Friday, 18 August 2017

Dark Guardiand 8th - Dark Angles

I was going to lump all the other marine armies in to one post, but I have decided to pull the Dark Guardians in to a separate post as this will be my second marine army and will receive the most attention after the Eagle Knights. The army will still play in a very similar way to before, although the bikes role has now changed, as preciously they were there to help the termies land on target. With the elimination of scatter, this is no longer an issue and so the bikes are freed up to do what was their secondary role, that of objective grabbing.

So how much of the list will actually be changing? Not a lot really, as most of the models were fairly standard with few if any unique units or wargear. The army probably had the fewest number of relics and so has note hampered by the temporary loss of such things. We'll have to wait until the codex drops before we can really see how the final list looks but I don't expect there to be many changes.

So what will the list be?

Well, I haven't really had a fix list yet for the Guardians. Previous lists either contained a CAD in addition to Deathwing and Ravenwing or once the formations came out contained the Lions Blade Strike Force, plus the formations for Ravenwing and Deathwing. Each of these lists contained various elements that I didn't really want to include, such as tactical marines, but in order to get the various benefits, such as object secured and required units, they were needed. Now, with the latest updates from Chapter Approved, objective secured is back for troop choices, however, I will not be including any troop choices at this point, as I don't need to and don't want to.

So, the list will be formed of terminators and bikes. The terminators will be the main hitting force, dropping in in pairs, one long ranged unit with assault cannon and one short ranged unit with heavy flamer and combat weapons, mostly lightening claws. The general idea is that on the turn that they drop in the shooting guys will let rip on to various targets, taking out any priority targets that may be able to damage the termies, the close range guys will try a charge in to a unit, but will most likely have to wait a turn to strike. hopefully this approach will mean that the termies have a higher chance of surviving the return fire that will come back during the turn that they have to sit exposed. Granted this is a bit of an all or nothing approach, but with the knowledge that there is no rolling for reserves and that all the units will come in at the same time, it should hopefully be enough to overwhelm the enemy and enough will be able to survive to strike back.

The bikes will also be on the table during al of this. They are mostly going to be armed the same, with a plasma gun in each squad, and will charge around trying to get objectives and collect maelstrom points across the board, they will be the mobile element with the terminators will be the punch. The only unit that will be different will be a unit armed with chain swords that will accompany the a Chaplin and be used for targeting enemy mobile elements, mostly to just try and hold them up to enable them to be targeted by other units.

So the actual list;

Company master w/terminator armour, chainfist, combi-melta   (to go with Chainfist squad)
Deathwing terminators w/ assault cannon, 1x chainfist (with assault squad)

Deathwing terminators w/ assault cannon, 1x chainfist (with assault squad)

Deathwing terminators w/ heavy flamer, 3x chainfist (with Company Master)

Deathwing terminators w/ heavy flamer, 3x Lightning claws (with shooting squad)

Deathwing terminators w/ heavy flamer, 2x Lightning claws, 1x thunder hammer and storm shield (with shooting squad)

Chaplin w/bike, power fist (with chainsword squad)
Ravenwing squad w/ plasma gun (running solo)

Ravenwing squad w/ plasma gun (running solo)

Ravenwing squad w/ plasma gun (running solo)

Ravenwing squad w/ 3x chainswords (with Chaplin)

So that's the list, not the most effective list, but nicely themed and hopefully fun to play with. It'll be while until its ready to play, as after I finish the Eagle Knights, the Dagr Ormr are on the pain table. I'll probably try and get a game or two played with them anyway. 

Tuesday, 15 August 2017

8Th batrep

So, my first game of 8th. It was pretty much as I had expected after reading quite a few reports on other sites and watching a few bits and pieces on Youtube. 

I took a very slimmed down force for this match, with a few options I'm not so sure on but fancied trying. The game was 700 points of guard vs 716 points of guard/scions/admec. My army consisted of a valkyrie, wyvern, priest, psyker, Creed, platoon commander, command squad (medic, box, standard and sniper), two infantry squads ( one with Flamer, one with autocannon and Flamer, both with vox) and a vet squad (3x meltas and heavy Flamer). A pretty reasonable list, with a good around coverage, with some anti-infantry and some anti-armour and bringing 7 command points to the table.

My opponent had a mix of units, with an oranger dunecrawler (with the array), a techpriest dominus, a unit of rangers, a scion squad and tempestus commander, a taurox, an infantry squad, heavy weapons squad (autocannon) and commissar. Again a fairly mixed bag of units, nothing too scary though, although the dunecrawler with the skyfire array did look quite scary. This army brought 6 command points to the table.

We decided to keep things simple, played dawn of war deployment and went for the kill points eternal war mission. We did this to keep things simple for learning the rules, as it was my first time playing and my opponents third (I think?). If I remember right I started deploying first, placing my wyvern in the center for the best board control. We then alternated until I placed my last unit, my valkyrie (with the platoon commander and vets inside) before my opponent placed his last two units.

My final deployment. There is an infantry squad, along with priest and psyker, in the ruins behind the valkyrie.

The blob in the center are the guards with all the admech at the far side. 

Turn 1

And my deployment advantage was eliminated in short order, with my opponent stealing the initiative. He did little this turn, just moving up the dunecrawler and the two squads.

The majority of fire went in to my valkyrie and wyvern, trying to damage the two toughest units on my side of the board. Now, this is where the key changes really made a difference, as both my valkyrie and wyvern were able to shake of a lot of the damage that would have hurt them in 7th. The valkyrie would not have survived all of the fire power coming at it in 7th, at least not without greatly reducing its fire output anyway. In this game it survived completely unscathed. Quite a change right there.

Dunecrawler vs Valkyrie. Who will win?

My turn was pretty simple as well, the valkyrie moved up and the wyvern fired that was pretty much it. Now, first off I played the valkyrie wrong, forgetting the -1 for having moved with heavy weapons, not that it helped much.

The combined firepower of the two units took out a few guardsmen and rangers, nothing exceptional. At the end of turn one, neither side had really done much damage and neither side had to take any moral tests.

Turn 2

This turn most of my opponents fire went into the valkyrie, chipping away at the flyer and taking a couple of wounds off. Not enough to take it down a level, but it was a start.

In my turn I decided to take it the biggest threat, the dunecrawler. For this I moved the valkyrie along and dropped off my vets, making sure that they were well within melta range. As a result of 3 meltas, with reroll to hit orders and a command reroll, 3 hits were converted to 2 wounds and 11 damage. Just enough to destroy there dunecrawler, however, the crawler had the last laugh, exploding and taking out 2 vets, wounding the platoon commander and damaging the valkyrie! It did more damage to the valkyrie exploding than it did during the previous 2 shooting phases! The rest of the vets went to work on the rangers, as did the valkyrie itself, removing quite a few models.

The left flank takes a pounding.

Dunecrawler destroyed.

Turn 3

This turn the reinforcements arrive for the AdMech, although due to some excellent positioning by my troops, the scions could not get close to their intended target. Now, when I say excellent positioning, what I mean is our fluke. Anyway, they dropped in and shot what they could, taking down the wyvern a few more wounds and taking out a few models from the infantry squad on my left flank.

The scions drop in.

On the otherside of the board, everything went in to the valkyrie and vets,  chipping away at the wounds. At this point the valkyrie  was dropped down a level and the vets were wiped out, leaving just the platoon commander.

In my turn I focused mostly on the recently arrived scions. Using the power of the wyvern and the squad nnext to it to take it down to 1 scion and the tempestus prime. At this point the psyker charged in to fi wish them off.

The platoon commander also chose to.charge in, in an attempt to take outthe last remaining ranger.

As a result to the combats, the scions were destroyed and the psyker consolidated on to the prime. The platoon commander decided to just tackle the ranger, who politely returned the favor.

You can also see the squad on the left moving up.

Turn 4

There was more shooting at the valkyrie, chipping away at the wounds, I think by this point it was getting dangerously close to falling out the sky. The wyvern also took some more damage, finally being destroyed by the taurox battle cannon.

In the combats, the prime was destroyed by the psyker, but not before inflicting some damage of his own, leaving the psyker on one wound. The platoon commander and ranger carried on tickling each other. Also getting in on the action was one of the infantry squads, who charged there guard counter part on the other side of the table. The difference between the boys of Cadia and the men of Catachan soon became evident as the cadians were wiped out to the man, due to a little help from the priests aura.

Guardsmen get ready to charge

Catachans show the Cadians how its done

Consolidating in to help the platoon commander

After the infantry squad had finished wiping out the cadians, they moved to join the combat between the ranger and the platoon commander, just managing to move one man in to the 1" zone around the combat. The idea was to try and take out the ranger and help out the commander.

End of turn

Turn 5

We were getting short of time at this point, so we skipped a few stages, namely the movement  as there really wasn't much to do and the shooting was used to take down the Valkyrie. My opponent then charged in his commissar and Magos in to combat and took down a few of the guardsmen and the platoon commander. In return the remaining guardsmen took down the ranger and took a wound off the commissar.

We skipped to the combat phase in my turn, the priest charged in, but apart from that it was a bit of a slap fest, with no-one doing anything else. I forgot that I could shoot the Sgts pistol, but I doubt it would have made any difference.

When the dust had settled, there was not much left on the table. more than I was expecting due to whats been said by others. The game was good and although it lacked a bit of flow and there were a few rules mistakes, I did enjoy it. When we had totalled up all the points the score was 6 to 4, and a win to the Hjaltland LI.

Friday, 11 August 2017

Hrossey campaign

Well, with the arrival of 8th, I have decided to spice up my little part of the 40k universe. The fluff for 8th lends itself to starting a sort of mini campaing on my blog, with the cicatrix maledictum rift cutting the universe in half, even though there doesn't seem to be much of the segmentum pacificus that's affected. In all the maps the segmentum pacificus seems to be stuck on the side as an after though, "oh, isn't there supposed to be a bit on the map over here?" "Er? Is there? Oh just stick it on and no one will notice". At lest were the right side of the rift and can still see the holy light of terra.

But how exactly are the current event going to impact on the Hamnavoe system? Well with the recent uprising on hjaltland being put down by force and the demoshing of the fighting capacity of both hjaltland and hrossey, now is a good time for those forces behind the hjaltland uprising to put the second part of their plan in to action, the rising of the "hero's of hrossey".

So the cult moves on, starts afresh and tries again. However, with the crisis enveloping the galaxy at large, things are not quite as simple as they seem. For while the forces of chaos have become emboldened, they aren't the only ones to see new opportunities. For with the anarchy on the planet in full swing, dark elder pirates see a chance for plunder and slaves, several small tomb of rival necron warriors arises from the dirt, the mechanicus arrive on the scent of old technology unearthed by the new conflict, even a small force of tau arrive, bewildered and disorientated, thrown across the galaxy by the forces of the warp and harlequins dance their dance of death.

In such a melting pot, who knows what will happen, who will be victorious, if indeed, some even wish to be victorious! The forces of the imperium will not however be going quietly in to the night and will be standing strong in the face of all who would stand against them.

What does this mean? Well every battle that I play, I will record both as a simple batrep and also as part of a greater naritive campaign. I won't be doing some grand map or anything, it will just be a simple story driven campaign, mostly played out in my head and documented here and also on here, where I post up the narrative side of my hobby. The first battle has already occurred between the forces of the mecanicum and the hjaltland LI, and will be hopefully be up next week in batrep form, along side some thoughts about my first game of 8th.

Hopefully this will result in a fun little side story on the blog and give my games a little bit of extra depth, plus its just fun for me. So, it'll take a while but any bets on what will happen to the planet of Hrossey?

Tuesday, 8 August 2017

Starting 'em young!

So, the other week, the little man was pestering me to play with the "little men", so we went upstairs to play with some old push fit style (possibly Assault on Black Reach models?) models. At this point he started asking about painting, so after a few more days of pestering, i gave in and let him paint a few models. Now, i was thinking that he could paint one of the little push fit ones, but the little man had other ideas. Que the DV bikes. Oh, and because the litle man was having a go, the young lady had to join in!

The young ladies, age 2 and a half

The young mans, age 5 and a half.

Of course, as the kids were having a little go, I though that I would too. This is the first draft of the Dark Guardians incomplete paint scheme.

Dad, age 34

Friday, 4 August 2017

Power levels vs points

With the new 40k, there comes a new way to play, power points. An obvious carry over from AoS, these are billed as a quick way to build and play. Yes, they are a quicker way to build your army, but it doesn't take much out of the equation as you still have to go through all the options, its just the individual points that are skipped.

One issue I have seen is that power levels can have wildly different points equivalent, something that can hugely affect a game. So I thought that I would have a look at my armies. Now, I am aiming for most forces to be 2000 points or 1000 for a few smaller forces, both of which are easily compared by just doubling the smaller forces. So, what do my current armies total? (Adjusted totals in brackets)

Dagr Ormr MT - 83pp / 1600pts (104 / 2000)
Emperors Disciples - 62 / 949 (124 / 1898)
Stone Dragons - 56 / 965 (112 / 1930)
Dark Guardians - 98 / 1889
HJaltland LI - 105 / 1843
Hrossey Yeomanry - 109 / 1969
Eagle Knights - 130 / 1947

Ok, so not every force is exactly 2000 points but even so, there are some differances. The most extreme is that of the Dark Guardians at 98 points to the Eagle Knights at 130 for a force that effectively 58 points different. Now 58 points is not a lot of points and can easily be spent on wargear or a model or two, but 32 power points is huge, baneblade anyone? I would also point out that none of these armies is optimized an any way, shape or form, most are based around fluff or form (guard gunline / descent of angels). It strikes me that power points are very rough and this is backed up by what I found i the Index: Imperium 2.

A company commander is 3 power points, Creed is only 1 more, But points wise the difference is 40 points, as creed is over twice the price of a standard commander. By my calculations that should put Creed at about 7 or 8 power points, about double what he is. Now, you could argue that wargear will account for a lot of this and the abilities the rest. In the old days I would have agreeded as a plasma pistol and powersword would have accounted for most of the difference, and bring the wargear up to similar levels but now its a different story as the same wargear costs about a third of what it use to. Ok so Creed has some good abilities but really its only the extra command points that mean anything, and that's where the points difference makes sense but that's not reflected in the power points. Its the same for the Leman Russ tanks.

A demolished with plasma cannot cost less than a basic Russ with battle cannon, yet is a power point more expensive and both weapons are roughly equal. When we look at infantry units there is a difference as well. A full squad of scions is the same amount of power points as a squad of vets and yet, when tooled up with maximum special weapons (plasma, and the heavy Flamer for the vets) there is a 20 points difference (30 if you just go for equal numbers of plasma guns) or about a fifth of the vets squad. Ok, so there is the fact that the scions can deep strike and have a better save, so hence the extra points, but there still equal on power points.

So a force of 6 scions would be the same number of power points as a force of 6 vet squads, but could be up to 180 points more expensive, maybe even more, I haven't run all the numbers. That's a massive saving and could easily be 2 extra vet squads. But then you would be equal on points but 12 power points different!

All this leads me to question some of the narrative play missions, where certain conditions exist when one force is outnumbers by the other by X amount of power points. One one mission X is double the power points and that could be a massive points difference. Take my armies above, the Emperors Disciples at 62 power points or 949 points and the Dark Guardians at 98 power points and 1889 points. The Disciples are about half the points, doubled there 1898 (949×2) to 1889, a 11 point difference but power points wise there no where near, 124 (62×2) to 98. In order to get double the power points, the Guardians need to spend another 26 power points, over a third more than they currently have which would be over 600 points, meaning you could end up with one force being twice the power points of the other but nearly 3 times the points!

Ok, so the example is a bit extreme, if you took the Eagle Knights and the Dagr Ormr, the a points difference would be significantly less. In fact a force of Knights twice that of Scions would mean that the points differacne would only be about 400 points, about a third of the points difference in the previous example! (About a 1600 point difference as to a 600 point difference in this example)

All in all, the more i look into things, the rougher and rougher the power points levels seem and the less and less I like the idea. I will have to get a few games under my belt at each system to really make my mind up, but as it stands I'm not impressed with power points.

Tuesday, 1 August 2017

Primaris marines continued

Having looked at the generic units, what about the other chapters? The space wolves, dark angels and blood angels? There are a lot of units that are the same as the vanilla marines, but there are some differances, more so with the Space Wolves than anything else.  We'll go through them all again and see what's what and ill put my pennies worth in again.

The Space Wolves

Thunderwolf calavry + wolves - now my thoughts here are that the thunder wolves are supposed to be the biggest wolves around and the marines look like jockeys riding througher breads not grown men riding Shetland ponies. So unless they come up with new and improved primaris thunder wolves I don't see how this will work. The ferrisian wolves as just normal wolves and will continue as before.

Image result for thunderwolves

Grey hunters - I guess this is fairly easy, just alter the weapon loads of the intercessors and call it job done.

Blood claws - these boys are a lot harder to do. With the apparent loss of scouts, will these turn into space wolf style reivers? Trouble is blood claws are very different to scouts, in both form and function. If they are replaced, it will have to be with a dedicated unit, but does that fit in to the new scheme?

Long fangs - these are basically just devastators with some extra fluff, so they'll just become aggressors.

Image result for long fangs

Wolf guard - I can see these guys becoming similar to hellblasters and what ever the other special weapons squads will be called. That will mean a loss of some flaviour but these guys are so versatile right now, possibly the most versatile in the game, that I can't see how they can't loose something. One extra thing I can see, is that the Wolf Guard Battle Leader may become the wolves version of the lieutenant.

Stormwolf and Stormfang - I guess these will stay roughly the same but just get the usual primaris treatment, ie bigger and more powerful, otherwise they might just be replaced with the generic flyer.

Wulfen - if I remember right, these guys technically can't change at all as they are the 13th company? So I guess they'll continue unchanged, but just be a little less special.

Skyclaws/swift claws/wolf scouts - I've lumped these together as they will all just end up being replaced with the new versions, in the case of skyclaws the inceptors and the wolf scouts with reivers. The swift claws will have to wait until they bring out the new bike units.

Wolf Lord - I guess this will just become the captain model with extra fluff for the background.

Rune priest - both librarian  and apothecary in one. The question is, will this receive a new model or just use one of the other models with some extra rules? Personally I lean to the latter more than the former.

Image result for rune priest

Iron priest - the wolves version of the techmarine, and as with the Lord and Priest, I think it will just be a case of same model, extra rules.

Next up are the Dark Angels, there are still quite a few unique units here too.

Interrogator-chaplain - this is probably the easiest model to do, just the regular chaplain with a few extra rules.

Image result for Interrogator-chaplain

Deathwing (including the knights + command squad + terminator's + dreads) - most of these units will probably just take on there primaris equivalent, namely the aggressors and the dread. The only units that may have issues is the knights, as they have specialist weaponry. I can see these guys becoming a normal unit with lots of extra rules rather that a specialist unit will a few extra rules.

Company vets - again I this k these guys will go to be hellblaster (and equivalent) units, loosing some of the versatility but still keeping the veteran type unit.

Ravenwing (including black knights + command squad + bikes and attack bikes) - as with the Deathwing, lots of these will be replace with the primaris units, what ever the bike unit will be called. As with the vanilla marines, I see the attack bikes disappearing and I can also see the black knights loosing some of the special weapons (aka the talons) and becoming a normal unit with extra options, mostly combat ones, and gaining lots of extra rules.

Landspeeder vengeance - with the fact that I see any replacement for the landspeeder becoming bigger and better armed, the vengeance becomes less special and looks less necessary. As such i can see the vengeance disappearing in favor of a normal speeder with extra weapon options and rules.

Image result for Landspeeder vengeance

Ravenwing darkshroud + dark talon - these are two very specialist units, used only by the Ravenwing and no one else. As such I'm not sure that they will be replaced. The dark talon might be replaced, along side the jetfigher, with the generic fighter/transport flyer from the vanilla marines. It would probably get extra rules, similar to the rest of the Ravenwing but that would be it. The darkshroud will have an even harder time I think, as with the vengeance, due to the increase in size I see from the speeder. I can see this unit becoming a normal speeder with extra rules but little else if it exists at all.

Nephilim jetfighter - as I mention above, I can't see this existing I current form. If they do bring out a primaris fighter, then it will get a black paint job and some extra rules, if they just release one flyer, then it will still get a black paint job and some extra rules and be the new jetfigher.

Image result for Nephilim jetfighter

The final chapter to talk about is the Blood Angels. There are less unique units here but still a few to talk about.

Sanguinary priest - this is the only one

Librarian Dreadnought - I can see this becoming a new unit for the primaris units in general, being opened up to a lot more chapters, after all why is it that only the BA can make Libby dreads?

Image result for Furioso dreadnought

Furioso dreadnought - again, I can see this unit being opened up as an option to other chapters in the new dread model.

Death company (Dreadnought + troops) - well, this is a difficult one. With the changes made to the primaris geneseed, has the flaws of the chapter been eliminated? Only time will tell if the death company will continue to exist or if the flaw has been eliminated, personally I think it would be a mistake to eliminate the flaw as its part of the the chapters lore and so ingrained into the chapter. Hopefully it will remain, as all it requires is some extra rules and doesn't really require specific models.

Sanguinary guard - these guys are very different from pretty much everything else, but I see these guys becoming inceptors with extra options and rules. Loosing  some of there individuality but retaining some flavor.

Image result for Sanguinary guard

Baal predator - as this is pretty much a normal predator (or repulsar as it will actually be) with a different gun, I can see it continuing, but I also see it being opened up to other chapters, the same as the dreads above.

So that's the end of my little run through, ok, so its very pessimistic and will in all likelihood be completely wrong. I hope that all the current units will get ported over some how, but I very much doubt that they will. As is probably evident, I see quite a culling of units, especially in the short term, as this gives options for new units and releases in the future, without having to come up with "new" units. Its also quite a pessimistic view in the fact that it makes no allowances for the continued existence of the old marine. Why? Well if you had the choice between turning a recruit in to an old style marine or a primaris marine, would you really make the old one? Of course not, you'd make the bigger, better and more powerful version. And with the current state of the wh40k universe, losses are going to be high and lots of replacements needed, so the old marines are defiantly on borrowed time.