Thursday, December 30, 2010

Join our WoW guild!

Time for some advertisement and some non-Warhammer related jibba-jabba!

With the release of World of Warcraft: Caraclysm, me an a bunch of my friends decided to play again. We wanted something new and fresh, so we began from level 1, on a new server. A PvP server nonetheless! I have to say, leveling a new character through the Shattered Azeroth is so much fun. A totally new experience with amazing new quests.

We are playing on Horde side on the Laughing Skull server, which is located in Chicago. It is a PvP server and I encourage you to give it a try, since there is nothing better than ganking Alliance players when you are bored from questing. Our guild name is   and all of the guild ranks are inspired from the Adeptus Astartes. Neophyte, Initiate, Battle Brother, Veteran, Captain, Chapter Master (we have Master of the Fleet, Master of the Arsenal, Master of the Recruits, Master of the Forge, etc.) and finally I am the Grand Master.

Our ranking system is actually pretty sweet and is focused on proving your dedication to the guild by donating gold, participating in events, recruiting and leveling your professions. There are also tons of nifty rituals tied to each one. For example, the rank of Captain is given to people who are considered to be the most experienced in their class (Hunter Captain, Warrior Captain..) and each Captain creates his own 5-man team capable to run instances. A Captain is responsible for his squad to be ready for raids or events and is expected to answer class-specific questions. In guild Battleground runs each squad is supposed to move as a whole and follow the Captain's lead. Someone can always challenge a Captain's rank if they meet the prerequisites. They must also defeat each member of the squad in a duel.

We are still a young guild in need of any and all classes. When we get enough people we will be doing tons of PvP and raiding. I'd like to consider a casual guild with the main purpose of experiencing the new content in all ways possible.

If you are interested, my Goblin Hunter's name there is Squighoppa.

Wednesday, December 29, 2010

Kustom Ork Apocalypse Datasheet: Magnokinetik Lifta Wagon Battery

The Lifta-Droppa has always been my favorite thing about my Stompaz. It is so fluffy, so.. Orky and is always so much fun to use during a nice game of Apocalypse.  Once I heard about the option to field a Battlewagon (the Lifta Wagon featured in IA 8 - Raid on Kastorel-Novem) equipped with a Lifta-droppa my jaws did some dropping of their own. I just had to do a formation that would combine the powers of a few lifta-droppas. Just... had... to. It is a pretty expensive formation, given that Lifta Wagons are like 225 pts. each...

Tell me what you think..

Magnokinetik Lifta Wagon Battery                                                               Points: 150 + MODELS
Fascinated with the utility and unlimited power of magno-traktor beams a Big Mek once gave birth to the idea of combining the charges of numerous lifta-droppas "just ta see wut happenz". Already, mounting lifta-droppas on top of Battlewagons or "Lifta Wagons" was a very popular (although extremely dangerous and reckless!) practice, but he craved for something bigger and flashier. He was not prepared for the charge of the traktor beams to rip out all of his cybork implants, however. 

The Magnokinetik Lifta Wagon Battery features a squadron of at least three Lifta Wagons lead by a Big Mek with a Kustom Force Field daring enough to control this weapon of wanton destruction. Able to combine their tractor beams, the Lifta Wagons are capable of moving mountains of junkyard crap: naturally even multiple vehicles and Super Heavies are not safe. Operating withing the protection of their own magnetic field, the Lifta Wagon Battery is a valuable asset to any Waaaagh!

3+ Lifta Wagons
1 Big Mek with a Kustom Force Field
One Lifta Wagon must be designated as the command tank. The Big Mek rides in it!


Don't Kross Da Beamz! - The combined force of many traktor beams is truly devestating and just like most Ork teknology it defies all laws of physics, all logic and most of all - all sense. The Lifta Wagons focus their lifta-droppas at a target designated by the Big Mek and created a gigantic magnetic field that could move mountains of scrap metal and all sorts of random junk including any soon-to-be-lifted-and-then-dropped-from-the-skies enemy vehicles.

                                                      Range             STR        AP                          Special
Magnokinetik Traktor Beam       48"                     -            -         Apocalyptic barrage (*). Lifta-droppa

All vehicles (even wrecked ones), vehicle squadrons, Super Heavies and small pieces of terrain that would normally be affected by powerful magnetic fields (tank traps, barbed wires, barrels) even partially touched by the Apocalyptic Barrage are treated as being hit by a Lifta-droppa. The standard rules apply and all vehicles must move the exact same distance in the direction of the scatter die. Super Heavies only suffer d3 glancing hits. Roll separately for the number of glancing hits on each vehicle.

*: The Magnokinetic Traktor Beam has a barrage rating of 1+1 per Lifta Wagon in the formation withing 12" of the Big Mek's command tank.

Ferromagnetik Force Shield - The Big Mek's own Kustom Force Field is drawing from the powerful energy supply of the Lifta Wagons and when combined with the magnetic field produces a unique form of protection. For all intensive purposes, the Ferromagnetic Force Shield counts as a Kustom Force Field. When a template weapon is targeting a unit within the range of the Ferromagnetic Force Field, roll a d6. On a 4+ reflect the shot from the place it hit up to 24'' in a random direction. In addition, during the Shooting phase you may choose not to shoot some of the Lifta-Droppas to increase the range of the Ferromagnetic Force Shield by d3 inches until your next turn.

Strike Force:  All units in the Magnokinetic Lifta Wagon Battery must be deployed within 12" of the command tank, or, if coming on from reserve they must enter the table within 12" of the point entered by the command tank.

Thursday, December 23, 2010

Insane Njal Delivery System: Crouching Wolf, Hidden Tempest

I cannot possibly fall asleep, so it's time for some crazy talk. DO NOT TRY THIS AT HOME.
Actually, please do. Then tell me all about it.

People seem to think of two, maybe three possible ways to protecting and delivering Njal Stormcaller:
1) In Land Raider with either Grey Hunters or Wolf Guard - VERY expensive, blocks line of sight and does not let Njal make use of his awesome shooting Psychic attacks.
2) In a Drop Pod with Grey Hunters or Wolf Guard - Good for unleashing a salvo at an enemy unit, slow down a horde unit with Murderous Hurricane or try to get an early Jaws of the World Wolf from a good angle. Leaves you open to the enemy when you want Njal to stay alive for as many turns as possible to reap the benefits of his Lord of Tempests.
3) On foot with Grey Hunters of Wolf Guard - Cheap, you have numbers and if you spam Storm Caller you'll get yourself a 5+ cover save in addition to your 3+ armor save or 2+ if with Wolf Guard in Terminator Armor. Cover save is wasted on them, however.

Now, here's what I think would be awesome:

This is just as bad ass!
Crouching Wolf, Hidden Tempest - The Berserker
Njal Stormcaller + 15 Blood Claws + Wolf Priest with Saga of the Hunter - Yes, all of them on foot. As long as you keep casting Storm Caller as one of Njal's psychic powers each turn, with the new FAQ concerning the Stealth you'll be getting from Saga of the Hunter (if one model in a unit has Stealth, the entire unit gets it) you''ll get a Fearless unit (with Saga of Majesty!!) that in the open has a 3+ armor/4+ cover save and Preferred Enemy with 60 basic attacks on the charge. For the points you're getting the numbers to protect Njal and he will make sure to protect his guardians as they are slowly advancing while a scary tempest is blackening the skies...

Surround your flanks with Rhinos and Land Raiders and you'll be able to get a 3+ save (as long as half the squad is being covered by your APCs). As long as you deny your enemy tons of line of sight (a building in the center would be gorgeous) you'll be able to deliver this massive force to the center of the table where you want Njal to be anyways.

"Shitty weather everywhere I go!"
Crouching Wolf, Hidden Tempest - For the Wolftime!
Slightly different, much cheaper version:
Njal Stormcaller + 15 Fenrisian Wolves (1 Cyberwolf) + Wolf Priest with Saga of the Hunter 
You save about 100 pts. with this variant and you will only lose an attack per model if you don't manage to charge. You get only a 6+ armor save but again with Storm Caller you get a 4+ cover save in the open and a 3+ cover save if already hugging some delicious cover. Oh, and the bulk of your guys get WS4 where the Blood Claws are only 3. No frag and krak grenades, though.

Just like any Njal list, you want your army to make sure he stays alive. March forward with your sneaky, storm-covered blob as your vehicles are covering your flanks - Cheap Razorbacks, Rhinos even a Land Raider will help you with that. A Land Speeder Squadron is also perfect - Turbo Boost them in front of the Crouching Wolf, Hidden Tempest and you'll have a 3+ cover unit protecting a 3+ cover unit. Again, protecting your flanks is vital so Wolf Scouts are ideal, because they'll have a 5/6 chance of coming from the side you need them to be. A Vindicator driving forward, parallel with your blob would also be threatening. Or how about two on your flanks?

What do you think? Is this crazy enough? Or does it fail because it's deviating from the "All Grey Hunters. All Long Fangs. All the Time." mentality? Would you give it a shot?

Ultramarines: Movie Report

And They Shall Know No Fear!
Yes, I saw Ultramarines - the way an Ork Freeboota would, but mainly because I wasn't so sure about what to expect. Obviously, my expectations were low. Everyone kept on saying that the graphics were bad, that they were outdated and flimsy, but I think it's because people are so used to Pixar's beauty or the 2 minute CGI trailers/cut scenes that are in every game nowadays.. 

But I liked it. Yes, I still dislike the Ultramarines as a whole, but the movie made them cool if even for an hour and 10 minutes. I think whatever concept the team behind this project tried to portray it succeeded. Was the movie grimdark? It was. Were Space Marines portrayed as overpowered, invincible munchkins? No, they were not. Ultramarines argued, doubted each other, died and became corrupt, which was what I liked about this movie. It felt... realistic?
People always seem to bitch and moan about how easy Space Marines are to kill in Warhammer 40,000, how they are supposed to be godlike with nigh-invincible armor and how bolt guns should be able to completely annihilate anything they touch. But the same people seem to forget that the Adeptus Astartes are just humanity's best. Out there lurk horrors, xenos and Chaos beings that will always make a mockery of them. Just take a look at any of the Horus Heresy books. Space Marines die in droves. Sure, in the end they win... but it really doesn't take a whole lot to kill them. Megarachnids, Laer, Plaguebearers, Interex = they all rend through power armor like it's made of paper, and those are just some of the enemies that the various Adeptus Astartes encounter..

But in Ultramarines death was everywhere. I could feel how hard it was for the squad of Marines to see their brethren die, could feel their pain as they watched the Apothecary harvest the gene-seed in front of them..

Only in death does ugliness end.
Dan Abnett's writing really captured the essence of the Ultramarines - their pride, their thirst for glory, the need to be the best, the teamwork.. The plot was not super original, but I'll assume that it was Abnett's first attempt to write for a movie and that he wanted something simple that not only the Warhammer 40,000 fans would get and enjoy. It's a double-edged chainsword but it only makes sense..

The move is very suspenseful and it feels more like a horror than an action movie. That I liked a lot.

So that's why Marneus is so ugly..
I heard a lot of complaints about the Space Marine's faces. What? They were amazing... mostly. There were scenes where the emotions were portrayed perfectly and the supreme vox (lol) actors were matched with some pretty convincing lip synchronization. In the books, the Adeptus Astartes are often portrayed as weird looking. A lot of them are handsome, but many are described as having strange features, with too much space between their facial features, etc. Imagine an Ultramarine fighting on different fronts - different gravity, atmosphere, radiation, sunlight. Add to that the fact that they are practically mutants and some of the weirder-looking faces will make sense. The years of service on different planets throughout the galaxy would make even the Emperor's chosen to look like shit. ;P

In general, the movie was alright. Amazing voice acting, okay plot, okay CGI. Hopefully enough people bought the DVD and I'm really hoping to see another one. At least we get to see some of the cool parts of the 40k fluff. Like, it was awesome to see how a Land Speeder moved.. Or the destructive power of a Chaplain's Crozius Arcanum.. :-D


Over and out.

Monday, December 20, 2010

I guess I'm not naughty..

Hey there, guys! Just came back from the cozy little Christmas party that the local Games Workshop hosted with a gift that pleasantly surprised me AND made the little cogwheels in my brain spin in all directions.

Zoom Zoom Zoom...
For this Christmas, my wish list included a plethora of pretty crazy things, mostly because I just wanted to throw down some expensive items for the heck of it. I didn't even know we were going to do Secret Santa.. The only cheaper things on the list were some Space Wolves Techmarines and a Land Speeder. Oh and a new cube of green dice. The rest was just crazy - Ork Battlewagons, Deff Dreadz, The Horus Heresy - Collected Visions, Forge World Space Wolves Dreadnought. Oh, and a Land Raider Crusader/Redeemer kit.

Now, the minimum cost was $30 - just enough for a box of guys without being too expensive so that more people could participate. Naturally, I assumed I was gonna get a Land Speeder, since it was the only "economy class" item on my list. I know I got the person I drew one. I really wanted one, eventually two multi-melta/heavy flamer variants swooping around and causing havoc. What can I say, I'm a real sucker for versatilty.

However, I was really hoping not to get one just because it would have been weird to get what I was giving.. you know? Like I was buying my own gift... But at that point I had just assumed that some little kid had drawn my name. It only made sense that I was getting a Land Speeder. People were hinting at it. There were even two Land Speeder boxes missing from the shelves... I even played around with my current list to see how I would manage to fit two Land Speeders in it.

"Deep Strike? We'll just cram down your throat!"
But! It was my friend Vince who was my Secret Santa and he got me a Land Raider Crusader/Redeemer! What a great gift! You know, the current prize tag on this bad boy, the abundance of melta weaponry and now lances always made me cringe at the thought of ever fielding one. However, I always die a little inside every time someone fields one against me. I don't know why.. Maybe it is because of my pre-Deff Rolla Ork dayz..

I know that all of the Space Wolves options that are fit for a Land Raider are alright. Our Terminators are very pricey if you want to give them cool weapons and Blood Claws are a one-hit wonder at best..
I think what I'll do is try a few different things. I have always, always wanted to field Arjac Rockfist and now that I have the means to transport him I don't see why not! Maybe he'll fit in just fine with a nice big unit of Grey Hunters or as a Blood Claws babysitter inside a Land Raider Crusader.

Choices, choices.. I'll have to use this in bigger games, though. I am not getting rid of Skarvald's entourage of Thunderwolf Cavalry. Something tells me that combining a Thunderwolf Cavalry deathstar with a Land Raider deathstar will cost me some games... But it WOULD be cool.

Man, this is literally like sculpting. I can see this piece of precious rock and I'm trying to figure out how to give it life..

Any ides, suggestions, cool stories (bro)? I am all Acute Senses..

Saturday, December 18, 2010

My Age of Strife is over!

It feels so good to be finally sitting in front of my own computer (which similarly to our Rogue Trader frigate is named Scalpelexis). I literally just helped my dad to fix it and with some quick prayers to the Omnissiah, the venerable Machine Spirit of the Scalpelexis smiled upon us and decided to die another day! I am still on the watch and hopefully the old symptoms won't come back, because I was seriously expecting my PC to burst into flames...

I can finally understand the frustration and horror that existed during the Age of Strife. It is scary what even a few weeks of lack of communication and information can do to someone who takes them for granted.. Combine that with the shorter days and the time spent in my not-so-well lit room and you get the good Old Night..

I guess what happened was my dad pulled computer's heat sink but also managed to pull the processor which was attached to it. Thinking they were supposed to be one piece he also tried to put the processor back with the heat sink on top of it, which resulted in some bent processor pins. But we fixed it.. and I guess it's all that matters now, eh?

Other than that... Not sure if I have mentioned that I'm reading the Horus Heresy right now...? I just finished Mitchel Scanlon's "Descent of Angels", which is book #6 in the series, even though some of the books are pretty stand-alone. I just bought Dan Abnett's "Prospero Burns" and I'm still trying to decide whether I should read that first or "A Thousand Sons", since both books describe the same event but from different perspectives. Hm, maybe I should just make this easy and read Graham McNeil's "Mechanicum"? While I itch to read my first Space Wolves-oriented novel, I am also very fond of the dealings of the Adeptus Mechanicus. For the past few months I've been roleplaying a Vostroyan Explorator in my friend's Rogue Trader campaign and I just love the fluff..

Space Wolves Progress:  The shoulders and right knees of pretty much all Grey Hunters and Long Fang models were painted a 50/50 mix of Mechrite Red and Blood Red. We're slowly but surely getting there. At least the wolves are not one color now, right? I also did some touch-ups on the first coat of Shadow Grey and did some blacklining wherever I messed up before. Expect pictures!

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Still Alive!

Hey there, Battle Brothers!
Just a quick note about my recent absence and the lack of posts..I've been having problems with the fan of my beloved PC and when my dad opened it up to clean some of the dust, etc. etc. he also removed the processor in order to clean around and beneath it. Unfortunately, when he tried to put it back he managed to bend 4 or 5 of the many pins. I know it is fixable, but with finals, work and more around the corner we just haven been able to repair it.
Add to that some glitches with the Internet connection and some nasty cold weather here in Chicagoland and maybe you'll understand my frustration.... ;_;

 I've been playing a bunch of games, though - I wrote up and ran a Spearhead Free For All event a little after Thanksgiving (it was appropriately named "Tanksgiving") and participated in a very cool Apocalypse game with 3,000 pts. of Space Wolves. My first bigger game with my Wolves, in fact. My Wolves were bravely defending an important bastion from the invading Orkz, Chaos Space Marines and Tyranids while Skarvald the Troll-faced reaped a great tally by slaying an incredibly powerful Daemon and then counter-attacking Ghazghkull and his Nobz.

 Our local Games Workshop also ran a 400 pt. Combat Patrol tournament of which I also have some nifty picture.
I will do my best to write up some battle reports for you guys.
In the mean time I will try to catch up with the painting of my Space Wolves..

Thanks for the patience!
- Skarvald the Troll-faced

Thursday, November 18, 2010

New 40k Rulebook FAQ: Krumpin' mek got easier, Boss!

Now with more cheese!
Hear ye, hear ye! Check out the brand spankin' new Warhammer 40,000: RULEBOOK Official Update Version 1.1!! That's right! Finally we see a second wave of Frequently Asked Questions being answered and this update is gooooooood! From a myriad of obvious revelations to answering important questions about IC's and vehicles that have been in the grey area for years! With the release of Dark Eldar there are also a lot of clarifications about the way Skimmers are supposed to work.
What are you waiting for? Open the link already and print yourself a copy of the FAQ, then stick it in your Rulebook. You'll thank me later... ;P

And now....

Probably the most important question answered...

The Question that always starts arguments in my LGS and will, without a doubt change the way 40k is played..

Q: If a vehicle moved during its last Movement phase, but is immobilised by the time a model's initiative value is reached in close combat, what roll is needed to hit it?
A: It will be hit automatically!
There! It has been answered! We finally know what happens when you assault a vehicle that you immobilized in your Shooting phase. No longer is #4 on the Vehicle Damage table useless to you when you're assaulting the vehicle. This changes everything! I don't know about you, but I have been playing this the wrong way for more than a year and everyone I know - veteran players, hobby specialists and store managers have been telling me the same thing over and over again, even though it never made sense to me. Immobilizing a vehicle is now finally important during your phase. What does that mean?

This WILL have an effect on the current meta. Vehicles just got easier to destroy as long as you have a way of assaulting what just got immobilized. This also makes Power Fists, Power Klaws and Thunder Hammers so much better! Striking at Initiative 1 means that if your faster and weaker buddies manage to score any lucky glances that immobilize the vehicle before you get to hit, you will automatically hit it.
This is a huge buff to armies that need to assault in order to destroy vehicles.

Imagine this: You're playing Orkz and someone just moved more than 6 inches, hoping that you won't be able to do anything to his vehicle, because you'll need 6's to even hit. Your Boyz, lead by a Nob charge him anyways. Almost all attacks fail but a lucky Ork Boy manages to roll a 6 to hit, then rolls a 6 to glance and then a 6 to immobilize your opponent's vehicle. What does that mean? Well, for one - your Nob with a Power Klaw will be able to take advantage of the now immobilized vehicle and his three S9 attacks will automatically hit.
This is HUGE as it gives you a very good chance of destroying the vehicle. From needing 6's to even hit with your powerful attacks you now don't even need to roll, just see if you can roll that 2+ to penetrate. Otherwise it's just a glance. An AUTOMATIC glance. Hehehe..

Of course, this is awesome for all other armies, however Orkz won't care if they are on the receiving end of this new ruling, because their vehicles are already pathetically easy to krump.
Rolling those S4 attacks on your Marines now is even more important if you are carrying a Power Fist in the squad too. The few ranged vehicle-popping units that Tyranids have are even better now, because if they manage to glance and immobilze, the other members of the Hive Fleet will hit be hitting automatically on the same turn, instead of having to wait until the next opportunity.

Lots of interesting changes and answers in this FAQ, eh? What do you think about some of the new clarifications? Were they surprising to you?

Monday, November 8, 2010

Planetstrike with Space Wolves 2: Angels Fall First

"Like angels of death they descended behind our lines - Blood Angels. Feh! I could smell the stench of the promethium burning inside their jump packs.. Even the iron discipline instilled in our Thunderwolves could not stop them from growling impatiently, wishing without a doubt to rend the Angels to shreds as we lurked from afar. Our bastions fell and we died like the Emperor's dogs should - with dignity and ferocity only rivaled by the treacherous Angels. As our Battle Brothers died, me and my Thunderwolf Guard taunted them by infiltrating their own stronghold as we desperately tried to win precious time for our reinforcements. We faced their charge with a counter-attack of our own and I made sure to punish every Blood Angel sevenfold for every dead Space Wolf. With cunning akin to Lukas the Trickster's, we managed to hold the Angel's fortress (or what was left of it!) but even when our Wolf Brothers arrived, the tide of this savage massacre did not favor us. And praise Russ - neither did it favor the Blood Angels" - Skarvald the Troll-faced

For the battle report describing my second clash against the Blood Angels (this time played by my friend Vince) and to witness the desperate fight for survival, please join me after the break!

Sunday, November 7, 2010

Dark Eldar Release

Well the glorious day is finally here, and to say that I am really excited would be an understatement. While I keep a calm face in my normal life on the inside it is all (black, vindictive, and decadent) unicorns and rainbows (created by light passing through the blood of enemies of the dark eldar).

I received my first models on Thursday, and I have been assembling almost non-stop since then. As I work with a feverish determination created by 9 long years of waiting, I have come across a few issues. Firstly, the raiders take an incredible amount of time to put together. I mean it verges on insanity. The first two I put together in the company of my friends, and while I took two breaks for lunch and dinner I worked from around 1pm to 1 am and completed only two raiders. Yeah two raiders in about twelve hours (plus time for chit chat and eating). The second two only took around 2-3 hours each, but that still seems overly time consuming.

The warrior squads (of which I am on the second) put together longer than their craftworld cousins, and they are the only models I have ever put together that have a "butt plate" that you need to glue on.

Even though each an every model takes a lot of time to assemble it really is a joy to see them come together. I must say that all of the figures in the range are really amazing works of art. As my army continues to grow I keep getting more and more impressed by the quality of the miniatures. My old warriors look foolish in comparison with their newer cousins, and while I had initially considered mixing my old raiders in with the new, as they are still decent models, the more I look at the detail work the more I feel I should have nothing but the new kits.

My new codex force won't be entirely made up of the new GW kits, as my converted wyches will still remain. I actually plan to convert at least a few more units like a Voidraven Bomber, some Wracks, and a few Haemonculi. The bomber is on the back seat, as it seemed to really under-perform in it's first outing. The wracks, however, did fairly well, and I can see a place for them in my force.

The Wracks will be a huge endeavor on my part as I plan to put 5 different kits to use, and add copious amounts of green stuff and plasticard. For those of you who don't know Wracks are more or less humanoid creations of a mad scientist. Complete with disproportionate bare chests, hook, various sharp bits, faceless masks/helmets, tattered robes, and wires they are truly an intimidating and horrible opponent to face.
The picture alone had me "hooked" so I quickly brainstormed up some ideas. So far I am going with Empire Flagellant legs and arms, Ungor Torsos, Chaos Warrior and Wych helmets, Dark Elf Corsair Weapons, various extra bits from the Raider and Warrior sprues, and of course plasticard, green stuff and wire. It will be a lot of work, so I will post my progress as I go.

Thursday, November 4, 2010

WIP: Vindicator Narwhal and Optional Rules!

I already shared with you my desire to turn the old Vindicator I got into something more creative and fluffy, right? Well I have a thing for naming every vehicle in my army and once this bad boy was assembled I just had to name it Narwhal - a brutal monstrosity with a weapon that brings death to its enemies. Of course I had to figure out a way to make Vindicator Narwhal deserve its name.. So I used green stuff to come up with something that resembled a narwhal's cool facial horn.. At first I wanted to make a cover for its gun, but then I said to myself "Ah, what the heck! It can just shoot horn-shaped shells. Space Wolves would totally do that, right?"

Vindicator Narwhal
The narwhal's horn was created by twisting two horn-shaped pieces of green stuff together. I let it dry for 20-ish hours and then started coating it with super glue. I'd say I put 3 pretty heavy coats of it to make sure the narwhal horn was sturdy. It it simply glued in place inside the Demolisher Cannon. I'll probably end up using magnets to keep it in place as I'm afraid that it will break while I carry it around.

I even wrote down some fluff and optional rules for it. Who knows? Maybe one day I'll use it in a campaign or an Apocalypse game. 

Vindicator Narwhal
Vindicator Narwhal is the oldest vehicle and one of the few tanks of its caliber in Harald Deathwolf's Great Company. This venerable lumbering behemoth is one of a kind and its service brings great honor to those that fight beside it. Narwhal was first built as a prototype Vindicator whose Demolisher cannon was able to shoot standard shells and the specialized Narwhal krak missiles - ivory-hued horn-shaped shells that were to be used to flatten obstacles such as deep ice and icebergs by penetrating deep into its target and then exploding from within like an erupting volcano. The idea was that this type of ammunition would give the Vindicator a supporting role outside urban turf, especially on Fenris itself. Often used to destroy vast areas of ice to hinder the enemy's movement and deny flanks, Narwhal quickly became Deathwolf's favorite asset aside of his prized Thunderwolves. It was not until its special ammunition went through one of the frozen seas of Fenris and accidentally skewered and annihilated a kraken that Narwhal's true potential was unlocked. 
It is said that Ulrik the Slayer himself decided to test the tank's usefulness against other similar creatures. During a campaign against a Tyranid invasion the Vindicator did indeed prove useful against the thick carapace of Carnifexes and Trygons, its sharp torpedo-like ammunition penetrating deep and then showering the triumphant Space Wolves with the acidic gore of its prey. When it didn't prove fatal, the narwhal krak missiles stunned even the most ferocious of beasts, letting others to create their own sagas by dealing the finishing blow. Even nowadays Harald's personal manufactorum produces the unique shells, letting Vindicator Narwhal to continue its excellent service in his Great Company. 
Yet, it still remains a prototype.

Vindicator Narwhal........................................... 170 points
BS4 F13 S11 R10

*Composition: 1 Vindicator (Unique)
*Unit Type: Vehicle (Tank)

Demolisher cannon
Storm bolter
Smoke launchers
Siege shield

May take any of the following:
Storm bolter...................................................5 points
Hunter-killer missile......................................10 points
Extra armour................................................10 points

Narwhal Krak Missiles: In addition to its standard Demolisher Cannon, this Vindicator has a unique set of ammunition that is especially effective against Monstrous Creatures.
Range                    Strength             AP                          Type
    36''                           8                    2                  Heavy 1, Beastlayer*

*Rerolls to wound against walkers, monstrous creatures or models with Toughness of 5 or more. Unsaved wounds from the Narwhal Krak Missile count as wounds inflicted by a thunder hammer.

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

WIP: Wolf Lord on a Thunderwolf (Skarvald the Troll-faced)

Here are some quick shots I took of my current project - Skarvald the Troll-faced himself! Of course I still need to do some minor cleaning around his armor - mainly get rid of excess green stuff (especially the one I used to connect his Chaos Marauder Horseman's head with). He is not yet attached to Garfrost (his Thunderwolf) because I want to paint him separately. He is also going to be painted without his backpack for two reasons: 1) easier access to some spots on his power armor; 2) still need to finish and attach Harald Deathwolf's Great Company battle standard (also WIP) to his backpack.

"This is sticky tack beneath my arse, NOT a cushion!"

I like what he's turning out to be. This is my first conversion for a "special" character, especially an HQ choice. While there is not a whole lot of converting going on I really feel that the model is unique and has its own charisma when fielded on the tabletop. I think his expression shows his ferocity and eagerness to rip his opponent a new one AND the individualism that defines every Space Wolf.

In the game, Skarvald the Troll-faced is a Wolf Lord with the following upgrades:
- Thunderwolf Mount
- Frost Axe (Orc Warboss on Wyvern's big choppa) and a close combat weapon (his other sword)
- Belt of Russ
- Saga of the Beastslayer
- Runic Armor

This makes him 225 pts., which is almost comparable to some of the beefier Special Characters that the Space Wolves codex has. Is he worth the points? Yes. This brave Wolf Lord has survived the unthinkable and some opponents even remove their models before I roll for his attacks. He is that awesome. 7 S6 I5 W6 power attacks WRECK when he is hitting on 3's and wounding on 2's most of the time.

His saga is still being written. I am starting a little trend where if he survives a battle I'm going to write a little narrative of the encounter from his perspective. I already have one from my fatal match against Vince's Blood Angels but I'm waiting for some pictures before I sharing with you..

Notice the ale attached to Garfrost's shield!

Sunday, October 31, 2010

Halloween Events at the local Games Workshop

Here in Games Workshop Deer Grove in Palatine we celebrated Halloween with tons of candy and little fun events that are still putting a smile on my face. Although we didn't have any carved pumpkins the spirit was definitely there and that's what mattered to us as a community. Also, the turnout was pretty good, which added to the atmosphere. Here are some of the fun events that happened throughout the day:

#1 - Bobbin' for Paint: Since bobbing for apples is now illegal in many states, we decided to do it without apples. Instead we added a little Games Workshop twist to it. We used paints! Everyone had a primed "demo" Space Marine and was given a brush at random (some were fine detail, some were dry brushes). Then we each grabbed 3 paints at random and had 15 minutes to paint our models. Now, I first decided to grab 3 paints and wait for everyone else to go through.. I closed my eyes and grabbed two paint pots. What do you think I got?
Tin Bitz aaaaaaaaand... Chainmail. Yes, I am for real. Two metallic paints? Good thing someone was willing to trade me a dry brush.. Then I closed my eyes again... and got.... Yes.. yes. You guessed it already, didn't you? Bolt Gun Metal!!! What was I supposed to do? Three metallic colors.. on power armour? Well, I had experience with Ork Trukkz so I quickly started to dry brush Tin Bitz over the model, which actually gave me an advantage because it allowed for a very fast and okay looking base coat. Then a medium dry brushed coat of Bolt Gun over pretty much the whole model and some Chainmail to highlight the details. I guess I was going for a Plague Marine with a very, very... veeeery rust armor.  Then it hit me! I had a brownish color (Tin Bitz) and realized that if I water it down it would be a nice wash which would bring all the colors together. A minute later and my shiny Devlan Mud was all over the model.. Not only that but it also dried pretty fast, so I could go over some of the details with more Bolt Gun and Chainmail..

And guess what? My crappy, rusty demo Marine won! For my achievement I received a cool red Games Workshop metal bottle thingy with a key chain. My painted model I gave to a younger Ultramarines player who wanted to have an "award-winning model" in his army. I told him that if he fielded it against me as a Captain or a Sergeant I would allow him to get the Feel No Pain USR. ;P

#2 40k and Fantasy-themed "Zombie Survival" Games - They were a lot of fun, although I missed the 40k one because I was playing my friend Vince for his Planetstrike Campaign. More about my second defense against a Blood Angels army and how cunning won me the game even when my army was dying left and right like dogs later..

#3 Balloon Animals and Swords - Alright, alright. I know it's pretty childish and not very GW-related.. but Paul's wife was making tons of balloon animals and swords throughout the day. Balloons are always fun, no matter that age you are. ;P

#4 Costumes - My friend John dressed up as Elan from The Order of the Stick, someone dressed up in Scottish garb (kilt and what not), two kids were Ultramarines with Iron Man masks painted blue..I wore my Russian black GP5 gas mask (like the one in the picture, but the lenses are tinted black). On top I wore an old commissar hat from the German Democratic Republic. I guess I was going for a Death Korps of Krieg commissar or something and I think it looked pretty darn cool. I was even rewarded "Space Wolf: The Second Omnibus" for my costume. Now I only need to find the first Omnibus..

#5 CANDY AND PIZZA - The pinnacle of American culture.. ;P Tons of candy for everyone!

Team Razoback Spam has been registered for Adepticon 2011!

Can you smell what the Wolves are cookin'?

Our Space Wolves team has finally registered for the Adepticon 2011 Warhammer 40k Team Tournament! After a lot of time spent trying to come up with a funny, fluffy and punny name we finally decided to do something more simplistic and direct. Thus, Team Razorback Spam. Despite the dozens of names that had to do with wolves and other plays of words we just thought it would be funny... We are also listed under Team #42.. which happens to be the answer to Life, the Universe and Everything.... ;)

Now can you guess how many Space Wolf Razorback we are bringing to Adepticon 2011? As in, all four of us. Combined. How many?

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

A Productive Hobby Tuesday

Me and Average "Frozencore" Joe recently started a nice and cozy hobby and hang-out tradition that will hopefully be occurring on most Tuesdays. It's a lot of fun, actually - a nice way to exchange ideas about the hobby (conversions, painting tips) and about tips and tricks on the tabletop. We usually open up a few sodas and work on small and fun projects while watching TV or listening to music. Then my mom cooks for us and brings the whole "Hobby Tuesday" to a whole different level. I'm pretty sure my mom sees is as a "Let's See What Bulgarian Dish I Cook For Poor Malnourished Joe Tuesday".. This Tuesday we saw Machete!

Machete: Counts as a Blood Claw with Mark of the Wulfen
The real Garfrost. Ain't he a cutie?
I finally started putting my Wolf Lord on a Thunderwolf, aka Skarvald the Troll-faced. He is equipped with a Frost Axe, Belt of Russ, Saga of the Beastslayer, Runic Armour and of course Garfrost, his loyal Thunderwolf. I actually really enjoyed deciding what to use for my Wolf Lord. I mean, he has to be the main peace of my 1,000 point list. I used the ornate Space Wolf chest piece and picked the coolest Chaos Marauder Horseman head. For the Frost Axe I used the mysterious Orc Choppa, later identified to be from the Orc Warboss on Wyvern set. I pinned the top of the axe head on top of a Space Wolf Thunder hammer and for the other arm I used a rune-covered power sword. I know it's not 100% WYSIWYG, but Skarvald never shoots..

Unfortunately there are no WIP photos yet, but I will take some tomor- er.. today. Will include also pictures of Garfrost with the few gubbinz I added on him. Skarvald just needs a quick green stuff job around his waist to cover some imperfections and the back pack will be added after I finish and pin my Deathwolf Standard. Some other cosmetic surgeries were done on the rest of my Thunderwolves and they are now almost ready to be primed!

The next few days I'm dedicating to my girlfriend, because she deserves it. I'm going to spend some time with her, away from the tabletop or my hobby space at home. God knows I've played (and WON) enough games for this week and I feel out of mojo.

Thursday, October 21, 2010

The Terror from the Deep... in MY case?

Amongst my friends I am known for my hatred of spiders. It is not necessarily a phobia, but if I am aware of the existence of a spider near me I just don't feel safe. So yeah, I find spiders scary... and what happened to me a few minutes ago will not give me rest unless I share it with you. I was reading a book (R. A. Salvatore's "The Pirate King) and I noticed one of my Citadel Figure Cases that I hadn't opened in months. It was my Ork case with my Kommandos, Nobz and other metal models. And when I opened it I saw this:


Notice the little hole on the bottom right of the case. See it? See this weird white stuff inside? At first I thought it was a dust bunny or even some old paint that got in there.. somehow. BUT.. it wasn't. Yes, ladies and gentlemen.. it was a spider web. And there was something inside it. Yep. It was a god damned spider.
I poked inside with a pen to get it out, because it was bothering me and the little bugger crawled out of it and started to walk all over my case... until my power pen killed it. It was the size of my pinky and completely white. Oh, well. Yet another weird story to tell about the hobby.

Check your cases from time to time. You never know when a spider or some other terrible creature will decide to nest inside it, making a mockery of the miniatures inside.

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Raider Rush and Jetbikes Revisited.

The new Dark Eldar codex is only a few weeks away, so I figured I would post a basic tactic using and army based around Raiders. For those of you who don't know Raiders are the basic transport for Dark Eldar. While they are very fragile, they are also very good at their job; getting units around quickly. Being open topped not only allows the units inside them to disembark and assault in the same turn, but also allow every model inside to fire. This combination of abilities means that Raider can quite effectively give you the ability to hit your opponent hard before they can hit you. The downside to the raider is that they are extremely fragile, so hitting your opponent first is not only a benefit, but a necessity.

They technique starts in the deployment phase. If you go first (like the game in the example) try to spread your units up into three even sections. On your left and right sides evenly distribute your assault units and shooting units in Raiders. This allows you to maneuver to either side equally well, and makes your intentions harder to read. In the center (if you can) you will place your mobile firebase, either Ravagers in my case, or whatever you prefer. I like disintegrators on Ravagers because they can shoot quite far to support either side of the board. Always place your vehicles in cover, even if you are deploying first, you never know when someone will steal the initiative. If you are going second you have an easier time of deploying, you can see your opponents formations and counter them. Just be sure to deploy out of line of sight where possible.

It is now up to you to assess your situation and decide where to attack. Since you are evenly distributed in your deployment zone you should be able to attack anywhere on their side of the board. In this game I saw that my opponent had a Devastator squad in the building to the left, and I wanted to have cover saves against it as long as possible. I also saw that there was a dreadnought on the other side, and I figured I could easily punch through the armor and leave an opening on that side of the board for my Raiders to safely occupy. The cover was also more advantageous for me to go to the right, as there was a lot in the way of those Devastators. Just look at every unit your opponent has and imagine what I like to call their "threat radius," or how far they can attack. Sometimes you want to head toward the units with the longest range because that means their advantage will be lessened, and sometimes this also leaves the short range units too far away to stop you. Move your Raiders on the side your attacking 12" out, if you think you don't need the extra speed or if you really need to fire the dark lances. The other side should make a full 24" move if possible to try and meet the rest of the army. The center firebase should try and soften up units that either can hurt your Raiders or that your units will be attacking next turn. The idea is that on turn two your entire army hits at the same time. This leaves your opponent with nothing to attack you with in the nearby area, so you are only left with a handful of attacks against your fragile units.

Nightshields gave me great protection this turn, and they have really helped in most of my games with the old codex. Flickerfields are an interesting choice in the new book that gives your vehicles a 5+ invulnerable save, but your should really be using cover to your advantage wherever possible (it's free and a 4+). Notice how the only Raiders that are not using cover are the ones that are facing almost all s4 shooting.

Turn 2 is when almost all your units should be hitting. Move your combat unit transports the full 12" hop out your 3" and get ready. Your Raiders with warriors should try and move only 6" if they can get into rapid-fire range and try and take down small targets or ones with low armor. Fleet and Assault if nessisary for your combat units making sure to pick appropriate targets for each. In this case my Incubi went for the terminators and Captain, while my Wyches attacked a regular tactical squad. My warriors shot down and killed a combat squad with help from a Ravager, and all the raiders combined to finish off the Dreadnought.

After both close combats I tried to consolidate into cover. This is especially important for the Wyches as they only have a 6+ armor save and are real powerhouses as long as you can keep them alive. Some fire will inevitably take down some of your units, but if you are lucky and pulled off the initial move correctly, they should not be much left in range (or in general).

That leaves you turn 3 to either finish up combats or sweep out whatever is left of your opponent. Move your units back into their transports if they are still alive and repeat.

Just be sure that every step of the way to try and keep your Raiders in cover. With only armor 10 they go down even to bolter fire so having that 4+ save helps immensely. Nightshields are your best friend, especially on Ravagers, who can then outshoot heavy bolters safely.

I hope this can get starting Dark Eldar players on their way to victory, as those first few games can sometimes be rough. More advanced tactical guides will follow in the next few days, but despite this being rather basic it works very effectively in most of the games you will probably play. Be sneaky, Dark Eldar don't win by brute strength, always try to outsmart your opponent, and know more about their army then they do. Knowledge is power!

Speaking of knowledge I played a game using the new codex just so I could see how the reworked Reaver Jetbikes perform. After taking them for a spin I am still rather torn. The game was against Tau, and while the swoop attack was great against Kroot who were out in the open because they thought they were far enough away (spearhead deployment) I have a feeling they I won't be facing a squad of Kroot out in the open in every game I play in the future. I ran with a unit of 7, in fact I pretty much just rewrote my old list so the bikes had blasters and a unit leader with an agonizer (no more s5 punisher...). My basic assessment is that they need to be turbo boosting every round to survive. I did everything with them; swooped, shot, and assaulted. Everything was lackluster except for the fly-by swoop attack. I can't see blasters for tank popping being too effective considering the 5+ armor. With blasters being a 1 per 3 jetbike choice it means your unit has to be fairly large to guarantee the vehicle kill, and that becomes cost prohibitive really quickly. In my next game I will try a completely bare 6 man unit with no upgrades whatsoever. Hopefully this will keep their cost down, and make sure they have a set focus of "just being annoying." My plan is to use them to harass small units, soften up targets that I plan to shoot or assault, and to use the 36" turbo-boost to park next to enemy units that are falling back. I can also see them being helpful in a Two-Wave game plan when having all your Raider units hit at once isn't possible.

As the Dark Eldar are closing the distance..

.. their followers are slowly but surely starting to pop up again, eager to savor the pain and suffering of their victims. One of them is Average "Frozencore" Joe - the writer of the Wargamer to the Core blog.

One of Joe's Eldar Jetbikes!
Joe was one of the two people who got me into the hobby. It was him who ran me through my first demo game of Warhammer 40,000 back when he was part of Games Workshop. It was him who showed me the sheer brutality and awesomeness of the Orkz. It was him who taught me how to assemble my models, how to prime and paint AND he also inspired me to paint my plastic toys. The man is both a fantastic painter and an amazing  tactician when it comes to his Eldar, Dark Eldar, Sisters of Battle and even Orkz. This is my way of thanking him.

Check out his blog. It is still prepping its jet engines for a turbo boost in the blogosphere but Frozencore will surely be updating his blog about his experiences with the Dark Goth Chaos Space Elf Perverts.

Space Wolves Progress: I am almost done painting my converted Rune Priest! Decided to treat myself by painting him while Joe was working on his converted Dark Eldar Wyches and Vince was painting some jump pack Librarian and a Chaplain for his Blood Angels. I am still learning the fine details of painting power armor - things like proper highlighting and black-lining.  I also tried some fancier fur paint schemes with him which worked out for me, even though the guide was meant for less fine fur with more detail. It can be found in the White Dwarf celebrating the new release of the Space Wolves, but I'll make sure to post the gist of it when I'm able to take a picture of my Rune Priest. Tomorrow I'll hopefully be able to use my friend's spray gun to spray all my infantry marines with Shadow Grey!

I'm still trying to think of a name for my Rune Priest. Any suggestions?

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Planetstrike with Space Wolves: Bark at the Moon!

Our store recently started its second attempt to run a Planetstrike campaign, since the first one began when school started and people didn't show up. It is a nice "good vs. evil" mash and I'm fielding my Space Wolves on the "good team" - my other teammates are Space Wolves, Tau and Eldar and we are against Tyranids, two Blood Angel traitors and Chaos Space Marines. The whole set-up is a legal 2,000 pt. list with the option to have a 1,500 pt. core and then add 500 pts. of units depending on whether you are attacking or defending. The whole event is meant to be fun and is focused on writing an interesting narrative at the end.

My list for my first game was pretty straightforward with just a small change to my usual 2,000 pt. list that I field. The only difference is that the Rhinos are gone (I put my guys in the FREE Bastions) and instead I field a second x5 Missile Launcher Long Fang squad.
Planetstrike Space Wolves: DEFENSE
Skarvald the Troll-faced - Wolf Lord on a Thunderwolf Mount with a Frost Axe, Belt of Russ, Saga of the Beastslayer, Runic Armor                                                                                    Rune Priest with Living Lightning and Murderous Hurricane
Rune Priest with Living Lightning and Jaws of the World Wolf
Two units x9 Grey Hunters (Melta gun, Mark of the Wulfen, Standard) led by a Wolf Guard with combi-melta and power fist.
Two units x8 Grey Hunters (Melta gun, Mark of the Wulfen, Standard) led by a Wolf Guard with combi-melta and power fist. (Rune Priests go here)

5 Thunderwolf Cavalry (CCW/Bolt gun, Bolter, Meltabomb, Storm Shield, Thunder Hammer) for maximum wound allocation.


6 Long Fangs (Sergeant, x5 Missile Launchers) with a Wolf Guard in Terminator Armor with a Cyclone Missile Launcher
6 Long Fangs (Sergeant, x5 Missile Launchers)
  While the Space Wolves codex lacks a lot of units that can take advantage of the whole "You can Assault the turn you Deep Strike if you have the DP special rule already" our units are GREAT at defending objectives. When you get to put your Grey Hunters in what is essentially an immobilized Land Raider for free AND you get to set up the terrain to bottleneck your opponent and be able to redirect your forces where your units need help.. well... It's awesome! If you play your cards well you won't even need half of your army!

I was playing against a Blood Angels player who was fielding "shooty" terminators kitted out with Chain Fists, two crazy Dreadnoughts, Death Company in a Rhino, Death Company with Astaroth the Grim in a Land Raider and Sternguard Veterants in a Drop Pod. A pretty elite and hard-hitting list... but it was not a challenge for my wolves.

Especially since I definitely went overboard while placing the terrain. All of the bastions were close to each other with building in between that would prevent Deep Striking or easy assaults. Automated Quad-guns and Lascannons were all over the place and so were the many craters and trench networks. And one of the bastions that I fielded was deemed "the beardiest thing I've ever seen". Why? Well, because it had a Void Shield on it. And it was behind the Shrine of the Aquila which gave it a cover save.

The Emperor Protects!

After 14 (!!!) Firestorms one of my bastions was damaged and left without any weapons and my Vindicator was wrecked. Oh and I lost a few Long Fangs. The Emperor's bastion was immune to the orbital bombardment because of its void shield and not even a single shot was fired at it during the whole game. The Grey Hunters inside were pretty bored.. 

His turn he only deep struck his Terminators which didn't do anything to my Bastion. Instead my Thunderwolves came from reserve (mmm delicious re-rollable 3+) and on the side I wanted them to be, which mean an easy assault against his Terminators. Woot! Since his Terminators were pretty much out of line of sight I just charged them and killed everything but the Sanguinary Priest who resisted and remained in play. Good! It meant that my wolves were safe during his turn from any shenanigans that he had up his sleeve.

Next turn he brought two Dreadnought, his LR.... and pretty much everythign else. His Sternguards DP'd between two of my bastions which meant that they were now isolated from the rest of his army. Two bastions were destroyed that turn - one by a Dreadnought (the other one died to one of my Stratagems) who got immobilized by a Quad-gun which shot his rear armor. My Grey Hunters used an Escape Hatch and disembarked inside a conveniently placed bunker. The other bastion fell to the Sternguard. Whatever - now they were stuck between a rock and a hard place. In the assault phase the Sanguinary Priest died to my Wolf Lord on the brave riders consolidated towards Astaroth's Land Raider.
Long Fangs turned around and shot the rear armor of the immobilized Death Company Dreadnought making it explode. A lascannon from one of the bastions exploded the Death Company's rhino and 2 of them died from the explosion. 4 more died to krak missiles. One squad of Grey Hunters fired rapidly their bolters and meltas at the Sternies and my disembarked squad shot their pistols, some Murderous Hurricane and charged.
My Thunderwolves charged the Land Raider but failed to do anything. ; (

It's Ozzy singing "Bark at the Moon"
In His turn he only had a Death Company squad and his Death Star - Astaroth the Grim with a bunch of Death Company chumps in a Land Raider Redeemer. However he got greedy and deep struck his Land Raider really far way from my bastions which meant that even if he dealt with MY Death star he would be useless in the long run. Because he would have had to run for a long time. Hehe. Some meltas, AP3 Flamers and relentless rapid fire pretty much wiped my Thunderwolves. Well, sort of. The charge was what got them - Astaroth's tons of S6 power weapon attacks killed the rest of them, which mean that my Thunder Lord Skarvald the Troll-faced was left alone against the might of the Death Company. The Lord managed to kill SIX Death Company marines actually winning the combat and the Thunder Hammer guy who tried to hit him missed with all of his attacks.

His Death Company assaulted my Long Fangs on top of the building on the far left flank and actually failed to kill anyone. The battle was a tie. Skarvald the Troll-faced directed his attacks towards Astaroth, hitting with 5 and wounding with 4. Astaroth managed to wound him with two attacks and Skarvald lost a wound after having to reroll his 4+ invulnerable save. However, Astaroth suffered 3 unsaved wounds and died a heroic death.

And that was pretty much the end of the game. I was controlling all 4 objectives but we pretty much agreed that the game (save for his Land Raider) was going to end in a tabling in my favor.

Here's a song for all of you Space Wolves enthusiasts!

Man, Ozzy totally looks like Astaroth the Grim! Hahahahaha!

Saturday, October 16, 2010

Dark Eldar Spark

Well, Dark Eldar are on the horizon, and to say that I am excited would be a massive understatement.

I have been playing Dark Eldar for about as year and a half now, as a break from my Jetbike Eldar list. I must say that even for an old book, the army is really fun. Dark Eldar was the army that got me into Warhammer 40k, along with the Witch Hunters, so seeing them get a new book is awesome. Way back in the day I only played Fantasy, and I considered 40k to be a "lesser game." That all changed when I read an article in a White Dwarf where someone described the in-depth tactics and strategies on how to play Dark Eldar. I saw much more complexity in this game than I ever knew existed, and I was hooked.

I waited, and I waited for a new book with better models, because I just couldn't shell out the cash for those old hideous units. Last spring I got tired of waiting, so I started converting and working on my own models.

With the advent of a new Dark Eldary era upon us my efforts for converting have waned, because the new models are just spectacular.

All in all my raider-heavy list built for speed hasn't changed much at all except for the strength through pain special rule that will make my wyches and incubi much more resilient. The reworked units (pretty much everything else in the army) seem like they are in general much better and more viable and the new stuff looks cool too so hopefully there will be all sorts of different armies cropping up.

That isn't to say that everything is great, the book is an improvement to be sure, but there are some changes that I really question.

First off dark eldar jetbikes, no longer give +1 strength or a 4+ save, and HQs no longer get the option to be mounted on them. This one is a biggy, there is a HUGE drop in their battle effectiveness for the ability to turbo-boost 36" and do a weak flyby attack. I would expect a larger points drop for what they lost...pretty much the ability to kill things and not die when sneezed on. Turbo boosting that far is cool and all, but a 3+ cover can only get you so far, and I really don't see this unit being able to kill anything in close combat or shooting without dieing instantly.

The splinter rifle is still rapid fire, and warriors are still mediocre. Enough said here really, not a huge problem, as the army has plenty other ways to deal damage, but it would have been nice to give the basic warrior the option to be a light assault unit for fun. I will try new weapon loadouts on my warriors to see if I can get them to be more effective. Overall warriors continue to be pretty sub-par as a core unit compared to everything else in the game.

Hellions can pull independent characters out of units when they hit an run. This rule is pure fun, but I just don't see it being something that I would want to do every game. Since it is used as part of a hit-and-run move it just isn't that tactically sound. All I can see it being used for is to separate characters from a unit that gives them buffs or vice versa (like pulling a Weirdboy to lower his leadership from mob rule so he can't pass psychic tests).

Incubi squads can't have warriors in them anymore. Right now, I wound allocate on my Archon bodyguard like crazy, it really makes them the only unit in the book who can take a beating. Armor ignoring wounds can go to the warriors who have crap armor anyway, keeping those Incubi alive and kicking. Feel no Pain won't help this much, so it seems like Incubi will be less resilient in the new book for against people who really want them dead (which is everybody).'

Those are the big ones that rub me the wrong way, but overall I must say that new is good for the Dark Eldar.

Friday, October 15, 2010

Getting there!

Our Space Wolves Adepticon 2011 army is slowly unfolding. Pretty much everything has been built -
Last night I help one of my team mates to build his 10 Grey Hunters. He still needs to build his only Rhino and then he has to fix his warped Space Wolves Rhino doors. Vince has already built his Rhinos and will also need to put the doors on his two Rhinos. Other than that all Thunderwolves have been built... except my Wolf Lord on a Thunderwolf.

Yesterday I finished building the 2 remaining Long Fang members with Missile Launchers. I had just enough actual missile launchers but was missing the supporting hands that hold the weapon in place. Instead I used bolter hands and put a small missile in each as if they were loading the missile launcher. Looks pretty good! I also drilled the muzzles of all of my bolt guns and bolt pistols. That was like 40 drilled miniatures and some of them had a bolter and a bolt pistol, tee hee! And then I primed them. That took a while. I'm a perfectionist when it comes down to priming my models and I revisit every miniature to make sure that it has been properly sprayed. I must have primed around 60 models that day (I am responsible for assembling and painting two out of the four 1,000 pt. armies). And those were just the infantry models. I will prime the Thunderwolves and vehicles later - maybe when we are done painting the Grey Hunters and Long Fangs.

I still need to build one more Rune Priest and add some jib-jabs to my Rhinos and my Vindicator. We should start spraying Shadow Grey on the models pretty soon. 

Friday, October 1, 2010

A Warhammer 40k joke!

Progression has been really slow these few days. I have a part-time job helping a friend out with his franchise.
The Adepticon team is supposedly finally going to start meeting and we're going to try and finish our armies... well... at least assemble them. Then we'll start trying out the test paint scheme that I suggested, we'll come up with a team name and I'll draw some sketches of our display board and hopefully share them with you. Not trying to be secretive, I just have all of these ideas in my head but me and my teammates will have to talk first.
Until then, here's a slightly paraphrased and changed joke that my friend John shared with me:

An Imperial Guard platoon is defending an important bastion from an incoming Ork Waagh! The fight has been going for months with both sides losing numbers, but the Orkz are prevailing and on top of that the Guardsmen are running out of ammo and chargers. Luckily the Commissar responsible for the platoon has an idea.
"Alright, men! Listen! The greenskins are stupid. They are really, really dumb and superstitious. All you have to do is point at them and yell "DAKKA! DAKKA!" and they'll fall on the ground dead simply because they'll think they are dead". The Guardsmen of course don't believe him so to prove his point the Commissar stands up above the sandbags, points a finger at an ork and says "DAKKA!". The ork looks at him surprised, grabbing his chest. "DAKKA!", repeats the Commissar and the second shot finds the ork dead on the ground. 
Of course all the Guardsmen start yelling and pointing fingers all over the place and sure enough the horde of greenskins is decreasing slowly but surely. After a few hours only a single ork remains.
The Commissar smiles and starts walking slowly towards the xeno, who is charging towards him completely unarmed. The man slowly points his finger, aiming for the ork's head and yells "DAKKA!"
Nothing happens. The ork is getting closer.
"DAKKA!" he repeats, this time louder. 
Nothing. The Ork Boy is almost next to him..
Nothing. This time his fellow Guardsmen are supporting his suppressing fire with even more "DAKKA!"
The ork is just a few metres away from the man and now he notices that the creature is mumbling something to himself. 
And then the Commissar gets crushed to death by an invisible force. A millisecond before his death he finally hears what the Ork has been saying all this time.

Help Dave Taylor's Cause!

Dave Taylor's Legio Custodes

 You have probably read about this in some of the bigger blogs in the blogosphere, but here I am, trying to spread the word.
Dave Taylor is selling some armies on eBay to try and help two of his friends who desperately need all the support they can get. You can learn more about the situation from this post. It is a very noble cause in which he hopefully succeeds. We all know in one way or another how hard it is to give away something that you spent so much time working on, but we also know that life is cruel and unexpected and horrible things happen for no reason to good people.

Dave just started an auction for his Legio Custodes army (lost of pics here) on eBay. The auction could be found here! Check it out and if you cannot afford to bid maybe you could help Dave by spreading the word on your blogs, websites or among your friends.

Good luck, Dave!

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Early Space Wolves Tactica against the rumored Dark Goth Chaos Space Elf Perverts (Dark Eldar)!

Like a angry swarm of hornets the Warhammer community is getting even more impatient and nervous now that the Dark Eldar rumors turned out to be a fact and not fiction. Congratulations, long-time Dark Eldar players, this is an update well-deserved.

Coolness factor: Bred with Daemons!
I am also salivating at the beautiful new models, but the unit that I really want to see the most are the new Mandrakes. They probably won't have the same cool rules as they do in their current (as of right now) codex, but I can picture them having a rule similar to the one Ymgarl Genestealers have. Except, hopefully you'll be able to run more than 1 unit of them. Also, needless to say - THEY LOOK SO COOL.This sketch also proves that the Mandrakes are also on the cover of the new Dark Eldar codex. What is known so far is that they apparently "have a shooting attack that gets stronger with every kill they make".

But enough with all the rumor jibba-jabba. I am not the person to talk to about their new codex or tactics. This post is supposed to quickly jot down the various ways that we, the Space Wolves, can deal with the new wave of Dark Goth Chaos Space Elf Perverts. This post need to be taken with a grain of salt, since we don't know about all of their special units and upgrades. This is a basic guide that will give you some helpful tips and tricks against the essence of the Dark Eldar. Once the codex is available I will revisit this post and add new ways to sink your teeth into their pale throats. So if you'd rather fight and kick the Dark Eldar's ass than pray they don't take you alive make sure you read the Early Space Wolves Tactica against the rumoured Dark Goth Chaos Space Elf Perverts (Dark Eldar)!  

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Da Odd Boy Out!

Wuz dat, Bozz? We can call da Waaagh on da first turn??

AND we can Waaagh evry turn we wants to unless we'z decide ta fight and krump each uvur? We can hav as many Boyz in da mob as we wants to? We take less time ta moov!!?
Wait. Wut do yer mean "No dakka"??? I can't use my shoota? WE'Z NEED MOAR DAKKA!

Hehe. My friends Will and John were playing a friendly Warhammer Fantasy battle - Orcs versus the Empire. I just happened to have a single painted Ork Boy with a Shoota from my painted 1,000 pt. Adepticon list and I decided to have some fun. The boy was subbing for this unit's champion and although I only managed to see the first turn of the game, this unit was the only one that managed to call a Waaagh.
And it was totally because of their future cousin.

Saturday, September 18, 2010

Are Space Wolves Overpowered?

Are Space Wolves overpowered? 
The question was haunting me after a 2,000 pt. game I played against Chaos Space Marines a few days ago.
It didn't hit me because I thought they were overpowered, it is what my opponent thought... and it sort of got to me. Space Wolves are my second army and like my Orkz I decided to play them because of their style, look and fluff. It was not a specific mechanic, it was not a specific unit (although I fell in love with the Rune Priests and Thunderwolf Cavalry)... it was the whole army in general that got to me. I love the way they are supposed to be played - brave, heroic packs that fight for glory and use their cunning instincts to surround and trap their enemy.

It is what I do, what my list was designed to do and what won me that one game. I simply played my army the right way.
 But it just sucks that after you win a game in which you gave your best as an army general and a sportsman to have your army be called overpowered. It just makes the victory sour when you know your opponent is thinking that the only reason you beat him was because of your army and army list.. 

I was playing against a very powerful Slaanesh-themed army with some Noise Marines, Chosen, Slaanesh Terminators, Defiler, Chaos Sorcerer, Raptors, a Chaos Lord and a Demon Prince with Wings. There were 2 Rhinos on the board and one was outflanking. The Terminators were going to Deep Strike. He also had 2 units of Obliterators - I think 1 and 2..Three HQs, but that was because it was his Planetstrike list. No biggie.
A lot of people think that Chaos Space Marines are outdated... and they are right, of course.  

However, from the games that I have played against them, even a fairly new CSM player can give Space Wolves a run for their money. They are just a lot of units that can give us (and especially Thunderwolves) a bad day - Defiler with their S10 attack are deadly. Khorne Berzerkers are very mean even against Thunderwolves on the charge and hit us on 3s and wound on 4s before we can say "Aaargh!". Chaos Lords have some scary equipment options, their Terminators are cheaper than ours and can Deep Strike and Slaanesh-devoted armies are just as killy in close combat PLUS have a higher initiative than us. 

My List? Notice how I do not play Razorspam or Thunderwolf Spam. My list is simple:
2 Rhinos with 9 Grey Hunters and 2 Rhinos with 8 Grey Hunters. They all have a guy with a melta gun, Wolf Banner and Mark of the Wulfen. All four squads of Grey Hunters have a Wolf Guard with a combi-melta and a Power Fist and two have a Rune Priest. One has Living Lightning, Murderous Hurricane and a Chooser of the Slain, the other one has Living Lightning and Jaws of the World Wolf (useless against Slaanesh!). A squad of Long Fangs with 5 Missile Launchers were accompanied by my fifth Wolf Guard in Terminator Armour with a Cyclone Missile Launcher. And the "cheese" - 5 Thunderwolves with different equipment and a Wolf Lord on a Thunderwolf with Saga of the Beast Slayer, Frost Axe, Runic Armor and Belt of Russ.
Oh, and a Vindicator.

Is it a good list? Yeah, I think so. It uses a lot of Grey Hunters, which are really good. I have the Vindicator in the middle, surrounded by two Rhinos to hide side armor. The Thunderwolves start in a flank, getting cover from one of the Rhinos and my Long Fangs are in a building in the center of my deployment zone where they can support my army with 7 Missiles a turn. The Thunderwolves are always a tasty distraction which absorbs a lot of fire or a scary unit in my flank, which forces my opponent to pay more attention on the other flank. My Rhinos move as a group, leaving only when they can unleash their Rapid Fire bolters and prepare for a Counter Attack. If they survive, they will be joined by more Grey Hunters. \(o_O)/

At what point does an army become overpowered? Or are there just certain abusive lists that are overpowered? I am aware of point-and-click razorspam lists that require no skill to play (no matter what "competitive players" think), but the list that I field is pretty far away from that type of play. There are a lot of other units that I would love to field - Arjac Rockfist, Njal Stormcaller, Lone Wolves, Fenrisian Wolves.. but I either don't have the models or a way to play them (for example - a drop pod or a Land Raider for Arjac/Njal). The list that I field is close to one of the possible combinations for Adepticon 2011 and it is intended to be able to face all challengers, yet I enjoy playing it and think that other people should also enjoy playing against it. This was supposed to be a friendly game, but my opponent got frustrated by my luck and his own misfortune. Add the fact that he had never played against Space Wolves before (even though I'm a SW newbie) and I am afraid that he will never play me or my army ever again. I am afraid now that if I play more people they will think the same thing.. I play in a very new Games Workshop store and the community is still small and young so I don't want to be "that guy".

Make sure to read the battle report below