Sunday, January 31, 2010

English for Wargamers

OK, I normally try not to be too tight about these things.  But just as a reminder:

This is a HORDE:


This is a HOARD:

So please, don't go around posting about your hoard of Orcs.

Just remember this simple mnemonic device and you'll do fine:

"The horde of dragons rested on the hoard of gold they had earned from when they whored themselves out."

Army Building - how do you go about it?

Different gamers do it different ways, but in general there's two main ways I've seen.

1) Do the army unit by unit, getting one squad done before moving on to another.

2) Do the army as a whole, getting one stage done on the whole force before moving on to another stage.

I'm pretty solidly in the second camp.  Assembly lines are my friend.  Here's how I go about making a new army:

* Decide what army.
* Fiddle with lists at X point level until pretty satisfied.
* Get the required figs to build that list.
* (Finish other projects)
* Come back to army, start planning.
* Clean/assemble entire army.
* Prime army.
* Paint army in stages - undercoat everything, do color A on everything, repeat until fully painted.
* Washes/drybrushing/highlights on everything.
* Base and seal everything.

I vary it a bit sometimes, and often will do a test figure first so I'm not flying blind.  But by and large the army gets done in big batches of one stage at a time.

For me there are definite advantages for doing it this way.  I get the whole force done at once.  A lot of the time I can spend painting is in short bursts, so being able to just do one thing for me makes for the most productive use of that time - less time opening and closing paints, cleaning brushes, mixing, pulling out and putting tools away, etc.  It may seem like just a little, but it adds up. 

There's definitely advantages for the other way, going unit by unit.  For some the sense of accomplishment and progress is better when they can see part of the army completely finished.  If you're a stickler for playing only with painted figs, it allows you to play games with the army sooner - paint up 500pts, play games, paint up another 500, play games, etc.  And if you want to get started on an army but can't afford to buy it all in one shot, this can definitely be the way to go.  Buy squad, paint, buy another one, paint, etc.

Which way do you do it?  Do you break it down by stages or by unit?  Some other method?

Thursday, January 28, 2010

Secret Goals - Spicing up the Standard Missions

A while back I thought about a way to help spice up the standard missions (Capture and Control, Seize Ground, Annihilation), and thought I'd share it here too. 

Secret Goals

- Takes the standard mission objectives with a twist - you don't know what the other guy's goals are!

* Take counters/slips of paper with Annihilation, Capture&Control, and Seize Ground indicated on them. Best if have full set for each player. Each player secretly pulls one goal blindly. Keep the marker face down somewhere, to be revealed at the end of the game.

* Roll for deployment type/table sides. Then place 2+d3 objectives on the table. One must be in each deployment zone (players should start by placing these two) and can be within 12" of the table edge, otherwise follow the Seize Ground placement rules.

* Play game!

* At end of game, each player reveals their goal. To determine victory, compare results.
*Seize Ground - use all objectives to determine
*Capture&Control - use only the objectives in the DZs to determine
*Annihilation - use Kill Points to determine

*Does player achieve their goal? (More KP, objectives)
*Player 1 Yes, Player 2 No = Player 1 Victory
*Player 1 No, Player 2 Yes = Player 2 Victory
*Player 1 Yes, Player 2 Yes = Draw
(For these purposes, consider a draw for individual goals to be "no")

Example: Player 1 has Annihilation as his goal and gets 8KP to Player 2's 6. Player 2 has Capture&Control but each player controls one of the objective, resulting in a draw for that goal. End result - Victory for Player 1.

I think this would also work well in a tournament setting.  Each player gets a card with each goal type, and can choose which one to use for each game, but can only use each one once. Turn in your goal card with results sheet after each round.

I haven't had a chance to try it out myself, but think it would add an extra level to the game, as you don't know what the other player is going for, so have to watch out for all options.  You could also do a lot of faking-out, looking like you're going for objectives in order to draw the enemy out so you can kill them for your Annihilation goal, etc.  In a tournament setting, at least in the first couple of rounds you'll be able to choose the mission you think you'll have the best shot at against the opposing army - but so will the other player!

What do you think?  If you use it, please come back and let me know how it goes!

Wednesday, January 27, 2010

War of the Worlds: Goliath

Would you like a movie with alien death rays, flying aircraft carriers, walking tanks and Teddy Roosevelt?

Then this is for you! 

I heard about this a few months ago, and with the original release date (Feb) approaching, thought I'd make sure folks were aware.  Apparently has been pushed back a few months, but hopefully will still be out in 2010.

Sunday, January 24, 2010

Myths about 40K Fifth Edition

5th Edition 40K Myths

I read them all the time online, and you probably do too - the great myths about fifth edition.

I don’t think that the current edition is perfect, but a lot of the common complaints don’t hold up to scrutiny. Let’s look at a few of the more common ones.

5th ed changes are weighted towards shooty/assaulty armies!

Let’s look at the big changes that are weighted towards different kinds of armies:
*Pro-shooty – able to see/shoot through area terrain, no consolidation into fresh combats
*Pro-assaulty – Run, better transport rules.

So assaulty armies will be able to close a little faster, but shooty armies will be able to fire at them more on the way in due to not being able to completely hide as easily, and the assault army won’t be able to chain-assault across the whole enemy line as easily as before.

On balance, to me it looks like it evens out.  Since I hear players of both shooty and assaulty armies complain about it, I think it’s probably pretty well balanced.

Everything grants a 4+ cover save!  Why do guys in tall grass get the same kind of cover as those in ruins?

Actually, they don’t. If you go by the suggestions in the main rules, a lot of things do indeed grant 4+ cover. But not everything does – a number of things are 5+ or even 6+.  One of the most important things you can do before a battle is go over the terrain with your opponent and agree on what everything counts as – cover saves, difficult or not, dangerous or not, etc. If you decide to make it all 4+ that’s certainly an option for you, but it’s not 5th edition’s “fault”.

Speaking of terrain, this new TLOS sucks!

Back in 4th ed, there was an abundance, even overabundance of “just call it area terrain”. That piece of green felt? Yeah, that’s a forest, I’m behind it so you can’t see me. Other than that, everything else already used “TLOS”! Unless you previously designated all terrain as infinitely tall sight-blocking area terrain, you were already using TLOS but just didn’t call it that.

Again, if terrain bothers you, go over it with your opponent before the game and come up with an agreement. It’s in your hands. If you want to make that forest represent three-mile tall redwoods with impenetrable mist between the trunks, go right ahead.

Fearless sucks due to No Retreat! I’d be better off not being Fearless at all!  It’s a disadvantage!

Fearless most certainly does NOT suck. It is 100% an advantage when getting shot at, allowing you to ignore all those morale and pinning checks, allowing you to auto-pass tank shock tests, etc. Someone shooting at your Fearless unit holding an objective will have to kill every last one of them, compared to non-Fearless units that might run off.

A good way to avoid No Retreat wounds is to be more careful about what assaults you get your Fearless units into – make sure that you will win, barring bad luck. Even if you lose by a few wounds, you get saves against those wounds – and for units like Berzerkers or Plague Marines (who also get FNP…) it’s no big deal. The real crying comes in when you lose big on a weak unit, and those Ork Boyz or Guants have to take another 10 wounds. But guess what? If you WEREN’T Fearless, you’d be making a morale check at -10 or have the chance of being run down and completely destroyed.

Anyone with Fearless units that thinks they’d be better off without it is welcome to ignore Fearless when they play me. After a few of their units are forced to fall back or are wiped out by sweeping advances I think they’ll change their mind.

Victory Points were totally fair - they should use them instead of Kill Points!

Kill Points aren’t perfect, I’ll readily admit that. But I think a lot of people are looking back at 4th ed VP games with rose-tinted auspexes. Remember VP denial armies, whose main goal was to do a little damage and then spend the game hiding and running away? Remember killing 40% of a squad and getting no VP? Remember killing 90% and only getting half VPs? There were just as many situations in VP games that could lead to apparently illogical results as there are in KP games.

What do you folks think? Myth or reality? Are there others that you frequently hear that you’d like to debunk?

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

Counts-as Army ideas, part 13 - Witch Hunters

Inquisitors - strange individuals with heads full of forbidden knowledge, leading around packs of strange companions and calling upon support from various forces.

Sounds like an old British sci-fi series...Doctor Who!

The Doctor / Time Lord (Inquisitor Lord)
- With some high-tech gear and a bevvy of strange companions (henchmen).

Gallifreyan Shock Troops (Sisters of Battle)
- Good armor and guns, funky time-lord tech abilities to change time represented by faith points.

UNIT allies (Inducted Guardsmen)
- Led by the stalwart Brigadier.

Throw them up against some Cybermen Necrons and you're good to go!

Would also work well as mainly an IG "UNIT" army with an allied Time Lord.

OK, that's it for the series for now.  Passed over a few due to unfamiliarity, and I'll let the readers (both of you) be the judge on how well the various ideas work.  Even if you don't use any of these specific counts-as ideas, I hope it helps to get the wheels turning in your own head for some fun and unusual armies!

Monday, January 18, 2010

Planning for the Long Haul - 40K over the years

As a 40K player, you almost certainly fall into one of two groups.  One, you're a "veteran" player who has seen at least one edition change in the core rules and more than likely (certain armies like Dark Eldar aside...) has seen at least one change in your particular army's codex.  Or two, you're a relatively new player who hasn't been through the turmoil of edition changes yet.

Either way, there's a good bit you can do to protect yourself against that turmoil.  More than likely, Games Workshop will continue to change the core rules every 4-6 years and periodically update codexes.  So, what can you do?

You have a few choices.

1) Ignore the changes  - If you mainly play with a small group of similarly-minded players, this can work.  I'm sure that there are groups out there that still play 4th, 3rd, 2nd ed or even Rogue Trader, or play 5th edition rules using 3rd ed codexes, etc.  But if you play out in the larger world or plan to attend outside events like tournaments this strategy won't work too well.

2) Buy lots of new stuff each time things change - There's a new uber-unit in the new book?  Buy three.  This other unit isn't as good anymore?  Sell it or put it in storage.  If you have the money to do so and the time to put it all together/hopefully paint it this can work for you.  Some even enjoy retooling their army periodically, like replacing their engine for optimal performance.  But if you have limited money or time, this may not be the best strategy for you, rebuilding the same army at 1500-2000pts over and over again over the years.

So we can either ignore the changes or throw ourselves into them.  Can we find a middle ground?  Yes!

3) Plan for the long haul - Warning: this usually won't result in you having the "best", most competitive force out there.  It is however designed to hopefully give you an army that will transition rule and army changes as smoothly as possible, allowing you to continue playing your army with a minimum of adjustment/unit changes.

So how to prepare for the long haul?

1) Pick an army you really like - Don't just pick an army because you think their current rules are powerful - if you do, there's a significant chance when the rules change you'll be disappointed and will have a greater likelihood of shelving or selling the army at a loss.  Rather, pick an army that you like the idea of, that you like the story of, the look and feel of the army.  If you love the army, you'll continue with them over the years rather than dumping them and sniffing around for the next daemonette.

2) Stay centered as much as possible - Each army has a core that will most likely continue throughout future changes.  The closer to stick to that, the easier your transitions will be.  When preparing for your new army, don't just look at the current book - take a peek at the previous ones (generally 3rd ed on) to see what types of units generally stick around.  If you don't have the books already, ask around in your local group or you can probably find outdated codexes cheap online.  So for Space Marines for example if you build an army with a core of tactical squads, some terminators, an assault squad and some vehicles you could probably build that force with a minimum of fuss in any of their books from 3rd ed to the present.  The easier your proposed army would fit into earlier books, the likelier it is to fit more easily into future editions as well.  This does mean however that army builds that go strongly in one direction may have a hard time adjusting - the more extreme you build in one edition, the greater your likely adjustments for future ones.  If you really like lots of Nob Bikers, or Sternguard, or the rules granted by a particular special character like Vulkan, by all means make that army.  Just don't be surprised when things change in a few years.

3) Take your time modeling and painting - This one has nothing to do with rules changes directly.  However, no matter how well you "center" your army, you may end up having to make minor changes, or decide that you want to add a new unit to your collection when that spiffy new kit comes out.  Over time, you'll be getting more hobby practice in and your painting and converting skills will naturally improve over time.  If your earlier efforts are sloppy and rushed, the new unit done at your new and improved skill level will look out of place with the rest of your army.  If your earlier efforts are well done (for your skill level at the time), that new unit may still stand out, but it will be as a centerpiece rather than an anomaly.  Be patient with your painting, and try to do what I fail to do - keep notes on what you did to achieve colors/effects - note down what paints/washes you used, what mix ratios, etc.  Take a few minutes early on instead of trying to remember how you did it five years later!  Of course these days, putting such things up on a blog or a project log on a website can work as well, but I'd also put it down on paper somewhere too, just in case that site goes under down the road (heaven forbid!).

4) Keep your options open - Purely modeling advice, but it can save you frustration and money.  Where possible, magnetize!  Being able to turn your Predator Annihilator into a Destructor or your Rhino into a Razorback at a moment's notice can save you lots of hassle down the road.  Aside from sponsons, etc. consider magnetizing various upgrade uptions, like hunter-killer missiles, havoc launchers and the like.  Not only does this make WYSIWYG easy, it's also an easy way to represent destroyed weapons by just pulling them off!  You can also do this with infantry models also, enabling you to swap out a meltagun for a flamer, etc.  Also, keep a "bits box" - don't throw anything away!  Next edition you may want those extra plasmaguns, jump packs or whatnot you're not using right now.  Third bit of advice, which ties into the other two - where possible buy the "bigger" kit.  Check out contents on various vehicles and see what you're getting.  A lot of the time you end up with more for your money, like buy a Razorback kit for $5 more than a Rhino kit - you can still make a complete Rhino, but you also have the option for a Razorback and/or have extra parts to use for other conversions.

A couple of examples from my own armies:

Space Marines: My Silver Skulls were my first completed army upon my return to 40K in mid-3rd edition.  Using the 3rd ed codex, I built them as a full drop-pod force, back in the days when drop pods didn't have models or fancy rules to keep you alive while deep-striking into dangerous positions.  I had a number of power-armored squads, a land speeder and two dreadnoughts.

Today I have a number of power-armored squads, a land speeder, and two dreadnoughts.

What had to change? I added a few figures and consolidated squads in order to bulk up the squads to ten men each from the prior seven each, giving me 5 ten-man squads instead of the old 7 seven-man squads.  With the option to break up the units into combat squads I can still cover a lot of real estate.  I also needed physical drop pods.  End result, my actual unit choices were pretty "core" and required minimal changes.  My army style - all drop-pod, was extreme for the time and was vulnerable to the change requiring physical pods on the table.  Thankfully, some cheap scratchbuilds later and I was ready to go.  I decided later to swap out my scratchbuilds for other (though non-GW) models, but I didn't really have to.  The army also grew points-wise from 1500 in 3rd ed to 1850 in 5th, with the bulk of that increase coming from the cost of the pods themselves.

Chaos Marines: I started planning my Word Bearers out under the 3.5 version codex.  I planned on a couple of squads of basic Chaos Marines with Rhinos, an infiltrating squad, a Daemon Prince, some terminators, dread, defiler, and a couple of squads of Flesh Hounds.  Then the 4th ed codex came out and I had to redesign them.

What had to change? Despite the general internet doom and gloom about the 4th ed Chaos codex, not much changed.  My Prince wasn't as powerful, but became a good bit cheaper.  My regular squads were pretty much OK, and my infiltrating squad morphed into Chosen.  Flesh Hounds were gone, but I could still use the models as generic lesser daemons - not as powerful or fast, but significantly cheaper.  The extra points saved helped pay for a vindicator, a new option for non-Iron Warriors armies.  When 5th ed rolled around the Chosen got an extra treat with the option to Outflank, and the Daemons carried over as cheap scoring units in the Troops-only scoring environment.  If I had opted for something like an Emperor's Children force with maxed-out sonic Havocs or something similar I'd have been much more put out.

So do what you can to plan ahead!  As they say, the only constant is change, so be aware and prepare!

Saturday, January 16, 2010

Local Tournament Report Link

Link to report on my experiences at local tournament:


Thursday, January 14, 2010

Counts-as Army ideas, part 12 - Tau Empire

Tau - high tech, lots of firepower.  What to use for a counts-as army for them?

We haven't used Orks yet, why not them?

"Orks as Tau?" you might say.  "Are you mad?" you might add.  Yes, of course I am!

How to do it?  Who are the Orks with the best stuff?  Meks!  So our force will be a group of Freebooters led by a talented Big Mek and his minions, loaded up with flashy guns and doo-dads.  Meks with fancy shootas, rokkit packs and supa'eavy armor backed up by up-gunned grots.  Alternatively you could model the Crisis suits as Deffkoptas.


O'Shoota (Commander Farsight)
-Big Mek with powerklaw to represent the Dawnblade.

Big Mek (Commander)


Meks (Crisis Suits)


Flash Grots (Fire Warriors)
-Grots in 'eavy armor with juiced up blastas.  Some may ride in Hovatanks (Devilfish) which can take on a variety of forms - hovercraft, helicopters, armored zeppelins, etc.

Fast Attack:

Stormgrots (Gun Drones)
-Armored grots with rokkit packs, have fancy shootas but the jostling around throws their aim off a bit.  They also serve as oilers for the various Hovatanks, as their rokkit packs enable them to catch up again in case they fall off.

Heavy Support:

Flash Gits (Broadside Battlesuits)
-Armed with just about the most powerful snazzguns imaginable.

Hovatank (Hammerhead)
-Hovatank with a Big Kannon (Railgun).

That's it for this time!  With Tyranids so new I may skip them for now and hop to Witch Hunters for the next installment.

Tuesday, January 12, 2010

Batrep Link, Orks vs. Dark Angels


In other news, I think I finally figured out getting links to work.

Bell of Lost Souls article on Wound Allocation

I little while ago, I felt compelled to write a follow-up to one of the articles on Bell of Lost Souls and sent it in to Bigred there. Today they posted it up.

Monday, January 11, 2010

Imperial Guard redux WIP

I've been redoing and expanding my old IG, making them all (well, pretty much all) Steel Legion figs.  A couple of pics of the current progress:



edit: List working from - 1850 IG

Proof that Simple Green freezes

With the recent cold weather here, a tub of minis soaking was left outside a little too long, as this unfortunate World Eater can attest...

Counts-as Army ideas, part 11 - Space Marine variants

First of all, going to cop out on/delay Black Templars, Blood Angels, and Dark Angels. I'm not really familiar with BT or DA, and with the BA getting a new book soon I think I'll leave them at least until after their release.

So, skipping those for now, we get to Space Wolves! For full counts-as impact with the SW I think you have to take advantage of the Thunderwolf cavalry, so that will definitely be a part here. We haven't done a squat army yet, so how about some Chaos Squats, with some WHFB Chaos Dwarf carryover? The hosts of the dark forge world Zharr come forth to battle for their master Hashut!


Bull Centaur Lord (Wolf Lord on Thunderwolf)
-Should probably be made more impressive than the regular Bull Centaurs, further along in mutation/closer to Daemon Prince status.

Sorceror (Rune Priest)


Forge Master (Iron Priest)
-with option for mechano-centaur body (Thunderwolf)

Immortals (Wolf Guard)
-Normally fielded in exo-armor (terminator) squads, can also be used to bolster other units.

H'gob Scouts (Wolf Scouts)
-Xenos auxiliaries, the H'Gob are real sneaky gits, able to take up good battlefield positions/surround the enemy while the main forces of Hashut move to the kill.

Kolossus (Dreadnought)
-Daemon Engine warbot, capable of dishing out good firepower as well as close combat destruction.


Warriors of Hashut (Grey Hunters)
-Power armored Chaos Squats.

Fast Attack:

Bull Centaurs (Thunder Wolf Cavalry)
-Good ol' half-bull Chaos Dwarves, this time in power armor.

Heavy Support:

Planetquakers (Long Fangs)
-Power armored dudes with heavy weapons. Since everyone has guns, this is the crossover for the old blunderbuss-using Chaos Dwarves.

Tanks (various tanks)
-Having access to at least one forge world, able to have a variety of armored vehicles. Any would work, though I think Whirlwinds and Vindicators would fit the old Chaos Dwarf imagery of chukking rockets and artillery around the best.

Friday, January 8, 2010

Counts-as Army ideas, part 10 - Space Marines

Vanilla Space Marines, inevitably the yardstick by which all other armies are judged. While the various offshoot army books certainly have their own special things to offer, the basic codex has always had a lot of flexibility and the most recent one is no exception. With that flexibility comes opportunities for "counts as" armies!

For this one I'll pull out one of the armies that has been missing for a while - while their brother ordos both got nice books, the third has been conspicuously absent - that's right, the Inquisition's Ordo Xenos, the Alien Hunters!


Ordo Xenos Inquisitor (Librarian, or Tigurius)
-Power armor and psychic powers, force weapon? Check, check, check.

Deathwatch Captain (Space Marine Captain)
-Be sure to buy the Hellfire rounds. Alternatively, a Pedro Kantor counts-as would make the Deathwatch (Sternguard) squads scoring. You could also use the "real" Chaplain Cassius, on temporary assignment sharing his expertise with the Ordo.


Deathwatch Kill Teams (Sternguard)
-Tough vets, magic bullets - easy fit for Deathwatch. If use Kantor can even be scoring.


Inquisition Storm Troopers (Scouts)
-Well equipped and trained carapace armor troopers.

Fast Attack:

Inquisition Skimmer (Land Speeder Storm)
Storm Trooper Bikers (Scout Bikes)
-More Storm Trooper options.

Could be run a number of ways, but I picture the Storm Troopers setting up in various positions to harass the enemy, with Deathwatch teams podding down, sometimes guided by locator beacons on the bikers.

Counts-as Army ideas, part 9 - Orks

Greenskins! Tough troops, bad aim. What counts-as idea to slap onto their rules?

Lost and the Damned! Traitors, heretics, mutants, cultists and more! This is an idea I almost did, but since I was just finishing up a regular Ork army, I decided to try my traitors using the IG book instead.

I'm not going to go into too much detail, since most of the unit choices are just Orks with different gear. Appropriately armed mutants/techno-barbarians can serve as Orks, with either tough mutants or renegade Ogryn as Nobz, while cultists/human draftees can serve as Gretchin. Ghazghkull or a Megaboss would make for a good terminator-armored cult leader, and Weirdboys would make obvious Sorcerors. Add in some stalk-tanks or other monstrosities as Killer Kans/Dreads and various civilian vehicles converted for cult/military use and you're ready to overthrow the planetary governor.

Counts-as Army ideas, part 8 - Necrons

Last time, Imperial Guard. Next on the list is a big alphabetical jump over to Codex: Necrons.

We previously used the Daemon Hunters rules to represent an army of Necron Pariahs, so what should we use the Necron rules for? A different army of robots?

Well, sort of. An army long in the lore of 40K, one that also makes great use of automatons with powerful weapons. No, not the Adeptus Mechanicus, we've already used them - the Thousand Sons!

The defining rules of the Necrons are We'll Be Back and the unfortunate Phase Out. For the Thousand Sons, you can visualize WBB in a number of different ways - the "All is Dust" marines being just temporarily inconvenienced and standing back up, the strands of fate/psychic powers letting sorcerers narrowly escape injury, or just endless waves of legionnaires continually warping in to reinforce the battle. For Phase Out, Tzeentch has a plan, and while he gladly sacrifices pawns would never do so without reason...


Sorceror Lord (Necron Lord)
-Pretty self explanatory, some fancy abilities that could be considered sorcery, plus ability to ride a Disc (Destroyer body).

Magnus the Red (Nightbringer)
Lord of Change (Deceiver)
-The C'tan power level is pretty appropriate for a Daemon Primarch or Greater Daemon, and the various tricky things the Deceiver can do are very Tzeentchian.


Flamers of Tzeentch (Immortals)
Horrors of Tzeentch (Flayed Ones)
-Daemonic backup - Flamers for extra ranged punch and Horrors for close up support.


Thousand Sons (Necron Warriors)
-All is Dust animated armor with Inferno Bolts for the Gauss rule.

Fast Attack:

Screamers of Tzeentch (Wraiths)
-More Daemons, fast kind this time.

Disc Riders (Destroyers)
-Sorcerors riding Discs of Tzeentch, pouring death into their enemies.

Heavy Support:

Disc Rider Havocs (Heavy Destroyers)
-Lascannon toting disc riders.

Silver Tower of Tzeentch (Monolith)
-Floating structure of destruction? Sounds about right to me!

Eight down, eight to go!

Thursday, January 7, 2010

Counts-as Army ideas, part 7 - Imperial Guard

Imperial Guard!

We did Codex: Eldar with humans, so why not Codex: IG with Eldar? Namely - Exodites! With S3/T3 and usually poor armor, should be a fairly easy fit.


Farseer (Primaris Psyker)

Noble (Company Command Squad)
-Guardian officer.

Autarch (with Guardian escort) (Iron Hand Straken)
-Inspirational leader and kick-*** combatant in his own right.


Exodite Warriors (Storm Troopers)
-On the frontiers, without as many Aspect Warriors the Exodites have had to maintain larger standing armies in addition to Guardian levies. While no match for Aspect Warriors, the Warriors have superior equipment to the regular Guardians and often have some experience as Rangers.

Elite Scout (Marbo)
-Elite Pathfinder with a special surprise package.

Alien Mercenaries (Ogryn)
-For larger engagements sometimes the Exodites call upon auxiliaries such as Loxatl mercenaries.


Guardians (Veteran Squads)
-Out on the frontier they find lasers easier to maintain than shuricats (heck, old guardians used to use lasguns anyways) and distinctions between Guardian Defenders and Storm Guardians become blurry. Some even begin to take on the battlefield role of Rangers (Forward Sentries doctrine).

Corsairs (Penal Legion Squad)
-Eldar Corsairs operate across the galaxy, and can alternately take shelter among Exodite communities or come to their aid in times of need.

Fast Attack:

War Walkers (Sentinels)

Dinosaur Riders (Rough Riders)
-Aside from the large Knight warmachines that herd the larger dinos on Knight Worlds, some Exodites ride smaller dinos to help herd and defend flocks of smaller beasts, grox and the like. In battle their prods can be overloaded to provide a short-lived but lethal attack.

Skimmers (Valkyrie/Vendetta)

Heavy Support:

Nothin'. After buying all the Stormtroopers, Vets and Skimmers you won't have any points left anyways.

Counts-as Army ideas, part 6 - Eldar

Ah, the Eldar. Fine psykers, skilled warriors with powerful weaponry, fancy energy fields and hovertanks. What kind of counts-as army could work well with their rules?

How about a remnant human splinter from the Dark Age of Technology, or a historical force representing a force from the late DAoT/early Age of Strife? There are plenty of pre-Heresy armies floating around, why not some pre-pre-Heresy ones?

The army can have regular troopers (Guardians and derivatives), enhanced warriors (aspect warriors, representing the kind of genetic engineering that eventually led to space marines), lots of high-tech devices and emerging psykers.


Battle Leader (Autarch)
-Skilled enhanced warrior, variety of high-tech gear and weaponry available.

Psykers (Farseers/Warlocks)
-various powers, witchblades as proto-force weapons.


Enhanced Warriors (Striking Scorpions, Fire Dragons, Howling Banshees)
-Various specialist squads depending on weaponry.

Men of Stone (Wraithguard)
-Artificial humanoids toting mini vortex launchers.


Troopers (Guardians, Storm Guardians, Guardian Jetbikes)
-Soldiers with early versions of what eventually become bolters along with crew-served weapons, and assault/bike versions.

Enhanced Warriors (Dire Avengers)
-Armed with better versions of the prototype bolters, better armor, access to some other weapons/tech.

Snipers (Rangers/Pathfinders)
-Back when cameleoline was fresh and new.

Fast Attack:

Enhanced Warriors (Warp Spiders, Swooping Hawks, Shining Spears)
-More enhanced warriors with various specialist gear.

Light Hovertank (Vyper)

Heavy Support:

War Wheels (War Walkers)
-Same role, heavy weapons on big spinning wheel instead of legs.

Enhanced Warriors (Dark Reapers)

Hovertanks (Falcon, Fire Prism)

Men of Iron (Wraithlord)

Vortex Launchers (D-cannon support weapons)

Not really that big a departure from regular Eldar, but could be fun for a modeller to create pre-Imperial versions of various things.

Counts-as Army ideas, part 5 - Dark Eldar

This is one I've had floating around for a while, and may even do someday...

The Pulp Sci-Fi army! Flash Gordon and Buck Rogers, Mongo and Barsoom, rayguns and rocketships! While I'd probably do mine in color, I think it would be a hoot if someone painted them up to look like they were on black & white film.

The basic army will be human/alien troopers with fancy rayguns for the various blasters/dark lances and so on, with hover skiffs/rocketships for the Raiders and Ravagers.

Some example miniature possibilities: (especially the US Rocket Corps and the Weird Menace section)


The Hero (Archon/Dracon)
-Extraordinary swordsman, raygun, capable of amazing feats.

Mad Scientists (Haemonculi)
-Not-quite right folks with even more fantastic weaponry than the rest of the force.

Royal Guard (Incubi)
-Elite sluggers on loan to The Hero.


Sharkmen! (Wyches)
-Tridents, nets, bad attitudes.

Plasti-men! (Grotesques)
-Many attacks pass right through or bounce off harmlessly. Creations of the Mad Scientists.

Red Wolves of Zongor (Warp Beasts)
-Semi-tamed fauna from the wilds.


Troopers (Warriors/Raider Squads)
-Humans/aliens with rayguns. Sprinkle species, skin colorations and uniforms to taste.

Fast Attack:

Rocketbikes (Jetbikes)

Hawkmen (Hellions)

Heavy Support:

Rocketpack Troopers (Scourges)

Rocket Gunship (Ravager)

TOBOR 2000 (Talos)
-Another creation of the Mad Scientists.

Counts-as Army ideas, part 4 - Daemon Hunters

Daemon Hunters! I can tell I'm going to be really stretching for ideas after I've done five or six power armored armies!

OK...let's focus on Grey Knights for this army. Good anti-infantry shooting, good close combat, fearless, some anti-psyker stuff.

How about an army of Necron Pariahs? A force of some rare alternate type of Pariah, or some Tomb World that got cut off from the rest of the tomb network and is still using some outdated prototype version.

So how could this work out using the DH codex?

General: Good saves, "C'tan" type ranged weapons that ignore invulnerable saves, some anti-psyker stuff. Some stuff can teleport, which could either be actual teleporting or burrowing up like Flayed Ones and Scarabs. "Warscythes" can easily represent Nemesis weapons and storm bolters.


Pariah Master (Grey Knight Hero)
-Solid HTH monster, add in a psychic hood for more "abomination" effect and a psycannon or psycannon bolts for more invulnerable save ignoring.


Heavy Pariahs (GK Terminators)
-More warscythe choppiness, with option for psycannon or incinerator to bypass invulnerable saves.

Pariahs (GK)
-3+ save, choppy, good shooting on the move, some weapons that can ignore invulnerable saves.

Fast Attack:

Pariah Teleport/Tunnel Attack (GK teleport attack)
-Same as above, but Deep Strike.

Heavy Support:

Pariah Cleansers (GK Purgation Squad)
-Load up on either pyscannons or incinerators. I imagine incinerators would be more fun, big necrodermis shrapnel sprayers or somesuch.

Pylon Attack (Orbital Strike)
-Nearby Pylon is targeting the battlefield.

Tomb Crawlers (Land Raiders)
-Either tracked vehicles or large tomb spyder like things that roam the tomb world carrying Pariahs around. Could either have regular doors or short-ranged teleporters to represent squads embarking/disembarking.

Counts-as Army ideas, part 3 - Chaos Space Marines

Chaos Space Marines! Similar to regular marines in many respects - power armor, terminator armor, various tanks - but different both by what they don't get (tank variants, scouts, speeders) and the extras they do get like cult troops, possessed and other daemonic goodies.

So what kind of counts-as army to make using Codex: Chaos Space Marines? Howabout some non-Tyranid insectoid xenos? Let's call them the Kakak Collective. A hardy race that relies on its natural resiliency enhanced by a technological mastery over their own genetic code partnered with advanced energy weapons.


Swarm Leader (Fabius Bile)
-Mainly included to allow for enhanced warriors, but he has his own uses as well.


Elite Cadre (Chaos Terminators)
-With powerful talons and double blasters they can do a lot of damage, and their extra-thick chitin allows them to survive most retaliation. They can also tunnel, lying in wait for the enemy until the right moment (Deep Strike).

Veteran Frenzy Cadre (Possessed)
-Sometimes after repeated activation, a member of the Frenzy Cadre will metamorphasize into a true killing machine. The metamorphasis can take on different forms, but they all involve better ways to slay the enemy up close at the cost of a disdain for any manner of ranged combat.


Frenzy Cadre (Chaos Space Marines enhanced by Bile)
-Armed with blasters and talons, when activated for battle they throw themselves at the enemy with abandon.

Fast Attack:

Deathwing Cadre (Raptors)
-Bugs with wings and guns.

Heavy Support:

Destroyer Cadre (Obliterators)
-Similar to the Elite Cadre, they can burrow as well. Armed with powerful claws and a large variable-frequency blaster, they have a settings enabling them to fell any enemy.


Symbiotes (Icons)
-An extra psychic brain-bug attached to one member of a cadre. Depending on specific breed, it can enhance the reflexes of its cadre (MoS), add to their frenzy (MoK), deaden their pain (MoN) or provide a psychic shield (MoT). They can also contact and guide burrowing Elite Cadre or Destroyer Cadre to needed locations on the battlefield (no-scatter Deep Strike).

You could of course also include bombadier-beetle Defilers, other cadre with fancy blasters for Noise Marines or Thousand Sons, transports and the like if desired as well.

Next up, Daemon Hunters!

Counts-as Army ideas, part 2 - Chaos Daemons

Daemons. They all have invulnerable saves, Deep Strike onto the table, have hard-hitting close combat troops, some funky abilities and big walkers backing them up.

I didn't want to break out Ad-Mech so early, but that's what's coming to mind.

Invulnerable saves - Refractor fields, check!

Deep Strike - I can easily see an Ad-Mech force being teleported onto the battlefield, either from an orbiting ship or underground facility. Check!

Close combat - servitors and cyborg soldiers with all kinds of stabby additions. Check!

Funky abilities - "Any sufficiently advanced technology..." and all that. Check!

Big walkers - Big weapon platforms, funky tanks, knights - Check!

This is one of the books I don't have, so I'm sure I'm missing some tricks. But the basic force that came to mind is a bunch of combat-cyborgs (Bloodletters) backed up by heavy combat servitors (Bloodcrushers), cyborg attack beasts (Flesh Hounds) and Knights/funky walkers (Soul Grinders). Add in some Prime Units (Heralds) and you're good to go with a pretty mono-"Khorne" force.

You could add other things of course like some Flamers as gun servitors, vat-grown abominations as Greater Daemons, attack cherubs as furies, etc. if desired.

What other Ad-Mech "daemons" might you like to see on the table or create yourself?

Counts-as Army ideas, part 1 - Introduction

As a firm proponent of counts-as armies, I thought I'd do a series exploring some ideas for them for fun, to explore the concept and for a bit of a challenge. I'll try to come up with an interesting (at least, to me!) counts-as army using each 40K codex. I don't have them all (for shame...) but think I know enough to present the basic idea.

Some example armies others have done:

Kenton Kilgore's Dvergar, a not-squat xenos race using the Ork codex:

Kenton's Kurindans, lizards using the Tyranid book:

Gorgon's Genestealer Cult, another use of the Ork codex:

So, the armies I'll need counts-as ideas for:
Chaos Daemons
Chaos Space Marines
Dark Eldar
Imperial Guard
Space Marines
Black Templars
Blood Angels
Dark Angels
Space Wolves
Tau Empire
Witch Hunters

So, sixteen different armies. First up, Chaos Daemons!
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