Friday 30 October 2009

New Spin-off blog

I've set up a new blog for the Vampire Counts army i'm starting, more for fun than anything, but thought it was worth having a seperate blog for it as i feel i'm already covering too many on here.

Sunday 11 October 2009

Degrees of 'counts as' - Being reasonable?

Played two games today. One in the ongoing WHFB league i'm in and the other with the space wolf list today. Lost horribly in both cases, but i didn't mind too much. But the second game threw up issues of 'counts as' and reasonability.

Basically, we both wanted to test the new space wolves codex. Neither of us own the 'official' models, so there was a lot of 'counts as' being used.

First up, he put a Black Reach captain, a Terminator Chaplain and a Dreadnought down and said 'that's A Wolf Lord, A Rune Priest and Bjorn'. Now i'm a reasonable guy (not that i'm saying he's not), so i said, yeah, no Problem.

I then unpacked my stuff and put Sarpedon and Tellos down and said "That's Njal and a Wolf Lord". Instantly, he blurted out, pointing to Sarpedon "but he's on too big a base, you can't use him!", followed by a retort from me. I'd been using this guy for months as Tigerius (who's on a small base), with no problems, yet the moment i wanted to use him as a new character, (who is more or less the equivilant of Tigerius, but sold on a terminator base), it was apparently bang out of order, just because he had some apparently powerful special rules, which had yet to be run through the local gaming mill, so the hype over them was still believed.

However, in his new-codex-oh-my-god-it's-overpowered, he chose to ignore the fact that Tellos, my Wolf Lord, for exactly the same fluff reasons as Sarpedon, had chainblades for hands(count-as wolf claws), no chest armour (but highly mutated, so counting as runic armour and belt of russ) and no representation of the jump pack i gave him (inhuman speed). If i'd wanted to make an overpowered list, i could have classed Tellos as Canis Wolfborn, who is very Tellos-like, in that he's also fast, tough and kick-ass in combat.

It's not like i was wanting to gain an unfair advantage by using Sarpedon on a bigger base, i was merely wanting to represent one of my favourite BL characters in a fluffy manner, as well as make use of the model i'd commissioned off Ron.

If i'd really wanted to be picky, i'd have said in that case, he couldn't use his Chaplain as a Rune Priest, but instead i took the cowards way out and bargained with him. I let him use his missile launchers from his tactical squads (being thrust into the role of grey hunters) as plasma guns in exchange for him 'being reasonable' about Sarpedon. In the end, Sarpedon was vapourised by a lascannon with the opening shot of the game and those extra plasma guns cost me the match, taking out my drop pod troops as they landed. The game was over by turn three.

I wouldn't have even been bothered that much if his force hadn't consisted of a mis-match of several other SM armies, including Dark Angels and Codex Marines, with no consistancy of colouration, whereas, i'd taken the time to paint every model in Soul Drinkers colours and model things like Mark of the Wulfen clearly (mutations). The only reason why Sarpedon isn't on a terminator base is because when building him, Ron suggested that he'd look better on a bigger base, else he'd look ridiculously squashed in on a 40mm one.

Speaking to Colin, the club organiser afterwards, he said it was a little unfair considering it was a friendly game and if he was in that position he would have let me use Sarpedon without forcing concessions upon me. But unfortunately there is a fair sprinkling of competitve players in my local gaming group, whereas me and Colin are more in favour of balanced or fluffy lists, so there's often clahes of 'gaming personalities'

So, who would you favour in this situation. Me or him?

How far should people reasonably take 'counts as'?

Saturday 10 October 2009

Soul Drinker SW list 1

Here's the first draft of my Soul Drinkers SW list. No idea how it'll play yet, but i'm hoping it's going to be fast and hard hitting, with Tellos and his Assault Marines spearheading the charge. I've deliberately restricted the Mark of the Wulfen to the Skyclaws, to represent the fact that the worst mutated marines would be sent forward in search of a glorious death.

Commander Sarpedon - counts as Njal Stormcaller

Sergeant Tellos

Wolf Lord with Twin Lightning claws, Jump Pack (representing his inhuman speed), Runic Armour, Belt of Russ, Saga of the Warrior Born and Wolf Tooth Necklace.

Chaplain Iktinos

Wolf Priest with Saga of the Beastslayer and Wolf Tooth Necklace

Iktinos 'Flock' - Blood Claw Pack

9 warriors, meltagun, Powerfist, Plasma pistol

Drop Pod with Deathwind

Squad Zeon - Grey Hunters

9 men, plasma gun, power weapon

Drop Pod with Deathwind

Squad Luko - Grey Hunters

10 men, 2x meltagun, Power weapon

Drop Pod with Deathwind

Squad Tellos - Skyclaws

10 men, plasma pistol, power fist, mark of wulfen

Squad Greavus - Skyclaws

10 men, plasma pistol, power weapon, mark of wulfen

Squad Eumenes - Wolf Scouts

5 men, Boltguns, melta bombs, meltagun, 2 x power weapons

Squad Rilke - Wolf Scouts

5 men, sniper rifles

Squad Nisryus - Long Fangs

4 men - 2 x missile launchers, 1 x multi-melta

Note: Pack Leader in the Long Fangs represents the pre-cog psyker, Nisryus who's directing the chapter's few heavy weapons to where he predicts they're needed.

Still trying to work out how to fit Captain Luko and Techmarine Lygris in there, but for now i'm happy with this. All i need to buy are a few more Assault Marines to convert into Iktinos 'Flock'

Thursday 8 October 2009

Space Wolves for the right reasons?

Having bought and looked through the new SW codex, i've decided to collect a small contingent of space wolves to accompany my Soul Drinkers force. It won't be huge force, just enough for me to have fun with it. But i plan to use the SW codex in a few games.

Many may say i'm jumping on the bandwagon here, but i'm no powergamer or army junky, so i don't care.

These are the main 3 reasons behind my decision:

1. Epic models.

I love the new space wolves sprue that's come out. So many modelling possibilities have opened up it's unbeliveable. I plan to get a few of the basic SW boxes to make a few squads Blood Claws and a Wolf Lord at the very least. I'll probably make a lone wolf too, but in general, SW's will feed my love of making character models like no other amry will.

Plus, i reckon a few SW heads scattered through my IG army will look awesome.

2. Fluffy Soul Drinkers.

So many options in the SW book are just perfect for representing many of the unique things in the Soul Drinkers books,something my Raven Guard-based Soul Drinkers have struggled with. eg. Njal and his Lord of Tempests ability is just perfect for representing the effects of Sarpedons 'The Hell' psychic power, whereas before, i've had to make do with a 'count as' Tigerius since the loss of Fear of the Darkness from the SM list

Also, a Wolf lord with twin lightning claws and saga of the warrior born just screams the name Tellos at me. Maybe even the Mark of the Wulfen instead. Eithe rof these two would convey the 'frenzied killing machine with chainsaw hands' thing he's got going on.

Only downside to this idea is that assault squads are only ws and bs 3, but that shouldn't be too much of a problem, with their +2 attacks on the charge making up for it.

3. Play style.

I play very gung ho with SM's anyway, often favouring glorious charges and creating epic combats, when i really should be focussing on objectives. With this in mind, the army i envisage me having at the moment is an army based around blood claws, impeteous and foolhardy, out to prove themselves and start their sagas with a bang. I'm aiming to avoid any really cheesy or broken choices/ combinations in my list (so no Wolfwing, Thunderwolf Cavalry, etc), as i know many players who are starting SW's just for the chance to use this stuff, which smacks of powergaming.

So, as you can see. I have very valid reasons for wanting to start SW's, other than just 'because they're new'. I've wanted to do them for years, ever since i saw the 13th company in the EoT campaign, but various other projects kept getting in the way.

What do people think?

Have I chosen SW's for the right reason, or do you think i'm just another army junky latching onto the latest thing.

Friday 2 October 2009

Dark Elf battle reports and insane chaos warriors

2+ Save on your basic warriors, what the hell?!

For those who were paying attention last week, you'll remember that i built an insane amount of Dark Elves in an afternoon.

Well, i managed it, surprising even myself on that count. I managed to muster all this:

Note the plastic Executioners, converted from spearmen and green stuff. I'll cover these in more detail later.

Anyhoo, moving on. My first game was pitched battle vs dwarves. Unfortunately, i'd brought a fairly static gunline of 45 crossbowmen, with Executioners, Harpies Corsairs and Cold ones for counter-attack. Outclassed didn't even come close. The game consisted of me trying to close with him before his cannons took me apart, without much luck. The game ended in a massacre to him.

This week, my game was against a bloke named colin and his nurgle chaos horde.

My list was roughly the following:

2 lv 2 sorceresses, one with lore of metal and the other with dark magic
45 crossbowmen
15 corsairs
1 death hag with banner of hag graef and witchbrew
12 exectioners with banner of murder
2 units of 5 harpies

Mission was breakthrough - get more units into the opponents deployment zone than your opponent in yours

The plan: pelt his big blocks of chaos warriors with magic and crossbow bolts,using harpies to slow his marches, then counter-attack with my corsairs and executioners, relying on the powerful death hag and executioner combo to break through.

The reality: Now i knew his army was tough, with me often need 6's then 5's to even force armour saves on them, but i knew if i got a few good spells off (i rolled spirit of the forge for one of my lore of metal spells), then i'd stand a chance. Unfortunatly, the winds of magic were blowing fitfully and i rarely managed to cast any spells for the whole game. the few that did make it were swiftly dealt with by his scroll caddy. Even Power of Darkness couldn't help!

A huge mistake i made was getting over confident with my executioners/death hag and charging a block of 18 chaos warriors in the centre of the table. My dice failed me on damage dealing. Then i found out that what's the equivalant of power armour at range turns into a 2+ save in combat!!! Can you say broken?

Well, unsurpisingly, my unit was ground into the dust, then the warriors overan into my corsairs, who at least died slowly enough to give me some thinking time. One of my units of harpies had fled too far (ie. off the table) from a charge from his chaos knights, turn 2, but i still had a unit of the winged vixens flying around just behind his lines, not really doing very much as he was too close to march anyway. I flew these into his back field, far away from any possible retaliation, giving me a victory point.

Then lady luck threw me a bone. The warriors unit had been joined by a marauders unit in destroying my corsairs unit, but once the pirates had been crushed, it turned out that only the marauders were alined in such a way that they'd end up in my deployment zone, leaving the chaos warriors running lengthways across the board, unable to wheel enough in time to make it (it was turn 5 by this point). All i had to do deal with was bringing the maruaders below scoring, so tbhey didn't count as a unit for the victory conditions.
There were 15 or so of them in the unit, so this was a tall order considering my shooting so far, but the fighting had brought them into short range of all my repeater crossbows and sorceresses and they didn't have the advantage of chaos armour, unlike their borderline broken comrades.

Unsurprisingly, my magic did sod all, bar killing one, but then 45 crossbow bolts were loosed. 8 or so hit their mark and 5 killed, forcing a panic check. Unfortunately they passed it, giving me a turn of my own panic as he strolled right into my deployment zone, smug as anything. Then last turn, another 45. this time about 12 or so hit, 7 of which hit his sorceror!! luckily the sorceror went down and there were enough left on the unit to kill 4, ending it's scoring status and pulling out an incredibly narrow draw for me.

It was a great game and it taught me a great deal about my army and how to play WFB

1. My Dark Elves are best at mid to short range shooting

2. Never charge/engage chaos warriors - shoot them or melt them with magic, but facing 18 terminator equivilants in combat is not good

3. Chaos players fear Lore of Metal and will go to great lengths to stop you using it

4. Relying on magic could be good if you have power stone or two - i didn't, hence my trouble with magic

5. Even if you load up on goodies, you still need to support your Executioners - i really should have combined it with a corsair charge

6. Harpies are useful. Very useful.

Where next?

1. I got a manticore through the post today, so i want to play a game or two with that, see if it works for me or not.

2. I also have a Cauldron of blood that might be interesting to try in conjuntion with the Executioners and Death Hag

As usual, thoughts and opinions are welcome, especially on the style of battle report i used