Tuesday, January 16, 2018

Smaller Blood Angels List Musing

As promised in yesterday's post, here is a smaller list for 1500 points, 6 CP. 

It has "8 drops", 4 for the table, 4 for deep strike reserves. 
So, commanded by Dante again.  I just like re-rolling all misses for everything in his bubble. Plus, there are a few stratagems to buff him with to make him even more choppy.  I really should consider just dusting off the BA captain I have in the collection - with his Thunder Hammer, shield, and jump pack.  That would save some points, to use to get more DC marines or something.  Like swap the existing Chaplain and Dante together to revision the list to Lemartes and the Captain...or Lemartes and Mephiston. 

The Chaplain gives me a gateway for the angels win relic.  If he was part of a swap for a Captain, the Captain would get the Angels win relic, and might just succumb to the black rage.  The thought of going hammertime on the Opfor's favorite units might be alot of fun.  Lemartes allows reroll charge distances for himself and all DC units in his bubble.  Angels wings gives the user a 3d6 charge distance and no overwatch allowed....

I'm on the fence for the assault squad.  It is full size, but light on AP- weapons (except the fist and meltas).  The tournament this weekend has a painting competition for the big models (I have none), and that may convince some opponents to use them in these smaller point games.  My option for that would be to run/hide. Viable to replace the 10-man assault squad with the same number of wounds (but half the models) in Sanguinary Guard? 

The death company is stuck at 9 models for the moment.  It should really be 10.  Need to steal some points somewhere. However, the issue is dakka going downrange is more important than adding a 1 wound model right now. Still mulling the recommended re-tooling of the DC marines to be Boltgun and chainsword over bolt pistol and chainsword. I guess I may need to just swallow that pill and do it. 

Tac squads are required.  Objective holders.  Razorback seat polishers. Flamers to burn off the scrub weeds from the edges of burned out buildings. 

Razorbacks meet the new build restrictions.  Should paint them to look more like spam cans. 2 of the twin AssCann variety and one of the twin LasCan variety.  I like adding storm bolters and HKMs for extra punch early game. 

Baal Predator - stock solid for more dakka.  The problem is they are just barely better than a razorback for more points.  There is a stratagem available to make them go faster for a movement phase, not ideal.  I considered using a regular predator here, but the basic autocannon/lascannon variant is actually more expensive than the Baal version. 

Thoughts on this list?  Your analysis is important.  My lists trend toward maximizing dice throws downrange and in the scrum. In this variant, I think it would do well vs old school opponents.  It would get hashed and splashed vs the increasingly popular Primaris plasmagun spam.  Making some modifications might make is optimal for use of stratagems (assuming I'm not leafblown or smited off the table turn 1). 

Will be spending Wednesday and Friday night likely working on model changes and repairs...Saturday should be a good day for Krumpin'.  Photos soon.  I was digging around and saw my old all-metal DC squad and chaplain...hmmm...not for this list, but definitely for the next one at 2,000 points....

MING

Monday, January 15, 2018

Blood Angels list musings - feedback?

I was going to title this Blood Angels Blues, but it just did not sound right.  I'll try here to change my blues into musings.

I spent the evening yesterday re-imaging two pre-codex Blood Angel lists (posted last fall) into updated / new codex- and FAQ compliant lists.

Yes, if you did not see it, on Sunday  (1/14/18) GW posted a FAQ for the new Blood Angels codex, which only changed three things, basically:

  • Updated corrected wargear options for an Intercessor Sergeant;
  • Updated corrected wargear for a Company Champion
  • Reduced point cost for Predators (dropping them to base 90 points). 

None of these things helped my list building (revising a 1500 point list and a 1750 point list).

Now, several podcasters have created their own reviews for the BA codex.  The biggest review was by miniwargaming.com (who had catalogued what appears to be every change between the prior and new codex and added up the changes).  All of these had set a tone for my thoughts on list building.

Then I got to work, with the following expectations:

  • Some stuff would cost less;
  • Some stuff would cost less;
  • Some stuff would be more fun;
  • The big thing is the stratagems.

The first things I found were:

  • Although some stuff was less on the base end, some wargear was now more;
  • Some wargear options don't exist any more;
  • The result is I end up taking less;
  • The best options mean a massive re-tooling may need to happen.
Examples of things I need to now consider based on my initial work:

1. Sanguinary priests - in the codex cannot take jump packs or power weapons.  Of all things, Frontline Gaming says that the jump pack-capable version of the Sanguinary Priest in the Index Volume I was still allowable.  I facepalm to think that the FAQ just out just did not add the option (although it added small tweaks to the Company Champion and I-Sergeant). All of my 7th edition lists used not only Jump packs, but also Power Axes.  I have not gone back to the Index version to see if Power weapons are allowed on JP-capable priests, but it they are, I will, and it may raise some eyebrows...Otherwise I need to retool them to pistols and mag-locked chainswords.  Or just not use them.  

2. Yay! Inferno Pistols went down in points.  Boo! Other stuff overall went up!  I had to remove some wargear on 1750 point lists to get them overall below the cap. So the overall expectation of getting more is wrong.   

3. Death company - Most every DC model I have is holding a bolt pistol and chainsword or other power weapons.  As pointed out, all they need is a chainsword to get an extra attack, and for the same points (0) you can have a boltgun instead of the bolt pistol.  There is no need for a pistol now EXCEPT for other kinds of pistols if you can get them in - like hand flamers or inferno or plasma or grav pistols.  Otherwise, bolters are just fine. Shoots more, further, longer, so far pistol shooting has been rare for my models locked in CC. Luckily I also have DC marines already holding bolters.  I'll just paint up some sprues of DC chainswords and mag-lock them to the bolter DC marines, and then paint up more of the Jump packs too (black primer, some red, silver, parchment, good to go!)!  Looks like I need to order more magnets. 

4. Razorbacks - OMG why did I not see this earlier?  Las-plas razorbacks cannot be built from the codex.  It cannot be selected from the upgrades, and twin-plasmaguns are not even an option to buy. Sneaky, but it is in line with the fact that you had to model your own.  I suspect that Forgeworld, who had/has las-plas razorback turrets will have them embedded somewhere in their own rules and books, hopefully at a competitive price.  If you have a new book and it saus the BA's can use them let me know! So yeah, I have extra homework tonight to see if they are gone from the SM codex too.  If so I had not seen that.  Means that I have to re-tool every las-plas razorback turret to either twin-AssCan or twin LasCan variants.

So, if you read this far, here is an example list (for your review - more or less at 1750, 8 CP):

Dante
Mephiston
Chaplain w/ JP, pistol, crozius (upgradable to angels win relic)
Sanguinary Priest, BP/ChS

Assault marines (5) w/ JP, IP, 2xMG, PAxe
Assault marines (5) w/ JP, IP, 2xMG, PFist
Assault marines (5) w/ JP, 1 PS

Death Company (9) w/JP, 1 PS, 1 Paxe, 1 PF
Sanguinary Guard (4), 1 PF, 1 IP, angelus boltguns and encarmine swords
Sanguinary Ancient (1), angelus boltgun, encarmine sword, Company standard (upgradable to relic standard)

Tac Squad (5) w/ flamer
Tac Squad (5) w/ flamer
Scouts (5) w/ sniper rifles and cloaks

Drop pod w/ deathwind launcher
Drop pod w/ deathwind launcher

So, here we have a list that has four units (Dante, chaplain, priest, ancient) that can create enhancement bubbles (Dante = reroll missed hits/fearless bubble, chaplain reroll assault hit misses, priest - ads +1 strentgh ans can heal/raise from dead).  Everything but the scouts can start off-table and drop in turn 1 (unless the OPFPOR can stop that).  Add to that the red thirst and black rage, and stuff can get interesting.  Mephiston and the priest can ride separately in the drop pods.  Throw in some stratagems, and we might have something really thematic here!

Imagine the storyline - the scouts eye the target.  Then the Blood Angels force drops in - and goes right to the assault on the key targets.  If needed the assault force could break to two or so separate assault groups, such as Mephiston/tac/pod and the Chaplain and DC going in one group, the Dante/sanguinary/ancient/tac/pod/priest in the other.  The Blood Angels just pour into the assault, looking to create a devastating turn on the OPFOR in their deployment zone.  After that, stratagems help to move the JP units around to the next target.  For lists above 1750, (like 1850) I can just add more Sanguinary Guards or DC marines.  

Compare the list above to this (more or less 1750, 6 CP):

Dante
Mephiston
Death Company (8) w/ Jump packs, 1 PS/1 PAxe/1PFist
Tac Squad (5), FL
Tac Squad (5), FL
Tac Squad (5), FL
Razorback, TL AssCan, HKM
Razorback, TL AssCan, HKM
Razorback, TL AssCan, HKM
Stormraven Gunship, HBs, TL LasCan, TL MM, SS Missiles

Overall, since ArmyBuilder still offline for 40K, it is such a PITA to write up new lists and make sure they are complete!  To that end, I have my own Excel template now for doing it, but the challenge so far is making sure it is accurate and reflects all the changes / nuances in the new CODEX!  I can only imagine how hard it is for everyone else.  

Crazy!

Overall, I got to finalize a 1500 point list quick to play on Saturday if I'm going to the local FLGS's tournament.  Could essentially do it dropping some wargear/razorback off the list above.  We shall see!  Its a job for tonight! 

As always, your feedback is appreciated.  

MING    

Friday, January 12, 2018

December Blues

Marneus was suitably impressed and dismayed at the same time.  His small detachment was being debriefed on today's exercise.  They had completed a skirmish against a new Primaris force, both were to be the same level in power on the data slate.  But his veteran units had lost badly to the Primaris training unit.  It did not add up.  How could these recently added forces - right out of some stasis storage field and having seemingly no combat experience, beat his own force?  Seemingly, the Primaris training unit was more powerful than advertised...Tigurius just agreed....

Yep, time to get some pictures off my phone.

And yes, a rant.  The December tournament event was based on power levels, and it was interesting to see how my units would do.  In Game 1, the opponent was Kenny, with his new all-Primaris force led by three Captains.  Essentially three squads of intercessors, and 6 or so squads of plasma-maxed Hellblasters.  I had a great plan.  The OPFOR had spread all across their deployment zone, so I used my ability to deep strike Calgar and the Terminators into the right, and worked to focus all of the fighting there.  It was for nought.  The Primaris marines just marched forward, and eventually I was essentially tabled (only aircraft remained) and the game ended.   Even Calgar was beaten by a Primaris Captain.  All of that plasma just overwhelmed everything I had.   

  80 Power Level of Ultramarines....

80 Power level of Blood Angels

The OPFOR.  I cannot remember if they were played just as Ultras or not.  

I played vs this list...it was crazy vs the little remote detonated bomb tanks...

Only game photo of the day?  I gotta get better than this.  But it was a win.

And then this...My terminator Librarian model got an award!  I really need to rebase this guy...it was done on the fly for a tournament long ago...

Overall, as many have alluded to, power levels may be quick to set up, but are open for wide ranges in "equality".  Regardless, model to model, the Primaris marines are definitely a shade better than every older equivalent measured by power. Just something to consider.  I'm thinking it will ultimately be the same in a point comparison too.  That said, my tactics were sound.  Calgar should have krumped the primaris captain, but Kenny was not failing any 3++ shield saves...IIRR I eliminated about a third of his force, while losing pretty much everything of mine. 

I went on afterwards to win the next two games.  Both were great events.  

I'm currently digesting the BA codex, and look to field an all-deep striking army soon, maybe including some of the new Primaris Inceptors or a Lieutenant.  Should be fun! Why be in my own deployment zone when I can be in yours?   








Monday, November 20, 2017

40K Army List Scandals

My Thoughts on 40K Tournament List Cheating

I was listening to one of my favovirite podcasts over the weekend, just trying to stay caught up with Warhammer 40K things. The Long War. Episode 127.

Overall, the episode is kind of a misnomer.  Most of the episode is banter that has nothing to do with the topic.  But, ultimately, in short, there was a GT in the Southeastern US recently. Lots of players.  A guy wins using a multi-detachment, cherry picking, no consistent themed Astra Militarum list.  List gets posted on the internet after the event.  readers immediately see the list was illegal - the player had selected more or less as his only free artifact a Cadian one, considered to be awesome. But they placed the artifact on a detachment HQ that could not have that specific artifact by written rule.  From there it turns into a half apologetic, "he never meant to do it", he's a buddy, it did not really matter, but maybe it did, what canya do about it, discussion. "List errors are happening alot".

I am rarely if ever or never a TO. 

I'll give it to you from a long time player's perspective.

I am disappointed but not surprised.

Thinking about it from an expectations standpoint, these visible list cheating events in the past few years of major events range from too many points to misuse of wargear such as artifacts.  Non-list related issues include stretching the ruler (moving a unit further than allowed), to pushing a personal interpretation of a rule beyond what was written or intended, to models played not reflecting the wargear on the list (extra missile launchers anyone?). 

It is probably pretty easy to do in a pickup game where you figure out a list on the fly and calculate numbers quickly on your phone in order to just get a game underway.  I think I found once after a pickup game that my "list on the fly" was 6 points over. Overall, that game was for fun, and I corrected the list before the next club night to make it accurate and right.  As you know, I sometimes play the same list for weeks at a time.  Playing the list over and over allows me to check it and make sure I get the special rules and tactics right (eventually). 

Why does this happen in major events?

If I recall right, some of these guys (over the past few years) caught are recognized "majah playahs" in the 40K world. 

I'm told that these guys spend months and weeks and huge numbers of beats lab games honing their lists and ability to win before going to these events. 

So why are they showing up with inaccurate lists? Lists you cannot clearly read? Lists that show they clearly did not read the actual entry for the wargear or read the special rule for a model before they put it on their list?  It does not pass the straight face test of experience and list development by "experts".  You put in the time but don't think accuracy and quality control count? In a game of rules where the rules and distances are all that matter beyond the actions of the fickle dice gods?

Eventually the podcast talks about how they suggest to solve the problem.

Weaksauce.

In some cases it is hard for a TO to police the lists.  Surely.  Imagine a tournament with a hundred lists.  That nominally means 50 to 100 hours of volunteer proofing time.  500 lists. Eek!

Frankly, we only get to see the issue when it reaches the top tables.  We have no idea how widespread the issue is.  For all we know it is just as common at the bottom tables.

So I have my own suggested fix, easy for any event with a single TO.

I was just at an event this past weekend as an observer.  It was clear to me there.

A possible solution.

The TO needs to start checking the Table 1 lists, beginning with round 1. 

Think of that.  How hard is it for a single TO, at an event that actually asks for you to provide a list to the TO at registration, to actually pull out two lists from Table 1 per round, and proof the list? Pull out the codex, check the math, check the detachment construction, etc. At the end of the round, a Table 1 player with a list in error is docked 45 points (or your value of three perfect games).  Heck, don't even tell them till the end.  Let the play go on. Overall, if you have already checked the top table lists, move to Table 2.  Overall, in a 3 round tournament you have a goal to have checked 6 lists, 2 per round. Out of a 9 to 10 hour day the TO spent at most 3 hours checking the 6 lists.  What else are they doing? If you have soft scores, don't dock those - things like painting, pub quiz, whatever.  At the end, post the results, and let the player appeal if they have an issue with it.  The appeal could be heard by the TO/Event team and rechecked if needed.  Then make the awards final. You could also have lists checked vs models for WYSIWYG by opposing players before turn 1 begins. Do the models match the list? Do the rugs match the drapes? 

Did you know that in Alpine ski racing, judges can DQ a skier during the event (each race, for things like improper gear, missing a gate, etc.) and appeals happen at the end of the day?  The process of appeals are set in the rules. You pay cash up front for an appeal.  Then the appeal discussion is conducted between the judge(s), the coach/racer if needed.  Evidence may be provided to offset an observation. Final rulings are then made by the head judge.  I know this because I've been in the position of posting cash for an appeal on behalf of one of my ski racers at a major event. We won the appeal. We did not get the cash back. Every racer and coach and family who attended had to wait for the appeal process to conclude. All for a medal. Extra beers were bought that day.  Everyone wins. 

So yeah, fixes can be made pretty simple. In the case of the OP/podcast, I'm not sure how it played out.  Apparently there are calls for the player to self-DQ.  Regardless, the event is an annual one, a major, and the result right now is a sense that the event lost a bit of its integrity.

Certainly larger major 40K events can have their own issues - does simply checking Table 1 do it, or do you often see the winner emerging from as deep as Table 3 in the last round?  Does it mean before awards the actual winner's list needs to be verified before awards?  Well, that might be needed.

Regardless, list checking  (and score double checking, but let's save that for a different day) in some fashion before the awards is a critical thing that needs to happen so protect your event. Integrity is important for events, and leads to greater confidence, which leads to better attendance.

You know you can count on this blog to bring up game issues for discussion.  It is good to have a forum for things like that. I hope you enjoyed the read.

Anyway, happy gaming!

As always, that is my opinion, and I value yours.  Feel free to leave a comment. 

MING

Tuesday, November 14, 2017

Kill! Maim!! Hide!!! Blood for the Blood God!!!!

Uraka Az'Baramael, demon prince and leader of the Skull Takers warband gestured for his chaos marines to head forward.  Khorne would be pleased.  This battle had been waging on for days along the new scar that rent the galaxy, and his warband had taken a massive toll on the imperial defenders. He could feel that Khorne would be pleased, and blessing may come forth if the toll went ever higher! More skulls were needed this day! His warband though, was in need of supplies.  Blood for the blood god required energy packs for chainswords and chain axes, bolts for bolt pistols, and grenades for throwing.

His demon wings beat the air as he stalked forward.  So far the warband had recovered three supply pods that had dropped downward from the Ultramarine's battle barge off in space.  Three more pods had fallen in the ruined complex they were attacking, yet to be captured. Ultramarines.  Uraka had fought them before.  Always heavily supplied, they had no real wants. No desires.  They seemed the opposite of his warband...high on desire and low on supply.  He quickened his pace.

Uraka had left a few of his battle brothers behind, to guard the supplies from other roving bands.  Following in his swift steps were an ancient Rhino loaded with berzerkers, and other groups and transports including his own landraider.  Everything hinged on getting supplies for these near-mortal space marines. The air keened with the sound of chainswords and chain axes seemingly always running.  Pops of bolt pistols occurred as these Khorne blessed brothers moved forward as a surge towards the thin blue lines ahead and their rage caused triggers to pull.

Soon the air sung with battle!  Uraka moved ever swiftly toward the marine lines.  All at once a dazzling light strike his eyes!  Lascannons and missile launchers from the Ultramarines began to pelt at Uraka.  A hit or two were shrugged off. Then in a blinding flash, Uraka was gone...in searing pain, he was cast back to the warp. And then...darkness and the cruel noise of laughing gods.

Tigurius of the Ultramarines smiled for a moment.  One demon prince banished.  Now the attention of his assigned devastator squads shifted fire to the oncoming Rhino and hulking enraged dreadnought on the left.  In a flash the dreadnought was gone.  Now he could clearly see the blood and skulls and brass colored spikes that had been added to the tortured Rhino transport by its corrupted followers.  The struggle became serious as the Rhino reached the Ultramarine lines, and a melee erupted as a demi-tactical squad of the Third Company dismounted from their own Razorback and assaulted the Head Hunter's Rhino.  Berzerkers leaped from the open top hatch, and soon with help from a dark apostle of Khorne the 6 Ultramarines were down and their razorback exploded.  In response, the Ultramarines second line erupted in fire, and all eleven Skull Takers and their Rhino we were likewise dispatched.

Tigurius looked over on the right flank. Marnius Calgar awaited the enemy there.  Another Third Company demi-squad surged forward to block the path of a band of berzerkers and a chaos tainted landraider.  A blue flash and taste of ozone showed the arrival of First Company assault terminators to add to the defense. Soon six more Ultramarines and their accompanying razorback were down, but the chaos landraider and its assault group was likewise destroyed.  While this occurred, the devastators above in the ruins kept firing downrange at the remaining chaos groups in the distance.  Every chaos marine down meant fewer imperial lives in their dozens would be lost as this conflict ground on.  Tigurius knew that there was a strong presence out in the desert glaring back at him.  Kharn the Destroyer was here...but hiding? It was his presence that had brought Tigurius and Marneus Calgar to the surface.  The Destroyer may be here, but he was not offering battle, thought Tigurius.

Kharn seethed.  He had looked on as the demon princeling Uraka of the Skull Takers and his entire assault group were mowed down by lascannon, missile fire, and plasma.  It was a trap. Even one such as he had known that the massive firepower of his enemies would have been too deadly to attack.  The Ultramarines had baited warbands before, knowing their need for supplies.  The ground had scant cover for an assault with such low numbers and the Skull Takers had no human reserves to drive before them. But now, supply would be no problem.  With three of six supply pods recovered, he had what he needed for a force half of its starting size.  Kharn revved up his chain axe. He looked at his hands.  Blood.  His own blood.  Oozed from his gauntlets.  He had been gripping the shattered steel beam so hard it had pierced his armor.  Blood for the blood god. He squeezed his left fist and watched the blood drip onto the desert soil.

Kharn watched for a moment. He could sense a presence watching him.

Then, putting his back to the Ultramarines he stalked back towards the Skull Taker's surviving units.

With a swing of his axes he dispatched the first red armored marine he encountered, the marine's helmet dancing on the dirt for a moment.  Then two more.  He reached into a supply pod and grabbed as much as he could carry, eyeing the surviving Skull Takers warily as he bent forward.  He  then signaled to the others to pick up their needed supplies and follow him.  They would swing around to the north, and look to take as many heads as possible from the enemies there.  He felt a strong urge to just take the skulls of the rest of this warband now.  Instead he kept his eyes to the east and loped off without the need to look back.  He would slake his urge to kill these Skull Takers later that night when the battle was over and his tally secure.
 



     

Friday, November 3, 2017

Team Narrative Event Report - the Rockport Invitational 2017

I lover Warhammer 40K and all of its trappings and doings.  Up here in Maine we have a small but tight group of players.  One in particular (from a Painted Life) is sort of a rabble rouser and leader when it comes to the game, and in recent times he started to host his own events at his secret undisclosed location.  Invitationals!  Its kind of on-par with what you have seen others (Blue Table Painting) do.  Invite a bunch of players to get together for a private event, potluck BBQ, lots of liquid refreshments, and great games.

For the October 2017 Rockport Invitational (so as not to confuse with others), the organizer created a team event - one side to be Chaos, the other as Imperium.  The event included 8 different tables, each with its own missions, and some missions tables had effects that could impact what was going on at other teams. 

I decided (as forecast in the last post) to bring Ultramarines.  In fact, my side (Imperium) was most true to the spirit of the event - having Ultramarines, Raven Guard, Imperial Fists, and Imperial Guard as our armies.  If there was anything badly done, it was that the "Chaos" side consisted of Plague marines, Khorne Marines (ok so far....) and orks, and genestealer cultists and Mechanicum! 

Overall, through the first two rounds, the Imperium was winning.  Then a large point swing in round three granted victory to the chaos team. 

Here are some pictures of the event so I (with comments) can clear them off my phone!

First a sort of armies on parade!

The Good Guys!

     








The BAD Guys!





Some game table Shots:

My game 1 vs Mechanicum.  I was the attacker in the mission.  The goal was not to get hit by flying debris raining down on the planet and eventually capturing a piece of tech from a crater.  I was really hoping to win this fun misson, but lost on the last dice of the last turn, 0-1 was the score.  It all boiled down to me rolling a 1 for Calgar's last save.  Took the score from 4-0 to 0-1 in a single roll. 






Game 2 VS Khorne Marines.  
At deployment.  It ends up we both played the mission as written - but the TO had changed the win parameters (we did not know it), so we played on as written.  My tactics as defender were based on defending my objectives and threatening to slay his warlord (Kharn) with my own warlord (Calgar).  Needless to say it worked, my opponent ended up hiding his warlord and I killed off many of his units, the game ended 0-0 in points.

  

The picture above was a bit of rules controversy.  I'd surrounded the Chaos Rhino with a squad, hoping to take off the last two hull points.  I failed to do that in assault.  In my opponent's turn, he dismounted his red Berserkers by "jumping over" my blue marines to the positions shown.  It tuened into a discussion on the dismount rules, and having to dismount wholly withing or "toe within" three inches of a verhicle and if you can dismount moving within / through opponent's bases to do so.  I said Shenanigans!  The TO did not rule in my favor and the 5-man squad was wiped out moments after the picture.  It was probably the only rules controversy of the day.   

Game 3 vs Genestealer Cult
I was the defender.  I got wiped out.  Lost 4-0.  

Others


Yep, besides a cool packet for the day, really cool effects, and lots of fun...each side had to wear custom made overshirts to mark out each side...

All for now!  Work calls!

MING 







Thursday, October 19, 2017

Back to Blue

Well, I gotta get ready!

I'm going to an invitational event on October 28 - it looks to be really cool with multiple mission tables, an ETC-like pairing system, and the need to have a primary infantry-heavy 1000 point core, expanding to a 2000 point overall force.  You may be assigned to either the 1000 point pairings or the full 2000 point pairings by your team's overall commander. 

I was torn between staying as Blood Angels, or finally getting back to my roots as Ultramarines, and the Ultramarine concept won out the argument.  I also strongly considered going for Astra Militarum!  Too many choices!  In consideration was that the Ultramarines, over Blood Angels - has a full codex, great Ultramarine doctrines, and the opportunity for a relic as a free boost.

I got busy last night with the hard work of slogging through the collection, codex in one hand, BRB in the other, to map out what might be a good and fun or powerful list concept meeting the parameters above. 

After drafting a list (in Excel! - Dang you ArmyBuilder!) it got down to trying to use up every point - so as not to leave anything on the table.  Initially I was very close - 16 points off from using every drop.  Then with a list change, swapping out one unit for another, I was able to go exactly to 2000.

So, with the hard work done, I  will proof the list, do some paint touch ups, create a cheat sheet of all the extra rules to remember, and if I'm lucky get a chance to play a game as Ultramarines before the event! So yeah 3rd Company Ultramarines are going to hit the table!

OK, so here is the list.  No laughter please.  I put a lot of thinking into this over 3 hours! 

HQ - Marnius Calgar (as warlord)
HQ - Tigurius
HQ - Chaplain in Terminator Armor
EL - Assault Terminator Squad (5)
TP - Tactical Squad (6)
TP - Tactical Squad (6)
TP - Tactical Squad (6)
999 pts core force
FA - Landspeeder
HS - Devastator Squad (5)
HS - Landraider
DT - Razorback
DT - Razorback
DT - Razorback
2000 pts total total force

The points are all in the details.  9 or more drops on deployment for the full force.  Overall, it gives me a core of 999 points for the first 7 units, and exactly 2000 for the full group.  It creates a Battalion detachment and a Vanguard detachment, which yields 9 command points in total with Calgar adding 2.  Bonuses include higher morale, shooting on falling back (or as we say, stepping back), ability to recover CPs on a 4+, and several bubbles of fun - Marnius gives a reroll misses bonus, Tiggy gives a to hit bonus to a unit each turn, the Chaplain helps in assault.  I get librarius spells, etc. If needed I have three units that can deep strike.   There are 10 lascannon, 9 missile launcher, and 6 plasma gun EQs hiding in this list.  Overall, it is pretty cool.  The ONLY thing I need to do is put a banner on Calgar to finish the list for photography!

The only issue I might need to resolve - probably for the better - is swapping out the Chaplain for a Captain or other unit.  It ends up the Chaplain is the only "character" I can give a relic to, but none are suitable for him!  The only two might have been the armor indominitus (but he is already a terminator with a rosarius), or the relic boltgun (which can't be directly swapped for a storm bolter - I need to see if I can swap the storm bolter for free for a regular bolter, then swap the bolter for the relic version...if so that is the minimum change).  Otherwise, converting his points (117)  into something throwing more bullets downrange might be even better (like another dev squad).  Doing so loses me a single command point, and means I'm back to one detachment, AND it means I am all screwed up on the original 1000-2000 point split requirements unless I can get the dev squad or captain tooled to the 117 points or so (heavy bolters in the devs?). 

Another interesting issue posed for the event - is that with this being teams - essentially Imperium vs Not, I could run into hordes (of bugs or orks) and be totally outnumbered, or demons (and be out-spelled), or even Knights (it has happened before) or some crazy Astra Militarum (with the Vortex yard sale building and horses).  In any case, other than screwing up on deployment, I think I can pull off a respectable number of points as long as I stay focused on the missions.

Anyways, look for some pictures here in a week on the final force - all displayed for departure!

Comments and suggestions are ALWAYS appreciated!

MING