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Blood Vow

Happiness is success... (Buddha)

Sunday, December 23, 2018

Battle on Red Planet 9

This was a very exciting game using a mission from the new Chapter Approved 2018. Here’s the armies:

++ Blood Angels Battalion ++

Captain - Jump Pack (Angel’s Wings) - Thunderhammer - Stormshield
/Warlord: Artisan of War

Mephiston - Wings & Quickening

3x 5x Scout - Bolt Pistols & Combat Blades

++ Deathwatch Battalion ++

Watch Master - Tomes of Ectoclades

Watch Captain - Jump Pack - Storm Bolter - Thunderhammer - Angelis Beacon

Veteran Squad:
Watch Sergeant - Power Axe - Storm Bolter
Black Shield - Stormshield - Power Axe
2x Veteran - Stormshields & Storm Bolters
Gunner - Frag Cannon
Gunner - Infernus Heavy Bolter
Terminator - Power Fist & Storm Bolter

Veteran Squad:
Watch Sergeant - Power Axe - Storm Bolter
Black Shield - Stormshield - Storm Bolter
2x Veteran - Stormshields & Storm Bolters
Gunner - Frag Cannon
Gunner - Infernus Heavy Bolter
Terminator - Power Fist & Storm Bolter

Fortis Kill Team:
Intercessor Sergeant - Auto Bolt Rifle - Power Fist
4x Intercessor - Auto Bolt Rifles & Auxiliary Grenade Launcher
2x Inceptor - Assault Bolters
Aggressor - Bolt Gauntlets & Missile Rack

++ Adeptus Custodes Vanguard ++

Shield Captain on Dawneagle - Auric Aquilas

Vexilla Praetor - Castellan Axe

3x Warden - Castellan Axes

3x Allarus - Castellan Axes

Here’s my opponent’s army list to the best of my memory:




15x Warrior

10x Immortal - Tesla

Ghost Ark

Annihilation Barge

Annihilation Barge

6x Destroyer

6x Destroyer

5x Wraith

4 Pillars (from CA2018)

There are four objective markers on the table placed symmetrically around the center of the table each 15" out and only TROOP choices can score them. At the end of each battle round whoever controls the most objectives scores a point. Also whoever kills the most enemy units per battle round scores a point, both are very similar to the ITC Championship Mission format. There is also First Strike, Slay the Warlord (StWL) and Line Breaker (LB) up for grabs.

#1 from Rulebook

I deployed all my army first placing several units in deep strike reserve and my opponent deployed his entire army after me. Terrain favored my opponent as there wasn’t much good line of sight blocking terrain. I deployed most of my units in a ruin to hide them from the brutal xenos fire power and would focus on scoring objectives in the latter part of the game. I wanted to focus on first killing the Immortals and Warriors to prevent my opponent from scoring on objectives as the game progressed.

Here’s the running score with in-game notes per battle round:

T1: 0 [Imperium] - 3 [Necrons]
Necrons - 1 (First Strike), 1 (Objectives held), 1 (Units killed - Scouts)

Fairly lack luster turn for me - I had infiltrated one scout squad on an objective in my deployment zone to bait out his barges and Destroyers... sure enough the Barges came out to play.

T2: 0 [Imperium] - 4 [Necrons]
Imperium - 0 (Units killed - both Barges)
Necrons - 0 (Units killed - Mephiston & Veterans), 1 (Objectives held)

Mephiston and the Smash Captain came out to deal with the two barges. I deep struck my Fortis Kill Team and Watch Captain in range of the Warriors and used the beacon to bring in one of my Veteran Kill Teams. I just managed to kill both barges. The Warriors took some damage but not nearly enough. The Vets got nuked and only the Aggressor managed to survive enemy return fire power for the Fortis Kill Team... the Aggressor went onto to be one of my MVPs shooting down lots of Immortals and Warriors as the game progressed. Mephiston also got nuked by a squad of Destroyers. Again I wasn’t able to score any points this turn while the Necrons are running up their score.

T3: 0 [Imperium] - 6 [Necrons]
Imperium - 0 (Units killed - Immortals)
Necrons - 1 (Units killed - Watch Captain & Allarus), 1 (Objectives held)

My Praetor advanced forward and used the teleport homer stratagem to bring the Allarus into range to charge the Immortals which were decimated. I lost both the Allarus and the Watch Captain in return. The Wardens deep struck beside the Aggressor and were able to make an 11" charge into the Warriors... didn’t quite finish them off but they took heavy losses this turn. My other squad of Veterans, Watch Master and Shield-Captain began marching up the battlefield to lend some fire support.

T4: 0 [Imperium] - 8 [Necrons]
Imperium - 0 (Units killed - Warriors)
Necrons - 0 (Units killed - Smash Captain), 1 (Objectives held), 1 (StWL)

I lost my Warlord this turn... while he didn’t inflict a lot of damage he did manage to stick around for quite awhile and was quite the annoying pest. Combined shooting and a charge by the Shield-Captain removed the remaining Warriors.

T5: 2 [Imperium] - 8 [Necrons]
Imperium - 1 (Units killed - Cryptek & Wraiths), 1 (Objectives held)
Necrons - 0 (Units killed - Wardens)

Both scout squads pop out of the ruin this turn to hold the objective in my deployment zone while the rest of my forces start their killing spree. I really need two more turns to get back into the fight.

T6: 4 [Imperium] - 8 [Necrons]
Imperium - 1 (Objectives held), 1 (Units killed - Destroyer Squad)

Up pops a 3 on the dice - Turn 6 is on and my remaining forces are dominating now but there’s only so many points left on the table... Sure enough there’s a seventh final turn.

T7: 8 [Imperium] - 8 [Necrons]
Imperium - 1 (Objectives held), 1 (Units killed - bunches) StWL, LB

So the game ended in a draw with close to tabling for my opponent... all he had left was a Ghost Ark and a single Destroyer with one wound. I still had my Shield-Captain, Praetor, one Veteran squad, the Watch Master, two Scout squads and the lone Aggressor.

The surviving Veteran squad tanked a lot of high AP rending shots over the latter course of the game... wow those stormshields are solid gold for sure ! I’m liking the power fists for the terminators as they help to quickly clear out multi wound enemy units. This game was tough for me due to lack of enough line of sight blocking terrain. I played it cagey with some of my units like the scouts and they were able to score in the latter game. I really needed the two last turns to even have a chance to scrap a draw. I’d like to have squad of jetbikes but would have to get rid of both the Allarus and Wardens whom got the job done helping to eliminate several key enemy units.

Wednesday, December 12, 2018

Deathwatch Veterans and the new undercosted Stormshield

Deathwatch Veteran Squad Optimization

So the new Chapter Approved 2018 has costed the basic stormshield for non-characters at only 2 points per model... Deathwatch Veterans can take them for every vet that’s not a gunner (for example the Deathwatch Frag Cannon). The stormshield was 5 points per model and that’s quite significant - you can basically take twice as many stormshields now, or three now for less than the cost of two prior.

It’s really good but I reckon it’s not really worth going totally storm bolters and stormshields. I don’t want to invest more than 220 points per Veteran Squad and like to have units of seven for robustness.

Here’s my most current basic build pre Chapter Approved 2018:

Watch Sergeant - Storm Bolter & Power Axe
Black Shield - Stormshield & Power Axe
2x Veteran - Stormshield & Storm Bolter
Veteran Gunner - Deathwatch Frag Cannon
Veteran Gunner - Infernus Heavy Bolter
Terminator - Power Axe & Storm Bolter

Note that the Sergeant is optional and I like to field them for the theme. This squad comes in right under 220 points prior to Chapter Approved. If you go all storm bolters and stormshields plus one terminator to soak wounds from enemy small arms fire power it’s a lot of points saved, however Veteran squads are very elite excelling at both melee and shooting - why not enjoy the best of both worlds? The Black Shield grants the squad Heroic Intervention which catches a lot of people off guard... the goal is to eliminate the charging enemy unit that turn so they can shoot again the next turn, thereby eliminating wasting points on taking a Vanguard Veteran.

Power axes (AP2) wound T8 on a 5+ and that’s as good as it gets with decent armor penetration and still hitting on 3+. Some prefer the power maul for One less point but it’s only AP1 so not as reliable, plus for Marines you are wounding on 5+ at best against anything T5 and above without burning precious command points on a strategem.

This squad can use the stratagem Tempest Shell to inflict D3 mortal wounds on an enemy vehicle and another D3 mortal wounds via the Infernus Heavy Bolter via the strategem Hellfire round... you’re looking at 2-6 mortal wounds versus a Knight which tend to be a problem for Deathwatch. This squad also has excellent overwatch capability with the two template weapons (Deathwatch Frag Cannon and Infernus Heavy Bolter) plus the latter functions like a twin lascannon at half range which is reliable using the Teleportarium strategem or Angelus Beacon relic, again providing good offense versus Knights and enemy armor in general.

In conclusion the storm bolter with Special Issue Amunition wounding non vehicle enemy units on 2+ (Hellfire rounds) is excellent at quickly clearing enemy chaff and screens plus it can wallop high toughness enemy units as well ... but you really only need so much of a good-great thing. I prefer versatility and a plethora of tactical options rather than only being able to hammer one type of nail and Deathwatch Veterans have a gigantic toolbox, so why not use it ?

Tuesday, December 04, 2018

Extermantius Part 6

The Ancient looked straight at the Patriarch as he drew his chainswords one after another. His Pariah seed flooded the area shutting down the monster’s psychic energies. Arghus gathered himself beside the giant, his blade glinting as the sentient power rippled across the fractured edge. The sprawl continued between the new adversaries, Marine versus Pure Strain. Lifting his left gauntlet the Ancient fired a cluster of smoke grenades into their midst. "Now." said Tyrion the Ancient as he charged into the fray.

His chainswords revved hacking into the thick exoskeleton sawing at the weak points. Brother Arghus drove the tip of his sword straight through the Patriarch’s abdomen erupting out the back side. The tide had turned. Drawing upon their auto senses the Deathwatch struck hard and fast in the blackness then they all converged.

Outside the ruins the xenos tide suddenly retreated as smoke poured through the openings of the ruins. The Kill Team reassembled stepping over the dead as their leader emerged into the open ground. "There is no death of hope here. There is only your hope for death."

Tuesday, November 27, 2018

Extermantius Part 5

Brother Arghus and the rest of the Kill Team dropped back into the ruin. The genestealer brood poured into the street surrounding their Patriarch moving swiftly at a blinding rate. "I count at least twenty." said the Black Shield as he lifted the frag cannon. The Deathwatch opened fire blasting the closest of the genestealers only a few feet away. At such close range the xenos could not dodge, taking the brunt of the fire power. Brother Arghus drew his power sword from the sheath and ignited the long blade as the pure strains crashed into them. Rending claws and razor sharp talons tore at them raking their power armor. The Black Shield drove the muzzle of his gun into the face of a leering genestealer, blowing apart its head.

Bounding into the mad brawl the Patriarch slashed at one of Marines ripping through his torso splitting him in half. Arghus thrust his sword into the monster’s belly driving it straight through. The beast snarled and slapped him aside knocking the Dark Angel across the room. There came the sound of a hard crash from the back as an old doorway exploded. The Deathwatch Ancient stepped into the ruin and looked down upon the Patriarch. He carried a pitch black Thunderhammer gripping the hilt loosely by one gauntlet. "Dirty xenos prepare to meet your maker."

Spitting black poison from its gills the behemoth reared up and square itself against him. Eldritch psychic energies splayed across its exoskeleton then unleashed sending a super smite smashing into the Ancient. The ectoplasmic attack discharged washing over the Deathwatch nulled.

Tuesday, November 20, 2018

Deathwatch Storm Shields for Days - Making Vets Tank Better

I have been playing Deathwatch since the new codex dropped for Eighth Edition and in my opinion they are the best Space Marine codex now. Hellfire rounds wounding on 2+ (i.e., special issue ammo) rerolling 1s with storm bolters is brutal. Veteran squads can spam storm bolters which are Rapid Fire 2 which is 4 shots at 12" or less range. They melt away enemy chaff real fast.

Here’s my optimized build for a standard Deathwatch Veteran Squad:

Watch Sergeant - Storm Bolter & Power Axe
Black Shield - Storm Bolter & Storm Shield
Veteran - Storm Bolter & Storm Shield
Veteran - Storm Bolter & Chainsword
Veteran - Infernus Heavy Bolter
Veteran - Deathwatch Frag Cannon
Terminator - Storm Bolter & Power Axe

This a seven man squad with five storm bolters - 20 shots in rapid fire range wounding on 2+ due to Hellfire rounds via Special Issue Ammo (SIA). Use Mission Tactic to reroll 1s to wound. Watch Captains or a Watch Master grants the buff aura to reroll missed hits... that’s a lot of wounds no matter how you roll it.

The Black Shield allows the squad to heroically intervene and they have a lot of attacks for melee making them an excellent counter punch unit. It’s all about good placement using a good screen such as Space Scouts from another detachment. The Terminator has two base wounds along with the 2+ armor save plus the 5++ invulnerable save, helping the squad to efficiently tank wounds along with the two storm shields. The Infernus Heavy Bolter provides longer range dakka and can use the Hellfire strategem to inflict d3 mortal wounds. Couple the flamer with the frag cannon as an anti melee deterrent when on overwatch. You can also sneak in the Tempest Shell strategem for d3 more mortal wounds. This squad is super killy and can deep strike to protect against an enemy alpha strike.

Saturday, November 17, 2018

Final Deathwatch Intercessor completed

Genestealer Cult Strategem Rumors

Sabotaged (1CP) – When an enemy unit is destroyed and has an explosion
effect, do not roll any dice – that effect automatically triggers.

Confusion in the Ranks (3CP) – Choose an enemy unit in your opponent’s army. Select one of its aura abilities – that ability cannot be used until the start of your next turn.

Final Detonation (3CP) - Use this stratagem at the start of the fourth battle round. Roll a D6 for each unit on the battlefield. On a 1-3, the unit being rolled for cannot advance this battle round. On a 4+, the unit being rolled for suffers a mortal wound and cannot advance this battle round.

The Anointed one Rises (3CP) - Use this stratagem if an Abominant is slain. At the end of the phase, that model is set up again, as close as possible to the previous position and more than 1″ from enemy models, with D3 wounds remaining.

Density Analysis Lenses (1CP) - Ignore cover on chosen target.

Inhuman Reflexes (2CP) - A unit gets a 5++, or has its invulnerable save increased by 1.

Industrial Brutality (1CP) – Double the attacks of all mining weapons in an acolyte squad (rock saw, rock drill or rock cutter only).

Frenzied Hammering (2CP) – Select a unit of Aberrants – each model in that unit increases its attacks by D3 (roll once for the whole unit), but takes a -1 to hit rolls.

Strength of Faith (1CP) – 5+ feel no pain, but only vs. mortal wounds in the psychic phase.

Demolition Claw (1CP) – When a unit with demolition charges makes its attacks while embarked within a goliath truck/rockgrinder. That units demolition charges are not expended in the attack.

Deliverance Broodsurge (1CP) – Allows a unit embarked on a Goliath Truck to disembark after it moves, though for each one that disembarks roll a D6 – for every roll of 6+ the unit takes a mortal wound.

Numbers beyond counting (3CP) – Remove a unit from the board, next turn deploy it via Cult Ambush at its full strength.

Breaking Formation (2CP) – You may deploy a unit with the VEHICLE keyword from your army with the GENESTEALER CULTS keyword as per the Cult Ambush rules.

Saturday, November 10, 2018

A pair of Deathwatch Intercessors Work-in-Progress

Extermantius Part 4

Brother Arghus the Dark Angel clipped a fresh ammo drum underneath his storm bolter looking out into the clearing past the ruin where he and his remaining Battle Brothers laid in hiding. Acoltyes swarmed en masse covering the nearby open ground. The Black Shield lifted up the Frag Cannon sliding the arming rune to full auto. The rest of the Kill Team primed their frag grenades waiting. Suddenly a brute hybrid stepped into the cull. Its thick scarred skin was muted ochre and deeply pitted, in its tight fists the mutant carried a heavy rock drill. As it looked down upon the Deathwatch Arghus aimed his siting laser between its glowing eyes then pressed the trigger blasting apart its misshapen head like a piece of rotten fruit. Gore sprayed upon the walls as the Deathwatch emerged from the ruin in ambush.

In perfect synchronicity the frag grenades were flung into the seething brood vaporizing a whole host of the miscreants. "Open fire." said Arghus as the Black Shield pointed the frag cannon at the remains of a nearby wall firing round after round into the stone rubble. The miniature rockets ripped through tearing apart a clutch of aberrants huddled behind it. Storm bolters began to sing a song of death shredding more of the quickly approaching hybrids. There came the sound of tracks tearing through the strewn debris as a heavy Rockgrinder shambled into the open road.

Vaulting through the mutant horde the Black Shield thumbed the arming rune of the frag cannon to solid then fired point blank into the driving screen of the vehicle incinerating the immediate crew. He then jumped away from its path back towards his Kill Team. Heavily muscled aberrants spilled out from the back of the truck clambering forward towards the fight. Switching back to full auto the Black Shield opened fire again blasting the enemy into bloody visceral. Something huge came charging through the other side. The monster had many long barbed arms and towered above the Space Marines.

The Patriarch screamed in hateful anger as rolling waves of psychic energy poured off its exoskeleton hide. "Purestrains inbound." Arghus warned over the vox as a brood of Genestealers appeared behind the gargantuan mutant.

Saturday, October 27, 2018

Can Mono Faction Armies Still Compete

Black Blow Fly here to discuss list building for 40k in the 21st century... There are players that want a winning list using only one codex and there are players that have no qualms whatsoever as long as they are winning. One thing I recognize is that GW loves some allied armies going back as far as 6th Edition the worst Edition except for 7th Edition... they went so far as to say Soup is no longer on the menu but in reality if you still play competitively it is still is very much a thing BUT not quite as much so following the second big FAQ for 8th edition. For whatever reason GW is still all up into allied armies. Is it time to turn back the clock for the sake of the hobby ? Mono armies using one codex can do some work and if you don’t believe me just look at Dark Eldar and this is ORKT0BER.

I know what I like to play and I don’t like to design my army lists to chase the meta. Eighth Edition is all about the horde lists that have inherently intrinsic rules that are so much better than elite armies. A basic guardsman is more than twice as good as an Assault Marine when you do the math. That’s doesn’t make any sense to me nor is it properly reflecting the background accurately either. Horde units are very low cost in terms of points and by buffing them with auras, psychic powers and stratagems they are much more powerful than elite units. If you play progressive missions such the ITC or NOVA horde armies can very early rack up lots of the points simply sitting on more objectives because of their inherent low cost. Elite armies cannot compete against horde armies when it comes to holding objectives.

All the best armies can do some horde too just look at Thousand Sons. Take a full squad of 30 Tzrangors with a Twistbray so they can deep strike 1" closer to enemy units. Deploy them on the table some place safe. You’ll need a character with the Dark Matter Crystal that lets you deep strike a unit already deployed (see Tzrangors). Buff the Tzrangors with easy to cast psychic powers for +1 invulnerable save, -1 to hit then cast Warp Time on them... hilarity ensues and you haven’t used any precious command points yet but why not go ahead and burn one for +1 to wound? Seriously GW and you say you have legitimate play testers ??! To me it’s the proverbial case of the foxes guarding the hen house.

GW has unsuccessfully been trying to dial it back down from day one but Horde is still the king and this is ORKT0BER. A lot of people are ready to jump on the mean green band wagon and GW officially said this will be the very best Ork codex ever. So yeah mono faction is still a thing and here we see GW really really wants it’s so bad they straight up tell us publicly... good times for sure. Remember there are people that say more Primarchs can only be good for the game... Fulgrim is just around the corner too.

Ask yourself if that is really a good thing? To those that are truly true to the Waaaaagh they are deserving and good for them. One thing to always keep in mind is that playing Orks means lots and lots of models to purchase, build and paint... enjoy.

Now let’s take a look at the best and most competitive armies in Eighth Edition so far:

At first Ultramarines lead by Guilliman were over the top alongside Smash Brothers. Neither of these type of builds were fun to play against. Do you remember the short term success of Ravenspam? For me the army I personally hated the very most was Imperial Knights-Astra Militarum-Blood Angels with an infinite amount of command points to rock totally absurd strategems for six or more Battle Rounds. And what about Ynnari with Soul Burst and -4 to hit with ranged weapons ? Why does GW not understand ?

By the manner in which armies are designed only a very few select factions can really even be top tier competitively which typically revolves around extremely undercosted overpowered units... no brainer and very abusable - look at Dark Reapers and Shining Spears as two examples. On top of that armies like Ynnari often function on the obscure interaction of certain rules, for example such as being able to field Altioc and Ulthwe units in the same detachment. If you play Eldar you aren’t making any friends at the gaming table... there has always been just something about them. There are only three actual Ynnari models as well and all you ever see is the obligatory Cat Lady... seriously how did this ever get to be a thing ?! I always laugh when I think about GW saying Soup is off the menu... they are truly clueless. Like I said if you ain’t got Horde you ain’t got shite.

So what is the best solution? Will the next Chapter Approved bring the game back in line ? This is ORKT0BER.

Tuesday, October 23, 2018

Extermantius - Part 3

Inquisitor Toth sat at the head of the long table. Steepling his long spindly ringed fingers Toth looked at his video notes then spoke. "The bombing is scheduled to occur within the six hours." He cracked his knuckles and spoke again "Are we still on schedule?" The polished sheen of the processed wood reflected his equine face. Toth gazed into the reflection of his hooded eyes.

"Yes my Lord." answered his first servant. Some of the others sitting at the table looked grim. There came a sudden crash upon the doors. The Inquisitor looked up from his inner reflection just in time to see the hardened panels splintering. Immediately he gave the sign to his bodyguard. The Black Scurra drew their hotshot lasguns lining up across from the disintegrated barrier.

"Stand down." came a chill voice cutting through the cacophony.

"Open fire." ordered Toth. The Black Scurra felt their fingers go limp as they attempted to squeeze the triggers. Erasmus strode through the doorway, his stave held firmly across his black chest plate. The Epistolary projected the mirage of an angelic face.

"Stand down." came his voice again piercing through the guardsmen’s closed helmets. Their knees went weak and buckled as the rifles dropped clattering upon the floor. Temial and Lucas appeared flanking the Librarian. "The Extermantius must be halted now."

Sunday, October 21, 2018

Extermantius - Part 2

Erasmus had climbed to the top of the highest mountain in the aft range surrounding the besieged hive city. Two Battle Brothers had made the journey with him, Lucas the Space Wolf and Temial. The air was ice cold and snow had started to fall coating their black armor. Kneeling down upon the broken slabs of silvered rock the Epistolary lowered his linen hood exposing his bald head. He began to chant the forgotten spell of lost enchantment. In his mind he pictured a hidden room deep within the Imperial Avenger Class Ship, Gloriana. Lucas could feel quick silver tendrils from the freezing warp begin to slip through real space enveloping them. The veteran growled involuntarily as his fangs distended from his scarred lips. Temial the Doom Eagle terminator closed his eyes while he cleared his thoughts until there was nothing. A lightning bolt forked down from the black sky striking the very spot where the Deathwatch had stood only a moment before.