Saturday, 5 November 2011

A Year in review - 2011

So I started this year with my first ever 'real' tournaments for quite a while. I used Chaos Space Marines exclusively, most because I've not got another painted army. This year I've attended;-

Caledonia Uprising
Yorkshire Open
Toy Soldier
Yorkshire Store Tournament
Northern Warlords

The results have been mixed. Now i don't view myself as an imba player, I'm not going to win a tournament anytime soon, what I aim for is to be in the top half of the ranks and win at least a couple of the games I play. My worst result was Vapnatak, my army was badly designed and I face a succession of Blood Angel armies ( the new codex on the block at the time) and Mehpiston twice in 4 games. I finished 40 of 43 with only a single draw to my name and it really was a low point in the year. The highlight was Northern Warlords, where I finished 11th from a field of about 60 players. I found a CSM combination which I seem to work well with, even if it was a fairly defensive and Abaddon was a total crotch in the army. I still think the CSM codex is badly in need of re-writing, many of the new codex have rendered it pretty poor. Khorne Beserkers, once the terror of the battlefield, are being beaten easily in close combat by most of the newer codex now, and with no psychic defense they really struggle.  All said though I'm currently #60 on the Ranking HQ lists which isn't bad.

For 2012 I'm think a mix of CSM and another army, Tyranids. Yes once again I'm moving onto a codex just as it's on the decline and most opponent are considered a "bad match up" so I don't expect to do amazingly. The current army list I'm considering for Caledonia is

Tyranid Prime
Tervigon with Toxin sacs, adrenal glands and Catalyst
5 Warriors with rending claws and talons in a spore
12 Termagaunts with devourers in a spore
10 Genestealers with Toxin sacs
10 Genestealers with Toxin sacs
10 Genestealers with Toxin sacs
3 Hive Gaurd
3 Hive Gaurd
The Doom in a spore

It's first outing wasn't promising, against Grey Knights and I was slaughtered badly. I need to protect my big guys better but even then Grey Knights were putting out a lot of firepower. The Doom was the only real highlight doing some damage before being dragged down.

I'm already booked onto 4 tournaments in 2012, so we'll see how it goes. hopefully there's a new CSM codex on it's way in the summer of 2012 which will allow them to make a return to the gaming tables in a more competative way.

Friday, 23 September 2011

Northern Warlord GT Day 2

Game 4 - Andrew Frost (Grey Knights)
Grey Knight, the new kids on the block, the current top dogs, I was a little worried about facing these. It wasn't a typical GK army, two big squads of power armour knights, a couple of dreadnoughts, a Dreadknight and some Terminators along with a Librarian and Chapter Master. It became apparent fairly quickly that Andrew was struggling with the Landraiders, Psycannons, Psybolt Auto Cannons and Psybolt Assualt Cannons struggle to destroy AV14 Landraiders. His Dreadknight shunted accross the board and Abaddon was dispatched from his Landraider to slay the foul machine, which he did in a single round of combat. However he was then ambushed by some deep striking Terminators, the Librarian of which cast a psychic power meaning Abaddon took an Initiative test or died, Int 6 how hard could this be ........... DEAD! However deep striking Terminators leave themselves in a lovely formation for Plasma Cannons and so it was that 2 Obliterators extracted a heavy revenge on them. In the end I won primary and secondary with a fairly heathy VP difference too. 

End result 17 - 3 win to me.

Game 5 - Paul Bona (Deathwing) 
Terminators! Thousands of them, well at least 30. This was a foot slogging all Terminator army, which actually didn't fill me with that much worry. I had plenty of Lascannons and Plasmaguns to go around and without the aid of a Landraider or two they were going to have to get to my firebase the hard way. Coupled with the fact that I had now learnt that Daemonically possessed Landraiders have very little to fear from Str8, non melta, weapons. For his Terminators to do the damage they realistically needed to cross the board to get into Powerfist range, this would lead them to be vunerable to my PlasmaGuns and Abaddon (assuming the night's sleep had broken him of his tendencies to kill himself). I won the roll for first turn and as expected one of his 5 man terminators squad vanished in a hail of Las-Cannon and Plasma Cannon shots. The return fire was less than successful, my rhinos had taken up an obscured position behind a ruin in the centre of the table and the cyclone misslile launcher fire bounced harmlessly off Landraiders or Obliterators 2+ saves.To counter his advance one of my Rhinos shot forward to unleash rapid firing plasma death into another squad. His command squad did prove a bit of a thorn, they killed one squad of Plague Marines and even after most of them died to Las cannon fire, Belial prepare to crush another untit when the unexpected happened, a plague marine killed him? Unfortunately I wasn't fast enough to get to his objective marker which was held by the only remaining 5 man terminator squad so the Primary was a draw, but I'd won the secondary and a healthy 1398 / 640 VP difference. Turns out the recipe for success is to not let Abaddon out of his Landraider!

End Result : 14 - 6 to me.

Game 6 - Roy Finch-Spencer (Imperial Guard) 
Roy was playing a mechanised guard army. It didn't feature the full 6 Hydra and 3 Vendetta, but did have 2 Hydra and 2 Vendetta, It also had 2 Griffon siege tanks, which as my opponent went through their stats I realised had to die, quickly! Luckily I won first turn, I was surprised that Roy didn't scout move his vendetta as this meant they wouldn't benefit from a 4+ cover save in my first round of firing. There was very little movement from my forces other than a unit of plague marines embarking into the other Landraider. This now meant that both my Landraiders were scoring. The firing phase was all about destroying some of those tanks that would rip through my army. As the lascannons flared one Griffon exploded in a ball of fire, a Vendetta was immobilse and the other one shook so it couldn't move or fire. However one of the Griffons was still operational and this could mean the death of one of my Landraiders. In his turn some of the chimeras moved forward towards the central objective, whilst the melta veterans moved toward the Landraiders . At the start of the fring phase I held my breath as the Griffon fired some sort of metla breach shell at the Landraider, small template 2D6 + 10 penetration, luckily it scatted of the tank. The vendetta also had a go at the Landraider but only managed to shake it, which being possessed it ignored. The hydra tagetted the Obliterators, but their 2+ armour meant they only lost a single wound. As the game proceeded the supierour anti tank weapons of the CSM took their tole. The Vendetta were shot down as too was the remaining Griffon, the melta vets were blown from their Chimera by a LasCannon and then assaulted by Plague marines. By the start of my turn 5 Roy had only a single Lascannon in a platoon that could hurt the Landraiders, the victory would have been a shining example of fire discipline, target priority and superior tactics if it hadn't been for one person ...... guess who ..... Abaddon. Around Turn 3 Abaddon charged from his Landraider to tackle a Lemanruss Plasma tank which had been taking shots at the Obliterators, 9 attacks, automatic hits, 7 Penetrates ........... He could only stun the crew!! To add insult a chierma pulled up next to him, 3 plasma guns open up, 4 wounds .... zero saves..... Abaddon DEAD (again). However Roy's inability to hurt the Landraiders cost him. One of the with Beserkers in was parked on a Primary Objective the second one with Plague Marines in was parked on another. So I won the Primary and drew the Secondary, with a comfortable vp difference too.

Final Score 16 -  4 to me
I finished 11th out of 52 players with 74 points in total. This was the best tournament performance I've had this year. This particular army seems to fair well against the current metas. However I hadn't faced any of the truely heavy weight 40K players so who knows if it would have done as well against them.

Abaddon's performance was very poor, for 275 he only managed to kill a Dreadknight and 2 Landspeeders, died in 4 of the 6 games (and most of them were fairly humiliating deaths; 8 Beserker in CC, His own sword, 4 Plasma gun shots and a single initative test from a psychic power). Don't know yet if I'll drop him or if he was having a REALLY bad weekend. 

For the next tournament in January I'm actually planning on using either Nids or Necros, depending on when the new Necron codex comes out and if I can get an army bought, assembled and painted in time. 

Monday, 19 September 2011

Northern Warlord GT Day 1

This last weekend I took my Chaos Space Marines for what could well be their last tournament before I get a Necron army once they get a new codex. To see the army list I took see my previous post.

The Northern Warlords tournament were using a scoring system which I believe is from ETC. There's a primary objective worth 8pts, secondary worth 4pts and then 8pts based on the VP split. So for example round 1 was kill points primary and Capture and Control secondary. What this does mean is that you've got to keep 2 things in mind while playing a game, whilst some of the missions which used 5 objective markers (3 for one mission and 2 for another) meant my poor 3 troop selections were stretched think I actually really enjoy this style of tournament. It makes for slightly more tactical games where you can't just go with 1 tactic. But onto the overview

Round 1 - Ben Evans (Chaos Space Marines)
It was interesting to face my first ever CSM marine army in a tournament. Ben was using a dual lash with 6 Obliterators. His army was really nicely painted, with some nice free hand painting on the rhinos. There was a certain amount of bad luck on Ben's part for his Daemon Princes as they failed pretty much ever save they were called to make and were both dead before the end of turn 3. Having said that I was having some bad luck too. Abaddon jumped from his Landraider and killed 2 Obliterators, then when he was charged by his Beserkers he rolled a 1 for his daemon weapon and was killed in combat. As the game went on this one slowly slipped away from me. In the end I lost 9 - 7 on kill points and 1 - 0 on the objectives, with small loss in the VP difference.

Overall it was a 3 -17 loss.

Round 2 - Rob Simms (Black Templar)
Rob was previously responsible to tabling me at a previous tournament with a mechanised guard army, so I wasn't filled with confidence for this one. Rob's army also featured a lot of Terminators with 2 cyclone launchers with tank hunters  and Land Speeder Typhoons.  There were a lot of Str 8 and 9 Missile launchers facing me. However I hadn't account for some very odd dice rolling. Rob couldn't make saves on his terminators to save their lives and my Obliterators we on fire! From their first 2 rounds of firing they killed 7 Terminators with 8 shots! combined with the Landraiders holding their ground and joining in with their twin linked Lascannons meant his Terminators were being punished brutally. It was also the my first real experience that Demonically possessed Landraider have very little to fear from Str8 missile launchers, and even Str9 ones need to be lucky. By turn 3 we started rolling forward with the Landraiders to take the fight to his objective. I was surprised that his Land Speeders didn't seem to move off to contest my objectives, rather they stayed still to fire at the on coming armour. In the end we took his Capture and Control objective to win the primary mission and drew the secondary seize ground mission. VPs favoured me heavily as Rob hadn't been able to do much damage to my army other than a squad of Plagues Marines and their Rhino, a pair of Obliterators and some vehicle damage results on Landraiders.

Final score 16 - 4 to me.

Game 3 - Steve O'Neil (Tyranids)
Steve's Nids were a classic mix of Trygons, Tervigons, Tyrant Hive Guard and Gaunt. I was worried for this match up as I didn't think I could stop the Monstorous creatures from getting to my Landraiders and pulling them apart. I got first turn and opened up a salvo of Las Cannon / Plasma Cannon fire into the tyrant guard and hive guard, causing 3 wounds on his tyrant guards. Not the most successful of results. For his turn his battle line rolled forward, most running forward to cover the ground. His hive guard killed 2 of my Obliterators and nothing else. For my turn 2 I played the "Do or Die" card. One Landraider shot forward to launch Abaddon and the Beserkers into a multi charge with a Trygon and 14 guants, whilst a rhino manouvered to drop of my Plasma gun aiming at the other Trygon..... However it was more a die play then a do play. Abaddon once again roll for a 1 in combat and then took 2 more wounds from the Trygon, the Beserkers did wipe out the guants which caused 3 wounds to the Trygon due to fearless damage. For the next 2 turns Steve kept throwing more and more Gaunts into the combat with the Beserkers, who slowly ground through the little buggers, but Abaddon, well at the start of the next combat round he rolled another 1 and died. Other highlights included my Terminators make all three 5+ saves caused by thr Tyrant and then killing him in return. In the end Steve won the primary by literaly 1mm, his Tervigon had been running away from the terminators and had almost run out of range of the objective. The secondary was close but thanks to all the gaunts he'd spawned and the Besrkers had slowly waded through I'd won kill points, and the VPs were pretty fairly matched.

Final Score 8 - 12 a loosing draw.

Day1 ended in a reasonable position  27 points from a possible 60. Mid table obsurity was looking on the cards.

Monday, 12 September 2011

Northern Warlords prep

So I'm only 4 days away from another tournament which may turn out to be the last with my CSM army for a while. The new Necron codex is due later this year and I'm thinking og getting a new Necron army. That combined with potentially sell my car in a few weeks means I'll have the money to buy one. I'll definately return to CSM once they get a new codex, cos Chaos will always be my first love :)

But for the tournament this weekend I'm taking

Abaddon the Despoiler
8 Beserkers with Skull Champion and Power fist
5 Plague Marines in rhino with 2 Plasma guns
5 Plague Marines in rhino with 2 Plasma guns
2 Obliterators
2 Olbiterators
3 Terminators with Combi meltas
Landraider with Daemonic possession
Landraider with Daemonic possession

Little worried its a very small army, almost half the army is Abaddon and the 2 landraiders but we'll see how it goes. Some form of write up to follow post weekend I suspect.

Sunday, 4 September 2011

Yorkshire Store Tournament - Part 2

Game 2 - Capture and Control / Spearhead vs Dark Eldar

Not had a lot of experience fighting Dark Eldar so a lot of this was going to be new to me. After I'd won the roll to choice, my opponent, Anthony, let me know he had a special character which allowed him to seize on a 4+. I foolishly let him go first rather than setting up and then having it seize. With hindsight this was a massive mistake! I should have gambled on the first turn as 50% of the time I would be no worse off the if he seized. 
After he'd deployed a number of raiders and ravegers behind cover I deployed two units of obliterators, both Daemon Princes and the Landraider in a tight formation on the only real terrain piece in my quarter, opting to keep the remainder of my force in reserve. Turn one and the majority of his force move flat out along his board edge to get into a better strike position. The two ravagers moved out from behind cover and sighted up on the Landraider and Obliterators, so to did the Razorwing, firing all 4 of it's necrotoxin missiles. Luckily for me his firing was very ineffective and nothing died. For my turn one I sighted the obliterators on the ravagers fearing that their AP2 Str 8 could rip through the Obliterators. So both units fired their lascannons at the two Ravagers. Blowing up one and immobilising and shaking the other.

Turn two started with two venoms coming onto the board, i was rapidly noticing that my opponent was largely ignoring his own objective in favour at throwing everything at mine. I realised the Dark Eldar were fast and could get people back to their objective quickly, but it was a possible opening. One of the raiders shot forward and disgorged a unit of wyches in front of my ruined hideout ready to charge the Obliterators. The rest of his firing proved once again to be less than effective, combinations of 2+ armour and 4+ cover saves meant for all the fire from raiders and razorwings only a single wound was place on the Obliterators and the Landraider became immobilized, given it was already facing the majority of his army not a huge issue. His assault phase was also equally poor, with the wyches only causing a single wound on the squad of Obliterators, whilst loosing two of their own to my power fist attacks, still they stayed in the fight tying up the unit. In my turn two a unit of Plague Marines was all that appeared. Coming on the far left hand of the board they headed for my opponents unguarded objective, disembarking into a wood to take some shots at the razorwing. My free Obliterators destroyed the immobilized Ravager, whilst the Landraider shotdown the raider that had dropped off the Wyches. The plague marines could only manage the shake the razorwing, but that meant it's firepower wasn't going to be an issue for another turn. The combat between Obliterators and Wyches was going nowhere fast, with both side only causing a single wound.

Turn three and his last venom came onto the board, and in a move that suprised me, didn't head toward his objective, instead joining in the assault on my defended position. The remaining raiders fired forward dropping Asdrubael Vect and a unit of Grotesques off to assult one Daemon Prince and another unit of wyches to assult the second Prince and Obliterators. Most of his vehicles were either stunned or moving too fast to fire this turn, the Venoms opened up with mass splinter fire, but only managed to cause a single wound on the Obliterators. His assults phase was a different matter. Vect and the Grotesques charged the Daemon Prince causing 3 wounds on him, in return I inflicted two wounds on the Grotesques. The Wyches fair little better against each Obliterators pack the in previous rounds, but this time they had a Daemon Prince to deal with, however their 4+ save in CC negated most of the damage and both fight with wyches dragged on, it became apparent that the wyches were there only to hold people up for Vect to deal with. In my turn three the remainder of my army arrived. The second unit of Plague Marines drove onto my objective and stayed in their rhino, their aim to at least contest it for as long as possbile. The Terminators went after the Razorwing which was threatening to attack my other Plague Marines which were heading for his objective, but scattered into his reavers and died. The 3rd unit of Obliterators landed near the Plague Marines to support their assult. My firing phase was pretty uneventful with not serious damage being done, but the assualt phase was going badly. Vect killed off the Daemon Prince and consolodated towards the second Prince, The lone surviving Obliterator at the front of the ruin was finally dragged down by the wyches, well wych as there was only one left by now, but it was rapdily becoming apparent I was loosing control of my own objective.

Turn four and the Reavers did a fly by attack on the Obliterators killing one, the Razorwing then shot up and killed a second. The venoms peppered the small five man marine squad that had wandered on last turn killing 2 of them. In the assult phase Vect slew a second Daemon Prince and the Grotesques finished off the Obliterators. All I had left around my own objective was the Plague Marines still in their rhino. For my turn four the second unit of Plague Marines put the pedal to the metal and drove their rhino into the forest containing his objective. My other unit popped it's plasma guns out of the top hatch and fired on one of the wyches units trying to remove his scoring units, but it was largely a waiting game now.

Turn five and it was make or break for me. A venom sped into the forest to drop off it's warrior cargo, but rolled a 1 and exploded killing two of the five men inside. The Razorwing also flew into the forest but faired better with the trees. Vect and his Grotesques advanced on the rhino parked on my objective. In the firing phase the Reavers repeated the flyby attack on the lone Obliterator, killing him. The Razorwing only managed to blow the combi-bolter from the rhino and luckly the one lance shot he had on the rhino on my objective missed. This forced Vect to assault the rhino which he did destroying it, but none of the marines inside were injured. For my turn five it was a daring ploy. On his objective the Plague Marines disembarked the Rhino, which then tank shocked the warriors in the venom wreck. They failed their leadership roll and fled from the table. Unfortunately the Plasma guns of the Plague Marines could bring down the Razorwing and so the objective remained contested. As too did my own objective with Vect and the Plague Marines both being within three inches....... and with a roll of a two, thats how the game ended.

Result - Draw

After thoughts: This was a tough fight, I was lucky the game ended on turn five as I doubt I could have held on for another turn let alone two. I was unlucky not to kill the Razorwing with 2 turns of Plasmagun firing and this could have meant a win for me. Vect is one hard S.o.B. I think with hindsight I should have leapt one of the two Daemon Princes out of the ruin so I could use his Lash to move people around in later stages of the game, or even against an all mech army kept one or both in reserve so they arrive once the Obliterators have had time to open up a few transports. Still this was the best of the games on the day with a seriously hard fought draw being a good reflection of the effort put in by both sides.

Yorkshire Store Tournament - Part 1

So on Friday 2nd of September I took part in the Yorkshire Store Tournament at Warhammer World. Twenty games of 40k and about 10 of Warhammer doubles to battle over the coveted store trophy held by the Leeds store for 3 years running now. The army I took was;
     Daemon Prince, Wings, Mark of Slaanesh, Lash of Submission - 155pts
     Daemon Prince, Wings, Mark of Slaanesh, Lash of Submission - 155pts
     3 x Obliterators - 225pts
     3 x Obliterators - 225pts
     3 x Obliterators - 225pts
     3 x Chaos Terminators, 3 Combi meltas - 105pts
       Dedicated Landraider, Daemonic Possession, Dozer Blade - 245pts
     5 x Plague Marines, 2 Plasma guns, Rhino with Extra Armour - 195pts
     5 x Plague Marines, 2 Plasma guns, Rhino with Extra Armour - 195pts
     5 Chaos Space Marines - 75pts

Game 1 - Annihilation / Dawn of War vs Ultramarines.

Nathan, my opponent in the first game, was relatively new to tournaments and had brought a balanced Ultramarine army. Unfortunately for him this didn't include a Librarian. He won the roll off and chose to deploy first, weirdly not deploying anything, so of course I returned the favour. At the start of turn 1 his army rolled on, two Landraiders (one a crusader) moved rapidly down the board. A dreadnough dropped down in a pod, but had no one to target so found himself alone in the middle of the board. With nothing to shoot at it moved to me. My entire army except the Terminators moved onto the board edge. The firing phase was largely uneventful. We blew the Multimelta off the Dreadnought with a unit of Obliterators, but other than that most of his Units couldn't be seen.

Turn two and the Landraiders continues their drive down the board. The Las Cannon shot from his Landraider bounced off my Landraider and the missile launcher couldn't hit the Obliterators., so it was a largely uneventful turn two for him. My turn two was a little more destructive. The Terminators deepstrike onto the board and although they scatter still land near enough to the Landraider Crusader to pop it with their Combi-Meltas. The tactical squad and captain that stagger out of the smoking crater quickly find themselves being lash'ed into a tight bunch in the middle of open ground, queue the Plasma cannons. Six shots later and only a wounded Captain remains, who is then killed by plasma gun fire from the Plague marines. On the other side of the board the poor dreadnought is immobilized by more Las-cannon fire.

In Turn three Nathan's reserves arrive, two units of terminators armed with a cyclone missile launcher each. They use the homing beacon on the drop pop to land safely on the right side of the board. The captain prepares to charge my Terminators, unfortunately due to my shocking triple one armour saves they die to bolter fire from the tactical squad before he gets chance. His terminators unload into a unit of plague marines that had been sneaking up the far right side of the board to attach the tactical squad at the back, but only manages to kill two of the five. On the other side of the board, the Landraider drive forward and unloads another tactical squad infront of my Obliterators, then it's machine spirit fires a lascannon and blow up a rhino belonging to the 2nd unit of plague marines. The bolt pistol fire into the Obliterators is largely ineffective, but the charge from the unit and subsequent combat round kills one of the chaos weapon masters due to yet more shocking 2+ armour saves. However the Obliterators stay in the fight. Turn three was going to be critical for me, with all his forces committed I had to deal with them before they started taking a tole on my army. One of my Daemon princes flew close to the combat to lend his support to the Obliterators. The landraider shakes it's counterpart again with a glancing shot and the plague marines fire more shots at the dreadnough with little affect. On the other side of the board it's a different story. His terminators, already bunched up through deepstriking and very closer to each other too faced the plasma cannons of 6 Obliterators, of the two 5 man teams only the captain of one surived the onslaught and to add insult to the attack the Daemon prince successfully whipped him away from the army. In close combat the Daemon Prince make quick work of 4 of the tactical squad and the marines with the Obliterators finishing them off.

Turn four and the marines were in a bad way, the Landraider fired a single lascannon at my Landraider but bounced off, the Terminator Captain advance back towards the battle lines. The tactical squad at the back of the board opened up on the Plague Marines killing the three bolter armed marines, but with a rapidly diminishing army there was very little the loyalist could do to stop the chaos onslaught. For my turn four the lone obliterator moved up to the Landraider and put a meltagun shot straight through it's engine block, ironically the resulting explosion wounded him didn't kill him. My Landraider finally put the weaponless immolise dreadnought out of it's misery. On the other half of the board the Daemon Prince lashed the last remaining tacitcal squad into a tight group ready for the Plasma cannons which then vapourised the whole squad. The Terminator captain was shot by the plasmaguns of the Plague Marines.

At the start of turn 5, with only his drop pod alive, my opponent bowed out. It had been a fairly brutal affair which was fairly one sided, but Nathan took the experience well and we even had time to chat after about how marines normally operate in tournaments. Overall it was a good game, both from a result point of view and my opponent.

Results - WIN

Games two and three to follow .........

Saturday, 27 August 2011

Lets give the real Lash Splash a run out!

It didn't fair well when I took a 1000pts version to Vapnatak earlier in the year, but for the inter Yorkshire store tournament on Friday I've decided to try pure Lash / Splash. I'm also going to try to go with the right mind set. From what I've heard and read Lash / Splash isn't a great all round army, it will tend to either dominate or get crushed depending on the opposing army, so I'm also going to work on my loosing more gracefully skills if I get tables by the army's nemesis lists.  The army I'm taking is basically

Daemon Prince, Wings, Mark of Slaanesh, Lash of Submission - 155pts
Daemon Prince, Wings, Mark of Slaanesh, Lash of Submission - 155pts
3 x Obliterators - 225pts
3 x Obliterators - 225pts
3 x Obliterators - 225pts
3 x Chaos Terminators, 3 Combi meltas - 105pts
Dedicated Landraider, Daemonic Possession, Dozer Blade - 245pts
5 x Plague Marines, 2 Plasma guns, Rhino with Extra Armour - 195pts
5 x Plague Marines, 2 Plasma guns, Rhino with Extra Armour - 195pts
5 Chaos Space Marines - 75pts

The Terminators are the basic termicide unit designed to deep strike down and take out a Landraider or equivalent to earn their points. The only difference from my usual list is there's no icons for them to link off. Their Landraider will basically sit at the back of the board, probably not moving so it can fire both it's Lascannons, main target will be any transports to crack them open.
For anyone who doesn't know, Lash of Submission's trick is to move enemy units. The drawback in normal tournaments is the popularity of Librarians amounst Marine players, which means they will often be cancelling the power out. The use of it is normally to move a unit out of cover and into a tight formation ready for the Obliterators. If you can move people through dangerous terrian (most likely wrecked vehicles) all the better as that's a 1 in 6 chance to kill models before we even fire at them.
The Obliterators are the fire support, against tightly bunched up units it's Plasma Cannon death, Las Cannons and Multimeltas for any vehicles and twin linked Plasmaguns or Flamers if stuff get real close.
2 units of plague marines will either be used to take objectives in Seize ground, or possibly make a play for the enemy objective in Capture and Control. The remaining marines are a deckchair unit to hold my objective in Capture and Control.

The key is obviously to keep the Prince's alive. I'm hoping the Landraider will draw some fire away from them, whilst also acting as some mobile cover to shield Obliterators and Princes.

I'm a little concerned that its a very small army (only 32 models in total), but we'll see. I'm at another tournament mid September, but I'll be taking a different list to that.

Comments and tactics welcome :)

Sunday, 31 July 2011

Experiments in World Eaters

So I've been experimenting with my World Eaters to try to get a better army list. Based on the results of Toy Soldier I've realised that;-
  • Rhinos are a little too crunchy without something bigger to draw fire from them.
  • Daemon Princes are good but do tend to get shot up as they try to cross the board.
  • Need to try to seperate my no armour save attacks away from the mass of normal attacks when Beserkers charge.
Chaos appears to really struggle with long range firepower, it's probably not something easy to remedy, but I need to make sure I still have some to take care of Tanks. My initial thoughts are as follows;-

Chaos Lord, Mark of Khorne, Pair of Lightning claws, Melta Bombs.
8 Khorne Beserkers, Champion with Power Fist, Icon, Rhino with Extra Armour
8 Khorne Beserkers, Champion with Power Fist, Icon, Rhino with Extra Armour
8 Khorne Beserkers, Champion with Power Fist, Icon, Rhino with Extra Armour
5 Chaos Space Marines, Icon of Chaos, Plasma Gun
3 Terminators, 3 Combi Melta, Powerfirst
5 Raptors with 2 Meltaguns
Predator with Autocannon and Heavy Bolters

I tried this army against a friend's Space Marines, not the most competive list, it did feature two Landraiders of his own, but sadly once again the Chaos come of second best are Imperial Landraiders can fire two weapons on the move, have more options and little price difference. I do wish they GW would address this as several options in the CSM codex are more expensive than EXACTLY the same model in a SM armour or have an added disadvantage (see Chaos Dreadnoughts). Anyway down to the game. It was Seize ground with three objectives and Pitched Battle deployment.

Chaos Deployment
I won the roll and decided to go first. I normally choose to go second if I win but I'm begining to think first is better as it gives my tanks a 12" roll before the risk of being shot. I deployed mostly on the right flank (the 3 objectives were on this half of the board.).  Beserker packs in the vehicles, Five man marine squad following up behind one Landraider and the Predator on the flank. Already with hindsight mistakes have been made. The Predator is badly positioned as the forest infront of it blocks a lot of it's LOS, or at the minimum gives targets a cover save. Then agains hindsight is a wonderful thing.

Imperial Deployment
Stu deployed along the full board length. His army features a lot of Las Cannons and I was worried for my Landraiders survival. Two tactical squads have combated down, Five with the Lascannons in the ruin, the remaining five in the razorbacks.

The first couple of turns were largely uneventful. I drove the majority of my tanks forward hoping to get closer to the enemy before they were popped. This issue I have with Chaos Landraiders is the lack of machine spirit equivalent, we used to have one but it's another thing that GW randomly got rid of. It means that if I choose to roll 12" forward I can't fire any weapons. As it was one only rolled forward 6" and took a pot shot at a Predator, but only shook it. Likewise the Marine's first turn was largely uneventful. They fire several shots into my Landraiders but only managed to shake one of them. With no real casualties on either side we moved into turn two.

After Movement in Turn 2
Neither of my reserves turned up this turn, which was actually useful as I had no icons close to the main vehicle threats yet, hopefully they'd turn up in turn three when they could land and take out a Landraider or Predator. My Landraider drove forward and disembarked it's cargo of Beserkers and Lord into the ruins with the tactical squad Lascannon. Shaken from the previous turn the Landraider could do little but deliver it's troops into the heart of the enemy. On the far side the second Landraider drove forward and popped smoke to try to outlast the firing from Stu's godhammer. The combat was a short and bloody affair with the death of the five marines sealed quickly, however it did uncover another issue. The Lord's lightning claw attacks were offset by all the other I 5 attacks from the Berserkers, as it happened it didn't matter, but I think I'll swap to I+1 rather than A+1 from the marks, as this means he attacks on his own maximising the damage he can do. However this had left the Beserkers dangerously on their own surrounded by Landraiders, Predators and Attack bikes.
 In Stu's turn two I was introduced to the horror of the flamestorm cannon, at St6 AP3 it rips through marines easily and 5 of my Berserkers were engulfed in a wash of fiery death. On the far side his Godhammer punched through the smoke screen surrounding my Landraider and wrecked it, forcing the Beserkers to evacuate. The remaining fire only managed to kill one of their number as they lined up on the other 5 man squad with a lascannon in the ruins.
End of Chaos Turn 3

Turn three we extracted a modicum of revenge. The Beserker pack overran the 5 man squad on the right flank, whilst the 2 remaining Berserkers charged one Predator and the Lord split off to charge the other, the Landraider (once again shaken from a long range snipe from his Godhammer) drove over the objective to stop his Landraider from getting those nasty flamestorm cannons too close. However my reserves were still failing to turn up and I was sorely missing their Melta weapons.The firing phase was rapidly becoming something only Stu's army had as most of my range stuff was either still in reserves or being constantly shaken. The assults were all fairly one sided, my Lord's meltabomb blew up the tripple Lascannon Predator, the Beserkers managed to Immobilise and destroy 2 weapons off the other Predator, whilst the larger Beserker pack killed the tactical combat squad with the Lascannon.

In Stu's turn his firing was largely blocked by my tanks. He did gun down the 5man team that had set up camp in the woods at the bottom of the photos which contained an objective. He also blew up my Predator, which to be honest hadn't had a major impact on the game. He also moved one of his Razorbacks up to the 3rd objective near the centre building and disembarked a five man tactical squad. 

End of Chaos turn 4
At the start of turn 4 my terminators finally decided to turn up, but still no sign of the Raptors. The plan this turn was simple. The Terminators would use their melta weapons to destroy the Landraider, my Landraider would shoot a couple of the thunderhammer terminators contained inside and then the beserkers would charge them to finish them off. It would have worked fine if the Terminators had kept up their end of the plan. Three melta shots and I didn't even get a glance. The Landraider tried too, but couldn't get through the armour. At this point the waiting Beserkers made a tactical withdraw, because frankly that flamestorm cannon is scary!  In his turn Stu started the mop up exercise, the flame cannon still got a few of the Beserkers, whilist his terminator disembarked and killed mine.
End of Chaos Turn 5
In Turn five the raptors finally turned up. There shooting was more useful as they immobilised the Landraider, at least this would stop it from flamestorming much more. I made another mistake this turn, see those two Beserkers hiding by the side of the Landraider trying to get cover, why didn't I re-embark them ??? Anyway, the other Beserkers charged the Razorback, but this was merely a stall as I knew the Terminators were going to wpipe them out.

Sure enough in Stu's turn five my Beserkers were cut down by thunder hammers. The game was pretty much over at this point as Stu was firmly in conrol of 1 objective and winning the fights on the other two. The game did last another two turns but it was mostly just mopping up my men.

In the end I lost 2 - 0 on objectives. Still it was a fun game with much food for thought.

  • The Beserkers still lack a certain amount of staying power, as my main troop choices they tend to get wittled down in combats and I can easily end up not having the resource to take objectives by the end of the game.
  • I'm going to move to I+1 on my Lord as it seperates his attacks from the Beserker pack he runs with.
  • Stu uses a lot of mech in his army, which is what you often see at tournament too, the beserkers did struggle with tragets after they'd overwhelmed the few squads that started out of transports, I need to make sure that I pop open transports quickly to give them a target.

Some questions I have to answer.
  • On the Landraiders, Extra Armour or Daemonic Possession?  Although it drops the BS to 3 it does mean that I will be reliably firing 1 weapon and since they're twin linked should still generall hit. My survivng Landraider spent a lot of the game not being able to fire, so the possession would have let it have a pop shot at people.
  • One Chaos lord or 2? I could easily fit another Chaos lord into the mix, I'm think that if both Landraiders contained Beserkers and a Lord it would give them both added punch. I am also considering switching to Daemon weapon rather than Claws. With the Mark of Slaneesh it means only +D6 extra attacks so less chance of a backlash, plus it will instant kill. 
My next tournament is a  1800pts one in Warhammer world at the start of September and then a 2 day 1750pts one in Warrington. I'm hoping to get a lot more practise in before those.

    Monday, 25 July 2011

    Toy Soldier 2011 Day 2

    Game 4: Seize Ground / Dawn of War

    After the disappointing end to day 1, I was hoping for a better start to day 2. I drew Luke Dobson and another vanilla Space Marine army. This one featured 3 Land raiders, Thunderhammer Terminators, 2 Tactical squads, a small scout squad and a Sternguard squad. It must be pointed out for the photos that Luke had been drafted over from the Warmachine tournament to the 40K one as both had an odd number of players. The list and models had been supplied by one of the tournament organisers, hence why the scout appear to have jump packs.
    His initial deployment placed his scouts and a tactical squad on two of the objectives markers, as the game started his Landraiders drove onto the board and headed towards the Chaos deployment zone. In a slightly odd move the tactical squad that had deployed on the board back peddled and embarked onto one of the Landraiders. Due to the dawn of war deployment my first turn was largely uneventful, with my rhino and Daemon Princes moving 12” onto the board and deploying smoke. I chose to focus my attack on 1/2 the board, as there were 3 objectives on the right of the centre building as I look at the board (the one he's put his terminator in while they're in the Landraider.) The next couple of rounds we largely un eventful. Obliterators deep struck and managed to shake one of the Land raiders, in return the terminators piled out of one Land raider and killed 2 of them. Meanwhile the Landraider’s fire power felled one of the daemon princes.

    At the start of turn 3 Chaos pounced. The remaining Daemon prince leapt into the air to land next to the stationary Landraider that had killed his companion in the previous turn, Obliterators advance into melta range of the 2nd landraider, whilst Plague marines lowered their plasma weapons sighting up the Terminators. The Plasma guns carved into the Terminator killing 3 of the 5, the melta guns did for the Terminator's Landraider. In the combat round a unit of Beserkers charge the remaining Terminators and overwhelmed their terminator with a huge amount of saved required. The Daemon prince destroyed the 2nd Landraider. Both Landraiders were wrecked rather than exploded and this turned out to be a huge advantage. Their position in relation to the central building effectively built a screen of LOS blocking terrain screening off my 3 objectives from the other side of the board...... and so we camped. The Plague Marines near the centre combined fire with the Obliterators to kill off the scouts on the objective to cement my objective advantage. I sent one of the packs of Beserkers and the remaining Daemon Prince over my newly created Landraider wall to harass the opponents on the other side. The game finished after 5 turns before I had time to finish off the rest of the army as my Daemon was baring down on the remaining Landraider and the Beserkers were running amouk in his tactical squads.

    Result WIN : 16 / 4 tournament points

    Game 5: Take and Hold / Pitched Battle

    This was a special mission for the tournament, basically it's Capture and Control with an added 3rd objective dead centre which is worth 2 points. My Opponent was playing Tau which means suits, lots of suits. placing my objective very close to the centre one my basic plan was to try to use the Plague Marines to hold the objectives while the rest of the army tried to take the fight to the Tau. Then he won first turn and it all went down hill. Caught in the open without the benefit of smoke he popped all four rhinos in his first firing round. Reduced to foot slogging none of my troops made it anywhere close to the tau. My obliterators did a little damage as they landed, but shield drones took the majority of the hits and then railguns popped them. By the end of turn 4 I was down to 5 plague marines and I concided rather than drag it out and longer.

    Result LOSS: 1 / 19 tournament points

    Overall I place badly 25th of 32 which I'm a little disapointed with.

    Overall thought
    • There wasn't a lot of LOS blocking terrian, which meant when I faced the 2 heavy shooting armies there was NOWHERE I could move and not be shot.
    • The Plague Marines are resilient and hard to get off an objective
    • The Rhinos are a little crunchy and tend to die easily, I may try Landraiders again instead.

    Sunday, 24 July 2011

    Toy Soldier 2011 - Day 1

    This weekend I took my Chaos Space Marine army to Toy Soldier 2011, the result was rather disappointing from my point of view with 3 losses and 2 wins, whilst the wins and one of the losses were actually good battles it was somewhat soured by 2 defeats which were basically exerises in me removing models with pretty much no loss for the opponent.

    In the continued experimentation of my Chaos Space Marine army I added some Plague Marines to the mix, hoping these would give me some solid objective holders. I up'ed the number of Obliterators but had to drop a squad of Berserkers and Terminators in Land Raider from my previous tournament list.  I was worried it looked light on actual bodies coming in at only 36 men (and 4 rhinos) which was a lot of kill points and not a lot of ablative wounds. This turned out to be true.

    Game 1:  Annihilation / Spearhead

    My opponent for the first game was Matt Mcveigh, using a vanilla Space Marine army. It contained a number of Las / Plas Tactical squads, 2 units of Sternguard acting as devastators (Missile Launcher, Las Cannon and 2 Plasma gun) a librarian and some drop pods. The forces of Chaos lined up on the go line and in the starting turned roared into action, driving towards the enemy. At the start of his turn 1 the drop pods started raining down. One landed in front of my advancing Plague marines and spilled out a tactical squad. A second landed behind my lines and Sternguard deploy splitting down into 5 man team to maximise their metla gun death potential on my rhinos. This later team were also accompanied by a Librarian, the bane of my Daemon Princes. Now to say my opponent was unlucky, or I was lucky is an understatement. His army opened up on my 4 rhinos trying to stop them in their tracks. Over 16 Str7 or higher shots rained in on them, many from close range meltaguns. As the smoke cleared, literally the number of smoke saves I made was scary, only a single rhino had been popped. The return fire from Chaos was brutal, with 4 Obliterators and 5 plague marines firing a total of 6 rapid firing plasma guns, followed by the Khorne beserkers charging, the drop pod team behind my line was wiped out. The front squad didn't fare much better as the Plague Marines unloaded more hot Plasma death. With his firing options rapidly dwindling Matt struggled to come back,
    In turn 4 the Demon Princes swooped on more of the troops supported by another pack of Khorne's finest, with expected results. The final insult came when the Daemon Prince charged one of the 10 man squads routing them in the 2nd round of combat, only to fly to the opposite side of the other squad, break and rout them, whilst staying close enough to the first squad to ensure they continued to run straight off the battlefield.

    Result WIN : 19 / 1 tournament points

    Game 2 : Capture and Control / Pitched Battle
    This is where it started to go down hill. Against another vanilla space marine army I struggled to kill him. His Ironclad dreadnough which had drop podded into the middle of my army killed one of the daemon princes and between the 2 Princes took 7 rounds of combat to finally kill. My attack on his objective was easy stopped despite it using both Beserkers and 4 Obliterators. It was a close fought battle with me almost pulling off a draw by hold my objective, but in the end one of his land speeders snuck in to contest it by 1/4 of an inch !!!

    Result Loss : 3 / 17 tournament points

    Game 3  Annihilation / Dawn of War
    For Game 3 I had the joy of facing the classic leaf blower army. Personally speaking I can't understand how anyone can play this type of army as it's the most dullest army to play against and make for a really DULL game. I'm not going to really give this battle a write up, I found the whole exersise of just taking off handfulls of my army off the board each turn demoralising and exremely boring. It was without doubt the worst game I've had in 40K with no tactics being used by my opponent other that just rolling lots of twin linked dice. I had lost this game from the moment I lost the first turn (and to be fair it was going to be a long shot if I'd won it.)

    Result Loss : 1 / 19 tournament points

    Day 1 was really spoiled for me by the last game, I can't understand why anyone would want to play leaf blower, if winning at the expense of any fun what so ever is all that matters to a person than in my opinion they shouldn't leave their home and spoil other people's fun. To say I was in a foul mood when I left the venue is an understatement and really ruined what had been up until then an enjoyable day of 40k.

    To be continues .........

    Tuesday, 19 July 2011

    Prep work finished for Toy Soldier

    So I've finished my painting for  Toy solider this weekend. I'm taking Chaos space marines and they're slowly evolving into the "net list" version as the number of obliterators increases and Plague Marines creep into the mix. The army list I'm taking is;

    Daemon Prince, Wings, Mark of Nurgle, Warptime
    Daemon Prince, Wings, Mark of Nurgle, Warptime
    8 Khorne Beserkers with Personal Icon, Champion with Powerfist and Rhino with Extra Armour
    8 Khorne Beserkers with Personal Icon, Champion with Powerfist and Rhino with Extra Armour
    6 Plague Marines with Personal Icon & 2 Plasma Guns in a Rhino
    6 Plague Marines with Personal Icon & 2 Plasma Guns in a Rhino
    2 Obliterators
    2 Obliterators
    2 Obliterators

    Some concerns over the number of models in the army 38 models seems very light to me for 1750 pts, but we'll see how well they do. Couple of shots of the newly painted plague marines, I actually quite enjoyed painting them and might make some more up.

    Monday, 23 May 2011

    New Tournament, Old Army

    So I'm at a tournament at the end of July and despite comment to the contri I'm going to take Chaos Space Marines again, this time they are less World Eaters more a unified Chaos army from both Khorne and Nurgle. The list I'm thinking of going with is.

    Daemon Prince, Wings, Mark of Nurgle, Warptime
    Daemon Prince, Wings, Mark of Nurgle, Warptime
    8 Khorne Beserkers, Champion with Powerfist and Rhino
    8 Khorne Beserkers, Champion with Powerfist and Rhino
    5 Plague Marines with 2 Plasma Guns and Rhino
    5 Plague Marines with 2 Plasma Guns and Rhino
    2 Obliterators
    2 Obliterators
    2 Obliterators

    I've had some success with it of late at the Garrison, but I still think I'm commiting the Beserkers too early and so they end up taking nasty casualties in return, better to soften my target up a little before charging.

    We'll see how it all goes.

    Sunday, 24 April 2011

    Venture into Warhammer

    So for Good Friday I play my 2nd ever real game of Warhammer. 2500pts a side, my Lizardmen versus a high Elf army. To say it was a slow game is an understatement as both myself and my opponent are very new to Warhammer so were we looking a lot of rules up as we were going. Still it was a lot of fun.

    The Lizardmen were;
    Slann Mage priest
    Sink priest on Engine of the Gods
    Saraus Old Blood
    20 Saraus warriors with Spears
    20 Saraus warriors with Spears
    16  Saraus warriors withhand weapons
    3 Kroxigor
    5 Cold one Cavalry
    10 Skirmish Skinks
    6 Chameleon skinks

    Not knowing the High Elf army list some of this might have been wrong
    High Elf Prince on griffon
    2 x Level 2 Mages
    20 Spearmen
    20 Sea Guard
    20 Sea Guard
    10 Sword Masters
    5 Silver Helms
    2 Great Eagles
    2 Repeater Bolt throwers

    We opted to play the basic mission, mainly because we didn't want to complicate matters by adding in mission objectives etc. Terrian was kept to a minumum with a couple of hills and a small ruin really having any affect in the game.

    The first confusion started with my Chameleon skinks. We were sure where they could go. On-line most people seem to point to them as a means of taking out warmachines with their scout ability, however the initial reading suggested they had to be 12" from the enemy which would put them miles from anything. Not sure if this was just a cunning and probably acciedential deployed trick by the High Elves or we were getting it wrong, The Summary rules which army builder produced mentioned that they could ignore minimum distance for scouting, so it was they set up behind the warmachines ready to slay the crew. Really must sit down with rule books and army books and work out which is right. As it was it didn't matter, the Elves got first turn and the Prince on griffon swooped down and ripped the little skink to pieces, but not before they'd given his Griffon 2 wounds from stand and fire reaction. Pretty much the first 2 turns went the same. I advanced under the cover of the 5+ ward save being generated by my Engine of the Gods, whilst the High Elves shot a lot. The broke my skinks and killed 2 of the Kroxigor before the Kroxigor made a suicide run into a unit of spearmen. The magic wasn't a massive impact. Most spells were dispelled or didn't do huge amounts of damage.

    By turn 3 the Lizardmen were ready to strike and 2
    of my unit's and the Stegadon crashed into the battle line of the elfs. My temple guard were horribly out of position due to a bad deployment in front of a small ruin I had to move around, with hindsight this wan't the best place to have deployed my Temple Guard. It's these little things i need to learn.

    So it turns out that Saurus are pretty handy in a fight. I was worried that the Elf always strike first special rule would mean that the Elf would kill everyone before we got to strike, however the change in rules so that the back ranks are removed first does help. Plus toughness 4 is an bonus. Playing 40k I'd forgotten the difference 1 points of toughness makes. In 40k the vast majority of armies have Str4 weapons, so the toughness 4 goes largely unnoticed. In this game the Elves needing 5+ to wound was a significant impact. Combined with my 4+ save meant we didn't take anywhere near the casualties. It should be noted at this point that the biggest learning mistake was made now, we forgot that since the Elves iniative beat the Lizards naturally they could have re-rolled their to hits. This would probably have had an effect on the combat, but how much i can't tell. In the end the Lizards won out in all combats, help no end by the Engine of the Gods doing D6 Str4 hits to all nearby enemy units even if they are in combat.

    It was a cool game and I enjoyed it a lot, not sure how competative our armies were and I suspect that if it had been a tournament style army i was playing against I'd have lost badly but it was fun.

    Stuff to remember or learn for next time
    • How do my Chameleon skinks work? If they can set up anywhere, even within 12" of the enemy then i can see a point for them. If they need to be 12" away I'm not sure the point, most deployments wouldn't allow them close enough to their kind of targets (War engines or small tough lightly armour targets)
    • Think of where your units are going to head. The Temple guard were horribly out of position and were wasted most of the game

    Tuesday, 12 April 2011

    Apocalypse at the Garrison

    So this Saturday at the Garrison I took part in an Apoc game of 40k. Roughly speaking it was the forces of Chaos defending a spaceport from an attacking Imperial force. There was a slight fudge with some Imperial Space Marines fighting on the side of Chaos, and an interesting little plot twist whereby some Grey Knights joined the Chaos. The fluff here was one of the missions the Chaos had to accomplish was to recover a grimoire of Demon knowledge from an outlying tower, so the Grey Knight were clearly here to get it for themselves ;)

     I'm obviously not going to list the armies involve but the Chaos army featured 2 Warhounds, a Bane Blade and a Brass Scorpion, whilst the Imperial had 4 Baneblade variants. Chaos were deployed in the ruins remains of a walled city. Whilst the Imperial forces attacked down both sides of the L shaped board.

    It wasn't a normal Apoc game, so the objectives were theme related. The main objective was to hold the starport (the round building in the photo). This was worth 5vp. There was also a secondary objective for each side. The Imperial player had to destroy the Daemon arch in the back of our deployment zone. This was immune to all firing and could only be destroyed in hand to hand. It was an AV13 immobile vehicle for these purposes.
    The forces of Chaos had to recover a grimiore of Daemon knowledge from the grey building at the end of the board (the one with the sign of Tzeentch on). To do this one our models had to end it's turn in base to base contact with the building to pick up the counter and then make it back to the starport. Not a simple mission when you think 10k pts of Ultramarines and Space Wolves would be in the way.

    On top of the team missions, each general had their own secret mission to complete.
    • I had to kill Commissar Yarrick with my Brass Scorpion super heavy, not an easy prospect as Yarrick was in a Baneblade variant surrounded by other Baneblade variants and from experience Brass Scorpions tend to be targeted heavily
    The other Chaos generals had;
    • Personally shoot down 2 of the 4 flyer's (the thunderbolt bomber and one of the Valkyries)
    • Keep 1 of his 2 DeathKnight alive.
    For the forces of good the mission were;
    • Get one of the two Lone Wolves on top of the gate, on his own.
    • Have the last dreadnought on the board (tricky given he has 2 dreadnoughts and the forces of Chaos had 8 between us)
    • Have Yarrick kill at least his own points worth of Chaos, personally.
    • Finish with at least one unit inside the Chaos deployment zone.

    With the forces of Chaos failing to seize initiative, the Imperial side took first turn. A couple of the generals had joined the game at the last minute so in Turn1 2000pts of Imperial guard rolled onto the board. A lot of this was represented by a heavy contignent of Leman Russ tanks, Manticores and Basalisks parked at the end of the board (right next to the Chaos objective building.... drat). The space wolf contigent drove forward in their assortment of Rhinos and Landraiders trying to close on the Chaos held walls. On the other flank the massed Superheavy tanks rumbled forward supported my more Leman Russ and Chimeras.

     In the firing phase the Chaos Super Heavies bore the brunt of the aggresssion. My Brass Scorpion was uncerimoniiously shot to pieces by 2 of the super heavies. Luckily for us it didn't go Super Nova and only wrecked. One of the Warhound titans phased the remaining of the fire power with the remaining 2 superheavy tanks and the Imperial guard artillery pieces stripping off all it's void shields and removing all but one of it's structure points. On the other side the dreadnought came under a lot of fire. With hindsight, now we know their mission, it's obvious why this was the case, but at the time it was just assumed they were the easiest targets as 5 of them were defending a breach in the wall. All in all their firing was less troublesome than i thought it would have been.

    Now it was the Chaos' turn. Our extra general brought on 2000pts of Grey Knight (yes a little odd I realise) in a very aggressive move his 2 deathknights deep struck onto our objective building at the far end. The Khorne battleline swarmed forward to avenge the death of Scorpy whilst the other flank mostly stood their ground an readied to fire on the advancing Space Wolves and Ultramarines .
     In the firing phase the Titans turned their anger on the the super heavies. In a blaze of fire Yarrick super heavy exploded sending debris flying in all directions. Other superheavies were rocked by battle cannons and las cannons. On the other side the space wolves vehicles took a pounding scattering many of the Sons of Fenris onto the battlefield.

    In the assault phase one of the Khorne daemon princes leapt into combat with a 2nd super heavy. In a flurry of blows he reduced a untouched tank to a ball of fire, sadly the already injured Prince was struck in the chest by a flying armour plate and killed. However the forces of Chaos had destroyed 2 of the Imperial super heavies.

    Then it started raining drop pods, slowly to start with a single drop pod touching down on the starport. Space wolf Terminators lumbered out and blew up the Thunderfire cannon, however for their success the Iron warrior havoks turned their Las Cannons and Autocannons on them and cut them down.

      The fighting on the space marine flank was also getting violent. Spacewolves were crashing into Iron Warriors and Chaos Space marines across the entire front line. The fighting was interrupted by a massive crash as the first of the titans toppled over and crashed to the ground. Destroyed by the remaining super heavy tanks and artillery.

    In the distraction though the Grey Knights had struck, although one of their Dread Knights had been destroyed the other was now wading through the defenders of our objective building and had seized the objective marker.

    More drop pods rained down on the starport, this time accompanied by a number of Valkyries as the forces for good made another attempt to take the starport. This time the Iron Warrior havok were overwhelmed and killed off. Only the Techmarie was stopping the Imperial controlling the starport.

    However the Chaos counter assault was as brutal as the Imperial strike had been, with Possessed and Marines leaping onto the starport and vehicles and heavy weapons from the surrounding area opening fire. At this point the Chaos side also revealed a sneaky trick. The Dreadknight in possession of the objective marker was teleported back into the Chaos deployment zone. This sneaky little trick look set to win us 5 more vp. However the Imperial had a trick or two up their sleeves and a Imperial Guard demo team leapt from one of the Valk and proceeded to blow up our Chaos gateway in close combat.

    In the final turns of the game the Chaos forces swept the area around the starport clear of Imperial forces, but they were encroaching on all sides.

    As the final whistle went the forces of Chaos had won 17 - 12, we'd completed 2 of our 3 secret missions (ok so i was the only one not to have completed mine) and the forces of the Imperial had completed 2 of there's too. Remarkable they managed to destroy all our dreadnoughts while keeping one of there's alive!

    It was a very enjoyable game and one I hope to repeat. Keeping the generals per side to only 3 or 4 make the game run a lot smoother, which help. Would be nice to have an apoc game which isn't Imperial and Chaos though. Don't think I've played Eldar in an apoc game yet.

    Thursday, 31 March 2011

    UK GT : Day 2

    Day 2 started bright and fresh, although looking around the room the same could not be said for some of my fellow generals. It was clear that some of them had enjoyed the late license of the venue and were now suffering the price.

    Round 4 - Capture and Control / Pitched Battle  vs. Dark Eldar

    I've had very little experience of the Dark Eldar and what I've learnt is they usually strike before me, even when I charge. My opponent was using a large pack of Hellions, 2 large groups of beasts an assortment of skimmer vehicles and a couple of small 3 man units.
    I probably messed up by deploying my objective opposite his rather than in the far corner. I knew I was pretty much playing for a draw here and that could have meant an extra turn before he got to grips with. But we deployed in a tight groups ready to counter charge his attacks with unit from other vehicles.In the first turn my Obliterators and Daemon Prince faced the majority of the firing. He wiped out the Obliterators and half killed the Daemon Prince. A lot of the Dark Eldar weapons seem to be either very high shots per turn and poison to negate high toughness or just Str8 AP2. I should probably have kept my Obliterators in reserve to threaten his army's rear, but I'm overly fearful of the mishap table. The Dark Eldar swarmed forward, softening us up with salvo's
    of fire. And when i say swarmed I mean SWARMED!! OMG they where everywhere! As the tide approach the first squad shot out of their Rhino were order forward to take out the three highborn leading the charge as their weapons where hurting! This they did in typical Khorne stylee. The Daemon prince fell to more splinter fire leather just 2 bands of Beserkers and the Terminators to defend the objective. Weirdly we survived the first assault of the Dark Eldar, we drove off the Hellions and if I'd managed to roll a 3+ with a pack of beserkers we'd have destroyed one of the large beast units after the fled from combat.
    We did have a comedy moment when the retreating Hellion landed near the last remaining transport vehicle, only for the landraider to blow it up and kill 4 of them in the resulting explosion, but it wasn't enough and pretty soon them came at me again.
     This time we couldn't beat them and it ended with me losing control of my objective while he still held his.

    To be honest this game was a lot closer than I thought it would be. If I'd managed to kill catch the fleeing beast squad in the first assault, I might have thought off the 2nd assault. He also made a Ld4 break test too, so a couple of dice going the other way and this could easily have been the draw I was aiming for.

    Result : Loss

    Round 5 - Seize Ground / Spearhead  vs. Space Marines

    I took a bit of a gamble in this game and left a number of my units in reserve. He was using a very assault heavy army and figured he'd be coming accross the board at me.
    By leaving a couple of rhino's in reserve I hoped to drive them along the long board edge and either get behind my opponent or at least snatch some of the objectives.
    I noticed that he only had two Troop choices, two 5 man squads in Razor backs lurking at the back of the board. If it could at least get one of these it should make my job easier. The plan was to drop my Obliterators from deep strike in to take one of them out. A great plan which no one bothered to tell the Obliterators, turn 4 came and went and still no sign of them. When they did arrive however they were bang on target and immediately shot up a tactical squad and moved to pursue the 2nd squad. At this point I think my opponent make his main mistake.
     He divert his large assault squad complete with both HQ choices to hunt down the Obliterators, instead of assaulting my main force that were camped on two objectives with 3 troops choices.

    This meant that I was largely unapose on my objectives. Except for one landraider. So it was with mild frustation when the game kept going on, finall on turn 7 my opponent crash his landraider through my defenses to contest the objective !!  If the game had finished on any other turn it would have been a win to me, but it was still a very enjoyable and close battle.

    Result : Draw

    Round 6 - Annihilation / Dawn of War  vs. Space Marines

    The last game of the day and I needed a win to end in a reasonable position. Due to the way the opponent allocation works I actually ended up playing against my opponent from round 5. It's a well known fact that you can guage if I'm really enjoying a game of 40K by the number of photos I take. When I'm really into a game I always forget to take them. So probably the best indicator of how good I enjoyed this is the lack of photos.
     Basically both myself and my opponent decided the gloves would come off for this re-match, engines roared and we all headed for the middle of the board.
    There was a huge scrap in the middle and Khorne somehow pulled off the win.
    The shame for this fight goes to the Daemon Prince who took FIVE ROUNDS of combat to kill a dreadnought. This is a Str6, 4 Attacks monstorous creature who was re-rolling his hits due to Warptime and he still couldn't kill a dreadnought!! Anyway in what was the best game of the event for me against my most sporting opponent I managed a win by 1 kill points.

    Result: Win

    Overall comments and learning's
    Overall I came 69th from 120 people, so Mid Table Obscurity :) I say this now but I'm already think of other possible army configurations. I think this will be the last tournament with the Chaos Space Marines until either a re-codex or 6th edition. I'm struggling to win games with them. There are a few things I learnt that would improve the army.
    • Obliterators are the best Heavy Choice. I would probably split them down into smaller 2 man team to ensure they start arriving in Turn 2, but they were doing quite well at either killing my opponents or drawing fire from the Beserkers as people tried to kill them off fast.
    • The Daemon Prince is more survivable in combat, but a Chaos Lord with Retinue in Landraider makes it into combat more often. For actual damage dealt I think the 2 were fairly evenly matched. But the Daemon's success relied on Warptime to negate his lower attacks. Against armies with psychic hoods it doesn't always work. My Daemon Prince died in most games having only made it into combat once. Normally he was either shot coming accross the board, or once he'd killed his first victim unit, gunned down by their mates. I think in future I'd use Daemon Princes but try to keep the closer to the Rhinos to ensure both support in CC and some cover from incoming fire.
    • I need to use Plague Marines to hold objectives. The 5 man team i used was ok but I think Plague Marines would last that little bit longer.
    If I do take these to another tourament I'm thinking;

    Daemon Prince, Wings, Warptime, Mark of Nurgle
    Daemon Prince, Wings, Warptime, Mark of Nurgle
    10 Beserkers inc Champion with power fist, Personal Icon and Rhino (with extra armour and dozerblade)
    10 Beserkers inc Champion with power fist, Personal Icon and Rhino (with extra armour and dozerblade)
    5 Plague Marines, 2 Melta Guns, Rhino (with extra armour)
    5 Plague Marines, 2 Melta Guns, Rhino (with extra armour)
    2 Obliterators
    2 Obliterators
    2 Obliterators

    Monday, 28 March 2011

    UK GT: Day 1

     A slight variation on the list used in the Uprising tournament. This one was;
    • Daemon Prince, Mark of Nurgle, Warptime & Wings
    • Chaos Lord in Terminator Armour, With Lightning Claws, Mark of Khorne
    • 4 Chaos Terminators, Power Fist, Combi Melta, Icon of Khorne with LandRaider 
    • 8 Khorne Beserkers, Champion with Powerfist, with Rhino
    • 8 Khorne Beserkers, Champion with Powerfist, with Rhino
    • 8 Khorne Beserkers, Champion with Powerfist, with Rhino 
    • 5 Chaos Space Marines with Plasma Gun
    • 3 Obliterators
    I was hoping that the Land Raider would provide some much needed anti vehicle whilst also providing a transport for the Terminators, rather than leaving them to the perils of the reserve and deep strike rolls.

    Round 1 - Seize Ground / Dawn of War   vs Imperial Guard

    It wasn't  a leafblower !!! There was only 1 Valkyrie and Hydra, that said there was still a lot of armour and I don't do well against armour.
    With dawn of war most of the army had to drive on at my table edge, which didn't bode well for there run across the board into the guns of the waiting guard and as expected it wasn't long till rhino's were being destroyed. Plus we don't like to talk about why Daemon Prince decided to go it alone on the opposite flank to the rest of the army.
    He had a cunning plan I'm sure it just didn't quite work out for him. But anyway .... I took a lot of fire from the tanks of the guard but did manage to make it into one of his flanks with a lot of my combat troops. The carnage was pretty brutal as poor lowly human found out what it was like to face pschyo mad space marines intent of killing all that stood in their way.
    The carnage was good and the blood spilled for the blood god !!! Pretty soon I'd taken control of my little hill and tree and in a nice world it would have all ended there. Sadly it was only turn 3 and the pesky rules say we've got to keep on fighting so the game carried on. This is when I found out what it was like to face angry humans who have large tanks and Lascannons and are intent on shooting me dead to get revenge for their fallen comrades, the answer is not pretty.
    Over the next couple of turns my forces were systematically shot to pieces from Valkyrie, Hydra and Leman russ battle tanks. Vehicles were wrecked and men reduced to a bloody smear, until finally my last squad was hunted down as they took cover near one of the objectives.

    Result: Loss

    Round 2 - Capture and Control / Pitched Battle  vs Tau

    Hmmm another highly shooty army, doesn't bode well. Bob's army was largely made up of Crisis suits with lots of shield drones, a couple of broadsides and three 5 man fire warriors teams in a couple of Devil fish

    My Landraider lasted all of 1 turn, and didn't get to move out of the deployment zone before 2 Broadsides reduced it to a smoldering wreck. He also popped a rhino in his first firing phase forcing a unit of beserkers to foot slog along with the terminators. It pretty much went down hill from there, the Tau are a very shooty army and most of his army were able to use their assault move to back off from advancing World Eaters.
    With only a couple of turns remaining we were pretty much pinned into a corner with the Tau moving in from all sides. At this point I really just didn't want to get tabled again, so the Khorne started to fall back and consolidate on my objective (the little skull counter at the end of the building. We assaulted and cleared out the remaining fire warriors in the building and dug in while crisis suits poured fire onto them. Now at the end of turn 5 I had 2 Marines left, one Beserker with Power fist and a Marine with Plasma gun, both standing on the objective. Tau were circling in and about to finish me off ........ and that's when the game ended. I'm not particularly proud of this draw, it felt a little cheap, I'd killed less that 400 pts of his army and he's practically tabled me, but in the end 2 lone marines won me my first draw of the weekend.

    Result : Draw

    Round 3 - Annihilation / Spearhead   vs Deathwing

    As my opponent deployed his army for this I wasn't filled with confidence, it was all Terminators, a Land raider and a Dreadnought in a drop pod. Pretty much everything I struggle to kill, but we pressed on.
    I got the first turn and my Obliterators struck. During deployment he'd forgotten about the Plasma Cannon option on them and was heavily bunched up. Ok so I'll admit I'd forgotten about it too, I stepped them out from their hiding place behind a building ready to fire lascannons and he suddenly realised his mistake and vocalised it, "oh yeah, Plasma Cannons" says me. Four Terminators die to hot plasma death.
    Following that there was a small game of cat and mouse. He didn't want my Beserkers to get the charge on me so as we drove around the small set of houses he kept maneuvering his terminators along the board edge. He'd popped a couple of Rhinos and was ahead on kill points. Then the dreadnough arrived in his drop pod, or two easy kill points as I like to call it. The dreadnough killed a Rhino and for it's sins was then ripped apart by the Daemon Prince while his drop pod was shot point blank range by the Obliterators.
    At this point the assaults that were to determine the game occured, firstly seeing the obliterators who'd been taking Las Cannon pot shots at his terminator, He drove his Landraider forward and disgorged his combat squad. 6 Terminators (4 Thunder Hammers, 2 Lighting Claws one with a banner and an Apothercary) along with the special character who was making his terminators troop choices and a librarian and assulted the Obliterators. Who promptly died. In my turn i returned the favour, my Landraider drove forward and dropped off it's 4 Terminator (Combi-Melta, Power fist and Icon of Khorne) and Chaos Lord. Before assulting we fired of our weapons and were shocked to see 2 Terminators drop dead (One to the Melta and one to a lucky bolter shot) and we charged in I wasn't expecting to kill the unit, but hopefully weaken it for the nearby pack of Beserkers and Daemon Prince moving in to support. However I hadn't account for the best luck I'd had all day. During the bloody fight i was called to make nine 5+ saves, I made them all !! After 1 round of combat I'd killed his Special Charcter and 3 more Terminators without loss. To add insult his Libarian (who hadn't been able to get into the fight because he'd got caught in the middle of tight pack of his Terminators and hadn't managed to make base to base contract) died to the No Retreat wounds.
     With only 2 Terminators left and the score now drawn on kill points in the next turn of combat I finished off the squad and took the lead, and that's how it ended. I'd won by one kill point due to an amazing set of saving throws.
      It was a close thought battle which was decided ultimately by the dice as he's failed to pop the last rhino with a Cyclone Missile shot against it's rear armour in his last turn to tie the kill points. But a win is a win and I was going to take it as it was my first of the tournament.

    Result : Win

    At the end of Day 1 it was one of each Win, Draw and Lose. Not a brilliant result and luck had played a large part in not being beaten 3 times, but it wasn't a bad position to be in going into day 2.