Monday, March 28, 2011

1500pt Deathwing army list, transportable in 1 battlefoam tray ;-)

Happy monday everyone, So I've been gathering together various models and bits from friends and GW to put together my crazy-hybrid model set Deathwing army. I'm looking for some tactical thoughts on the loadouts for each squad, working within the limit of models I have/will get.

- 1 Box 5 Grey Knight Terminators (GKT)
- 1 Box 5 Assault Terminators (AT)
- 2 Box 5 Space Marine Terminators (T)
- 1 Box 5 Wolf Guard Terminators (SWT)
- 3 single Assault on Black Reach Terminators
- 1 Captain Lysander model
- Bits from Dark Angel Sprues
- 5 robed tactical marines from DA sprues

- 11 Thunder Hammers/Storm Shields (5 from AT, 4 from SWT, 1 from GKT, 1 from Lysander)
- 9 Lightning claw pairs (5 from AT, 4 from SWT)
- 3 Heavy Flamers (2 from T, 1 from SWT)
- 2 Cyclone Missile Launchers (T)
- 5 Assault Cannons (2 from T, 1 fromt SWT, 2 from Dark Angel Sprues)
- 5+ Chainfists
- 10+ Powerfists
- 15+ Stormbolters
- 2-3 Power weapons

Army List for 1500 pts

- Belial, probably equipped with lightning claws due to his high Initiative - 130pts

- Deathwing squad (215), 5 TH/SS, CML (20), Apothecary (30), Chapter Banner (25) - 290pts (Belial leads)

- Deathwing squad (215), 3 TH/SS, 2 LC, CML (20) - 235pts

- Deathwing squad (215), 3 TH/SS, 2 LC, CML (20) - 235pts

- Deathwing squad (215), SB/PW, SB/CF (5), 2 SB/PF, Assault cannon(30)/PF - 250pts

- Deathwing squad (215), SB/PW, SB/CF (5), 2 SB/PF, Assault cannon(30)/PF - 250pts

- 5 Tactical marines (90), meltagun (10) - 100 pts

Total = 1490 pts if I've added up correctly. I recall it being 1500 even when I last did it so may have mis-remembered a pt cost here or there. For 10 pts I'd probably add a couple more chainfists.

Basic Tactics
Pretty straightforward. Deathwing assault with one assault squad (or Belial's) and the two shooty squads to establish a turn 1 presence. Tactical squad holds home objective. When the enemy responds to the turn 1 terminators shooting them, drop the assault squads behind them and hopefully catch in a pincer movement of sorts.

For objectives missions I'll drop the shooty squads near the objectives and hold them with fearless terminators.

Suggestions, tactical advice, hate mail and the like is all welcome ;-)

Monday, March 21, 2011

Fail Gamers Birthday Bash Tournament over the weekend.

Good morning all.

So this past weekend I played in the Frederick All Inclusive League Gamers (FAIL Gamers) tournament for their second Birthday. The Fail Gamers have been a great place for me to meet good people, get in a bunch of games, enjoy the forums and have an all around good time with some wargaming. I haven't totally taken advantage of all they do (40k, WFB, Flames of War, Warmachine, Malifaux, Dystopian Wars, Dark Heresy and more) but I've still really enjoyed my time here.

So the tournament was primarily done for the club members as a thankyou for all the support and time they gave to make the club run as well as it did. To this end the club folks got a small advantage. Each player received a ticket for: Painted army, well-painted and based army, WYSIWYG, then one for each 3 months of club dues paid. You could redeem tickets for special wargear, battlefield conditions or unit rules, only once per game.

The rules were mostly balanced. I took one that let my deffkoptas call down a S6 AP3 ordnance blast that always scattered 2D6 and that was reasonable. Only one rule seemed truly broken to me and it was only broken for one army. Mow Em Down let a unit make normal ranged attacks when assaulted by a unit prior to assault instead of normal assault attacks. The guy with a Farsight bomb bought this for each of his games, making his unit nearly untouchable. Thankfully I didn't play him and so I was good overall.

My Games

Of three games I won 2 and lost 1. The first and third games were great fun (not just because I won) and game 2 was meh. I ran my 1850 ork list from the last tournament minus the grots and 20pts of wargear.

This photo says it all. 6 models survived the!

Game 1
Drop pod and stormraven blood angels here. 5 objectives which we placed in the table centre, agreeing we'd prefer a punch up ;-) He got turn 1 and dropped down into my backfield with 2 Blood Talon Furioso's, then managed a turn 1 fleeting Death Company dread (also blood talons) into my ork boyz. The lootas were flamed out of cover and ran, one battlewagon was magna-grappled and shaken then the boys got hacked up by the DC dread (blood talons hurt!). In my turn I punched back with the nobz and deffkoptas, slaughtering marines left and right. It turned into a glorious brawl across the field where the power of diversified nobz prevailed over the power of blood angels who reroll everything (so it seemed). By the end of the game I held 4 objectives and contested the 5th. He had one drop pod and an immobilised Furioso on the table, phew. Great game and a friendly opponent.

Game 2
I knew this was going to go badly from the start. It was about surviving, with each unit over 50% strength gaining you 2 VPs, under 50% 1 VP and 0 for dead units. My opponent brought razor/dread/dakka pred/tempest speeder spam marines with MSU and a counter assault of 10 TH/SS terminators. He had 34 possible VPs vs my 22 possible, so I would have to kill 6.5 of his units with no losses just to draw. The deployment rules let you go anywhere on the table more than 18" from your opponent, turn 1 the entire table was difficult terrain. My opponent put his two min tac squads far forward to push me back then castled up on a hill on his board edge. He then used a ticket to buy a rule that stopped me getting scout moves then siezed initiative on a 4+ because of the same ticket.

That was pretty much the game. I got alpha-striked, then shot up every turn while trying to move through difficult terrain and rhino blocks. The nobz were wrecked by the terminators, led by a Librarian who'd cast null zone. All in all, I got tabled badly. Not much fun. My opponent didn't cheat and wasn't rude, but brought a mean list, gamed every advantage of the special rules and didn't crack a smile at all. Two upsides were that I got tabled quickly and went down the road with the GF to have a free wine tasting from a winery where my other friend works before game 3 and that my opponwnr got sulky when he won 3rd place, despite tabling two opponents. Length of time as a club member was the tie breaker for the tournament top winners, hehehe ;-)

Game 3
Game 3 was against Blood Angels again. Deployment was spearhead and you gained VPs for each unit in your opponent's deployment zone on turn 6 (all games had defined end turns). My opponent brought a few assault marines, 2 flamestorm Baals, the Sanguinor, a Furioso Librarian Dread and Mephiston. HEROHAMMER!!! :-D

It was a fantastic game and, though I tabled him, I was nearly tabled. The pic is from the very end of the game. The Baals rushed forward in their scouting moves, flamed the boys then got klawed/glanced to death. Sanguinor was mangled by a first turn nobz assault, the marines folded, the lib dread killed one nobz unit then got rokkited by the deffkoptas. Mephiston just rolled through so much of my army with his jump pack/Strength 10/Preferred enemy trio of psychic powers then came undone when we had a showdown between him and nobz. My last turn of the game let me kill off his last assault marine and claim a narrow victory due to tabling.

Great tournament and I had a bunch of fun.

PS: I killed the titan on day 2 with broadsides but it took 5 turns because of the void shield repairing every time and them making cover saves. Another tau player I loaned broadsides to killed it on turn 2 and won the knight titan model. It was fun seeing all the ways people used to kill it (Deep strike fusion crisis, Broadsides, Jetbike seer council, DS zoanthropes etc.)

PPS: If anybody is interested in a knight titan model, one of the club members has set up moulds and is thinking it will be ~$85-100 to cast them up depending on number of interested people. Let me know if you are interested and I will pass on contact details.

Friday, March 18, 2011

The poetry of the Space Marine First Legion

For those who haven't seen this before, let's have some poetry. This poem is by a poet called Lionel Johnson and is titled The Dark Angel. Read to the end, it's a very good piece and discussion follows afterwards.

None of this is my work but it is very thought-provoking and so hopefully people enjoy. Please visit the links given at the end.


The Dark Angel
DARK Angel, with thine aching lust
To rid the world of penitence:
Malicious Angel, who still dost
My soul such subtile violence!

Because of thee, no thought, no thing,
Abides for me undesecrate:
Dark Angel, ever on the wing,
Who never reachest me too late!

When music sounds, then changest thou
Its silvery to a sultry fire:
Nor will thine envious heart allow
Delight untortured by desire.

Through thee, the gracious Muses turn,
To Furies, O mine Enemy!
And all the things of beauty burn
With flames of evil ecstasy.

Because of thee, the land of dreams
Becomes a gathering place of fears:
Until tormented slumber seems
One vehemence of useless tears.

When sunlight glows upon the flowers,
Or ripples down the dancing sea:
Thou, with thy troop of passionate powers,
Beleaguerest, bewilderest, me.

Within the breath of autumn woods,
Within the winter silences:
Thy venomous spirit stirs and broods,
O Master of impieties!

The ardour of red flame is thine,
And thine the steely soul of ice:
Thou poisonest the fair design
Of nature, with unfair device.

Apples of ashes, golden bright;
Waters of bitterness, how sweet!
O banquet of a foul delight,
Prepared by thee, dark Paraclete!

Thou art the whisper in the gloom,
The hinting tone, the haunting laugh:
Thou art the adorner of my tomb,
The minstrel of mine epitaph.

I fight thee, in the Holy Name!
Yet, what thou dost, is what God saith:
Tempter! should I escape thy flame,
Thou wilt have helped my soul from Death:

The second Death, that never dies,
That cannot die, when time is dead:
Live Death, wherein the lost soul cries,
Eternally uncomforted.

Dark Angel, with thine aching lust!
Of two defeats, of two despairs:
Less dread, a change to drifting dust,
Than thine eternity of cares.

Do what thou wilt, thou shalt not so,
Dark Angel! triumph over me:
Lonely, unto the Lone I go;
Divine, to the Divinity.

Lionel Johnson

"As far as I am aware, 'The Dark Angel' and the sin it refers to specifically concern dissident sexual desire and the poem was probably expressive of Johnson's struggles with his homosexuality in a Christian setting..." [Professor Jane Wright]. Johnson's conversion to Catholicism in 1891 was the primal drive for his later repressed state, there is a streak of angst and self-loathing running through the poem, a plea for understanding both at a personal level and the greater issues of acceptance within the context of his religious beliefs. The polarity of his poition was almost impossible to reconcile and this is reflected not only in The Dark Angel but in other works too.

So what can we deduce from this and are there any links (real or imagined) to 'our' Dark Angels and what of the influence upon the game designers of the day?

In many ways we can see echoes of the poems sentiments within the psyche of the Dark Angels Chapter. They are engaged on a crusade to atone for their own deep-rooted catastrophe of so many falling to Chaos, and to ultimately find redemption and forgiveness reflecting the need for them to wipe the slate clean – by becoming even purer, even single-mindedly more loyal.

But these were not merely internal struggles of conscious as Johnson, like the DA, needed to physically hide their "sin" from those of higher authority too. Johnson for legal reasons (homosexuality was only decriminalised in the UK in 1967, and in Scotland in 1980), the Dark Angels to keep themselves out of the gaze of the suspicious Inquistion. It's basically self-preservation which drives the motives of both – a common human condition.

Despite there being no official acknowledgement as such, we must conclude that the poem did influence the backdrop of the Chapter, and Lionel Johnson is indeed the first Dark Angel. The combined coincidences not only of both names but motives too are just too great to pass off as mere chance. Interestingly and possibly in an attempt to 'hide' this literary connnection, the original founder of the Dark Angels was once named "Lyyn Elgonsen".

Poem copied from poet's corner, scroll down for The Dark Angel.

The points of discussion I posted are taken from an excellent piece at The Dark Fortress and are not my own work. Please visit this site for all of their excellent Dark Angels background, tactics, photos, artwork etc.

Thursday, March 17, 2011

More Deathwing love. Must resist the urge.

So I'm definitely tempting the heck out of myself in my last month in the US. I know that I have various costs ahead of me (travel, teaching course, renting an apt in Europe etc) yet I can't stop the desire for a sweet looking Deathwing army.

The good thing (sort of) is that I will be including Grey Knight terminators in the army and they aren't even release until the beginning of April, when I will be too busy preparing to move to even consider buying plastic crack. Also, buying GW models in the UK is cheaper than over here, even paying with $. For example, a box of terminators ($50) from the Warstore will sell for $40 yet I can buy from Wayland Games at a discount in pounds and the boxes come out to around $35. Sadly GW seems to price the US models on an exchange rate of around 2:1, which we haven't seen for some time.

In the meantime though, I'm just sourcing various lovely Deathwing models from which to take inspiration when the time comes I can actually start my army.

Here is a particularly awesome rendition of a Deathwing captain by the talented Scibor. If you look around you'll find many of his/her sculpts for 40k models and they have the same intensely sharp detailing and creativity. I am in no way able to recreate this but I will be happy if I can get some good hoods and robes going on my terminators.

Here are some really nicely modelled Deathwing terminators. Can annybody identify the parts of the leader model? I see Marneus Calgar's body and I suspect the belt-fed bolter is part of the Marneus figure too but the hands and the sword look different. Thoughts?


Monday, March 14, 2011

Can you kill a Knight titan with 500pts?

Hey everyone,

I have a two day tournament coming up this weekend and I only recently found out about the second day.

Day 1 is a three round 1750 point 'regular' 40k tournament that I'll be taking the orks to and having a good time. I'm fairly confident I'll do alright in this one and it should be a good time.

Day 2 is where things become interesting.

We have to kill a knight titan.

Everybody in the tournament gets a shot to kill this beast (it's 1 of 250 resin casts for an old Games Day) and the one who kills it fastest gets to keep the titan model. Not bad and certainly nothing to lose by taking the game.

- Titan is (I think) AV13 front, 1 void shield, 2 structure points super heavy walker mounting one warhound class weapon and a chainfist-thing. We've been told that there are no turbo laser destructors. If so, it'll be silly.

- I get 500 points of troops but must follow normal FOC (ouch)

- Game is on a 6x4 table, playing DOWN the table so there is 6 foot of ground to cover.

- No painting requirements but WYSIWYG and no proxies.

I ruled out my orks as soon as I saw the rules. The nobz and warboss would have no problem krumpin in with power klaws but they will take a minimum of 3 turns to reach it. I have no drop pods or collection of melta marines to drop my power armoured troops against this beast so they were likewise out.

Instead I'm going to try to claim it for the greater good.

I've borrowed 2 broadsides from Old Shatter Hands and I have a railhead at home. I'm going to run them with minimum Fire Warriors and a TL-Fusion commander. Each broadside will be placed 0.00001 mm from the table edges at the far forward line of my deployment. This should give them range to the titan while giving better odds for any blast weapons to scatter off the table. The Hammerhead will sit in the middle so I have max separation of targets to reduce the chance of scatters catching two units. I'm going to try to alpha strike the beast in turn 1 and hopefully drop the fusion commander into melta range on turn 2 if my rolls aren't so hot.

If anybody has any thoughts or ideas, please chip in. Also, if anyone has 2 broadsides they could loan me before next weekend I would be most grateful.


Wednesday, March 9, 2011

Gosh darn you GW and your temptuous ways.

Hey everyone,

So despite winding down on my time here in America (leaving April 13th) and trying to sell off the vast majority of my wargaming collection.....I am getting tempted to collect a new army.

How is it that we can be hooked so powerfully by these pieces of plastic, pewter and resin that sensible ideas like dropping the hobby for a while due to impending travel drift out of our minds and are replaced by the urge to create a new army of tiny toy warriors?

However it happened....I want to get and play a Deathwing army

I trace this particular new urge to a few factors:
- I don't want to stop the hobby, despite planning on country hopping.
- I can make an army of all terminators and only have to transport 25-30 figures.
- The new FAQ makes them better on the tabletop.
- I like the idea of having mixed armament squads
- I read the original story of the Deathwing in the novel compilation Deathwing when I first got into the GW hobby at age 10 or so.

So let's bring on the Deathwing.

Games Workshop has managed to create a rather awesome collection of plastic terminators for various armies and I like them I want to create a fun mishmash army. I will use various boxed sets and enjoy the mix of armaments that playing deathwing will allow me to take advantage of. I also have a great love for plastic models and will use it whenever possible since metal and resin don't click with me. I swear my skin exudes chemicals that prevent superglue from working on anything I'm holding, no matter what it's made from.

Army 'List'

To start with, the army needs to be led by Belial, the master of the deathwing. He allows Deathwing to be taken as troops as well as Elites, giving you 9 slots to fill with terminator goodness. There is no model for Belial so I'm thinking of using the Chaos Terminator lord as a base for him with lightning claws or converting using spare bits from the other sets I'll get.

Here's a good example of a Chaos lord Belial Conversion from Dakka

I cleary need to have some regular terminator boxes, for the cyclone launchers if nothing else but with the other sets on offer I can make some beastly combinations and fun models.

So I will start with two boxes of regular terminators and one box of assault terminators to give me some good models and basic options.

Who doesn't love hammers, claws and missiles?

Next up for me is the extremely cool Space Wolf Terminator set. This comes with a great selection of ranged and melee weapons (love the belt-fed assault cannon) and as long as I cover up some of the more obvious wolf imagery, I think it will add character.

By adding Belial to the mix, one Deathwing squad can be upgraded to have a banner and an apothecary. That's right, feel no pain on fearless terminators. Until today there was no obvious way to get a terminator-armoured apothecary and so conversion was the only option.

......then the new Grey Knight terminators set was released, including a sweet banner, apothecary, multiple great weapons and some fantastically ornate armour pieces. Clearly I'll have to fiddle around with the parts and perhaps use some green stuff to edit the many Inquisition symbols but I think they will make for great Deathwing models. Also, if I spread the Grey Knight pieces out over the whole army and add some robes with Green Stuff then the army as a whole will be coherent.

Last on the list for now is to add some Dark Angels' bits from the conversion sprue to help maintain a theme of Deathwing, particularly given the multiple sources of models I'll be using.

So there we have it. Games Workshop has tempted me back in again and I'm thinking about this quite strongly. It'll make for a good longer-term project too that I can take with me to whatever new country I'm living in and will give me a nice creative outlet for when I want to just nerd out :-)