Thursday, December 29, 2011

What am I getting after the Land Raider Achilles?

Skarvald has been bitten by the Forge World bug... He has Forge World fever... Hmmm...
Tim from Miniature Tim spoke about his FW shiny stuff syndrome already.
So what can I say besides "I hate you, Forge World ... Love, Vlad"

The Land Raider Achilles that I ordered from Forge World a few days ago is not even in my hands.. heck, it probably hasn't even shipped yet.. Yet I find myself craving for some crack.
What is it going to be this time, you ask? 

Is.. is that a Leman Russ Exterminator??
Yeah. I know what you're going to say. "But Skarvald, you cannot have a Leman Russ in your army. Stop going after cheesy vehicles. You don't even like the Imperial Guard!!" And you would be right.
No, Space Wolves cannot take a Leman Russ Exterminator in their current Codex. But they used to in 3rd Edition. The Space Wolves have a few LRE's in their possession and are known for their use from time to time. It really fits the bill, though. With a twin-linked autocannon, a lascannon and heavy bolter sponsons it is a very well-rounded tank. It's great at mowing down infantry, it's okay at destroying light vehicles and it is a tough, durable tank.

AV 14/13/10 is nothing to scoff at.
It's is not a Punisher or an Executioner - it just really doesn't have their scary factor.
 It is very similar to a Predator Destructor, which can take the same weapons (minus the lascannon), but I've always liked the visual profile of a Leman Russ. Besices, come on, it's called a friggin' Leman Russ. LEMAN RUSS. Our Primarch!  

And to be honest.. I already have the Leman Russ Battle Tank chassis somewhere... Been thinkin' what to do with it for a long time. I think I got it for my birthday.. two years ago? Oh, wait. It was a Secret Santa.
Back then I wanted to make a Looted Wagon out of it for my Orkz, but defacing a Leman Russ sounds so cruel to me right now. I'll eventually go for a full squadron of them and use them in Apocalypse games. Heck, I might even use them as Predator Destructors in friendly games. ;)

Does my desire have something to do with a couple of the new achievements I added to the Space Wolves Achievements list?
Tanks for Nothing, GW... - You own at least one fully painted (in Space Wolves colors!) Leman Russ Exterminator Battle Tank, despite it now longer being a legal option in Codex: Space Wolves. It's a part of our legacy, damn it! 
EXTERMINATE! EXTERMINATE! - Over the course of a game of Warhammer 40,000 or Apocalypse, wipe out a 20-man Necron Warrior unit from Codex: Necrons using only a Leman Russ Exterminator Battle Tank.
Maybe.... ;)

Tuesday, December 27, 2011

Killzone: Facebook, Podcasts.. Oh my!

Well, the holidays are over and as the last Christmas carols are turning into silent whispers in the night, the Special Operations: Killzone project is rising once again!
I know that we have been silent for the last week or so.. but now it's time to unleash the hounds.

Let's start with.. oh, I dunno.. The Killzone Facebook Group! Now you can follow us online and see what's new in the world of sneaky operatives and THE way to play a skirmish game of Warhammer 40,000. It's still a young page, but at least I'm hoping that it can turn into a source of information, where people post links to their battle reports, experiences and painted Killzone Teams. Ah, that would be glorious. 
The Social Media is definitely a great way to get things going, so then.. what are you waiting for? Join now! :P

Killzone has also been getting some publicity all over the web, which is nice because I honestly can't think of any other ways to lure you in. So.. yeah... good thing that others are now doing it for me *maniacal laughter*
The folks from the Signals from the Frontline (from Frontline Gaming) podcast have.. well.. a podcast about Killzone and some other Fantasy rumors. They seem genuinely excited to give Killzone a shot and from what I hear they also have a good grasp of the basic rules as well, which is great. I might be a whelp when it comes to designing a game, but I felt a sense of pride and shared their excitement for the game. It's amazing to see/hear/read about other people who want to play and be a part of Killzone as much as I do.

That's all the Killzone I have for now.
Update on the Land Raider Achilles situation: Today I exchanged the Land Raider Crusader/Redeemer kit I got for Christmas over at the Chicago Battle Bunker. Since they can order directly from Forge World the cost of my Land Raider was subtracted from my overall purchase, so it was just like buying a Land Raider and then the Achilles Conversion. I am actually super excited, folks. Besides the Land Raider Achilles kit I also picked up the Space Wolves Land Raider Doors and the Land Raider Spaced Armour upgrade. Because.. you know.. when you do field a Land Raider Achilles you either go big or you go home. Oh, and did I mention that I'm slapping a Vindicator Siege shield on that bad boy? Yeah. It's gonna be huge.

And that's WITHOUT the Spaced Armour. You mad?

Sunday, December 25, 2011

Introducing Bran Redmaw: Rules and Stats

Wolf Lord Bran Redmaw
If you are a Space Wolves player you've probably seen Bran Redmaw's Forge World model and are already aware that he is the Wolf Lord involved in the The Doom of Mymeara campaign book, also from Forge World. The Doom of Mymeara is the 11th Imperial Armour book and the main players in it are the I.G and Eldar. Space Wolves provide the obligatory Astartes presence and while their role is brief (meaning we only get a named HQ and a single Apocalypse Formation) they do get to kick some major xeno ass. Or so I've been told..

But this post is not about The Doom of Mymeara.
It is about Wolf Lord Bran Redmaw...

So like I said, Wolf Lord Bran Redmaw is the only "new" toy we get from the book. He is mentioned in Codex: Space Wolves (p. 16) and the symbol of his Great Company is that of the Bloodied Hunter. He is known to be a very patient and cunning hunter who stalks his prey and then unleashes his hidden Grey Hunters when the moment is right. And when the waiting is over.. the feral bloodshed begins..

He is known as Wolf Lord Bran Redmaw, Curs'd Lord, Wulfen-Kin, The Bloodied Hunter..
He is the epitome of patience and savagery.

His gimmick? He will randomly transform into a 12 feet tall Wulfen until the end of the game and gains a whole different model, stats, gear and special rules.

Bran Redmaw's price tag is 210 points, putting him between Ragnar Blackmane's 240 pts. and Canis Wolfborn's 185 points.

Points Breakdown:
Bran Redmaw has the stats of a basic Wolf Lord (100 pts.)
WS6, BS5, S4, T4, W3, I5, A4, Ld10
He also comes with the standard Frag and Krak grenades and a bolt pistol. Here's the rest of the stuff he comes with. I put the prices of each thing to try and see ho many points he's actually worth, but he comes with all of the things listed below.
  • Wolftooth Necklace (10 pts.) - Always hits models with a WS value on a 3+ regardless of WS. 
  • Rune Armour (20 pts.) - 2+ armor save, 5+ invulnerable against wounds caused by psychic powers. Standard.
  • Belt of Russ (25 pts.) - Identical to a SM's Iron Halo - confers a 4+ invulnerable save. 
  • The Axe of Langnvast (25? pts.) - It is apparently a Space Wolves relic. In-game it is a two-handed power axe that grants +1S in close combat and allows the wielder to re-roll failed roll to wound. It is sort of like a two-handed Frost Axe
He also comes with the standard ATSKNF, IC, Acute Senses, Counter-Attack rules that every Space Wolves HQ has. In addition he has:
  • Saga of the Hunter (10 pts.) - A great, fluffy saga, which gives Bran the Stealth USR. It also allows him to come from Reserve using Outflank and he can be joined by Fenrisian Wolves!
  • Patient Hunters - Perhaps the main reason to take Bran Redmaw! He gives a single Grey Hunter pack the Infiltrate USR or they may use the Behind Enemy Lines special rule as if they were Wolf Scouts!!
  • Curse of the Redmaw: There's a pretty big paragraph explaining this one. Basically as the battle goes on Bran might turn into a scary Wulfen. Starting on turn 2, before any movements are done roll a D6. He succumbs to The Redmaw on a 6+ turn 2, 5+ turn 3, 4+ on turn 4 and then on a 3+. He also gets +1 on the roll for each SW unit locked in combat that turn. 
What can we gather from his gear, equipment and special rules? Bran Redmaw is a utility Wolf Lord who specializes in close combat. His total gear and equipment add up to ~190 points. For ~20 points you get the ability to Infiltrate/Outflank with a unit of Grey Hunters AND Outflank Bran with a pack of Fenrisian Wolves. He is no Ragnar Blackmane in close combat, but he is as fast and deadly as any other generic Wolf Lord. We can say that Bran's special rules and equipment very accurately portray his character and combat style. As I said before.. he is ALL about patience.

The Redmaw:
When Bran turns into a Wulfen he becomes The Redmaw until the end of the game. This form is tough, vicious and visceral.
WS7, BS-, S6, T6, W3, I6, A5, Ld8, Sv -
He loses ATSKNF, but gains in addition to IC, Acute Senses and Counter-Attack (ready for this?).. the following: Monstrous Creature, Fleet, Eternal Warrior, Feel No Pain, Furious Charge, Fearless.

6th Edition Update:
In addition to the list above, Monstrous Creature grants The Redmaw the following:
Hammer of Wrath - A single I10, S6, AP- attack the turn you charge. Not too shabby.
Move Through Cover - 6th Edition made this USR amazing as a single model in a unit bestows it upon the entire unit, granting +d6 when rolling for difficult terrain (usually resulting in rolling 3d6 and picking the highest) and ignoring all Dangerous Terrain tests!
Smash - All attacks (except for Hammer of Wrath) are resolved at AP2 and you can choose to halve the Attack Characteristic (5), which after ROUNDING UP (3) still gets you 4 attacks on the charge, resolved at Doubled Strength (6x2 = 12, but maximum is 10) and you can choose to re-roll armor penetration rolls. You can now signle-handedly get rid of vehicles with AV10-13, and you should be able to glance or even easily penetrate to death even Land Raiders!  
Relentless - Does Nothing For You... no ranged weapons.

He also loses all of his equipment except for the Wolftooth Necklace. So no he only has --/5+ due to Feel No Pain but a 5+ invulnerable save, no grenades.
Interestingly enough he does not have Rending like models with Mark of the Wulfen.

As of February 13, 2012, Bran Redmaw's Redmaw form was updated via the IA11 Q&A FAQ:
Pg127 – The Redmaw:
Add Monstrous Creature to the Redmaw’s Special Rules. Note that Bran Redmaw does not gain this ability before he succumbs to the Curse of the Redmaw. 
Note that the rest of the article was written before The Redmaw was considered to be a Monstrous Creature, giving him +1d6 on penetration rolls, power attacks and Move Through Cover. This makes him even better now as he now excels at killing all kinds of units. With S7, I6 and 6 AP2 attacks on the charge, the Redmaw should be able to take care of literally any infantry and most vehicles.

So what's the difference between Bran Redmaw and The Redmaw?
Well, they both have different types of survivability. Bran Redmaw's "human" form is perfect against the more elite units. Things with power weapons, which his 4+ invulnerable save can negate and opponents with good armor, which Bran's power axe can shred through. As such he is perfect against Space Marines of any flavor, especially Terminators without Storm Shields. He can also go against a lot of IC's if you're lucky. The lack of Fleet definitely will slow down his Fenrisian pack, though.
The Redmaw is the opposite of Bran. Where he lacks armor and invulnerable save he compensates with T6, Eternal Warrior and Feel No Pain. His super Toughness is kind of wasted when with a lot of Fenrisian Wolves, but if he's getting shot at remember that he still has Stealth. He'll be getting a 3+/FnP in many cases, which is pretty damn good if you ask me. Where The Redmaw shines at is actually hunting vehicles. Yes, you will be hitting them on 4+ or 6+ most of the time, but you'll be getting 6 S7 attacks. Surely they ought to do something against a vehicle, maybe even Immobilize it so your Fenrisian Wolves can tear it to shreds.
The loss of your power weapon makes you weaker against units with good armor, but you should be able to take care of horde units without a problem. Position your character to maximize as many opponents in B2B contact and make them waste their attacks on you, protecting your precious wolves..

I don't think you have to roll for Bran's Curse unless he is on the table, meaning that if you fail to bring him on turn 2, you won't have to make the roll. I am not 100% sure on that one, though, so don't quote me on it.

Saga of the Hunter - With that being said.. I think it's imperative that you Outflank Bran with Fenrisian Wolves. Yes, they will lose on their Fleet Move if Bran is in his human form and yes they will lose on the 12'' charge, but just the psychological effect that a unit of 15 Cavalry models, lead by a psychopath will cripple your opponent's strategy. Remember, Space Wolves excel at fighting in the middle of the table where they can all support each other, so basically what you'll be doing is sort of.. herding your opponent towards it, because the edges of the board are not safe! This is also where Saga of the Wolfkin might come in handy if you plan on running a second, cheaper character. I5 Ld7 on the Fenrisian Wolves will give them the upper hand against I4 armies as long as you don't charge through difficult terrain and if for any reason you decide to remove Bran from the unit they'll at least have a small Ld boost. It's something to think about.

Just make sure you name your Cyberwolf Summer..
Patient Hunters - The entire "herding the enemy" mentality is reinforced by this rule and what a great rule this is. Grey Hunters with Behind the Enemy Lines! You will surely want to capitalize on that, by having a decently decked out pack of Grey Hunters. I wouldn't leave the Fang without a 10-man unit with at least 2 Meltaguns and a Wolf Standard. This is where the rest is tricky. Do you get a plasma pistol, knowing that you might be able to get rear armor on some vehicles? Do you go for a Power Fist on one of the Grey Hunters as well, knowing that you'd probably try and multi-assault some vehicles, given the big footprint of your unit? What about Mark of the Wulfen.. heh. You also should totally have a Wolf Guard leading them. You need that third melta (even thought it's a combi-weapon) and I would totally spend the 5 extra pts. to give him a Thunder Hammer, rather than a Power Fist. Now, if running a Terminator Wolf Guard is your cup of tea go ahead and get him a Chain Fist.
Basically you can afford the extra points of gear, because this unit won't be needing a Rhino.

Despite the possibility of killing a bunch of things on turn 2 by appearing behind your enemy, I would rather have them appear on turn 3 or 4, unless I'm playing Annihilation. Why? Because they are a Troops choice and you can kind of steer them in the direction - towards the objectives. This is where the Grey Hunters will outshine the Wolf Scouts - you don't feel bad for running a full squad of them, because they are a Troops choice and they are not super specialized. 3+ trumps 4+ as well.
Obviously the best way to take advantage of this rule would be to make sure that your army can support the Grey Hunters. Running two units of Wolf Scouts + the BEL Grey Hunters + Bran's Outflanking Wolves is going to give you 4 units with an alternative deployment, which is nice.
It is going to freak out your opponent, especially if those Wolf Scouts are 10-man units lead by Wolf Guards.

 Running two Drop Pods is also a nice trick. One can drop near an objective in your side's vicinity or toward the middle OR drop empty. The other one is going to be there to support your outflankers. Simply roll for reserves and if you happen to have your Drop Pod with your outflankers make sure to roll the Drop Pod's location and scatter dead last. You'll drop it where your outflankers will need the support OR in the table edge that's without support. We're trying to herd them towards the middle, remember?

So is Bran Redmaw worth it?
Yes. Yes, he is. Despite his randomness and his unpredictable gimmick Bran Redmaw is worth it if you are willing to invest in his patient hunt. For 210 points you get a slightly above average close combat monstrosity that's good against both elite and horde armies (if you are lucky) and whose combat and tactical utility is worth every point. Like any other special character you need to build a list around him, which is not very hard when you pretty much only need Wolf Scouts and Grey Hunters. Bran provides a new and refreshing way to play your Space Wolves, while also letting you field the army in a very fluffy and traditional way. It's sort of like playing Raven Guard, I suppose? Remember - as Bran Redmaw you are the stalker. You are the hunter and not the prey. You are the patient, cunning wolf. You dictate the outcome of the battle, not your opponent.
Since the addition of the Monstrous Creature rules to his Redmaw profile I would say that given Bran's utility he can be considered an auto-include in any Space Wolves army list based on mobility, surprise, outflanking and simply outmaneuvering. 

Do I agree with the "Warhammer 40,000 seal of appoval"?
Yes. I am a Space Wolves player, though, so I might be biased, but I don't see any ways to abuse any of Bran Redmaw's rules, and while he is certain going to be a pain in the butt with his outflanking capabilities, he is no Kayvaan Shrike of the Raven Guard, he is no Kor'sarro Khan of the White Scars and he is no Al'Rahim. He isn't even Snikrot, haha. He's definitely going to be a challenge when a part of a proper list, which is always good. For being a Special Character I believe that his points are if not spot on, then slightly too much for what you get, because he ends up losing a lot of gear when he turns into the Redmaw, but the outflanking shenanigans that he provides are well worth the price tag in my opinion.

I've also written 3 achievements that have to do with Wolf Lord Bran Redmaw - This Has Never Happened to Me Before, I Swear; Premature Lycanthropy; What Does the Auspex Say About His Power Level? You can find the achievements here

And last but not least, Bran Redmaw does not have a model yet.. but this limited edition Skinwolf from Forge World is just asking to be converted into The Redmaw.. 

Saturday, December 24, 2011

Merry Christmas!

"Sweet! A power candy cane! Thanks, Allfather!"
Merry Christmas, folk! Or whatever else you celebrate during this Holiday Season... or if your Holiday Season is already over.. or has yet to happen.. well.. then.. be happy, merry and jolly anyways!
And if you haven't bought a bunch of merchandise, then go buy some!

Well.. it seems like yet another year is about to end and a new one is right around the corner. Hopefully you've been nice and not naughty and hopefully you'll find a bunch of presents under the tree.

Here's what my Allmother got me this year: 

She actually managed to surprise me by sneaking out and buying me stuff from my wishlist over at the local GW, so when I went for the Secret Santa gift exchange we had there I found two boxes under the tree.
The IA: Apocalypse Second Edition is a gorgeous book and it's my very first Imperial Armour book. The quality is great and it does have some nifty things in it, like all the Contemptor Dreadnought and the Land Raider Achilles... plus some awesome Orky things.
For the most part I also agree with the different Apocalypse and Warhammer 40,000 "stamps of approval", but that's another post of its own. And in the meantime, people really need to stop raging. It's not that bad once you clearly read the rules. But of course, there are also some other issues that need to be addressed.

And the Land Speeder. Ah, I finally got one. He is still in the box as I'm still trying to figure out if I want to run him as a Heavy Bolter/Typhoon Missile Launcher or as a Heavy Flamer/Multi-Melta.
I think I might actually magnetize him, just in case. I do need some extra meltas and my army does lack flamers, though. But what if I need the extra missiles? Gah!

Here's a nifty poem I found at the Space Wolves forum over at B&C, written by someone by the name of  fudal78:

With apologies to Clement Clarke Moore:

Twas the night before Christmas, when all through the Fang
Not a Wolf Priest was stirring, Swift Claw or Long Fang.
The tankards were hung in the Great Hall with care,
In hopes that the Allfather soon would be there.

The Blood Claws were nestled all snug in their beds,
While visions of blood and guts danced in their heads.
And Logan, the Greatwolf, an Axe in his lap,
Had hung up his Bolter for a long winter’s nap.

When out in the snow fields arose such a clatter,
Defence Lasers swivelled preparing to splatter,
Their targeting reticules trained on the sight,
But quickly stood-down with a beep of delight.

Out of the storm, stepped a shadowy figure
And as humanoids go, I’ve not seen one bigger!
Before him there strode two devilish beasts,
Both clearly great wolves with sharp, pointy teeth.

The wind whipped around him with hurricane force,
But the giant strode on staying true to his course.
He drew back his lips and spoke with a growl,
"On Freki and Geri, to the drinking hall now."

A climb to the gate was made in a trice
Over rocky outcrops encrusted with ice.
Russ stood at the door and bellowed a call,
“The Lord has returned once again to his hall!”

A single Blood Claw awoke from his slumber,
And sought out a snack to stifle his hunger.
On passing the hall he stopped with a gasp,
Beholding a sight he barely could grasp.

The Primarch spoke out to in a deep throaty roar,
"Be at peace now my son, and don't stay by the door,
Come join me in drink there's Ale and Mulled Wine,
My stay here is short, it's not yet Wolf Time."

He drank through the night recounting the Sagas,
Thirstily downing both bitters and lagers.
The Blood Claw sat opposite, silenced in awe
At the sight of the legend who'd walked through the door.

As good as his word at the first light of Dawn,
Russ gathered his Wolves and laid down his horn.
But he turned back and called, 'fore he went out of sight,
“Merry Christmas to all, and to all a good-night!” 

And don't forget to open my present to you (especially if you play Space Wolves!).. 

Merry Christmas!

Friday, December 23, 2011

Space Wolves Achievements!

You've bought the Codex. 
You've played dozens of games with them and quite possibly have reaped a great tally with the sons of Russ. Yet.. there is something.. Something that's stopping you from unlocking the true potential of the Space Wolves. What is it?

There is no incentive.
You often find yourself browsing through the Codex, thinking of all those insane combinations, all the great possibilities that just wait to be unleashed upon your enemies, but the motivation is simply not there.
Why change your "Take All Comers" list and try something that may not work? Is it worth the risk?
Don't you sometimes wish that your favorite hobby had an achievement system? Something black on white that reminded you of your accomplishments, that inspired you to always take things a step further, to always go for the exciting aspect of the hobby?
Now there's something that will reward you for your daring personality. A list of great deeds that will continue the Saga of your Space Wolves as you unlock the full epicness of Codex: Space Wolves.

There are 100-something Achievements. Some of them will test your competitiveness. Others will task you with finally painting your army and even putting yourself way out there, seeking the approval of others. There are achievements for besting different foes, for playing various missions from many of the 40k supplement books (Planetstrike, Battle Missions, Apocalypse), for accomplishing the goals of all the Sagas and even some crazy achievements that have to do with fielding many of the Space Wolves Special Characters and doing the impossible (if there is even such a thing for us!) with 'em.

Some of them are easy. Some - challenging. Some achievements will require a totally different list, perhaps (and most likely) something you've never done before. Others are quite situational and you will need to seek out specific opponents to accomplish them... but all of them are supposed to reward you for doing something a little different. Winning with your super-optimized list might be fun, but gets boring after a while. Don't let that happen!!! We have one of the craziest, most flavorful codices out there with so many possibilities, so many insane combinations that if done properly will have you howling like a wolf and your opponents crying.
You might have accomplished some.. perhaps many of them... but 2012 is coming. Why not start from the beginning? Completing all achievements sounds like a GREAT New Year's Resolution to me, at least it will guarantee that your year won't be boring. how about even promising yourself that crazy expensive Forge World mini if you accomplish all of them? Or even sending your old buddy Skarvald the Troll-faced a beer.. or something, hehe..

Oh. And the list WILL grow. I will take all suggestions into consideration, which is why why the achievements are not numbered. Numbers are for Space Smurfs..
You will find the Space Wolves Achievements in the similarly named Page under the blog's header-image thing. And do let me know in the comments if you have any suggestions, if you accomplish a sweet achievement. I LOVE hearing your Sagas, so don't be afraid. IF you have your very own blog or you frequent any Space Wolves forums - share these achievements! Let your Space Wolf buddies know about them. I really think that they are a great way to spice up your hobby.

So enjoy... And happy achievement hunting!
- Skarvald the Troll-faced

Tuesday, December 20, 2011

Update on the Land Raider Achilles Conundrum

My last post was about the Land Raider I received for Christmas a few days ago, my desire to turn it into a Land Raider Achilles and my frustration when I learned that Forge World was only selling a complete conversion kit of the model and not just the conversion parts.

I e-mailed Forge World a few minutes ago and actually got a very quick response!
Here's what I asked:

Q: Hello, there! I just received GW's Land Raider kit for Christmas and quickly entered your website in order to purchase the Land Raider Achilles conversion kit. Unfortunately I found out that you guys only have a complete kit for the Land Raider Achilles which has the plastic Land Raider sprues and then all the resin conversion pieces needed for the conversion. Is it possible for me to order just the resin pieces for a different price or do I have to wait for a release of the conversion kit. More importantly, are you aware if a conversion kit is ever going to be released and if it might be coming out soon?
A:  Hi, 
Thanks for your e-mail. We do not sell a conversion kit of the Achilles, because of the amount of plastic that is replaced by the resin parts. Like the MkIIb and the Deimos Rhino, it wouldn’t be cost-effective as a conversion kit compared to the complete kit that we currently sell.

Ead Brown
Customer Service Manager
Forge World
So unfortunately for me there's no hope and reason to wait for the conversion kit to come out.. but this has only increased my desire to possess a Land Raider Achilles... Damn, I even have the perfect name for it as well..

So.. does anyone wanna trade their Land Raider Achilles for a Land Raider NiB? I'll pay the difference. ;D  

Until then... I'll be working on a super secret project that will change the way you play Space Wolves FOREVER.

P.S: Check out the sweet candy cane-wielding Santa Skarvald up top! Thank you, Frozencore Joe.

Monday, December 19, 2011

So.. I got a Land Raider. NOW what?

On Saturday the local Games Workshop had a Secret Santa gift "giveaway"-thing!
I drew the name of a really good friend o' mine whose I.G plasmacide Chimera spam list has been terrorizing all the little kids at the store. Though to be fair, my Space Wolves are not too excited about facing his little metal boxes. Same goes for my Orkz.

I gifted him the joy of having to put together 20 Cadian Shock Troops and then a Lord Commissar to lead them. ;D

And then he gave me a Land Raider! 
Turns out we drew each others' names!! ;D
I love Land Raiders.. but unfortunately I don't get to use them very often. I actually already have one - it's a Land Raider Crusader. And I'm pretty sure I've used him only once in a normal game of 40k to transport a bunch of angry Blood Claws with Arjac Rockfist. It's cool and what not, but I guess I don't like fielding it because it's not painted. I don't really remember how I sprayed my other vehicles.. hehe..

Now.. where I've used my Land Raider a bunch is in games of Apocalypse.
As a Land Raider Achilles. 

Yeah.. yeah. I know. Cheese. But it is so AWESOME to put something on the table knowing that it can actually survive despite all the scary templates, lances, meltas and other anti-tank shenanigans that are being thrown your way. I mean, come on. A THUNDERFIRE CANNON. And two twin-linked multi-melta sponsons :-O! Honestly, the Thunderfire Cannon is the only thing that I would gladly steal from Codex: Space Marines (okay, maybe the Land Speeder Storm school bus for our sweet Wolf Scouts to ride in..).
It has the word "thunder" in it, people!

So that's why I put the Land Raider kit in my list. The plan was to order the Forge World kit for the Land Raider Achilles and then convert it. But it wasn't until I sat on my computer all ready to order some resin crack until I realized that the only way to purchas the LR Achilles from Forge World is.. as a COMPLETE KIT. Basically they are selling a plastic Land Raider kit plus all the resin conversion parts that I actually need to make an Achilles. Well that sucks. Now I'm "stuck" with a Land Raider until Forge World decides to release only the conversion kit like they have done with all the other Land Raider variants. <_< I'm not spending all that cash in one big lump sum, you know? And I definitely don't want another Crusader or a Redeemer..

There's always the Orky option, though. Instead of waiting I could just unleash the Big Mek inside me and convert the Land Raider into (or is it "to"? Any Grammar Nazis out there?) an Ork Vehicle of some kind. Maybe a Battlewagon.. or something of the super heavy variety? Any ideas? 

Maybe you guys could help me with this decision?

Do I.. 
A) Wait for the Forge World conversion kit to come out and then make the Land Raider Achilles?
B) Convert it into/to an Ork vehicle?

Help me out, bros!

Saturday, December 17, 2011

Today is going to be Killzone-tastic!

Super excited, folks!
The elusive and crafty Brian from A Gentleman's Ones and my good ole buddy and co-blogger (although he as been *cough*silent*cough* lately) Frozencore Joe are stopping by the 'burbs for a day of Special Operations: Killzone play-testing. Basically the thing you should all be doing right now.
It's like.. buying Christmas presents. For yourself. For FREE.
Literally.. you can win stuff by playing games. Here's how.

As I already said.. I'm hyped. It has been a while since I got the chance to move models across the table and today should be a pretty exciting event. Will finally be able to play against Brian - for the first time, nonetheless.
We are going to hopefully play-test some of the new changes and just see how the game is flowing.. so to speak. Hopefully we'll be able to cull as many things not working as intended today.

What list am I bringing? Well, I'll be giving the Silensurz a spin, but this time the list is revised and I'll be playing with some new options. So here's my list:

Da Silensurz
Unnamed Team Leader - Deffkopta with twin-linked big shoota
Thermal Imaging (grants Acute Senses), Penetrator Rounds and Hard to Kill (grants Feel No Pain)

Unnamed Deffkopta - Deffkopta with twin-linked big shoota
Thermal Imaging (grants Acute Senses), Penetrator Rounds

Deffgrin Gargleblasta - Ork Boy with a Big Shoota
Psyklopz - Ork Boy with a Big Shoota
Grimjaw - Ork Boy with a Big Shoota
Da Ledbelcha and Corki - Ork Boy with a Big Shoota
Zodrukk da Gitfinda - Ork Boy with a Big Shoota

Unnamed Ork Boy Nob - 'eavy armour
Stealth Suit (grants Stealth, Scout and Move Through Cover), Smoke Grenades

Unnamed Killa Kan - big shoota
DAKKA! With the removal of the special weapon limit and concept this list now has even more dakka. There are 8 big shootas and two of them are twin-linked. My older list had no Deffkoptaz and instead had more infantry and Nobz - all of my five big-shootas were essentially twin-linked due to Crack Shot and my Nobz had Stealth Suits. However, with Crack Shot costing double the points (it went from 5 pts. to 10 pts.) and with Stealth Suits being limited issue equipment my old list had to go..
So - less foot-sloggin, but still enough. Less Stealth across the board but a way of granting it with the Smoke Grenades. However I'll be getting more maneuverability due to my Deffkoptas. I'm actually kind of excited to use them, ebcause they are really jacks of all trades, at least in Killzone.
I'd say that my shooting power is about the same. I'm just trading volume for accuracy.. or is it the other way around? ;D

With the list above I'm trying to address the following issues (most of which came up as I was writing the list):
  1. Can a Walker be the Team Leader? 
  2. Does the Close Combat Accessories general equipment upgrade count as a Close Combat Weapon for Walkers using Dreadnought Close Combat Weapons? 
  3. Can Smoke Grenades affect Walkers? 
  4. Can Walkers take the Medipack or Hard to Kill equipment and skill? 
  5. Can Walkers even benefit from Feel no Pain?
  6. Because Walkers can move and shoot all of their weapons, can they also fire Grenades of any kind, in addition to their regular weapons?
  7. Do Smoke Grenades count as shooting a weapon?
I'll be taking tons of notes and pictures throughout the day and hopefully I'll be able to deliver a Killzone update today or tomorrow! 

Thursday, December 15, 2011

Reminder: Killzone Giveaway #2 is Tomorrow!

That's right, my super sexy followers - A GIVEAWAY.
There's going to be yet another awesome giveaway over at A Gentleman's Ones and this time instead of an unaerodynamic flying shoebox Stormraven you'll be competing for a full-sized 6x4 Zuzzy textured mat.

Now you can practice the landing of your Stormraven while making funny noises on this sweet mat, that you get to paint and play sweet games of whatever the heck you want. You could even be creative and use it for.. well.. I dunno.. playing games of Special Operations: Killzone. It's like a Realm of Battle table.. except portable.. easier to paint.. pre-primed black.. and FREE.

Waddaya hafta do ta win it, Skarvald?
Download the v2.3 of Rules and Errata.
Play games.


I can't stress this enough - we need YOU to help US by play-testing Killzone. A LOT. 
See, we have all these crazy ideas.. all the time.. and we spend a lot of time on Skype discussing, balancing, measuring, cutting, typing, formatting - all for you. We really want people to enjoy Killzone, we really want it to stick around and be a fast-paced, cinematic way to immerse yourselves in the Warhammer 40,000 universe. 
That's why we need you to play games while we are reshaping the rules of the game, guys. We need your input. All of it. We need to know what we are doing right, but we also know what we are doing wrong. 
Do certain things need to change? Do certain things need to go the way of the dodo bird? 
If you ever thought to yourself "Man, I wish I was involved in the rules-writing process of this system!" then this is your chance to chip in by rolling some dice and moving a bunch of plastic dudesmen.

Oh, and you can totally win sweet prizes by doing so. Don't miss out!

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Is our very own Age of Strife approaching?

I've censored the following, in protest of a bill that gives any corporation and the US government the power to censor the internet-- a bill that could pass THIS WEEK. To see the uncensored text, and to stop internet censorship, visit:

████ law █████ be the █████████ of the end, my ███████. █████ of the ████ █████ ██████████, all of ████ ████████ ███████████ ████████ ████ do no ████ to you, me or ████ the ███████ ████████████ █████ are ███████ ███████████ and ███████ our █████. Do we ██████ ████ to ████ ████ ████ █████? Do we ████ to ██████ a ████████, █████████ ████████ ████ it has ██████ ████ an █████████ ████ of our █████? █████████ the ████████ ████ be ████ the █████████ and it has ████████ ██████. The ████████ █████ ████ to be █████████ to all of us in the old █████, but ████ it ██████ "█████████" to ███████ and ████ ███████ ██████ ████ ███████ to █████ ██████████ and █████. ████ the █████ ██████ ███████ and ██████ █████ use its ████ ███████████ to ███████ █████ █████, ████████ and ██████.. █████ ████? The ██████████ now has ███████ ████ ████ as ████ and ██████ ████ all █████ ███████████ are ███████ █████ by ███████ or if ████ are not ████ are not █████████. The ████ ████████ to the TV. Are we █████ to █████ the ████ to ██████ to our ███████ ████████? NO. We are not. ████ the ██████████ and █████ ██████████. If ████ ██████ █████ ████ BE █████. █████ ████ be █████████. The ██████ ████ ██████ ████████ ████ be ███████ ████████ to the ██████ of the ██████.
Uncensor This

Thursday, December 8, 2011

Rock-Con 2011: Gentleman's Grand Tournament, Game 3 vs. Clay McCarty's Dark Eldar

Well, after getting pulverized by Jarred's I.G list during the second game it was obvious that I wasn't going to win.

Not that I had any real hope of doing so, but the pressure was gone to say the least. I think of it as that sweet treat that helps you deal with the bitterness of defeat. Hmm.. the phrase "sadness doughnut" comes to mind, but I'm not sure why..
Honestly I had my ass handed to me and I just don't think that I could ever suffer a bigger defeat. ? Now I was just going to play against other Imperial forces, because lets face it, Xenos players just don't even bother to show up at tournaments.. Right? Right?


Enter Clay McCarty's beautifully painted and converted Kabal of the Crystal Spider! One of the few Xeno players at the tournament, Clay managed to surprise everyone with an astonishing aesthetics and a brutal virulent Dark Eldar list! Clay's army had a lot of bright colors - greens and sweet-looking purple were all over the place. His Venoms were all converted and looked very, very different due to some minor conversions and different painted patterns! Not to mention that every model was on a scenic base, even his fully built-from-scratch Razorwing was on one and it was atteched to it with a metal screw! Check a picture I took of his army during one of the first turns of our game and see for yourself:

Clay McCarty's Kabal of the Crystal Spider
Our game was incredibly brutal and kept on switching from slow-paced to fast-paced turn after turn.. after turn. And as always I failed to take a lot of pictures, especially during this game. I have to say, though, Clay's army is by far the best looking army I have ever had the chance to face against. 

Yet, just because his army was painted beautifully it didn't mean that his list was inferior. On the contrary, Clay ran a !@#$%^& scary-ass ultra-shooty list. Literally there were hundreds of tiny poisonous splinters every turn, a bunch of tiny but vicious Venoms with small, but deadly cargoes. Oh, and a 20-man Hellion blob lead by THE Baron. :-O

This was my first game against the new Dark Eldar to boot as well..
I knew what I had to do in theory, but was I going to be able to pull it off in practice?
We'll see if good ole Skarvald the Troll-faced had it in him after the jump..

Tuesday, December 6, 2011

Rock-Con 2011: Gentleman's Grand Tournament, Game 2 vs. Jarred Saxman's Imperial Guard

After winning my first game I took a deep breath and took my well-deserved 1 hour break. I didn't have a huge victory so I didn't expect to face the worst. Basically I was just hoping for anything but I.G or Grey Knights. And of course, my opponent just happened to be an I.G player. Was I doomed?

Enter Jarred Saxman's Imperial Guard! 
The fact that the I.G codex is still one of the armies out there says enough about the book itself. The Imperial Guard players have been able to use the versatility, efficiency and specialization to face every meta (ugh, how I hate this word..). Superior firepower in both volume and templates, durable and cheap vehicles, more troops than anyone else and the right tools for any job make the I.G an amazing codex that can face and beat any opponent.


With plenty of meltagun and plasma Veteran Squads, two very efficient triple twin-linked lascannon Vendettas, a Mandicore, two Hydras, a Leman Russ Executioner and a scary Psyker Battle Squad, Jarred's list was the Wolfsbane to my Space Wolves. I did, however, put up a fight despite being outclassed in everything and Jarred proved to be a very skilled and pleasant opponent to play against. I don't face I.G with my Space Wolves on a regular basis and never on such a level, but I believe that I've learned a few very important lessons.
Click on the image on the right for Jarred's list. 
I had to obtain a Scanner STC in order to present to you his entire list... There was no way I was going to type out the whole shebang. Noooo way..
Round 2
Sort of like this...
This mission follows all the normal rules for games of Warhammer 40,000 as outlined in the Organizing a Battle chapter of the Warhammer 40,000 rulebook (e.g, Ending the Game [p. 90], Seize the Initiative! [p.92], Mission Special Rules [pp.94-95], etc.), except as already noted in your tournament rules packed and described below.

Game Length:
This game cannot end before the 6th turn.

This mission employs the Dawn of War deployment. (See p. 93 of the Warhammer 40,000 rulebook.)

Primary Objective (4 points)
Follow the Capture and Control mission rules defined on p. 91 of the Warhammer 40,000 rulebook.

Secondary Objective (3 points)
Table Quarters: Divide the table into four equal quarters by drawing an imaginary line from the center point of each table edge to the center points of the opposite table edge. Players claim a table quarter by having more Victory Points’ worth of units - including at least one Scoring Unit - in the quarter than their opponent. (The Victory Points rules are on p. 300 of the Warhammer 40,000 rulebook.) A player that has at least as many Victory Points’ worth of units in a quarter as their opponent but without any Scoring Units has successfully contested that quarter.
    A unit can only contest or claim a single table quarters, no matter how many quarters it actually straddles. A unit that is capable of contesting or claiming more than one table quarter will contest or claim the quarter where the majority of the unit resides. If you cannot determine in which quarter the majority of a unit resides, the owning player must randomly determine which quarter the units “counts as” claiming or contesting.
    The player that claims the most table quarters wins this Objective.

Tertiary Objective (2 points)
Victory Points: Accumulate at least 250 Victory Points more than your opponent. Employ the Victory Points rules from p. 300 of the Warhammer 40,000 rulebook Reference
Foreshadowing... isn't it? ;D

Deployment: Huzzah! I got to deploy and pick tables sides! Basically I picked the side with the most "cover" and LoS-shenanigans.. which was still not enough. Nothing protects you from scouting-super-fast-Vendettas with three twin-linked lascannons. Going first was a small advantage, I guess - especially against I.G, but Dawn of War meant that none of my real firepower was going to be able to shoot on turn 1 (the one big disadvantage of Long Fangs - Heavy weapons.. ) and my Thunderwolves were going to be far, far away from all of Jarred's firebase.
I deployed two Rhinos. One of them had my Rune Priest.
My opponent then deployed a single Chimera with a Plasma Vet Squad or was it the Company Command Squad? Storm Troopers were going to Deep Strike and Gunnery Sergeant Harker was outflanking with a Meltagun Vet Squad.

My Turn 1
Dawn War makes for some pretty boring first turns. This one was not an exception. All of my Rhinos came in from the board and so did the two units of Long Fangs with Missile Launchers. The Thunderwolves with Skarvald the Troll-faced started huffing and puffing from the table edge - seeking to go around the LoS-blocking platform kind of in the middle. Two of my Rhinos were on the right flank - headed straight for his objective. The other two were on the left flank protecting mine. The only thing that could have shot at the Chimera in the middle was my Rune Priest but he failed to see it even with Acute Senses..

Jarred's Turn 1:
Time for some delicious-delicious canned meat! Vendettas moved full speed ahead going for my left flank while "castling up"his Manticore behind two Hydras and a bunch of Chimeras. And yes, one of them had the dreaded Psyker Battle Squad. A Leman Russ EXECUTIONER with an Executioner Plasma Cannon and two Plasma Cannon sponsons was slowly driving towards me as well. Fuck...
Almost no shooting from the I.G. Thanks, Dawn of War.

My Turn 2
Alright. Time for all the Rhinos one the right flank to move flat out and pretty much hug his objective. What could possibly go wrong.. At least it was going to be a small distraction. The Thunderwolves kept on moving, all spread out because they knew that the Manticore was out to get them.. 
My shooting produced  a stunned Vendetta (I think) and a wrecked Hydra. Possibly some more shaken results.

Jarred's Turn 2
All of his reserves arrived. Storm Troopers with two Meltaguns Deep Struck and got a nice position close to one of my Rhinos. Harker's squad arrived on the right next to my two Rhinos and two Chimeras were sent to support him. The Leman Russ moved straight ahead. Vendettas did what Vendettas did best and started shooting at my Vindicator, making a mockery of him.  He had no weapon, basically.
The Manticore killed 1 or 2 Thunderwolves with its S10 AP4 templates of DOOM, but praise the Allfather the Psyker Battle Squad was an inch away from messing with their mind.
Harker and his lads (all of them had names on their bases.. one of them was Bunny!) melta'd the crap out of one of my Rhinos, but nothing else managed to draw line of sight to my Grey Hunters because they used the wreckage for cover.
Storm Troopers shot at something.. Not sure if they killed anything.
Leman Russ Battle Tank killed 4 out of 6 Long Fangs and made them run for their lives but not far enough to run off the board. They were the lads from the foreshadowing picture. 

My Turn 3
My Rhino-less Grey Hunters surrounded Harker. Thunderwolves moved around things not sure where to commit. I should have put them in Reserve.. The other right flank Rhino shot some Meltas at a nearby Chimera but failed to do anything. Rune Priest (whose Rhino was also kaput) shot at the Psyker Battle Squad but Living Lightning failed to do anything.

Not that even glancing was going to do anything, really.. Weaken Resolve is not even a Shooting Power, which means that Jarred could move 12" to get in 32'' range.. or move out of my 24'' Psyker Protection bubble.
Vindicator tank shocked a Hydra, doing nothing.. 

I managed to shoot a Vendetta with some lucky Long Fang missiles, though. The other one I stunned. Oh, and I didn't even bother with the Leman Russ. AV14 on the front meant it was going to have its way with my Space Wolves. Kind of ironic considering their very own Primarch made the Leman Russ Battle Tanks viable and famous, huh?
Some pistol shots and an assault later and Harker was the only survivor. However he managed to pass a Leadership check and a bunch of Armor/FNP saves, getting stuck in close combat with my Grey Hunters. Great success, right?

NOPE. Chuck Testa.

Jarred's Turn 3
Psyker Battle Squad got in range of my Thunderwolves. Chimeras were zipping left and right supporting vital objectives and units.. you know.. I.G stuff and what-not. The Leman Russ just stayed there - he was already in range of all my juicy bits. A unit of Plasma Vets disembarked from the Vendetta and the Stormtroopers embarked in it.

I think his shooting pretty much got rid of all of my Vehicles, except an immobilized Rhino. The last Rhino on the right got wrecked by some melta guns inside a nearby Chimera and the Grey Hunters got pinned. :(

A Long Fang squad got squished leaving only two actual Missile Launcher dudes hiding out of  LoS.
The assault against Harker? A huge failure. He actually won and we stayed in combat. Bad juju... Bad, bad juju.
The Thunderwolves got molested again by the Manticore, leaving only 2 Thunderwolves, who then got their Resolves Weakenes by the Psyker Battle Squad and started running like crazy.. but not off the board.

My Turn 4
Things were not going my way. Too much firepower, too many things to deal with and not enough firepower on my side to deal with any actual threats. Not to mention that my Thunderwolves got pretty much neutered.. and a very important Grey Hunter squad got pinned.
BUT I didn't give up.
The single remaining Thunderwolf rolled triple Gentleman's Ones for his running distance, putting him close to a Guardsman squad next to my immobilized Rhino. The guys from the Rhino disembarked and shot their meltas at the nearby Vendetta, hoping to be able to multi-assault some Guardsmen if things didn't go as planned.. but they did... and the Vendetta went KABOOM. But then my Grey Hunters were in the open.
Vindicator tank shocked a Chimera.. doing nothing.
The rest is pretty much a blur, really.
I finally disintegrated Harker in close combat, but it was far too late... Far... too.. late.

Jarred's Turn 4
Jarred didn't have to move much. Tons of plasma quickly decreased my numbers.. in all squads. And it wasn't plasma guns.. it was hot-shot lasguns. Or meltas. Or plasma cannons. Even with some cover the volume of fire got the best of me.. The now out of combat squad of Grey Hunters got almost wiped out and the big pinned unit of pinned Grey Hunters got plasma'd and then targeted by Weaken Resolve.. and they ran. With at least two more turns left in the game (Grinder, remember? At least 6 turns...) it meant that everything I had near his objective marker was going to be double-dead.
Tons of plasma also obliterated my Rune Priest's unit, leaving the HQ and 1-2 dudes left.

Turn 5
This was going to be the last turn of the game. I spent a few minutes trying to come up with some kind of a scenario. ANYTHING, that could have scored me ANY points, you know? But I just couldn't see it happening. I just didn't have the right tools. Where were the Wolf Scouts to get rid of his Manticore and/or Hydras.. and/or Psyker Battle Squad? Where were the Lascannons to deal reliably with Armor 12+?
Not in my list, obviously.

The Thunderwolf rolled triple Gentleman's Ones again! Yaaay... D; With what was left of my firepower I tried to at least get rid of his Company Command Squad.. but bolter fire and frag missiles didn't cut it, since his unit was inside a forest.

Jarred's Turn 5
One of Jarred's sweet Objective Markers!
I am not really sure what happened exactly.. but it was pretty much clean-up time. What didn't die was sent running away by the Psyker Battle Squad and Jarred just moved his units, securing his own Capture and Control Objective, securing more Table Quarters.. and obviously dominating me in the Victory Points Tertiary objective.


What a great game, though. I definitely need to play more against I.G. This game was definitely an uphill battle from the very start and did shed some light on some things that I need to change in my 1850 list, but I'll go over it after I'm done with the tournament coverage.
Jarred was a very smart and efficient player who never lost track of the objectives and clearly had a plan throughout the entire game! Definitely a worthy opponent that taught me a few very important lessons while kicking my ass. Yeah, losing sucks, but I think it was an important loss for me.. since it doesn't happen to me that often.

Thank you, Jarred for the brutal, merciless game! Hope to play you again one day.. ;P
And here's this battle report's music video: