Monday 31 October 2016

Guest Post- How to Prepare for your First Tournament

This week, I have another Guest Post from Darren Tse. Last week, Darren posted a report on his experiences of his first ITC tournament after just getting back into the game. He managed two wins and two loses at the event. This is even more impressive when you consider he had only played three games of 40k before that point. In his latest guest post, Darren talks about how he went about preparing as a first time tournament attendee and as a new 40k player. 

How to prepare for your first Tournament
by Darren Tse

So you’re ready for your first tournament. Your first foray into competitive 40k. It’s an exciting time! I know the feeling. I recently attended my first ever 40k tournament, and boy, was it fun. But it could have very easily been one of the worst hobby days of all time. It’s not a given that you just turn up at your first tournament and have a blast. There are factors out of your control (like other players, the venue, etc.), but there are a lot of things YOU can do for yourself, to prepare for the day. And although these things may well help you perform better in terms of results, these tips that I present to you are mostly to increase your own enjoyment of the tournament as an overall experience.

Sunday 30 October 2016

Hobby Sunday 30/10/16- Bike, Bikes, Bikes

This week, I have been working on my bikers for my various armies. I decided that I would re-base my Ravenwing for the upcoming Fluffageddon tournament. 

The reason for this is that my Interrogator-Chaplain was based in the same fashion as my White Scars as he is a part-timer who works for both armies. Rather than rebase him to match the Ravenwing once more, I decided I would do up the bases on my Ravenwing bikers, as they were a bit plain and could use some work. 

First I removed all the bikers from their bases and then scraped off the flock that was there. 

Thursday 27 October 2016

Battle Report 81- Death in the Skies: Massive Flyer Battle

This week's battle report features a whole host of fabulous flyers! With my recent move down to Newcastle, I was saddened to leave the great guys and girls at Dundee Wargames Club. As a sort of leaving-do/game, I decided to host a massive 40k flyer battle based on the scenario in Death from the Skies.
I had done the same game a few weeks earlier with two of the players from the club to test the rules. It was an absolute blast and we decided to add some additional special rules as the game went on to make it even more fun.

The rules for the scenario followed the Fighter Sweep air war rules, with the following changes:
  • Flyers are not allowed to leave the board. There can be nowhere to hide in this game and I wanted a ton of flyers on the board at once.
  • At the end of their move, flyers are allowed to make an additional 90 degrees turn. If they choose to do so, roll a D6. On a 1-2, the G forces rip the aircraft apart and it is destroyed. Flyers with Vector Dancer can turn without penalty as normal.
  • Flyers that Jink suffer -1BS the following turn for each enemy flyer they jinked for. E.g. if you are fired upon by two enemy flyers and jinked twice, you suffer -2BS the next turn. This was to stop one side from being too powerful and forcing multiple flyers to jink and snap fire next turn while doing little damage.
  • Any time a flyer is destroyed, it careens out of control. Roll 2D6 and a scatter dice, the aircraft moves in this direction, stopping if it hits another flyer. If it collides with another flyer(s), both players roll a D6. If the player with the destroyed aircraft beats the roll of the player with the flyer it hit, both flyers are now destroyed!
  • "Janked" is the official past tense of "jink" for this game, i.e. "I'm at -1BS as I janked last turn".
  • When a flyer is destroyed, it get to come back on in the players next turn. 
This time round, I managed to get a whole host of players to sign up for the game. I split us into 4 teams based on the number and type of flyers that were available. These were:

Players would score 1 point for each destroyed enemy flyer (2 points for the massive Tigershark). If a destroyed flyer crashed into any other and destroyed them, the points would go to the player who shot down the original plane.
We decided that the four teams would roll off for priority each turn, the highest roll going first, the second highest going second, etc. This would create even more chaos as players could potentially get two turns in a row.

The game was fought on a 8x6 feet board. Based on the additional special rules in effect, I expected lots of carnage on all sides!

Wednesday 26 October 2016

Club Search- Northumbrian Adventurers Guild

As part of my search for a new gaming club in Newcastle, this past weekend I attended Northumbrian Adventurers Guild in Blyth. 

The club runs from 12-6 pm every Sunday, with Blyth being a decent 30 minute drive from my flat in Newcastle. I set off from Newcastle in the pouring rain to reach Blyth for 12 pm. When I got to where the sat nav had directed me, I found myself in the middle of a residential area with no church in sight. I wandered around for a bit, then got directions to the church hall. I arrived around 12.30 an eventually found my way up to the club. 

The Church hall was nice, light and spacious and there appeared to be a huge storage area packed with terrain, this looked promising. There were 4 people inside, three setting up for 40k and one setting up for what I later found out to be Frostgrave. 

I smiled at some of the other gamers and sat down on one of the seats. After about 10 minutes, no one had approached me or even spoken to me. I eventually went up to the 40k crowd and introduced myself, asking if there were any committee members that I could speak with. The guys were very nice and welcoming, but told me the members don't really show up until about 2-3 pm. They said if I hung around, I would be able to get a game of 40k.

Monday 24 October 2016

Guest Post- Powerfist and Psykers ITC Tournament Report

The latest guest post comes courtesy of Darren Tse. Darren is a recent returner to 40k after a long break. He decided to attend a ITC tournament with only a couple of games played and decided to write up his experiences from his games. Over to Darren for his thoughts on his games. 

Powerfist and Psykers Tournament Wrap Up
By Darren Tse

So I’m pretty new to 40k. I actually started playing in the early 90s as a broke teenager, but stopped shortly after that. Picking it back up now has been awesome, and with just a few games under my belt, I decided to try my hand at some competitive play.

Our local scene runs a bi-monthly ITC-based tournament called Powerfist & Psykers. It’s 1850 pts, 4 rounds, straight ITC. This was Powerfist & Psykers 5. There were 16 players, so I was really looking forward to a day of good gaming and learning lots about how to play my army and 40k better.

Our local meta, from what I can see, is a lot of Tau-Dar (Eldar with Riptide Wing mostly), and Imperial Knights, as well as Chaos Demons. We have very little in the way of other xenos races, and also a lack the usual battle company heaviness.

Using the models I have, I decided to go with my favourite army, my Ravenwing! I had at first thought of bringing pure Ravenwing (which is mostly black knights with speeders and darkshrouds), but decided that against such a meta, I did not want to get tabled for 4 games, so decided to add a little bit of “cheesiness” to my list and bring my own riptide wing. I also knew that winning in ITC requires holding objectives, so I needed some objective secured. In the end, I decided to run a double Dark Angels CAD and a Riptide Wing. 

Sunday 23 October 2016

Hobby Sunday 22/10/16- Deathwatch Veteran Marines

This is my first Hobby Sunday post in around 7 weeks as I have been busy with moving house, writing codex reviews and waiting on new models to arrive. Well, last week my Deathwatch delivery finally arrived and I was able to spend some of this weekend getting a start on some of the models. 

For my army, I now have:
  • Watch Master
  • 4 Units of Veterans
  • Vanguard Veterans
  • A unit of Bikers
  • Corvus Blackstar

This weekend, I decided to build the Veteran marines squads. After poring over the codex, I decided to build four different squads with the boxed sets. 

Friday 21 October 2016

Fluffageddon List Thoughts

With no Blog Wars this November, there is another event being run to take its place; Fluffageddon. This tournament is designed to create an event that brings more variety to armies and "encourage" players not to bring filthy lists for the game. This was in a similar vein to Blog Wars, so I will be attending Fluffageddon too. 

Some of the restrictions are:
  • 1500 pts Battle Forged Army
  • No Forgeworld, Superheavy vehicles or Gargantuan Creatures
  • Maximum of 2 Detachments
  • No more than 2 units in the entire army may be duplicated
  • Armies should aim to fit the background of the force
  • No filth!

I was originally going to take my White Scars as that army has the most variety in it. However, I have been playing them a lot recently, especially in tournaments, so thought I would give them a break.

Instead, I have decided that my Ravenwing will be getting an outing for the tournament. This will allow me to create a nice, fluffy list that will also be very strong, as the Ravenwing are great at the moment. I thought about my Guard or Orks, but I honestly don't know if I could field an army within the tournament restrictions, and anyway, I don't have them with me in Newcastle yet. 

Wednesday 19 October 2016

Club Search- Durham Raiders

My search for a new gaming club kicked off with a visit to Durham Raiders a couple of weeks ago. They run a regular games night on a Tuesday at 6 pm. Unfortunately, I don't finish till 5.30 pm, so by the time I finish work and make my way through the rush hour traffic to Durham, it would hardly be worth setting up for a game!
What is more fortunate for me, is that they also run a club night on a Sunday every two weeks. I quite like a weekend club. They normally start and finish earlier than a weeknight one, so I can be back home before 11 pm. The downside of a weekend club is that many of my weekends tend to get busy quickly, so I can't always make them.

I wandered down to Durham Raiders for a game against Paul and his Space Wolves. I was playing my White Scars once more as this was the only army that had made the move from St Andrews so far. As I have been playing them a lot recently, I decided to try a different type of army than I was used to. I decided to give the Gladius Strike Force a go as I had never fielded the Strike Force or indeed a Battle Demi-Company.

My army consisted of:
Gladius Strike Force
Battle Demi-Company
Khan- Moondrakkan
Command Squad- Bikes, Apothecary, 2 Storm Shields, 2 Grav Guns, Power Axe
5 Tactical Marines- Grav Gun, Meltabombs
10 Tactical Marines- Flamer, Meltabombs
Drop Pod
5 Tactical Marines- Plasma Cannon
5 Devastators- 4 Missile Launchers
5 Bikers- 2 Grav Guns, Meltabombs

10th Company Task Force
5 Scouts- Camo Cloaks. Sniper Rifles
3 Scout Bikers- Grenade Launcher, Cluster Mines, Homing Beacon
3 Scout Bikers- Grenade Launcher, Cluster Mines, Homing Beacon

Shadowstrike Kill Team
5 Scouts- Bolters, Meltabombs
Landspeeder Storm
5 Scouts- Bolt Pistols, Combat Weapons, Meltabombs
Landspeeder Storm
5 Vanguard Veterans- 2 Thunder Hammers and Storm Shields, 3 with Pairs of Lightning Claws

Monday 17 October 2016

Better Know A Blogger: Part 23- Need More Tanks

This week's Better Know A Blogger features Ian (AKA Ginge) from Need More Tanks

Ginge contacted me a few months ago when the series was taking off. He was keen to take part, but wanted some time to get his blog dusted off and get some more regular content posted. The return of the series last week must have prompted him to get back in touch!

Need More Tanks is a veteran blog, starting back in 2009. His blog features a good mix of content to keep most gamers happy. There is regular hobby updates showing the work in progress on his various armies and battle reports, as well as board game reviews. His recent article on his hobby to do list shows he will have lots to show in the future. 

Having a Deathskulls army myself, it is no surprise that I am particularly fond of Ginge's Deathskull Ork army. Not only is it a great looking force, but it features some fantastic looted vehicles showcasing his awesome conversions. One standout is the looted Imperial Knight, something for all thieving Ork gits to aspire to!

Here are Ginge's answers to my questions:

1. What age did you get into gaming and what started it off?

I was quite early into the overall hobby, I think I was about 8 and I saw the tv advert for Heroquest and bugged my brother for it... but he advised I try Space Crusade instead as he thought it a better game (the blip tokens giving more variety to the scenarios...)

And so it all began...

After a slow burn through a few boardgames and then picking up, painting, but never playing (it wasn't really big in my area and the nearest GW was about an hour away) my patience was eventually rewarded when I moved to Portsmouth at the age of 17, got my first job... and found myself with money of my own and a Games Workshop store on my doorstep. Literally, two minutes down the road. The rest, as they say...

Thursday 13 October 2016

Hero for a Day- the lost game

I recently attended a 24 hour gaming charity event, run by Nick from The Burning Eye, called Hero for a Day. 
The event was due to feature 8 games of 40k over a 24 hour period. The event was a lot of fun and raised a lot of money for a great cause. 

After seven games of 40k, the Defender's team (the team I was on) was so far ahead that the final game would have no influence on the result. Rather than play the same people again, we decided to do a free for all and I ended up playing against Rob (30Kplus40K) and his Blood Angels. 

Unfortunately, after being up for almost 45 hours at this point, I was starting to get a bit grumpy and tired. We set up and started the game, but only got to about turn 2 before I finally gave in. As a result, I never got the full battle report to write here, but I did take a bunch of photos of the game. I thought I would share the photos here for those that were interested. 

I'm hoping that with my recent move to Newcastle, I can arrange to meet up with Rob once more (possibly at Warhammer World) to get a proper game against him at some point. Till then, I hope you enjoy the photos. 

Wednesday 12 October 2016

Guest Posts Wanted!

It was recently suggested that I could improve the blog by getting some guest posts from different writers. Some new voices on the blog would be a great opportunity for some varied opinions of different aspects of the game.

I have already posted a couple of Guest Posts so far:
  • Innes Wilson posted a great editorial on competitive 40k and his thoughts on list building and tournament play. 
  • Chris Rhodes posted a very nice introduction to Infinity, a game I have seen a lot online, but knew virtually nothing about until his article. 

So the call is out there- do you have something you want to say about 40k (or any other gaming system you are passionate about). If so, get in touch with your ideas and I'm sure we can work something out (you can email me at 

I think that this would be perfect for any readers out there that don't have their own blog, but would like to write the occasional article on their thoughts on 40k when a certain issue arises or a new unit is released. Of course, if you already have your own blog but want to try something different, you are more than welcome to get in touch too.  

It doesn't have to be an extensive article either. Do you have a great looking army, awesome conversion or great piece of terrain that you are working on and would like to showcase? Get in touch. 
I can't promise you fame and fortune, but I do have a decent sized and enthusiastic audience always willing to read and comment. 

Tuesday 11 October 2016

Guest Post- Plastic scenic bases from Warlocks Tower

In the latest guest post, John from the Warlocks Tower contacted me to see if he could share some information on a gaming Kickstarter that he is running that may be of some interest to some of the blog's readers. 
(Note: This guest post is from someone directly involved in the Kickstarter, as you will see below. I am not receiving any sort of inducement or "freebies" for posting this, I just figured it may be of some interest to those of you out there that use scenic bases). 

The Warlocks Tower Kickstarter Campaign
Hi there, 

This is a guest post from John of The Warlocks Tower. We are a brand new wargaming company which has just launched a Kickstarter to create round plastic scenic bases. The intention of this project is to provide a cost effective way to make your miniatures look even better at a fraction of the cost of resin bases but with all of the cool detail.

The initial goal will allow us to produce a desert or moonscape bases. We have had the CAD designs coloured to show how this could instead be painted to represent a volcanic lava landscape. There are stretch goals in place to create other landscape types, check the Kickstarter page for details.

We have really tried to keep the cost of the bases as low as possible while allowing beautiful designs and high quality plastic injection moulds to be produced.

There are several brilliant CAD designers on standby and a plastic manufacturer ready to work with those designs. This will make the process of getting the bases from us to your gaming table as efficient as possible

If you have any questions email or on twitter @warlocks_tower

Monday 10 October 2016

Better Know A Blogger: Part 22- Servants of Ruin

The series you all know and love returns once more! This week's Better Know A Blogger features Robert from Servants of Ruin

Robert recently dropped me an email wanting to take part in the series. This was great for two main reasons. One- I haven't done one of these in a while and was hoping to do more of the series and two- I hadn't yet found Robert's great blog, so got a chance to check it out! 

Servants of Ruin features a whole host of varied and interesting content. There is a strong focus on editorial-type content, with Robert sharing his views on certain aspects of the game and new army releases or formations. You can find his thoughts on Deathstar armies and how to combat them, thoughts on some of the new Blood Angels formations and their new rules to name but a few. In addition, you can find some great battle reports and details of his upcoming campaign that he will be playing with some friends. 

Not just content with keeping up his own blog, Robert will also be writing articles for Frontline Gaming, so be sure to keep an eye out for his work there too, I know I will be. 

Here are Robert's answers to my questions:

1. What age did you get into gaming and what started it off?

I was around 15 when I first got into gaming. Mind you this was long before the internet was really a household thing. My best friend and I began with the old Hero Quest board game (which featured GW models I do believe).  Shortly thereafter, we started playing Magic The Gathering, which was also sort of in its infancy. One of our friends at our local card shop introduced us to AD&D and my descent into gaming culture was complete. 

Oddly enough my start into Games Workshop came with Epic. We dabbled in that for a while and when I was around 18 or so, I picked up my first 40k army and codex. The old Angels of Death codex that featured Blood Angels and Dark Angels. Blood Angels would become my army and even to this day I have a substantial Blood Angels collection (pity you chose the wrong of the two Angels forces ;) - Mike). Despite their lackluster ability in 7th edition, they will always be special to me.

I am the guy on the right holding up the purity seal

Saturday 8 October 2016

Genestealers Cult Codex Reviews: Part 5- Formations

This final part of my Genestealer Cults codex review will look at the various formations available to the army. 

Subterranean Uprising
This formation consists of:
0-1 Primus
1-3 Hybrid Metamorphs
2-4 Acolyte Hybrids
0-3 Aberrants

The formation special rules gives the units Infiltrate. The formation units must all deploy using Infiltrate, but get to roll 2D6 on the Cult Ambush table and choose the result they want (or 3D6 if the Primus is in the unit). This is a really nice bonus, giving you a better chance of getting one of the good results on the Cult Ambush table. 

This formation is also dirt cheap, coming in at only 130 points for the minimum size. However, you will probably want to take much more than the minimum units and definitely want the Primus in a unit in this formation. More units will give you more rolls on the Cult Ambush table and a better chance of getting the result that you want. With several units in this formation, you are probably guaranteed at least one first turn charge, maybe even more. 

Overall, I like this formation. It features a lot of the good units in the codex and gives some very nice bonuses to them. 

Friday 7 October 2016

Genestealer Cults Codex Review: Part 4- Fast Attack and Heavy Support

Welcome to part 4 of my review of the new Genestealer Cults codex. This section will take a look at the Fast Attack and Heavy Support sections of the codex. With the army being based upon an uprising of an Imperial world, they have access to a number of Astra Militarum units, as well as a couple of unique choices for the army. 

Fast Attack
The Fast Attack section allows you to take a Chimera, Armoured Sentinel or Scout Sentinel in the army. These are pretty much the same as the units from the Astra Militarum codex, but with fewer vehicle upgrade options. 

Goliath Truck
Given that the Genestealers Cult army is set up as an assault orientated force, they have access to their own open-topped assault vehicle. 

The Goliath trukk has front armour 11, with side and rear armour 10 and 3 hull points. Not the most durable of chassis, but what you are really paying for is the open-topped assault vehicle that can carry 10 models. It gains a bit more durability with its special rules; every time it suffers a Crew Stunned, Crew Shaken or Immobilised result, it can ignore the effects of the result on a 4+, though it still loses the hull point. This is very useful for the vehicle, as you are unable to purchase any sort of extra armour upgrade to keep it moving when it is shaken. 

Thursday 6 October 2016

Battle Report 79- 1500 pts Orks vs Tyranids

A brief break in my Genestealer Cults reviews to bring you this week's battle report, which sees my Orks take on Innes' Tyranids in the Crusade mission. Innes and I have fought one another a number of times, mostly in competitive practice games or tournament games. This time we decided to go for a game using slightly less competitive armies from our collections, me with my Orks and Innes with his Tyranids. 

My army consisted of:
Warboss- Power Claw, Eavy Armour, Bosspole (with B2)
Painboy (with B2)
30 Shoota Boyz- Nob with Power Claw and Bosspole. (B1)
30 Slugga Boyz- Nob with Power Claw and Bosspole.  (B2)
12 Slugga Boyz (B3)
12 Slugga Boyz (B4)
Trukk- Extra Armour (T1)
12 Shoota Boyz (B5)
Trukk- Extra Armour (T2)
15 Lootas (L)
Scorcha (S1)
Scorcha (S2)
Scorcha (S3)
3 Killa Kans- Grotzookas (KK)
Deff Dread- Scorcha, 3 Power Claws, Extra Armour (DD)

My Warlord trait was Prophet of the Waaagh, a nice bonus for my large mobs of boyz. 

Wednesday 5 October 2016

Genestealer Cults Codex Review: Part 3- Troops and Elites

Part three of the Genestealer Cults Codex Review will look at the Troops and Elites options available to the army. These feature a number of Genestealer Hybrids and other mutated units. For me, the models for these units look great and they have some pretty decent rules to match.

The troops section of Genestealer Cults consists of two options; Acolyte Hybrids and Neophyte Hybrids.

Acolyte Hybrids
These are the veteran troopers of the Genestealer Cult that are built for combat. They come with an Astra Militarum Guardsman's profile, but with an additional point of weapon skill, strength, initiative and Leadership and an extra attack for a couple of points more. The squad size is between 5-20 models. They are armed with assault grenades, a pistol and combat weapon and Rending Claws. This gives them 4 attacks each on the charge at AP5 with Rending. That is a pretty decent damage output for a relatively cheap unit.

Tuesday 4 October 2016

Genestealer Cults Codex Review: Part 2- HQ units

Welcome to the second part of my Genestealer Cults codex review, looking at the HQ units available to the army. The first part looked at the special rules, wargear and psychic powers for the force. 

HQ Units
The HQ units available to Genestealers Cults are all pretty good. Not only are the individual characters pretty solid choices for combat or psychic powers, they all provide some nice buffs to nearby Genestealer Cult units that will improve the army. 

The Genestealer Cult Patriarch is the top HQ unit in the codex, designed for combat and for boosting the troops around him.

He has a very decent statline. With WS7, S6 and I7, he is pretty tough in a fight. Add to that four attacks at AP3 (with Rending and Shred) and he will make a mess of most rank and file in any force and will certainly worry any combat characters without a 2+ armour save or invulnerable save.

The Patriarch also comes with a whole host of special rules including the Genestealer Cult special rules, Fear, Fearless, Fleet and Infiltrate. He is also a level one psyker (can be upgraded to level 2) with access to Biomancy, Broodmind and Telepathy. As if that wasn't enough, he also has a 12" Fearless bubble for Genestealer Cult units. All that for the cost of a Space Marine Captain.

He is actually pretty durable, with Toughness and Wounds comparable to an Ork Warboss. He does only have a 4+ save and lacks an invulnerable save. However, when you factor in the Unquestioning Loyalty special rule, as long as he is with a decent-sized unit, it should take a lot to kill him.

He would definitely suit being placed with a sizeable combat unit such as Purestrain Genestealers for maximum effect. Depending on his psychic powers, he could really boost the unit he is in or soften up enemy units before the charge. He can be accompanied by up to two Genestealer Familiars, giving him up to an additional four S4 rending attacks in combat.

In case it wasn't clear, the Patriarch is an awesome HQ unit and would find a place in any army.

Monday 3 October 2016

Genestealer Cults Codex Review: Part 1- Special Rules, Warlord Traits, Wargear, Psychic Powers and Relics

Last week saw the release of a codex that a few years ago, I don't think anyone would have expected, Codex: Genestealer Cults. I picked the book up at the weekend to see what all the fuss was about and I have to say that I am pretty impressed with the results. It is sorely tempting me to start a new force to ally with my Imperial Guard. I may hold out for a while or my reviews of the various parts of the codex may tempt me even further. 

This first part of the review will look at the various non-unit and non-formation parts of the book. 

Special Rules
The Genestealer Cult gets access to a number of unusual special rules that really add to the flavour of the army. I think these will lead to a very different playstyle for the army in comparison to other armies available. 

Cult Ambush
All infantry models in the Genestealer Cult have the Cult Ambush special rule. This gives them a number of options for deploying or arriving from reserve. 
Any unit with the Infiltrate rule or that arrives from reserve or ongoing reserve may roll on the Cult Ambush table for their deployment, though the unit may not move any further in the movement phase if they do so. 

The Cult Ambush table consists of 6 different deployment options, one of which is randomly selected for each unit. These include options such as deploying normally from your table edge, outflanking, deploying anywhere on the board at least 6-9" from an enemy model, getting a bonus shooting attack when you deploy or even getting to assault the turn you arrive from reserves (or even a first turn charge after infiltrating or deploying!). 

In a game where movement and unit positioning are key, the Cult Ambush rule is really powerful. On a 3+, you can deploy any unit up to 6" away from the enemy and even get the option of a free shooting attack in the movement phase or getting to assault from reserve. This is a really nice bonus for the army, one which will become very useful when you see some of the units the army can field.