Wednesday, 24 June 2009

Now I am 1

This blog is officially one year old today! Thanks to everyone who reads and comments on the blog, it's much appreciated, and thanks to Ron at From the Warp, as before I joined the group no-one ever looked at this blog except me. Here's to the next year :D

Saturday, 20 June 2009

No updates for a little while

I'm going on holiday today to sunny Spain, so no hobby, no internet for 10 days. See you when I get back!

Friday, 19 June 2009


I've joined MyBattalion, so if you want to add me as a friend, or whatever it is you do on these social networking sites, then you can find me on there. Don't try grooming me or anything though :P

Thursday, 18 June 2009

Battle Report: Two 500 point games

Played two quick 500 points games last night, as part of the doubles tournament. My team mate couldn't make it, so I played solo in both games (against a single opponent though).

My list in both games was:
Daemon Prince, Mark of Nurgle, Wings, Warptime
6 Plague Marines, 2 melta guns, rhino with a dozer blade

Both games were on the same 4x4 tables, just flipped edges in the two games.

Battle 1: Chaos Space Marines Vs Space Marines
So this one turned out to be brutal, and not in a good way for me... This was annhiliation with the pitched battle setup.

My opponents list:
5 Scouts with sniper rifles
5 Scouts with bolt pistols and CCW
Land Raider

At the kick off, the only thing I was worried about was the Land Raider, so I deployed away from it (the Chaplain and scouts with bolt pistols were embarked). His scouts with sniper rifles infiltrated and deployed high up on some terrain with LoS to pretty much the whole table. Here's how we looked at deployment:

He got first turn, and rumbled the Land Raider forward and blew the twin linked bolter off my Rhino. In my turn, my DP flew forward to try and move round the big ruin in front, followed by the Rhino. I was aiming (wrongly I think) to get within 18" of the Land Raider without getting too badly shot up so my DP could charge it. He took off from the ruins he was in, failed his dangerous terrain test and took a wound... In keeping with this, my vindicator turned to be just out of range of the Land Raider.

In his turn, the Land Raider advanced but its shooting was ineffective, whilst the scouts sniper rifles took another wound off the DP. In my turn the DP and Rhino advance around the back of the ruin. We looked something like this at this point:

My vindicator fired at the Land Raider, I was hopeful of getting some damage on it. In keeping with my luck in the previous turn, it got an 11" scatter and missed.

In the following turn, the Land Raider shook the Vindicator, and the scouts killed the Daemon Prince thanks to their rending sniper rifles. This was not going well for me...

I changed my plan here and thought I'd try and advance on the LR to melta gun it out of the fire points, so I turned my rhino around. He responded by blowing up my Vindicator, and then in the following turn blew up my rhino, killing a Plague Marine in the explosion. His Chaplain and Scouts jumped out of the LR, and my remaining PMs moved into the ruins. Over the next couple of turns the PMs picked off a scout with shooting and lost a model to the sniper rifle scouts. Eventually I got a charge into the Chaplain and scouts and killed one, but by the end of turn 7 I was down to one model.

A thorough thrashing for me. I played indecisively and not aggresively enough and it cost me. I should have rushed the LR with my Rhino, popped smoke, crossed my fingers and gone for the meltagun shot it.

Battle 2: Chaos Space Marines Vs Daemons
This second battle was capture and control (pretty much irrelevant at 500 points when everyone just tries to kill each other) with the dawn of war setup. I went second. The table was the same as battle one, we just played on the other two edges.

My opponents list was:
10 Bloodletters
Soulgrinder with all the upgrades (its a new model for him so he's trying them all)

I deployed just my PMs in the Rhino and parked up near my objective and held my DP in reserve so I could react to any deep striking daemon surprises. On his first turn he dropped in his Soulgrinder, who then used phelgm on my Rhino (fortunately is was out of tongue range), which shook the crew. In my turn, I bought on my vindicator opposite his Soulgrinder, and then I destroyed it with the demolisher cannon. A good start for me. On his second turn Skulltaker and Bloodletters arrived and scattered closer to my Rhino. They then ran to spread out a bit. In return my vindicator and rhino killed 3 of them (I hit alot more but he made a load of saves), and my DP arrived behind his daemons.

Skulltaker and his crew then turned around and charged the Daemon Prince. The rest of the game was a combat between daemons and the daemon prince. It ended with the Daemon Prince killing a load of Bloodletters and then finally killing Skulltaker, but not before Skulltaker took the Daemon Prince's last wound off him. This ended with 3 Bloodletters facing off against two tanks they couldn't hurt, so a victory for me.

Wednesday, 17 June 2009

Boardgame Overview: Last Night on Earth

After much searching, I finally managed to get hold of a copy of Last Night on Earth: The Zombie Game by Flying Frog Productions. Currently, the game seems to be out of print (though I hear rumours that this is how Flying Frog works, they'll do new runs every few months), so I tracked down a second hand copy on ebay which is in perfect condition, with many of the cards still unpunched.

If you've ever seen a zombie film then you pretty much know the theme of this game. A small group of Heroes are trapped in a small town, battling a rising horde of the undead. The game borrows from every zombie movie you've ever seen so expect shambling brain hungry zombies, and heroes toting shotguns and chainsaws. For me, the theme is awesome. The in-game art really adds to the movie like feeling.

The components are good quality. The board and counters are on nice thick cards, and the card decks are decent card stock and in full colour, as is the rule book. The game also features 14 zombie miniatures (28mm scale) and 8 hero miniatures:

The minis are well detailed, but my only gripe with them is that they're a bit flimsy. My wife nearly snapped Becky the nurse of her base as her legs are so thin and flimsy. You could look for some alternate models for the miniatures (a box of GW zombies would do you nicely), but the bases on the LNoE minis are much smaller than normal GW bases. This is important as you need to fit multiple figures in the same game square. The game is also supplied with a soundtrack CD of original music, which I have to admit I haven't listened to yet.

Throughout the game, it uses photos to convey the zombie theme. The same actors are used on the character cards as on the hero and zombie cards to convey the theme. As an example, one of the characters is the town priest, Father Joseph. Here he is on the Faith card (gives rerolls in combat):
..and he is again, this time on the Fire Axe item card:

Game Overview:
The game is scenario based with each side (Heroes and Zombies, 2-6 players total) trying to complete a certain task. For Heroes this might be something like killing a certain number of zombies within the turn limit, or rescuing townsfolk. For Zombies, it's killing Heroes. The fundamental mechanic is probably hand management, as Heroes search building to draw cards from the Hero deck. These might be items or weapons, or event which are going aid them (like boarding up all the windows in a building). Zombies always get to draw cards each turn, and these might give them extra zombies, or extra bite in combat, or other events to mess up the Heroes efforts. Each side takes turns (not an integrated turn sequence).

So, zombies move slowly and try and eat Heroes. Heroes find stuff to fight off zombies. Heroes can make ranged attacks with weapons they have, and both sides can fight in close combat. Each hero has different skills and abilities which can help in different situations. For example, Becky the nurse can heal wounds on other heroes, whilst Johnny the quarterback is tough enough to win fights with zombies on a tied roll (zombies normally win on a tie).

Ranged attacks are a simple roll to hit, and then a check to see if the weapon is out of ammo. Close combat is slight more involved. Each side rolls fight dice, one for the zombie and two for the hero. If the hero rolls higher the zombie is fended off (not killed). If the hero rolls higher and rolls a double the zombie is killed. If the zombie rolls higher or it is a draw, the hero takes a wound. That's the basic mechanic. Once you've rolled each side can elect to use items, or play cards to give themselves an advantage. They might have a weapon which gives them a re-roll for example, or a card which lets them modify dice rolls. Each side can then play cards as they see fit to alter the outcome of fight. This basic mechanic is quite simple, but the card mechanic on top really adds some depth.

I love this game. I love the theme, and the mechanisc mean the game is deep, yet quick to play. The game play is exciting and has a cinematic feel. For example, in a game I played with the missus, she holed up in the police station with all her heroes, as I closed in on her with my 14 zombie horde. Really cool stuff, if you can find a copy, buy it!

There's a boxed expansion entitled "The Growing Hunger" which I don't own, plus a couple of extra card packs. Developer support for the game seems good, with a 30 page FAQ on boardgamegeek which is unofficial, but many of the question have been answered by the game developers and play testers. There's also some fan created solo rules as well which I will get as well.

As a reward for getting to the end of this review, here's a picture of the very nice Jenny the Farmers daughter, courtesy of boardgamegeek:

One final note, don't try and get your non-gaming wife to play this. She will hate it, mine did. She says there's too many rules and exceptions (a trivial amount compared to 40k in reality), and she has non interest in zombies.

Pictures in this post are not mine, they're taken from the Flying Frog website and boardgame geek, so cheers for lending them to me ;)

Tuesday, 16 June 2009

40k Radio Freebootaz Webzine: New issue out now

The new issue of the Freeboota magazine is now available for download from the 40k Radio site, so go over and take a look. I'm a Freeboota myself (Tigerstyle on the forums) and I know that the guys that work on the magazine do a crap ton of work to get it to the high quality state it is so support them by downloading it and giving it a read.

If you aren't a Freeboota, then I would highly recommend you consider becoming one. The 40k Radio Freeboota forum is a great forum without all the unenjoyable things you get on other forums. Everyone is a great help to each other, and supportive of everyones efforts in the hobby. On top of that you get extra content and support the alway enjoyable 40k Radio show.

In other news, I'm putting some final touches to my unit of Chaos Chosen as I won't get anything done next week. I'll also be putting up a review/overview of a new boardgame I've just got (expect that tomorrow probably), and I'll be gaming tomorrow night so there should be a battle report towards the end of the week.

Friday, 12 June 2009

Revised Chaos Space Marine list

After half a dozen or so outings for my old (and in need of revision) list, I've now (almost) got all the models to revise it. Here's the new list:

HQ: Daemon Prince, Mark of Nurgle, Wings, Warptime (175)
Elites: Dreadnought with multi-melta (100)
Elites: 7 Chosen, Icon of Nurgle, 3 flamers, 2 melta guns, rhino (246)

Troops: 7 Plague Marines inc Aspiring Champion with power fist, meltagun, flamer, rhino (251)
Troops: 7 Plague Marines inc Aspiring Champion with power fist, meltagun, plasma gun (226)
Troops: 7 Plague Marines inc Aspiring Champion with power fist, meltagun, plasma gun (226)

Heavy Support: Defiler (150)
Heavy Support: Vindicator (125)
Total: 1499

The main change is in the elites. I've dropped the terminator squad in favour of the Chosen and the dreadnought. I posted a while back on Chosen, and jabberjabber posted a good comment which I decided to steal his idea from :) Hence, the Chosen have a mixed weapon load and a Rhino. I intend to use these to outflank to create some nasty surprises for people. I've also got one of the PM squads in a Rhino as well.

With regard to the Chosen, they're a bit on the expensive side as a unit as I've taken the Icon of Nurgle to fit in with my army theme. In the next revision of the list, I may consider dropping this and reducing the unit size down to 5. This would free up 86 points which would be enough to Rhino mount the other two PM squads.

Tuesday, 9 June 2009

New Citadel brushes available

This piece of news seems to have passed me by, but I notice from the latest Games Workshop news letter that they're relaunching the GW brush range.

Notice the all new stippling brush at £2.70 (nylon) and wash brush at £3.90 (Kolinsky sable). There's a set of all of them as well for £33.10.

Sunday, 7 June 2009

Completed Nurgle Dreadnought

I don't normally get a lot of painting done on a weekend, but this weekend I did manage to fit some work in. Unusually for me, I managed to speed paint through my AoBR to Nurgle Dreadnought conversion which I posted WIP pictures of a couple of weeks ago. I also managed to get 75% of the work done on my Chosen squad, though I won't get chance to finish that this week due to work constraints.

Anyway, here it is:

You will remember from the WIP post that he's magnetized so there is a plasma cannon version of him as well.

Here's the top, you can see more of his rot:

Power claw arm. I'm not 100% happy yet with the colour of the claws:

Here's his multi-melta arm with impurity seal:

And finally the back. The rusty metal effect has come out really well on the back, I'm pleased with the result:

The green armour and rot was pretty simply done (all over a black undercoat):

  • Catachan Green base
  • Thraka green wash
  • Drybrush combo of Catachan Green and Rotting Flesh (about 3-4 layers, with increasing amounts of Rotting Flesh)
  • Spots of ink to break up the green surface, used Devlan Mud, Gryphonne Sepia, Ogryn Flesh, a bit of Leviathan Purple

The rust was the first time I've attempted this on a large scale, as I've only used it on weapons before (like on my Nurgle Sorcerer for example). The recipe is:

Boltgun Metal base
Wash with Snakebite Leather/Blazing Orange/Chaos Black (1:1:0.25 mix or until it looks rusty)
Drybrush Boltgun Metal
Drybrush Mithril Silver on the top edges

I enjoyed painting and converting this one, I may look to do another of these in the future, but I need to try it out in a few games first and see how it does.

Thursday, 4 June 2009

Battle Report: Doubles Tournament Warm up

I've posted a couple of times about the 500 point doubles tournament I'm playing in at my local club (it's more of a league really than a tournament), and Wednesday night was the first time we'd seen who we were teamed with and the other players lists.

My submitted list was:
Daemon Prince, Mark of Nurgle, Wings, Warptime (175)
6 Plague Marines, 2 with melta guns (158)
Rhino with dozer blade (40)
Vindicator (125)

Looking at the draw, I was paired with a Daemon player (good player, I'd played his Orks the previous week). His list was something like:
7 Plaguebearers with instrument
5 Horrors with the Changeling

Pretty brutal, especially paired with my list. Unfortunately, he didn't make it to the warm up so I teamed with a couple of other guys. Both games were Annhiliation with Pitched Battle setup.

Battle 1: Chaos and Chaos Vs Imperial Guard and Ultramarines

In this one I was teamed with another Chaos player (he plays Nurgle the same as me, I'd played him a while back). His list was minimal and nasty: Abaddon the Despolier, 5 marines (free wounds for Abaddon), and a vindicator.

The IG had a Lord Comissar, some storm troopers, 10 penal legion troopers (who rolled rending CC attacks), 5 ratlings and a Valkyrie with lascannons and missile pods. The marines were some scouts with Telion, Chapter Master with half a dozen Sternguard.

This was pretty much a blood bath. My DP got a first turn charge off on the ratlings who had scouted, and destroyed them before destroying the Chapter Master and sternguard in the next couple of turns. Abaddon walked forward, destroyed the speed bump penal troops before destroying the scouts. The valkyrie shooting was pretty woeful with it's lascannon (BS3 and it was mostly concentrating on destroying the vindicators) and it didn't really do much at all. By turn 4 or so, they only had the valkyrie and some storm troopers left so they conceeded.

Battle 2: Chaos and Ultramarines Vs Eldar and Dark Angels

This was a bit of an odd team up army-wise. I teamed up with the UM player we'd beaten in the previous game in a fluff bending team-up. He'd been allowed a one off change to his list as he hadn't known about the tournament before arriving that evening, so he'd dropped the scouts for 5 terminators.

On the other side of the table were 5 Death Wing terminators with assault cannon, chain fist, 5 man Dark Angels tactical squad and a Librarian in terminator armour. The Eldar consisted of an Avatar, about 6-7 Fire Dragons with an Exarch with fire pike, 8 Dire Avengers with Exarch, 5 scouts. This game looked to be a tougher prospect than the last one with the Avatar being very tough to take out.

My Daemon Prince rampaged again, tearing apart the Dark Angels tactical marines, battering the scouts and killing them before a grand face off with the Dire Avengers and Avatar. My opponent rolled badly for 2 rounds of combat and only managed to take one wound of the DP. In return my Daemon Prince killed the avatar. The Death Wing deep striked and destroyed my vindicator before being shot a couple of times (my Rhino killed one with it's bolter!) and the losing in CC to the Ultramarine terminators. My UM teammate used his orbital bombardment to good effect on the Fire Dragons and his chapter master finished them off with shooting and assault at the end of the game.

The game finished in a win for us.

Hopefully I can carry this good form over into the league for the next few weeks.

My Daemon Prince was absolutely brutal. I feel a bit guilty about taking him as he's tough to stop at 500 points but looking at other lists (Ku'gath, Abbadon, Avatar, Ork Nobs with FnP and cybork bodies, Skulltaker etc) it was probably the right thing to do.

Wednesday, 3 June 2009

Warpstone Flux June Contest

This month's Warpstone Flux contest is a real tough one:

Mission Briefing:
There are 7 plague marines to kill. One of them is a plague champion (i.e. has an extra attack) wielding a power fist. Two of them have melta guns instead of bolters. They are inside ruins (cover save = 4+). Their in game points value is 221 points.

On the other hand, you have as many or as few points to spend as you like, as follows:
(1) You may choose any codex.
(2) This is not a standard mission. You are only permitted to choose up to 2 different units, but must abide by the minimum number of models regulations. (e.g. chaos space marines must have at least 5 models in a unit; you cannot field two unique models ... e.g. having 2 Abaddons; etc.).

The scenario lasts for 3 turns. The turn sequence of events works like this:
(1) Your team enters play within 12 inches of the plague marines and may shoot at the plague marines as if they have already moved (no charging in to close combat however). If you're shooting ranged blasts or templates, then you may only cover half of them (i.e. 4 at maximum) if your shot is on target.
(2) The remainder of the plague marines rapid fire your team (no cover saves!) with their bolters (they're not within charging range) and their melta guns (if still alive). If you're fielding two units, then they choose to shoot at the unit that would inflict the most harm on them (they might belong to Nurgle, but their minds are still intelligent and sharp).
(3) On your team's second turn (and the third and last turn of this scenario), you may proceed as normal: you may shoot a second time and/or charge in to close combat.

It's taken me a day or two to come up with something reasonable for this. There's some really good entries already (so IG, a Nid one etc). I played around with some figures on a couple of options. I initially looked at a Daemon Prince with the Wind of Chaos power, which looked fairly reasonable, but the first turn when you can't charge meant all the killing had to be done in one turn. I also considered the 20 Battle Sisters with a Palatine option which a couple of people have also done to give 2 Divine Guidance rounds of shooting but again I was looking at probably nailing about 4 PMs over the two turns.

Having looked back over my last few games with my own Plague Marines, one game which stood out in terms of rapid Plague Marine death was a game against Eldar a couple of weeks ago when I got roundly thrashed. Towards the end of that game, 1 squad of Plague Marines got wiped out in a turn by a unit of Fire Dragons (S8, AP1 fusion guns mean no armour save, no FnP and wounding on 2+), so I decided to go with that as my entry. Accompanied by an Exarch who's Crack Shot ability lets him ignore cover saves means I think this is a pretty mean solution:

9 Eldar Fire Dragons, accompanied by an Exarch with Crack Shot (177 points).

Round 1:
Exarch uses Crack shots, he hits on 2+, wounds on 2+ with a reroll, target gets no cover save and no FnP (AP1) = 1 dead PM
9 Fire Dragons, 6 hits, 5 wounds (rounding off), cover saves give 2.5 dead = 2 dead PMs

Round 2:
2 Melta guns fire back, 1.32 hits, 1 dead Eldar
2 Bolters rapid fire, 2.64 hits, 0.87 dead Eldar, so 1 more Eldar dead

Round 3:
Exarch uses Crack shots, he hits on 2+, wounds on 2+ with a reroll, target gets no cover save and no FnP (AP1) = 1 dead PM
7 Fire Dragons, 4.62 hits, 3.83 wounds, 1.91 dead PM = 2 dead PM

Final Score= 2 dead Eldar, 6 dead Plague Marines.

29.5 points per casualty.

In unrelated news, my painting table is full of primed miniatures ready for painting, so over the next few weeks I'll be starting on:
-10 Battle Sisters
-1 Nurgle Dreadnought
-7 Chosen of Nurgle
-1 Urban War Amazonia Decurion now with a weapon swap into a Death Cult Assassin
-1 Torturer for my Inquisitor's Retinue (no pics as yet, he's a flagellant with a hood and an apron, he's ended up looking a bit like the Scarecrow from Batman Begins)
-1 Urban War Myrmillon
-1 AoBR Ork Nob (free with WD, thought I might as well paint it)

Tuesday, 2 June 2009

Survivability for CSM Daemon Princes: Which Mark to use?

As I was drawing up various lists for a 500 point doubles tournament (this post shows my final list I decided on), I posted asking for some advice. My original plan was to take an unmarked DP to save points, but CrusherJoe posted a really interesting comment:

Hmmm...I don't have my CSM codex in front of me so the points might not add up...but I don't like to field a DP without a mark....preferrably the Mark of Tzeench. You could then -- again, if you could find the points, which at 500 points is probably not going to happen -- give him a power or two. Either way, with the MoTz and the wings you've got a flying, 3+/4++ CC rape-monster that is good against infantry, light armor, heavy infantry, MCs, get the idea. :)

This got me thinking over the weekend, as to which Mark would give me the most survivability on the may Daemon Prince (I'm rubbish so my DP normally dies easily). Traditionally, I've always used the Mark of Nurgle (+1 T) as my army is all Nurgle, but having recently purchased a cheap Necron C'Tan model to convert I've got an opportunity to create a different prince. So, how much more survivable is the Mark of Tzeentch (+1 to the invulnerable save) vs the Mark of Nurgle? I had a gut feeling I knew what the answer would be (depends on what you're hit with), but I decided to run some maths.

To re-cap, a Daemon Prince is base T5 with a 3+/5+ save. Mark of Nurgle make's it T6 with a 3+/5+ save, Mark of Tzeentch T5 with a 3+/4+ save.

Let's look at each Mark being shot with a different weapon and the likely hood of suffering a wound (basic maths being chance of wounding x chance of failing a save, with the answer rounded off):

Shot with a bolter (S4, AP5)
Mark of Nurgle = 0.166 x 0.33 = 5% chance of a wound
Mark of Tzeentch = 0.33 x 0.33 = 11% chance of a wound

Shot with hotshot lasgun (S3, AP3)
Mark of Nurgle = 0.166 x 0.66 = 11% chance of a wound
Mark of Tzeentch = 0.166 x 0.5 = 8% chance of a wound

Shot with a plasma gun (S7, AP2)
Mark of Nurgle = 0.66 x 0.66 = 43% chance of a wound
Mark of Tzeentch = 0.83 x 0.5 = 41% chance of a wound

Shot with a melta gun (S8, AP1)
Mark of Nurgle = 0.83 x 0.66 = 54% chance of a wound
Mark of Tzeentch = 0.83 x 0.5 = 41% chance of a wound

Shot with a demolisher cannon (S10, AP2)
Mark of Nurgle = 0.83 x 0.66 = 54% chance of a wound
Mark of Tzeentch = 0.83 x 0.5 = 41% chance of a wound

Once you get to the high strength, low AP hits, MoT is better as you're being wounded on 2+ regardless of whether you're T5 or T6 once the strength of the hit gets to 8 or higher. At low strength (see the hotshot lasgun for an example) MoT is better as it's a 6 to wound both T5 and T6. So between S4 and S7 regardless of AP, MoN is generally better. Once you get over S7, MoT is superior, as the advantage of +1T is lost.