Wednesday, December 30, 2015

Blood Angels Tactical Marines

Here's the second half of my second new Blood Angels Tactical squad. They're painted the same as the previous Marines, but I'm happy to be finished with them. Painting red is wearing on me and I think I need a break.

Friday, December 18, 2015

Kauyon Review: Raven Guard Formations

Kauyon includes seven new Space Marine Formations. These can be used by Space Marines of any Chapter Tactics, but can't be part of a Gladius Strike Force. However, if you're playing Raven Guard, they do fit into the Talon Strike Force.

Pinion Battle Company

The Pinion Battle Demi-Company is very similar to the standard Battle Company, consisting of a Captain or Chaplain, an optional Command Squad, 3 Tactical squads, an Assault squad, and a Devastator squad. These options are much more limited than the standard Battle Demi-Company, as they don't include any of the bike, Land Speeder, or Centurion options. However, you are required to take 1-5 Scout squads or Scout Bike squads in addition to the standard Demi-Company squads, and these are integral to the function of the Pinion Demi-Company.

Monday, December 14, 2015

Kauyon Review: Raven Guard Detachment

The Raven Guard keep their Chapter Tactic from Codex: Space Marines, but Kauyon gives them access to their own Warlord Traits, Chapter Relics, and Detachment, the Talon Strike Force. These are all limited to Raven Guard armies.

Talon Strike Force

The Talon Strike Force is another composite detachment made up of Formations, similar to the Gladius and Scarblade Strike Forces. The Talon Strike Force brings three really huge Command Benefits, which is great, since the Raven Guard are widely considered to have one of the weakest Chapter Tactics.

First is Extensive Planning. Talon Strike Forces can re-roll the die when determining Mission, Deployment, and when rolling for first deployment. For pick-up games, those are all pretty big. For tournaments where the Mission and Deployment are set, you still get to re-roll for first Deployment, and thus to choose who gets first turn. To my mind, this allows you to design your army as an MSU force, and re-roll if you come up with Purge the Alien, your one real weak mission.

Friday, December 11, 2015

Kauyon Review: White Scars Formations

The White Scars section of Kauyon includes four new Formations. Most importantly, for me at least, these Formation can be taken with an Chapter Tactics. These are part of the Scarblade Strike Force, but can also be taken by any Space Marine army (or allied into another force). However, they can't be taken as part of the Gladius Strike Force.

Stormlance Battle Demi-Company

The Stormlance Battle Demi-Company is very similar to the standard Battle Demi-Company, containing a Captain or Chaplain, an optional Command Squad, 3 Tactical squads, a Devastator squad, and either an Assault squad, Bike squad, Attack Bike squad, or a Land Speeder. The only option it really loses is the ability to take Centurions. It does have the restriction that all non-vehicle units must be equipped with jump packs, bikes, or a Rhino or Razorback.

The Formation has two special rules. The first is Clean and Sweep, which allows the whole Formation to re-roll failed to hit rolls when targeting enemy units holding an Objective. Obviously, this is pretty handy as holding Objectives is what win most games. Second, and much more fun, is Mobile Firebase. This makes your Space Marines into Eldar-light, allowing them to move D6" after they shoot, and 2D6" in the case of bikes and jump infantry. If the unit makes it completely within 2" of an access point of their Dedicated Transport, they can get back onto it, even if they disembarked in the same turn. The only restriction are that units that make these extra moves can't assault that turn.

Monday, December 7, 2015

Kauyon Review: White Scars Detachment

Somewhat surprisingly, the latest Warhammer 40,000 campaign book, provides a lot of new options to Space Marine armies. It primarily adds to the White Scars and Raven Guard Chapters, but the Formations included can be used by any Space Marine army. I'll be covering all of these new additions, starting with the new White Scars rules.

Scarblade Strike Force

The White Scars Chapter Tactics are fortunately unchanged. However, they've gotten their own Detachment, similar to the Gladius Strike Force. It's called the Scarblade Strike Force, and it allows most of the same Formations as the Gladius. It also adds a few new Formations that accentuate the speed (and Chapter Tactics) of a White Scars army. Unlike the new Formations, all units in the Scarblade Detachment have to be drawn from the White Scars Chapter.

The Scarblade comes with it's own set of Command Benefits. First off is Lightning Assault, which allows all units to re-roll failed Initiative tests for Hit and Run. This is a pretty minor addition, but it does add some extra reliability to the army. It's not common, but I've seem some battle plans destroyed by an unlucky roll keeping an important unit locked in assault. The next benefit is Ride the Wind, which allows vehicles moving Flat Out and bikes that are Turbo-boosting to move an addition D6" and Fast vehicles and Flyers to move an extra 2D6". This is great for last minute objective grabbing, making a White Scar army even faster. Finally, there's Maximum Impact, which gives all units Hammer of Wrath if the make a charge from 8" or more away. If they already have Hammer of Wrath, then they get to re-roll failed wounds. This gives the army a bit more assault ability, which is something that White Scars are often lacking.

Friday, December 4, 2015

Blood Angels Tactical Marines

I've been lacking motivation to both paint or write for the last couple of weeks, which hopefully explains my lack of posts lately. I'm not sure if it's because of the holidays or what, but I just haven't been feeling it. I finally did sit down and manage to finish the next batch of Tactical Marines I was working on.

Friday, November 20, 2015

Sergeant Belero, Blood Angels Second Squad, Fourth Company

Here's another miniature I was really excited to paint, the limited edition Blood Angel from Games Day 2012. I thought about painting him to match the official scheme from the cover of 2nd Edition, but then he really wouldn't fit into the rest of my army. However, his knee pad identifies him as the Sergeant of either the first or second squad, and I'm just starting to paint a new version of my Company's Second Squad. Perfect fit for him.

Friday, November 13, 2015

Captain Tycho

This fellow is a break from my stated goal of painting up all of my old models. He was a birthday present, and a great break from the batches of infantry that I was painting. He is also another step on my path to painting up all of the Blood Angels named characters.

Friday, November 6, 2015

Painting a Batch of Arms

I make a big deal about magnetizing the arms on a lot of my models. It saves you money and gives you options, and its a great thing to do. However, as I've been playing my Blood Angels more, I discovered that I'd only done half the work. My Sergeants all have magnetized arms, but I didn't have a collection of arms to swap out. I only really painted one set of arms as I painted each model, so my options are very lacking. In particular, I was really missing bolt pistols and chainswords, the basic armaments that are really useful to have but weren't exciting to paint.

Friday, October 30, 2015

Do Tactical Sergeants Need Power Weapons, and other Questions Concerening Blood Angels

I chose to play Blood Angels in our campaign because I wanted to put them on the tabletop again. I figured that there wouldn't be too many changes compared to my Executioners, who I've gotten pretty comfortable with. After all, Marines are Marines, right? That's what all the xenos players say anyway.

The first question that I want to discuss is Tactical squads, specifically how to arm the sergeants. With Codex: Space Marines, I never charged my Tactical Marines into combat. They would always do more damage with shooting. Conversely, I find that I keep charging Blood Angels Tactical squads into assault. Two obvious reasons for this are that their flamers mean that they end up closer to the enemy, and they are better in assault than their Codex counterparts due to Furious Charge and Red Thirst.

Monday, October 26, 2015

Campaign Battle Report: Blood Angels vs Necrons

My second campaign game was against Necrons. Once again, my force had to be organized as a Allied Detachment. I rolled Artisan of War for my Warlord trait, so my Captain's power sword is master-crafted.

Captain w/ power sword, artificer armor, jump pack, inferno pistol

8 Death Company w/ jump packs, power fist

10 Tactical Marines w/ flamer, heavy flamer, combi-flamer
Rhino w/ dozer blade

5 Tactical Marines w/ heavy flamer

5 Assault Marines w/ 2 meltaguns, veteran sergeant w/ power weapon, meltabombs

Stormraven w/ twin-linked multi-melta, twin-linked assault cannon (borrowed from the Executioners)

My opponent had to take an Allied Detachment as well, as dictated by the campaign rules.

Nemesor Zahndrekh

5 Immortals w/ tesla carbines

10 Immortals w/ gauss blasters

5 Deathmarks

5 Wraiths w/ whip coils


Captain Castigon breathed the fresh air deeply, happy to be out of the Apothecarion after his grevious wounding by the Genestealers. He was still getting used to his repaired flesh and fresh bionics, but he had insisted on leading another patrol, this one into the forests surrounding the Hive Capital of Liani Alpha, Renetta City. He was joined by a similar force, but had chosen to leave the Devastators in the capital, where the firepower would be most useful. Instead, a Stormraven with Tactical Squad Belero remained within reach. Castigon vowed to not be wrong-footed again.

 Squad Razak reported movement ahead over the vox. Brother-Captain Castigon bounded forward, his jump pack easily allowing him to catch the squad's Rhino. Ahead, he could make out serpentine metallic forms, blinking in and out of visibility. Necrons...

He voxed the Stormraven to begin its approach. Necrons almost always meant air support was required.

Friday, October 23, 2015

Baal Predator Liani's Hope

I finally painted up the last of my Baal Predators. This is the third of the newer plastic kit, and my fourth if you include my ancient plastic metal hybrid Baal, which desperately needs to be stripped and repainted. This is also the first Blood Angels tank that I've painted by layering up from Mephiston Red, rather than painting it Blood Red and shading the recesses.

Monday, October 19, 2015

Campaign Battle Report: Blood Angels vs Tyranids

I kicked off our campaign with a 1,000 point game against Tyranids. I took the following list, organized as an Allied Detachment.

Captain w/ artificer armor, inferno pistol, power weapon, jump pack

10 Death Company w/ jump packs, 2 power fists

10 Tactical marines w/ combi-flamer, flamer, heavy flamer, Rhino

10 Assault Marines w/ veteran sergeant, power fist, 2 meltaguns

5 Devastators w/ 4 missile launchers

I was trying to a fluffy, well-rounded list, and the Allied Detachment kind of forces you to. My opponent had a more open list, as we agreed it was more fluffy for Tyranids.





Children of Liani (Cryptus)

8 Genestealers w/ Broodlord, toxin sacs

8 Genestealers

Sporefield: 3 Mucolid Spores, 3 units of 3 Spore Mines

Brother-Captain Michele Castigon was beginning to regret his decision to lead this patrol himself. He had been chafing in the Blood Angels' defensive role preparing for the incoming invasion. Reports of creatures moving in the underhive had given him an excuse to take the offensive. He had taken his strike force's Death Company as well, as the unbalanced Marines were becoming a liability with no battle to vent their rage. 

However, the tight constraints and darkness of the underhive weren't optimal for the force that he'd brought, and Squad Razak's Rhino floundered in the rough terrain. He was about to order the force to return to their base when a scuttling shape in the darkness caught his eye. Moments later, reports rang out on the vox, as multi-limbed shapes began moving into view all around the patrol.

Brother-Captain Castigon keyed his vox to the command frequency, relaying his message to the rest of his Company on the surface.

"There are Tyranids in the underhive. Send reinforcements immediately."

We set up the table to be a battle in the underhive, with the Blood Angels investigating suspicious activity that could interfere with the defense of the planet. Because it was the underhive, we left Night Fight in effect for the whole game. The mission was Crusade, with Dawn of War deployment.

Friday, October 16, 2015

Blood Angels Devastators

These two Devastators with missile launchers have been sitting on my shelf for years (at least since before I started the Executioners), so I'm definitely getting to the bottom of my queue as I attempt to finish painting everything I have. They're painted using my new layering style for Blood Angels, but they fit in okay with my older Devastators.

Wednesday, October 14, 2015

Campaign Rules

As you've probably gathered from the fluff bits I've been posting over the last couple weeks, I'm starting a campaign with my gaming group. It will be 3 Imperial players versus 3 Xenos players. Here are the rules I came up with for it. I based them heavily on the Badab War campaign. Let me know what you think.


Players must choose a primary and secondary codex, which they will maintain for the entirety of the campaign. Their Primary Detachment must always be chosen from their primary codex, while secondary detachments can be chosen from either.

Armies are encouraged to be as accurate to the background as possible. This isn’t a cut-throat tournament, but a narrative campaign. Please keep that in mind.


At the beginning of the campaign, players should be assigned to each of the two teams (Attacker and Defender) as evenly as possible. They should stay on the same team for the entirety of the campaign. If the number of players becomes very uneven due to drop-outs, the Campaign Master may ask some players to become traitors and switch sides to re-balance the teams.

Campaign Phases

Each campaign phase lasts for a month. During this time, players may play as many games as possible against members of the opposite team. In case some players are unable to set up games against members of the other team, each player will be allowed to count 1 games played against outside players per phase. This should be scored exactly as normal, with the outside player counting as a member of the opposite team of their opponent. This represents clashes with forces moving through the area and taking advantage of the chaos.

Players may choose to play any mission in any part of the campaign, though some missions are worth extra points in each phase. Players may always agree to choose one of these missions, or roll to randomly determine which of these missions to play.

At the end of each phase, each team adds up the number of campaign points earned by all of their players. The team with more campaign points wins that phase and gains the appropriate reward. The campaign points then reset, with both sides starting off each phase with 0 points.

Monday, October 12, 2015

Shading Red

Bright reds are a very difficult color to paint well. I've been painting Blood Angels for almost twenty years now, and I'm still figuring out new ways to paint red. My preferred method now is to start with a base of Mephiston Red and layer up through lighter reds, but some times you have to go in the other direction and add darker shading to a lighter red. I've had to do much of this when refurbishing my older models, adding shading to the recesses of models that I originally painted flat red.

The best way I've found to do this is to carefully paint washes into the recesses, darkening them. I tried GW's Carroburg Crimson, but I found that it wasn't dark enough for what I wanted. I've found two Secret Weapon Washes that work really well, depending on what you want.

Friday, October 9, 2015

Epistolary Lazzero

I assembled this fellow just after the current Blood Angel codex came out, primarily so that I could have a model to carry Gallian's Staff. He's cobbled together from a number of different kits. Mostly, he's from the Dark Angels Veterans kit, with a gun arm from a Sanguinary Guard and a Death Company Jump Pack. The force staff is from a Grey Knight Terminator, with a Blood Angel banner topper. I think he looks suitably Librarianish.

Wednesday, October 7, 2015

Liani Alpha Calls for Aid

+++Prioris Maxima

+++Transmitted: Therin Calhoun
+++Destination: All Imperial Forces
+++Temporal Reference: 5920915.M41
+++Telepathic Duct: Locus Obscurus

In the name of the glorious Emperor of Mankind, the duly anointed Governor Auriol of the Liani System, Sovereign of Liani Alpha, requests aid from all available forces of the Imperium. We have detected multiple xenos forces approaching the system. An Ork Kruzer initially appeared from Warp within system, matching the markings of a Warband previously repulsed from Liani Sigma. Sensor scans of the ship revealed that they are being shadowed by Tyranid ships, apparently a Splinter Fleet of Hive Fleet Scylla. Finally, Necron ships have appeared within our system's asteroid belt, slaughtering our citizens and before approaching Liani Alpha from in-system.

Our Planetary Defense Forces are unable to engage forces of this magnitude. We request any available aid at all haste.

Planetary-Governor Simeon Auriol

Monday, October 5, 2015

Product Review: Brush Cleaners

This Spring, I picked up a couple Windsor Newton Series 7 brushes. They're amazing brushes, but they were expensive, so I picked up a few products to keep them clean and in good condition. Now that I've spent some time with them, I figured it would be a good time to write up a review.

The first product I picked up was Windsor and Newton Brush Cleaner and Restorer. This is a thin liquid that you soak your brushes in to remove paint. It does a good job of cleaning brushes with dried on paint, even paint inside the ferrule. It's slow working though, and I found the best results from soaking the brush bristles overnight.

Friday, October 2, 2015

Executioners Captain Bran Mak Morn of the Eighth Company

Here's my latest model, my Eighth Company Captain. I spent a long time trying to decide where to use this model, as it's a great sculpt but his power fist doesn't fit well in my Blood Angels and the Executioners use Headman's Axes in place of power fists. I finally decided that he would be an Executioner, and justified his power fist in his background. I replaced his bolt pistol with a storm shield and he was ready for painting.

Wednesday, September 30, 2015

The Threat to Liani Alpha

Therin Calhoun surveyed the Governor's court as he entered the opulent audience chamber. Despite his sunken eyes, the Astropath had no difficulty recognizing the myriad nobles, each dressed in the garish finery that was in season this year. The Liani system was a prosperous one, with several productive agri-worlds. Powerful mining cartels extracted a number of useful minerals from the asteroid belt. The manufactorums of the hive world Liani Alpha turned these minerals into both civilian products and war materiel used in the Ultima Segmentum, the Segmentum Obscurus, and even the Segmentum Solar. A sizable portion of all of that wealth went here, to the nobles that ruled the system and the Governor that reigned over them in turn.

The system had not known any substantial violence in almost a millennium, since an Ork Waaagh had been repelled at great cost. Therin thought of the proud martial tradition this had created, how it had slowly decayed into the sad state it was today, and how thin-blooded these nobles were compared to their ancestors. They grew fat while others fought for their security. He was a gifted Astropath, and he suspected that he had been assigned to this world as some part of a trade negotiation. They certainly had no urgent need for someone of his skills. He couldn't recall the last time he had to conduct a difficult sending.

Monday, September 28, 2015

Executioners Captain Bran Mak Morn of the 8th Company: Background

Bran Mak Morn is an odd figure among the Executioners Command. With almost five centuries of service, he is one of the oldest Captains in the Chapter, but he maintains command of the Eighth Reserve Company. This position is traditionally given to young Captains eager to prove themselves. His lack of promotion to a battle company was originally due to his unusual combat tactics, both personal and in command.

Friday, September 25, 2015

Executioners Honor Guard

I've mentioned before that I've been looking for appropriate Honor Guard models for my Executioners. They're a great unit, but the official models really only work for the Ultramarines. When going through my collection of older models, I came across these three. I think they're an excellent fit.

Friday, September 18, 2015

Executioners Vindicator

Following up last weeks Whirlwind, I have another tank for the Executioners. I'm slowly working towards a decent armored task force, this time with a Vindicator. The Vindicator brings some heavy close ranged firepower that should work very well with my mechanized Executioners. If nothing else, it will distract a lot of firepower away from my Rhinos.

Friday, September 11, 2015

Executioners Whirlwind

This Whirlwind was a gift from Dardreg Gargant and has been sitting on my shelf for a while. Not because I don't like the model but just because I've never needed it for my army. However, the new Armored Task Force needs a lot of tanks, and the Whirlwind is a perfect addition. I'm also gaining a new appreciation for artillery due to the Thunderfire Cannons.

Friday, September 4, 2015

Executioners Apothecary

Here's another classic model, an old one-piece Apothecary. I picked him up when I picked up the Chaplain. While he is a nice model, I got him mostly because I wanted the option to run a Command Squad on foot using all of my Sternguard special weapon marines.

Monday, August 31, 2015

Combined Arms Detachment VS Gladius Strike Force

I've been playing games with my Executioners using the Gladius Strike Force, trying to figure out what's the best way to use the new Space Marine Formation. While I really like the bonuses given by the GSF, I keep finding it very restricting. This mostly comes down to the Auxiliary Formations. Many of them are quite expensive to include, and prevent you from adding a single unit of a given type (mostly Elites or vehicles) to your army. Instead, you have to really commit and add a bunch of each type. This is great for theme, but not so much for a well-rounded army.

This got me thinking about whether each Chapter Tactic works better with a Combined Arms Detachment (CAD) or Gladius Strike Force (GSF) as far as building an army to maximize their strengths. Of course, if you are taking two Demi-Companies to receive the Battle Company benefits, then the free transports more than make up for the restrictions. My discussion will be limited to the much easier to field single Demi-Company backed up by one or two Auxiliary Formations.

To review, the benefits of the GSF are the ability to use all three Combat Doctrines once per game, and a 2nd use of the Tactical Doctrine to benefit just the Demi-Company. In addition, the Demi-Company is entirely Objective Secured. With the CAD, only Troops are Objective Secured, and you get to re-roll your Warlord Trait.

Friday, August 28, 2015

Executioners Terminator Chaplain

Here's the latest addition to my Executioners, Death-Speaker Oraz the Wise of the First Company. I've always loved this model, and I picked him up the last time I made a direct order from Games Workshop. I didn't really need to add him to my army, but I just wanted to paint the model. Months later, I finally got around to it.

Monday, August 24, 2015

Picking up a new game: X-Wing

I've been struggling with picking up a second game for a while. 40K is definitely my first love when it comes to gaming, but we all know that it's easy to get burned out on one game, especially one as time consuming as 40K. Unfortunately, I haven't had much success.

I tried to get back into Fantasy first, but it's just as time consuming as 40K, so I never gave it the time that was necessary. I've also tried both Warmachine and Dropzone Commander. I'd still like to play both of those games (especially Dropzone. I've got very high hopes for that game!) but they don't have much in the way of followings in my area. It's quite difficult to convince 40K players to pick up another game that requires collecting and painting a lot of miniatures. However, one game has taken off among quite a few of my 40K buddies.

Friday, August 21, 2015

Executioners Sternguard

These Sternguard are the latest addition to the Executioners. The more I run Sternguard, the more I want some extra flexibility with their armament. A couple of combi-meltas are handy but I really haven't had good luck with my heavy flamers. They're great for overwatch, but in most situations, I'd rather have the Sternguard fire their snazzy bolters. So I painted up a few more Sternguard with bolters so I can field full squads without upgrades.

Friday, August 14, 2015

Space Marines in 2015: Auxiliary Formations Part 3

The Armored Task Force is a large but flexible Formation. It includes a Techmarine, 0-3 units of Thunderfire Cannons, 3-5 units of Vindicators, Predators, or Whirlwinds, and 0-1 Sergeant Chronus. It's the only way to add Thunderfires and most of these tanks to a Gladius Strike Force, though it can be made large enough to be an army in its own right. Unfortunately, you can't just drop in a tank or a Thunderfire to a Gladius Strike Force.

Wednesday, August 12, 2015

Thunderfire Cannon

Having finished a few more special and heavy weapons for my Executioners, there was only one more model I needed for a CAD list I planned: a third Thunderfire. I used another GW kit that I had been given, so I wanted to differentiate this one of my first Thunderfire. I decided that this Techmarine would be a bit more showy than the others and would make heavy use of gold on his Thunderfire. I also used a white starburst as a marking on this one, which used to be a common symbol for Marine Heavy Supports. I put a red skull in it to tie to to the Executioners.

Monday, August 10, 2015

Space Marines in 2015: Auxiliary Formations Part 2

The 10th Company Task Force includes 3-5 Scout squads and Scout Bike squads, along with Sergeant Telion if you're playing Ultramarines. The only restriction is that Scout Bikes must be armed with cluster mines. The units benefit from Concealed Position, which basically grants them Stealth until they move in any way. In addition, The Trap is Sprung gives all units Precision Shots for the first game turn.

At 165 points for 3 base Scout squads, this is the cheapest Auxiliary Formation. The special rules are quite handy for Scouts, and Concealed Position stacks with the bonus from camo cloaks, meaning that a Scout squad deployed in ruins can easily get a 2+ cover save as long as it stays still. The only real downside is that Scouts taken as part of the Task Force don't get Objective Secured, which they would as part of a CAD. I think it's a fair trade, and your Gladius Strike Force should have enough Objective Sceured from the Battle Demi-Company. Overall, it's a good way to add lots of cheap yet durable infantry to your army. However, it definitely is at its best in a Gladius Strike Force since you must take at least one Auxiliary Formation anyway.

Friday, August 7, 2015

Space Marines in 2015: Auxiliary Formations Part 1

You must take 1+ Auxiliary Formations in a Gladius Strike Force in addition to the Battle Demi-Company. Beyond that, these Formations can also be taken individually to supplement your army. This is perhaps the most valuable way to use these, as it allows other Space Marine Chapters, such as Blood Angels, to take some of the newer Space Marine units that aren't included in their codices.

The Anti-Air Defense Force requires a unit of Hunters and a unit of Stalkers, and there have to be at least two Stalkers in the unit. With a minimum cost of 220 points, it's a cheap way to add anti-air defense to your army (hence the name). The Formation special rule is Skyspear Autotargeting, which states that if the Hunter hits a Flyer, the Stalkers get +1 BS when firing against the same target for the rest of the Shooting phase. It's a useful perk if you remember it, but it doesn't add that much. The big advantage of this Formation is that it provides the cheapest way to add anti-air to your Gladius Strike Force, as well as to other Imperial armies that lack affordable anti-air options. For just slightly more than the price of a Stormraven, it gives you a much better chance of downing enemy flyers early on and I suspect it will be a popular Formation throughout the Imperium.

Wednesday, August 5, 2015

Executioners Marines

Having completed a bunch of Blood Angels and some Dropzone Commander models, I decided it was time to do some work on the Executioners. My first stop was to paint 4 more Marines with lascannons for my 9th Company Devastator squad. I originally built the squad with missile launchers, but the advent of super heavies has made me want some heavier firepower. My Devastator squad with lascannons has always performed well, so another could only be better.

Monday, August 3, 2015

Space Marines in 2015: Command Formations

Command Formations can be taken as normal Formations, as well as included in a Gladius Strike Force. The first option is Strike Force Command, which just allows you to take one named characters, Captain, or Chaplain, accompanied by Honor Guard, a Command Squad, and an Emperor's Champion as you wish. This doesn't give you any special bonuses. It just gives you some flexibility in HQ choices in your Gladius Strike Force. 

The Reclusiam Command Squad is Chaplain and Command squad that must be mounted in a Razorback. The Chaplain must join the Command squad and can't leave it during the course of the battle. The squad gains Crusader, which is always a nice bonus for a combat unit, and the Chaplain gains Stirring Rhetoric. This grants re-rolled failed to hit rolls to all Space Marine units within 6" of the Chaplain, so essentially, he gas a Hatred aura. This seems like a pretty good benefit for assault armies, but the weakness of this Formation seems to be the Razorback. It's not a good transport for an assault unit, and is easy for the enemy to neutralize it. If your enemy can kill the Razorback and keep the Reclusiam Command squad from supporting your assault units, then you aren't getting any benefit from it. You're better off just adding a Chaplain directly to your assault unit.

Friday, July 31, 2015

Space Marines in 2015: Battle Demi-Company

The Battle Demi-Company is the center-piece of the Gladius Strike Force, and the basis of most Space Marine armies in the fluff. In theory, it's exactly what it says on the tin; half of a Full Battle Company. It requires a Captain or Chaplain to command it, 3 Tactical squads, and Assault squad, and a Devastator squad. On top of this, you can add a Command squad and any type of Dreadnought squadron.

Digging even deeper into the fluff, the Assault squad can also be fielded as a Bike squad, Attack Bike squad, Land Speeders, or Assault Centurions. All of these squads are filled out by standard Assault Marines in the background. The same applies to Devastators, who can be fielded as Centurion Devastators as well.

Wednesday, July 29, 2015

Dropzone Commander: Scourge Starter Army

I've finally finished painting the Dropzone Commander Starter Set, so I can finally try and set up some games. This half of the set is the Scourge, a parasitic alien race analogous to Tyranids in that they have lots of organic war engines.

The most common Scourge schemes seem to be silver with a blue or purple wash. I wanted to stay within this idea, but try something new. I ended up basing the models in Mephiston Red, drybrushing with Golden Griffon, and washing with Carroburg Crimson. I then picked out the plasma guns and engines in blue and the eyes in green.

Monday, July 27, 2015

Space Marines in 2015: Lords of War

We only have one Lord of War in the Codex, and by we, I mean the Ultramarines. It's Marneus Calgar, and he's still a nasty piece of work. He's lost a few abilities, including the ability to unlock multiple Honor Guard squads, which is no longer necessary since they're an Elites choice. He also no longer allows your army to choose to pass or fail any Morale test, which is a shame as that was a great ability. Finally, he no longer re-rolls his armour penetration rolls in close-combat.

Friday, July 24, 2015

Battle Report: Executioners vs Ultramarines

Here's a battle report from my first outing with the new Space Marine Codex, and for an even better playtest, my opponent brought an Ultramarine list. I went with a Gladius Strike Force composed of a Demi-Company and a 1st Company Strike Force.


Chapter Master w/ power fist, shield eternal, artificer armor, bike

Chaplain w/ bike

Command Squad w/ bikes, apothecary, 4 storm shields, 2 power fists

10 Tactical Marines w/ flamer, heavy bolter, Rhino

10 Tactical Marines w/ meltagun, heavy bolter, Rhino

10 Tactical Marines w/ meltagun, heavy bolter, Rhino

Land Speeder w/ heavy bolter, typhoon missile launcher

10 Devastator Marines w/ 4 lascannons, armorium cherub

1st Company Task Force

5 Terminators w/ assault cannon, chainfist

10 Sternguard w/ 2 combi-meltas, Rhino

7 Sternguard w/ 2 combi-meltas, Rhino

Wednesday, July 22, 2015

Captain Karlaen

I've finished off Captain Karlaen, the 1st Company Captain and the last model from Deathstorm. I really like the look of this model. He's got more movement to him than most Terminators, and his armor is suitably ornate. I think he's a great looking centerpiece, which is nice because most of our characters are quite dated.

Monday, July 20, 2015

Space Marines 2015: Heavy Support

Devastator squads have only changed in armament. First, they now have access to grav-cannons with grav-amps. This allows them to compete with Centurions as a source of grav. Devastators are cheaper, but less durable and don't fire as many shots on the move. Second, Devastators may now take an armorium cherub. This is a cheap, one use item that allows a single model to re-roll all of its to hit dice for one shooting phase. For the cost, I think it's worthwhile. There's always a turn where you don't score enough hits on an important target. The cherub model only comes with the new Devastator squad, but I have a couple servo-skulls that I plan to use instead.

Friday, July 17, 2015

Space Marines 2015: Fast Attack

Assault squads decreased in points cost, but no longer come with jump packs. When jump packs are added, they come out costing the same. This has the effect of making their transports cost the appropriate amount (rather than being discounted when taken for a small squad), and I'm not sure why it didn't work this way before. Beyond this, they've gained the option to take one eviscerator for every 5 Marines. Basically a two-handed chainfist, the eviscerator gives the squad some excellent tank killing ability. More importantly, it allows the Assault squad to take some extra specialized close-combat weaponry, something they desperately needed. A full squad can have a power fist on the sergeant and two eviscerators, allowing them to take on much harder targets than before. While they're still not a premiere assault unit, Assault squads are now able to take on heavy infantry, rather than just bouncing off like they used to.

Scout Bike squads gained WS and BS 4, just like basic Scouts. Other than that, they're still the same, so strictly better than before for the same price. Maybe we'll see some on the table now.

Wednesday, July 15, 2015

Terminator Squad Alphaeus

My next project continued my crusade to paint up my half of Deathstorm with Squad Alphaeus. Again, I tried to stick with the official models, using the same bits but in different poses and writing the same things on their scrolls.

Monday, July 13, 2015

Space Marines 2015: Elites

Command squads are no longer unlocked by specific HQs; they're just a standard Elites choice now. They're 10 points cheaper now, but beyond that, they stayed the same, except that the authors remembered to give them the option to take Special Weapons without having to add it in an FAQ. Command squads are still a great way to add massed special weapons or storm shields to your army.

Honor Guard also aren't unlocked by Chapter Masters anymore, but can be taken as a normal Elites choice. The only change is a slight rewording allowing the Chapter Champion (along with the rest of the Honor Guard) to take a relic blade. As a little side bonus, they can now take a standard Land Raider as a dedicated transport.

Centurion Assault squads are now 5 points cheaper per model and no longer have to pay for a compulsory Veteran Sergeant, making the squad a fair amount cheaper. In addition, their siege drills now double their strength, so they're now S10 rather than S9. All of these are nice improvements, but I don't expect Assault Centurions to start appearing on tables. They're still a very slow assault unit. They are great at destroying buildings (especially if they're Imperial Fists) if you can get them there, if buildings happen to be a big part of your meta.

Friday, July 10, 2015

Space Marines 2015: Troops

Tactical squads didn't change at all, except the teleport homers are now half price (a change throughout the entire codex). The only big difference is that they can now take grav-cannons with grav-amps as their heavy weapons. Despite the high cost (a lascannon and missile launcher combined), this is particularly useful for Tactical squads because it is the only heavy weapon effective when moving. It only has a range of 12" on the move but it has 3 AP2 shots, so it will support the squad quite well when deploying from a transport.

Monday, July 6, 2015

Space Marines 2015: HQ

The Captain and Chapter Master are still pretty much the same, but their entries have been combined. The Chapter Master is now an upgrade, but maintains the same statline and Orbital Bombardment as before. The only change that I can see is that the Chapter Master is 10 points cheaper when given Terminator armor and now has access to a cheap relic blade when wearing Terminator armor.

Friday, July 3, 2015

Space Marines 2015: Named Characters

Captain Sicarius dropped in cost by 10 points but retained most of his rules. He now has Furious Charge standard, rather than as a one use Warlord Trait. His Rites of Battle has become the Rites of War Warlord Trait, which does the same thing, and he still can give a Tactical squad Counter-attack, Scout, Infiltrate, or Tank Hunter. He also still gives +1 to Reserve Rolls. Aside from the points drop, the changes are very subtle but slightly better.

Chief Librarian Tigurius hasn't changed at all, as far as I can see. He still is a level 3 psyker that can re-roll when determining psychic powers, psychic tests, and reserve rolls. His Storm of Fire Warlord Trait got a bit better. Tigurius is still an excellent support character, and arguably the best Space Marine psyker.

Chaplain Cassius hasn't changed at all.

My Executioners Telion, now relegated to being a normal Scout Sergeant. Still a cool model, though.

Sergeant Telion gained a wound and is now an HQ choice, though he can only join Scout squads. Otherwise, his rules are all the same. He did gain the excellent Storm of Fire Warlord Trait. Telion is now a cheap, useful HQ choice. He won't do that much, but he's a cheap way to fill your HQ requirement.

Sergeant Chronus also became an HQ choice and gained an extra wound, but otherwise his rules are unchanged. He doesn't have a Warlord Trait, but his tank becomes a Character so he can be your Warlord.

Monday, June 29, 2015

Space Marines 2015: Chapter Tactics

For the most part, Chapter Tactics are very similar to the previous Codex. Like Warlord Traits, there's just small tweaks.

Ultramarines: The Ultramarines Tactics are still the same; they can use each of the Combat Doctrines once per game. However, the Doctrines have changed a bit. Now they're much more symmetrical and easy to understand. Each of them can be used at the beginning of the Space Marines' turn, and last a game turn.

Tactical: All affected units re-roll 1s to hit in Shooting and Assault, and Tactical squads re-roll all missed to hit rolls in both phases.

Assault: All affected units re-roll 1s to hit in Assault, and Assault squads, Bike squads, Attack Bike squads, and Centurion Assault squads re-roll all misses in assault.

Devastator: All affected units re-roll 1s to hit in Shooting, and Devastators and Devastator Centurions re-roll all of their misses in Shooting.

Friday, June 26, 2015

Space Marines 2015: Warlord Traits

I've decided to my review of the new Codex in a new way. I'll be going through the units much more briefly than normal, highlighting the changes to their rules and how I feel that will change how they're used on the battlefield. If you're looking for a more in-depth discussion of these units, check out my previous Space Marine Codex Review (which can be found here with a little searching).

Warlord Traits

The Warlord Traits have retained most of their old names, but the rules have for the most part been made much stronger.

Wednesday, June 24, 2015

Cassor the Damned

As you probably have gathered if you've been reading my blog for any length of time, I'm not crazy about Dreadnoughts. I love their look, but not so much how they play in game. I've got one metal Furioso from when they were first released, but this is the first plastic Dreadnought I've built, and the only one that I've painted for myself. I had a surprising amount of fun with it. It's a really detailed kit, and goes together really well.

Friday, June 19, 2015

My Favorite Things about the New Space Marines (and a few bits I'm not crazy about)

Space Marines are back, and they've gotten quite the overhaul. The changes to units are relatively subtle, but the changes to army structure are pretty massive, and overall quite fluffy. Without further ado, lets jump in!

Things I like:

A basic Executioners Battle Demi-Company

The Gladius Strike Force and the Battle Demi-Company: This is the new Space Marine Detachment. It's based on a Demi-Company consisting of a Captain or Chaplain, and optional Command Squad, 3 Tactical squads, an Assault squad, Bike Squad, Land Speeder squad, or Centurion Assault squad, a Devastator or Centurion Devastator squad, and an optional squad of Dreadnoughts. Beyond that, it can take a variety of support Formations, including detachments from the First and Tenth Companies and the Chapter Armory. Altogether, these will produce forces that really fit the background, rather than a unit of Centurions and Characters supported by two squads of Scouts.

Monday, June 8, 2015

Raphen's Death Company

Here are the last three Death Company from Raphen's Death Company. I tried to match the armor bits that were used in the official models, though I altered the poses. I extended this to the paint scheme, even writing the same words on the scrolls where possible.

Friday, June 5, 2015

Thoughts on the State of 40K

I finally finished my review of the Blood Angels Codex (the Formations and Detachments made it take longer than my previous reviews). This was the culmination of almost two years of continuous reviews, covering Space Marines, Eldar, and Blood Angels. As I was finishing the Blood Angel review, I wondered what I would cover next, but then they released a new Eldar Codex and a new Space Marine Codex will be coming out this weekend. Suddenly, I went from being caught up to being two books behind.

Obviously, my somewhat long-winded reviews can't keep up with the current pace of releases, and I'm not sure it's worth writing briefer ones. There are lots of other bloggers that cover new books in just a few posts.I still want to talk about the new books (especially the Space Marines), but I haven't yet decided on a format. I will definitely keep covering tactics and army building for the armies that I play.

For the moment, I'll be concentrating on playing my Blood Angels, but I'm very excited about the potential of the new Space Marine Codex for my Executioners.

Monday, June 1, 2015

Blood Angels in 7th: Deathstorm

While thinking about what else to write, I realized that I hadn't reviewed all of the special units from Deathstorm. While they're not super different from the basic units, they do have some specific uses. I already reviewed Captain Karlaen, but here are the rest of the units.

Squad Alphaeus

This squad is five standard Terminators, upgraded to have a heavy flamer and chainfist. This is not a build that you'll see often, and the squad is not particularly useful on the table. However, Sgt. Alphaeus has Preferred Enemy (Tyranids), which makes the squad a lot of fun in a narrative game against Tyranids.

Friday, May 29, 2015

Baal Predator

I got distracted by all of the models I have waiting to be painted, so I grabbed one of my Baal Predators and painted it up. This was the last tank that I primed with Blood Red, so it was shaded with a Secret Weapon Sewer Water wash. This is how my previous tanks have all been painted, and I think it comes out with a good, strong red.

Friday, May 22, 2015

Dropzone Commander: United Colonies of Mankind Starter Army

I've written a few times about how excited I am about Dropzone Commander. I always liked the look of Epic 40K, but never had the money of the gaming group to play it before it was discontinued. Dropzone Commander fills this void, and seems to have a great set of rules to go with it.

I picked up the starter game about a year ago, but never got around to painting or playing, so I made it my goal to start playing this summer. I painted up the UCM half of the starter first, going for a simple scheme. It's basically a military green with edge highlights, a wash, and some metallic or blue detailing. I think it works well at this scale.

Monday, May 18, 2015

Death Company

I'm finally back home, with easy access to varnish and a desk that doesn't cause me pain if I sit at it for longer than thirty minutes. Of course, this means that it's time for some painting. My first project was a few new Death Company. They two on the left are part of my Deathstorm Death Company squad (you can tell by the 32mm bases), while the fellow on the right was added because I can always use more Death Company with bolt pistols and chainswords.

Friday, May 15, 2015

Blood Angels in 7th: Formations: Flesh Tearers

Flesh Tearers Vanguard Strike Force

The Flesh Tearers Strike Force is a more assault oriented demi-Company, consisting of three Tactical squads, an Assault squad, a Vanguard Veteran squad, and a Furioso Dreadnought. There are no restrictions on the composition of any of the units, which is quite nice.

The perks are The Red Thirst, a personal favorite, as well as Leading by Example. This means that as long as the Vanguard Veterans are on the table, all units in the Formation ignore the penalty for disordered charges and gain Stubborn. I don’t make disordered charges that often, but it’s still a nice perk when it comes up. Multi-charges are a good way to tie up multiple enemy shooting units, and Stubborn will keep your squads in combat even against multiple enemy units.

I like the Flesh Tearer Vanguard Strike Force above the other demi-company Formations. It’s more targeted for one role (assault) and has rules that actually help in that role. The big drawback is the requirement to take three Tactical squads, who have no good way to get into combat. I would probably put them into Drop Pods, along with the Furioso, and deploy the Vanguard and Assault squads normally with jump packs.

Monday, May 11, 2015

Blood Angels in 7th: Formations: Blooded Demi-Company, Strike Force Mortalis, Dante's Avenging Host

Blooded Demi-Company

The Blooded Demi-Company is half of the Blood Angels 2nd Company, and contains a Captain or Chaplain, three Tactical squads, an Assault squad, a Devastator squad, a Dreadnought, and a Command Squad or Furioso depending on whether you took a Captain or Chaplain, respectively.

This is a pretty restricted but well-rounded Formation, but it only gets the standard benefits that the Baal Strike Force gets. Since the Baal Strike Force is so much more flexible, the Blooded Demi-Company doesn’t really have a place outside of narrative games in the Shield of Baal campaign.

Friday, May 8, 2015

Brother-Captain Michele Castigon

Here's the Captain of the Fourth Company, Michele Castigon. I haven't been able to varnish him yet (cold snap, including some snow, is preventing me from doing any spray painting) so please excuse the shine.

Monday, May 4, 2015

Blood Angels in 7th: Formations: Archangels Formations

These are all Formations included in Shield of Baal: Exterminatus. They all have access to the Archangels Warlord Trait Table and Relics. 

Archangels Orbital Intervention Force

This is a very straightforward Formation, consisting of any combination of 3 Terminator or Terminator Assault squads. They gain the rule Swift Deployment, so they all have to be held in Deep Strike Reserve and the entire Formation arrives on a single Reserve Roll. When they arrive, the Terminators can Run and then shoot.

This is a very slight benefit, and it only really helps standard Terminators (since Assault Terminators don’t have any guns to shoot). Even so, being able to reposition your deep strikers as well as shoot is a decent bonus. If you want to take a bunch or Terminators but don’t want to be as restricted as the Archangels Strike Force, the Orbital Intervention force doesn’t really have any downsides.

Friday, May 1, 2015

Culexus Assassin

I haven't posted any painting photos for a while because I've just been retouching old Blood Angels. Most of them got repainted bases, and my Death Company all had their red accents repainted to match my current red scheme. Everything looks better, but I hardly think it's exciting enough to post up.

When I finished that, I wanted to paint something more fun, and I was given a Culexus Assassin just before I left home. He seemed like the perfect model to work on.

Monday, April 27, 2015

Blood Angels in 7th: Formations: Flesh Tearers Blood Rain Strike Force

The rules for the Flesh Tearers Blood Rain Strike Force can be found in White Dwarf 47. This is another large formation, but it’s much more self-sufficient than the Angel’s Fury Spearhead Force. It contains a squad each of Death Company, Vanguard Veterans, and Assault Marines, as well as a Stormraven and Furioso. All of the units must either have jump packs or be mounted in the Stormraven.

Friday, April 24, 2015

Blood Angels in 7th: Formations: Angel's Fury Spearhead Force

The rules for the Angel’s Fury Spearhead Force can be found in White Dwarf 47. This is an expensive Formation, including 3 Stormraven Gunships and 3 full Tactical squads. The Sergeant of each squad gets a free teleport homer, and the Tactical squads must begin the game embarked on the Stormravens.

This formation comes with some potentially amazing special rules. Spearhead Strike Force states that the entire Formation arrives from Reserve at the same time, and you get to start rolling for their arrival Turn 1. In addition, you get to re-roll your Reserve rolls for this Formation. Having flyers, especially flyers as good as Stormravens, arrive Turn 1 is a huge advantage for your alpha strike. Note that it will mean that your Stormravens will be very vulnerable to enemy flyers that arrive Turn 2. The Tactical squads all are Objective Secured, which is nice because our main Detachments usually won’t have access to this rule. However, the rule that has everyone talking is Augur Triangulation. Any friendly Blood Angels that arrive from Deep Strike Reserve within 12” of two of this Formations teleport homers do not scatter and can assault the same turn that they arrive. Pulled off correctly, this would allow you to drop our excellent assault units directly into close-combat. In today’s shooting heavy game of 40K, not many armies can deal with that.

Monday, April 20, 2015

Blood Angels in 7th: Formations: Angel's Wrath Intervention Force

The rules for the Angel's Wrath Intervention Force can be found in White Dwarf 47. This formation is a relatively low investment, requiring only a Vanguard Veteran squad and two Assault squads. The squads all have to be equipped with jump packs but can be any size and have any equipment.

The formation has two special rules. Guided Drop means that the formation must Deep Strike, but all three squads arrive at once. The Vanguard Veterans deploy first as normal, but the Assault squads don’t scatter as long as they deep strike within 6” of the Vanguard Veterans. Meteoric Impact means that any enemy unit within 6” of the units within the formation take a S4 hit for each model within 6” of a model in the formation. Affected enemy units then move as if in difficult terrain for their next turn.

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