Monthly Archives: April 2010

Demo Lists

A friend of mine who’s been slowly drinking the 40K Kool-Aid by reading Black Library books is starting to consider buying into 40K.

I’ve had him take a look at the armies, to pick ones that he thinks are Cool (because that’s the most important reason to play an army) and, having picked a few, we’d proxy up a few demo lists to get a feel for how they play (because having a playstyle you enjoy is the second most important reason to play an army).

He’s settled on Blood Angels and Imperial Guard.  Both are choices I think we can all agree are objectively A-OK.

So, I’ve thrown together a list for each, both at approximately 1,000 points.  I’m not looking for gimmicky builds or extreme points-efficiency… just lists that capture the overall feel of the army.  It doesn’t take a min-maxed list to reveal that Tau like to shoot things and Orks like to krump things, for example.

Here’s what we’ll put on the table:

Blood Angels

HQ
Captain – Jump Pack, Lightning Claws

Elites
Sanguinary Priest – Powersword

Troops
Assault Squad x10 – Jump Packs, Meltaguns x2, Powerfist
Assault Squad x5 – Meltagun
 – Razorback – TL Heavy Bolters
Tactical Squad x10 – Plasmagun, Missile Launcher, Powerfist
 – Rhino

Fast
Baal Predator – HB Sponsons

Imperial Guard

HQ
Command Squad – Bodyguard, Carapace Armor, Meltagun x2, Powerfist
– Chimera

Troops
Infantry Platoon
– Command Squad – Vox, Meltagun x2, Powerfist
– Infantry Squad – Vox, Flamer
– Infantry Squad – Vox, Grenade Launcher
– Heavy Weapons Squads – Heavy Bolter x3
Veteran Squad – Vox, Meltagun x3, Powerfist
– Chimera

Fast
Hellhound x1 – Smoke Launchers, Heavy Flamer

Heavy
Leman Russ Battle Tank – HB Sponsons
Griffon

I figure we’ll put both on the table and take turns with them.  Or maybe I’ll work up a 1,000 point Tau list or something… I definitely won’t run the Daemons; they’re a mite rock-paper-scissors, and therefore would make for lousy examples.

EDIT: Mike Van Brandt suggested an even better IG list:

Imperial Guard

HQ
Company Command Squad – Standard, Meltagun x2, Flamer
– Chimera

Troops
Infantry Platoon
– Command Squad – Flamer x3
— Chimera
– Infantry Squad – Flamer
– Infantry Squad – Flamer
– Infantry Squad – Flamer
– Heavy Weapons Squad – Autocannon x3
– Heavy Weapons Squad – Autocannon x3
Veteran Squad – Vox, Meltagun x3
– Chimera

Fast Attack
Scout Sentinels x3 – Multilasers

Heavy Support
Leman Russ Demolisher – Heavy Flamer

Bloodthirster vs. Daemon Prince

More than anything, this is really just a heads-up to people I might play.  I’d like to document what I’m doing and why.

What

For pickup games, or pretty much any game that isn’t a tournament (and unless I’m running a Khornate Daemon list that includes both Bloodthirsters and Daemon Princes), I am going to use the Daemon Prince models I’ve converted as Bloodthirsters.

With a tournament, when I’m lugging around my huge display board and all that other stuff, things’ll be different… but on an arbitrary Tuesday, this is how it’s going to be.

Why

Although I rather dislike the Bloodthirster model, that’s really not why I’m doing this.

Practicality drives this.  Bloodthirsters are big, top-heavy and metal.  While I keep the majority of my army magnetized to plastic drawers, I’ve got a separate little foam thing I have to pack my Bloodthirsters in.  This isn’t crippling or anything, but it is annoying.  (Don’t get me started on my Soul Grinders.)

My Daemon Princes are plastic, light, and can be transported in the same drawer as my Bloodcrushers.  By using them instead of the Bloodthirster model, I reduce the amount of space my army consumes during transport by nearly half.

Also, they’re converted.  Not heavily converted or anything, but a little.  Enough to make them personal.  I like the models more, and that’s worth a lot!

How

I think I can justify this.

The Bloodthirster has enormous wings, yes.  Huge wings.  Its wings account for twice of its height.  The wings on the Daemon Prince aren’t very big, but that’s okay.  The wings don’t count..

Line of sight must be traced from the eyes of the firing model to any part of the body of at least one of the models in the target unit (for ‘body’ we mean its head, torso, legs and arms). Sometimes, all that may be visible of a model is a weapon, an antenna, a banner or some other ornament he is wearing or carrying (including its wings and tail, even though they are technically part of its body). In these cases, the model is not visible. These rules are intended to ensure that models don’t get penalised for having impressive standards, blades, guns, majestic wings, etc.

Warhammer 40K, pg 16

So, wings and such are to be ignored for the purposes of Line of Sight.  We can ignore them.

Look at the bodies.  They’re very close to being the same size.  For game purposes, the Minotaur model and the Bloodthirster model are the same size.  They’re on the same size base (60mm) and are very close in terms of height and width.

So, when I put the Minotaur Princes on the table as Bloodthirsters, I do so because they’re just about the same size.  It’s a hair shorter, but negligibly so.  Besides, I don’t think drawing line-of-sight to a Bloodthirster has ever been a problem for my opponents.

(And I’m talking the current Bloodthirster, not the classic Greater Daemon of Khorne who is, I think, about the size of a terminator.)

Conclusion

Like I said, this’ll just be for pickup games, and for games that I don’t plan on running both Bloodthirsters and Daemon Princes.  And, hell, once I stop agonizing over ordering some Battlefoam, everything’ll be packed in together, and it’ll be a non-issue.  But, until then

Sternguard Veterans – 3/10

Just slapped some varnish on the first three of the Sternguard Veterans I’m painting as part of the Battle for the Cure tournament/auction.  Between stripping the minis, work, in-laws and recovery from surgery it’s taken me way too long to make progress on these guys.

Now that I’ve got a recipe for everything going into this, the rest of them should come through pretty quickly, I think/hope/pray.

I still need to touch base with Mark to find out a couple of details (do I need to go in and paint the flex black, or does he like it green?), but I’d say they’s done.

The first battle-brother:

The second battle-brother:

The third battle-brother:

Painting Progress – 20100425

I’ve been quiet ’round these parts for the same reason I haven’t really done much of a damn thing, hobby-wise, over the past week: I’ve been resting up post-surgery.

In a perfect world, being around the house for a week would equal immense hobby progress.  Not so; I’m so tuckered out, a stab at some highlighting late last week resulted in exhaustion and vertigo.  I hope that passes quickly this coming week: I’ve got to finish these f’ing Sternguard, you know?
I did take a pair of WIP photos the other day.  They’re a bit farther along than these, but not by much.
This first one is of the guys I’ve been working on.  The weapons, straps, parchment and purity seals need doing, but that’s about it.  Bases, too, of course. Less than a day’s work when I’m up to it.
 
These are the guys that still need starting.  They’ve been basecoated, but that’s all.  I need to go back and do a bit of sculpting on one: a shoulder pad has… been messed up.  Other than that, I expect they’ll cruise once I get to them.
Using the same color scheme Mark uses on his guys, for obvious reasons, but I’m trying to put a lot of skill into implementing it.  
For example, he basecoats Knarloc Green, dry brushes Camo Green and wraps things up with a Thraka Green wash.  The result is good.  I’m basecoating Knarloc Green, then rocking out an edge highlight of 50/50 Thraka Green and Camo Green thinned with matte medium and a thinner edge highlight of pure Camo Green before washing over things with a Devlan Mud / Thraka Green / Badab Black mix (the proportions of which are written down somewhere around here).  Debating going back and doing a teeny bit or two of Camo Green highlights on the brightest points.
So, should fit in just fine with his guys while, at the same time, standing out.

6/19 – 40K ForgeWorld-Friendly Tournament

Something that came out of the discussion about how to run the IFL RTT this past weekend was an observation that, before 5th Ed. came out, Flyers and other units from Imperial Armour books were par for the course at IFL tournaments.  When 5th ed came out, that vanished.

Now, I’ve got opinions about the default inclusion of Forgeworld rules that don’t necessarily jive, I think, with the wider 40K blogosphere (there’s a blog post on that rattling around in my head)… but regardless of what I think should and shouldn’t belong in a tournament baseline, there’s always room for tournaments that step away from the baseline.

So, I’ll be running a tournament with the express purpose of encouraging folks to break out their ForgeWorld models.


When: 6/19
Size: 16 Players
Registration Fee
This is not an IFL Member’s only event.  Everybody’s welcome!
Preregistration is $5 for IFL Members,  $10 for non-IFL Members.  Registration at the door is $10 for IFL Members, $15 for non-IFL Members.
Pre-registration can be given to any IFL council member (Ben, Chris K, Chris S, Doug or Me) or gifted via PayPal to Treasury@IronFistLeague.com (be sure to note in your payment what you are paying for).
Army Composition
  • 2,000 points
  • Legal GW Codices and Army Lists from Imperial Armour books only.
  • Forge World and GW Datasheet models and units are allowed. However:
    • See the Adepticon 2010 Imperial Armor & Apocalypse Units document to reference what armies can take what, as well as where to find the most recent rules for those models and units.
    • No Superheavies or gargantuan creatures.  On the off chance that doesn’t cover everything, no models with structure points, power fields or void shields.  No units identified as “WMD” in the Gladiator document.
    • You must provide rules for anything you put on the table.  If you do not have a hard copy of the rules (the FW book, a photocopy of the rules, etc.) for a model/unit, you may not put it on the table.
    • Be prepared to answer questions about your units.  Be prepared to repeat yourself.
  • The rules for Flyers found in Apocalypse will be used, rather than the rules for Flyers found in the various Imperial Armour books, with the following changes to update them to 5th Edition:
    • Flyers without  Hover Mode must always begin the game in reserve.
    • Blast weapons that do not have the anti-aircraft special rule cannot hit flyers
    • Units embarked in a flying transport that is not in Hover Mode never count as scoring units so long as they are embarked.
  • All models must be painted to, at minimum, the Three Color standard.
Scoring
  • Battle Points – (5-20 points, plus 4 possible bonus points/game) Scenarios will fundamentally be based on the rulebook missions, tweaked with some rules from the Battle Missions book.  VP will be tracked, at the very least, for tie-breaking.
  • Appearance – (0-30 points) Scored using the Army Appearance Checklist found in the Grand Tournament 2008 Packet.  This score will be reduced to 75% (that is, calculated score * .75).
  • Sportsmanship – (0-10 points/game) Scored using the Army Appearance Checklist found in the Grand Tournament 2008 Packet.
  • Favorite Player – (2 points/vote) Each player will note their favorite player.  Criteria for this is up to the player: you like their army the most, their attitude the best, or they paid you $10.
Prizes
100% of entry fee, plus (possibly, waiting on a vote) prize support from the IFL, will be split across the following prizes:
  • Highest Overall (40%)
  • Most Battle Points (30%)
  • Highest Soft Score (30%) (Everything but Battle Points)
Ties for overall will be broken by soft scores, then battle points, then overall VP.  Ties for battle points will be broken by overall VP, then soft scores.  Ties for soft score will be broken by battle points, then overall VP.
Sign up in this thread here, please, or in the comments on this thread.  If we run out of space, I’ll fill spaces by timestamp.


I’m pretty confident about the format here.

Sportsmanship and Appearance scores are there, and are objective.  Everyone showing up knows how they’ll be calculated.  I think that’s key.

The GT Sportsmanship checklist kinda-sorta covers comp the way I think it should be expressed.

Discounting bonus points and favorite player votes, hard and soft scores both roll up to the same maximum point level.  This is either very clever or a big mistake… but it’s intentional, regardless.

Shockingly, I’ve already written up the scenarios.  I think they’ll be fun; different enough from standard games to be interesting, but without too many special rules to make them goofy.

If you’re in the area, and can make it out to Game Parlor Chantilly, this should hopefully be a really good time!

IFL 2nd Quarter RTT

We had the IFL 40K RTT yesterday.

The format was… imperfect.  Due to the excessive squeaking of a couple of squeaky wheels, the format was changed at the last minute to something that was pretty clearly put together by a Fantasy player without much familiarity with 40K.  Given that that’s what the TO was (non-40K-playing fellow council member Ben was doing the 40K playing council members a solid and running the 40K tournament so they could all play), this isn’t enormously surprising.

That’s not to say that it was a bad format.  Just not perfect.

All of the games had a special scenario rule.  Victory conditions were based entirely on Victory Points (with a margin of >= 300 points required for a win vs. a draw), and there were a couple of bonus victory points.

The problem with relying on VP is that they remove all of the checks that KP impose on the game.  They might not be perfect, but they really do provide a disincentive to loading up on transports and minimum strength units.

Also, it was at 1,800, which is a weird points level.  I’m quite certain this wasn’t intentional: just a non-40K player quickly trying to change tournament rules while 1) annoyed and 2) on vacation.

My List

HQ
Bloodthirster – Unholy Might
Bloodthirster – Unholy Might

Elites
Bloodcrushers x4 – Fury of Khorne, Icon, Musician

Troops
Bloodletters x16 – Fury of Khorne, Icon
Bloodletters x8 – Fury of Khorne, Icon

Fast Attack
Flesh Hounds x8 – Karanak
Flesh Hounds x8 – Fury of Khorne

Heavy Support
Soul Grinder – Phlegm
Soul Grinder – Phlegm

In each game, I blew every single Powers of Chaos roll, and ended up with my Reserves Wave coming in at the beginning of each game.  Once is odds.  Three times is just goofy.  The scatter dice made up for it, though, as I nailed an unbelievable number of Deep Strike rolls: I think I don’t think I scatter more than twice in a single game.

Game 1

vs. Jeff Payne’s Eldar

HQ
Eldrad
Yriel

Elites
Striking Scorpions x10 – Exarch w/ Stalker & Scorpion Claw
– Wave Serpent – TL Shuriken Catapults, TL Shuriken Cannon, Spirit Stones

Troops
Storm Guardians x11 – Warlock w/ Embolden & Singing Spear, Fusion Gun x2
– Wave Serpent – TL Shuriken Catapults, TL Bright Lances, Spirit Stones
Storm Guardians x11 – Warlock w/ Destructor, Flamer x2
– Wave Serpent – TL Shuriken Catapults, TL Bright Lances, Spirit Stones
Guardian Jetbikes x8 – Warlock w/ Embolden, Singing Spear, Shuriken Cannon x2, TL Shuriken Catapults x4

Fast Attack
Vyper – Scatter Laser, TL Shuriken Catapults

Heavy Support 
Fire Prism – Holo-Field, Spirit Stones
Fire Prism – Holo-Field, Spirit Stones

Scenario rules involved a single Night Fight-style roll that affected all units on the table and got progressively worse as the game progressed.  Turn 1 was 6d6+6″ on down to Turn 7 as d6+6″.

It’s weird; every time I have a Disagreement with another IFL member, it turns out that within a couple of weeks, I’m at a tournament at Game Parlor Woodbridge playing them and the game proves theraputic.

Jeff and I had a very good game that, given the circumstances, was much closer than it should have been.

Mechanized is something that gives my army heartburn, and mechanized Eldar is even worse.  Jeff decided to throw caution to the wind and get in my face with the Guardians.  This actually worked quite well: a 5+(i) is still only a 5+ save, after all.

There was a lot more back and forth than there needed to be in that game, and I’m thankful for it.  It certainly made it a fun game.

I lost, of course.

Game 2

vs. Frank Abel‘s Space Marines

HQ
Shrike
Librarian – Terminator Armor, Epistolary, Avenger, Null Zone, Storm Shield

Elites
Assault Terminators x6 – Lightning Claws x1, Thunder Hammer/Storm Shield x6
Venerable Dreadnought – Multi-Melta, DCCW w/ Heavy Flamer, Extra Armor

Troops
Tactical Squad x10 – Meltagun, Lascannon
– Razorback – TL Assault Cannon, Dozer Blade, Extra Armor
Tactical Squad x10 – Meltagun, Lascannon
– Razorback – TL Assault Cannon, Dozer Blade, Extra Armor
Tactical Squad x10 – Flamer, Plasma Cannon

Heavy Support
Land Raider Crusader

Scenario was especially weird: all movement was cut in half, even fleeing, running, and the assault fall-in.  Also, all line of sight was reduced to 20″.  Think about that.

Frank is really my kryptonite.  I don’t think I’ve ever beaten him; it’s weird.

The range restriction on shooting didn’t handicap him nearly as much as it could have because I was all up in his face as quickly as possible.  The movement penalty was a huge problem for me, though.  Early on his Librarian and the Terminators assaulted the Bloodthirster, who pasted the Librarian as quickly as possible.  (Null Zone bad!)

The terminators, and then Shrike, ended up chewing their way through the small unit of Bloodletters before getting stuck in with the large unit in a combat that lasted the rest of the game.  Bloodthirsters died to massed fire, which is usually what kills them.

In the end, it was a pretty close game.  Had my last Bloodcrusher survived long enough to toss some attacks on Shrike in the last round, we’d probably have drawn.  A very good game, though.

Game 3

vs. Scott Ripley’s Blood Angels

(probably going to get this wrong, but we’ll try)

HQ
Company Captain – Combi-melta, Power Weapon

Elites
Furioso Dreadnought – Librarian, Blood Lance, Sanguine Sword, Extra Armor, Magna-Grapple
Furioso Dreadnought – Blood Talons, Extra Armor, Magna-Grapple
Sanguinary Priest – Powerfist, Meltabombs
Corbulo

Troops
Scouts x 5 – Sniper Rifle x5
Tactical Squad x10 – Missile Launcher, Power Sword, Plasmagun
– Rhino – Extra Armor
Assault Squad x10 – Hand Flamer, Power Weapon
– Razorback – TL Lascannon, Extra Armor

Fast Attack
Vanguard Veterans x5 – Power Weapon, Meltabombs, Plasma Pistol

Heavy Support
Devastator Squad x5 – Lascannon x2, Missile Launcher x2
Storm Raven – TL Lascannon, TL Multimelta, Extra Armor, Locator Beacon

Scenario involved d3 Strength 6 meteors falling from the sky and hitting non-vehicle units on a 6 and vehicles on a 5 and a 6.  Ultimately, they really didn’t cause anything to happen, though.

This game was… not great.  Scott’s models weren’t even in the neighborhood of WYSIWYG.  I’m down with the occasional, “This Stormbolter is really a Heavy Flamer,” sort of thing.  This was altogether different.  Guys had weapons that they didn’t have, all sorts of things.

Also, he started his entire army in Reserve.  Now, I get that this sounds a little hypocritical coming from a Daemon player (trust me: I’d love to be able to bring them all in at the beginning of the game), but I’ve found that keeping your entire army in reserve is a great way to start the game off on the wrong foot.

Finally, his converted Storm Raven was… let’s charitably call it enormous.  Built out of a Star Wars shuttle with a Rhino stuck on the front, it was at least 4″x12″.  That would probably be okay, except then he stuck Corbulo with his aura effect in it… that aura had a range that covered something like a third of the table!

I wiped out his Devastators with a Soul Grinder in the second turn, which meant he really didn’t have anything with which to deal with my Bloodthirsters.  He threw his Dreadnoughts at them.  This was, in a word, awesome.  Khorne created Bloodthirsters with the express purpose of completely bitchifying Dreadnoughts.  The Furioso wouldn’t even get the chance to think about swinging before the ‘Thirster would vomit five penetrating hits into its face.  The sheer pwnitude involved in ‘Thirster-on-Furioso action was enough to really improve my attitude about the game.


Overall, I made it out of the day 1/2/0, which isn’t anything to complain about.  I had two good games, plus a third that ended on an up-note.

More significantly, I won the Player’s Choice award!  It was supposed to be a conflation of all of the various soft scores, but it looks like it worked out to be mostly an Appearance ranking thing.  I’m very flattered and proud about this.  Honestly, I think the display board is what pushed it over the edge: there were a lot of really awesome armies there (like Doug’s and Kevin’s, which were my two favorites).

Khornate Daemon Display Board

So, it’s done!

Painting happened faster than I expected: as tedious as the edge highlighting on the stones was, it only took a couple of episodes of Deadliest Catch to blow through.

I airbrushed the whole thing brown; craft paints, a tone that was pretty close to Bestial Brown.  I wanted it to look just like the bases on my models, so I hit everything with a very, very heavy drybrush of Shining Gold.  Then, I picked out the edges with Burnished Gold.

I smeared Devlan Mud across the whole thing.  That ended up looking like crap, so I went back and brushed Devlan Mud into the cracks, with better effect.

Faces and the Khorne symbol are Boltgun Metal with Mithril Silver highlights and Badab Black.  I decided at the last minute to paint the area around the symbol red (Scab Red basecoat, several very thin layers of Blood Red); originally, I had planned to leave it brass.  Water Effects make the blood work really well, I think.

Nothing special here.  The obelisk is done the same way, except the stone is black with Coal Black highlights.

Finally, what’s the point of a display board if you’re not going to put minis on it?