Friday 25 May 2018

The cult of the enlightened - a Necromunda gang

I know that were getting in to june these days but iiwanted to go back a bit and cover somethingsthat was released in the March 2018 White Dwarf. Within that months magazine we saw the release of a Necromunda supplement for Chaos Gangs in the underhive. Now I've always said that my gang of choice is Van Saar and that's still true (even more so with the latest release) but I have a bunch of chaos cultists sitting doing nothing in the spares box, so i thought that this is the perfect excuse to get them out. I'm also waiting for the new Kill Team game to see if I can double them up.

So, what is the plan? Right now I'm not sure as I don't have any games or campaigns planned, however I know at least 2 people who have Necromunda and are looking for a game at some point. I also know that I have a very basic idea of how to run the gang. 

There are not many options for the cult, in terms or weapons, which is probably due to the fact that they either come from the Chaos Cultist Assault set or the little pack of 5 cultists you can buy. Alternatively if you had the Dark , set, you'd have some from there. I have the DV set, well, two actually, as I brought one box for 6th and one for 7th. I have turned a few in to priests and psykers, but I still have a lot left. I have two leaders, both armed with shotguns and swords, 2 flamers and 2 stunners, 14 with autoguns and 9 with auto pistols and a variety of combat weapons, meaning I have 29 cultists to form my gang from. This is more than enough to form a basic gang, two even. I still don't know what models will make the final cut but intent to paint them all up, even if they don't all get used.

On thing I do know about the gang is the fluff, which is not really surprising as I do seem to spend a lot of time thinking about the fluff of my armies. In this case, the gang are going to be based around a slaanesh and the cult of greed and hedonism. The gang are small but very fanatical in there devotion, seeking only the best and most luxurious of items and slaves. It is for this reason that the gang have a particular liking\interest in the Escher and Van Saar houses. The latter for their technology and the former for the female house members.

The Van Saar house are reluctant to trade with members of the gang, although if the gang is willing to pay, they will trade. It is not advanced weaponry or body armour that top the list of items that the gang trade for though, as they are more interested in luxury domestic items or items of high technology.

The Escher house on the other hand do not tolerate any gang member at all and will very quickly kill any member they see, with extreme prejudice and the upmost brutality. The reason for this is simple, the cult see women as nothing more than servants and slaves, to be used and abused for the pleasure of the cult members. The cult also have an obsession with the Escher house, as they see the women of the house as the very pinical of the female form and have one more than one occasion kidnapped member of the house. The has lead to the Escher house calling for the complete destruction of the cult and all its members. This situation was not improved when the last cult leader captured a young Escher jive and held her captive for several weeks until a momentary lapse in concentration allowed the jive to kill the cult leader and escape, killing or injuring several more cult members on her escape. Upon her return to the house of Escher launched a brutal retaliation destroying the cults home and scattering those cult members who escaped the retribution.

While the cult is still dealing from this assault, there are several members who are trying to establish themselves as the new cult leader and are attempting to gather as many of the old cult to there faction as possible, while also recruiting new members where possible. Of these wannabe leaders, the Chosen, formally an Orlocks Jive known as Sil Ore, is currently showing himself to be one of the strongest leaders of the fractured cult. Armed with his trusty shotgun and blade, both of which he has carried since his days as an Orlocks Jive, he is as ruthless as he is cunning, happy to sacrifice anything and anyone in order to extend his influence and reputation.

The rest of the gang is currently unnamed and unknown, at some point I will put a full roster together and hopefully some of them will earn themselves a reputation and name, but for now only the leader has been singled out for naming. I hope to get some sort of game at some point, even just to test the rules but it could be quite a while, as I don't have the rules and the one other person who I could sort a game out quickly with only has gang wars 2 and an Orlocks gang, although with all his genecult models he should be able to put a gang together quite easily.

Saturday 19 May 2018

PDF painting update

So, here is an update to the Hildasay PDF force but it is also a short update on the blog. Don't worry though, the blog will continuing as normal, with only a couple of exceptions. After many years as a full time house husband and father, I have re-entered the active workforce. I figured it was about time as, although I've had a few little jobs here and there ( my last P60 was for £160.23!), I have now got a proper part time job. This means that I working night shifts over the weekend and this has eaten up a lot of my usual blogging time, not with work but sleeping! So, I've missed a few of my posts over the last few weeks and while I will still be posting, for the moment I will be aiming for just one post a week for the moment, until I get use to the new routine. I have a significant amount of half written posts in my draft box, including a review of the Blood Angles Codex. I hope that I can get back to blogging twice a week again soon, hopefully using my work breaks to write. At the moment I'm still struggling to think, let alone write during my breaks!

Anyway, here are some shots of the last few Hildasay PDF soldiers and some of there completed weapons. Unfortunately the photo quality is rubbish, I was trying to get some pictures before the whole lot was cleared away for my parents coming to visit, as my hobby space is in the spare bedroom.

The last batch of models

3 classic 2nd edition missile launchers.

A better shot, you can actually see the firers now.

The rest of the bunch, a couple of mortar men and some others.

A very poor shot, well move swiftly on.....

The completed heavy bolter teams, two squads worth.

The front on shots are all very dark.

Some close ups of the base details, some of the local plant life,

And some sand bags.

Lastly a 2nd edition heavy bolter team. I will have to dig out a 60mm base for these guys to sit on.

So there you have it, a little update of the troops and the blog. Hopefully I will get some time soon to get some more posts written up and scheduled. Next on the painting table (when I get it back) are 6 mortars and 6 lascannon to finish off the heavy weapons teams.

Tuesday 8 May 2018

Eagle Knights Vs Ultramarines

This week's batrep is a slightly different affair, as I was playing a new player, well, a returning player anyway. My opponent had been out of the game for about 13 years and had recently decided to get back in to the game. He had picked up the Dark Imperium boxset and a couple of tactical squads and a terminator box and as a result we played a game of about 1500 points, I think it was closer to 1460 in the end. 

It took some time to sort through all the points as he only had the index, not the SM codex and also was getting confused by Battlesribe. It didn't take long to sort out the points and get up to speed on the basics of Battlesribe, although it did mean that I had to change my list about 4 times before we got to play!

In the end I took two 5 man tactical squads, a devastator squad, my vanguard vets, assault marines, caption, priest, chaplain and death company. I didn't plan on playing very aggressively as we were just playing a very basic kill points style eternal war mission with out objectives or anything. We were also playing without command points and detachments. Like I said, it was his first game, So I kept it as simple as possible. 

The board.

another shot of the board

Turn 1 went to the Ultramarines and he moved up, pushing to take out some of the marine squads. A unit of inceptors dropped in and managed to total the majority of a 5 man tactical squad in terrain. As this was a learning game I hadn't set up to aggressively, I was expecting to loose guys but boy, inceptors are brutal.

Ultramarine deployment and first turn movement. I forgot about the scouts (in the building on the left)

My deployment and turn 1 movement. The assault marines dropped in on the left as this game was played the weekend the Big FAQ dropped and I hadn't bothered to include it as we were playing very narratively.

In my turn I dropped in my guys, assault squad on the left and my death company with chaplain and priest on the right flank. It was quite aggressive but I wanted to get in to combat to get some fight phases in. Unfortunately, I didn't manage this turn as all of my charges failed. I did however manage to put a little dent in his army but at 2 wounds a model, its tough to kill Primaris marines.

The Death Company drop in to say hello.

Turn 2 started as turn 1 ended for the Ultramarines, they continued shooting up my gun line and just to improve matters, he decided to drop his terminators in on my back line and take out the rest of the my tactical squads I was hiding in the back line. This was a smart move as it meant that he was threatening my warlord. Luckily, he managed not to kill anyone important.

End of the Ultramarines turn 2

In my turn, I finally managed to get in to combat, mostly after an unsuccessful round of shooting. I did manage to kill off a few more primaris marines, but the main work was done in the assault. The Assault marines managed to do nothing to the captain and his honour guard, apart from take a couple of wounds of the captain. The death company on the other hand managed to wipe out a primaris squad and consolidate in to the apothecary. I also decided to charge into the inceptors with my librarian, after taking one down with smite. I did damage to one in combat. unfortunately they managed to take the librarian down to 1 wound with overwatch and combat. I had also dropped my vanguard vets in to the back field, but they failed there charge.

End of turn 2 for the Knights

We did not manage to get another turn in, so we talked through the next couple of turns and things were pretty much balanced on a knife edge. The librarian was dead, as the inceptors would fall back and blow him off the table. The death company would start moving across the table, taking down whatever they could touch, but would no doubt run out of steam eventually. The terminators in my deployment zone would pretty much do the same. While we didn't get to play out the game, we decided it would probably have gone down to a close game but I think in the game would have gone the way of the Knights, although i think that would have mostly been down to experience.

I hope that I gave my opponent a good intro in the the new 40k but time will tell.

Friday 4 May 2018

How the Big FAQ will effect me.

Well, we've had a few days to digest the new FAQ and look at the repercussions to our armies. While most of us who are not tournament players will probably find that there has been very little impact, there are a few tweaks that no doubt will need to be made.

First off, I will not be including the "rule of 3" in to the equation, as I'm not a tournament player and neither are any of the other players at my club. Were currently discussing the rules but it looks like most people are happy with the beta rules but we still won't be including the organised events rules, even in our ladder system. I will however be including the new beta rules, as these will become permanent rules in the next FAQ, which will probably be Chapter Approved 2018, although I suspect that they will be altered slightly, especially the reserves rule.

I'll start with the easiest army, namely the Stone Dragons as they haven't even been built yet and as such don't have a list. I have an idea of how I want to run them, namely elite infantry (non-TDA) but I'm still waiting for the Space Wolves codex before I finalise anything. So the Big FAQ will have no effect here.

The next list to look at is the Hjaltland LI. This list will also not be effected very much, apart from the points saved from the commissars. There are no tactical reserves in this list as everything starts on the table, therefore the list will remain unchanged and the play store of the army will continue as is.

The Hrossey Yeomanry will also continue as is, although if we were using the rule of 3 I would have some problems as I have 4 vets squads. Luckily were not and so there is no need to change the list.

Now we get in to the lists that will be seeing some changes. First up are the Dark Guardians. This list is based around bikes and termies. At present there are 4 terminator squads and two terminator characters forming 6 drops for a total of 66pl and 4 bike squads and a bike character for 5 drops and 27pl. Now the original plan was to just throw a random character in to make up the extra drop. Now however, I also have to make up 39pl. There is some good news however, as a friend of mine has offered me some extra bikes, including some attack bikes, boosting me to 5 bike squads and an attack bike squad. When including the bike character, it puts me to 7 drops and 61pl. This means that I am only 5pl short of the target. I'm still  not sure how I'm going to get around this problem yet, but it gets me closer to the target. Unfortunately I'm also right up against my self imposed 2000 point limit. Right now though the army is still in the unpainted and unplayed stage, so I can have a think and come back to it later, probably after CA18, so the problem may well have even sorted itself by then.

Next up are the Dagr Ormr Militarum Tempestus force with Hildasay PDF support. Now this is also going to prove problematic, as the idea is similar to the Dark Guardians, in that the PDF heavy weapons teams sit back and the scions drop in. At present the scions for 42pl and 10 drops, where as the rest of the army forms 42pl and 14 drops. So things are balanced on a knife edge, so to speak. I want to add in some transports, some Taurox Primes, 4 to be precise, 2 with Gatling cannons and 2 with battle cannons. This will push up the number of non-deep striking units and also the pl for these units, which should put me in the clear for running this list at 2000 points. Obviously dropping the points level will be require some calculations rather than just dropping units as I feel like it but on the whole this list does a lot better than I expected it would.

The last list to look at is the Eagle Knights chapter. Now these guys were originally conceived as the full on drop army, in the classic descent of angles style, but have been through several modifications, with the 7th BA codex and 8th index and now the 8th BA codex. Although there have been a lot of changes, one thing is for sure, I still have a lot of jump pack units. In my last game at 1500 points, I dropped 6 units on the board with 6 in reserve but that meant 32pl on the board and 64pl in reserve. Now 27 of the pl off the board were in the 15 man death company squad, which is about a third of the total points in total on unit! Even more so when you consider that they always drop in with a chaplain. To place it off the board I would have had to deploy 5 units on the board and completely had to rethink the rest of my deployment. One get around would be to take 6 man tactical squads, as this takes the squad from 5pl and 83 points to 9pl and 93 points each (running the same load out), a big jump in pl for a few points, 12pl for 39 points across 3 squads. It is a legitimate tactics but it feel like cheating, as I'm fudging the numbers somewhat.

The basic issue is though, that the army does not work as intended now. I can get around a few of the problems with stratagems and such but it really is no longer a descent of angles list anymore. I have always been planning more units, a second devastator squad and a sternguard squad, possibly even a non-jump pack assast squad. Now these units will become  even more essential to forming a valid and viable list. I will still be playing the knights as my main army for the moment as I have a lot to learn about them, sonin some respects it's good that these changes have happened now, rather than further down the line when I've got use to the current force!

I'll update my thoughts after I've played a few games with the new rules, which at the current rate shouldn't be to long!

Tuesday 1 May 2018

Eagle Knights Vs death guard

Here is my next batrep from a game I played a few weeks ago. With bthe release of the Big FAQ is publication got pushed back a bit.

The game itself was a 1500 point Maelstrom mission, XXX, between a combined force of Nurgle demons and marines and the Eagle Knights.  The Nurgle force consisted of a Great Unclean One (henceforth GUO), with two 20 man unit of plague bearers and a unit of 10, a demon prince, three 7 man marine squads, a sorcerer, some other character which I think was linked to the plague bearers.

In response to this nurgle infestation, the Knights deployed 3 tactical squads, two 5 man and a 10 man squad, a 10 man assault squad, 5 man vanguard vets squad, a devastator squad with 4 heavy bolters, a captain, two lieutenants, a chaplain, librarian and a 15 man death company squad.

My opponent deployed first and complete his deployment before me and gained the +1 to the roll, as we tend to use the chapter approved deployment system for all missions. The deployment map we ended up with was XXX and my opponent deployed all but his plague bearers, which would be summoned in later. I chose to deploy everything but the assault marines and vanguard vets. My deployment was cautious, as I haven't had much luck with my Marie's so far. I kept the marines back, dropping a small unit on the objective in the centre and another on the right to secure that flank, the 10 man unit dropped with the devastators and the captain\lieutenant combo on the left. The breath company on the other hand pushed up as far as they could along with the second lieutenant, while the librarian held back in the centre. I pushed up the death company in case I got first turn and could use forlorn fury and get a first turn charge on the GUO and try and do as much damage as I could before it got a chance to get into the fight. The assault marines and vanguard vets were hopefully going to go after the marines that my opponent had placed in his back field on objectives.

My deployment

Turn 1

My opponent easily won the role off and I failed to seize, which worried me as I had my Death Company pushed forward and even in cover, very exposed.

This was my opponent during his movement phase, the closest I got to capturing his deployment.

The overall board, just before his summoning occured.

Lots of plague bearers.

Fortunately for me, not a lot happened, only one Death Company fell to smite but that's not the bit that is important, as I think an error was made with the summoning. Now, before i go in to this i want to just say that i think that this was an honest  mistake and in no way an attempt at cheating, i for one am sure that i got a rule wrong later in the game that also could have changed the game quite a bit. The issue is that the summoning rule states that you summon instead of moving and you can summon one new unit, however, my opponent moved his GUO and then summoned 2 units of plague bearers. This seems to be incorrect according to the rules but at the time i didn't really see anything wrong with it and so let in slide. If i had picked up on the error, it might have made a difference to the game, then again it might not. He would have been able to place one unit of plague bearers on the objective to gain the supremacy objective card anyway, so its only whether the movement of the GUO or second plague bearers would have affected the game at all, and to be honest, i don't know that it would have.

Anyway, My opponent mostly moved forward in his turn, but managed to rack up quite a few points with the supremacy card and two objective cards for 4 points in his first turn.

My response was quite slow. I drew objective 5 which was held by some plague marines, the centre objective that the 20 newly emerged plague bearers were sitting on and another card which i wasn't going to achieve (yes, i really should have kept better track of the cards!) I though that i could at least get objective 5, so dropped in the vets and assault marines to take out the 7 plague marines. My Death Company moved up towards the right flank and multi-charged the demon prince and the Plague bearers on the centre objective.

The start of what would be a very, very long slap fest.

So, it all started quite well, as all of my charges managed to go off and the death company, vets and assault marines made it in. I started with the death company as i didnt want him interrupting with his demon prince. The DC marines had unleash rage on them, thanks to the librarian, so with 4 attacks each, the hammers managed to smash the demon prince back in to the warp, while the rest of the marines made a good dent in the plague bearers. The assault marines and vets however didnt follow suit, managing to just take out 2 plague marine! So i failed in all my objectives, however, i did manage to get first blood.

The central fight, this would also continue for the majority of the game, but with far more casualties.

The board at the end of turn 1

At the end of turn 1, i was looking at a 3 point deficit and an up hill struggle. I was 4 point to 1, failing to clear either objective and looking at a GUO coming charging in.

Turn 2

While ther was little in the way of movement and shooting, the GUO moved in to the centre and the unit of plague bearers moved up  and that was it. The psychic phase was a lot more devastating, taking out a few DC marines but it was the charge and fight phase that was most potent. The DC marines were reduced in number quite significantly, but did manage to do some damage back to the plague bearers.

The centre fight

The fight for objective 5 continued with the vets and assault marines doing some more damage, taking out 2 more plague marines, although the unit of 10 plague bearers joined the battle, further denying me the objective!

The slap fest continued

My reply was quite muted as there was little that i could do as the majority of my units were tied up in combat. some shooting occurred to take down some of the plague bearers on the left flank, but as with all Nurgle units, they proved very resilient!

The Board at the end of my opponents turn 2

My fight phase proved more successful, destroying the plague bearers in the centre and claiming the objective, the GUO however remained completely untouched.

~Destroying the central plague bearers.

The left hand assault

On the left hand side the marines decided to venture forward and take on the plague bearers, however, it didn't quite go to plan and only a couple of models were removed.

At the end of turn 2, things were still looking grim. The score was 5 to 2 and the GUO and objective 5 were still in play.

Turn 3

By this point i was thinking that this was going to be a looking at another loss but i was determined to do as much damage as possible, mostly taking out the GUO.

The table, turn 3

The marines that had moved out from the back left objective to attack the assault marines, had to move back to the objective to secure it this turn, giving my marines some extra breathing space. in the fight phase the killing continued. In the centre, the GUO took down another few marines, reducing down the squad to only a couple of marines, namely the two with hammers and 2 with power mauls. While a few wounds had been done to the GUO, they had all been healed back up with psychic powers.

The centre fight going badly for the marines

In the other fights, the fight around objective 5 continued but the marines were down to 2 left and the plague bearers were down to 8. The combat on the left flank continued with a few more plage bearers being destroyed.

Yes, this really is the top of turn 3 and yes that means 3 fight phases have passed!

In my turn i drew a couple of cards that i could actually achieve, including defending an objective on the right of the board that was within reach of the librarian, who thanks to the demise of the plague bearers was now out of combat. He there for advanced across and claimed the objective.  In addition a marine squad moved up to throw their weight in to the fight in the centre.

The board on my turn 3

During the fight phase things took a turn for the better. I finally managed to take down the plague marines! In addition the assault marines piled in to the plague bearers and manage to remove them all, before consolidating forward. In the centre of the board there was some more good news, as the last two DC marines, armed with hammers stuck true and managed to inflict 9 wounds on the GUO! In addition, the Chaplain had charged in and managed to do some more wounds, taking the GUO down to about 6 wounds remaining. There was hope for removing the unit after all!

However, this is where i might have made my rules mistake. Throughout the game we kept on forgetting the -1 to hit on the GUO, combined with the hammers own -1 this should have been a -2 to hit for the hammers. Now, when i rolled for the hammers, including re-rolls from the chaplain, i know that i took account of a negative hit modifier but i don't know whether it was just the -1 or the -2? if i didn't then i think at least 2 of the 5 hits might have missed, meaning that i probably would have only done 3 damage instead of 9, as i failed to wound with one dice and he saved another. One the flip side, i know that i quite often forgot the +1 to wound for units that charged, which may have made a difference over the course of the game. Hopefully all of these errors levelled themselves out over the course of the game.

At the end of turn 3 the score was looking a little better. Having started defending an objective that i was not going to be contested on and clearing objective 5, i had jumped up to 5 points, putting the score at this point at 6 to 5 in favour of the Nurgle force.

Turn 4

With the start of turn 4, we were running out of time and were unsure if we would get a turn 5 in but we went for it to see if we could. My opponent moved out a squad of plague marines that had been sitting on an objective since turn 1 that i had completely forgotten about. However, by this point they were well out of the fight. The sorcerer moved to attack the vanguard vets, smiting them but only killing off one marine, before charging in and doing no damage but taking a wound in return.

At the end of turn 3, finally, the marines are down.

In the centre, the GUO wiped out the last of the DC marines, taking out my hammers and my most potent weapon against it. However, i got lucky that the psychic powers failed to manifest so the GUO did not heal any wounds this turn.

My turn 4 started off well, with the librarian, who had successfully defended his objective, moved back and smite'd the GUO, removing some more wounds, before both he and the tactical marines when charging in. At the point the GUO was down to 4 wounds and with Unleash rage on the marines, they had a grand total of 11 attacks! The librarian struck first, taking a couple of wounds with his force sword, however it was the tactical squad that were the real heroes, striking at the GUO and somehow taking the last 2 wounds, killing the GUO! this claimed me a warlord kill and a point.

The GUO's last stand

The demon is banished back to the warp

The other fight at the left hand flank also was finally concluded, with the help of the captain and lieutenant, the last demons were banished.

The table at the end of turn 4.

The enemy deployment zone, Plague Marines hiding on the objective at the bottom, with the third squad moving across to attack the assault marines. 

At the end of turn 4 my opponent had failed to score any objectives and i had scored 2 points, as i has both assassinate in my hand  and slayed the warlord. This put the score to 7 point to 6 in my favour! Not something i had expected at the beginning of the game. At this point we decided to draw all our cards for the next turn to see if it was worth trying for another turn as we were going to be very pushed for time. As it was my opponent pulled out a card, having discarded one last turn, and ended up with 3 cards that he would struggle with, being able to get one point and maybe a second. I pulled out two cards, having discarded one card and achieved one card last turn. The first card i turned over was king slayer, giving me at least 1 point, which when added to the point i was going to get for line breaker, would have put me on a definite 9 points to a possible 8. It was at this point we decided to call the match. So the final score was 8 point to 6 in the Eagle Knights favour! Finally a win!

I think i was quite lucky with this game, as i was out scored on objective points, 6 point to 5, but claimed first blood, slay the warlord and line breaker for 3 points. However, i was very happy with how my tactics had gone this time and think that keeping the death company on the field is a better idea and will try it again in future. Plus with the changes to the command points, i may well get to try out a couple of extra stratagems, including Forlorn Fury!

There is another batrep to come but it was a lot less competitive as it was with a new player, who was re-entering the game after a 13 year absence, so it was more of a slow time walk through but up first i think is the army review after the Big FAQ.