seb was finally in position to launch an assault directly on the Dark Eldar territory, I knew that I would have to record this battle to see what took place.

With his two Manufactorums, Seb has the numerical advantage, gaining an additional 150 pts to spend on his army (which he threatened to spend entirely on Grots!). James, however, has the speed advantage. His two power plants gives him a +2 bonus to choosing deployment zone and getting the first turn. If this does not work, his Command Bastion gives him +1 to seize the initiative.

This promised to be an interesting match up. It will be nice to watch the game as a completely impartial observer, merely recording what is going on and waiting to see if the poncy Eldar get a rightful beating by the masterful Orks. Impartial, as I said.

Sunday 24 January 2016

Medusa IV Campiagn- Turn 4, Battle Phase 1 moves

The campaign is back! After the Christmas break, the Medusa IV campaign was ready to begin again, with the players making their moves for the first phase of turn 4.
Many of the players evidently used the break for construction, as there was a flurry of Manufactorums assembled (6 in total) and a shield generator. Many of the players continued to try and expand their territory with unclaimed land, while the White Scars to the North came under renewed attack from the forces of Chaos.


Thursday 21 January 2016

Battle Report 38- 2000 pts Vampire Counts vs Empire

This week's report features the first Warhammer Fantasy battle report that I have featured on the blog. My Vampire Counts army were awoken from their slumber of over 18 months to face their ancient enemy, the Empire, commanded by David.
I was looking forward to this game, as I had not played fantasy in a long time and was keen to get back into the universe. We were playing a standard 2000pts game of 8th edition at the Dundee Wargames Club.

Since the blog and my battle reports are primarily focussed on 40k, I'm not too sure how much of an overlap there is between 40k and fantasy players these days. Throughout the report, I will try and explain some of the aspects of fantasy for those unfamiliar with it. Apologies to anyone who is well aware of the rules of fantasy (probably much more so than I am), you can skip the explanations and get on with the action.
My army consisted of:
Vampire Lord- Armour of Destiny, Ogre Blade, Quickblood, Red Fury, Shield, Level 3 wizard. (with Z)
Necromancer- Master of the Dead, Level 2 wizard, Dispel Scroll (with SW1)
Necromancer- Level 2 wizard, Book of Arkhan (with SW2)
25 Skeleton warriors- Spears, Shields, Full Command (SW1)
25 Skeleton warriors- Hand Weapons, Shields, Full Command (SW2)
40 Zombies- Standard Bearer (Z)
5 Dire Wolves (DW1)
5 Dire Wolves (DW2)
10 Black Knights- Heavy Armour, Shield, Barding, Lances, Full Command (BK)
3 Crypt Horrors (CH)
3 Spirit Host (SH)
Corpse Cart- Unholy Lodestone (CC)
Terrorgheist (T)

First up, my army is led by a Vampire Lord. This is a very tough combat character, as well as being a magic user, not very common in fantasy armies. He is armed with a shield and the Armour of Destiny, giving him a 4+ armour save and 4+ ward save. What is different in fantasy is that a ward save is an invulnerable save that can be taken in addition to an armour save, adding to his durability. He is also armed with an Ogre Blade, giving him +2S. He also has the vampiric upgrades of Quickblood and Red Fury, allowing him to always strike first in combat and get additional attacks for every wound he makes in combat. I also upgraded him to a level 3 wizard. He is a very tough character who provides valuable buffs to a Vampire Counts army.
I like a lot of magic in my army, it is pretty much essential in an Undead army as it provides serious bonuses to them. I took two level 2 Necromancers. One has the master of the dead upgrade, allowing you to raise skeleton units above their starting level and a dispel scroll, allowing you to counter your opponent's magic phase. The second Necromancer took the Book of Arkhan, a magic item that allows me to cast Vanhel's Danse Macabre (I will come to this below).

Tuesday 19 January 2016

Recommended Article- Gender Equality in 40k Models

I thought that I would share with you an interesting article that my Girlfriend found on gender equality in the model range of 40k.
I found it to be a very good discussion on the lack of female models in much of the 40k range and how Sisters of Battle are largely neglected. I would recommend that you give it a read.
The lack of diversity in the range may not be too surprising given the demographics of the player base for 40k (based on my own experience, not any hard data), but the background does have some great female characters.
I don't read too much of the Black Library material, but I love the Gaunt's Ghosts series of novels. These feature some great female main characters that could easily be added to the current Tanith 1st range.

Monday 18 January 2016

Vampire Counts Army Showcase

This week's battle report on the blog will be a first, in that it will be a fantasy game featuring my Vampire Counts. Before that, I thought I would get to something I have been meaning to do for a while and showcase my vampire counts army.

I first got into the Undead back in 5th edition, with White Dwarf 211 that showcased the new Undead studio army and gave an in-depth tutorial on how to paint skeletons using the Eavy Metal method. The new studio army looked so good that it tempted me to the black arts and my budding undead army began. My love of the models was further cemented when they released the Red Baron vampire lord model, which I thought was (and still is) an amazing model.

With the release of End Times, I decided to get back in to fantasy as I always loved the Undead and Nagash. I chose the Vampire Counts over the Tomb Kings as I preferred the aesthetic of the Vampire Counts over the Tomb Kings (but do miss my Screaming Skull catapults and Chariots). Fortunately, the rules for End Times allow a combined Undead army, so if I really wanted, I could have them in my army.

When I re-started my collection, the first model I had to purchase was the Vampire Lord. This is still a great model to me, and I was glad I picked it up again. I decided to have a green colour scheme to my army to contrast the bone of the skeletons (plus, almost all my armies have some form of green colour scheme).

Friday 15 January 2016

Battle Report 37- 1500 pts Dark Angels vs Tau

Welcome to my first battle report of 2016! This week's battle report saw my Dark Angels take on Scott's Tau in an Eternal War mission. I had not played against Scott before, but had played with him in a Doubles Tournament where my White Scars and his Tau took on an Astra Militarum/Adeptus Mechanicus army. I would be interesting to see how the game progressed.

My army consisted of:
Interrogator-Chaplain- Bike, Auspex, Mace of Redemption (IC)
Librarian- Mastery level 2, Bike (L)
10 Tactical Marines- Plasma gun, sergeant with meltabombs (TS1)
Rhino (R)
5 Tactical Marines- Plasma Cannon (TS2)
5 Devastators- 3 Missile Launchers, Lascannon (D1)
Dreadnought- Assault Cannon, Heavy Flamer (D2)
Drop Pod (DP)
5 Black Knights- Huntsmaster has meltabombs (BK)
5 Ravenwing Bikers- 2 Grav guns, sergeant has meltabombs (RB1)
4 Ravenwing Bikers- 2 Meltaguns, sergeant has meltabombs (RB2)
Darkshroud- Assault Cannon (D3)
Whirlwind (W)
My warlord trait gave me Feel no Pain when in range of an objective. My psychic powers were Mind Worm, Righteous Repugnance and Mind Wipe.
A different army from what I have been running with my Dark Angels (a lot fewer bikers than normal!). I chose the Interrogator-Chaplain to lead the force. Armed with a Mace of Redemption, he is a formidable force in combat and a huge boost for the Black Knights I was taking. He was backed up by a Librarian on a bike. With the lack of Tau psykers, I was hopeful that he would be able to achieve something in the game.
I then take a tactical squad in a rhino for some objective grabbing and a unit with a plasma cannon (great for taking on Tau suits). The Devastators were also picked to provide some high strength firepower to deal with any big Tau suits that Scott may bring.
I also wanted to try out a Dreadnought in a drop pod to add some punch to the army. A heavy flamer and assault cannon should make a mess of any fire warriors when it arrives. I added three unit of bikers; the almost-compulsory black knights and two units of bikers with grav guns and meltaguns for dealing with any Riptides. Lastly, I took a Whirlwind to target any Fire Warriors in the army.

Tuesday 12 January 2016

All Aboard!- The Evolution of Transport Vehicles in 40k

Welcome to part 2 of my look at the evolution of the rules for vehicles in 40k. This section will take a look at how the rules for transport vehicles has evolved from 3rd edition through to the 7th edition that is now currently on the tabletop.

Most races in the 40k universe have access to some form of transport vehicle; from the ramshackle trukks of the Orks, to the iconic Rhino of the Space Marines and the sleek and much maligned Wave Serpent of the Eldar. Transport vehicles are an important part of many armies, providing a way to protect troops while enclosed in a quick delivery system to either fire on the enemy at short range or assault your opponent's gun-line.

These vehicles have seen many changes to their rules over the past 17 years. As the balance between the shooting phase and assault phase has evolved over the various editions, these changes frequently come about through modification of the rules for transport vehicles, sometimes leaving assault troops out in the cold with harsh rules regarding these special types of vehicles.

Third Edition (1998-2004)- Rhino Rush
In third edition, the assault phase was king! Assault troops would spill out of their transports, ploughing into the enemy lines and chaining combat after combat, thanks to sweeping advance assaults. Power weapons cut through the toughest of armour while the enemy infantry looked on in dismay, never getting to fire their shiny new lasguns at the foe.

The Basics
In third edition, passengers in a vehicle could embark or disembark within 2" of any part of the vehicle. If the vehicle had already moved, the unit could not move any further in the movement phase and could still disembark if the vehicle had not moved over 12". If the vehicle had not moved before disembarking, the unit could still take its normal 6" move in the movement phase.

Troops could not embark in a vehicle if it had moved over 12", but could embark into a vehicle on their consolidation move after assault if they could all get within 2" of the vehicle.

When embarked in a vehicle, half of the unit could fire from it in the shooting phase. If the vehicle was open-topped, then every member of the unit could fire in the shooting phase. The unit counted as moving and could not fire if the vehicle moved over 12".

If a transport vehicle was destroyed, each passenger would take a wound on a 4+, with armour saves being allowed. When firing Ordnance weapons, a roll of a 6 on the Ordnance penetration table meant that the vehicle was Annihilated; the entire unit of passengers was lost without any saving throws possible.

One of the biggest bonuses of transport vehicles in third edition was that units that had disembarked could assault on the same turn.

Thursday 7 January 2016

Armoured Fury- the Evolution of Vehicles in 40k

Not too long ago, I wrote an editorial on the evolution of formations in 40k. What started as a small opinion piece quickly ballooned into a longer article that garnered some interest and a lot of comments and differing opinions. I enjoyed the experience so much, that I decided to create some more articles on the evolution of various different parts of 40k.
Today, I want to look at the evolution of the rules for vehicles in the warhammer universe. Vehicles are an iconic part of the 40k setting; it would be hard to imagine the battlefield without the Leman Russ, trundling along to support the stalwart Imperial Guard or the sleek, deadly skimmers of the Eldar race. The rules for vehicles have seen a lot of changes since their first introduction in Rogue Trader many, many years ago.

Obviously, there is a ton of material to look at in the rules for vehicles and I am not going to look over the minutia of all the rules there have been. Instead, I want to look at general trends in the vehicle rules for each edition. These will focus on vehicles in the movement phase, shooting phase, the assault phase and how vehicles are damaged.

I will be focusing on tanks as one of the most common vehicle types. The rules for skimmers and other vehicles will be mentioned where appropriate, but I will not be looking at walkers as these are a very different entity. In the next article in the series, I will take an in depth look at the evolution of the rules for transport vehicles, as these have seen such big changes over the last 5 editions of the game.

Friday 1 January 2016

Happy New Year

Happy New Year everyone! Hope you all have a great 2016 and get plenty of hobbying done. May all your dice roll 6's (except for your Hit and Run tests though).