Black on Black (Iron Hands vs Raven Guard)

Wednesday, November 30, 2011


I was able to get a 2000pt game in last sunday against John's revamped Iron Hands army. He had a lot more of his stuff painted/highlighted since the last time we played and it's looking really good; way more progress than me, and I can't just blame it on recently having a baby... John also recently became a proud parent, a few weeks before me (congrats to you and Melissa!!)

We rolled up pitched battle & annihilation for the mission. The Iron Hands took first turn and were packing a lot more firepower this time around: 2 shooty dreads, snipers led by Telion, 4 missile launcher devastators, 3 typhoon/HB speeders, 2 full sized tactical squads, and 8 tactical terminators led by Lysander and a Librarian. I was rolling with Khan, my 4 plasma command squad, Master of the Forge on bike w/ conversion beamer, 2 full sized bike squads packing meltas, sniper scouts led by Telion, 2 rifleman dreads, 2 plasma cannon dreads, and the debut of my brand new (finally assembled) thunderfire cannon.


First turn, all of my dreadnoughts were suppressed or destroyed, half of my scouts were killed and the Iron Hands Telion "telioned" the Raven Guard Telion (yes, despite the 2+ stealth/bolstered cover save).  But what was important was that my Thunderfire survived the first volly, as I was really interested in seeing how that would perform. Have to say, I'm really impressed with it! In my turn, it put 15 wounds on the terminators which helped to thin them out. I'm pretty sure it earned its points back with that one volley (which is good because it died the next turn). I'll definitely be using this in future games and really wish the kit wasn't so horrible or I'd run a couple of them. Maybe I'll convert or scratch build a second one if I can find some decent inspiration.

Second turn, the terminators gated forward and let me tell you, Lysander alone in your deployment zone is scary enough without the bodyguard. I didn't really have a way to deal with him, not unless my plasma command squad and other full sized bike squad came in on that side of the board and poured everything into them. But when they came on in my turn 2, they insisted on the opposite side of the board.

The cavalry arrive!

I was left to deal with Lysander and the terminators with my surviving techmarine and a plasma cannon dread. They did alright in tying them up for a turn.


This was also the first game in which I've used a conversion beamer on my MotF. It did alright dealing with a dreadnought and a typhoon, and the bike really helped him get those long range, higher strength shots. That being said, I still think it's a little too pricey for what it does. In general, whenever I want to take a MotF in a list I feel like I should take a lot of dreads just to make full use of his abilities. But I've really grown accustomed to having vindicators in my list, and will most likely return to those (AV13 really does make a difference).


We had to cut the game short a bit, but in all honestly I wasn't in a position to catch up to John's army and all the damage they had inflicted. It would have taken awhile to get my remaining bikes to the other side and even then I would need to roll a lot of cover saves. It was a good game and I'm looking forward to making some tweaks to my bike list. I was going back and forth on whether or not to take Khan after my games at Blobs, but what I've learned with him is this: he's an absolute beast in combat and can deal with almost any small squad single handedly. But the thing that makes him worth his enormous price tag is the OPTION of outflanking. I emphasize "option" because when I first started using him, I felt like I needed to do this with every squad that could, but this isn't always a good move. But some situations and facing certain army builds, this is absolutely a game changer. The games I've left him out I've seriously missed this ability and what he brings to the table.


Most of the lists I've shared on this blog are way too top heavy, spending far too much on the HQ slot to be really competitive on the tabletop. I need to try cutting out the command squad and any secondary HQ like MotF or a Chaplain and see what that allows me to do with the rest of my list. But Khan has always performed well and has had a positive impact on the biker list in general. I just need to make sure I play to his strengths in the right circumstances and remember that outflank is situational.


Must have been a slow news day for this Greek newspaper...

You've probably already seen this, but this evening I came across this article on the 122nd Cadian blog.

My first reaction was "wow, someone is writing about a 40k event in a newspaper." But then I couldn't believe where the author went with the piece. It's pretty inflammatory and insulting.

In support of the Anitpope, whose picture was unwillingly printed on the front of this article, I've sent my views and opinion on the piece to the editor of the newspaper. Here's what I had to say:

To Whom It May Concern, 
The article on Warhammer 40k appearing in your newspaper and website (http://www.kathimerini.gr/) is incredibly offensive, ill-informed, and out of line. I truly hope the stereotyping, gross generalizations, and short-sighted opinions of the author of this piece do not speak to the overall journalistic integrity of your publication. If so, don't let this fall by the wayside; right the wrong. Publish an apology to gamers worldwide for allowing one of your authors to label them as "Nazis"; at the very least, publish an article by someone who actually knows what they are talking about and took the time to educate themselves on the gamer sub-culture. If not, shame on you. 
Respectfully,
Joe 

WIP: Nightbringer

Sunday, November 13, 2011


I locked down the primary colors on my Nightbringer. I just need to finish up the highlighting, clean up a few lines, then tackle the base. I originally tried to keep the large cloak area black, but I couldn't highlight it properly and felt like I was losing a lot of detail. The deep blue seems to work though and I'm planning on using blue in the overall Necron army paint scheme. I've been trying to order some blue replacement rods for the gauss weapons but still waiting for a couple places to get them back in stock. It should be fun though and a little different from the typical metallic look.

Here's a few more shots (I'm still trying to figure out lighting and how to best photograph miniatures):




Works In Progress & Distractions

Saturday, November 12, 2011


I was about 50% finished with assembling my Thunderfire Cannon (which has been a totally frustrating kit btw) when the new Necron codex dropped. This was a welcomed distraction from those poor fitting chunks of metal. After a couple reads, I have to say I'm really impressed with the new codex. So much so, that it prompted me to pull out all the old models I had in storage. Now, I never actually played Necrons before; a long time ago someone I knew was getting out of the hobby and had a GW bag full of  old Necron models - not quite a full army and most of the stuff was in bad shape (it was all loose in the bag and missing a ton of bits) but I think he wanted like 20$ for it and after noticing the Nightbringer, a Wraith, some destroyers among lots of other things I was sold. The Nightbringer alone was worth that! I love this model, but it was sadly missing the curved blade at the end of his weapon. I chopped up a couple blades from some spare Ork bits to form a new end for the scythe. I'm looking forward to painting this up this weekend and will get some better pictures along the way.

As for Scarabs, I only have 7 bases so I started looking for an inexpensive way to spruce up the existing models as well as create more bases to have in reserve for when the Spyders generate more over the course of a game. I then came across this timely article from Ron over at FTW. It was the perfect solution to my problem! (Thanks Ron, your articles are always helpful, informative, and inspiring!) Enter Blu-Stuff. This stuff looks great and the possibilities seem endless. I'll definitely do a review when it arrives, but I think it will work great, especially for small scarab models.

Even though I didn't need any more distractions, I couldn't help myself with this one.


Like many of you, I rushed out yesterday to snag a copy of Skyrim. I'm only an hour or so in (as it's hard to play while holding a baby lol) but so far it's awesome! Absolutely stunning visually and much like Oblivion, the story sucks you in from the get go. This will be my new activity while I'm waiting for paint to dry ;)

Codex: Necrons - First Glance

Saturday, November 5, 2011


I picked up the new Necrons codex while I was out today and just finished my first read through the book. All I can say is wow, there's a lot in there! My first impression is that this is indeed a strong codex and a well deserved update for the old toasters. I didn't dive into all the fluff yet, but looking through the rules they certainly have some tricks up their sleeves, err, metal appendages. I was expecting to see a decent arsenal of shooty goodness, which is definitely there, but what I wasn't expecting was all the powerful effects the Necrons can have on their opponents. We're talking some really nasty "psychic" debuffs, but I'm not even sure these are technically "psychic" powers/effects... I'll have to dig deeper into this one as the Lady Malys over on my shelf just got all sorts of upset at the thought of becoming a target to some of these abilities. Speaking of Malys, the Necrons also have an ability to re-deploy D3 units after both sides deploy and before the game begins (she doesn't like having her thunder stolen).

And speaking of thunder, the Lord of Storm rules are just nasty! If the dice are in your favor, this effect can really impact the game: extending Night Fighting rules is annoying and that lightning strike attack can definitely thin out some infantry or wreck some vehicles. Sure, you need to roll a 6 for the unit to be struck (each turn of Night Fighting), so maybe this seems like a little thing. But from a first pass reading through the special rules, there seem to be a lot of "little things" to watch out for when facing Necrons. They feel a whole lot more sly and devious than my Dark Eldar even!

It's definitely going to take several more reads to process everything in this book, but I'm astonished at the number of things I've already seen that can majorly de-buff the most heavy-hitting stuff currently running the 40k tables. My first impression is high and my hope is that this book can restore some balance back to the 40k universe and thin out the troves of power armor lists we've grown accustomed to see at events/tournaments. This is what I hoped when Dark Eldar was re-released, and to a certain extent they did leave their mark (at least before Grey Knights showed up). But the Xenos are definitely still in need of their game changer, and in the hands of a savvy general, the Necrons may just be what the C'tan ordered!

Don't worry, my next army is still going to be Dark Eldar. But now that I have a son, I might as well start looking into revamping my other armies and making them into formidable forces so by the time he's ready to roll some dice (instead of try to eat them) we'll have some good match ups ready to go.

The new models are definitely a step up from the old ones I have lying around. I've recently been watching Battlestar Galactica and I can definitely see design similarities from the Cylon Resurrection ships to these new Necron vehicles (the Scythes totally look like Cylon Raiders as well).


How cool would a Cylon-themed Necron army be?

Awesome!

Wednesday, November 2, 2011


As you can see from the counter on the right, the time has come. My son, Gabriel, is here! He was born last Wednesday at 8 lbs 5 oz, 21 inches long. Both mom and baby are healthy and we couldn't be happier :)

This is seriously one of the greatest experiences I've ever had! Sure, there isn't much sleep to be had in the beginning, but you get used to that, lol. I wouldn't trade all the sleep in the world for any of this. There truly are no words to express how awesome it feels to become a father.

I'm looking forward to a lifetime of great wargaming with my little Gabriel!