Tuesday, 18 September 2018

Ogryns

As its been a while since I've posted up a WiP post, I though I had better share some picture of one of my current projects. These ogryns were part of my birthday haul and from the beginning they were earmarked for bodyguard duties. As such they have all received individual builds to cover many of the options. There are a few common elements, namely the bullgryns plate, for the 4+ base save.

The three amigos

The Shooty one

The first one up is the shooty one, armed with ripper gun and slab shield. This one is designed to sit back and shoot anything that comes close, while tanking as much as possible on the shield and also trying to block LoS to the character behind, should it be needed.

The hitty one

Next up we have the combat version, who works in a very similar manor, just hitting stuff rather than shooting it. This one will sit back and wait for stuff to get close before charging forward and smacking stuff with his maul. Again, he is designed to tank stuff with his shield. I have gone for slab shields rather than brute shields for the basic reason that a lot of attacks are low ap with only a few being high ap. This means that most of the time the 4++ will not be as good as the 2+.

The stabby one, aka da wanna be

Lastly we have the wanna be, aka Nork Deddog. Now, 5his isn't the proper Nork model but a combination of elements from the box to make a model that looks like and has the same options as Nork but has a very different aesthetic. I will generally run this as a generic bogyguard model but I will have the option if I wish to run Nork. This model will be paired with one of the other models on most occasions, either to add some combat punch to the shooty one or some ranged attacks to the hitty one but will be able to back them up in the other department as well.

The downside at the moment is that they can't be used in kill team and so they have sort of found themselves on the back burner as all things kill team has sort of taken over. Hopefully I'll get some time to finished them in the not to distant future, as I've been looking forward to getting these models for quite a while.

Friday, 14 September 2018

Kill team - a family game.

I guess it's every wargamers dream to have an opponent on had anytime you fancy a game and whats better than some you live with. Gramted, a proper game 2000 point game of 40k has been a little to much for my 5 year old son but kill team seems to have gone down quite well, even if we have dumbed down the rules some what. 

The only trouble is that the little man wants to play a lot, pretty much every day when he gets back from school, which does cause some problems, especially when there's house work to be done. 

Anyway, i promised I would put up some pictures on here, so here's a few from a couple of games. I would also like to add that currently he's won 9 games, I've won 3 and mummy (a reluctant player at the best of times) has only won 1.

Early games were a some what comical affair, with Marvel's Storm and Abomination taking part in the action.

Later games got a bit more sensible but still just as much fun. Random 6 man kill teams, chosen based on colours. My kill team is at the bottom here, the little mans is quite hard to see as there just primed at the moment.

A top down view of a typical game board, probably a bit full for a proper game of kill team but as we're basically ignoring cover, it doesn't really matter.

A close up of some of the action and terrain. I'll put up some posts shortly about the terrain as I've recently acquired a new board with some terrain. 

One additional thing that has come out of these he's is that my Scion\Inquisitional kill team have been christened "The Black Widows" by my son.

Tuesday, 11 September 2018

Blood Angels codex review - Tactical objectives and my thoughts.


this is the final post in my review of the blood angles codex and will look at the tactical objectives. I will also put some of my thoughts, both on the army and book, at the end. To start with let's look at the 6 blood angels specific objectives. 

Tactical objectives

11 - Valour of the angels
The destruction of enemy characters is, in 8th edition, an important part of the game and here you can be rewarded for such actions. You can gain the standard one point for destroying a character in the fight phase or d3 points if you use one of your characters to do the killing. This is a good card, the the blood angels generally have some good combat units and characters. Not much use if you draw it turn one but later in the game it can be easy to pick up.

12 - Aerial assault
This is another good card, as there are quite a few fly units in the blood angels arsenal. With the inclusion of the likes of inceptors and there assault bolters or plasma exterminators, this card has got easier than it would have been. One point should be fairly easy to achieve but d3 is possible, with only the added stipulated that the unit must have arrived from reserve to claim the d3. Now this means that you'll struggle on turn one to achieve this, but turn 2 and 3 it should be fairly easy to pick off a weaker unit.

13 - purity through bloodshed
This card is pretty standard amongst the faction specific cards and involves killing stuff, this time in the fight phase. This is one of the few cards where you have the option to earn yourself some big points, up to 6vp in total. That does require you to kill off 6 units but late in the game it is possible. It's more likely you'll be scoring just 1 or d3 points for killing between 1 and 3 units. For the blood angels this is not a hard card to achieve, you just have to be careful not to sacrifice your units in doing so.

14 - Decapitating strike
This card can either be really easy or very hard to achieve. Basically, you need to kill the character with the highest power rating to claim a VP. If your opponent is running marines with a captain or guard with a company commander, this card should be fairly easy to achieve. If however they are running Guilliman or Saint Celestine, then this is going to be a bit harder and then there's the like of Mortarian to consider. There is also the fact that of the character is buried in amongst the troops, it can be quite difficult to get at them and for 1vp, it might be more Hassel than its worth.

15 - swift advance
Possibly one of the easiest cards in the game to achieve, simply advance 3 units and gain a VP. Simple really. The difficulty comes with advancing units without sacrificing shooting or combat but you have to grab the easy points where you can.

16 - Noble self-sacrifice
Ok, this is probably one of the few cards I really don't like drawing. Basically go get a character killed. Yeah, not ideal and certainly not for a single point. If you've a character on a single wound, then it could be worth throwing him in to combat and taking down a few enemy models before being killed off himself. Not a card that I like but it can be useful.

So that's it, we are at the end of our run through the Blood Angels Codex and while I do like the new codex, there are some points to note. While there are some new units included in the codex, there are definitely some units that stand out from the others, most notably the infamous smash captain. I think it was at the NOVA that they did a poll of the number of smash captains on the table and came up with about 25. There is also the fact that with the inclusion of the new units, the various marine codices are becoming closer and each individual codex is becoming more generic. This is even more so than with the new Primaris units. At present there are only the core units and no variation within them, meaning that all the Primaris units within the various codices are all the same with no variation. I hope that in the future as we see more Primaris releases we see some more chapter specific releases, some Dark Angels Deathwing and Ravenwing Primaris, some Sanguinary Primaris and some Thunder Wolf Primaris, although that's going to be a bit odd.

I think it's safe to say that the old marines that we know and love are living on borrowed time right now, granted, we don't know how much longer they will be around but my feelings are they will last until 10th edition. By that I mean that we have primaris introduced this edition, next (which will be in a couple of years and be a "soft" update) and then in about 7 or 8 years we'll see 10th and old skool marines will become bit part players and disappear from GW shops. Anyway, that's getting off topic.....

Overall this is a good codex with lots of options and good units but only a few are really top tier. It still retains the flavour of the blood angels but it's moving further towards the centre, hopefully the future holds some more specialist units. I can say, that dispite my lack of success with the army, I'm enjoying playing with them at the moment.

Friday, 7 September 2018

Kill team specialist's options

Image result for kill team

As I mentioned in a previous post, there are quite a few specialist options in the new kill team, as there have been in all versions of kill team. However, this edition has introduced the leveling up option in to the game with specific progression trees for each specialism. This means that it's not quite so simple to pick a specialist, as it requires you to think beyond the first game and about how they model will progress. As such I thought that I would run through my thoughts on the various specialist options that are applicable to the Astra Militarum units. I may look at the others as I flesh out the other forces I have planned but for now I'll just be sticking to the guard options.

But what are the options, well they actually change between data sheets, so we'll look at the three options;

Infantry squad - Leader (sergeant only) Heavy (gunner only) scout, sniper, Comms (guardsman with vox caster only), veteran, demolitions

Special weapons squad - Leader, Heavy (gunner only) scout, sniper, Comms, veteran, demolitions

Militarum Tempestus squad - Leader (tempestor only) Heavy (gunner only) Demolitions (gunner only) Comms, medic, scout, sniper, veteran

Straight off, two things jump out at me. Firstly, Leaders, for both the infantry squad and Scion squad have restrictions on there leaders but the special weapons squad doesn't, meaning that you could have a guardsman or gunner be your leader if you wanted. Secondly, the Comms specialist in the Infantry squad is restricted to a model with a vox caster, while in the special weapons and Scion squads there is no such restriction. Personally, I think this is an oversight. I can understand why the leader specialism is included in the special weapons squad, but I think it should be restricted to a non-gunner model at the very least. Really I think it should not be there at all. As for the Comms specialist, I think it should be restricted to vox caster only across all units, as this makes more sense. To keep changing the requirements for things across units seem like poor proof reading to me.

But enough with the moaning. Let's look at each option and see how they stack up against the various squads. For the most part I will just be looking at guard Vs Scion and not splitting the infantry squad and special weapons squad in to individual units as they are exactly the same in all respects apart from the max model counts.

Leader specialist - there is not really much to say about this one, as it is required by all kill teams. The only question comes if you are thinking of taking a combines guard and Scion kill team, which in reality most people are. If your going to combine the various different units, I would take the tempestor as your leader. There's a very basic reason for this, a 3+ BS\WS and 4+ save. It is also worth pointing out that you could have a guardsman for the special weapons squad be a leader but this doesn't really seem sensible. You loose leadership and gain nothing. If you have a good fluff reason for it great but in reality the Tempestor is the best choice.

Heavy specialist - in all fire teams this is restricted to gunners only, which makes sense, there the ones with the big guns. Unfortunately it doesn't really suit all the weapon options. The base ability doesn't help plasma guns at all and the extra ap on level 2 is not much use either. The same can be said for flamers as well, as they auto hit anyway, although the ap modifier would be useful. Really this pushes you towards grande launchers, melta guns, sniper rifles and hotshot volley guns. Now, I'm still not convinced by melta guns in kill team. Yes they will kick out a lot of damage but there are very few multi wound models in the game and most that are are 2 wound models. The range is also very short, so you will have to get close to do damage. So really that leaves sniper rifles and grenade launchers for guard and just hotshot volley guns for scions. Now, both will work for guard, as both weapons can make use of the abilities that are on the tree. I don't join that the grenade launcher does just edge it though as there are some abilities that work better for the grenade launcher but there are not any that work better for the sniper. As such if you want to take the heavy specialist for guard, then take it with a grenade launcher. For scions, there is only one option, the hotshot volley gun and it's not a bad choice at all.

Demolitions specialist - this specialism is unrestricted in the guard units but is restricted to Scion gunners. Why the restriction, I don't know, but it doesn't really make much difference. You could use this model with a normal lasgun and go the route of the grenadier but most people will probably go the pyromaniac route. The biggest trouble for me is that many of the later abiolities are not in game abilities but ones that work after the game or before the game, provided you use the scout phase. To me there is really only two ways to go with this specialism and that's to arm a man with a flamer and go pyromaniac or keep them with a lasgun and go grenadier, either way I don't think that this is a great option unless you are going to be playing a full campaign.

Comms specialist - this is a slightly odd one, as it's restricted to a guardsman with vox caster in the infantry squad but there are no restrictions on scions or special weapons squads. I would have thought that they would have restricted it in the Scion squad as well but they haven't. When I first looked through the rule book, I instantly went for a vox caster with the Comms specialism, then I thought about it for a bit and decided that it wasn't actually that good. Now I'm back to thinking that this is actually quite good, although several of it's abilities do rely on random dice rolls. I have not taken it as a specialism for either of my kill teams yet, but I am thinking that it might be good to add it in. However, for me, it is another specialism that seems to have one good route and one poor route for guard. I suppose that this is part of the reason for the two different routes, to give options and make it so that every specialism is equally valuable. Overall I think that this is one to consider but will require a certain play style, namely that of sitting this model at the back and protecting it, as it's buffs do not need it to be up close to the enemy.

Scout specialist - I am still having trouble deciding if this is a good specialism or not. I have taken it with one team but I'm still not convinced by it, hopefully a few games will tell me if it is worth it or not. On the face of it, it looks like a good option, giving you some good bonuses, not only for the model with extra mobility but for the kill team later on in the campaign. As the base ability is re-rolling to advance rolls, you really need to have this model using an assault weapon, which limited you to using a gunner with either a flamer, melta or grenade launcher. I'm instantly discounting the melta, for previously mentioned reasons, and I would also question the grenade launcher, as with the range, you don't really need to get close quickly. This just leaves the flamer, which with its short range would be helped by getting close quickly.

Sniper specialist - I guess most people, like me, will look at this and think, sniper rifle = sniper specialist. Well, I'm not so sure it's a good idea. As with many specialists, one side of the tree is a lot better than the other. In this case, one side culminates in bonuses for a 6+ roll, when a sniper rifle gets a mortal wound bonus anyway. So this side seems a bit unnecessary. The other side is good though, but again there are some bonuses that are not so good. Extra range on a weapon that can already hit pretty much anywhere on the board? There are some good bonuses but I do think that taking a different weapon on a sniper specialist, such as a plasma gun or even just a plain las weapon (yes, I know the sniper rifle is technically a long las) might actually be better. That being said, I've got a sniper specialist with a sniper rifle.

Veteran specialist - the veteran specialism is a bit of an odd one, as there really doesn't seem like a right option for it. You could slap this on pretty much any model with pretty much any weapon and it would work. At the moment I think that for guard and scions alike, sticking this on a plasma welding model maybe the best bet. This is due to the fact that it is less likely to be shaken and so not be able to fire, it can get a free re-roll, useful.for those pesky 1's when over charging and as it progresses further, gains a bonus to its save and can even generate a command point of it very own. All these things can help keep that expensive and valuable plasma gun firing longer and better. Like I said though, you could put this on just about anyone and it would still be useful. The question really comes, it is better to have a generalist specialist model (of that can be a thing!) or a more focused specialist in you force.

Medic specialist - this is only available to the scions, although I'm not really sure why. The medic specialist is very much a supporting character, giving out buffs to those around him, although he does have a pretty short range. One of the big benefits comes at level 3, when he has the ability to keep your men alive if they die as a result of there injuries after the game. This can be a huge bonus, especially late in campaigns when you've leveled up several.of your specialists and don't want to loose them to a bad dice roll. To be honest though, I don't think this is a particularly good specialism and I have taken it mostly because of the modeling opportunities. If you can keep your guys close, then he'll work, but that rarely seems like a good idea.

One thing many of you may have noticed is that I have not included the stratagems in my review here. Well there is a good reason for this, unwanted to look at the basic options and levels of each specialism. These are the guaranteed bonuses and don't rely of command points to get. Many of the options have some very good stratagems but if your relying on the stratagems to make a specialism with taking, I think your looking at things the wrong way, as youay not have command points to spare when you need them or may have multiple models that could benefit from stratagems in a single turn. If the base options aren't any good for you, then it shouldn't matter how good the stratagems might be. The best way to look at the stratagems is as a bonus not a given and ignore them until you've actually chosen the specialisms you want.