Tuesday, 23 July 2019

The game! Guard Vs GSC

So the game itself! As you can see from the photos below, there was a lot of terrain on the tables and there was a real cities of death feel to it, my opponent did really a fabulous job on the table. As I said, we went for the city of death option from the rule book, which with a tank heavy army and a superheavy!

Some views of the table

This was actually pre-deployment, the units have just been dumped down on the table.

The main street

My opponents view of the battlefield.

The guard lined up ready to deploy. 

The GSC ready to hide.

Some deployment photos.

The thin green line, screening the tanks.

The guard deployed. The Valkyrie is actually part of the scenery but it did help to create a cool narative.

GSC post their deployment? Each genestealer represents a 'blip' counter or a unit, only the two sentinels are actually deployed as is.

After the big reveal! Traitor guard and GSC units everywhere!

The Valkyrie. 

The Valkyrie was actually part of the terrain and it's placement was completely random, however, once the deployment zones has been decided it became clear that it would make a cool focal point for the game. Sitting at the centre of the guard lines, a story quickly developed. A downed Valkyrie, carrying vital supplies in danger of being captured by the forces of the four armed Emperor and used against the forces of the imperium. As such a force of astra militarum have been deployed to secure the cargo, unfortunately they may not be the best forces for the job, manoeuvring their heavy vehicles through the narrow streets of the city.

Turn 1

Turn one was pretty quiet. The GSC moved up to get in range of the guard and took some pot shots, doing very little damage to the vehicles, knocking out some of the infantry squads but failing to score first blood.

The tanks remain but the thing green line got a little bit thinner.

In reply the tanks selected their targets and opened up, doing some damage to the enemy, including scoring first blood and setting themselves up nicely for turn 2.

Some holes start to appear in the GSC lines.

Turn 2

After settling in nice, things take a turn for the worse. The psychic might of the brood reaches out and drives the crew of the Hellhammer in to a frenzy and guns blaze in all directions! Yeah, not fun having a unit turned upon yourself, especially when it's a super heavy! It's a bit of a strange rule this, as it states that it can shoot as if the shooting  phase, so all of its guns, or make 1 close combat attack if it's in combat, just 1! Why can it shoot all its guns as per the shooting phase but only make 1 attack and not just attack as if the fight phase? Anyway, the hellhound killed a chunk of my army including my warlord! That's what a Hellhammer cannon to the face will do! Apart from that though not a lot happened.

Hellhammer cannon to the face!

In reply I gunned down a chunk more of the army, keeping a good gap between me and the GSC units or so I thought anyway.

Turn 3

I had been kind of concentrating on the closer units in addition to those that I thought would be most dangerous, which is why I ignored the likes of the mortars, as they can't do much to leman Russ battle tanks. However, the whole genestealer advancing and charging thing crept up on me again, despite already knowing they could.

Genestealers knocking on the door.

Genestealers knocking on heaven's door

I played a couple (I think?) Of stratagems when my opponent tried to charge in 4 units to my Hellhammer. In total he charges a GSC unit, a blood brothers guard unit, a patriarch and a brood of genestealers. Unfortunately, the GSC and Guard units were bother destroyed, the guard unit actually failed there charge. The patriarch tries next and was wiped from the board, despite throwing a number of hits across to the genestealers next to it. The remaining genestealers were then dispatched with easy, after also failing there charge, with snake eyes, twice. 6 heavy Bolters, 2 lascannons, an autocannon, a Demolisher cannon, a Hellhammer cannon and of course the little lasgun out the back really can put out a hell of a lot of firepower, even on overwatch.

The clean up begins.

After the failed charges destroyed a chunk of the forward units and also killed off the warlord, the guard went about killing off the rest of the GSC units, finishing off a couple of sentinels and some of the more depleted infantry units, although the shooting was less than satisfactory this turn, with the Hellhammer failing to do as much damage as it should have.

By this point it was getting late, nearing midnight at a rapid rate so we decided to call it there. As the game stood, I had 2 objectives and contested a third, while my opponent controlled just 1. This meant that the scores were 8 (2 objectives, first blood, slay the warlord) to 5 (1 objective, slay the warlord, line breaker) in favour of the guard. However, we reasoned it out over the next two turns and it would have probably ended up a lot closer, something like 8 to 11 or 11 all, depending upon if my opponent could claim the final objective up on the top floor of one of the ruins. In fact, it may even have ended 14 to 8 or even 17 to 5 in favour of the GSC but only if my shooting had been terrible and he had a lot of luck with his shooting and advance rolls.

As it was we decided that it would likely have been 11 to 8 in favour of the cult, however, I would claim the moral victory for killing the patriarch and holding the Valkyrie crash site, even if I didn't hold enough actual objectives to win. It's a shame we didn't get to finish the game as it was shaping up to be a close finish but any later and the wife probably would have killed me!

Tuesday, 16 July 2019

Pilgrimage complete

Just a short post today, as we are down in England visiting family. We're on a bit of a grand tour from Newcastle to Southampton and back to the Lake District but after years of trying I've finally managed to persuade the wife to stop off in a small town called Nottingham.

Obligatory Rhino photo

Awesome huge battle scene

Lunch

There will be more photos to follow as I get around to downloading the big camera, hopefully in the next week of so, when we get to my parents house. Until then, enjoy!

Thursday, 11 July 2019

A game of 40k

So, about a month (!!!!) Ago I got a rare game of 40k, the first this year i think but with work, DIY and small children, I haven't had the chance to get things written out. The game itself was a blast, even if we only got to turn 3!

I was planning on putting this post out the week before I played the game, which was probably a little ambitious, as I'm only getting around to writing it several week after I played. Anyway, the point of this post was to talk through the list and my ideas as I wanted to take something completely different from any previous lists. This was mostly due to the fact that I wanted to take my new toy for a spin.

New toys

So what did I take, well this was the list I settled on

Spearhead Detachment

Regimental Doctrine: Valhallan

 HQ

Tank Commander
. Command Vanquisher: Turret-mounted Vanquisher Battle Cannon, Heavy Bolters, Lascannon

Heavy Support

Leman Russ Battle Tank: Battle Cannon, Heavy Bolters, Lascannon

Leman Russ Battle Tank: Battle Cannon, Heavy Bolters, Lascannon

Leman Russ Punisher: Heavy Bolter, Heavy Bolters, Turret-mounted Punisher Gatling Cannon

Super-Heavy Auxiliary Detachment

Regiment: Valhallan

Hellhammer : Autocannon, Demolisher cannon, Heavy Stubber, Twin heavy bolter
. 2 Lascannon & Twin Heavy Bolter Sponsons: 2x Lascannon, 2x Twin heavy bolter

Battalion Detachment

Regiment: Valhallan

HQ

Company Commander: Chainsword, Laspistol

Primaris Psyker: Force Stave, Nightshroud, Psychic Barrier

 Troops

Infantry Squad
. 8x Guardsman
. Guardsman W/ Special Weapon: Flamer
. Sergeant: Laspistol

Infantry Squad
. 8x Guardsman
. Guardsman W/ Special Weapon: Flamer
. Sergeant: Laspistol

Infantry Squad
. 8x Guardsman
. Guardsman W/ Special Weapon: Flamer
. Sergeant: Laspistol

Elites

Commissar: Bolt pistol, Power sword

Platoon Commander: Laspistol

Total: [89 PL, 9CP, 1,497pts]


So a reasonable force for 1500 points. I'm sure there are more powerful builds out there using the same basic elements. Vanquishes for example are not the most powerful LR variants around but I think that they have a place, plus i just fancied using one.

Now, I did kind of shoot myself in the foot a bit, as I looked at my tanks and decided to run them despite having agreed to playing a cities off death game (from the main rulebook) and knowing that there was probably going to be lots of terrain on the table, meaning that manoeuvring tanks was going to be difficult, let alone a baneblade chassis! Oh well, we would see and as it turned out, it wasn't as bad as it could have been!

Next up a breif rundown on the game itself.

Friday, 5 July 2019

My thoughts on Kill Team and Elites.

I mentioned in the last post that i had quite a few thoughts on the Elites book. While there are many good bit to the book and I'm sure that several people will find the book to be very good and useful, i personally don't think it is that good and was not as good as i was hoping for.


As with many new releases from GW we got some good previews of Elites, including the contents table page and that's where the first bit of disappointment appeared.


As a book advertised as a book of Elites there are a lot of commanders listed on the contents page. When you look in to it the majority of kill teams got either more commanders then elites or the same number. Space marines and Chaos marines for example got 6 commanders each but only 5 and 3 elites respectively, and I hadn't realised until.i took a look just before I posted this but all the GSC entries are commanders! I understand that they want to put more units in to the game but I thought this was supposed to be a book about elites?

The second bit of disappointment came in what units were selected for the book. Now i'm limiting this t just the units that I play, those being Guard, Marines, Deathwatch and AdMech. I am still hoping to pick up some grey Knights at some point, along with some Sisters when they come out, but for now, I'll stick to the main 4. So why the disappointment? With Marines and Deathwatch there was not quite as much disappointment as the Veteran option was very much a catch all entry and can be equipped in a number of different ways to make them useful. I will be looking closer at the veterans in the future as I my well just for a second, more elite marines kill team (yes, another!) as my current one is an all scout affair. For my deathwatch I may just upgrade some of my units, maybe a weapon swap or additional weapons. However, I would have liked to have seen some separate entries for Vanguard, Sternguard and Company Vets, maybe even some of the chapter specific units, such as SW grey hunters, BA Death Company or DA Company vets. These would add quite a lot of flavour to the teams, along side the chapter tactics. And yes, before you say it, I know that there are entries for all these units on the veterans data sheet, it does make it very cluttered and difficult to separate all the different options out. I would still have preferred separate entries for each unit type. Also, is it me or have DA been screwed over somewhat. They can't take stern guard or vanguard and unlike space wolves, are still restricted in the number of company vets they can take?

For AdMech, I'm quite neutral, as I wont be buying any more units for my admech, apart from the apocalypse knights box, maybe? Anyway, I don't know what other units they might have put in anyway as many of the other units don't really strike me as being sensible, but then there are a few other units that don't strike me as sensible either but they got included.

The real disappointment though came with the guard entries. Now, we got the main many himself, Sly Marbo, definitely a good choice for kill team, I mean, look at the fluff, this man is basically a one man kill team, sneaking behind enemy lines, killing stuff or blowing shit up and then sneaking back for breakfast. I however wont be including him in any of my teams as he just wouldn't fit my narratives very well. Yes, I could proxy him with a more suitable character but I just don't feel like it. The other options however were, I think, questionable. While Ogryns and Bullgryns are very cool units, I really don't think there in keeping with the whole idea of kill team, unless of course your running a commander and then you can play the personal bodyguard role but outside that I'm really not sure. Ok, so they fill a much needed roll in the guard team, well, Bullgryns do anyway, in that they really are close combat monsters against all but the toughest units. In 40k, they can suffer due to lack of numbers, as mostly their squads are small and facing bigger units, where weight of numbers can over come there strength and toughness, however in the more or less one on one, close quarters environment of kill team, they look like a really solid choice. Ogryns less so, as they don't really offer as much as there brothers. The biggest thing though for me was the lack of Vets or even Command squads. These guys, the cream of the guard, veterans of many battles, are the ones who in the fluff are likely to form kill team. Plus, they have access to shotguns, which in the kill team environment are significantly better then in 40k. So where are my vets? I would have loved to have modelled up some vets, armed to the teeth, packed will all sorts of bits and pieces, grenades (both frag and krak!), weapons and a whole lot more besides. I was really hoping for them to be included but not yet. I was also wondering whether we would get some limited heavy weapons but was not surprised at all when we didn't. As for the good old storm troopers, well, there really isn't much for them to get extra as they can already pack a lot of special weapons and they are not additional infantry units in there army apart for the command squad, which is exactly the same as the normal units.

The last bit that was a disappointment was the new specialism, Legendary Hunter. I really thought that this was going to be an elites only specialism, to really make the most of the elite units but no, it turns out that it's just a commanders ability. I was hoping for a couple of new specialisms for elite units and that we haven't got one is a disappointment but one I can live with.

So what was good then? Not as much as I had hoped, that's for sure. Yes, you cant get away from the fact that the Sub-faction rules, which are great and really do add flavour to the armies. I will be looking at how I can use them to my advantage, which will no doubt be really hard but I should be able to work in at least 2 full guard teams in with what I have on my roster and 2 more teams from the scout marines roster. The AdMech might be a bit more difficult and Deathwatch as far as i'm aware only get one anyway. The other elite marine roster has yet to be written, so that is something to look at later. As yet I don't know what chapter tactics or doctrines I will actually go for but in general I will probably go for one very shooting one and one more combat or speed orientated, depending upon the make up of the teams.

While many of the chapter tactics (and others but I'll just stick to calling them all chapter tactics for ease) are direct copies from the main 40k book as would be expected, many have been changed to give a better fit to the kill team mechanics. I have to say that this is definitely one of the best bits about the elites book and can really offer a great tool.

The missions look quite good as well and I looked forward to trying a couple of them out soon. However, they again seem to be skewed towards horde armies. I think that I might have to try some of the narrative games as well, something I've not been bothered about before.

I'm going to do a more detailed post soon on the changes to the guard that this book brings and how doctrines will change lists. I'll also look at the marine and admech as well, as there will be some changes there too.

To conclude, there are several good bits to this book and is in gereral something for everyone. However, with the amount of commanders in the book, as opposed to actual elite units, it should really have been commanders part 2.