Friday 26 August 2016

Battle mats

Over the past few months I have been lucky enough to get a few games in, 4 in total, one of which I have already posted and the next few will be posted over the coming weeks as I get around to writing them up. Over the course of these games I have come around to a conclusion, namely that I really need to get so proper terrain and a mat. The reason for this is quite simple, it looks so much better!

The first game I played a few weeks, possibly months, back was played on the bare table with whatever bits and pieces could be scratched together for scenery (including my apple that I had to snack on!) and while it did not detract from the game too much, it just looked silly. Over the course of the next few games, more scenery appeared and a member of the club also received some battle mats from a Kickstarter that he had funded a while back.

The first game in question, not apples on the left, with a few boxes and dead knights littering the field acting as terrain. It played out fine, with few issues, but it wasn't very good to look at and looks very amateurish in the pictures.

The next game was better, having some proper buildings and a few bits of terrain that belonged to one of the other club members. It was still quite sparse but looks more like a proper battle field, but the table still makes the scene look unrealistic.

The next battle was a big difference. Proper buildings and a good looking base, even if it was a piece of fabric. The building are simple MDF type jobs and even though there are not many of them, they really make a difference. The scene looks like a real battle, granted if it was a more city like mat it would look even better with the building, but as it stands it still looks good. It also made the game a little more tactical, offering more then just basic line of sight blocking terrain, as depending upon what level you were on, depended upon what was line of sight blocking and what wasn't. It also caused me no end of problems with my flyers!

The last game was played on a battle mat with some Mantic Deadzone terrain. While there was not as much terrain as in the previous game, it worked well, and was more in keeping with the mat I thought. While in reality it made little difference to the actual game, the overall feel of the game and the image that it provided was really good. Personally I could really feel myself getting in to the sprit of the game, with all the Nids rushing across the jungle/swamp though the old ruined and rusty buildings. It just seems to make the game that much more enjoyable for some reason.

So, my mission is to try and find a battle mat or 2 and some good terrain. I have been looking at a few options for mats, which I might put up in a different post, and have found some MDF terrain on eBay I like the look of and I have an idea for some jungle like foliage, which I'll post up along side the mats options at a later date. This is definatly something that I thing I need to make a priority, as it really does make a difference. 
For anyone that's interested, these are the battle mats that were from the kickstarter, Kraken Wargames.

Friday 19 August 2016

2000pts Nid Vs Tau and IG

This was a game I played several weeks ago, if not months and now my recollections are slightly vague. Ill try to put down as much detail as I can but my notes were written on my phone, my old phone that is, the one that was sitting on the window sill while I mowed the lawn and that one of the cats thought looked a bit like a mouse or something. Anyway, cutting a long story short the phone is in 3 pieces and the memory card doesn't work any more. In pretty sure we won though, it was close but I think we just had it at the end, although I think if we had gone to 5 turns it would have been different.

So, the game; the game was going to be a 1500pts Nids vs the Hjaltland LI, but when I got to the club, one of the younger members was looking for a game and had a 1000pts Tau list. So we joined up and as it wasn't sensible for Nids and Tau to team up, the guard duly stepped up. This mean I needed to trim my list in a hurry to 1000pts, not an easy task! I skinned my platoons down to basics, and cut a flyer, the Valkyrie, but kept the Wyverns.

The Tau consisted, from memory a couple of troop squads, 2 pathfinder teams, a stealth team, a big suit thing (on the left of picture 2) and a commander with body guards. Oh and a piranha.  It was a small but good looking force.

I didn't get a picture of the set up, but basically the Tau took the left flank and the Guard took the right. I can't remember what happened in turn 1, as I didn't take any pictures.

Athe the top turn 2, up pops a Mawloc, right in the middle of our lines. The Tau took the brunt of the attack, loosing most of a fire warrior squad. 

 Oh dear........

Mawloc to the front, Flying Hive Crone in the background, just visible in the back ground above the quad gun. Its hard to see it against the wood panelling in the back ground. During our tun 2, pretty much everything but the wyverns fired at the Mawloc, bringing the beast down before it could do any more damage. The wyverns were to bust squishing bugs else where, Termagants I think, the ones just visible in the picture 2 up.

During turn 3, the Nids received some more reinforcements, in the shape of a couple of their pod things and a couple of big beasties, a Toxicrene (top) and possible a Maleceptor? (bottom). As you can see, the Vendetta has appeared, it came on in our turn 2. 

After shooting at the top of turn 3. Its hard to see, but actually the Guard/Tau are holding up well, but there are still a few big beasties on the field.

This is the dead pile from the Nids at the end of turn 3. Not to bad if I say so myself, a couple of big beasties in there, but mostly the little ones. 

The last two pictures (above and below) are the end game. We had to call it after turn 3 due to running out of time. As you can see, things are not to bad. There are still a respectful amount of Guard/Tau left on the battle field and not a huge amount of Nids, about 6 units if I remember correctly, 2 being pods and 2 being the big ones next tom them. 

I can't remember the exact points total, but I think that we were just ahead, mostly through some last minute shenanigans, like charging in a Tau suit thing to a bunch of Tyranid warriors, skimming the Vendetta for line breaker and gravchute inserting a platoon command squad on to a objective in a suicidal position. None of which we would have done if we had been going on to turn 4, as we would have lost all the units one way or another. Had the game gone all the way its had to say who would have one. i think that it probably would have come down to points, as I think we probably wouldn't have had many units left on the board.

It was very entertaining game, but slow, as it always seems to be when you start introducing extra players, but I wasn't going to leave someone with out a game though.

Friday 12 August 2016

Super Heavies

Well, this is a bit of a silly filler post, not one of my best and I'm sure that I've covered this topic before, but here goes anyway.

Super heavies, are they worth it? And by that I mean are the Baneblade and its sister tanks worth the price, both in points and money? I've been thinking for a while I would like a couple of Baneblade hulls in my arsenal, I mean what Imperial general doesn't, but which ones? One would have to be anti-armour and one would be anti-infantry, giving me options.

The main question though, is which version is best for each role? The way I see it, you can split the vehicles in to the two categories; Anti-armour and Anti-infantry.

Now, this was where I was  where I was going to do a break down of all the super heavy tanks, splitting them between anti-Armour and anti-infantry, however, I'm not going to. This is for two reasons, firstly its not quite as clear cut as I thought it would be, as many of the tanks are really quite good at both, large, often apocalypse blasts, with high strength and low ap  values mean that vehicles are just as likely to die as infantry. There are a few exceptions, namely the Stormlord, with its Vulcan mega bolters and the Hellhammer with its ignores cover main weapon are both anti-infantry tanks,  with the Shadowsword and Doomhammer being the only dedicated anti-Armour units, although all these tanks are still capable of taking on all targets.

So, if I'm not going to do a review, what is the point of this post? Well, I still want a super heavy or two, it'll be a while before I get one, but I will get one at some point. The question is which tanks would I like to have? One is easy, it would be the Stormlord, mostly because it just looks and sounds cool, in my opinion anyway. Although, the Hellhammer is also very cool with its ignores cover goodness. The thought of 15 mega bolter shells ripping in to a squad is amusing, and even at BS 3 will do some damage. Using psychic powers ignores cover can be given, along with twin linked, although these aren't guaranteed. The Hellhammer is also good with both the main weapon and a hull mount demolished cannon, it can cause a lot of paint, but its just not as cool Ashe Stormlord in my opinion.

As for anti-armour, well, that more difficult, as the Shadowsword is good, with its D cannon, but I would probably go for the good old Baneblade, as although its not as good, it is still the king of the super heavy tanks. The good old Baneblade still rocks, its a bit of a jack of all trades tank, capable of taking on pretty much anything with a good chance of winning. The Shadowsword d weapon is good but it just doesn't appeal to me.

As for the other tanks, they are all rather to specialist for me and would struggle to find a place in my armies. Not that I can afford one tank, let alone 2 and I have 0 time to actually build anything! All of this may be academic anyway, as with the release of renegade, I will probably be getting two knights who will for fill the roles current earmarked for the tanks. At the moment though, I've got to fix the car, which isn't quite so easy when its 20 of years old, but that's another hobby!

Friday 5 August 2016


Following on from last weeks post, I thought I'd extend the model free time a little and clear my draft folder of all those posts that are half written, so here's a piece that's been sitting in the Draft folder for a while......

Over the years I've used several list building programs, from online forms and excel spreadsheet to the purpose built programs, and I thought I might write up my experiences and what I've learnt. Granted, many of you will all ready be using a program, possibly even one I don't know about, but  hopefully this will be useful to someone.

When I started playing years ago list building relied upon a codex and a pen and paper, something which seems to have been lost but still is essential for checking lists. The number of times I've seen people mess up lists because they haven't checked the actual codex for points and options is quite high. Most of the time it makes very little difference, occasionally it has made a huge difference.

 When I first came back in to 40k I went looking for a list building tool to help build lists and understand how the new CAD setup worked. At first I started with some online builders, mostly as these were the first ones I came across. I can't remember the specific sites that I used, as it was a while ago, but I found many of them frustrating to use. This was either because I had to register in order to print or save lists, sometimes only being able to save to the site and nothing else, and also because they were usually fairly hard to navigate and out of date. This may have been because I stuck to the free sites, I wasn't going to pay for something I knew nothing about!

This less than satisfactory option lead me to find ones that I could download, which lead me to a couple of excel based builders. These meant that I could save more easily and make a few updates as needed, which they quite often did.  This did make life easier up to a point but excel is not the best system for list building and not being a whizz on excel, it meant that I got confused when trying to update the formulas. The main issue I found was that they layout for the lists were often quite messy or hard to navigate once prints, either because to get everything on one sheet meant it was far to small to read in a hurry or you had lots of sheets that didn't flow very well.

So I went back to the internet and found Battlescribe, then got horribly confused about how to make it all work and found army builder instead. Now I really like army builder, its some and easy to navigate, everything I needed was there in front of me and I could chop and change things around as I pleased, as long as there were only three units! Yeah, I didn't pay for the pro version, kept thinking about it but never did. So I used to select my units and upgrades, write them down or write them in to excel and the delete it and move on to the next unit. I got on really well using this system, even if it was a little long winded and I probably would have carried on with this if it hadn't been for two things; one, you can't get it on a mobile, well not to my knowledge anyway and two, someone liked the Battlescribe data files page through Facebook.

Now this changed a few things, as it meant that I finally figured out how to get the data in to Battlescribe, without having to input it all myself and it also meant that I could use it on my mobile. So once I had loaded up the data files and fired up the program, everything became rather easy. I really like Battlescribe a lot, its easy to use, everything is pretty much where you'd expect it and it all works very well. Again, I haven't paid for the Pro version, so the adverts can be a tad annoying and you cant edit any of the names to make them specific to my armies, but that's not really a problem, as in some respects it keeps things simple for the opposition. The fact that you can print out the list in various formats is very useful, not that I have printed any yet as I don't own a printer! Battlescribe has also taught me a few things that I didn't know about, as someone has read a few of the codices better than I have. This has been good in a few ways and bad in others, but its kept me on the straight and narrow, which is useful.

So, overall, I really like Army Builder (found here), its quick, simple and easy to use, but its has its faults, but Battlescribe on the other hand, whilst a little more fiddly is better in pretty much every other respect (found here) and its the one I would recommend. I'll keep an eye open for other builders, as there may well be better ones out there, but for the moment its Battlescribe all the way.

Wednesday 3 August 2016


I don't know what's happening in Russia right now, but either there are some very bored people or I've picked up several new diehard fans! I have a feeling its the former rather than the latter. Either way there have been nearly 400 views from Russia in the last 2 weeks! 

Ill keep an eye on things but it all seems fine for now, any ideas what it all about?