Saturday 30 April 2016

Angels of Death Codex Review- Part 5: Raven Guard Rules

This part of my Angels of Death Codex review features the rules and formations for the Raven Guard. These were first released with the Warzone Kauyon book and have now been grouped together with the rules for the White Scars and the rules for the other Space Marine Chapters.

The masters of Stealth and planning get some nice rules to help bring their unique flavour to the battlefield. I plan to use this post to cover the rules and Relics and take a look at the new formations and detachments in another post.

The chapter tactics for the Raven Guard are Strike From the Shadows and Winged Deliverance.

Strike From the Shadows gives all Raven Guard models that are not vehicles or embarked in vehicles with shrouded until the start of turn 2. In addition, you may add +1 to the roll for Night Fighting (so will get it on a 3+). This is a really nice bonus for an army. If you can get Night Fighting (a decent bet with a 1 in 3 chance), your infantry units will get a 4+ cover save in the open and could easily get a 2+ cover save in cover for the first turn, plus jinking bikers will get a 2+ cover save. This should greatly increase the durability of your army against all but Ignores Cover weapons.

Winged Deliverance provides a nice boost for your Raven Guard jump infantry. This rule allows them to use their jump packs in both the movement and assault phases (essentially getting fleet in the assault phase) and even allowing them to re-roll failed Hammer of Wrath wounds. This should provide a great bonus for any jump infantry, helping to ensure that they get into combat and helping with more of their automatic hits to wound.

I really like the Chapter Tactics for the Raven Guard. I don't think they are as good as the White Scars, but they certainly provide a great bonus for your army during the first turn of the game. The bonuses to assault marines (and Vanguard veterans) are useful, but assault marines are not seen as a competitive choice for many players.

Friday 29 April 2016

Win a FREE Battle-Demi Company: List of Entrants (Please Check!)

My competition to win a FREE Space Marine Battle Demi-Company is coming to an end in just over a week (7th May 2016). Thanks to everyone for the amazing response to the competition, it was way more than I was expecting! If you haven't entered yet, there is still time! Follow the link here and follow the instructions to enter the competition.
Below is a list of the current entrants for the competition. If you have entered, please check below to make sure that you are on the list.

Thursday 28 April 2016

Battle Report 52- 1250 pts White Scars vs Dark Angels

This week's battle report sees my White Scars take on James' Dark Angels army. This would be another practice game for the upcoming Stronghold V tournament I would be attending. I have previously discussed the army I would be taking and my thoughts on its strengths and weaknesses. Based on feedback and another practice game, I decided to drop the attack bike and take some of my Scout Bikers that I had recently finished painting. We decided to play the Contact Lost maelstrom mission as this would be used at the tournament.

My army consisted of:
Librarian- Level 2 psyker, Bike, Hunter's Eye, Mantle of the Stormseer, Force Sword, Meltabombs (with CS)
5 Command Squad- Bikes, Apothecary, 4 veterans with grav guns, stormshields and 2 with meltabombs (CS)
5 Bikers- 2 grav guns, sergeant with power lance and meltabombs (BS1)
5 Bikers- 2 grav guns, sergeant with meltabombs (BS2)
5 Scouts- sergeant with meltabombs (S1)
Landspeeder Storm- Heavy Bolter, Cerberus missile launcher (LS)
Drop Pod- storm bolter (DP)
3 Scout Bikers- One grenade launcher, sergeant with meltabombs and locator beacon (SB)
Stormtalon- TL assault cannons, skyhammer missile launcher (S2)
Centurion Devastators- Grav cannons and grav amps, hurricaine bolters (C)

My warlord trait was Deadly Ambush (giving me +1 or -1 to reserve rolls), I re-rolled and got the same result. My Librarian rolled on the Librarius deck. These new powers will not be allowed at the tournament, but I wanted to give them a go after reviewing them recently. I rolled on the table and got Fury of the Ancients, Null Zone and Emperor's Wrath. Not the best powers on the table, but could be useful in the game.

Wednesday 27 April 2016

Double Trouble Army Lists- Decisions, Decisions, Decisions......

So, Double Trouble is coming up on the 11th June and I still haven't decided what I am going to take. I fired up BattleScribe and started crunching the numbers for all my armies to see what would be worth taking. After putting together lists for my 4 armies, I am still torn on what to do. Below are the 4 potential armies and some comments on them.
White Scars (Mercy is for the Weak)
White Scars are one of my strongest armies at the moment and the one I am most likely to take to a competitive tournament. Thinking about Double Trouble, I didn't want to be the guy turning up with grav bikers and a grav command squad, so tried to do something a bit different with my army. The Double Trouble restrictions allow you up to 2 of the same unit, but I decided I would only take one of each (no double bike squads for me).
Below is my 750 pts army:
Librarian- Master level 1, Bike, Hunter's Eye, Meltabombs, Teleport Homer
5 Bikers- 2 grav guns, sergeant with power lance and meltabombs
5 Scouts- Sergeant has meltabombs
Landspeeder Storm- Heavy bolter, Cerberus launcher
5 Tactical marines- Grav gun, sergeant has meltabombs
Drop pod- storm bolter
5 Sternguard- 3 combi-meltas, sergeant has meltabombs
Drop Pod- storm bolter
3 Scout bikers- Grenade launcher, sergeant has meltabombs and locator beacon

A fast, moving and pretty hard hitting force. I've decided to give the Scout bikers and Sternguard an inclusion as I don't often play them. The tactical marines could swap the drop pod for a Rhino.

Monday 25 April 2016

Better Know a Blogger- Part 4: From the Fang

The latest in my series of Better Know a Blogger features Alex, who writes "From the Fang".

I hope he won't mind me saying, but I consider From the Fang to be one of the UK's premier 40k blogs, with a huge following and excellent content. I think what first brought me to Alex's blog was his great codex reviews, particularly the review of the Ork codex, and his battle reports. Regardless of what he is posting, I find the articles are always quite substantial and well worth a read- no click-baiting type content to be found here.

Alex has also been running the very successful Blog Wars tournament since 2011. Initially aimed only at bloggers, the event was soon opened up to non-bloggers and became a very fun day of gaming with a great atmosphere. Alex's philosophy was to have a tournament that encouraged players to have fun and not go with a super-hard internet list to crush all before them. I was fortunate enough to attend Blog Wars 9 and Blog Wars 10 and had an absolute blast at them both- the atmosphere was great and very friendly, but I still managed to get three very tough games during the day.
Alex on the right, winning a trophy!

In fact, signing up to attend Blog Wars 9 was one of the main inspirations for me finally taking the plunge to start by own blog. Even though the event was no longer just for bloggers, I felt that if I was going to an event called Blog Wars, I may as well go whole hog and get started with my own blog. Alex was one of the people that I contacted for advice about starting my own blog and his early comments and advice on his experiences have helped to shape St Andrews Wargaming into what it has become today, so a big thanks to him for that.

Sadly, Blog Wars 10 was the last of the Blog Wars. It was a huge achievement and two tournaments I will always remember fondly. Fear not, however, as Alex is continuing to evolve his thoughts on running a competitive, yet fun and friendly tournament experience with Double Trouble in June. This is a 40k doubles tournament, but the twist is that rather than having a set partner for each game, you will get a random partner for each game. I'm really looking forward to this, as it should provide a strong tactical challenge for each game. Will you end up with an odd match up that has a blatant weakness or will you mesh well with your opponent's army and destroy all before you?

Anyway, let's get on with finding out a bit more about Alex who took the time to answer my questions.

1. What age did you get into gaming and what started it off?
I think I was probably around 10 when I first played a GW game in the form of Blood Bowl. It seemed insanely complicated but this didn't deter me from getting into 40K probably around a year later. I got the 2nd edition starter boxed set for Christmas and started to collect Ultramarines with allied Eldar shortly after. I stayed with the hobby until sometime around the early 2000s. My main opponent lost interest though, so my collection was boxed up and not seen again until 2009ish when I was planning to put them all on eBay. My friend and I decided to get a copy of the 5th Ed rulebook and have one last game.......

Sunday 24 April 2016

Hobby Sunday 24/04/16- White Scars Scout Bikers

This week I have been working on completing my White Scars Scout Bikers for an upcoming tournament. I managed to complete the bikers and get them based up ready for the tabletop.

Saturday 23 April 2016

Angels of Death Codex Review- Part 4: Salamanders

Welcome to part 4 of my review on the new Angels of Death Codex Supplement. This part will look at the rules and formations for the Salamanders.

The Chapter Tactics for the Salamanders are Flamecraft and Master Artisans.
Flamecraft gives all Salamanders models 4+ feel no pain against flamer weapons and allows them to re-roll all to wound and armour penetration rolls when using flamers. A nice bonus and thematic to the army. No doubt a standard Salamanders army will contain a lot of flame weapons to benefit from this.
Master Artisans allows each of your characters to master-craft one selected weapon for free. Again, a really nice bonus, particularly for characters wielding combi-bolters as they are more likely to hit with their one shot.
Unlike the Imperial Fists and Irons Hands, the Salamanders don't get any rules for modification of the force organisation chart.

Thursday 21 April 2016

Thoughts on Blogging- One Year In

As the blog turned one year old recently, it was suggested that I write about some of my experiences with starting and growing a blog over the 12 months it has been going. Hopefully you will find some of the information and advice useful if you are thinking of getting into wargame blogging, or those of you more experienced than I am will get a kick from reminiscing about your own starts into the world of blogging.

This will be some general advice on what my motivations and thoughts were when I decided to start blogging about 40k and what I have learnt over the course of the year. I like to think that St Andrews Wargaming has come a long way in the last 12 months. I have a decent regular following who comment and contribute and get a decent number of hits each month on many of my articles. There are obviously many blogs out there that are a lot more successful than mine (many of which will be mentioned below as they helped with my inspiration) and this is not the only way to blog, it's just what I have found works for me. I certainly don't want this to come across as an egotistical "This is how to Blog!!!!", as I have been doing this for a relatively short period of time.

The Burning Eye posted a nice article back in February on "Getting into Blogging" and I would recommend reading that, as it contains a lot of valuable information, some of which will be similar to the information here.

Before I start, I want to give a big thanks and shout out to Dave from "Confessions of a 40k addict" and Alex at "From the Fang". They were kind enough to give me advice on blogging when I was thinking about starting, and much of the evolution of St Andrews Wargaming is based on that initial advice. If you are thinking of starting your own 40k blog, you could do a lot worse than looking to these two highly successful blogs for inspiration.

To start off, the best advice I could give to anyone thinking of starting a 40k blog (or other such gaming blog) is this- DO IT! If you have a passion for the hobby and want to share it, go ahead. Your opinion is as valid as anyone else's (unless of course you play Tau or Eldar, in which case, shame on you!). I am always on the look out for new takes on 40k and new blogs to read.

Now that you have decided to get into the world of 40k blogging, hopefully you will find some useful advice in my subsequent ramblings.
random picture!

What's in a name?
There is a serious affliction that can affect a lot of 40k bloggers. There you are, all excited and ready to get started, then suddenly it's all over and you are left with a feeling of trepidation, dread and fear. I speak of course about premature appellation- naming your blog too early. As Nick has mentioned in his post, choosing the right name is key for your blog. To repeat his advice (seriously, go read it), pick something simple and hobby related that people may reasonably be searching for.

Wednesday 20 April 2016

Angels of Death Codex Review- Part 3: Iron Hands

Welcome to part 3 of my review of the Angels of Death codex supplement that was recently released. This part will focus on the new rules and formations for the Iron Hands chapter.
I think that Iron Hands are regarded as one of the more competitive chapters in the Space Marine codex (along with my favoured White Scars) thanks to the improved durability of their forces through access to army-wide Feel no Pain (6+) and It Will Not Die. I think the new rules and formations detailed in Angels of Death will help make them an even more competitive choice for marine players.

The Chapter Tactics for the Iron Hands are The Flesh is Weak and Machine Empathy.
The Flesh is Weak provides infantry with a 6+ feel no pain roll. In addition, if they have access to another source of feel no pain, they get +1 to their roll (so a Narthecium would provide a 4+ feel no pain roll).
Machine Empathy gives Iron Hands vehicles It Will Not Die. It also gives Iron Hands techmarines +1 to Blessings of the Omnissiah rules.
Angels of Death also gives the Iron Hands a couple of new special rules for army building. March of the Ancients allows Dreadnoughts to be taken in a Heavy Support slot, while Scions of the Forge allows you to take up to 3 techmarines for every HQ choice (who don't use up a slot in the force organisation chart themselves). This allows you to load up on Dreadnoughts and Techmarines if you wish to better utilise the Iron Hands' special rules.
I like the bonuses that the Iron Hands get. If it wasn't for the White Scars, I would consider using these as my regular marine army.

Tuesday 19 April 2016

Angels of Death Codex Review- Part 2: Imperial Fists, Crimson Fists and Black Templars

Welcome to the second part of my review of the new Angels of Death codex supplement. Part 1 looked at the new Psychic powers that were released in the book, part 2 will look at some of the new rules, Relics and formations for the Imperial Fists (plus their successor chapters).

As siege specialists, a lot of the new rules and wargear for the Sons of Dorn focus on maximising the damage output on buildings.
The Chapter Tactics for the Imperial Fists are Bolter Drill and Seige Masters.
Bolter drill allows models in the army to re-roll to hit rolls of a 1 when using bolter weapons such as boltguns, bolt pistols, storm bolters, etc. It also includes Sternguard special issue ammunition. This is a nice chapter tactic for slightly improving the accuracy of your army, assuming you take lots of tactical squads and other bolter-armed units. It will come in very handy for the Sternguard using Vengeance rounds to help reduce the chance of them killing themselves with Gets Hot rolls.
Seige Masters allows Imperial Fists to re-roll armour penetration rolls against buildings and adds +1 to rolls on the building damage tables. Devastators and Centurion Devastators also gain the Tank Hunters rule. The bonus for building damage is nice, but I so rarely see buildings and fortifications being used in my local gaming club, so not sure how much use it would be. Gaining Tank hunter on devastators is a great bonus, ensuring that you will be able to damage enemy vehicles. It will also prove useful for Centurions armed with lascannons and missile launchers.
A new rule introduced in the Angels of Death is Centurion Warsuits. This allows you to take Centurion Devastators as elites and Centurion assault squads as fast attack. This could prove useful for freeing up elites slots for more Sternguard or Terminators, but in most cases you will probably want the free heavy support or fast attack slots. In theory, you could use this to take 6 units of Grav cannon Centurions, but good luck with your new life with no friends.

Hobby Costs 2016- First Quarter

Last year, I started taking note of all my hobby costs for 2015 to get an idea of just how much I was spending on my hobbying. This year, I have been doing the same thing, but haven't had a chance to post about it till now.
  • £9.99  (T)         2nd Edition Card Bunker
  • -£20.00             Sold Grey Knights
  • -£13.30             Sold Baal Predator
  • -£18.50 (OT)    Sold Librarian and Devastators
  • £7.80    (OT)    Dark Millennium rulebook
  • £5.70    (OT)    40k 2nd edition rulebooks
  • £3.38     (OT)   Dark Angels 3rd edition codex
  • £5.60     (OT)   Ebay postage
  • £5.80     (OT)   Ork 2nd edition codex
  • £4.30     (OT)   Angels of Death 2nd edition codex
This month I managed to sell a few items that I had picked up at the end of last year in a Space Marine army bundle. I also picked up a number of old codices and rulebooks from ebay. I bought this for research for my Evolution of 40k series of articles that I have been writing since the start of the year. They provide some great background and older artwork for 40k and are a great read.
Total for January = -£9.23
Running Total = -£9.23

Monday 18 April 2016

Better Know a Blogger- Part 3: Darksun Life

Welcome to the third article of my (hopefully) ongoing series- Better Know a Blogger. In this series, I am asking various 40k bloggers to ask some set questions to get to know them a bit better and see what got them into the hobby and what makes them tick.
This week, Luke from Darksun Life takes the time to answer my questions. I first got to know Luke on the 40k addicts facebook page, he was one of the first commenters on my blog and has been a regular contributor to the comments section ever since. When I travelled down for Blog Wars 9, Luke was kind enough to invite me to join him and his friends from the Leicester Sabres to hang out on the Friday evening before the tournament for some practice games and a few drinks. What his friends found really amusing was that we had no idea about what each other looked like, so everyone that walked into the gaming centre was met with a "Mike?", "Mike?", "Mike?" from Luke until I arrived. Perhaps we should have arranged to wear carnations or a specific coloured tie.
At the tournament, Luke and I had a practice game on the Friday night and actually ended up playing each other the next day at the tournament on the same mission. He beat me both times, but the first practice game definitely helped to make the second game much closer game than it could have been. His great looking Howling Griffons Space Marine army was ably commanded and gave me some great tips for using combat squads and drop pod.
Luke started blogging back in 2009, writing about his 40k armies that were based on Star Wars until 2012. In 2015 after a three year hiatus, Luke started blogging once more and has become a regular addition to my reading list since then.

Luke (he's the one in glasses).
Since then, Luke has been detailing the work he has been doing on his Howling Griffon Space Marine army, as well as his tournament successes in 40k. Darksun Life also stands out amongst other 40k blogs as it has a strong focus on X-wing as well, (with Luke showcasing his ship repaints and battle reports), as well as Luke's regular Vlogs where he talks about various different aspects of his hobbying.

Sunday 17 April 2016

Hobby Sunday 17/04/16- White Scars Librarian and Bases

For this week's hobby Sunday, I have been focusing on finishing my White Scars force for an upcoming tournament. I needed to make a White Scars Librarian to lead my force. I based this model on my Ravenwing Librarian, using the Librarian from the Dark Vengeance set and a Ravenwing Black Knight bike.
I started off by filing off the Dark Angels iconography from the bike and the biker's legs. I used the legs with the robes to match the Librarian.

I then cut the Librarian's torso in half to fit to the bike.

Saturday 16 April 2016

Angels of Death Codex Review- Part 1: New Psychic Powers

Welcome to my review of the new Angels of Death Codex supplement for the Space Marines (quick as a flash, I only picked it up this morning). The supplement combines the special rules for various chapters of Space Marines, some previously published, and adds new rules for psychic powers and scenarios.
I picked the Codex supplement up today and had a look through the new rules. I tried to avoid most of the leaks and spoilers that had appeared online before it was released, so this review will be from my initial thoughts that I had while checking out the rules. As such, these are only my own opinions on various aspects of the new rules and have not been through any playtesting yet (though I'm sure they will do in the near future).
First up, I wanted to focus on the new psychic powers that are now available to Space Marine Librarians and review each of the four new decks. Subsequent reviews will focus on the different new models, chapter-specific special rules and scenarios that the marines will now have access to.
Initially, I was not going to pick up the book, just the psychic cards for the new powers. But when it came time to pre-order them, I simply clicked on the book and cards bundle and got both. I figured I could review the new rules in the book for the blog and if I liked it, I would keep a hold of them (I already have the White Scars formations and new rules from the last supplement, so wasn't too bothered about the new ones). The softback book is nice. I do like the new hardback codices that you can buy now, but the reduced weight should come in handy when transporting all the rules I need in one bag. It would have been nice to get a small discount for purchasing the book and cards together, but it is not a deal breaker.
The box that the cards come in is not the thick card I am used to with other card sets such as the previous psychic power decks, the tactical objective decks and army specific decks. That's a shame as I quite like the sturdy quality of these boxes. The cards themselves also feel a little bit thinner than normal. Odds are I will probably put these new decks with my old Divination and Telepathy decks for transport (I rarely use the other 4 decks anyway).
Anyway, on to the new decks and rules. Each section will give a quick run down of the new psychic powers and my initial thoughts on them.
This deck seems to focus on the manipulation of saves, boosts to the Librarian and a couple of shooting attacks.
The Emperor's Wrath (WC1)
With the range of a grav gun, S5 AP3 and an assault blast, this is a witchfire power that is ironically really good at killing marines. A decent primaris power, the blast helps as there is little worse than successfully manifesting your power and then missing with the shot.

Friday 15 April 2016

One Year Old- Interesting Figures

Hi everyone, yesterday the blog turned one year old! During the course of the last year I have been keeping an eye on the stats for the blog to see what people are interested in and what brings them to the blog (but mostly because I am a vain, vain man).
I thought I would share some of the more interesting results of this with you today (at least, interesting to me. These numbers were from the period of 14 th April 2015 to 31st March 2016).

Thursday 14 April 2016

St Andrews Wargaming- One Year Old!

Today, St Andrews Wargaming turns one year old! It feels like I've been writing for a lot longer than a year, but not in a bad way.

Thanks to everyone who reads the blog, especially those that take the time to comment on my posts. I hope to continue writing as long as anyone is reading (and even then, maybe beyond!).

Remember to check out my One Year Old Giveaway, where you can win a FREE Space Marine Battle Demi-Company!

Join me tomorrow as I do some number crunching and break down some of my stats from the previous year.

Wednesday 13 April 2016

Battle Report 51- 1250 pts White Scars vs White Scars/Dark Angels

This week's battle report features two tournament lists in a practice game for the upcoming Stronghold V. Innes and I decided to give our respective lists an airing to see how they performed. I would be taking my White Scars (you can find the restrictions of the tournament and my discussions on my list in a previous post), while Innes would also be taking White Scars with a Dark Angels allied detachment. As this is a tournament practice game, I thought I might delve a bit more into my reasoning for certain decisions as the game goes on.

I am also using some new look turn maps in this report. After almost a year of using Battle Chronicler, I finally decided to have a go putting the actual terrain and some backgrounds into the reports. Thanks to Nick from the Burning Eye for linking me the tutorial on how to do this. I think it makes a big difference to the maps, let me know what you think of them in the comments section.

As a reminder, my army consisted of (in red and white):
Librarian- Level 2 psyker, Bike, Hunter's Eye, Mantle of the Stormseer, Force Sword, Meltabombs (with CS)
5 Command Squad- Bikes, Apothecary, 4 veterans with grav guns, stormshields and meltabombs (CS)
5 Bikers- 2 grav guns, sergeant with power lance and meltabombs (BS1)
5 Bikers- 2 grav guns, sergeant with meltabombs (BS2)
5 Scouts- sergeant with meltabombs (S1)
Landspeeder Storm- Heavy Bolter, Cerberus missile launcher (LS)
Drop Pod- storm bolter (DP)
Attack Bike- Multimelta (AB)
Stormtalon- TL assault cannons, skyhammer missile launcher (S2)
 Centurion Devastators- Grav cannons and grav amps, hurricaine bolters (C)

I rolled for my warlord trait, getting Unrivalled Hunter. I re-rolled this, but got the same result. This gives me +1S and +1A in challenges.
For my psychic powers, I first rolled on Telepathy and got Hallucination, but changed it for Psychic Shriek. I then rolled on Divination and got Foreboding. I decided to keep this after looking at Innes' list; if I was charged by his characters, I would want full BS overwatching grav guns to try and deal with them.

Tuesday 12 April 2016

Stronghold V tournament- Initial List Thoughts

I have signed up for another tournament at the end of the month- Stronghold V, taking place on 30th April in Glasgow.
The tournament has some interesting restrictions that I think will lead to some very fun games. Some of the restrictions are:
  • Armies are 1250 points.
  • Armies must be must up of a Combined Arms Detachment (CAD) and may take an allied detachment.
  • No more than 325 points may be spent on the allied detachment.
  • Come the Apocalypse allies are prohibited.
  • No ForgeWorld.
  • Selected fortifications are allowed.
  • No named Special Characters.
  • No Gargantuan creatures or Super Heavy Vehicles.
  • No more than 2 of the same unit are allowed in an army.
  • No duplicate HQ characters are allowed.
  • There are also several comp'ed rules for Invisibility, flickerjump, D weapons and warp charge dice. Unpainted models are allowed, but all units get preferred enemy (unpainted) for the tournament.
As you can see, there are a lot of limits on army selection. I like the restrictions put in place, it means you won't be facing many nasty tricks from formations such as a Decurion, Eldar formations or a battle demi company. As someone who regularly runs a CAD anyway, this won't be too much of a change for me.
The restrictions also mean that I won't be facing any Wraithknights or Imperial Knights (though I believe Riptides are still allowed).
The lower points limit of 1250 pts is also interesting. Most tournaments are 1500 pts or, more commonly, 1850 pts. This lower limit means that many choices will be important, as you cannot afford to splash out on all the biggest toys.
Based on these restrictions, I decided to take my White Scars. I would have like to take my Ravenwing, but the lack of formations limits that. I also think I would have struggled to build an army with my Orks or Astra Militarum. The limit on a maximum of two units the same per army I think will penalise armies such as Orks, Guard and Nids, so we may not see too many of them at the tournament. The only downside to my Scars is that I won't be able to take Khan.
Before I started picking my army, I took a look at my tournament army reviews for Blog Wars 9, Rapid Fire 2015 and the 6s to Hit Doubles Tournament to remind myself of the lessons there.

Monday 11 April 2016

Better Know a Blogger- Part 2: The Burning Eye

Welcome to the second article of my (hopefully) ongoing series- Better Know a Blogger. In this series, I am asking various 40k bloggers to ask some set questions to get to know them a bit better and see what got them into the hobby and what makes them tick.

This week's Better Know a Blogger is from Nick from "The Burning Eye" blog. Nick has been blogging since 2012, the name of his blog coming from his fantastic Dark Eldar army; the Kabal of the Burning Eye. I think it was this army that first drew me to Nick's blog many, many moons ago.

Nick enjoying a beautiful British summer day?
As someone who has been playing 40k for a long time and blogging for many years, Nick has a few armies that make a regular appearance on his blog. These include his Kabal of the Burning Eye, his Tau Obsidian Enclave and his Iron Fists Space Marines and  most recently, his Dusk Knight Space Marines. He has even been tempted to the dark side of space marine bike armies, though he has some strange ideas about list building (did you know that Space Marine bikers and Bike Command Squads could be armed with anything other than grav guns?!? Heresy!).
Nick also dabbles in Blood Bowl and Necromunda and has just recently started a great series of articles on army building that act as a great guide for players new and old, taking them through constructing a new army and what to think about.  
A fantastic pitch.
Most recently, Nick has been working towards his all day 40k charity event- Hero for a Day. This will be a campaign day to raise money for the Childhood Cancer and Leukaemia Group. If you haven't already, I encourage you to head over to the link and donate to this worthwhile cause.
Anyway, enough of my ramblings, let's see how Nick answered my questions.
1. What age did you get into gaming and what started it off?
Probably a bit later than many, I bought my first miniatures around the age of 14. Being the nosey git I am, I barged in on a conversation between a couple of mates in the playground, one of whom was trying to persuade the other to take up Warhammer Fantasy. Easily swayed and always one to want the latest shiny things, I jumped in with both feet and bought this:

Up until then I'd be interested in the painting side of things, but in the realm of airfix model aircraft (WWII) rather than man-sized rats with halberds and shields.  

Saturday 9 April 2016

Medusa IV Campaign- Turn 5, Battle Phase 2 moves

The moves for battle phase 2 of turn 5 have been made. As expected, the power vacuum left by the retreat of the Tau to the North has led to several players surging to occupy their abandoned defences and buildings. The map now looks like this:

My own Astra Militarum stronghold in the centre has come under attack from the remnants of the Tau occupation force. Players had two weeks to fight their battles. 

Friday 8 April 2016

One Year Giveaway- Win a FREE Battle Demi-Company

EDIT: This competition is now closed.

With the blog turning one year old, I have decided to join Rob at "From the Horus Heresy to Infinity and Beyond" and Dave from "Confessions from a 40k addict" in doing a prize give away. After rummaging around my figure collection, I was able to come up with a Space Marine Battle Demi-Company that I could part with.
Entering the competition couldn't be easier; Simply sign up to follow the blog using the blogger followers section on the right hand side of the blog (if you haven't already). Then comment below to register your interest by writing what your favourite 40k army is and why. The competition will run for one month (until 7th of May 2016). One entrant will be picked at random and will win the battle demi-company shown in the photos in this post. Entrants are allowed from anywhere in the globe and are limited to a single entry each.

There is no fee for entering this competition, but I would like to encourage everyone to visit the  "Hero for a Day" page using the link provided and donate for this great cause. Even just a pound or two would be gladly welcomed I am sure.

Thursday 7 April 2016

Battle Report 50- 1500 pts Astra Militarum vs Dark Eldar

Welcome to my 50th battle report on the blog!

This week's battle report sees my Astra Militarum army taking on James' Dark Eldar. James is one of the few players that I have not yet fought in the Medusa IV campaign (or at all, in fact), so he took the opportunity to attack one my tiles in the campaign.
We decided that in order to have a fun game, we would steer away from the heavier elements of the armies. James wanted to run a Wych-themed army and I decided not to take any Wyverns or a Punisher, as these would likely shred his army quite easily.

Due to the campaign rules, I would get 150 pts extra for my army, however, James would get a +2 bonus to choosing deployment zone and getting the first turn.
For my army, I took:
Company Command- Vox, Company Standard, 2 Plasma guns, Astropath, Officer of the Fleet (CC)
Priest (with S1A)
Priest (with S2A)
Commissar (with HBT)
Commissar (with LT)
Primaris Psyker- level 1 (with CC)
Platoon Command 1- 2 Flamers, Vox (PC1)
Infantry Squad 1A- Autocannon, Vox (S1A)
Infantry Squad 1B- Autocannon (S1A)
Infantry Squad 1C- Autocannon, Vox (S1C)
Heavy Weapons Team 1- Heavy Bolters (HBT)
Heavy Weapons Team 2- Missile Launchers (MLT)
Platoon Command 2- 2 Flamers, Vox (PC2)
Infantry Squad 2A- Grenade launcher, vox (S2A)
Infantry Squad 2B- Grenade launcher (S2A)
Infantry Squad 2C- Grenade launcher, vox (S2C)
Heavy Weapons Team 3- Lascannons (LT)
10 Veterans- Grenadiers, 3 Meltaguns (V1)
Chimera- Dozer Blade, Extra Armour (C1)
Leman Russ- Battle Cannon, Lascannon, Heavy Bolter sponsons (LR)
Vendetta- 3 TL Lascannons (V2)
Aegis defence line- Quad Gun
My warlord trait gave my command squad Relentless. My Astropath got Psychic Shriek and Mental Fortitude, my Primaris got Prescience and Misfortune.
For my army, I decided to go infantry heavy. I took a company command to give me orders, along with an astropath and master of the fleet to help with my reserve rolls. I took two priests and two commissars to keep my units in check.
Two large infantry platoons were then added; one with autocannons and one with grenade launchers. I added three heavy weapons teams to deal with the Dark Eldar and their vehicles. A unit of veterans in a Chimera would give me some mobility in my army.
I added a Leman Russ with battle cannon to hopefully avoid those annoying Feel no Pain rolls that all Dark Eldar seem to have, as well as a Vendetta to deal with any vehicles or enemy flyers. Along this line, I also took an Aegis line and Quad gun.
With 50 pts left over, I decided to take a Primaris psyker. The Prescience re-rolls would be useful if I managed to cast it over the course of the game.

Tuesday 5 April 2016

Medusa IV Campaign- Turn 5, Battle Phase 1 Results

I've been a bit lax with reporting the results of the campaign recently, been a bit busy to get them written up. The results for turn 5, battle phase 1 are in. The map now looks like this:

Monday 4 April 2016

Better Know a Blogger- Part 1: From the Horus Heresy to Infinity and Beyond

Hi everyone, and welcome to what I hope will be a regular new series on the blog- Better Know a Blogger.
My own little blog is coming up for one year old at this stage and has received some great support from some of the great bloggers out there through comments and advice on a regular basis.  I have a whole list of other blogs that I read regularly, ones that provide interesting and unique content (check out my blog list to the right for some examples), but we rarely get to find out about the man (or woman) behind the blog.
Who are these valiant titans of the blogging world? What drew them into the weird world of wargaming and 40k? I don't know about you, but I was certainly interested. I thought about stalking them online, finding out where they live, monitoring them and raiding their bins for answers, but that seemed like too much work, time that could be better spent hobbying and blogging! Turns out it was much easier to just contact them and see if they would answer a few questions.
My first Guinea pig interviewee is Rob who writes "From the Horus Heresy to Infinity and Beyond".
It was quite appropriate that Rob start off this series. As relatively new blogs on the block, Rob and I both started our blogging adventures at about the same time. In fact, Rob's blog turns one year old today!
This idea was inspired by Rob's own Blog Recommendations series that highlights some of the other great blogs out there and why he likes them (St Andrews Wargaming was fortunate enough to be featured in an article). These articles inspired me to do my own homage to the series (which sounds a lot better than "I just flat out stole the idea").
From the Horus Heresy to Infinity and Beyond has gone from strength to strength. You should definitely check it out for his amazing looking armies (love the Death Company) and for his great new series of 30k unit and army reviews. Rob is putting out articles at a fantastic rate, so there is always something new to read on a regular basis and is now a regular contributor to Spikey Bits (I must admit, I was extremely jealous when I heard he had been asked to do this, but it is well deserved!).
Rob was kind enough to agree to answer my list of questions I had formulated (replied to with lightning speed!) that you can now read below:
1. What age did you get into gaming and what started it off?
I got into gaming around 6-7 I would say, I don't really remember a time clearly I wasn't into Games Workshop to be honest! Plus, even before I found GW my Dad had built an amazing fort out of cardboard tubes and boxes, with a working drawbridge over a moat with fairy lights in the towers. We played with little coloured 15 mm fantasy archers and knights, with no rules just playing for hours with my brothers and sisters. My parents have always been big into heroic fantasy novels (read David Gemmell!) so fancy fantasy models sucked us in.