Monday, August 7, 2017

Growing the Hobby one happy family at a time

Dante stood on the surface of Astaramis.  His sense of dread deepened when he realized his Blood Angels 5th Company would be holding the line against some strange Space Wolf - Eldar strike force.  Issuing commands over the helmet bead, he ordered the assault.  Strange or not, the xenos and their allies must be purged.

Week One - Konor Campaign

OK, not your typical battle report.

I was looking to get in week 1 playing against some wily Chaos Marine Scum (CMS), but a few days before game night I got a text.  A guy I know and his two sons wanted to have a game with me, specifically so they could learn more about 8th edition, and so I could give the kids particular encouragement and pointers on getting to be better players.  The dad is about 38 years old, and the kids probably 13 and 11.  The kids have been to our FLGS before, but have only really played each other in 7th (or played magic).  The kids each had their own armies - but the dad had yet to get one but was being encouraged to go for Blood Angels.  I decided it was the coolest thing I could do for the evening, and made the plans to get there. Although my plans were to play Ultramarines, I stayed with the Blood Angels so the dad could get the experience with them.

On arrival, I met the group!  The first thing we did was secure a table space in the back of th our FLGS, and then start setting up terrain.  I got the kids to help out, and told them I really liked making tables set for the battle - in a narrative way.  Our table was soon a geothermal station in a volcanic terrain.  We decided to ignore the molten rivers of magma.  We had a good mix of LOS and area terrain.  We went through the rules as they are) on how they might get cover.

I was set on using the list I've been deploying recently - Dante and Mephiston, assault marines, death co, tac marines, razorbacks and Baal Pred.  The other dad and I split that - all I needed was Dante, Mephiston and the assault marines and death co...the dad was going to roll lots of shooty dice.

The kids played the collections they had.  Not bad as starters, and apparently they have more models being constructed and painted.  I really have no idea how much stuff they played.  The only critical issue was that they did not have the 8th edition index yet covering the eldar, so we needed to just work that out as we went, translating reasonable changes from the 7th edition codex they carried.

We deployed alternating units.  The kids had more units.  The kids were the attackers.

We went over the mission conditions and I expressed that they really needed to pay attention to them - the Defenders got points for each attacker unit eliminated.  The attackers got points for units in the defender deployment zone at the end of the game.

Then we got busy!

Four game turns later (time goes slow when you are helping three players at once, AND, the kids want pizza), we all shook hands and everyone agreed the game had been a lot of fun.

Certainly the game was fun.  The Blood Angels took a beating, but at the end, the score was about 6 to 1.  The best moment for the kids was seeing Mephiston dragged down in a mosh pit of eldar and thunder cav fighters.  I think they finally got him with a thunder hammer...I made sure they celebrated the little victories along the way.  Razorbacks wrecked, stuff like that.

Was the game perfect?  No.  But the best part was the joy.  Overall it took me back to the days when my own kids were that age and I was teaching them Epic or 40K. At times it was also like herding cats.  Attention spans can be short.

When all the terrain was put away I reminded them of some good advice - put the copy of the rules next to their beds and read them every night.  Get updates of the rules and codexes.  Focus on building a complete basic list before trying to get the higher powered stuff.  Remember the story line and fluff. Concentrate on the game.  Build their on story.  Most importantly have a good time doing it.

We all left smiling and happy.  The kids anxious to get more models.  The dad wondering what army should he collect.

Looking forward to week 2 of the campaign.  Still need to get a list built for the Ultramarines.  I have a few ideas.  I think we are still doing power levels. Hmmm....



Wednesday, July 26, 2017

Rockport Invitational 2017 Debrief

Some day I'd love to go to an event like this and provide just live commentary to the live stream of the games.  FYI three games were live streamed throughout the day, so you could have watched them  I have not seen them! I was in the third streamed game!

For my list - see the prior blog post. 6 command points. Short and sweet. First time using Mephiston.
Format: Paired Tournament, 3,000 points per side 
(1,500 points per player). 

Missions:  See tournament packet.  Game 1 - 6 objectives/basic mission cards, 3 pulled per team per turn (1 deck per side) as primary. Game 2 - 4 objectives as Primary.  Game 3 - Progressive scoring for control of 5 objectives.

Player briefing.  Go see the organizer at "A Painted Life" blog. 

My Blood Angels were paired with a Deathwatch player.  His list included approximately:

  • Deathwatch warden (Warlord)
  • Deathwatch captain
  • Deathwatch Dreadnought (DCCW/AC)
  • Four double-las Razorbacks, each containing 6 deathwatch marines with special ammo bolt guns and maxed (4 per squad?) frag cannons.
  • 6 Command Points    

Game 1: Vs Astra Militarum / Tau

The Astra Militarum player had a hodgepodge list including a flyer, the Vortex missile battery, some units on horse, and squads of infantry on foot, bolstered by two characters at least, and 6 Tarantula gun platforms. The missile battery fortress was tremendously dangerous, and frankly is crazy for a game like this (not apox or narrative).  The Tau - was largely hidden to us and I have no idea how many suits or pathfinders or drones they had.  Lucky for us, 90% of the Tau just hid behind a piece or LOS blocking terrain...regardless, based on what we were seeing, my team partner and I decided a two-part course of action in what we saw as us getting shot off the table:

(1) go after maelstrom (mission) points, and (2) get into close combat with anything that would keep us from being shot off the table.

Close combat would be the only thing that would protect us from Vortex missile rain or Tau missile fire. We amended that turn 1 to include killing the flier, which seemingly was also a huge gun platform! The OPFOR went first.  Largely, everything went OK, with Dante and Mephiston showing what beasts they could be in the game.  The Flyer was dispatched with a combination of Melta-fire and assault by jump-pack troops.  I think in this game we certainly dished out what we were given.  One of my Razorbacks was popped in the first shots by the Vortex launcher.  Overall, I should have started it hidden.  With the large AM model count and tons of shooting dice the game went wicked slow.  We ran out of time after two turns, but we won, 12-10. I have no idea where the time went.  if I'd blacked out, nobody mentioned it...

Beginning of Turn 1.  OPFOR moving...

Beginning of Turn 2. Counter assault by the OPFOR.  

Actually beginning of what would have been Turn 3...
But We'd already won in a slow game. 

Game 2:  Vs Adpetus Mechanicum / Magnus Marines

The Adpetus Mech list was built around Cawl, a DataSmith, 3 dune crawler/crabby tanks, and 6 Kastellan Robots. Magnus was supported by demon foot troops (Tszangors), two Tszeentch terminator squads with socerors, the Sorceror on a Disk (Ahriman), and a rhino bearing more Tzeentchy chaos marines.  Another shooty list backed by assaulty demons and terminators and evil magixs!

At least in this game we thought we were safe based on the large amount of LOS-blocking terrain! The OPFOR went first (we wanted them to, since the objectives scored at the end, and we wanted options!).  Turn 1 began with Magnus coming totally accross the table to assault two razorbacks.  He popped one and damaged the other.  The game had a progressive king of the hill point total going on for the table center.  In response, we killed Magnus, wounded Arhiman, wounded Cawl, and captured the center.  In counter-riposte, we got cleaned off the center, and the robiots started double firing at anything they could see, while slowly advancing toward our lines. All the while, we kept some of our stuff in jump pack reserve, waiting for the terminators to drop.  About turn 3, the terminators arrived and we sent the death company after the Datasmith, who had been truly hiding under terrain directly beneath an objective.  We decided to try to grab the two objectives on the left, and hoped to contest one on the right for the win. Then our OPFOR dice rolling got hot and we just could not take down Ahriman or the datasmith by weight of fire!  After 5 turns, we took a narrow loss, 8 - 12.  At the end, nobody controlled the center, we held one objective, the OPFOR narrowly held two, and one was unclaimed.

Sometime around Turn 2.  Magnus is gone. 

Around Turn 3.  Counter assaulting the Chaos Rubric-Terminators. 

Game 3: Vs Three Knights and Tyranids

As they say, once a king always a king, once a Knight is enough!

This game was not going to be fun, as if that would be a shocker.  The mission was progressive points for controlling 5 objectives at the end of each turn, secondary included kill points based on pwer level removed. I mad a mistake in putting out objectives - since the first (mandatory) objective was in the center, I placed it in what would eventually be the opponent's deployment zone. That is where he put his two.  So already we are starting off on the wrong foot.  The OPFOR essentially deployed with the knights standing on three objectives.  We covered ours with a dreadnought.  The Tyranids were included a broodlord, podded command bug, and a trygon, three or so biovores, and two or so other beasties - and two large maxed broods of gaunts' and stealers'. Bug/Knights went first.  It ends up we were too close to their ability to deploy.  We figured the bugs would run forward, we would counter them with flamers and frag, until then hiding in our vehicles (due to the huge high strength Knight Missile Pods/Batle Cannons, etc.).  Two Deathwatch razorbacks got charged, and one could not fall back. That mean the Gaunt' and Stealer blobs could just run around using that vehicle as a means so we could not shoot them. The game went stupid. I sent my forces forward to go after the knights and some objectives.  The Deathwatch were eaten down to their metal parts by bugs.  Out only moral victory was taking out the Knight warlord for our only points of the game (2).  Dante was sundered by return Battle Cannon fire.  We were not tabled!  A Deathwatch razorback and Mephiston and three BA tactical marines remained! The OPFOR got the full 20 points. Went 5 turns.

Some time around Turn 2.  Dante in the fore, had failed a charge on the Knight, leaving the assault squad to go it alone.  In the back, Bugs use a trapped vehicle to eliminate shooting...

Bugs consolidating inward at the trapped Deathwatch.  

5th place out of 6 teams. Of all things 6th place was orks/spacewolves! 1st Place IIRR was Ravenguard/Primaris marines (they were 2:1:0 for the day, the only army not to take at least one loss). We had not played vs either the last or the first....

Comments / observations:

  • Someone said that research is showing that in 8th editions so far, the team getting first turn wins 89% of the time. In the ATC, someone seemed to indicate that the side that went first had a greater than 50% chance of tabling their opponent.  I kindly agree with the overall assertion. We thought that by going second in the last two games we'd have had a good chance to claim/win the primaries at the end.  Getting objectives though is not possible if the units were eliminated by Turn 1 shooting.  I'd say if you get the chance to go first, take it!
  • In our games, going first was not automatic - the smaller force (number of units) got +1 on a dice roll to go first.  I'd scrap the +1 bonus.  My observation is that players choose unkillable high power, high point units on purpose (their damage output is amazing compared to any tactical or elite squad point for point), so why reward them at all? 
  • Battle forged armies provide a framework. 
  • Most of the games have objectives placed by the players.  I'd offer that in a competitive scene, if you are not playing for (maelstrom) mission cards (6 objectives), having preset objective locations (patterns) that every table meets might be superior.  Otherwise, be reminded that the player who places the first objective should just place it in as neutral of a spot as possible, and already loses an advantage to the OPFOR regardless (as the second placing player chooses deployment).  If not, the fix I'd recommend is roll off to determine player deployment edge.  
  • So far, not owning any fortifications myself, I offer that they have no place in competitive play.  Have you read their rules?  I have only seen the rules for the Vortex Launcher of Doom. In theory you can move your army onto its roof and it will still fire Vortex missiles at you all day long. Somehow you cannot target the guys inside OR breach a door to take it over. It is all one-sided and unkillable in a basic (small point) game.  Interestingly, other than Knights, nobody showed up with super heavy tanks.  Good thing because there was no place for them to roam without removing/moving terrain.  
  • Flyers.  I think there was just one aircraft model for the day.  Not a big deal, we shot it / assaulted it down.  I'd hate to run into more than three!   
  • Beer.  Games go better with beer. Snacks go great with beer.  Lunch goes great with beer! Frankly, it should have been clear you chug a beer for each exploded vehicle.  
  • Cover. We handled cover pretty well.  +1 easily for infantry in woods or behind walls/barricades.  +1 to non-infantry to be toe-in and 50% obscured.  Overall, we did not have too many issues.
  • Mission pack.  The Mission pack was awesome (barring grammatical errors and spelling).  Deployment maps, on-sheet score tracking, good mix of primary missions (worth up to 14 points) and secondary missions (worth up to 6 points).  All of the missions were different from each other. The all gave you some way to try and get something on the scoreboard (even if it is just 2 points for killing a Knight warlord, cough cough...) 
  • Terrain.  Awesome.  Every table was different, and all had a great mix of LOS-blocking and area terrain. Made for great cinematic games. With horrible terrain I'd have been slaughtered! 
  • Swag.  We got these cool hand-made wound counters.  Sweet!
  • Best Army / Best Sport - I think in these smaller events, Best Sport is Meh.  Regardless, neither came with real instructions, for example, could you vote your team-mate as a best sport? I'd replace it with best warlord moment, or something more tangible.  I'd think if you were a horrible sport you might not get to the next event. Best army - was kind of based on painting?  Again, no instructions on how it was to be selected, even at this level is subjective.  I'd say better off as selected by judges using a rubric.  I also declare that the mechanicum army was the best painted (close call to the 3-knights!).  Hands down, awesome, battle damaged, dusty robots!
  • Overall is was a great day!  Even found a good Sports Bar on the way home showing MMA fighting on the big screen while we had dinner and a pint.  Good times!
  • Blood Angels.  Love them. Mephiston suffered overwatch and assaulted three Tau suits and removed them from play with his sword? Killed 4 terminators? All is good.  Dante is no slouch either.  Can kill a squad a turn. Both are worth their points.  
  • Deathwatch. OK except for the Dreadnought. The dread did not do much of anything.  Maybe if it had long range weapons? The change to cover rules makes it nigh impossible to get a dread across the table to beat on the enemy.  I'll have to watch and see if that changes. In the mean time, probably relegated to defending your deployment zone...

It is a new game.  I won't talk about the rules I now miss.  I am looking forward to the Codexes though...more stuff to learn! More Options! More Strategems!


Friday, July 21, 2017

No need to WIP me! If you do, WIP it good!

Meh, I was on a bender last night after an evening meeting.  My underground bunker is like the best place for painting in the hot days of summer.  I just plain forgot to do any more WIP photos, so here is my force for tomorrow's Invitational!

You may also see I've changed up a few of the blogs I follow - linked over on the right.  Check them out!

Yep, table ready!
Put your fists in the air!
Drone shot...
Just a little bit of sand and static grass to go...
I'm thinking this will be the last time I use this is a bit worse for wear.  
Yep, in the background, the BA tanks are sporting some borrowed UM (blue) accessories.  In the short term I decided to just borrow the bits from my other case.  Soon though, I'll also be switching cases and break out the UMs for the Konor Campaign! I'm hoping the next global campaign after Konor is at the Baal system!  That brings Tyranids vs Blood Angels, and Khorne, all together nicely! If it goes to Armageddon, I'll be dusting off my Astra Militarum.  

Who knows where we go from here?  I'm musing that the Blood Angels are NOT apparently in the new Space marine Codex coming out in a week or so?  Can we muse that the Blood Angels will be in the Chaos marine Codex instead?  Where will the Blood angels land if they are not with a;ll the other Chapters?  Who knows?  It might get weird around here...

In the mean time is it ethical to convert a Chaos Landraider to a Blood Angels Landraider? Answers appreciated below...   

Thursday, July 20, 2017

Painting progress

Model found in the storage closet.  If you read my prior post you know who...

Took me two evenings to finally figure out where I'd put it.

But, I immediately set to work.  It is the only "finecast" 40K kit I've ever purchased.  The material is weird to the touch.  Like really weird.  Better put paint on it...cover up the weirdness.  I chucked the backpack/banner pole it came with and replaced it with a real Blood Angels pack.  Much better with the details.

I have two evenings to get it table-top this point (no pictures yet), it went through the following steps - following a video I watched a few times -

  • GW Black Primer
  • Abbadon Black touch-ups
  • Mephiston Red outer cape and inner robes and pack. Washes. Red highlights. 
  • Bolt gun metal on sword and plasma pistol
  • Flesh tones for face. 
  • Basecoat for the base to match my other models.  

Bronze, gold, tans, browns, blues, purples, greens, pinks and grays will be next...maybe a wash for the flesh. Hopefully all tonight.  Going to be a long evening.  

Then sand for the base tomorrow.

Painting this character up with a few other needed reinforcements. Those all got red/wash/red/black/boltgun/base.  Details are needed for them too - mostly the yellow trim or 5th Company Blood Angels details.  

Man, you can see that my most recent painting efforts were all red...hmmm...

Also need to print stuff and pack for the Rockport Invitational...the games should be great.

Look for a post next week with photos and tactical assessments.  The Blood Angels will go down swinging!

Wish me luck!




Monday, July 17, 2017

Rockport Invitational!

Well, I have less than 5 days to get ready!

The event is 1500 points, looking forward to a great day!

I am bringing in the Blood Angels for this one, and I have a bunch of work to do - basically every night this week!

My list is somewhat the same as I have been using in 8th so far, and tonight I'll recheck the math and start cleaning up on some painting!

1500 Point Battalion Detachment (from memory) (rev2)

  • Dante
  • Mephiston
  • Death Co, 5, TH, PA, PS
  • Assault squad #1, 5, PF, IP, 2xMG, JPs
  • Assault Squad #2, 5, PA, IP, 2xFL, JPs
  • Tac Squad #1, 5, PS, FL
  • Tac Squad #2, 5, PS, FL
  • Tac Squad #3, 5, FL
  • DT Razorback #1, Las-Plas, HKM, SB
  • DT Razorback #2, Las-Plas, HKM, SB
  • DT Razorback #3, TLAC, SB
  • Baal Pred, TLAC, 2xHB

5 melta weapons, 5 plasma weapons, 2 TLAcs, 2 HBs, 3 SBs, 5 flamers, 2 lascannons, 2 HKMs, and the rest being 9 bolters and 30 bolt pistols or so. I'm looking to possibly (temporarily tag) the HKMs to the sides of my las-plas turrets.  Maybe with magnets...overall, shooting wise it has some interesting features.  9 power weapons in assault.  I think the biggest weakness is fighting against Knights, greater demons, or Lords of War.  But, what else can you do in just 1500 points?

Overall, I had an earlier list that had a Sanguinary Priest, but I decided I'd have Mephiston pushing out 4++ saves instead of a Pries creating a +1S bubble. Mephiston is interesting, the Blood Angels psychic spells don't currently allow him the Wing of Sanguinius spell of old (yet), so he slogs along at his own pace of movement.  Frankly, I suspect the enemy is more likely to come to me anyway, and having him as a counter-assault unit might be critical.   The most difficult thing is - I know I HAD an unpainted Mephiston (resin) model someplace...I just got to find out where I put it!  It is funny that such an important model in Blood Angels lore is cheaper than a bog-standard librarian with jump pack, so, yeah, he is points efficient.  So, job #1 tonight is find him, assemble, prime! Barring that, (gulp) either purchase a different one or write a new list.  I have never used Mephiston in a game...but with 5W, 5T, 5S, and essentially a S10 sword hitting on 2's with 4 attacks, what is not to love?  Plus he knows 4 spells and can use two each as the master of death he has a 5++ vs everything including mortal wounds.  Kind of a glass hammer!

Second thing to do tonight is edit and recheck my spreadsheet to make sure the points are accurate and models match the points.

Dante has been great, and as a Chapter Master he gets you to reroll all missed attacks in his bubble. I actually had to (finally) pin Dante together - he is a heavy metal model, and kept dropping his jump pack and Inferno Pistol.  Hopefully this keeps him together better.

With all the units above (9 to drop in deployment), odds are I'm going second.

Rev1 of the list was squeezing in a Sanguinary priest and Sanguinary Guard.  Again, the priest creates a +1S bubble.  The Guard are interesting at 2-wounds per model, but pricey (and die quickly to power claws like anybody else). In the list above I swapped them for Mephiston and the Baal.  

Wish me luck,


Tuesday, July 11, 2017

Dante meets Ghaz

It was a fun game last week or so.  80 power points of Blood Angels vs 80 power points of Orks.  Dante vs Ghazgul Thrakka.

I used the same list more or less as the prior 8th edition versions.

The mission was the Relic.  My opponent actually had fewer units to deploy...and captured the relic with a Nob on turn 1.  I spent the rest of the game trying to get it back...

Here we are soon after deployment...
I grabbid da loot hur hur hur....

This shot was in the blood angels turn 1, after charges were accomplished...

This shot was turn 2, orks charge phase...Ghaz was still lounging in the Morkanaught...the Nob with the relic is running away. The death company had died...two other Blood Angel Squads sorely damaged...

And here we were around turn 3.  Ghaz got out of his box, and Dante charged him.

Dante hit 7 times, wounded 7 times, Ghaz' used his invulnerable save to cut that back to 3 d3 wounds...and took 6 damage in total.

Then Ghaz attacked, hitting Dante about 5 times, strength 12+ power claw...2 wounds got through his saves...each doing 3 damage...pop goes Dante.

We called the game at the end of 4 due to time.

The Blood angel casualties were:

2 5-man tac squads plus 4 additional marines
1 5-man Death Company squad
3 Sanguinary guard
1 5-man assault squad and 3 additional assault marines
1 very damaged razorback.

The orks had lost:

20+grots and a minder
30 boyz mob plus about 18 additional boyz
Wounded shaman
Wounded Ghaz
1 severely damage Morkanought.

At the end of 4, the orks were sounding a fighting retreat with the Blood Angels in pursuit. With the ork with the relic far ahead, it was unlikely the Blood Angels could recover the relic.

Overall, in thinking about the tactics, the outcome was pretty similar to the relic game I played earlier.  The player who gets the relic first tends to keep it and win.

What I could have done differently was to have a little patience.  Whittle down the mobs another turn before charging them. Dropping the assault squads on the flanks to limit the ability of the nob to run away with the relic.  Add other chargers when going against Ghaz.

Things we also forgot -

Buffs - Dante grants to hit rerolls for ALL BA units - not just infantry.  That would mean in turn 1 the Razorback fire would have been more devastating.

Cover.  Apparently there is such a thing as being obscured in cover...(See recent Frontline Gaming video battle reports on Twitch).  Just make sure it is understood and agreeable by your opponent.  For example, if the Morkanought was in contact with that big LOS blocking crag in midfield, he would have been able to possibly get a 1+ cover save bonus.  We could also have essentially created the craggy terrain as "ruins" for clarity.  The "cover save" apparently only applies with the unit on or contacting the terrain and being 50% or so obscured.  it is something for me to look into more.

Enough for now.  No games this week due to other obligations.  I am also in the process of painting up some additional blood angels - sergeants and flamer marines...stuff to make my force more WYSIWYG.

The interesting thing my opponent did, was turn 1 get the Nob to the relic (9 inches away).  Then he advanced grots around and ahead of him and with the Morkanought not to far away gave them all 5++ invuln saves from the Kustom Force Field.  It meant i had to remove ALL of the grots before i could go after the character.  20 grots with 5++ saves are nothing to sneeze fact in overwatch, one tactical marine perished to a grot shot to the face...

Overall, I have to decide quick for the upcoming Konor campaign - Ultramarines, Astra Militarum, or in the comments below...


Wednesday, June 28, 2017

Getting the hang of It

Our local FLGS, Crossroad Games, is asking we experiment at playing for now using Power Levels as we all get the hang of the new 8th Edition rules.  They plan for a July 80-point tournament for the new Warhammer 40K, and we have about three more weeks till then.

In the mean time, its has been interesting!

I've played three games now as Blood Angels - two on opening day and one this week.  Here is a rundown:

Game 1
Essentially right as I walked in the door!  Picked up my book and walked into a game.  80 Power points of Blood Angels vs Mechanicus. I basically quickly cobbled together what would be a 78 point list - Battalion Detachment (6 command points)

Sanguinary Priest
Sanguinary Guard
Assault Squad
Assault Squad
Death Company
Tactical Squad, Razorback
Tactical Squad, Razorback
Tactical Squad, Razorback

My opponent had a Kastellan Robot list supported by a crab, snipers, and some real nasty electo-priests.  In this game we were each fighting over an objective placed in each deployment zone.  We were fighting toward a draw, until the last player phase when his Kastellans and Walker took the last wound off the rhino, it exploded, and then he basically through hot dice to put mortal wounds on the character and assault squad there, eliminating the units.  Game ended with my loss, 4:1.  I could not advance on the Kastellans.  72 dice or so in firepower (4 robots, buffed to doubling their firepower). Big mistake for me in the game was that the Electropriests got a charge off on a small depleted tac squad and wiped them out - changing their invulnerable save from 5++ down to 3++.  It then took alot of effort to get rid of them!  My opponent also forget a unit he'd held in reserves.  He had been hoping to get them in on my home objective for the straight up win.  IIRR his Kastellans killed a razorback, death company squad, and sanguinary guard, just by weight of fire.  It just goes to show, LOS blocking terrain is very important.

Game 2
Same day, same list, vs Orks.  This game was alot of fun.  4 objectives, you get points each round for holding objectives.  My opponent started off with a big lead, using cheap grots to hold objectives while our larger units battled each other.  At the end, the Orks had a Morkanought, Battlwagon, and psycher on the table.  I had about half my units remaining but depleted.  I lost the game by 1 point. The score was about 14-13.  Again in this game, in a key combat phase - I had three units of 5 marines plus a razorback in assault with a 30-boy mob.  I took a few losses of infantry, gave a good bloodletting in return, and then the Nob killed off the razorback.  It exploded on a 6, and after the rolls for mortal wounds on each unit - I was down to one sergeant vs 14 or so Orks. Another highlight was the battlewagon literally grinding its deathrolla on another Razorback blocking its way. Somehow that lasted for about three combat phases.  The game also had my razorbacks shoot down a DakkaJet.  The Razorback was blocking the short route to an objective I was holding.  As you may recall, in setting up a game, I always state that tracked or wheeled vehicles cannot climb vertical surfaces - which I think is important.  My opponent COULD have just backed the Battlewagon up and gone a different route, or led with the Morkanought.  

Game 3
The Relic.  Same list.  Vs a Chaos Marine Player.  The relic was on the top of a large pyramid, very thematic.  The deployment had us buth 9 inches from the objective.  My opponent led his demon prince from the front.  I got to go first, and a Sanguinary Guard got the relic.  The game was a slog, and I was able to kill off the Chaos demon prince (shooting), defiler (assault), and mobs of cultists (flamers, shooting, assualts, and chaos bikders (assaults), and psycher character (shooting). We ended after three full turns with me continuing to jump away holding the relic.  My opponent had just a landraider, chaos champion, and a depleted chaos marine squad.  I had just a bunch of depleted squads plus Dante and the Sanguinary Priest. Blood angels for the win! At least in this game now vehicles exploded.

Dante was a pretty good buff and a beast in CC. He survived all three games.

The Sanguinary priest was good, gives a great buff, and actually doubled his value in healing marines each game.  He was toast in Game 1.

Overall, as we were playing using power levels, I got smarter on wargear each game.  By game three, the razorbacks were sporting HK missiles and PMSBs, which clearly helped.

Lets see how tonight goes!

Overall I'm bummed that Blood Angel Assault squads don't have access at the moment to meltaguns. I have to create a bunch more flamer marines though!

All for now!



Friday, June 2, 2017

Just a speedbump

Well, it was as amazing a fight as any.

1850 - Blood Angels vs Orks, the last game I'll play in 7th Edition.

Standard deployment, 3 maelstrom cards per turn, ability to steal the objective cards from the opponent.

I deployed first, decided to go first.

Apparently I did not know the orks could Waaaaugh! every turn with their detachment of choice.

My opponent had a simple warboss with his 30 bodyguards, three trukks full of boyz, 20 stormboyz, 3 groups of 5 Lootas, a trukk full of heavy armored boyz, and a bucket of grots.  Something like 160 models in total.

I had just 40 models...

Here are the photos.

 Setup underway

I'm deployed.

Oks and 


Furioso drops in on the right to flame trucks full of boyz.  About 12 boyz and a hull point for the effort.  

Wauugh! Charge right into the center. Walk, run, charge with reroll. Nasty.  I was only about 22 inches apart - apparently easy for the orks to get that far when juiced up on Waugh. 

Furioso was charged too.  More damage, but gone. 

Turn 2 reinforcements arrive, get charged. The drop pod would explode and take out 4 marines and 8 or more orks in the explosion. 

Consolidating, flaming, more orks off the table.  

Bottom of turn 3. It is getting pretty thin, but the fight goes on. 

Beginning on Turn 5.  I'm down to Dante and no other survivors.  

Grots just hanging out and looting stuff.

Overall, I'd whittled the orks to about half of their numbers, and all I had left was Dante.  The score at the end was about 13 to 6.  

The biggest mistake on my part was just moving forward in the center - although that probably just would have slowed the outcome a turn.  About the time I'd dealt with the first wave (4 mobz and trukks), the second wave hit (warboss, his 30-boy mob, and the 5 mega-armored nobz). 

We mused at the end how the orks might have a harder time with vehicles in 8th edition. Other than that, they should get very happy! 

All for now!

Till 8th!


Wednesday, May 31, 2017

I am the Windshield

Or the bug?  I dunno.

Tonight is my last 7th edition game.

Blood Angels vs Orks.

Against my long term nemesis.

I'll likely use the same list as last week, because I've been lazy.

Sanguinary Guard
Sanguinary Priest
Assault Squad
Assault Squad
Furioso Dread, Pod
Death Co Dread, Pod
Tac Squad, Las-Plas Razorback
Tac Squad, Las-Plas Razorback
Baal Pred
Baal Pred
(49 models)

My opponent will likely have something like 150 orks, including shooty ones, Kans, Trukks, Nobz, grotz, jumpy ones, the entire kitchen sink.

I'll be outnumbered like 3:1 or more.

Been there before.

I'm not going down without a fight!

He'll try to just keep me in a corner and assault the crap out of me.

I'll just spread him out, keep him guessing where to head next.  Make him make a bunch of fear tests...

LOL, its gonna been fun! (Tragic but fun).

Tuesday, May 23, 2017

Eye of Terror Candy

Just getting some game shots from this Spring off my phone....

1000 Point force...probably my last 7th Edition Tournament day...2 wins, 1 loss.  The loss was to a kid playing Genestealer cult min-maxed with demo charges.  He's pop units off the table at the end of a turn and make them reappear, roll on the chart, try to get them danger close, plus summon more...The other two games were a lot more fun...I ended the date in the middle of the pack. Probably the first time I had used Dante in a tournament list...if his stats prove worthy in 8th I'll continue that...unless I drop everything and run to the shiny new Ultramarines and Roboute the Primarch Reborn.

OMG...Orks...swarming around Thor's (from Creative Twilight) biker...

More Orks...

Photo from some random game I lost vs the new Yinaeri Eldar.  IIRR I was wiped off the map.

Earlier in the game (deployment...)

Some other earlier game.  Vs. Necrons...IIRR I won by a point...or lost horribly.  I think at the end I was trying to beat his Necron warlord and failed...its fuzzy...His double formation / detachment allowed him to put scarabs and warrior units back into the game...sort of a never ending swarm...I won't miss that detachment...

Chaos from above.....
Well...that's all I have.

8th edition now has a pre-order date, and today i started to see leaked pages from the rulebook hitting the web.  A lot of people are excited. I'm looking forward to it.  Just lamenting all the cards and books I bought for 7th edition. I am getting the bug to get back down into my own "beats lab" and get some unopened models built and looks to be a great summer!



Tuesday, May 2, 2017

Most Tyranid Players are Babies

Just wanted to say that.

I've known some great Tyranid players in my time.  The great ones show up, and in a totally bug-trance state just consume your army and win, then move to the next table.  Repeat. They understand the concept with emotionless candor, that bugs should play as bugs.  The more bugs the better. A few large flying bugs is just a point sink from getting you more / dozens of additional bugs. A few bugs creating distractions or improved cover.  Fast bugs to pin you down.  Big bugs to destroy you.  Other bugs that make more bugs. They hit your army in a tidal wave.  They don't really care for cover, nothing.  In Maelstrom games they don't even care for objectives.  They control the pace of the game and their huge swarms just gain ground. Opponents just react to them. Recoil from them.

Bad to mediocre Tyranid players are more common though.  They whine. They always complain they can't win. They always complain that their army lists all look the same. Right now you will see them comment on forums about their hates for the current 40K edition and their dreams for 8th.

I thought about being a Tyranid player.  Once. Painted about a baker's dozen of Genestealers. Then decided to go back to the more human-side of the game.  After all, even though I know that bugs can win and be awesome and fearful to behold, I just cannot connect with them. Psychologically I cannot make the bugs win. I hate bugs.

In real life, I go out of my way to crush ants.  Use pesticides on their nests.  Or better yet, drown them with water.  Flood the nest with a hose.  One of the best things I ever saw was those videos of guys pouring molten aluminum down into ant nests and after all the hissing and popping stops, digging up the mass of aluminum as art.  Shiny and chrome.

Its why I have no empathy for the bad to mediocre Tyranid players.  Tyranids have no real characters.  They have no history.  They have no real background.  They fight for nothing other than to consume carbon-based life.  Remember every Hive Tyrant, no matter how awesome, at the end of that planetary invasion just itself wades into a digestion pool and gives its biomass back to the hive fleet.  Its genetic material and carbon transferred to space and eventually turned back into something else.  It is that cold fact that some Tyranid players embrace.

I'd say that the ideal Tyranid player, after winning a tournament, would just destroy their army and start over.  Recycle the plastic. Go to the FLGS. Buy new boxes. Start over. Glue. Airbrush.  Paint eyes, claws. Teeth.  Invasion.

Overall, even the great Tyranid players stop playing Tyranids.  I think it is because of the monotony of their success.  Without fluff, without history, consuming can only get you so far.  Some go on to play Demon armies.  Some go on to play orks.  Some just quit active play and hide in the background, looking for a new reason to rise and come forward, deploying their hordes to the table again.

Will 8th Edition bring the great ones back out?  Time will tell.





Monday, May 1, 2017

Blood Angels FTW

As we get closer to the dramatic changes that will be 8th Edition, I'm still getting in a game here and there.

This last week I got in a game using my Blood Angels against a combined (new formation) of mixed Black Templars plus Ultramarines at 1000 points.

The local FLGS has been pushing 1000 points as a entry level size, capping this coming weekend with a three-game tournament.

BT Emperor's Champion (WL)
BT Terminators (5), all TH/SS
BT Landraider Crusader
UM Techmarine, Bike
UM Tac Squad, 3, MG, Bikes
UM Tac Squad, 3, MG, Bikes
UM Tac Squad, 3, MG, Bikes

The benefit of the detachment is that when any of the Tac Bikers are removed from play, on a roll of 5+ (or so), they go into ongoing reserves.

Blood Angels (CAD)
Dante (LOW, WL)
Sanguinary Priest, PAxe, Jump pack
Sanguinary Guard, 5, 2xPF, 2xIP
Furioso Dreadnought, frag cannon, DCCW, HF, Drop Pod
Tac Squad, 5, FL, Las-plas Razorback
Tac Squad, 5, FL, Las-plas Razorback

We played maelstrom #5 - 3 hidden mission cards, etc.

Overall, it was a fun game. Dante's tactical warlord trait was to get an extra maelstrom card on turn 1, which did not help much. I deployed just the razorback squads (objective secured as a CAD).  Dante and the rest were kept in reserves.  My opponent deployed everything.  The terrain was hills and wood, with a river bisecting the table at an angle, and a bridge across the center.  The river was deemed shallow, and only difficult (not dangerous) terrain.

On turn 1, I might have scored a point for an objective in my deployment zone.  The pod slammed down in the far right, near two bike squads and the river.  The dread's frag cannon and HF killed off three bikers.  My opponent then reacted by wrecking the drop pod and shaking the dread.

Turn 2 saw Dante and his retinue drop in on the left flank, but deviated the full 6 inches away from the BT Landraider.  The Dread assaulted the nearest biker squad and eliminated it.  In response, the BT landraider spins around and the Champion and terminators dismount, ultimately charging Dante's group.  After the assault, I'm down to Dante and one SG, and the BT's are down to 4 terminators.  Dante uses hit and run to get away. On the right flank, the Dread gets wrecked from MG/MM fire.

Turn 3 and I send Dante towards the center, while shooting up some bikers.  Dante eliminates the techmarine biker.  Two previously eliminated UM biker squads come back in from reserves.  I eliminate another UM biker squad, and they fail their come back roll.  Dante and his SG buddy weather the wrath of the Crusader.

Turn 4 and I get Dante and SG behind a building on my right flank, to start heading up the table.  The OPFOR has a biker squad getting over the river on my left flank, and into assault with the razorback there, wrecking it.  The BT landraider (and terminators) gallop back into the BT deployment zone to help score some points. It is a tie game.

Turn 5-7 We keep on fighting.  Eventually Dante is in the OPFOR deployment zone.

Blood Angels win with a score of approx. 13 to 12.  

 Learning moment of the game:  5 SG are no match for 5 TH/SS Terminators...


Wednesday, April 12, 2017

Roboute? Is that You?

Hey there faithful / faithless readers!

As Spring encroaches ever more and ski season comes to its annual conclusion, I have been able to get some 40K games back on the schedule!  Throughout the Winter time, I have been dutifully reading White Dwarf magazine (returning to the best again in its updated format), and picking up the new Campaign Supplements as quickly as they get published.

As for the latest of the books, it is awesome to see conclusion of this three book set.  Of course, the writers (again) jump the shark with tales of huge losses and compressed time scales that border on the "not well mapped out".  It is awesome to see the Ultramarines 3rd Company engaged and great photos.  And ultimately, Roboute Guilliman is healed from stasis and returns as a living Primarch to the game system.

Of course, I am going to get Roboute as a model, and soon will have him on the tabletop for battle. If you are a pro-painter, and want a commission, just let me know how much a Roboute commission would be, and maybe I'll get back to you!  As a centerpiece model, he'd be awesome for your portfolio and my travel case! As you know I can paint my own stuff to table top goodness pretty quickly, but sometimes you just need to consider the alternative!

One of the issues that immediately arises is how RG will show up in games.  Since apparently 40K is losing its "constraints" we now see all of these new characters seemingly able to join in other factions as replacement HQs/MCs/WLs.  That will ultimately be crazy.  Example - within hours of the model's release, my favorite characters at the Long War were podcasting list ideas having RG accompany a Spacewolf CAD mostly full of wolves.  Later on, after they might have added some thinking to it, they came up with list ideas having RG in an Ultramarines CAD with Tigurius in a conclave, all to make him into a teleported/shunted/invisible bludgeon that crashes into the opponent on turn 2.

At my local FLGS, I have only seen one player with the model...(so far)....

I worked to get paired with him for club night, in part to get in a game with an old friend, but also to see RG in action!!!

1500 Points - Maelstrom, Contact Lost
Blood Angels vs Ultramarines

I used "an older list" - euphamistically named Fratris Rev2:
(Nothing says I can hurt you like a Baal Strike Force)

Librarian, Warlord, level 2, FS, PP, JP
Sanguinary Priest, PAxe, JP

Sanguinary Guard (5), PFs(2), Angelus Boltguns(3), Encarmine Swords(3), Infernous Pistols(2), Death Masks, JPs

Death Company (6), PAxe, PF, PS, JPs

Assault Squad (5), 2 MG, MB, Drop Pod, SB

Assault Squad (10), Veteran sergeant, PF, Infernous, 2MG, JPs

Tac Squad (5), FL, Baal Razorback w/ Las-Plas

Tac Squad (5), FL, Baal Razorback w/ Las-Plas

Predator, TLAutoC, HB Sponsons

Baal Pred, TLAssCan, HB Sponsons

So yeah, the purpose of this all-comers list is to get in to assault you, with a few small fast units to get objectives. My warlord trait was useless (BA#6) for this game.  Librarian Spells were from the Sanguinary deck - Quickening, Shield, and Wings.

OPFOR - Ultramarines CAD

MC - Roboute Guilliman / Warlord

HQ - Chapter Master w/ PS, orb bom

Elite - Sternguard (5), double melta, PS, Drop Pod
Elite - Sternguard (5), double grav, PS, Drop Pod

Tactical (10), PG, PC, one marine as the SM special marine swap-in.
Tactical (10), PG, PC

Heavy - Whirlwind Scorpius

Heavy - Sicaran w/ HB Sponsons

Heavy - Dev Squad, 2xPC

Terrain was an ice planet with a few ruins.  One objective was placed on a hill near center - the others were all placed around, most in the open or on a hill.  The Blood Angels won the roll to choose sides, and grabbed the side with the most objectives.  The Ultramarines set up first, and went first.  The Ultramarines deployed with RG in the center, the Scorpius opposite the BA lef, and the remainder of the force concentrated on the BA right.

Strategic decision - I decided to hold the jump pack units all in reserves.  The reason being, I figured that until the scorpius was eliminated, nothing was safe from its 1+D3 AP3 small blast templates.  At that point, I should have just decided to come in from the deployment edge rather than Deep Strike, but did not with consequences to come.

Strategic decision - I decided to keep away from RG.  There is no reasonable way to eliminate that model from play. He is slow, the opponent has no way to make him move faster.

Turn 1
The Ultramarines MG / pod squad came in on my far right flank to pop the tac squad's razorback. First blood.  He also damaged/immobilized his Sicaran on a hill, and also damaged/immob'd my predator and damaged the leftmost razorback.  My rightmost squad's razzorback was exploded and the squad pinned. RG stomped his way towards the center. One point for an objective.

In response, I dropped my pod at the Scorpius on an objective.  The MG squad dismounted.  Scorpius exploded. Shuffled other stuff about a bit.  Shot a few rounds here and there.  Scored an objective - score is now 2:1.

Turn 2
The other Grav-Stern Pod squad comes in...deviates off the board and the Mishap result has me place it in the far upper right corner.  RG continues to stompo towards the center.  On the far right, the MG Stern line up to charge my dismounted troops.  Charge goes in, we are stuck in combat.  Both sergeants kill each other. Scores an objective point.

The BA 10-man assault squad arives from reserves.  I drop it opposite of the left-most UM tac squad, hoping to wipe them out or break them.  I cause casualties but they fail to break...still has the PC. Crap. I score nothing.  Score is now 3:1.

Turn 3
UMs reposition, RG holding the center.  Attention is placed on my assault squad (10) and podded assault squad.  In the end of shooting, I've lost 8 assault marines. In the far right, I lose assault with the Sternguard, but we are still holding.  RG uses fleet to pull off an 11-inch charge to reach the assault squad - wipes them out with the Emperoro's blade at I6.  The UMs score about 5 points - Assendancy and others.  On my turn, the Librarian/Sanguinary Priest/Guard deep strike at a great location on the right flank.  I deviate onto the ongoing combat.  Mishap roll of 1.  420 points of army just evaporates. Crap.  The death company comes in to the same exact spot.  Sticks the landing. In the shooting phase I finish off the UM tac squad, and I can see RG is itching to head after the isolated units remaining on that table half.  I score maybe 2 points for objectives. Score is now 9:3 (including STWL for the UMs due to my mishap).

Turn 4
RG lines up to crush my drop pod, other units move forward to try and lock down or engage the death company.  I lose the drop pod in assault, and just one DC marine.  On my turn, I move up to clear the last sternguard from my depluyment zone, and my remaining assault marines head for the far left corner, away from RG.  Other shooting does some damage but not much.  The DC kills the remaining sternguard in assault, and moves to cover awaiting the UM response. Score is like 10:4.

Turn 5
RG moves to the upper left but fails the charge on the 2 hidden assault marines.  The Chapter Master of the UMs drops his Orbital Bombardment template on the DC - it deviates a bit and I lose two.  4 DC remain.  No points scored.  My DC advance to attack the nearest (other) tac squad.  Shooting support and such sees them wiped out in the assault phase.  With that and a few other objectives (assendancy).  The score is now 10:7.

We both get linebreaker as the game ends.  11:8.  Ultramarines win.

Overall, it was a fun, fast paced game. Underall, it sucked to lose nearly a third of my force to a mishap. Had that dice been different, the game could have reached a different conclusion!

It was cool to play in a game vs RG. That said, My opponent could have been much more aggressive with the model!  And yes, I did shoot at RG when there were no other targets, but he made every saving throw. Good win for the Ultramarines!

Overall, I still think this list for Blood Angels is a good one.  I just got to get better at playing it right! That said, when do I start playing UMs again?  Soon....maybe....


Thursday, March 23, 2017

Bad Robots! Blood Angels vs Necrons


As work slowed a bit and Ski Season grinds toward Spring, 40K Season returns to my Bunker!

First off - I had been playing the game Mobile Strike on my Phone for over a year.  it was truly fun, but without spending huge sums of $$, the game went out of reach for me.  So i have lots of gold for 30-day shields...Instead of playing that I'm now playing a far cooler game - Rogue Assault.  It is really fun, lots of great actual graphics, three modes of play, and I'm in a cool Alliance - the Assyrians - with my typical gamer tag - Maj Ming.  I work in that alliance as a mid-level recruiter and mentor.  Overall, it is a great experience.  If you play it, feel free to ping me, but don't search me out to wreck my base of operations! If you need a great Alliance to is by invitation only...I am the gatekeeper!

So yeah, played a good game of 40K last night.  1000 points.  Of course the club night was at 1500 points, but my opponent is just jumping back in with a new Necron force - 2 boxes of the Retribution Phalanx.  We had Maelstrom Mission #3.  So his force was basically 2 Overlords (one as the WL), 2 Stalkers, 2 units of warriors, and 2 units of Scarabs.  Special rule for each detachments is essentially a never-ending swarm of Scarabs or Warriors appearing next to each Overlord as each unit is eliminated...The Stalkers give the units +1BS.  So yeah, it was nasty!

I'd pared down an existing 1650 list to just:

Sanguinary Pries w/ PAxe, Jump pack
Assault squad, 10, Jump packs, 2 MG, 1 IP, 1 PAxe
Tac Squad, 6, FL, fast Las-Plas Razorback
Tac Squad, 5, FL, fast Las-Plas Razorback
Death Co, 5, Jump packs, PFist, PSword
Siege Dread, Frag Cannon, HF/DCCW, Pod w/ SB

We went 5 turns. It was good to be back in the game.  it was interesting to revisit how survivable Necrons would be and how effective Empyric Strike or Gaus weapons would be.

I got first blood.

I lost the dread, pod, and Razorbacks and Death Company.

My opponent lost 3-unit equivalents of Scarabs and 1-unit of Warriors, of course all came back...

Low scoring game at 1,000 points - Blood Angels for the Win at 7 to 6 points!

Anyways!  Good to be back!

Sadly - the first thing I also had to do yesterday was withdraw from a 40K invitational event!  I have a event I have to be responsible for that same weekend.  Oh well!  Since I can't be at a FLGS or special event that weekend, at least i can get into Rogue Assault and rack up some points and get some more recruits going!

Enough for me -  How is you 40K going?



Friday, January 27, 2017

I am the Resistance

Captain Jean Moulin, surrounded by his bodyguards, stalked through the caverns and tunnels, visiting platoons, clusters of civilian refugees, and packs of servitors.  Space was cramped but manageable.  He was surrounded by the survivors of the 76th Infantry Regiment, of Cadia.  Their location was several hundred meters underground in a cavern system that had been hollowed out over 250 years ago, beneath the low mountains above Cadia Tertius.  The caverns had been created at this depth to provide cover from any orbital bombardment.  The 76th had been here since the main fighting stages of the 13th Black Crusade of Abaddon, having fought a retreat to the underground immediately on word that the Black Stone Fortress in orbit had been destroyed and wreckage might begin raining down onto the surface.  Ancient blast doors had been opened and then closed and sealed, leaving a chaos host - mainly cultists and daemons - outside. Their fate was unknown, but there was no sign of pursuit. The doors were too massive for anything but a direct hit from a novacannon to open. 

Captain Moulin had been with the regimental Vox team when the brief word of the impending doom was transmitted, had been knocked from his feet in the shock wave, and heard the later orders for units to retreat to what remained of the naval fleet for off-world evacuation. Moulin and his Regiment determined to remain behind. Cadia was their home.  On one hand, Moulin's logisticians offered that the cavern spaces contained maybe a year's worth of rations and wartime supplies for the survivors. On the other hand, Moulin estimated it might take four years before the massive might of the Imperial Guard could return to Cadia proper and relieve his command.  

It was going to be a long time of effort and hard work.  

In one cavern, a group of maybe 35 Whiteshield recruits cheered for him "Cadia Stands!".  

The Vox team setup and tested some old, unused communications cables that extended who knows where.  They were chagrinned to find other voxcasters elsewhere had done the same. At least it seemed that they were linked to other survivor groups on Cadia. Moulin ordered that no coordinates or locations for any group would be collected or transmitted over the unsecured Vox net. It was highly likely that taitor and cultist units were searching for such groups to exterminate them.     

On the blast doors leading to the surface, someone had painted in gothic letters...

I Am The Resistance

Regimental engineers were currently mapping the caverns and tunnels at his disposal.  Air ventillation and water were high on the priority list.  It had only been a few days since the disaster struck. But the first goal would be survival and data gathering. The blast doors were guarded.  They were not to be opened at all.  Other means of eggress would have to be discovered.  In fact, the source of lighting and power for the caverns themselves had not yet been known.  Old tech was often the best, mused Moulin.  

Moulin was determined that resistance would not be futile. He continued his inspection.  

Friday, January 6, 2017

Chaos Inbound

Well, I had some fun the other day after reading Traitors Hate.  That book is the "companion" to the version focused on the Blood Angels - this book covers the events - the direct Precursor to the upcoming Fall of Cadia - from the Chaos viewpoint.

On one hand, I was very disappointed that there was not more in the book from the "new" and unique Crimson Slaughter warband - their leader, Sevastus Kranon - deserved at least his own data slate and warband sheet, but alas, it was a missed opportunity for the writers!  No other warband seems to be haunted by the screaming ghosts of their own victims, and seemed to cause as much terror and seemed to grow in strength as much as these guys.

Overall, I know GW has models suitable for these guys.  I love their fluff, that the Black legion sent them in on the first wave, basically as cannon fodder.

Kranon has now "left the conflict" with the survivors of his warband and look to exact revenge on the Black legion.

On the other hand, the book brings up the usual basic flaw of all 40K books for GW....

....Their narrative for these massive fights / campaigns are flawed by NOT having enough marines (chaos or otherwise) to sustain the story they narrate.

It was funny that they put force org charts in this latest book...Kranon's first wave attackers against a heavily defended Imperial / Mechanicus consisted of entirely three tanks and 41 marines, and a dreadnought. It is silly, because the enemy are in the thousands, and the descriptions are two massive for such a small warband.  If anything, it needed another box containing 10,000 cultists and 10 Titans...

OK, second wave was Khorne led by Kharn.  Similar issues. The narrative includes chaos cultists, more titans...but they don't really account for it.

Third wave was a surgical black legion strike force, all to accomplish the real mission.

I'm guessing right now that the Chaos mission is flawed.  The Black legion Sorcerer believes he is opening a trapped prison full of demons...

I'm thinking he unwittingly found Trayzyn the Infinite's vault...and unlocked it.

That would be ironic...not only might there be a bunch of C'Tan Shards in there, but...a Primarch...

Anyhow...I digress...

In November and December I was given two transport boxes...things might get interesting...2000 points of Chaos Marines, plus a Demon Prince and 10 Bloodletters?  Hmm....I don't know who originally owned them.  Table ready, plus or minus some repairs.

It is a pretty weak warband right out of the transport cases.  Kharn is the recognizable HQ choice.  2 units of Berserkers. 5 terminators (all different). 3 Bikers. 5 Havocs (one of each heavy weapon). 3 Rhinos, 1 all-las pred, 1 landraider. Some debris that might be Chosen or something like that.  Overall, the non-berserker units need some retooling and love.  Not enough special weapons...not enough means to deploy these guys into assault directly.

Overall, anyone want to trade 10 old-school metal bloodletters for a new box of spawn or a real box of something else from the Chaos marine line?  Demonsd are all the rage...I'm interested to get a box of chaos marines, a chaos lord, and/or maybe another box of chaos bikers.  That would give me the pieces I need to really upgrade them.  Eventually two Helldrakes...Need to keep the Prince, just in case someone upgrades to one in-game...same for the spawn...probably need one per character, LOL...

The big question becomes - Upgrade their painting and basing to be Black Legion and Khorne/Kharn, or go thematic and go Crimson Slaughter / Khorne/Kharn...I don't know at this point.  That said...I have the next book on pre-order...