Wednesday, December 25, 2013

2,000 Point Tournament Lessons Learned

Merry Christmas!

As a really lame present, I'll tell you all the lessons I learned in my last tournament. Maybe they'll do you some good. These games gave me a bunch more experience with the new Space Marines, and I certainly learned a few things. I got to play against some pretty diverse opponents.

1) Amra (aka Lysander) is great, but he isn't able to take on real assault units by himself. In two games, I was defeated by assault forces after Amra was killed (despite reaping a pretty ferocious tally each time). I think Amra really needs some Assault Terminators to back him up. Sgt. Druss and the Legends will be finding their way back into my list.

Monday, December 23, 2013

2,000 Point Tournament Battle Reports

This past weekend, I played in a 2,000 point, double FOC tournament in my FLGS. Stupidly, I left my camera on my desk, so I won't be doing my usual full battle reports. I do want to provide a quick rundown of each battle along with some lessons learned.

Friday, December 20, 2013

Aegis Defense Line

I know it's not the most exciting painting project, but it's pretty useful in game. I painted up this ADL in two nights before a tournament (more to come on that). I used a lot of drybrushing and washes to speed things up, but I think it looks good. It's certainly better than the vast majority of ADLs that I see on the table.

Wednesday, December 18, 2013

Inquisitor Eli Damaskinos, Ordo Malleus

Eli Damaskinos is a relatively young Inquisitor of the Ordo Malleus. At the conclusion of the Badab War, he was a minor member of the Inquisitorial court that punished the remaining Separatist Astartes. As an Istvaanian, Damaskinos believed that the Chapters involved in the Badab War, the largest inter-Astartes civil war since the Horus Heresy, would be the most effective force in Imperium. He was looking for a force that would both validate his beliefs and support his goals.

Monday, December 16, 2013

Executioner Devastators

My last post finished off the most important parts of the Devastator squads, namely the heavy weapons. However, I would need some bolter Devastators if I wanted to have some ablative wounds and combat squad. Here they are:

Friday, December 13, 2013

Black Templars Chapter Tactics and Special Characters

The Black Templars have the distinction of being the only Second Founding Chapter to receive its own Chapter Tactics. They are an eternally crusading off-shoot of the Imperial Fists, and they specialize in slaying enemy champions in close combat. To represent this, Black Templar characters re-roll failed To Hit rolls and have Rending in challenges. This isn’t a bad rule, as it means any character can have a chance in challenges. It allows you to take power swords without fear that they won’t be able to penetrate Terminator armor. In general, it just makes your combat characters better in assault.

Beyond this, all Black Templar have the Crusader and Adamantium Will rules. This makes them a bit quicker across the battlefield on foot, as well as giving them some protection from enemy psykers. Again, both of these are helpful but not amazing. No marine assault forces will cross the table on foot without being shot off the table, but being faster once you get out of your transports is a nice bonus.

The Black Templars Chapter Tactics are very fluffy for them but aren’t exactly great in game. I don’t expect to see hardcore tournament players using Black Templar (they all seem to be in love with the White Scars). Instead, players that love the Templar background and want to play an assault oriented marine list will have a lot of fun with these rules.

Monday, December 9, 2013

Assorted Executioner Tacticals and Devastators

I've painted up the next batch of Executioner marines. This group includes the Tactical marines necessary of my new infantry hunting load out, as well as the remaining Devastators to allow me to field two five-strong squads, including sergeants and four heavy weapons. Here are the Tacticals:

Wednesday, December 4, 2013

White Scars Chapter Tactics and Kor'sarro Khan

The White Scars are a Chapter that specializes in lightning raids and hit and run warfare, often fielding armies dominated by bike squads. Their Chapter Tactics do a great job of representing this on the table. Their bikes ignore Dangerous Terrain and gain +1 to their Jink saves (basically Skilled Rider under another name, which is great if you can come up with a way to give them Skilled Rider on top of that). Beyond that, they have +1 strength to their Hammer of Wrath hits. It won’t turn Space Marine Bikers into a real assault force, but every bit helps.

Monday, December 2, 2013

Commission: Absolver Characters

I recently completed a small commission (okay, extremely late birthday present) for Dardreg Gargant. I painted up a few characters, trying to match his paint scheme. First up is a Librarian. Dardreg wanted metallic blue armor to match the rest of the army with their bronze armor.

Friday, November 29, 2013

Badab War Ultramarines Special Characters

As if Ultramarines didn't get enough named characters in the main codex, they get a bunch of them in the Badab War rules as well. All of the following Chapters and characters use Ultramarines Chapter Tactics, and so can easily be incorporated into any Ultramarine Army.

Howling Griffons: Chaplain Dreadnought Titus
Titus has the standard profile and rules for a Venerable Dreadnought, with a few extra rules to convey his role as a Chaplain Dreadnought of the Howling Griffons. He has a dreadnought close-combat weapon with heavy flamer or storm bolter, as well as a lascannon (which for some reason isn’t twin-linked like it is for every other Dreadnought) or assault cannon. He also comes with extra armor.

To mimic the Chaplain rules, Titus has Hatred and makes ever friendly Space Marine unit within 12” Fearless. Finally, and perhaps most useful, Titus is scoring if he is your warlord. Very unusually, Titus does benefit from Ultramarines Chapter Tactics even though he’s a vehicle. That’s not a huge change, but it could prove extremely useful throughout the course of the game, particularly benefiting him if he needs to get into assault with a juicy target.

Titus isn’t the most competitive choice, but he is unique as a scoring Dreadnought HQ. He’ll be most useful anchoring a firebase, as he’ll provide some firepower, make the surrounding units Fearless, and act as a counter-charge unit.

Wednesday, November 27, 2013

Product Review: The New Tactical Squad

Amidst all of the excitement over the Space Marine Codex and the new models, I didn't hear much discussion about the new Tactical Marines. I knew that they came with grave weapons and a combi-weapon, as well as a power sword and fist, all of which would be useful, but I expected this to be a simple re-tooling of the old sprue, the same as when they added the plasma gun and meltagun to the Tactical squad.

I picked up a couple of the new boxes to fill out my Devastators, and was quite surprised. Every bit has been resculpted, and the indentations on the armor are much sharper and more pronounced. There are some new armor pieces as well, and more studs on the armor. These are all great for me, as they add to the older look of the armor and will pick up details from washes very well.

Monday, November 25, 2013

Executioners Devastators

With the new Space Marine Codex, I've been updating my army to take advantage of the new rules. Of course, if I'm going to use Imperial Fists Chapter Tactics, I'll need some Devastators. Their Tank Hunters makes them extremely appealing.

First, I'm working on a squad with 4 lascannons, which will be the 4th Company Devastator squad. I painted all the heavy weapons with this round. The two on the left are previous Tactical Marines, with their squad designation repainted. Those on the right are new models.

Friday, November 22, 2013

Ultramarines Special Characters

Ultramarines are really spoiled for choice when it comes to special characters. They've got more on the main rulebook than any other Chapter, and the Badab War characters add even more. I'll just be covering those in the main book here, with the Badab characters getting their own post.
Marneus Calgar

Marneus Calgar is the Chapter Master of the Ultramarines, and is every inch the tank that Lysander is. With the Chapter Master statline, Eternal Warrior, an iron halo, and either artificer armor or terminator armor, Calgar is extremely durable. He wears a pair of power fists with an AP2 storm bolter, so his damage output is very respectable. Due to his Titanic Might rule, he re-rolls and failed Armor Penetration rolls, so he’s even more reliable against vehicles.

For all of his personal abilities, you’ll probably take Marneus because of his army support abilities. His God of War rule has two massive effects. First, all Ultramarines in his army can choose to pass or fail any morale check. This is terrifically useful, as it makes your army completely reliable. Your units will never fall back off an objective or off the table. If they’re in an assault they don’t want to be in, they can always try to get out with no repercussions if they fail. Beyond this, it also allows your army to use one of the Combat Tactics twice each game. This will usually be the Tactical Doctrine, as it has the most uses, but you can choose the others if circumstances demand. Between these two abilities, Calgar gives you an army of Uber-Ultramarines.

Monday, November 18, 2013

Chapter Tactics: Ultramarines

Sorry for that gap in posts. Between traveling, applying for a new job, and trying to get a bunch of new Marines painted for an upcoming tournament, I just haven't written much. I'm trying to catch back up, so here's my thoughts on the Ultramarines Chapter Tactics.

The Ultramarines are the archetypical Space Marines, and most Chapters follow their tactics. The Ultramarines do not specialize in any specific form of warfare, but instead are flexible enough to deal with any situation. As such, they have three different combat doctrines that each last a single game turn. They can use each one once a game, and can only use one per turn.

The Tactical Doctrine allows all models in the detachment to re-roll 1’s to hit when shooting. Even better, Tactical Marines get to re-roll all their misses when shooting.

The Assault Doctrine allows your units to re-roll failed charges, with Fast Attack squads gaining Fleet.

The Devastator Doctrine allows all your models to re-roll missed Snap Shots, and makes your Devastator squads Relentless as long as they didn’t disembark from a transport.

Friday, November 8, 2013

Imperial Fist Special Characters

Captain Lysander

Due to illness, the part of Lysander will be played by Amra the Lion.
Darnath Lysander is the Imperial Fists’ 1st Company Captain, and he certainly is up to the task. He’s got the statline of a Chapter Master minus one attack (which his master-crafted hammer makes up for), along with Eternal Warrior. Combine that with Terminator armor and a storm shield, and Lysander is extremely durable against any foe. With a S10 thunder hammer, he also can deal with most enemies in assault, though he specializes in monstrous creatures and vehicles. He’s particularly great at killing Daemon Princes as he can double out their T5. He increased 30 points in cost compared to last edition, but he’s still worth his points.

If Lysander is your Warlord, all friendly Imperial Fists within 12” re-roll failed Morale and Pinning tests, making your marines more reliable and potentially saving you some points in Veteran Sergeant upgrades. He also comes with a Warlord Trait that earns D3 extra victory points if he slays the enemy Warlord in a challenge. This could win a close-fought battle, but it will be pretty easy for the enemy Warlord to avoid.

Monday, November 4, 2013

Chapter Tactics: Imperial Fists

Famed for their siegecraft and resolute firepower, the Imperial Fists offer straightforward and useful Chapter Tactics. While many of the other Chapter Tactics provide mobility or advantages in specific circumstances, the Imperial Fists’ tactics just make their firepower more reliable. Frankly, that’s great in my mind.

First up, they have Bolter Drill, which allows any model firing any type of bolter to re-roll 1’s to hit. This extends to bolt pistols, stormbolters, and heavy bolters, but does not include Sternguard firing special issue ammunition. Throughout your army, this mostly benefits Tactical Marines as they are most likely to be carrying large numbers of bolters. However, it can also increase the firepower of standard Terminators, Scouts armed with bolters, and Devastators with massed heavy bolters (though we’ll get to the reason why you won’t be taking them). It’s a nice bonus, but it doesn’t do too much. Ten bolter shots with Bolter Drill will result in an average of 7.77 hits, compared to 6.67 hits without. It’ll certainly make a difference over the course of a battle but it’s no reason to take more Tactical Marines than you normally would.

Friday, November 1, 2013

Executioners Example Army List

Based on my thoughts on the Executioners' Chapter Tactics, I wanted to put together a list to try to accentuate their strengths. Here's what I came up with:

Chapter Master w/ power fist, Shield Eternal, artificer armor, bike

High Chaplain Thulsa Kane

6 Assault Terminators w/ 5 thunder hammers and storm shields, 1 pair of lightning claws
Land Raider Crusader w/ multi-melta

Wednesday, October 30, 2013

Chapter Tactics: Executioners

Now that I'm finished reviewing the Eldar codex, I'm going to go over the various Chapter Tactics available for Space Marines. Of course, I'll be going over the ones in the codex, but Forgeworld recently updated the rules for all of the Space Marine Chapters and characters that they have produced. Even better, the rules are all available for free. You can consider it an expansion for Codex: Space Marines. It’s available here:

The Executioners

Of course, I have to start with my own Chapter, the Executioners. While they are Imperial Fist successors (and I’ve been playing them as such), they are divergent enough to warrant their own Chapter Tactics. First up, they have Bitter Mettle, which means they ignore all negative LD modifiers. This is essentially a better Stubborn, which never was that great before. That said, it’s not so bad anymore because it’s not an alternative to the old Combat Tactics. It makes your marines just a little more dependable, which is never a bad thing.

Monday, October 28, 2013

Eldar Codex Review: Heavy Support Part 3


Wraithlords are the Eldar equivalent of a Dreadnought, a massive (well, they used to be) wraithbone chassis piloted by the soul of a dead hero. The Wraithlord is quite hard to kill, with 3 T8 wounds and a 3+ armor save, and he packs a fair punch with 3 S8 attacks as a monstrous creature. He can carry two heavy weapons so he’s a decent fire support unit, and he can carry a ghostglaive, which is master-crafted and gives him +1S. He also comes with two shuriken catapults, which you can (and should) exchange for flamers.

The Wraithlord is a very useful generalist unit. He can carry two heavy weapons, meaning that he adds to your army’s firepower, and he’s a threatening assault unit, so he makes a good counter-attack unit to support your firebase. His one real downfall is his slow speed, so don’t expect him to advance on the enemy and make it into combat early enough to be useful. It’s also important to note that Wraithlords are characters, and can tie up even very nasty assault units by challenging out their characters. I’ve been on the other side of this and it’s tremendously frustrating.

Wednesday, October 23, 2013

Eldar Codex Review: Heavy Support Part 2


The Falcon is, in fluff at least, the Eldar main battle tank and the most common vehicle on the battlefield. It certainly was in previous editions, when a Falcon with holofields was absurdly difficult to kill. Unfortunately, the Falcon has lost its place in this edition.

The Falcon has the standard Eldar grav-tank chassis and armor, and comes armed with a pulse laser (essentially a 2 shot bright lance without the Lance rule), a shuriken cannon, and twin-linked shuriken catapults. The cannon can be upgraded to any of the standard Eldar heavy weapons, and the catapults can be upgraded to a shuriken cannon. The Falcon can carry 6 passengers, so it can act as a transport for a small squad.

Monday, October 21, 2013

Refurbished my Guardians

The last squad on my list to fix up was my Guardians. They were the first Eldar squad I painted back when I was in high school, and it really shows. Here's a shot of their original paintjob.

They needed the standard rebasing and repainting of gems, as well as repainting the discolored whit on their helmets and some general shading and highlighting. I also desperately needed to repaint the lime green vanes on their backs. That's some 3rd Edition silliness.

Friday, October 18, 2013

Eldar Codex Review: Heavy Support Part 1

Dark Reapers

Man, I need to repaint these guys...
 Dark Reapers are unique among aspect warriors. While most aspects specialize in engaging the enemy at short range, Reapers prefer to sit at the back of the field and blow the enemy apart with missiles. Lots and lots of missiles.

Wednesday, October 16, 2013

Refurbished my Rangers

Sorry I missed some posts. I've been traveling and I didn't have time to schedule some posts in advance. I'm back now, and in this post I'll be showing off my refurbished Rangers. Dardreg Gargant yelled at me for not taking pictures before I refurbish my models, so here are a few of the old Rangers.

Monday, October 7, 2013

Refurbished my Dire Avengers

Next up on my Eldar improvement project were two squads of Dire Avengers. One squad, made from the current kit (well, before it was reduced to 5 models), was pretty simple. All they needed was rebasing, repainting the gems, and painting aspect runes on their helmets.

Friday, October 4, 2013

Eldar Codex Review: Fast Attack Part 2

Crimson Hunters

Crimson Hunters are the new aspect warriors in this codex, and are the first aspect to pilot a vehicle (not just a vehicle, a flyer). Crimson Hunters are pure air superiority fighters, armed with two bright lances and a pulse laser for 4 S8 shots each turn. Even better, their Skyhunters rule allows them to re-roll failed armored penetration rolls against flyers. They also come with Vector Dancer, making them the most maneuverable flyers outside of Forgeworld. They have the option to switch their bright lances out for starcannons, but that will greatly weaken them as vehicle hunters.

A single Crimson Hunter per detachment can be upgraded to an Exarch, who is BS 5 and can score Precision Shots in the same way as a character. The Exarch can take Night Vision, which will probably not be too useful as flyers will never be on the table first turn when Night Fight is most prevalent, or Marksman’s Eye, which will once again help them to snipe models. The Exarch upgrade is a bit pricy, but the upgrade to BS 5 is important because none of their weapons are twin-linked.

The Crimson Hunter is great a hunting other flyers. The standard version averages two damaging results against AV 12 flyers every time it fires, and the Exarch averages 2.5 damaging hits against such targets. For comparison, a Vendetta only scores 1.5 damaging hits on average in the same situation. Unfortunately, Crimson Hunters are extremely fragile with AV 10 on all sides. Their worst enemies are models with Interceptor; even a BS 4 quad gun has a reasonably good chance of killing a Crimson Hunter before it has a chance to fire.

Wednesday, October 2, 2013

Eldar Codex Review: Fast Attack Part 1

 As you read the following entries, you may get the impression that Fast Attack is my favorite section of the Eldar codex. This is absolutely true. I think the options here really support what I imagine as the Eldar style of war. They hit exceptionally fast and hard, but they have to be used carefully or the enemy will easily destroy them.

Swooping Hawks

 Swooping Hawks were almost universally written off as a useful unit in the last codex. Their biggest asset was that they didn’t have to be on the table. I can happily report that they are now an excellent unit. Coming in at the old cost of a Tactical Marine, Swooping Hawks come with the standard aspect warrior profile and armor, as well as a jump pack and an Assault 3 lasgun. I know it’s just a lasgun, but 3 shots per model at 24” is pretty good. In addition, they can drop a blast template within 24” of where they deep strike. It’s a large blast if the squad is 6 or more models and a small blast otherwise, and it Ignores Cover.

They’ve got a couple excellent special rules too. Heralds of Victory means that they never deviate when they deep strike, while Skyleap allows them to leave the table and deep strike back in on the next turn. Between those two rules, they can easily reach any point on the table. No place is off limits to them and no target is safe (well, except targets with high toughness or good armor. They do have their limitations).

Monday, September 30, 2013

Refurbished Eldar HQs

My latest batch of refurbished models are my two Farseers, my Warlock, and my Avatar. Overall, they were pretty simple and I just repainted the jewels and the bases. The jewels were a bit problematic because there were a lot of them, all in different orientations, so it took some thinking to get the reflections right. I also repainted the outer robe of my oldest Farseer, since it was originally just Dark Angels Green with a green wash.

Friday, September 27, 2013

4 Tips for Having a Great Looking Army

I've got three fairly substantial and mostly painted 40K armies, and I've learned a few simple lessons as I've painted them. I like to think they all look pretty good, though the Executioners are certainly the best. Regardless of your army or paint style, there are a few things you can do to make your army striking on the tabletop.

1) Maintain a consistent style

Every model in your army should be painted in the same style, and you should keep a consistent style even on a single model. For example, my Blood Angels are painted in a bright style with strong highlights. This gives them a high contrast, almost cartoony style.

On the other hand, my Executioners are much darker, using soft drybrushed highlights. All of the color choices are muted to provide a moody look.

Wednesday, September 25, 2013

Eldar Codex Review: Wave Serpents

The Eldar only have access to one dedicated transport, but we can’t complain much about it because the new Wave Serpent is amazing. For years, I complained about the Wave Serpent because of its extremely high price compared to its firepower. I was in favor of lowering its cost, but the new codex went the other way: it still costs a lot, but it brings a battle tank’s firepower.

Monday, September 23, 2013

Refurbished Striking Scorpions

The Striking Scorpions were my next project in my ongoing attempt to make my Eldar army presentable. Fortunately, they turned out to be a simpler project. They had already been stripped and repainted once, as their first scheme was just Scorpion Green with a dark green wash. Their repaint was pretty well done, so I just rebased them, repainted the gems, and added their sigil to their helmets.

Friday, September 20, 2013

Eldar Codex Review: Elites

Howling Banshees

Howling Banshees have had it rough in 6th Edition. As a unit that always struck first and all carried power weapons, they were feared as one of the premiere assaults in 3rd, 4th, and 5th Edition. However, 6th Edition took away their ability to assault out of a transport and made their power swords AP3. The new codex has tried to improve them, but generally falls short.

Banshees went down in points cost while maintaining their statline and equipment, so that’s good. Their old Acrobatic rule has been changed so that they add 3” to their run rolls, making them quite fast on foot. Even so, it doesn’t help them when they charge and they’re not resilient enough to run across the table. Their masks have been altered so that they reduce any enemy unit in contact with a Banshee by 5 points of initiative. This has generally the same effect as their old I10 masks, but it does mean that they will strike simultaneously when charging enemies in cover, rather than first. If they had assault grenades, this wouldn’t be a problem.

Wednesday, September 18, 2013

The 4 Best (and 2 Worst) Parts of the New Space Marine Codex

I know I've been on an Eldar kick recently, but I still love my Space Marines. I picked up the new codex and gave it a good read-through. I have to say that I'm pretty darn pleased with it. I'll get to a more thorough review once I play some games (and finish the Codex: Eldar review), but here are some initial thoughts.

The Best Parts:

 1) The Chapter traits

The Chapter traits are exactly what I wanted to see. They're fluffy but still very useful, and they seem pretty well balanced. The Ultramarines give them tremendous flexibility, the Iron Hands are as tough as they should be, and the White Scars are tremendously mobile. I'm particularly happy with the Imperial Fist rules since they boost damage output consistently. Nothing flashy but lots of utility. Traits for the First Founding Chapters are all they need, eliminating the abuses of the 4th Edition trait system. Best of all, you can now run a themed army without special characters!

Monday, September 16, 2013

Refurbished My Warp Spiders

My reworking of old Eldar models continues with my Warp Spiders. I chose to work on the Warp Spiders next for two reasons. First, the unit is amazing on the table and I plan to be using them a lot. Second, I thought the Warp Spiders were one of my better painted Eldar units. I was really wrong about that. Somehow, their white helmets had yellowed to a bone color, I hadn't highlighted any of the black, there were chips in the paint, and I kept finding details that I had totally forgotten paint the first time. I fixed that all up, as well as repainting the bases and painting the gems.

Friday, September 13, 2013

Eldar Review: Wraithguard and Wraithblades

The next two units are nominally Elites, but can be taken as Troops if you take a Spiritseer in the army. Since the Spiritseer is a good unit and T6 scoring units are awesome, I expect you will see them as Troops more often than not.


Wraithguard are tough as nails. With T6 and a 3+ save, they’re as hard to wound as most monstrous creatures. Their downside is that they lack Battle Focus and Fleet, making them quite slow for Eldar. This can cause problems when paired with their short ranged weapons. Their basic gun is the wraithcannon, which is S10, AP1 and the Distort rule gives them a chance to inflict Instant Death or auto-penetrate a vehicle. That’s really terrifying, but it only has a 12” range so they’ll have to get quite close to the enemy.

Wednesday, September 11, 2013

Eldar Review: Troops Part 2

Windrider Jetbikes

Windrider Jetbike squadrons are composed of Guardians on jetbikes armed with twin-linked shuriken catapults. Fortunately, the jetbike gives the model a 3+ armor save, making them just a durable as a Space Marine. This may not sound like much, but it’s tremendously durable for any Eldar not made out of wraithbone. In addition, Eldar jetbikes can move 36” with turbo-boost and can move 2D6” in the Assault phase, even if they don’t assault. Overall, this makes them one of the most mobile scoring units in the game, on par with Necrons in a Night Scythe.

Windrider Jetbikes are the most mobile and durable Eldar Troops, but they won’t be doing too much damage to the enemy. Each bike is armed with a twin-linked shuriken catapult, which isn’t bad but is very short ranged. One in three bikes can take a shuriken cannon, which gives them a bit more bite.

Monday, September 9, 2013

Baal Predator

I picked up three of the newer Baal Predator kits a while back, but never got around to painting them. I did start work on one, but abandoned it when I stopped playing the Blood Angels. However, recently I made a Kanban board to organize my painting (inspired by the Independent Characters Podcast). This included listing models that I had started painting but not finished, and the Baal Predator was at the top of the list. I pulled it off the shelf and finished it.

Friday, September 6, 2013

Refurbished my Swooping Hawks

I'm working on slowly refurbishing my Eldar models that I painted almost a decade ago. Most of the models aren't too bad, as I painted them when I was starting to use my current layering approach. The only models that will be getting stripped and completely repainted are my Dark Reapers and Wraithlords (they all really need it).

First up are my Swooping Hawks. I liked the scheme overall, but I had tried to paint the wings with white and grey and then glaze them blue. This failed miserably and their wings just looked blue. I went over the wings and painted the feathers white, and then added some shading to the helmets. For the final touch, I freehanded the Swooping Hawk rune onto their helmets.

Wednesday, September 4, 2013

Eldar Review: Troops Part 1

Guardian Defenders

In my mind, these are the basic Troops choice of the Eldar army. They got much better in this edition, picking up an extra point of WS, BS, and I as well as Bladestorm on their shuriken catapults for only one extra point per model. They can still take a heavy weapon platform for a reasonable price (except for the missile launcher, which is very expensive), but the platform benefits from Battle Focus now. Finally, they are one of the units that can have an attached Warlock, who can bring some useful psychic powers. Overall, they’re a solid unit with good offensive output at close range.

Guardian Defenders do have the downside of short range, so anything that survives their shooting will probably rapid fire or assault them next turn. Even with Battle Focus, they’ll have a tough time escaping, so Defenders tend to be very suicidal when they take the offensive.

Monday, September 2, 2013

Doubles Tournament: Final Thoughts

At the end of the day, we had done better than our previous team tournament (where we went 0-3). There's still a bunch of room for improvement. Fortunately, I think I learned a few things.

1) Wave Serpents aren't the answer for everything, regardless of what the internet may say. Don't get me wrong, they're great, but they're too expensive and too few to take on the enemy army. Like most transports, the squad inside is just as important.

2) Speaking of the squads inside, Dire Avengers are pretty awesome. A basic squad will really chew up most targets (especially with Farseer support), and are generally able to minimize return fire. Mine mostly died when they attracted heavy weapons fire, and that's nothing to be ashamed of.

Friday, August 30, 2013

Doubles Tournament: Game 3

Two games in, we had one win and one hard fought loss. The last mission was the Emperor’s Will with Hammer and Anvil deployment. To review, our lists were:



9 Dire Avengers
Wave Serpent w/ twin-linked scatter lasers, shuriken cannon

5 Dire Avengers
Wave Serpent w/ twin-linked scatter lasers, shuriken cannon

5 Fire Dragons
Wave Serpent w/ twin-linked scatter lasers, shuriken cannon

9 Warp Spiders


Tervigon w/ catalyst, dominion, stinger salvo, toxin sacs,

3 Hive Guard

Doom of Malantai
Mycetic Spore

8 Ymgarl Genestealers

10 Termagants w/ fleshborers

10 Termagants w/ fleshborers

Trygon Prime w/ toxin sacs

Our opponents were Tau and the only Space Marine player at the tournament (you may recognize the models).

Space Marines:

Ahazra Redth

10 Tactical Marines w/ plasma cannon, flamer

10 Tactical Marines w/ missile launcher, meltagun

10 Devastators w/ some mix of lascannons and missile launchers

Predator w/ autocannon, lascannon sponsons

Dreadnought w/ twin-linked heavy flamer, heavy flamer
Lucifer Drop Pod


Commander w/ iridium armor, command and control node

3 Crisis Battlesuits w/ two missile pods each, early warning overrides

7 Fire Warriors

7 Fire Warriors

3 Broadside Battlesuits w/ high yield missile pods, smart missile systems, early warning overrides

Riptide Battlesuits w/ ion accelerator, early warning override

Wednesday, August 28, 2013

Doubles Tournament: Game 2

Riding high from our initial victory, we prepared for our second game. The mission was Purge the Alien with Dawn of War deployment. We knew this would be a tough mission as the Tyranids tend to give up a bunch of kill points.

Once again, my list was:


9 Dire Avengers
Wave Serpent w/ twin-linked scatter lasers, shuriken cannon

5 Dire Avengers
Wave Serpent w/ twin-linked scatter lasers, shuriken cannon

5 Fire Dragons
Wave Serpent w/ twin-linked scatter lasers, shuriken cannon

9 Warp Spiders

The Tyranid list was:

Tervigon w/ catalyst, dominion, stinger salvo, toxin sacs,

3 Hive Guard

Doom of Malantai
Mycetic Spore

8 Ymgarl Genestealers

10 Termagants w/ fleshborers

10 Termagants w/ fleshborers

Trygon Prime w/ toxin sacs

Monday, August 26, 2013

Doubles Tournament: Game 1

I recently participated in another doubles tournament at my FLGS. My partner was Chris, the same Tyranid player as in the last doubles tournament. As you may recall, I had a hard time writing the last doubles report because I only really played half the game. Fortunately, Chris has agree to co-write these reports with me so they should be more complete this time.

My list was:


9 Dire Avengers
Wave Serpent w/ twin-linked scatter lasers, shuriken cannon

5 Dire Avengers
Wave Serpent w/ twin-linked scatter lasers, shuriken cannon

5 Fire Dragons
Wave Serpent w/ twin-linked scatter lasers, shuriken cannon

9 Warp Spiders

Chris' Tyranid list was:

Tervigon w/ catalyst, dominion, stinger salvo, toxin sacs,

3 Hive Guard

Doom of Malantai
Mycetic Spore

8 Ymgarl Genestealers

10 Termagants w/ fleshborers

10 Termagants w/ fleshborers

Trygon Prime w/ toxin sacs

Friday, August 16, 2013

Commission: Marneus Calgar

Here is the last model of my Ultrarmarines commission, the Lord of Macragge, Marneus Calgar.

Monday, August 12, 2013

Commission: Ultramarines Army

Okay, okay, the army's not entirely complete. I still have to finish Marneus Calgar. However, the client is itching to play with the army and decided to pick it up without Calgar, who will be delivered when I finish him. I wanted to get a few pictures of the army before I turned it over to its rightful owner. Here they are borrowing my Executioners' display board.

Friday, August 9, 2013

Eldar Review: HQ: Phoenix Lords

The Phoenix Lords are undying incarnations of each of the Eldar aspects of war. They excel in battle (as waged by the aspect they founded) and are overall the most dangerous models that we can field. They all come with an extremely good statline, a 2+ armor save, and Eternal Warrior, along with the standard Eldar rules.


Asurmen is the first of the Phoenix Lords, founder of the Dire Avengers. He shares the Counter-attack rule with his aspect, and carried a twin-linked avenger catapult and a special master-crafted, +1 S diresword. He has a 4+ invulnerable save, and he can increase it to a 3+ invulnerable in a challenge, as long has he only makes one attack. Combined, this all means that he can hack through most any units in close-combat and he’s a nasty opponent in a challenge. High initiative, S5 AP2 attacks will do a number on most targets. He doesn’t add much firepower, but more than most characters. His invulnerable saves make him the most durable of the Phoenix Lords.

Wednesday, August 7, 2013

Eldar Review: HQ: Yriel and Illic

Prince Yriel

Yriel is an Autarch from Craftworld Iyanden, and brings some impressive assault power to the table. He comes with all the standard autarch gear, including the ability to alter your reserve rolls by 1, but also carries the Spear of Twilight. This is basically an AP3 singing spear, and it means that he can carve through most targets. He’ll pretty reliably damage anything without a 2+ save. He also has the Eye of Wrath, which allows him to center a S6 AP3 blast on himself once per game. That’s not amazing, but it will likely save him if he’s isolated in combat against a numerous enemy.

The downside of Yriel is that he’s cursed, meaning that he has to re-roll all saving throws of 6 in close-combat. Not a huge problem, but I imagine that it will probably cause him a wound in most games.

Monday, August 5, 2013

Commission: Ultramarines Terminators

It's been a while since I've posted any newly painted models. While I'm very happy to have a full time job again, it does really slow down my painting time. However, I am dedicated to finishing this commission as soon as possible. 

Here are the last few Ultramarines Terminators, completing two full squads of ten. You've seen 15 of these guys before, and these are painted to the same quality. However, I do think the Sergeant's helmet stands out among the Terminators that I've painted. The helmet stripe came out really well, and makes me a little sad that the other Sergeant was bareheaded.

Friday, August 2, 2013

Eldar Review: HQ: Avatar and Autarch

The Avatar of Khaine

The Avatar is still a pretty nasty monstrous creature. He’s tough in combat, deals good damage, and has a strong though short-ranged shooting attack. With the new Daemon rules, he only has a 5+ invulnerable save. Paired with his 3+ save, that still makes him more durable than most monstrous creatures rampaging around the table now. He makes your units within 12” Fearless, which is great for mitigating the Eldar weakness for failing break tests. For the first time, he has Fleet which really helps him reach the enemy. He also gets Battle Focus so he can close with the enemy and keep blasting with his pseudo-meltagun.

Wednesday, July 31, 2013

Eldar Review: HQ: Psykers


The Farseer is the iconic Eldar HQ, a psyker designed to augment the rest of the army around him. As a level 3 psyker with access to the Runes of Fate, Divination, and Telepathy, the Farseer is very capable in this role. Otherwise, he doesn’t do much. With his witchblade, he can do a few reliable wound in combat but he won’t kill much. Armed with a singing spear, he can add some short range shooting to a squad and reliably damage vehicles. With a 4+ invulnerable save, he’s not easy to kill but not too tough either.

On the table, the Farseer just needs to stay alive and within range to use his powers. The best way to do this used to be to give him a jetbike. However, I don’t think that’s so necessary now that his powers have a much longer range. If you have points left over, Runes of Witnessing would be useful to make sure he passes a critical psychic check. I’m not so sure about the Runes of Warding; they seem very situational. As far as the Remnants of Glory, only the Spirit Stone of Anath’lan really benefits the Fareseer. It allows him to reduce the cost of any power by 1, to a minimum of 1. This is pretty useful given the number of Warp Charge 2 powers in the Runes of Fate. However, using it means the Farseer can’t use his invulnerable save until the start of his next turn. That’s a pretty hefty penalty, but if you can protect the Farseer, it may be worth it.

Overall, the Farseer is a great addition to any Eldar list. He primarily aids a shooty list, but it’s 6th Edition Eldar; of course you’re playing a shooty list. Keep him out of direct danger and he’ll make your army much more efficient.

Saturday, July 27, 2013

Will there be a Dredd Sequel?

You all know how much I loved the recent Dredd movie. It was a great representation of the Dredd universe, and Karl Urban is absolutely perfect as Dredd. There's been a lot of talk about how, despite being loved by critics and common movie-goers, Dredd didn't make much money at the box office. It's been assumed that this would kill any chances for a sequel.

However, Karl Urban announced at Comic-Con that Dredd did really well on DVD sales. Really well. Enough so that the studio is considering another Dredd movie. This has really lit a fire under the fans that love the movie, and we now have a petition for another Dredd.

Friday, July 26, 2013

Game 1 with Eldar

I got my first game with Eldar in this week. It was a team game; I took 1,000 points of Eldar and paired with 1,000 points of Tyranids. Our opponents were Eldar and Necrons. The game was Purge the Alien with Hammer and Anvil deployment.

My list was designed to be fast and relatively aggressive, while trying out units that I like.

Farseer w/ singing spear, Guide, Prescience, Mind War

9 Dire Avengers
Wave Serpent w/ scatter lasers, shuriken cannon

9 Dire Avengers
Wave Serpent w/ scatter lasers, shuriken cannon

6 Rangers

10 Warp Spiders w/ exarch w/ twin-linked Death Spinners, fast shot, marksman's eye

5 Swooping Hawks

Wednesday, July 24, 2013

Eldar Review: Runes of Fate

The Runes of Fate include most of the old Farseer powers, and many of them are just as good as they used to be. The big change is that four of the seven powers use two warp charges. No other psychic discipline has so many expensive powers, which kind of removed the advantage of having psychic mastery: 3.

The Primaris power is the old standby, Guide. It allows one squad within 24” to re-roll missed to hit rolls when shooting. Simple, effective, and extremely useful. The main change is that it went from a 6” range to a 24” range, which means that the Farseer can Guide your frontline units without putting himself in danger. This will really expand the pool of units that you can guide, meaning that Warp Spiders and Dire Avengers can easily get the benefits that used to be reserved for War Walkers and Dark Reapers.

Monday, July 22, 2013

Eldar Review: Runes of Battle

The Eldar are synonymous with psychic might, so I figured I would cover psychic powers first. They have access to two unique psychic power tables: the Runes of Battle, which can be used by Spiritseers and Warlocks, and Runes of Fate, which can be used by Farseers. In addition, Farseers can use Divination and Telepathy while Spiritseers can use Telepathy.

Runes of Battle

The Runes of Battle have unparalleled flexibility, as each power can be use either to buff your own units or to hurt the enemy. This flexibility comes at a cost, as the buffs only work on the unit that contains the psyker. This isn’t a big deal for the Independent Character Spiritseer, but Warlocks can only join Warlock Councils and Guardian units, which don’t benefit from many of the powers. Fortunately, the offensive versions of the powers can target any enemy within 18”, making them useful even with Warlocks.

Friday, July 19, 2013

Movie Review: Pacific Rim

As regular readers will know, I don't do much in the way of movie reviews. I tend to stick to movies that are pretty closely tied to my gaming background. Pacific Rim owes more to anime and Japanese Kaiju movies than anything like 40K, but let's be honest. Most of us were into that stuff before we got into 40K and many of us still are.

I loved Godzilla movies when I was younger, and was an avid fan of Transformers. I never really thought of it, but they're both easy introductions to science fiction, even more accessible than Star Wars. What kid doesn't like giant robots and monsters throwing down and destroying a city around them?

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