Tuesday, 29 September 2009

Army Inspiration: What's yours?

As you'll know from my last couple of posts, I'm working hard on expanding my Nurgle Chaos Space Marines to include a couple of extra Plague Marine squads. It's been a long while since I converted the first three squads, so hopefully these newer ones will come out looking better. Here's the first squad I completed in mid-late 2007:

My painting, green stuff skills, not to mention my camera, have improved since then, but you get the idea of how they look.

Anyway, I wanted to blog a little about how I arrived at the look at finally settled on for these marines, and what inspired me to do them this way. There's inspiration aplenty in Codexes, rule books, Black Library novels to inspire, but I took my idea from elsewhere.

I wanted my Plague Marines to look like devotees of Nurgle, his most loyal followers, and I thought a monk-ish look would suit them. There was a couple of things that inspired me for the look. The first was unsurprisingly Skaven Plague Monks from the Fantasy range. I liked the hooded and cowled look these models have.
I wanted a more deathly rotting look to them, and so drew influence from the Spanish zombie movie The Tombs of the Blind Dead from 1971. The zombies in this film are undead templar knights and have a really distinctive look compared to other zombie films:
Filthy, rotting, cowled, monk-like, these were a strong influence on the look for my Plague Marines.

What was the influence for your army?

Friday, 25 September 2009

Nurgle Progress

I've been feeling really motivated since my last post to really get down to work on getting my CSM's up to Apocalypse size. My first thing to finish was this Nurgle Rhino, currently the ride for my Chosen:

I've also started work on my next Daemon Prince, which is a conversion from the Necron Nightbringer. He's just drying after pinning and basing but I'll post pictures once he gets a bit further on. I've also started putting together a Plague Marine squad as well.

Thursday, 24 September 2009

Preparing for an Apocalypse

We're playing a campaign currently on club nights, and I got my first game in last night as part of it. It's a fairly simple structure, with two teams "Good" (Imperial, Eldar) Vs "Evil" (Chaos, Orks, Necrons etc). The Imperial hold a number of planets in one sector, and the evil team is fighting to wrest control from them. Each planet has a points value according to it's value, so a forge world might be 12000 points, but a barren moon might be 2000. The points value is how many points of games the evil team needs to win to take control of the planet, so the barren moon could be capture in 1 2000 point game, or 4 500 point games. After each game, your units can get extra skills, experience provided they lived. That's the system, but there's also a Battlefleet Gothic portion as well, where BFG fleets battle for control of the space around a planet.

In last nights match-up, I played 1500 points of Chaos Space Marines, and took on 3 young players who had 500 points each which was a mixture of Imperial Guard and Space Marines. The mission was capture and control. Setup was pitched battle, and the Imperial side setup first. I was feeling relatively confident, there was nothing in the opposing force that was worrying me to much, with the exception of some Space Marine terminators and some scouts with sniper rifles and Telion high up on a building (power fists and rending weapons make Plague Marines cry).

Now this match is part of the campaign, and last week the evil team had taken the first planet and rolled onto invading the next one. However, the BFG battle between Chaos and Imperial was still raging, so the Imperials still held the space around the planet. This doesn't stop the invasion but it means the Imperial got a number of orbital lance strikes to use, 6 in total to spread between all the tables. These things are S9 AP2 ordnance barrages. I'd forgotten about this, and of course, I setup packed in behind cover. Before the game even starts, the orbital barrage arrives and hits my packed in troops, and naturally doesn't scatter, killing an entire squad of Plague Marines before the game even starts!

As you might expect, this put me on the back foot from the kick off, and as I'd declared my Chosen were outflanking I was starting the game almost 500 points down on my opponents. Fortunately, I managed to pull a draw out of the bag, with my objective firmly controlled by a Plague Marine squad and a unit of Catachans holding the opposing objective having shot my Daemon Prince's last wound away who had been contesting it. My Chosen didn't arrived until turn 4, and the game ended on turn 5 as we ran out of time. Possibly had we gone to 6 or 7 turns I could have got them as far as the opposing objective and killed the Catachans around it, but it ended in a draw.

Anyway, the climax of the campaign is an Apocalypse battle in November. Likely this will be more than one Apocalypse battle rather than one large one, so I need to get prepared for this. There will be no minimum force size requirement I wouldn't have thought, but I would like to get my Chaos army up to the 3000 point Apocalypse minimum. Currently, I have just over 2000 points built and painted, and I have a Daemon Prince and at least 2 more Plague Marines squads to give me another 600 points or so. I'll probably try and get either another PM squad or some obliterators, or maybe some lesser daemon to found it up to 3000 points. Once I'm there I'd ideally like to have a Super Heavy, ie a Plague Reaper but this might be just to many minis in too little time to get painted. I've just been flicking through the Apocalypse Data sheets on the GW website, and I'd forgotten all about the fairly recent Doomsday super heavy. I could probably make something suitably Nurgly for this, mwahahahahaha!

So here's the list of units that need building:

-Daemon Prince
-2 Plague Marine squads
-Doomsday Device

...and the units that need buying:
-More Plague Marines
-Lesser Daemons (I'm going to use zombies for these)
-Plague Reaper

Alot to do, wish me luck!

Wednesday, 23 September 2009

Re-rolls and probability

I noticed this interesting post over at The D6 Generation yesterday. It's from a listener who writes about the probability of scoring a certain number on a D6 with and without a re-roll, so for example when firing a twin linked weapon. You can read the way the binominal probability works in the post, but I just wanted to share the most important part, the probability table:

2++ = 97%
3++ = 89%
2+ = 83%
4++ = 75%
3+ = 67%
5++ = 56%
4+ = 50%
5+ = 34%
6++ = 31%
6+ = 17%

+ = w/o a reroll
++ = with a reroll

Let's take an example. Say a Chaos Terminator with a twin linked bolter (rapid fire, twin linked) and a Space Marine Terminator with a storm bolter (Assault 2) are both firing at a target 10" away. Both are BS4, and both weapons are the same strength and AP.

Each shot from the Chaos Terminator has a 89% percent chance of hitting, and so has a 79% chance of hitting with both shots (0.89 x 0.89).

Each shot from the Loyalist Termaintor has a 67% chance of hitting, and so has a 44% chance of hitting with both shots.

So on pure stats, the twin linked bolter is better at this short range. Of course, at more than 12" the storm bolter would get an extra shot perhaps giving it the edge there. Being in terminator armour, the unit can still charge after firing it's bolters.

Tuesday, 22 September 2009

New White Dwarf contents UK 358

The new White Dwarf arrived yesterday, so here's a quick run down of what's in it. No surprises that it's Space Wolf heavy this month.

  • Cover: Space Wolves (same as the Codex)
  • New Releases:
  • Codex: Space Wolves (£15 3/10/09)
  • Space Wolves Wolf Pack (£20 3/10/09 can built 10 Blood Claws, Grey Hunters or Wolf Guard)
  • Wolf Guard Terminators (£25 3/10/09)
  • Space Wolves Battleforce (£50 17/10/09, has 2 Wolf Packs, 5 scouts and a drop pod)
  • Canis Wolfborn (£25 3/10/09)
  • Njal Stormcaller (£12 3/10/09)
  • Lukas the Trickster (£10 3/10/09)
  • New Mega Paint set (47 Colour paints, 18 Foundation Paints, 8 washes, full set of brushes, PVA glue, flock (4 tubs) all in a figure case £150, out 17/10/09)
  • Some new Harad and Easterling LoTR minis
  • Space Wolf Design Notes
  • War of the Ring: Harad
  • War of the Ring campaign with 3 new scenarios
  • Fantasy tactica on using special characters
  • Battle Report is 2000 points of Space Wolves VS Chaos Daemons
  • Hobby Essentials: Modelling snow
  • Jervis' usual Standard Bearer
  • Ideas for kit bashing Space Wolves
  • Dave Thomas' favourite miniature
  • 'Eavy Metal masterclass: Space Wolves
  • Master modeller: custom scenery created by the studio.
Plenty of 40K stuff, particularly if you like Space Wolves.

Thursday, 17 September 2009

Battle Report: Chaos Space Marines VS Orks

Apologies for the lack of updates recently, I've been really busy with work and stuff. In fact, I've only managed 30 minutes of painting in the last ten days. I did get a couple of games of Last Night on Earth with my brother-in-law which was fun, and last night was regular club night.

I got a 1500 point game in against an Ork player. My list was my current Nurgle Chaos list. My opponent was running an Ork horde list, which isn't a particularly good match up for a small elite all Nurgle force. His list was something along the lines of:

Warboss with big choppa, with 5 Nobz in a trukk
10 Tankbustas with a couple of bomb squigs
5 Burnas
10 including a Nob with a power klaw Sluggas in a trukk
20 including a Nob with a power klaw Shoota boyz
20 including a Nob with a power klaw Slugga boyz
15 including a Nob with a power klaw Slugga boyz
3 Deffkoptas
3 Warbikes
Squiggoth which was carrying the tankbustas. This could have been a baby Squiggoth.
2 Deff Dreds

As you can see, he was running a squiggoth (just a little one) using Forge World rules which was fun, and it was only a friendly game so I was happy to let him (the squiggoth isn't on the picture below, there wasn't an icon for it in Vassal).

The mission was a straightforward annihilation with the spearhead deployment. I opted to go second. At deployment, things looked something like this:

I figured that to deal with this many Orks I was going to have to use the two large blast templates from the Defiler and the Vindicator to take out as many as could before they close to me, as well as denying as many kill points as possible. I also wanted to concentrate on some of the smaller units which would be easy to take down (like the bikes, the burnas, the Deff Dreads) rather than trying to wear down the big units of Boyz. As usual, I held my Chosen in reserve to outflank.

I setup well back in my table quarter to make the Orks cross the table in front of my big guns. My opponent setup as close a possible to me ready to get to grips with me.

Early Turns: The Orks rushed towards my lines, and one of the trukks sped into the top right corner of the map. My first round of shooting saw shots from the Vindicator and Defiler scatter, and killed 14 Orks from two of the mobs. The rest of ones of those squads thought better of the battle and legged it off the table. My Daemon Prince saw the chance of a kill point and crushed the trukk, forcing the boyz out and killing a couple in the wreckage. The Orks responded by rushing the Daemon with boyz from the trukk, the Warboss and his nobz, killing him. Everyone else advanced, with the warbikes charging the vindicator and destroying it.
My Chosen arrived from the flanks, close to the Warboss and blew up a trukk from the safety of the rhino. My Chaos dreadnought killed the warbikes, avenging the death of the Vindicator. Things looked pretty evenly balanced in these early turned.

Mid-game: The Warboss and Nobz saw the chance of a kill point and destroyed the Chosen Rhino, killing two of the occupants in the resulting explosion. The Chosen responded by repositioning themselves to maximize their three flamers, fired on the Nobz and Warboss, killing all of them. At the bottom centre of the board, one of the Deff Dread got into combat with the Defiler, a combat which lasted three turns and saw the Defiler just limp out the winner.
My dreadnought managed to stay sane through the whole game, and spent a couple of turns killing first the tank bustas, and then the deffkoptas who charged it in close combat.

Late turns: The shootas, the remains of a slugga squad, a deff dread and the wierdboy got into assault with a Plague Marine squad which they took two turns to finish off. Once this was done, the remaining half dozen sluggas boyz got shot to pieces by the Plague Marines in the rhino. This gave me enough time to kill the squiggoth with a Plague Marine squad and the Dreadnought. The dreadnought rounded off a storming game for him by killing the remaining burna boyz. Up in the top corner, the Chosen were defeated in combat and broke towards my table edge.

The game ended on turn 5 with a win for me. I'd scored 9 kill points to me opponents 5.

Overall, it was a fun game. My HQ, elites and heavy support saw most of the action, scoring 7 of my 9 kill points. They really blunted my opponents attack, so that by the time he got to my troop choices (which are tough in themselves), I'd taked the sting out of his attack. My Chosen proved their value yet again, taking 3 kill points themselves. The dreadnought worked well in this game as well, as he stayed sane for the whole game making him a cheap and versatile unit.

Against a big horde like this, target selection was important as there were a number of units which were softer and easier to take out. Had he been running a large scary unit (like Nob bikerz, or he'd beefed up his Nob squad a bit more), this would have been much more of a distraction to me, as I know I'd have been tempted to pump shots into a unit like that which was tough to kill.

Wednesday, 9 September 2009

Credit where credit is due

If you spend much time on GW forums you often see the same gripes and complaints coming up again and again. Two popular ones are:

-GW FAQ's take too long to come out and don't actually answer the questions people are most frequently asking
-White Dwarf is not very good

Over the past week or so, a couple of things have happened which address these (well a little anyway).

Firstly, the new White Dwarf is actually pretty decent (UK WD 357). The Space Hulk battle report, though really an advert for Space Hulk, is improved by Jervis' analysis of each players actions, the Rok campagin report was pretty interesting too. The Fantasy double's tournament report was quite good and the tournament style battle report between the guys from the Bad Dice podcast was interesting and not something I've seen in WD before. Now one swallow does not make a summer, so this it remains to be seen whether this trend is going to continue into future issues.

The other thing was the release on the Imperial Guard FAQ. Not only has this come out pretty quickly after the Codex (3 months or so), but it seems to answer most of the questions I've seen asked about the IG codex, such as whether hotshot lasguns can use the FRFSRF order, can orders be issued to allies. It also has a direct impact on Codex: Witch Hunters as there is some clarification on what units can be take to ally with Witch Hunters. I think a couple of the choices there are a little odd (for example Sentinel variants are allowed, Leman Russ variants aren't), but none the less it's clarity and it's welcome.

And it's good to see the Deathstrike Missile launcher now has an unlimited range, I'm sure it's previous range of 960" was not enough ;)

Monday, 7 September 2009

Completed Sisters of Battle Rhino

I managed to find some painting time over the weekend to put the finishing touches to my Sisters of Battle rhino for my first completed sisters squad. Here it is:

It came out OK in the end. I started fairly poorly by cocking up the priming of the model with a new primer which seemed to go on watery then like tar which will teach me not to shake the can enough. The model is done with my standard SoB base mix of 2:1 Scab Red:Scorched Brown and then I drybrushed it with Scab Red and Red Gore to pick out the edges. I finished the upper most parts with a drybrush of Kommando Khaki which is the accent colour on the front which added a final highlight I was rather pleased with.

The turret with the sister in it is not glued in, should I ever feel the desire to run the vehicle as an Immolator I can put together the Immolator turret and place that on top.

Friday, 4 September 2009

How many flamers are too many?

Jabberjabber over at Warpstone Flux this week posted up his latest monthly army list challenge which are always entertaining ways to waste time at work ;)

You can read the details over there for yourself, but in a nutshell, it's for a 1000 point legal list to attack a drifting space hulk populated with a genestealer cult, including both 'stealers and human followers. As the action is aboard a hulk, nothing bigger than a terminator is allowed. You can read my entry, based on Codex:Witch Hunters in the comments on the post. Basically, I went flamer crazy, figuring that would be the most useful thing to have onboard a cramped spaceship. I managed to get 15 flamers and 6 combi-flamers in one list which wasn't bad (plus 8 heavy bolters and a load of hellguns).

Jabberjabber made a comment that he was tempted to draw up a CSM list, so I thought I'd have a go with that just to amuse myself really. Based on the restrictions imposed by the challenge, plus with the added plan to squash in as many flamers as possible, I came up with:

Chaos Sorcerer with Wind of Chaos [130]
5 Chosen with 5 flamers [115]
5 Chosen with 5 flamers [115]
5 Chosen with 5 flamers [115]
6 CSM with 1 flamer [95]
6 CSM with 1 flamer [95]
6 CSM with 1 flamer [95]
5 Havocs with 4 flamers [80]
5 Havocs with 4 flamers [80]
5 Havocs with 4 flamers [80]

Total: 1000 points.
Flamer total: 30 flamers, plus one template psychic power.

Now that's alot of flamers! Any other Codexes which can get in more flamers?

Wednesday, 2 September 2009

The Inquisition: Know your Ordos

I guess most 40K fans could name the three main Ordos on the Officio Inquistoria, but they are not by any means the only ordos. Let's look at the main ordos:

Ordo Malleus: The oldest of the Ordos, they are charged with combatting the daemon without, the manifestation of Chaos in real space. They are also charged with hunting down rouge inquisitors (the daemon within).

Ordo Xenos: The Ordo Xenos is charged with the investigation, and if necessary, destruction of alien species. Both Inquisitor Gregor Eisenhorn and Gideon Ravenor are members of the Ordo Xenos.

Ordo Hereticus: The Ordo Hereticus hunt down the enemy within, the unsanctioned psyker, the mutant and the heretic.

Though these are the main ordos, the members of each Ordo have pretty wide ranging remits of investigation. If we take Eisenhorn as an example, we see him investigating trade in forbidden artifacts with aliens, a Dark Eldar cult (at the start of Malleus I think), hunting down a rogue inquisitor, chaining a daemon, breaking open a heretical Chaos cult, amongst other things.

Besides the main Ordos, there are numerous unanmed Ordo Minoris which have other, more specialized, tasks. For example:

Ordo Sicarius: This Ordo is concerned the watching over and monitoring the Officio Assassinorium to ensure it is not corrupted again, as occured during the Wars of Vindication.

Ordo Sepulturum: A small Ordo based close to the Eye of Terror, they investigate the source and combat the effects of the warp-spawned diseases, in particular the Zombie Plague which struck voraciously during the 13t Black Crusade. You can read more about this in Inquisitor's Thorian Sourcebook which is a great resource for those of us who are interested in the Inquisition. Sepulturum is latin for burial, presumably chosen as the zombie hunting Inquisitor's a responsible for returning zombies to the grave.


Marshal Argos
has commented with a couple of other Ordos I wasn't aware of, so here's some more detail.

Ordos Helican: These are well covered in the Eisenhorn trilogy, the Ordos Helican was the ruling body of the Inquisitorial Ordos in the Helican subsector.

Ordo Obsuletus: Ordo charged with investigating paranormal phenomena such as the Legion of the Damned.

Ordo Hydra: A branch of the secret Illuminati faction covered in the Inquisition War trilogy (I haven't read this myself). Many of its members are Inquisitor's.

I've also found the Ordo Militum, charged with monitoring the Imperial Guard and other Imperial military forces.