Monday, May 31, 2010

Battle Report: 750pt BA vs Tau - Alpha Strike

Fit in a game last night and had a hell of a time of it. This will actually break down into two post to make sure I cover both the battles in detail and the lessons learned. My army was basically half of what I fielded against the Daemons in the report earlier.
  • 10-man ASM (PW/MB; 2xMG; Rhino)
  • 5-man ASM (PW/MB; 1xMG; Rhino)
  • Librarian (Shield; Lance)
  • Priest (Meltabomb)
  • 5-man Sternguard (2xCombi-Melta; Rhino with HK Missile)
The Tau forces fielded by my enemy (Jason) was built around Hammerheads as they really appealed to him. He built it on his own and then I went over it to ensure it was legal and had the proper allotment of weapons/support systems and that upgrades like Team Leader were applied so he could use certain items. Sure, some of the selections are not the best, but this is his first list and we all have to learn the game via trial and error. We don't always accept other people's suggestions as the best without knowing how things really perform first.
  • Shas'el (Flamer; Missile Pod; Multi-tracker; Shield Drone)
  • 2x 6-man FireWarriors
  • 1-Shas'vre (Cyclic Ion Blaster; Flamer; MT)
  • 1-Shas'vre (TL Fusion Blaster; Flamer; MT; Shield Drone; Stim-Injector)
  • 3x Hammerhead (Ion Cannon; Burst Cannons; MT; D-pod)
Now, for the twist in this report. I got first turn and kept it, to deny the Tau an Alpha Strike so I can go Flat Out, pop smoke, go FO again, then unload into his lines. What happens, Jason rolls his magical 6 for like the 3rd game in a row and steals the initiative! As I fume, he lines up his shots and explodes the Sternguard and wreck the utility Rhino with the special characters. Well... there goes the game in my head. I can no longer zip in with Meltas to take out the tanks and have to hoof it around to get into assault. We agree right then to play a rematch with the exact same deployment but I get first turn, to see how it would be different. Pictures follow with the play by play.
Basically, that alpha strike ended the game. There was no way to take out his tanks anymore and they just picked me apart with AP3 weapons, eventho I normally had 4+ or 5+ cover saves, it wasn't enough. It was my first loss in a while and only with the new BA, but it's all good. I learned a few things about BA, but makes me confident in the Tau being viable still. The list can be refined more and be even more deadly. My only counter would be to switch to Jump Packs under the cover of a Libby Shield to fore go the Rhinos getting popped. The rematch will be posted tomorrow with pics to show you how important deployment and first turn can be!

Saturday, May 29, 2010

Army List: 750pt Tau - Scouting Cadre

Army list, ok... wait, for Tau?! Yeah, that's right, I'm dipping my toes into a different army for the moment. I'm still painting my Angels, no worries, but I'm mixing things up. If you check out the blog Tau of War you will see my help desk email with more information. Basically my friend is learning Tau and making me read the codex and I've gotten bitten by the Greater Good. I made up a list at work, but got a quick reply for some help and tweaked it. This is what I got so far:
  • Shas'el XV8 (Targeting Array, Plasma Rifle, Fusion Blaster)
    • Drone Controller: Shield Drone and Gun Drone
  • 3x Shas'ui XV8 (TL-Missile Pod, Flamer)
    • Team Leader with Shield Drone
  • 6-Fire Warriors
    • Devilfish with Disrupt Pods and Multi-tracker
  • 10-Kroot and 5-Hounds
  • 2x Shas'ui XV88 (Targeting Array x2)
    • Team Leader with Shield Drone
I'm sure it's not the most efficient or whatever, but it's my first list with the army so be gentle. I figure not a lot of use with multi-trackers on the suits because i'll either be firing at range and scooting away, or if they catch me, i'll just use the flamers. Sure, if it was 1500pt game, I'd take em, but I need to squeeze out points. Plus it mirrors a lot of what Old Shatter Hands suggested, so take it up with him. :-p I'll write up a report as soon as I test it out. As for my friend, he's making his own list that will fight my Angels. Hoping to give him good advice and turn him to OSH's blog for deployment tips and actually give me a challenge that the Necron were not providing. A rep will follow for that as well.

Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Devious Dice

I am a d4
You are a d4: You are bright, perceptive, and driven. You would be considered a blessing to mankind, if you didn't insist on using your powers for evil. You are devious, deceitful, doubtful, and downright dangerous. Assassins can learn a lot from you. If your fellow party members knew how rotten you were, they'd go over and join the bad guys. Justified or not, you are meticulous in your ways: A poison for every person, and a dagger for every back. Much of your day is spent scheming or plotting. The rest of your time is spent trying to convince others that you're simply misunderstood.
Take the quiz at

Since this is the latest thing going around the blogosphere of people I subscribe to, I thought I'd waste some time at work and take the quiz too. Plus I haven't been painting or gaming so I don't have any updates. As for the quiz results, hm, it's pretty spot on, lol. :-)

Tuesday, May 25, 2010

Battle Report: 1500pt BA vs Chaos Daemons - Purgatus

I managed to fit in a 1500pt game vs my friend and fraternity brother Darrin and his Chaos Daemons. He's mostly still learning the game but has a ton of models. He's more of a Magic/D&D guy, but will play just about any game with people. As per usual, I took some pictures and added some captions for you all to see, plus it's easier for me to go back to and go over my strategy that way. I can take video with my phone, but I hate my voice on recordings, so that's out for now, lol. Anyway my list was a tweaked version of the Mech list I just posted yesterday. Also note, this list has 0 invul saves and is basically like a horde marine list. Didn't set out to be that way, but what I'm doing is avoiding point sinks and going with a more is more approach. Too many awesome models die from a hail of bolter fire to suck up like 250 or more points. Running a lot of cheap, redundant models just seems smart in a game of dice. Plus, it breaks that psychological hold of an HQ. When my old PDF Dante would get murdered by a single Melta, it would throw me off as a general, as I dwelled on the loss. If I lose my 100pt HQ, I shrug it off and have another to take his place.
  • 2x (10-man ASM: PF, 2-MG in a Rhino with Extra Armor) 530
  • 2x (5-man ASM: PW/MB; 1-MG in a Rhino with extra Storm Bolter) 310
  • 2x Priest 100
  • 2x Librarian (S10 Sword, Preferred Enemy, Epistolary) 300
  • 1x 10-man Sternguard 250
This got me to 1490 points. I believe Darrin's list was also 1490pts so we were even in points,  but not even in codexes as the battle will reveal. His list was approximately the below. They had a number of weapon upgrades but I don't remember them all like Phlegm and Breath of Chaos.
  • Blood Thirster
  • Skulltaker
  • 2x Soul Grinders
  • 2x Plague Bearers with Icon
  • 2x 3-unit Flamer with Bolt of Tzeentch
  • Nurgle Prince
(Click for larger pic)

    So there you have it, another BA victory before turn 5. I guess I'm only friends with people playing old codexes and the books show their age. I'd say the single biggest let down seeing these Daemons in action is they mostly have 5+ saves. Sure, they're invul so they always get it against my shooting, but 5+ still fails a lot, as evident by the Nurgle Prince suffering a wound from 2 successful storm bolter shots. Also looking at their stat lines, nothing is really impressive save the Blood-Thirster, which he fielded, but failed to DS in. His best looking unit is actually the Flamer, since I guess each model gets a template over your units, and this can lead to a ton of wounds. You still have to roll a 4+ to wound with their weapon, but you're looking at a lot more than 1-2 wounds like a normal weapon at close range, plus each one auto-glances armor and the unit is Jump Infantry with a 4+ invul save. He was definitely let down by his first Soul Grinder as well, one of which he nicknamed "Lucky" for consistently dying on the first turn of his games. I chalk it up to it being such a threat that people throw whatever they can at it first. In this case, I zoomed up 2 Meltas and got a rear arc shot to take it down. I gave him some tips and we had a good after-battle talk to hopefully get him to think more about his army. Hope we get to play again soon!

      Monday, May 24, 2010

      Army List: 1500pt Mech (v1.1.0)

      After fiiiinally getting in some games with the new Blood Angel Codex, I have a better idea of how they handle. These have been 500-750pt games, but it's a start. I thought I'd start gearing up for 1500pt games again, once Jason gets up to speed on an updated codex, as the Necron are starting to show their age for him. I decided to drop Razorbacks for Rhinos for their versatility, and frankly, because they are cheap. Armor 11 was no match for even his need to roll 6s to at most glance. With a Rhino you're not losing a 35pt weapon in a single hit and if they become immobilized, Rhinos can repair themselves and RZBs cannot.  My shuffle also allows me to field full 10-man squads so I can get more special weapons on the board (normally Meltas). Currently, in this draft state, I have the below army plus 140pts remaining for either more Sternguard or upgrades to my Rhinos like Extra Armor to keep them moving up the board.

      2x 10-man ASM: PF, 2x Melta, Rhino 500
      2x 5-man ASM: PW/MB, 1x Melta, Rhino 290
      2x Librarian (Shield, Lance) 200
      2x Priest 100
      1x 10-man Sternguard: 2x Missile Launcher (Combat Squads) 270

      The 5-man squads ride with the Priest and Libby and are basically utility vehicles providing cover and FC/FP bubbles. Others like kitting these guys out for CC awesomeness, but that whole "single out ICs" in close combat is dangerous, especially as neither have a invul save and cost 50-100pts each. The forward Rhinos will blaze away with their Meltas and the support Rhinos will blaze away with another one plus Blood Lances all while shielded a bit. I can always disembark the Priest and Libby, say if needed for their insta-kill sword or leave the priests to provide FNP while my 5-men retreat to a flag point. More to come...

      Thursday, May 20, 2010

      New Blog Layout!

      I haven't even been around for 50 posts and I'm ready for a change, haha. I never thought the layout I chose was very appropriate for a blog about my dark red super-humans. Plus the text box was like 4 inches wide and could hardly fit any pictures in, so I looked around for some templates and found a few that I've been testing out. One looked really great with a red angel theme, but was still like 4 inches or less of text space and I don't have the drive to re-write the code for it. The next was a pretty standard red and white layout that was very clean and should just be included in the default selections really. But the one I'll be using the most right now is this one, which I think has a lot of character with it. Nice colors, nice text area makes me think of parchment of a purity seal and it's a wider text area to boot. Some elements came with it like the speakers to either side of the text area are RSS feeds so you can subscribe to the site and the search bar to the left is their own element and not the Blogger one so can't be moved around, but works just the same. I also updated the picture at the top, but it will be changed as soon as I can get a picture of some completed models of my own.

      Anyway, let me know what you think! Maybe it's a lot better, maybe it's too busy with the colors, I dunno. I just needed a change, that's for sure.

      Saturday, May 15, 2010

      Battle Report - 750pt BA vs Necron - DC Smash!

      Well, I thought I'd get in a quick game last night and boy was it ever. I played Jason using my Necron again and I used a new BA list at 750pts. His list was the Lord, 20x Warriors, and 5x Destroyers. I basically brought half of my Death Company list I made when the codex hit. Mine was:
      • Reclusiarch
      • 5x Death Company with 1 PW
      • 1x Death Company Dread with HF and Talons
      • 1x Stormraven with PC, HB and Extra Armor
      • 5x ASM with PW and Flamer
      • 1x Rhino with extra Storm Bolter
      He passed first turn to me on a spear-head KP mission. I ran the Stormraven (proxied by a Tau Devilfish on the tallest post I could find) up 24" and used PotMS to fire the PC for a hit and a handful of dead Warriors. The Rhino was hiding since it would just give up a KP and the troops wouldn't hurt the warriors much w/o a priest for FC. On his turn he fired two fists full of gauss shots, but only 1 glanced and I saved with my flat out cover. I warned him this might be the end of the game, as my dread assaulted one group and my DC assaulted the other. The Dread used the talons to wipe the whole squad. The DC with re-rolling hits and wounds decimated the other group. Since the all that was left was 5 Destroyers, he would phase.
      So, it was a quick game indeed, and as with a lot of wins, not much was learned. The raven with DC is pretty much the biggest whackin' stick you can find in terms of assaulting power. The Necron were outclassed from the start. But, I suggested now that he knows the ropes of the game like rolling, saves, cover, etc, that we get him to use an updated codex, or at least just not Necron. I still have Tau laying around from another friend, or I could have him learn an army I've never fought before, like Guard or Eldar. I'll see what I can talk him into. ;-) Back to painting!

      Friday, May 14, 2010

      Magnetizing Assault Marines

      As I mentioned before I finally got some new magnets to customize my marines. I plan that each squad's Sgt and Special Weapon guy (and Heavy Weapon in the tac squads) will be magnetized to switch up options. More cost effective than building multiple marines, given the current economy and rumored GW price hikes. For this I'm using the 3/16" x 1/32" disc magnets, which fit perfectly in the shoulder area of a marine. Anything smaller and I don't think there would be enough pull to hold up all the weapon types and anything bigger or thicker just won't work on such a small model. Drilling seemed to be out for such a large hole on a little model as well. The problem with simple drilling is it leaves a dimple, not a hole, so it's not always the correct shape, or you'd need a specialized bit that would leave the cut flat, but that's just more money out.

      Instead I simply just cut down the shoulder area on the torso, then I cut away a lot of plastic off the arm itself. This can negate the size of at least one of the magnets if you cut deep enough, and no one will be the wiser because of the shoulder pad. I don't cut away any of the rounded shoulder as this is what the armor pad has to attach to, I just take the part that makes contact with the torso down. Now, with this method, you won't really be able to get both hands on a rifle like the Melta-gun, or a Bolter for the Tac squads. For ASM, they ditch the pistol for the new weapon and always retain their Chainsword for CC. So, I just modeled my guys to dual-wield the rifle in one hand, and the sword in the other. My guys just can't wait to get into CC they already have their swords drawn, plus, this would account for my abilities to roll 2- a lot, haha. Since half of the special pistol options are left handed, but none of the rifle arms are, I just took a generic left-handed pistol arm and cut off the pistol, filed it down, and popped the flamer on it in this case. I'll do the same for another Melta when I buy more special weapons. Here are some images (click for larger detail) of what it looks like at this point.

      As you can see in some of the pics, it's not that noticeable when painted over and the magnets fit perfectly into the should pad areas. The first pic shows off some of the new Death Company sprue weapons that my Sgts will be using. This is a seriously easy process, just repetitive for so many options, but will save a ton of money, makes WYSIWYG quick, and gives your guys a bit of style with the moving parts. Plus it's fun to give him dual-pistols and dream. :-)

      Monday, May 10, 2010

      Painting My Rhinos

      Woo! I got my paint brushes (and magnets) in the mail on Saturday from I bought their Taklon brush set which has varying sizes from detail to large tank. I got a free tank brush months ago from one of their sales and been using it for my Rhinos and it's been awesome. I'm no artist, but I know I'm not a fan of the horse hair brushes so far, and these taklon bristles have been a lot more smooth and clean, so I bought a bunch more. I painted 3 of my Rhinos with the old mechrite base scheme already before I got my Ruddy Brown, but I based my new Baal Pred with the new spray paint to give the updated scheme a try. The process is now: Ruddy Brown Primer, Devlan Mud wash, Red Gore, and highlighting is actually on hold. I'm not a fan of the Blood Red paint; sorry, it's not a red, it's an orange and I need to mix it darker or find something else for my highlights. I added a ton of icons to my Rhinos for some character, but this has set me back as I really need to learn how to paint wings. So all my winged icons are on hold for a bit, but I also had a bunch of purity seals added. Since my armor is red, I decided to go for a green seal to contrast the armor. I basically did Knarloc Green foundation with a Thraka Green wash for the seal and Dheneb Stone foundation and Bleached Bone for the parchment.

      All I gotta say is I'm really happy with the way they turned out. Even with the different basing the color ended up looking all the same. The pic has one painted the old way and the one with the Baal front armor was done with RB primer. The only difference was the texture of the RB primer vs mechrite. It felt rough and it absorbed the wash and Red Gore, in a good way. There was no pooling or streaking; it just held the paint where I put it. You'll notice the Angel Icon on the Baal pred is lighter; that's what the primer looks like vs the end result with the Red Gore. I just need to finish the icons with wings, add some boltgun metal to the tracks and smoke stacks, paint the head lamps and the Rhinos will be done. I have a pile of vehicle accessories like more doors, hatches, gun mounts, etc based and washed, but I needed sleep before I could finish painting them. I also started 3 more tac marines with the new scheme. I based 'em red, then painted anything black I wanted next (like joints and tubes), then washed 'em down. I'll do the Red Gore today and finish them up and post pics.

      All in all, totally psyched to have new brushes to get the job done right. Oh, one thing I did start doing was a tip from Jawaballs. For the detail work, I started doing the thing where you put the detail brush in your mouth to lick the brush and twist it to a point. I thought it would be weird and taste bad, but it's really a great way to get the bristles moist without overdoing it by dipping in water, plus it keeps the point. For detail work it's great, anything more and yeah, you're just eating paint, lol.

      Let me know what ya think so far! I'll update as soon as I can.

      Friday, May 7, 2010

      New Base Coat Painting

      I've been starting up my painting blitz these past couple weeks to finally finish some models and get that satisfaction of having a painted army on the board. My Necron have been painted for a long time now, they just don't have any arms/guns because that assembly is made up of about 8 pieces per model (and I have 48 Warriors...) and that is just too daunting of a task when I don't like playing as them on the board. As for my Angels, I have about 15 assault troops, 10 tacticals, and 5 Rhinos, and a Land Speeder ready to go, including each of the PDF HQ-choice models.

      My original painting scheme was basing them in Primer Gray and then layering Mechrite Red, Devlan Mud wash, Red Gore, and highlighting with Blood Red. The first thing I found a problem is was the gray base. It works fine for soaking up the paint and giving it a smooth feel, but any place I couldn't paint (like arm pits, necks, etc) stood out against the dark red of the armor. Minor details, but distracting for me, so I decided I'd go get a black primer spray and redo my guys. I couldn't find a black primer in all my searching, but then I stumbled across something... Krylon Ruddy Brown Primer. Ruddy Brown for a red army, you ask? Only it comes out to be a perfect stand in for a dry Mechrite Red, with all the benefits of a primer and a spray and it was only $2.97 a can. Now, I looked around online for pictures of this in use and found a 40k article on the subject. They said it would be 5-6 bucks and not any better than the store brand 99 cent can of spray. I disagree because 1) it was only 3 bucks and 2) directional nozzle for sweeping passes instead of directed blast of paint and 3) it's actually a primer and not just a base paint. It leaves the model a little rough to the touch, so paint will stick and get soaked up instead of just pushed around and pool up. This addresses the inaccessible areas as well, while not a dark black shadow, it is at least in the same ballpark red and not contrasted gray. Also it's not a heavy black that will need many coats of white/light paint to do chest eagles or eyes. And for the lazy man in all of us, even after basing them in Ruddy Brown, if you can't get to painting all you stuff, it still LOOKS NICE on the board. It's not a wall of gray or black (which I guess would be okay for Wolf and Templar players, lol) but actually looks passable. Below are some pics to show what I mean. 

      (Click for bigger pics)

      Everything in those are just a few minutes of time with the Ruddy Brown except the Rhino top that holds the turret, because I painted it before I found the spray paint, but it's still not a final product. For those that haven't seen the new BA models, that is the new Baal Pred turret with one of the new included icons attached to the Rhino door. The front has the icon shown in most official pictures of it. The doors and the turret are fully magnetized, as I blogged about earlier. Also, the two guys next to it are the new Death Company models that I will be using as veteran Sgts. Anyway, some professional painters might cry fowl and say I'm doing it wrong, but I like the results so far. Still waiting on my new brushes, so work will be on hold for awhile, but for whatever reason, I'm way more happy to play with these guys than my Gray Angels that have been in my battle reports before.

      Tuesday, May 4, 2010

      Battle Report: 750pt BA vs Necron

      I finally got a chance to play some more small points games with Jason this weekend. We've moved up from Kill Team to normal games, but moved up to 500/750pts. We fit in a quick 500pt game that he won, but upon review in the after-action talk, I totally forgot to roll for Red Thirst and adding +1 attacks to everyone for having two CC-weapons. Suffice it to say, I couldn't kill much when I was rolling 1 attack per guy, two for the Sgt against WS 4 T4. Basically we just rolled looking for 4+'s all game and it was quite boring. We regrouped for a 750pt game last night with a firmer grasp on my rules, lol. Army lists are captioned in the pics and pretty much sums everything up, no real need to get into a long winded description. I rolled no red thirst for either assault squad and then that glorious 1 landed when I rolled for the Vanguard! That helped since it's hard wounding Necron, plus at one point I did lose combat, but being fearless kept me in and I saved my No Retreat! wound, so all was well. He got first turn, deployed first and then I went, not stealing the initiative. From the pictures, my guys are at the bottom, nearest the 10-Warriors by the huge P painted on the gaming board.

      (Click for larger images)
      Basically Jason is going through the same learning curve I did when I started playing Necrons. Mass of fire works, but basically Warriors are meat shields and he needs a bigger punch. He's interested in the Destroyers and we might move up to 1000pts where they start becoming viable for the points. He's mostly been fine just learning the ropes and having fun and not being overly competitive. This is also a good test bed for me and my units. The 500pt game saw 5-man teams with a special IC and RZBs with a weapon. For the points, it just wasn't worth it. He can still glance the crap off my RZBs and just one result can remove a 35pt weapon (unless I go LC/PG option). Plus if they are immobilized they can't repair themselves. And 5-men weren't impressive, except as I said in the first game, I did screw up and wasn't giving them +1 attacks for CC weapons, so that skews the results. But with my 10-man units (1 being an IC), they were devastating. The Rhinos were still glanced and lost a gun, but it's just a bolter, and I can still fire out with my Meltas or Blood Lance if my Libbies carry it plus cover myself with a 5+ from said Libby. Plus the rare chance I can still repair an immobilized result in addition to everything I already mentioned just makes them more versatile I think. The melta guns/Blood Lance plus some Sgts with Melta Bombs should be enough for anti-tank (sans a full mech Guard list).

      Oh, other note is that this was the first time I ever fielded Vanguard and a Sgt with a power fist. VVs are nice, being able to pick and choose who to attack plus only 1d6 scatter makes them actually viable. The fist was invaluable only because rolling 4+ to hit and then 4+ to wound is a chore and usually leaves lots of guys standing. I only seeing this being good against weak CC units because I never had a fear of getting wiped out before I got to use it. I can weaken them with my 4 normal guys, then fewer Necron attack back with 0 power weapons, then I get my fist. Against a fist full of CC dice or a couple power/rending weapons, I rather strike first and kill as many as I can. Plus I only get 2 attacks after the first assault, since I don't have dual-fists. Not sure if a Lightning Claw would be better to just get the chance to reroll my wounds at higher I than going last, but getting almost guaranteed wounds. Food for thought.

      Finally, I'm basing my tanks as you can tell from the pics. One is just primed with a single coat of Mechrite Red and the other has a layer of Red Gore on it which is pretty noticeable. I've ordered more paint brushes and will be going to town on these guys as soon as they show up plus churn out some more dudes so stay tuned.