Thursday 16 December 2021

Starting a Wargames Club: Experiences from Didcot Wargames Club

Last year, I started a new Wargames club in my local area, Didcot Wargames Club. A few readers asked me to put together my experiences of setting up the club, to hopefully provide some advice for those thinking of doing the same. 

Here are my thoughts on setting up the club, and how it has been going. 

Why Set Up the Club
Putting together my own gaming club has been something I have been thinking about for a while. For me, the catalyst came from changing personal circumstances. My partner was moving from about 30 mins journey away to over an hour journey away. As a result, we were going to be more restricted to meeting up at weekends for the forseeable future. This meant that I may not be able to attend my regular gaming club on a regular basis. 

I normally attend Spiky Club in Reading, which meets on a Friday night from 7-11 pm. This club is a good 45 mins drive from my current flat, which is a bit of a travel commitment. As it is a Friday, I can get away with this. On a regular weeknight, I would struggle, not getting back till Midnight and having to work the next day. There are even times when I cannot be bothered going on a Friday if I have had a long week at work (the curse of getting old!). 

Due to these factors, I was looking at setting something up that was more local and would be happening mid-week. 

After speaking with a few friends in the area who play 40k, I thought there would be enough interest in setting up a local club in Didcot to make the venture worth exploring. 

I would say that this would be the first thing to consider if you are setting up a club. Will there be enough interest in the local area to keep the club going? Most people setting up a wargames club will be taking on the financial obligation initially, at least until the club becomes self-sustaining. If you can share that among a group of people involved in the club, it is more likely to run for reasonable costs before you get a group of dedicated players.

Thursday 9 December 2021

Hobby Update 09.12.21- Desert Trees

Hi strangers! It's been a long time since I posted, but I have been very busy with real life in recent months. I moved house and started my own gaming club. This extra hobby time has eaten into my blogging, but I thought I would share some hobby updates. 

I've been building terrain for my gaming club, as well as preparing for the first tournament I will be running. I decided to make some dense cover for my desert boards. These were really simple to put together. 

I purchased some MDF (6 mm) and cut them into appropriate shapes. I then sanded down the edges and glued on some sand. I painted them in suitable desert colour, then drilled the holes to glue in the trees. I then added some static grass for details. I got all these bases done within a couple of days. Some nice easy terrain, for low cost. 

I found the plastic trees on ebay. They are pretty cheap for a couple of sets to make my tree bases. 

Tuesday 22 June 2021

9th Edition 40k Battle Report 215- Dark Angels Ravenwing vs Drukhari

This week's battle report sees my Dark Angels Ravenwing take on the Drukhari in a 2000 pts mission in a barn stormer of a game! We were using the new Grand Tournament Missions 2021 rules, so had updates to some of the secondary missions, as well as points costs. We rolled up and got the Retrieval mission. 

My army consisted of:
Outrider Detachment
Primaris Chaplain on Bike- Master Orator, Warlord, Canticle of Hate, Recitation of Focus
5 Bikers- TL Bolters, 2 Plasma Guns, Power Sword
5 Bikers- TL Bolters, Meltagun, Power Fist, Flamer
Landspeeder Typhoon- Multi-melta, Typhoon Missile Launcher
Attack Bike- Multi-melta
Ravenwing Apothecary- Selfless Healer, Chief Apothecary
5 Black Knights- Corvus Hammers
4 Black Knights- Corvus Hammers

Outrider Detachment
Talonmaster- Arbiter's Gaze, TL Heavy Bolters, TL Assault Cannon, Brilliant Strategist
3 Bikers- Plasma Gun, TL Bolters, Power Sword
3 Bikers- TL Bolters, Meltagun
3 Bikers- TL Bolters, Grav Gun
Landspeeder- Heavy Bolter, Assault Cannon
Landspeeder- Heavy Bolter, Assault Cannon

A few change ups from last week's army. I dropped the Darkshroud, to add more Black Knights. I just don't think it is worth the points any more, as the -1 to hit bubble is not as essential in the army any more. I also dropped the Champion to fit in the Black Knights. A few units went up in cost (Attack Bike, Apothecary and Talonmaster), while the Chaplain dropped a few points as well. 

Once more, I had a fast and mobile force, with a decent amount of firepower. 

Saturday 29 May 2021

9th Edition 40k Battle Report 214- Dark Angels Ravenwing vs Raven Guard

I'm back! So nice to be rolling dice again. Today's battle report sees my Dark Angels Ravenwing take on Ben's Raven Guard in a 9th edition battle report. We were playing the Grand Tournament Mission, Rise of the Machine Spirit. 

My army consisted of:
Outrider Detachment
Primaris Chaplain on Bike- Master Orator, Warlord, Canticle of Hate, Recitation of Focus
5 Bikers- TL Bolters, 2 Plasma Guns, Power Sword
5 Bikers- TL Bolters, Meltagun, Power Sword
Landspeeder Typhoon- Multi-melta, Typhoon Missile Launcher
Attack Bike- Multi-melta
Darkshroud- Heavy Bolter
Ravenwing Apothecary- Selfless Healer, Chief Apothecary
Ravenwing Champion
5 Black Knights- Corvus Hammers

Outrider Detachment
Talonmaster- Arbiter's Gaze, TL Heavy Bolters, TL Assault Cannon
3 Bikers- Plasma Gun, TL Bolters
3 Bikers- TL Bolters, Meltagun
3 Bikers- TL Bolters, Grav Gun, Power Fist
Landspeeder- Heavy Bolter, Assault Cannon
Landspeeder- Heavy Bolter, Assault Cannon

With the new codex released, I had the chance to field my all-Ravenwing army once more. 

The force was led by a Primaris Chaplain on Bike. I upgraded him to Master Orator and gave him the litanies to get bonus moves to charges, and +1 to hit in shooting. I backed him up with Sammael, who provides powerful re-rolls for the army, as well as being pretty solid in combat. My third HQ unit was the awesome Talonmaster. He has the Arbiter's Gaze, allowing him to always hit on a 2+, even in overwatch. This provides some very powerful firepower for the army, as well as the Lieutenant buffs to the nearby units. 

The bulk of the army is Ravenwing Bikers, with five units of varying size, loaded up with special weapons. In the Outrider detachments, they gain objective secured, making them great for grabbing objectives. I also took a unit of Black Knights, to provide potent firepower and some strong combat ability when armed with the Corvus Hammers. I also added an Attack Bike with Multi-melta for some anti-tank firepower. 

I took a Ravenwing Apothecary, as he is an obvious choice. He provides great buffs for the army, bringing back dead bikers. The Ravenwing Champion also gave me some more combat options for taking on enemy units. 

The final parts of the force were the speeders. I took a Darkshroud for protecting my Biker units, with its -1 to hit bubble. I took a Typhoon with some potent anti-tank firepower, as well as two Landspeeders with Heavy Bolters and Assault Cannon. These should provide some fast and mobile anti-infantry firepower to the force. 

The Ravenwing should be a strong force. Mobile and with a lot of good firepower. Their special rules means they get an invulnerable save from shooting attacks on the move, as well as being able to use their firepower while in the Devastator Doctrine. 

Friday 21 May 2021

Hobby Update 21/05/21- TT Combat Brownstone

Hello strangers! It's been a while since I've posted anything, but that is mostly due to a lack of gaming. As we begin to move out of lockdown and I can get playing again, I've been doing some work on a new game. 

I picked up the Batman Miniatures game recently. I've always been a big fan of Batman, so wanted to buy the game and try something a little different. As a result of this, I'm going to need some new terrain to go with the game, as my regular 40k stuff wouldn't really suit it too well. 

I picked up a Brownstone building from TT Combat off of ebay. I wanted to paint this up in a pseudo-realistic fashion, so viewed a number of online tutorials for painting brickwork on model railways. I found this tutorial, and it was the kind of technique that I wanted. 

However, I did differ slightly from the tutorial. To do the mortar work, they used joint compound. I tried this and it didn't really work too well for me. I had issues removing it from the brickwork without all the paint coming off too. In the end, I went with standard filler, which come off much easier, though I did colour it with a little grey acrylic paint. 

Wednesday 17 March 2021

Dark Angels Codex Review: Part 5- Relics of the Rock

This part of my Dark Angels 9th edition codex review will look at the relics available to the army. I will also look at the unique Special Issue Wargear for the army. 

Relics of the Rock
Mace of Redemption- A Power Maul or Crozius Arcanum that is Sx2, AP-3 and 2 damage. Each attack against a Fallen or Heretic Astartes unit, on an unmodified wound roll of 4+ inflicts 2 mortal wounds on the target and the attack sequence ends. 

A decent relic, but a bit situational with the bonus. Going up to S8 AP-3 and 2 damage on an Interrogator Chaplain is a solid bonus, especially after bonuses from litanies. If you want to go with a relic crozius on your Chaplain, you might be better off with the Benediction of Fury from the Marine Codex, but this is a pretty good alternative. 

Pennant of Rememberance- Deathwing Ancient only. In your command phase, select one Deathwing Infantry Core unit within 6". Until the start of the next command phase, subtract one from damage from attacks on the unit to a minimum of 1. 

A very powerful relic for the Deathwing Terminators. They are already pretty tough with the built in Transhuman Physiology and a 2+ armour save. Going to -1 damage is incredibly powerful on an already durable unit, so this will make them very hard to shift off of the table. 

Shroud of Heroes- Bearer gets -1 to hit from attack rolls. 

A nice bonus for keeping a character alive for a bit longer. Not sure I would go with it, but a decent option nonetheless. 

Reliquary of the Repentant- Ravenwing Biker model only. While an enemy unit is within 3" of the bearer, invulnerable saving throws are only passed on a 5+. 

An incredible ability that really neuters the invulnerable saves of enemy units. The short range is the only issue here, but a 6" bubble would be far too powerful. This would be strong on a melee character, such as a Ravenwing Champion or Chaplain on Bike. This should allow you to get a lot of damage in on enemy toughs with high invulnerable saves. More limited on using your firepower, unless you charge the character up into the enemy lines and probably lose them in the following turn. I think this is a very strong relic for the army. 

Foe-Smiter- A Storm Bolter that is 24", assault 4, S5, AP-1 and 2 damage. 

This is actually pretty strong against Marines. In Tactical Doctrine, you will be wounding on a 3+ at AP-2 and killing Marines. Pretty decent if you want some added firepower for your character, but I think there are better Relics. 

Eye of the Unseen- Enemy units within 6" are at -1 Ld. At the start of the Fight phase, any enemy Character units in engagement range of the bearer are not eligible to fight until all other eligible units from your army have fought. 

Another strong relic for a melee character. This stops enemy characters from targeting your units before you strike and have a chance to kill them. This also works well with Engulfing Fear, giving nearby enemy units -2 Ld. This makes failing morale more likely against a range of enemy units. 

Cup of Retribution- Chaplain only. Once per battle you can use this relic to automatically recite the Feast of Malediction litany instead of using another. This litany gives Dark Angels core units within 6" +1 attacks. 

Once per game, but a pretty good bonus for a number of melee units in the Dark Angels army. Combines with Shock Assault to give you some serious attack strength on the charge with this litany. Also very strong if you combine it with the litany of +1 to wound in melee. 

Special Issue Wargear
Heavenfall Blade- A power sword that is +2S, AP-4 and 2 damage. The bearer can make an additional attack with the weapon. 

A decent swap for a power sword. The extra attack, AP and damage could turn this character into a strong melee contender. Could be useful on the Ravenwing Champion, who is able to fight first against characters. 

Monday 8 March 2021

Dark Angels Codex Review: Part 4- Interromancy Discipline

Part four of my 9th edition Dark Angels codex review will look at the Interromancy Discipline psychic powers that you can add to your army. 

Interromancy Discipline
Mind Worm (WC6)- Select one enemy unit within 18", he unit suffers 1 mortal wound. Until the start of the next psychic phase, that unit is not eligible to fight in the Fight phase until all eligible units from your army have done so. 

A pretty solid power. The extra mortal wound is nice, but forcing an enemy unit to fight last is really strong against certain army builds. This allows your combat units, such as Black Knights or Terminators, to ensure that they can attack without an enemy unit cutting them down before they get a chance to strike. 

Aversion (WC6)- Select an enemy unit within 24". While the unit is within 6" of the Psyker, subtract one from the attacks characteristic of that unit. Any time an attack is made by the unit, subtract 1 from the hit roll. 

A good power for de-buffing an enemy unit. Getting -1 to hit is not as strong as it once was, as these can no longer stack, but it can still be pretty powerful. Also strong against melee attacks, where -1 is more difficult to get. Reducing the attacks of the enemy unit is also strong. This doesn't specify reduce the attacks by 1 to a minimum of 1, but I expect this to come in the FAQ. If not, this is really powerful against standard infantry. 
This also stacks really well with the Line Unbreakable stratagem. Forcing only enemy models in engagement range to be able to attack, along with -1 to hit and -1 attack really hinders the damage output of an enemy unit and could help your psyker survive or other units survive a powerful enemy melee unit. 

Wednesday 3 March 2021

Dark Angels Codex Review: Part 3- Warlord Traits

The third part of my Dark Angels Codex Review will look at the Warlord Traits available for the army. The Dark Angels have access to six standard traits, but also have additional Deathwing and Ravenwing traits to add to your army. 

Warlord Traits
Brilliant Strategist- In your command phase, select one friendly Dark Angels unit within 6" of the warlord. Until the start of the next command phase, the unit considers the previous doctrine to be active for the attack. i.e. if the unit is in the Tactical Doctrine, then the Devastator Doctrine is considered to be active for that attack. 

A decent trait for boosting the firepower of your units with selected weapons. It would be better if you could choose which doctrine was active for the unit, but there are stratagems that allow you to do this. Not one I think I would choose all that often, but could be useful with some army builds. It is not limited to core units, so your vehicles could benefit from this. 

Fury of the Lion (Aura)- When a Dark Angels unit is within 6" of the warlord, if this warlord made a charge move, was charged or performed a Heroic Intervention in this turn, add 2 to the strength characteristic of that unit. 

A solid warlord trait if your army is focused on assault. The one limitation is that your warlord has to have made a charge, so there is a risk you could fail the charge or your other units could fail a charge. Getting to wound most infantry on a 3+ is a big boost. This works better if you pair it with +1 to wound in combat from the Chaplain's litany. 

Monday 1 March 2021

9th Edition Maelstrom of War Cards Template

The new rules for maelstrom were released for 9th edition in this month's White Dwarf. The tactical objectives were presented in 6 new tables, which you roll on during the game. 

I decided to make up some cards to represent the tactical objectives during my games, as they will be much easier to deal with than the tables. I thought it would be useful for others to do the same, so below are the images that I used to print the cards. 

Once cut out, they fold in half to create the front and back of the cards. I then laminated them and used a cardboard guide to cut them out to the same size. This creates two decks, one for me and one for my opponent, to use during our games. 

These cards are for a standard 2000 pts game, so you may need to adjust the points or conditions if you are playing one of the other mission sizes (as detailed in White Dwarf 461). 


Thursday 25 February 2021

Dark Angels Codex Review: Part 2- Detachment Abilities

Part 2 of my Dark Angels Codex Supplement Review will take a look at the Detachment abilities that the army gains. 

General Abilities
Models in the unit have a 5+ invulnerable save against ranged attacks. In your movement phase, if the unit remains stationary, it loses the save until the start of the next movement phase. If the unit advances, they gain a 4+ invulnerable save. 

Ravenwing units in a Dark Angels detachment gain the Jink ability if they do not already have it. 

This is a bike boost for the mobile units in the army. In the index version, only selected Ravenwing (non-codex) units got this ability, but it has been expanded to include all Ravenwing units. This includes Bikes, Outriders, Attack Bikes and Landspeeders, to name a few. This gives the Ravenwing units a big boost in durability for no increased points cost, which is a pretty good deal! 

The Jink ability is also improved over previous versions, as you get it even if you don't get the first turn (a downside of the rule previously). This gives your Ravenwing unit a boost against enemy firepower, helping to survive the initial turn. 

A great rule, which has been improved further with the codex. 

Wednesday 24 February 2021

9th Edition Maelstrom of War Review: Part 2- Stratagems and Missions

This part of the Maelstrom of War review will take a look at the stratagems and missions available in the new rules. 

The new rules have introduced four new stratagems to use in your maelstrom games. 

Fixed Determination (1CP)- Use at the start of the battle round, before generating Tactical Objectives. Select one of the Tactical Objectives that you generated in the previous battle round but did not score. That Tactical Objective is treated as having been generated for you this battle round and counts towards the limit of how many Tactical Objectives you generate in this battle round. 

A useful stratagem for ensuring that you can score big points in your turn. This reduces the chance of getting a random objective that you may not be able to achieve, and replace it with one that you are likely to score. For example, if you roll Tear Down Their Heroes or Cut off the Head in one turn and are not quite able to achieve it in one turn, but almost guaranteed to get it the following turn, such as removing the last model from a powerful unit or taking the last wound from a warlord or character. 

Probably not going to use it every game, but could certainly be useful to score points every once in a while. 

Sunday 21 February 2021

9th Edition Maelstrom of War Review: Part 1- Tactical Objectives

This weekend, I was able to pick up the new issue of White Dwarf with the new Maelstrom of War rules for 9th edition. I've been looking forward to this release since maelstrom was removed from the game. It was one of my favourite ways to play the game and I am glad to see it return. 

I'm going to take a look at the new rules and see how they compare. This first part will take a look at how the rules work and the six tactical objective categories that are given. 

Maelstrom of War
These rules once more simulate having to achieve random objectives each turn, this time through rolling on tables, rather than drawing cards. I am hoping that they release the cards in time, as it will save a lot of book keeping for both players as the game proceeds. 

There are 6 tactical objective categories that players can choose from in a mission. In most of the missions, each player selects three different tactical objective categories to draw from during the game; Objective categories Alpha, Beta and Gamma. 

At the start of the battle round, each player generates their specified number of tactical objectives (3 in most missions) by first rolling a D3 to determine whether the objective is drawn from the alpha, beta or gamma categories chosen. They then roll a D6 on the table to see which objective is active for their turn. 

Any duplicate objectives are re-rolled, as are any objectives that are unachievable- if your or your opponent's army lacks the keyword necessary to achieve the objective. 

As you can see, this process would be a lot easier with cards, but I think it will not take too long to get used to rolling for them in missions. You could even look to make your own cards to make things a bit easier. 

Each mission uses 6 objectives for a normal sized game, with each player placing three of them. Each objective marker must be wholly within your territory (your table half), but outside of your deployment zone. They cannot be within 3" of a table edge or within 12" of another objective. This forces players to move out, as they cannot simply sit in their deployment zone if they are going to go after the objectives. 

Monday 8 February 2021

Dark Angels Codex Review: Part 1- Stratagems

Welcome to part 1 of my Dark Angels Codex Supplement Review, which will take a look at the stratagems available to the army. Not only do the 1st Company have access to all the stratagems in the main Space Marine codex, but they now have 17 additional stratagems with which to fight the enemies of the Emperor.

Wrath of the Lion (2CP)- Use in the command phase if a combat doctrine is active. Each time a Dark Angels model from your army makes an attack with a weapon specified in the active combat doctrine, an unmodified wound roll of a 6 improves the AP by 1. Cumulative with the active doctrine bonus. 

This is way too expensive. A one in six chance of getting an AP bonus on selected weapons is pretty poor, especially for 2CP. Might be useful if you really need to kill an enemy unit and it only cost 1CP, but I don't see this getting used that much. There are simply better stratagems to spend your CP on. 

Intractable (2CP)- Use in your movement phase when a unit falls back. The unit can still shoot. If they have the Inner Circle ability, they may fall back automatically and do not need to test. 

Now this is a stratagem definitely worth 2CP. The ability to fall back and shoot is great for most units in the game, especially since it is much more restricted with the changes to Fly. Being able to fall back with an Inner Circle unit is also a great bonus, without having to hinge on a Ld test. Capricious dice stopping your Terminators from falling back could ruin a battle plan, so having a guaranteed exit is probably worth it in some circumstances. 

Deathwing Assault (1CP)- Use when a Deathwing unit shoots. Add 1 to the wound roll if it was set up on the battlefield as a result of a Teleport Homer or Teleport Strike that turn. 

Another strong stratagem for the Deathwing. Getting +1 to wound on the turn they arrive with their Storm Bolters or Heavy Weapons is a great boost, allowing you to clear out enemy infantry with their massed firepower. Can be combined with Fury of the First for +1 to hit, making the unit even more effective on the turn that they deploy. 

Monday 1 February 2021

Hobby Update 01/02/21- Dark Angels Deathwing Terminators

Today's Hobby Update features the Deathwing Terminators for my Dark Angels army. These had already been painted, but I painted the bases to match my other Marine armies. 

Friday 29 January 2021

Army Showcase- Dark Angels Primaris Marines

With the new Dark Angels codex due out soon, I thought it would be a good time to showcase my Dark Angels Primaris Force. 

This army consists of most of the models from the two boxed sets that have been out for Marines. I have a number of Ravenwing units to add to the force to expand it if necessary. 

Wednesday 6 January 2021

Hobby Update 06/01/21- Dark Angels Ravenwing Talonmaster

Today's Hobby Update features a Ravenwing Talonmaster for my Dark Angels army. This unit provides some very strong firepower and buffing abilities for the force. I've been thinking a lot recently about running an all-Ravenwing army once more in 9th edition. Can't wait to get playing again to try it out. 

Monday 4 January 2021

2020 in Review- St Andrews Wargaming

Well, what a year this has been! 

I thought I would take a look back at the last 12 months to see my hobby progress and how the blog is progressing. Obviously, this has been a very different year for everyone, and has had a big impact on all aspects of life, including hobby work and output. 

Hobby Progress
This has been the year of the Primaris! Most of my hobby output this year has been adding Primaris models to my White Scars and Deathwatch army. The release of the awesome Indomitus boxed set provided a bunch of new units for both armies. 

Sunday 3 January 2021

Winters SEO battle report- Deathwatch vs Orks

I recently got to play Winters SEO again, this time my Deathwatch take on the Orks using the new Marine book. Follow the link to watch the game.