Friday 27 August 2021

Battle Report/Codex Thoughts - Orks vs Orks!


This one's kind of half battle report, half Codex review, all rambling. I played an Open War game against Narrative Wargamer Tony and his Deathskulls with my Snakebite Orks. At the time of writing it was about two weeks ago, and for various reasons the game was a bit stop-start - not least of which was us talking about stuff in the new Codex. So this might be lacking in detail somewhat...

Anyway, I was running a Snakebite Battalion, a bit of a mix of units with Nipper Jr and a Battlewagon loaded up and providing a tough forward push, supported by a load of Boyz. It was something like this:

HQ: Warboss (Killa Klaw, 'Ard as Nails, kombi Skorcha), Weirdboy, KFF Big Mek (Brogg's Buzzbomb)

Troops: 27 Boyz (klaw), 20 Boyz (klaw), 20 Boyz (Shootas, big shootas, klaw), 10 Boyz (klaw)

Elites: 15 Kommandos (klaw, distraction grot), 8 Burnas/2Spannas, Painboy (Brutal but Kunnin), WAAAGH Banner Nob (Dead Shiny Shoota)

Fast Attack: 5 Deffkoptas

Heavy Support: Battlewagon (deffrolla), Squiggoth

Tony was also running a Battalion, though focusing on vehicles, and using the Speed WAAAGH from the Wartrike. He also had a Superheavy Auxiliary Detachment for the Gorkanaut, who I think was either a specialist or had a kustom job. There was also a kustom job on the Trike - the Shokka Hull, which we forgot about all game! It was something like:

HQ: Deffkilla Wartrike, Weirdboy, KFF Big Mek

Troops: 3x20 Boyz (big choppa, big shootas)

Elites: 3 Meganobz 

 Fast Attack: Megatrakk Scrapjet, 2 Boomdakka Snazwagons

Flyers: Wazbom Blastajet, Burna Bommer

Lord of War: Gorkanaut

Here's the mission and the deployment. Instead of a twist we used the warzone rules for the dried up river bed (which I think we talked about in a Podcast - this one?) Essentially this meant there was a dam off map about to burst, and when it did everything in the middle of the board would take a load of mortal wounds from the flood waters and movement would suddenly become more difficult!

We both deployed in a pretty predictable fashion, spread out to cover out objectives and with a strong central element at the tip of the arrow. Tony used Boyz on the right flank ad buggies/planes on the left, so I shored up the left with the Kommandos hiding in a ruin. Deffkoptas started in the sky, Burnas on Nipper Jr and the 20 Shoota Boyz in the wagon ready to dakka out of it. Tony kept the Meganobz back in reserve to punch the dam a bit. We rolled and I got first turn.

Somewhat predictably, everything went forward. Good shooting from the mounted Burnas and Shootas dropped a bunch of opposing boyz, but the Kommandos failed their charge in to the Deffkilla Wartrike, leaving them a bit exposed. That would have been massive because, assuming they didn't get battered in melee, they would have been holding an opponent's objective at the end of the turn.

Tony responded by immediately calling the Speed WAAAGH! and zooming forward to meet in the middle. His list had a lot of shooting elements, and with the extra AP they managed to tear through my Kommandos (even with their 3+ cover save), take out Nipper Jr and remove the Burnas. Ouch. It could have been worse however - they all took a fair amount of firepower to take out, and it didn't leave him much left for the Battlewagon...

Which survived the charge from the Gorkanaut and the Deffkilla Wartrike - in part due to the Ramshackle rule kicking in, and helped by the stratagem boosted KFF that burned out at the end of the turn.

Time for the counter attack, and a WAAAGH of my own! - Boyz mobbed round the central units, with my characters coming in for the kill. The big boyz mob managed a big advance so were able to threaten a depleted mob in the Deathskull deployment zone. Deffkoptas also came in and shot up a plane, but failed to kill it with a successful Ramming Speed charge!

Redtoof himself swung at the 'naut, reducing it significantly, but then getting splatted by the return swing. Elsewhere lots of dice were thrown to limited effect, though my Boyz did cut down a fair few opposing ones, thanks to the WAAAGH!!! - Both the extra attacks and the +1 banner.

Eventually I took down the Gorkanaut, but in Tony's turn the Snazzwagons took it's place and along with the fliers peppered my unengaged Boyz. Then the dam broke, killing a bunch of stragglers and wounding all my remaining characters.

At the end of turn two we'd both lost a fair chunk, but we also still had assets. A bunch of boyz, including a full unit of Shootas in the wagon for me, but Tony still had some in his deployment zone, along with the damaged planes and Scrapjet. With it getting late we had a bit of a think and ended up calling it a draw - after all, Orkz is never beaten! However while packing up we did then realise the Meganobz existed, and would probably be able to just saunter on to the board to hold an objective and swing the game. I guess we'll never know - we'll just assume it was a great big scrap and the Orks probably forgot about the objectives anway!

As mentioned, this was only really half a report - it was more of a learning experience for both of us. We both agreed that we liked the new book, and it felt like our units generally had a bit more teef than before. I've since played a couple of games on TTS as well, so with a little bit of experience, here are some of my takeaways from the new 'dex:

Boyz. Toughness 5 and -1 AP Choppas is a big deal. But perhaps not as big a deal as some people feared when it was initially teased. It means they can threaten tougher units more reliably, and they are not so trivially easy to remove. I think this is going to be even more of a benefit to the various expensive specialist units like Burnas and Tankbustas, that previously were either in a transport, or dead. That said, they still will all die to sustained fire without any question, and morale is now much more of a worry. I think for most competitive lists standard Boyz are probably a tax, with so many other good efficient units to pick from in the book. That said I have plans to try and make the Green Tide work for me, so we'll have to see how it turns out. Also probably worth mentioning the WAAAGH, which is a huge help for the Boyz, with extra attacks across the board and one turn of advance and charge regardless of how close the Boss is. I know some people consider the change to once per game rather than an aura to be a nerf, but I found that I rarely used it more than once in a game anyway, and frequently found I needed it for units on the flanks away from the Warboss.

Buggies. Vehicles seem to be big winners in the new book. Ramshackle is massively helpful against mid strength weapons that have traditionally been the worst enemy of trukks and dreads, most of them seem to be reasonably priced (or perhaps criminally undercosted) and they benefit the most from weapon changes. They can get dakka weapons up close for extra shots and suffer no penalties for firing the newly heavy D3 Rokkit Launchas. In addition, the Speed WAAAGH bumping up the AP across the board for them is really scary. The Gorkanaut suddenly getting 30 shots at ap -2 with it's mega shoota, as well as 20 at -1 from the big shootas is quite a sight! I'm a believer that a 'strong' Ork list will overload the enemy with either bodies or armour, and I can definitely see a force full of light vehicles doing very well. I'm not really a buggy guy, but my Kans and Deffkoptas feel like they will get on well with the new rules!

Bosses. The big lads have definitely gotten a bit of an upgrade! In addition to the toughness, plenty of the characters got a bit of a buff elsewhere, and there are a whole host of relics and warlord traits worth picking. In fact, with the stratagems being otherwise fairly situational, it makes sense to take as many as you can get your hands on. Brutal but Kunnin' and the Super Cybork Body is currently looking like my default Warboss combo, and I quite like the look of the Dead Shiny Shoota on a WAAAGH Banner Nob to add a bit of token dakka to an infantry blob. Even the Kustom Force Field mek, who recieved a bit of a downgrade to be honest, now has a -1 Choppa so can get stuck in a bit.

Overall, the Codex has shifted the power from the stratagems, clan rules and certain specific units, to being spread out through most of the units themselves. Almost everything seems to have had a buff to it's datasheet, at the exchange of fewer must use strats or stuff like Deathskulls endless rerolls. I'm personally much happier with this state of affairs, Brutal but Kunnin!

Anyway, hope you enjoyed this ramble, and the new Ork Codex (if you could get it, grumble grumble...) Stay safe!

Monday 16 August 2021

Adeptus Titanicus - Return to Gate 7


It's been quite a while since the Titans walked. Last game I played was the battle for Gate 7, back at the start of 2020. So, it's time to return there, to play against The Claw and Legio Magna once more. (Aside - he's now running an Infinity battle report channel called Fast Panda Gaming if that's your bag.) As you can see, Magna struck back hard, downing the Legio Mortis Warlord left to guard the rebuilt Gate 7 to the Proditor Manufactorum, so now Mortis have sent out a Lupercal Light Maniple to sally forth and eliminate the threat.

Yeah, The Claw got a Mortis Warlord off eBay and used it to decorate the board. Rude! Anyway, being 'new' to the game once again, we stayed at about 1000 points, and to keep it simple we didn't take any stratagems and used a couple of the standard objective cards. Since this time attacker and defender were reversed we flipped so I was going for Hold the Line, and The Claw was working to Engage and Destroy.

Having completed some new Warhounds earlier in the year I thought I'd give the whole pack a go and run the Lupercal Light Maniple, four of them, each with a pair of weapons. The Claw brought along a pair of Reavers with assorted guns, and a big blob of Knights.

Deployment - most of my force was placed to pounce on the knights in the built up central region, while one of my titans ended up on the left flank in the firing line of two Reavers. Ooops!

First up the Knights moved up through the city, while the hound on it's own got lit up from the opening volley. Shields fell, and a whole load of critical damage was taken, but it just about held on.

Moving into cover behind the statues, the limping Warhound joined up with it's pack mates to go for the Knights, who took some serious casualties. 

Sadly for me, the cover and merged shields weren't enough to keep the Titan alive long enough to use those Inferno guns. Engine kill! To add insult it staggered into the mega bolter hound to cause some bonus damage. It's brothers did however finish off the Knights in time to turn towards the Reavers.

However, the big boys had already marched up the field, looking to break the line. This meant there was very little cover for my pack, who would have to engage front on in order to Hold the Line.

With the shields stripped trying to protect the first targeted Warhound, the second, with the plasma guns, got blasted, then exploded!

With time running out the last two hounds hit the accelerators to get out of the firing arc of one Reaver and focus fire on the other. The shields did go down but there wasn't enough gun to do any real damage.

The third Warhound fell from the return barrage, leaving only the Princeps Senioris to slink off and concede defeat to the superior firepower of the Magna titans (and their now deceased Knightly house allies).

Brutal game, and the Gate is returned to it's original occupiers. I think so far in our games it's gone mostly in my favour and I've ridden my luck a few times, so it's about time for Legio Magna to get the win. Even though it was a fairly one sided game, it was still a lot of fun and a good way to re-learn the game again - it also took a lot longer than we had thought! Even with a lot of firepower going into my weaker titans, they still hung around for a good while, but I think I needed to give up on my crippled titans a bit, rather than putting my others in bad positions just to merge shields.

Anyway, hope you liked this quick report, with any luck the next one won't be 18 months away, so watch this space - and stay safe out there! 

Thursday 12 August 2021

Death Guard - Hobbypocalypse bonus!


With the DZ Hobbypocalypse over, and six months of Death Guard done, I found myself with a few more kits to paint up. So I did.

Fresh off the gross monster assembly line, thirty Poxwalkers, finished up today. These guys were sprayed brown, then lightly hit with a bone spray zenithal style. Then a whole bunch of contrast and washes, and then my favourite bit, the sponge! Rather than drybrushing a highlight layer I used a sponge to apply some bone in a semi-random speckled effect. Quick and dirty, and I'm happy with the results.

Next, more chaff. Cultists, painted in the same manner as the Poxwalkers. Again I'm really pleased with the sponging effect. Obviously the one with the claw is the champion.

While I was using the lightbox, I popped those Lunar Auxilia from Forsters Foundry I painted recently in there for a nicer photo.

Up next, a squad of ten Possessed Marines mashed together from the Shadowspear/Start Collecting Chaos Marines set, the Chaos Spawn kit and the bits box. My plan is to have them ride about in the big sac Rhino. I painted them in a similar manner to the Plague Marines, but being slightly smaller with more trim meant they needed a fair amount of clean up after the sponging. Noted for future reference.

And with the rest of the Spawn kit - a Spawn! Had to build one in case someone turns into one during their Crusade.

Speaking of Crusade, there's always a chance one of my characters might one day ascend to become a Daemon Prince, so I felt I need to make one of those too. I also had a Venom Crawler and a couple of Obliterators from the Start Collecting box, so they got bashed together with spawn bits and green stuff to make this... thing. Ta da!

And there we have it, the army is 'finished'. Sitting at around 2700 points I've got enough for a bit of variety now, with an assortment of characters, chaff infantry, tough elites and armoured units. Eventually I might revisit to add more stuff, but for now I'm calling it done! Hope you like them, and stay safe!

Monday 9 August 2021

Random Hobby Update!


As the title suggests, this post is just a bit of a selection of bits and pieces I've been doing recently. I managed to grab a box of the Beast Snaggas with the new Ork Codex, so I'm looking forward to getting some games in and painting them up, but in the mean time I'm finishing up some other projects and enjoying some other hobby stuff.

So firstly, here's some Lunar Auxilia 3D printed by Forsters Foundry - I know them through my wife and LARP, so they reached out to give me a few tasters and see if I liked them.

Have to say, I think they look pretty cool. As 3D printed stuff goes they were pretty easy to clean up and get painted. I chose to give them a similar paint job to my Death Guard, in case I wanted to include them as extra cultists or something. So thanks to Dave and Deb for the cool toys!

Next, as mentioned, I've got the new Ork book, so I've been doing a little bit of a rework of some of my minis that either no longer quite fit or needed a bit of an update.

This guy was once a Warboss on 'bike', but these days he's a bit small. However after swapping his claw for a slugga, he should be about right for a Nob on Smasha Squig - buzz saw tusks for mortal wounds seems fair.

Deffkoptas are back - and now there's an option for mega blastas/big booms in the Codex, so I converted these two, formerly sporting big shootas, giving them a big blasty gun each and a bomb of some sort nestled below the tail rotor. I also applied magnets to the flight stands of all the Koptas I own, since a couple of the pegs had snapped off the stands anyway, and another couple were being held in place with bluetac!

Finally bashed up a couple of Spanners with big shootas from some models that weren't getting much use, since they are now mandatory in Lootas or Burnas. The guy on the left started life as a 'normal' Big Mek and the one on the right was a Nob for shoota boyz with a kustom shoota. Since neither are now options in the book anyway they got repurposed, with a but of modification. I'm particularly happy with the face plate on the right, I think it's part of the exhaust pipe from a battlewagon.

Next, some Imperial Fists I've been working on as a commission. There will definitely be more of these further down the line. So far I've done a bunch of infantry and most of a Repulsor Executioner (the grav plates are with the client to be added later along with the bases for the infantry). I painted everything but the yellow - which was sprayed, washed and drybrushed before arrival.

I've never really been a big fan of the Fists, but I have to admit they look pretty cool with a bunch of chipping and dirt on them, especially with the slightly dulled 'JCB' yellow.

Finally, away from the painting table, I was able to do some nerding outside with Fools and Heroes LARP:

It was of course, raining. Classic.

Anyway, hope you enjoyed this little selection of random stuff. If all things go well there should be some battle reports coming up for 40k with the new Ork book and for Titanicus! There might also be some more Death Guard stuff on the way, as I finish up a bunch of units to take me into the 2500-3000 point range for some more options. Hope that sounds interesting, and stay safe out there.