Bank Holiday Painting

For once, I managed to get my full quota of painting done this past bank holiday weekend (a three day weekend for those of you outside the UK).  So, with no more ado…

First up, the Dark Angels!

Now, whichever way you look at it, I don’t really need any more Dark Angels models. They are currently hovering around 18,000-odd points, but I just don;t seem to be able to stop adding to them!

speeders

I don’t actually have a Support Squadron for my Ravenwing, so I have had half an eye on doing that for them. The trouble is, I don’t want to pay retail for Speeders, and those on eBay commonly have the front probes snapped off (very vulnerable to breakage and almost impossible to fix when broke). However, I have had a handful of ‘speeder wrecks’ lying around with various bits and pieces missing and, every now and again, I find the right part – I recently managed to locate the engine sections for two wrecks and so was able to put together two more Land Speeders. These, added to a lone Land Speeder Tornado that has been looking for friends for a while means I am well on my way to finishing my first Support Squadron.

Ack. Just can’t help myself. First Support Squadron, indeed…

The Dark Angels Armoury also got a boost with these Techmarines.

techmarines

Brings the total up to seven Techmarines. And no, there is no good reason why someone needs seven. As you can see, I have started to use Rogue Trader-era ‘classic’ models in my Dark Angels army. While they don’t have the Servo-Arm the army list says they should have, I think it creates a nice look to use older models in Space Marine armies – gives the impression that equipment hundreds or thousands of years old is still in use.

Okay, enough messing around with Dark Angels, time to start on models that will be used in anger – and that means Orks!

killakanz

Two more Killa Kanz have been added, one older metal one (older models also work for Orks, as no two vehicles will ever be the same) and one from the Stormclaw set, making a total of four done and dusted. Once the last two from Stormclaw are built and painted I will have a full unit of these guys.

bmnob

Just a spare metal Nob I had lying around, intended to lead some Shoota Boyz but, being a Bad Moon, he is nicely upgraded with expensive toys such as the Power Klaw and Combi-Rokkit.

bmwarboss retinue

This is a model I have been after for a long while now – a Warboss in Mega-Armour to lead my Bad Moonz. Trouble is, being as tight as I am, I have refused to pay more than £4 for this model on eBay, so it took me quite some time to find the right auction. A couple of weeks ago, the stars aligned, and I now have one. As you can see, he looks the part leading the Mega-Nobz into battle. Now, that is a unit you don’t want in your face!

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I have posted pictures of a couple of battlefortresses I picked up cheap on eBay in the past. However (naturally), I did not stop there and continued grabbing similar models as they appeared. These are smaller than the fortresses (about one and a half to two times the size of a Battlewagon), but still have some scale to them, as you can see from the Orks I placed nearby. I haven’t done stats for them yet, and the kustom battlewagons/fortresses in the Codex and Imperial Armour books do not really fit well – if they were plastered with guns, I could have made it work but the standard rules do not cover big vehicles with one or two big guns very well.

As you can see, going left to right, the Bad Moonz have managed to get into the big vehicle game now (hmm, could it be a certain Mek has defected? See the narrative of our Corribra campaign for details) with a very fast looking wagon. When the Bad Moonz do Formula Waa, they take it very seriously. Figure this one will be Fast, with twin-linked Kilkannon.

The next is very reminiscent of the old Gobsmasha, but is somewhat larger. Going to need some new rules for that gun, it deserves a really big template (maybe the largest, but with low Strength or AP, representing some sort of frag round?). Finally, a wagon with a single big gun (Kannon, maybe?). Crying out for a crewman in that hatch though.

With all these wagons and fortresses, I am really going to have to sort out a big Apocalypse game soon…

Anyway, I haven’t touched the Orks for a while in our games, as a new Codex has come along and my Grey Knights were just begging for some reinforcements.

gklibtrarian

First up, a Librarian. If you are doing Grey Knights, you want one of these guys. Very cheap for a Terminator-equipped psyker, this guy is probably, point-for-point, the best HQ choice in 40k. There are not many level 3 psykers around at the moment, so he can dominate most games.

stormraven sravencockpit

A lot of complaints about the Grey Knights comes from their lack of anti-tank capability. However, I think the answer is this chap, the Stormraven Gunship. He is a Fast Attack choice, leaving your Heavy Support clear, and free upgrades to Lascannon and Multi-Meltas (fitted here) make it an ideal tank-hunter. I could not help but add the Hurricane Bolters as well – with that many dice, you are not just chewing up hordes but can finish a tank off if you can get into short range of its rear armour.

I am not too keen on doing another one of these, as the cokcpits mean you have to leave the two canopies off until painted – not a huge hassle, but it is an extra step I found a little irritating. Then again, the rest of the model was very quick to paint (did the whole thing in an evening).

Speaking of the Techmarine pilot, I had a thought – Techmarines are split in their loyalty, between their Primarch and the indoctrination they get when training on Mars (the whole Cult of the Machine God thing). This is the reason they are never, ever let within a mile of the Inner Circle within the Dark Angels. Even the Master of the Forge does not really know what is going on.

So how come they are allowed anywhere near the actual fighting structure of the Grey Knights, the most secretive of all chapters?

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Grey Knights – After Action Assessment

I have spent a few days with Codex: Grey Knights now and, after the weekend, I was prepared to officially reclassify the book as Not As Bad As All That. However, the truth is in the playing, as always, so I scheduled a couple of games for Bank Holiday Monday – one against Dark Eldar, then Imperial Guard, both played by the long-suffering Alan and at 1,500 points.

 

List One

I chickened out a little here. Worried about the Grey Knights lack of long-ranged anti-vehicle firepower and ever mindful of how the Dark Eldar vehicles can flit about at range, I took an allied Imperial Knight.

Grand Master – Cuirass of Sacrifice, Digital Weapons, Powers: Sanctuary, Cleansing
Strike Squad – Incinerator
Razorback – Twin-Linked Lascannon
Paladins – Daemonhammer, Psycannon, Master-Crafted Weapon
Dreadknight – Heavy Incinerator, Gatling Psilencer, Nemesis Greatsword, Personal Teleporter
Interceptor Squad – Incinerator
Knight Paladin

The first mission was Relic and I got first turn. I deployed the Strike Squad in their Razorback directly opposite the Relic, while everything else was either deployed to flank them or, as in the case of the Knight Paladin, on the far flank to take advantage of its long-ranged weaponry.

Alan deployed aggressively, with the bulk of his army clustered behing a large ruined building, within striking distance of the Relic. Just a Ravager and three Reaver Jetbikes were deployed on his far flank, where they could take advantage of their range and speed.

In the first turn, my Strike Squad steamed forwards and disembarked from the Razorback, grabbing the Relic. The Grand Master and his Paladins teleported in, hoping to get a line of sight on the Jetbikes and Ravager hiding behind a rock, but they were a little off course and appeared between the two groups of Dark Eldar. Then I decided to do something quite mad – knowing the main group was where all his Wyches were on board their Raiders and Venom, I teleport shunted not only the Dreadknight but also the Interceptors into the ruins.

This was where I started to really appreciate the Incinerators. The Interceptors kicked off first, laying down an Incinerator blast on the Dark Eldar warriors led by their Archon. With a few of their Storm Bolters also applied, the squad was wiped out – with the first unit’s firing, I had bagged First Blood and Slay the Warlord (the latter down to the Incinerator, which I’ll come back to in a minute).

The Dreadknight kicked in with its own Heavy Incinerator, targeting Wyches on board a Raider and Venom. The vehicles made their Flicker Field saves (Alan made a lot of those in this game) but plenty of Wyches on board both were roasted.

In his turn, Alan got his remaining Wyches out of his vehicles and charged, going after the Interceptors (wiping them out) and the Paladins. The Paladins took a charge from two Wych units that had been more or less reduced to half strength by the earlier firing but destroyed them in two rounds of combat – however, the Grand Master had gone down to a Haemonculus throwing out a Casket of Flensing.

The Ravager started trading blows with the Knight Paladin, while the Reaver Jetbikes tore across the board to hammer three of the Strike Squad, including the one that had picked up the Relic. However, they did not have enough movement to get too far away after that, and the Strike Squad abandoned the Relic to pursue them, annihilating them with one blast of the Incinerator (ignoring both armour and jink, it kills them on a 2+ – I called it a Whirlwind in liquid form, but it is really better than that). The Dreadknight supported them by finishing off the Wyches that had killed the Interceptors, then jumping out of ruins (with its armour save, the Dreadknight really does not care too much about Dangerous Terrain tests) and grabbing the objective.

In trying to get round the Knight Paladin’s shield (which he was quite successful with), Alan brought his Ravager in a bit too close and both that and the last Raider went down to its Hammer of Wrath (did not get to use the chainsword!). The Dark Eldar flyer made an appearence, but it was too little too late, and it was downed by the Dreadknight’s Gatling Psilencer. The Grey Knights had managed to table (wipe out) the Dark Eldar in five turns.

 

Conclusion One

The first turn ‘alpha strike’ with both deep striking and teleport shunts are very risky and can go very wrong. However, casualties did not matter too much in this game, as it was all about the Relic, and the three advance units (Paladins, Dreadknight and Interceptors) caused a great deal of damage when they appeared. If you think you can get away with that tactic, it is worth doing. The weapon of the match was the Incinerator – at Strength 6 and ignoring cover, it causes Instant Death on Archons, kills all Dark Eldar on a 2+, and bypasses Feel No Pain, a favourite of Alan for his Wyches. The latter is also bypassed by the Hammerhand/Force powers which, of course, everyone has.

The other notable power was Sanctuary, used on the Dreadknight – bumping that Invulnerable save to 4+ kept it in the game.

The final conclusion is, as with many games in the past, I don’t think the Imperial Knight ever really pulls its weight and does not justify the points spent. Looks scary though and it focusses the opponent’s attention.

 

List Two

This was against an Imperial Guard army, and an unbound one at that. Alan has just started this force so it is a case of throwing everything in to get the points up – however, it meant I would be facing five Heavy Support tanks, not what I imagined the Grey Knights were good at. Add to that, I had decided to go pure Grey Knights, with no allied support. This list would feature some new models I had painted up this weekend (pictures coming later this week!).

Librarian – Level 3, Combi-Plasma Gun, Domina Liber Daemonica, Powers: Hammerhand, Cleansing Flame, Sanctuary, Gate of Infinity, Perfect Timing
Strike Squad – Incinerator
Razorback – Twin-linked Lascannon
Paladin – Daemonhammer, Psycannon
Interceptor Squad – Incinerator
Stormraven – Hurricane Bolters
Strike Squad – Incinerator
Razorback – Twin-Linked Lascannon
Dreadknight – Heavy Incinerator, Gatling Psilencer, Nemesis Greatsword, Personal Teleporter

We were playing on a larger table this time which would favour the Guard’s long ranged weapons, so I elected to start the Strike Squads in their Razorbacks hidden behind rocks and everything else in reserve. I gave Alan the first turn.

He started off by deploying two Scout Sentinels right on my baseline, and they started worrying one of the Razorbacks while the Basilisk lobbed some inaccurate shells. In my turn, the Strike Squad in the Razorback charged the Sentinels and finished them off. Meanwhile, everything except the Stormraven and Interceptors appeared among the Guard’s own line.

The Dreadknight appeared just opposite Alan’s Command Squad, killing everyone but his warlord, who decided this was not a good career for him and promptly fled off the table. Once again, note, First Blood and Slay the Warlord. The Paladins were caught in-between a Thunderer and the Basilisk. Their first round shooting managed to destroy the Leman Russ Executioner via its weak rear armour but while the Basilisk continued to throw inaccurate shells across the battlefield, the Thunderer targeted the clustered Terminators and then promptly smashed a shell into the Basilisk…

The Thunderer was soon immobilised by a sneaky Razorback that poked its turret out of cover, and the Basilisk fell to the Paladins. After that, the Librarian and Paladins started to sweep up the flank (now safe from the immobilised Thunderer as they moved out of its arc), rolling up Guard squads as they went.

On the other side of the table, the Dreadknight was playing cat and mouse in jungle terrain with a Tank Destroyer and Medusa siege gun. Again, it was Sanctuary that kept it in the game (went on to the end with just one Wound left!).

No reserves appeared in Turn Two, but both the Interceptors and Stormraven appeared in Turn Three. The Stormraven swept on to the table to reduce the Tank Destroyer to one Hull Point, and then it banked to finish off the Thunderer at close range (Hurricane Bolters on the rear armour of a tank work wonders). The Tank Destroyer finally went down to the Librarian’s Cleaning Flame.

Once again, the Grey Knights had tabled the opposition, this time in four turns.

 

Conclusion Two

The Grey Knights are not weak – if you have been moping about the new Codex, don’t concentrate on what you have lost but on what is still there. Incinerators are great multi-purpose weapons and you will get in close enough to use them with Deep Strikes, jumps and teleport shunts. They Instant Death any warlords with Toughness 3 (and there are more of those around than you might think), and play havoc with Open-Topped transports.

The Stormraven did not do a huge amount in this battle but I can see its potential, and I wonder if the gunship should not be the main anti-tank weapon of the Grey Knights. Don’t leave home without one.

The combination of Sanctuary and the Dreadknight is a good one, probably better than Dreadnoughts. The Dreadnoughts have the long ranged firepower you will be looking for, but the Dreadknight can weather far more damage, especially if Sanctuary is running. The teleport shunt also means you can get it into exactly the right position, which is good if you have the Heavy Incincerator.

The Librarian is possibly, point-for-point, the best HQ choice of any army. He only has 2 Wounds, which can catch you unawares, but a Level 3 psyker is nothing to sneeze at and, with the right Relic and Warlrod Trait, he can have five powers (which is what happened in this battle).

Strike Squads in Razorbacks? Well, you cannot go far wrong.

The first turn ‘alpha’ strike will always be a risk. However, with just a ounce of luck you should be able to get into position for First Blood and, against Toughness 3 enemies, Slay the Warlord. Puts you two points up on turn one, and that is hard to argue against. Use Terminator armour and Sanctuary to keep you alive and, in the very least, you will do a lot of damage to the enemy. Just keep your eye on the battlefield objectives and make sure the rest of your force can accomplish them while you are causing havoc on your opponent’s base line.

Final Analysis: Grey Knights are not as easy to play as Orks or Dark Angels, but they are certainly not a weak option.

 

Codex: Grey Knights – a Review

Managed to purloin myself a copy of Codex: Grey Knights this morning. There have been a lot of rumours flyng around about this book and, as a Grey Knight player myself (must get some piccies sorted of the army!), I was somewhat intrigued to see what has happened to them. The previous Codex was nice enough but the new edition of the rules meant it needed some proper clearing up.

cover

The cover has excited some comment, with some people saying they don’t like it. I can take it or leave it – I prefer the cover of my Dark Angels book, but this works.

 

Background

There is, of course, lots of background chapters. I haven’t had a chance to go through it yet, so I don’t know what major secrets are lurking there (they did a good job with this section in the Dark Angels book, certainly). However, the art is new to this book and attractive, and the text covers the Founding of the chapter, the Citadel of Titan, and chapter organisation – I like the books that go into this for Space Marines because, with a thousand-odd guys in each chapter, it almost gives you hope that you will complete the entire chapter one day… Anyway, if you already have 5-6 Terminator squads, you will find you are well on your way to completing an entire Brotherhood (ignore the 1st Brotherhood, you will need 20 Land Raiders, 21 Stormravens and 18 Dreadknights).

background

There is a nice write up of the heraldry of the Grand Masters, followed by an article on how the Grey Knights fight, the personalities of the chapter and some major actions where they have fought. The truth will be in the reading of this section but, skimming through, I get the sense there will be some ‘reveals’ of the 40k universe here.

 

Hobby Section

As always, the hopbby section is filled with pictures of lovely painted models.

hobby

All very nice and a favourite will be the photo of two ‘rifleman’ Dreadnoughts (armed with two twin-linked Autocannon, a reference to the old Battletech game) next to one another.

 

Army List

I am guessing a good number of you have skipped to this section – in which case, welcome to this post, it is a review of the new Grey Knights Codex!

First up is the Wargear List, and a few things are immediately apparent. No Psychotroke Grenades. And no, no Storm Shields. In fact, apart fvrom the Relics, nothing new. Halberds are a bit cheaper, Dreadnoughts get just the standard Dreadnought choices for heavy weapons.

The units are laid out in the new format pioneered by Codex: Orks, and I kinda like it. Everything you need on one page, so no flipping too and from different parts of the book. The downside is a lot more flipping between units – works for me though.

armylist

Now, I have not gone through this with a fine toothcomb yet, especially on the special characters (rarely use them myself – nothing against them, just like doing my own characters). However, I have found the following;

  • Halberds now add Strength rather than Initiative – Dark Eldar Wyches now have a (very good) chance against Grey Knights.
  • The Warding Stave gives +2 Strength and Adamantium Will, but no longer gives an Invulnerable save.
  • Nemesis Doomfists are now Power Fosts without the Force rule. Dreadknights are cheaper but, contrary to rumours, cannot have two identical heavy weapons.
  • All Grey Knights use Daemonology (Sanctic), though the characters have a wider choice of the base disciplines, so if you were hoping for Grey Knight specific powers, you are out of luck. They don’t suffer from Perils of the Warp very often though.
  • Psykers top out at Level 2 (Brother-Captain, Stern, Crowe, Draigo and Librarian). Rhinos, Razorbacks and Land Raiders are no longer pskyers. Oh and nor are Stormravens. Dreadnoughts are.
  • Is it my imagination, or are Strike Squads more expensive now? 110 points for five guys.
  • Most squads automatically have the Banishment and Hammerhand powers. Purifiers get Cleansing Flame too, Dreadnoughts and Dreadknights get Sanctuary instead of Hammerhand.
  • No Psybolt ammunition. None. I kinda took this to be a major thing for the Grey Knights and will be mourning its loss…
  • Interceptors on Stormravens no longer get a precision drop. That is a shame.
  • Purgation Squads get Night Vision. Nice, but considering their maximum range is 24″, not brilliant.
  • I mentioned Dreadknights are cheaper – mine dropped by nearly a third in points. I predict there will be a lot of Dreadknights appearing in armies, except…
  • … the Grey Knight detachment only has 2 Heavy Support slots. It also has only 2 Fast Attack and 4 Troops (that could hurt with Terminators being Troops), but you do get 4 Elites. The other benefit is that Deep Strike units start rolling from Reserves in Turn One and, when they appear, they can both Run and Shoot. Would have been nice if they could also Assault, but I accept that would have been sick.

Many people were hoping for awesome Relics. The best I can see at a glance is the Cuirass of Sacrifice, a Terminator Suit that grants Feel No Pain and It Will Not Die, which will be interesting on a Brother-Captain. The others are nice enough but there is nothing really ‘sexy.’ A Storm Bolter with Assault 3, a few things that bugger up daemons, and a close combat Glaive that re-rolls just about all of its dice.

As for army global rules, well you have you the standard Combat Squad rule (gives you more dice for the Psychic Phase, but your units are more fragile), you get to re-roll results of 1 on Deny the Witch, and with Santic powers you only suffer Perils of the Warp on two or more 6s.

 

Conclusion

The army list needs playing in anger, and the background section needs reading thoroughly. But, for now… I am not a completely happy bunny with this book. The Grey Knights have lost a fair deal (you will likely have heard the Inquisitors and Assassins have gone – which is fine in itself, I think) and gained… well, not a great deal. I can see they will make for a nice Allied force, though the suggested formation in this book will need a big army to ally with. But on their own?

The problem is that Grey Knights die just as easily as any other Marines when the high AP shots start flying, and I cannot yet see they have a decent answer to that. Against fragile armies, the Psybolt ammo was always just enough to allow them to engage in shoot outs on an even keel. They were and are still good in close combat, but there have been a few edges filed off the Nemesis weapons that troubles me.

So, overall I would say needs playing to see how the new army list flies but I am somewhat less excited about this book than I was, say, Codex: Orks.

Keep your eyes peeled for a first battle report.

The Sky Turns Black…

I actually delayed this post, as I know my regular opponent (the long-suffering Alan) reads this blog and, as we were playing a game yesterday, I did not want him to know what he would be facing!

Anyway, this weekend I was busy beavering away on the finishing touches to a fair haul of High Elves I picked up (very) cheap on eBay.

archersold archersnew

Namely, Archers!

These came from two eBay auctions, and I grabbed both for about £1 each – can’t complain with that! There were enough to make up 21 ‘old style’ Archers and 18 of the current plastic models – before this, I had just 12 Archers and 24 Sea Guard, so this represents a major addition to the shooting power of my High Elves.

I had originally intended to go purely with Sea Guard as, while they cost a few more points per model (and that quickly adds up), their spears make them fairly formidable when the enemy reaches your base line. However, I started to think that the extra range of the Archer’s Longbow (more or less buys another turn’s worth of firing), plus the addition of a few more models from the points saved, might very well ensure the enemy never actually reaches my base line. For the cost of £2, the experiment seemed worthwhile. You can see the results a little further below.

These were all painted with my ‘half-and-half’ method – major base colours (silver, white, skin and gold) go down first, then the Magic Goop is used. When dry, I then go over the pink areas (washed with a thinned red) and black. The base is sanded, painted black and then has liberal amounts of snow added.

High Elves normally take a fair while to paint, but this method seems fast and effective. Not going to win any painting competitions but when they are on the table top, the pink and black/snow bases seem to go very well together. The pink, at least, tends to invite comment…

noblehorse championasuryan

I also completed these two, a mounted Noble and the Champion of Asuryan. I am not sure these two are going to see use any time soon, as I already have way cooler Lords and Heroes in the force who are going to take a major shift in tactical thinking to replace.

Monday’s Battle

So, I called up Alan and told him a 2,000 point battle was on. He has been wanting to try out new things with his Skaven force, so I figured he would be bringing them rather than his Vampire Counts.

Now, I had gone over the Skaven army list thoroughly the night before, and I knew there would be some things he would take. His last game made him addicted to the Grey Seer combined with the Dreaded Thirteenth spell, so I promptly ditched my small unit of Swordmasters, and went with the two big blocks of Archers above – as well as allowing me to try out my experiment, they would also greatly reduce the chance of losing a unit outright to that spell. Plus, his Grey Seer would have to get within 24″ of them to use it, and they had been warned to look out for white rats.

In our last match, I did not take any flyers at all, thinking Alan would take the Storm Banner (he did). I figured this time round he would think I would not be able to resist taking them – and he would have been right, as I was dying to try out the Frostheart Phoenix for the first time and, well, Dragonmages are just cool all over. However, I did not fancy them being forced to the ground and the Storm Banner stuffs up archery too. Knowing the Strorm Banner can only be taken by Plague Priests and Stormvermin, and that Alan did not have the former, I decided the priority target would be the Stormvermin. However, I had also just figured out that Arcane Unforging works on any model, not just rock hard characters…

The battle itself was fairly simple and while we played for four turns, it was pretty much done by the end of turn two.

The first thing I tried was Arcane Unforging on the Stormvermin standard bearer, but Alan saw immediately what I was doing and used his Dispel Scroll. However, more magic in the form of the Fiery Convocation and a few fireballs from the Dragonmage sent not only the Stormvermin running but the Rat Ogres too – the loss of those units basically collapsed the Skaven’s entire right flank, and all by the end of the Magic Phase of the first turn.

The Grey Seer used Skitterleap to jump across the battlefield to stop these two units running, but that left the two big blocks of Clan Rats on the other flank without too much leadership. The Phoenix dove into one, holding it up until the Dragon Knights charged (one charge from them tends to end most things), while another Fiery Convocation wiped out the other. Panic tests took care of the weapons teams, while enough arrows wedged into the Doomwheel bearing down on them that the rats on board promptly abandoned it.

Total Kills by the Skaven: Four Clan Rats (the Ratling Gun went a bit wild).

Every High Elf went home alive (though I hear one stubbed his toe on a rock).

So, the High Elf plan worked perfectly – but if anyone has any help or suggestions for the Skaven, Alan would love to hear it, I am sure!

Orks, Marines and Cows!

Got some decent painting in this weekend – not everything I had hoped for (I never get to do that), but a healthy amount nonetheless. I am also trying to instigate a new policy of doing no painting during the week so I can concentrate on writing, and then no writing during the weekend, so I  can recharge the batteries with a good haul of painting.

We’ll see how that works out…

Anyway, this weekend’s painting sessions… A new Ork Truk arrived last week (via eBay), all constructed – just needed to undercoat and get started.

IMG_0230

I have a nice system for Ork vehicles now – thoroughly undercoat black, drybrush the whole thing with Gun Metal, and paint Ork skin (Goblin Green). I can then paint the panels in any colour suited to any Ork clan (Bad Moonz here), polish off with any ‘details’ (glyphs and the like), and then drown the whole lot in the Magic Goop. From small buggies to massive battlefortresses, this makes paintng Ork vehicles very, very fast.

This one was well-suited to my growing Bad Moonz as it has lots of gubbinz – the boarding blanks will see my boyz launching themselves into battle, while the wreckin’ ball should put paid to any Dark Eldar raiders that get too close.

Next up, I managed to get some Dark Angels done.

IMG_0231

Now, I should perhaps explain here my Dark Angels problem…

A few years ago, I decided I wanted to do a new Dark Angels army – they have always been my favourite chapter and while I had done a fairly extensive force about 15 years ago, those Angels were subsequently sold. Anyway, I thought it would be a nice idea to do the entire 3rd Company. All troops, all vehicles, leaders and support units.

I painted all those models up and they looked good. The trouble began when I started eyeing up my Scouts, Deathwing and Ravenwing companies. I already had abut 30% of the Deathwing (under the old reckoning, the Deathwing is much larger now in the new Codex), a quarter of the Ravenwing, and my Scouts just needed a few more squads and I had a complete 10th Company. Then there were the Land Raiders…

Skip to 2013, and I had pretty much finished the 10th Company (just needs 2 Scout Bikers and, say, 3 Land Speeder Storms and I can call it finished). My Land Raider company (after steadfastedly refusing to pay more than £10 for any Land Raider on eBay) is complete. And I now have well over 60 Deathwing Terminators, along with leaders and Dreadnoughts (haven’t got any Land Raiders for them yet – I figure I could do a company of ten Land Raiders for them…).

Now, all of that is right on the edge of sanity (and comes to about 18,000 points worth, all painted). But then GW released the Dark Vengeance set, which included Dark Angels from the 5th Company. So, I thought to myself. I’m doing the 5th Company now…

I managed to acquire a lot of bolter-armed Marines, but I lacked sergeants, special weapons and heavy weapons. However, a few recent eBay purchases and now I have the sergeants you see above.

IMG_0232

And these special weapon marines…

These, added to what I had already scraped together for the 5th Company (two Tactical Squads, the Master, Command Squad, a Rhino, Assault Squad and two Dreadnoughts) means I now have enough models to do 5 or the 6 Tactical Squads. Which would leave just one Assault Squad, one Tactical Squad and two Devastator Squads to complete this company (as well as all the Rhinos).

I ask you, how could I sit there with these models and not do it?

IMG_0234

The problem is further compounded by my moving one Tactical Squad out of the 3rd Company, to replace them with robed Company Veterans (haven’t got any at the moment). The trouble here is that I did not want to re-do the squad number transfers, and I had already done the 5th company first Tactical Squad. So, I changed their company markings to make them 4th Company – to join (ahem) the Siege Dreadnought and Master (finished this weekend, pictured above).

As much as I wanted to avoid considering this, it appears I am actively contemplating painting up the 4th and 5th Companies in their entirety. Which, with the 3rd, the 10th and a strong showing from the Deathwing, is half the Dark Angels entire chapter

The question is, am I nutty enough to do them all? Still haven’t decided that.

What I also have not decided is whether to make the 4th and 5th Companies different from the 3rd. One possibility is to make one a complete Drop Pod company – that is quite tempting. Another is to use the army list in the Imperial Armour books and make one a dedicated siege company (already got the Dreadnought!).

Bears some thought.

Of course, the Dark Angels are not made up of Companies alone, and they have other parts such as the Inner Circle and Librarium. And yes, these are getting done too. Here are two Librarians that were completed at the weekend, both from the classic Rogue Trader era. Always found that mixing up character models with those from the old days gives a marine chapter a good feel.

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Finally, I polished off some cows and other livestock.

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These are intended for our Ancients games, so the Athenians can cross the border and do some cattle raids on the Thebans!

On top of all that, I also managed to get through quite a few High Elf Archers – hopefully I’ll be able to sort them out this coming weekend so I  can show you all next week!

The Orks of Corribra – a Narrative

We wanted something a bit… more for our games. Fighting Dark Eldar is good for any Ork (frankly, they don’t need much else) but, as players, we wanted to hang a narrative on our games so the battles would actually mean something. So, I penned this little description for my force and what they were up to – very much subject to change as developments (and new models!) appear.

 

Though it happened nearly a two hundred years ago, the after effects of Waaagh! Gazbag are still felt across the Eldar paradise worlds that fell to them. Many invasions by the Eldar shattered the Orkish grip on these worlds and surrounding systems. However, once Orks take a world, they can be almost impossible to shift, dispersing to the mountains, forests and jungles as scattered tribes where they will spend years rebuilding their strength before erupting once more as a lethal green tide.

On one such paradise world, Corribra, the Orks are indeed rebuilding their strength, and many among them feel the touch of destiny calling, the possibility of an immense Waaagh! that could roll over every world in this sector and beyond.

But who would lead such an army?

 

The Orks of the Jagged Teef are a small tribe that has traditionally hidden from superior Eldar forces in the southern polar regions of Corribra. However, they are growing and neighbouring Ork tribes are beginning to take an interest in them. Currently, three Orks are vying for control of the tribe, each hoping to build it into something far larger and more powerful. Naturally, all three have very different plans on how to go about this.

 

Warboss Morbad

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Ostensibly the leader of the Jagged Teef, Morbad is beginning to feel his control slipping. He has gathered his toughest Nobz about him and is anxious to find an enemy, any enemy, to throw his boyz at – if he can keep his boyz occupied with fighting, the tribe will remain under his control.

 

Big Mek Grimskab

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Grimskab’s vision is of the might of Mork striding across worlds, crushing all lesser creatures into the ground with his massive feet. To this end, he has built the Stompa Ded Stompy, the incarnation of Mork himself on Corribra. His plan is to build more Stompas, Morkanauts, and Deff Dreads, creating an unstoppable army of walking machines, naturally led by himself.

 

Big Mek Uzskab

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Whereas Grimskab is focussed on Stompas of all sizes, Uzskab is more… creative and his mek knowledge covers all kinds of technologies, from force fields to tellyportas. The creation of Grimskab’s Ded Stompy has upped the stakes in the competition between the two Meks, and Uzskab has started building a series of wheeled and tracked vehicles, including the massive Flakfortress, Skyblasta. A dedicated follower of Gork, Uzskab is convinced his weapons of war should be at the forefront of any major push by the tribe but has so far been shouted down by Morbad and Grimskab who both fear his rise to prominence.

 

The Dark Eldar

Corribra was visited several months ago by a Dark Eldar Archon and his personal guard (Alan’s current army), with the intention of removing a vital artefact from the ruins of the ancient Eldar civilisation that once covered this world. This was done easily but, as they retreated out of the ruins, a contingent of the Jagged Teef led by Warboss Morbad fell upon them and routed the Dark Eldar.

The Archon presumes the Orks now have the artefact, and this is very possible. Likely as not, it lies in a junk pile of one of the Big Meks, waiting to be used in one of their nightmarish constructions. This perversion of Eldar antiquity is something the Archon cannot permit to happen if he is to return to Commorragh without fatal loss of face and position.

 

The Future…

A nice little starting point for our games, I think, fit for any new arrivals. Alan is planning both Craftworld Eldar and Imperial Guard armies, while we have a newcomer, James, who may get round to painting his Ultramarines one day…

For my part, the Bad Moonz have arrived on Morbad’s turf, and I fear it will not go well for him. And while Grimskab currently has the lead with his walkers, Uzskab has a series of fully constructed battlewagons and battlefortresses that are in the paint shop right now, just waiting their turn before they can be unleashed on the battlefield.

For now though, I have contented myself with putting some stats together for the Flakfortress Skyblasta (the Forge World Kustom Battlefortress options really did not do this thing justice).

 

skyblasta

Flakfortress Skyblasta                                                 850 Points

BS F S R HP Unit Type Unit Composition
Skyblasta 2 14 13 11 14 Vehicle (Super-heavy Tank, Transport) 1 Skyblasta

 

Wargear:
Twin-linked Supa-gatler
Two Kannon
Three Supa-rokkits
Two Twin-linked Supa-Shootas
Reinforced Ram

Special Rules
Flak-mount:
The Twin-linked Supa-gatler and three Supa-rokkits are mounted on a fast-tracking anti-aircraft mount. They use the Interceptor and Skyfire rules.

Transport
Transport Capacity:
Twenty models.
Fire Points: Seven; four on its turret, three on the right.
Access Points: The Skyblasta has one Access Point at the rear.

Options: May take grot riggers for 30 points.

Best Laid Plans

This weekend, I was planning to have a Grand Painting Session. All the models were lined up and undercoated, several box sets had been selected on Netflix, munchies were on stand by – I was ready. Come Saturday morning…

Sick as a dog.

Missed a whole day’s worth of painting, but I was able to recover some lost time on the Sunday. So, I should have been presenting all sorts of goodies today, from more Dark Angels to new Ork Battlewagons, all of which will have to wait now. However, I did manage to get some models done…

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The easy batch first – some more Orks for the ever-growing horde. A couple of Slugga Boyz will be added to a mob that is currently numbering just 20. These two were part of an eBay batch and, as I am not exactly lacking in the Boyz department at the moment, I am content to pick them up here and there cheaply. Also got hold of an old style Pain Boy (on the left) and a Mek Boy (in the middle). Both of these are now more important for Orks in the new Codex, and I like the variation the old models give (I also have some old Runt Herdz). The Mek is a good model to have inside a Gorkanaut with some Burna Boyz (say), repairing the vehicle as it strides towards the enemy, while the Pain Boy is a relatively cheap way to give an entire mob the Feel No Pain rule – used to only keep Pain Boyz with high value units like Nobz, but they are far more effective if they go with the general rabble.

Speaking of Nobz…

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Finally got the Meganobz done! These guys are Hard with a capital H. Standard Nobz can be all but unstoppable if you can get them into the right place. Meganobz are more like a force of nature.

I kept these guys fairly simple. Almost all have Shoota/Skorcha combi-weapons to deter any would-be chargers. As these are likely to be Dark Eldar Wyches (given my usual opponent, Alan), 4D3 Strength 5 hits on the Wall of Death is going to be just plain rude. Should finish off a unit of 5 disembarking from a Venom before they get anywhere near this unit and willseriously cripple a unit of 10.

I added a combi-Rokkit just to keep any nearby vehicles honest, and a Nob with two Killsaws – partly for variety, partly to keep their number of close combat attacks up (25 Strength 9 attacks on the charge is nothing to sniff at).

Finally, I did these guys…

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The start of a new Boyz mob. You may have noticed, neither these chaps nor the Meganobz are in my standard Orky colours (see first picture). That is because I have decided to start a brand new Ork army 🙂

To explain, I a) wanted a change and b) we have an ongoing narrative for the games we play (which I will post here later this week), and my current Orks are about to have a serious challenge for supremacy – and it ain’t coming from the Dark Eldar!

Yes, the Bad Moonz cometh…

Aside from the colour differences, I am making a few more changes with the Bad Moonz to reflect their relative wealth. Meganobz instead of regular Nobz is one obvous choice to make. However, with the Boyz, I am going to be making them all Shootas, not Sluggas. This is not only to demonstrate the richness of the Bad Moonz, but it brings in some cunnin’ Orky tactics.

As an Ork player, you immediately think close combat and yes, a hundred fist-throwing Orks running across the table is a tough proposition for most armies. However, Shoota Boyz should not be ignored – there is a good reason they cost a point more per model. Let’s consider their usual enemy, a squad of ten Dark Eldar Warriors (we won’t say Wyches, as it just gets sick). The Dark Eldar have a range of 24″ against the Shoota Boyz 18″. However, the two units have to get down to 12″ for the Dark Eldar to get their Rapid Fire kicking in, while the Shootas are rolling two dice a piece at anything within range (and can still assault afterwards, but that is largely irrelevant).

So, 10 Dark Eldar fire their Splinter Rifles (likely to be 9, as Alan tends to give his squad leaders the pistol and CCW option). Let’s say 7 hit (with a bit of judicial rounding), 4 wound (we are being generous), the Orks have no armour save against that. In their turn, they move into range and let loose with the remaining 26 Shoota Boyz – or 52 dice. Even with an Ork’s shooting ability, that is 17 hits, of which 11-odd will wound – and Shootas go straight through Dark Eldar armour.

Yes, the Dark Eldar can add a Splinter Cannon, but then the Orks can add Big Shootas and/or Rokkits. In fact, add in the odd Rokkit, and this mob can havde a good chance of bringing a Talos down in one turn.

As for Snap Firing… No unit in its right mind is going to be charging a Shoota Boyz unit that is largely intact. An Ork really won’t care about BS 1 with this much firepower available.

Now imagine three units of 30 Shoota Boyz. Advance, find some decent cover for them (or add a Pain Boy), and I have a feeling they could be fairly unstoppable. Or maybe mix and match, have a 2-1 ratio of Shootas to Sluggas (or the other way round), the Shootas decimating targets at range while the Sluggas desperately rush forward, hoping to catch an intact enemy unit before the Shootas wipe them all out.

Now that the Bad Moonz have arrived, things are going to be changing in the Ork camp…