Tuesday, 31 December 2013

2013 Resolutions: The Results!

It's the last day of 2013 and time to see how my resolutions panned out. Not good on glance to be honest, I've had an awful year both personally and hobbywise. I've been ill a lot, in hospital a few times, financially broke and working awkward hours, so it's been a struggle. Never-the-less, it's time to see those all important results. Stay tuned tomorrow for my 2014 resolutions!

1. Have a fully painted 3,000 point Necron Army

FAILED - I actually think that my Triarch Stalker (as seen left) was the last, possibly only thing I painted this year and that was back in... when? February? The problem was that I got too caught up in other things, like painting miniatures for presents, painting contests and then real life. Oh, and the release of the Space Marine codex didn't help the dynastic cause either. Still there's always if/when I get bored of painting Ultramarines and if rumours are true, it'll be 2015 when the new Necron codex is released.

2. Have a fully painted (Legal) 1,500 point Bretonnian Army

FAILED - This is pretty evident from my complete, fully painted army to the left here. Yeah, not great. I suppose hearing about the new Bretonnian Army Book is only just round the corner made me want to hold back, or maybe it's because I looked at all those horses and went "I really don't want to paint that many horses right now". Tedious, tedious, tedious. They're something I need to be in the right frame of mind to paint and this year I just haven't been. I'm sure I'll eventually do these but right now I'm more interested in guns and skeletal robots.

3. Enter all my hobby group's painting contests

FAILED - I entered 4/12 of these, unfortunately I didn't write about two of them because I lost my momentum about March/April time and took a while to find my feet again. I entered the Non-Astartes Imperial model (Culexus), Chaos (see left), Bike/Cavalry (see Bretonnians) and HQ or equivalent (My Hobbit Goblin King), the latter of the two I didn't write about. Once I missed one, I found it hard to motivate myself to seek out the models I needed just to complete this task. I might slightly amend this for target for 2014.

4. Play 2 battles every month against different armies

FAILED - As soon as Games Workshop Wood Green closed, a spanner was thrown in the works as I was always in there and can just pick up a game as long as a table was free. Now my new local GW is the Enfield store and, don't get me wrong it's a great store and Jamie who works there is an awesome guy, but they have 1 table and you need to book it in advance. I had 1 game against Khorne Daemons and lost, and I had a game or two against my friend's Tyranids but otherwise games have been very dry on the ground. Hopefully this'll change.

5. Write a battle report every month

FAILED - Pretty hard to write a battle report every month when I can't even game every month! I've tried filling the void with articles that I hope you have all enjoyed reading, but it's not good enough really is it? I need to figure out how to get more games in or just be really hot on phoning Enfield for bookings. Or set up my own gaming den. We'll see how it all goes, I already have my Tyranid buddy itching for a game after his codex is released, a Blood Angels player wanting to battle me as well as a few others. We shall see next year...

6. Start "Project: Smurfs"

SUCCESS - Yay! One success, finally! To be honest I fully expected myself to still be painting Necrons into December when I wrote these resolutions, but then A Tale Of X Gamers came and didn't continue and I painted Sicarius to start the project. The project slowly died and then the Space Marine codex was released and my vigor was returned and now I have a small force of Ultramarines building, and there's no stopping the Marine train now! Here's to more in 2014.

7. Get some terrain done and play a game on my own board

PARTIAL - Now, ah, here's where I have a problem being decisive about whether I completed this or not. See, no terrain has been worked on this year other than a few buildings being stuck together. However, I have played a game on my board, I just never wrote about it on this blog because I forgot my camera, d'oh! Basically the verdict was that I lost and it was against my Tyranid buddy. The game board was actually a little larger than what we were used to and looked amazing. There's really very little point in working too much on terrain because there's very little room to play games in my new place. Maybe next year I should add to resolve this problem to my list? Maybe I will. Stay tuned...


YOU DECIDE! - I don't know how to mark this so you decide. I said my box set can't go to waste, but what does that mean exactly? Start the army I wanted to start as in Dwarves? Open the box up? Paint something from it? I've painted the Goblin King from the box set and the box itself has indeed been opened, so have I technically succeeded or just trying to make out that I succeeded? In any case I've only painted what you see on the left for the Hobbit. Sad but true. Didn't expect to even get this far to be honest.

Sunday, 22 December 2013

'Twas the Sunday before Christmas...

So I have been pretty slow hobbywise lately, what with Christmas and work and stress and being tired. Oh and being ill on a nearly constant basis. I was pretty shocked to see myself think of an army list last week. I have managed to to do a few bits and pieces though, namely finished painting the main bodies of my damned legionnaires:

A glorious visage of death
Very happy with the results so far, but taking too long to be perfectly honest, mostly due to me hating to clean up metal miniatures. It's not my most favourite of past times it has to be said.

So how are my Ultramarines coming on so far? Well I took a few pictures of my entire work on them this year (not very good progress) including some models I've been working on that I haven't yet posted about, see if you can spot them.

You may have spotted a couple of miniatures using the new Tactical Squad bits. I must say I love the new kit, easily better than the retired old kits that have been around since the dawn of time. I'm using the bits to add to my existing combat squads and I must say I'm very happy with the 6th Marine of my Octavian Tactical Squad:

So, what now? Well I'm going to work for two more days, then I'm off to spend the yule time period with my family elsewhere in the UK, so no more hobbying until possibly the New Year. I will at least post around New Years Eve for the results of my New Years Resolution from the start of 2013 (not well...). Bet you all forgot about that! Also, my sister has told me I have a surprise Space Marine miniature set for Christmas, and the promise is that it will be the first (new) project of 2014, so my hobbying for now lies in the hands of my sibling.

So from myself until my next post...

Merry Christmas!

Saturday, 14 December 2013

Ultramarines: A Revised Army List

An interesting question was posed in the comments section of my last 1,500 point Ultramarines list, basically asking what I would chop and change now the fifth edition codex has arrived and how would I use the changes to my advantage.

It was one of the few questions posed to me hobbywise that really made me think. Although not much has really changed in the book since 5th edition, the changes that have been made have quite a significant impact on my old list and may even leave me with a little bit of wiggle room to either try or add new things. There is stuff in the new edition codex that I really want to sink my teeth in, new tactics to be explored and chapter tactics to take advantage of, not to mention a few new units (notably flyers, anti-air tanks and Centurions) and some point jiggery pokery going on - Cato Sicarius is notably cheaper for example.

So in this post I will attempt to revise my old army list and give concise reasons to my choices. I doubt much has changed since this and my last list, an emphasis on tank superiority and divide/conquer tactics are still the lynchpin of Space Marine armies (whether people see this or not).


Captain Cato Sicarius (185pts)
  • Sicarius is still a top choice for tactics, allowing me to grant special rules to a single Tactical Squad per game and he is harder than your average captain at a 15 point reduction - that's another full Space Marine I can take!
Techmarine with Power Axe (65pts)
  • When am I ever going to say no to a +1 cover save bonus and the chance to repair my many vehicles? 65 points and doesn't take up a FOC slot? I'm in.



Tactical Squad - 10 man squad/Lascannon/Plasma Gun/Teleport Homer/Rhino (220pts)
  • No Veteran Sergeant as unit will be a fire/tactical support unit. Lascannon/Plasma Gun can be used as a fast striking anti-armour combo that, when combined with the teleport homer can allow the unit to clear space and leave room for terminator drops. A Rhino is dedicated transport as mobile cover and to quickly move the unit to maximise their efficiency. A full 20 points reduction from last edition.
Tactical Squad - 10 man squad/Heavy Bolter/Melta Gun/Rhino (195pts)
  • The "swiss army knife" tactical squad. At full power they have a heavy bolter and melta gun to be able to snipe any foe, be they numerous or heavily armoured, or combat squad into two different units with particular roles. A Rhino is added mostly as mobile cover (covering objectives and the like). A full 20 points cheaper than my last equivalent squad with a flamer!
Tactical Squad - 10 man squad/Missile Launcher with Flakk/Grav Gun/Drop Pod with Locator Beacon/Veteran Sergeant with Plasma Pistol and Chainsword (220pts)
  • The obliterator choice of troops - the first assault unit that are expensive but not as expensive as the first Tactical Squad would've been in 5th edition. This squad is the initial blow things to pieces unit with a veteran sergeant making full use of an extra attack and plasma pistol. The missile launcher can deal with anti-armour, numbers and flyers, whilst the grav gun can fire a healthy amount of shots and take care of pesky high armour saves. The locator beacon on the drop pod will cause a problem for the opponent, do they take out the teleport homer coming at them or the locator beacon behind their lines?



Terminator Squad - 5 man squad/Assault Cannon/2 Chainfists (230pts)
  • Terminators are a far more safe bet to begin with than Terminator Assault Squads. They can make better use of teleport homers/locator beacons, still being able to fire off that vital assault cannon, whereas Terminator Assault Squads are better off in a Land Raider or Storm Raven. Amazingly this squad is exactly the same points as before.



Landspeeder Squadron - 2 Landspeeders with Heavy Bolters/Multi-Meltas (140pts)
  • For fast hitting, fast acting support against both troops and armour. These guys can act according to how the battle unfolds.
Assault Squad - 5 man squad/Flamer/Melta Bombs/Veteran Sergeant (105pts)
  • A small, cheap assault squad with a flamer for when I need hand-to-hand combat. The flamer acts as a numbers killer and a mobile flame weapon wherever needed.



Whirlwind (65pts)
  • Reliable ordnance support and cheap too.
Stalker (75pts)
  • For those pesky flyers invading my airspace as they always do. Stick them in reserve to surprise your opponent! 

Total: 1,500 points

Wednesday, 4 December 2013

The trouble with flyers...

An interesting question was posed by my hobby group the other day as part of an initiative to get everyone in the group to get more involved with the hobby, and that question was "if you could change any rule about your chosen system, would you and what would it be?"

Well yes actually. Don't misunderstand me, I love sixth edition Warhammer 40k and it stands tall as my absolute favourite edition to my favourite hobby. Having said that, nothing's perfect and I feel there are a couple of little tweaks that can be made that would make sixth edition, for all intents and purposes a perfect ruleset. These are very small niggles but I found my main problem with the system concerns flyers.

Now don't get me wrong, I love flyers and I am giddy with anticipation to one day field a Storm Talon in my Ultramarines army (I've thought of some very useful tactics indeed regarding them). It isn't the existence of flyers that nag at me, nor the absolute frustration in trying to hit them, but rather a couple of illogical rules.

Firstly, regarding flyer transports and the impact they have when wrecked/exploded. I do not get Games Workshop's logic in this, regardless of which result happens the transported always take more damage than any ground troops that are caught in the way. This makes perfect sense if an explodes! result is rolled, it's a bit hard to justify not taking a huge hit when you're stuck inside what essentially is a bomb at this point. However, I do not agree with the same logic on a wrecked result.

Consider this. These advanced flying machines 38,000 years into our future have hi-tech weaponry, super efficient engines and top of the line armour... but no emergency crash landing procedures. You couple this with the fact that being hit full on by a fully intact aircraft on the ground is apparently less likely to kill you than essentially wearing a space seat belt. Hmmmm...

Secondly, regarding not being able to shoot blast template weapons at flyers. Why not?? Are Games Workshop telling us Plasma Cannons are one of the most destructive pieces of artillery known to mankind but they can't look up? I get Games Workshop have done this to streamline the rules and simplify them but it makes little sense.

Snap Shots as a whole I get and love the idea. You don't want to Snap Shot blast weapons incase you blow something you didn't mean to blow up, yeah I get that. But these are aerial based vehicles, not something that will easily back fire on you back on ground level. Flamers I get, they have limited range, but it would be nice to shoot plasma into the skies!

With these in mind, I have a couple of house rules I may suggest in future games. Feel free to incorporate these into your games if you like the sound of them:

When a flyer transport vehicle is wrecked - As per rulebook, but when the vehicle suffers a wrecked result rather than an explodes! result, reverse the strength of the hit for both ground troops and passangers.

Firing blast weapons at flyers - In these cases, the weapon may snap shot, disregard the "blast" rule for this weapon when firing at flyers. If a heavy weapon would snap shot at a normal target e.g. a devastator without relentless has moved then they may not fire at flyers at all for that turn. If testing to see if a flying monstrous creature is grounded by such a shot, their roll is 1 step more difficult as the explosion makes it harder to stay airborne.

As always, comments and criticisms are welcome.