Arise, sir deredeo

Forge world has released the much taunted and even more anticipated deredeo class dread and, to me at least, it doesn’t disapoint. I thought I share my views. The full pics and rules are here

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Model.
OK, let’s not beat about the bush; this model has a lot of similarities to other large mechs out there. The mech warrior madcat and rifleman being the most obvious,  but if you look past these this model has some nice design work.

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Let’s face it, any mech with twin autocannons is always gonna look like a rifleman, But look deeper and you can see a little of the contemptor. The legs; head housing and the feet all nod towards the now famous contemptor.

The subtle size change is hidden by the new Base.  This thing is huge and I think best comparison is the ork megadread.  The 80mm Base is the 3rd new Base since the centurions  (50mm) I think we will be seeing on it’s way to more models soon. Both from fw and gw.

The scale and solidity of this model really sets the feeling of this great piece. 

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Rules
As you’d expect by now the rules for this comes as pdf for now, but once a book with rules comes out this will get pulled.  The rules for this are fairly simple, but the devil is in the details.

Stats wise it’s similar to a contemptor.  You loose 1 off WS but gain 1BS. It also drops 1 attack. Despite the massive bulk it’s still has 3 HP. Weighing in at 185pts basic, that’s a meger 10pt more than a contemptor.  You still get all the same sheilds but loose fleet.

The main weapons are the anvilus auto cannons which are S8. Twin linked as you’d expect,  but also get sunder. (Reroll to pen). Fired at BS5 that’s hitting on 2s with reroll to hit. Then rerolling to pen. That’s a lot chances to kill stuff.

The new missile system is a heavy 3 s6 missile pod.  It gets independent targeting as a usr.  this allows you target a different unit (similar to split fire) but also can choose to hits on side armour. (Insert arguments about knights shields here)it also say that you can ignore Los blocking scenery when targeting units in the open.  Not sure how read this just yet?

You also get either twinlinked heavy bolter or twinlinked heavy flamer. 

The other thing you get is helical targeting like the contemptor mortis. If stationary you get sky fire and interceptor. This basically trumps the stalker and hunter, Straight away.

The funny thing is that you only get sky fire and interceptor on the 2 main weapons, not the extra weapons. This means that you can still fire the heavy bolter/flamer. Meaning that your not defenceless after firing using interceptor.

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Overall
I think this dread will sell, by the bucket load. The classic look, enough daka to make a mekboy green with envy and is a great AA platform will mean soon this be everywhere.  Fully kitted out this cost a huge 220 pts, putting it up there with the fireraptor, both of which are relics.  As you can only take 1 relic this a choice that I’d struggle with!

I’m sure that in the future new options will be added, twin linked Las destroyers anyone? Plasma exuctioners? Anything is possible.

I know I will be adding one soon, but it costs a whooping £72.00 Inc postage. I think it will be a staple part of my list. Doubling up with my contemptor mortis I will be having some shooty fun. Another one for the I want pile I think!

And I will leave you with this. The “orginal” dreads had 3 variants. We have seen 2. One more to go……..

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Till then, see you across the battle field!

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Dudes, wheres my tank?

In a recent game we decide to try out a simple idea. What if you couldn’t take tanks? In fact, not just tanks but no av at all? Played at 1000pts, the game was just infantry. We ended up with ultramarines vs iron hands in a great scrap.

It was very reminiscent of old 40k and you soon realise where all the points go. For me, I took 2×10 tactical squad, 10 devastators, 10 sternguard and 5 vanguaurd. For hq I managed to take a captain and librarian . That’s 47 marines, 6 of which had jump packs. In a 1000pts game, that was huge!

We opted for the maelstrom of war mission and fought out a 5 turn classic of a game. Lots of movement, shooting and a real science of the ebb and flow of a battle. Turn 1 only saw 6 dead and the arrival of reserves saw no deathstars, instant first blood or any shenanigans. 1st blood in fact went to the librarian, with a psych scream.

In the end the ultramarines won, with a solid chunk of survivors, but lots of smaller battles lead to the win. One thing that really stood out, the game was settled in combat. The shooting phase , while still brutal, was not the decider. This was a refreshing change for us and the dominance of the humble foot slogger was awesome.

We are trying again this week, but the ethos of the game will be stretched. I am tempted to suggest no monstersus creatures as it fits the idea well, and

The Marking of the 6th

After a funny discussion on Twitter about my pending heresy it thought look at the squad markings of the 6th company bike squads for my ultramarines.

Now, conventional wisdom is that all bike squads are assault squads and as such, they have the crossed arrows marking. That’s codex yes? the 6th reserve company who are all tactical squads should be marked as such. (Single arrow pointing up)

But according to the codex, 6th company also have access to all the bikes, allowing for the whole company to be bike squads. So, by that definition, I should have tactical squads on bikes? Some, however, believe this is heresy and I am I being sent off to the inquisition tomorrow.

If that is confusing, try looking at the 7th! Stormtalon with tactical marines crew. That would cause such nerd rage!

While discussing the 6th company, I need to consider the command squad colours. The trim is of course orange, but what about the helemets? I think they should be white as all command squads are vetrans? You just know I’ll get comments for having veterans on bikes! Can’t wait to see them argue that one.

This leads me on to a bigger heresy. My plan is to run the 6th company as white scars. I know this wrong, but I have a logic to my heresy. The ultramarines are the most flexible force. They would change their tactics when fighting on bikes and being 6th company they would train to use different skills when deployed on mass on bikes. The ‘practical’ and theocratical’ different. Gaming wise, the ultramarine chapter tactics are of virtually no use. Most weapons in the army are twin linked, all are relentless, and it’s only the assault doctrine that. Would be useable, and only then to grant fleet for 1 turn. The White scar rules however, are all bike friendly. When using these bikes as part of a wider force, I will of course use the ultramarines CT.

Till next time, see you across the battle field.

Post christmas blues

So the big day has come and gone, and all that’s left is a mountainous pile of kits to build and paint. I had a great Christmas and my family know me well. So what will I be adding to my ultramarines in the next few months? Well, my main aim was add some bikes and I now have a full squad of 8, a smaller 4 man squad, both with additional attack Bikes, a 3rd attack bike and a full command squad. Add to this the captain and librarian both on a bike and I have the core of a nice bike force. I have also added some vanguard recently and christmas saw me getting a box of sternguard. To round of the new units I also got some scenery.

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The plan
I wanted to get my 6th company up and running for February, but this pushing it even for me, but I will focus on bikes for a while. I have added some nice conversions to the command squad and I am loving my librarian biker.

The company standard was a dilemma, so I have scratch built my own (blog to follow) and the melta guns also caused me to rethink the plan. I have very few melta guns left in the bits box and bikers holding special weapons a quite a pain to do. So I have converted up a new gun arrangement on the front of the bike. The idea was to mount a melta gun centrally, replacing the headlamp. Nestled between the bolter, this triple gun idea was found on the net and looks really good. The apothecary and company champion on bikes were easy to build, with a bit of tinkering to make them look right.

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The sternguard box set was a real treat. I love this kit, but I don’t want more sternguard (just yet). I do however want to add some vanguard on foot, so it was more conversions . Mixing vanguard and sternguard boxes, I went for a new look. Rather than the normal ‘charging headlong ‘ look for an assault squad, I went for a more stoic, static look, almost at rest. The idea was to try and get the whole ‘defenders of humanity ‘ look that you often see in the artwork. Very blinged up and a grim pose.

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As I have said before, weapon layout is key to vanguard (and most other units) You often see people tooling them up to max, thunderhammer and stormsheilds (which is around 250pts for 5 vs 215pts for assault terminator squads with the same layout) but then moaning that they aren’t worth the points. My view is that less is more. I have gone for power weapon/stormsheild on the sgt, a pair of claws on 1, a plasma pistol on one and 2 standard. This is around 170pts for the squad, making them usable in small games. I will add the second 5 at some point in the near future. The ‘gun’ parts (such as the arms and bolters) will find a use soon, but more on that in the future.

So, that’s my painting project for the next few weeks. Keep an eye on Twitter for progress. Till then, see you across the battlefield.

Where have all the assault squads gone?

With the release of codex:blood Angels I thought I’d take time to discuss the humble assault squad. As many of you know I am collection the 2nd company of the ultramarines and this means 2 10 man squads of the assault marines. As a son of mcragge, I have dutifully obliged, but they rarely make the cut into my 1500pts list.

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Let’s start with the rules. They come in 2 versions, with and without jump pack. It’s even rarer to see them without and that’s saying something! I will focus on those with jump.

As you’d expect, they come in 5 man squads, with the option to go up to 10 man squads. Up 2 can take either a flamer or a plasma pistol. This really bugs me, but I’ll pick that up later. The sgt can be upgraded to a veteran and has access to the full weapons (melee) list. He also get to change his pistol, take melta bombs and the rather useful combat sheild. If using jump packs, you don’t get any transport options, but can deepstrike.

Ok so let’s looks at the pros.

1-deepstrikers rock in 7th ed. deepstiking units are the new black at the mo. Especially in maelstrom of war missions. Dropping straight onto a scoring objective or into the opponents deployment zone is great for the quick vp’s. Many games can be won this way.
2-fast is good. The sheer speed of jump troops are great on crowded tables. You can bring the hurt from behind builds with ease.
3-sgt multitool. You can build the sgt up to fit many roles. We all love using power fist on them tanks and twin claws are great vs power armoured troops.
4-hammer of wraith. Who can complain about upto 10 st4 auto hits BEFORE even the eldar can strike?

For all the pros however, the cons are still whooping.

1-cost. For a few points more you can get a whole heap more. Consider this. A vanguard with a jump pack is only 5 points more and for that you get +1A and +1ld. That’s not including the options available for the vangurd. Again at an additional 5 points you can take a bike squad that gets +1T, 4+ jink save, twin linked bolters, and the choice of any 2 special weapons. Oh, and you can add a heavy weapon as well. It’s a bit of a no brainer.
2-why only flamers or plasma pistols? No one can answer this question. I know that they say, that’s what comes in the kits. But the tactical kit only comes with missile launcher? The ability to DS a melta would make these a competive choice. How about the Option to add a power fist? The blood Angels can take these and while I am not saying that they should be same, some common scene wouldn’t hurt. Leaves io them as fast attack, they fit here well, just give them better options.
3-The marine codex has a lot of great units. Anything not pulling its weight will get replaced. Sternguard in a drop pod will hold the objective just as well, bikes have the same speed, vanguard are better all round and if points are at a premium, why not take scouts and infiltrate?

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As you can see, it’s hard to choose these. So many better units push them out. It’s rare to see them in marine armies, particularly those that have chapter tactics that don’t support them.

You can use them, and you can win battles with these fast moving troops, but not as assault troops. They are objective takers and area deniers, which is a tragedy. These should be leading from the front with vanguard squads and captains with jump packs tearing a whole for the tactical squads. Sadly, they are a poor mans support option.

I’d love to see a new kit of these. The current on is showing its age and the new tactical squad box set shows what could be done. Change the rules to match the options available to include all special weapons. Then these will return to their true role.

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For my army I have gone for 2 well rounded squads. Squad 1 has twin lighting claws and 2 flamers. Squad 2 has a power weapon power weapon and 2 plasma pistols. They look great and sit well in the battle company, sadly they rarely get to be used.

Anyway, that my opinion. I’d love to here your perspective and am I missing something! Leave a comment if you have a different view. Till then, see you all across the battle table.

Return of the vanguard

Every on loves sternguard. Well, every Space marine player. Their enemies, not so much. The special ammunition is very flexible, 2 special or heavy weapons per squad and all the combi weapons go a long way to win games. The old ‘sternguard in a droppod ‘ caper is the opening move of many gamers. (Me included!)

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But what about the poor assault cousin, the vanguard? These are about as rare on current lists as the assault squad? Only a few diehards take them in competitive lists. Kids love em because you take a whole squad of thunder hammers or lightning claws. They never work as well as they think they will, but I’d like to make the case for them. Let’s look and the negatives first.

1- assault armies don’t work. In current 40k shooting is king. Not a lot to say about this, it is. The old khorne player in me is sad at this, but, then I do have 2 full sternguard squads so the ultramarine player is ok with it.
2-assaults take planning and a lot players get it too easy to develop descent plans with assault troops. They just stick with tried and tested shooting units. I am looking at you tau players here.
3-young players are easily swayed. They build big deathstars that get blown away on turn 1. The loss of a thunder hammer vanguard will put you 50+ points down, not a good move.
4-assault terminators are a cheaper, more durable solution. At 225 you get the same stats, 2+ save and a squad of thunderhammers.
5-has anyone ever used heroic intervention? Really?
6- tables at the moment tend to light on Los blocking terrain. This really hurts assault troops. It’s all trees and low walls.

As you can see it’s easy to pull these veterans apart, but I think people over look a few key points.

1- you don’t have to take jump packs. 10 vanguard on foot charging out of a stormraven will get 40 attacks. That would make a dent in most units!
2-you can tailor your vanguard. The options available allow you to make the right squad for the right task. Basic vanguard with just chainswords are great vs guard, Orks, nids, eldar or tau. Facing chaos? Drop the whole 2 claws on every trooper thing, and just take power weapons (saves you 75pts)
3-deep strike is the new black. I have said it befor, but deep striking is on the rise. Being able to counter this is very useful. Your own deepstriking vetrans can take tactical objectives, score vp or contest strategic points.
4-vanguard can be a great shooting unit if your brave. 10 plasma pistols anyone? Or 10 Grav pistols deepstriking into a tank squad! The brutally possible is very under estimated, but cost less than thunderhammers all round.
5-they are better than assault marine for only 5pts more. For those few points you get ld+1 and A+1, plus more options. Not bad for so little points.
6-why take thunder hammers at all? Ok, this is contentious. What is the value of a thunderhammer over a power Fist. The concussive rule is great, but you normally kill your target at s8 ap2 anyway. A power fist is the same stats (without concussive) for 5 pts less? Over a 5 man squad, that’s a saving of 25 pts? And vs tanks, your better with melta bombs. (Saving a further whooping 100pts!)

So they have options, but you don’t have to take them. Low cost vanguard units can play a vital role in your plans. I run a 5 man squad with jump packs costing 190. Not really Cheap and cheerful yes, but with enough of a bite to really hurt. I am planning on adding 5 more, again keeping the cost down and using my stormeagle as a delivery system. Around 40 attacks plus upto 10 hammer of wraith attacks! That will make a hole! Around 10 of these attacks will be power weapons.

On foot I have just started assembling 5 more. Armed with a mix of weapons, again, keeping the cost down, I think these will be good unit. Possibly in a pod.

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Here are the units.

5 Vanguard Veterans (190)

WS4·BS4·S4·T4·W1·I4·A2·Ld9·Sv3+
3× bolt pistol; storm shield; lightning claw; 3× chainsword; lightning claw; power fist; jump packs; power armour; frag grenades; krak grenades
And They Shall Know No Fear; Combat Squads; Chapter Tactics (ultramarines) Heroic Intervention

• Space Marine Sergeant

WS4·BS4·S4·T4·W1·I4·A2·Ld9·Sv3+
bolt pistol; power weapon; power armour; frag grenades; krak grenades
And They Shall Know No Fear; Combat Squads; Chapter Tactics-ultramarines

5 Vanguard Veterans (170)

WS4·BS4·S4·T4·W1·I4·A2·Ld9·Sv3+
3× bolt pistol; plasma pistol; lightning claw; 4× chainsword; lightning claw; on foot ; power armour; frag grenades; krak grenades
And They Shall Know No Fear; Combat Squads; Chapter Tactics (ultramarines) Heroic Intervention

• Space Marine Sergeant

WS4·BS4·S4·T4·W1·I4·A2·Ld9·Sv3+
storm shield; power Axe; power armour; frag grenades; krak grenades
And They Shall Know No Fear; Combat Squads; Chapter Tactics-ultramarines

So, that’s my case for vanguard. My key points are these-don’t over equip, always have a few basic guys at the front to bubble wrap. Plan your use, don’t just hope the best, know you enemy and hit’em were it hurts. And consider the not with jump packs options!

Till then, look to the sky’s and while your doing that, I’ll sneak my scouts into you deployment zone. See you across the battlefield.