Friday, 20 July 2012

The Power of Fluff

(Image by Games Workshop)

Fluff, is a wonderful thing. Its what makes our hobby such a rich and meaningful past-time. Without any background our games would be meaningless encounters of dice rolling, which, lets be honest, would be horrendous.

It pains me sometimes to see people complain about what GW have written in terms of backstory for a race. There was a recent topic on a 40k page on Facebook I sometimes check where people were complaining about the Necron fluff and how it had changed, which meant they didn't like them anymore. Apparantly going from 'we take your life force and exterminate everything' to 40k Tomb Kings' wasn't good enough for this guy and many others who agreed with him. So basically, they've gone from mechanical zombies into a sad story of a race fallen from grace.... Ahem... really? 

But anyway, do any of you have similar things that you're upset about when it comes to background? What about area's you wish were more covered and would love GW to expand upon and deepen? I've often wanted more about the Squats, not neccessarily to bring them back as an army, but just a nice amount of backstory as to what exactly happened, a proper send off shall we say? Perhaps if this existed GW wouldn't have to sigh everytime someone asked "are the Squats coming back?" as people would have read enough about them to know what exactly went on. 

Another question for you fine fellows and ladies to ponder...

If you could add your own fluff to the 40k universe, what would it be? I love reading peoples ideas in this regard and would love to see some of yours. Perhaps you've already written some background for your Imperial Guard regiment, Chaos Space Marines band, or Ork armies? If so, I'd very much appreciate it if you could link it in the comments, I'm surely not the only person who loves the fan fiction style fluff of 40k!

Blood of the Martyrs

So Thursday night myself, Morgan, and Alun, took a trip to Firestorm in Cardiff. Its a wee shop with a huge selection of games and mini's for sale, and a nice big room out the back for playing games on. If you've read my blog you'll already have seen some of the awesome terrain they have there! Seeing as there were 3 of us, we looked for a mission to do.

Morgan suggest Blood of the Martyrs, which is in the back of the 6th rulebook and has the special rules for the Tau attack on an Imperial outpost. Myself and Alun would have 4500 points to Morgans 3000. Narratively we think Space Wolves with Eldar allies is a bit naughty, so instructed by Castellen Crowe Alun's Grey Knights and Imperial Guard (Crowe was the only GK bar a dreadnought!) and my Space Marines we would oust these traitors from a holy Imperial Cathedral!

Well... try.......

Morg set up and spread his units around. The more ground we had to cover to longer it would take to wipe him off the board. Varying degrees of success were available but we HAD to wipe him off the board in 7 turns. Or we would fail. We had only a little room to set up on but most of our units were either to deep strike or in Transports. Due to my bad luck on Monday I decided not to outflank Khan and some of my other units and go for a more direct approach and deploy at the start.

Deployment! Left flank was less threatening to us so we concentrated more on the right where Eldrad and his seer council were, plus a Wolflord on Thunderwolf and his flock of dogs were. Head on attack! 

So we would get the first turn unless Morgan rolled a 6. Six. Alun points out that Castellan Crowe would force Morgan to re-roll this thankfully, we need the first turn! What did he roll? SIX. Jammy bugger! Morg uses this to his advantage by advancing with some of his harder to kill units to act as a roadblock and slow us down. Edlrad moves forward as does a land raider, a large unit of blood claws, and the Wolf Lord. 

I move my Land Raider up and the termies disembark to assault Eldrad. Shotting isn't too effective, couple of warlocks die, but not a lot else. My Termies with Chaplain then roll poor for the assault and fail to get into contact with the Eldar, meaning I'd be assaulted next turn with Eldrads choice of psychic attacks to beleagre me!

Turn 2, and Morg's wolf scouts come into play. And promptly blow up Alun's Land Raider.  Khan attacks Edlrad after the survival of one Terminator and 5 bikers die leaving Khan and a terminator to fight on. They're both killed soon after. *sigh!*

The games room.

Disembarking my tactical squads I blow up a rhino that has zoomed forward... and find theres nothing in there. Bugger! I really should remember to find out whats inside a transport in case they're empty, silly Kev. This then leaves us to attack by the Wold Lord and his wolves, who can move through cover. Fast little puppies! 

I roill for reserves, with four units to bring on probability wise thats 3 units. How many come on? One. Land Speeder strikes down near Morg's Land Raider but fails to blow it up, although it does penetrate with the multimelta thus taking the heavy bolters and a hull point off the machine. My vindicator manages to kill some of Morgs big Bloow Claw unit, and Alun's imperial guard are able to whittle Eldrad down. 

My Termies finally make it onto the board and leave just this guy of the Long Fangs.  Legion of the Damned and Storm Talon fail their rolls to come on. Bad Luck continues! Around about Turn four and myself and Alun are now hopeing to make this loss look respectable, we've taken a beating and not had much luck, surely these are not Sons of Russ but Luna Wolves using some fiendish disguise?

My termies are taken out by a mass of shooting, which means my hope of using them and the Legion of the Damned to attack the rear of Morg's army over. The problem I had from Monday's game was not having enough attacking at the same time, and it happened again. Perhaps I shouldn't bring things on from reserve so much, or at least not use them too much as part of my plan if I can't rely on them? We shall see!

So the Storm Talon eventually arrives, along with the Damned and are able to do some damage but it looks like it may be too little too late.The storm talon takes a couple of grey hunters down, but the Damned are badly mauled by gunfire and only four remain. They make it into combat and last two turns but are eventually killed.

Castellan Crowe and the Wolf Lord meet after the Space Wolves warlord brutally takes out a few of our units, and then kills Crowe Crowe however manages to get one last attack in and kills the Wolf Lord, and thank the Emperor! He may have rampaged through the Imperial Guard lines with ease. A Grey Hunter squad succumbs to a lot of firepower, and it looks like me and Alun have an outside chance of pulling this off!

Eldrad is finally fallen thanks to the Guard storm troopers who pour fire unrelentlessly at the Farseer and his Warlocks. They've taken a tremendous amount of abuse and it was good to see them die. Sky Claws are also taken down after they dispatched a Callidus assasin, thanks in part to the Guard firepower and my Stormtalon's frag missiles, which killed 4 of their number. The vindicator taken down 5 grey hunters and theres only two left, but theres another squad that are still fairly strong, along with a unit of pathfinders with their 2+ coversave... ARGH!

The defenders take refuge in the cathedral.

So whats left of our forces line up to try and vanquish the enemy. The Imperial Guard manage to take out 5 scouts, but two still survive. This shooting comes from two Storm Tropper units, a GK dread, and two Chimeras. I try to take out the Space Wolves, but the cover saves prove too much. In the end, 2 Eldar are left and 5 Space Wolves survive. We fail.

We didn't fail at having an awesome game though.There were a lot of cool moments in this game, although my memory is failing to remember a few as I was concentrating on my army and taking pictures, but hopefully Morg and Alun will remind me and I can edit some more in. I remember a lot of bad dice rolls again, fingers crossed I'm due for some luck soon! I just remembered the vindicare that took 7 rounds of shooting before finally dying by the pathfinders! Its a really good mission to play though, and I recommend it to anyone. I still have some elements of my force I need to learn to use, Khan and the bikes, the Termies I've been using by deepstriking so I may try deploying these at the start, plus I realised I took no plasma weaponry, which would have helped enormously. 

Next time Space Wolf scum!!!! *shakes fist*

Tuesday, 17 July 2012

Monday Night Gaming

And here we are once again, the day after a great battle has been fought. 

This week I had a 2500 point game versus Morgan and his Space Wolves, an army I hadn't yet fought. The Emporers Will was the missions, and deployment was Hammer and Anvil. We set terrain up previously and one wide edge was fairly empty... so when deployment was rolled I hoped to win. I didn't. All I had in my zone was two bastions (we used them as buildings but nothing more) and a hill. This could hurt! Morgan's zone was a lot more occupied, and would be hard to mount an attack. I deployed with most of my force held back. Taking Khorsarro Khan meant I could outflank, and by hell I'd need it with this deployment!

Morgan advanced and took a few shots, but killed nothing. I stayed where I was, and killed nothing. 

Turn one over! Turn two saw Morg bring on a unit of blood claws, a wolf guard in termie armour and a wolf priest in an outflank move, along with a unit of wolf scouts right next to the bastion I'd be using as my objective. This was nasty!

And nasty it proved to be. The tactical squad I had there killed a few wolf scouts but were torn apart by the big blood claw unit,  and the scouts were able to blow up the bastion, the 3 devastators left inside, and four of their own troops in the resulting blast. Myself and Morg found this to be hugely entertaining, as we'd only just discovered the seperate damage chart for buildings. Up it went taking loads with it, amazing!

Elsewhere my forces came on, but one tactical squad, Khan and the Storm Talon didn't show up. Land Raider with termies and Chaplain came on at Morgans rear, as did some regular Termies. The Legion of the Damned came on in front of Morgans Objective, which meant he had to choose between these and my termies which unit he attacked with his Wolf Lord. The Damned it was! There were too many attacks for the Damned to contain and were all brought to bay after 3 combat rounds. The Termies were able to kill the Eldar allies Morgan had taken, pathfinders and farseer and stayed on the objective. Morg then counterattacking brought his assault troops jumping over, who unleashed bolt pistols. I took 4 wounds, and failed THREE SAVES!!! Thats right, 3 ones showed up and I cried. This left one termie left and ten assault troops! Needless to say he died.

Khan, the tactical squad and the storm talon took until turn 4 to arrive, and it looked like it may be too late. My other termies were unable to have much affect on Morgs objective, but I threw the tactical squad up there to try and contest should the game end on turn 5. The Storm Talon and other devastator squad fired at the blood claws and were able to wipe them out after two rounds of shooting leaving Khan and his bikers to assault the wolf scouts and try to get the 6" or so they needed to claim my objective. If they did this, and the game ended, I'd have sneaked a win even though I'd lost much of my force. Morg had 2 points, first kill, and for having units in my deployment zone, where I only had one for having my units in Morg's zone. If I could claim the objective, I'd get a win. Khan attacked first, 4 dice and all I needed to roll were 3's. A one, and two two's sucked. But I did hit once. Anything but a one.... One. ARGH!!! C'mon bikers, do me proud. They killed one biker. The scout passed his leadership test and my bikers had failed miserably even though the odds were easily in their favour. Damn you dice gods!!!

Just to rub salt in my wounds, the game ended on turn 5. 2-1 to Morgan, a game that points wise, doesn't show just how much I lost! Morg still had half an army intact, whereas I had lost a lot of troops. I'm incredibly happy that I managed to get myself into a position to almost pull off a win however, as I really shouldn't have had a chance! Kudos to Morgan though, he played well. Very entertaining game and another loss in 6th edition, but I still think its much better than 5th. Just wanna get more games played!

Thursday, 12 July 2012

Talking about Tactics.

(image from Games Workshop)

So I've been thinking about some tactics recently... More specifically, Sternguard. I hink the special ammunition is a great option for them... but something else appeals to me more. Stormbolters. Why? 

2 shots and assault. Every time. A lot of people prefer the special ammo, or even combo-ing their guns with meltas, flamers etc. Boltguns are great, but they're rapid fire which means you can assault afterwards. Combi weapons are good, but a bit pricey when added up and they're all one shot per game. Stormbolters?

10 sterguard with 9 stormbolters and a power weapon... 19 shots, 3's to hit 4's to wound againts other marines. Probably kill about 3-4 marines going by probability. Then? Assault. 3 attacks each, plus four for the sarge who has a power weapon and bolt pistol... he'll kill one at least, plus with the 27 attacks you'll be hitting about 18, and wounding 9. If the enemy has a 3+ save they'll lose another 3 to those attacks plus the one from the sarge. Thats about 8 models in a ten man tactical squad dead. What I wanna try? Land Raider Crusader. Add the Hurricane Bolters to the above AND the assault cannon and you've got an enormous amount of anti infantry firepower. I've had boltguns take out bloodthirsters through sheer weight of firepower and this is similar in those terms. The problem? Costly! But I do love the idea of Stormbolter fire shredding enemies to bits and then assaulting whatevers left straight after! Imagine sticking a chaplain with these guys too to get the re-rolls to hit? Omnomnom!

Recently in a game we realised that you can no longer arrive from reserve and assault in the same turn. Is this good or bad? I think, its perhaps a good thing. Instead of keeping your units off the board and then counter attacking with a brutal assault you need to be more tactical by having them on from the start. This can be easy or difficult depending on transports, terrain etc. Towards the tail end of 5th edition I used Khan a few times and turned up in an outflank move and assaulted, well this can no longer be done! I now have to be more careful as to how I use him and his bikers, advance under cover? Park them up and let the enemy come? Well, not nessecarily.

Bikers now get Hammer of Wrath, which gives each of them an extra attack on the charge at initiative 10. The other good thing with 6th edition rules is the 'jink' ability. This gives all bikers who have moved, a 5+ cover save. This is extremely useful and when moving up the flank makes them almost as hard as Terminators. That can move 12" a turn. I think bikers are a much better unit now despite the restriction on asaualting from reserve. I never did get to try using Khan outflanking, escorted by a Storm Talon and then assaulting the survivors. Ho hum! 

I'm considering converting up a Librarian soon too, or even going for the Librarian in Terminator armour model. I've never used a psyker before so with the new rules it should provide an interesting lesson or twelve. 

In other news, I did some video editing! While exporting however my pc shut itself off. Turns out I need a bigger power pack to handle the exporting... so pennies need to be saved to get this upraded! Hopefully it won't take too long but money is a wee tight so we shall see. 

What tactics do you guys and gals like to use or what are you looking forward to trying?

Monday, 9 July 2012

YES! Club Night Games!

And so the second Club night for Sixth edition, and I find myself playing against one of the clubs better gamers. And I still haven't won. I'll go through my army list first. 

Chaplain, 5 Assault Termies, ALL Thunder Hammers, in a Land Raider. 
10 Legion of the Damned
2 Tactical Squads in Rhinos. 
10 Devastators with two Missile Launchers and two Plasma Cannons
Storm Talon
LandSpeeder with Multimelta and Assault Cannon
Dreadnought with Plasma Cannon

The Chaplain and Termies against Chaos Marines were to hold back and protect or be an attacking piece. LOTD do what they do best, hold the enemy up and contest objectives. Tactical squads to get objectives or add firepower, boltguns are lethal! Devasators to pick on troops or armour, depending on what Louis takes. Vindicator, well, you know how good these are! The Storm Talon would enter from reservesa and zoom to deal with anything it wanted, and the Land Speeder will deep strike and attack the heaviest armour the enemy can muster head on with assault cannon and multi melta.

Deployment! We get the crusade mission and four objectives to fight over, 2 in or near our deployment zones. I go first, and set up centrally and close to the right side objective. Louis places a dreadnought close to threaten my lines and so becomes a priority. The rest of his troops are further back.

Game On!

So the first turn and I manage to destroy the dread that threatens my right flank, the tactical squad sent many thanks! Most of my troops just get into better lines of fire, getting close to an army thats better in assault is silly to be fair! Louis sends a rhino speeding up, which I blow up in the second turn to reveal.... 4 terminators and a Chaos Lord. OUCH!! More fire decimates the retinue until only the lord is left who ducks into cover and then assaults out and destroys my vindicator. Bugger him! 

My Legion of the Damned come on, and even after the re-roll scatter off the board. Louis gets to place them in a crater right in front of his battleline. They roll bad and do little damage. In Louis' turn they get fired at.... 5 wounds, and I fail ALL of them. I start to feel this will be another loss! In good news however the tactical squad near the Chaos Lord disembark and take two of the Traitor's wounds from him, and then the storm bolter from the rhino finishes him off. Score! The Land Speeder deepstrikes down in front of the Chaos Land Raider and turns it to molten slag, Multi-melta doing the damage. This is huge as Huron Blackheart's retinue now have to do some footslogging. The Raptors come into play and prove a nuisance as they take a hull point from my Land Raider, but the Storm Talon proves annoying and is only hit once. 

The Land Raider then pounces upon Blackhearts retinue and unleashes the Chaplain and Termies. Battle is met! Huron challanges the Chaplain and I accept, and cause one wound after dodging the attacks of the heretic. The Terminators are brutal and kill the opposing Terminators, and close the net around a now panicked Huron. Two remaining Raptors try to save him by assaulting the terminators as the Tyrant Clasps the Chaplains chest and takes him out of the battle, just as the Thunder Hammers rise and fall upon his head, shattering the Tyrant's skull. The Raptors soon fall and the terminators continue to rampage through the chaos lines. The Storm Talon is eventually taken down, but the Chaos forces are beaten, 17 - 10 Victory Points! First game won of sixth edition!

Saturday, 7 July 2012

More 6th Gaming

So more gaming was had Thursday night, myself, Morgan, Owain and Alun from the club went to Firestorm Games in Cardiff. A great little shop and a nice big gaming room behind where you pay a few bucks to play for as long as you want, and they don't shut til 11pm. YES!

Myself and Alun had a 2500 points game, Evandalists vs Daemons and IG allies. The board we played on was really nice as you can see, although a future apology for the bad quality pictures as I was using my compact camera and its a bit dark in there. As befitting a gaming room!

I forget which mission we played, but it was very akin to capture and control from 5th edition. I set up, then Alun deployed his IG allies. 2 Leman Russ tanks and a squad of penal legion guard with a commissar. Then the Daemons came, and things went bad!

My three tactical squads, assault squad with chaplain, master of the forge, and ten man niper squad of scouts were all butchered. TTwo dreadnoughts and a vindicator all blown up with penetrating hits and rolls of sixes. My deployment zone was left pretty much empty! Kairos Fateweaver, a Bloodthirster, a Daemon Prince, and a large unit of Bloodletters and I'm not surprised either! Thinking my deployment zone was lost I outflanked my Captain with termies in a land raider and escorted by a stormtalon in to attack Aluns deployment zone. The Legion of the Damned teleported in and annihilated the troops holding Aluns objective. Game on! Alun's other Daemons came into play, a daemone prince now faced my Damned and a another large unit of bloodletters stood in front of my termies. In they went!

My captain was charged by a bloodthirster and of the four saves I needed to make I failed one, damn! Termies butchered the bloodletters, but the termies were then charged by the bloodthirster, Karios and the daemon prince and were killed. The Legion of the Damned killed the other daemon prince in combat, and the storm talon made frag missiles look impressive. 

The large bloodletter unit that had materialised in my deployment zone had about 14 models left, and the stormtalon swooped around and unleashed its typhoon missile launcher. Two frags detonated and there were only 4 left... wowser! The assault cannon fired, four hits.... 2's to wound.... 4 ONES!!!! ARGH!!! Hilarious moment though! Next turn the stormtalon again unleashed frags and the bloodletters were destroyed. I lost the game by a couple of points but had denied the enemy of either objective... Moral victory! Only the Land Raider and one legion of the damned trooper survived. 

What a fantastic game though, plenty of memorable moments like the assault cannon, being able to roll plenty of sixes to hit ALuns Flying monstrous creatures, and everything dying. Sixth edition is definately shaping up to be something special!

6th Underway!

And here we are. 6th edition is in full swing, FAQ's granted by the Emperor, and much tenderness for those d6's to give us the rolls we desire. And never get. At Tredegar Wargames Club we decided to celebrate by playing a series of games in a row, so everyone could see the rules being played and take it all in. I think it worked too. The general consensus is that they're a much better ruleset, the added depth a god-send and allies are allowing people to mix up their army lists.

Of course, I got to play too. I tried a small game with my nephew just to go through the basics so I could see some changes and my Nephew could see how it all worked. He beat me. Ha.Onto the main ame we played at the club, it was me and Josh, my nephew, against the old adversaries Bam and Jason. We used my Space Marine Evandalists, Bam used his Legion of the Damned, and Jase wheeled out the Eldar.

We played the Big Guns Never Tire mission which meant Heavy Support could capture objectives, of which there were three. A few things were forgot in this game, night fighting, gettinga 6+ save or Dispel against Psykers, which would have been useful going against a Farseer, and the way in which Fleet works. I forgot that you can no longer run and charge in the same turn, which Jase did and that helped them to win the game. But a fun game no doubt! Hull Points make so much more sense now, and I like how the missions work .

I also played another game against Bam, and again I lost. We did remember night fighting though! Another few things we forgot in this game too, I outflanked my chaplain and his 10 man assault squad, which allowed me to blow up Bams predator. In Bams turn, his 5 vanguard and captain assaulted my jump pack unit out of their razorback, which isn't allowed anymore. This was huge as my guys were wiped out, but it did prove to make the game more interesting! It was a really close game and I couldnt get enough wounds on bams squad that were contesting my objective to shift them. Ho hum!

Finally one of my Legion of the Damned... had a quick go at some atmospheric lighting and it doesn't look too bad... although it does show how bad my painting is!