Friday, September 30, 2011

Fantasy Friday - Tau4eva Plays Warhammer Fantasy

Thursday I played my first 2500 point game of Warhammer Fantasy. I played against another Adam who brought a mass of Orcs and Goblins to face off against my Dark Elves. I have played about a dozen games of 8th edition now and I finally feel like I have the basics down. However, I have a long way to go with list building.

For someone coming from Warhammer 40k, there seems to be a wealth of options for kitting out magic items in Fantasy. The combinations seem endless, but there are somethings I am learning to pick up on. For one thing, having high strength attacks is vitally important in this game. Unlike 40k, armor saves are modified by the strength of the attack. Despite the various Internet critics, I really like the magic phase.

There is some randomness with the amount of power dice, but using them correctly requires some forethought. Anyway, I am looking forward to learning more of the subtleties of this game. Here are some pictures of our battle. We were able to use a some of the terrain Bill painted up for Gamer's Sanctuary. Unfortunately, our armies were mostly unprimed plastic.

I will work to change that through the winter months when I am not painting 40k, Warmachine, or Necromunda miniatures LOL. One other thing of note. There were several other non-fantasy games going on but our table had the largest amount of spectators. It was a bit intimidating to play with so many people watching. Everyone mentioned how cool the game looked and would like to get into it. I would love to see some sort of escalation campaign or something to get more interested players at GS.

Game at Turn One - The Orcs and Goblins Advance and Unleash Siege Weapons

Hydras have been my MVPs in every game so far

Thursday, September 29, 2011

Trials of the Mantis Warriors: First Blood

I played my first game with my Mantis Warriors last night against Tau4Eva's Blood Angels. I haven't painted a single model yet, mostly just trying things out. I've not played as Codex Space Marines before.

My whole idea with this Mantis Warrior force is to present them after the Badab War. They don't have a lot of anything - no spam, really, except a few tac squads in rhinos. The chapter has always been focused on stealth tactics and lightning strikes, so I'll include sniper scouts, land speeders, and bikes.

I was pretty limited to what I could take last night. My list:

Captain, storm bolter relic blade
Librarian, terminator armor
Terminators with storm bolter and powerfist (plan to get cyclone launchers)
Venerable Dread with Plasma Cannon (BS5 whuuuuuuut)
Sternguard squad with 2x combi plasma, 1 combi melta, 1 combi flamer, 1 powerfist, rhino
Tac squad with ML, Pfist, Flamer, Rhino
Tac squad with ML, Pfist, Flamer, Rhino
Scout squad, snipers, ML, camo cloaks
Scout squad, snipers, ML, camo cloaks
Scout squad, bolters, heavy bolter
Land speeder storm
Bike squad x6, pfist and meltagun

My general idea was to use the scouts to shoot at stuff and hold objectives while the tac squads reinforced where needed. The sternguard zipped to the area of need and the terminators were a fire magnet. The Speeder Storm went forward with its scout move, got assaulted first turn (he had first turn) and was wrecked.

I had to use my Chaos rhinos for now. I had an extra Rhino on the table at the beginning by accident.

We rolled the Chaos Space Marine battle mission where the world is on fire. This cut LOS a LOT on the table! the fire lanes were pretty narrow.

The tac marines in rhinos are backing up my right flank, the terminators and sternguard hold the middle, and the bikes and scouts hold my left flank.

Luckiest scout missile in the world.
On turn 1 Adam wrecked my speeder and killed the scouts inside. He moved up on my right flank and I realized I was probably outmatched there. The LOS blocking terrain made it tough.

In the bottom of turn 1 my scout on the left flank used a missile to blow up one stormraven. So awesome. I then got another lucky shot from a missile on his razorback on my left flank.

From there it was extremely bloody. He moved in on my right flank, I shot him up, he destroyed my scouts. I managed to drive off an entire 5 man assault squad with power weapon with 1 terminator late in the game to contest an objective. I then managed to kill his other stormraven with my PFist sergeant (needing a 6 to hit, glance, a 6 on the damage chart since his flyer went all-out).

It was a super close game, probably the closest I've played in 40k in a year. Props to Adam for the great game. We tied 1-1 on objectives with 5 down on the field!
My terminator broke the assault marines off of the objective.

My librarian. Two handed force sword.

Monday, September 26, 2011

More WFB Terrain

I painted some more terrain for Gamers Sanctuary. Again it's WFB terrain, though this time around it's the Garden of Morr. The pieces were easy to assemble, but painting them was deceptively tough. Lots of fiddly details and a crazy amount of skulls, even for a GW product.

I'm happy with how they came out. I'm hoping to get to do some 40k terrain soon, as practice for my own Imperial Sector I have sitting around waiting to be built.

Friday, September 23, 2011

New Necromunda Campaign Starting at Gamers Sanctuary

I'm so excited to be writing this. We're going to be starting our fall / winter campaign at Gamers Sanctuary for Necromunda. For those not familiar, Necromunda is an older Specialist Game that Games Workshop did in the 90's. It is based around small 8-12 man gangs that level up as you fight, acquire items and equipment, and old war wounds if you're unlucky.

I'm going to paste in some of the verbiage we've used to get the campaign going. I hope to attract players from Michigan as well as perhaps inspire other readers to start their own Necromunda campaign. One thing I can't state clear enough: is amazing. We are using this for our campaign and it is so cool.

Verbiage so far:

I'd like to run my Necromunda campaign coming up soon in mid-October. This type of campaign would be much less 'official' and require you really only play when you want to.

You'd only need to buy a gang ($40 minus your discount) from GS.

It would be heavily story-driven and RPG-like. Definitely not 'competitive 40k' or Warmachine. Build a gang and stay with it for a few months, get a couple games in a month. Games are a lot quicker than 40k or Warmachine. Rules are not that tough, basically 2nd edition Warhammer 40k. Not hard at all. Rules are free online as well. ... Id=2600004

We'll start this campaign on Tuesday, October 11th at 6:30 PM. Please input your gang into this website:

It takes a little bit of time but it will be well worth it - we can track each other's gangs, register our injuries and advances, and even produce battle reports. Please let me know what the name of your gang is on the site so I can invite you to our campaign.

The title of our campaign is Now is the Winter of Our Discontent. This reflects that it is getting cold outside and that living in the hive is probably worse than being dead. The first week of our campaign will be regular battles; after that we might have some kind of theme or special mission taken from GW supplements. Nothing will be over the top, and you can always just play a regular battle if you're raged out at the mission for that week.

Necromunda is a game that has a lot of fluff and a lot of cool special stuff that you can find in older supplements. If you want to use it, ask, and we can talk about it. If you want to be an outlaw gang that is fine. I'm playing scavvies. We can use rules from Outlanders if you like. If something contradicts we'll talk about it or roll it up.

As for models, please make an effort to purchase a Necromunda gang. They're $40 MSRP and you get 15% off on a special order I'm fairly sure from GS. The gangs are lovely models and you can get the rules for free.

If you'd like to use other models, or make them out of guardsmen or something, you can do that too. Please no space marines. Necromunda is a hive populated by humans.

 Our Yakromunda page:

Keep watching this blog for further news. I think this will be one of the best campaigns you could play in!

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

The Grass is Always Greener!

I've been bitten. We've been playing our Deathwatch campaign, I've played a ton of Space Marine and I've been reading Imperial Armour 9 and 10. Guess who stars in all those games? Loyalist Space Marines.

I sold off my Blood Angels a few months ago because I just wasn't digging the army or my models anymore. The way you see most BA armies was not how I imagined them in the fluff. I was just dissatisfied as a whole with the army and made a decent amount back on eBay.

I was pretty proud to not have a Space Marine army there for a while, but having only Tyranids and Chaos Space Marines makes things tough. My tyranids just aren't that great, no matter how much I love them, and Chaos Space Marines are way overpriced points-wise. Plus, I'm not able to field an imperial army. So I decided to start a loyalist chapter that adheres to the codex.

I had been super interested in some of the Badab War chapters, so I decided to model my marines after a chapter from the IA books. I chose the Mantis Warriors. They sound really cool and I like the colors and the fluff.

I have a few goals with this new army:
  • Paint all the models in order to adhere to the codex astartes
  • Model them in order to adhere to the codex astartes
  • Follow the fluff for the Mantis Warriors chapter
  • Build a large enough army to participate in a Badab War campaign
  • Paint them quickly and efficiently
  • Model the rhinos with something really cool on them. Stripes, the arrow, etc.

There is a tiger stripe camo pattern that is shown in multiple pieces of fluff regarding the Mantis Warriors.My painting skills are definitely not up to that level so they're all gonna be green, and possibly some all-yellow guys. Haven't figured that part out yet.
I've been whining about all the blogs I follow and how they used to be about Tyranids and now they're about Space Wolves or Grey Knights or whatever. I stop listening to a podcast if it is mostly about marines. I think I'll just have to buck up and remember why I started playing the game, lol.

I've chosen my painting colors. I'm thinking I'll prime everything using Army Painter to a certain green color if possible (if not, airbrush) and then paint. Yellow is gonna be tough for the marines that don't have removable shoulderpads, so I'll have to see how that works out.

Monday, September 19, 2011

Apocalypse Report - Tyranids vs Space Wolves and Grey Knights

Over the weekend Larry and I put some toy soldiers out on the table (13,000 points either side, on a 12 x 4 ft table) and fought it out. I brought my Harridan, two scythed hierodules, two barbed hierodules, 3 trygons, 4 tervigons, and 7 carnifexes plus the rest of my army.

My list:
    13000 Pts - Tyranids Roster
    2 Barbed Hierodule (AP)
    3 Biovore
    2 Broodlord
    6 Carnifex
    60 Gargoyle Brood
    28 Genestealer Brood
    1 Harpy
    1 Harridan (IA)
    6 Hive Guard Brood
    2 Hive Tyrant
    3 Lictor Brood
    1 Malanthrope (AP)
    1 Mycetic Spore
    21 Ravener Brood
    7 Ripper Swarm Brood
    3 Scythed Hierodule (AP)
    1 Stone Crusher Carnifex (IA)
    10 Termagant Brood
    4 Tervigon
    3 Trygon
    5 Tyranid Prime
    12 Tyranid Shrike Brood
    12 Tyranid Warrior Brood
    1 Tyrannofex
    2 Tyrant Guard Brood
    3 Venomthrope Brood
    4 Zoanthrope Brood

To put it nicely: it wasn't close. I lost first turn, he annihilated almost all of my hierodules on turn 1, leaving one alive. I don't play Apocalypse for #WINNING but it is nice to actually see the expensive stuff you painted do something. I dropped the spore in with 4 zoanthropes and killed the psychic defense with my trygons, then got off 4 lances at the titan. Nothing :( My Harridan came on the board and shot all its shots at the titan, immobilizing it and causing it to not fire the next turn, but it was all but over by that point.

He brought something like 29 lascannons plus D weapons on a titan and thunderhawk. Tyranids, lacking any kind of invulnerable save almost across the board and with mostly 3+ on the big space dinosaurs, just can't stand up to it.

I think perhaps next time if I don't have first turn I'll just reserve all my big stuff and that will at least give it a turn of being alive. Also we'll have to play with more cover, and I'll have to grab some better strategems.

Some photos:

Friday, September 16, 2011

Black Library Review: Fear the Alien

As most readers know, Black Library is the literature company connected to Games Workshop. In recent years they have been putting out a ton of novels based on the games that GW creates. Most people would agree that it is not at the classic sci-fi or fantasy level, but the books are fun to read nonetheless.

I have been reading the Horus Heresy series for a while (I think I am 6 books in, and they already have 21 including a few in the works). The series is huge and daunting so I decided to take a side trip and read Fear The Alien. This is a compilation of short stories by many well-known Black Library authors.

I must say it is nice reading about things other than super powered Space Marines. And the Marines that are in the stories actually don't win every single battle! As a player of a Xenos army it is nice to see your fluff highlighted.

I purchased it at Games Day (last copy!) and got it signed by Nick Kyme and CL Werner. Both really nice dudes. I also was able to purchase a book about some flaming Space Marines (last copy!) for Geneguard and got that signed by Nick Kyme as well.

I'll list each story and then say what I thought of it. I won't spoil anything.

Gardens of Tycho by Dan Abnett
Very well written story. The characters are interesting and you learn about different parts of the Imperium than you'd ever learn anywhere else (Magos Biologis). It is a detective story set in the 40k universe, which I thought was really cool - how would a detective traverse the innumerable red sets of red tape put up by the imperium?

Fear Itself by Juliet E. McKenna
I loved this one. It is about an IG unit holding out against a tide of Tyranids invading the planet. Lots of hopelessness but it is conveyed in a different way than most 40k stories. The descriptions of the Tyranids were amazing. Extremely visceral. The imagery made it so I could picture everything in my head. Spoiler alert: lots of dudes die! This was my favorite story.

Prometheus Requiem by Nick Kyme
This is a Salamanders story about terminators boarding a Space Hulk. The story is very foreboding with the alien presence on board. The genestealers are described very well, and the fights are obviously close quarters with terminators owning face. This is part of a larger Salamanders meta-story that Black Library does.

Mistress Baeda's Gift by Braden Campbell

This is a Dark Eldar story that mainly deals with Dark Eldar society and how it works. I've never been a real fan of Dark Eldar - they're a little too BDSM for my liking. The story was full of slavery, some BDSM, and some battles. Overall I did like it, and it really didn't go over the top too often.

Iron Inferno by C.L. Werner
Orks vs Imperial Guard! I really loved how C.L. characterized the Orks and actually wrote from the Ork point of view. The battle scenes were great and the Imperial Guard were described really well. I wasn't expecting to like the Ork stories as much.

Sanctified by Mark Clapham
A story about another character you might not have ever read about: a tech priest. The entire story takes place on a cruiser in space. The author does well to describe the cruiser and place the setting in your mind. Dark Eldar are the antagonist in this story.

Faces by Matt Farrer
I have to say I meant to read all the stories in the book but I got into this one and I just couldn't continue. The abstract method of telling the story really was tough to read when I was tired from a business trip in an airport. Geneguard didn't finish this one either. It is too bad, I think it had some good ideas.

Unity by James Gilmer
A Tau story set after a battle between the Tau and the local PDF. A guardsman and a Raven Guard space marine are forced to group together and fight. I found this one especially interesting since we're running a Deathwatch campaign right now and I have to constantly talk from the viewpoint of a normal human talking to Space Marines.

The Core by Aaron Dembski-Bowden
Night Lords star in this story of a space hulk being torn apart for salvage. The author also speaks from the point of view of supply slaves for the Night Lords. I thought this one was pretty cool, especially the viewpoint of the Raptors. More genestealers!

Ambition Knows No Bounds by Andy Hoare
This one was a great way to end the book. A rogue trader finds a planet that she wants to plunder and investigates. It is pretty clear from the start that it is a Necron tomb world. The rogue trader group has to fight Necrons going through and the descriptions of the alien robots are very interesting.

Overall I'd give this short story collection a 4 out of 5. I would have rated it a 3 a few weeks ago because the eBook wasn't available, but it has been made available just recently. Props to the Black Library for bringing so many books into eBook format.

If you're a fan of a Xenos army or just tired of reading about power armor you should read this book!

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Rant - Tyranid Models

I was listening to The Independent Characters podcast (the best podcast you can listen to, hands down) and something they said touched a nerve. I've heard it many times: the lack of Tyranid models is alright! You can make all kinds of cool stuff! Maybe they didn't go that far, or I mis-heard, but it touched off a rant I've had brewing for a while.

We've seen dozens of different Dark Eldar models come out recently, lots of new Finecast™ too. No new Tyranid models since the launch of the new codex over a year and a half ago, and all we got then were high priced pewter and monstrous creatures (lovely models, no doubt).

Anyway, my rant:

Finally finished listening to this one. Really great episode, awesome as always. You guys really do provide the best gaming podcast (hell, best podcast) out there. Anytime I listen to another podcast and think of the stuff I dislike about it - you don't do any of that stuff. Thanks for providing an on-topic, concise, no dick and fart joke, easy to listen to, well-recorded (sound and production) podcast.

Some of it was a little too Pollyanna for me - I have to disagree with two things. Well, one disagreement and one spot of advice. I too have been focusing on being as positive as possible lately when it comes to GW; I raged out hardcore when they made the stupid decisions recently and I've had to come down a bit. Realizing that GW doesn't care one iota for what I think really just put me in a different mindset.

So my disagreement: the models that haven't been produced for over one and a half years, specifically Tyranid models. I do like creating my own models, don't misunderstand. I love creating tyranid stuff. I've been given countless complements about the stuff I've done.

But the Tyranid line is woeful. Just woeful. What does a new player walk into when they start a tyranid army for HQ choices? A Finecast™ (lovely model) Tyrant that costs $58. There are no other HQ models available. There are tyranid warriors that can be made into primes, but that costs $42 and you're left with two models that can't make a unit. Also, there are no bone swords or lash whips in that box, which are pretty much necessary for a prime. There are no models for the swarmlord. Boneswords and lash whips are sold by bits companies, but that is an added expense and work that most new players aren't gonna do.

The tervigon, the most 'competitive' model in the codex, does not have a model. It is an HQ as well as a troop. Most people use a carnifex model to make it. $50. Is a new player going to have the skills or the know-how or the confidence to make that? Not likely. Is a player going to want to make the 3-4 of them custom that are needed for a 'competitive' list? Not likely. Chapterhouse Studios made conversion kits, but that is another ?$20? and they're being sued into oblivion. I've played Tyranids since about a year before the new codex and probably own 15,000 points of them. I've only made one tervigon and I bought three used with the Chapterhouse kits. (lots of greenstuff required to make them look good. ugh).

The tyrannofex and harpy were not well-thought out rules wise, so making a custom model for them is a gamble (lots of time invested for something that just doesn't play well, and is potentially un-fun to use). I've built both. I dunno.

The rest of the Tyranid line is pretty lovely. I really do like all the plastic and wish I had never bought any zoanthropes, hive guard, or venomthropes in pewter. They chip and break like they're made of doozer sticks. Finecast is lovely for them too and I won't go into the price issues with those particular units.

I really didn't intend to make this post this long. Just wanted to clear something up that I see everywhere and disagree with.

Friday, September 9, 2011

Safe Travels to Jeremy

Our good friend Jeremy left home yesterday for Afghanistan. We got to know him well through 40k and eagerly anticipate his safe return. Adam wrote a great post over at MI40k.
Safe Travels to Jeremy

Thursday, September 1, 2011

August Painting Challenge Thread

Another month down for the painting challenge at Gamers Sanctuary! Thanks as always to the participants for their hard, awesome work!