Thursday, December 1, 2011

British Parachute Company - Fluff

The guys above aren't mine! Sorry about the long delay between articles - but on the plus side I have actually been spending any spare time painting up my paratroopers. I am aiming to get a painting tutorial up... at some point.

So as you know from my review I recently picked up my first Flames of War models - the British Parachute Company box set. I want to tell you a little bit about the history and equipment of these troops, and have a look at how this is reflected in their Flames of War briefing.

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

Review: Flames of War British Parachute Company

Well it looks like Games Workshop's bad customer service is having an affect - I finally convinced myself to pick up some Flames of War. I've gone with British paratroopers, which are models I already own in 28mm, so I know their history and equipment well. As a cheapskate I needed to choose an army that was light on the wallet, so Fearless Veteran has its appeal.

So as this is my first Flames of War purchase, lets start with my impressions of the packaging. The logo and colours are distinctive and the overall look is very slick. I like the way that essential information is clearly displayed on the the packaging, usually with icons. We can quickly see that the models are British, this is a Company of 106 figures, and is for the Late War period. There is a suitably dramatic picture of the paratroopers assaulting a bridge as they did in Arnhem.  

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Rifleman Dread Conversion Tutorial

Apologies if you have seen this before - I accidentally published it before it was ready, a few months ago now. Yes it has taken me that long to finish off the article! Hope you enjoy it...

Ah the Rifleman, the unlikely star of 5th edition. Taking the humble autocannon and turning it into a reliable transport wrecking blizzard of firepower. Here's a snapshot of one of my Rifleman Dreadnoughts. I'm very happy with the way that they turned out, and their performance on the tabletop. There don't seem to be tutorials with anyone building them my way on the web, so I felt duty bound to share the process with you lot.

Thursday, October 6, 2011

Black Templars: Terminator Pod List

So now that you've seen all the toys that the Black Templar codex has available, how do they work together to build a competitive list? It's no surprise that I've built my list with as many of these unique units as possible :)

Shooty Poddy Templars (1750) 
Emperor's Champion - "Accept Any Challenge" (140)
Marshall - terminator armour, chainfist, storm shield, adamantine mantle (175)
5 Terminators Command Squad - 2 cyclones, chainfist, tank hunters (270)
5 Terminators - 2 cyclones, chainfist, tank hunters (270)
5 Assault Terminators - thunder hammer & storm shield, tank hunters (215)
Venerable Dreadnought - twin-linked lascannon, heavy flamer, smoke. searchlight (169)
Landspeeder - typhoon missile launcher (70)
Landspeeder - typhoon missile launcher (70)
5 Initiates - meltagun, multi-melta, frag grenades, drop pod (135)
5 Initiates - meltagun, multi-melta, frag grenades, drop pod (135)
5 Initiates - plasma gun, lascannon (101)

Tuesday, October 4, 2011

Three Simple Ways to Speed Up 40k

Over and over when playing 5th edition games, I find myself frustrated by the same three rules. They unnecessarily delay the game without adding commensurate value. *drum roll* The rules in question are ...
  • Wound allocation rules. They suck.
  • Running. Waste of time. Throw in Move Through Cover as a bonus.
  • Rolling armor saves. Yup.

Friday, September 30, 2011

Blog Culling Time

I went through all of my Blog subscriptions in Google Reader tonight and unsubscribed from 8 blogs - I also added two more after following a few interesting links. I've found myself skipping through a few blogs consistently of late and its cramping my blog-reading style! Also between podcasts and blogs I am struggling to find time to write my own blog posts, so its time to cull the chaff.

I'm looking forward to a new streamlined blogging experience. One of the bigger decisions was to unsubscribe from Blood of Kittens. The content has changed a lot since I subscribed a year ago, and rarely held my interest. It was the post criticising NOVA that was the final straw...

Friday, September 9, 2011

Black Templars: Unique Competitive Units

Recently I have breathed new life into my Crimson Fists by running them with the Black Templars codex. I'm really enjoying the army, its both competitive and unique. My opponents are usually suprised by the nifty tricks that it packs. For those who might complain about this form of counts-as, did you know that the Crimson Fists are known to occasionally field Emperor's Champions? Both armies are founded off Imperial Fists geneseed :)

I'll take you through my Black Templars list in a subsequent post, but first I want to introduce you to the individual units that I have been playing with. The post-FAQ Templars codex is chock full of unique and powerful units that cannot be fielded from other marine codices.

Tuesday, September 6, 2011

More 40k Podcast Reviews

In a continuing mission to keep my readers up-to-date with all that's happening in the 40k podcast world, here's a new update. I'll introduce you to some new podcasts (well new new to me anyway) and update you on my opinions of some that I have mentioned before. Remember that these are rated according to what I look for in a podcast - your needs may vary!

If your favourite podcast is missing, that's because I have an earlier post that covered the podcasts available at that time. I have also made all my podcast review content available as a permanent page on my site. I hope that you get some value from my reviews!

Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Comp and Swiss

Like many of you I am a big fan of the idea of win/loss tournaments. The premise behind this scoring methodology is that players shouldn't be penalised for winning close games against highly skilled opponents. In a battle points tournament the luck of the draw is vital, as getting assigned a weak opponent allows you to race ahead in points 20 - 0 or similar.

The win/loss system cares only whether you won or lost - but hang on a sec, that's not entirely true is it? Some kind of points measure is still recorded, for the purpose of determining the next round's pairings using the Swiss system.

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

A Time of Reflection

    This fella above is my rough skeleton for the Squad Smackdown prize. Look out for further updates over the next few weeks as he gets assembled and painted. I'll be going for a sandy arena style base, with judicious application of blood, and green stuffed internal organs :)  
(Battle Bunker Aki suggested he should be wielding a knife, as part of the story of dismemberment being told; I can see his point...)

Things have been a little bit quiet over here on A Plague Spreads recently. I've suffered from a nasty case of blog burn-out after having made it through the grueling Squad Smackdown series of posts. With my precious little free time it was a lot to take on and I needed a break from the blog afterwards. Dont panic though, because here I am again, re-energized and with a tonne of ideas for new posts. Expect content on the following:
  • Some innovative scoring ideas that could be incorporated into existing frameworks
  • An in-depth look at Terminators across all the codices (this was inspired by The Independent Characters)
  • Trying my bit to help change the Games Workshop corporate mindset
  • Flames of War
In addition, I'm looking forward to writing a new series of posts subtitled "Crunching Fluff". The premise is to take a fluffy list and optimise it - without tarnishing the original theme. I can come up with themes on my own, but if you have a list that needs it's fluff crunched then please email me - I'll be happy to help!

Wednesday, August 3, 2011

Space "Knights" for Warpath

So I have read the Warpath rules several times and I like the simplicity of having two rolls for combat. Speeding up the game is great - it might even be possible to play an entire game with my wife before she looses interest! I still don't like the idea of having a counter for each units current Nerve. I'd prefer removing models as a mechanism to record the losses, but I guess I'll have to suck it and see...

This list covers most of the standard Space MarineKnight models. It is built as a heroic army and the prices are high, but in reality I haven't the slightest idea how to price Warpath units :) So any feedback on the pricing would be very valuable. Giving Elite to all the units might be over the top, or it might be a stroke of genius. Anyway please let me know what you think!

Space Knights (0.1)

Wednesday, July 27, 2011

40k Battle Tactics: The Art of the Multi Assault

Like all my 40k Tactics that I blog, it is important that you read the rule book yourself, I will make some basic assumptions on your knowledge, so please don't just try and do something and then quote this blog, make sure you understand it and can justify it with the rule book references.

If you play with us on a Wednesday night down at the Battle Bunker, or have been around combat orientated players, you would have heard many people call for another person's opinion on whether or not someone could do a multi charge that they were trying to do. So I thought that it was about time that someone explained each of the rules that you need to follow in order to be able to create a multi combat, and I will start by just going over these points, then give examples on when you can or can't do it. All relevant material is on page 34 of the 40k rules, unless specified.

I am going to start this tactic with explaining the rules of moving assaulting models in detail, then show 2 examples of almost the exact same scenario, and why one failed to multi assault and the other succeeded.

Monday, July 18, 2011

Squad Smackdown: Aftermath and Winner?

Well *phew*, I made it through the flurry of dice rolling and posting that was the Squad Smackdown. There were some bloodthirsty battles and a few suprising results, topped off with a titanic struggle between Ork Boyz and Space Wold Grey Hunters in the final battle for the title. My favourite matches were:
  • Orks vs Eldar: How close this came to being an early upset against the eventual winners.
  • Tau vs Grey Knights: As a Tau player, I can't resist seeing the Kroot get some love.
  • Orks vs Grey Hunters: The final was an uphill battle for the Space Wolves but they flexed their muscle and fought bravely until the end, showing what a force the Grey Hunters squad can be.

So what about the bets that were laid. Well, as no-one picked the Orks, it will have to fall to the Space Wolf voters - Warflake and An Enemy. However, without a way to choose between them, here is my proposition: both can email to me (see the site banner for details) an infantry squad of up to 200 points in value - other than Boyz or Grey Hunters. The squad must come from either the Space Wolf or Ork codices but any FOC slot is OK. I'll fight them together and the winner gets the prize (which will be a suitably victorious Ork Boy).

Friday, July 15, 2011

Thursday, July 14, 2011

Squad Smackdown - Orks vs Genestealers

Don't know what is going on? Click here.

The tension in the air has been steadily growing, and now on the eve of the final match you could cut it with a knife - and I can assure you that the contestants here are about to do just that! At the Squad Smackdown stadium today we present for you a huge semi-final match-up between 11 ferocious Genestealers and a huge squad of 30 Orks.

Can these elite Tyranids kill enough Orks to survive the backlash? Ad both units has access to Fleet we ruled that there is no advantage to go first.

The gates open!

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

Squad Smackdown: Space Wolves vs Tau

Don't know what is going on? Click here.

OK everybody it's semi-final time and what a match-up we have for you here tonight! The drunken might of Fenris against the stoic team-oriented Tau alliance. 10 bloodthirsty Space Wolf Grey Hunters ready to test their mettle against 20 Kroot and their 10 pet hounds. Elite vs Horde. Good luck to both squads, it looks like we are about to begin...

No advantage for assault is awarded to either squad, so it's a 50/50 chance for either to go first. As the Kroot have no armour, we can disregard the Grey Hunte power weapons for the purposes of this assault.

The gates open!

Friday, July 8, 2011

DOs and DON'TS of the GW Australia Boycott

A thread came up on WargamerAU recently with someone asking where they should buy their models now that the overseas stores have locked us away from fair pricing. The discussion devolved into a more general discussion about what we should be doing about buying models in general. I made a post that seemed to resonate with a few other posters, so I thought I'd repost it here for the blogging crew to ponder:

DON'T buy from GW
DON'T buy GW models from your FLGS
DO support your local FLGS by buying non-GW products. Now is the time to replace your green sheet and books with proper terrain. Or get into Flames of War.
DO buy second hand rather than new. Sell those minis you will never finish, so that others can avoid buying GW too.
DON'T introduce others to the GW hobby. Point them to other systems.

DON'T be afraid to flex our collective consumer muscle.

Thursday, July 7, 2011

Squad Smackdown: Space Wolves Get Another Chance!

This post concerns a protest raised on yesterday's match.
Thanks to the latest Space Wolves FAQ, Grey Hunters DO get the bonus attack from Counterattack. The Squad Smackdown council decided to reroll the extra attacks and see if they caused a difference. So that's 8 extra attacks, with the Wolf banner in effect. They managed 6 hits after rerolling two ones, the wound with every hit! The Wyches fail four more saves - so they lost 5 in total this round of combat.

So they lost the combat by 3... they flee but are not caught. However they then fail the roll to rally with box cars, so the battle is won by the Grey Hunters squad! What a turn-around!

Aftermath: Controversy indeed as we head into the Semi-finals. The council has spoken however. So the Imperium represent in the final four!

The remaining four squads are:
  • Grey Hunters
  • Kroot
  • Genestealers
  • Ork Boyz
See you in the semis!

Wednesday, July 6, 2011

Squad Smackdown: Dark Eldar vs Grey Hunters

Don't know what is going on? Click here.

Welcome to the final battle of the semi-finals, and what a match up we have for you today! Two very closely matched squads that excel in the assault - 15 Dark Eldar Wyches led by a Hekatrix with agoniser; vs the ubiquitous Grey Hunters pack, with 2 flamers, 2 power swords and a Wolf banner. Both these squads can pack a punch and have good staying power.

With the Fleet ability the Wyches have the advantage when it comes to getting the assault. They roll a 3 on the drugs table, which is Grave Lotus - they all get +1 Strength, very useful.

The gate opens!

Tuesday, July 5, 2011

Squad Smackdown: Imperial Guard vs Tyranids

Don't know what is going on? Click here.

This is a classic match up here ladies and gentlemen, made famous in Starship Troopers - the humble human soldier facing the unfeeling alien hordes, armed with a whole bunch of flamers. A single Platoon of raw Guardsmen are about to be confronted by a horde of slavering Genestealers.

25 Guardsmen with 6 flamers lined up against 11 Genestealers. The Fleet 'stealers have the advantage to get the assault - and boy do they need it.

The gates open!

Monday, July 4, 2011

Squad Smackdown: Chaos Space Marines vs Orks

Don't know what is going on? Click here.

Welcome to the next matchup in the second round of this tournament, and what a big fight we have here today! 30 Ork Boys that can't wait to Waaargh!, against 9 crazed Khorne Beserkers who just love killing stuff. The numbers are with the Orks but that power armour can give a huge advantage...

Unfortunately for the forces of Chaos the Ork ability to Fleet is going to give them the advantage in getting the charge. It's all up to the dice now folks.

The gates open!

Saturday, July 2, 2011

Squad Smackdown: Tau vs Grey Knights

Don't know what is going on? Click here.

Tonight's battle is a one of extremes - the spam of 30 bodies, with 2 attacks base, against the 'leetness that is the Grey Knight Terminator squad. Those 5 Halberds nullify the initiative advantage that the Hounds would usually have. It's all going to come down to how well the Grey Knights are with their Terminator armour saves.

Neither squad has an advantage to get the charge - it all going to come down to the dice.

The gates open!

Thursday, June 30, 2011

List Evolution: Imperial Guard Tank Company: Part 1

As I've mentioned before, I have been harbouring an urge to build an Imperial Guard Tank Company for a year or so now. Going down the paper tank route failed miserably (that is WAY too much work - respect to those that can manage it!) but I then managed to pick up 6 Battle Tanks for a song off WargamerAU.

As a cheapo gamer, I am now busy converting the turrets and magnetising the hull weapons so that I can switch between demolisher cannons and battle cannons, lascannons, heavy bolters and flamers. Having some good luck there, and I should be able to get a tutorial up in the future...

Anyway this post is about list design and Tank Company strategy, not hobby. I wanted to make a 1500 point list with 6 Leman Russ chassis - yes that sure is a lot. Obviously I need a least 3 troops and an HQ as well. And that's all you can fit into 1500 points - here is my first attempt:

Monday, June 27, 2011

What does the Grey Knight FAQ mean for Draigo Wing?

You have of course all seen the new Grey Knight/BRB FAQ. Plenty of people have gone over it in detail. What I want to do is quickly examine how the rulings effect the the viability of running pure Draigo Wing lists.

Monday, June 20, 2011

Squad Smackdown: End of Round One

Hello loyal readers!

Well we made it through all the first series of matches. There weren't too many suprises along the way, but now we have a vicious bunch of close combat squads still in the tournament and its going to get interesting.

The uneliminated squads are as follows:
  • Dark Eldar Wyches
  • Chaos Space Marine Khorne Beserkers
  • Space Wolf Grey Hunters
  • Ork Boyz
  • Tau Kroot
  • Imperial Guard Platoon
  • Grey Knight Terminators
  • Tyranid Genestealers

Sunday, June 19, 2011

Squad Smackdown - Tau vs Witch Hunters

If you don't know the rules, here they are.

In the Red Corner: A large squad of 20 Kroot, accompanied by a pack of 10 Kroot Hounds, emitting quite a stench. They are hungry for victory.

In the Blue Corner: A large squad of 13 Sisters of Battle stand ready to battle anyone in the Emperor's name. A Sister Superior wields an Eviscerator and reads inspiring tracts from the "Book of St Lucius" to the other Sisters. 2 of the girls are wielding flamers instead of bolt guns.

Neither squad is particularly quick, so there is no advantage for the assault.

The gates open!

Saturday, June 18, 2011

Squad Smackdown: Blood Angels vs Tyranids

If you don't know the rules, here they are.

In the Red Corner: Red indeed! 10 Sons of Sanguinius stand tall against the Imperium's foes, chainsword in hand and jump pack fully charged. 2 have traded their chainsword for flamers.

In the Blue Corner: 11 slippery Genestealers lurk about. Their talons drip with toxic ooze.

The Blood Angels have the advantage for the assault here - jump packs trump Fleet.

The gates open!

The Blood Angels resist the red thirst. Never mind the advantage +2 on the roll to assault - the Nids win the roll 6-3 in style. Furthermore the Blood Angels fail the 4+ roll required to start in cover. This could get nasty folks...

Eschewing ranges combat, the 11 'stealers leap into combat and use their Initiative 6 to carve into the flying Marines. In a flurry of dice rolls, including rerolling all failed wounds, they inflict 13 normal wounds and 5 rending wounds on the poor Angels. Wound allocation trickery softens the rends to 3 kills - both flamers get double rends allocated. 3 other marines fail their saves - including the Sergeant with power fist.

The 4 remaining Assault Marines land 5 hits, 3 of which wound, converting to 2 kills. The marines flee the assault, but are not caught despite a significant Initiative advantage, so the battle continues.

Round 2 and the Genestealers only manage 7 wounds, with no rending 6s. 2 Marines fail their saves, leaving only 2 to to swing back. They get 3 hits and manage to convert this to 2 deal 'stealers. The round is a draw.

Now reduced to 7 models, the Tyranids inflict a healthy 6 wounds on the remaining couple of marines. They die.

Aftermath: The Blood Angels had nothing to threaten their opponents, especially when faced with such a lethal first turn effort on the Genestealers' part. Even if they had won the charge, without Furious Assault and Feel no Pain granted by a Sanguinary Priest in proximity they are a shadow of their normal selves.

Friday, June 17, 2011

Squad Smackdown - Dark Angels vs Dark Eldar

If you don't know the rules, here they are.

In the Red Corner: 10 robed Space Marines stand around mysteriously. One wields a flamer, and the sergeant is equipped with a massive power fist crackling with raw energy. (195 points)

In the Blue Corner: Evil, nasty, sadistic, drugged up Dark Eldar Wyches are bouncing off the walls ready for an arena fight - 15 of them in total. One wears a hydra gauntlet, and the Hekatrix wields an Agoniser and wears a strap-on Phastasm Grenade Launcher.

The Wyches roll for the effects of their combat drugs and get a 4 - they will be rerolling failed to-wound rolls throughout the bout. Due to their Fleetness the Wyches have the advantage to go first.

The gates open!

Thursday, June 16, 2011

Squad Smackdown: Space Marines vs Grey Knights

If you don't know the rules, here they are.

In the Red Corner: 9 recruits from the Crimson Fists chapter accompanied by a Veteran Sergeant rocking a power fist and combi-flamer. The scouts are wielding pistols and combat blades, obviously hoping that extra attack will compensate for a lack of power armour. They are hard to see as they are all equipped with camo-cloaks.

In the Blue Corner: 5 Grey Knight Terminators stand ready to purge the Daemon and bring the pain. Each wields a towering halberd.

Neither squad has advantage on the roll to go first - outflanking was not ruled to be clearly more likely to get the charge.

The gates open!

Wednesday, June 15, 2011

Squad Smackdown: Imperial Guard vs Daemons

If you don't know the rules, here they are.

In the Red Corner: A platoon of 25 Imperial Guardsmen, inspired to fanaticism by the bolt pistol of a Commissar. Carrying a total of six flamers (!), they will be a terrifying proposition if they get the assault.

In the Blue Corner: Huh? There is nobody here. Can you hear hellish screaming in the distance?

The gates open!

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

Squad Smackdown: Orks vs Eldar

If you don't know the rules, here they are.

In the Red Corner: 30 Ork Boyz eager to "smash sum gurly elves". Who needs a Nob when you have the numbers? (180 points)

In the Blue Corner: 19 Eldar civilians have donned armour and weapons for the good of the craftworld - accompanied by a Warlock with the Enhance power. These amateur warriors don't look entirely comfortable about being here. (200 points)

Both units have access to Fleet, so there is no advantage given to the roll to assault.

The gates open!

Monday, June 13, 2011

Squad Smackdown: Necrons vs Space Wolves

If you don't know the rules, here they are.

In the Red Corner: 11 mindless Necron Warrior automatons stand motionless, ready to activate. Can they make their Feel No Pain roles? (198 points)

In the Blue Corner: 10 Grey Hunters with 2 flamers, a wolf banner and 2 power swords are drunk and spoiling for a fight. I'm starting to feel sorry for those Necrons... (185 points)

Neither squad has an advantage to get the charge.

The gates open!

Sunday, June 12, 2011

Squad Smackdown: Black Templars vs Chaos Space Marines

If you don't know the rules, here they are.

In the Red Corner: 8 Black Templar Initiates with 8 Neophytes, all armed with a bolt pistol and additional close combat weapon. The original marine horde squad frothing with righteous zeal.

In the Blue Corner: 9 Frenzied Khorne Bezerkers pulling at their chains in anticipation. Unrivaled on the charge, but either way this should be a slaughter fit for the blood god.

Neither squad has an advantage to get the charge.

The gates open!

Saturday, June 11, 2011

Last Chance to Win!

Hi readers - its your last chance to guess who will be winning the Squad Smackdown so check the link and pick a winner in your comment if you haven't already.

Its only hours away so act now - winner gets a nicely painted model from the winning squad!

Friday, June 10, 2011

40k Battle Tactics: The Art of the Turn 1 Assault

One thing that people never expect, and hope never happens to them, is being assaulted by their opponent before they have even started their first turn. Most players don't realise it can even happen, and of those players who know that it can technically happen, most don't rate the unit they think will be the one assaulting.

There are a few key components to the turn 1 assault and making it work for you, and not all armies have the ability. The first component is a fast moving unit with scout. Infiltrate will not get the job done, nor will a unit on foot with scout, as you have to end your scout move outside of 12" of your opponent, so you will never be in charge range. So usually what this means is you need to have scout bikes, or something of the like. The second key component is to have an independent character (or multiple if possible) that has an assault vehicle. The most common army that can do this are Space Marines or Space Marine equivalents such as Grey Knights (ie. Land Raider). There are other armies which have the same capabilities, but I will focus on these for the examples provided. The final component is knowing how to sling shot independent characters.

Monday, June 6, 2011

3 New 40k Podcasts

It's seems like 40k podcasting is experiencing a Renaissance. New podcasts are appearing overnight and starting to fill up my "To Listen" pile. Well I have made good progress getting through them in the last week but if this keeps continuing I am going to have to start making some hard decisions about my podcast diet :)

The first new podcast on the block is Preferred Enemies. I have listened to 4 episodes and a bonus now and I've got to tell you - I'm totally hooked! The hosts are down to earth and just doing a great job of providing interesting content. I think I just really relate to them. Their discussion on the current calls for a GW boycott was open-minded and level headed.

The second podcast is Screaming Heretic, a "sister" podcast of Eternal Warriors (aka Dice Like Thunder for the old school out there). The hosts are friends with the EW crew - girlfriend in one case. Huh? Yes that's right, this one has GIRLS. Huh? Yes, that's not a typo, it's a plural. Last time I heard girls on a 40k podcast was that hobby segment they used to have on DLT - and someones partner delivering fresh muffins on 40KUK. I've only listened to a couple of episodes so far, it's been mostly a "get to know you" so far. Stand by for more opinions...

The final podcast I hasn't actually listened to yet, so this one is at your own risk :) Told you I was getting behind in my podcast listening queue. It originally started out also being called Preferred Enemies (!) but that obviously wasn't going to work. Check out Tyrant's Due. I'm downloading the 4 available episodes now from iTunes...

Hope you find these little updates helpful. If you haven't seen the phenomenon that is the Squad Smackdown, check it out and place a bet on whose got the best CC troops in 40k - there are prizes to be had!

Saturday, June 4, 2011

Squad Smackdown: Place Your Bets!

The Smackdown is coming in six days and now is the time to get your bets in...I'm giving away a custom painted model to the winner!

Please check the original post to learn all about it.

And If any of my fellow bloggers out there would consider posting a note about the Smackdown it would be much appreciated. A good fight needs an audience :)

Friday, June 3, 2011

Introducing "Squad Smackdown": You Could Win a Prize!

There's been a recent spate of people running tournaments between special characters from all the Codices, eliminating the losers until a single winner is reached. I saw this first on the blog The 40k Project, and more recently in a segment on the "40K UK" podcast. This is helped by the fact that there are sixteen current Codices - the perfect number for an elimination tournament!

Now "A Plague Spreads" wants a piece of the action, but I am going to do things a little differently. My contestants won't be the superheroes of the 41st millennium, but rather those army workhorses, the lowly troops units. I'm going to take one unit up to 200 points from each Codex and battle them against each other according to the following rules.

In the spirit of "steal the initiative" I won't be doing what I've seen elsewhere, where everyone counts as assaulting. Instead a random roll will determine the aggressor, modified by the units maneuverability. As this unit will also get to fire any weapons if possible before assault, it's going to be a huge advantage. Luckily the defender gets a random chance of being in cover!

So... who's got the best troops?

Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Codex: Harlequins

May I present for your my vision of the Harlequins in 40k. This is something I have been working on for a while, but it is not well play-tested. Points values may need tweaking, so I would greatly appreciate any feedback that you have.

Codex: Harlequins
by Plague Marine
  • Requires Codex: Eldar and Codex: Dark Eldar.
  • Rules for Warp Portals and Shadow Fields taken from Codex: Dark Eldar.
  • Rules for Hallucinogenic Grenades taken from Codex: Grey Knights. 
The mysterious Harlequins live within the webway, sworn guardians of the Black Library. The may emerge at any time or place to perform, or wage war, with exquisite grace.

Monday, May 23, 2011

40k Battle Tactics: Sling Shotting

Plague Marine has asked me to join the Plague Spreads team to provide some insight into some of my battle tactics in Warhammer 40,000. Here is the first of hopefully many techniques that can help get you across the line in a tough game.

So "Sling Shotting", what is it? Sling Shotting is when you use an independent character to get a unit closer to the enemy or an objective. The technique works exactly the same in reverse, using a unit to get an independent character closer to the enemy. This move can win games by itself. If you get to the last turn and you have a scoring unit just out of range for claiming an objective, if a fast moving independent character can get there to make coherency, it can be the difference of claiming or contesting an objective.

Friday, May 20, 2011

An Aussie Perspective on GW Pricing.

In case you rely solely on "A Plague Spreads..." for all your GW news, those bastards have switched all their metal to resin combined with a price rise of up to 25% on some models. Simultaneously they have banned their UK resellers from servicing customers from outside the EU.

First of all I want to give a heartfelt thank you to those of you in the northern hemisphere who are expressing their anger at the way us Aussie gamers are being treated by GW. Actually I am excited to see the blogging community responding to this crisis. Our international community might just be a new power in the fight for the rights of GW customers.

Thursday, May 19, 2011

Your Grey Knights Questions Answered!

With the number of questions emerging from the Grey Knights Codex increasing every day, Games Workshop have decided to nominate a member of our blogging community as the official arbitrator on all such queries. Until such time as the FAQ is released, any rulings published on this blog should be considered the source of truth during the arbitration of rules disputes.

If my Grand Master uses the Unyielding Anvil option of the Grand Strategy power on one or more of my vehicle units, are the targeted vehicles able to hold objectives like a non-vehicle troop?

Wednesday, May 11, 2011

New Podcast: 40K UK

If you have been listening to The 11th Company over recent months then you would have heard the "40K UK" segments. Its content covers the UK tournament scene hosted by Dave Symcox, with his trusty side-kick (who's name I can't remember - it's not my fault they have nothing about him on the website!). To be honest they have become a highlight of the podcast to me. So when I found out that Dave was ready to cast off a new podcast into the internet sea you can understand my excitement.

On The 11th Company the boys were basically reporting on their tournament experience. They live in Nottingham which is the home of Games Workshop, and the center of 40k activity in England and perhaps the world! The segments consisted of them discussing the outcome of each tournament they attended, and Dave interviewing opponents and others live at tournaments. I like Dave's relaxed competitive outlook and enthusiasm for the game.

Thursday, May 5, 2011

A Six-pack of Themed 750pt Lists

There is tournament here in Melbourne called Judgement Day that I have attended for the last three years. It is a unique event on the calendar - five 750 point games in a single day packs in the fun and makes for a great variety of games. The atmosphere among the 60+ attendees is great and I have enjoyed every game played so far.

Each year I have taken a different army: Plague Marines, then Vanilla Marines, then Tau last year. Here are the lists I am considering to take this year. The event is heavily comped, but that is panel comp so you get a fair score for your list, not an unfair score from a losing opponent. So bear in mind I'm trying to make lists that are interesting and fit to a theme, but still competitive.

Saturday, April 30, 2011

List Fu: Dante's Blood Angels 1750

A new player posted on our club forums with his Blood Angels list. Here's the advice I gave...

Thursday, April 28, 2011

Draigo-Wing Analysis Part 3: Support

We come to the third and final installment of this series. What additional units are we going to take to support our handful of uber-troops? We must ensure that our choices shore up the weaknesses of our existing units, without providing new weaknesses for the enemy to exploit. The biggest weakness is a lack of melta and ranged anti-tank. Close to that is a weakness to Strength 8 and above - especially in large volleys.

Let's start by discounting strike squads, interceptor squads and purgation squads. Firstly because they don't fit the theme as I see it, but mainly because I don't want to add softer targets for enemy anti-infantry weapons. I have held back on skipping Purifiers simply because they are so awesome. Squads of 5 in rhinos with 2 psycannons will make a useful contribution against mech and hordes, and the Rhino chasis provide valuable cover for your Dreadnoughts as they advance. Add halberds to taste.

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Coming Up - Codex: Harlequins

See here for my previous post on how I approach fan codices.

I've been sitting on the draft of my Harlequin fan codex for a while. There were a few unique challenges building a 'dex for this army, and I've spent the time I needed to think these things through. This is going to be a draft codex - it has not been playtested and is definitely not intended for competitive gaming at this point. Harlequins are a unique elite army and only experience will tell how balanced it is against the huge variety of forces out there.

The old Harlequins were among the first models I bought when I started playing 40k back in '92. I loved the rich fluff but the paint jobs were too much for my inexperienced fingers :) The fluff of this army is first class and it's a pity that Games Workshop have not continued to support the army since the release of the experimental codex in 3rd edition.

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Draigo-Wing Analysis Part 2: Paladins

Running Paladins as troops is the whole point of your Draigo-Wing army, and the only way to justify Draigo's points cost. A Paladin is basically a 2 Wound Terminator that cost an extra 15 points, but gets a few bonuses thrown in. WS 5 is very tasty as they are now hitting most enemies on 3s, and free weapons upgrades mean that you can rock halberds and hammers to your heart's content. Like Purifiers, they can take two special weapons per five models - yay! Finally they can master-craft any weapon for 5 points - worth it for psycannons as you will nearly always miss with one of those four dice, probably not for melee weapons.

So what size squad are you going to take? Well you need psycannons, so 2 5 man squads are a must. Take 2 psycannons, then make sure that you mix and match weapons, so that every model is differently equipped, to get the most out of wound allocation shenanigans. There is one reason why you might want to master-craft a melee weapon - it lets you take 4 halberds. Halberds are awesome (but useless with The Quickening) and that you should always take one hammer in case of Dreadnoughts - don't forget that it is S10 with Hammerhand. It could be worthwhile to master-craft that hammer too if you have the points spare.

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Draigo-Wing Analysis Part 1: Characters

Now that I have had a couple of games with Draigo and his Paladin pals I've been thinking quite a bit about the options available within the list.

Let's start by looking at Draigo and what he can bring to the party. He's good in close combat but not exactly the monster his points cost would suggest, with 4 S6 (with Hammerhand) Init 5 attacks. He's a Level 2 Psyker but without the awesome powers of the Librarian, he'll be casting Hammerhand for his squad, letting them activate force weapons or drop a Holocaust before assault. He also has a S5 AP- flamer attack for some horde cleansing. His most useful power is Psychic Communion, letting you add +/-1 to reserve rolls. More on that later...

The most obvious benefit is his defensive capabilities: Toughness 5, 3++, Eternal Warrior and 4 Wounds makes him slightly better than Lysander in this regard. Missiles, lances, lascannons and meltas all get allocated to this guy first, until he reaches 1 Wound of course. Don't forget that with only one Paladin left the unit goes up to Toughness 5. Paladin squads without a wound soak like Draigo are begging to be purged with Strength 8.

Friday, April 15, 2011

If You Can't Beat 'Em... Draigo Wing Battle Report

Well my post/rant last week about the unbalanced aspects of the Grey Knight codex certainly drew a lot of comment. I spent some time this week brushing up on the Space Wolf Codex and came up with 3 lists that I would like to try to power up my poor Crimson Fists; one drop pod heavy, one fully mech and a hybrid list with a single pod. What is absolutely awesome is that I can take a squad of 4 Long Fangs with heavy bolters for 95 points - 55 points less than from the vanilla codex! If you don't know, this is the traditional Devastator loadout for the Crimson Fists, but is only actually a viable option from the Wolves codex *sigh*.

At my local FLGS we are all very easy going when it comes to counts-as and proxying. This is a great way  of making sure that club members get an opportunity to play against all sorts of lists that we might not have the required models for. Anyway by the time I found an opponent and had to pick a list, I had the urge to try my own hand with these acursed Grey Knight. My opponent was up for it so I pulled out 10 Terminators and started proxying :) The Crimson Wolves will have to wait for another day...

You can see the list here. There is something liberating about playing with 4 units and 14 models! The games run so quickly I easily fit two casual games into about 2.5 hours. My opponents for the evening were A) the same guy as last week, playing relatively the same Grey Knights list but with Psyfleman dreads this time; and B) a chaos list with oblits, plague marines, Abaddon, land raider and lash prince.

Monday, April 11, 2011

Grey Knights Killed No-Comp?

Well I played my first game against the new code this week, using my Lysander Drops In list - and all my fears were realised. Because of the unholy power of Interceptor squads with scout, my deployed forces were tabled in ten one before I even got a go! We shook hands and restarted the same game, this time I was forced to put my Devastators in reserve so that they could not be alpha-struck.

Jesus Christ how are you supposed to play with a deep strike army when confronted with Warp Quake? If you have not encountered this perverted rule, it causes all units to mishap if they deep strike within 12" of a Grey Knight Strike or Interceptor squad. I've just spent $100 on drop pods, are they useless in the metagame now? What kind of rules designer creates a rule that completely hoses a common play style that is not even very competitive? Don't they know that Daemons have no option but to deep strike? Does anyone in GW actually care for the quality of this game? It's an obviously crap rule.

Monday, April 4, 2011

Adepticon Results: Space Wolf Victory!

For those of you who are interested, the Adepticon 40k championship was won a few hours ago by a Space Wolf player, against an Imperial Guard opponent. Well done Tony Kopah on what must be a sweet victory after a grueling couple of days with 8 games played. This is actually the same guy who won the NOVA open last year, so obviously extremely talented. Two positions in the American ETC team were up for grabs to the top players of this tournament - I wonder if he'll be joining up?

I actually got up at 3AM (down here in Australia) to watch the games broadcast live! Sat down and did some painting whilst watching and listening to the Independent Characters' ustream broadcast. It was fun to be a part of, but in all honesty it was difficult to follow and thus kind of boring. The overhead view was good but next time include the whole table guys! If they could mike up the players then the whole experience would improve immensely, as we could tell what was going on with every roll. As it was it left a lot to be desired. Mike up the players!

The semi finals were Orks vs Wolves and IG vs Nids. Great to see a variety of Codices in the top four - pity that it lead to such a typical final lineup. It was great to watch the speed of these players, there was a two hour time limit and they were racing through their turns - especially the Ork player! There is no way I could play that fast with any semblance of tactical acumen.

Saturday, April 2, 2011

Cheap-As Counts-As Paladins

As a self-confessed Terminator lover, I was really itching to build myself a Grey Knight Terminator army ever since the Codex rumours started. When stories of 2 wound Terminator Troops did the rounds my ears perked up, as I realised that an army of these guys could be bought incredibly cheaply. I started to look through my collection to see what I could sell to finance another army.

Today I had the sudden realisation that I basically already have all the models I need. I just need to pick up a new batch of magnets, and a few weapon options I don't already have, and mod my Loyalist Terminators up so that they can fill the role of Grey Knight Paladin on the battlefield.

Why go out and buy a set of models that are virtually identical to the models I already own - including another 2 rifleman dreads? The answer would be for the modeling and painting potential, and to avoid confusion. Well I am happy with my Crimson Fists from an appearance perspective, and am sure I can do the modeling to overcome any confusion in the counts-as department. Besides, the list I am going to build has 14 models so how much confusion could there be?

Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Space Marine Scouts

Today I'll be giving Space Marine Scouts the unit analysis treatment. It has turned into a bit of an essay so prepare yourself...

Scouts are pseudo-marines that have yet to complete the cornucopia of operations involved in the transformation of a man into ubermench. Basically they are going through a second puberty. The marines employ these "boys" in a scouting capacity.On the battlefield scouts provide a cheap scoring unit or distraction. While their grown up brethren charge around the battlefield in boxes of steel, spare a thought for the token scout squad siting in the backlines nursing an objective.

This review is for the scouts in Codex: Space Marines, but most of it will apply to scouts from the Dark Angels and Blood Angels codices - just remember that other scouts are Elites so take up a valuable Force Organisation slot and don't score. The Dark Angel scouts have BS and WS 4.

Friday, March 25, 2011

Lysander Drops In - Legally!

(this follows on from my previous post.)

I had a lot of fun playing with my illegal drop pod list, but I guess I'm going to have to make something legal if I want to get games in the future. Having to drop 100 points AND upgrade to a full tactical squad has forced some hard decisions. In the end I made the call to drop down to 2 scoring units. Sure one has 2+ saves, and the other is coming in from reserves, but it will still be a challenge winning objective games with minimal scorers.

This is why I LIKE playing at 1500 points, you can't have everything you want so you have to make the hard choices. Sure games can be a little one-sided at times, but they can also be exciting as you both exploit weaknesses in the other's forces.

Thursday, March 24, 2011

Lysander Drops In

(Not my model - but I have the model undercoated - will be lots of fun to paint too!)

I want to share an army list idea that I have been thinking about recently. It started with the following idea for what I believe is an absolutely sick list at the humble 750 point mark. I was thinking of taking this to Judgement Day, which is a 750 point tournament I have enjoyed immensely for the last 3 years. Then I remembered it is comped (panel comp), and taking Tau last year got me the second highest comp score... so maybe not.

Saturday, March 19, 2011

An Exciting New Podcast

It's turning out that the things I want to see in 40k are actually happening. Firstly, an FAQ for Dark Angels was released that makes an all terminator force a competitive reality. Now the 40k Basement podcast crew are back in the game! If you don't know what I am talking about, check out my podcast reviews - you have some episodes to download.

Well the new show is El Pee and The Man, and actually it's just Mr Hyde and Parker from the 40k Basement. These two guys are hilarious and have great chemistry together. They are actually doing a live show with video (of them sitting on a couch), and releasing this as a live stream, as YouTube video, and as a podcast. Each hour of the podcast is a different download, because there is an hour in the middle of the live show where they eat pizza, drink beer, and interact with listeners through the chat feature.

Monday, March 14, 2011

Scratch Built Thunderfire Cannon - Part 1

I've always wanted to try out the stupendous firepower of the Thunderfire Cannon on the battlefield. Sadly the only time I proxied one it died in the first turn of shooting and never got to return fire :( Sure it's fragile, but that is mitigated somewhat by the 60" range and 3+ cover save that it is hopefully getting.

I was donated an already painted Techmarine a few years ago. I was playing him as Master of the Forge for my Terminator/Dreadnought list. So I have that covered, and it seemed that scratch building a Thunderfire Cannon to go with him shouldn't be too hard... The theme of my Crimson Fists army is "cheap", so the idea fits that perfectly :) I have never done a scratch build before, so don't expect anything wondrous. I should be able to scale the lofty peak of "servicable" however.

Here are the bits I am going to use. The tracks and engine plate come from an old Ork vehicle, a Razorback roof plate and gun casings (i think?) and a bunch of bits kindly donated to the project by Battle Bunker Aki (including the punisher cannon - thanks mate!)

Wednesday, March 9, 2011

A Tale of Free Models: Pay It Forward

I've had this post on the back-burner for a while, but it has been made especially relevant by Miniature Wargame Conversions recent Pay It Forward giveaway bonanza.

It was nearly a couple of years ago when something happened that rejuvenated my 40k model collection. I had been slowly building a Crimson Fists chapter through second hand models. The army started with a great purchase of Space Marine bits that I managed to build about 30 marines from, some bikes and Terminators too. I also used the old Rhino chasis in order to keep costs down.

Monday, March 7, 2011

Are Dark Angels the new Space Wolves?

I got into a discussion at my FLGS about the merits of the new post-FAQ Deathwing army. After the recent Battle Bunker Crash tournament was won by Ray's Deathwing force (and not just won - he was in the vicinity of 15 points ahead of second place, out of 120 total!) a friend of his was saying he thought it was the most powerful army around. He was disappointed that the FAQ had not balanced the points values along with new cyclone missile launcher and typhoon missile launcher stats. My reaction was that it is nice to have a new army that can compete at the top level - also I have a soft spot for Terminators, and had been dreaming of the FAQ being released for years!

The basic idea of such a force is that you take lots of thunder hammer / storm shield terminators with cheap cyclone missile launchers, and spam the cheap Land Speeder Typhoons. Cheap Venerable Dreads are another option that might be viable. I didn't play Ray's army, but at a non-comp event I might field something like this:

Friday, March 4, 2011

Finally Getting my Blogging into Gear

Apologies for the meta article. Hopefully there is someone out there who gets motivated enough to update their blog too!

Now that I've been blogging for nearly six months I realised that there were a bunch of things I was failing at. In the last couple of days I have been doing the following:

  • I was confused by a disconnect between Google Reader and blogs I am following in blogger, which I have finally got my head around. So now the list in my blog roll is the blogs I am actually following!
  • I have asked around a couple of placed to get on other blog rolls, and applied to the BOLS Alliance to appear on their front page blogroll. Already I am seeing a lift in my hits.
  • I am working my way through the GDMNW 40k Blogdex (seriously hard name to remember guys!) and finding some great new sites to add to my reading. I've also purged some of the sites that haven't been doing it for me.
  • I am going to go through all the blogs in my Blog Roll and add myself as a subscriber, something I should have been doing from the outset!