Friday, 27 May 2011

Tau Expansion - Making Them Tournament Worthy(ish)

I really fancy a change of pace and a break from power armoured troops. Luckily my brother has tau and doesn't mind me working on them for him.

Here is my attempt at making them reasonable for tournaments and reasons behind my choices.

1 Shas'el with bonding knife, twin linked missile pods, flamer, hardwired drone controller and 2 shield drones. 1 shas'vre bodyguard with targeting array, twin linked missile pods = 170 points.

1 Crisis team leader with bonding knife, hardwired drone controller, 2 shield drones, twin linked missile pods and targeting array. 1 crisis suit with targeting array and twin linked missile pods = 146 points.

1 Crisis team leader with bonding knife, hardwired drone controller, 2 shield drones, fusion blaster, plasma rifle, multi tracker. 2 crisis suits with plasma rifles, multi trackers and fusion blasters = 226 pts.

1 Crisis team leader with bonding knife, hardwired drone controller, 2 shield drones, fusion blaster, plasma rifle, multi tracker. 2 crisis suits with plasma rifles, multi trackers and fusion blasters = 226 pts.

16 Kroot = 112 pts.

16 Kroot = 112pts.

9 Fire warriors and 1 shas'ui with bonding knife, mounted in a devilfish with disruption pods = 200 pts.

8 Pathfinders and 1 shas'ui with bonding knife, mounted in a devilfish with disruption pods = 208 pts.

1 Hammerhead, railgun, burst cannons, multi tracker and disruption pods = 175 pts.

1 Hammerhead, railgun, burst cannons, multi tracker and disruption pods = 175 pts.

Total = 1750 points.

The basic idea behind this is my 2+2+2+2 theory. Now tau are never going to be able to outshoot imperial guard and just can't take a beating like space marines, but what they do have are some nifty little rules and some supercharged guns. When creating any list for a tournament I try and ensure I have at least 2 units capable of fullfilling each role I need in game.

Firsty I need at least 2 units to take out transports at range. Deathrain crisis suits are perfect for this as twin linked BS4 autocannons are super. I will need elite slots for harder hitting units so my only option is to turn 1 squad into my commander and bodyguard which is fine.

Next I need something to take on marines and terminators. Helios suits fill this role well as plasma rifles and fusion blasters are AP 2 and 1 respectively. So 2 units of 3 suits are just what I need to finish up my elites choices.

Then I need battle tanks for both firepower and as distractions for enemy heavy weapons. Hammerheads are the best we can field and with disruption pods they have protection from shooting and with multi trackers giving the ability to shoot as if a fast vehicle, then it means I can still move 12" and shoot with the railguns... awesome. 2 of these please.

Lastly I need troops to hold objectives. I have to take a unit of fire warriors but don't want a static force so they get a devilfish so that they can act as a mobile reserve unit that I can hold back and use to fill any gaps or add weight of firepower to where I need it most. Secondly I need kroot. They are the only thing that can launch a proper assault and although not great, they can hold against eldar, IG, nids and dark eldar as long as they aren't dedicated assault troops. They also function as pretty good screens for my crisis suits.

So I have some spare points left. What do I spend them on? Well as it's a tournament list and objectives missions are going to form a large portion of the missions available then another troops choice is needed. I think 16 more kroot will do nicely to help shield my crisis suits and infiltrate ahead.

Now what every tau army can't really work without - a large unit of pathfinders to help with markerlight support. I prefer larger squads as BS3 is pretty unpredictable and more marker hits means more helios suits shooting at BS4 or BS5.

So there is a rundown of my list and ideas behind it. If you have any feedback then feel free to post.

My Insane Games Tournament Result

I was lucky enough to enter a local tournament last weekend at Insane Games in Bridgwater. It is the first I have been to in a long time and it made a change to actually enjoy meeting new people who had just entered the hobby and were still discovering everything that 40k has to offer. I didn't realise how much I had missed going to a proper club. I took the good old space wolves and with 1000pts packed into my case I headed to what I hoped was going to be a fun filled day.

Well I couldn't have been more pleased. There was a very relaxed mood to the whole thing and most of the people there were new(ish) to the game, or had been out of it for a while (like myself).

My first game was objectives against an eldar player who had an army made up of all the models he had so far. It was short and sweet with me winning 3 objectives to none after my long fangs killed most of his army with frag templates.

Game 2 was much more challenging as I faced a defiler, 2 squads of chaos marines, berzerkers in a rhino, abbadon and 2 obliterators! It was kill points and we were deploying on the short table edges so I was facing a long drive with my rhinos and lots of battle cannon and plasma cannon shots all the way. Luckily the game ended with a draw at 2 kill points each. Thankfully living lighting managed to kill his last obliterator and abbadon didn't turn up until turn 5.

Game 3 was against a very young marines player who I had a great time playing because it wasn't really much of a tournament game, but was more of a tutorial by me on how to get the most out of his army. At the end of it I had won but he was just as happy to have been given some helpful advice. The mission was basically assassinate the enemy HQ choice (and luckily this one wasn't taking Calgar).

Game 4 was a match up between the top 4 armies. We played a doubles game with my space wolves currently ranked 2nd and another chap with space wolves who was ranked 1st, taking on the two chaos players ranked 3rd and 4th. We massacred them... which was great as one of them was a real ass. He was a bully who was picking on some of the other younger lads there (he himself was only maybe 14), and he didn't like having to face a 22 year old and a 23 year old in a match up as he couldn't cheat his way to the top because we knew the rules so well.

Anyway he ended up 3rd and I stayed 2nd which was great considering I had a very average army compared to some of the stuff taken... I saw 2 abbadons and ragnar blackmane at 1000 points!

My list was -

1 rune priest, chooser of the slain, living lighting, stormcaller.

8 grey hunters, powerfist, meltagun, rhino.
1 wolf guard, combi melta, powerfist.

8 grey hunters, powerfist, meltagun rhino.
1 wolf guard, combi melta, powerfist.

9 grey hunters, powerfist, plasmagun, rhino.
1 wolf guard, frostblade.

6 long fangs, 3 missiles, 1 heavy bolter, 1 lascannon, razorback.

Sunday, 15 May 2011

Painting Yellow... The Gritty Imperial Fists Way!

Just how do you get the perfect yellow? Back in the old days it was hard to master and even harder to get an entire army looking the same. Well thanks to GW and their foundation paints and washes things have become a tad easier of late. Here is my recipe for getting what I like to call 'Gritty Imperial Fists Yellow'.

It is -
1) black undercoat.
2) 1 coat of dheneb stone.
3) 1 watered down coat of sunburst yellow.
4) 1 heavy wash of gryphonne sepia.
5) 1 watered down coat of sunburst yellow.
6) first highlights of 70/30 sunburst yellow and dheneb stone.
7) second highlights of 50/50 sunburst yellow and dheneb stone (not shown in pics).

It actually looks better in the flesh and doesn't seem so thick and patchy. I think my photo skills need improving and I need a lightbox. Give it a go... it takes a while but it is better than the bright yellows I have seen.

If you want more pictures and examples then check out my post 'Who Watches the Watchers?' (April 2011)

Saturday, 7 May 2011

Inquisitor 28mm Warband Concept

I have been a fan of Inquisitor since its release and have stuck with it as it's great to play if you are on your own and want a fun way to relax away an afternoon. It is however a bit of a pain making terrain for 54mm figures that looks good. So why not use normal 40k/fantasy terrain and 28mm figures instead? Well that is what many do, and like them I have my own warband in the making. It has taken me a bit of time but I finally managed to track down the last member of my group a few days ago and have been busy chopping her up... yes its a 'her'. I mean how hard is it to find decent female sculpts that fit in on scale and shape? Well I got hold of an old Mordheim Middenheimmer Youngblood and with a few quick swaps she is ready to go. Here are some pictures of the group as they are now.

My inquisitor -

Armed with an archaic psycannon and armoured gauntlet. He is meant to be a learned scholar and a weak/moderate psyker. He provides the smarts and psychic defence.

My gunfighter -

Armed with a laspistol and stubber. He is addicted to narcotics and needs a fix daily, but the drugs also give him boosted reflexes. Personally I like to think he smokes drug laced cigars (as he is currently smoking one and I love the pose). He is based on the IG tank crew figure carrying gerry cans, but with both hands/cans removed and with resculpted trousers on sides and back as they got damaged.

My tracker -

Armed with a neuro whip, hammer and throwing knives coated in stun. She has detection abilities and is agile and packs a punch up close.

My priest -

He carries a scythe (counts as a halberd), laspistol, frag grenades and a refractor field. He has lots of 'word of the emperor' abilities to give a boost to the warband as a whole.

Sorry my pictures are rubbish but I don't have the light I need today as it's very overcast. I will try and get clearer ones up soon.

Monday, 2 May 2011

Rorke's Drift - Wargames Factory

I have been a fan of the film Zulu since I was maybe 4 or 5. There is something distinctly appealing about the film and about that period in history. Now i'm currently having the Great Spring Clean of 2011, and I just found even more cool stuff in a cupboard in  my room (it's like Aladdins cave in here). Yep that's right I was one of those guys who pre-ordered some Wargames Factory Zulu Wars British Infantry and I am very proud of that fact. Not only is it good to support up and coming figure creators, but they are actually rather nice casts to boot. They lack the clean feel of GW and Privateer Press, but are perfect for historical wargamers who are used to imperfect miniatures from many traditional sellers.

What is important is that they do seem to be pretty accurate and the separate pith hats are a nice touch. All I could wish for really are a few kneeling poses and some command figures, but at the price of £10 for 20 posable figures, they are a sweet deal.

Hopefully I can get some built and painted and give them a before and after review in the coming weeks so stay tuned.

Sunday, 1 May 2011

Rogue Trader... Missing In Action, Presumed Dead.

I was having a clean out earlier and came across a box of Rogue Trader Imperial Army figures still mint under my bed. Well I can't remember the last time I had them out for a quick looksee but I knew I just had to pop the lid and grip the sprue. After all these years (22+) they are still relatively crisp and dare I say it detailed. Now nobody is going to claim that they would win awards these days, but there is something deeply nostalgic about these old school kits that you don't get with the new stuff being produced.

They were fun and childlike, but the rules were so complicated that nobody but an adult could fully grasp everything that was going on. Things like turning arcs, robot controls and psychic powers spring to mind. Nowadays it seems the reverse is true - the models are very stylish and complicated with beautiful details that you need to be a Golden Daemon winner to be able to paint well, but the rules are so basic that most of the fun that kept me in the game is missing somehow.

Take a look at the artwork on the Imperial Army box - it's simple but comical and although I personally like the way the new artwork is leading Warhammer and 40k, I can't help but miss the good old days.

Bloomin great stuff.

I just hope that the next edition of 40k sees a change in the GW strategy, although I doubt it very much. Personally I am all for thunderwolves, dreadknights and Mephiston, as long as everyone gets lots of new shiny bits to play with and doesn't get excluded like some armies are now. It is a game and it is supposed to be stupid... I mean there are guys with extra eyes that see in to the warp and guide starships the size of planets through time and space, all the while there are daemons attacking the shields of the aformentioned ships trying to worm their way into the hearts and minds of the crew inside just so they can have some fun! It's all crazy so why not make it more so?

The Angels Amongst Us

Well as promised a little taster of my current project Dark Angels. So far I have the kits I need and the list I am building, but can't decide on Dark Angels or Guardians of The Covenant as the paint scheme. I really love the deathwing/ravenwing/dark angels colours, but at the same time I like the red robes and simple gunmetal armour of the guardians scheme.

So any ideas?

Anyway here is the list I have -

1 Belial, lightning claws.

1 Venerable Dreadnought with heavy flamer and plasma cannon.

5 Deathwing Terminators, 4 with thunder hammers and storm shields, 1 cyclone launcher, 1 apothecary with powerfist and storm bolter.

5 Deathwing Terminators, all with thunder hammers and storm shields, 1 cyclone launcher.

5 Deathwing Terminators, all with thunder hammers and storm shields, 1 cyclone launcher.

5 Tactical Marines, 1 flamer, sergeant has plasma pistol and melta bombs, razorback with twin linked heavy bolters.

1 Ravenwing Support Speeder, typhoon launcher, multi melta.

1 Ravenwing Support Speeder, typhoon launcher, multi melta.

1 Ravenwing Support Speeder, typhoon launcher, multi melta.

1 Predator, las sponsons, autocannon.

1 Predator, las sponsons, autocannon.

1 Whirlwind.

Total = 1750 points.

The Humble Sentinel

This will be an introduction to the greatest vehicle the Imperium ever produced (in my opinion)... the sentinel.

The sentinel, be it of the scout or armoured variety, has to be the smartest and most fun walker in the game. It is a rather simple kit with lots of variety and has rules that let it fill a multitude of roles on the battlefield. My first experience with the sentinel horde was back in 4th edition when fielding 12 at once was possible thanks to them being part of the HQ slot as well. The list wasn't powerful at all, but it was the best to use if I needed a break from competative play and fancied something a bit different. When I used it at my local gaming club they even gave me the nickname 'Sentinel Guy' and it has stuck with me forever.

With the dawn of 5th edition and my focus on competative gameplay I have rather neglected the sentinel of late. It doesn't have the firepower of say a hellhound, or a griffon, and can't compete with the cheap chimera or vendetta. So what can they do these days?

Well firstly in my experience there are 3 ways to run sentinels, but feel free to disagree and post your own ideas.

1) 1-3 armoured sentinels with autocannons. These really work well as squadrons that can move up in support of your mech platoons and chimera vets. Thanks to their walker status they can fire on the move and really help to add some long range firepower to you shorter melta weapons. I prefer to run single sentinels in this method and to use them instead of paying for heavy weapons in my mechanised platoons. Treat them as a mobile heavy weapons team and you can't go wrong. Just remember that they are expendable and don't be afraid to use them to stall hordes who will spend the rest of the game trying to punch through them. Another thing not to forget is the extra armour they come with. If those meltaguns that are fired at you only manage to stun you then that extra armour keeps you in the game, and puts you in combat with them next turn, a place that most infantry won't want to be.

2) 1 armoured sentinel with heavy flamer. This guy works well protecting your objectives and moving up behind your chimeras to engage the enemy up close. At his low cost value the speed bump as he has become affectionately known is exactly that - there to grind units to a halt or at worst slow them down a bit. The AP4 heavy flamer is great against most things and combined with a few flamers from platoon command/infantry squads can even bring down MEQs if you force enough saves. As a backfield guardian the flamer sentinel comes into his own in the late-game when squads are already weakened and getting close to objectives. Also that heavy flamer works superbly to toast outflankers, especially the worst of the bunch - wolf scouts, who as we all know can be a pain for any IG player to deal with. For that reason alone I recommend a flamer sentinel stick behind your gunline of leman russes and artillery tanks as a rearguard.

3) 1-3 scout sentinels with multi lasers. Cheap with plenty of S6 shooting and outflank. Use them to come on from the table edge and shoot stuff in the rear or flank. They are so cheap it hurts (mostly the enemy), and unlike the huge valkrie/vendetta they can be hidden. Also great for engaging heavy weapon squads or objective holding holding squads in combat provided they aren't tooled up to take them out with a powerfist or two.

So there you have it, my guide to the sentinel. Now there are some weapons I didn't touch on, namely the missile launcher, lascannon and plasma cannon but these really are poor choices on sentinels mainly due to points cost and BS3, and should be saved for tanks or infantry squads where they are more survivable.

So next time your valkyrie gets gunned down the turn it arrives just remember there are other viable options in the fast attack slot, that whilst not being as powerful, do fill a necessary roll in the IG army list.