Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Summer Holidays

Well, the Summer is finally here (if you're in the Southern Hemisphere that is) and holidays beckon.  So I'm taking my annual break from blogging until the New Year; just like I have in previous years.  Don't worry -- I will return with new postings in the New Year.  I'd just like to say a heartfelt "Thanks" to all the good folks who have commented on my blog this year -- your input makes a world of difference.

Best wishes for the festive season from Warpstone Flux.

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Winner of the December 2010 Army List Challenge

The winner of the December 2010 Army List Challenge is ... DimmyK!

Congratulations mate -- the Tau Empire hunter cadre army list was excellent.

Although, it has to be said that the voting was incredibly close.  Thanks to all the entrants -- there were plenty of cool lists in there.  I was personally torn how to cast my vote.

Until next time, good hunting!

Monday, December 20, 2010

1000 points of Daemons

So, I'm considering entering a 1000 point tournament just after New Year and was weighing up whether to take my Death Guard forces, or my Mixed Daemon forces.  I eventually thought that Mixed Daemons would be plenty of fun to play with on the basis that I suspect not many local folks have faced such a force before.  The tournament is not a pure win/lose affair -- there are "soft" points to be earned for force construction, being a good competitor, and painting (etc).  So, does anyone have any suggestions what a 1000 points daemon army should contain?  There are some restrictions though: only 1 HQ and must have more troops than other force organization slots (total) and less than 300 points in FA, HS or Elites (each).  Here's my initial list:

Herald of Tzeentch, Chariot, Bolt (95 points)
Herald of Khorne, Jugger, Might (120 points)
Daemon Prince, Mark of Tzeentch, Bolt (140 points)
10 Bloodletters (160 points)
7 Plaguebearers, instrument (110 points)

...from there, maybe the soul grinder (yeah, I know, its the only armoured thing) and some horrors for extra fire support.  Perhaps some fiends or bloodcrushers (perhaps even dropping the Khorne Herald?) for extra combat support.  Opinions anyone?

Sunday, December 19, 2010

Hot Orange Horror

Another day, another horror of Tzeentch in a variant colour scheme.  This chap is a bright combination of reds, oranges and slightly yellow highlights, with some blue eyes and accessories to match. 

He was largely painted in a dry brush method.  The only novel thing I decided to do was combine some dheneb stone colour to the yellow and orange to help with the better coating him and to subdue the sunburst yellow somewhat.  This has largely worked well I think.

The base is one of my pre-prepared and painted resin bases. Not quite sure what colour the next horror will be painted in.  I'm leaning towards purple!

Friday, December 17, 2010

Tertiary Missions and Sub-Plots

Whether they're used as bonus points, or neat additions to the narrative campaign, tertiary mission objectives can be used to add flavour to a battle.

Below is a selection of some of the Flux Battle Tertiary Objectives that I'm in the middle of writing up.  Comments welcome.

Capture the flag.
Imagine what glory you will receive if you take the enemy standard.  Imagine how humiliated the enemy will be at their standard being captured!

Set-up: After viewing the opponent’s miniatures, secretly note down which miniature has the most impressive looking flag, icon or standard.  If no enemy miniatures are holding a flag, discard this objective.

Success: If you kill (not rout!) the miniature holding the designated standard, you succeed.

Close combat promotion.
In order to get promoted, Private Xenon must prove her close combat ability on the field of battle. 

Set-up: Choose one miniature armed with a close combat weapon that isn’t special (i.e. is not a squad sergeant, just a regular troops) and secretly note down which miniature this is.  The miniature should preferably have some distinguishing feature from her companions. Keep a tally of what kills this miniature has made in close combat over the course of the game.

Success: To succeed, this miniature must kill in close combat more points value worth of enemy than they cost.  Shooting doesn’t count: it must be in melee!

Marksmanship promotion.
In order to get promoted, Private Wednesday must prove his marksmanship on the field of battle. 

Set-up: Choose one miniature in your army armed with a ranged weapon that isn’t special (i.e. is not a squad sergeant, just a regular troops) and secretly note down which miniature this is.  The miniature should preferably have some distinguishing feature from her companions. Keep a tally of what kills this miniature has made over the course of the game.

Success: To succeed, this miniature must shoot more points value worth of enemy than they cost.  Close combat doesn’t count: it must be by ranged shooting!

Squad Gamma hasn’t been feeling well of late.  Your medical advisor has told you that they should be kept quarantined for at least 2 weeks to avoid spreading germs.  But you need them on the battlefield today, even if they are contagious.

Set-up: Reveal this objective to your opponent and then choose one of your squads.  The squad must number 6 or more individuals in total.  Otherwise, choose a high-ranking army official (e.g. the most expensive character).

Success: If you manage to keep this squad at least 6 inches away from any other miniature in your army for the entire battle, you succeed.  Your opponent should check this fact every game turn.

Treasure trove.
Somewhere on the battlefield is buried treasure that only Corporal Kane knows the location of.  It wouldn’t hurt the war effort to be a bit richer would it?

Set-up: Secretly write down the location of the treasure.  It should be designated in an easy to locate fashion such as the centre of a particular terrain feature.  Then, secretly select a unit from your forces. 

Success: The chosen unit must spend an entire turn inactive (they’re occupied with digging and metal-detecting) at the specified location to succeed.

Thursday, December 16, 2010

Secondary Missions

As part of my development of the Flux Battle Objectives, I wanted to create some mission objectives beyond the primary ones.  These can help determine the winner if the primary ones do not, or can be used as added points in a larger campaign or tournament, as tastes dictate.

Here's a small sampling of the secondary mission objectives that have been developed thus far.

Demolition job.
The holographic transmission centre is one of only two locations capable of broadcasting information and propaganda across the entire surface of the planet almost instantaneously.  Given you control the other location, taking it out will mean that you control the sole location on the planet capable of planet-wide broadcast.  Sadly, the centre is under enemy control.

Set-up: Reveal this objective to your opponent.  Place a building inside the enemies deployment zone – this is the holographic transmission centre.  The enemy may place the remainder of all terrain features.  They must be a minimum of 3 inches away from the centre.

Success: Treat the building as a vehicle for the duration of the game (AV=12).  If the building is wrecked, you gain half points.  A destroyed building results in full points. 

Head of the serpent.
A very high ranking commanding officer of the opposing army is taking to the field herself this time.  This is a golden opportunity.  Take the head of the serpent off and it should throw the enemy in to disarray for long enough to disrupt their war effort significantly.

Set-up: Note down which enemy model is the highest ranked officer (if there are two equally ranked officers, choose the model costing the highest points value, or the model wearing the most black, etc.).

Success: If this model is killed, the mission is a success (NB: routing this model off the board results in a mission failure – they must be slain).

King of the hill.
The highest point on this battlefield is also the highest point for kilometers around.  Capturing it will give you terrific lines of sight and make it incredibly tough for the enemy to launch attacks against your positions.

Set-up: Secretly note down which terrain feature is the highest.  If there is more than one tied for height, decide which one it is.

Success: You succeed if you manage to control this highest building (i.e. no enemy models within 3 inches of the building and one of your scoring units inside it).

Some of them must live to tell the tale of how deadly brilliant we are.  Their stories will scare their other comrades in to submission without us even having to lift a finger.

Set-up: This objective can only be achieved if some of your opponent’s models are able to rout (i.e. they’re not fearless, or they’re not trees rooted to the ground).  If all of your opponent’s army is fearless (or firmly rooted trees), then this objective must be discarded.

Success: If you rout at least one enemy model off the board, the objective is met.

Suppress their fire support.
The relative success of the enemy is in large part due to their mechanized detachments.  The tanks and walkers have done incredible damage to our war effort.  If we have the chance, we should take down their main vehicles.

Set-up: After reviewing your opponent’s army list, choose the three most expensive vehicles and note them down secretly.  If your opponent features large monsters instead of vehicles, select the three most fearsome creatures.

Success: If the three designated vehicles are immobilized or better, you succeed.  In the case of monsters, they must be killed outright.

Technology transfer.
The engineering guild has sent a communication to your army: they’re highly interested in a particular weapon that intelligence has seen the enemy use.  Perhaps it is due to a subtle upgrade of a standard weapon, new software, or it is simply a brand new weapon of unknown origin.  Whatever it is, the engineers have made it clear that their future funding of your war effort depends on you returning the technology to their laboratories.

Set-up: After reviewing your opponent’s army list, secretly note down the heaviest, most unique (appearance wise and / or frequency wise) and most deadly looking weapon that your opponent has.  In Warhammer 40,000 games, this should be chosen from the Heavy Support section of the force organization chart (if possible). 

Success: This mission is successful if you remove the model carrying the heavy weapon.  If the weapon is mounted on a vehicle, then the vehicle must be immobilized or wrecked to achieve success.  Vaporizing the vehicle on which it is mounted results in failure, as the engineers want the technology intact!

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Poll Open for the December 2010 Army List Challenge

This month, there are 5 entries to the army list challenge.  The challenge was to design a themed 1500 point army list that on the surface looked quite weak, but in reality could pack a decent punch in order to lull the enemy forces in to a trap.

A poll has been set up to vote for which list Warpstone Flux readers consider to be the most effective army list that also best articulates the theme (whatever you interpret that to mean).  So, have a browse through the lists (below) and vote for the winner.

This is something I've decided to work on as a small army at 1500 points. a total of 19 figures and tanks to be exact.

Lord Shaper (Death Wing)
I've been putting together a Deathwing force after the constant viewing of Ron's over at From the Warp.

Belial - LC - 130
Interrogator-Chaplain Terminator Armour SB - 145

Deathwing Terminators CML 5x TH/SS - 235
Deathwing Terminators 3x SB 4x PF and 1 AC. Sarge has PW/SB - 245
Deathwing Terminators 3x SB 2x PF and 1 AC. Sarge has PW/SB 1x LC - 245

Heavy Support
Land Raider - 250
Land Raider Crusader - 250

Total being 1500
This has potential but only as long as I can hold an objective and fight off the hordes.
I haven't tested it yet but it should be fun!

Suneokun (Tyranids)
Spawning Ambush!

***Imperial High Command CODE GAMMA***
We have a confirmed report that a Tervigon nest has been located in sector 3, dispatch an assault force for locate and destroy.
He sees all.
The bait, based in the centre of the board in a bunker, the Tervigon effectively hides and spawns for all its worth. With little Line of sight, Regen and catalyst it's survival chances are good:

1 Tervigon with regeneration and catalyst @ 205pts
The Ambushers, these boys are all designed to either hits from the flanks or deep strike, after some playing around, I decided against monstrous creatures - after all the MC's the bait:

Parasite of Mortrex 160pts
13 Genestealers with Toxin Sacs 221pts
13 Genestealers with Toxin Sacs 221pts
13 Genestealers with Toxin Sacs 221pts

30 UberGargs (toxin sac and Adrenal Gland Gargoyles)240pts
30 UberGargs @ 240pts

Simple, but not wildly effective. These ambushers are designed to swarm the enemy very very quickly indeed. The Gargoyle units either arrive together, under the aegis of the Parasite or if the 'dumb' unit arrives first, they deepstrike in support of the Tervigon.

The Gargoyles can lay out a whopping 32.5 wounds on T4 opponents and then the Parasite rolls in with his S6 rending hits and ripper making.

The toxin sacs enable the Genestealers a reroll on their to wound on T4 and below models ... giving them double the chance of rolling a 6 to rend. They flank for maximum impact, their number selected for maximum damage taking without a leadership test.

On the charge they 'could' land 26 hits, rolling an average of 8 rends against T4 opponents.
The weakness ... well tanks obviously. I could use the parasite and genestealers and hope for a rend ... but it's not good.

But it would look, well - awesome!

d6 (Dark Eldar)

Deploy the serpent, reavers and a squad of kabalites. Move the reavers around in front of them hugging cover and their turbo speed screens. slowly move back your reavers as the enemy advances then WHAM! use low orbit raid and use all of your really expensive heavy weaponry. After only some hardcore tanks are left disembark your kabalites and use the vehicles shock prow to send them to the ground.

Duke Sliscus The Serpent…………………………………………….150

5 incubi……………………………………………………………………....195 Raider w/ flickerfield, Shock Prow, Torment grenade launchers, Enhanced athersails & Chain snares.

10 Kabalite warriors…………………………………………………...210
1 blaster & a splinter cannon. Raider w/ flickerfield, Shock Prow, Torment grenade launchers, Enhanced athersails & Chain snares.
10 Kabalite Warriors…………………………………………………..215
1 shredder & a dark lance. Raider w/ flickerfield, Shock Prow, Torment grenade launchers, Enhanced athersails & Chain snares.
10 kabalite warriors……………………………………………………210 blaster & splinter cannon. Raider w/ flickerfield, Shock Prow, Torment grenade launchers, Enhanced athersails & Chain snares.

Fast Attack
5 reavers…………………………………………………………...……….142 Heat lance, Arena Champion
5 Scourges……………………………………………………………...…..152 Heat lance, Blaster. Solarite w/ venom blade

Heavy support
Ravager……………………………………………...……………………...130 1 Disintegrator cannon, Night shields, Flickerfield & Enhanced athersails

total: 1,404

DimmyK (Tau)
Tau hunter cadre

Transmission begins
"Engaging some of those enemy stealth hints sir!"
"They've destroyed our transport sir!"
"Attack em boys..."
Ten seconds later...
"they're all around us sir! What shall we do? They appeared from nowhere honestly!"
Last transmission from sgt peters

Shas'o with bodyguard team, shas'o with cyclic ion blaster plasma rifle shield generator, crisis suits fire knife configuration with multi-trackers 244 pts

stealth team with fusion blaster, marker light drone 112pts
Crisis team, fire knife config with multi trackers exept team leader with fusion gun, flamer and target lock 165pts

6 fire warriors 60pts
10 Kroot 2 hounds 82 pts
10 Kroot 2 hounds 82 pts

Fast attack
3 vespids with strain leader 70pts
Piranha burst cannon 60pts
Pathfinders 6 two with rail rifles with devilfish 158 pts

Heavy support
2 broadsides 140 pts
Ion head with smart missiles 125pts
Hammerhead with smart missiles 170pts

1468 pts- so there's room for tailoring

How I see it is the stealth suits infiltrating (possibly with kroot), fire base set up at the back (hammerheads and broadsides) and also set up pathfinders in their fish in place with good line of sight-more on that later. A space marine column coming in or any other army of course, transports are quickly shot down so they try to footslog it into assault with the closest target (stealth suits) and then everything pounces on them from all sides- outflanking deep striking etc... This is where the pathfinders come in. They not only markerlighht but also reroll deep strikes that are in their line of sight, something I haven't seen anyone do yet. Now some of you are probably wondering at the vespids, but to pop in and kill a few marines, ESP devastators/long fangs their gr8, strike where the enemy is least expecting!

schuelerliu (Imperial Guard)

(1) CCS (150pts)
HW Team(AC), 2xSniper, Astropath,Master of Ordnance, Camo Cloak

(2) Infantry Platoon (180pts)
PCS w/ 4xFlamer, BoltPistol (point filler)
2xInfantry Squad w/ HW Team(AC) & GL
(3) Veteran Squad (155pts)
3xMelta, Chimera (ML & HF)
(4) Veteran Squad (155pts)
3xMelta, Chimera (ML & HF)

That was the sitting duck part of my IG Company. The CCS / Infantry Platoon is just hiding on the objective and putting down fire on the enemy. The PCS is there for some close combat / counter assault capability.

The Veteran squads keep back a bit and waits for the "fish" to come for the bait.

(5) Storm Trooper Squad (179pts)
Sgt w/ PW + 8xStormies w/ 2xMelta
(6) Storm Trooper Squad (179pts)
Sgt w/ PW + 8xStormies w/ 2xMelta

Fast Attack:
(7) Scout Sentinel Squadron (120pts)
(8) Scout Sentinel Squadron (120pts)
(9) Vendetta Gunship Squadron (260pts)
2xVendetta w/ TL LasCannon

Total: 1,500pts

These units stay in reserve or can use their scout move the come into position. While the Veteran Squads are the "Welcome Commitee" for this party and give the right "Melta Accommodation". The Stormies (...I just love the models and the HE laserguns), Vendettas and Sentinels are responsible for the BBQ.

While this list is quite low on tanks and the CCS+Platoon is going to stay static, the rest of the force is quite mobile and will hit quite hard when they go into combat. I guess it isn't much fun anymore to come into range of 11xAC/ML, 10xMeltas, 4xFlamer and some decent small arms fire by 61 reckless soldiers.

Monday, December 13, 2010

Apocalypse Homebrew: Blood Icon

The Blood Icon of Khorne is an upgraded regular chaos icon.  Its effects are the same as a collar of Khorne, as well as extra melee attacks and furious charge.

Sunday, December 12, 2010

Battle Frame 5000

Back 2 Basix, an Australian based company, has just released the battle frame 5000 range for sale through their web site.

Basically, it is a set of magnetically connecting board segments, each 1sq ft and 33mm high.  They can be assembled in a modular sense and the expansions enable multiple height levels to be created (i.e. mountains and valleys).  It rivals the citadel realms of battle boards, but it comes "naked" -- meaning you will have to dress the surfaces of the battle frames to create a board.  In terms of playability, it looks ideal for a cities of death board that could be endlessly re-arranged.

A video of the system is available on You Tube for viewing and evaluation.  What do other people think?  I am a little bit tempted to be honest!

Dec 2010 Army List Challenge Still Open

There's still time to submit an entry to this month's army list challenge.
Can you beat Lord Shaper's Death Wing army list?
Or Suneokun's spawning ambush tyranids?

Saturday, December 11, 2010

Mini-Manufactorum Painted

In painting my mini-manufactorum, I wanted to go for a colour-set that satisfied a number of criteria.  Firstly, I wanted something that was at least two toned.  Secondly, I wanted a manufactorum that was worn.  And finally, one that looked like it had sustained significant damage from both war and fire.

I achieved my first goal by painting the main segments of the building in purple, with the supporting beams in brown and the raised metallic areas drybrushed with boltgun metal.  Following these base colours, a good wash of black was applied (unevenly) across the entire structure.  Highlighting consisted of applying dheneb stone in a hap-hazard drybrush everywhere.  This created the worn appearance that I wanted.

To make the building look more like it has seem some war-time action, I wanted to create a few burnt looking locales.  To achieve this, I dappled chaos black in select areas of the building such as above the window on the left hand side of the image, and around the edges of the upper platform. 

I like the overall tone that this building sets and am pleased with the outcome here.  
(Also in the image: Sons of Malice terminators).

Friday, December 10, 2010

How Many Furies of Chaos do you play?

For me, the short answer is zero at the moment.

I don't like to disillusion those players who like to field them, but Furies of Chaos are worse than many (probably all) other choices in the daemons codex.  For the same price as (e.g.) a Flesh Hound of Khorne, we get one less WS point, one less I point, and jump infantry instead of being beasts.  Furies used to be cool in the 3rd edition chaos space marine codex.  But here in the chaos daemons codex: don't play them unless you want to be fluffy.  And since building a non-aligned chaos daemons army is near impossible, I don't think we'll be seeing Furies of Chaos on the table top in high end competitions.

So, my question is does anyone have experience using them, and like them?  I certainly used to, but I just can't bring myself to field them recently.  I strongly prefer to invest points in screamers (which are also fast, slightly more durable and pose significant problems to tanks!).

Thursday, December 9, 2010

Statistics: How Many Screamers of Tzeentch?

Screamers of Tzeentch are rightly thought of as flying melta bombs.  Hence the role that I have for screamers in my daemons army is to target enemy tanks, zoom quickly toward them and blow them in to scrap metal.  I don't intend for the screamers to survive this attempt in general for two reasons: they readily die to small arms fire, and even if they get to complete their task successfully, my experience is that they get caught up in the subsequent explosion of the tank they've just busted!  Hence they're something of a glass hammer in the same way that the flamers of Tzeentch are.

Tank Busting.
Let's suppose that they fly in to contact with a target vehicle.  They then use their warp jaws to plant a melta bomb.  In the case of a stationary vehicle, each screamer will plant one melta each.  For a moving vehicle, 2 screamers will be needed to statistically guarantee one melta bomb being planted.  And for a flat out vehicle, six will be needed.

For many vehicles, even a single melta bomb means a lot of trouble.  This is especially true for rear armour = 10 or 11 tanks like rhinos and similar.  I typically need about three successful meltas being planted to ensure a reasonably good chance of wrecking vehicles like rhinos (or better).  Hence, that's 3 screamers for stationary vehicles, or six for moving vehicles.  I won't even bother thinking about flat out vehicles from here on in as I reckon that would be a desperation move to try to target them with screamers.

Now let's add in a bit of jeopardy.  Consider 10 standard bolter shots coming in at the screamers, fired by BS=4 troops (i.e. space marines).  Of them, 6.67 hit, and 3.33 wound.  Half will be saved, resulting in 1.67 unsaved wounds.  Hence if the screamers are going to be taking incoming fire, we need to add and extra one or two to the squad to compensate.

Overall, I'd therefore suggest about 5 screamers for targeting stationary rhino-like vehicles, and about 7 or 8 for moving rhino-like vehicles.  Land raiders and necron monoliths are a different matter entirely!  I'd probably suggest up to doubling the number of recommended screamers for taking down land raiders.  But with the price for each screamer being somewhat above the average ork, I think the daemons player should think about alternative methods to down land raiders (e.g. through Heralds of Tzeentch, soul grinders, or greater daemons).

In the unlikely scenario the screamers survive, I will then use them to swoop in on objectives (depending on the game) to contest them.  Clearly this is a late turn gambit as they will readily fall to moderate close combat squads.  I recall a game against some Guard in a tournament some two years ago where Ogryns shot them up and ripped them to bits in the mid-game.  It wasn't pretty!

Tuesday, December 7, 2010

Statistics: How Many Flesh Hounds of Khorne?

Flesh hounds of Khorne are typically used to rapidly hunt down opposing troops.  They're not vehicle killers and they're not monstrous creature slayers if we're being honest.  But they could do both of these roles (e.g. rhino killing) if other daemon troops have already been wiped away and one is desperate.  But there should be superior daemons choices for either of these roles.  I regard their primary role as to engage opposing units rapidly, and tie them up.  Hopefully they might score a few wounds as well.  But how many should be used?

Against Space Marines.
Let's put some flesh hounds up against space marines and see how they perform.  An experienced daemons player should be able to take advantage of the flesh hounds and ensure that they take few (zero?) shots on their way in to combat and that they get the all-important charge in.

If they get the charge in, then they will strike first due to the furious charge special rule.  They will get three attacks each, hitting on 4+, wounding on 3+ and killing when the marines fail their 3+ armour save.  Hence each flesh hound will cause a statistical average of 0.33 wounds on the charge.  Therefore three flesh hounds will be required to take down a space marine.  

At this point, we can see that we're going to need a lot of flesh hounds to take care of the space marines, even with Karanak coming along to help.  At 15 points each, I think that the points spent on flesh hounds will only tie up opponents rather than deliver a killing blow.  I therefore think the points would be better spent elsewhere, unless you're playing a mono-Khorne army.  And even in a mono-Khorne army, I think I'd only have a unit of flesh hounds in it for their speed to tie opposing units up.  And their fluffiness.  They're simply not that good in my opinion otherwise!  (Sorry to sound so negative!)

Monday, December 6, 2010

Reminder: December 2010 Army List Challenge

Just a brief reminder that the December 2010 Army List Challenge is still open for entries.
Can you design a weak and pitiful looking army list that is actually a big winner?

Mighty Empires: Swamp Tile

The swamp tile is one of the more unique and unusual tiles contained in the Mighty Empires expansion. It features multiple (flat) small puddle areas combined with low-rise texture. For this tile, I used a combination of greens and browns to suggest a soggy, peat laden area with some green bits possibly floating on sub-surface water. The blue puddles are probably a little more vibrant blue than I was originally gunning for, but I can live with that. The highlight of this tile for me is the blending of the greens and browns which I think contribute greatly to the overall vibe of the tile.

Saturday, December 4, 2010

Daemons Army on Red Planet Drop Zone

On a long forgotten red planet, my daemons army comes forth, ready to unleash ruination on the survivors of the drop pods...

Friday, December 3, 2010

Representing the Changeling

A question for those of you have played against daemons recently, or who play with them.  If you've seen the Changeling on the tabletop (a pink horror upgrade / minor character), has it been represented with the Games Workshop model or something else?

My readers will know that I like to use a variety of models to represent the Changeling myself, as evidenced in my earlier discussion on the Glamour of Tzeentch and pictured in my Mixed Daemons army group photo.  The photo above pictures a warhammer fantasy chaos champion in bone armour in the guise of the Changeling -- he's probably my favourite model to represent the Changeling.

Should I bother upgrading to the "official" model?  Would using my bone armour chaos champion be frowned upon in competitive tournaments now?

Thursday, December 2, 2010

Painted Quantum Gothic Comm Dish

 This is my painted version of the Quantum Gothic comm dish

The dish has been undercoated in black and then highlighted in a variety of pseudo-rusty co lours that included oranges, reds, and what I initially thought of as an odd combination of blue and green.  This gives the strong suggestion of an aging piece of kit that has seen many years of service and may yet still be usable!  It makes a grand piece of (gothic) scenery for an objective, or simply to place in the upper levels of some ruined manufactorum.

The inset shot show the image of the rear of the comm dish where the power supply is located.  To me, it looked very much like a plasma power supply -- the coils immediately evoked a comparison to plasma weapons in Warhammer 40,000 for me.  Hence I painted it as such using an electric blue highlight over an inked blue base coat.  This power supply is very much alive and ready to go.

The only question for the protagonists on the table-top is whether the dish will still function due to its age?  I could imagine a whole scenario constructed around this scenery piece.  

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

December 2010 Army List Challenge

It's back after an absence of several months: the Warpstone Flux Army List Challenge!
Can you create an effective and well-themed army list to take on the challenge?

You need to lull the enemy in to a trap! To do so, you deploy a strike team that looks like it is weak and pitiful.  In reality, your force is actually quite strong due to the cleaver tactics / deployment / reckless good looks that you intend to employ, but the enemy commander needs to assume that they will easily overcome it.

The army list challenge is to design a themed 1500 points army list that appears weak, but in reality can take on the enemy force and stand a good chance to win.

(1) Design a 1500 points army list from any codex to take on this mission.
(2) Post your army lists as a comment to this posting and suggest why they're well suited to this mission. 
(3) Entries close at 01:00 GMT on December 14th. 
(4) On that same day, I'll open a poll for Warpstone Flux readers to judge which army list they consider to be the "most effective army list that also best articulates the theme" (whatever readers interpret that to mean) out of all entrants.
(5) Winner will be tallied and announced on December 21st (and entered in to the hall of fame!).
(6) One entry per person please.

Remember that there are no prizes for these contests, beyond kudos, honour and entry in to the hall of fame.
Good Luck!

Monday, November 29, 2010

Wargames Gallery: Ork Crunch

Before anyone points it out: I know that the only painted element of this picture are my plastic horrors of Tzeentch. But I like the artistic merit of this shot -- the colour of my horrors really juxtaposes well against the otherwise bland background.
The orks are, frankly, crunching my Tzeentch horrors who were happily hanging out in a crater and (almost) minding their own business... it's not going well for me in this game.

Saturday, November 27, 2010

Reaper Autocannons: Much maligned but still used?

The reaper autocannon is the chaos space marine terminator's equivalent of the assault cannon.

The press that the reaper autocannon gets seems to be moderately negative.  It isn't hard to see why when a quick comparison is made.  For 25 points, the reaper autocannon gives the chaos player 2 twin linked AP4, S7 shots.  In comparison, the assault cannon costs 30 points and gives 4 S6, AP4 rending shots.  The main differences are the amount of shots (double for the imperials), the accuracy of the shots (twin linked for chaos), the range of the shots (12 inches further for chaos) and the rending (for the imperials).  For 5 points more, I think I'd be tempted to ditch the twin linked and the range in favour of the rending and sheer amount of shots. 

Even still, the reaper autocannon can still be an excellent choice for the chaos terminator player.  With its increased range and twin linked statistic, it can readily pose a threat for almost any light tank sat on the board from a reasonably back position.  If taken in a combi-termicide melta squad, it can readily back up the melta shots with a pair of its own that are much more likely to hit.  Although the tank may not get as much chance of being blown to smithereens in comparison the melta hits, it is probably still worthwhile overall.  Indeed, I've been toying around with the addition of a reaper autocannon in a squad of 3 other combi-melta termicide squad and have had reasonable success with it.  The other benefit is the amount of attention that the reaper autocannon gets -- it tends to be a real fire magnet for opposition forces to try to take out.

The image above is of a chaos reaper autocannon terminator that I plan to paint up in Sons of Malice colours.  The head is a swap for a plastic chaos warriors skull helmet, but otherwise no conversion work has taken place.  The base has had multiple bits from the warhammer 40k basing kit applied to give it an urban wreck feel.

Friday, November 26, 2010

Masque of Slaanesh Evaluation

We turn today to the Masque of Slaanesh. She (He?) has a moderate points value and can shoot her pavane of Slaanesh up to three times (at different targets) every turn. Is she worth while though?

My personal opinion is that she is let down by the lack of the independent character special rule. This means that she will be out in the open and on her own. Or at best, cowering behind a squad of daemonettes for a cover save. She's as fragile as regular daemonettes (in toughness terms) and will die very quickly to massed bolter fire. Her bonuses (Musk, Instrument, and Aura) and not really worth while to make her truly noteworthy. Aura of acquiescence comes as standard on daemonettes. Instruments of chaos are not worthwhile equipped on daemonettes (see here). And the soporific musk (hit and run) is solid for her, but not brilliant.

My opinion is similar to the Blue Scribes: a well built Chariot of Slaanesh will be better the majority of the time. A Slaaneshi chariot with unholy might and soporific musk is cheaper than the Masque and much more survivable (toughness = 4; plus 5 wounds!). Take the Masque for fluffy reasons, but don't take her to serious tournament play methinks.  Build a chariot and go hunting select targets instead.

Thursday, November 25, 2010

Blue Scribes Evaluation

To be fair, I haven't seen many people play the Blue Scribes. I've only ever fielded him once myself. And that was only to see how he worked, rather than to present any cool conversion I had. Granted that the official miniature for the Blue Scribes doesn't exist yet, fielding him in a tournament will require conversion work not too dissimilar to how I created my Tzeentch herald on a disk. That's a reasonably non-negligible amount of work to put in! So are the Blue Scribes worth while?

For a comparatively low points cost, the daemons player gets most of the good spells in the codex mounted on a multiple wound jump infantry model coupled with Master of Sorcery (can use one additional ranged weapon) and We Are Legion (can fire different weapons at multiple targets) at the price of the "Watch This!" special rule. Half the time, the second ranged weapon will be the same as the first due to the scribes' squabbles. The other half of the time, the player gets to decide.

In low points games (say under 1000 points), the Blue Scribes can be a fluffy and terrific choice. However, I think for tournaments and higher points games (certainly up to 2000 points), I would personally be looking at building my own herald of Tzeentch on a chariot. A Bolt of Tzeentch chariot platform only costs 95 points. Even a chariot with Bolt of Tzeentch, Breath of Chaos and Master of Sorcery costs 130 points. And they're plenty more reliable to be honest. So my opinion and advice is usually to forget about the Blue Scribes and take a well built Chariot of Tzeentch instead.

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Skulltaker Evaluation

Skulltaker is a bloodletter's bloodletter. He's the great guy in the Khorne Army that all the lesser daemons look up to. They just want to be like him and be with him.
Like all bloodletters, Skulltaker is excellent at taking down power armoured marines with his hellblade. I like to use him in a squad of bloodletters to deliver him to the heart of the enemy wherein I use his large volley of attacks to cut the heart out of the opposition. He really is great at character killing. And not too shabby at taking down monstrous creatures either.

He can purchase a chariot or juggernaut (unlike other named heralds) as optional upgrades. The juggernaut is probably not quite worth the price tag unless you want him in a large mob of bloodcrushers. And then, a regular herald might be just as good depending on the points value of the game. The chariot seems the far better option. Of course, Skulltaker loses his independent character status by taking it.

Instant death by rending.
The beauty of Skulltaker is his ability to inflict instant death (and rending) on a 4+ roll to wound via the "Skulls for the skull throne!" special rule. This rule is what really makes skulltaker worth while. Place him on a chariot or juggernaut for increased potency. Head toward your favourite offending multi-wound opposing model and it's going to be taken care of in all likelihood. Perhaps apart from some lightning quick eldar or dark eldar. But that is why he has multiple wounds and a fair toughness for, coupled with both armour and invulnerable saves. Call in the Grey Knights -- they'll be needed sooner or later!

I tend to use Skulltaker in lower points games. Specifically, I've found him to be terrific in up to 1000 or 1250 points. Once 1500 points is hit, a mono-Khorne army would probably want to think about investing in a bloodthirster to be fair. But in a full pantheon army, he ca still be quite viable and dangerous. The planetstrike rules make him just awesome (along with the rest of the army!).

Monday, November 22, 2010

Epidemius Evaluation

Let's be honest: if we're taking Epidemius in an army list, we want to be playing a lot of Nurgle daemons to the exclusion of almost all others. Unless I'm involved in some Apocalypse madness, Epidemius will only be used in a mono-Nurgle army list. Frankly, he doesn't belong in many other places. That said, let's have a think about how we might use him.

The Tally.
Clearly one of his major advantages is the Tally. We want to get that up to high numbers as quickly as possible. And we want Epidemius to survive during this process. These two wants are in slight opposition to each other. To get the Tally up effectively, we should aim to have Epidemius on the table on turn 1. That may not always happen and sometimes the Tally will get stuffed because he doesn't arrive (or doesn't arrive until turn 4+!).

On the other hand, we don't want Epidemius to demise before his time. And that's a problem because he's going to get targeted. Frequently. And did we mention he's not very fast on his feet (or palanquin)?

Perhaps the best option is to place Epidemius in a moderately large squad of plaguebearers or nurglings. If the game in hand is an objective based one, then just sit Epidemius in cover (hiding) with his squad next to the objective and (preferably) leave him there. The enemy then has to come to you to finish off the squad and target Epidemius himself. And a large squad of plaguebearers is hard enough for any miniature in the game to handle in a single turn, short of a vortex grenade.

Of course, you could always go on the offensive with Epidemius. He is afterall, reasonably good against most infantry in the game. But you'll want to back him up with other Nurgle squads so that if his own squad gets whittled down, he can attach himself to a different (fresher) squad.

Use in Mono-Nurgle lists or apocalypse ... and planetstrike. He's okay, but an army list needs to be built around him and his powers, whilst simultaneously begin able to cope without him. This means daemon princes with wings and the mark of Nurgle at the very least. A Great Unclean One wouldn't be a bad idea either, alongside a metric ton of plaguebearers, coupled with some beasts of Nurgle and Nurglings to taste. Nurglings especially can be amazing once pumped up by the tally.

I don't use him outside of mono-Nurgle builds though. Unless I'm playing a fluffy game, or a humongous apocalypse game.

Sunday, November 21, 2010

Dark Eldar Codex Download and Other Odd Search Terms

I decided to have a bit of a drill down into what people come to Warpstone Flux to look for by investigating search terms that link to my site.  My most popular pages have remained roughly constant compared to when I last posted on this topic, give or take a few new gems.  But lurking at the opposite end of the spectrum are dubious search terms that are downright illegal (such as the title of this post) or have very little to do with the content that I place on to my site.  Here's my top 10 examples that google analytics and webmaster tools inform me resulted in a Warpstone Flux hit.

10.  Dark Eldar Codex Download
Despite it being illegal, people still try to search for it.  I've no idea why search engines would turn up with a link to Warpstone Flux for such a search, but my guess is that other "spam" sites harvest / cookie cut content from Warpstone Flux and mash it together with other random oddities. Other search terms likewise include "Space Wolves Codex pdf Download" and so on.  

Just incase I'm not being clear: you will not find any illegal content on Warpstone Flux. 

9. Child Star Theory.
You mean the Star Child Theory, right?  In which case, here's a quick link to a previous posting about that issue, and an Alpha Legion discussion that was also had!  There is no content on academic theories as to why children become stars.  I'm a physical scientist, not a sociological scientist and hence don't feel qualified to comment!

8. Transmutation Circle List.
You want to change something in to something else by drawing a circle?  And you want multiple examples of said circle?  Well, Warpstone Flux is not the right place for you -- you probably want something a bit more Fullmetal Alchemist inclined, I'll wager.

7. Julie K Smith.
It'd be hard to make these sorts of things up, wouldn't it?  I've never met anybody by that name.  Sorry.  

6. Mortal Kombat Reptile.
Moving right along...

5. Bazooka Cafe.
According to wikipedia, it is an "erotic Japanese game for windows".  Huh?
I'm not going to delve any further in to this one.

4. Black Ops Zombie Gun Stealer.
I think this one is a little easier to explain as it is a mash-up of lots of different terms that appear on separate Warpstone Flux pages.

3. What is a Philtrum?
That's easy to answer and explain -- it is the groove above a top lip that meets the base of the nose.  An example of a philtrum can be seen on my Nurgle rhino.  It's a good question never the less!

2. Final Fantasy XIII.
I might have mentioned those letters and words, but really, this is another false positive hit!

1. Troll Face.
Initial reaction: What the?  
But actually, after a bit of investigation: this one relates to one of my commenters (Skarvald the Troll-faced).

Anyone else got any odd ball search terms that resulted in a hit on their blogs that they'd like to share?  I've got plenty more, but I might make them in to a second post on this subject matter for a future date!

Saturday, November 20, 2010

Warp Rift and Daemon's Objective Marker

This creation will be an objective marker in my daemons army. It will also double up as an Apocalypse Warp Rift marker as needs be.

I originally got the idea from John's Toy Soldiers (thanks John!!). The ingredient list is simple enough: an agate crystal mounted upon a 40mm base (MDF in this case) using liberal amounts of green stuff that has been sprinkled with sand and drybrushed.

On the front of the agate crystal, I've glued on a tentacle from the chaos spawn boxed set.  I wasn't sure the glue would hold it in place, but sure enough it sticks very well.  One thing I will note is that I painted the tentacle prior to gluing it in to place and tried to choose a colour that would complement the blue of the agate crystal.

For those of you in Australia, I bought my agate crystal from "Ozzie Maid".  They sell reasonably cheap agate crystals that come well-wrapped in the post to avoid any damage.  I'd certainly use them again.  They picture the actual agate slice that you're purchasing on the web site, rather than a similar slice that just looks approximately the same -- thumbs up from me for effort!

The end result is a piece that looks like a disturbing portal of some kind to another realm. And the inhabitants of that other realm look like they're just ready to explore this one!

(Disclaimer: I'm not associated with Ozzie Maid in any way whatsoever!)

Friday, November 19, 2010

Combi Termicide, A Broad Overview

Doubtless, many of you who play with (or against) chaos space marines (and Space Wolves) are aware of the concept of the termicide squad. In brief, they are a small squad of terminators whose sole duty is to perform a single task and then perish horribly. Today, I want to briefly summarize their roles.

The most used termicide squad that I see deployed is the combi-melta one. Take 3 chaos terminators, equip each one with a combi-melta and maybe add a power fist or chain fist to taste and you're done. Deep-strike the squad near a target vehicle and take it down. If there are transported infantry inside, consider assaulting them in the next turn (which is why a power fist is often taken).
The combi-plasma squad is less used, but follows the same principles. Instead of going after tanks, it'll aim to take down a monstrous creature or opposing high armour infantry like other terminators and wraith lords. They can also takle low armour vehicles in a pinch as well. Add in at least one power fist or chain fist for taste and that's it. If the rapid firing plasma volley doesn't take the target monstrous creature down, then engage is close combat as soon as feasible. Alternative combi-plasma builds focus on ranged threat and may take a reaper autocannon for additional support.

The combi-flamer squad instead focuses on anti-infantry and may arrive on board a land raider and could have a heacy flamer in the squad as well. Using the assault ramp they then proceed to flame their target (softening them up) before charging in to them with power weapons of various flavours.

This latter option is one that I have been toying around with, but minus the land raider option. I've been having some success with the following load-out:
3 or 4 chaos terminators with combi-flamers, 1 chaos terminator with heavy flamer and one chain fist somewhere in the squad.

Without the land raider, the terminators deep-strike in and flame their opponents. They then wait for the inevitable counter strike which their armour suggests they will survive. With luck, they can wipe out the enemy in their turn, leaving them free to charge in the next. The chain fist is there to declare "I am a treat to all of your units -- not just infantry! You'd better do something about me!" In this respect, the flamer termicide squad is a neat distractor unit capable of tying enemy units up, destroying them and posing a threat to all others.  In general, they don't last very long as they attract a lot of fire power.  But it is usually enough time for my winged daemon prince to come along and join the party for added distractions and disruptions.

Thursday, November 18, 2010

W40k Rulebook Update Thoughts

Games Workshop have just released their latest Rulebook Update.  The update contains no real surprises: most of the updates are straight forward clarifications and re-wordings to make clear the original meaning of the rules.

A typical example is about set up.  The rules used to state for a spearhead deployment, the opposing player sets up "in the opposite half".  This has been clarified to mean set up in the opposite half and more than 12 inches from the table's middle line.

There are a few nuggets in there that may be of interest to those more chaotically inclined players.  Firstly is the ruling about squads that have "gone to ground", but been forced to move.  I'm thinking of Lash of Submission here. The ruling says that the moved unit does not retain its "gone to ground" status -- it simply returns to a "normal" state after moving.  This could be critical for a number of players who I know like the Lash of Submission psychic power.

Armour penetration for rending monters has also been cleared up: 2d6 + S and an extra d3 for each 6 that is rolled on rending (rather than just a maximum of one extra d3).

And the rules about co-axial weapon destruction, independent characters "making way" and Telion's stealthy nature are sure to be an worth-while read for many as well.

Overall, I think the changes won't make too much difference to the way in which I play the game.  Any different opinions?

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Daemon Prince with Power Arm Conversion

A conversion with a little bit of inspiration from the original model itself. This is the new plastic daemon prince model, built in a standard manner apart from the left arm.

The original left arm -- the one that looks like it is gesticulating "come here" to some unfortunate -- didn;t really appeal to me. I'm not sure why to be honest. Maybe it was the overly long and thin fingers perhaps? So, I decided to do away with it. I then set about thinking about what to replace it with. My first thought was to attempt something like a double tyranid crushing claw / pincer conversion. But I couldn't shake the feeling that it would look too tyranid-like.

And that lead me to think about space marines themselves. Before chaos space marine lords become daemon princes, they likely use (and abuse) all kinds of technology. So why not try to fit some technology in to the daemon prince?

After that though, the solution presented itself: a power fist! From my soul grinder, I had a left-over claw that appeared as if it would fit the bill very well. I dry-fitted it, but it looked to be a little on the large side. After much head scratching and talks with friends, they convinced me that it wasn't on the "too big" side of things. Power fists are bigger than "normal" marine arms after all. Moreover, who's to say that this prince hasn't received a gift from the Forge of Souls itself?

So despite being a little worried initially, I am pleased with this conversion. The conversion work itself was a case of pinning the arm on to the torse, clipping away a little bit of the upper arm and attaching the shoulderpad to cover-up the green stuff work that had bulked-out the shoulder joint underneath. I intend to paint it up in some khorne or neutral colours when I get around to it. Although in principle, it would make a very fine daemon prince of the Iron Warriors legion.

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Mighty Empires: Expansion Tiles

Today, I wanted to show the images of the Mighty Empires expansion tiles as the product on the Games Workshop web site only depicts one side of them.

The first side features a pair of forking river tile to enable your rivers to divert (or converge?) across your maps. They're pretty neat if your map needs to feature an extensive river system.

On the other side are (a) a tile with several lakes located to one edge and (b) a heavily farmed tile. In addition, 4 flags are also attached as well as 6 markers (2 orky monoliths; 2 elven towers; and 2 dwarvern ale houses).As with all the Mighty Empires tiles, they're completely compatible with the Planetary Empires tiles. The markers should also be adaptable as well. The elven towers can definitely represent exodite planets, the pubs can double up as some feudal planet marker, or even an advanced barracks. The orc monolith is also ideal for orks. But is it a monolith to Gork or Mork?

Monday, November 15, 2010

Flux Battle Objectives: Primary Missions

I am slowly putting together a series of battle objectives that I intend to write up as a downloadable pdf. The idea here I have is to create a suite of generic (i.e. not exclusively 40k) missions that can be used for both casual and tournament play.

Following on from this month's poll, it is clear that many people like a variety of mission types and objectives. I have jotted down a large number of different types of primary objectives that could be played for, ranging from the standard securing of objectives to simple annihilation and numerous items in-between. Here's a selection of what I have so far. The format is fairly straight-forward in terms of what is required during set-up and the conditions for victory (which is usually in proportion to some arbitrary amount of points that the tournament designer can determine -- say 20 points for one of the primary objectives ... the inference is that I have secondary objectives and so on that would be worth comparatively less).

If you can think of other primary battle objectives, please leave a comment! (i.e. I'm not after some random death-world-esque environment in which to play, nor a sub-plot that the enemy commander is your commander's cousin. Pure and simple military objectives). Any feedback gratefully received!

Critical targets.
The crucible has been set. The enemy is here. And your targets have taken the bait: they’re also here.
Set-up: After reviewing your opponent’s army list, determine the d3+2 most valuable targets from their list (defined by points value, or which models are wearing the most black, etc.). They may be either individual characters, or entire squads.
Success: You gain points in proportion to the number of high value targets that you take out.

The battlefield has several data storage nodes scattered around it. You must download as much information as possible from them.
Set-up: Reveal this primary objective to your opponent. Starting with yourself, take turns to designate X objectives in the playing area, where X is a number between 1 and 5. To determine X, roll of d6 and ignore a 6, or come to a mutual agreement. Each objective must be placed at least 18 inches from another, or in a different table quarter (and at the centre if a fifth is needed) (etc.).
Success: You gain one “download point” for every objective that you control every turn. You gain mission success points in proportion to download points you have scored divided by the maximum possible total of download points that you could have scored (calculated as the number of turns multiplied by the number of download objectives).

Extreme prejudice.
It’s simple: the stand happens here and now. Take the battle to the enemy and terminate them with extreme prejudice.
Set-up: No special set up required.
Success: You gain points in proportion to the number, kill points or points value of models that you kill. All things being equal, we suggest using points value, noting that wrecked and destroyed vehicles fully count, but immobilized vehicles generate only half points.

Hold at all costs.
The position(s) must not fall to the enemy. It must be held at all costs, no matter what. The war effort depends on it.
Set-up: Reveal this primary objective to your opponent. Starting with yourself, take turns to designate X objectives in the playing area, where X is a number between 1 and 5. To determine X, roll of d6 and ignore a 6, or come to a mutual agreement. Each objective must be placed at least 18 inches from another, or in a different table quarter (and at the centre if a fifth is needed) (etc.).
Success: You gain points in proportion to the number of objectives that you control at the end of the game (e.g. if you control 1 objective, you gain 1/X of the points value of this primary objective). Controlling has the normal sense: a scoring unit and no enemy models within 3 inches of the objective.

The instruction has come in from orbit. You need to be elsewhere. And fast! But the enemy knows about it.
Set-up: When defining your starting positions, also define the opposing table edge. Reveal this objective to your opponent.
Success: You get points in proportion to the number or points value of models that you manage to move off the opposite table edge. Moving off the edge is done as a standard movement – if your model has enough movement to take the entirety of its base off the edge, you may remove it.

Silence the batteries.
The defence guns are hammering your incoming battle space cruisers. Take them out or sabotage them by any means necessary so that your forces gain a better foothold on this world.
Set-up: Reveal this objective to your opponent. Place d6+2 objectives on to the playing surface. Take turns to place them and ensure that they are no closer than 18 inches to each other (if possible). Your opponent then places the remaining scenery.
Success: You gain points in proportion to the number of objectives that you destroy or wreck. Destroying or wrecking them is the same as destroying or wrecking a vehicle. In Warhammer 40,000, treat them as AV=12 and already immobile (much as a drop pod would be) and note that “weapon destroyed” results are ignored.

Territorial contest.
Sweep them before you and cleanse this territory!
Set-up: Divide the playing area up in to X equal sized areas. The number X should be chosen to be at least 4 (i.e. table quarters), but can be scaled up to 9 depending on the size of the battle being fought. The player must secretly write down X before play begins.
Success: You gain points in proportion to the number of territories you control at the end of the game. Control means that you have more of your own units (they don’t have to be scoring units) inside the table quarter than the enemy does.

Sunday, November 14, 2010

Favourite Mission Poll Result

The poll for your favourite mission has been running for a fortnight and is now closed. The results are as follows:

Annihilate 33%
2 Objectives / Capture and Control 21%
3 Objectives / Seize Ground 15%
4 Objectives / Seize Ground 9%
5 Objectives / Seize Ground 21%
Kill Team / Kill Zone 21%
Table Quarters / Occupation 9%
Move to opposite deployment zone 6%
Battle Missions 27%
Homebrew Missions 12%
Narrative Campaign 15%
Other 3%

Clearly, annihilate is by far the most popular type of mission out there. It's simplicity is its strength. But in second place is Battle Missions -- it is possible to hypothesize from this that the basic missions are getting very worn very fast and that variation is the key to entertaining play. The securing of objectives has a strong showing (particularly the high numbers of objectives), as has kill team / kill zone. I'm especially excited by the strong showing and popularity that the 200 point version of the game has.

I am in the process of getting together a large variety of mission types and intend to use this poll result as inspiration. Tomorrow, I will post what I have so far on primary missions. Stay tuned!

Saturday, November 13, 2010

Shadow Sword: Part X. Las Cannon Highlighting and Finishing

The Las Cannons for my Shadow Sword are now essentially complete.

Painting-wise, I've gone around the sharp corners of the las cannon turrets with (a medium thickness) mechrite red followed by a thin line of blazing orange. The washed bleached bone has had a hexagon of pure bone colour applied around the edge, but that is all -- the wash itself remains un-adulterated. The boltgun metal has been touched up and highlighted appropriately, but not excessively and the searchlight got a coat of pure white followed by yellow (the pure white coat is there to ensure the yellow remains looking vivid).

The last step was to pick out each and every nut and bolt with blazing orange. I intend to replicate this step on the entire tank and perhaps add a final wash to be suggestive of some rusting. I may even add a few runny oil marks as I did on my Verdus Prime necrons. With all those bolts to be highlighted, I've got my work cut out for me!

Friday, November 12, 2010

Statistics: How Many Bloodcrushers of Khorne?

And to finish off our examination of the elites section of the daemons codex, we finally turn to the Bloodcrushers of Khorne. Once again, in order to answer the question we will consider what role we want the bloodcrushers to play on the battlefield. For me, it boils down to icon-bearing, anti-infantry, anti-monstrous creature, and anti-elite troops, with perhaps a smattering of light tank busting. Let's have a look at each of them.

Icon Bearing.
This purpose boils down to survivability. How many standard bolter shots (fired by marines) can an icon-bearing bloodcrusher take? Well, the marine will need 3+ to hit, 5+ to wound and then the bloodcrusher to fail its 3+ armour saving throw. That amounts to 0.074 wounds per standard shot. Or put another way: 27 standard shots will be required to take two wounds away from the bloodcrusher and remove him from the game (on average). Plaguebearers eat you hearts out! (yuck on second thoughts). Even against plasma shots, they'll take 5.4 shots to kill. So the bottom line is that bloodcrushers can make reasonable icon bearers.

As usual, we'll put a bloodcrusher up against a squad of 10 space marines, with a power fist equipped sergeant. We will assume that the bloodcrushers get to charge in (which I hope is the case for you experienced players out there), meaning that furious charge is active. Given they might take some bolter fire on the way in, they have probably lost 1 wound already.

The bloodcrushers strike first with 4 attacks, hitting on 3+, and killing on 2+ (hell blades are power weapons!). That results in 2.22 wounds taken by the marines from a single bloodcrusher. Hence an unit of 4 or 5 should be readily able to alpha strike a tactical squad.

If the marines get to strike back, then they hit on 4+, wound on 5+ and cause a wound when the bloodcrusher fails its 3+ save. That means 0.11 unsaved wounds per regular space marine trooper. The bloodcrushers are not bothered at that level of pain. End of story.

Let's put a bloodcrusher up against a daemon prince of Nurgle to see what happens. They strike simultaneously (assuming the bloodcrusher charged in). The Khornate daemon hits on 4+, wounds on 3+ and makes it stick when the prince fails its 5+ invulnerable save. That gives 0.89 wounds on the charge.

The prince hits on 3+, wounds on 4+ and makes it stick when the bloodcrusher fails a 5+ invulnerable saving throw. With 4 attacks, the bloodcrusher takes a similar (0.89) amount of wounds in exchange. They're evenly matched, remarkably.

To take out the daemon prince in an alpha-strike, 4.5 bloodcrushers would be needed. Two would be needed to win the combat on the charging round.

Anti-Elite troops.
What about terminators? What about with a storm shield? Let's have a look.

The bloodcrushers strike first, hitting on 3+, wounding on 2+ and downing terminators when they fail their 3+ invulnerable save. With 4 attacks on the charge, that means 0.74 wounds. Therefore 7 bloodcrushers will be needed against a squad of 5 storm shield terminators to alpha strike them. Striking back, the terminators would hit on 4+, wound on 2+ and make it stick on failing the bloodcrushers 5+ invulnerable save. They take 0.55 wounds from 2 such attacks. Hence to statistically go better than a draw against 5 terminators, we will need at least 4 bloodcrushers.

Light tank busting.
Against AV=10, the bloodcrusher on the charge will have 4 Strength=6 attacks hitting (assuming the vehicle was not moving). Half of them will at least glance. Without going too much further, it is safe to say that even a modest number of bloodcrushers can pose a threat to light weight tanks.

It looks like 4 or 5 bloodcrushers in a squad should be enough to handle most situations described above. Their only draw-back is that they don't move as fast as fiends of Slaanesh. But hey, in a daemons army: you can have both and play tag-team.
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