Monday, January 30, 2012

Executioners Sternguard

Despite some other drains on my time, I've finally finished the second half of my first Sternguard squad for the Executioners.

Friday, January 27, 2012

Vampire Counts

I've been through more army book editions with the VC than with any of my other armies.

Based on the articles on this blog, you could be forgiven for thinking that Blood Angels were my first major army, and that 40K is the only game I play (with small excursions into Warmachine). However, I started playing Warhammer Fantasy several years before I started playing 40K. I played Undead, and later Vampire Counts. My Vampire Counts army is still my largest army (by model count if not by points).

So why don’t I ever write about it? That has to do with how I like to play and what models I own, and how that interacted with the Seventh Edition VC book and the Eighth Edition core rules. I tried to make my collection flexible, but it always centered around blocks of undead infantry with strong characters leading them. This always worked well for me, until the Seventh Edition Army Book.

Monday, January 23, 2012

The Marines Errant

The Marines Errant are a crusading, fleet-based chapter based on the Ultramarines gene-seed. They operate as a pretty standard Codex chapter, but are short on rarer wargear, such as Dreadnoughts, Land Raiders, and Terminator armor. As such, they play pretty much like any Codex Marine Chapter. They fought for the Loyalists during the Badab War and behaved honorably. They are particularly well-known for their enmity toward the Mantis Warriors and their role in protecting Imperial shipping.

Lieutenant Commander Anton Narvaez

The Marines Errant character is a Company Captain, though he has a pretty poor statline, roughly between a Librarian and a standard Captain. He comes with a power weapon and master-crafted plasma gun, as well as an over-charged Iron Halo that gives him a 3+ invulnerable save but can short out when he takes a wound. He maintains Combat Tactics, and gives himself and one Tactical squad both Move through Cover and Scout. Both are handy abilities, but hardly game changing.

Narvaez is a cheap choice, barely more expensive than a standard Captain with a power weapon and combi-plasma. He adds some flexibility to a Tactical squad, but doesn’t change the army very much. He’s more of a choice for a fluffy Marines Errant list than one to alter your game play.

Friday, January 20, 2012

The Astral Claws

I was reading over the Badab War Imperial Armour books, and thinking about how much they expand on the Space Marine Codex. When it comes down to it, much of the flexibility in C:SM is due to characters that alter the FOC or have the Chapter Tactics rule. IA: 9 and 10 don’t really add any new units, but they add 22 new characters, many of which fundamentally alter the way that C:SM plays.

The problem with this is that the books are expensive and not readily available to most gamers, so they may not even be aware of the characters or if they would like to play them. I decided to do a short write-up for each character, describing how their rules alter the army, similar to what I wrote for Thulsa Kane. I’ll be organizing them by chapter, so I’ll also include some information about the chapter’s background and how a fluffy army for them would be built. I decided to start with the instigators of the whole war:

Monday, January 16, 2012

New Blood Angels FAQ

Most of the codices received a recent FAQ update, and everyone is talking about the Necron FAQ. That's fine, and I'm happy for Necron players that they got an FAQ that doesn't nerf them in every case where their rules were unclear. I'm hoping this sets a very good precedent, and I think this will make the Necrons an army to beat in the coming year.

However, I'm massively happy about the new Blood Angels FAQ. Based on the last FAQ, there were a lot of arguments about whether squads held in reserve could Combat Squad, and when they split if they could. The answer and example in the FAQ were horribly worded. This applied to all the marine codices with combat squads, but no other army relies on combat squading after deep striking as much as DoA Blood Angels. Without the ability to split when they arrive, my Assault squads lose a massive amount of flexibility.

I'm thankful that I never ran into any players that interpreted the FAQ this way, but it was always a nervous moment at the beginning of the game. I would explain the problem and ask them what they thought. If anyone would have followed the interpretation that no squad kept in reserve could split, then I could either argue it or just play that way, possibly at a significant disadvantage.

Anyway, the new FAQ is extremely clear that squads arriving by deep strike or infiltrate can combat squad when the arrive on the board and can deploy in different locations. I'm happy this went in the Blood Angels favor, but I'm most happy that it is now clear and I don't have to worry about explaining or arguing it before every game.

Also, Blood Lance officially doesn't need to roll to hit. Also awesome.

Friday, January 13, 2012

Land Raider Crusader Ark of Rage

I just finished painting up a Crusader, dubbed the Ark of Rage. I don't know if it's just me, but painting Blood Angel tanks always seems to take me forever. I used to think it was all tanks, but my Executioner Rhinos went pretty quickly. This one includes the Forgeworld doors and some of the decorations from the Baal Predator kit, so it had a ton of detail to paint as well. I think it came out well, though the red areas aren't as even as I usually like them. I'm looking forward to using it on the table, as well as being able to move on to painting more Executioners.

Monday, January 9, 2012

Minotaurs: Making a Bed to Lay In

Dardreg on why he chose to start Minotaurs

I have decided to play the Minotaurs chapter.  As with all successor chapters, this has some decisions associated with it.  The biggest choice is always what codex to use.  Although there is a backlash against the counts as craze (and it is a power armored problem), I am assuming in writing this that you are not switching around every 6 months to a year to follow the latest release of power armored nonsense.  In general, the codex selected should be an attempt on your part to select the best book to reflect the fluff of the chapter you are trying to make.  This may or may not be the codex others decide to use, or the prescribed codex as is my case with the Forge World folks and I disagreeing.  Expect to take some flak for this at first amongst your gaming group if your “Fatherless Sons” or whatever swap from being Codex marines to a more popular book.

Friday, January 6, 2012

Executioners Test Games

Over the Christmas holiday, my brother was able to make it down for a visit but wasn’t able to bring his Space Wolves. Not to be denied, we decided that he could play my Blood Angels and I would command the Executioners as they currently stand. Given the small size of the Executioners army so far and my brother’s unfamiliarity with Blood Angels, we decided to stick to 1,000 points. We played two games, and he used the same list in both.

Blood Angels 1,000 points

Reclusiarch w/ jump pack

2 Sanguinary Priests w/ jump packs

8 Assault Marines w/ meltagun, power fist

7 Assault Marines w/ meltaguns, power weapon

10 Tactical Marines w/ power weapon, meltaguns, multi-melta, Rhino

5 Devastators w/ 3 missile launchers, plasma cannon

Monday, January 2, 2012

An Ode to the Wind

As a newly minted Minotaur player I want to share with everyone a vehicle that is, I believe, one of the most underrated in the game.  I am talking about that little seen, rarest, and most exotic of the heavy support choices: the humble Whirlwind.  I am not suggesting that these tanks should find their way into every list.  However every marine codex can use them. They are cheap and effective for what they do.   Most people find them little more useful than a screen door on a submarine. However, they have several redeeming qualities.

These are twofold.  First, the Whirlwind is an indirect weapons system with a reasonably long range.  It is hard, especially at greater than 36 inches, to reach out and touch what you can't actually see.  This fact combined with the Whirlwind's cheap points cost leads to a degree of invisibility/ lack of concern from an opponent.  The second quality that makes the Whirlwind effective is that it functions as a boltgun that allows absolutely no cover save.  In and of itself, that doesn’t sound that great. However, when there are 20 Ork boys on an objective in cover, this can help significantly soften the target prior to assault. 

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