Friday, 16 February 2018

Eagle Knights Vanguard vets

This squad has had a bit of an identity crisis over the last year or so. Starting off as vanguard vets they then became a command squad, with one member switching out for a Sanguinary Novitiate, when the blood angles formations were released. With 8th edition, they turned back in to vanguard vets, loosing the Sanguinary Novitiate again and gaining back the original member, who had been briefly been a member of an assault squad. This same member then received a promotion to lieutenant, along side another member of the unit. This left the unit two short, which were then filled to bring the squad back up to a 5 man vanguard veteran squad, which is where they remain today. Within the Eagle Knights the Vanguard Vets are know as the Hawk Brethren, and this squad is designated squad Princeps.

Note that the sgt, in the middle is lacking his jump pack at the moment, this is due to his late arrival and the fact that i didn't really try the pack on him before i painted him, as the pack was already painted from its previous owner, who's now a foot slogging lieutenant. The issue is with the horns, which dont fit with the pack, so I'll have to green stuff at the back to alter how the pack joins to the body. Also, for those with shape eyes, the marine on the right of the sgt has a vary plain pack compared to the others as he is also a late addition and took the place of the marine who became a jump pack wearing lieutenant, this keeping the more ornate pack and leaving me with only the more basic packs to use, as i didn't fancy ripping one off another already painted model.

Here are the sgt, looking mean with his dual weapons. His stance is basically the only reason i chose him for the squad. The man on the right, the other new edition, was chosen for his power fist, giving the unit some extra punch and anti-armour capacity. The their member was also has an axe and forms the last of the heavy hitters in the squad. 

The twins. Yes. They are the same model, which along with the rest of the squad are from the DV box set. These are the anti-infantry specialist, with there twin claws. Where as the rest of the squad rely heavily on strength, these two rely on skill. 

So details of the packs.

This squad may seem a little odd, with a fist, two axes and two claws, as they don't seem to have a specific role but they do. They are a mopping up unit, designed specifically to support the infantry units in taking out the last few bodies in a unit or taking down the last few wounds on a big model. As they can be used for anything​, they need a wide variety of weapons. They will not support the death company marines, as they are supported by the assault marines, with the death company acting as the punch and the assault marines the bodies. With the vanguard, they tactical squads are the bodies and they are the finishing blow. With these models all being from the Dark Vengeance box set, they are pretty much all mono pose models and have only had light conversions to remove the more chaotic excesses. 

Tuesday, 13 February 2018

Eagle Knights Vs AdMech and IG

In a bit of a break from the Eagle Knights units, here is a battle report from the weekend.

So this was the first outing for my newest completed force, the Eagle Knights. It was a 1500 point battle between the Admech with Astra Militarum allies and a force of Eagle Knights.

The forces of the Admech and Guard consisted of something along the lines of:

2 Tech Priest Dominus, 2 Dunecrawlers, 4 squads of Rangers and a squad of Ruststalkers. In addition there was also a Company Commander, Command Squad, 3 Squads of Infantry, 3 Lord Commissars, a Scout Sentinel and a Lascannon Heavy Weapons Squad. These were arranged in to two Battalion detachments and a Supreme Command Detachment, giving my opponent 10 command points.

On the other side of the table were a Librarian, Chaplain, Captain, 2 Lieutenants, 3 5 man Tactical squads, an Assault squad, a 7 man and 5 man Death Company Squads, a Devastator squad and a Vanguard Squad, arranged in a Battalion and Supreme Command Detachment, giving me 7 command points. One of which I spent straight away giving my Chaplain the Death Visions of Sanguinius, turning him in to a Death Company Chaplin.

Eagle Knights Deployment, castling up in the centre of the board.

The Reserves, Death Company at the back, Assault Squad with Libby, the second Death Company with Chaplain, and the Vanguard and Lieutenant at the front. 

The view across the table at deployment.

The AdMech and Guard deployment, spreading out, heavies on the right flank and guard on the left. The Scout Sentinel would scout forward and to the left to extend the area of no deep striking.

The Ruststalkers, in reserve for the AdMech

Turn 1

Well, I had managed to deploy first and as we were playing the Eternal War mission; Secure and Control, I got to go first or rather I should have. Unfortunately for me, my opponent managed to steal the initiative. As a result, my poor infantry hiding in the ruins took quite a battering, and when I say infantry, what I mean is that my Devastators to a battering, eventually succumbing to the sheer weight of fire coming there way, giving up first blood, something that would become quite important later in the game. The rest of my forces got off quite lightly, having a 2+ save thanks to cover from the vast majority of the firing.

During my turn, I decided to launch a mass assault, dropping the death company on my left flank, in front of the heavy support Dunecrawlers, and the assault marines and Vanguard vets dropped in in front of the guard squad on the right flank. This is where I made the first and probably the biggest mistake of the game. I had cleared it with my opponent before the game to use the Blood Angles relics and not just be stuck to the Successor chapter one relic sword, thus I had given the Chaplin the Angles Wings, to deny my opponent overwatch. I was supposed to combine this with the Descent of Angles stratagem, for a 3d6 charge, but forgot, rolling up short, very short, so short that not even a re-roll would have helped. I then decided to charge the 7 man DC squad in, this time using the stratagem and rolling up a massive 13 inches. Unfortunately I took 3 losses to overwatch and the 5 man DC squad, armed with 2 hammers, also failed its charge, on a double 1. This meant that I had little chance of doing the damage I needed to do first turn, although the DC squad that did charge in did manage to put a few wounds on the Warlord.

The botched charges on the left

On the right flank, things went a little better, but not much. The Libby did some damage during the Psychic phase, wounding the Sentinel and giving the Vanguards an extra attack each. The Vanguard and the Lieutenants then made there charge in to the Guard, but the Assault marines failed there charge in to the Sentinel.

The Right flank, a little more successful.

The Vanguard destroyed one squad, before consolidating in to the second. Unfortunately, the Lieutenant was left behind.

Turn 2

For some reason I did not take any picture this turn, but it wasn't a great turn for the Knights. All the units charge in the first turn fell back from combat, with the guard making good use of orders to wittle the Vanguards down to 3 men and the AdMech sniped out the Lieutenant. The DC squad that was in combat was also punished, dropping the squad down to just 2 members. One of which was lost to moral at the end of the turn. I needed anything but a 6, and on my first roll I rolled a 6 but that's ok, I have ATSKNF, so I went and re-rolled, getting a 6. Oh, dam.

My turn was a little more successful. The rest of the Death company moved up and attacked the Dunecrawler, taking it down to just 2 wounds. The vanguard vets moved across the board and took on the heavy weapons squad and a rangers squad, while the Assault marines moved up to take on the rest of the guard squads and command units on the right. While the vets managed to take out the heavy weapons, with assistance form the last surviving DC marine, they were both able to consolidated on other squads as well. The Assault marines on the other hand, failed to destroy there targets. I think this was a combination of some very poor rolling from me, with my Libby unable to take down a Company Commander, and splitting up my attacks to much, I should have just concentrated on the guard and left the commissars and company commanders alone. As a result I lot a couple of marine to the attacks back from the Commissars and lost my Libby to the power fist of the Company Commander! I really don't understand why Librarians don't have an Invulnerable save as standard? So I had done some damage this turn, but not really enough to turn the tide of battle, I was still massively outnumbered and deep within the enemy lines. Also I should mention, that a squad of marines had moved up alongside the Captain and Lieutenant to engage the guard and rangers in the centre of the board, to try and put some pressure there as well.

Turn 3

This was where it really was the beginning of the end. Again, most of the units fell back from combat, opening up the vanguard vets and the assault marines to another punishing round of shooting. As a result, the last DC marine in the centre died, as did the Vanguard vets.  The big news for me though, was that the Ruststalkers finally dropped in on my left flank, right by the objective, although there shooting killed a couple of marines, and thus meant that a charge was out of the question this turn.

Top of turn 3 and the Knights are in trouble

Locked in combat, the only good thing to happen this turn.

In the following assault phase, there were a few charges, the most important one was the warlord coming back in to the combat with the DC marines on the left flank. This was done as my opponent reasoned, correctly, that I would charge next turn, if he didn't charge this turn. Unfortunately, he wiffed all his attacks and the hammer equipped DC then took out the Dunecrawler, which unfortunately went bang. This meant that while I lost 2 DC marines and the Chaplain took a wound, his warlord lost 2 wound, taking him down to just 1 wound, which was quickly finished by the Chaplain. The assault squad on the other flank, unfortunately took a beating while this was occurring, with the two Lord Commissars cutting down 3 of the 4 remaining marines, although one was cut down in reply. The marines at the front of the AdMech lines did little, taking out a guardsman for no reply.

In my turn the DC marine advanced and charged in to some rangers, although they were now down to just a couple of marines and a Chaplain. The assault marines shot the last commissar to death with pistols. Apart from that little happened, as I was really down to my last few units. In the assault phase, the Captain and Lieutenant charged in and killed a few guardsmen and the last Ranger, while the DC marines killed a few Rangers, but were reduced down to there last member, alongside the Chaplain.

Turn 4

Well, by now the writing was well and truly on the wall, the last assault marine fell in combat after surviving a bunch of shooting. The tactical marines in the centre were reduced to one member alongside the Captain and Lieutenant and the last DC marine fell. The only point of note was the 11 inch charge that the Ruststalkers managed, brining them up to the objective, before they wiped out all but one of the tactical marines.

The few remaining marines.

In my turn I didn't both doing much, as there was little that I could do. I could not take the enemy objective, as I had only 1 troop compared to about 7 enemy troops in that area. I was down to barely half a dozen models in total and massively outnumbered. However, I survived a white wash of 8 to 1 but falling out of combat with my last marine and moving back in to range of the objective, using objective secured to hold it. This meant that the final score was 5 to 5, with both of us holding an objective and line breaker, but my opponent having first blood and myself slay the Warlord.

The last stand.

We skipped through them 4 quite a bit as it was the last turn and realistically there was only one thing that was of any concern, the holding of my objective. If we had played this game out to 5 full turns i think in would have been facing a tabling. At the very least i would have ended up loosing 8 to 1. I learnt a lot this game about the force. My assault units worked very well, but i should not have split up the vanguard vets and the assault marines. Keeping them together would have meant being able to wipe out the guard on the right flank and then move towards the centre, on mass, rather than bit by bit. The same with the DC marines, although, using the correct stratagem at the correct time would also have helped! I'll refine the list and hopefully get another game in some time soon.

Friday, 9 February 2018

Eagle Knights Command squads

So, next on display are the remnants of what was the command squads in 7th. With the changes in 8th the squads have been some what splintered. There were two command squads, known  a within the Eagle Knights as the Serpent Squads and more precisely within the 3rd as squads Asturinus and Sipora.

First up are squad asturinus, which has suffered the most from the changes. The squad originally consider of a champion, Sanguinary Novitiate, and three vets, on of which had a standard. Now the squad only consists of two vets, both of which are now armed completely wrong. In 7th, you could take a storm shield as an extra, keeping your combat weapon and pistol, now however you have to choose 2 out of the three. My guys are models with shields and pistols drawn and power weapons slung by their packs. The ancient, named Nias, is also now armed wrong, as he has should and power maul, when he can't take a shield or even a second weapon. 

ancient Nias from squad Asturinus

So the solution? With Nias, nothing, I'll just play him as having a maul and leave the shield just to look cool, as his banner is on his pack and not in his hand like the official model. Personally i like the look of the model, so don't want to change it and i cant see any of my opponents having an issue with it either. The other two members are a little more difficult to decide. I could leave them as they are, using them as bolt pistols and storm shields, but they are not very effective that way. Pistols are not very scary and shield are generally best when used in combat. I could rip of the shield and replace it with a power weapon, but i have loads of units armed like that, and a unit of 2 won't add much. The third option is to rip off the pistols and stick a power weapon on, making them dedicated combat units, with a good attack and good defense and use them as support and counter charge units. 

The problematic storm shields.

It is the presence of the second command squad where the answer to my problems my lie. This squad, squad Sipora, are a unit of 3, having lost there Novitiate and champion, and are armed with power weapons and pistols, along with the jump packs. These guys are still very much codex compliant and could be left as they are, however, i am very tempted to strip off the three storm shield from the above models and put them on to these models, arming them with a power weapon and a storm shield, keeping with the combat focus of the jump pack units.

If i went down this route i would have to think about the other units and i think i would look at running the vets with combi weapons, probably flamers and run them in close support of my captain and lieutenant. The ancient would get a posed are from somewhere, and just have his maul. It's not a perfect solution as i quite like the way they are now and i don't really fancy messing around with all the models, plus this isn't really a competitive army. This is probably the most annoying thing about a new edition, the changes that occur to a unit warhead options. 

Tuesday, 6 February 2018

Eagle Knights characters

This is the first of the Eagle Knight characters. I know that some of these have been shown in the past but for the sake of completeness i have decided to show them again. 

The three medics of the company. In the center is the main man, Sanguinary Priest Bonelli, with his jump pack. On the right is Sanguinary Novitiate "not named yet", who likes to keep his feet on the ground and will usually be found within the company masters rhino. The other Sanguinary Novitiate, "not named yet either", has a minor problem, as technically he can no longer take a jump pack. It's not much of a problem, as for now I'll just run the index version but how long will i be able to do that?

Edit: i have been going through the codex again, as most of these posts have been scheduled in advance, and i now realise that the Sanguinary priest can't take a jump pack either now! That really puts a spanner in the works, as it means that i need a rethink about how I'm going to run both Sanguinary blokes. Do i just leave them and use the index costs for them or rip the jump packs off and run them on foot. I want at least 1 of them with a jump pack to keep up with the bulk of my troops, but i feel that if they are not a codex option then i should ditch the jump packs.

Next up are a couple of chaplains and a champion. The first Chaplain is my stand in Lemartes. Now, this goes against my main rule of not running named characters in my armies, as they are all successor chapters but i do like Lemartes, although he can also be run as a normal Chaplain. The only issue with that is he somewhat dwarfs the other Chaplain, even taking in to account the bigger base. 

So details of the two Chaplain's. Lemartes jump pack has been given a nice banner top to add even more presence to him and the other Chaplain has to make do with a lot more subtle changes, although I'm still impressed with my crozius arcanum, which i made myself. 

Having posted up this picture i realise that i haven't painted the chapter symbol on his shoulder pad, that's another item for the to do list!

The other shoulder pad is done luckily. Also, the pack is taken from a DV model, not sure which one but i liked the skulls. In terms of game play, I'm still not sure on what this guy is actually going to do, apart from hang around with one of the captains and a tactical squad, to offer some combat support. How effective are champions? No idea, but every force needs a champion right?

So while these are essentially finished apart from a few details, some of them may see some updates, namely the Sanguinary priest and Novitiate loosing there jump packs, but i will have to have a think about that. I have a feeling I'll just end up building a second Sanguinary priest with out a pack. 

Next up in the show case will be the remnants of what was the command squads.