Sunday review

Well, here is a thing! its been months since my last Sunday review. So, what’s changed? I am trying to get the blog back to a regular thing, and 3 in the last 3 days is a good start. 

So what have been up to and and what’s next?

Painting.

Well, I have been plugging away with the 13th legion and I can now field over 8,000 pts (And by Just over, i am 2 points over!)

20140830_165045 20140830_165030 20140830_165018 20140823_092548 20140824_195549

Just finished is a Captain on a bike. done more for fun than any other reason, i got the idea stuck in my head for a convesion, so I went for it. I enjoyed the task and i really like him. I have decided to use him to represent Captain Epagus of the 6th Company as denoted by his orange markings. Might have to add some more bike in the future. 

1390250824438

Also finished, at long last are the 10 sternguard. boy these became a chore. I was never happy with the white on the shoulder trim and if am i am not happy, then i tend to put it off. i finally caved in and did something about it. the end result is much better and reflects their status. 

20140907_183155

20140907_183239

while various projects have been going on, I have been slowly adding hatch options for the 2 Land raiders. now finished are 3 closed and 1 open hatch (as in no option taken), 2 hatches with Stormbolters (one open, one closed) and a Hunter killer. the final option with a Multi-melta is still a WIP.

20140907_183421

Taking of WIP, the new Terminator unit started this week. if all works out, then next Sunday, you’ll get to see the finished 5 man Thunder hammer squad. 

20140907_183248 20140904_164044

 

I have also done scenery of late, and heres some photos of the work. 

20140820_233502 20140820_233451 20140820_233443 20140818_145735 20140818_145728 20140818_205117

Gaming 

well, I played the 1st game of my League ‘group’ stage. The rules for our league are easy. you win, you move up. here is the report from the game 

Next week will see my in a development game against another young league player. I am training him up to improve his game craft, the following week will see me in full game Vs his ‘Nids. 

 

Advertisements

Project Gladius blog 9 armed to the teeth

Next on this long list of tasks was the supporting weapons.

20140419_193030

Forward heavy bolters.
These were fairly simple, just clean and assemble. I have decided to attach the mounting kits, but not the weapons or the cowling. The allows for some easier painting. The main ‘spindle’ of the guns was a critical part. You need to cut the core to fit, so be carefull, you make it shorter but not longer!

These guns will be able to pivot and the top scanner in free to move.

20140419_203929

Rear heavy bolters
Again these are simple case of clean and assemble. I have not glued them to spindle, so the can be raised or lowered. The assembled units will be attached to wings once painted.

20140419_204120

Hellfire missiles
These presented a small challenge. The moulding process leaves the excess resin tag running from the 4 jets. These leaves you with square block on the back of the jets. I have used my multi tool to round up the jets and put a small ‘dimple’ in the centre. This was done on all 6 missiles and I luckily had the right sized bit for process. The end result looks so much better.

20140420_125221

The mounting of these is quite clever and they don’t need any magnets or glue to hold them in place. This allows be the chance to remove each missile in game to remind me of how many I have left.

20140420_130119 20140420_130107

The weapon systems took me a while to clean and assemble, but it’s fairly simple stuff.

 

Project Gladius blog 8 hull assembly and gap filling

This is short blog for a painfully long task!

The process of assailing the hull should be easy as I have spent a long time mocking up the hull and shaping it where needed. I used the thick gamesworkshop superglue to assemble the main hull. While expensive, I know from past projects that it’s good gluing heavy resin parts.

Once assembled the main hull, tail and wings all had gaps that needed to be filled. For the larger gaps, mainly on the wings and were the nose meets the fuselage, I used green stuff. I have packed out the gaps to fill them and the the top layer is done with liquid green as the is easier to smooth over. For the rest, I just used the liquid green, mainly where the tail meets the fuselage. This has been a painstaking Process but it’s worth committing the time to get it right.

20140311_162007 20140311_162013 20140311_162018 20140311_191616 20140311_205851 20140311_203445

Project Gladius build Blog 6 Top cannon mounting and top Fuselage

I have done lots on the Project today, but not much to say about it, so it’s a short update. It was all very simple stuff and the kit at this stage is not causing me any real headaches.

20140220_180719 20140220_192129

I decided to assemble the Top fuselage into a single part. I used the Fuselage front, rear and Top and glued them together. I spent a long time getting the top seam right. I then cleaned up the 2 main guns. These fit really nicely and the original idea was use magnets, however, it do think I need to and so I just pinned them with the same 3mm brass tubing as the wings. I did the same for both making it easy to swap the Guns over. I also sorted rears section, just cleaning it up. I will mount this part once the interior is done. I have also cleaned up the cockpit section. So its ready for the glass. Not a task I am looking forwards to!I have added the doors, top equipment and the attack wings.

I can now do a full dry fit of the whole fuselage, so here it is in all its glory! Still some tiding to do, but its nearly ready to break down and Paint the interior.

20140221_203648 20140221_203625

League update

It’s been a while since I have blogged, largely to working on the house and a big painting project. I thought I’d just share a quick catch up with up on my league standing at the rugby outlanders club. I have had league 4 games and a Forfeit over the last month or so. I have used a similar list in all the games, tweaking it a tad. It has meet with varying degrees of success but on the whole it works well. Against marines however it’s brutal to the point of hate, so I am not that popular with some at the mo. I think my list has sparked one of the longest threads on our fb page in long while. The culprit of the hate? The tesseract ark!

My list (core)
My basic plan is fairly similar each game. A tight core of warriors, skimmers and destroyers, with wraith acting as lone attacker. My twin scythes, one of each pair up and rush ahead. The night scythe dumping 12 warriors and The Lord into the opponents battle lines. This plan works for me, but it’s not with out risks. The wraith tend to die and I need to plan better with these.

Game 1
This was a game against a dark eldar force with pesky eldar allies. Played against a brilliant player, norbert, it was a fast game, but he played it well. He controls his forces well. His planning was his usually great approach. He planed was support his regular troops with the allies including 3 walkers. For this game I left the ark at home using the canoptek spider and some scarab bases. Added to this was a big squad of deathmarks. This added up to around 250pts of my 1500pt force, around the same cost as the ark. The game was a fast pasted affair. My normal approach worked well, but the ageis line killed my doomscythe. The fast pace nature should have doomed my Necrons and in a longer game I’d have been dead and his farseer took a terrible toll on my warriors.

The end result was a win, but only on vp, the table was a lot closer. It was this near miss that made me think about using the ark in more games. The variety of the main weapon would have helped me a lot in his game. The senseless death of the canoptek elements of the force for very little led me to make a clear decision as to what I should drop.

Game 2
Against black Templars and my first game against a newer club member. He went for a troop heavy force and I choose to take the tesseract ark as the core of my force. the forgeworld heavy tank is a major threat to marine forces, but he was not aware of how much of a mess it will make of his plans.

For a 1500pts My force was lord, cryptek, 2×12 warriors, tesseract ark, a-barge, night scythe, doomscythe, 4 destroyers and 5 wraith. This is now my core army and it’s affective. It’s a real fast paced force that does real damage early on, however it’s fragile.

He took a big block of troops and in the first couple of turns I broke the back of the force. The ark killed a large chunk of the force and the fliers took a good chunk too. The building death toil started the hate for the ark, but it was game 3 that built it to its current status.

The 4 turn tabling of the Templars was an easy win. The game was still fun. The solar flare setting on the singularity chamber (range 48″, S7, ap2, heavy 3) is a real marine killer. Again my fast paced approach to the game and the tight packing of the marines lead to the inevitable win.

Game 3
Vs space wolves. I thought I was royally screwed on this one. A 1500 pts drop pod army, hammering in to my close combat phobic necrons. I was doomed. While i had the first turn with nothing to shoot at, he got to fire first. The first shot of the game killed the normally impervious A-barge and I had the sinking feeling of a one sided massacre. Then the ark spoke. It kill 10 wolves and a drop pod in turn 2. The arrival of the fliers also killed a few more, including most of the wolf guard. His army looked beat up before the fight really started. Turns 3 and I lost the odd warrior. In return he lost the rest of his troops. He lost the last of his pod at start of turn 4 to the ark, leaving it with a kill total around a whooping 50% of this army falling to the power of captured star.

This lead to a lengthy debate on the club Facebook page the next day. The ark being the focus of the debate and to be fair it had killed around 1000pts in 2 games. In 1500 pt games that is a huge impact.

Game 4
Against tyranids. This game is alway hard for necrons and my opponent is a great player with the ‘nids. It was going to be interesting to see how the ark managed vs the hordes, but he choose a monstrous creature list and it turned into a doozy of a game. It was close in the end and the ark had a much smaller impact.

This game however saw the death of the ark for the first time since I started using it. The death however did take the carnfex that killed it. The explosion of the chamber causing the last wound in the hulking beast. The game was very cinematic like that and it was great game.

We thought it was a draw, but after checking game scoring, I had won by 1 point! It was very close and it was the death on his spore pod that cost him. (Worth 1 vp in purge the alien)

Parting shots

So what did these 4 games teach me?

1-I really hate the allies rules. I make all armies bland. “Got a racial weakness in force? Not a worry just borrow something to fix it rather than learn how work around it.” I did use allis last year, but I found that picking that only thing to fill a gap left me with out a complete knowledge of my force. I paid for that in last years final. I have not used any allies this year and I feel I know my necron a lot better as a result. (Ok, so I am grumpy about allies, but only because I am grumpy old git)

2-the ark is a fearsome bit if kit. The cost is high(250pts) and the risk is high (with the shields it’s av12 open topped) but it is a tough old sod until its shields fail. The solar flare setting, which has the same stats as the plasma executioner on the leman Russ tank, is a very effective way to kill space marines. Especially if they stand nice and close together. The wolves in particular made this mistake. They did not plan the ark and they failed to use the cover provided by their pods. They died where they deployed.

3-the use of forge world stuff is a lot of fun, but they do tend to lean towards the heavier end of the broken spectrum, use with caution to avoid alienation.

4-fear the new nid codex!they get a lot of stick a the mo, but good help us when they get aa and yet bigger beasts! The push for cheap troops will see more nids on the table each game! Nids vs necron is always going to be fun.

So how’s the league looking? Well, the view from top is always nice, but the competition is high this year and the 2 close calls make life difficult for me. I will be near the top at the end, but I am not confident yet of being in the final game in January, but if am, the ark won’t be far behind. (Insert evil laugh here)

Is the Deathray Broken? Or are all its victims just whinging?

I have been using my Doomscythe for a few games and it’s starting to generate hate. Now this is not always a bad thing, but I am not a power gamer and I don’t want to alienate friends. The main issue is with the main gun. The Deathray is not a popular weapon, so I thought I would spend some time looking at much maligned weapon. The Deathray is a cutting beam. It slices along killing anything it passes over. It not called the ‘let’s cuddle ray’ or the ‘let’t be nice to each other ray’ it’s a DEATHRAY, it’s not going to be nice to you and it’s not going to be your friend. Currently only 1 unit can access this doom laden bringer of destruction, The Doomscythe, however a land based version has been seen, The new Forgeworld sentry Pylon gets it!

Ok, let’s start with the Stats.

Range

Strength

AP

Type

12” (Speacial)

10

1

Heavy 1

 

That’s a bit good for any weapon, but it’s the special rule the can break this weapon. Basically you choose a target point within 12” and nominate point within 3D6” draw a straight line between the 2 points and every unit (friend or foe) suffers a number of hits equal to the number of models the line passes over.

E.G. your Deathray fires and you target a unit of marines lined up on hill. You roll 12 on the 3D6 and draw a line over the unit 12” long. It passes over 7 Marines, so you take 7 S10 ap 1 hits! 

Yes, that’s what I said 7 Hits, not Shots but hits. You don’t roll to hit if the line passes over you, your hit. Now you still have to remove the targets nearest to the firing model as per normal rules. But let face it with S10 AP1, your going lose most of the 7 Marines. At S10 AP 1 it will make a mess of ‘mech too. Evan Land raiders will worry about this one.

The one disadvantage of the weapon is that it can’t hit fliers. That was FAQ’d.

So how broken is it?

Let’s take our poor Marine unit. Let’s help them out and put a building in front of them. Safe I here you say? Well, No. all I need to do as a Necron play is put first target point within 12” anywhere on the Battlefield, roll me 3D6 choose my end point and the shoot is fired. I firmly believe that you should be able to see the first and 2nd targets point, but the rules don’t make that clear, the 2nd Target point can be behind our building and the poor old marines get hit, despite the fact that the Building is blocking LOS!  They will get the Cove save, but still hitting a unit you can’t see is a bit harsh.

Lets try something a bit braver. The Marines have charged the nearest unit of warriors. Safe in Combat you may think? Sadley not despite the core rules saying you can’t shoot into combat, this can! The rules say that you can’t shoot units locked in combat. But the Deathray does not do this. Its firing at its target point. If it passes over a unit then that unit is hit. You don’t randomise, any model it passes over gets hit. So our brave Marines are fighting 20 Warriors, but are lined up nicely on one line, a clever player may still hit more marines than Warriors. And with the Regen rolls any necron Player will risk the hits anyway. You get to roll before the combat is fought. (end of each subphase)

As you can see this weapon is nasty and in the wrong, evil metal skeletal hands, it is so broken. At 175 pts the Doomscythe is expensive, but not that much. Alongside the Deathray you get a Twin linked Tesla Destructor. So it’s a good buy. Facing any army with 3 is scary. But what are the ways to comb at it? Does it have any flaws?

Well as a marine player as well a Necron player, I think it is flawed and can be beat with some ease if you plan for it. I also think that if you know what your opp is lightly to use and your fail to plan, then as the say in the old pink duck in handhold city “you’re gonna die.” (Douglas Adams Quote) Here are my basic ideas.

Deployment and model craft*

I have had such fun shooting up neat rows of Marines. If you want to line up like soldiers on parade, well you asking for a Deathray to the face. When facing Deathray, stagger your units and remember the tesla rule of 7. Never, ever put 2 units within 7” of another unit, the arc rules alone will make a mess on that. This also reduces the impact of this weapon. Lets go back to our poor old marines. If the deply in a 2 rows, 2” apart, with every marine 2” away from a squad member, the maximum hits is 5. Cleaver deployments can reduce this to 4. You just save 2 or 3 Marines from the Death Ray. If you Combat squad them, this drops to a max of 3. That’s saved another one! And yes when the Tesla Speaks, you will lose the whole Combat Squad. That’s still better than losing the whole squad.

The same applies to all aspects of deployment. ‘castling’ up your tanks behind a big unit of troops won’t stop a flier from slicing you to buts. You need to spread out!

*model craft, my term for how you deploy, position, move and control your models

Range

The Deathray is a Short ranged weapon. It’s got to get close to the action.  Use this. If you can get in close to his troops with some nasty units, always a good plan when facing Necrons, then the flier’s minimum range is a major factor. Personally, I like the old Rhino Rush. Deploy up close to the deployment zone, turn 1 Flat out and your now around 6” from your Opp deployment Zone.  Turn 2 get out, now up you’re in the Deployment zone and ready to blow the crap out of the necrons. Even if your Ride is wrecked, when you get out, you’re already in the opp’s deployment Zone! When the Flier arrives in turn 2 (lets not mess things up with C’tan shards and their shenanigans) they will pass straight over your troops by turn 3. So your assault troops will only take 1 Deathray hit. Orks can do this better than most, but Dark elder wytches are awesome at this too.

Exploit its rules

The Deathray can’t snap fire. (Any weapon that does not use BS to hit can’t snap fire (main rulebook p 13) so make it Jink! That stops the hits from the Ray. Ok, the Tesla will still mess things up. The Deathray also can’t fire at flyers, so the SM Talon is a must, again think about its range and turning radius. The New Tau flier has turret mounted weapons, as does the Talon, Raven and Thunderhawk. The Doomscythe does not. Use this to your adavantage.

AA

Still surprised about the lack of AA I see. The imperial troops have 2 awesome units. The Motis Dread (and the even better Contemptor Mortis) and the Hydra at 75 pts this is a stunning weapon that scares the crap out of me. The Weapons all have a range 4 times greater than the Deathray. Clever deployment (near to the Front line, but in cover) can cover the entire battle front. As the Hydra comes in a squad of 3 for 225 pts, this is a no brainer. (Oh, and GW are releasing a plastic one soon!) As more 6th ed codex come out, I am sure the AA flakk will increase! Take it, use it, and take back the skies!

So that’s my thoughts. I do think the weapon is broken. Here how I would love to see it change.

1-it causes a number of shots compared to the number of models that it hits. You roll to hit as normal.

2-Any hits in to combat are randomised.

3-You must be able to see both Target points. Any model you can’t see, can’t be hit.

However, I also think some of the fault lies with the Victims. If you don’t plan for this weapon, don’t moan about getting your arse handed to you on a plate. The Necron force is not like fighting orks. If you’re not changing your list,   expect to lose. They are a unique opponent that will test your normal approaches. The Deathray proves that. You have to play clever or die. 

Until next time, see you across the battle table.

The Random musings of an Ultramarine Player

So for years I have bemoaned the use of special character is small games of warhammer 40,000. I am reading the ‘fall of damnos’ book at the moment and it maybe softening my views a bit.

The story is that of the 2nd company of the ultramarines (the ones that I am painting) led by Cato sicrius and assisted by tigirius the chief librarian. These 100 marines drop into the centre of a necron tombworld and have to fight from the start to gain a foot hold on the world of Damnos. The imperial citizens of the world look to the marines as saviours, but the marines are more focused on the destruction of the necrons.

This is the second of the ‘spacemarine battle books’ I have read. The other was ‘rynns world’ an ork vs crimson fist book.

Now it’s fair to say that the black librarian books are not the most challenging to read and are not likely to Win the man booker prize, but they are what they are, great books by great authors on a subject that the readers love. the spacemarine battle books are written as the game is played and are fast paced books that flow from skirmish to skirmish. They flesh out the units from the game and the rules, like pinning and cover saves. Each books looks a Famous battle from a particular chapter.

So back to my original point, should we use the unique characters in a small game. I still feel that the answer is no, but this book has some great examples to prove me wrong. In one chapter the captian leads 3 tactical squads into a necron war cell cloaked by a cloak of darkness. It describes what in game turns would be a short game, but is really well paced and is a great piece of writing from nick kyme. This sort of scenario is where a named character in a small game would be great. I this case rather than just a straight game, you could recreate the game. Played as night fight game, with the necrons just using wraiths and a single lord tooled up as the stormbringer.

These unique games can be great fun and are a great use of the characters. I feel this is the point of the spacemarine battle books. To inspire games and to relive the glories of the books. A lot of the younger gamers seem to miss this part of the hobby. It’s not all about the most powerful unit or the best army. It’s not even about the winning or the losing it’s about the game. This is wargamming as roleplay or re enactment. I love this style of game and it why I play ultramarines. Well, it one of the many reasons any way. this style of game harks back to the 3rd and 4th editions of the game. I know that the 6th will be more hobby focused. I hope it wrecks the meta game for more of a cinematic feel. The best out come will be a game that can be both, but that’s unlikely. Lots of changes in the rules are about the change of this or the addition of that, we should be asking will it make the game more of wargame and less of Board game focused on what you take. I want to see the game flow, the cinematic moments of a lord vs captain  hordes of orks not covering under a force bubble carried by a mek, I want to the wolves in a feral charge, the angles descending from
Heaven and slamming in to the alien horde, lead not by the lord of death, but by a captian of the lesser orders. Maybe even, a fun grey knight army lead by an unnamed chapter master and with out any henchmen. Or is that asking to much. In the end what I want is for wargamming to be a fun way to spend an afternoon with some friends and then a hearty discussion at the pub. Is that too much too ask?

Anyway it time for me to add the 2nd company and to build on the legend of the heroes of Damnos. See you at the wrong end of a bolter!