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Blood Vow

Happiness is success... (Buddha)

Sunday, November 30, 2014

New stats for Blood Talons

Sx2 AP2 - melee, shred, and specialist weapon

Nasty !!!

Round 5 • Thunder & Lightning vs. Speed Freaks (SoFlo) * Turns 1 - 4

My deployment:

I want a safe distance from the horde to control the tempo and prevent an early head on assault. I use terrain to block line of sight as much as possible from the Lootas. Jon also deploys on the conservative side as well.

Objective markers are far apart - neither in no man's land. I'm counting on the Grey Hunters to make something happen first turn. Looks like we will dance until one side goes in strong.

1st Turn - Speed Freaks
Jon plays it conservative maintaining the separation between our lines. The Lootas fire some pot shots at BikeStar but with the 2+ jink save (Night Fight) I take no wounds.

1st Turn - BikeStar
Grey Hunters pod down with a direct hit landing behind a big piece of line of blocking terrain. They disembark in position to rapid fire the forward Loota squad. Bikes reposition to also move into rapid fire range of Lootas. After the smoke clears the Lootas are toast netting me First Blood and one kill point... I had a feeling First Blood would be important.

KP - Orks: 0, BikeStar: 1
BikeStar - FB

Second through fourth turns we both dance - neither army willing to commit. Shooting on both sides is inconsequential... I slowly whittle down the second squad of Lootas but those green bastards pass every morale check. A couple of attack bikes take a wound... Nothing major.

If I move into position to charge trukkz I'll be counter charged by the rest of the horde including the Warbiker Deathstar.. I've got a two point lead though and decide to play it cagey forcing the Orks to come to me.

Turn five things start to get interesting.

Saturday, November 29, 2014

30k one day campaign • Sons of Horus & World Eaters vs. Loyalist Forces

We had a one day campaign yesterday with five players in attendance. Horus was leading his Sons of Horus alongside mighty Angron with his World Eaters. The Loyalists had three detachments including a trio of Imperial Knights. It was a great day of gaming at Anthem Games in Tampa. Here are some pictures of the battle.

Jordan's Night Lord Moritat whom lead a Destroyer squad into battle. Luckily for Angron he was coaxed by Horus to join him and his Justrearin inside their Spartan just before the Moritat and Destroyers deep struck onto the battlefield and finished off the last of Angron's Red Butchers. Chainfire and a pair of plasma pistols is serious business !!

Horus' personal Spartan the Behemoth. The Spartan carried Horus, Angron and a posse of Justrearin terminators delivering them safely into the dark heart of battle the final turn vanquishing a host of Loyalists including a Praetor, terminator command squad and an ancient Contemptor dreadnaught.

The fell powers of Telepathy cast by Horus' warp spawn sorcerer... Invisibility backed up by the Shrouding kept their Spartan out of harm's way disarming many of the Loyalists' guns.

Sons of Horus Rapier Battery in a bunker... Don't leave the barge without them... They downed an Imperial Sicrarian and brought an Imperial Knight down to its last hull point selling their lives dearly for the Warmaster.

Anthony Ellis carefully checking line of sight for some of his furious World Eaters.

Loyalist forces had an impressive gun line lead by Issy !

Can't wait until the next campaign !

Friday, November 28, 2014

GW reinventing the Space Marine tactical squad with Blood Angels

This is a big step in general for loyalist Space Marines. Tactical squads should be the true lords of war !

New Blood Angels Codex

The new Blood Angel codex will be released for going up for pre-order. Blood Angels get new datacards and a new tactical squad with lots of options... Supposedly including a heavy flamer. There is also a new Sanguinary Priest with with a extra machinery on the backpack, a blood chalice, and a bad ass chainsword.

Thursday, November 27, 2014

Round 5 vs Speed Freak Orks (SoFlo)

Round 5 is versus one of the Dispigno twin brothers from Miami. Those two guys seem to win most every RTT down there. I have played Paul Dispigno twice and am 1-1 versus him so this game versus Jon will put one of us ahead on the count. The games are always extremely intense with lots of thinking in each turn and always super fun - the Dispigno brothers are a class act in every way.

At this point I am 2W - 2L and leading the pack for the best SM player after my lucky rout for game 4 versus one of the two unfun nasty SM flyer spam armies.

Jon is running an Ork that is very competitive and is a natural counter to mine so I know in many ways it will be both a chess game and come down to the dice which is one of the paradoxes of 40k. Jon is running the Forge World Warboss biker which makes his warbikes objective secured. Unfortunately some people in my area try to cheapen a win when Forge World is involved but really with Imperial Knights and Transcendent Ctan roaming freely Forge World is a breath of fresh air.

Here is Jon's army list:

- HQ -
Zhadsnark da Rippa /Warlord
(power klaw strikes at initiative)

Warbike - Da Lucky Stikk - Boss Pole - Power Klaw - Cybork Body

Pain Boy - Warbike - Grot Orderly

- Troops -
11x Boy - Eavy Armor
Nob - Eavy Armor - Power Klaw - Boss Pole
Trukk - Rokkit - Ram

11x Boy - Eavy Armor
Nob - Eavy Armor - Power Klaw - Boss Pole
Trukk - Rokkit - Ram

11x Boy - Eavy Armor
Nob - Eavy Armor - Power Klaw - Boss Pole
Trukk - Rokkit - Ram

11x Boy - Eavy Armor
Nob - Eavy Armor - Power Klaw - Boss Pole
Trukk - Rokkit - Ram

11x Boy - Eavy Armor
Nob - Eavy Armor - Power Klaw - Boss Pole
Trukk - Rokkit - Ram

11x Warbiker
Nob - Eavy Armor - Power Klaw - Boss Pole

- Heavy Support -
10x Loota

10x Loota

Note I have combined the primary detachment with the self ally for Jon's list. That's a lot of bodies that can haul ass anywhere on the table easily matching my speed. I am most worried about the Lootas since they have range and it will be next to impossible to engage them in close combat.

Here is the mission:

Primary 1 - Purge the Alien
Independent characters and super heavies are worth 2 victory points each and everything else is worth 1 victory point each. I can see the bonus for super heavies but honestly I think the bonus for independent characters doesn't make any sense as that is mostly an advantage for Shooty armies which cost me the win versus serpent spam in the first round.

Primary 2 - Kingslayer
Kill the enemy Warlord. I saw this as an advantage in my favor believe it or not.

Primary 3 - Emperor's Will

Each primary is worth 6 battle points for the win and 3 for the draw.

First Blood - Slay the Warlord - Lime Breaker - Last Laugh

Each secondary is worth 1 battle point.

Vanguard Strike

Night Fight is in play first turn. I win the roll for choosing the deployment zone choosing the side with most cover and line of sight blocking terrain. I also win the roll to deploy opting to go second.

Warlord Trait - Stealth in Ruins

I can't remember which WLT my opponent got.

Psychic Powers - Pyromancy Lore
Primaris - heavy flamer
Fire Shield (so awesome versus Orks... Heh)

When it comes to choosing your psychic lore you can never go wrong with Pyromancy verus hordes and Fire Shield is too good to be true (a bit of foreshadowing).

I have superior fire power and want to draw my opponent towards me so I can assault first. I will definitely be counter charged with all those Trukk Boyz but I need to hit his Warbiker Deathstar as hard as possible with my BikeStar. Grey Hunters can be game winning superstars this game with the micro alpha strike... I will play if safe with them so as not to lose them early. I feel good about the game but know I can't make any mistakes due to Jon's inherent speed.

Guest Batrep • Greg Swanson's SM Biker Army vs Dark Eldar

I actually made it to a tournament on November 22nd at Draxtar Games. It was 1850 points, with about 24 players and used the Adepticon Primer Scenarios. They were all Maelstrom missions with 6 objectives. The scenarios and mission cards are available on the Adepticon website. I have been building my army towards the LVO and Adepticon and figured I would try what I have painted for this tournament ( I can’t stand playing with unpainted figs in a tournament and even though it was allowed I can’t bring myself to do it).

My list was Dark Angels primary and White Scars secondary:

Raven Wing
Sammael on Corvex
Librarian Level 2, Bike Melta Bombs, Force Axe, Mace of Redemption
Techmarine Bike, Power Field, Melta Bombs

Two 3 man Bike Squads sgts with melta bombs and 2 flamers
One 3 man Bike Squad agt w/combi melta & melta bombs with 2 meltagun
* All bike squads w/ multi melta attack bikes

Land Speeder w/ typhoon missile launcher and multi melta
Land Speeder w/ heavy flamer and multi melta

White Scars
Chapter Master Bike, Shield Eternal, Powerfist, Artificer Armor

Five man bike squad 2 grav guns and sgt w/combi grav and melta bombs
Five man scout squad bp & ccw sgt w/combi melta and melta bombs

Land Speeder Storm w/heavy flamer

My opponent's (Jeremy Applebaum’s list) was Dark Eldar with two detachments...

(Didn’t get a copy so not exactly sure)

Some 10 point HQ
7 Venoms w/some guys with a blaster
6 Ravagers all with dark lances
3 Planes with dark lances and each with 4 bombs large blast str 6 ap 5

The mission was dawn of war deployment with 6 maelstrom objectives scattered evenly about, like two triangles. Each turn we would draw a modified Adpeticon card up to the turn it was on. So on turn three you drew enough cards to ensure you had three in your hand. You also scored points for line breaker, warlord and first blood. At the end of the game you added your differential in victory points to 15. The highest you could score was 30 and the lowest was 0. You could discard on at the end of each turn.

Terrain was fairly even with no real huge LOS blocking terrain. He took first turn and deployed everything but five guys one of which was his warlord and the flyers.

Seeing all his firepower I deployed everything as far up as possible. I then scouted everything to midfield. My thought was to have target saturation and make him pick his spots. My command squad was a little on my right and across from the largest concentration of venoms and ravagers. There was no night fight. My only power that mattered was shrouding. I prayed to the emperor to roll a six and of course rolled a one.

DE Turn 1
He moves very little. He sends one venom to cover the objective he drew this turn. He proceeds to unload on me, it ends up a very poor turn for him. First he concentrated a lot of firepower on the command squad. Sammael and the chapter master tank all the wounds taking I think one and two respectively. He probably fired three ravagers and 4 or five venoms at them. However I have good saves and feel no pain so not much happens to them. He kills off one attack bike for first blood and nicks a couple of attack bikes and bike squads. At the end of his turn he has 2 points one for his objective and one for first blood.

DE: 2 DA: 0

DA Turn 1
I cast shrouding and move everything forward 12 inches. I move one flamer unit back to cover the objective I drew. I downed three venoms and one ravager. I stun another one and cause 2 more to jink. He had immobilized one in a bad position on his first turn. I believe a couple of warrior groups either die or run off the board. I score two points for my objective.

DE: 2 DA: 2

DE Turn 2
He rolls for reserves and gets two flyers. The come in on my left. He shuffles around a little. Our forces are very intermingled and there is a not a lot of room for him to maneuver. I think he may have been better served by forgoing shooting and moving around to set up for later turns. However the shooting commences. This time there is not nearly as much. I take a few casualties. Most notably the White Scar bike unit evaporates under assault from the flyers the first one hits with all 4 missile and then snap shots its dark lances to kill off all but one bike which the next flyer finishes off with his dark lances. He again scores 2 points. One for killing a unit in the shooting phase and another for holding an objective.

DE: 4 DA: 2

DA Turn 2
This is the turn that pretty much ends the game. My units are all mixed in with his setting up a lot of good shooting and multi charges. At the end of this turn I have killed off most of his stuff while taking minimal casualties of my own. In addition I drew one objective that was called take no prisoners where if I killed off 6 units I get 5 points. Needless to say I completed this. Also I drew another card that netted me 2 more points. At this point I believe he has one ravager and a few venoms left.

DE: 4 DA: 9

The rest of the game was an exercise in mopping up. At the end all he had left was a wounded venom and the three flyers which I had been ignoring. I lost a few units but most of my army was intact. We ended on turn five he did manage to score seven more points. I picked up 16 more leaving the finally tally at 25 to 11. The differential was +14 my way leaving our scores at 29 to 1. His lackluster alpha strike really hurt him and my turn two gutted his army. Anyway, on to the top table next to face Tony Grippando and his wave serpent revue.

Tuesday, November 25, 2014

Tactical Analysis • The Water Element of Fire

Fire burns. Water is cool. They are opposite ends of the spectrum but share some things. Water can be super heated to steam but fire can't be frozen. I tend to play armies that represent fire but I know how to switch gears when necessary such as weathering a storm or lulling an opponent into a false sense of security. Water dissolves while fire burns but one tidal wave can wreck more havoc than most people are ever aware. Mother Nature can be your worst nightmare... Think about all those times the dice flat out robbed you. It happens now and then - the best you can do is be prepared. Success is 90 percent preparation and 10 percent performance.

Some things are really easy but most anything worthwhile is very hard to come by in this world and that's why so often I say practice practice practice. Practice in your sleep.

Water carries weight while fire is etheric - pure energy. A fire can only last for so long while water is always here. Both have balance and that is a key to understanding how to harness the power. Both elements can be controlled for purpose or left unchecked wrought great destruction. Neither can be converted to the other and they cancel each other out. The intrinsic properties are much like matter and anti matter... Always interesting when they collide.

Fire burns.

Monday, November 24, 2014

Round 3 • Thunder & Lightning vs. Tyranids • SoFlo GT (Miami)

So the third game my record was 1 W and 1 L... Not great but still a good chance to win something if I could win some more. My third round opponent Luis had a TAC Tyranid list - two dakka Flyrants, two dakkafexen (each an independent brood), two Malenthropes (each an independent brood), Hive Crone, Harpy, 2-3 ripper swarms, 2 Mawlocs and Deathleaper. Obviously the FMCs can pose a problem for my army since I have no dedicated anti-air.

The primary objectives were a mix between holding objective markers at the end of the game and modified Maelstrom.

My typical approach to this type of list is first focus on killing all the ground units then force the FMCs to go to glide mode to grab objective markers towards the end of the game then nail them. I have had success with this strategy but for some reason I strayed from my game plan and overly focused on trying to shoot down the Flyrants - both of which had only one wound left at the end of the game and passed every grounding check called upon to make. I think that what happened was as follows - I got the infiltrating warlord trait but Luis won the roll off to infiltrate first and did so with the Deathleaper which pushed back my infiltrating units losing that potential advantage.

I was able to quickly eliminate both Mawlocs the turns they arrived (piecemeal). Overall this was my bad dice game losing my Librarian early to Perils and he had rolled up Invisibility... That really hurt. The Grey Hunters missed a charge versus the Crone by an inch which was really big too.

I do think this is a game I could have potentially won if I had focused on first killing the enemy ground units like I said above rather than waste a lot of fire power snap shooting the two Flyrants. I was able to salvage a good chunk of points the last turn though so it was a minor loss.

Next game is a full batrep for my fifth game versus a really nasty ork that finished in fifth place overall.

Blood Angels INBOUND !!!

Sunday, November 23, 2014

2015 Challenge Year

Next year the month of February I will be playing in three national US GTs. Chief Windrider step up to the plate. If you are man .

Tuesday, November 18, 2014

SoFlo GT Top 10 Final Standings

I noticed the incorrect standings were shown on ToF this morning. Above are the official finals standings. I was the only one from 40k WC to make the list.

Sunday, November 16, 2014

Round 4 • Thunder & Lightning vs. Iron Hands & Space Wolves

I'm going to fast forward to my fourth round which took place at the beginning of day 2 at the GT. Again I really need a big win again to climb back up in the overall rankings. This mission has Hammer and Anvil deployment which is the worst one for my biker army. I go up to the judges' table to see the pairings when they announce them and see I'm matched up versus an old friend from my gaming club - Marc Parker ! Marc has brought one of the two Space Marine flyer spam armies which I really dread to face and was hoping to avoid - oh well. My army has no Skyfire whatsoever and with this deployment it's looking even tougher as my usual tactic versus flyer heavy armies is immediately turbo boosting across the table to my opponent's table edge to make it harder for them to target my squads. Sometimes with enough grav gun shots you get lucky, immobilize a flyer and it crashes and burns... Or a lucky Melta shot hits and makes it past their jink save. That's really my only hope or so it would seem.

Here is Marc's army list:

- Primary Detachment - Iron Hands -


4x Scout
Sergeant - Meltabombs

4x Scout - 3x Sniper Rifle - Missile Launcher

Stormtalon - Skyhammer Missiles

Stormtalon - Skyhammer Missiles

Stormtalon - Skyhammer Missiles

Stormraven - Twin Linked Lascannon - Twin Linked Multi-Melta

Stormraven - Twin Linked Lascannon - Twin Linked Multi-Melta

Stormraven - Twin Linked Lascannon - Twin Linked Multi-Melta

- Space Wolves Brethren of the Fell-Handed Detachment -

Bjorn - Hellfrost Cannon

Venerable Dreadnaught - Great Axe - Stormshield

Venerable Dreadnaught - Great Axe - Stormshield

- Fortifications -

Imperial Bunker - Comms Relay

It's kind of a crazy list and those Space Wolf dreadnaughts will be really tough to handle in mėlee plus they've all got invulnerable saves to boot.

Here are the rules for the fourth mission:

Primary 1 - The Scouring (6 objective markers)

Primary 2 - Maelström
1) Hold either objective marker #1
2) Hold either objective marker #2
3) Hold either objective marker #3

Each player places their objective marker #1 in their own deployment zone; objective markers #2 go in No Man's Land (outside of either players' deployment zone); objective markers #3 are placed in the opponent's deployment zone.

4 - 6) Destroy an enemy unit

Primary 3 - Table Quarters

Treat each table quarter as a separate objective for this primary.

Each primary objective is worth 6 victory points for a win and three for a draw.

Secondary Objectives:

First Blood - Slay the Warlord - Line Breaker - Last Laugh

Each secondary objective is worth 1 victory point so the total maximum score possible is 22 victory points.

We roll for our warlord traits and I get Master of Ambush again which lets me infiltrate up to three units. This is definitely a bit of good luck for me ! I roll on the Telepathy lore for psychic powers - Dominate, Psychic Shriek and Shrouded. Shrouded could very useful since my bikes will have a 2+ cover save when they jink and I'll probably be snap shooting most of the game anyways versus those six flyer. I don't remember Marc's warlord trait or which psychic powers he rolled for his Librarian.

I win the roll to go deploy and go first. I decide to infiltrate the Chapter Master attached to the command squad and two of my biker squads. My other two HQ will attach to the third biker squad and go into reserve. Marc decides to deploy one of his scout squads embarked in his bunker. I then deploy my bikes 18" away. Marc then seizes the initiative.

1st Turn - Iron Hands and Space Wolves
The scouts take some potshots at the command squad but fail to deal any damage.

1st Turn - BikeStar
The Grey Hunters pod down right beside the bunker with minimal scatter then my bikes move up close to the bunker. Both of the Grey Hunters' meltaguns hit and penetrate the bunker then it explodes killing most of the scouts inside and they fail their pinning check. My Chapter Master then calls down his orbital strike and it vaporizes the last of the scouts... Game over !

Pretty amazing how it all worked out plus I then had time to go and eat a nice breakfast. Next up will the third round versus Tyranids.

Round 2 • Thunder & Lightning vs. Chaos Space Marines • SoFlo GT (Miami)

The second round was versus vile heretics - Chaos Space Marines by the unholy name of the Crimson Slaughter ! My opponent Daniel was packing a solid army list and the deployment for the mission was quite interesting to say the least. I knew I had my work cut out for me and was up for the challenge. After losing a close fought game in the first round I needed a big win to bounce back up into the upper bracket.

Here is Daniel's army list:

- Primary Detachment - Chaos Space Marines -

Sorcerer - Bike - Level 3 Psyker (Biomancy Lore) /Warlord

7x Chaos Space Marine - Meltagun

7x Chaos Space Marine

4x Chaos Space Marine Biker - 2x Meltagun
Champion - Power Fist

Vindicator - Extra Armor

Maulerfiend - Magna Cutters

Maulerfiend - Magna Cutters

- Allied Detachment - Crimson Slaughter -

Chaos Lord - Bike - Gift of Mutation - Mark of Nurgle - Sigil of Corruption - Slaughterer's Horns - Power Fist - Lightning Claw

10x Cultist

5x Plague Marine - 2x Meltagun
Champion - Power Sword

5x Chaos Spawn - Mark of Nurgle

Plague Hulk of Nurgle

Here is the mission:

Deployment zones was modified Dawn of War but offset from the long table edges by 6" so you ended up 12" closer across the board.

Primary Objective 1 - The Relic

Primary Objective 2 - Four objectives placed 18" from the side edge on the inner edge of each deployment zone

Primary Objective 3 - Purge the Alien - Elite units are worth 2 points each and all other units are worth 1 point each

Each primary objective is worth 6 victory points for the win and 3 for the draw.

Secondary Objectives:
First Blood - Slay the Warlord - Line Breaker - Last Laugh

Each secondary objective is worth 1 victory point so the maximum score possible is 22 victory points (6 + 6 + 6 + 4).

My Warlord trait was from strategic traits that allows up to three units to infiltrate. I can't remember which trait Danny got. I rolled on the Telepathy lore - Psychic Shriek and Shrouded were of note. Danny rolled on the Biomancy lore - Endurance and Enfeeble were of note.

Again there was plenty of terrain - the table was setup much like the old Cityfight style campaign with lots of multilevel ruins. Danny won the roll to deploy first (and go first) spreading his units across his deployment zone with the pair of Maulerfiends over to my left side. Danny had his Deathstar as well with the Sorcerer and Chaos Lord both attached to the Chaos Spawn - he deployed them behind the Maulerfiends.

I chose to infiltrate my three biker squads hiding them from the Plague Hulk and Vindicator all over to my left. I deployed BikeStar (all HQ attached to the command squad) over to my left as well and far enough away to make sure there was no chance for first turn charges from either Maulerfiend.

My plan was to first take out the Vindicator and two Maulerfiends. Grey Hunters are assigned to the tank while I'll let the Maulerfiends come to me so I can shoot them then punch them in the face if need be. I should have given more thought to the Chaos Deathstar - it's very nasty with Endurance up. I try to always keep all of my bike squads at least 19" away from their table edge so if they fall back they won't flee the table... This game I got caught up in the killing spree and forgot about that very important tactic, if I should lose my BikeStar to a failed panic check it's pretty much game over for me.

No Night Fight this game - I then seized the initiative.

Turn 1 - Bike Star
The Grey Hunters pod down beside the Vindicator with minimal scatter and dismount for shots into the rear arc. Two biker squads move into grav gun range of a rhino with a squad of Chaos Marines embarked. The other bike squad moves up beside BikeStar so both units can target the closest Maulerfiend. My Librarian successfully casts Shrouding on BikeStar. The Grey Hunters explode the Vindicator for First Blood - the two biker squads combine to explode the rhino (Chaos Space Marines suffer some losses in the explosion and are pinned). Shooting from BikeStar and the other biker squad manages to strip two hull points from the Maulerfiend and immobilize it. Excellent first turn for BikeStar !

Turn 1 - Chaos Space Marines
The Chaos Space Marine bikers move into position to shoot and assault the Grey Hunters with support from the close by Plague Hulk. The Chaos Deathstar moves such that they are out of range for a turn 2 charge by my BikeStar and the mobile Maulerfiend crashes through the walls of a building headed straight towards my BikeStar. The Sorcerer successfully casts Endurance on the Chaos Deathstar. The Chaos Space Marine bikers shoot the Grey Hunters who go to ground and manage to drop three - they break and fall back outside of charge range. The Plague Hulk assaults the drop pod and explodes it - a couple of the Chaos Space Marine bikers die in the ensuing explosion - they also break, fall back and just hit their table edge... Gone !
The mobile Maulerfiend is just in range to charge BikeStar but two lucky grav gun shots get through and wreck it on Overwatch... Wow really couldn't have gone much better than that did.

BikeStar: 4 KP, First Blood

Turn 2 - BikeStar
I decide to go for the easy kill point with the BikeStar versus the immobilized Maulerfiend. The three biker squads all converge on the pinned Chaos Space Marines. Grey Hunters regroup and move into position to shoot and assault the Plague Hulk. I successfully cast Shrouding on BikeStar and also Psychic Shriek the pinned Chaos Space Marines zapping a couple. Shooting from the biker squads eradicate the remaining Chaos Space Marines and BikeStar finishes off the last Maulerfiend. The Grey Hunters then explode the Plague Hulk with their meltaguns.

Turn 2 - Chaos Space Marines
Here is where I make a huge mistake that could potentially cost me the game. Danny still has his Deathstar left and they move up to assault BikeStar who are close enough to my board edge if they should fall back it could be fatal. The Plague Marines disembark from their rhino to tackle the Grey Hunters.

The Sorcerer first attempts to cast Endurance which I try to deny with all my warp charge and fail. The Sorcerer then successfully enfeebles my BikeStar... Oh noes !!! Luckily the Sorcerer fails to cast Force. The Plague Marines rapid fire into the Grey Hunters along with their meltaguns dropping them down to just three remaining including the Wolf Guard and they pass their break check.

Danny then declares his assault on BikeStar with his DeathStar - I opt to fire all the twin linked bolters on Overwatch but with Endurance up he takes no wounds. I tank all the wounds on the Chapter Master whom only fails two saves thanks to Feel No Pain but BikeStar fails to inflict any wounds back - Endurance is really good for those Spawn ! BikeStar then passes morale thanks to the re roll due to the chapter banner then hit and run out of combat.

BikeStar: 7 KP, First Blood

Turn 3 - BikeStar
I need to do something about the Chaos Deathstar and unfortunately my BikeStar is still enfeebled. There is also the newly emerged Death Guard but I consider them a secondary threat. BikeStar and all three biker squads converge on the Chaos Deathstar along with the last of the Grey Hunters - I'm literally going to throw everything I've got at them and this is where the Wulfenstone first really comes into play since it grants Furious Charge to the BikeStar - all my power fists and Thunderhammer attacks will be S7 with Furious Charge versus S6 without it - so I'm wounding on 3+ versus 4+ in melee. I successfully cast Force on the Librarian and then Shriek the Chaos Deathstar dropping one Spawn. All my twin linked bolters and Meltas then unload dropping another Spawn plus two wounds on another. All my units then assault - down goes the rest of the Spawn along with the Sorcerer - the Chaos Lord is fearless so they lock.

Turn 3 - Chaos Space Marines
The Plague Marines move into position to join the mėlee while the remaining squad of Chaos Space Marines drop back onto one of the Primary 2 objective markers. Note the cultists have been chilling the whole time on another objective marker back in their deployment zone hiding behind line of sight blocking terrain. We go straight into the assault phase - I lose a few bikers in the process but wipe out the Chaos Lord and Death Guard.

At this point my opponent then concedes the game and I win with full points.

BikeStar: 11 KP, First Blood, Slay the Warlord, Line Breaker, Last Laugh

Fairly easy game except for the big mistake when I opted to deny Endurance rather the malediction Enfeeble - with Mastery Level 2 and Adamantium Will (Shield Eternal) the BikeStar is quite resilient versus most enemy Psykers so I really flubbed it and could have possibly lost the game if not for the re rolled morale check due to the command squad chapter banner - don't ever leave the battle barge without it !

Saturday, November 15, 2014

Understanding multiple CADs and Formations

CAD - combined arms detachment - basically the same thing as a primary detachment from sixth edition

Formation - specific models are listed what you can take such as the much hated Imperial Knights Adamantium Lance formation - these units typically get really good special rules. Love them or hate them formations are huge in 7th edition.

Multiple CADs unlock new builds not possible before. They can be utilized by players that want to build really cool lists and the power gamers. Power gamers ruin everything for everybody and but alone is not a sufficient reason to ban multiple CADs and formations... Power gamers ruin every system since they always look for game breaking combinations that make you just shake your head and want to look away. Some of the major TOs have brought back heavily restricted super comp tournament systems because of fear of the unknown - on one hand I understand their concern but on the other I say it's time to give it a chance and see what happens.

The restrictions are Finally changing so players need some help to understand how to build army lists using multiple CADs and formations. TempleCon up in Rhode Island will allow up to two CADs and also character Lords of War such as Khaldor Draigo and Logan Grimnar - they are awesome models with awesome rules and deserve the opportunity to be fielded. Up to two of each (CADs and formations) is a great starting point and even at 2000 points most players will be hard pressed to fit in more than two of each. The possibilities are endless and it's very exciting too - it's a whole new way to play the game.

Friday, November 14, 2014

Round 1 • Thunder & Lightning vs Serpent Spam • SoFlo GT (Miami)

The first game was versus William and he was fielding serpent spam similar to Tony Kopach's NOVA winning eldar list along with some Forge World Hornets. This was certainly a tough matchup for the first round !

NOTE - Winner is decided by whomever accumulates the most victory points.

Here is William's army list:

Heavy Aspect Armor - Shuriken Pistol - Haywire Grenades - Forceshield - Fusion Gun

(I never knew which serpent that coward was hiding inside - LOL)

5x Dire Avenger - Plasma Grenades
Wave Serpent - Scatter Lasers - Twin Linked Shuriken Catapults - Holo-Field

5x Dire Avenger - Plasma Grenades
Wave Serpent - Scatter Lasers - Twin Linked Shuriken Catapults - Holo-Field

5x Dire Avenger - Plasma Grenades
Wave Serpent - Scatter Lasers - Twin Linked Shuriken Catapults - Holo-Field

5x Dire Avenger - Plasma Grenades
Wave Serpent - Scatter Lasers - Twin Linked Shuriken Catapults - Holo-Field

5x Dire Avenger - Plasma Grenades
Wave Serpent - Scatter Lasers - Twin Linked Shuriken Catapults - Holo-Field

5x Fire Dragon - Fusion Guns - Meltabombs
Wave Serpent - Scatter Lasers - Twin Linked Shuriken Catapults - Holo-Field

Wraithknight - 2x Heavy Wraightcannon

3x Hornet - Pulse Lasers - Holo-Field - Star Engines (Acute Senses)

Here are the mission rules:

Deployment - Hammer & Anvil

Night Fight - Yes

Primary 1:
Three objective markers placed evenly across the center of the table from long edge to long edge. If you win this primary it's 6 victory points and 3 for a draw.

Primary 2:
Emperor's Will - 6 victory points for a win and 3 for the draw.

Primary 3:
Purge the Alien - independent characters and super heavies are worth +1 victory points each. Again 6 victory points for the win and 3 for the draw.

Secondary Objectives (each worth 1 point):
First Blood - Slay the Warlord - Line Breaker - Last Laugh

I got the warlord trait that is +1 cover save in ruins and -1 to enemy reserve rolls. I can't remember what warlord trait my opponent got. My one useful psychic power was Psychic Shriek (Telepathy lore).

There was plenty of terrain on the table with a huge bridge across the center of the table so I had lots of places to hide when needed. I won the roll to go first and did so, my opponent failed to seize.

I will deploy all units right at the front of my deployment zone then turbo boost up into the eldar battle line enjoying a nice 2+ jink save since the first turn had Night Fight. William wisely deployed all his serpents and Wraithknight hugging his short table edge while holding the Hornets in reserve. I will need two turns to reach his battle line. Grey Hunters will pod into the center of the eldar front causing mayhem.

BikeStar - Turn 1
Grey Hunters drop in on top of a hill in the back of the eldar deployment zone with the drop pod landing smack dab on William's Emperor's Will objective marker. They disembark with a lot of shots into the rear arc of a wave serpent. All my biker squads move then turbo boost straight ahead with one squad hanging back a bit to hide behind line of sight blocking terrain. Grey Hunters fire into the wave serpent and explode it for First Blood - a couple of Dire Avengers die in the explosion but they pass their leadership checks.

Serpent Spam - Turn 1
William quickly reacts sending in the Wraithknight to marshal the Grey Hunters. A couple of Wave Serpents angle to shoot them as well. The rest of the wave serpents move into position to target my BikeStar and one other unit of bikers. The Grey Hunters suffer massive causalities then break falling back beyond the charge range of the Wraithknight. The biker squad loses one wound on the attack bike and my Chapter Master also suffers one wound as well. I'm in perfect position now to shoot and charge the eldar line.

BikeStar: 1 KP, First Blood
Serpent Spam:

BikeStar - Turn 2
The Grey Hunters regroup and move towards the Dire Avengers that spilled out of the destroyed wave serpent. BikeStar splits off towards my right to shoot and assault another wave serpent. Two biker squads move to my left to engage two separate wave serpents while the third biker squad hangs back in support still out of eldar line of sight. The Grey Hunters shoot and charge the Dire Avengers, finishing them off for another kill point. BikeStar wrecks it's targeted wave serpent and one of the biker units manages to wreck another. One squad of Dire Avengers fail their pinning check.

Serpent Spam - Turn 2
Hornets fail to arrive. William quickly reacts by shuffling his remaining wave serpents away from my bikes. Two squads of Dire Avengers and the Fire Dragons dismount, all targeting my BikeStar. The rest of the wave serpents move towards my left to focus fire on my biker squads. The Wraithknight jumps up in position to deal with the Grey Hunters. The eldar unload all their shooting focused on the BikeStar but only manage to drop two veterans from the command squad along with two wounds on the Wolf Lord. More shooting drops an attack bike and one biker. The Wraitknight then proceeds to wipe out the last of the Grey Hunters.

BikeStar: 4 KP, First Blood
Serpent Spam: 1 KP

BikeStar - Turn 3

NOTE - This would be the final turn and definitely played a role in the final outcome which I'll discuss in the post game analysis.

I've got two important goals to accomplish this turn - eliminate the Wraithknight and multi assault the exposed Dire Avengers and Fire Dragons. I split off the Chapter Master, Librarian and Wolf Lord to tackle the Wraightknight. The one bike squad that was hanging back comes out of hiding to target the Wraightknight and secure one of the objective markers for the primary objective. The other two biker units move into position to shoot and charge Dire Avengers that split out of the wave serpents last turn.

The Librarian successfully casts Psychic Shriek and drops the Wraithknight. Unfortunately he also periled, losing one wound while casting Force. Chapter Master, Librarian and Wolf Lord assault all three eldar squads (Dire Avengers and Fire Dragons), wiping them all out except for one Dire Avenger that luckily manages to break away. The two bike squads charge Dire Avengers but fail to break either squad.

Serpent Spam - Turn 3
The eldar really have their back up against the wall now and will need nothing short of some miracles to pull off the win. Hornets arrive and must outflank to turbo boost onto my Emperor's Will objective placed far back inside my deployment zone. Two wave serpents move and flat out to grab another objective marker and contest mine for the primary objective. The shooting then commences - down go my Chapter Master, Wolf Lord and Librarian (failed the very last armor save at the end of his shooting phase). Both of my biker squads locked in combat successfully hit and run.

BikeStar - 7 KP, First Blood and Line Breaker
Serpent Spam - 7 KP (2 points for each independent character), Slay the Warlord, Line Breaker and Last Blood

So it all comes down to the first two primary objectives... We draw on both Purge the Alien and Emperor's Will but William takes the first primary objective by one objective marker for a very lucky minor win.

Well only being able to play three turns was a huge break for the eldar. I'm fairly confident had it gone at least one more turn I would have walked away with a big win. I had good portion of the command squad left along with all three bike squads plus one was at full strength. The Hornets were stuck in place to contest Emperor's Will so were pretty much a non factor shooting wise. I could have easily downed at lest two more wave serpents and taken the first primary objective. I don't know where the time went - I suppose it was just one of those very intense games where a lot of time and thought went into the movement phases.

So I take a minor loss but should pull a good draw the next round.

Thursday, November 13, 2014

Anthem Games December 40k RTT 7th edition system

I think it's taking a lot of time for just about every tournament organizer (TO) to come to grips with 7th edition and in many ways it is both a love hate relationship and the Wild Wild West wrapped into one. Imperial Knights and other non character Lords of War (LoW) such as the Transcendental C'Tan have re shaped the game for better or worse. Even if you don't field non character LoW you must design your army list accordingly to be competitive. Some people are still trying to wrap their heads around the central concepts of combined arms detachments (CAD) and formations.

If you have examined some of the new codices and supplements released since the official launch of 7th edition you'll notice lots of CADs and formations are out on the shelves now. Almost every tournament system I have reviewed are a product of 6th edition — typically you are allowed to field up to one CAD and up to one formation plus many things are all lumped together under the general heading of allied detachment. Very few so far have allowed you to field an army composed of multiple CADs and formations.

Adepticon and TempleCon
Things are starting to change - Adepticon, the king of all things Indy GT, have stepped up to the plate and will allow multiple CADs and formations next year. TempleCon in Rhode Island is also going to allow up to two CADs and non character LoW. It's refreshing to see some of the major events are finally moving forward and leaving 6th edition behind... They are raising the bar which will force others to follow suit. The old system I described above is nothing more than some TOs not wanting to bother and letting their prejudice show.

Moving On and It's Effect on Armies
It's time to move on now and I truly believe armies such as Grey Knights and Orks could compete at the top tier if players were allowed to play 7th edition as it was designed... Mechanicon has proved this to be true for Grey Knights. A half assed designed tournament system doesn't really do anybody any favors except for those certain players looking for the means to exploit them. TOs still advocating a 6th edition approach to running a competitive tournament need to sit down for a moment or how ever long it takes and take a long hard look at what 7th edition truly entails... Embrace it ! Everybody will be better off too. Heavy restrictions heavily favor specific armies whose codices were released prior to 7th edition and it just gets worse with each new codex or supplement that is released.

My System
1) Multiple CADs and formations are in
2) Character LoW are in (e.g., Ghazkul, Logan and Draigo)
3) Allied detachments are in
4) Stronghold Assault is in (some restrictions)
5) Escalation is in (some restrictions - as most no one wants to face off versus the Transcendental C'tan)
6) Forge World is in (40k approved units only)
7) Forge World armies and Apocalypse are out
8) Unbound armies are out
9) Come the Apocalypse allies are out

So yes there are certainly still some restrictions in place but overall my system is much less restricted than what we've seen so far. I'm willing to take feedback too.

Wednesday, November 12, 2014

Thunder and Lightning 1850 point army list - SoFlo GT (Miami)

I took my White Scars - Space Wolves army down to a GT in Miami last weekend to prepare for LVO. There were six rounds over two days and I ended up squaring off against a lot of the top players. There were definitely some interesting army lists there to counter the meta. Reports to follow soon.

Here is my 1850 point army list:

- White Scars Primary detachment -

Chapter Master/
Bike - Artificer Armor - Auspex - Power Fist - Shield Eternal

I have had some success with the auspex as bikes can get up to point blank range and take advantage.

Bike - Indomitus Armor - Force Axe - Meltabombs
• Level 2 Psyker — Open Lore

I love another multi wound 2+ save character attached to the command squad. Being able to pop the 2+ invulnerable save really helped out a couple games. I have practiced using every psychic lore available and made some good choices which I'll try to highlight.

Command Squad/
Bikes - Chapter Banner - 4x Stormshield - 4x Meltabomb - Thunderhammer - 4x Grav Gun
* Apothecary

All the characters attach to the command squad to form the BikeStar I invented. The unit performed well every game and really helped win games.

4x Space Marine Biker/
2x Grav Gun
* Sergeant - Combi-Grav - Meltabombs
* Attack Bike - Multi-Melta

4x Space Marine Biker/
2x Grav Gun
* Sergeant - Combi-Grav - Meltabombs
* Attack Bike - Multi-Melta

4x Space Marine Biker/
2x Grav Gun
* Sergeant - Combi-Grav - Meltabombs
* Attack Bike - Multi-Melta

Obviously the bikes are the core of the army and always do well. The high number of bikes per squadron makes the bolters viable versus horde armies such as Orks and Tyranids.

- Space Wolves Allied Detachment -

Wolf Lord/
Bike - Runic Armor - Stormshield - Power Fist - Wulfenstone

The Wulfenstone was clutch in two games - one game versus Chaos where an evil sorcerer cast Enfeeble on my BikeStar and one game versus Knights. I chose the bike over a Thunderwolf mount so the BikeStar so the BikeStar can turbo boost.

9x Grey Hunter/
2x Meltagun - Plasma Pistol - 9x Chainsword - Power Axe - Wolf Standard
* Wolf Guard/
Stormshield - Frost Axe - Meltabombs
Drop Pod

Another key unit perfectly suited to grab First Blood and seed disruption. They were my micro alpha striking unit.

Tuesday, November 11, 2014

Thunder and Lighting Batreps • SoFlo GT

I took my White Scars - Space Wolves army down to a GT in Miami last weekend to prepare for LVO. There were six rounds over two days and I ended up squaring off against a lot of the top players. There were definitely some interesting army lists there to counter the meta. Reports to follow soon.

Monday, November 10, 2014

Best Space Marine Player award at SoFlo GT (Miami)

Highlight was tabling my old buddy Marc Parker first turn in the first game of the second day,

I brought my White Scars biker army with Space Wolf allies.

Thursday, November 06, 2014

Chapterhouse Studios gone ?

From the Spikey Bitz blog...

Looks like Chapterhouse Studios has gone dark. They may just, however, be gone for the near future, but their online presence has nearly completely disappeared. Their Facebook page where they announced that Games Workshop had seized all their assets is gone, and their main page is “down for maintenance”.

Wednesday, November 05, 2014

Why Highlander is Anti Competitive

When I first heard about Highlander it sounded both quite exciting and an awesome change of pace but eventually I discovered my first impression was based upon a huge misconception... I thought it was about single elimination... It would take some balls to travel across the country knowing once you lose you're done. I should have realized that not many people would be interested in such a format and for good reason. Let me say that I doubt any major event will use this format for their flagship championship over the course of the following year.

While proponents of the Highlander system are proclaiming it is a fresh take on 40k and can usher in great variety in the competitive tournament format take a look at some of the proposed competitive Highlander army lists currently propagating the Internet and you'll probably notice certain distinct patterns — it can be gamed just like any other system and you'll see a lot of the same types of lists. Basically Highlander changes the meta at best (or worst) but does not eliminate it as has been claimed.

Highlander has been around for a long time but only now is starting to garner some attention at the national level. The main question to ask yourself is as follows — Can the Highlander format truly level the playing field?

The Format
The format is highly restrictive as you can only take one of any unit, which effectively eliminates many armies such as drop podding Space Marines. Troops are an exception - once you've taken one of each type of troop you can then take another one which is not fair to Tyranids (e.g., genestealers, hormagants, rippers, termagants and warriors) while Space Marines only have tactical and scout squads. This is an excellent example why in general comp is inherently unfair — randomly helping some armies and penalizing others. Note that this exception doesn't include dedicated transports... Tyranids just got access to an awesome new transport that will finally make them truly competitive again but nope only one — gotta be unique !

I see lots of extraneous caveats being loosely thrown into the mix as well such as not allowing battle brothers as allies. Battle brothers were just fine though back in 6th edition when eldar and Tau could hook up as the penultimate super friends combo.

The Highlander format definitely favors certain races such as eldar and Space Marines which both have access to an ample number of solid troop choices. Is it fair Orks can take a unit that is composed of ten of the same troop choice (i.e., the Green Tide)? Of course not which leads into an important question regarding how should the inclusion of detachments and formations be handled. Highlander automatically eliminates certain formations such as the Tau Fire Base and the new Ork formation that has five scouting battlewagons.

The Ruse
Tournament organizers (TOs) can allow multiple detachments but like I said above Highlander is a very restricted format — I see it as a hidden means to effectively avoid what a lot of players truly want, which is to allow the inclusion of multiple detachments and formations without the restrictions (i.e., the true main issue) and as I've demonstrated a good number don't meet the basic requirement. At the same time it sounds like you're doing something beneficial for everyone with their best interests at heart but really it's not the case... Truly it's a means to obfuscate the main issue.

I encourage TOs to allow the inclusion of multiple detachments and formations without heavy restrictions. Most each new codex will be co-released with a new supplement — this is how the game is now designed to be played. The Highlander format is very restrictive and forces strong comp that discriminates against certain armies while handing a free pass to others - is this what we really want ?

Guest article by Reecius - Tactical armies • dead or still alive


Hey everyone, your bestest pal Reecius here to discuss a topic near and dear to my heart: the TAC (Take All Comers) list in 40k.

Monday, November 03, 2014

Dragon Forge Interview - Jeff Wilhelm (plus Kickstarter)

Here is a recent interview I conducted with Jeff Wilhelm from Dragon Forge.

1) Tell us about yourself and Dragonforge. Also what got you started into this line of work?

Well my name is Jeff Wilhelm and I have been working as a sculptor and miniature designer in the gaming industry since about 1990. I'm one the old guard you might say. Been at this a long time. I started at Ral Partha back in 1991 sculpting Battletech Mechs. After Ral Partha I worked for Wizkids on Mechwarrior and then did a bit for freelance work for companies like Reaper Miniatures, Mongoose games and Privateer Press. I probably sculpted one of my favorite piece ever working for Privateer Press. It was the Khador Colossal.

About 7 years ago, not sure exactly when I started my base line with Dragon Forge sculpting the first series, Concrete Rubble. Which today still is a top seller of mine. Since then I have added over 700 different base sets to my line. My most recent being Ancient Ruins II which is also currently my first Kickstarter running right now.

2) What drew you to this particular project for the Titan Knight bases and how did you go about developing them from start to finish?

Like most projects, customer feedback and requests and of course new base sizes. 2014 was the year of new base sizes. There were many major sizes added in the miniature hobby being The Knight Titan base, the 50 mm round base, the 55 mm round base and the 80 mm Round lip base size. When the Knights were just a hint that they were coming, I started getting a lot of emails asking if I were going to add Knight Titan sized bases to my line. I now have 12 different Knight sized bases in production with more in the works.

3) What do you draw for your inspiration from for this type of project? These new bases are quite large so I imagine more work is required on your part. By the way I have a couple of your older bases with flight rods I use for my Imperial Thunderhawk and it's very snazzy... This was back before GW introduced their large oval flight stand for flyers — kudos, you are definitely ahead of your time.

Well Google is your friend LOL I guess I do a bit of research online looking for pictures. Ancient lost civilizations, ruins, war torn builds and so on. Even nature subjects like deserts and ice covered wastelands. Plus the vast amount of science fiction art to draw ideas from... Of course my imagination too. I'll occasionally do some sketching but I really tend to work by just having an idea and running with it. I start making things and if it has a good feel going with it I keep going. If it just doesn't feel right to me I make changes or it goes into one of the many boxes of lost or dead projects to maybe be resurrected some day. I try to make each base look like its a piece from a much larger scene. Sort of like taking a picture and then just choosing a portion of it.

4) Share some pictures with us along with some descriptions what each one represents in terms of theme.

This is my Broken Wasteland themed base. Just a dried cracked earth sort of feel.

The Lost Empires themed base is intended to represent a long lost civilization or empire. Maybe an alien world.

This is the Thrench Boards themed base.

... and of course Urban Rubble representing a destroyed building in a long fought over war torn city.

5) I'm sure these will be quite popular. Do you ever incorporate direct feedback from your customers into your design? If so please give us some examples.

I always love getting feedback and input from my customers. Some of my best sellers have come from suggestions from customers.

6) Is there anything you'd like to discuss not covered in these questions? Please feel free to do so?

Not really, other then I guess most don't realize is I'm just a small one man shop. I'm not a big company with loads of employees or a big factory. It's just me doing all of this. I've had some freelance sculpting done for me and in time I hope to grow and expand. we shall see what the future brings. I only sell direct from my website and I don't expect this to change any time soon.

7) Finally do you have a favorite 40k army? Tell us all about it.

Imperial Guard!!! I have always loved the guard but I have not had the time in years to paint or model anything. I'm to busy making stuff for you guys    : )

Jeff Wilhelm
Dragon Forge Design, Inc.