Monday, 17 January 2022

Battle Report - Death Guard vs Astra Militarum


First report of the year, back to visiting JP (who I've borrowed some pics from) for some Garagehammer with 2000 points of my Death Guard warband taking on the Cadian Guardsmen and their Baneblade! We decided to play with the Open War cards for this one - I think it's become my default for 'normal' 40k games, that aren't either tournament style or narrative scenarios. 

My collection of 'dry' Death Guard, known as The Desiccated, brought a Mortarion's Anvil battalion, led by a Lord of Contagion with both the plague company warlord trait and relic. He was accompanied by a Malignant Plaguecaster, a Foul Blightspawn, a couple of units of Plague Marines, a couple of possessed squads, some Poxwalkers and a spawn, and a big brick of ten Blightlord Terminators. Assorted armoured support came from a Blight-Hauler, Bloat-drone, Plagueburst Crawler, a Rhino and a new edition, a Helbrute.

The Cadians brought with them a bunch of infantry squads, including two units of mortar teams and two riding in Chimeras, a couple of Bullgryn units in Valkyries, a Basilisk and the aforementioned Baneblade. They were led by a gaggle of officers, including a Primaris Psyker and a Tank Commander with the relic battlecannon.

Here's the mission. Six objectives scored in the command phase, the arrowhead vs corners deployment, and for a laugh we drew two twists - plus one attack and -1 leadership and combat attrition. Probably to my benefit with all those squishy, scared guardsmen.

Deployment - Guard in the corners, Chaos up the middle, with some support units hiding on the flanks. The big unit of Terminators and the Lord of Contagion waiting in the warp to drop in later. The Baneblade deployed on the left flank, but the PBC and Rhino, loaded up with Possessed, were both behind an obscuring building so would be safe for a bit at least.

We rolled off, and the Cadians got first turn. JP had a bit of a think about it, but chose to go first (still a choice in open play) since he did have a lot of big guns and I didn't.

Guard turn one, the Valkyries zoomed up, Chimeras and Guardsmen moved onto objectives, and the Baneblade rounded the corner to get a firing lane. Valkyries opened up with rocket pods to clear the Poxwalkers after the mortar squads had taken a chunk out of them, the Bassie and the Tank Commander took aim at a Plague Marine squad, but managed to leave the champion alive. The Baneblade spoke last, splitting between the Blight-Hauler and the Helbrute. The Hauler ate the big cannon, blasting it apart, and the rest stripped the 'brute down to three wounds. Could have gone better, could have gone worse.

Death Guard turn, and we were in a target rich environment. Sadly not much gun! The Plagueburst Crawler did a good job degrading the Basilisk with a mortar shot, but most of the other shooting missed the Valkyries - though the Plaguecaster had damaged one with mortal wounds and the Blightspawn took some wounds off the other with his gross hosepipe. Then the charge phase, Possessed and their Rhino went into a Chimera, thankfully not killing it and disgorging an infantry squad onto an objective. 

The damaged Helbrute and the lone Plague Marine Champion charged a central guard squad on an objective, killing enough that with morale only the sergeant survived, denying that point as well.

Finally the Bloat-drone floated into a Valkyrie with it's Flesh mower. Thanks to the Rage twist it had 15 attacks to tear the flyer out of the sky - causing it to explode and drop the Foul Blightspawn to a single wound!

Onto Guard turn two, they picked up two points for objectives in the large ruin and on the right flank, then opened fire! Mortars stripped a wound of the Plague Marine champion, but he survived firepower from the remaining Valkyrie (which dropped it's Bullgryns on a central objective) with a CP reroll, forcing the Tank Commander to split fire and pepper him with heavy bolters. Sadly that didn't save the Helbrute who got battle cannoned. 

The Baneblade had a bit of a whiff in shooting, killing one Possessed marine and failing to kill the drone with it's big cannon. It performed better in melee however, grinding the Possessed beneath it's tracks and securing an objective with it's armoured bulk.

Bullgryns from the exploded Valkyrie decided to charge the Drone and the Blightspawn, which went pretty badly for them. Two of them melted from overwatch, the last one failed to kill the one wound character, and then promptly failed morale and ran away - or possibly he was just too stupid to get out of the puddle of toxic goo where his friends had melted.

Death Guard turn two - I picked up a point for one objective, though I'd been pushed off the others and the Militarum's aggressive movement meant the Terminators had to drop in fairly far back. I had originally intended to ignore the Baneblade and try to kill everything else, but it had pushed forward and was on an objective, so it was the only realistic target for much of my force. Shooting and psychic took some wounds off it, but it would mostly have to be done in melee. Elsewhere the single remaining sergeant that survived the Helbrute assault died to combi bolters, and the Fleshmower mowed through the rest of the Bullgryns.

The second Possessed squad charged one end, while Plague Marines went in the other, and the Lord of Contagion made his deep strike charge to pile into the side of the metal beast. Thanks to the Warp Insect Hive he managed to make all his hits and wounds to finish it off...

Big boom! A few marines died here and there, and the Lord took five mortal wounds, leaving him on one left! The Chimera also ended up on one wound, importantly not quite enough to let it's obsec cargo fall out onto the objective.

Losing assets fast, the Militarum picked up another two for the same couple of objectives at the start of turn three. Firepower cleared most of my remaining Plague Marines and the Tank Commander finished off the Bloat-drone. Some cheeky Guardsmen got out of the Chimeras to run up and control two objectives and deny me points again.

Just the one point once more for the Death Guard. Time to push the guard off once and for all! I got lucky with the PBC's shooting this turn and the Entropy cannons rolled maximum for 12 damage on the Tank Commander, destroying it and leaving an objective unattended. Then, disaster! The Terminator blob failed a charge into Guardsmen on an objective, and the Lord of Contagion failed the charge into the big ruin!

The Foul Blightspawn and Chaos Spawn did a good job on the Guardsmen in the shadow of the hovering Valkyrie, but they were unable to push them off. This mean in turn four the Cadians picked up a further three points, giving them a commanding lead. A Chimera made a long advance to go onto the objective previously held by the Tank Commander, and the artillery shooting finished off my Possessed (after they had killed the one wound Chimera and suffered a casualty from it's explosion!)

Going into Death Guard turn four I was on two objectives, so the score was 7-4. We did a bit of working out, at this stage it would be possible for me to secure a draw if everything went perfectly...

Sadly, it did not go perfectly! The PBC couldn't repeat it's feat and clear the Chimera off it's objective, and the Terminators once again failed their charge, this time into the ruin to take the objective there. The Lord of Contagion continued in good form however, getting in and killing or scaring away all the Guard in there, though on his own unable to outnumber the Basilisk. He did survive it's firepower at point blank in turn five however, so that was something!

Cadians picked up another couple of objectives to finish on 9 points, to 6 points for the Death Guard with all the objectives counted. A hard fought win for the Astra Militarum, after losing their prized Baneblade. The Terminators were untouched but were unable to get where they needed to for victory.

A great fun and great looking game as always - a good way to start the year! We were initially a bit worried that all the guns on the Guard would make it a bit of a non-event, but the DG are disgusting, and resilient, and they hung in there well. In hindsight, I probably should have deployed the Terminators right up centre in the first place instead of the Poxwalkers - maybe they could have gone into reserve so as not to present such a good target for the mortars. Regardless, I'm still having fun with the Death Guard, so we should see them again before too long.

Thanks for reading, hope you enjoyed it, and stay safe out there.

Monday, 10 January 2022

'Sponge Nid' Project Part Two - Medium Bugs


Continuing on from the purple and green 'sponge' Tyranid project, last time I painted a big wave of 'gants, 'gaunts and 'stealers - this time it's Warriors and and other assorted 'medium' things. Though I will be stretching the definition of 'medium' to it's limits!

First up, the aforementioned Tyranid Warriors:

We've got  mix of the newer kit and the older 3rd edition one with converted boneswords here. The boneswords got painted bone, as you might imagine, with a bit of blood splatter to add some extra colour. You might notice there's a little bit of extra depth to the green on these Nids - I used Plaguebearer contrast to cover some of the larger areas (leaving the most exposed bone sponged areas alone) to make them pop just a little bit more. I think this is most noticable on the Warrior's backs and on the head carapace of our next brood...

Zoanthropes, big old floaty alien brains. I gave them some yellow veins on their brains to make them a bit more colourful, but otherwise they are pretty much just a normal Nid scheme with the green areas almost all being the carapace. They were supplied to me without the rows of side chimney bits on the back carapace, so I used some green stuff to smooth out the gaps a bit - I think it's done the trick.

Next, the Lictor. Though they have been seeing use competitively as secondary spammers recently in 40k they have a sad history of being pretty rubbish at their actual job of assassination and disruption (though I've heard horror stories of their antics in second edition!) That said, they are exceptionally cool models, so I was glad to get to paint one. This one got a bit of a textured effect for his tendrils and some mud and swampy paint coming up his legs to represent his chameleonic scales.

So I guess these are technically medium sized models, but they are really tiny bugs! The Forge World Ripper Swarm bases look fantastic, and they took to the sponge well - but it is a pain to pick out all those claws, teeth, tongues and eyes!

Again, not really medium bugs, though Gargoyles do take up a lot of space wherever you put them. They came to me with the flight stands glued on, so they got painted, and after the fact I think I prefer that look to my clear ones. Perhaps one day I might go and apply some texture paint and grass to mine! I also have to admit they are a lot less annoying to move about when their flight stands don't fall off every time you pick them up!

Oh yes, also there are twenty of them!

Lastly (for this update), the Broodlord brothers! This pair ended up looking pretty cool I think, a nice mix of the purple and green and a bit of an excuse to build up some more mud and swampy stuff around the protruding Nid bits on their bases. I gave them slightly different markings as well to tell them apart a bit better, most notably one has purple secondary claw hands and around his teeth, while the other has green hands and face.

Next time we'll be looking at some bigger bugs! There might be a step by step guide as well. Hope you like them, and enjoyed reading. Stay safe!

Sunday, 2 January 2022

2021 End of Year Hobby Review


I wrote myself a bit of a year's review for the past couple, so I thought I'd continue the tradition. I don't really go in for new year' resolutions as such, but this is where I will set out a few aims that I'll be trying to follow up on.


This past year I posted 67 times on the blog, smashing 2020 and 2019's 57 and 55 respectively, though still not quite up to the 70 from the nine months of 2018 the blog was active. Oh for those days back again! 2021 wasn't quite as badly hit by restrictions so I did get to go out and get a fair few games in, and otherwise I largely continued where I left of in terms of 'content'.

Battle Reports:

Quite a few written ones; 20+, with a good chunk of Adeptus Titanicus ones as well as 40k. Still nothing for Age of Sigmar though, which I hope to rectify this year! Only a solitary filmed report with SorcererDave (Orks vs Orks in Orktober) thanks to a combination of restrictions and scheduling issues, but hopefully there will be more to come. We did actually film another instalment of the now hilariously drawn out Reuvengrad campaign, but I think we're waiting to complete the set before it gets edited and put up. A couple of notable stand outs for me were the recent Orks vs Black Templars at Warhammer World, and also Orks vs Air Cav Astra Militarum back in June.

Hobby Stuff:

I've lost count of models painted in 2021 - this was the year I decided to focus my commissions on doing a high volume of decent tabletop standard stuff, particularly with use of the sponge! There were big Tyranid and Death Guard projects, as well as Drukhari, some Custodes, the Void Dragon, and some big Ork stuff at the start of the year. Of course all this painting for other people meant I was only able to paint a few things for myself - like an entire Death Guard army for the 'Hobbypocalypse', a detachment's worth of Skitarii, the Cursed City set, and a bunch of new Beast Snagga Orks. So yes, I've been pretty busy!

Other Stuff:

I've been continuing as a guest of the Narrative Wargamer Podcast (the highlights being the Hive of the Dead and Fun Facts episodes) , which is fun and a fulfilling way to feel like I'm contributing to the wider community. In fact, the longer we go on through this pandemic the more I understand the importance of 'community'. I've been trying to engage more with people on Twitter, and I've been to some more community minded events - one of the DZ Days in Belper and the Old Wolves meet at Warhammer World. Off the blog I've been back at the LARPing and getting some more 40k on Tabletop Simulator, and running some D&D over discord. So a wide array of nerding from me.

Looking forward:

More of the same really! I've still got those Tyranids from last year's box to paint - I was waiting for a codex but with some of the supplemental options recently made available to the bugs I might have to get some built up sooner. They were notable by their absence from my reports in 2021! Aside from that though I've not got much personal plastic to get through, but I do still have a chunk of Nids for the second Tyranid commission to do. I've not currently got any games planned but there are some things I've got in mind - I certainly want to get in some more Crusade games, play some AoS and hopefully get to a few tournaments or similar events.

All in all, it's been a fairly full year of hobby. I'm looking forward to more in 2022! Thanks for reading, and please stay safe.

Wednesday, 29 December 2021

Adeptus Titanicus Battle Report - Mortis vs Magna, Battle for Pad 13


Another Titanicus game with The Claw, continuing our little narrative of the traitor Legios fighting for the spoils of Esteban V, as the Warmaster's gaze turns towards Terra. Mortis and Magna have been trading blows in the first three encounters (click for game one, two and three), so perhaps at the battle around this lone, but vital space port one side can land the killing blow?

We decided on a nice size of 1750 points, and a simple objective of whoever had the most stuff (by scale) of units touching the landing pad square at the end of the random game length would win. As it's a landing zone the terrain was fairly light in terms of completely blocking stuff, but there were plenty of little structures to grab some cover here and there.

I took a classic Axiom maniple, with the standard loadout Warlord as the Pitiless Princeps Seniors, a Reaver loaded out for shield stripping, a melee Reaver and Warhounds with double turbo lasers and double flamers. I rounded out the points with a trio of Questoris Knights. This felt very Mortis-y, the plan being to strip shields and feed engine kills to the Warlord.

The Claw took the Fortis maniple again with a Warlord swapping a volcano for a Quake cannon, a pair of mixed load out Reavers, and supported by a bunch of knights- six Questoris and four Cerastus Knight Lancers.

The forces lined up against each other, with Warlords pretty much central and faster elements on the flanks. Turn one initiative went to Mortis.

I decided those Lancers were a bit pokey and needed to go. As my last movement action I pointed the Warlord at them. One good blast with the Belicosa Volcano Cannon and all four evaporated before the second gun or the missiles could fire! New model syndrome in full effect for The Claw.

At the end of turn one, not a lot of damage elsewhere (I think I passed every single void shield roll this turn!), leaving the Mortis forces in the ascendancy - keeping the initiative for turn two.

Turn two and the forces started to converge on the centre. The Questoris Knight banner on the Magna side made a charge into my melee Reaver, losing one to the chain fist before hacking away at the legs. The Inferno gun Warhound got some shots in to little effect, and ended up eating melta cannon from a Magna Reaver, getting immobilised away from the main fight. The Magna Warlord took some punishment to it's shields but no serious damage yet. Since they were still moving into position it was unable to share shields with it's maniple.

Turn three and initiative to Magna. The Knights cut into the Reaver to disable it, leaving it a standing wreck. My inferno Warhound continued to suffer with emergency repairs failing to get it moving again. My left flank had collapsed, but the right was still pretty strong, Knights and Warhound moving in to be annoying and the shooty Reaver and Warlord still undamaged, pouring fire into the Magna Warlord, causing critical leg damage and getting it to spin away from the objective.

Turn four, the Magna Warlord made it's move onto the middle, reigniting it's shields in defiance. Mortis aligned Knights ran in to cause a nuisance of themselves. The Reavers moved around into closer positions, though the Magna one immediately behind the Warlord succumbed to the Machine Spirit and marched towards my badly damage Warhound.

All eyes on the centre, the other Reaver moved into position behind the Magna Warlord and their Knights engaged my Reaver. Once again the shields went down on the enemy Warlord but my Volcano cannons scattered and were unable to get the finishing blow. Random game length was rolled, and we went into turn five, with Magna stubbornly holding onto the objective.

In turn five, knights fought knights, Reavers blasted Warhound, and the Warlord swayed the wrong direction, repaired shields once more, then stood it's ground. Finally the Fortis Maniple was able to share it's shields and this was just about enough to hold off the firepower of the Reaver and Warlord - I think they ended up with two points of void shields between them.

Once again, random game length rolled, and this time it was game over. With the crippled Warlord hanging on just by the skin of it's allies void shields, Legio Magna picked up the win.

Another fun outing for AdTit. It's always a lovely looking game for me when there's a fully painted board and two painted forces, and it was awesomely cinematic to see all these big stompy robots converge on a central space that they absolutely had no right all trying to fit into! After that game our little narrative sits at two wins apiece, so I think sometime in the new year we will have to have a decider! 

Anyway, thanks for reading, hope you enjoyed, and stay safe!