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Blood Vow

Happiness is success... (Buddha)

Thursday, October 26, 2017

Chaos Conspiracy

I would like to add a short preamble to this 40k article. I was once a hard core tournament player and then came the end of 7th edition so I decided to switch over fully to playing 30k. 30k is a very balanced game and not playing tournaments any more I learned that gaming can be fun for just the experience and be totally immersed in the game. Sure I still like to win like everyone but the things I enjoy most changed. I’d also like to add that I have played Chaos Space Marines (CSM) since 3rd Edition... we once were so mighty then came the eventual fall but now we are finally strong again. What prompted me to write this diatribe was a game this past weekend versus CSM and it was my first game playing Space Marines in 8th edition. My opponent brought both daemon Primarchs and a Lord of Skulls with cultists and some sorcerers for Warp Time... his strategy was to cast Warp Time on the heavy hitters and go for broke. I brought Guilliman with a fluffy army not optimized. He constantly complained about my Primarch throughout the entire game which was very disappointing for me. I felt like he had a big chip on his shoulder to be honest.

This week we have seen the FAQ for Astra Militarum and the nerf to conscripts. It’s a big deal. I’m not going to say it was needed or not needed but as a formerly competitive player I am going to say to CSM players need to put on their big boy pants and STFU about Guilliman... LTP. I have never been into petitions to Games Workshop to nerf other people’s armies, that’s now how I roll. Having discussed this topic on some large FB groups built around competitive 40k my take on it is most of the hate towards Guilliman comes directly from CSM players.

Let’s take a look at both of the daemon Primarchs. Both have wings and psychic powers plus lots more win. Magnus is rocking a 3++ invulnerable save rerolling 1s since he is classed as a Daemon of Tzneetch. Roboute has 9 wounds, half as many as either deamon Primarch... Guilliman can get back up after being destroyed on the roll of a 4+ with d6 wounds which with a command point and a successful roll is the same number of wounds - it’s not a sure thing by any means.

I don’t see any Imperial players targeting either daemon Primarch with demands for the ban hammer nor has most any Guilliman list won any major tournament. If Guilliman is FAQd to have say 10 wounds he will be unplayable. I also think that some competitive players need to realize the game does not solely revolve around them and their desire to win. Nerfing Guilliman would adversely affect non competitive players who enjoy using him as he is now... their enjoyment is just as valid as anyone else’s.

To me the inclusion of Primarchs into 40k is really cool... I love it and that’s all I have to say on this sensitive subject.

Sunday, October 22, 2017

Marneus Calgar


So I was playing against a super smelly douche this weekend in a video batrep... Game comes down to Guilliman and a Redemptor versus a heavily wounded Mortarion. Douche rolls a bunch of onez to hit then sez that a +1 modifier converts them all to hits. I’m like wow no one plays it that way but he is a super ass and sez the ones all hit. I protest again and tell him you wouldnt even need to roll to hit... but he has to roll the dice so some people watching the video don’t figure out what he is doing to cheat.

If there was a modifier that makes a natural one a two and unit hits on 2+ you don’t even need to roll the dice... well except so people watching don’t know he was cheating. Can you even believe it?

Friday, October 20, 2017

Black Legion Tactica Part 3 - Abbadon

Hello everyone it’s BBF here again with my third installment of Black Legion tactica. Terminators and Land Raiders - go big or just go home ! This past weekend I had a thrilling game versus the new Astra Militarum (Cadians). Lots of Russes, Baneblade and some boots on the ground. Expect to see more Leman Russes... they are the new hotness since GW has buffed them considerably now with some crazy stratagems and tasty special orders. A Baneblade rerolling all missed hits and failed wounds is a frightening thing to behold indeed.

I took a lot of heavy losses early on but some of my key units hung in their til the bitter end and made a game out of it. I made one silly mistake which cost me the win but it was still very close right down to the last dice roll. The new IG could very well be the top codex for now and it’ll be interesting to see what happens with the soon to release new eldar codex.

I’ve been playing Black Legion exclusively for some time while I assemble and paint my new Primaris Space Marine army. During this period I’ve tweaked my original army list such as using different Marks of Chaos for my terminator squads in order to buff them with the appropriate stratagems... it’s paying some dividends too.

I’m not going to lie, this can be a tough army to play so if you want an easy net list like Chaos or Imperial Soup this might be a good point to stop and think about why you play what you do. I have always been into anti meta armies. I do have to say after watching a VLOG by VisiCast that adding some blob to your army can be a really good thing and is well proven ... as pointed out by VisiCast the blob element can make the game more complex which is good but there should be natural counters just for overall balance. The thing is that the very best competitive players strive to break the meta rather than emulating it - change is constant.

This article focuses on how to get the most out of Abbadon, arguably the best current melee specialist in the game. First I take the Warlord trait that generate an extra wound to his base number and he can ignore any wound on the roll of a 6. Abbadon buffs your Chaos terminators making them unbreakable and reroll all missed hits... he does a lot of work if played correctly. Abbadon also has the new Eternal Warrior halving damage taken. He can still be quite fragile but if well played can decimate an opponent’s army.

Abbadon has the keywords for every Mark of Chaos granting him access to a number of very strong stratagems, such as attacking twice in a row (Khorne) and regenerating lost wounds (Nurgle). You must play smart to protect him and I take a Sorcerer for the sweet sweet psychic buffs such as improving his invulnerable save up to 3++ and Warp Time to ensure he will make the key game winning charges. It’s important to note he has the new Eternal Warrior rule with cuts wounds inflicted in half. You can also just use him to buff your shooty units rerolling all failed to hit rolls which is one of the things that makes Guilliman so good.

Abbadon is armed with not one but two very deadly melee weapons. The Talon doubles his strength plus he also has the daemon weapon Drachyen which grants d6 extra attacks... he has the ability to land a lot of punches, hitting on 2+ with rerolls. As such Abbadon can destroy any enemy unit including even super heavies. A great stratagem to pop versus super tough enemy units is the +1 to wound.

Deployment is critical for this army. Use line of sight blocking terrain when you can. You must survive long enough to ensure hit the enemy line. Make sure your Land Raiders use some cover when possible to improve their saves... it can make a huge difference. The Land Raiders provide long range powerful shooting that can shuttle your terminators into key positions. As good as Land Raiders are there are plenty of armies that destroy one first turn if your deployment is sloppy - they must be deployed for the +1 cover save against these types of armies even if you are going first to counter a first turn seize versus strong alpha strike armies such as the new Astra Militarum.

This type of army must literally be played reverse to the currently popular blob armies. Missions such as NOVA and the new ITC missions allow you to pick objectives that force your opponent to come to you ... this is pure gold versus blob and denies them their inherent strengths. You have super killing power but literally no bubble wrap. If you do go first which is to your advantage you can Alpha Strike using the tactics I’ve covered in these three articles. Elite armies have the advantage to go first using the new ITC missions but you must hedge your game which goes back to deployment, otherwise you’re betting the farm on a single dice roll wguch is literally too scary for me... I’d rather be able to weather the first turn storm then beta strike to maximum effect. Black Legion can do this extremely well if you have the necessary maturity.

My next article will cover the Forgeworld exploits which takes this army over the top.

Sunday, October 15, 2017

Thelonius, Master of Sanctity

Interview with Reecius * New ITC Mission Pack (SoCal Open)

I held this interview with Reecius of Frontline Games yesterday at his shop here in San Diego while helping him and crew build terrain for the SoCal Open to be held next week. The questions all pertain to the new ITC mission pack which was specifically designed with 8th edition in mind and borrows from other great mission packs like the NOVA Open.

1. Does the mission pack favor certain types of army builds ?

It does favor armies with strong board control that also kill well, but then, all missions do I suppose.

2. How does the new mission pack help the player going 2nd ?

Hey brother, yeah, going second gives you the better position for scoring objectives since you can’t be countered.

3. What’s your advice in general on designing an army list that will excel using the new mission pack ?

This was actually already answered above in reply to the first question.

4. Does the new mission pack take into account of not yet released codices ?

I can't comment on what is yet to come. :’ (

Here’s some additional comments from Reecius over the FB group for SoCal Open. Note that some players here in California have already been playtesting them ...

On tabling an opponent or when an opponent concedes:

Tabling gives you the same points as when your opponent concedes, so that must have gotten lost in translation somehow. It's not max points but close to it for remaining rounds.

On slow play:

Slow play is, was and probably always will be an issue in competitive 40k. It's just tough to police that effectively, especially as events scale up in size. The responsibility for managing time must be the players at the table responsibility. You've got to keep an eye on the clock. For what it's worth, I've had a single tournament game in 8th not go the distance and I play a high model count army. However, I do understand that many players play slowly and our hope is that this forces people to choose to speed up if they want their full score. We don't want to go back to a system that simply allows slow playing to be acceptable from a scoreboard perspective as folks won't have to ever adapt. The game is absolutely capable of being finished on time, it just comes down to the players at the table making it a priority.

On the new secondary mission objectives:

Some of the secondary missions are indeed designed to be punishing. They're meant to be tough to get and we don't intend most players to max out. That is absolutely intentional. This gives a wide range of scores which helps to stratify the field for clear outcomes and reductions in tie games but leaving ties possible.

On scoring:

So it seems like there was some misunderstandings on the new ITC missions. You still get 1,000 tournament points for a win, 500 for a tie, and 0 for a loss + Battle Points, per usual. So, winning games is still primary, but your Battle Points ranks you within your W/L/D bracket thereafter.

Here is an update for everyone coming to the SoCal Open, there will be food, candy, soda, beer and snacks available at the event for sale. No outside food and beverages will be available.

Draft Mission Pack:


Signals from the Frontline Podcast:


Thursday, October 12, 2017

Assassin - Part 29 - Memoria

Sanguinius sat upon his throne surrounded by the Templars. The Strike Cruiser Vain Glory delved deeper into the Eye of Terror with the remains of the Vengeful Spirit in gravic tow. Cyrene stood at the bridge ever silent. Memories from the distant past spilled into his mind. He stood up beckoning to Oathsbane. "We must go back onboard the traitor vessel."

"Yes my Lord I shall make it so."


The Primarch stood upon the broken prow absorbing psychic residue collected from over a millennium stretching back to the final battle and his death. A crystalline form of himself recreated from his remnant being filled the command chamber, wings outstretched with grim resolve etched upon the face. Horus was cast in the likeness of granite beside his form, their fists locked grimly around each others’ throats. Their armor was torn and rent hollow within the shaded images. Sanguinius removed a gauntlet placing his bare hand upon the left shoulder of his own likeness. Ever so slowly the crystalline structure began to decompose atom by very atom as he reabsorbed himself becoming even more complete. He looked into the hollow eyes of Horus then ran his fingertips over the open wound above the exposed throat.

The buried memory was so painful... rage followed by the ultimate betrayal. "Horus there is still a place for you with us." said the Emperor. The Primarch of the Sons of Horus bellowed in laughter, filled to the very brim with the dark power gifted from every Chaos God. His eyes were black mirrors looking down upon the immediate destruction at hand.

"He is the architect of our doom." Sanguinius said. "How could you even consider it?" Black Rage filled him with unbridled hate. "How many innocent have died at his hands? This is blasphemous Father." A dark cry emanated from the very core of the Angel wailing like a banshee. The Emperor lifted his hands to shield his ears. Sanguinius threw his sword aside leaping upon Horus. His fingertips burst into claws tearing through the hard black plate. Horus struck back immediately backhanding the Angel against a bunker wall. Again the Angel shrieked rising back up wholly lost to the Black Rage. His fists struck like stone hammering the Archfiend’s exposed temples cracking hidden bone.

"Stop." commanded the Emperor. Sanguinius was lost in the vast consuming deluge of dark emotion. He grunted in anger as he continued with the violence. Horus reeled momentarily confused. Sanguinius’ face had grown pale as an ancient ghost, his fangs jutting out bursting forth from his drawn lips. Horus struck back swinging the World Breaker down to crush his brother but the Angel leapt aside locking his arms around the torso. Lifting up he brought Horus down hard upon his armored knee shattering vertebrae then he cast him aside. His mouth clamped down upon the open neck, his fangs piercing through the throat. Chaos infused blood burst from the new wound spraying the wall. Horus wailed involuntarily from the hurt then Sanguinius felt the tip of the Emperor’s burning sword burst through his back. Casting the spent body of the traitor aside the Angel turned to look the Emperor eye to eye. "Why Father?"

Tuesday, October 10, 2017

BBF’s Review - Blade Runner 2049 (some spoilers)

If you haven’t seen the movie but plan to do so then STOP here. Also if you haven’t seen the original I highly recommend you watch it first. There is also the novel by the giant Philip K Dick that sheds even more insight into this dark tale if you want more background which I recommend as well. Dick wrote other epic sci-fi novels such as Man in the High Castle and Total Recall which both crossed over well into the film medium. I’ve read practically everything he wrote and consider him one of the greatest sci-fi writers ever.

The Good
I had read some reviews prior to watching the new movie this past weekend. It’s rated 98 on Rotten Tomatoes which is about as good as it gets over there and some critics proclaim it’s even better... I wouldn’t go that far though. It is roght on par with the original movie and greatly progresses the story line. While cinematography and CGI has a come a long way since the 1980s its the script and acting that carries the movie. The basic question posed by these films is "What is it to be human?".

The novel and films revolve around replicants whom are manufactured as super humans to serve mankind as slaves. You might want to ask yourself is this practice okay. On first glance of course the answer is no but it turns out replicants were originally devoid of any basic empathy which in turn means they are literally no better than serial killers and not to be trusted. Other replicants are eventually introduced such as Rachael from the first movie that appear to be empathic which in and of itself serves as a twist.

The LAPD has a number of specially trained tactical agents whom are tasked with hunting down rogue replicants and terminating them since they pose great risk to normal humans exposed to them. The main character in the first is Dekkard, portrayed by Harrison Ford, who is one of these agents whom are often referred to as Blade Runners. The main character in the second movie is K, portrayed by Ryan Gosling, and is also a replicant as well. There was much discussion following the first movie that asked the question is Dekkard also a replicant. Dekkard never demonstrated their super human strength but several times took a beating from known replicants such as the antagonist, Roy Batty portrayed by Rutger Hauer from the first movie, which would have surely snuffed a normal human... this query goes unanswered in my opinion. It should be noted that both Dekkard and K demonstrate empathy as well.

Dekkard eventually meets Rachael in the first movie whom is a very special replicant. The original replicants were designed with a fixed life span which served as a fail safe should any go rogue. Rachael however did not have a fixed life span and Dekkard fell in love with her which dramatically changed his life presumably for the better.

Towards the end of the first movie Dekkard finally succeeds in terminating four of the five rogue replicants returned to earth and has an epic showdown with Roy Batty. Batty gets the best of Dekkard but then ends up saving his life just prior to his own timed death which demonstrates he was actually capable of learning empathy, appreciating life for another.

The second movie revolves around K whom is tasked with terminating the child of Dekkard and Rachael... turns out the LAPD wants to cover it all up. There are other forces at play as well such as the neo corporation that now manufactures ’more stable’ replicants and a subversive group of existing replicants in hiding with their own secret agenda. Both of the latter groups want the child for their own means. K turns out to be one heck of a guy playing these forces against each other.

The Bad
To me the new movie is a HUGE success but didn’t do quite as well in terms of sales this opening weekend as originally projected which is a shame since this is what the nay sayers will continue to harp on as they are so wont to do (pennywise). I chalk that down to what current movie goers are looking for nowadays - giant robots, lots of explosions and sweaty boobies... heh. I didn’t think Hollywood could produce a sequel on this level and it’s sad to think it’ll go unappreciated by many. Well Thor and the Justice League are right around the proverbial corner so it’ll be back on track with the same ole same old soon enough so don’t sweat it if Blade Runner 2049 doesn’t quite float your boat. Blade Runner 2049 it turns out is a diamond in the rough so to speak.

The Ugly
There isn’t any really in my opinion. The new movie was everything I wanted plus even more. I don’t know if there’ll be a third movie, I’m just very thankful for this one.

Thursday, October 05, 2017

Black Legion Tactica Part 2

Hi everyone ! It’s BBF here to share some tactical insight into playing Chaos Space Marines a new way for 40k. Black Legion is known for their terminators and their very best were referred to as Justearin during the Horus Heresy and prior to that period of strife. Every Legion had access to terminators but there was something very special about the Justearin - they were true monsters back in the day. Many members of the Lupercalia rose up from these very ranks such as Abbadon and Horus always wore terminator plate in battle. Now the Justearin are known as Bringers of Despair, infused with daemonic possession, and that they do so well !

Horde armies are the new black so what better way to counter them than bringing a low model count super elite army ? The army I present has very solid shooting versus infantry-monsters-vehicles, excels in melee and has lots of nasty tricks up its sleeve. It can be easily countered if your opponent tailors specifically against it but it does well versus most anything else. I have a lot of experience playing the same type of army for Horus Heresy (30k) which I feel has converted well to straight into eighth edition 40k.

Here’s the army list I’ve been using ...

++ Vanguard Detachment +1 CP (Chaos - Chaos Space Marines) [114 PL, 1999pts] ++

+ No Force Org Slot +

Legion - Black Legion

+ HQ [20 PL, 398 pts] +

Abaddon the Despoiler

Sorcerer in Terminator Armour:
Mark of Tzeentch
Eye of Tzeentch
Psychic Powers - Death Hex & Warp Time
Combi-Bolter & Force Axe

+ Elites [56 PL, 867 pts] +

Chaos Terminators:
Mark of Khorne
Chaos Terminator Champion: Chain Fist & Combi-Bolter
Terminator: Combi-Bolter & Power Axe
Terminator: Combi-Bolter & Power Axe
Terminator: 2x Lightning Claw
Terminator: 2x Lightning Claw
Terminator: 2x Lightning Claw
Terminator: 2x Lightning Claw
Terminator: Heavy Flamer & Power Fist

Chaos Terminators:
Mark of Slaanesh
Chaos Terminator Champion: Combi-Bolter & Power Fist
Terminator: Combi-Melta & Power Fist
Terminator: Combi-Bolter & Power Fist
Terminator: Combi-Melta & Power Axe
Terminator: Heavy Flamer & Power Axe ü

Chaos Terminators:
Mark of Tzeentch
Chaos Terminator Champion & 2x Lightning Claw
Terminator: Combi-Melta & Power Axe
Terminator: Combi-Bolter & Power Axe
Terminator: Combi-Bolter & Power Axe
Terminator: Heavy Flamer & Power Fist

+ Heavy Support [38 PL, 734 pts] +

Chaos Land Raider:
Mark of Slaanesh
Havoc Launcher
Twin Heavy Bolter
2x Twin Lascannon

Chaos Land Raider:
Mark of Tzeentch
Havoc Launcher
Twin Heavy Bolter
2x Twin Lascannon

++ Total: [114 PL, 1999 pts] ++

You’ve got 6 command points total since Abbadon automatically grants 2 command points and another two since this list is Battle Forged. The two five man Chaos terminator squads each ride in a Chaos Land Raider while Abbadon, the Sorcerer and the eight man terminator squad all teleport onto the battlefield.

Small armies are inherently easy to play as you have less mental book keeping - they do require more skill though than blob armies so there is definitely a trade off but it can work for you in a winning way if you’ve got the stones to roll with an elite army like this one.

A basic tactic is to rush your opponent with the land raiders ferrying Chaos terminators while the deep striking units come in close to their line to disrupt. Casting Warp Time on the eight man Chaos terminator ensures a first turn charge... you can multi assault to prevent as many enemy units as possible without the Fly keyword from shooting their next turn. Smart opponents will deploy in such a manner to prevent you from deploying your deep striking units deep into their backfield so come in front of them on one flank bringing in the land raiders for close by support. Smart opponents will also bubble wrap their best units with chaff like conscripts but a unit like this can easily gut one blob on the charge... remember you can pop the Khornate stratagem to assault twice plus if Abbadon is within range they reroll all missed hits. Removing one large blob first turn and scoring First Blood is a big deal.

The Sorcerer is a big part of what makes this army grind opponents to dust therefore it’s vital to properly screen him with the land raiders so your opponent can’t pick him off easily their next turn during the shooting phase. Death Hex is one of the best psychic powers in the Chaos Space Marine codex versus armies that rely upon invulnerable saves for key units... it will absolutely wreck units like the Swarmlord and Canoptek Wraiths. Eye of Tzneetch helps to ensure you successfully cast Smite and furthers your odds to blowing out a super Smite for d6 mortal wounds.

Abbadon is one of the best melee units in the game and my third article will delve into how to get the most bang for your buck with the Despoiler.