Friday, 29 May 2015

AdMech and MT's

Well, AdMech if fully out, both Codex; Skitarii and Codex; Cult Mechanicus are out, along with all the models and I'm still not sold on them. They are both strong armies, Skitarii I think will be able to function on there own, Cult Mechanicus I'm less sure on as I haven't seen much in the way of skyfire. Either way, I'm not sold on them at all, although I'm looking at the new Electro-priests as possibilities to use as a Tech-Priest and Servitors, with some kit bashing, but more of that later. As for the rest of the models, I'm not sold on the look of either, something I've written about before. The abilities of both armies are good though and now most of the rules are known, I do not fancy facing either on the table top, although I do believe that they are both a bit of a glass hammer army.

As for the conversion of the Electro-priests, I'm considering converting one in a tech priest and one to a servo-arm for my AM army, and the other 3 as plasma cannon servitors for my Inquisition army. What I may end up doing though is just getting bits from Ebay or similar and kit bashing a couple of guardsmen, would save some money as I've got most of the bits. It'll be a while before I get around to doing anything about this though as my to do list is still pretty long.

First there is finishing off my guard infantry list, for which I have purchased a tin of Army Painter Quickshade, so I'll see how that goes. Next on the list is my Blood Angles army, the Eagle Knights. I have a paint scheme and an army list, just need to get it done. One item that may jump to the top of the list are my MT's. With Dreamforge releasing the new Command squad and the recent release of the Panzerjagers, both of which I want to complete my MT army. My plan is to get the pair of them when the command squad is released, get them sprayed up with the air brush and get them all on the table top together with my existing MT forces. I would like to get some of the new Anvil Industries Unity Council APC's, 4 to be precise, to make the Ground Assault formation, which will form a add on formation to any army. This will leave me with a few units, probably a command squad and 2 squads, which will be used as a separate CAD as deep striking support units.

The plan would be to arm up the formation with plasma and melta for the squads and volley guns for the command squad, with the Taurox Primes armed with opposite weapons, i.e. for the melta squad the Taurox would have a Gatling cannon. Troops pop the transport and the Gatling cannon takes care of the troops inside. The deep striking troops would be armed with just rifles, to drop in and act as support and sacrificial units if necessary.

Hopefully, it'll all come to fruition sooner rather then later, but well see.

Friday, 22 May 2015

A minor issue

Well, I've come across a minor issue with my IG forces. My Hjaltland LI, Hrossey Yeomanry and
 the Hildasay PDF and the rest of the Hamnavoe System were all named after real places. Not somewhere you would find on a map, well, not a modern map anyway but real places none the less. The names are not in current wide spread use, but are used a lot in the local area and even when not used they are well know. So how does this cause a problem?

Well, I originally went with the standard codex names, namely just called them Catachans, but as I developed my forces I wanted more of a personal back story and so I thought about names, settling on the names of several roman forts in the area where I live. However, I didn't live here at the time, as I had moved further north in to bonnie Scotland, as so naming my units after Roman forts in the NE of England was fine. It gave them a name and flavour, while keeping them all linked. When my family moved back to the NE, I decided to change the names, which was easy as I hadn't really put anything down on paper and hadn't started this blog. When I changed the name, I went straight to using a number of old place names from where we lived in Scotland, for the same reasons, it gave them some flavour and tied them all together. Now were moving back up, and my question is, what do I do? Do I just keep the names, or do I change them back?

Its a little harder to change the names now that I've created this blog and put pen to paper, and in many ways it wont make much difference to the armies. I suppose its more about me being a wimp and not wanting to get laughed at for having written all this stuff down, let a lone broadcast it to the world! Oh well, I enjoy it and I suppose that's all that really matters. Not that it solves the problem!

On a side note, the move may well help with my lack of games in recent months, as the games night would switch from Thursday nights to Sunday afternoons, combined with the fact that I wouldn't be working evening/nights anymore either. The only issue might be the winter indoor cricket season up there is also played on the Sunday afternoon, and I'll getting back in to that as well!

Friday, 15 May 2015

What's new?

In the world of 40k, things are moving a quite a pace and there have been quite a few developments over the last few weeks. There have been 2 new factions released, in the form of Skitarii and Cult Mechanicus, although both are really part of the Adeptus Mechanicus, plus we now have 3 new Knights, and 4 new Imperial Assassins, and then there is the new Craftworld; Eldar Codex.

In the days of old, we would have had to wait several months to get all of this lot, but these days, things are moving a little quicker. This is good, it means we don't have to wait all year to get some new models and updates, but its bad as codexii are being updated a lot more frequently. It also means that I struggle to keep up with everything that's going on, mostly as I don't always get masses of time to write, so I try to get a few posts sorted at a time, which doesn't really work with the pace of releases!

 I'll start with the new factions, The Skitarii and Cult Mechanicus are both mini codex type armies at the moment, although there seems to be a strong suggestion that they will be rolled in to a full Adeptus Mechanicus Codex at some future point. This makes sense, but we will see. I am not really a fan of the new units, although the two factions are different in appearance I don't like either. The Skitarii are just to robotic, especially the legs. Now I get that they are supposed to be enhanced humans with masses of techno implants, but I just cant get it. If I had the money and the inclination, I would try and graft a unit of Cadian legs to the bodies of the Skitarii, but alas I don't have the inclination or the money, so for the moment I will pass. As for the Cult Mechanicus, what can I say, proper 60's robots, namely Robbie the Robot from Forbidden Planet. Not a fan either way, I haven't seen the rules for them, but I defiantly don't like the ascetics.

Rules wise, the Skitarii and what's been leaked for the Cult Mechanicus, the are very powerful armis. I read a recent tournament report for a Skitarii with BA allies using a drop pod list and they placed second overall, in one game almost taking out 3 knights in one turn. They are not really a glass hammer like Quins, as they have shooting and combat units, plus with all the haywire and the rules for close combat they are going to be a very hard army to play. The same seems to apply to Cult Mechanicus units, which, if the rumours are accurate, then they will be very powerful with lots of ap3 shooting, but will be expensive. Personally, its just another couple of armies that I will struggle to fight against.

As for the Knights, what can I say, aesthetically they are pretty much the same as the previous two, so no big changes. The main extras are the top weapon, giving some skyfire or extra punch, and the introduction of a CC variant, the Gallant and a proper full on ranged variant, the Crusader. I like the Knights, I always have, and now that the Crusader is here, I am defiantly putting it on my wish list, as I can sit back and dakka stuff, always good. The addition of the extra knights gives the faction a full range of options, with battle cannons, Gatling cannons, and melta, along side a full on CC variant. I'm not sure how many you can get in a 2000pt list, at a guess probably 4, so you couldn't get all the variants in. But I think that it would be a mistake to take and all knight list anyway, personally, I would run a lot of guard, mostly as cannon fodder and screening units.

One release that has got me excited is the release of the new Assassin game. Although I wont be buying the game, I will be looking at the assassin models when they are released, specifically the anti psyker Culexus. I still plan on making my own Vindicar and possibly a Eversor. The actual game does look good, but I don't think I would really ever play it, and I don't think its worth buying just to get the new assassins, unless it turns out that you cant buy them without getting the game, but hopefully that wont happen. Hopefully, someone I know will buy the game and I can have a go.

Well, we are not at the big one, Codex Craftworld Eldar. This was a big one, and it seems that far from nerfing the Eldar, they just shifted things around a little. The serpent shield was nerfed to one use only, not my choice, I would have massively reduced the range, to about 12", which would have given the choice of firing the shield to destroy the enemy, but if you don't destroy the enemy it would leave you naked to retaliation. I would also have made it so that it would affect any unit within the arc that you fired it, not just enemy units, if that makes sense to everyone? Along side the obvious other nerfs, the main issues as the massive amount of D weapons that are now available to the Eldar, and as we all know D weapons are the spawn of the devil. Oh, and I forgot about all the scatter bikes as well. Well, D weapons are not to much of a problem for me, with all the inf that I run in my main guard list, D weapons are no more dangerous that many other weapons, against armour heavy lists it could be a major problem, but no more so than some of the Gravspam marine lists are. The scatter bikes are more of an issue, lots of fast moving high strength shots on fairly resilient and manoeuvrable platforms. If the points were reasonable or the amounts  limited then I would say that this was not a problem, but they are cheap and you can take a whole  host of them.

Having said all this my main issue with all the new codices is the way the detachments work, although this is less so with the BA codex. With both Eldar and Necron codices the overall detachment gets some buffs, yet each individual part of the detachment also gets buffs, such as the Guardian Host getting +1 WS or BS. It all adds up to a very powerful couple of armies. BA's didn't get this at all, although they did get some good stand alone formations, and many of the old codices, even the likes of the MT and IG ones, which were the first of the 7th ed codices are being left behind. Hopefully with the new release schedule and the talk of more campaigns there will be some updates to the older books. The next big one is the updated SM book, so I'll be waiting to see what happens to the FoC there!

Friday, 8 May 2015

Imperial guard forces

I found this while looking through old photos. Its a rather poor quality picture of all my IG forces laid out in rank and file. I'm not sure when this was taken, but it was about a year ago and there are some models missing and the force has changed a bit since then. At the time, I was planning on just one big army, with all the models lumped in together, but that has changed to form the 3 smaller armies, with separate styles. I'll try and get new photos of the new setup if I can, but it might be a while as everything's in boxes in preparation for moving house.
So what can be seen, well, I'll start with the easy stuff. Back right are my Russ', 1 old skool LRBT, 1 new LRBT and 1 new LR Demolisher. and on the left are a Chimera, which had been joined by 2 more, and two Chimera chassis, which are now Wyverns. Just in front of the Chimera's are my 3 sentinels, all with magnetised weapon options.
Across the middle of the table are all my infantry units, with the centre two and right hand ones being lead by PCS'. Each platoon is formed of 5 squads with PCS in front and 2 special weapon squads behind. At the back, the small clumps of men are my heavy weapon teams, loosely grouped in to 3 team units. At the very front are, from L to R, Priests and Pyskers, with Commissars slightly behind, my main command squad in the centre with the 9 Ratlings on the right. Off to the left is a lone figure, that is the main man Marbo. The three squads off to the left, in front of the Sentinels', are the three vet units.
With this setup, I could run a full FoC, with units in every slot. Granted it was pushing it slightly, running 3 Sentinels for the 3 FA slots, but I could do it. I have a few extra units these days, namely my Hellhound, Vendetta and Valkyrie. So technically, I have to many options as I have one FA choice over. I would like to get some pictures of the new setup sometime, but like I said were in the middle of trying to move and so a lot of items are boxed in the loft, ready to go.

Its funny to see all the models laid out but I does make me think, I defiantly have far to many models!

Friday, 1 May 2015

KotN Thoughts and lessons learned

Well, all is said and done, and I've had time to think and reflect on the weekend that was Kings of the North 2015. So, what have I learned from the weekend? A lot as it happens, something's I thought that I knew turned out not to be as accurate as I thought.

So what was the most important lesson? Play the mission. That's the most important lesson. it cost me at least one game, or at least cost me a few points towards the tournament total. So how to play the mission? With there being 3 missions, primary, secondary and tertiary, its important to identify what's achievable and what's not. If you can't complete the primary, don't. Same for secondary or even tertiary. Alternatively, if you think you can get one but not the others, then go all out for that, at least it will get you some points. It's a lesson I learned early and put to good use on the second day, and it worked a treat. Continuing on from this point is another one, don't give up. Just because things are going badly after turn 2, don't just quit, keep going and focus on one aspect or another as I mention above. If the Maelstrom cards don't come out right, concentrate on the primary or the tertiary missions, but don't just quit, that's giving away all the points for nothing and every point can cunt in the end.

Another point is to play with your army before the tournament. I didn't and it was a steep learning curve at the beginning. This was compounded by the fact that I was using units I have never played with, only read about, played against or just theoryhammered. In the end it worked out alright and I got use to the units quickly or my theory proved to be pretty accurate, mostly because I based it on known sound theory in the first place. It did however cost me a little in the first place, as not knowing where the best place to deep strike units, etc cost me a few units before they managed to do anything.

And this leads me on to my next point, know the rules. This can be taken three ways. Know the Main rules, your codex rules and the tournament rules. I know most of the relevant main rules, and I checked out some of the ones I didn't know before the tournament, so I was as good as could be there. As for codex rules, I was a little rusty. My guard codex I know back to front, even if I kept forgetting my orders in one game, and the Scions codex I'm pretty good on, mostly cos lots of it comes from the Guard one, but the BA one I'm not so good on. I kept forgetting that sanguinary priests come with FNP, which could have saved me a couple of guys over the tournament, and I kept forgetting how many attacks units had. Something I will need to work on if I'm going to start using BA regularly. The third part is probably he most important part, know the tournament rules. One that passed me by until it was too late was that only two Maelstrom cards could be claimed a turn, at least three times my opponent claimed all three cards, twice in one game, and this may have made a bit of a difference. Maybe, maybe not, but it highlights why knowing the rules is important. This tournament had very few additional rules or alterations to rules, so it should have been easy, but I still missed some of them.

Going back to the previous point, knowing your army, knowing your game plan is also important. Knowing what your going to do and how you are planning on achieving your objectives. This doesn't mean you keep to your plan whatever happens, you have to be flexible, but you still need an overall game plan. I had one and in most cases it worked, but I was a little too inflexible with it, and it showed in one of my games. In my game against the Tau I still kept a lot of my army in reserve despite all the interceptor, I should have put much more of it on the table at the beginning of the turn and I could have tried for some turn 1 assaults. This may have made a difference, as I may have managed to destroy some units rather than being decimated on my reserve roll. So have a plan, but be prepared to change it. This leads me to my next point, which is probably quite personal, don't get down about playing Tau. I think I need to rethink my attack plans when facing Tau, try and break my loosing streak.

The next question is, is Forge World necessary? Most people were running at least one FW unit and at the top, there were multiply FW units. So is FW necessary to win? Personally, I'll be staying away from FW units for the while, although I have got my eye on a Vulture.

The most important thing about tournaments is to have fun, if your getting stressed or uptight, its time to take a break and relax.

On a final note, there was some discrepancy between the scores. In the final results I came 16th, but going back through the scores, I noticed that there were some errors, which would place me 20th out of 22, not so good. Why the discrepancy? Well, its all down to painting scores. In the final results I was give the full 20pts for a fully painted and based army, which I didn't have, as all my BA models were unpainted and the rest of my army was unbased. This made quite a difference to the overall results, however, if you go on just the game scores for everyone, I would still place 16th. So I'm happy to leave things as they are, or is that very unsporting of me? This does bring up the point that I've often thought, painting scores are cheap points. At most tournaments, everyone brings fully painted armies, so its not much of a problem, but for the few of us who are unable to, for what ever reason, are unfairly penalised. I have always thought that painting scores should be counted separately and separate prizes given out. Would change my mind if it meant that I would place higher in a tournament one day? No, as tournaments are about the games and who's the best player, not who's the best painter, that's what Golden Daemons are for.