Sunday, January 25, 2015

Tournament Report - Scorched Skies (Outpost) 1750pts - Tau/SW

In a complete departure from my usual army building I actually decided to run an allied army at a tournament! I've never really been a fan of allies but figured it was probably about time for me to get over it and dive in. I also rarely make use of psychic powers so thought I'd dabble with those too! Here's my list:

1,750pts of Tau/SW
Buff Commander
3x Missile Suits with target locks and 6 marker drones
Riptide (ion, fusion, EWO, VT)
2x 10 Kroot
2 Skyrays (Blacksun)

2 Rune Priests (ML2, axe).
2x 7 Grey Hunters (melta, chainswords), TDA WG (CM/PF) in a pod
5 Grey Hunters (melta) in a pod

Apologies for the blurry photos in these reports. I was taking them quickly so I wasn't pissing off my opponents too much.

Game One - vs. Tau
My first game of the day was against Tom Roberts' Tau (Farsight Enclaves). This being probably the first time I haven't run a pair of riptides it was frustrating to come up against them in my first game. Tom also had a couple of solo broadsides, a hammerhead, some fire warriors, two squads of pathfinders and two lots of crisis suits (one plasma, one fusion) with a stack of drones each. We'd be playing Big Guns on Hammer & Anvil.

My first turn was a damp squib, with the grey hunters dropping in but failing to kill a hammerhead and only killing a couple of fire warriors. The rune priest did kill a broadside with Jaws though which was fun. My opponent on the other hand was doing a decent job of thinning out my grey hunters and killing off my marker drones. His crisis teams scattered on arrival though which probably saved a Skyray from fusion death. The buff commander wasn't so lucky with the weight of plasma fire bringing him down quickly.

My second turn really turned things around though. One unit of Kroot arrived behind the hammerhead (which had sped off from the Grey Hunters). I declared the shooting but my opponent decided to risk it and not Jink (with disruption pods for 3+ too) thinking I was unlikely to get three 6s which, of course I immediately did. The Grey Hunters turned their attention to the pathfinders with the rune priest killing off three with Fury and causing them to flee before charging into the other unit and wiping them in combat. The other, much depleted, Grey Hunters charged the fire warriors and stayed locked.

I was struggling to bring down his Riptides though with their 3++ (from Nova) and FNP. The suits had FNP too but sheer weight of fire was enough to bring them down and Farsight suffered a seeker missile to the face. In the end my opponent made it pretty easy to ignore the Riptides though as he targetted my Kroot with their blasts and stayed away from the objectives. With all four objectives at the end of the game, Warlord, Linebreaker and two bonus points from heavies, I scored a whopping 16 VPs. Not a bad start to the day.

Game Two - vs. Necrons
I'd made the mistake of scoring too many points in my first game and found myself on the top table against Chris Scothorne (Scoffer)'s Necrons. I've played Scoffer a few times before and I think it was something like 2-1 to me so far. That being said I'd need some luck to beat his two command barges, two ghost arks, three annihilation barges and two night scythes (one warrior, one deathmark). We were playing a mission that used the old table quarters deployment with the central 12" circle of no man's land. There were two 8" circular control zones in the other quarters which scored points for control at the end of your turn (1 VP for the one in your half and 2 for the one in theirs).

Remember I said I needed some luck? Well I managed to get first turn but, as I feared, Scoffer stole the initiative. To make matters worse the deployment allowed one of his command barges to only need 6" to charge my crisis team and the other needing an 11" charge to my Kroot who'd infiltrated into the control zones. The 6" charge he made easily but fortunately I managed to lose the combat and run (to regroup next turn). The 11" charge he rolled a 6 and a 1 for but thanks to the chariot rules he was able to re-roll the 1 to a 6 and make it! Where's that luck I needed eh? The Kroot lost the combat and ran whilst the other unit was cut down by a ghost ark and two annihilation barges. Not particularly devastating losses in themselves but it gave Scoffer a 3-0 lead after his first turn. My drop pods came in but were underwhelming thanks to missed melta shots and Jink saves. The crisis team regrouped but Snap Shots weren't enough to help them with the command barges.

There's little else to say about this game really. Eventually the barges used their sweep attacks to take out the Skyrays. The Riptide charged one of them but kept missing his Smash. When he did hit the invulnerable save protected the barge and the Riptide died. The barges then moved onto the crisis team with the deathmarks and warriors dealing with the Grey Hunters. I allowed Scoffer to hold off tabling me so he could get as many points as possible. Might sound daft but it would mean someone else wouldn't have to face him on anything but table one.

Game Three - vs. CSM
I was smacked back down to table 7 where I found myself across from Rick Miller and his Khorne CSM. He'd got 4 units of berserkers (two in rhinos, one of which had Kharn), a maulerfiend, vindicator, heldrake (hades) and some warp talons. We were playing Purge on Dawn of War.

This was a mismatch on paper and Rick's dice certainly didn't even it up. I took first turn with my pods coming down to get weapon destroyed on the vindicator and kill and handful of berserkers with the other. The riptide and marker drones combined to vaporise some more berserkers and the missile team (with skyray assistance) killed the maulerfiend for First Blood. The berserkers took their revenge on one unit of grey hunters with two units charging at once to cut them down. This was just about the only bright point in Rick's game though as by the end of turn 3 I'd all but tabled him. He had some terrible luck with his saves and heldrake reserve roll. The warp talons were gunned down by Kroot and the riptide just kept killing swathes of berserkers with pinpoint accurate blasts with Ignores Cover. It was all over pretty quickly with me feeling immensely guilty for taking another 16 VP win.

My overall score was only good enough for 9th place but not bad for a list I'd never used before with allies and psychic as two mechanics that are new to me. You'd think it wasn't a big deal but I did try to markerlight a unit for my Grey Hunters at one point as I never normally have anything but Tau with my Tau! Generally speaking all three games were horrible mismatches. The first game was the most even on paper but Tom was pretty new to tournament play and I was able to score far more points than I perhaps should've done.

I enjoyed using psychic powers for a change and allies weren't as bad as I thought. I might start using both more often in my lists. We've booked in for our next Outpost tournament too but this time it'll be X-wing and the Store Championships!

Tuesday, January 20, 2015

The Winter Scenery Project (Part 2 of Many) - Snowy Test Piece

As you read in my last post I'm working on getting my scenery up to scratch. The aim is to have a good quantity of scatter terrain to work with my Alpine F.A.T mat and give me plenty of variety in my games. I think two tables' worth of scenery would probably be enough to create enough combinations and therefore prevent boredom. This project is motivated by my current boredom with the same scenery I've been using for years. I want to start by painting up the pieces I've already built but for some variety I'll probably make a few new pieces to break up the tedium of painting my old stuff.

Anyway, today's post is about my first test piece for a snowy look. Of course I'm trying to tie the colours in with the F.A.T mat but it doesn't matter too much. I've never made anything look snowy before so I'm just going with my gut. I'm intending to do a bit of YouTube research to see what others do but I want to find a technique that I'm happy with. That basically boils down to maximum results for minimum effort.

I decided to start with some of the 3rd edition corner ruins. Mainly because they're small pieces but also because I'm not too worried if I make a mess of them. The ruins themselves were already painted which took all of about half an hour (albeit a while ago). The bases had sand and rubble (gravel) but just Chaos Black primer in terms of paint. I started with a basecoat of Shadow Grey then an overbrush/heavy drybrush of Space Wolves Grey followed by a lighter drybrushing of  Ceramite White. Incidentally I went for Ceramite White over White Scar as it's a bit thicker and hence lends itself better to drybrush work. You can see the results below with one of the other ruins as a before and after comparison.

I intentionally let some of the Ceramite White hit the bottom third of the ruin to give a frosted look. I then caught the tops of the ruin too as a base for the snow flock. Here's a comparison to the mat:

It's a reasonable match but perhaps needs a different shade of blue/grey as a base to really hit the same colour as the mat itself. I ploughed straight on with some Citadel Snow though to see if that helped:

I think it does help actually as it makes the whole piece whiter. I'm not too happy with the snow as it is though as there are bits I didn't hit with glue that I perhaps should have such as around the front of the column and some bits at the back. I was conscious that I didn't want it to be completely covered though. Finally, I threw on some tufts which I probably should've applied with a pair of tweezers but I wanted this to be quick so couldn't be arsed to find any.

The tufts are Army Painter Winter Tuft but I think I might hit them with some white from the airbrush to help them blend in a bit. At the moment I think they stand out a bit too much and detract from the snowy feel.

That's it for tonight then. I'm very happy with this first piece. Obviously the ruin was already painted but the rest of it didn't even take half an hour I don't think. I'll probably finish the other two ruins that I've got first but then I might look at something a bit bigger. Maybe some of the Moonscape craters with icy water inside. Let me know what you think of my first effort though. It's progress if nothing else!

Friday, January 16, 2015

The Winter Scenery Project (Part 1 of Many)

In an attempt to motivate myself to get cracking I thought I'd write this post outlining the current state of my scenery so that I can look back and see progress. I'm determined that, before the year is out, I'll have a stunning board full of fully painted scenery to make my games much more immersive. I was briefly inspire a while ago by the guys over on Weemen to join their campaign against unpainted grey plastic scenery. I was further motivated by picking up a F.A.T mat in the Kickstarter (again a while ago). Sadly my enthusiasm quickly dwindled and I found myself looking at the same grey scenery just now mounted on bits of hardboard.

Here's what I've currently got built up:

Here we've got some Sanctum Imperialis/Basilica Administratum and Shrine of the Aquila offerings with a Moonscape crater on the base of the Shrine. There's also a random crate that I think was Matt's that I'm going to incorporate into a new based piece. These pieces are all glued onto hardboard little else. They need sand on their bases and some bits of rubble for interest. Then they can be sprayed up black ready for some paint.

This little selection includes two Bastions, the rest of the Moonscape craters set and a Manufactorum building. These have all been build and sprayed ready for painting so need very little work. The craters I could probably get done quickest as I'll just be airbrushing them a suitable colour (probably not the Graveyard Earth/Steel Legion Drab that one currently is. They'll then just get a bit of a drybrushing to get them up to standard.

Finally, here are my "finished" pieces. I use the inverted commas there because they're in the wrong colour scheme for my Alpine mat. Nevertheless these will probably be the last pieces I paint as they're not looking too bad for now. The 3rd edition corner ruins aren't based yet so they're likely to be my first attempts at trying to make stuff look snowy/icy and fit in with the mat.

Speaking of which my theme is going to hopefully be that of an icy deathworld. All of the current pieces will need painting up in a matching scheme with some snow adding for effect. Depending on how well the project goes I'd like to add some more thematic pieces like rock formations, ice crystals and the like. I'd also like to borrow from the Weemen and make some industrial pieces like an abandoned polar outpost kind of thing. If I really get cracking my "stretch goals" would be to have a second set of scenery to match either a new F.A.T mat or alternatively my old home-made Realm of Battle board. This is probably pretty unlikely to happen as I'm good at setting unrealistic targets!

The thing with scenery is, once you get going you realise just how easy it is to paint to a good enough standard. I'm not going to spend hours and hours painting every little detail. I'm hoping it'll mostly be an airbrush/drybrush job i.e. quick and dirty. Of course it won't look as good as a detailed paint job but the idea is for it to be a backdrop for the miniatures rather than detracting from them by being painted better than they are! Since Jamie is quick to mock my lack of progress on this scenery I'm hopefully going to be able to rope him in to give me a hand with the drybrushing and creating some interesting new pieces from my hefty bits box of scenery pieces and general gubbins.

First step I think is to try out some winter effects on one or more of the 3rd edition ruins and see if I can find a method I'm happy with. I don't want to overdo the snow so it's just a white blob but at the same time it needs to tie in with the mat properly. Any suggestions/hints are gratefully received especially if you can link me to a good Youtube guide or something. Wish me luck!

Tuesday, January 13, 2015

Announcing the F.A.T Mat Giveaway Winner!

As you may have already read, I ran a little competition to celebrate achieving a whopping one million pageviews on From the Fang. I asked people to post in the comments with the reasons they should win with humour taking precedent over sob stories. I received 30 entries but there could be only one winner....

Well, before I announce that let me thank everyone who commented and highlight some entries that I particularly liked:

  • Knight of Infinite Resignation - I was tempted by the idea of a folk song which sampled the sound dice make rolling on a F.A.T. mat (which is strangely satisfying by the way).
  • Capnmoe - made me laugh and had a great origin story for the F.A.T. mat name. With hindsight I wish I'd asked people to give me what they thought F.A.T stood for (yes I know the real answer).
  • Greg Hess - for being the most prolific commenter in the whole blogosphere as far as I can tell at least. Also extra credit for using the phrase "think of the children".
  • Casey Roberts - for brutal honesty
  • Toxteth O'Grady - for some awful jokes but unfortunately I'd heard them all.
  • Sonsoftaurus - for writing a poem/song. I'm not sure if I should recognise it though?!?!
  • Gene Steff - for finding a unicorn, by which I mean a hot wife/gf who is interested in playing 40K
  • Thomas Jeffrey - because the Grey Knights and Ultramarines ARE pompous!
  • Thanagar - another successful unicorn hunter. If only I could get my wife interested...

Anyway, without further ado the winner is.....


Here's his winning comment:

"It was a cold and stormy night. The wind blew hard and the rain lashed like nails from the sky, the very power of the God Emperor stinging your face as you marched resolutely through the darkening gloom. This was the end of all things, stripped of honour and stripped of life as no life was worthy without the honour it belied. The Emperor was dead and the Imperium shattered.

Fools! You cursed to the air and the elements flashed, lightening wrought across the sky as if you controlled the earth and the heaven but for one brief moment. Hands as agonised claws, stretched upward in a vicious embrace, straining to pull back time from the warp to feel the flow of fate and grasp hold of that one point. That solitary pivotal point where all had turned and the collapse of the Imperium of Man had begun. The tide had turned and hell had flowed in the arteries of man.

But to no avail. Crushing despair hits you as you reach the peak of this lonely mountain on this forgotten backwater world. Armour sundered, bolter broken, remorse all but spent; you collapse to your knees on one final agonising gasp and if anyone were around to hear the final mutterings of the the Great Fang they would have heard but a regretful whisper:

"I should have given that snowy Fat Mat to Rob Hill"

And then all was darkness and the fall of man was complete...

So you know... Dire conseqences should you not heed this warning!!"

I think you'll agree that he's a clear winner (unless you're a runner up of course, then you might disagree). A lot of effort went into the comment and frankly I don't want to be responsible for the death of the Imperium. Not that I'm particularly fond of it mind you! Anyway I think it's pretty clear he wants the Alpine mat.

Robert if you could get in touch with my using the contact me link I'll sort you out with your mat. Thanks again to everyone who reads the blog and who knows I might run a competition again some time.

Wednesday, January 07, 2015

One Million Pageviews and a Competition to Celebrate!

Sometime around midnight on Saturday/Sunday the blog went in excess of one million views! Doesn't sound much in internet terms but it still blows my mind to think about it. Of course a lot of those views will be for images but at least some of them will have actually intended to view From the Fang. In fact a decent proportion of my hits come from people searching "from the fang" on Google.

I'd like to thank everyone who's visited the site over the last three and a half years of it's existence. If you'll allow me to blow my own trumpet for a minute, I'm even prouder of the views since this is pretty much a one man ship. Of course, Matt has contributed two of the codex reviews and the odd battle report but generally speaking it's my own work.

Anyway, suffice to say I wouldn't still be blogging if no-one was reading it so as a little thank you to you all I'm going to be running a competition. The prize will be one of Frontline Gaming and Table War's F.A.T mats (formally Megamat). The winner will be able to choose from one of five designs:

I own the "Alpine" mat which I bought as part of the original Kickstarter. I've been 100% happy with my purchase. Seriously, these things are awesome. They're basically mousemat material which means they're pretty waterproof (though I haven't dared test this yet - there are videos showing it though) and have a real quality feel to them. The thing I like most though is how dice sound on them. I know that seems a ridiculous thing to say but seriously it's a nice noise! They now come in a fancy bag too:

Anyway, you're probably wondering how you can win one. Well originally I was going to say just post any old comment below but instead I want to here why you think you should be the winner. I don't want any sob stories, this is not the X Factor! Instead I want you to make me laugh and perhaps even demonstrate why you're such a die hard reader of FtF. That's all there is to it! I look forward to reading your responses!

Monday, January 05, 2015

New 7th Edition Blood Angels Codex Review - Lords of War and Summary

Here's the last post in Matt's review of the new Blood Angels codex. Here he'll talk about the Lords of War (there are two unlike other books) and round everything up with a summary.

Commander Dante
Dante is easily the best character in the codex. In close combat he is an absolute monster (as he should be, being one of the oldest living space marines and leader of the Space Marine chapter that excels in close combat). On the charge Dante puts out 6 strength 7 AP2 attacks at initiative 7, with his axe also being Master Crafted, this is enough to slay many other dedicated close combat characters (and units) before they even have chance to strike back. Don't forget that he can be made even deadlier by casting the Blood Angel primaris power on him with a Librarian, for a maximum of 9 strength 7 AP2 attacks at initiative 10!! He's also not too shabby defensively with 2+ and a 4++ and Eternal Warrior, which allows you to tank him on the front of squads without the fear of him getting blasted apart by a lascannon. Obviously there are more ways to buff him further such as putting him in a squad with a chapter banner and/or giving him Feel No Pain from a priest etc.

However, his personal prowess is not the only reason to run Dante, he's also got a few special rules that help out his fellow Blood Angels. Firstly he has Hit and Run, an excellent special rule that allows him to escape combats that aren't favourable or just disengage in order to charge back in again for the charge bonus, or even just to engage something else/claim an objective. Also he has the best Blood Angel warlord trait, this allows all flyers, skimmers and jump units to re-roll reserve rolls, excellent for getting your Stormraven in earlier. But it doesn't stop there, additionally if you are playing a Maelstrom game then Dante also gets to roll on the Tactical traits table and gets that warlord trait in addition to Descent of Angels, this can be a great help in winning Maelstrom games.

The Death Mask of Sanguinius is a bit rubbish as generally no-one cares about Fear and even when they do it is forgotten about. I think that this is mainly because the units that suffer from Fear are generally rubbish in combat anyway!

I would say he is pretty much an auto take in any pure Blood Angel army if Lords of War are permitted.

Gabriel Seth
I have never used Seth before, but I wanted him to be good this time around so that I could start giving him a whirl (pun intended). However he isn't that great really, mainly because he is essentially a close combat character who insists on hefting a massive chainsword rather than any sort of power weapon. However, at strength 8 AP4, the sword is pretty good against some things such as vehicles, multi wound models and low armour save units, but a bit rubbish against 3+ or better (except for multi wound T4 or less of course). On the charge he gets 6 attacks because of Rage and his attacks are strength 9 due to Furious Charge, he would also strike at Initiative 6 in a Baal detachment and any 6's to hit generate extra attacks, so like I said, this is great against vehicles and multi wound things that may fail their saves and get insta-gibbed. But the thing is, he doesn't bring any sort of other buffs or bonuses to other units in the army, therefore if you are looking for a close combat monster you are better of looking elsewhere, Mephiston is only 20 points more for example….

I have enjoyed writing this series, mainly because it has really made me think about the different options available in this codex and it has made me consider units that I probably would have just overlooked in favour of others before.

Overall I do believe that the codex on its own does have some competitive builds in there, but I don’t think you would ever be able to create a top tier list that could take on all comers. Obviously it relies heavily on close combat and so against a dedicated shooting army like Tau or some Eldar builds it will struggle, I think it would perform best against a balanced army with some shooting and some assault units as the Blood Angels should be able to tackle most assault units from other armies, there are exceptions of course.

The other thing to consider is allies. They would ally well with an army that can provide a lot of supporting long range firepower as this is what they lack. I also think that they would ally well with other armies that can provide further buffs, such as Grey Knights and their Santic psychic powers or Space Marines and their access to different wargear and reliable psykers such as Tigurius.

I hope you have enjoyed reading


Sunday, January 04, 2015

Hobby Resolutions 2015

Looking back at last year's post and reading through my resolutions for 2014 is pretty depressing stuff. Here's what I resolved to do (and mostly failed at):
  • Play more tournament games
Well I'm not really sure whether I achieved this or not. I certainly got in a decent amount of tournament gaming in but looking at the numbers I seem to have only played in one GW doubles, one team event, Blog Wars 8 and three Outpost events. That's down on the 9 I went to in 2013 but I'm sure I went to more than that. Anyway, it's down to a combination of GW not running a doubles recently and having less weekends free this year.
  • Scenery painted
Epic fail as always. I started off fairly well and got a couple of pieces painted up. Getting a mat from Frontline was suppose to inspire me to make some snow/ice terrain but that hasn't happened yet and I got the mat in late March. This is the year though!
  • Dark Eldar painted
The new codex arrived and I thought I'd get somewhere but I don't think I actually painted a single DE model. I've got a voidraven still in shrinkwrap and some scourges I bought when they first came out that I haven't touched either. Of all my armies I'd love to have these finished the most as the models are the nicest I own.
  • Orks painted
Again the new book gave me some inspiration but with the SW book shortly after I quickly turned my attention away. I did manage to get a Morkanaut mostly painted but that needs finishing and a massive pile of boys need looking at too. I think it's the sheer number of models I'd need to paint that puts me off. They're probably going to be way down the list again.
  • Potential New Army (Tyranids or SM)
Let's not even talk about this idea. I'd still love a Tyranid army but until everything else is painted I'm determined not to start one
  • Best Blog Wars yet
I actually think I did this. Blog Wars 8 was easily my favourite ever. No one brought anything particularly horrendous, there were no major cockups on my part and the painting competition was probably the best yet. Additionally BW7 had a massive attendance which was totally unexpected. BW9 and 10 this year have a lot to live up to.
  • Plenty of alternative games
Well I played x-wing a fair bit. Does that count? I barely touched Blood Bowl and had a few games of Space Hulk but otherwise that's it. I think x-wing will become a larger part of my gaming but I can't see me starting any other systems this year.
  • Great blog content
Difficult one for me to call. I know some of my stuff isn't great but the figures look pretty good for this year so I must be doing something right. If someone could let me know what that is that'd be greeaaattt (Office Space reference anyone?).

It does make me wonder why I bother with these resolutions as I clearly can't stick to them but my plan this year is to be a LOT more realistic:

Tournaments & Blog Wars
I intend to play in both Blog Wars events this year. With the improvements I've made to the admin side of it I'm confident I can play and keep things running smoothly. I'm going to tweak a couple of things from BW8 but generally speaking I'm pretty happy with how it's set up at the moment. The main thing will be to change the last mission to Maelstrom but that needs a lot of playtesting and development work before I'd be happy to make the switch. More on that soon.

Otherwise I'd like to keep attending Outpost events and hopefully GW doubles if they come back this year. Looking at their calendar it certainly won't be back until at least April so I'll keep an eye on that as they redevelop the venue. The team event we played at the end of last year was great fun so I'd be up for something like that again. We're also planning on a little round-robin event between a group of 6 of us once we can get it organised. Generally speaking I find tournaments to be an excellent way of getting a grasp of the game.

As I've already mentioned, this will probably be the year where we start playing x-wing competitively. No definite plans for this yet but it's becoming more and more likely. 

This is the year. It has to be. I'm determined that this time next year I'll be reporting that I achieved my aim of having NO UNPAINTED SCENERY on my table (that doesn't just mean hiding it underneath either!). Thing is, it isn't even that big of a job. Scenery really doesn't require much effort to paint so I have literally no excuse especially with my airbrush in hand.

Ideally I'd like to have enough scenery to be able to mix things up a lot and avoid getting sick of the same terrain. To this end I'll be hoping to put some new pieces together and I intend to blog about my progress. Speaking of which...

Less blogging, more hobby, more hobby blogging! Got that? Basically instead of writing rambling posts about general 40K topics (see the Highlander post for example) I'm going to use that time to paint some bloody models. I'd love to be sitting here next year with a fully painted DE force but we'll see about that. 

Don't get me wrong there'll still be plenty of content on here but I'm going to try to be more selective about what I post about. Hopefully there'll be more hobby related posts but again, we'll see about that.

For starters there will definitely be no new army (unless the Ad Mech stuff actually materialises, then it depends on the models/rules). Otherwise it'll only be the odd kit here and there to bolster my existing forces. My Dark Angels are going, partly to give me funds for other stuff but mostly to make it look like a less daunting effort to get things painted. I'm also going to flog a load of other spare stuff I have lying around. I've got a huge pile of Ork stuff that I'm simply never going to get around to building, nevermind painting, so that can go. The start of my hobby drive this year will be once of consolidation then. Clear out the crap, mend and bolster my existing armies then actually get stuff painted. 

What I'd like to do is write a list of each of my armies that I'd be happy to take to the Outpost and work on having 1,750 of each army painted to a high standard. Wolves would be the obvious first choice here as (a) that would mean very few models and (b) they're already to a decent standard. Next up would be Tau as again they're mostly painted and finally DE need a lot of work. Orks are certainly going to be a back burner thing. I might paint the odd model for a break but generally speaking they're going to be ignored I imagine.

In the interest of keeping things simple and realistic that's it for now. Here's a rundown of my resolutions then:
  • Keep up the tournament attendance - probably mostly at the Outpost 
  • Paint the bloody scenery - I really mean it this time
  • Clear out the crap - I'd love to have space for every model I own the shelves which means some have to go!
  • Paint up forces from each army - less likely but I'd love to do it
  • Be more selective about blog posts - quality not quantity is the name of the game
That's it then. A lot more realistic than last year. Here's hoping I can stick to them for a change. Of course the blog is the place to find out how I'm getting on so keep an eye on it. What are your aims for the year?

Friday, January 02, 2015

New 7th Edition Blood Angels Codex Review - Heavy Support

Back to Matt's Blood Angels codex review and onto the Heavy Support section. Often the Stormraven was the only Heavy unit that BA players ran in the old book. Let's see if the new book has changed anything.

Stormraven Gunship
I've already talked about this quite a bit. This is the only option for anti air in the codex and it's pretty solid as it's always been. The main problem I have with it is that it costs 200 points and whenever I use it the thing doesn't arrive until turn 4! It just makes me think that I'd rather have more points on the table turn 1. The fact it's an Assault Vehicle is also great for Blood Angels, especially since it can carry dreadnoughts, but that makes the "points off the table" problem even worse. Of course there are options within this codex and other allied codices that improve the odds of it arriving, so if used in conjunction with those then I would say that it's a pretty solid choice with or without passengers.

Baal Predator
These used to be a popular choice with flamestorm cannons and heavy flamer sponsons. This setup still isn't bad as the Baal Predator is a fast vehicle as standard and so it is quite easy to get it close enough to the enemy to unleash the templates, however there are a couple of reasons why this setup won't be as popular as it once was. Firstly there just aren't as many 3+ armour squads around, with the ability to now tank a 2+ character onto the front of squads the flamestorm cannon just isn't as dangerous as it used to be. Secondly the changes to vehicle damage now means that many squads can take down vehicles in close combat by glancing them to death which means that getting your Baal Predator up close to the enemy's lines probably isn't a good idea. Finally, it would have been nice to have the Scout special rule on this tank, that would have allowed it to perform the outflank flame attacks that I always used to do with it back in 5th edition.

So considering all that it is probably a much better idea to load it out with an assault cannon and heavy bolters. This way it will have 6 heavy bolter shots and 4 twin linked assault cannon shots even when moving 6", while only losing the ability to fire one gun when moving 12" (and snap firing the other - ed.). This gives you a very effective infantry killing vehicle with the ability to take out light and even heavy vehicles thanks to Rending on the assault cannon (well assuming it doesn't have many hull points left at least). Also, as with the other predator chassis tanks, armour 13 on the front also goes a long way to help keep it alive long enough to cause problems for the enemy, both in terms of causing casualties, but also in capturing and holding objectives.

Predator and Vindicator
I have already discussed these when talking about overcharged engines in one of the first posts in this series. They are both solid heavy support choices due to the fast upgrade.

The Predator because it can more easily get a firing solution and fire all of its weapons, either load it out with all lascannons or with autocannon and heavy bolters (this last loadout is in some ways better than a Baal Predator as it out ranges it and is also 30 points cheaper, but when in range the Baal's firepower is better due to the assault cannon being much better than an autocannon).

The Vindicator is good with overcharged engines purely because it can get enemy units in range faster and easier. A Vindicator's main weakness is its 24” range, so being able to move an extra 6” before firing helps a lot.

With the changes to vehicle damage I can see Predators and Vindicators being a lot more useful. AV13 became that bit more difficult to deal with so with enough predator hulls you could cause problems. Fast has always been a big bonus for BA tanks and makes the Vindicator a lot more viable than it is in other books. Of course, Matt hasn't talked about Whirlwinds or Land Raiders here. That's because they're the same as in the SM book and have the same advantages and disadvantages as their SM equivalents. The next post will be the last part of the review looking at Lords of War. 


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