Monday, April 26, 2010

CAMPAIGN: Thoughts on using Battle Missions, Part 2

 So how can we use these categorizations in a campaign? This, of course, depends on which kind of campaign we are playing.

For a map campaign, there is generally an attacker and a defender, which certainly simplifies matters. Battle missions can be used here to add a bit more flavorful spice to the proceedings. To decide whether you use the Attacker's or Defender's mission there could be a strategy roll, determined either by a simple roll off or even going back to the old Strategy Ratings. Sufficient success on the roll (say, 3 or 4 more than the opponent's roll) could allow an army to use its Envelopment mission. If they win, it results in greater gains for them, as in an extra territory conquered, and of course greater losses if they lose the mission as well. Even if the attacker ties it would still count as a (normal) loss. Think of it as a double-down move where you win big or go home. Standard (or nearly standard, such as Dice Like Thunder missions) could also be incorporated into this schema in the case that there is a tie for the Strategy roll.

You could also have access to different Missions be tied to different hexes or nodes. Control a territory that has a large defense installation on it? Congratulations, you may now use the Prepared Assault mission when you are attacking. Is the terrain on a certain hex very dense, or has been prepared to hold off invasion for some time? You can use the Trench Warfare or Close Quarters Action to defend this area.

They may also allow you to perform special maneuvers. Take the Daemon's Invasion mission for example. They could use this as a defensive mission (such as the defense of their "capital", or the first entry point) or they could use it to launch an assault anywhere on the board and have a new rallying point for their forces. This could be coopted by another army to represent a massive teleporter/tellyporta/wraith gate that the enemy forces can use.

A narrative campaign could also use the missions in a very straightforward manner, as shown by the tree below:

The great thing about this format is that if you are bored playing a certain set of missions you can always either switch armies or simply reorganize your selection of missions from the others in the Battle Missions book. Play a Guard army that relies on speed and reserve tactics instead of the old gunline? Switch out Trench Warfare for a more fluid defense mission like Feigned Retreat or Cut & Run instead. And if you wanted to stick with the Missions aspect of the campaign, you can always switch out the Apocalypse at the end for Clash of Heroes, which is often just as epic.

So those are my thoughts. This isn't intended to be the end all be all of Battle Missions campaign usage, but more of a jumping off point for your own adventures. The great thing about the book is that it adds a lot of flavor to your campaigns with very little effort on your part, making campaigns easier to plan and more enjoyable to run. It's a great resource, and a lot of fun too.

So let's hear it. What ideas do YOU have for using the book in campaigns?

Saturday, April 24, 2010

CAMPAIGN: Thoughts on Using Battle Missions, part 1

 As a bit of a follow up to my initial thoughts on using Kill Team in campaigns I thought I'd post a bit about using the other parts of the Battle Missions book... namely, the Battle Missions.

For those of you not in the know, each race in 40k gets 3 specialized Battle Missions, each with unique deployment options, objectives and special rules. Each race's Missions are intended to be very true to the central tenets of that faction- Space Marines strike with careful planning and plenty of orbital drops, Dark Eldar raid opposing militaries for slaves and lead them into ambushes, and the Imperial Guard march to war with the backing of heavy artillery and well constructed defenses.

After paging through the book a few times, I noticed a pattern emerging. Almost all of the races' missions can be categorized as one of three options: Attack, Defend, and Envelopment. Attack and Defend don't need further explanation, but Envelopment probably does. I see this as a risky gambit used by an army that could either turn out amazingly well or turn into a crushing defeat. Examples might be all or nothing Alpha strikes, desperate counter attacks and any tactic that tries to use the enemy's momentum against them.

For example, let's take a look at the Imperial Guard missions. Prepared Assault is the Imperial Guard's Attack mission, as they bravely surge against the enemy's lines with the thunderous boom of their cannons (mostly) aiding their approach. War of Attrition is a good example of an Envelopment mission, as the Guard decide to use the enemy's momentum against them by using their superior disposability to force the enemy to commit ever more troops to the conflict. It's a risky strategy, but one that can pay off big if they win. Finally, Trench Warfare has the Guard in a supremely Defensive position, as units that don't move are considered to have dug in and therefore receive area terrain cover saves and there are plenty of prepared obstacles available.

Here are my thoughts on which races' missions are Attack, Defense and Envelopment.

Chaos Space Marines: Pillage, Black Crusade, Scorched Earth
Chaos Daemons *: Night Fight, Invasion, Fight to the Death
Dark Eldar: Dawn Raid, Slave Raid, Feigned Retreat
Eldar: Pre-Emptive Strike, Flank Attack, Mobile Defense
Imperial Guard: Prepared Assault, War of Attrition, Trench Warfare
Necrons *: Ambush, Reconnaissance in Force, Implacable Advance
Orks: Blitzkrieg, Waaaagh!, Cut & Run
Space Marines: Vanguard, Surprise Attack, All-Around Defense
Tau: Vertical Envelopment, Counter Attack, Fighting Withdrawal
Tyranids *: First Contact, Wave Assault, Infestation

This is just my personal view on things- you can of course make your own designations. You may also notice that several entries have an * next to their name. These are the ones that I believe don't necessarily hold to the archetype.

Chaos Daemons are no surprise as they tend to be format warpers, ha ha. And yes, you can feel free to hit me for that one. Their missions are thematically based on either location or time of the attack rather any kind of strategy. I chose Invasion as an inappropriately named Defense mission because often other forces will try to close the portal, thus making the Daemons defend it, but it could just as easily be used in an assault (I hear those things can just pop up wherever they damn well please!).

Likewise, Necron missions are more about time and location than anything else. They represent the formulaic strategy that the armies of the star gods use to wage war. The Necrons do not defend, as they simply materialize near the battle site, execute the mission, and then go on their merry way. Ambush is about as close to a defense mission that they have, but that's really only emblematic of people unknowingly awakening a Tomb World at the start of the hostilities.

Tyranids, like the Necrons, have a bit of an escalation feel to them. We start with first hostilities, escalate to repeated assaults on the defenders, and finally escalate to the final part of the campaign where both sides have well adapted to each other. Infestation is the closest to a defense mission as the world's counterattack would probably involve battle hardened veterans of earlier assaults, and the Nids will be on ground that they are familiar with. Still, not as clean cut as the others.

Next time, I take a look at how we can integrate these missions into the different types of campaigns. See you then.

The above image is from Games Workshop and is used without permission.

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

BATTLE REPORT: 1500 vs Nurgle Daemons

Another battle report for you fine folks from our Escalation League. This time we're finally hitting the big leagues- 1500 pts. It's good to be home.

Text version here

Mission: Take and Hold (two objectives)
Deployment: Spearhead

My list:
Company Command Squad with 2 plasma, 1 melta, medic, plasma pistol, astropath, meltabombs, and chimera with ML/HF
Al'Rahem's platoon command with 4 melta and a chimera with ML/HF
3 Infantry Squads with power weapons, flamers. Attached Commissar with power weapon. Two of the sergeants have meltabombs.
2 Special Weapon Squads, one with 3 flamers, one with 2 demo charges and a flamer
Veteran squad led by Harker with 3 grenade launchers and an autocannon
2 Vendettas (each operating independently)
Hellhound with Multimelta
Leman Russ Battle Tank with heavy bolter

His list, as far as I can remember it:
Ku'Gath the Plaguefather
Epidemius, Tallyman of Nurgle
2 squads of 10 plague bearers with Icons
1 squad of 10 nurglings
Daemon Prince of Nurgle, Wings, Armor, Breath of Chaos
Deamon Prince of Nurgle, Armor, Breath of Chaos
Soulgrinder with all three mouth cannons

He won the roll and let me go first. Objectives were placed at opposite ends of the battlefield. I reserved everything (SWS go in the two Vendettas) except for Harker, who I infiltrated onto his objective.

Turn 1a: Nothing happens.
Turn 1b: My opponent forgot to pray to Nurgle and the wrong wave (containing 1 plaguebearer squad, the Princes, the Grinder and Ku'Gath) comes in. The Grinder, the walking Prince and the plaguebearers come in near my objective while the other two come in next to Harker. Shooting from them makes Harker's squad break.

Turn 2a: All of my reserves come in, and all of my outflanking rolls let me bring them in on the side with my objective. One Vendetta immobilizes the Grinder and destroys its mouth gun, rendering it useless. The rest of my shooting grinds the plaguebearer squad down to 3 models and takes a wound off of the Daemon Prince. Harker's squad falls back slowly and takes a wound off of Papa Nurgle.
Turn 2b: All of the rest of his reserves come in, and strangely all come in next to my objective. Papa Nurgle and the winged prince move towards my objective. Papa then takes out two more members of Harker's squad, dooming them to continue falling back.

Turn 3a: My shooting grinds Epidemius' squad down to himself and 3 plaguebearers, and I reduce the Nurgling mob to a single model with a single wound thanks to FRFSRF and massed flamers on my combined infantry squad. The wingless Prince is reduced to 1 wound. Harker and his squad continue to dawdle and take another wound off of Papa Nurgle.
Turn 3b: The lone Nurgling, Epidemius and the two plaguebearer squads charge my combined infantry squad. The sergeants and commissar all gang up on Epidemius and manage to take 2 wounds off of him. Elsewhere the wingless Prince and Papa Nurgle move towards my objective, while the winged prince tries to take out my Leman Russ but doesn't quite make it there.

Turn 4a: The wingless Prince is eliminated. One of my Vendettas turboboosts towards the enemy objective. My shooting takes 2 wounds off of the winged Prince. In assault, I kill the nurgling but fail to do anything else.
Turn 4b: Epidemius farts and kills a few guardsmen. Papa Nurgle starts rushing back to the home objective. The winged prince blows up the Leman Russ. In assault, I still fail to do any wounds and lose more guardsmen. The tally now lets him wound me on 2s rerollable. Ouch.

Turn 5a: Vendetta continues to turboboost towards the enemy objective. The other 'detta and the rest of my forces destroy 2 Nurglings that were spawned by Papa. In assault, I lose yet more guardsmen. The tally now lets all Nurgle daemons get FNP on a 3+.
Turn 5b: Hellhound gets blown up by the winged prince. Papa tries to take out the Vendetta with a Breath of Chaos but fails. In assault, Epidemius finally goes down to the weight of power weapon attacks on his corpulent frame.

Turn 6a: My company command squad eliminates the Daemon Prince and my opponent concedes. I win 1.5 objectives to 0 (I had my Vendetta on his home objective at this point, but it probably would not have been scoring thanks to Papa.)

After action report: Biggest piece of luck was having all of the monsters come in first. If they had come in later I would have eaten a fair few Breaths and other templates, not to mention them crashing into my lines. The Harker distraction paid off, splitting his forces and allowing me to deal with them piecemeal. Overall, I'm pleased with how the game turned out and how my list is running.

And don't listen to people who say that power weapons are useless against Daemons. They are AWESOME against Nurgle.

Monday, April 19, 2010

PROGRESS: A look forward

Today, a bit of a look forward as to the future of the Fortunan 24th. My previous progress assessment can be found here, and is from back in January.

So I've made a fair bit of progress, but there is still work left to do. I unfortunately got very little done in the past couple of weeks of Escalation League, but I should hopefully be back on track for the next round. I'm trying to constrain myself to the models that I believe I can construct given the bits that I have, but a few are evidence of my unconquered plastic addiction and hopeful nature.

Particularly, the Psyker Battle Squad, the second squad of Diamonds vets and the Ogryn squad. I think these might simply be completionist tendencies on my part and will probably (and in the Ogryns case, definitely) be out of my current bits allowance. I can probably justify them to myself as they will be great conversion opportunities that will take a lot of time, giving me something to do during my upcoming Year of Uncertain Employment (coming to a blog near you this September!).

Another note that I would like to make is that not all of the green cells are necessarily "finished" finished. They are at a 3 color standard with the details that I think are necessary to make them table top usable. I still have various ideas for ornamentation and other details that will probably cause me to update their look at some point in the future, particularly if my greenstuff and plasticard skillz increase.

But for now, that's where I'm standing. Thanks for reading, and see you next time.

Wednesday, April 14, 2010


A video battle report for you all. We chose a scenario from out of the Battle Missions expansion called Invasion. Daemons pour forth from a portal, and my boys and girls are the only thing in their way. Who will win? Text version below the video.

Text version here

Mission: INVASION!

Setup: There is a large portal in the center of the map and 4 objectives that are halfway between it and the four table edges. I have the option to deploy anywhere (except within 12" of the portal) or can reserve and have them come on from any table edge. Chaos Daemons take first turn and can walk on from the portal if they choose.

My list:
Company Command with Plasma Pistol, 3 Meltaguns, Astropath, Vet with pistol
Chimera with ML and HF
Vet Squad with Harker, Missile Launcher and 3 grenade launchers
Platoon Command with Al'Rahem, 4 meltaguns, chimera with ML and HF
3 Infantry Squads, power weapons, flamers. 1 commissar with power weapon.
Special Weapon Squad, 3 flamers.
Hellhound with HF and extra armor.
Leman Russ with HB

His list:
Great Unclean One (Papa Nurgle)
Daemon Prince of Khorne
2 Bloodcrushers
10 Bloodletters with Skulltaker
2 squads of 10 plaguebearers
2 squads of 5 Pink Horrors, both with Bolt of Change and one with the Changeling

I choose to reserve everything, he chooses to have Papa Nurgle, a squad of plaguebearers and both Pink Horror squads enter first. Nurgle agrees with him.

Turn 1a: Papa and one of the Horror squads walk out from the portal, the others deep strike near the objectives.

Turn 2a: Bloodletters (with Skulltaker)and the Bloodcrushers come in.
Turn 2b: My Vendetta (with SWS inside), Company Command, Leman Russ and Harker's squad all come in from one of the small table edges. Shooting kills most of one of the Horror Squads and picks off a few Bloodletters.

Turn 3a: His Daemon Prince and final squad of plaguebearers make their entrance near my forces. Things mill about.
Turn 3b: The rest of my reserves come in. Al'Rahem and her platoon come in on the opposite small board edge, threatening one of the plaguebearer squads. My Hellhound arrives to support my Vendetta, but gets Glamoured into shooting the Vendetta (thankfully doing no damage) instead of roasting the Bloodletters. My Command Squad disembarks and two BIDs take out the Prince. A few plaguebearers bite it and a Bloodcrusher is picked off.

Turn 4a: The remaining Crusher assaults my command squad but they hold. The Plaguebearers try to do the same to Harker's squad, but don't quite make it. The Bloodletters assault my Hellhound and manage to immmobilize it.
Turn 4b: The Platoon flames then assaults the plaguebearers, getting stuck in but off the objective. Vendetta kills a few bloodletters, the Hellhound and Leman Russ whittle the Pink Horrors on one of the objectives to two models (got the Changeling!). Harker's squad gets the plagebearers down to 2 models and I assault, losing Harker in the process. The Hellhound is wrecked, and the Crusher wipes my Command Squad.

Turn 5a: Papa Nurgle wades in to assault the platoon, but they hold. The Letters and the remaining Horror from the first squad I shot at move toward the objective, but the Horror is the only one to make it there. The Plaguebearers and the Crusher eliminate my remaining vets.
Turn 5b: Al'Rahem's chimera moves onto an objective, the Vendetta does likewise (the latter is contested by the 1 horror). Shooting fails to take out the Horror.

Game ends- score is 1-1.

I also had a game against Tyranids in First Contact... boy is that a butchery mission! Since most of my force relies on reserves to be useful being stuck out on the table is a nightmare. I lost half of my force on his first turn, then proceeded to be mulched to death by greater swarms of gribblies. Very historically accurate, I suppose, but I would need a much different force to be competitive in that mission.

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

One Year Later...

Well, it's been a year since I started this blog. A year since I first started purchasing Warhammer miniatures. A year since I first tried my hand at modeling and painting. Let's see how far I've come!

Here is a pic from one of my first games with my Guard, without any of the fancy editing techniques that I have begun applying in post production:

That's a pretty mismatched lot, I think you'd agree. I believe that the Predator is supposed to a Leman Russ, the Rhinos are Chimeras and the various blobs of white and black are supposed to be guardsmen... well, at least that last part is true. This army contained the sum total of my model collection, as well as more than a few subcontractors from my friend's armies. And the pictures not even cropped!

Now let's see what the Fortunan 24th have become in a year:

The sum total of my firepower that is table top ready.

King: Heinrich von Acht, attended by a Veteran of each suit and an astropath
Queen: [unnamed], attended by four specialist troopers
Jacks: Armored Sentinels Stompy Jr., Stompy Lesser, and Stopper
Xs and 9s: Heavy Weapons Platoon
King: Remy LeBeau
Queen: Lady Catherine "Kitty" Carde, attended by four specialist troopers
Jacks: Scout Sentinels [not present]
Xs and 9s: Long Patrol Platoon, with attached specialist squads
Spades, the "Black Jacks"
Ace: Le Soldat Marbo (see below)
King: [unknown]
Jacks: Stormtrooper squad "Blue Team". Teams "Red" and "Yellow" are not present yet.
Xs and 9s: Stormtrooper initiates, Sentry ("Sandbaggers") and Grenadier teams. The "Sandbaggers" are only partially in attendance.
 King: [unknown]
Jacks: [unknown]
Xs and 9s: Adeptus Mechanicus devotees and attached assault weapon servitors
Mechanized Support
Leman Russ Battle Tank: "Farmer's Hand"
Leman Russ Battle Tank: "Poorly Planned Purchase"
Hellhound: "Talon"
Chimera: "Guarded Left"
Chimera: "The Followed Suit"
Valkyrie: "The Dutchman"
Valkyrie: "The Door"
Valkyrie: "The Barn"

Those are my forces that are painted to a 3 color minimum. In the next couple of days hopefully the Hellhound will be fully detailed, the Sandbaggers will be fully modeled up and a Commissar will join my ranks. Until then, thank you all for your year of support, and look forward to my 100th post! It's been a long time coming...

Monday, April 12, 2010

KILL TEAM: Thoughts on its use in Campaigns

I've been thinking about Kill Team a lot lately. Maybe it was the huge brawl from last Tuesday, or maybe it has intersected and mixed with my thoughts on my Changeling campaign, but most of my thoughts have been on how to best incorporate small units into campaign style missions. There are two general categories of campaigns that my thoughts incorporate, map based and narrative. BTW, thanks to Col Corbane for the handy dandy blog that he has on campaigns- it's been a great read so far!

We'll begin with my thoughts on map based. I've been thinking about 40k campaigns in general for a bit now, probably ever since the end of the last (and first) that I was involved with. It was a bit of a trial by fire as it was a massive map based game with resource allocation, veterancy stats, different types of terrain, etc... really, quite a bit TOO much going on, especially for someone who a) didn't have proper models yet (oh cardboard box Wave Serpents, you were great!) and b) had just started playing the game.

But anyway, back on topic, the particular rules set that we were using had two different kinds of battle groups- normal armies and recon forces. The normal armies were, well, normal armies, while the recon forces were limited to 500 pts of whatever you wanted. These forces had a longer LOS on the campaign map and could attempt to sneak about the map gathering intel on the enemy.

One thing that I found very distressing about this was that units with Stealth, Infiltrate and Scout were no better at, well, being stealthy, infiltrating or scouting than any other unit. Especially as a member of a force equipped with Rangers and Pathfinders this was a bit of a slap in the face.

So this has led back to more thoughts by me- how could I simulate a small, elite team of commandos attacking an enemy installation? The answer of course, being Kill Team. This is a rough draft of what the mission might look like:


Kill Team Mission: Sabotage

Your squad has been charged with destroying materiele vital to the enemy's war effort- live or die, destroy the target!

The Kill Team consists of the standard mission size as found in the Battle Missions expansion. In addition, the Specialists optional rule is in use for the attacker's forces. As this mission is taking place far behind enemy lines the Kill Team may ONLY contain models that have the Stealth, Infiltrate and/or Scout USRs. This may include models that are given one of these USRs as part of their Specialist training.

Optional rule: Units with Deep Strike may also be used, including units that gain this ability from a vehicle.

In addition, one infantry model in the Attacker's kill team must be given the Demolitions Specialist ability. This model is equipped with a demolitions charge. If the model is killed it drops the charge. Any other infantry model that moves within 1" of the charge may pick it up, and is from then on considered equipped with it.

The Defender will set up the terrain for the mission and include one building that will be designated the Target. The Defender then deploys first anywhere that he or she chooses on the map. The Attacker then chooses a table quarter that his or her team is attacking from and deploys there.

Objective: Normal Kill Team objectives are in effect, in addition to the destruction of the Target. If a model equipped with a demolitions charge assaults the Target it will be rigged to explode.

The outcome of this mission might be that the enemy loses access to one of its Heavy Support or Fast Attack slots in the next mission, or any other detriment that you think is sufficiently nasty for players to wish to do this.


A way to make sure that sending in a Kill Team isn't simply an automatic choice might be that every player has a limited number of Specialist points- if they are killed while on mission, you lose the Specialist points and may soon be unable to conduct your black ops missions.

Other variations on this mission exist- you could have an Assassination run to execute the enemy commander, depriving the enemy of their HQ in the coming battle (though the HQ would likely be able to participate in the Kill Team mission, making it quite a bit harder for the attacker!), just something that would affect the campaign map or the next mission.

This particular kind of mission could also be incorporated into Narrative campaigns quite easily. Many huge conflicts begin with the smallest of actions, and Kill Team is very representative of this in the 40k universe. What might begin as a squabble between the Governor's guards and the local Guard regiment might escalate into full blown heresy, or a particularly nasty orbital defense laser might have to be eliminated before the Planetstrike can begin. Of course, the normal Kill Team mission may also be used to spice up the action. Perhaps as a campaign opener both sides are fighting over an alien artifact- depending on who wins the mission their army might have to make a fighting retreat while the enemy pursues them in force?

So there are a lot of ideas out there, and I'll probably be coming back to this subject in the future as I really want to put on a cool, probably narrative campaign sometime in the future for my FLGS. I'll try include my initial thoughts on campaigns and the Battle Missions book in general sometime later this week.

Friday, April 9, 2010

Kill Team 6-Way

So I got to the store early on Tuesday so that I could get some painting done on Kitty. (Un)fortunately when I got there a huge, intricate board had been set up and several of my gaming group were standing around it.

Apparently the will of the people (and especially Jake, the owner of the board) was "we're tired of League games... let's do a huge Kill Team mission!"

For those few of you not in the know, Kill Team is a new mission type released with the Battle Missions book. Each player gets a 200 pt force from the following FOC: 0-1 Elite, 0-2 Troops, 0-1 Fast Attack. Additionally, each model is its own unit. There is no set time limit- you just play until everyone is dead or a force runs away (which begins happening when they have lost half of their models). Normally you would also be able to bestow a USR on 3 different models but we decided to nix that simply due to complexity.

Since last time I got butchered when I was simply using a veteran squad I decided to go for more warm bodies. 1 platoon, 3 meltaguns, 2 grenade launchers, a flamer and a missile launcher with a plasma pistol for the commander.

We ruled that her orders could be given to any 10 mooks within her command radius... the downside being that for things like FRFSRF they would only ever be able to target 1 model. This of course led to discussion about pinning, which I played as one nearby guardsman would take a pinning test if someone got sniped. I think adding a few rules from Necromunda/Mordheim (especially using a leader's leadership if you are within a certain radius) would be good additions to the game, but that's for another time.

John got his Eldar out and went for 5 rangers and 3 shining spears.

Caleb brought out his Space Wolves with some sniper scouts and some grey hunters. The other two players brought 10 sisters and a sanguinary priest, while the other brought 5 plague marines and a rhino with dozer blade. There were also Chaos Daemons consisting of some plague bearers and a bloodcrusher.

It was a pretty crazy- Eldar and Guard fought the Daemons while the other three tussled on the other side of the board. My Guardsmen were on fire, knocking out the Crusher, a shining spear and a plaguebearer with lasgun and melta fire. We eventually tried to charge the Eldar sniper nest, but got bogged down by deep striking plaguebearers and an oncoming horde of Plague Marines. I managed to slow them down by wrecking their rhino with the missile launcher, but poor rolls soon saw me dip below half.

On the other side of the map, Wolves and FNP/FC sistahs were battling it out. One particularly hilarious scene was when the two sides were climbing up on ledges to try and see over the grey hunter duking it out with a plague bearer.

Eventually it came down to the 5 plague marines vs the sisters. The sisters made a fighting retreat, lurking around corners and waiting for the Marines to walk into their trap.

Unfortunately it soon came to close combat, and the sisters were soon broken.

It was a fun time, and next time I will definitely be trying out my triple Armoured Sentinel list, as well as a few rules variations/additions.

Thursday, April 8, 2010

DEVOURING HUMANITY: Tactica Tyrannofex

Hello again! This is Russell back again to talk about what I think is an under appreciated model in the new Tyranid codex: the Tyrannofex. Please note, however, that I don't claim that it is a "good" model, just one that I run frequently, and that I think more people should run. Now that I've lost all credibility by admitting to running a model that isn't good, let's talk about the choices for unique weapons that the Tyrannofex can carry.

His name is Jake. Say "Hi Jake!"

Fleshborer Hive:
I think a lot of people are taken in by this very sub-par weapon. Assault 20 does sound rather intimidating, I'll admit. But let's look at it this way: what else has Assault 20? Twenty Gaunts. And those gaunts are less than half the cost, can hold objectives, could take a Mycetic Spore, and are debateably harder to kill due to their ability to get cover saves and the fact that they have 20 wounds (kind of). Honestly, I think 20 Gaunts is probably a better choice than the Fleshborer Hive Tyrannofex, and I don't think 20 Gaunts is a particularly good choice.

Acid Spray:
I don't have a lot of experience with this particular weapon choice, though it seems reasonable. It makes your Tyrannofex very good at pushing stubborn units off of an in-cover objective. Eldar Rangers or Imperial Guardsmen with Camo Cloaks can be frustrating for Tyranids to get off objectives, and Acid Spray, along with the Thorax Swarm the Tyrannofex comes with, can be very effective at killing them. But this does make your Tyrannofex into a very short range, very slow beast who will spend the first several turns just moving up the board doing nothing. I think that Acid Spray is worth considering, if you are having trouble with your opponents going to ground in cover on objectives, but I am not sure that it justifies the very high cost of the Tyrannofex.

Rupture Cannon:
This is the thing that really sells the Tyrannofex for me. Two shots at BS 3 is nothing impressive, and I do warn you that this weapon will miss at frustrating times. But a long range, high-strength weapon is something that the Tyranids are completely lacking outside of the Tyrannofex. When you really need a tank across the board to die, and can't get the Hiveguard or Zoanthropes there in time, the Tyrannofex is a great backup plan. I have had great success breaking open transport tanks with the Tyrannofex so that my Genestealers can assault the embarked troops. The Rupture Cannon is also a good answer to some high speed, long range weaponry, such as the Imperial Guard Valkyrie/Vendetta, which can outrun and outrange your other tankbreaking options fairly easily. All in all, I think that the Rupture Cannon is the best option for the Tyrannofex.

The Tyrannofex is a very expensive model, and I would not recommend trying to squeeze it into any list below 1500 points, and even then it is questionable. But it can be very effective as a long range gunner. I also usually move it slowly up the board, using its Cluster Spines and Thorax Swarm in the late turns once the tanks are all down. I have also found that the Tyrannofex rarely dies, because the amount of firepower that the opponent has to pump into it to bring it down is usually not worth the amount of damage that it does.

All in all, the Tyrannofex is not actually a good model. It is very expensive and does not do very much damage. But I feel justified in taking it on a regular basis simply because it fills a hole that the Tyranids are not able to fill with any other model. Tyranids are sorely lacking in long range, high-strength shooters, and the Tyrannofex is an overpriced option, but it does the job, and honestly that is good enough to justify its points in a lot of games.

Wednesday, April 7, 2010

Al'Rahem Counts-As: Catherine "Kitty" Carde

First step of my round 4 painting/modeling is finished- my version of the famed Cpt. Al'Rahem!

Biographical Information:
Catherine "Kitty" Carde is the Hearts-Queen (commander of Hearts platoon) of the 24th Fortunan, but she wasn't always this way. Though born into the ruling House of Carde her future on Fortuna stepped into Glory's path when she signed up to join the Imperial Guard. Although accepted into an officer training school due to her noble lineage, Catherine decided to instead slog it through the ranks, beginning her career as a simple Guardswoman.

Due to her psychic potential she was placed in the Hearts suit, but the one of the only facet that she excelled at was manipulating the psychically resonant crystals that are one of Fortuna's main exports. With this, as well as proper conditioning from her mentor Hearts-King Remy, she was able to use her abilities to form Prism, a blade of radiant energy that can easily slice through any known material, and some say also the soul itself.

Removing the lasgun from the model was a bit of work. A bit of filing and greenstuff was needed before the final paint job.

She also seemed quite adept at picking up on astropathic signals through the shifting colors of her blade. This, combined with her natural leadership talents, inspired Clubs-King Heinrich to appoint her Queen of the forward patrol platoon, as he knows that when he needs her aid she will arrive, unasked but definitely not unwanted.

In game she has already proven herself time and again, and now she has the paint job to go along with the pained grimaces my opponents have when I announce that my army is coming from EVERYWHERE.

Hope you enjoyed.

Thursday, April 1, 2010

Where have the Imperial Armour updates gone?

As many of you might know, Forgeworld has recently updated there website so that it is, well, navigable. And it's a pretty slick redesign too and one that I approve of. However, there seems to be something missing... namely, the free .pdfs with experimental rules as well as updates to Imperial Armour 1 and 2.

The experimental rules I can understand, as things like the Hazard Suit and the new Ork tanks are either in IA Apocalypse 2 or are going to be in the soon to be released IA 8. But the updates make less sense, as I don't think they've released new versions of IA 1 and 2.

Does anyone know if the updated rules appear in IA Apocalypse 2 or are simply hidden somewhere new on the website? I'm curious because the updated rules for Deathstorm Drop Pods and Sentry Turrets sound perfect for a theoretical second army that I'm planning and I want to make sure that I am using the most current version of the rules... and that my opponent can too, in case some questions come up.


**UPDATE** Just got this off of Warseer thanks to Spacker:
Downloads section is missing. I rang and asked them, apparently it'll be gone for a few weeks but when it's added back in they expect it to have some of the new update PDFs for the older IA books. Whether this means DKoK and Renegades are getting their updates in a few weeks they couldn't tell me, however ...

*images taken from Forgeworld, makers of awesome things that I would like to use some day!