Tuesday, 13 November 2018

Element Games Grand Slam - My List


As I may have mentioned previously, in a couple of weeks I will be attending the Element Games Grand Slam (or EGGS) 40k event, at, unsurprisingly, Element Games. I was seriously considering taking my Orks with a new Codex and a list similar to the one I wrote here, but I haven't really had a chance to get any games in with them yet, and I still haven't given the Valiant a go yet, so I've decided to go with an Adeptus Mechanicus and Imperial Knights alliance.

So here is the list I'll (probably) take with me. As with most of the lists I write, it's not really competitive, but it should have some 'teeth', as the TTT team would say. Even though it is a tournament, I will still stubbornly refuse to run anything other than Ryza and Taranis for my forces. With that in mind I've taken a few units that hopefully should take advantage of those traits and stratagems etc. I feel like the list is definitely lacking in bodies, but hopefully will make up for that by overloading the enemy with priority targets. I'll start with 11 command points, but I intend to spend one or two of them buffing the Valiant with a warlord trait and/or relic. I'd considered making it the warlord, but it will almost certainly die every game, and I like the option to pick a trait/relic that will help against the opponent. I'd like a few more command points, so hopefully I'll pick up a couple with Monitor Malevolus.

Ryza Battalion and Taranis Superheavy Detachment - 11 command points

Tech-priest Dominus: warlord trait: Monitor Malevolus; Weapon XCIX (replaces Volkite blaster); phosphor serpenta
Tech-priest Enginseer

5 Skitarii Rangers
5 Skitarii Vanguard: Enhanced Data-tether
5 Kataphron Destroyers: 5 plasma culverins, 5 phosphor blasters

Cybernetica Datasmith

Heavy Support
2 Kastelan Robots: 2× 2 heavy phosphor blasters; 2 heavy phosphor blasters
2 Kastelan Robots: 2 Kastelan fists; 2 heavy phosphor blasters

Lord of War
Knight Valiant: 4 shieldbreaker missiles & 1 twin siegebreaker cannon
1 Armiger Warglaive: meltagun
1 Armiger Warglaive: meltagun

As I said, I don't think this is a top tier list, though maybe a bit stronger than one might take for a friendly or narrative game. I don't really have any expectations of winning anything significant, but I'm aiming to come somewhere in the middle of the pack and, more importantly, have fun. That's the plan anyway, and if the games are a bust, at least there is a bar!

Tuesday, 6 November 2018

Ork Codex thoughts and first army list


Da Kodex iz out ladz! WAAAGH!

So I got my claws on it. I like it. There is lots of information out there already on the Codex, so I'm not going to do a full rundown or anything, but I thought I'd post my initial impressions and some thoughts on a few of the things the internet has been talking about.

So firstly. Is it a good book? Yes, I think so. Is it hyper competitive? Probably not, but it certainly looks strong enough for me to bash some heads. Does it have everything I wanted in it? Erm... no.

Obviously the addition of Stratagems, Kulturs, Warlord traits etc instantly makes this a lot more interesting than the index, and points drops across most of the overpriced units was very appreciated, but there are definitely a few things that were not quite right for me. Things like Painboyz not interacting in with the Snakebite kultur, and the Goff warlord trait being a strictly worse version of a generic one are slight grievances. More notable is the still massively overcosted Stompa, and the relegation of many options to the index. I'm generally ok with index options as a means of allowing use of out of production minis and I don't believe they are going to be invalidated by GW anytime soon, but the fact is it is an inconvenience, and as tournaments start banning index options it might eventually be seen as a 'that guy' thing in friendly games.

All that said, I'm still happy with it. I like that my Snakebites have a useful trait, and that I can even give it to Nipper the Gargantuan Squiggoth via the use of the Supreme Command detachment to avoid the penalty for the Superheavy Auxiliary. And speaking of which, I've written up my first army list using the new codex, and it's all about getting the most out of the big squig:

Snakebite Battalion and Supreme Command, 9 command points, 1995 points.

Warboss, Powerklaw, Combi-shoota/skorcha, Attack squig, Brutal but Kunnin', Da Killa Klaw.
Weirdboy, Da Jump.
Weirdboy, Warpath.
Big Mek [index option], Kustom force field, Powerklaw.
Big Mek [index option], Kustom force field, Combi-shoota/skorcha.

25 Boyz, Powerklaw, 2 rokkit launchas.
25 Boyz, Powerklaw, 2 rokkit launchas.
20 Boyz, Shootas, Powerklaw, 2 rokkit launchas.
17 Boyz, Shootas, Powerklaw, Big shoota.

Nob with Waaagh! banner.
5 Burna Boyz.

Heavy Support:

Lord of War
Nipper the Gargantuan Squiggoth [Forgeworld], Killkannon, Big-zappa.

So, the plan is, 17 Boyz, the Boss, the Banner Nob and a Mek pile onto the Squiggoth, while the other Mek and the Burnas get in the Gorkanaut. Everything goes forward. Hopefully with two big scary targets one of them should reach the enemy along with a wave of Boyz. Krumpin' happens. Da Boyz win! Easy. Thanks to a recent forgeworld FAQ Nipper should get the benefit of the force field when the Mek is embarked, and as part of the Supreme Command detachment will get the Snakebite Kultur, which might keep him around a bit longer. It's also worth noting that as a Snakebite model, he will benefit from the effects of the WAAAGH! banner, which should make him significantly stompier!

I know it's not really a very fluffy list with those big meks, but I really want to keep my big stompies alive past turn 1, so I think it's a necessary evil. Aside from that I think it's got some teeth (and tusks), but I'm open to suggestions...

Wednesday, 31 October 2018

It’s a kind of magic - Hive Fleet Goliath list for round two vs SorcererDave


Apparently SorcererDave enjoyed my company/box of tea enough that he invited me to come back! Tomorrow Hive Fleet Goliath will return to Morgan's Reach, where we will continue our narrative campaign against the Cadian 404th. The first game featured the Tyranids catching the Astra Militarum off guard (pun intended) with the aid of a Genestealer Cult and the sinister Magus who had been impersonating an Inquisitor. Now the Tyranid forces have started dropping down to the planet in large numbers, overrunning the hive cities and consuming all the delicious biomass held within. It will be up to the Cadians to fight their way into the ruins of the cities to take back the vital strategic locations from the Hive Mind!

Once again, I've written up a fun, thematic list for this mission. My primary concerns were to a) represent a mid stage Tyranid invasion force - swarms of Termagants and mid-sized bugs, and b) to fit the narrative so far. It comes to 1747 points and features a Jormungandr Battalion and a Genestealer Cult Patrol.

Neurothrope: The Norn Crown; Psychic Scream
Tervigon: Catalyst
Old One Eye

30 Termagants
27 Termagants: 27× devourer
3 Tyranid Warriors: 2× deathspitter; venom cannon
3 Tyranid Warriors: 2× deathspitter; venom cannon
3 Tyranid Warriors: 2× deathspitter; venom cannon; 3× boneswords; adrenal glands

3 Zoanthropes: The Horror

3 Raveners: 3× scything talons & rending claws; 3× deathspitter

1 Carnifex: heavy venom cannon; adrenal glands; Enhanced Senses; thresher scythe; Spore Cysts
1 Carnifex: heavy venom cannon; adrenal glands; Enhanced Senses; thresher scythe; Spore Cysts

Magus: Mass Hypnosis; Inspiring Leader

10 Neophyte Hybrids: 2× Grenade launcher; Neophyte Leader

As you can see, I've brought back the Magus. He's been naughty, running around behind the scenes and causing all kind of problems for the defenders of the hive city. In my mind he plans to make his escape after the city has truly fallen, on to the last ship off the planet, so he can go and do it all again somewhere else. I wanted this narrative to be somewhat represented, so I've made him my warlord so that his death is worth a point in the game.

I've also brought along a bunch of freshly painted Termagants with devourers. These should prove very effective against Guardsmen, though they are fragile. To this end I intend to use the Jormungandr stratagem to have the Raveners dig a tunnel for them to arrive safely from. The Tervigon might also be in a position to buff them, and since it is narrative I could use a command points to bring them all back with a stratagem if they die. Assuming I haven't spent them all by then.

Speaking of Narrative, I've also packed two bonus units of 10 Termagants in case the Tervigon gets a chance to spawn them for free. If this sounds a bit mean, don't feel too bad. SorcererDave recently shared a picture of a couple of Hellhounds on the painting bench, so I think he had a good answer to Termagants!

Speaking of being mean, I've brought along a Neurothrope and some Zoeys. Apparently I've got a bit of a reputation to uphold. With luck they will be turning it up to eleven! Hopefully there will also be good luck for Old One Eye and his Carnifexes. I've used him a few times and I've yet to have any success with him. So far he has repeatedly whiffed his attacks and just been squashed. We shall see how he goes.

Hopefully, whatever happens, I'll be another fun game and a great battle report!

Sunday, 28 October 2018

Small update with small gribblies


As the title states, just a short post today. I’ve been painting some extra Termagants with devourers for Hive Fleet Goliath, with the intent of unleashing them on some unsuspecting Guardsmen soon. I have visions of them coming out of a tunnel to do 90 shots, then using a stratagem to make them do it all again. Of course they will die on my opponent’s turn, but by then they will have done their job (hopefully.)

Technically this is parts of 3 units. 20 of them are due to join an existing unit of 10 to make a maximum sized squad. Another 7 are to join some regular fleshborer Termagants just for the sake of variety and list building flexibility. The final 3 have fleshborers themselves so are going to bulk out another existing squad a bit. A bit weird I know, but they all came assembled for eBay so whatever.

These guys are a little redder than most of my existing ‘gants, but it fits in with some of my other newer Tyranids (the post-Mecharius Solar Orange batch) so it should match the overall Swarm nicely. With any luck you may see them in action quite soon...

Thursday, 25 October 2018

Generic Ork Hype Post


Unless you've been living under a rokk, you are probably aware that it is currently Orktober, and that the new Ork Codex is just around the corner, due for release in November (or Nobvember if you'd prefer.) I'm very excited about all this. My Orks have seen the table at the start of 8th edition a few times, but when all my other armies started getting their books, the Orks got hidden away in their boxes until it came to their time to shine - and that time is almost upon us!

I thought I'd take a moment to talk briefly about some of the new rules and miniatures we are seeing, and also use it as an excuse to dig out some picture of Redtoof's Orks, or Da Vipers as they call themselves. They are (mostly) of the Snakebite Clan, so this article from Warhammer Community is particularly interesting to me. I was very curious what aspects of Snakebite lore GW would pick from to portray the tough, nomadic, traditional Snakebites whose previous signature units, such as Boar Boyz, no longer exist. I am pretty happy with the direction they have taken, having a universal 6+ 'feel no pain' style save feels thematically appropriate and quite powerful, though I wonder how it will interact, if at all, with the Painboy rules, which currently give the same effect. I'll be disappointed if my Docs are suddenly useless - they feel much more on theme than the Kustom Force Field wielding Big Mek.

Speaking of the Force Field - I have questions for that of the Codex. (Even though we are Snakebites, sometimes we will grudgingly allow a Mek to carry around his favourite shiny thing.) It's never been completely resolved how the Force Field covers whole units - if it just needs to cover part of each model, or if each model must be wholly covered as well, and I'd very much like to see this cleared up. In addition, currently the wording for the force field to work while embrked upon a transport specifies vehicles, which a Gargantuan Squiggoth is not. This makes me a bit sad, and hopefully it will be just 'Transports' in the Codex.

On the subject of big stompy things. The new rules for the Stompa that were covered in the Bad Moon clan fokus look interesting. Even with all those buffs, it currently costs an awful lot of points, and I struggle to see how it will make it's way into many lists unless it gets a sizable drop. Many of the other units look like they are getting cheaper, based on rumours and the power levels given by Warhammer Community, so it's not unlikely, though will it be enough is the question.

Assuming everything gets appropriately costed, I'm looking forward to fielding Meganobz, Killa Kans, Battlewagons, etc etc. I like an infantry horde as much as the next Warboss, but just running 120+ boyz is a little samey. Plus it is hard countered by lists that take lots of anti-infantry firepower. Like Noise Marines. Grumble.

Lastly, new miniatures! All the new buggies look fabulous, but it remains to be seen which will see use on the table. Based on what we know, the Shokkjump Dragster looks a strong and unpredictable unit for putting a dent into armoured units, particularly ones your opponent thought were safe. The Boomdakka Snazzwagon also looks interesting to me, both in that it looks really cool, and that it apparently has some interesting rules to allow it to be a great annoyance to the enemy. Finally the Rukkatrukk Squigbuggy looks fun and obviously jumped out at me as the on theme Snakebite option, but based on the rules that have been shared and the power level being the highest of all the buggies, I struggle to see how it will be worth taking in a list. It looks like it pays a large tax for it's versatility which in most games will not be worth paying. That said I will probably still get one or two at some point, because Squig Launchas!

Sunday, 21 October 2018

Orky Fortifications for Winters


I recently took on a little project for the exceptionally busy Winters SEO to paint up some terrain for him and his channel. Winters asked for assistance on Patreon and I, among several others, took up the challenge. I accepted, partially because it's cool seeing stuff you painted turn up on the internet, partially because I felt a bit guilty about certain events during our battle report, but mostly because the terrain looks really cool and I fancied a go at it!

The scenery in question is a series of wall sections from Kromlech's Tabletop Scenics Orkenburg range. It's laser cut MDF sheets that, thankfully, Winters stuck together before posting, so it arrived as pictured above. There are loads of little wall sections that are all modular, having textured doors or barricades on each end so that they can be placed freestanding or as part of a larger fortification.

First step was to spray all the bits. A note to anyone trying this at home. Untreated MDF soaks up loads of paint. You'll either need to coat it in PVA glue or some kind of sealant first, or just be super aggressive with the spray paint to get any sort of coverage. Of course in true Orky fashion I just used an entire can of cheap spray paint getting them (and my fingers) black. The internet tells me that this is less of a problem if you use higher quality spray paint. In any case, after the first coat the rest of the painting was easy enough, just like painting undercoated plastic or metal. After the black I gave them all a blast of a dark metallic spray to get the base colour.

A whole lot of messily slapping on reds and oranges and a bit of white, followed by dry brushing with various metals, and this is the result. A dirty, rusty wall of scrap metal. I did attempt some coloured plates in among the rust and bare metal, but I didn't really think it was working out so I just made it all metal apart from the white for the skull symbols and 'tooth' spikes. I'm pretty pleased with how it turned out, and hopefully it'll look cool on the battlefield. Obviously though I had to set it up somewhere to see it 'all together'.

I built it up as a two staged defensive wall, imagining a larger fortress lay just behind the gate in the second line. One side was left open to allow access for larger war machines, while the other side was walled off. Seeing it all placed out on a table is pretty cool, but there was something missing...

Yes, that's better! I couldn't help myself from populating it with my Orks before I packaged it back up for it's trip home. Maybe one day they will be reunited and I'll command the Orks on a Winters SEO battle report?

Given that I've named myself and this blog after my Ork Warboss, I've been somewhat neglecting them while waiting for the (now imminent) Codex. They have not really been seen on the blog, apart from the Gorkanaut. So as a special treat (mainly for myself), here are a load more pictures of Orks on a wall!

Wednesday, 17 October 2018

Explorator Fleet Helios - Ryza Adeptus Mechanicus and Taranis Imperial Knights army.


Now that the Valiant is all painted up, I decided to get all the Adeptus Mechanicus stuff out for some photos. This is my most recently started and smallest army, originally intended to just be an allied force to allow me to attend doubles events alongside other Imperial players. It's grown a bit since then, but I don't see it getting much bigger since I struggle to match the orange. That said, there might be further Imperial allies coming down the line...

I decided to name the force 'Explorator Fleet Helios' because it sounds cool, and because of all the brighter-than-the-sun plasma culverins. Lore wise this is a force that ranges far through the galaxy searching for archeotech and lost STC technology. I figure the commanders of the Ryza force hope to find more weapons to turn on the Orks that infest their Forge World, while Sir Camulus and the Knights of House Taranis are fulfilling some sort of ancient oath.

Anyway, pictures! Enjoy: