Wednesday, December 25, 2013

Stronghold Assault ideas...

So, looking at the Stronghold Assault book…  The Bastion got a LOT better with the ability to bring a Void Shield.  So, Icarus Las Cannon and the Quad gun both look good, and the new book has a “Fortification Network” which counts as a single Fortification.  1-3 Bastions, 1-5 Aegis lines, 0-1 Skyshield…  So a Bastion and an Aegis, each with an AA gun of some kind for the single “Fortification” slot choice.  So 75 for the Bastion, 25 for the Void Shield, 35 for the Icarus combined with the 50 for the Aegis and 50 for the Quad Gun.  235 points, so NOT cheap.  But it would I think be survivable for the people inside.  

My Crimson Fists with Tank Hunter would be brutal, even my Wolves with Long Fangs would be a very hard strong point to remove quickly…  Especially with Grey Hunters providing building security…  And with the “Behind Enemy Lines” saying they can come out from ANY board edge, that would include my own if my own lines get crashed…  So, I guess this becomes my AAA option for armies that do not otherwise have such options.  Thinking that I can go complete overkill with a Legion list and bring the Heavy Support Squad with Missile Launchers and Flak missiles. Would be a way to sweep the sky against the Necron/chaos air force army…  And not be totally useless otherwise…  Just not nearly so much so against the Tau MC lists…

So, my painting of Wolves goes slowly with Christmas and the like taking priority...  Spartan is on-hand now, so I need to assemble it and paint it up in my VI Legion colors such as they are (Grey with Bronze/Red trim).  Stripping and repainting a lot of old Lead figs, manufacturing Shields for use as Siege Breachers...  So a VERY Legion specific unit, but fun to play...  Maybe I'll get to play a game sometime soon...

Wednesday, December 18, 2013

So, is it 40K version 6.5 now?

So, here we are…  Looking for all the world like the mid-point for 6th Edition.  Mind, I have no idea how far we really are into the current edition’s life span, but it really is feeling very much like we are at or about “version 6.5”.  The major rule updates coming out in Escalation and Stronghold Assault really ARE game changers.  On one hand, it has the potential to make the game silly/stupid with a Titan backed up with minimal “other” to make a legal army.  Is it bad?  On some levels, yes…  The local game store does not in general sell those things being Armorcast/Forgeworld or DIY/Home Made stuff…  CAN be amazing, beautiful models and has the potential to pull more people into the game…  Or it can look like crap, drive people away and deny sales to the FLGS… 

 I have to admit I am still on the fence about it.  On one hand it does seem like it will have a leveling effect IFF it serves as either an answer or a deterrent to some of the completely legal but horribly abusive lists.  I do not think you will find many people arguing that the “Screamer Star” or the “Jetseer Council” are NOT abusive lists.  They take things to an extreme, and while technically legal have the effect of simply killing all enjoyment of the game.  The same effect that the Grey Knights had on the previous edition I think.  The 4+ giant Monstrous Creature lists including, but by no means limited to the Tau silliness, Eldar mixed or the Flying Circuses of the Tyranids/Chaos.  Simply NOT fun to play against with a “normal” army anymore.  So, where does that leave us?  Everyone HAS to bring the same very small subset of “broken” lists or be relegated to just losing?  In the bigger events, the prize support, etc. makes this a game with money on the table in my opinion.  When there is money on the table, “friendly play” simply does not exist…  Eventually.  Sure, you will occasionally run across the equivalent of the gun toting Amish vigilante, but the reality is that the ones playing the most broken and obnoxious (to those of us who are just there to play a few games) lists are the odds on favorites to win it all.

I know that a group of the larger TOs out there are working to create something in a “Tournament 40K” rule set for lack of a better term.  Mike Brandt over at the “Whiskey & 40K” blog details that here ( …  Will it work?  I don’t know.  I DO wish them luck and hope that it does.  As of right now I have less than zero interest in going to a major event with any army I would like to play.  There are only 2 times I very nearly lost my temper playing a game, once was when I played uber-competitive 40K back in 3rd Edition.  Would have been very late 2001 or early 2002.  I was just out of the Army a few years, just married, etc., and playing in a RTT up in Joliet.  Wound up playing my Fleshtearers against his IG.  His Tallern IG painted up as Al Qaeda with “Bin Laden” themed and pictured banners…  Kid said he did it just to piss off his opponents…  Worked for me, don’t think I ever played a more brutally effective and vicious game in my life.  See, when I get pissed off, I get far more dangerous.  I was methodical, and to be honest, the BA were horribly broken in that edition, so the kid never really had a chance as I could easily Assault  his army on turn one, and with the Sweeping Assault rules, just keep going.  It was over by the bottom of turn 2, with him being completely wiped from the table.  Got chipmunked on my “Sportsmanship” score, but whatever.  Good thing an old friend of mine was there (Dennis Smith) and was friends with the TOs or it would have really screwed up my score.  So, “Best General” it was, not overall winner…  And that was the last big event I went to. 

I guess I saw where it would go in time.  And let’s be honest, from about the mid-point of 5th Edition to now it seems that as a competitive game it just does not work.  The ideas about 2 different “Victory Conditions” and giving each player a choice is neat, but….  Well, I’ll wait and see I think.  The old Mob quote to the effect of “Every law they pass just creates more businesses for us” comes to mind.  Seems that we are all acknowledging that there are truly broken things, and to fix them we will introduce more rules and more potential for breaking things further.  NOT the intention of course, and like I said I really do hope that it works out and becomes a fun game again on that level.  This is probably the most frustrating thing about it all…  Forgeworld as part of GW actually I think HAS balanced the “Lords of War” stuff in the Heresy rules…  A single line of “no more than 25% of your points may be spent on this slot”.  And that’s it.  The things with the most potential to break 40K are all too expensive to be 25% of any list size we use in the games we play.  Yeah, doesn't help with what I consider the broken stuff but it combined with say “One Force Org Chart, allies and Detachments must adhere” and the silliness with the Taudar or 3+ Broadsides, etc. all goes away.  Does it hurt game balance?  I don’t know.  But why bother with the FOC or frankly ANY rule if it will not be equally applied for all parties?  Night Fighting is one that irks me now that it is in every mission I think.  Some armies simply ignore it (DE/Tau for the most part), some (Necrons) can cause it to only affect their enemies and for a longer time in the game…  Others still have lost their traditional keen senses that would allow them to deal with the night fight (Wolves)…  With the Wolves, I just feel there is simply no point bringing them to a 40K game unless I do something completely silly like a Bran Redmaw army or the like…  Depend on Behind Enemy Lines and Outflank to get my Wolves in close…  I have tried it before and it was mostly effective, but even still, NO defense against a flier, not much long ranged firepower, dependent on a “Hero Hammer” style of play to be effective.  I always liked how effective my basic Grey Hunters were, now in this edition…  Eh, they are just expensive casualties like the Guard.  But lacking all of the IG advantages. 

J  Guess that is why I started looking at the Legion stuff to be honest…  “This Battle is lost….  But there is time for another”…  The repaint project on my ancient ACTUALLY pre Heresy Wolves continues…  And I am building “Siege Breachers” out of some other Marines I have around to test that…  Needing the full 20 for the real sized Squads would be too expensive otherwise…  Mind, the FW resin are BRILLIANT minis and I’d love to have them…  But things like the broken furnace and other real life issues keep me from spending that kind of money on the game…

Tuesday, December 10, 2013

So, it is looking like there will be Tournament Ban Lists, etc...

?Looking over what the Feast of Blades folks are going to be the first to enact some of the bans and limits to the new Warhammer 40K environment.  The following is a quote from the 3++ site:
1.) The Grimoire of True Names from Codex: Daemons is banned
As of right now, this is the only true banning. We feel there is too much potential for abuse, and disagree with the effect it has on the army and the game.
2.) A few units will receive 0-1 status
For those of you who weren't around when 0-1 was a thing in codecies, means that a maximum of 1 of that unit may be taken per army. These are all units whose mass inclusion limits the potential lists in the game, and will thus be restricted. (As none of them are a problem on their own.) Rest assured that this will be a very short list, we are not interested in creating very restricted armies.
3.) Supplemental Codecies will no longer be able to ally to their base codex
There will be no more self-allying, no more cherry picking the best parts of a supplement while paying none of the costs, and no more force-org bloat from doing so.
4.) Dataslates will take an ally slot
Taking units from many, many different books and ignoring the force organization chart is too much. This change will make dataslates an interesting addition to the game, without allowing for truly bizzare armies.
5.) The number of psychic mastery levels in an army will be limited
This change will eliminate a great many power combos from the game, and will stop a player from making a lot of lucky rolls on the psychic power tables to effectively win the game before it begins.
6.) Strength D is out, Lords of Battle are in
We feel the the Lords of Battle are not overpowered on their own, the fact that they give the opponent some advantages (bonus to seize, and especially victory points) balances out their fearsome firepower and powerful endurance. Strength D, however, is too powerful. This is well-known by every apoc player (and I am one of them), and has been the case for the past two editions. (Yes, it was even overpowered back in 5th, and it was much worse then.) There is some debate still going on, but it looks like S:D will becomeS:10, ordinance, ignores cover. That still makes it very powerful, but more in line with the price paid for the superheavy as well as it's other weapon options. In addition, superheavies will have to start on the table.
7.) Super-forts are gone, or at least downsized
No AV15, it will be AV14 instead. Every individual fortification from Stronghold Assault is allowed, but the “network” choices are simply too big and unwieldy to allow for tournament play. (As a consolation, they're pretty terrible, so I think it's OK.)
8.) Dedicated transport flyers will be limited
Flyers are not the be-all end-all of this edition, but all-flyer and mostly-flyer armies change the meta in uncomfortable ways and are notoriously unfun to play against."

So a fair amount in there...  The big things being the Str D weapons being modified for play...  Probably a good thing overall, especially in concert with the other limits.  D Str was an answer to some of the silliness that abounds in the current unrestricted environment.  Bring the 4 Riptides if you'd like, but know that the first time you face a Revenant class Titan you just lose.   Of course the other limits remove the 4 Riptide list in any case...

Outright ban on one thing.  Not bad really overall...  We have only a single Demons player locally, and she hasn't used this so I have no real familiarity with it.  But given its use in one of the problematic combinations it is likely broken enough to need banning.

So...  That brings me to what I am seeing as a complete lack of play testing by GW.  I always wondered if they were playing the same game that we were over here.  There seems to be a split between complete crap units or even whole books like the Dark Angles or the recent fliers.  Mind, I think that overall the fliers that have been balanced against each other, or at least the ones actually created IN sixth edition.  The ones magically elevated to fliers, specifically the Necron fliers are probably the most difficult ones to justify.  But the ones in sixth like the Eldar ones or Marine Storm Talon have 2 hull points and are generally weaker than a lot of other things.  The recent Codices like Tau that have wholesale rule "exceptions" and the ability to customize your units to the point of list tailoring is pretty over the top. And of course the Eldar and all they can do legally...

I dunno, thinking whatever list comes from the FoB event will get VERY serious consideration locally...  Still digesting the new books...  Some interesting stuff there...  And my Legion stuff is coming along very nicely...  Pipeline from Stronghold book with a Tactical Support Squad w/ Flamers?  So, 9Torrenting Flamer Templates?  Yes please...

Tuesday, December 3, 2013

Works in progress... Siege Breachers

So, I have only a few actual FW Siege Breachers...  So, Green Stuff it is to modify some of my ancient Marines to become Siege Breachers...

Getting the basic paint scheme up there...  Grey armor, Brass/Copper trim and Red for the Shoulder Pad...  Stripped and repainted lead minis are coming along well.  Using Minwax to seal/give it some depth...  Seems like it is coming along well...

Wolves Rotating to the Front for Sixth? Well, for me at least...

Thinking about running my Wolves again...  But with the Codex so outdated, having to rely heavily on tricks and the like to compete...  Seems like it will be a LONG game for my lads.  Playing them as Legion VI, they have been doing quite well for me

Bran Redmaw as a choice allows me to take a Grey Hunter squad and use the Wolf Scouts deploy behind enemy lines rule...  Having them appear in the back field with flamers, Melta, etc....  Might be something unexpected...  Once.  Wolf Priest flanking with another squad does something similar as do the Scouts themselves.  So...  Something needs to deploy normally to satisfy the no more than 50% Reserve rule... 

Long Fangs with a Wolf Guard in Terminator Armor and Cyclone Missile Launcher accompanying them as they set up in or around terrain...  Potentially Aegis Line with AAA or the Bastion...  Lacking the AA missiles, they can do the massed fire, splitting as needed while providing some overhead cover.

Guessing I will have to bring Allies, probably my Crimson Fists.  Scouts in their Speeder and Scouting about, Centurions with Tank Hunter, perhaps lurking on the Bastion?  Tank Hunter and the Quad Gun is not bad at all...  Need a HQ I guess, so cheap as possible... Or go the other way and make my Wolves Allies I guess..  Kind of depressing thinking it through.  Kind of wanting a big Wolf Guard rolling forward in a Spartan, so guess that will happen ;-)  Maybe the Fists Librarian hangs out with Centurions or in the Spartan... 

League starting next week...

Mkay, so just setting down some ideas for the upcoming League…  Guessing I’ll be keeping It as simple as possible. 

1500 points
Standard Book Missions, the same ones for everyone each week.

Will have to come up with an alternate tiebreaker, though USUALLY with Primary and Secondary VCs there is a clear winner in most cases.  Guess it will be a straight number of points killed to be as fair as possible to everyone.

I’m kind of up in the air about allowing people to get in more “free play” games…  My initial thought is no, as it is inherently unfair to the people who can make it there only for the one night/game.  Of course, you COULD get in a few games on Monday, but the weather is likely to get bad again and of course the whole Holiday thing coming up will likely throw in some variance for folks schedules…

Otherwise, I guess the “Standard Local Rules” of FW/whatever being OK as long as it has the 40K stamp…  I will NOT be allowing anything with the “experimental rules” stamp though.  Have to admit I would be VERY much in favor of limiting people to a single FOC, regardless of Allies, etc…  Just getting sick of seeing the 4 Heavy slot armies, or the flying circus silliness… 

Interestingly enough the IA book one reprint is out there and a LOT of the 30K/Heresy stuff in there.  Will be ordering the Escalation book from Dave at the Gopher I think as I have enough of the armies listed in there to make it worth my having.  ‘Course, I’ll be scanning it to have on my wee tablet being one of those silly motorcycle riders.  And seeing things like the Spartan listed with the 40K “official” stamp is a good thing for me…  Ordered one so I’ll have a resin monster tank to be flanked by my ancient original Spartan class Land Raiders.  With the Ceremite Armor upgrade, it is a PITA to stop quickly for most armies…  And it will be painted up in the Grey/Bronze (or copper) with red markings for my VI Legion force/Wolves in 40K… 

In 40K, ironically, a few armies that have fallen out of favor are coming back at least as allies.  The Wolves Rune Priest being the ONLY actual psychic defense that can stop players from casting spells in a large area makes them at least desirable to have around.  Shame there is so little else from the book worth taking.  Grey Knights likewise have the tools necessary to be a good match up against the Eldar and Screamer Stars…  So, it could be that the cycle is coming full circle…

Friday, November 29, 2013

Change of plan, I am running next League... So a short one...

So, the next League will probably be pushed back to February...  So, I'll throw something together to keep the local excitement going I hope.  Looking like a few new books coming out and so a few changes perhaps...

In any case, I am looking at running it as a 1500 point event, I'll match up the participants as best I can and have a transparent long running "tournament" of sorts.  Keeping things pretty simple, I'll have a set mission, terrain setup and deployment so everyone is at least on terms as equal as I can manage.

Still digesting some of the expansion things, so at this point I am thinking that the Eldar/Tau builds are going to remain somewhat overpowered.  Looking over the FW reprint for their Imperial Armor Apoc book...  Looking like there are a LOT of the Heresy Era things that are coming to 40K...  So, Spartan will be fielded at least locally...  And I suspect it will become the norm if I attend Tournaments elsewhere...  No Flare Shield I did notice though :-)  So, the stupidly overpowered things look like they are going away...

Found a good reference picture for my Legion paint scheme...

 So, it appears as if I either saw something like this or simply stumbled upon my current VI/Wolf scheme...

 My own lads are looking frighteningly similar to that...  Just have to figure out the markings will be...  Thinking the red markings will be it.  I never liked the almost Mardi Gras Marine look of he 2nd Edition with the baby blue armor and bright yellow and red markings.  So, I had stripped a LOT of ancient Marines and repainting them like this...  Of course, manufacturing shields for me Siege Breachers to fill in the holes...  It is amazing comparing the modern minis to the ones I have from the 80's...  Damn, some of those ancient minis are craptastic...

Monday, November 25, 2013

Leagues, Expansions and just random "waiting for responses" time killing rants...

So, with the League looking like it will be a start...  Eventually :-)...  Whatever, it is creating some good chatter and looking like it might bring out a fair number of the players.  Guessing again, but I am kind of looking forward to playing my Legion lists against the modern things.  There are some things I am fairly certain that will be difficult to handle but overall I have a fairly strong list.  Strong but I think certainly not overpowered.  Still no fliers of my own, and AV 14 really isn't THAT hard to take down for most forces especially when you realize it is really just 3 Land Raiders, more or less...  But I DO field a LOT of standard Marines or Siege Breachers in the Legion lists I play, and FnP and good Cover/crap Invulnerable saves all around make for a difficult Squad to pull off the table quickly.  Nothing at all subtle, playing the VI Legion the way I used to play my wolves in the ancient times...  Roll straight at them, kill as many as you can and hold what you have taken.  So, pretty much just like I play every army I normally play, FT, Wolves, Eldar, etc...  Except maybe my Praetorian IG...  They are more of a "Hold the Line, Shoot them off the table" sort of Army, not a lot of mobility.

Barring my Legion list?  Well, I have a strong Marine army and my Eldar would be brutally overpowered.  I HAVE the flier now, albeit a paper model a buddy of mine built for me.  I can field a force that can easily take down the annoying Tau lists with either of those I am sure...  Eldar with the WS mounted force are just too good I think but if that's the way the local group wants to go I can...  And with a lot of the forces I am seeing out there it will be at least a fight.  Still, I'd RATHER go with the Legion force and play just for fun. 

My Marine list is a Crimson Fist one so using the Imperial Fist chapter tactics.  Centurion Devastators backed by Hunter AA tank and/or a Thunderfire Cannon for the "base" unit.  Scouts for scoring Troops, maybe Sternguard and Pedro...  Been liking the Storm Raven for a dogfighter/air superiority fighter.  200 points though...  Still, it works really well keeping me at least even with enemy fliers and can also do quite a number on tanks or heavy Infantry it catches in the open.  If I really want to cheese it up I can call it a "3rd Company" list and use the expansion to take the Centurions as Elite instead of Heavy.  Get a slightly different "Bolter Drill" as well....  Frankly I prefer the one in the expansion's drill, but either works well enough for me. 

So, that brings me to the expansions...  As of now, there are six?  It is looking more like the expansions are becoming the norm for the uber competitive forces...  The simple ability to"ally" with your base list and break the FOC is a problem for me.  The extra HQ slot is no big deal, it really seems that the Heavy slot is the problem.  So a legal list with four Riptides is the new rage...  Honestly haven't looked much at the Inquisition or Iron Hands ones...  Not armies I have any interest in playing.  But it appears that the Inquisition book is just a cut and paste rush job.  One of the bigger issues I have with the move to digital is that the local game store sees nothing from these books.  Yes, a few months later they might print limited numbers of physical books that they can jump through the appropriate hoops to buy to maybe sell...  But with the pace of the releases?  Why bother buying the physical book six months late when the next big thing in the power cycle is out?  So, other than the potential extra miniature sales as the latest uber net list hits the tables, nothing for anyone but GW...  And not much of that I'd think frankly...  Not sure what the margins are for a cut and paste PDF, but would think it would be good given the ownership of the original material and the fact that an intern could throw this together in an afternoon...  That and they are REALLY a PITA for tournament play as not everyone would have access to the full rules, so they have to take their opponent at their word as to the interpretation of the few new rules and FOC modifications in each book...  Or the TO has to know them all and keep a watchful eye out for "mistakes" being made.  Might well be honest ones, but when there is money on the table...  Well, have to say I am less enthused about the potential Adepticon trip, and likely will not bother trying to play in that mess.  Looking like at least one more REAL Codex will be out by then, likely 2 and some unknown number of digital supplements to all have the potential of further throwing the game's balance out of whack...  Think I'll just sit back and see what happens.  

So, the unofficial announcement has hit about the fortifications and escalation expansions...  Another wait and see I guess.  Really hoping that the Skyshield is fixed and the rules are cleared up...  But of course, if they are not freely available to everyone, this is a huge problem for me at least...  Having to pay a LOT for broken rules and then having to pay even more to get the fixes?  How very Apple of them.  I know that they will be available via "alternate" methods, and so will VERY likely be dissimulated locally at least (at least the relevant "you need to know the actual rules sections")...  I dunno, thinking of picking up some X-Wing and maybe Malifoux (sp?)...  Just concerned about getting into another "Confrontation" situation where I have huge armies of amazing miniatures for a game system that is dead and gone.  Been burned a few times too many in the past...  Perhaps Warmachine?  Hell, I already HAVE a Cygnar and Circle army from the 1st edition, so a trivial investment...  Maybe :-)...

Friday, November 22, 2013

League coming up, Superheavies and a few pics...

So, looking like a League is starting back up in the Champaign area again…  And with Bill stepping in to run it I do not have to J… Crazy schedule and of course that whole “real life” thing getting in the way…  He is making mention of a painting contest to get things started.  Mkay, repainting my ancient Wolves and I have another squad of the Cataphractii Terminators unassembled to go with the Siege Breachers…  So, nothing is going to be winning any sort of painting competition, but I have a bunch of “painted to tabletop standard” stuff almost ready to go.  Depending on the size of the game I may already have my heavy vehicles assembled…  OK, not the new Spartan…  That will be one thing that I order if there is the money after getting that whole Christmas thing dealt with for Maggie and the girls.  Unless of course someone wants to pick up say, an ancient Lugar or the like cheap(ish)…  And of course there are the issues of whether the locals will allow the use of 30K/Heresy Era lists and whether GW will be pushing out the rumored expansion with “Lords of War” or superheavies.  For the first, we’ve had no problem with them overall, and as I have been “play testing” the exact lists I will be playing in the League (more or less) to good effect overall I think that part will not be an issue. 

Superheavies on the field, and I honestly count the Spartans as an “almost” superheavies, are things that could potentially be a problem for some armies.  With immunity to Melta and 5 Hull Points, the Spartan can be almost impossible for some armies to deal with.  OTOH, it is just a big, expensive dead box for other armies who do not care about AV 14 or the like…  Tau specifically I think will have a horribly difficult time without Eldar allies if they build a…  Let’s call it “tightly focused” army to kill off Marines are going to have almost nothing capable of realistically threatening ANY AV 14, much less the Ceremite plated AV 14 I field…  To be fair though, the AV 14 of the Land Raider has never been all that difficult to get through for the last few editions a least, so most people are simply not bringing them these days.  I however have 2 MK I Land raiders done up as original Spartans to become either Proteus or Phobos Land Raiders.  Depends I guess how I end up going with my Wolves.  But in any case, I can see the addition of big nasties as something that should seriously shake up things from a “meta” build perspective.  Might not, who knows.  Really is a rumor at this point in any case, so nothing solid known.  But with plastic kits to sell for things like IG Baneblades, Ork Stompas, Chaos Khorne blood Zambonis or whatever it is called…  It would be unsurprising to find the game expanding to allow their use and incidentally the increased sales that this would presumably bring.  So, just thinking that the Superheavies are coming, might be a good thing to be ready…  The TL LC is what passes for AA support for my lists at the moment, so having the 4 shots/turn is nice…

So, here's the Cataphractii I have been working on, but having just gotten back from Vegas with Maggie for out Anniversary, not a lot of painting this week...

So, that's what my VI Legion color scheme will be...

Wednesday, November 13, 2013

Long ramble about the current balance and the local 40K scene...

Ok, got to thinking about some of the more difficult balance issues...  Reading the excellent post on the Jawaballs site (, it kind of crystallized some of how I have been feeling with respect to a lot of the balance issues.  There are some armies that I have that are simply unplayable at the moment.  Well, to be entirely honest, I could PLAY the army, but barring some crazy luck actually winning with the army is nigh impossible.  These days you only hear about people fielding the Wolves as an ally because they still have the 5th edition rules for psychic defenses and some silly over the top powers.  They cannot stand on their own without major support.  Lacking antiaircraft or any Fliers of their own unless you play with Forgeworld as "40K legal" (like we do) they are still a mid 5th ed army that has been passed by... My Fleshtearers are not AS bad in some ways but they were written when the game was very different.  They DO have a single good flyer that can at least dogfight to contest air superiority...  But their HQ elements are now overpriced and the Troops are mediocre at best, despite the large number of potential choices...  Some cannot score, so are useless to win games, others are just expensive Marines who cannot survive the modern environment with Heldrakes, Tau and Eldar out there in force.  The standard Marine was once the measure by which you could compare everything else against, but now I would not bother making that comparison. By and large, all of the 3+ save Codices prior to the current Marine one are vastly overshadowed by the Eldar and Tau.  The current Marine book can at least fight against some of the "net lists" on somewhat even or better footing, but that means tailoring your army to be one element of the Rock-Paper-Scissors...  And therefore just expensive and boring to play.  Or play against.  The game is difficult to justify as a competitive one these days, thus the exodus in many places or the rise in popularity for 30K "Heresy Era" games that we are seeing locally.  Saying that, there were  5-6 games at the Gopher Monday for "40K night"...  So, chances are that locally at least the game is doing well enough after a bit of a lull.  I simply do not have the spare time to run a League well at the moment, and the other guys who in the past ran them have likewise been buried in a similar fashion...

Too many of the current "top tier" armies have a large number of special cases or things which ignore or worse break basic rules of the game.  For instance, the Necron book made an amazing transition to sixth edition with the extremely poorly ported rules for "chariots" and the en masse translation of all of their transports to Fliers from fast skimmers...  Suddenly the perhaps slightly overpriced transport is now a massively under priced monstrosity.  Flying around, deploying Troops precisely on the Field with no risk of deviation, loaded out with pretty decent firepower on their own and with massive defensive bonuses.  And for this ONE Flier, getting shot down has no real ill effect for the embarked Troops, they simply come in on your table edge from Reserves as if nothing happened.  No possibility of casualties (5/6 chance for everyone else), no Pin check, no deploying at a potentially "bad" location to be assaulted immediately...  Just the minor inconvenience of having to walk on to the field.  

The rules for firing at fliers are badly written...  Just my opinion of course, but saying a genetically engineered superhuman with centuries of experience firing advanced weaponry can hit a flier no better than a mindless Ork or untrained conscript with let's call them "less advanced weapons"?  Insane, and clearly not balanced in any way.  As more Codices come out, overall the Fliers are balanced against each other with the glaring exceptions of the Heldrake and the ones "grandfathered in".  The IG Vendetta/Valkyrie and the Necron Croissant of Doom being the big ones.  Ironically, the Marine fliers were massively overpriced before and so seem fairly balanced in the case of the Storm Raven or still overpriced in the case of the Storm Talon.  But saying that, if that's what you have, use it.  I have used both to decent effect as straight out "Air Superiority fighters".  Nothing great, but they at least left me feeling not totally outclassed by what the other player could field, and that is pretty much all I am asking for.

Saying that, the rules, such as they are, for Fortifications are the game breaker for me.  This alone is the main reason I have almost zero interest in trying to get a team together for Adepticon.  Really, the current RAW interpretation for the Skyshield Landing Pad being that it does grant a 3+ cover save as a Fortification in addition to the 4++ save for everything on it against all shooting attacks.  Coupled with a strict RAW interpretation of "Ignores cover" (RAW: Wounds taken, so no effect vs. Vehicles), Eldar Wave Serpents sitting on one covering a Wraith Knight to give 25% cover to it?  Well, the WS has a 2+ cover save that cannot be ignored even if it does not move.  The WK gets a 2+ or 3+ depending and a 4++...  Oh, and nothing can get up there physically to engage in HtH because the whole surface is full.  So, they have a fire base that can pour out SO MUCH fire that most other forces simply melt away...  The only thing I thought of was to drop in a Sternguard Squad or the like and simply target the Building.  But I haven't seen a good ruling for what happens if the Building is "degraded" or destroyed...  Does the fortification lose that status and the ++ save generated by it?  Should, I would think but that is not necessarily the case of course...

So, I have at least one army I feel bad playing...  Eldar.  Simply TOO good these days.  Playing against a mirror force or against the legal but silly ally with yourself things like Tau/Tau or Marine/Marine just does not interest me at all.  Yes, I can build a proxy army using ancient Planetstorm Fantasian Armor, and build the specific Rock to that Scissors, but that REALLY does not interest me at all.  And the actual figures in question...  Sorry, I REALLY do not like them at all.  So, no "GW Official" Tournaments for me it would seem with my Centurion Devastator proxies, despite being WYSIWYG and painted the correct colors :-)  No big deal for me really, I'd be shocked if GW came back to the big tournament scene...  

And saying I have one army too powerful to play, I have 2 that are unplayable in the other direction.  Fleshtearers are a lost cause currently.  Fun to surprise some folks with on a rare occasion, but against all but the silliest and most unbalanced lists they are just bad.  Wolves are being repainted and I am fielding the VI Legion as a Heresy Era force.  They are doing fairly well there, and I am having fun playing that...  Shame that FW can bring out balanced and fun forces while GW fails miserably...  The figures are amazing, but really pricey...  But saying that, the amazing Forgeworld minis are at about the same price point as the new GW Plastics/crap resin stuff.  Maybe FW will be sold through GW's distribution channels and we can get it at the local stores some day, but for now it is mostly beyond my reach...

Tuesday, November 12, 2013

Veteran Squads out and more Legion "stuff"

Ok, so I’ve tried the Veteran Tactical Squad as Troops a few times…  Have to say I’m not liking it overall.  Yes, occasionally it does some neat things like placing a number of Wounds on say, a Spirit Seer or maybe even rends to get a Glance on a Wave Serpent…  But the Squad cost 270 points + 65 for the Medic for what was essentially a Tactical Squad with 2 Heavy Bolters.  Hiding in a Ruin and lacking real Transport meant that in this case we were pretty much SOL…  I SHOULD have flanked them and had them cause havoc in the Eldar backfield like my 40K Wolves…  Then at least they might have dealt with a few Guardian Squads before they died…  But still, 335 points for 11 Marines is a bit much.  2 of them have Artificer Armor and they have FnP until I lose the Medic, but for that cost I can get 10 Terminator suits onto the field.  And in 30K lists, Terminators ARE scoring units, Troops or no.  So 2+/4++ saves and Power Weapons for everyone seems like a better buy overall.  Fortunate that I happen to HAVE 5 Cataphractii assembled now and another 5 getting ready…  The 10 man Squad with the Spartan as a Dedicated Transport would be an insanely expensive thing, but Scoring Terminators joined by either a Centurion or the Praetor?  Nothing subtle, just rolling across the table to smash things.

But, overall?  I have to say I am liking the Armored Spearhead concept…  Just having a harder time actually fitting in all that I want into the 1850 lists J…  Running multiple Land Raiders is fun, and sometimes even works J…  It IS a surprise for a lot of folks who have not seen them used in a very long time due to the Melta overload in the last edition…  But having a bunch of them immune to Melta rolling across the table?  Not bad I think…  Still need a better way to deal with fliers, but the TL Las Cannons are actually not doing badly for me at the moment.

Guessing I will look at the Siege Breaker again at some point as I am thinking that Artillery might be nice and granting Tank Hunter to a Squad all armed with say, Missile Launchers or the like might be amusing…  And to upgrade the “whole Squad” to Flak missiles is 50 points…  Tank Hunting Flak missiles might be a good “Sky Sweeper” option for me.  340 points for 10 ML seems a bit high, but Interceptor against Deep Strikers means that the Sternguard suicide squad really just does not work well…  I do not know though, this seems a LOT of points given I will likely have to hide them in a Ruin/Bastion or buy them a Rhino.  Might look at the smaller squad in a Bastion?  And/or do I field the Mortis class DN?  The Mortis with the TL Las Cannon the other DA player locally fields seems like it does well, and the Interceptor NOT being limited means that at the least it can put two Las Cannon shots into a lot of things just showing up on the field.  And I have been looking at fielding a Whirlwind Scorpius as Heavy Support…  If the Wolves or any 40K Marine force has access to it, it will likely be one of the longer term purchases for my lads…  Str 8 AP 3 Barrage blast, and if I stand still it is 1 + d3 shots…  THAT could be devastating against parking lots or massed blobs of Heavy Infantry…  Well, NOT Terminator armor, but who plays massed Terminators.  Well, besides me J

REALLY liking the Siege Breachers Infantry I am putting together...  Will need to trade for more of the "Night Hunter" Wolves decals...  They come something like 10 on the "Wolves" sheet, so I'll have plenty of other ones to give away...

Monday, November 11, 2013

"Pride of the Legion" for this week...

Trying Legion again…  Sticking with my Wolves as VI Legion, and using “Pride of the Legion”…  The disadvantages of “No Allies” and “Lose and extra point if you lose ALL of your Vet/Terminator Squads”…  Eh, if I have lost all of my Troops, I have likely lost big in any case, so nothing for me to be concerned about.  No Allies?  Mkay, I have none in any case in a 30K Environment until I get a specific Legion list and that is a few books down the road.  So, I get to count my Terminators which are scoring in any case but to count them as Troops…  The Veteran Squad getting Sniper is pretty darn cool.  The Heavy Bolter with the suspensor web is another neat thing…  Yes, counting on Rending sucks, but the fact that I can start placing shots onto specific models and every shot is potentially rending…  Not entirely convinced that this is a winning Squad, but it is fun to play.  EXPENSIVE to field, but they should do a fair amount of damage on the table.

So, looking to field:
1850 Legion 11850 Pts  -   ~ Horus Heresy (THH1) Army

1 Legion Praetor (HQ) @ 155 Pts
     Independent Character; Legiones Astartes; Master of the Legion; Rite of
     War: Pride of the Legion; #Cataphractii TDA; Combi-Bolter; Paragon Blade;

1 Forge Lord (Legion Centurion) (HQ) @ 105 Pts
     Independent Character; Legiones Astartes; Consul; Battlesmith; #Frag
     Grenades; #Krak Grenades; #Artificer Armour; Rad Grenades; Bolt Pistol
     (x1); Charnabal Sabre; Servo-arm

4 Legion Terminator Squad (Troops) @ 485 Pts
     Legiones Astartes; Implacable Advance; Prototype Weaponry; #Cataphractii
     TDA; Chainfist (x1); Lightning Claws (x2) (x1); Power Weapon (x2);
     Combi-Bolter (x2); Reaper Autocannon (x1)

     1 Legion Terminator Sergeant @ [55] Pts
          #Cataphractii TDA; Combi-Bolter; Power Weapon (x1)

     1 Legion Phobos @ [270] Pts
          Vehicle (Tank); Capacity: 10; Access Points: 3; Assault Vehicle;
          #Searchlight; #Smoke Launchers; #Machine Spirit; Armoured Ceremite;
          TL Lascannon Sponsons (x2)

9 Legion Veteran Tactical Squad (Troops) @ 270 Pts
     Legiones Astartes; Veteran Tactics; Power Armour; Chainsword (x8); Bolt
     Pistol (x9); Bolter (x7); Heavy Bolter w/Suspensor Web (x2); Power Weapon
     (x1); Frag Grenades; Krak Grenades

     1 Legion Veteran Sergeant @ [85] Pts
          (character); Artificer Armour; Bolt Pistol; Power Weapon (x1); Bolter

19 Legion Breacher Siege Squad (Troops) @ 395 Pts
     Legiones Astartes; Hardened Armour; #Boarding Shield; Power Armour; Bolt
     Pistol (x19); Bolter (x15); Flamer (x2); Graviton Gun (x2); Frag Grenades;
     Krak Grenades

     1 Legion Sergeant @ [155] Pts
          (character); #Boarding Shield; Artificer Armour; Bolter; Power Weapon

1 Legion Apothecary (Elites) @ 125 Pts
     (character); Legiones Astartes; #Narthecium; Augury Scanner; Artificer
     Armour; Bolt Pistol; Power Sword; Frag Grenades; Krak Grenades

     1 Legion Apothecary #1 @ [55] Pts
          (character); Legiones Astartes; #Narthecium; Artificer Armour;
          Chainsword; Bolt Pistol; Frag Grenades; Krak Grenades

1 Legion Spartan Assault Tank (Heavy Support) @ 315 Pts
     Vehicle (Tank); Capacity: 25; Access Points: 3; Assault Vehicle; #Machine
     Spirit; #Extra Armour; #Searchlight; #Smoke Launchers; Armoured Ceremite;
     TL Heavy Bolters; Quad Lascannon Sponsons (x2)

Models in Army: 41

Total Army Cost: 1850

So, another REALLY simple force…  Essentially, the Spartan loaded up with the Breachers, the Praetor, the Forge Lord and a Medic to give them all FnP.  Immune to Melta, roll forward and hopefully take an objective.  The second Raider runs as “security” or as a “wingman” to the primary force…  Break off if needed, but looking at the Tau/Eldar MC builds.  6 TL Las Cannon to fire each turn, the Vets with Sniper sitting back and camping an Objective.  With the FAQ allowing Cataphractii Terminator armor NOT preventing a squad from funning down someone beaten in HtH…  Yes, the Breachers are REALLY unlikely to ever do this with the complete lack of HtH ability and -1” on the attempt….  But still J…  Initiative 5 with the Praetor/Forge Lord and the number of CC monsters “hidden” in the giant Squad makes for a very real threat…  Loads of weird special rules like Rad Grenades, Defensive Grenades, etc…  But in general, we roll up and shoot…  A LOT.  Hope for the best and hope that you simply outlast the other side… 

Friday, November 8, 2013

Plasma Everywhere? And the 30K/40K interactions...

So, started the post on my tablet running the mobile Blogger app....  Have to say that was a failure.  No automatic saving of what you are typing, and flipping between apps on the device apparently does at some random point simply erase everything you have typed...  Lesson learned.  Blogging from the mobile device is emergency only, and the web site itself does not work on Chrome , so...  Woo Hoo!  Guess Google is behind on their own standards :-)  ah well...

So, after playing a fair number of games with the Heresy era Legion...  The one thing I am looking at changing is to bring a Tactical Support Squad loaded out with Plasma guns.  Yes, a 15 point upgrade per Trooper, but...  It is a Plasma Gun, so Str 7, AP 2 and likely 2 shots each at 12" range?  Yes, I will take some casualties from my own weapons, but the Medic (Apothecary) for the FnP roll should help...  And provide another 2+ save body to help for the inevitable HtH...

Thus far, I have been running EVERY SGT...  OK, EVERY body I can get into Artificer Armor in that armor.  The big squads with 2-4 of them in the Squad make for an annoyingly difficult thing to take off the table.  Power Weapons where I can as well.  Finding that there is a LOT more HtH when everyone is fielding Marines and thus not a lot of weapons that efficiently deal with 3+ armor.  Challenges, massed attacks, etc. are all pretty important, but the simple ability to deny an Armor save is the thing that is winning more combats for my lads in the 6th...

Which leads to another sort of observation...  The Legions are REALLY well focused on dealing with Xenos.  Well, 5+ armor and to a great extent 4+ and worse really...  Things like the Volkite weapons are BRUTAL against IG, Tyranid or Eldar swarm type armies, but mostly an afterthought against 3+ bodies.  Yes, eventually they cause a few casualties, but so often I have a 10 man Tactical Support Squad (TSS) open up on a group of Marines in the open and...  Do effectively nothing, maybe get 1-3 casualties out of the massed Volkite fire.  One reason I am looking at swapping for Plasma.  At least with the Plasma I get some casualties and take out a big chunk of most squads that are trying to assault my position.  And I can overload with things like the Havoc Launchers for a lot of Str 5 AP 5 blast markers...  Yes, I intend to build a few to put on my Rhino Hulls (magnetized)...  Something about having 30+ Rhino Hulls, repainting a bunch of them in the old Wolves Legion colors is not going to have ANY impact on my other Marine armies.  But again, AP 5, so unlikely to actually DO much against my primary Heresy Era enemies...

Think that is probably the biggest issue I have with the Legion lists.  Everything is so focused, nothing is really a generalist or "Swiss Army Knife".  Tactical Squads are just Bolters, no Heavy/Special weapons at all.  The Heavy and Support Squads are all armed with the same weapons, so all Volkite Calvers, Plasma Guns, Missile Launchers or whatever...  On one level, that makes it simple and if you KNOW what you are facing, you can build a specific counter.  But I MUCH prefer a more generalist approach.  My Grey Hunter squads in 40K have a little of everything.  Rifle, Pistol, Sword, a Flamer or Melta in the Squad, likely a Power Weapon and/or a hidden Werewolf to multiply their HtH presence and riding in a Razorback for Heavy Weapon support.  So, the small squad has the ability to move independently, support others like themselves and actually DO a fair amount of damage on the field...  Yes, far less resilient than the giant 20 man squads, but standing off and firing the Las Cannon/Plasma into them, the new Wolves will cause a few casualties without any possibility of taking any until the Legion gets into Assault range or has something else deal with the Razorback.  Having said all of that, I still believe that the 40K Tactical Squad is mostly useless except for it's ability to camp Objectives, and armies with other Scoring options are almost always doing better overall without the "tax" required to actually try to win some games based on the Missions themselves.  One reason I bring Scouts in my Crimson Fist lists, frankly they are simply cheaper scoring bodies that I can try to flank or otherwise hide to keep alive.  3+ armor is simply NOT enough these days to try and stay alive when other armies like the Eldar and Tau have so many weapons on their basic, common units that simply ignore your Armor and in a lot of cases any potential Cover saves you might have had....

And so, back to Rock-Paper-Scissors I guess...  Marines (40K) deal well enough with the 4 Tau Riptide if they build specifically for it, as do the Eldar with the same caveat.  Tau/Eldar are pretty much dominating the competitive scene otherwise...  And ironically, the 30K Heresy era things seem fairly well balanced against all of the above...  For the moment, with the breakneck speed of releases in 6th Edition these days, who knows what will happen when the Tyranids hit the field with a new book or the IG, or...  :-)  Whatever comes next frankly...

Tuesday, November 5, 2013

30K and 40K so far...

So...  Got in a fair number of 30k games now, and I have to say it is a refreshing change.  Balanced, fun and so far nothing too over the top.  Well, there are a few things that are close :-) ....  Spartan decked out is close, but mid 300 point range?  Neat, but almost never gets back its points on its own....  Transporting a giant unit of whatever across the table....  THAT wins games. 

Major downside of the 30k stuff I have seen is that everyone is a Marine.  So 3+ saves all over the place.  Things that ignore 3+ armor are rare and expensive.  Weight of fire works, but you have to be aware that sometimes you get 20 wounds on a squad and they do not lose a single model...  FnP all over the place, Artificer Armor for the 2+ in almost every squad for the SGTs...

Biggest down side to 40k locally at least is the broken FOC that the supplements and allies get you.  Playing one Army is actually a DISADVANTAGE now that it is legal to field armies allied with themselves for the extra slots...  4 Riptides or 4 Heldrakes is just silly.  Legal, and playable of course but...  So, I have to have my Centurion Devastator squads ready as the hard counter I think...  For the Riptides or Eldar Wraith Knights...  Just not liking the extreme"rock - paper - scissors" feel the game has devolved into.  I have a good Marine army, just gets kind of boring playing that way.  Fielding my VI Legion Wolves, and having fun...  NOT winning all the time, but I think both players enjoy the game this way.

Not sure how I feel about the "rumored" expansions coming...  Building rules and the ability to field "Lords of War" in 40k games.  So, more expensive books to a) fix rules that they failed to do right in the base game and b) giant, expensive kits that were never intended for this scale of the game...  If the fortification rules are free downloads publicly available that is one thing, but given who we are talking about?  Not holding my breath.  Right now, the Skyshield if played as written is stupidly broken, making the Eldar a no brainer to win most tournaments...  So, it is killing the game from a competitive standpoint...  And that in turn seems to be driving sales lower and attendance at our local store...  I am having a harder time getting the motivation to play in a tournament, or even keep playing 40k frankly.  REALLY like the Forge World models, just wish the Gopher carried them :-)   Picked up a few Cataphractii Terminator suits, amazing models.  Spartan is on the list for eventually pick up, even more if the bigger things hit the table in general.  Slowly getting more, but...  Just hoping the game itself continues...

Monday, November 4, 2013

2000 point Heresy game this week...

Bringing my VI Legion (Wolves) out to play again against Word Bearers I think...  I am fielding the following:

2000 Legion 12000 Pts  -   ~ Horus Heresy (THH1) Army

1 Legion Praetor (HQ) @ 155 Pts
     Independent Character; Legiones Astartes; Master of the Legion; #Artificer
     Armour; #Frag Grenades; #Krak Grenades; Refractor Field; Rite of War:
     Pride of the Legion; Archaeotech Pistol; Paragon Blade; Warlord

1 Forge Lord (Legion Centurion) (HQ) @ 130 Pts
     Independent Character; Legiones Astartes; Consul; Battlesmith; #Frag
     Grenades; #Krak Grenades; #Artificer Armour; Rad Grenades; Refractor
     Field; Bolt Pistol (x1); Charnabal Sabre; Servo-arm; Graviton Gun

19 Legion Breacher Siege Squad (Troops) @ 395 Pts
     Legiones Astartes; Hardened Armour; #Boarding Shield; Power Armour; Bolt
     Pistol (x19); Bolter (x15); Flamer (x2); Graviton Gun (x2); Frag Grenades;
     Krak Grenades

     1 Legion Sergeant @ [155] Pts
          (character); #Boarding Shield; Artificer Armour; Bolter; Power Weapon

9 Legion Veteran Tactical Squad (Troops) @ 275 Pts
     Legiones Astartes; Veteran Tactics; Power Armour; Chainsword (x8); Bolt
     Pistol (x9); Bolter (x7); Heavy Bolter w/Suspensor Web (x1); Missile
     Launcher w/Susp. Web (x1); Power Weapon (x1); Frag Grenades; Krak Grenades

     1 Legion Veteran Sergeant @ [85] Pts
          (character); Artificer Armour; Bolt Pistol; Power Weapon (x1); Bolter

1 Legion Apothecary (Elites) @ 210 Pts
     (character); Legiones Astartes; #Narthecium; Augury Scanner; Artificer
     Armour; Bolt Pistol; Power Sword; Frag Grenades; Krak Grenades

     1 Legion Apothecary #1 @ [70] Pts
          (character); Legiones Astartes; #Narthecium; Augury Scanner;
          Artificer Armour; Bolt Pistol; Power Sword; Frag Grenades; Krak

     1 Legion Apothecary #2 @ [70] Pts
          (character); Legiones Astartes; #Narthecium; Augury Scanner;
          Artificer Armour; Bolt Pistol; Power Sword; Frag Grenades; Krak

4 Legion Terminator Squad (Troops) @ 460 Pts
     Legiones Astartes; Implacable Advance; Prototype Weaponry; #Cataphractii
     TDA; Power Weapon (x4); Combi-Bolter (x3); Reaper Autocannon (x1)

     1 Legion Terminator Sergeant @ [55] Pts
          #Cataphractii TDA; Combi-Bolter; Power Weapon (x1)

     1 Legion Phobos @ [270] Pts
          Vehicle (Tank); Capacity: 10; Access Points: 3; Assault Vehicle;
          #Searchlight; #Smoke Launchers; #Machine Spirit; Armoured Ceremite;
          TL Lascannon Sponsons (x2)

9 Legion Tactical Support Squad (Troops) @ 235 Pts
     Legiones Astartes; Support Squad; Power Armour; Bolt Pistol (x9); Volkite
     Caliver; Frag Grenades; Krak Grenades

     1 Legion Sergeant @ [55] Pts
          (character); Artificer Armour; Augury Scanner; Bolt Pistol;

1 Legion Artillery Tank Squadron (Legion Basilisk) (Heavy Support) @ 140 Pts
     Vehicle (Tank); #Searchlight; #Smoke Launchers; Earthshaker Cannon; Hull
     Heavy Bolter

Models in Army: 52

Total Army Cost: 2000

So, NOT bringing my Spartan of Doom...  That seems like a simple enough choice, and I know damn good and well that it works.  Let's see what the lads can do like this.  The Siege Squad joined by the Tech and Praetor seems like a pretty tough nut to crack, especially if I plant them in some sort of cover.  Have to admit the Conversion Beam on the Tech is VERY tempting in this setup, and could be easy enough to get if I feel it will work...  Seems one of the good ways to put down a Str 10 AP 1 blast to help deal with the Land Raiders being immune to Melta, or the big MCs...

The Basilisk is there to root out things hiding, and with it being a Str 9 AP 3 large blast Ord weapon...  Well, barring area terrain, I am hoping to see some large squads of Infantry in the open, or bomb them out of cover...  In a pinch I think it also has a decent chance against most Vehicles, even Land Raiders I guess...  Thinking it will be able to drop the template on the folks piling out of a Rhino the Volkites destroy...  You know, if things go the way I'd like them to...  We'll see I guess.  Not 100% sure it will be worth the 140 points for a BS 4 Basilisk, but...

Vets will either be Snipers of Flankers, depending on the setup...  Both Heavy Weapons have suspensors allowing them to fire on the move, and Sniper for the Unit is just brutal...

So, 4 "Troops" choices, 1 Heavy and 2 HQ elements...  A lot of Infantry, hoping that this does not bite me in the ass...  But a LOT of FnP for the lads...  We'll see if that works at all.  Since I know I will not face a Heldrake, I am less concerned...  Thinking that a Bastion and/or Mortis DN will become a standard piece of equipment for me going forward...

Friday, November 1, 2013

VI Legion, Wolves

So, going back to the old Wolves, or more correctly at this point the VI Legion.  I HAVE a bunch of stuff painted up in what was the original paint scheme for the Wolves, some of that fits in quite well with the current Forgeworld Heresy era stuff…  I am liking how the Cataphractii are coming together and the “new” color scheme is looking pretty good so far.  Running a lot of just basic stuff at this point, the VI’s specific rules won’t be out for quite some time.  Still there is a LOT of “basic” stuff to use.

For instance, Veteran Squads have a number of rules they choose at the start of each game:
Fearless, Sniper, Furious Charge, Outflank, Tank Hunter

Choosing one, guessing I’ll be using Sniper or Outflank…  Not enough in the range of AT weapons to make the Bolters really effective.  Sniper gives me the ability to Wound on at worst a 4+ regardless of Toughness, Precision Shots and Rending on all shooting attacks…  Not seeing a downside, especially as this is likely my answer to the big MC type things out there.  Flank of course is just a pretty good thing all around for a bunch of the Lads…  As they’ll likely be Troops in my lists, being able to put them in my enemy’s back field seems like a good thing.

So, like I said the Cataphractii are coming along...

Happy how the test model is coming along...  5 assembled so far, ready for the next 5...  More Troops for the 6th...

Tuesday, October 29, 2013

Legion review and comparing it to 40K...

Well, played against a 40K Marine force with my Armored Spearhead last evening...  Wound up losing, but it was a fairly close fight.  Made my one critical error when facing a Chapter Master...  Orbital Strike against a tightly packed Breacher Squad meant I lost my Tech and 9 of the line troopers...  Forgot about that, and it cost me dearly.  That Squad SHOULD have cleared out the center.  They DID take down the Terminators, but they should have done so much more against what amounts to just a bunch of Power Armored bodies in Bolter range.  So, the 3 Squad force at 1850 was unsuccessful in an Objective based game.  DID lose one Land Raider and the Terminators it was transporting.  Ironically, the last Cataphract died in the explosion from a Rhino he tore up with his Chain Fist...

Kind of brings up the point of irritation for me...  NOT with his specific army at all.  James' force was a fairly "friendly" force based around Ultramarines using mostly Tactical and Devastator Squads with Salamander Allies.  So, essentially, lots of 3+ save bodies.  Dies horribly to Heldrake spam, but not really an issue locally at least.  More the broader picture.  The fact that Allies allow you to take a modified and likely superior FOC.  And being able to ally with yourself to gain the extra slots just seems inherently unbalanced.  Yes, everyone CAN take Allies.  Just annoying that I feel penalized by taking a basic, traditional force.  This modified FOC I think is a major unbalancing factor in the Tournament scene.  Seeing a lot of the armies bringing 3-4 of the big MC things to win.  Given the limited environment and time constraints, those armies will do well if their Troops are fairly resilient or say, their Transports are.    Some of the armies that the big MC types would I think have a harder time taking down are things like the massed Infantry/Hordes...  Not viable to play those armies in a timed event though.

I don't know.  Looking ahead I have to admit to thinking that I won't bother trying to get a team together to go to Adepticon.  A lot will depend on the FAQ that the TOs there provide.  But right now, the Eldar Wave Serpents spam on the Skyshield seems to be something nigh unbeatable.  Put enough up there and you are unassailable in Assault, have a 3+ cover save that goes to 2+ with the Holo Fields and against the few things that may remove the Cover save?  Oh, yeah a 4++...  Still looking at the RAW, and the rules for no cover save weapons specify "wounds", so strictly speaking it does NOT apply to Vehicles...

So, got the Cataphracts assembled and starting to test out a paint scheme.  Going with the Pre-Heresy Wolves...  Will have to post a pic when I remember to take my phone downstairs...  Have to say I like the way they are coming together...

Wednesday, October 23, 2013

Next Week's Legion list

So, looking at what I've learned from last week...  Here's what I intend to field next week:

1850 Pts - ~ Horus Heresy (THH1) Army                                       1850 Legion 2

Unit Name                       ##  WS   BS   St   To   Wo   In    At   Ld  Save     Cost

Legion Praetor (HQ)             1    6    5   4/5   4    3    5    4    10 2+/5++     135
                               Independent Character; Legiones Astartes; Master
                               of the Legion; #Artificer Armour; #Frag Grenades;
                               #Krak Grenades; Refractor Field; Rite of War:
                               Armoured Spearhead; Bolt Pistol (x1); Paragon
                               Blade; Warlord

Forge Lord (Legion Centurion)   1    5    5   4/8   4    2   5/1  3/4   9    2+       105
                               Independent Character; Legiones Astartes; Consul;
                               Battlesmith; #Frag Grenades; #Krak Grenades;
                               #Artificer Armour; Rad Grenades; Bolt Pistol
                               (x1); Charnabal Sabre; Servo-arm

Legion Breacher Siege Squad (T  19   4    4    4    4    1    4    1    8  3+/6++     395
                               Legiones Astartes; Hardened Armour; #Boarding
                               Shield; Power Armour; Bolt Pistol (x19); Bolter
                               (x15); Flamer (x3); Graviton Gun (x1); Frag
                               Grenades; Krak Grenades
  Legion Sergeant               1    4    4    4    4    1    4    2    9  2+/6++   [160]
                               (character); #Boarding Shield; Artificer Armour;
                               Bolter; Lightning Claw

Legion Tactical Squad (Troops)  9    4    4    4    4    1    4   1/2   8    3+       390
                               Legiones Astartes; Fury of the Legion; Power
                               Armour; Chainsword; Bolt Pistol (x9); Bolter
                               (x9); Frag Grenades; Krak Grenades
  Legion Tactical Sergeant      1    4    4    4    4    1    4   2/3   9    2+      [82]
                               (character); Artificer Armour; Chainsword; Power
                               Weapon (x1); Bolt Pistol
  Legion Proteus                1  BS: 4 Front: 14 Side: 14 Rear: 14 HP: 4          [200]
                               Vehicle (Tank); Capacity: 10; Access Points: 2;
                               #Searchlight; #Smoke Launchers; #Machine Spirit;
                               TL Lascannon Sponsons (x2)

Legion Apothecary (Elites)      1    4    4    4    4    1    4   1/2   8    2+        70
                               (character); Legiones Astartes; #Narthecium;
                               Augury Scanner; Artificer Armour; Bolt Pistol;
                               Power Sword; Frag Grenades; Krak Grenades

Legion Spartan Assault Tank (H  1  BS: 4 Front: 14 Side: 14 Rear: 14 HP: 5            315
                               Vehicle (Tank); Capacity: 25; Access Points: 3;
                               Assault Vehicle; #Machine Spirit; #Extra Armour;
                               #Searchlight; #Smoke Launchers; Armoured
                               Ceremite; TL Heavy Bolters; Quad Lascannon
                               Sponsons (x2)

Legion Terminator Squad (Elite  4    4    4    4    4    1    4    2    8  2+/4++     440
                               Legiones Astartes; Implacable Advance; Prototype
                               Weaponry; #Cataphractii TDA; Power Weapon (x4);
                               Combi-Bolter (x3); Reaper Autocannon (x1)
  Legion Terminator Sergeant    1    4    4    4    4    1    4    2    9  2+/4++    [55]
                               #Cataphractii TDA; Combi-Bolter; Power Weapon
  Legion Phobos                 1  BS: 4 Front: 14 Side: 14 Rear: 14 HP: 4          [250]
                               Vehicle (Tank); Capacity: 10; Access Points: 3;
                               Assault Vehicle; #Searchlight; #Smoke Launchers;
                               #Machine Spirit; TL Lascannon Sponsons (x2)

  Models in Army: 41

So, a much smaller force...  One ancient Land Raider for the Tac Squad to go forth and camp.  Did find out that the Proteus Class LR lacks the Assault Vehicle rule, so the lads woll not get out and charge into Assault...  But, not really the plan for them.  The whole army is Scoring, at least all 3 Squads...  And The big Siege Breacher Squad with FnP, Flamers, Defensive Grenades, Invulnerable Saves, Rad Grenades and 2 decent HtH monsters hidden in there?  Should be a PITA to remove from the field once they get out of the Spartan.

So, nothing subtle, just the Spartan flanked by the other 2 Land Raiders rolling up the field.  8 TL Las Cannon shots, each Vehicle with Machine Spirit so the shots can be spread out a bit...  Less concerned about Fliers or big MCs...  Think they will have a hard time removing the Spartan with the Tech riding in it repairing as needed...

Tuesday, October 22, 2013

First game in with Legion vs Chaos @ 1850

So, got in a game against a Chaos force with m generic Legion army.  I fielded:

Siege Breaker
3 Apothocaries (Artificer, PW)
Breacher Squad (20, 3 Grav 1 flamer)
Tactical Squad (20)
Tactical Support (10, Volkite Calviers)
Mortis DN
Thudd Gun
Spartan (dozer, Ceremite)

Joe brought a Chaos/Black Legion force based on a Rhino Rush strategy:
Chaos Lord (jump pack, Axe of rage, burning blade?, Khorne mark)
Raptors (10, 2 melta, few other upgrades)
3 Rhinos with a Squad each (Melta/Flamer in each Squad, PF/PW champ)
Hel Drake
Chaos Chaplain equivalent (BL)
Chosen Squad (loads of upgrades, in Rhino)

He went first, loaded up his Left flank with 3 Rhinos full and the Jump Squad, leaving a single Rhino on the Right for himself.  I set up in a few ruins, one had the Quad Mortar one the Support Squad and one the Tac Squad from my Left to Center.  I left my Right empty, keeping the Spartan in Reserve with the Breacher Squad in as bait for the Objective there.  Siege Breaker with the Support Squad (my Warlord) and the Vigilator with the Tac Squad to give them better cover and use his Sniper abilities.  This I think is where I made my major mistake.  Had I simply fielded the Spartan ON the Objective and dared them to come and get me I would have been in a far better position late game.  As it was, nothing game breaking, we ended up with a draw as we both killed a lot of the other side and had units locked in Assault when time expired...  I got First Blood from a Rhino kill, he got Line Breaker by being in my DZ for the bulk of the game :-)...  We both found that the big 20 man Squads with FnP and 2-3 2+ Armor guys in them were annoyingly difficult to kill off.  I did not actually lose any of my Squads entirely by the game end, but I also failed to kill off enough of his to keep an Objective clear....

So, what I learned:

  1. Big Squads are good, especially the Breacher Squad.  The Blast/Template re-rolls and FnP meant that bunching up coming out of the Spartan wasn't a big deal.  Also, ALL of them having a 5++ and FnP in Assault was huge.  This will I think become a standard setup piece for my lists.  Some of the lads are inbound now, guessing I'll be sculpting/casting shields to mod more of my ancient earlier MK armors to be a full Squad...
  2. While it was GREAT having Apothecaries in each Squad, I need to tool out the SGT and likely have a more HtH focused IC in each big Squad to actually be a credible threat and actually keep my lads alive when they get hit.
  3. Tac Support Squad with the Volkite thing...  It was "eh"...  A minor threat to the Rhinos.  But really?  I think Flamers in a Rhino will be more the norm.  Keep it in Reserve maybe and roll on to flambe a Unit that is threatening my backfield...  Plasma or Melta are options, but 30/Marine is a lot of points...  Not seeing enough Deep Strikers to say that a unit of all Plasma and Intercept would be worth the points.  Might run the Volkite thing one more time, but 3+, even in cover is just not that great anymore...
  4. The Siege Breaker and Vigilator were both pretty "eh" at best.  What I REALLY needed was more HtH power, the Sniper stuff just wasn't worth the points, nor was the Tank Hunter ability really.  SB needs to be in a list with more actual Artillery and more folks with the Comm Units to abuse LoS.  Camo cloak and Specialist Ammo was completely worthless in this case.  
  5. I brought a few "let's try this" sort of things...  A single Artillery piece that was no real threat to Marines, the single AA DN, etc...  The DN might stay, but even so, that was 135 points wasted I felt.  The Artillery I have to either commit to bringing a LOT in the form of actual Arty or even 3 Mortars or not at all.  Basilisk is an option, and 2 of them with the LoS abuse possible would be brutal.  So more focused list building needed.
  6. ATSKNF...  Not having it SUCKS.  I got way too spoiled playing modern Marine armies for so long that I did not realize how often it might well be REALLY important to have.

So, more focused lists...  That was the big thing I learned.  Thinking the Praetor with the Armored Spearhead will be the next list.  Though I AM looking forward to fielding some Cataphractii Terminators...  Just that they do not normally HAVE the Deep Strike option and so need the 250 point Land Raider bringing the 5 man Squad cost to 440.  The Centurion upgrades I brought were also a "that looks neat" thing, but I think they really brought nothing useful to my list as unfocused as it was.  The Praetor will be different I think.  Fewer bodies, but more focus on doing what I think must be done.

All in all though, I think it was a good, fun game...  Looking forward to seeing what else I can bring to the table...

Sunday, October 20, 2013

Generic Legion @ 1850 for this week...

So, I couldn't decide between the Vigilator and the Siege Breaker to lead out the Lads, so I brought them both in this list...  Though I may well bring a Librarian in place of the Siege Breaker...  Same point cost.

Vigilator (Artificer Armor, Refractor Field)  115
Siege Breaker  95

Legion Breacher Siege Squad (20, 3 Graviton guns and Flamer, Artificer on SGT)  400
Legion Tactical Squad (20, Artificer and Combi Melta on SGT)  310
Legion Tactical Support Squad (10, Volkite Calviers, Artificer on SGT)  230
Legion Apothecaries (3, Artificer Armor, 1 w/ Augury Scanner) 180

Legion Spartan Assault Tank (Ceremite, Dozer) 320
Mortis DN (TL AC)  135
Rapier Weapon BTTY (Quad Mortar/Thudd Gun)  60

So, basically, the Breacher Squad loads up in the Spartan and rolls forward if needed.  Quad Mortar, Tac Squad and Support Squad castle up with the Vigilator leading out the Tacs for Sniper support.  Siege Breaker leads out the Support Squad to give them Tank Hunter.  Loads of Str 6 shooting, with Interceptor against Deep Strikers...  A bit light on AA, just the Mortis really being dedicated AAA.  I am also a bit concerned about the lack of real Heavy Weapons...

The other option is a Praetor leading out a few Squads of 10 in Proteus Class Land Raiders.  Breachers and Praetor ride in the Spartan.  Smaller numbers, but all in AV 14, loads of TL LC to shoot down something similar...

Thursday, October 17, 2013

New Legion rules and potential lists...

So, looking over the new Legion stuff, not at all sure what Legion I will end up fielding, but suspect it will be my ancient Wolves…  Though they really did not have much to do with the Terra portion of the Heresy…  The rules for the Iron Hands are REALLY good, and should our local IH player (Ted) ever get back to playing, I think he will be pretty happy with how they play.  Looking like I just play a generic Legion for the time being.  So, what HQ do I lead them out with?

1.       Legion Praetor:  Essentially a Chapter Master, albeit without some of the current things that say, Pedro gets like the Orbital Bombardment and Honor Guard.  Though they do have the “Master of the Legion” rule which allows you to customize your Legion build through one of several optional “Rites of War”.  One is Armored Spearhead, opening up Land Raiders as Transports for every squad that could take a Rhino.  Another is Pride of the Legion making Terminators and Vet Squads Troops…  There ARE disadvantages to each, for example the Spearhead requires your hole army to be Mechanized, nothing NOT transported.  And additional Secondary VC’s for each if you lose all of what the bonus gives you.  Still, an excellent way I think to build out a force if you start with a vision for it firmly in mind from the beginning.  My test list of one has 3 Land Raiders and a Spartan.  Numerically small, but AV 14, immune to Melta and with 10 TL LC shots each turn to attempt to bring down bigger targets on a mobile platform seems a pretty decent start.  A LOT of armies simply cannot deal with so much AV 14, especially if you take the easy answer of “Melta for the Win” off the table for the most part.  The other Rites I could use to build a “Proto” BA or DA force with ease.  So, an interesting and varied choice which would allow me to tailor my force to whatever I feel like playing…
2.       Centurion upgraded to Consul:  There are a LOT more choices here.  This slot is the one where the Chaplain, Librarian, Master of the Forge, etc. all come from.  And others not seen since the RT era…  The Librarian is a safe choice for players familiar with the old standard Marine Librarian as an Army Leader…  Choosing your own Discipline means that ANY of them are open, I suspect Divination will be the most popular choice for most folks.  Not horribly expensive, but no particular advantages either I think.  Safe and steady.  I am leaning toward the Vigilator or the Siege Breaker myself as I think they fit my personal play style a lot more, and the Consul will essentially be my Avatar on the field based on my own Army experience…  Vigilator gives you a free “Sabotage” to hit an Enemy unit at the start of the game and is a Stealth guy with Sniper and the Sternguard type ammo for his Bolter.  I see him leading out a Tactical or Breacher Squad setting up in Cover and being just that damn stubborn to pull off of an objective.  The Siege Breaker gives/has Tank Hunter…  The obvious choice is to put him with a Tactical Support Squad with Volkite Caliver on each Trooper for the re-rolls against Vehicles.  Should be pretty rough against Light Tanks, etc…  Or with a Heavy Support section with Missile Launchers and Flak Missiles to pull Sky Marshall Duty.  Not seeing THAT many fliers and lacking Scoring status for the most part, hard to justify the cost…
So, those are the basic HQ choices…  I can either take the Land Raider overload or a more basic one to lead out the lads… 

For Troops, I am liking the Breacher Siege Squads more and more.  Expensive, yes, but they all have an Invulnerable save and get to re-roll saves against Templates and Blasts.  Looking at the Iron Hands rules from the Massacre book, these would be my line Squads without question.  Inv save and a 6+ FnP roll on basic Troops, and LR or LR Spartan for Transports?  The Spartan has a carry capacity of 25, so Medics and other IC have room to join the Squad for a stupid huge Squad…  Even without the IH rules, the Breachers with an attached Medic will I think be an annoyingly difficult to remove Squad for shorter games like in a Tournament.  And given that they are a basic Troop choice for one of my 2 minimum required ones…

The Basic Tactical Squad is interesting, but I am not 100% sure I like fielding just a mass of Marines armed only with Bolters.  The lack of the Special/Heavy weapons in the Squad are a major concern for me.  In an Armored Spearhead, they are just Panzer Grenadiers riding in the Proteus Class Raider jumping out at the end of the assault to claim objectives or keep the Tanks from being swarmed I guess…  They are in my initial test armies, but I think my concerns about their viability are valid…  Though, arming them like my old Grey Hunters with the rifle, pistol, and sword means they are at least “kind of” Assault Squads if I need them to be.  A unit of 20 with Apothecary and maybe the Sniper leader would be interesting I think.  Stubborn defense if they start/end up in a Ruin or other Area terrain camping on an Objective.

Speaking of the Apothecaries, I am thinking that every Squad that is on foot or mounted in a LR Spartan will have one…  Points/slots permitting of course.  NOT ICs like the BA ones, but assigned out like Wolf Guard.  So, planning is required, but it just means I have to be more careful during the list building stage of the game.  An additional Character with potentially Artificer Armor and maybe a Power Weapon or Augury Scanner who also grants the 5+ FnP roll?  Yes, please.

Otherwise, I am looking at the second book (“Horus Heresy Book 2 – Massacre”), and finding that if I were to go into the Iron Hands I would be pretty well set…  I think they pretty much work the way I’d like the Legion Marines to work.  Shoot like you are voting in Chicago, early and often.  But I think I will stay with my ancient Space Wolves at least until I see what this iteration of the history is…  As I was familiar with the old Wolves, I am hoping that at the least they do not vary TOO much from the regular Legions.  So far it is just a different unit or two, the Primarch with a few characters and maybe a different Rite of War…  So basically as I start building now, perhaps I will be OK moving it over to Wolves when they finally appear in the books.  Looking at 3-4 new Legions/year it might well be some time before they DO show up.  But the Mortis DN and the Contemptor Mortis are both there for all Legions to use.  135 points for the TL AC version, so 15 points more than a new standard DN with the same armament.  15 points for the Targeting Array giving Intercept and Skyfire during your turn and the opponent’s turn if you do not move.  Um, YES PLEASE!  A reliable AA weapon that can actually do a lot more than AA I think.  AP 4 is kind of annoying, but reliably putting 3-4 Str 7 hits on a target is a solid ability.  ALMOST at the point of putting on 2 x TL Las Cannon just for the ability to put 2 Str 9 AP 2 hits out there.  ROF is a bit low for the 155 points, but the better chance of splashing fliers might well be worth it.  But for now I HAVE several DNs with the TL AC, including one of the Dust walkers that I am repainting for my Crimson Fists…  I could realistically put together another 3-4 DNs with the TL AC if I really felt the need, but not really sure it is worth it…  So, the Mortis comes with my Legion forces like my DA forces…

There IS a Flier in the book in the Fast Attack section.  A Lightning variant.  Not sure, base model is cheap(ish), and there are 4 hard points to add custom weapon loadouts…  Still, a 2 HP AV 11 flier starting at 135 points?  20 points buys you TL AC or TL Multi Laser to supplement the TL Las Cannon, so fully outfitted for Air Superiority missions I’d snag 2-3 (probably 3) more weapons bringing it to 195 points for a very fragile Flier…  The Storm Raven is 200, has Split Fire and some pretty good weapons to go along with its Transport and Assault Vehicle roles…  Depends a lot on who hits the field first, but overall I’d say the Raven will win a lot more dogfights as its weapons have to roll well below average to Glance/Penetrate…  So, certainly NOT something I’ll be rushing out to field I think.  Neat, but…

The other units in the book are all fairly neat, but things like the Drop Pod variants seem very specifically focused.  They DID fix the stupid “Deathwind” one though.  It is expensive, but it is 5 Missile Launchers each with its own Machine Spirit so it can fire at different targets and in addition to other weapons firing, etc…  Expensive, but potentially a problem that cannot be lightly ignored on the other side of the table…  And the new version of the Lucius Class Pod…  Again, “Neat”, but unless I do a Drop Army, not of much use…  Oh, but you CAN go directly into Assault from Deep Strike with it, so potentially something to surprise and scare a lot of armies, especially if you go first… 

But options abound…  Got a game scheduled against the Joe next week assuming I make it through the nuclear stress testing Monday morning…  Getting old apparently, and all the damage from all the stupid things I have done seems to be catching up J…  But, one of the reasons I took the lower pay but stable job here at the University was the excellent Health Insurance, so now that looks like a good choice on my part…