Friday, May 31, 2013

Space Marines and Allies

Until we get a new Space Marine Codex (and potentially after), allies are an important part of keeping the army competitive. I’ve been very resistant to allies so far, mostly due to my love of fluff. Allies are to 6th Edition what Special Characters were to 4th; they may be very useful on the table, but they rub an old fluff gamer like me the wrong way. How many battles would Mephiston be personally present for? How often would Craftworld Eldar really bring their dark kin along to the battlefield?

Wednesday, May 29, 2013

Executioners Background: The Early Badab War

This background is based on that from Imperial Armour Volumes 9 and 10, without any additions from my homebrewed fluff. I decided to write up a synopsis of the official Executioner background due to the difficulty and expense in procuring the original sources. Enjoy!

At the outbreak of open hostilities, Lugft Huron of the Astral Claws sent an emissary to the Darkenvault to request that the Executioners fulfill their blood oath and fight alongside the secessionists. The High Executioner at the time, Arkash Hakkon, recognized the dangerous position that this put his Chapter in but chose to honor their millennium old promise. He ordered the Executioners to support the Astral Claws, gave command to the Lord Speaker of the Dead, Thulsa Kane, and went into exile, seeking death beyond the borders of the Imperium. In this way, the guilt of rebelling against the Imperium would be his alone, and no new High Executioner would be chosen until their debt was satisfied.

Monday, May 27, 2013

Commission: Ultramarines Dreadnought

This is my latest offering on the Ultramarines commission, the plastic Dreadnought from the Assault on Black Reach set. It's a simple sculpt, so I added an Ultramarine symbol from the Drop Pod to its arm and some freehand to its shin. I think that marks it well as an Ultramarine. I named it Agnathio, after the Dreadnought listed as part of the 2nd Company in Codex: Space Marines.

Friday, May 24, 2013

Space Marines and Flyer Defense

Flyers are a major part of 6th Edition, and any army that wants to be competitive on the tabletop needs to be able to deal with them. The newer codices have some options for Skyfire, but Space Marines will likely have to wait a few months before we get the treatment. In the meantime, we still have to deal with enemy flyers.

While many players have said that they can just be ignored due to their limited ability to damage infantry or that they can be outmaneuvered by simply quickly advancing into your opponents deployment zone, this is only partly true. First, the Heldrake and Flying Monstrous Creatures both have a great ability to shred Marines. While FMCs can be dealt with in assault once they land, not many choices in our codex can fight them in assault. Only Assault Terminators have a really good chance of taking down a flying Hive Tyrant or a Bloodthirster, and the Terminators' slow speed relative to the extremely fast flyers means that the Terminators will have a difficult time reaching their targets.

As far as pressing your army into the enemy deployment zone, this works if you're facing an army composed almost entirely of flyers, where you can run into their deployment zone relatively uncontested. I've faced relatively few flyer heavy armies that don't have some hard hitting units on the table to start off with. For example, Necron flyer armies generally have a lot of Wraiths which will happily assault any Marines trying to reach the safety of the Necron table edge. To make things worse, the Heldrake doesn't care if you're hugging its table edge; it's 360 degree fire arc means it can still happily target you.

No, if you really want to do well against flyer heavy armies, you have to engage them and take them out. Here are a couple ways I've thought of doing this, as well as how I would go about it.

Wednesday, May 22, 2013

Executioners Background: Selected Battle Honors

This background is based on that from Imperial Armour Volumes 9 and 10, without any additions from my homebrewed fluff. I decided to write up a synopsis of the official Executioner background due to the difficulty and expense in procuring the original sources. Enjoy!

The Invasion of Nova Sulis, The Plague of Unbelief (302.M36)

During the Plague of Unbelief, the Executioners were one of the first Chapters to declare war on the empire of the heretic Cardinal Bucharis. Bucharis was engaged in an ongoing siege of Fenris, home world of the Space Wolves, and this siege was supplied by the hive world of Nova Sulis. The Executioners assaulted Nova Sulis in order to weaken the siege, and slaughtered every human that did not prostrate themselves before the rampaging marines. When they departed, the severed heads of the populace were left lining the streets of the razed cities.

During these wars, the Executioners found kindred spirits in the more jovial Space Wolves, who ironically referred to the Executioners as "laughing axe men” in Fenrisian. For their role in ending the Plague of Unbelief, the Executioners were granted a successor Chapter, the Iron Champions.

Monday, May 20, 2013

Executioner Heavy Bolter Sternguard

I recently played in a Kill Team tournament, and I took an Executioners Sternguard squad as my team. Based on the rules and the type of units I was likely to face (and the fact that it's only 5 points), a heavy bolter seemed like a good addition to the team. I didn't have one painted up, but I did have the model, and a rainy period was preventing me from priming any more Ultramarines. It was time to paint another Executioner.

Friday, May 17, 2013

Space Marines in 6th Edition: Heavy Support Part 3


The Predator is the workhorse of the Space Marine Heavy Support section. With front armor 13, it’s reasonably tough to take out from the front. It can mount weapons to take on both infantry and tanks. The basic anti-infantry pattern keeps the autocannon turret and adds heavy bolters, making it a cheap platform that can force a lot of saves on power armor or chew through light infantry. The anti-tank pattern once again keeps the turret autocannon but adds lascannon sponson. The lascannon turret is way too expensive for what you get. This is my preferred pattern, and is one of the most efficient means to add long range anti-tank to your army.

The Predator is simple to use. Since it loses most of its firepower if it moves, it should be placed in an area with good fields of fire, preferably in a corner. Corner deployment will keep the enemy from getting easy shots on its side armor.

If our Predators are discounted in the same way that the Dark Angels have been, the tri-las Predator will become really viable. This is one of my biggest hopes for the new codex.

Wednesday, May 15, 2013

Executioners Background: Overview

This background is based on that from Imperial Armour Volumes 9 and 10, without any additions from my homebrewed fluff. I decided to write up a synopsis of the official Executioner background due to the difficulty and expense in procuring the original sources. Enjoy!

The Executioners are a successor Chapter of the Imperial Fists, created during the 3rd Founding. They have two confirmed descendant Chapters: the Iron Champions and the Crimson Axes (the Skull Bearers claim to be as well, but this is unconfirmed. When created, the Executioners were led by Fafnir Rann, one of the most aggressive of Rogal Dorn’s captains. The Executioners were created with the sole task of slaughtering the enemies of the Imperium rather than act in any defensive role.

Monday, May 13, 2013

Commission: Ultramarines Terminators

Here's the next batch of Ultramarine Terminators, including a Sergeant and Cyclone Missile Launcher.

Friday, May 10, 2013

Space Marines in 6th Edition: Heavy Support Part 2

Land Raider

The standard Land Raider is a well-rounded, but somewhat conflicted tank. With AV14 all around and 4 hull points, it’s probably the toughest tank in the game. It’s an assault vehicle that can transport 12 models, and it will likely reach the enemy due to its durability. In addition, it packs two twin-linked lascannons, a twin-linked heavy bolter, and it can carry a multi-melta (a strongly suggested upgrade for any Land Raider).

The Land Raider has found a new niche in 6th edition. Many vehicles became more vulnerable and people have stopped taking meltaguns in favor of massed S7 or S8 firepower. The Land Raider is pretty impervious to these weapons. In addition, it’s not nearly as vulnerable to most flyers as it doesn’t care if the flyers can target its sides or rear. Finally, two twin-linked lascannons make for a decent chance at taking down flyers.

The Land Raider is a good transport for a squad of Assault Terminators, and packs weaponry to deal with enemy tanks on its approach. It’s particularly useful if you plan on launching your assault late in the game, as it has the long range firepower to support your army, unlike the other Land Raider patterns.

Wednesday, May 8, 2013

The Absolvers: A Fluff Overview

The Absolvers are a fleet based chapter from the 17th Founding.  They were created with strong ties to the Inquisition, and they serve as a reserve force that may be called upon by any Deatchwatch teams or Ordo Xenos Inquisitors. They are generally only summoned for actions that require company to chapter sized element support. Most commonly, this is to address alien threats too large or difficult to be handled by the squads customarily utilized by the Ordo Xenos. 

Monday, May 6, 2013

Commission: Ultramarines Terminators

Now that Brawler Bash is over, it's back to painting Ultramarines. Having finished all the power armor up, I moved on to the Terminators. Here are the first 5.

Friday, May 3, 2013

Space Marines in 6th Edition: Heavy Support Part 1

Devastator Squad

The Devastator squad is the basic heavy weapons choice of Space Marine armies. It’s just a squad of marines carrying four heavy weapons. In the current codex, only the heavy bolter, multi-melta, and missile launcher are really priced appropriately for Devastators, while plasma cannons and lascannons are extremely expensive. Space Marine armies can get anti-infantry fire on a lot of platforms, meaning heavy bolter Devastators aren’t tremendously worthwhile. The best fire support choice is the missile launcher; it’s not too expensive, has good range, and can engage any target. Multi-meltas are devastating for their points cost, but they have a very short range. However, they can be quite useful when deployed by Drop Pod.

I’m hoping that Codex: Space Marines will get a reduction in the cost of Devastator heavy weapons, similar to that found in the Blood Angels and Dark Angels. That will make Devastators a more competitive choice, as well as opening up the option to take plasma cannons and lascannons without paying a mint.

Wednesday, May 1, 2013

Dardreg Gargant: The First Absolvers (and a Burna Boy)

These are the first four models completed for the Absolvers chapter.  I think they turned out pretty well, although the next batch will use a coat of heavy body black (from secret weapon) instead of 3 coats of soft body black these marines received.  I am leaving them unvarnished in case they need some refining later to match the rest of the army. 
The overall theme is a Greek based chapter that is very well supplied but generally inexperienced.  Sort of the attrition, Endor storm troopers model.  In practice that equates to simple unadorned armor and weapons, with several decked out "survivor" characters to lead them.

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