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.