Friday, 24 July 2015

Space Marine Tracked Bike Conversion and 40k Battle!

So a little while since I last blogged, and with good real life reasons too that I shan't bore you with... but lets hope I can get into a bit more of a routine again soon! Today I show off my latest addition to the Krohmus Guard Chapter, a tracked bike conversion!

When I saw the Kataphron Servitor kit, I'll have to crudely admit, I had a boner. So many ideas flew into my mind and I hastily saved up some money to get a box. Ideas involve widening for a dreadnought, thunderfire cannon battery and also, a bike conversion. My Chaplain on bike conversion consisted of using a Ravenwing bike from the Dark Vengeance set, so I searched my bits to see what I had left. I found the bodies of two bikes, but no handlebars. Straight on ebay to order some! Looking at the Kataphron kit I made the tracks and noticed that turned around, the bike looked like it would fit on there with not too much filling needed. The saw came out and I cut the bike at an angle, and then glued it onto the tracks. On the bottom I cut a little sprue just to add some support to the join. With the handle bars arriving I could then add the arm to see how it looked.

Next, I filled in the joins and chose a weapon for the rider, who I wanted to be a captain/chapter master/Korsarro Khan model. While chatting to Bam, he mentioned he had a halberd from a GK set, and it seemed a good idea. Halberd taken! I had a scarred head from the sternguard kit left over with some nice shoulder pads, and the job was done!

Heres how he looked before paint, think the weapon works well!

View from the top, showing the bits I added to make an engine of sorts, mainly to cover the hole where the servitor body would be. 

This is the model based, I decided to put him on a base instead of standing freely, just thought it would fit the rest of my army more doing so. 

And here he is almost finished! I'm pretty chuffed with how he looks, and am now wondering whether to should make some attack bikes in a similar manner. I probably wont, but the previous ideas will likely happen, with the dreadnought being an Ironclad seeing as I don't have one yet!

The new addition was also built and painted in time to face Alun, who had come back from graduating at university! And also with a much larger collection of Imperial Guard... uh oh! 

Heres how things looked after deployment. We both had 3000pts of troops, I'd taken a battle company with a first company formation of three squads of terminators, two shooting units and one assault, and also three drop pods, three rhinos all being free because of the battle company. Always nice! In total, using the Ultramarins tactics, this gave me 2 Devastator Tactics, 2 Assault Tactics and 4 Tactical Doctrines to use. They proved rather useful too! 

 My main concerns about Aluns army was the two basilisks on my right flank, their range could cover the whole table and do a lot of damage, the Wyverns on the right were able to mush up troops if allowed, and the maount of heavy weapons teams controlling the centre. Pask in a Vanquisher wasn't a nice sight either! The plan was to strike as a space marine should, hard and fast!

Aluns first turn was a mix, I don't think he did as much damage as he'd have liked but two rhinos were destroyed or immobilised, my large biker unit was damaged quite a bit, and his assassin took a couple of my devastators out in the central bunker. It definitely hurt! Time to strike hard!

And then I drew objectives and the plan changed.... I had picked up the objective where if I controlled every objective I could gain S3+3 vps. This was too tempting.... Its a really hard card to acheive and I felt compelled even though it meant changing my plan. My predators moved up to get control of a central objective, as did my smaller biker unit who were just in 3" to claim. Next, my first two drop pods thundered down and landed well next to the objectives Alun had, and I was able to take his units off and claim them. Job done! I ended up with 8 vps on my first turn, but I wasn't able to target the units I wanted to go for and would now have to weather a very violent storm!

My bikers were soon depleted as was my newly built captain, but they did take a lot of attention away from other units. All rhinos were now destroyed, with 8 tactical marines sneaking up the left flank to support my scouts. Aluns Callidus assassin broke into the bastion controlled by my devs and tore into them, although one combat phase saw a stalemate as he failed to wound, bonus! A massive unit of conscripts entered my left flank, 50 I think in total with commissar and priest who were partly to blame for my lack of bikers. A couple of my predators were damaged by basilisk shots, ractical squad on my right advanced into a lot of fire and only a few survived the wyvern barrage. I was hurt badly, but did have some help on the way. 

Two of my terminator units came down, the thunder hammer unit in amongst the tanks on my left flank and a shooty one in Aluns deployment to threaten the centre and regain an objective. My third drop pod came in to support the thunder hammer terminators and shoot up a guard unit that had recently come on from Aluns table edge. One of my favourite moments was putting a flamer template onto Aluns Conscripts, giving me 20 hits. Beautiful! I also charged into combat with them, and  a long drawn out combat erupted between the large amount of conscripts and my remaining tactical marines on that flank. The young guardsmen eventually taking down the marines but they were held up for several combat phases doing so.

As the battle went on, more of my army was taken apart. at one point it looked like I might get tabled, especially after Aluns one wyvern took a shot at my central terminator unit, caused 0 wounds, to which I rolled 5 ones. I'm not even surprised at trolls like that anymore! My other terminator squad came down however with the librarian and was able to take out Aluns Warlord, and I managed to get at least one VP every turn, with Alun catching up with me as the game went on. Chronus' predator was taken out, and the remaining one was wrecked. They'd survived well but I didn't get enough damage out of them, although they had helped me to get the vps at the start by advancing onto the central most objective. My snipers, with BS4 now still missed a lot, but they did quieten a couple of Aluns heavy weapons teams throughtout the game. 

The game ended and I think the final score was 18-13 to me. No doubt if the game went on longer it would have been even closer, and I think Alun can claim a moral victory with how much damage he did to my army! 

So some thoughts about the Battle Company.

Free transports are a nice touch, and its making me want to mount everything in a drop pod. 

Tactical Doctines are definitely a good thing, being able to reroll so many bolter gun shots really helped, especially when I remembered to use them! 

As good as the battle company was however, you may get just as much efficiency from choosing other units that are more specialised over rerolls, say taking sternguard for example with their ammo over usual bolt guns. It was nice though that taking a battle company with less of the specialised units played to the fluff of Space Marines, being versatile and stick in the fight even if it looks grim. 

Predator squadrons are ok, although I forgot tank hunters. Oops! Like I mentioned I reduced their effectiveness after going for the big scoring objective on the first turn, which meant moving them forward but I think it was worth it. Three of them firing at an enemy tank squadron would have done a lot more damage  I'm sure! 

Basilisks get a bad rep, I don't see people use them much at all but I've always been intrigued with them and Aluns did pretty well, taking out several bikers, damaging my predators leaving them stunned or shaken and just being a terror! 

All in all a great game, and it was just nice to use a battle companies worth of marines in a regular, if larger than normal game of 40k. We're hoping to get a little campaign together, and we've also got a couple of new members who enjoy 40k so expect more battle reports in the future hopefully featuring orks and Iron Warriors. Plus we've got a small Chaos Force going in club that I'll slowly be painting, and I've just bought a Marauder bobmer thats in a roughed up condition that I'll making into terrain... so lots to come soon!