Tuesday, 17 October 2017

Codex: Astra Militarum - HQ units

Over the next couple of weeks I will be going through all of the verious units within the new Codex, looking at what has changed from the Index and also my thoughts on the various units and how they work in 8th. I will be starting with the HQ units and then working through all the others in turn. Finally I will look at all of the doctrines, warlord traits, orders and stratagems at the end. All in all, this will no doubt take quite a bit of time to go through everything in the new book and I will try to post things up as quickly as I can so that were not still talking about the box next year! When I do finish going through the book, there will be quite a back log of posts, as there is still things going on in the background, namely batreps and the Eagle Knights, which have been progressing slowly in the background.

Anyway, on to the HQ units:

Lord Castellan Creed
A nice and simple one to start, as nothing has changed from the Index to the Codex. Creed is still a strong character, carrying over a lot of the usefulness he had in 7th. As a character he is purely a buffing character, able to issue multiple orders and also granting the bonus Command Points, which is very useful. The only downside to him is that he sufferers from the standard guard flaw, he is relatively easy to kill. As a character he has some built in survivability, but once the enemy get close, he is still a soft target. For me, I usually take him in my Hjaltland list, however, I'm going to have to rethink this as being Cadian I would have to use the Cadian Doctrine and to be honest, I'm not sure its the best one for the army. If you are taking a Cadian Detachment though, then you should definatly be looking at taking Creed.

Company Commander
There have been a few changes here. Two of them are fairly common across a number of units and will get repeated several times during these reviews. The Power points value has been altered, dropping a point and the character no longer comes with a Chain sword as standard. Now, power points are not really something I bother with as I don't really like the imbalance in the system but if you do then the drop in points is a good thing. On the whole most units have dropped points, which more than makes up for the few that have risen in price. The fact that the model no longer comes with a chain sword is both a modelling thing and a cost thing. With most models that now have a chain sword did not use to have one and as such most are not modelled with one. Most of my Sergeants and officers are armed with plain old CCW's and not chain swords, but in reality it isn't much of a problem, as its easy to just pretend or glue on to the back of someone. The other change to Company Commanders is that they have lost their shotguns. This is a minor issue as I don't know anyone who actually armed a Company Commander with shotguns. I haven't used shotguns and don't ever intend to either, so not a problem for me. Company commanders are very useful units and you should always be taking these guys, especially if your not taking Creed, as their orders are invaluable.

Tank Commander
The first of the Leman Russ tanks and one that hasn't benefitted from the points drop. It has benefitted from a drop in power points, just one point, but its still a drop. The price drop of the general LRBT's does however have an impact on the command tank. Previously, the point difference meant that it made sense to just spam command tanks for the extra BS, now the point are different enough that you actually need to think about whether its worth taking lots of command tanks or if you can take one with a couple of normal LRBT's. The main change though is to the Emergency Plasma Vents and its a big one. In the past, overcharging the plasma was a sure-fire way of destroying your tanks, with the risk of taking multiple mortal wounds per 1 rolled. Now you only take one mortal wound per 1 rolled and you still get to use your weapon again. This means that you can chance those overcharged shots and not worry that two 1's and you tank is removed from the board, or even that one 1 would stop it shooting for the rest of the battle. I think that this is a really good change and will result in lots more Executioners being fielded. If your running tanks, then this guy should be the first one on the table, that is unless your playing as Cadian, then you should be taking Pask.

Knight Commander Pask
If your taking tanks and playing as Cadians, then this man should be first on the list. While I think he has lost something over the 7th edition version, with loosing the special abilities of the weapons, there is no doubt that he is still a very powerful addition to the force. Along side the reduction in power points, by the almost obligatory one point, the only other thing of note is that the wording of the Tank Orders/Knight Commander ability has changed. It now mentions nothing about other characters, just that they have to be other Cadian Leman Russ tanks. So by this I assume that Pask can order another command tank and visa versa. It does still appear that the loophole about Pask ordering himself my arise again, as it doesn't mention anything about not ordering himself and we don't have a FAQ for the Codex, just Index 2, which no longer applies. I think that if anyone tries to do this again, then they are trying to break the system, as it is clear that he is not supposed to order himself. Also worth noting that the Plasma Vent rule for Pask has also changed in line with all LRBT's. Pask is a great addition to any armoured force and with the new Grinding Advance rules allowing you to fire twice at half speed or less, he is even better. There are really no bad weapons options for him, with a 2+ BS and if he stays still, re-rolls to 1's your going to be hitting with pretty much everything, even Vanquisher Battle Cannons. My personal favourite still has to be the Punisher Gatling Cannon, just for the fact that you can pour in 40 shots, hitting on twos, with the possibility of re-rolling 1's. That is going to ruin pretty much any ones day.

Commissar Yarrick
The old man of Hades Hive is still alive and kicking. Although there is no change from the Index entry, he is still an absolute beat stick. With the standard Commissar buffs to leadership and moral, your troops wont be going many places you don't want them to. Plus with the re-rolls to 1's as well, your troops will be performing a bit better on the shooting front too. This goes even further with re-roll to all failed hit rolls when fighting Orks, which is very good but quite situational, as the number of Ork players seems to have diminished over the last couple of editions. The big bonus Yarrick has over a regular Lord Commissar is his ability to regenerate when he dies. He has a good chance of returning, especially if you keep your command re-roll, and if you keep a medic close to hand you have a chance of making him really difficult to remove from the table, as its is not a one time ability. While Yarrick is a great character, I feel he is still quite situational. Against Orks he is a really good addition, but against normal opponents, I feel that if you want a Commissar in the HQ section, then a standard Lord Commissar is a better bet.

Lord Commissar
While not a resilient as Yarrick, he offers pretty much all of the same buffs, everything except the re-rolls. With all the orders and regimental doctrines available, losing this re-roll is not a big issue, Cadians for example have a re-roll of there own. The Lord Commissar's profile has remained unchanged from the Index, as do all the buffs but again, I still find it hard to justify taking a Lord Commissar. A normal commissar will give you the buffs you need at a reduced cost. The only reason to take the Lord version is the invulnerable save and the fact it sits as a HQ choice rather than using one of the overcrowded elite slots.

Colonel 'Iron Hand' Straken
The final named character in the HQ section has had quite a few changes from the Index. The biggest change is the change in the cost of the unit, both in terms of power points, dropping a point but also dropping 15 "normal" points. This is the only HQ to drop actual points, as opposed to power points. He has also gained frag grenades along side his krak grenades, which I assume was a mistake in the Index. Straken is a strange one, as he really is trying to be a combat monster, yet to me, doesn't really seem to achieve this. Yes he can issue orders and also gives extra attacks to Catachan infantry, which melds well with their extra strength buff, but at T4 he is still not going to take much to strike down, especially when his other rules are aimed at him hunting down monsters, i.e. his re-roll to wound against monsters. Going up against a Tyranid monster will likely see him destroyed in one turn of combat, probably without dealing much in return, as his bionic arm is only S user, even if this is twice the normal guardsmen's strength. While I think this means that he want to be in combat and is wasted sitting in the backfield, meaning he doesn't really have a defined role, I would take him in any of my lists in a second, just because he's definitely one of the coolest characters in the Codex.

Tempestor Prime
Apart from the change to the power points, a change of 1 point upwards for a change. Its not surprising that it has gone up in price, as the scions have proved themselves to be a big threat on the field, especially when loader with plasma guns. If you running any sort of MT force, even just a single squad, then you should seriously consider this unit, as it really is a massive force multiplier.

Primaris Psyker
The last HQ choice remains unchanged from the Index and remains a cheap but useful HQ choice. While there are other psykers available to the guard player, this is by far the best option. The others do have there place in the army but this is the most versatile of them. The psychic power avaliable, which I will go through later, offer a number of buffs to your army and are all useful, unlike some of the previous powers. I think that if you want a Psyker in your army, then this is the best choice.

So overall, most of the HQ choices are good choices. Pask and Creed are really auto includes in Cadian armies and Straken is a good candidate in a Catachan army. Company Commanders and Tank Commanders are also required choices for any infantry or tank armies, as is the Prime in a Scion force. The Psyker is a decent support choice and can perform any number of rolls, depending upon which psychic powers you choose. The only two choices that I struggle with are both the Commissars, Yarrick and the Lord, as I don't see that they really offer anything over the standard Commisars.

Next up will be the Troop choices and also the Dedicated transports.

Friday, 13 October 2017

Codex: Astra Militarum - First Thought

So, I received my codex on Monday and I have had a good look through. Firstly, I think the codex is excellent, I really like the way it is laid out, especially all the unit entries. Its something that I have always thought was odd about the Index, why was everything all over the place. I haven't read through all the fluff yet, there is a lot of it. What I have read, its really good.

Now, I know that there have been a number of points reductions and some other rules alterations but I will go into them in more detail when I go through the various entries over the next few posts. What I will go into quickly is the changes that have jumped out at me as I went through the book. Now these are in no particular order, just as I noticed as I jumped around the book.

First up, is the alteration to power weapons. Now, this is annoying as I had armed a few of my models with power mauls, which are really my weapon of choice for guard characters. What am I going on about? Well, power axes and power mauls are no longer part of the Melee weapons list. I remember a time when it was pretty much a must have to arm your Sgts with power axes. Personally, I've always preferred the power maul for the extra strength, up to strength 5, meaning its a 3+ to wound marines, which is always useful. Alas, you can no longer take either an axe or maul, only fists and swords. I'm not sure why they have been removed, I would have at least though that the mauls would have remained, but then I guess that they don't actually do a power maul model. Oh well, power swords it is then.

Tempestor Primes, Sword on the left and Maul on the right.

One other thing I noticed on the war gear list was the vehicle list, a new addition and the stand out item on the list was the Track Guards. This means that even when you take damage, your movement characteristics don't degrade as well, just your ballistic skill. This is great, unless your taking the Valhallan doctrine, then its useless. This is definatly something I will be looking at taking on a couple of vehicles.

Next up, I checked out a couple of units. The first one I had to check out was the Ogryrn Bodyguard. Now this is a unit that I am really interested in adding to my army list, well, actually I am thinking of adding a couple. I was planning to add just the Bullgryn variants, but then I noticed that they have changed the profile for the ripper gun. I was quite excited by the fact that it now has a melee profile. Its not the best weapons profile but it does have a -1 ap which is always useful. However, as good as this is, the bodyguard come with a Huge Knife, which is still -1 ap but is 2 damage, which is great. So, the Ripper armed Ogryn bodyguard with Huge Knife is actually not a bad option. I'll have to check, but if you can take multiple bodyguards for each character, then one shooty one and one with maul and shield would fit the bill perfectly. I think that a box of Ogryns are definitely on the Christmas list.

The next unit to mention is not one that's in the codex. Rough Riders. These have been something that I wanted to get for a while but now, they no longer exist and so they will never form part of the Hrossey Yeomanry. Its a shame, I was really hoping that they would get some buffs in this codex and be reinvigorated for the new edition.

Now comes the Conscripts and there well published alterations. There isn't a lot to say here, yes they have been hit a bit, but is it good enough? I don't know and I don't really care, I don't run conscripts or play in high level tournaments. I can see why people don't like them but we'll see what the changes actually do to there effectiveness on the table.

One thing that I didn't notice, but was brought to my attention on the Xeno Vids YouTube channel. He was putting together a list from the new codex and he mentioned Valkyries and the MRP's being Assault D6. Assault? Now that was interesting, as they were heavy. This now means that they don't suffer a negative hit modifier when they move, which I very useful. Hitting on a 5 rather than a 4 makes quite a difference. This means that they will definitely a be featuring on the table top during my games. A good change as far as i'm concerned.

Vendetta and Valkyrie (or is that two Valkyries now?)

The one thing that i'm not happy about is that there is still no choice for Carapace armour. I always took this option on my command squads and on my veterans, as that change to a 4+ save made a huge difference and still would. Why it has been removed, I'm not sure, as it doesn't require any extra models or options. Its a shame as it was a good option. The other thing I don't understand, why have they removed the options for veterans? I didn't think that these were overpowered or anything and they added a flavour to the unit. Ok so the doctrines and stratagems now do some of this, but the options added something to the individual units.

Lastly, Defenders of Humanity, or objective secured as it was known before. This was not unexpected and wasn't what caught my eye, all troops in all detachments as objective secured, but in a Spearhead detachment, Leman Russ tanks are also a objective secured. This is great, as it means that you can still run a full armoured company and have objective secured.

These are just my initial thoughts and i'm going to go through all the entries over the next couple weeks, so will be in more detail than others and I may split up some of the various battlefield roles in to multiply posts, as some of them are quite big. I'll look into any changes that may have occurred between the index entries and the codex entries and give you thoughts on the units.

Tuesday, 10 October 2017

Chapter symbols part 2

This is a bit of a double post, as first i want to mention this:

It arrived on Monday afternoon and I have started reading through everything. It is possibly the best codex I have read in a while and I will be looking at starting my reviews shortly. In the meantime, here is something slightly different.

A few weeks ago, I posted my thoughts and (rather bad) designs for my chapter icons, well, I think I've pretty much got the Emperors Disciples icon sorted.

I was cleaning the other day and I came across this badge;

I have no idea what its for or even where its come from, although I suspect that it is from something that the kids have been doing. Anyway, it got me thinking and while the young lady was making a mess in the bathroom the other day, I came up with these;

Yes, they are the same picture, ones upside down, don't ask me which, I don't know yet. Also ignore the squiggle thing in the center, it was supposed to be a lightning bolt but I do t like it. By that I mean, I don't like it as part of the design, not just because its rubbish. As things stand I'm leaning to the one of the right and think that it needs more detail below. I'm currently thinking of a line with a solid triangle, sitting inside the lines of the other triangle, maybe with some other details on there too.

I'm not entirely sure how the icon will interact with the name of the chapter or its history, as there is no link to the Imperial Fists. The lightning bolt was supposed to link back to the Emperor, but I didn't like it, so it will not be part of the final design. I will have to have a little play around and try it on a model and see what my final thoughts are and let you all know.

Friday, 6 October 2017


Another milestone has been reached by the blog recently, on Tuesday, to be exact. The bog has now had over 20,000 views since I started posting, about 3 years ago. Ok, so compared to some blogs this is nothing special but for me, I think it is. Now, I've said it quite a few times, i'm not in this to make my fortune or become famous, I do this for the love of it and to share my thoughts, ideas and models with the other like minded people but I do feel a certain sense of pride that people are spending the time to read and comment on my blog. I'm not going to go in to great depth with the numbers on this occasion, as I have do in the past, mostly as I don't really have the time to either write the posts or the space/time to post them, especially not with the new Guard codex coming out this weekend! Mine is ordered and hopefully should be here Saturday or Monday, more likely Monday. Either way, I plan on getting up various posts over the following weeks, reviewing the codex and the various units and changes. With that review and also the fact that I haven't posted anything about the Eagle Knights, who have been quietly coming together in the background and are moving towards complete fairly rapidly. Anyway, let have a look at some of the numbers shall we.

With the blog hitting 20,000 views I had a look back at when I hit some of the other milestones and was quite surprised. It took 10 months to go from 2500 views to 10,000 views, but only 5 months to go from the 10 to 20 thousand mark. The reason for this is quite obvious really and that is joining the Natfka Blog Exchange. When I went on to Google+, my views jumped from the 10's to the 100's a month, but when I went on to the blog exchange, it jumped from a couple of hundred a month to holding around 2000 a month. One of the things that people have said in the past, is that if I put things up on the more specific Google+ groups, rather than just on the basic public pages and if I join up with reddit and the likes, I could push the views up even further. However, being as lazy as I am, I haven't bothered and probably wont. Google+ and Natfka are easy and require no effort on my part, which I like. In the future I may push things further or if anyone knows of any systems that will do all this for me, then i'll look at them but for the moment, I think i'll just stick with the easy stuff.

The pictures seem slightly fuzzy to me, I think it's because I used the phones capture system and then cropped them. It doesn't seem to like this and I may have to try and do it on the laptop next time, although i'm not planning on the next update until I hit 50,000, so it may be a while.

First up, is last weeks viewing figures. it seems that my 8th edition posts are getting most of the attention, which isn't a surprise, 8th is still new and there is lots of stuff floating around and new developments. When I start on the new codex, I expect this to dominate the weekly viewing figures. Oh, and i'm up to 4 followers! that's double the number I had last time I looked!

 The overall figures also show that 8th is popular, with the top two posts having nearly 2500 views between them! I was really excited when one of my posts topped the 100 views mark and I was not expecting any post to hit the 1000 views mark for a long time but it appears that the 8th edition posts have been really popular.

This is the top 10 posts and pages and as you can see, all but one post, the painting - Pre or Post?, is related to 8th. Now, there seems to be something going on with the posts, as last time, my Sternhammer post was sitting on 102 views, but now is nowhere to be found, despite the bottom two entries sitting on only 100 views. The post is still there and still exists and has apparently had 112 views, so why isn't it appearing in the list? How many other older posts are no longer showing in this list? This is supposed to be the all time list but does it only select from a certain period, the last year or so? or is there just a glitch in the system that discounts older posts?

Its also good to see that a number of the pages are getting visits, including the tactics page, which, while not actually holding any tactical information, does direct people to other sites which I feel do hold lots of valuable information. If you haven't visited it, go and have a look, hopefully you might find some of the other sites interesting.

I still struggle with this page, I do get what it means but I couldn't explain any of it to anyone with any confidence. What I can say is that it proves why being on the Natfka blog exchange is such a good idea, as you can see, pretty much all my referrals come from either Google or Natfka, through there various sites. The only other site listed on there is the 40k Addict site.

The search keywords are not surprising, with 8th topping out the list and forming most of the rest of it as well. This time round there are no random search's to explain, which was always fun.

As always, this is the page that I like looking at, not just over the whole history of the blog but also in a weekly and monthly basic, as it shows where people are in the world. It always fascinates me, seeing that there are people on the other side of the world reading my blog and maybe commenting on it, proving that this is a truly global hobby. I always like to look at the numbers of where people are in the world, however, I don't think that the list of top 10 countries will change much these days, especially not the top 5 or so, but for the sake of it lets have a quick look;

USA - 5478 - (2862) (742)
UK - 3220 - (1585) (194)
Russia - 2903 - (1151) (185)
France - 1169 - (786) (89)
Germany - 1041 - (438) (71)
Canada - 687 - (182) (-)
Australia - 540 - (232) (-)
Ireland - 483 - (440) (190)
China - 387 - (343) (114)
Ukraine - 346 - (306) (121)
Previous number in brackets (10000 and 2500)

So that's the numbers and there is both a surprise and no surprises at the same time, which is not what I was expecting. The top 10 are still the top 10, with no new countries in there. However, the order has changed quite a bit and some countries have not been visiting very often in the last few months. Ukraine has had only 40 visits and China has had only 44, with Ireland having 43 but both Canada and Australia seem to be enjoying the blog with 505 and 308 views respectively, when previously they weren't even listed. The top 5 counties have be present on the list for quite a while and i can't see them going anywhere. The US still forms one 25% of my views on its own, with the UK and Russia forming another 25%.

All in all, in really happy with how the blog has been going and I'm looking forward to the future and I have lots of ideas and posts in the pipeline to keep things going.

Tuesday, 3 October 2017

Friday night game

Last weekend I took a trip up north to play a friend over at his house and to give his tournament list a run out. It also happened to be his first game of 8th. The tournament, Northern Invasion 5, is a 1000 point no lords of war tournament and I had decided to play the 14 command point list that I wrote about in a previous post. My opponent was playing a monster heavy tyranids list.

For a quick recap, my list included Creed, 2 company commanders and a MT prime, a MT command squad, 2 commissars, 5 infantry squad, a MT squad, 3 sentinels, 2 lascannon heavy weapons squads and finally a wyvern.

My opponents list consisted of a Brood Lord, Old One Eye, a Malanthrope, 15 genesteelers, 2 ripper swarms, 2 carnifex's and a trygon. Quite a small and compact army, but a hard one to take down, with lots of big tough multi-wound models.


Setup was simple, with the board being only 4x4. This did give me a bit of a problem, as it bunched up my troops more than I would have liked, but ultimately it didn't make much of a difference to the game. We also used the mission setup from last year, with 3 objectives across the centre of the board (with one dead centre) and one objective each to place anywhere on the board. The centre ones would be worth 2 points with the other worth either 1 or 3 points, 1 point for holding yours and 3 for holding the enemies. This worked alongside kill points (one for each unit) and the standard first blood, line breaker and slay the warlord.

The board. A 4x4 3d affair.

The tryanids deployment, 5 monsters.

The guard deployment and a few more than 5 models!

Turn 1

The game started well for me, as despite having about twice as many drops during setup, I managed to steal the initiative. Its abouthere that my luck changed. I moved up the sentinels to take the objectives early, trying to force my opponent in to focusing on them early in the game. With very little in shooting range first turn and some of what was in range not in line of sight, my choices were limited. However, my lascannons were all in range and could draw line of sight on to old one eye, however, they failed to do the job, only managing to take 7 wounds between 6 lascannons! There shooting didn't improve through the rest of the game.

Minimal damage

After a bit of a disastrous start, things didn't get much better. The trygon popped up with the genestealers, who promptly charged the sentinel sitting on one of the objectives, although the trygon failed his charge on the other sentinel on the center objective. The Steelers did there work on the sentinel but left it alive on one wound. Everything else moved forward.

Genestealers charge.

Turn 2

This turn started with a tactical withdrawal, namely the sentinel in combat with the stealers. This left them open to fire from the wyvern, who really should have done better. With 4d6 shots, I should have been shooting at least 12 a turn, as it was I didn't get double figures on 2 turns and was only above average on one turn.

Stealers feel the pain.

In other shooting, the lascannons failed again. Shooting at the trygon and failing to put it down. With 12 wounds, 6 lascannons with a possible output of 36 damage should of been enough, but no, whilst it did damage, it want enough.

bottom the bottom of turn two.

In response to my attempt to wipe out the Stealers, they moved forward and assaulted one of my infantry squads, along with the Broodlord(?)

The Guardsmen stand and receive the charge......

And promptly die.

The only bonus was that the stealers removed so many guardsmen that the Broodlord ended up 5 inches from the closest guardsmen and so was unable to strike when his turn came. As a result, the squad was not wiped out in combat. On the other side of the table, things were not going quite so well. The central Sentinel was destroyed by the combined attacks of the Malanthrope and the Trygon, while the far Sentinel was reduced down to a couple of wounds.

The sentinel pilot bravely stands his ground

But dies to a flurry of claws

Also forgot to mention, at the end of the movement pahse a squad of Rippers decided to pop up on the objective that the stealers had just vacated and another squad had appeared on the central objective. This central squad in particular were to become a thorn in my side for the next couple of turns. 

Turn 3

At this point in the game, i'm starting to get nervous. The big monsters were steadily advancing with little I could do about it and I was loosing control of all the objectives across the centre of the board.
I decided it was time to throw caution to the wind a little and push up. I pushed up on the right to move towards the centre objective and take out the rippers. I also decided to push forward to try and take on the centre monsters. Again, my lascannons massively underperformed, but they did manage to finally manage to kill of the trygon. It had only taken about 15 lascannon shots to strip 12 wounds or so, Crack shooting by the guard as always. At this point in the game my memory gets a little fuzzy. I know that the stealers were removed this turn, but I cant remember if it was because I fell back from combat or if my unit was destroyed and the stealers were removed in the next assault phase. I have a feeling that they were destroyed by shooting, which would mean that my guys fell back, but I really don't remember. Oh, and those rippers, yeah, two squads shooting with orders removed 1 base from the centre squad and I did a couple of wounds to the bottom squad. Not great.

Some time at the top of turn 3

I do know that in reply the right hand sentinel was finally destroyed after lasting a lot longer than it had any right to. Apart from that I cant remember what happened.

Turn 4

This turn I had to try and either hold up or kill off some of the monsters, with the lascannons again under performing and 6 of them didn't managed to finish off another of the monsters up on the top, I cant honestly remember which one they targeted, all the tyranid monsters look that same to me! Lots of shooting from the squads at the top tried to remove the rippers off the objective and failed. This was a problem for me, as I had hoped to drop in my scions on the objective, to enable me to bring both the melta guns and all the plasma guns to bare on the tyranids, in the end they dropped down further away and were unable to target what I wanted to. The infantry squads then went and charged the Malanthrope and Broodlord. Unfortunately they weren't very successful.

After the charge

After combat

The Tyranid turn was pretty short, mostly due to the fact that he had no shooing and most of the monsters were either in combat or charged into combat. It was nonetheless a bloody round, with a number of guardsmen slaughtered.

Post combat 

At the end of turn 4, the tyranids were right up in my lines, with 5 monsters still alive and 3 of them in pretty healthy condition. I was confident that I could claim objectives, but with the amount of units that I had lost, I was unsure if I could actually win the battle.

Turn 5

It was all or nothing now, and so I went all in. The remaining squad at the bottom of the table moved up and advanced, later they received an order to move again, and with a second good advance roll they moved up to capture the objective, after the wyvern and scions had removed the last remaining rippers. The last squads on the right flank charged in to the various monsters, or continued their assaults, all of which were reduced to nothing but mush. I cant remember who finished off the Broodlord, but I have a feeling it was the heavy bolter from the Wyvern.

Just before the squad advanced

The last ripper

The last ripper in the centre had become a problem and had cause me so many problems. In the end I had to resort to shooting it with overcharged plasma guns to remove it, after I had moved up to just within the 3" range with one of the Scions. Two obliterated the ripper in the centre and two shot at the rippers at the bottom before the squad there advanced. The centre scions just moved on to the centre objective, forgoing any shooting to capture the objective. 

3 central objectives claimed

Scions moving on to objectives

The last change of the Wyvern

The wyvern also charged in to one of the tyranid monsters, in an attempt to stop it moving to capture my objective. Which in some respect worked. Unfortunately, a different monster, the Malanthrope charged in to one of the Heavy Weapons Squads, after finishing off my infantry squad during my turn and then consolidated down on to the objective anyway. 

End game

So, at the end of the game I held 2 of the three 2 point objectives and also my opponents objective for 3 points. I did however loose my objective at the very end of the game, giving away 1 point and letting my opponent gain 3 points. The Tyranids also held one of the 2 point objectives, meaning that objectives wise, I won the primary objectives 7 to 5. I also claimed first blood and slay the warlord and well as line breaker, where as my opponent only manage to claim line breaker, meaning that I won on the tertiary objectives 3 to 1.

The centre of the board, bottom and centre objective held by me, the top objective held by the tyranids. The objective in the ruins held by the Scions, was actually my opponents objective and worth more points.

Unfortunately, the Malanthrope (the black base) holds my objective

Meaning that I was sitting on a 10 to 6 lead at this point. I was at this point however, that things went slightly wrong. The secondary objectives were based on kill points, I had wiped out 6 units but my opponent has wiped out a good chunk of my army. In total he managed to kill 11 units. This gave him 17 points, compared to my 16. So a Tyranid victory, 17 to 16. It was a lot closer than I though that it would be but in the end, if we had of played on further it would likely have ended up worse for me as I had nothing to really answer to the monstrous creatures. Luckily the tournament is fixed at 5 rounds and also it was gone 1am when we finished round 5 and past my bed time.

While I think that I played well, I would have changed a few things, namely that I would have dropped in my scions earlier, dealt with the rippers earlier and then been able to bring the plasma guns to bare on there intended targets, something I was unable to do, as I left it to long and the rippers got in the way. Also I think I should have used more command points, as I ended up with quite a few points left. In some respect I think that 14 points is too many for this game with the limited stratagems, but with the release of the new codex that will change.

I have also learnt since we played this game that the set up of the tournament will be changing, with just 4 fixed objectives and with Slay the Warlord, First Blood and Line Breaker, no kill points. So working on the new setup, chances are I would have won the game 7 to 5, but that's really a guess, as I think we probably would have played slightly differently, due to the differences in the mission setup.

Sunday, 1 October 2017

8th Edition Armageddon

The last of the previews today, the Armageddon Steel Legion

The survivors of a series of unfortunate events, the First war of Armageddon, which we don't talk about and then the second and third wars of Armageddon, when the Orks tried there luck. The Steel Legion have long been know for their armoured warfare and love of chimeras'. While they are know for there hatred of Orks, meaning that they are well practised at close ranged fire fights and fast mobility,

This took me a little while to get my head around when I first read it and I'm still slightly confused. In the example, they say a squad will be putting out 36 shots at 18 inches with FRFSRF. Now, with a normal squad with no doctrines will put out 18 shots at 12 inches, but with FRFSRF that would got to 36 shots. So by my reckoning with Industrial Effiency a squad shout be putting out 36 shots at 18 inches normally and 72 shots with FRFSRF, as it double the number of shots. If I'm right in my calculations, then this makes the amount of firepower that you can put out from an army immense. If you can I combine squads together to for 20 man squads, then the amount of firepower you could put out would be in the region of 144 shots at 18 inches. That will pretty much devastate any squad you shoot at. The extra inches on the rapid fire range, also means that you can get your shots in before the enemy has a chance to get there own volleys in.

The trait for the vehicles will help reduce the effectiveness of quite a few weapons, although it does nothing to the true anti-armour weapons, a better trait I think would have been a straight +1 to a weapons AP up to an AP of 0. As it is, it will help out vehicles, as there are a lot of AP-1 weapons out there, and that -1 matters more than you might think.

Overall, I think that this is a decent doctrine but it does favor the infantry more.

The highlighted unit is not really a surprise:

The chimera is probably the most numerous fighting vehicle in the imperium and is used extensively by the steel legion and is here to highlight two items, the Armageddon Stratagem and their order.

The stratagem, Armored Fist, allows a unit disembarking from a transport to reroll 1's. Nice and simple, all you need to do is load up your plasma vets into your chimera and charge them up the field turn 1, unload turn 2 and overcharge those plasma guns for maximum effect, safe in the knowledge you can reroll those unlucky 1's.

You could also tie this in with the order; Mount Up!

This order enables the ordered squad to mount a transport after shooing. This means that a unit can move in to a position, next to a transport, out in the open somewhere and then shoot the enemy, before piling in to the transport and relative safety. While its not perfect, was the transport cannot move after, it does offer the squad quite a bit of safety from retribution. Imagine this order on a plasma command squad, they could move up tonrapid fire range to engage the enemy and then jump in the transport ready to escape the return fire that will no doubt come there way. This means there is a good chance of survival, compared to standing out in the open. This is a good order but will require some practice to get right.

We are also given the Armageddon warlord trait this time, Ex-gang Leader.

This trait means that your warlord will most likely be hitting with 4 attacks and without a power weapon, wounding on 4's. With a power weapon, you could be wounding on anything from a 2 to a 4, depending upon the weapon. This means that you have a better chance of wounding your enemy in most cases and paired with one of the relics below, namely the blade of conquest, you could do some real damage to an enemy, even taking out terminator's! Ok, that's unlikely but possible. Personally I don't know if this is the best trait to have. It seems like a one hit wonder, as if you don't kill off your enemy before they have a chance, its likely you'll be dead before you get to strike again. This seems like a poor use for your warlord. I think I wound stick with one of the other traits if I was going for an Armageddon detachment.

Next up is the Company Commander, highlighted purely to showcase the new Heirlooms of Conquest or Relics. There are quite a few of these but three have been highlighted here. The first is the Dagger of Tu'Sakh.

This relic effectively grand an infantry unit plus the bearer outflank. While it still follows the usually rules, it says infantry, a plasma or melta vets it is then. Being able to do this with any infantry unit is great but its one used only, so you need to make it count. I wouldeither look at a large conscript blob and commissar or a tooled up vet squad and platoon commander, both of which could cause a lot of problems for your enemy if they suddenly appeared in their deployment zone or next to a valuable unit or character. Definitely a useful relic.

Kurov's Aquila is also a very useful relic.

Being able to gain command points is very useful, in pretty much any situation. Ok, so you'll not get a point everytime your opponent uses a stratagem, but even if it gives you a couple more points during the game, its still better than nothing. It may not be my first choice for a relic, but if your not planning on taking a relic on a character, then you might as well stick this one on them and then any extra points you get is just a bonus.

The last relic mentioned is the Blade of Conquest.

This replaces a models power sword, so you need a character with a power sword and the option for taking a relic but what you end up with is a super power sword. It will push most models to strength 5, as good as a power axe, but with better AP and a chance of doing significant damage. Stick this on a company commander or a lord commissar and you have the chance of creating a bit of a combat monster, jsmuat make sure your striking first, otherwise you might not get the chance to strike at all.

Last, but by no means least, is a new unit, the Ogryn Bodyguard. Now, I quite like Ogryns but have never really had a use for them. I have thought about adding a squad of Bullgryns since they were released, with power mauls, as a back field support and counter charge unit, but have never got around to it. If I had of done, they wound have hung around with the warlord and shielded him, now I can place a dedicated bodyguard to do the same job. I know that Nork Deddog does the job already, but if I'm going to buy a box of three models, I want to be able to use the other two but with a minimum unit of 3, that meant buying a second box. Now, I may very well pick up a box and make three bodyguards, hopefully one shooting and one combat and maybe Nork as well. We will have to see what the rules say first though.

The new units come with the bodyguard rule. Now, I don't really like this rule. I understand wwhyit jumps to a mortal wound but I still think its over the top.I can't really see me using it much, at least not until my warlord is down to its last wound or so, in an effort to keep it alive longer but I certainly won't be using it right off the bat.

So, that's the previews over and done with. I know this one is a little late, later than planned as well, but real life and the weekend got in the way somewhat. I've got a battle report up next and will be playing another tournament warm up game, with the same army, this afternoon. Ill let you know how I get on.