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Blood Vow

Happiness is success... (Buddha)

Thursday, July 28, 2016

30k Tactica: See but Don't be Seen

This is a tactical article and while the title says 30k it applies to 40k just as well. In fact I play more games with my Templars versus 40k armies than I do versus other 30k armies. I feel that 2250 points is a good level for Horus Heresy armies than say 1850 points which is typical for 40k so my opponents get to field even more units.

While I commonly refer to my army as Templars its Legion is Imperial Fists which I think is one of the more tactical armies in 30k as they tend to be a jack of all trades versus a master of any one specific thing. Surprisingly enough Imperial Fists also lend themselves well to melee which just happens to be one of my favorite aspects of the game. There are a couple of signature units that gives the army its Templar theme - namely Sigismund and his Templar Brethren. That's how 30k armies work for the Legion Astartes... You have your basic units available to any Legion then each Legion has its own unique units which are specialized such as the two I just listed.

My army is highly specialized overall with a just a few basic units. 30k is overall inherently balanced and while there are some very powerful units you always pay in points for what you get. The Primarchs are a good example - while they are powerhouses they are too many points to field in a 2000 point army if you want to be competitive and tend to require even more points invested to be able to transport them where you need them most... So you don't tend to see them all that often. On the other hand in 40k a somewhat equivalent unit would be something along the lines of Fateweaver or a tooled up daemon prince, both of which are quite common.

I'm not going to give out a lot of specific tactical examples such as unit X versus unit Y... This is more of a philosophical article. My Templar army is a small elite army with the focus on melee over shooting. My army does have some shooting though which can be quite critical - especially versus 40k armies such as Eldar and Tau. My worst nightmare is a grav heavy Space Marine army but there are solid counters to it such as null deployment. There are some units which must be dealt with at range in order to engage them such as Eldar jetbikes. My army uses a combination of reserves and hard as nails units which start the game deployed on the table. One of the main strategic objectives is to lure the opponent into over committing key units then catching them off guard. If you visualize a square, while it has four long sides, you must present only an edge until you can assault then you present a big wall.

A key to this tactical style of play is to survive the first turn mainly intact while close enough to enemy units they can potentially engage the opponent by the second turn which is typically as good as it gets by 40k standards with a few notable exceptions depending upon whether or not you play by the pure rules. Therefore using terrain to your advantage, such as blocking enemy line of sight is critical. On the rare occasions when facing off versus another meleecentric army its actually much easier tactically since the opponent must move towards you.

Two units I run which fit well into my tactical theme are the Knight-Errant joined to a squad of teleporting terminators and a Leviathan dreadnaught arriving from reserve in a dreadnaught drop pod. Both are very hard to kill the turn they arrive and can dish out a lot of damage in subsequent turns. It's interesting to note both that terminators are much more competitive in 30k as opposed to 40k plus the ability to deep strike in 30k tends to be much more limited. These units apply a lot of pressure to the opponent early on which in turn can take the heat off of other less survivable units.

One of the keys to this style of play which plays best to assault is to have at least three interchangeable units that can quickly deal out lots of damage. The opponent can at best neutralize one while the other two are able to engage the enemy and get stuck in. This is the opposite approach to fielding a Death Star - your army is de-centralized versus being centralized. Optimally every unit gets engaged which can produce geometrical results... That is the more you can engage the enemy the less they can shoot you. You are doing what you do best while preventing your opponent from doing the same.

So there you have it... While the assault phase is not all that popular now it can still dominate if you havevthevright tools and tactics.

Monday, July 25, 2016

Thursday, July 21, 2016

30k Unit Review: Knight-Errant

Black Blow Fly here with a new 30k article to add some spicy spice to your dull lives... Heh (j/k). This week I'll be discussing the merits of a new unit introduced in the recent Book 6 which was released not too long ago. I'm talking about the new Knight-Errant which is a very special type of independent character somewhat similar to a Consul but very unique. The Knight-Errant seems to have been overlooked by the 30k community for whatever reason which I find interesting and will discuss towards the end of this review.

Now before I start my review I'd like to offer a sincere apology to the poster Garro over on the awesome Heresy30k forums for not initially giving him the credit he deserves in my last 30k article which was basically a cut and paste of his fantastic review of the new Legion Astartes book that was just recently released by Forge World... Shame shame on me. Q_Q

Now not an excuse but to shed some light I first saw it posted in a local private HH FB group late last Thursday evening following an intense game versus Iron Hands... At the time I was rushed to complete the article (1 AM) and get a little sleep before work and to be honest I don't remember seeing his name mentioned. Unfortunately it didn't dawn on me that I should have inquired who had put it all together... Lesson learned.

The New 30k Awesome
What's interesting to me is the Knight-Errants could have possibly been a precursor to Grey Knights... But I'm not here to dwell on the background and time is most precious. The Knight-Errant is an independent character that has a laundry list of special rules (which I'll cover), can be upgraded to a level 2 Librarian and has lots of awesome war gear to choose from when building this 30k bad boy.

The Knight-Errant comes stock with artificer armor and an Iron Halo for the good ole 2+/4++. He has two wounds, WS5, BS5 plus access to some rather nifty war gear such as the Narthecium... So yes he can pull double duty as a medic saving some points since you won't be needing a Primus Medicae anymore. He also has access to a jump pack which I use and attach him to my terminators (Imperial Fists)which always arrive via Deep Strike. One of his more powerful rules is as follows:

By Falsehood Cloaked:
Knights-Errant may deploy via Deep Strike, and when doing so does not roll to scatter. On the controlling player’s turn that he deploys, and throughout the opposing player’s following player turn, any shots made against a Knight-Errant having deployed in this manner are made as Snap Shots.

The jump pack helps to make sure this nasty combined unit will reach melee the following turn after they have arrived from reserve. He also has both Precision Shot and Precision Strike plus Preferred Enemy (Traitor). There's a lot of synergy here and the Knight-Errant can definitely buff most any loyalist army.

Should you decide to field a Knight-Errant keep in mind another one of his special rules...

Oath of Moment:
Fielding a Knight-Errant dramatically alters the victory conditions for the side that includes the model, for the presence of such a fated individual is a sure indication that the mission is of dire import indeed. At the beginning of the game, at the same time that Warlord Traits and psychic powers are determined, an Oath of Moment must be secretly noted down for each model with this special rule. The note is revealed at the end of the game when Victory points are being tallied. Each Oath of Moment represents an objective which that Knight-Errant must achieve, chosen from the list below.

There are several secret objectives to choose from... If you successfully achieve his objective then you score bonus victory points - but if you fail to do so then those points are awarded to your opponent. I typically choose the lowest risk which only awards one bonus victory point and is easy to achieve if you should really need it. This also helps to curb the Knight-Errant's awesomeness.

Special Characters
There are some really neat special characters to choose from including Garro originally a member of the Death Guard and the former Ultramarine Librarian Tylos Rubio. There's also an unnamed special character The Nemean Reaver whose quite the nasty and rocks the T5. I believe he was once a Dark Angel which makes a lot of sense when you look at his unbelievably awesome stats. I'm very happy with my surfer Knight-Errant but these guys can be a lot of fun as well. Note that Tylos has a force sword which can be very handy versus armies such as Admech... Especially since he can juice up his strength when fighting in melee.

Fielding a Knight-Errant
30k is quite different from 40k in that this community is much more narrative driven as opposed to simply fielding the latest and greatest douchebag Internet GT winning army you copied from some neck beard forum. So yes there's good reason to find a suitable theme to your army so that it makes sense from a background perspective. Of course having a psyker onboard is always a good thing but for some armies it might stick out a bit like the proverbial sore thumb. Obviously a Knight-Errant isn't going to be making any friends with the traitor side so best not to even think about going there.

With the advent of the Council of Nikkea a lot of players will say fielding a Librarian in most any loyalist army is a big no no but I think a case can be easily made for the Knight-Errant, especially if you're prone to fighting traitors and Chaos daemons... Heh ! And remember fielding the Knight-Errant as a psyker is just an option. ; )

At the end of the day it's your army after all and you'll be wanting something your friends will enjoy playing against on the table tops. I've had a lot of fun fielding the Knight-Errant and he always does some work. Mine is originally a Word Bearer so that makes for some really fun modeling, converting and painting. He has his place beside my Templars and is always a blast. If this sounds like something you might like then give it a go... You'll be glad you did too.

Wednesday, July 20, 2016

Baphomet - Knight Errant... formerly a Word Bearers Sorcerer -> work in progress

Better lighting in this photo... His red armor is coming along


Tuesday, July 19, 2016

Using upgrade kits for your Horus Heresy model (conversions)

Here's a short form review of the Ultramarines upgrade sprue which has some really awesome bits for your 30k Marines.

I've included photos of two helmets, a chest plate and a gladius (short sword).

I don't always bother removing the icons (e.g., Ultramarines) as you can mask them when painting your converted models and this helps save time.

Pro Tip
Don't use resin swords and axes as they will invariably bend which can be fixed but is a pain. I only use plastic power weapons now... Makes your gaming life a lot easier !

More work on Knight Errant

I got in some work on my KE this evening which helps to show where the color scheme is going - still lots of work left to complete.

Saturday, July 16, 2016

30k Batrep: Templars vs. Iron Hands (featuring Rogal Dorn)

30k Batrep - Templars vs. Iron Hands (3250)

I had a game versus another 30k army this week and we decided to play 3250 points so we could bring some more of most favorite new toys.

Here's my army list:

+++ Templars (3242) +++

++ Legiones Astartes: Crusade Army List (Age of Darkness) ++

++ Rite of War: Pride of the Legion ++

+ HQ (580) +

+ Knight-Errant (220)
Jump Pack - Master-crafted Power Fist - Master-Crafted Volkite Serpenta - Narthecium - Iron Halo
Psychic Mastery Level 2
Librarian - Psychic Mastery Level 2
Lore: Librarius - Might of Heroes

By Falsehood Cloaked
Implacable Advance
Oath of Moment
Precision Shot
Precision Strike
Preferred Enemy (Traitors)

Unit Type:Infantry (Character)

Paragon Bolter:
Range: 24" |Strength: 4|AP: 5| Type: Assault 3 - Rending - Master-Crafted|

Volkite Serpenta:
Range: 10" |Strength: 5|AP:5| Type:Pistol - Deflagrate|

+ Legion Centurion (130)
Artificer Armour - Charnabal Sabre - Combi-Weapon - Melta Bombs - Refractor Field

Duellist's Edge

Consul - Primus Medicae

Unit Type:
Infantry (Character)

Needle Pistol:
Range: 12" |Strength: 2|AP: 5|Type: Pistol - Poisoned - Rending|

+ Sigismund (230)
Master of the Legion

Adamantium Will
Death's Champion
Dolorous Fighter
Eternal Warrior

Unit Type: Infantry (Character)

The Black Sword: Range:
|Strength: +2|AP: 2|Type:Melee - Two-Handed|

+ Troops (1487) +

Legion Terminator Squad (542)
9x Legion Terminators
3x Chainfist - Combi-Weapon - Pair of Lightning Claws - 3x Power Fist - 2x Thunderhammer
Iliastus Pattern Assault Cannon - Plasma Blaster
4x Vigil Pattern Storm Shield
Teleportation Transponder

Legion Terminator Sergeant
Thunderhammer - Vigil Pattern Storm Shield

Deep Strike - Implacable Advance - Malfunction

Legion Terminator:
Unit Type: Infantry

Legion Terminator Sergeant:
Unit Type:Infantry (Character)

Vigil Pattern Storm Shield:
Confers 3++ Invulnerable save

Iliastus Assault Cannon:
Range: 24" |Strength: 6|AP: 4|Type: Heavy 4 - Rending - Malfunction|

Plasma Blaster:
Range: 18" |Strength: 7|AP: 2|Type: Assault 2 - Gets Hot!|

Legion Veteran Tactical Squad (360)
9x Legion Veteran Space Marine
Heavy Bolter and Suspensor Web - Plasma Gun
4x Power Weapon

Legion Veteran Sergeant
Artificer Armour - Combi-Weapon - Power Fist

Implacable Advance
Veteran Tactics (Sniper)

Legion Rhino Armoured Carrier
Dozer Blade - Extra Armour


Legion Veteran Sergeant:
Unit Type: Infantry (Character)

Legion Veteran Space Marine:
Unit Type: Infantry

Legion Rhino:
BS:4|Front:11|Side:11|Rear:10|HP:3|Type:Tank, Transport|

Templar Brethren (585)
5x Templar Brethren
5x Combat Shield - Nuncio-Vox - 2x Plasma Pistol

Chapter Champion
Combat Shield - Master-Crafted Solarite Power Gauntlet

Furious Charge

Land Raider Phobos
Armoured Ceramite - Auxiliary Drive - Dozer Blade - Extra Armour

Assault Vehicle - Machine Spirit

Chapter Champion:
Unit Type: Infantry (Character)

Templar Brethren:
Unit Type: Infantry

Land Raider Phobos:

Auxiliary Drive:
A vehicle with an Auxiliary Drive may ignore Immobilised results it suffers on a D6 roll of a 4+

Units arriving via Deep Strike within 6" of a Nuncio-vox do not scatter. When barrage weapons are used by the controlling player, line of sight may be drawn from any model equipped with a Nuncio-vox as well as the firing model itself. Range is still drawn from the firing model. It may not be used inside a vehicle.

Solarite Power Gauntlet:
Range: - |Strength:x2|AP:1|Type: Melee - Master-crafted - Unwieldy|

+ Elites (390) +

Contemptor Dreadnought (230)
Extra Armour - Plasma Blaster - Twin-Linked Lascannon


Contemptor Dreadnought:
|WS:5|BS:5|S:7|Front:13|Side:12|Rear:10|I:4|A:3|HP:3|Type: Walker|

Atomantic Shielding:
Gains 5++ Invulnerable save from shooting attacks and explosions, and a 6++ Invulnerable save in close combat. In addition, add +1 to the range of explosions from the Reactor Blast rule.

Legion Quad Launcher Support Battery (160)
2x Legion Rapier
Shatter Shell - Splinter Shell

Extremely Bulky

Legion Rapier Weapons Battery (Rapier Carrier):
Unit Type: Artillery

Legion Rapier Weapons Battery (Space Marine Crew):
Unit Type: Infantry

Frag Shell:
Range: 12" - 60" |Strength: 5|AP: 5|Type:Heavy 4 - Barrage - Blast|

Shatter Shell:
Range: 36" |Strength:8|AP:4|Type:Heavy 4 - Sunder|

Splinter Shell:
Range: 12" - 36" |Strength:2|AP:4|Type:Heavy 4 - Barrage - Blast - Rending|

+ Heavy Support (400) +

Leviathan Siege Dreadnought (400)
Armoured Ceramite - Grav-Flux Bombard - Phosphex Discharger - 2x Twin-Linked Volkite Caliver

Crushing Charge - Move Through Cover - Reinforced Atomantic Shielding
Crawling Fire - Deflagrate - Lingering Death (VC)
Graviton Collapse - Severing Cut - Torsion Crusher (GFB)

Legion Dreadnought Drop Pod

Assault Vehicle
Burning Retros
Drop Pod Assault
Inertial Guidance System

Leviathan Siege Dreadnought:
WS:5|BS:5|S:8|Front:13|Side:13|Rear:12|I:4|A:4|HP:4|Type: Vehicle (Walker)|

Grav-Flux Bombard:
Range: 18" |Strength: *|AP: 2|Type: Heavy 1 - Large Blast - Ignores Cover - Pinning - Graviton Collapse - Torsion Crusher|

Leviathan Siege Claw:
Range: - |Strength: X2|AP:2|Type:mMelee - Wrecker - Severing Cut|

Phosphex Discharger:
Range: 6" - 18" |Strength: 5|AP: 2|Type: Heavy 3 -One Use - Barrage - Blast - Poison (3+) - Crawling Fire - Lingering Death|

Volkite Caliver:
Range: 30" |Strength: 6|AP: 5|Type: Heavy 2 - Deflagrate|

Legion Dreadnought Drop Pod:
BS:4|Front:12|Side:12|Rear:12|HP:3|Type:Open-Topped - Transport (Special)|

+ Legion +

Legion Astartes [Loyalist - VII: Imperial Fists]

+ Lord of War (385) +

Rogal Dorn (385)
Master of the Legion - Primarch

Adamantium Will
Eternal Warrior
It Will Not Die
Reaping Blow
Sire of the Imperial Fists
Sundering Blow
Unshakable Defence

Unit Type:Infantry (Character)

Teleport Homer:

The Auric Armour:
Provides 2+ armour and 4++ invulnerable save. Additionally, no attack may wound Rogal Dorn on better than a 3+ regardless of its Strength or special rules. D weapons not affected.

Storm's Teeth:
Range: - |Strength:User|AP:2|Type: Melee - Shred - Rampage -mReaping Blow|

The Voice of Terra:
Range: 24" |Strength: 5|AP: 4|Type:Salvo 3/5, Rending|

Unfortunately I don't have a copy of my opponent's army list so I'll give an abbreviated version to the best of my memory.

Iron Hands (3250)

++ Legiones Astartes: Crusade Army List (Age of Darkness) ++

+ HQ +

Legion Centurion
Primus Medicae
Artificer Armour - Cyber-Familiar - Refractor Field

Legion Centurion
Forge Lord

Legion Praetor
Artificer Armour - Cyber-Familiar - Digital Lasers - Iron Halo - Power Weapon

Iron Father: Father to the Brethren of Iron - Servo-Arm
Battlesmith - Feel No Pain (6++)

+ Troops +

Legion Tactical Squad
19x Legion Tactical Space Marine
Legion Tactical Sergeant

Legion Tactical Support Squad
4x Legion Space Marine
Legion Sergeant
Melta Guns

+ Elites +

Apothecarion Detachment
Legion Apothecary

Contemptor Dreadnought
Carapace Mounted Havoc Launcher - 2x Dreadnought Close Combat Weapon - 2x Melta Gun - Extra Armour

Gorgon Terminator Squad
4x Gorgon Terminator
4x Power Fist - Reaper Autocannon
Gorgon Hammerbearer

Medusan Immortals
9x Medusan Immortal
9x Volkite Charger
Veteran Sergeant
Artificer Armour - Single Breaching Charge

Land Raider Phobos
Blessed Autosimulacra

Volkite Charger:
Range: 15" |Strength: 5|AP: 5|Type:Assault 2 - Deflagrate|

+ Heavy Support +

Achilles-Alpha Pattern Land Raider
Blessed Autosimulacra

Legion Vindicator Siege Tank Squadron
Legion Vindicator Tank
Blessed Autosimulacra - Machine Spirit

Legion Vindicator Tank
Blessed Autosimulacra - Machine Spirit

Leviathan Siege Dreadnought
Grav-Flux Bombard - Leviathan Storm Cannon - Phosphex Discharger - 2x Twin-Linked Volkite Caliver

+ Legion +

Legion Astartes [Loyalist - X: Iron Hands]

+ Lord of War +

War Machine Detachment
Legion Malcador Assault Tank
Blessed Autosimulacra - Demolisher Cannon - Heavy Bolters - Space Marine Legion Crew - Twin-Linked Lascannon

Thursday, July 14, 2016

Changes in new Horus Heresy Legion Astartes Book

Thanks to Garro from the 30k Heresy forums for putting this list together and sharing ! :-)

Age of Darkness rules changes
- The ‘imperial armour units in age of darkness games’ rule has been replaced. Instead of ‘any unit’ it is now a fixed list of units.
- Clarification of having multiple characters with the ‘must be warlord’ rule. Simply put, you can’t. Only primarchs override this.
- Tank squadrons have command tank upgrade which is +10pts over old price
tanks with pintile-mounted options have multi-meltas added for same price as havoc launcher.

HQ Choices
- Moritat chain fire rules updated to include the overheat rules from the jan 2016 FAQ.
legion command squad base cost is -25 pts
- Additional LCS members are -5 pts

Elites Choices
- Veteran tactical squads -25 pts to base cost
- Veteran Marines are -3 pts each
- VTS has additional weapons from FAQ added
- Techmarines are -10 pts each base
- Servo-automata has heavy bolter, multi-melta, and missile launcher added to their wargear options
apothecarion detachment has list of units removed, may join any unit will ‘legiones astartes’ rule that isn’t in terminator armour or have the daemon rule
- Apothecarion detachment can purhcase jump packs and SM bikes, allowing them to join like equipped units.
- Dreadnoughts all have +1 attack (to base 3) as per FAQ
- Volkite culverins in contemtpor dreads replaced with the twin-linked version
- Legion rapier squads thudd guns only have frag rounds to start with. May purchase additional rounds as in Book 6, including phosphex

Troops Choices
- Legion tacticals squads are -25 pts base
- Legion assault squads are -75 pts base
- Additional assault Marines are -2 pts each
- Breacher squad -25 pts base
- Additional Breacher marines are +5 pts each
- Tactical support squad can take additonal close combat weapon for 2 pts; rotor cannon and volkite charger upgrades are now free upgrades
- Reconnaissance squad is -25 pts base

Dedicated Transports
- Legion dreadnought drop pods are +35 pts

Fast Attack
- Legion Seekers are -20 pts base
_ A dditional marines are +5 pts
- Sunfury missiles on Lightning is +10 pts
- Kraken missiles are +10 pts
- Phosphex bomb cluster -10 pts
- Electromagnetic bomb charges are -10 pts
- Tarantulas are +5 pts each
- Tarantula squads lose forward deployment
- Dreadclaw drop pods +15 pts
- Dreadclaw listed as only carrying regular and contemptor dreads, not Leviathan or Dreadeo types
- Landspeeders are -10 pts each
- Hunter killer missiles are -5 pts each now
- Javelins are -20 pts each
- Javelins gain strafing run USR
- Units attacking a Javelin in close combat suffer a -2 to hit while it isn’t immobilsed

Heavy Support
- New jetbike unit
- Just regular jetbikers with multi-melta as basic, base squad is +30 pts over normal jetbike squad
- May only go to 5 men in total, additional jetbikes are +15 pts over normal jetbikes
- May upgrade to volkite or plasma for cost, all of the squad must be the same
- May take sergeant upgrade
- Deathstorm drop pod has automated weapons rule, basically old rule of automatically shooting all units within range (enemy or friend) when it arrives
- LR Phobos is -25 pts
- LR Proteus is -20 pts
- Land Raider Achilles can take thudd gun ammos same as rapiers, at same price
- Achilles-Alpha can take additonal ammo types
- Vindicators are now squadrons as in Book 6 with additional rules from FAQ
- Spartan is +10 pts
- Laser destroyers are free upgrades on Spartan
- Flare shield is +20 pts
- Sicaran Venator may take second pintle-mounted weapon
- Sicaran is +30 pts and can take a pintle mounted weapon
- Kharybdis is -25 pts
- Deredeo dreadnought has third arm option, heavy lascannon option S10, AP2 heavy 2, Exoshock
- Exoshock - if a hit scores a penetrating hit, then on a 4+ a second automatic pen is caused ignoring cover
- Whirlwind Scorpius can take pintle-mounted weapons
- Malcador is now heavy support with -25 pts base cost
- Battlespeed now allows it to fire its main weapon (top turret) at full BS skill before or after moving flat out
- Malcador is 1-3 in squadrons
- Malcador receives wider range of wargear selection covering basic stuff like pintle-mounted weapons

Lords of War
- Typhon is +45 pts base
- Falchion is +25 pts
- Falchion can take a neutron wave capacitor which adds the ‘feedback’ and ‘shock pulse’ special rules to its Volcano Cannon

Rites of War
- Orbital Assault - dreadnought and contemptor talons can take dreadclaws or dreadnought drop pods even in talons of 2 or 3
- Rapier batteries can take drop pods

Knight Errant in progress

Got some of the base colors done ...

Saturday, July 09, 2016