Friday 21 August 2020

Dark Angels kill team

The Dark Guardians are a member of the unforgiven and as before they have a page dedicated to the chapter history (HERE). You might notice that there has been a bit of a change to the colour scheme of the chapter, this is because I decided against the yellow and also, to much silver would just make them look like Grey Knights. This will be the colour scheme of the chapter and I will at some point go back and change it, probably when I update everything to primaris. 

The kill team here,known as the Guardians Spear Strike Team, are a battle hardened veterans brotherhood, who have been sent forward to recover vital intelligence from a clandestine operative who may have information pertaining to the chapters ulterior motive. Formed of the most loyal and trustworthy individuals, members of the first company and others who have been entrusted with the sensitive information of past misdeeds. Like many of there brethren from across the unforgiven, these are stubborn warriors, who once upon the battlefield will not yield untill the last. (Mission - Rescue Mission, Background - Honour Guard, Quirk - Stubborn)

From left to right; Zoreal Namaat, Azkarael Zanthor, Zoreal Zanthor

First up the leadership of the strike force. The leader, Chaplain Azkarael Zanthor, an Ebullient character who delights in doing the Emperor's work. Azkarael is a veteran of many wars and many hunts, he is also a the driving force and will behind the strike force, always ready to strike down his goes with his maul. Azkarael is flanked by his two closest confidants, the two Zoreals. The two company veterans,  Zoreal Namaat and Zoreal Zanthor. Namaat's hatred of the Emperor's enemies is only surpassed only by his hatred of the Xenos. Zanthor on the other hand is just happy, killing in the name of the Emperor and doesn't care who or what he is killing.

In game, Azkarael, while called Chaplain, is actually just a Veteran Sargeant and is the sole leader specialist in the roster and will be fielded whenever the team plays. The other two will usually just be fielded as Company Veterans, with no specialism. Zanthor could be fielded as a Comms specialist, due to the standard he carries but there is little need for a the comms abilities in this list. 

Bethor Azdallon and Shoriel Zacahrus

Apothecary Bethor Azdallon, a very dour warrior who has been through the fires of hell and back to many times to be surprised by anything. By far the oldest of the group, he was still the last to learn of the unforgottens secrets and elicited little more than a raised eye brow and a "Anything else? No? Good, I've got more important things to do than stand around an chat" While it might not have been the answer the master's were expecting, it was not a surprise to any of them. You'll notice, there is little to identify Bethor as an Apothecary, for white or any shade like it, is worn only by the honoured brothers of the Deathwing and the chapter see no reason why apothecary's need to wear anything different to the rest of the brothers. Brother Shoriel Zacahrus is the lowest of the brothers here although he has shown much promise to the master's that he has been entrusted with knowledge beyond his years. His mysterious character has given many a deep mistrust of him and many were unsure if his loyalties could be fully trusted. In truth he has the eye and sponsor of an Interrogator chaplain and is marked for higher things, all he has to do is prove he is worthy and stay alive. 

In game Bethor is a Tactical Sargeant medic specialist. While medics are not really that useful, they do have some uses plus it's very thematic to have a medic along with the force to deal with all the battle wounds. Shoriel is a basic tactical marine and is mostly there to fill points. With the next units on the table, there is not always a lot of points left and so having a cheap model to throw in a list is always useful. 

Left to right; Zakeal Namaat, Nemator Zaborial, Azathor Seraphus

Next up we have the heavy hitters, the terminators of the first company or the oath sworn, as they are know within the chapter. Here we have Gunners Zakeal Namaat and Azathor Seraphus flanking brother Nemator Zaborial. Both Zakeal and Azathor both mysterious characters but in different ways. Zakeal rarely talk to anyone about anything, more often found in quiet contemplation or silently running through various weapons drills. Although his various deeds of valour are well recorded in the chapter records, he will rarely talk of them but for a few words. Azathor on the other hand talks a lot but never about himself or his deeds. He will talk of legends of old, great battles of history, tell stories of other brothers. He will keen you entertained for hours but leave you no wiser as to who he is or what he's done. Brother Nemator on the other hand is a stint faced grim and sombre character, who fight with ruthless efficiency, ever chanting the litanies of hate and death. 

In game the two Gunners will usually be run as Demo (for the flamer) and heavy (for assault cannon) to make maximum use of there weapons. Brother Nemator will usually be run as a basic terminator, with no specialism, although he could use the veteran specialism to help him get further up the table quicker, to off set the slow movement of the TDA.

Ezekial Zaborial and Bethor Seraphus

The last of the strike group and the real "punch" of the force. Terminator Sargeant Ezekial Zaborial, a noble warrior who thinks nothing of throwing himself in to the line of fire to shield a fellow Guardian, trusting in his shield and armour to keep him safe from harm. Ezekial also see his duty to strike hard at the enemies command and moral and can usually be found heading straight for the highest ranking or biggest targets he can see, to smash it down with his trusty hammer. Brother Bethor Seraphus on the other hand is an ebullient character who delights in charging headlong in to the enemy, using his lightning claws to strike down the enemy, cutting swaths through the heretic and Xenos troops alike. 

In games, Ezekial will be run as a terminator Sargeant and a combat specialist, while Bethor will be a basic terminator and a Zealot specialist. The reason for this is that as a Sargeant, Ezekial will get 3 attacks base plus an additional one all the time for combat, giving 4 attacks. With the thunder hammer this means he should hit around twice every time. The extra strength is not really needed, as not much is T5+ and even if they are it's still wounding on 3's. Bethor, with the twin claws, will have 3 attacks (2 base plus 1 for the claws) and with Zealot, he will be up to 4 attacks on the charge. The important bit however is the +1 strength, putting him to S5 and therefore wounding on 3's instead of 4's. These two will usually be fielded together and run up the field to smash things in combat.

The family photo. 

This kill team is all about resilience and slow, methodical progress. This is an elite force without the numbers to swamp the enemy or objectives and will struggle against horde armies but only in as much as victory points. With a chunk of the day having 2+\5++ saves, most horde armies will struggle to chew through them. The army will generally be run one of two ways, shooty or smashy. The shooty version will look something like this;

Azkarael Zanthor (Leader)
Azathor Seraphus (Heavy)
Zakeal Namaat (Demo) 
at 100 points - Shoriel Zacahrus
At 125 points - Zoreal Namaat
Zoreal Zanthor 

There is space for another specialist here and I would probably run Shoriel or one of the Zoreals as a sniper or vet maybe, just because I have that free slot. What ever the points limit, this list works by the two terminators moving up slowly engaging the enemy while the others sit back. 
The smashy list looks something like this;

Azkarael Zanthor (Leader) 
Ezekial Zaborial (Combat) 
Bethor Seraphus (Zealot)  
Bethor Azdallon (Medic) 
Plus at 125 points - Shoriel Zacahrus
Zoreal Namaat

This list is similar to the other but changes out the terminators and adds in a medic to help boost the two punchy termies so more. The list functions by the terminators and the medic running up while the others sit back and support, in a very similar fashion to the other list. 

One member not listed above is Nemator Zaborial, the basic terminator. This is because he is mostly there to give me uptions, to say, drop the assault cannon or TH\SS model for him and save some points, in the case of the TH\SS, by 8 points.

Again, this is not the most potent list but is fun and something different. I do really like this list, I just need an opportunity to play it now! Next up the Grey Knights.

Friday 14 August 2020

Space Wolves kill team

Over the last few weeks I've had a bit of time to do some painting, not as much as I would have liked but still, I can't complain! Anyway, I've managed to get a few kill teams done, 3 to be precise, as well as start a couple of others but more about that later. 

This kill team is the Stone Dragons and is based on the Space Wolf kill team faction rules. The reason that these guys follow the Space Wolves rules is simple, it's the only way I can run the bloke with the storm bolter and storm shield with a jump pack. Not the greatest reason to base a kill team on but it works. 

But who are these noble warriors I hear you ask? Well it, the main chapter history can be found HERE, these forces are form one of the many crusading forces from the chapter and are lead by the Librarian Dysouris, or more accurately Codicier Gaius Dysouris. The squad themselves are specialist in infiltration, although while they follow the Space Wolves ways of war, they lack the keen senses the Sons of Russ have, being of Ultramarine stock. Despite this or maybe because of this, they have still mastered the art of infiltrating behind enemy lines before unleasing a barrage of bolter shells and blades to secure and control any ground they need to. Dispite this shock and awe approach the lives and safety of Imperial citizens is paramount in the eyes of the Stone Dragons and the warriors of this war band will go to great lengths to avoid any unnecessary civilian casualties. (Mission- Secure and control, Background - Infiltration, Squad Quirk - Selfless)

The warband itself is quite small, formed of only 11 members, although once there were nearly 50. Not all of these have been lost, several have been injured and unable to continue fighting, others have split off, joining other bands, where there skill were required more urgently. Only a few have actually died on the crusade, mostly down to the forsight of the Codicier and the attention of the Apothecary novitiate Sgt Cassus. 

The warband in it's current form, ready to battle the enemies of the Imperium.

Commander Codicier Gaius Dysouris - ebullient - Gaius is an relatively young for a Codicier and this is his first crusade as Commander. Newly promoted from Lexicanium and given charge of this crusade as a test of his abilities, not only psychically but also in leadership. While he maybe nervous of commanding so many battle hardened veterans, he is not nervous of the work he undertakes, for this is the Emperor's work and it is the most noble cause in the universe and he is honoured and delighted to be a part of it. While his zeal for smiting the enemies of the Emperor can draw looks of concern from his more veteran companions, none would criticise him for it.

In game, this will be run as a Commander, the only army that does actually contain a Commander. Obviously it will be a librarian but past this I have no idea how else it will be run. I have not played with commanders at all, nor have I really spent any time looking through the various options or bonuses. If I ever do play with him, I will have to look through the book.

From left to right; Agnathio Tarentus, Marius Varenus, Cato Cassus

The warbands junior leadership and the ones who usually lead the warband in combat. While none doubt the capabilities or passion of the Codicier, his experience however, is a different matter. Therefore it fall to either Veteran Sargeant Marius Varenus (centre) or Tactical Sargeant Agnathio Tarentus (left). These men could be more different. Vet Sgt Varenus is a Sombre, grim faced warrior, who strides the battle field with methodical purpose, recanting the various litanies of war every battle brother is taught, while  Tac Sgt Tarentus is a ferocious hunter, screaming wrathful war cries as he smites the does around him. There is a rivalry between these two, one of a gentle nature though, as each respects and trusts the other wholeheartedly. These two brother joined the Dragons around the same time and have served and fought much the same but Sgt Tarentus has not risen above the rank of Tactical Sargeant where as Varenus has risen to Veteran Sargeant and each feels a need to prove that they are the better warrior. The third member is Company Veteran Cato Cassus, a Mysterious character who, While technically superior to Varenus through rank, due to having been promoted from Tactical Sargeant, is by far more junior in experience and willingly defers to the older and more experience warrior. While unusual, it is not unheard of for such things to occur and if challenged, Cassus nearly shrugs and mutters a few words of wisdom to his questioner, words that it is usually wise to listen to and learn from. 

In game, Varenus and Tarentus, as Veteran Sargeant and Tactical Sargeant, are my leader specialists and which one I take depends upon which other selections I feel I need for the mission. There are two other Sargeants in the roster, another Tactical and another Veteran. The third member, Cassus, is run as a basic Company Veteran without a specialism, although he can be taken as a combat specialist if needs be.

Marcus Aggennor and Andrus Poladrus 

Next up we have the mobile and fast element to the team, Veteran Sargeant Marcus Aggennor and Company Veteran Andrus Poladrus. Vet Sgt Aggennor is an Ebullient warrior, who delights at nothing more than getting stuck in to the enemy and delivering the Emperor's Justice. While he is a Veteran Sargeant, he takes every opportunity to avoid the responsibility of such rank. He would have been happy still being an assault marine or maybe at most a Sargeant but he has found himself elevated to ever higher levels of leadership, the only benefit of which Aggennor can see, is a better selection of kit. Company Veteran Andrus Poladrus on the other hand is a noble and selfless warrior, who has taken it upon himself to watch over Aggennor's back as he throws himself at the enemy with complete disregard for his own safety. Poladrus owes his life to Aggennor, for it was due to one of Aggennors reckless actions, that saved Poladrus, who was just a Battle Brother at the time, from certain death. As such Poladrus watches over his friend and takes care of the threats that Aggennor can't.

In game Aggennor is the second Veteran Sargeant in the roster and will usually be fielded as a Zealot specialist. This means that he has 5 attacks at S5 on the charge and with twin claws, is hitting on 2's, wounding most things on 3's, rerolling, with -2ap, meaning that you will be getting a injury roll every turn of combat, if not an actual kill. At worse, he will be hitting on 3's, wounding on 4's, rerolling, with 4 attacks. So still a good chance of doing damage. Company Veteran Poladrus, a basic Company Veteran, probably run as a Veteran Specialist, for that pregame move to get his storm bolter in to rapid fire range as early as possible, or maybe a Demolition specialist for taking out those obscured targets with his storm bolter. 

From left to right: Titus Poladrus, Ollonius Aggennor, Cassius Cassus, Titus Poladrus, Andrus Tarentus, Cato Chronus

Next up are the basic tactical Marines. These form the bulk of the fighting force. On the left we have Tactical Gunners, Gunner Ollonius Aggennor, with his trusty Missile launcher and Gunner Cassius Cassus, armed with the temperamental plasma gun. Both these men are noble warriors of the chapter, upholding the chapters tennant that civilian casualties be avoided wherever possible. While both these men also apply this to the other brothers within the chapter, they do so in different ways. Gunner Aggennor watches from a far, spying targets and applying surgical strikes to eliminate the enemy threat while Gunner Cassus prefers getting up close and personal before unleashing a torrent of plasma fire at the enemy. To the right there are the two Tactical Marines, Brother Andrus Tarentus and Brother Cato Chronus. Both of the battle brothers are young and aggressive warriors, always eager to be at the front of the battle and prove themselves. Brother Tarentus carries the units comms array, needed for communicating back to the ships in orbit when deep within the hives and tunnels the warband often find themselves in, Brother Chronus on the other hand carries nothing but his bolt weapons. Lastly, in the centre we have Tactical Sargeant and Apothecary Novitiate, Sgt Titus Poladrus. Titus is one of the oldest members of the warband and is probably the most liked as well, due to his charismatic nature and friendly attitude. A veteran of many war zones, he 8s the bands medical support and a rather good one at that. Although not a fully fledged member of the Apothecarian, he has had substantial training from them, as due to the structure of the Dragons, it is not possible for all warbands to contain an apothecary. Titus is trained to do pretty much everything bar harvest the geneseed of the fallen. 

In game, Gunner Aggennor with his missile launcher will usually be played as a heavy specialist, to enable him to move and fire without penalty. With the range of the missile launcher, this will usually mean he is only suffering due to obscurement. Gunner Cassus on the other had is usually run without any specialism, although he may run as a sniper specialist on the odd occasion. Either way, Brother Tarentus, as a comms specialist, is always fielded when Gunner Aggennor is fielded, to ensure that those missiles fly straight and true. He maybe run other times but more often than not he will be paired with Aggennor. Unfortunately Brother Chronus is only ever run as a basic marine to fill the points and add another body to the mix. Tactical Sargeant Titus is the last Sgt model on the roster and usually fielded alongside Veteran Sargeant Varenus. 

So that's the warband in it's entirety. Only 11 models, 10 of which form the main band. The Librarian is really only there as I painted him up a long time ago when I was planning of running a larger force of these guys for 40k games but scrapped that idea a long time ago, when I just couldn't get stuff painted and when it became clear that primaris were going to take over all the Marine rolls. 

Anyway, the band is really split into two 100 point lists;

Vet Sgt Varenus (leader), 
Tac Sgt Titus (medic), 
Gunner Aggennor (heavy)
Tac Tarentus (comms) 
Vet Cassus 
Gunner Cassus


Tac Sgt Tarentus (leader)
Vet Sgt Aggennor (Zealot)
Vet Poladrus (Demo) 
Vet Cassus (combat)
Gunner Cassus

For 125 point games, the list looks like this:

Tac Sgt Tarentus (leader)
Vet Sgt Aggennor (Zealot)
Gunner Aggennor (heavy)
Tac Tarentus (comms) 
Vet Poladrus
Vet Cassus
Gunner Cassus

The more observant will notice that Brother Chronus doesn't get a mention, like I said, he's there to make up the numbers and swap around with people if I want to change things up a bit. Obviously this is in no way an optimised list and is built mainly around the two jump pack equipped vets and the other storm bolter equipped vets. 

Next up are the Dark Guardians (Dark Angels successors) and their heavy list.

Tuesday 11 August 2020

The future of my marine armies.

So with 9th we get a new wave of space Marines and the death nail of the classic marine is one step closer. Now I've mentioned in the past that my old marine armies, my Eagle Knights and Dark Guardians have been relocated to the loft for storage as but what's is the future of the various chapters? Well, let's have a quick look shall we.....

Eagle Knights
(Blood Angels successors)

The Eagle Knights were my first completed 2000 point marine army and to be honest is still my only complete marine army. These will also be my first primaris army I complete or that's the plan anyway. As it stands these will still follow the old Eagle Knights and be primarily close combat orientated. With the release of Assault Intercessors this plan is now a possibility. The army will be built around a patrol detachment, with one or two minimum Intercessor squads with one or two full squads of Assault Intercessors and two HQ's, a Captain and Lieutenant. At the moment I have no idea of the points value for these units, so things may get adjusted to meet the 500 point limit but to be honest, if any army goes over 500 points, it will be this one. 

Dark Guardians 
(Dark Angels successors)

Next up are the Dark Guardians and hopefully these will retain their hammer and anvil approach, with bikes and probably an Inceptor squad or two, hopefully with plasma. Now it might be quite difficult to get all of these units in to a 500 point patrol detachment. I believe that for a Intercessor squad and HQ will be around 150 points or more, so leaving only 300 and a bit for bikes and Inceptors. This may mean a small rethink, maybe dropping the Inceptors and just having bikes, or running scouts to cut down the required troop option. On second thoughts, sniper scouts might actually fit the narrative better, after all, someone has to tell the hunters where to hunt.

Stone Dragons
(Space Wolf \ Ultramarine Successors??)

Lastly, the force that has changed time and again, been amalgamated and split more times than I can count! The current idea is to form a scouting, sneaky force, which will necessitate another change in the forces narrative. The overarching narrative is a hunting force, so that will remain but the tactics that they use will have to change as the force will be formed of Phobos armoured units only. The idea will be to have a selection of units in there, although I might have to have a think about how to dark with vehicles. 

The 4th chapter, possibly a return of the Emperor's Disciples or the Brazen Hawks.

This force will be the 4th and final 500 point force, giving a total force when combined of 2000 points. This chapter will focus on longer range and heavier firepower, with a core including Intercessors with stalker bolt rifles and Hellblasters, with heavy plasma incinerator. Alongside a captain and a squad of flamestorm Aggressors there won't be much change our of 500. The Aggressors are in there as a counter punch units to protect the long range units. As to what chapter tactic they'll end up using, I have no idea, but probably something Imperial Fists.

So, here are the four armies that are planned for my Marines in 9th edition and also the upgrade to primaris units. These armies are not fixed in stone but the general idea will not change. As I said, the idea is to form 4 separate forces that can fight at 500 points or Combat Patrol level but can be combined to for higher level games while still keeping within the patrol and battalion detachments. The four armies also cover the 4 main elements of list building, with assault, speed, stealth\infiltration and range all dealt with. This is not going to be a highly tuned and optimised list but a fun and narrative one. How long it will take me to build and paint these armies is anyone's guess though!

Friday 7 August 2020

The future of my guard armies

So after going through my hopes for the guard and scions in 9th, i thought i should go through the actual armies themselves. While the next post about the Marines is a reasonable length, this will be pretty short, as there really isn't much to say!

Hjaltland Light Infantry

The Hjaltland LI are my main 40k army and my original. It hasn't changed much in the last two editions from when it came together in 6th and there is nothing within 9th that I have seen so far that will change how the army is formed or played. There will have to be a slight rejig of units as there have been a few points increases but on the whole, this will mostly likely just be dropping an infantry unit or two. 

Hrossey Yeomanry

The Yeomanry, the armoured fist of the 256th. Again, not much is going to change here. The biggest change is going to be around the load out for the vehicle secondary weapons l, as many of the LR battle tanks will be fielding flamers on their sponsors, instead of bolters as they have done in the past. This does mean that the chimera's twin flamer arrangement now makes even more sense! There have been a few points increases and with the armament changes, there will be a bit of rejigging but on the whole there will be little change.

Dagr Ormr Tempestus Scions

This is the army that will probably change the most, mainly due to some of the reserve rules and points increases. The army at present is the smallest of my guard armies, at around 1400 points and will probably be up to 1500 or so in 9th. I will have to read the updated reserve rule to figure out how much of the army can be reserved for deep strike. In addition I will need to figure out how to build this army using as few a detachments as possible now, due to the army formation rule changes. This was always run as a 2 detachment army and to really get the most out of it you need to. My only real hope is some sort of special rule allowing scions to be taken as a patrol detachment without penalty.

The main changes to the armies comes when the points drop. At 2000, 1500 and 1000 points, the armies will retain there main structure, along the 3 army lines, however at 500 points the armies will break down quite differently. At combat patrol levels the Hjaltland LI will still be as it is, a wyvern supporting infantry. The Dagr Ormr will change and drop all support elements from the PDF heavy weapons but will form there own force, maybe gaining a Valkyrie in the process. The Yeomanry will also find their forces split, with a force formed of a couple of tanks with a supporting infantry unit and company Commander to fill the required slots, the other half of the force will form into a mechanised infantry force, with infantry in chimera's, probably a vet squad or two in chimera's with a standard infantry squad for support. All this may change, depending upon the new points for the various guard units but from what I've seen the points aren't changing that much. 

Next up I'll talk about my marine lists, which as I said earlier are in for a complete overhaul with the change to primaris. 

Tuesday 4 August 2020

The future off old school Marines?

With the release of 9th and the new Indominus boxset, we have the next wave of primaris releases, filling in some of the more obvious gaps in the inventory. 

Up until now, primaris units only had plasma and flamers with everything else being dealt with by the old school marines. While we still don't have an answer for foot mounted lascannons, we do now have melta equiped primaris. 

Not the best picture but we all get the idea. Long range melta, no doubt with different models, much like Intercessors and Hellblasters. 

We also got lots of combat upgrades, with Blade Guard and Assault Intercessors. The blade guard bring storm shield to the masses and Assault Intercessors bring chainswords. 

I will say that the Blade Guard do look good and Assault Intercessors (below) definitely carry the assault marine vibe (but where are the jump packs?)

The other new units are the bikes and, not pictured, the Invader ATV, which fill the roles of bikes, assault bikes and land speeders between the two of them.

 While the land speeders role is not entirely taken by the ATV, a lot of it is covered and I believe that there have been leaked pictures previously showing a land speeders type primaris vehicle, although the picture was terrible and it's pretty hard to make out anything. 

So where does this leave our old friends, well honestly in a pretty bad spot. From my memory, which is pretty bad, there are really only 3 units or models that don't have some sort of replacement. I've touched on one, the lascannons devastator. As yet there are no primaris Marines equipped with lascannons or similar