Friday, 28 February 2014

The Month at a glance

Well it's the last post of the month, it's time to take a look at the past month of hobbying, and what an exciting month it's been! I've got lots to look forward to, lots in the making and a nice, decent chunk of my resolutions done, so let's have a gander at just what the heck I'm talking about...

Damned if you do...

Before I launch into my own personal hobbying, how cool is it that the Legion of the Damned are getting a codex?? Sure it's one of the infamous mini-dexes that Games Workshop seem to be spewing out as of late, but I care not. I love Legion of the Damned and I'm definitely downloading this baby when it hits. Expect a review soon!


But back to how I've been doing. Unfortunately had very little time to paint but seemingly masses of time to do other stuff. For starters I've completed half of my short stories goal, leaving me with only 2 more to do after just the second month. I should have aimed for more! Having said that, my prologue stories for my battle reports seemed to have been pleasantly received by you guys and I will endeavor to keep up the trend.

Speaking of battle reports, you may well have read the Sabik Skirmish battle I wrote at the beginning of the month, well I have another fully written up but I have been asked respectfully to not post it until tomorrow as part of a showcase over at the Games and Theory Facebook page, so be sure to check back then as it will mean I can tick off a third of my battle reports target. Phew! That'll also make 4 armies to play against in 2014 done and dusted.

So what's in store? Well I have almost finished my first of hopefully 6 painting contest miniatures and that post should hit about the 9th/10th March. I may also be downloading the Kill Team rules soon so I can really sink my teeth into my Deathwatch project. The stories are rattling around in my bonce, I just need to find the time to write them up! I will hopefully be making some headway on my Ultramarines army list too. So much to do, so little time...

Tuesday, 25 February 2014

Flesh & Steel: Prologue


     The dying sun of the Black Veil bathed the halls of the Imhotep Dynasty with a bizarre, glittering twilight through the crystal peaks that littered the ceiling, and the tomb that perpetually experienced such darkness seemed darker still to Nemekh. He remained unstirring in his favoured spot, perched within the confines of the Throne of Ice cradling his necrodermis cranium, hiding his immortal face in shame for the few who could look upon it.
     To make such an elementary mistake in underestimating his enemy in the Sabik system had cost the Dynasty dearly, his forces were broken to a state where reanimation would be grievously slowed, and that's if they were able to repair at all. Upon returning to the Crown World, Nemekh ordered all resources went on researching ways to replenish their numbers. The Black Veil was hidden and inaccessible to most of flesh and blood, and the metal bodies they called their own meant the Necrons had more time to gather their forces than others, but the time only served to worsen the Phaeron's lingering shame.

     Nemekh's thoughts were interrupted when he heard the click-clacking of metal on metal floor, though he did not stir from his brooding demeanor. The remaining units of the Imhotep Dynasty's peasantry would be sleeping whilst their shattered shells were being grafted back together by millions of Canoptek Repair Scarabs and, though his optics were covered by his hand Nemekh knew there was only one who would walk these halls at this time.
     "I hope this is good new, Karimekh" he responded before any word could be uttered, accurately guessing the ally that approached. He allowed his hand to come free from his face to show the hundreds of Micro-Scarabs dancing across his metallic flesh, all meticulously repairing tiny dents and imperfections from his body. His enlarged hand glowed brightly as if reacting to his thoughts.
     Karimekh bowed deeply, his Staff of Light held tightly in his hand. "Infekhtys has informed me that our fallen Immortal units were successfully rebuilt with the parts available, but they will need to be monitored and repaired by our Spyders should they suffer damage again due to something about the phase shifters being incompatible with their reanimation protocols."
     The Phaeron allowed himself this small victory to brighten his mood briefly. "It's a beginning" he allowed, "and what of the data console Azhryn recovered from our last battle?"
     Kharimekh gave a wave of his hand and the hall was illuminated with holographic images and data files of the information he was able to recover. Nemekh stood from his perch and paced forward a few steps to behold these revelations closer.

     "We were able to recover some modules of data from the console. The warriors we fought, for example are known to these Humans as 'Imperial Fists', one of the so called 'Chapters' of the genetically modified super soldiers they created. Other Chapters also occupied the sector during our time there, two in particular are known as the 'Blood Angels' and 'Dark Angels'"
     Nemekh let our a static groan at the mere mention of the Chapters names, "I have had my share of deities. So primitive that these base creatures should name themselves after false mythology. Pathetic."
     Without responding to his Phaeron's words Kharimekh continued, "The most worrying species we found in these databanks however, are these 'Tyranids'..."
     At the mere utterance of the name, a picture of hundreds, no thousands, no BILLIONS of strange, twisted fanged creatures of varying sizes and shapes appeared to fill up the hall with an intense alien light, the image swelling not through magnification, but from sheer volume. "According to the archives, a fleet of these creatures dubbed 'Hive Fleet Jenova' were spotted only a few sectors over from the Sabik System, heading directly for it in fact." Kharimekh allowed a moment for his Phaeron to respond, though his gaze seemed so intently fixated on the strange creatures that he didn't seem to notice.
     He continued, "these 'Tyranids' survive by accelerated evolution. Like any verminous creature, they are driven by instinct, though they do seem to possess spme form of hive intelligence. They only exist with a single objective." He turned his head to face Nemekh, whose gaze was still drawn to images in front of them. "To consume everything on every planet they come across, water, metal, oxygen... everything."
     "Then gather all available units for war." Nemekh said bluntly, his gaze never shifting from the ghostly creatures, "We must stop them from reaching our slumbering Warriors or all hope of recovery will be lost."

++++++++++

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Saturday, 15 February 2014

A Trip Down Enfield Lane

Hi all. So today I ventured to Enfield for a game I promised a friend of mine whom I've never played against before. I've not properly played against Blood Angels before (the closest I got was a Death Company that was more of a silly game than a proper, tactical one) so I relished the chance to take out the swine... I mean test my skills. I don't hate Blood Angels at all...

Anyways, this isn't an official Battle Report write up so I will just plonk the pictures here with a brief outline as to what happened. I can tell you the results were Blood Angels 7, Necrons 3. I lost but I was on top for most of the game.

Also thank you to my friend Luke who took some pictures of the battle on his substantially better camera.

An overview of the battle (Turn 2)
Necron Warriors with Lord flee, but reform after some Reanimation Protocol checks
Wraiths attack an Assault Squad
Blood Angels advance
Immortals and Death Company battle
The Overlord is swarmed
A Death Company Marine is so lonely...

Post-Mortem

Had a lot of fun with this game, another close one. If I had one more turn I could've turned the tides relatively easily, but alas it was not to be. My opponent drew first blood by killing my Wraiths with the combined effort of 2 Assault Squads, plus held 2 objectives - one was ripped from a warrior unit and taken by 2 Assault Marines and one occupied by a Devastator Squad (we played Big Guns Never Tire). I had 1 objective held by my Annihilation Barge. So to sum up:

  • My Overlord did what he did best. Troll. He kept reanimating and annoyed my opponent relentlessly. I also took a Tachyon Arrow and Tesseract Labyrinth for a change and, combined with Mindshackle Scarabs he managed to instant kill a Sanguinary Priest, made a Veteran Sargent with Power Fist kill himself and shot another Marine dead. Very useful.
  • My Harbinger of Destruction was useless, missing all 4 turns with his Eldritch Lance. And the model broke. Not impressed.
  • Although my opponent said he took the wrong list against me, my typical strategy of Warrior spamming does not hold well against Devastator Squads made up of 4 Heavy Bolters. They chewed through my squads like wet tissue, it was insane.
  • The Annihilation Barge, once again did me proud, killing 4 Death Company Marines in the first turn alone and taking an objective. I love this thing.
  • Immortals work well in 5 man squads. My opponent had to prioritise which unit he charged. I was very lucky, constantly reanimating all but 1 Immortal, beating his sweeping advance, regrouping and then using the Monolith to put them back on the front lines.
  • Speaking of my Pyramid of Doom, the Particle Whip is so, so useful against Marines. It killed an insane amount of Death Company and the squad couldn't touch it.

All in all, brilliant game, thoroughly enjoyed it. Plus I get to tick off another army I've played against this year, huzzah!

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Tuesday, 11 February 2014

Evil Craft Bitz


Hi all, just a quick post to promote an amazing bits site for all you Chaos players out there. Evil Craft does some absolutely gorgeous bits compatible with the minions of Chaos and I think it is my duty as a hobbyist to alert you all to such fine quality miniatures.


I have a few plans for updates for the next week so stay tuned for more coming this way!

Saturday, 8 February 2014

Tutorial: Paint Stripping

Today I will tell you all (well, British people at least) the secrets of how to paint strip models easily and effectively. To tell the truth, this method is not my idea but rather a method taught to me by Big of 50 Shades of Geek. It's a very simple way to strip paint, being that before today I had never paint stripped any models (yeah, I know, rookie or what!) and I achieved amazing results.

For this you will need the following items:

  • Fairy Power Spray
  • An air tight container
  • A towel you don't mind getting a little dirty
  • An old tooth brush you will never stick in your mouth again
  • Hand wash
  • Models to paint strip

Why Fairy Power Spray?

I have heard of various different paint stripping agents that people use, none of which I have personally used. In the US I have heard a product called Simple Green works wonders, but is incredibly expensive to get hold of in the UK without selling your children. Likewise I have heard Brown Dettol also works, but is incredibly irritating (dangerous even) to handle with bare skin and smells awful to use. Fairy Power Spray on the other hand is safe(r) to use than Dettol, is easier and cheaper than Simple Green to get hold of in the UK and actually smells quite pleasant when you use it for stripping miniatures, and I've reliably been told that it is the swiss army knife choice for paint stripping miniatures in the UK. My sources were reliable when it comes to the hobby in all it's aspects so I was particular in getting my hands on a bottle of Fairy Power Spray myself to use for the process.


Step 1 - The Paint Stripping Preperations
The first thing you will need to do is grab your air tight container and chuck your miniatures into the jar. You don't really need to be gentle with your miniatures as you're not worried about chipping the paint and generally the miniatures won't dent as long as you're not hurling the things into the jar. Now take your Fairy Power Spray and liberally squirt it into the jar, ensuring the miniatures are fully immersed.

Once that is done, seal the container and put it to one side whilst you carry on with your day. Have lunch, watch a film, whatever tickles your fancy (I painted miniatures). The miniatures I used were metal and I left them soaking for 9 hours. I don't know for certain how this stuff works on other miniatures, though I've reliably been told this works on plastic but is best done in short shifts, however the plastic bases I put in there seemed to survive intact by the end even if they were dyed an odd blue colour. No word on resin though I'm afraid.


Step 2 - Scrubbing Off The Paint
Once you are ready, fish the miniatures out of the container (I have been told you can use the same mixture for future paint stripping sessions but I foolishly chucked it) and put them on a surface that will soak up the excess liquid. I used many strips of paper towels for this.

Now get your old, knackered tooth brush and put the miniatures either in luke warm soapy water or under a running cold tap (not hot, this will weaken the metal!) and scrub those miniatures clean! You'll instantly notice the paint just fall off the model.


Step 3 - Finishing Up
Once you've stripped the models clean, towel dry the miniatures, leave them on a couple of strips of paper towel to soak up any excess moisture and your work is done. Once dry they can be sprayed up once more and painted again! If you aren't using rubber gloves to do this (like I didn't) I strongly suggest that you wash your hands with hand wash after doing all this. Although Fairy Power Spray is a pretty mild paint stripping chemical, it is still an irritant.

Friday, 7 February 2014

Interlude


 I really don't have much to update at the moment, I'm still recovering from the huge amounts of writing I did for the Invasion of Sabik (by the way, I am aware that the grammar is horrendous in places, I will go and clean this up when I can).

Whilst I rest, have a WIP picture of my Sternguard. Enjoy!

Monday, 3 February 2014

Battle Report: The Sabik Skirmish

I hope you all enjoyed my prelude to this battle report, it's something I would like to try every now and then for my battle reports just to add a little flavour to them. The idea was sparked off when the big apocalypse game on the next table had a story arc to it and they wanted to include the battle I had as part of the background. Anyways, on to the meat of the matter, the battle between Necrons and the Imperial Fists (with Catachan allies)...

The Army of Aeons Past


HQ
  • Necron Overlord with Gauntlet of Fire, Phylactery, Resurrection Orb, Mindshackle Scarabs & Phase Shifter (200pts)
  • Royal Court: Harbinger of the Storm with Lightning Field, Harbinger of Despair with Veil of Darkness, Harbinger of Destruction with Gaze of Flame & Necron Lord with Resurrection Orb (205pts)
Troops
  • Necron Warriors: 15 man unit (195pts)
  • Necron Warriors: 15 man unit (195pts)
  • Necron Warriors: 15 man unit (195pts)
  • Necron Immortals: 10 man unit with Gauss Blasters (170pts)
Elites
  • Deathmarks: 5 man unit (95pts)
  • Triarch Stalker with Heat Ray (150pts)
Fast Attack
  • Canoptek Wraiths: Unit of 3, Whip Coils (135pts)
  • Canoptek Scarabs: 3 bases (45pts) 
Heavy Support
  • Annihilation Barge (90pts)
  • Canoptek Spyder with Gloom Prism & Fabricator Claws (75pts)
Total: 1,750 points

Sons of Dorn/Catachan Allies

HQ
  • Master of the Forge with 2 Plasma Pistols (120pts)
Troops
  • Tactical Squad: 10 man unit with Veteran Sergeant, Power Fist, Multi-Melta, Melta & Razorback with Twin-Linked Heavy Bolters and Extra Armour (260pts)
  • Tactical Squad: 10 man unit with Veteran Sergeant, Power Fist, Missile Launcher, Flamer & Razorback with Twin-Linked Heavy Bolters and Extra Armour (260pts)
  • Scout Squad: 5 man unit with Heavy Bolter & Camo Cloaks (73pts)  
Elites
  • Dreadnought with 2 Twin-Linked Autocannons (120pts)
  • Dreadnought with 2 Twin-Linked Autocannons (120pts)
Heavy Support
  • Centurion Squad: 3 man unit with Grav-Cannons and Grav-Amps (250pts)
Allied Detachment (Imperial Guard)
  • Command Squad: 5 man unit with 3 Plasma Guns (95pts)
  • Hardened Veterans: 10 man unit with Harker, Missile Launcher, 3 Grenade Launchers and Forward Sentries (185pts)
  • Scout Sentinels: Unit of 2 with Autocannons (80pts)
  • Scout Sentinels: Unit of 1 with Autocannon (40pts)
  • Devil Dog with Multi-Melta
Total: 1,738 points

Deployment

As this was a set terrain board, myself and my opponent had no need to worry about setting terrain, instead we rolled for sides. I won the roll and decided to set up amongst the ruins (for cover mostly). Afterwards we rolled for mission and turned up Big Guns Never Tire, meaning all heavy support units killed gave a single victory point each and said units could also capture objectives (even if they are vehicles). As neither of us took characters with set Warlord Traits we rolled for them simultaneously. My opponent rolled on the Space Marine chart and got a 1, Angel of Death granting the Master of the Forge and any unit he joins the Fear special rule. I rolled on the Strategic chart and got a 6, Precipice of Deceit allowing me to move 1 unit 3D6" or 3 units 1D6" from their location during employment. Finally we placed 3 objectives down, all of which were evenly spaced out towards the middle of the table.With the preparations complete, I set up first as I won the roll for deployment.

I decided on deploying in a 3 prong approach, with my Wraiths, 2 Warrior units (one with my Lord and one with my Harbinger of Destruction) and my Triarch Stalker going up the center, a single warrior unit with attached Harbinger of the Storms and Overlord on the right flank and my Scarabs, Spyder, Annihilation Barge and Immortals with Harbinger of Despair on the left flank. My Deathmarks were kept in reserve.


Heavy support bring up the left flank...

...whilst a single scouting party bring up the right.

Like a true Imperial Fist player, my opponent set up his troops behind dugouts and ruins, using the Master of the Forge's Bolster Defenses rule to up the cover save of the ruins surrounding his Tactical Squads and Razorbacks. The Imperial Defenders took up a similar 3 prong set up, placing a Sentinel plus Harker and his unit behind a dugout road, the meat of his Marines behind any kind of ruin he could find and his more heavily armoured units including 2 Sentinels, 3 Centurions, a Dreadnought and a Devil Dog to his right flank, more or less directly opposite my heavy division. Not liking the look of the sheer weight of heavy weaponry I saw, I took advantage of my Warlord trait and moved my Immortals 3D6" behind the walls of surrounding ruins, blocking any line of sight the Imperial forces could draw to them. Finally the Imperial Fists took advantage of his Scout's and moved them 6" directly in scoring range of an objective.

Tactical Marines bunker down.

Imperial armour division

With deployment done, the Imperials attempted to seize the initiative but failed to score a 6. First turn belonged to the invaders...

Turn 1: The Necron Advance


With the first turn underway (and no enemies within viable shooting range) the Necrons had no choice but to advance forward through the ruins, the Triarch Stalker following two contingencies of Warrior units to provide targeting and covering fire. The Annihilation floated forward into nearby ruins and, with astoundingly bad luck immediately immobilised itself as the Spyder created a new Scarab base, causing itself a wound with even more helpings of bad luck and followed up by failing to repair the Annihilation Barge. Not a great start to the game. The majority of the foot soldiers did well with their difficult terrain tests with only one of the central warrior squads falling behind due to bad rolls. The Wraith, completely unaffected by intervening terrain acted as vanguard, viciously approaching the enemy Scouts with murderous intent...

Heavy support units stop unexpectedly
Wraiths loom over Imperial scout units

With deadly grace, the Wraiths successfully engaged the Scouts in combat, but due to some lucky shooting rolls on my opponent's behalf and some terrible save rolls on mine, 1 Wraith immediately got blown to bits in overwatch fire, but inflicted 3 deaths on the unit before forcing them to flee and retreating back into the ruins themselves. The Harbinger of Destruction, meanwhile was able to strip a hull point off a Dreadnought from it's Eldritch Lance but failed to do any more damage.

Wraiths attack...

...Before retreating back into the ruins

In a bout of retaliation fire,the Imperial defenders shot back at the Wraiths and, with almost every single consecutive saving roll failed on the unit gained First Blood from wiping the unit. Seeing an opportunity from the back of the defense line, autocannons hosed the Harbinger of Destruction's unit, killing him and 10 Warriors in a hail of gunfire, but with uncharacteristically lucky rolls on my behalf 6 Warriors reanimated to continue the fight.

Turn 2: From the Depths of Ruin

I realised by this turn that, unlike most of my games using Necrons I would need to advance quicker if I was to have any hope of victory and, in a desperate gambit the Harbinger of Despair teleported itself in front of the enemy, narrowly avoiding a mishap. The Abyssal Staff took out 2 Hardened Veterans whilst the Harker and the rest of the squad was ripped apart by a barrage of Gauss Blaster fire, utterly annihilating the unit. Meanwhile, as the main force advanced the Spyder created yet another Scarab base and set the unit of now 5 into the depths of the ruins whilst simultaneously still failing to repair the immobilised Annihilation Barge. Whilst this was proving to be utterly infuriating for myself, a Razorback happened to drive just within range of the vehicle's Twin-Linked Tesla Destructor, reducing the Razorback to a smoldering wreck. The Warriors, still bogged down by difficult terrain and still out of fire range hid out of line of sight as best they could for the time being.

Scarabs emerge from the ruins
The Necrons bunker down

Without provocation, the Scarabs leaped at the Devil Dog, easily reducing the vehicle to raw materials and dismembered armour with their 25 Entropic Strike attacks before dropping back into the ruins, believing themselves to be hidden from line of sight. The Imperial defenders, however realising these metallic bugs were a much bigger threat than originally thought found a gap in the wall a focused fire at the swarm, blowing 4 out of the 5 bases apart with relative ease. With such heavy weight of fire focused on the small beast, only a few units were left to fire at the newly emerged Immortals, but the curse of 1's inflicted me yet again as armour saves were almost all failed, wiping the squad with plasma and bolter rounds.

Scarabs come out from hiding...
...Before retreating in lower number

Turn 3: Vendetta

The Necrons begun to break through the urban forest and loomed over the yellow Astartes as the Triarch Stalker broke cover, blasting two Marines out in the open with it's Heat Ray, vaporising both on the spot and reducing the squad down to 3 men, but leaving itself open means it was shot back, penetrating the Quantum Fielding and stunning the walk in reply. The Deathmarks also turned up with intent to destroy the Master of the Forge, but unfortunately they inflicted absolutely no damage and was wiped in the squad's retaliation fire, coupled with the Imperial Guard Command's plasma guns in a single turn. Meanwhile, back at the Spyder's camp, the Annihilation Barge was finally repaired of it's immobility as the single Scarab base returned to replenish it's numbers (which would have to wait until next turn). The Annihilation Barge caught sight of 2 pesky Sentinels in the meantime and wasted the both of them instantly with more tesla fire whilst the Scarabs and Spyder were pulverised by the nearby Centurion squad and Rifleman Dreadnought. The death of the Spyder earned the Imperials another victory point for destroying a heavy support choice.

The Barge is repaired as the Spyder is crushed by gravitational fields
Meanwhile, the Overlord and his unit grab an objective and watch the battle unfurl...


Turn 4: Holding the Line

With the Triarch Stalker out of commission for now, the Imperial Fists focused fire at the walker. With it's Quantum Fields down and no chance of defending itself, it was reduced to wreckage as it was glanced to death with heavy weapon fire, permanently putting it out of action, but gave time for the 2 Warrior units to set up either side with one unit finishing off the Scout squad and the other taking firing positions in the nearby ruins, blasting the Catachan Command Squad, leaving the captain to flee, only to regroup in front of the Imperial Fist defense line but close to death. Meanwhile the Annihilation Barge, now mobile but utterly alone moved forward to shoot the 2 Sentinels that had moved forward to (successfully I might add) add damage to the advancing Warriors in the central column, achieving success in wrecking both Sentinels in a barrage of tesla bolts.

As if sensing the looming threat of the potentially scoring skimmer, the Centurions pondered in and unleashed gravitational waves on the Barge, but thanks to jink saves it was able to deflect 2 of the 3 hull points inflicted with it's Quantum Fielding intact, but at the cost of being rendered immobile. Again.

The Annihilation Barge sets up a gun position

Turn 5: "We Stand Defiant!"

With the line almost breached, the Imperial Fists realised that without some serious action, the Necrons would threaten to overrun their set up. Vaulting from cover, the 3 man Tactical Squad whose numbers were dropped by the Triarch Stalker earlier sacrificed all shooting to dash for the objective that Necron Warriors had now taken from their Scouts, covering fire spraying the advancing units and dropping their numbers significantly enough to put a dent in their defenses. The Centurions, realising that the objectives was more important than further damaging the Annihilation Barge let it be and stomped towards their goal. A Rifleman Dreadnought who had foolishly walked into the gun sights of the Barge to get a better aim on the advancing Warriors was wrecked by yet more Tesla fire, removing it's 2 Twin-Linked Autocannon threat from the game. With the units on both sides in place, the final dash for victory was at hand...

With Warriors contesting the objective, Astartes run to stop them
The Dreadnought bites the dust

Turn 6: Swan Song

With the final turn, it was a dash to claim as many objectives as possible. Necron Warriors in the center rushed to contest the central objective, reaching their goal simultaneously with the Astartes warriors, whilst the Centurions lumbered to claim the left objective. The right objective, as it had been since turn 2 was held fast by the Overlord's Warrior retinue. With more focus on the objectives than anything, very few shots were fired and any casualties suffered were insignificant as this final round of the game became a nail biting race to the finish. At the close of Turn 6, the Imperial Defenders held 1 Objective and gained First Blood plus an additional victory point for killing the Canoptek Spyder The Necrons merely held a single Objective with the third Objective contested by both sides.

Centurions hold an objective...
...Whilst another is contested

Final Victory Points Tally
Necrons: 3
Imperials: 5

Victory to the Imperials!


Epilogue

     Nemekh watched the battle rage from the vantage point he had taken within the ruins of this desolate world. Whilst his forces had indeed done much damage to the humans, these particular "Space Marines" as Kharimekh had called them seemed far more disciplined than those he had previously faced. He made a mental note to order a catalogue of these various Space Marine clans and their doctrines to store in the frozen archives of Ripekh.
     Azhryn pondered to his liege's side, lightning crackling about his carapace. "Should we press the attack, my lord?"
     Suddenly the paranoid glitch that cursed Nemekh's psyche since his awaken all those years ago kicked back into gear as the realisation that not all of the fallen would recover from this battle. His underestimation of these Fists of Vermillion had cost his dynasty's already dwindling numbers dearly and the urge to restore these warriors back to life became overbearing.
     "We shall retreat back to our Crown World of Ripekh" came Nemekh's order, "phase the fallen back to my flagship. Many of our fallen will repair with time, give those that don't to Infekhtys, and take the remains of our Wraiths as well."
       The Harbinger of the Storms bowed lightly to the Phaeron's command. Nemekh wished it were Kharimekh with his sage wisdom by his side, but in this battle his presence was amongst the Warriors.
     As Azhryn pulled out a compact communication devise from his metal frame he heard the Phaeron speak once more. "Do not take this as surrender, Azhryn. We will take back what is rightfully ours. We will find the chink in our enemy's armour. But for now, let them revel in the corpses of their dead. Today stands as a testimony of our might, and unlike their weak prisons of flesh our bodies will heal."
     Nemekh craned his head to look at the Cryptek. "We'll be back."

Post-Mortem

Wow, what an utterly enjoyable game! I've never played on such an amazing board against such a skilled player with such interesting set ups. The game could have gone either way, by the last turn neither of us could guess who would have won, it was a real nail biter and that's what made it so fun. I'm not even bothered by the fact I lost because at no point I ever thought I would win outright nor did I think my opponent would utterly smash me. Honestly the best game I've played in a long, long time.

As I've spent so much time writing this, particularly with the interwoven story (which I will be using to create the history of my Dynasty) I have decided to condense this post-mortem into bullet points. I know it's lazy but I'm tired and you will find it easier to read this way.

  • My definite MVU (Most Valuable Unit) has to be my Annihilation Barge. Despite being immobilised TWICE, it took out over twice it's points worth, racking up a kill tally of 1 Dreadnought, 2 Sentinels, a Razorback and a single wound off a Centurion. For 90 points, it was a bargain.
  • I can't say the same with the Harbinger of the Storm and the 15 man Necron Warrior unit. Usually I love my Harbinger of the Storm, but since the whole unit did absolutely nothing all game other than capture an objective, I would have been better off with a 5 man unit. Oh well, hindsight is a wonderful thing.
  • My rolls were atrocious. I won't be that player that blamed losing on luck, but rolling 10 fails out of 12 for 3+ armour saves, then 6 fails out of 7 for the same armour save, immobilising my Annihilation Barge on turn one via dangerous terrain whilst simultaneously losing a wound on my Spyder for Scarab breeding... well let's just say none of that helped my cause.
  • Speaking of Scarabs, I've really changed my mind on these. If used correctly they become a massive threat to your enemy. My opponent immediately decided these things needed to die as soon as they saw what they can do to a tank. I think taking more Spyders just became a must for next time...
  • Playing against Marines was intriguing, especially with my Ultramarines in the works. Bolter Drill is not a Chapter Tactic to underestimate either, it really helped the Imperials rack up a kill tally.
  • Autocannons are far nastier than I expected too. I heard that Riflemen Dreadnoughts (those with 2 Twin-Linked Autocannons) were nasty but wow do they pack a punch.
  • Also, after playing this game I realised 3 Centurions with Grav-Cannons and Grav-Amps is actually really worth the points. They're tough cookies to kill and they will murder almost anything they fire at. They're pretty harsh.

Anyway, I hope you enjoyed the concluding post to the Invasion of Sabik. Normal service to resume shortly!

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Sunday, 2 February 2014

The Sabik Skirmish: Prologue

+++ The following comes from the Imperial Archives of the Librarium of planet designation: Sabik +++

    
     Whirring, snapping claws clenched beaten metal, the tinny smell of burnt steel lingered in the air as Plasma Cutters seared through plates the side of a Baneblade's side. Servitor slaves ensured that the scraps were bolted to the remains of the ruins surrounding them whilst Catachan warriors dug trenches in the surrounding area. The Astartes of the Imperial Fists knew that the guardsmen were more adept at jungle warfare but couldn't help but to admire their will to adapt and the determination to work through the bitter cold to bolster their defenses.
     The city was covered in the glistening white of freshly fallen snow, the air chilled to a deadly degree to all but the armies of the Adeptus Astartes and the hardened Catachan warriors.
     The Master of the Forge paused briefly to stare up to the sky in the hazy light of the day, partly to look for any signs of the impending invasion but also to utter a prayer to the Emperor that the Imperial forces on Sabik would prevail in their absence.
     When the xenos message had arrived on the planet, many Imperial citizens fled for their lives, taking whatever ships they could board at the time to evacuate to the nearest Imperial colony they could find. Few stayed behind, but this was humanity's domain and the Imperial Fists and Catachan were determined to prove that there were those who would defend that territory until their dying breath.

     As if on queue to the Imperial Fist's stirring, a luminescent light burst into being, the computerised tracing a flickering outline of a skeletal creature, roughly the size of an Astartes. Platelets of ghostly metal swayed and chinked softly from behind the morbid creature, it's right hand swollen in size as witchfire danced from it's palm, licking it's metallic limb.
     "Ah," the creature exclaimed with peak interest, it's mouth unstirring as it spoke. "Even as your people burn within the solar system, a few still stand defiant in denying us of our birthright."
     "We stand in the sight of the Emperor and we will stand against the will of xenos scum like you!" The audacity of the creature's statement. The Overlord merely responded with a cock of it's head, though a shiver ran down the Imperial Fist's spine as he got the impression it would have smirked mockingly if it still had lips.
     "Foolish. Poor strategic choice. You should stand beside your race on Sabik and give this place to us. As a gesture of good will, we will even join you in repelling the enemy forces should we succeed in waking our soldiers from their slumber, deep in the tombs below your feet. I will give you this last chance to accept my gracious offer."
     The impertinence of the Overlord cemented the Master's resolve. Without replying to the xenos's insult of an offer he raised the arms of his servo-harness in readiness and bellowed in defiance. "Then come and take us! You have no hope of defeating us, why else offer a desperate plea for our subordination?"
     Silence befell them for a few moments. Suddenly, without provocation the Overlord burst into tinny laughter as the statement registered in his necrodermis skull.
     "Then that is your choice. Now you will know why they call me 'The Summoner'."
     The alien green hologram flickered out as one of the Catachan warriors called out, "over there, in the ruins!"
     Astartes turned to to look in the direction of the ruins for the disturbance. Their metahuman eyes picked up expanding glints of pristine metal as Necron Warriors pulled themselves out of the snowy ground, gauss flayers in tow as crescent moon shaped shadows descended on them from the void.

     The Imperial Fists Master of the Forge turned his sight to the ships above as he embarked onto his Razorback.
     "Emperor Protects."

+++ Report End +++

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Saturday, 1 February 2014

The Invasion of Sabik: Return to Table Top Nation

So some of you may remember that last year I went to a magical place called Table Top Nation, in fact exactly one year and two days ago to be precise. Well my hobby group decided to make another outing today to play yet another game of Apocalypse.

Now, this is usually where I do a sketchy battle report detailing what happened in said Apocalypse battle, however truth be told I wasn't going to join in this particular game. It wasn't that I was trying to be anti-social or anything, but when you have barely 2,000 points of Necrons and not even a legally working Ultramarine army, the prospect of having my entire force wiped out by a single Baneblade shot would have just totally ruined my my day if I'm perfectly honest with you all. I actually went down to have a game against a friend of mine on a well kitted out table (I will write a battle report on this soon) as well as to take advantage of discounted miniatures there. I ended up splashing out on 2 Drop Pods, a Tactical Squad, a Detail Brush (because mine is knackered), Macragge Blue spray, 2 technical paints (Blood for the Blood God and Typhus Corrosion) and a pot of Fenrisian Grey.

New toys!

That's not to say that I was totally anti-social, I did nip over from my game from time to time to take some snaps of the Apocalypse game.

Without a doubt the centerpiece of the entire Apocalypse game was this beautifully painting Titan - and the Reaver Titan isn't bad either. I kid of course, I mean the Reaver Titan. It is absolutely stunning to behold in person with lots of little characteristic insignias painted on. The model really had a presence on the board.

However what you see isn't just what you get for the Reaver Titan had a party trick. Built inside the body was a music player that, for the most part randomly played machine whining noises, but as a laugh various other music blared out from time to time. The Titan even played the Imperial March at one point on request as it strolled forward. Unfortinately they out right refused to play my suggestion of Rick Astley's "Never Gonna Give You Up". Shame.

I also got a picture with the Titan and the Raptor's Thunderhawk Gunship that made an appearance last year. The person who brought the Thunderhawk told me that this particular model was made from kitbashing, something I didn't notice until I was told today. I believe a Rhino and a Storm Raven contributed to the bits. I decided I may well steal the idea and make my own Thunderhawk eventually instead of shelling out £400 for a Forge World version.

But it wasn't all about big machines of death as James from my last Another Army article also brought his amazing Tyranids, travelling to an exotic jungle for a one off photo shoot, the posers.

Tyrannic Invasion!

Whilst I'm posting pictures, here is some eye candy pictures of some of the nice wargaming tables you can play on at Table Top Nation, including some tables that look like they were inspired by Assassin's Creed IV: Black Flag...

Dropzone Commander Board
Snow Board
Infinity Board
I remember this in Black Flag...
...Yes I definitely remember this too

The second battle board down in the above pictures is actually the battle board I played my one of one game on today. I would tell you how it went but I'm saving the details for my battle report, and I will be writing a lead up story before then so stay tuned for that. In the meantime, here's a taster picture from the battle.