Friday, February 25, 2011

Warhammer 40,000 Doubles - Painting Competition (pic heavy)

On the Saturday the judges went round looking at all the armies and deciding on which should be shortlisted for public judging on the Sunday at lunchtime. GW elected to display the judges shortlist of 10 armies in glass cases which was great for presentation but not so good for photography so I apologise in advance. Here's our favourite. 

The reason we liked it so much is that you genuinely felt that they'd just come back from a battle in somewhere resembling Afghanistan. The weathering is just right and some of the details like the blurred power sword are nice touches.

Our second favourite was this Orks army with some amazing conversions such as mono-where Ork bikers. This went on to win the competition and you can clearly see why:

Finally, the best of the rest (again I feel very jealous that my painting is nowhere near close to this standard):

Warhammer 40,000 Doubles Report: Day Two

A night drinking in Bugman's and playing the 40K themed quiz had helped us forget how the first day had ended (well almost). Despite Darren having an encyclopedic knowledge of 40K trivia we didn't win the quiz which was probably a good thing since we'd have missed the winning team giving each other high tens in the most geeky display of victory I've ever seen! Our loss had caused us to drop down the rankings a little so we found ourselves on table 16 (or something like that). 

Battle Four - Blood Wolves vs. BA/SW
When we looked at Team Dude Where's My Tank's list there was something strangely familiar about it! The BA list was all but identical to ours and the Wolves list was similar apart from not containing any vehicles (except 3 bikes). Their Mephiston was the gorgeous conversion you can see at the top of this post and the rest of the army looked very different at it featured successors chapters, namely Azure Angels (Craig Clark) and Storm Crows (Rob Waller).

We were pleased to be fighting something that required a bit of tactics to compete with. Our list does well against small units in vehicles as the long fangs/rune priest open them up and the BA/grey hunters mop up the occupants. Against an all foot list though we could struggle. The game type was Annihilation with Dawn of War deployment. Our opponents deployed first placing Mephiston and a squad of BA up front in some trees plus some grey hunters in a building on their right. We deployed a rhino with grey hunters and rune priest right in the centre. 

They walked their army on from the edge and their bikes turbo boosted. Mephiston was joined by another BA assault squad but didn't advance far as we were able to nullify his wings. We brought the rest of our army on including the land speeder which blasted up the right flank at full pelt. What followed was a few turns of us advancing and them falling back towards their entrenched grey hunters hoping to draw us into a firing range. The land speeder picked off a bike and we lost a rhino but otherwise there wasn't much action. Just when we were thinking it was going to turn into a boring encounter they charged forward. Mephiston engaged the grey hunters who'd lost their rhino. A BA squad moved in on the remaining rhino and the other engaged the smaller BA squad on our side. Their bikes moved in on the long fangs. 

The assault squad blew up our rhino forcing the grey hunters out. In the ensuing assault phase their BA ran into a brick wall of grey hunters who'd popped their standard. There were losses on both sides but the grey hunters were slightly on top. Mephiston struck down the rune priest and two grey hunters and waited for the return attacks. Thanks to the standard the grey hunters landed a pile of hits. I rolled the dice to wound and picked out two hits for the power fist. I then glanced at the rest of the dice and spotted that the Wulfen had rended 3 times finishing the lord of death off! This was the turning point for the battle. Their BA were double charged. One had to face two grey hunter packs and the other two BA squads. Both were wiped out. Meanwhile the bikes had forced the long fangs to run. Despite being close to the edge I rolled a double 1 so they stayed on. However, if we couldn't remove the bikes they'd be chased from the battle. 

The long fangs rolled another double 1 for their retreat and one of the BA assault squads swooped in and killed off the remaining bike saving their Space Wolf comrades. Elsewhere the land speeder had moved flat out towards their long fangs and one of the GH squads. It soaked up the combined fire of the whole SW portion of their army and returned the favour by flaming a nicely positioned grey hunters squad. Mephiston and the other assault marines were too late to save it however as it was finally destroyed. They did manage to finish off a grey hunter pack and some long fangs though. 

Final result was a close kill points victory to us (something like 8-5 I think). I can't believe a grey hunters squad dispatched Mephiston so easily I could tell Matt was scared by it for future games against my Wolves! (incidentally when we played on Tuesday this week they did the same thing against his Mephiston!). It looked like they were going to clinch a narrow victory and we were disappointed that they'd managed to get the charge. Had we got any more turns then there would've surely been more losses on their side as Mephiston kept going.

Battle Five - Bloody Wolves vs. Eldar/Dark Eldar
We moved back to table 13 and once again found ourselves next to Darren and Chris on table 12! Our opponents were an unlikely combination of Eldar and Dark Eldar (so they can play together GW but Tau can't fight with hardly anyone?). They had a farseer, large jetbike squadron, bladestorm dire avengers, wraithlord and war walkers. The Dark Eldar army had an archon with a court of two medusae but as Darren correctly pointed out the members of the court are 1-3 so they'd need one of everything before a second medusa. This meant they needed to change their court to some kabalite trueborn. We felt pretty guilty doing this at first but not quite as much when we saw what DE can do. We've not played them yet but we were forced to learn quickly! In the end the DE army had an Archon (with webway), venom, kabalite trueborn, hekatrix bloodbrides, wyches, kabalite warriors and some hellions.

The battle would be Seize Ground (5 objectives, placed centrally) and Pitched Battle deployment. They won the roll off and placed their jetbikes on the right flank. The rest of the eldar were central and the only DE model was the venom who'd blast forward and deploy the webway for the rest. We placed everything pretty centrally with the long fangs on the right for fire support. For the first time ever we managed to "Seize the Initiative". Sadly we were unable to bring down the venom but we did kill a war walker and wound the wraithlord. They blasted the archon's venom forward. He jumped out, deployed the webway and then engaged Mephiston in combat but not until more BA had fallen. They exchanged blows for a few turns but eventually killed each other off. The grey hunters dealt with the jetbikes who failed a large number of 3+ saves under rapid fire and fled the field. The war walkers met a similar fate but the dire avengers moved back to a safe distance. The long fangs finished off the Wraithlord and all was looking well until we remember that barely any DE models were on the table!

The hekatrix squad came in and (in combination with Doom from the Farseer) they wiped out a BA squad pretty easily. The hellions were unable to get into combat with the long fangs straight away but not many fell to shooting so they easily finished them off. It wasn't long before only the two grey hunters packs remained as the dire avengers had bladestormed the land speeder then the farseer struck at S9 to destroy it in combat. The grey hunters had a lot to do. One pack rapid fired the hellions killing all but a couple. The other rapid fired the hekatrixes reducing them to a couple. One pack was then charged by hellions, hekatrixes and kabalite trueborn all of which they were able to kill off thanks to the standard but only after heavy losses. 

The remaining wyches came in and engaged the grey hunters finishing them off pretty easily now they could no longer use their standard. The remaining grey hunters clung onto an objective but the dire avengers were strung out between two so it ended in a 2-1 win to our opponents. The VPs couldn't have been much closer however as we only won by 13pts.

Well we certainly learned a lot about fighting DE. Basically stay as far away as possible and shoot them! Not so easy when they deploy a webway portal right in the middle of the objectives! It has to be said though that had we managed to destroy that venom on the first turn then it would've been very different. One of the grey hunter packs spent quite a while dealing with jetbikes which meant their fire wasn't directed at the DE as much as we'd have liked. The eldar's main contribution was to draw us towards them so that the DE could get in and mess us up. Suffice to say we fell for it!

Battle Six - Bloody Wolves vs. CSM/Guard
Another loss meant that we fell down the ranks. We weren't totally upset though as it probably meant a more friendly battle than we'd have had if we'd won! In actual fact the DE/Eldar list went on to fight Darren and Chris so that's where we'd have ended up. We'd already beaten their list once in warm-up games so it would've been interesting to fight them again.

Anyway, our new opponents would be a combination of Imperial Guard (with vendettas again) and Chaos Space Marines. The CSM had a sorcerer, 3 obliterators (in two squads) and 13 thousand sons. The guard had a company command squad, platoon command squad (2 infantry squads and a special weapons squad), 2 vendettas and some storm troopers. The special weapons team and storm troopers were stowed inside the vendettas and would come on in reserve. We'd be playing Capture and Control with Spearhead deployment. We won the roll off and deployed everything as far forward as possible (including our long fangs). They placed their CSM army in the cover of a ruined building and the guard in the back corner holding their objective.

We advanced forward and attempted to get jaws off on the thousand sons and sorcerer but we sadly missed. The other rhino advanced popping smoke and the BA did what they do best, jumped forward. The long fangs fired frag missiles into the guard claiming a handful. Their shooting was relatively ineffective apart from destroying one of the rhinos. Mephiston charged into combat with the thousand sons. He tore down the sorcerer easily and then proceeded to wade slowly through the thousand sons who repeatedly failed to wound him. Eventually he was triumphant but only had a single wound left (we'd given him one with perils first!). 

Meanwhile a combination of a successful jaws and blood angels charge saw off the obliterators. The guard killed off the land speeder after it had scattered making it ineffective. The other blood angels squad charged and killed a guard squad and then with the help of the long fangs they annihilated the remaining guard infantry but not before the vendettas had appeared on our far left. With nothing else to shoot at the long fangs, rune priest (with lightning) and the grey hunters pack (who'd just been de-meched) brought down both vendettas. This left only the storm troopers and special weapons team. They made short work of the grey hunters who were out in the open and had to suffer hot shot lasgun fire. 

The blood angels, including Mephiston, lined up ready to assault what remained after the space wolves fired again but sadly we never got a turn 6 so we didn't get to table them completely. Nevertheless we held both objectives so it was a comfortable win and a nice way to end the weekend.

So we finished up with 4 wins and 2 losses giving us a total of 121pts out of a possible 180 leaving us 16th overall. We're both really pleased with our performance and we remain convinced that our list could win the tournament had we been a bit more lucky at a couple of crucial points (and known more about DE). For example had we beaten the Eldar then we'd have played Darren & Chris, if we'd beaten that list again we'd have been in the top 10. I've definitely learned a lot about playing 40K and playing against a few new enemies that I've never faced before. After Freebootaz we'd changed from worrying about objectives to just going for the tabling and it paid off for the most part and meant that all our units got into the thick of it.

Congratulations to Darren and Chris for coming 4th and earning the Bloodthirster award for racking up over 8000 VPs out of a possible 9000. We weren't initially going to enter the September doubles because of the costs but I don't see how we can resist! Hopefully see some of you there!

Thursday, February 24, 2011

Warhammer 40,000 Doubles Report: Day One

The View from the Top (tables that is)
We arrived at Warhammer World having driven through a minor blizzard in Sheffield. I decided this was probably a good sign for my Space Wolves! There were an unbelievable number of people in the gaming hall already. We later learned that there were 130 different teams across 65 tables (obviously). Our list was pretty similar to the one we'd taken to Freebootaz except I'd now got a land speeder instead of the razorback and I'd got wolf standards in my grey hunters packs along with a plasma gun for one pack which now had 10 men. I wasn't sure about using the land speeder but I soon changed my mind. We headed to table 37 where we met our opponents for game one. 

Battle One - Bloody Wolves vs Tyranids
Phil and Sam stood before us with a gorgeous looking Tyranid army. I'd been hoping we'd get to fight nids at some point because I've really enjoyed fighting Scott's. The novelty foam dice was rolled to see what we'd be fighting and it turned out we'd be playing Capture and Control on a Pitched Battle deployment. Our opponents had a tervigon, hive tyrant, 2 zoanthropes, 2x10 termagaunts, 10 hormagaunts, 10 genestealers, 2x3 raveners, a carnifex and a mawloc. We were actually pretty concerned about this list as we'd rely on Mephiston killing

We lost the roll off and they elected to go first. Apart from spawing 10 termagaunts their turn was ineffective. Our first turn was quite the opposite as the rune priest drove forward in his rhino and tore open the earth below the tervigon who failed it's initiative test and fell down the hole. This was a crippling blow for our opponents who were playing their first tournament and hadn't come across JotWW before! Suffice to say every game they played after us featured Space Wolves so by the end of it I expect they were pretty familiar with it! Elsewhere we killed a zoanthrope and wounded the tyrant.

The rune priest unleashed Jaws at the carnifex after another ineffective tyranid turn. Phil rolled a two and the carnifex was safe. Mephiston tried to charge in to finish it off himself but Matt rolled badly for difficult terrain and Mephiston was left impotent. Luckily the carnifex charged him next turn and he was able to slay the beast in a single swing of his blade. We got even more lucky when mawloc's Terror from the Deep came up in terrain and the mishap table meant he was delayed.

Raveners and genestealers came in near our objective and set up either side of a grey hunters pack ready to charge. The grey hunters did a fair amount of rapid firing with one squad killing two raveners and the other killing a pile of termagaunts. Mephiston finished off one brood of gaunts without breaking a sweat. The raveners charged first and the pile in move meant the genestealers were unable to get into combat. The grey hunters were able to easily deal with the sole ravener. The long fangs dealt with the other zoanthrope and finished off the hive tyrant with help from BA melta fire. The other raveners came in but were swamped by both BA and grey hunters and claimed only minimal space marine casualties before perishing. 

The land speeder game in and incinerated SEVEN genestealers after a pinpoint deployment. In the next turn the genestealers tried to assault it but couldn't rend and the remaining three met the same fair as the rest of their brood. The grey hunters moved up and gunned down the entire hormagaunt brood. The mawloc returned and this time killed 5 SW and 3 BA with it's deep strike. Unfortunately for it there was nothing left on the board to support it and the full weight of our army was more than enough to weaken it so that Mephiston could destroy it in combat. This meant we'd tabled our opponents for minimal losses.

We couldn't have asked for a better start to the day. Sam and Phil remained good humoured throughout the entire game even though it seemed we pulled off everything we attempted. All of our units did exactly what they were asked. Mephiston dealt with high toughness monstrous creatures, grey hunters rapid fired into hordes of tyranids, the BA assault troops jumped around mopping up resistance, the long fangs weakened high toughness models and killed zoanthropes and finally the land speeder incinerated an entire genestealer brood. A very enjoyable game which

Battle Two - Bloody Wolves vs SW & Witch Hunters
Game two saw us move up to table 13 (right next to Darren from C&F on table 12) where we met the Wolf Mother team, a combination of Witch Hunters and Wolves. Neither Matt or I had ever played Witch Hunters before so after a brief bit of explanation we started deployment. We got the Annihiliation mission and Spearhead deployment. Our opponents had a cannoness, 10 battle sisters, 5 seraphim, 5 celestians in an immolator and an exorcist. The Space Wolves list was very similar to our Freebootaz list but with some wolf guard and slightly fewer grey hunters. 

We got first turn and deployed aggressively leaving our long fangs at the back for fire support. Once again the land speeder would deep strike. Our opponents lined up their transports at what they hoped was a safe distance with their long fangs & rune priest in area terrain supported by the battle sisters. The razorback and exorcist were on their left flank. The first turn saw the long fangs packs exchanging frag missiles with ours scoring 3 kills to their 2. Mephiston advanced towards the amassed transports but was unable to get into range of them. He took a couple of lascannon and exorcist missile shots to the face leaving him wounded but still going. He responded by charging forward but both his shooting and support from the long fangs failed to kill any transports so he was forced to charge in. Luckily for him he blew up a rhino and pinned it's occupants but this left him in front of a firing squad. Thanks to the distraction the grey hunters had managed to move up and the land speeder had come in from deep strike. The hunters stunned the exorcist and the land speeder blew up the razorback. 

The firing squad then opened up. The celestians, immolator, grey hunters, battle sisters and long fangs all fired at him but somehow he managed to retain a single wound. He returned the favour by all but annihilating a grey hunters squad before being cut down by a power fist. The grey hunters charged in and finished off the long fangs. The exorcist turned it's attention to the land speeder and blew it off the face of the earth. The blood angels charged into combat but Matt rolled badly and the battle sisters proved tough for them. The other grey hunters moved onto the hill in front of the transports and were able to rapid fire at their opposite numbers and when charged they performed well. Dying but not without first killing all but a handful of their greys and all of the celestians. 

The grey hunters that had killed the long fangs turned their attention to the exorcist and a combination of melta and plasma fire was able to wreck it. The seraphim dropped in behind the long fangs who were unable to deal with them, lost their combat and were chased from the board. The blood angels went across the board and finished off their grey hunters after they'd killed off the cannoness following a badly scattered deep strike from her. In an heroic attempted to claim another killpoint the sanguinary priest broke off from the combat and charged a rhino. He could only immobilise it and miraculously was killed by it's storm bolter! The battle ended here with the final score at 11-7 to us. As I'm writing it, the battle comes across as a whitewash for us but we did sustain heavy losses and those Faith points are irritating. Just when you think they've run out you kill a unit and they get another one! The cannoness was able to make her save invulnerable for both the shooting and assault phases and they were unlucky not to save her. Another enjoyable game played against friendly opponents.

Battle Three - Bloody Wolves vs BA/Guard
After two games we found ourselves on table 3 placed 5th overall! We both agreed that even if our glory was shortlived we would be happy having made it onto the top tables at least once in our first tournament at WHW. To be honest we were worried that we'd meet a "power" army and be smacked straight back down. 

Our opponents Josh and Allen had brought Guard and BA. We'd always feared fighting guard at freebootaz but if anything the BA should at least reduce the guard firepower. Their BA list was similar to ours with Mephiston leading it but one squad of assault marines was replaced by a Furioso dread in a drop pod. The guard portion of the army had a company command squad in chimera, a platoon command squad with flamers, 2 guard squads with a lascannon, 2 vendettas and 2 hydras. The game would be Seize Ground with Dawn of War deployment. The objectives were all placed pretty centrally and we won the roll off.

The first turn was uneventful as we had little to shoot at. Their dreadnought came down in front of one of my rhinos and one of Matt's assault squads. The vendettas came on, one into the centre of the field and the other just in front of the hydras in the back corner. The land speeder came down on turn two right in front of a vendetta. It opened up with it's multi-melta wrecking the vendetta and we felt that this would be the start of good things! Our joy was shortlived as my long fangs missed with 3/4 of their krak missiles and although the 4th penetrated the vendetta made it's cover save. More devastatingly we were unable to harm the dreadnought thanks to its AV13. It responded by charging my grey hunters easily killing 7 of them causing them to run. It didn't follow however and they were able to regroup towards one of the objectives. 

Their Mephiston dropped out of his vendetta and charged into one of the BA squads. Although they held on well, our Mephiston was shut down repeatedly so never got to use his wings to get into combat quickly. Their Mephiston finished off the blood angels and turned his attention to his opposite number. The company command squad helped him out by firing meltas at our Mephiston leaving them both with 1 wound. Needless to say they clashed and both died. 

Elsewhere the blood angels made repeated attempts to meltagun the dreadnought but Matt kept rolling 1s on the damage table and thanks to it's extra armour it was still able to come at them and bring them down. The company command squad, lascannons and hydras all combined to shift our grey hunters from the objective but not before they'd tried and failed another melta shot at the seemingly invincible dread. On the far right I'd advanced my remaining grey hunters and rune priest to get off a jaws attack on his assault squad. Unfortunately after some anal arguments about positioning of the rhino I forgot to disembark them and our opponent refused to allow me to get them out. In their defence I'd already measured range on one of my weapons making it the shooting phase but it felt a little unfair of them not to just say "we'll let you off". I guess it's to be expected at that level but it doesn't make for enjoyable games and the mood certainly changed from that point on.

Rather satisfyingly the blood angels charged into my grey hunters and I was able to wipe them out with only minimal grey hunter losses. Unfortunately by this point there was very little of ours left on the table and the imperial guard had moved up to claim several of the objectives. This resulted in our first loss with the Blood Wolves army. 

Our first two battles had been enjoyable affairs where both sides were happy to remind their opponents when they'd forgotten things or allow them to do them when they remembered (within reason). Our third battle was a horrible experience that I wouldn't wish to repeat. Our opponents rushed our every decision and were constantly putting pressure on us to play faster. They rolled everything as quickly as possible before you even had chance to figure out what they were even doing. The dispute over the disembarking grey hunters had just been the icing on the cake. I guess we've now met "That Guy" (or Those Guys i suppose) and I'll write a full post about it soon.

In actual fact I think that poor second turn's shooting was the turning point for the game. Had we taken down both vendettas and the dread (which wasn't an unreasonable thing to have expected) then the BA and grey hunters would've mowed down the guard in combat. Our Mephiston probably would've been in a better state when he faced theirs and I think we'd have come out on top. Although there's a lot to fear in those vendetta/hydra guard lists I don't think they're brilliant if you've got some heavy weapons for the vendettas. The hydras will probably demech you but after that they've only got AP4 against your power armour.

Although we felt cheated there was also a sense of relief in knowing that we'd fall down the rankings a bit and hopefully get an enjoyable game at the start of Sunday. We can't really complain at 2 wins and a loss on day one.

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Fame at Last!

It seems that Games Workshop have gone and made us famous. This picture was featured on Whats New Today over on the official GW website. Unbelievably they've got (from left to right) me & Matt plus Gav, Darren and Chris from Claws and Fists. Granted I could've looked happier to be there but otherwise I couldn't be more pleased!

Anyway, I promise I'll try and get some reports up from it soon but today I've had another three games against Matt with interesting consequences.

First game saw me beat Matt's BA for the first time with Logan and Arjac seeing off Dante, his honour guard and 10 assault marines with priest! I went on to completely table him. We then played a doubles style game where we trialled a new list only to find our current one was even better than we thought! Finally Matt tabled me but I got to use my Lord and TWCs for the first time who dispatched two assault squads but a furioso librarian made short work of them. The lord did survive several rounds of combat after making tons of 3++ saves!

Awesome few days of gaming!

Sunday, February 20, 2011

Warhammer 40,000 Doubles Result

Just a very quick post to say that we had an awesome time at the doubles this weekend. We're already making plans for our next visit! Overall we came in 16th out of 130 teams which I think is pretty respectable. After two games we were placed 5th and played on the "top tables" which wasn't really an enjoyable experience but I'll get to that another time.

Really pleased with how the list performed and I think we only made a minimal amount of mistakes over the two days. Met some great people and I've got several ideas for some new and interesting content for the blog. This week I'll try and get reports up for our battles. Since I'll not remember everything in great detail I'll just do a summary of the battles on each day and post up a few pictures. In addition there'll be posts covering:
  • Army Painting Competition - picture heavy post with a run down of our favourites and inspiration to be taken from it.
  • The Worst Possible Army List - after a (beer fuelled) discussion in Bugman's on Saturday night we tried to come up with the worst possible list to use at a tournament whilst still featuring a unit from each FOC slot - TheBaron over at Claws & Fists may beat me to it though! Needless to say it's a priceless selection of units that would be met with looks of confusion when your opponent consults your list.
  • Dealing with "That Guy" - or should I say those guys when we're talking about doubles? We met our first Win At All Costs (WAAC) opponents at this tournament and the experience taught us a lot.
There's probably more posts that will spawn from what we've learnt from this tournament but for now I should get some sleep! 

PS. The picture is the first thing that came up when I typed our team name, "Bloody Wolves" into Google image search!

Friday, February 18, 2011

Warhammer Doubles Tomorrow!

As I've mentioned (just a few times!) Team Bloody Wolves AKA Matt and I are off to the Warhammer 40,000 Doubles Tournament at Warhammer World tomorrow. This is still only my second tournament but spurred on by our performance at Freebootaz we're hoping to at least win a few games. The tournament will have 6 1500pt doubles games over Saturday & Sunday. Whilst the points limits are the same as Freebootaz the main difference between the two is that our opponents won't be selected at random. Instead your opponents will be based upon your progress so far (I believe this is the norm for tournaments?). In some respects this might be a good thing but if we have a lucky win to start off with we could end up paired with another team who's far better than us! Whilst I can see the benefits of this system, i.e. people are matched with opponents at their own skill level so they get a fairer game, I think the random selection means the overall winner has proved themselves against a wider variety of lists. Not to mention we'll end up coming up against some power gamers no doubt.

Anyway, I'm quite excited because I loved my last tournament experience and we've definitely learnt a lot since then. The other exciting thing is that GW insist on all models being fully painted which should make for some lovely looking games and hopefully some nice pictures for you guys. I'm all for playing with what you've got but it does detract from the experience when you play a counts as army. It has its place but I think it's good that at tournaments it's usually frowned upon. 

I'll try and post some updates on our progress over the weekend but suffice to say there'll be a full rundown of our battles (perhaps not in as much detail as I did for Freebootaz) and pictures of any nice looking armies I spot in between games.

I'm sure we'll have our beginner's luck shown for what it is but Matt is still under the impression we might do well....

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Chooser of the Slain Models

GW just announced a few more Dark Eldar releases will be coming our way soon. If I had any spare cash I'd seriously consider a DE army but to be honest I've still got plenty of Space Wolves to do and once they're all painted I'm going to start an Ork army I reckon. Anyway, one of the sets in particular caught my eye:
I've been keeping my eye out for something to use as a Chooser of the Slain for a long time now. These seem to fit the bill nicely I reckon. Can't say I like how they look on thos flying bases but you could easlily have them perched on something. Sadly it seems that the two figures at the back are Siamese twins which could make for some tricky surgery and also they're listed at £7.70 which even with Dark Sphere's 25% discount will still be around £5.75. Seems a bit steep for something that I'll probably leave on some scenery at Warhammer World and forget about!

Anyway, I thought I'd bring these to the attention of other Wolves players as a viable alternative to whatever it is you use at the moment (I just use a standard mounted on a base).

Land speeder inbound! - Tournament Painting Finished

In preparation for the Warhammer 40,000 Doubles event this weekend I've finally gotten round to painting up my Space Wolves Land Speeder. I'm pretty happy with it, or at least I was until I saw this. Mind you I'd always describe myself as a gamer first and painter second. I'm interested to see if our adapted list will fare as well as the old one did at Freebootaz. I think the most exciting thing about the tournament for me is that GW insist on all armies being fully painted. Hopefully this will mean that we'll play against some awesome looking armies. That and hopefully we'll crush them but I'll settle for some nice photos! 

Anyway onto the pictures:
In case anyone was wondering the hull of the vehicle was painted with my standard 50:50 mix of Shadow Grey and Space Wolves Grey. I then painted all the metal work Boltgun Metal before. Some of the metal work is Chaos Black with a Boltgun Metal drybrush to give some different finishes particularly inside the cockpit. The yellow bits are Tausept Ochre and the red bits are pure Mechrite Red. The chest eagles on the marines are Scorched Brown followed by Bleached Bone then a Devlan Mud wash. The face is Elf Flesh and the hair is Blazing Orange and both have more Devlan Mud wash. Finally, the aquila is my current method of painting gold which is Scorched Brown, Shining Gold then Devlan Mud wash.

I'd like to add a bit of battle damage to it and some black drybrushing to the front to give the effect of scorching/movement. I'd also like to drill out the gun barrels but this is the same for all my models and therefore I'll probably do up the whole army at a later date.

As I've mentioned, the completion of this model means my half of our tournament army is finished but more exciting than that is the fact that I've now got nothing standing in the way of painting my Thunderwolves!! I just need to get some more SW backpacks for them.

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Space Wolves Long Fangs

So I've covered the Grey Hunters for our troops and then talked about the fast attack options. Now it's the turn of the Heavy Support portion of the Force Organisation Chart. Whilst there are certainly more options the Long Fangs are the stand-out unit here as they're the only ones that differ from the normal Space Marine variants. 

Before I get onto them though I want to quickly mention that I think that the Whirlwind is very much underrated considering it's only 85pts. Obviously for 10pts less you can get a lascannon razorback which has a transport capacity but for anti-horde it's nice to put some pie plates down. It's cheaper than the Vindicator too. Whilst the vindi is obviously superior in several ways, its short range puts it at risk and any damage result is fatal. Whilst damage results can harm the whirlwind just as much (if not more because it's AV11) the 48" range means you can sit a long way from the action and hopefully get ignored. That is until you start throwing those pie plates on squads of Guard, Hormagaunts, Orks or either kind of Eldar. Anyway, you're going to ignore it in favour of the long fangs so I may as well talk about them!

Long Fangs - The Basics
On the face of it they don't seem to be much different from Space Marine Devastators but in fact they're far better. For starters, the base cost is only 15pts per model compared to 18pts for devastators. The cheapest 5-man squad you can have comes in at 95pts where as the SM equivalent would be a whopping 150pts!

The Ld of the basic troops is also slightly better than the SM version and the weapons are cheaper (though similar prices to BA). They can't however, be joined by an additional 5 marines with bolters but really I don't see the point since you'd combat squad them anyway. The long fangs can fielded in a squad of up to 6 members with 5 carrying heavy weapons unlike SM devastators. 

The obvious main advantage of the Fire Control ability meaning that you can potentially take out two targets per turn. This might seem minor but it makes them vastly superior to devastators in my book. However, it isn't all rosy, as out of all of the HS choices they are the least mobile. Essentially you rely on placing them in a decent spot and hope that they can see something every turn. You can go some way to countering this by giving them a razorback but they'll still spend two turns not shooting so it isn't really worth it. 

A heavy weapons team in any army be it Space Marine or not will always attract the attention of deep strikers and outflankers. There isn't really much of a counter to this but it can easily be used to your advantage. If your enemy is hitting your long fangs then he's not hitting your scoring units or taking your objectives (assuming you put them in a suitable place). Also with the ever-handy counter-attack they can still harm anything that comes to take them down.

Knowing that your opponent will be desperate to deal with them in order to protect his transports/monstrous creatures means that if you include a second squad and place them on the opposite end of your deployment zone you're going to give him a real headache. Bear in mind that on your average board this will mean that between the two squads you're practically covering every inch of the board.

Long Fangs - Equipment
The most popular loadout at the moment seems to be a 5-man squad of missile launchers coming in at 115pts (or 6-man for 140pts). The advantage of this is in the flexibility of choosing between anti-troop frag missiles and anti-tank (or high toughness) krak missiles. It also keeps costs down as only heavy bolters are cheaper. Whilst I'm on the subject of keeping costs down I'd say it isn't worth giving the squad leader any upgrades. I used to give him a plasma gun (to add some firepower) or a power sword (as a combat deterrent) but honestly, if they get in combat then it isn't going to end well so spend your points elsewhere.

The problem with giving them heavy bolters or plasma cannons is that 36" range isn't really enough for them to be able to hit something every turn. Plasma cannons are notorious for blowing up in your face and also blast weapons seem to miss most of the time for me! Multi-meltas might be an option if you're going to stick them in a drop-pod but odds are they'll die before they get used. Besides wolf guard with combi-meltas, melta-bikes or a land speeder are far better suited to tank hunting.

The only other option left then is the mighty lascannon. Sadly this comes in at 2.5x the cost of a missile launcher so I can understand why people are put off. However, that extra point of strength can be devastating to an opponent. I wouldn't bother shooting AV14 still but AV13 becomes more of an option. The real boon though is AP2. This means you're instant killing lone obliterators and causing terminators a headache (if they fail 5+ saves). In addition Mephiston won't like it and neither will those pesky Broadsides! 

That being said I wouldn't take lascannons for the entire squad but try throwing in one or two and see how many more things you kill. The long fangs main purpose is softening up high toughness targets and de-meching so don't be tempted to go overboard with them.

Long Fangs - Tactics
The most important thing with long fangs is to remember to choose your targets wisely. For starters get used to what 48" looks like because you don't want to waste their firepower. Remember that most boards are 48" across but thing about all that trigonometry you did in school and realise that on the diagonals you might struggle.

Picking a good spot for them is important too. Cover is essential but remember not to obscure their line of sight. This means that if you get to pick your deployment zone then you should really be thinking about how the terrain will look from your long fangs' point of view. That ruined building may make perfect cover for them but if you're view of the battlefield is blocked by a big block of trees then pick somewhere else. High ground is your friend as it can help with denying your opponent a cover save.

The other thing is knowing when to split fire. Personally I always remove the squad leader as a casualty first so after a couple of turns I tend to be forced to focus my fire. Early on I'd focus on transports or the biggest armoured threat to your forces. Ignore land raiders as your melta guns are much better at dealing with them. Focus on AV12 and below and you'll be fine. Pick out targets with multiple wounds that you can try to instant kill as well.

Anyway, enough ramblings, the important thing is to be sensible about how you use them. I hope this post has made you think about your deployment of them a bit more but otherwise they aren't really rocket science (if you'll pardon the pun)!

Monday, February 14, 2011

Battle Report: Space Wolves vs Tyranids

This weekend turned into a double-header as Scott and I played a 1500pt game this afternoon after my game last night. I've been dying to play his Tyranids again as last time was a bit of whitewash since Scott didn't have a full selection of models available. Today was anything but a whitewash!

1500pts of Space Wolves
Rune Priest (Wolftooth Necklace, Chooser, Lightning, Murd. Hurricane)
Rune Priest (Wolftooth Necklace, Lightning, Jaws)
Wolf Priest (Wolftooth Necklace)
3x Wolf Guard (PF, combi-melta)
Dreadnought (Heavy Flamer, Assault Cannon)
Lone Wolf (Terminator, Thunder Hammer & Shield)

3x 8 Grey Hunters (Meltagun, PF, MotW, Standard) in Rhino

Land Speeder (Multi-melta, Heavy Flamer)

Long Fangs (4x ML)

1500pts of Tyranids
Hive Tyrant (Heavy Venom Cannon, Wings, Thorax Swarm w/ electroshock, Paroxysm, Leech Essence)
1x Tyrant Guard
2x Lictors
2x 1 Zoanthrope

9 Genestealers (Scything Talons, Adrenal Glands, Broodlord w/ scything talons)
12 Genestealers (Scything Talons, Adrenal Glands)
10 Hormagaunts

Ravener Brood (Deathspitter)
10 Gargoyles

Trygon Prime

We rolled Seize Ground with 5 objectives and Spearhead deployment. I won the roll off and placed one objective in my deployment zone and the remaining two in the "empty" quarters. Scott put both of his in what would be his quarter. I deployed my rhinos right at the edge of my deployment zone with two on the left and one on the right. The dread was placed in the middle and the long fangs were at the back. The lone wolf went in support of the wolf priest's rhino on the left. The land speeder would deep strike.

Scott put his gargoyles and hormagaunts on the left claiming an objective. The hive tyrant and raveners were on the right with the zoanthropes in the middle. Much to my disgust (since I'd forgotten to place my chooser effectively) Scott infiltrated a squad of genestealers into each of the empty quarters. The lictors and trygon remaining in reserve.

Turn 1
The rhinos advanced slowly as did the dread. Two long fangs opened up on one of the zoanthropes who failed his invulnerable save and was instantly killed. The other two long fangs scored a wound on the tyrant guard. The dread fired it's assault cannon at the raveners scoring 3 wounds. On the right the rune priest unleashed Murderous Hurricane which killed a genestealer. The other rune priest shot lightning at the raveners scoring another wound. On the left the rhino's storm bolter killed off a genestealer but none of the occupants were in range.
Scott advanced his entire force (except the genestealers who elected not to risk dangerous terrain from Murderous Hurricane). The heavy venom cannon failed to penetrate the rhino's hull. The zoanthrope found itself out of range of the Space Wolf dread. The genestealers on my left fleeted into the rhino and lone wolf but couldn't hurt either as the lone wolf saved all 5 wounds including 2 rending attacks. In return he cut down two genestealers with his hammer causing them to flee.

Turn 2
All three squads of grey hunters disembarked from their transports in order to rapid fire. One the right that resulted in a whole squad of dead gargoyles who were caught out in the open. The dread incinerated two raveners but the grey hunters didn't achieve anything with their rapid fire on the hive tyrant. The long fangs were more successful causing two wounds. On the left the grey hunters killed 6 genestealers who passed their leadership test.

The zoanthrope was now in range and used it's lance to stun the dread. The Hive Tyrant used Paroxysm and Leech Essence which I failed to nullify meaning that a grey hunter was slain allowing the tyrant to recover a wound. The genestealers assaulted the wolf priest's squad but all three died after only managing to wound the wolf priest himself. The remaining ravener assaulted the other greys but despite paroxysm the space wolves cut it down without any casualties.

Turn 3
The land speeder came in from deep strike and didn't scatter allowing me to scorch 4 hormagaunts from the face of the board. Sadly the presence of the zoanthrope made them fearless. The rune priest again used murderous hurricane which didn't kill any stealers this time. The grey hunters again rapid fired the hive tyrant causing a single wound. The long fangs failed to hurt the tyrant at all though.
Scott's lictors and trygon both came in. The trygon didn't scatter and fired off it's containment spines at the lone wolf but failed to wound. The hive tyrant killed two hunters with it's electroshock grubs and again cast paroxysm. The lictors attempted to use their flesh hooks to demech the rhino on my right but to no avail. The hive tyrant charged into combat killing all but the wolf guard with the power fist. This sadly meant I'd not be able to shoot at him next turn. The zoanthrope failed to deal with the land speeder with either psychic powers or a desperate charge.

Turn 4
The wolf priest's squad (who were now back in their rhino) fired melta guns at the trygon but failed spectacularly. The long fang scored two wounds but the dreadnought found it's shots bounced of the monster's exoskeleton. The land speeder span round and vapourised the zoanthrope which failed it's invulnerable save. The combination of murderous hurricane, meltagun and storm bolter killed another 3 genestealers. The lone wolf had a tricky choice between a trygon or hive tyrant and it's guard (both of whom had a single wound left). I went for the glory of killing the tyrant. Unfortunately this time the lone wolf failed 2 out of 3 saves and the wolf guard missed with his power fist then died to No Retreat! hits. 

The lictors managed to immobilise the rhino and remove it's storm bolter. The heavy venom cannon immobilised the other rhino with the wolf priest inside. Both tyranid units charged their rhinos with the lictors wrecking theirs and the hive tyrant blowing the other up. Four grey hunters were caught in the explosion along with the tyrant guard. The trygon charged at the dreadnought. Despite wounding the beast twice the dreadnought found itself immobilised with both weapons wrecked beyoned repair. 

Turn 5
The long fangs' missiles killed off the hive tyrant sparing the grey hunters having to make a risky assault. The land speeder could only kill 1 hormagaunt so couldn't force a morale check. The rune priest split off from the squad but couldn't summon a murderous hurricane on the genestealers. The grey hunters killed one lictor with pistols and killed the second in combat losing two of their number in the process. The trygon finished off the dread but not without taking two wounds. 

The trygon turned it's attention to the wolf priest's grey hunters who were holding an objective on the left. It successfully wiped out all but the wolf guard but died in the process leaving the objective still safely in the hands of the space marines. The genestealers and broodlord were now free to move and charged into the grey hunters killing four but the hunters retaliated killing three and wounding the broodlord tieing the combat.

At this point the game would finish on a draw with one objective each and a third contested but it wasn't over yet!

Turn 6
The land speeder killed two hormagaunts forcing them to flee. The long fangs couldn't see any targets. As the only remaining tyranid unit was the genestealers who were in combat. The broodlord's hypnotic gaze meant that only the wolf guard would be able to fight back. Unfortunately the only model left standing was the wulfen who couldn't attack. 
The hormagaunts fled the field and the broodlord finished off the wulfen. 

Final Result: With the rune priest not close enough to contest the objective it was claimed by the broodlord and remaining genestealer. The game therefore finished in a 1-1 draw.

Scott has certainly got a better grasp of how to use his tyranids. There's a couple of things we both could've done better but I think it was a fair test of both armies. The main thing that cost me was not thinking enough about objective placement. I should've placed two objectives in my deployment zone and let the tyranids come to me. The chooser would've prevented the genestealers from infiltrating on the remaining one. This certainly contributed to the end result but that doesn't take away from how the rest of the game went.
The lone wolf was incredibly unlucky and it was a shame to see him fall before he could try to kill the hive tyrant. Scott didn't make much use of Shadow in the Warp as he was only in range with it once. I should've been using the runic weapon to cancel Hypnotic Gaze but considering I'd failed to cancel any other psychic powers I'd have probably failed if I'd tried. The land speeder was unlucky not to force a leadership test for the hormagaunts earlier as it's firepower would've certainly helped in dealing with the broodlord and co.

So both games this weekend ended in draws but were vastly different. Both were complete blood baths and were incredibly fun to play. It was impossible to call either game at any point and I've never enjoyed drawing so much!! In neither game did it feel like either side had clawed a draw from the jaws of defeat either. I'm very much looking forward to another weekend of 40K at the doubles next weekend.


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