Wednesday, June 30, 2010

Scrap pile pile-on: Orks vs. Necrons Battle Report

Got a game in today with my friend John, who brought over his Necrons.  He didn't have a preference for who to fight against, so I broke out the Orks who are based to fit the desert-themed terrain I had laid out.

I had my standard Ork list, Kaptin Krumpa's Blood Axe Armored Cav:
Warboss Mega Armor, Cybork Body, Bosspole(115)

Big Mek  Kustom Force Field, Bosspole, Eavy Armor (95)

12xKommandos 2xBurnas Nob w/PowerKlaw, Eavy Armor, Bosspole (195)

5xMeganobz 3xShoota-Skorchas Battlewagon w/Grot Riggers, Armor Plates, Grabbin Klaw, Reinforced Ram, 2xBig Shootas (340)

10xGrots, Runtherd (40)

30xBoyz (Shootas) 3xBig Shootas,Nob w/Big Choppa, Eavy Armor, Bosspole (220)

12xBoyz(slugga/choppa) Ardboyz Nob w/PK, Bosspole Trukk – Rokkit, Ram (205)

12xBoyz (slugga/choppa) Nob w/PK, Eavy Armor, Bosspole Trukk – Rokkit, Ram  (162)

11xBoyz (Shootas) Big Shoota Trukk – Rokkit, Ram (116)

6xBikes Nob w/ Power Klaw and Bosspole (190)

2xKoptas w/TL Rokkits (90)

3xLobbas, w/2 ammo runts (piles of ammo) (81)


The forces of Tomb World B'Yas:

Lord with Destroyer body, warscythe, lightning field (with one warrior group)
Lord on foot with warscythe, res orb, veil of darkness (with immortals)
2 groups of 17 Warriors
10 Immortals
3 Destroyers
7 Scarabs
Tomb Spyder

We went for a random standard mission and wound up with Annihilation with a Dawn of War setup.

John won the roll-off, and accordingly deployed first.  He put down one squad of Warriors along with the Destroyer Lord.  The Monolith would Deepstrike, the other Warrior squad would come in via Reserves, and the rest of the army would walk/float on Turn 1.

I deployed my big Shoota Boy mob to face off against the Warriors and included the Big Mek to give them some protection against massed guass shooting.  Besides, he wanted first crack at all those robot parts!  My Kommandos would Outflank, the Grots would walk on (and try to avoid becoming an easy KP), the rest would roll on Turn 1.

I fail to seize the initiative and the Necrons start Turn 1.

The initial warrior squad moves up, while scarabs, immortals + lord, tomb spyder and destroyers charge onto the field.  With the Orks being out of rapidfire range, we move on to the Ork turn.

The koptas come in on my far left, turbo boosting towards the destroyers.  The shoota boys move up, as the battlewagon and trukks come on together, smashing over barriers.  Bikers patrol out to the right to cover the mechanized assault. There's some shooting from the big mob into the warriors that knocks a few down, but only one permanently.


The Necrons move up, shooting up the big mob of shoota boys while the Destroyers shoot and then charge the koptas, but the result is a standoff.

The Orks surge forward.  The shootas slide over and charge into the side of the destroyers to back up the koptas, while other units hit the warriors and scarabs.  The battlewagon, despite the ram, manages to immobilize itself trying to finish crossing over the barricade.  Throughout the game the Grot Riggers toil to repair it but apparently can't remember where the spare tracks are.

The Destroyers are dispatched, as are the scarabs.  The Orks assaulting into the lightning field fare more poorly, with the sluggas being run off but the bikers holding firm.

The Tomb Spyder charges in to support the warriors, and combined they finish off the bikers but the spyder also goes down to the biker nob's klaw attacks. 

The Kommandos arrive, but are in turn outflanked by another squad of warriors, who proceed to gauss flay all of them but the nob.

Meanwhile the Immortals teleport over and take shots at the Lobbas, killing one crew and wrecking two guns.

The Kommando nob, unable to reach a target in a charge, opts for discretion and hoofs it behind some cover.  A Necron Lord detaches and charges the nob, warscythe hungry for Ork blood.

Before the nob's powerklaw can be brought into play, the warscythe has already cut through the arm the klaw was attached to.  The last of the Kommandos is gone.

Meanwhile an Ork trukk shocks the initial unit of warriors, making them fall back!

Another trukk shepherds them off the table, while this one turns and shocks the Immortals, who hold firm and get charged by the Ard Boyz.

The Monolith finally arrives on turn 5 and zaps everything in range, and pulls the Immortals out of combat, leaving the Ard Boyz confused and exposed.

The warriors and lord on the other side charge and finish off the Ard Boyz, but in turn are trukk shocked and fall back on a boxcars morale check.  The Warboss detaches from the meganobz but his slow and purposeful rolls keep him from being able to charge the Immortals, but the shoota boys make contact and chop a few down, leaving one standing.  The meganobz charge the monolith but fail to connect with their klaws.

We roll to see if the game ends, and it's all over!  The count is at 7 (two warrior squads, two lords, tomb spyder, scarabs, destroyers) to 4 (sluggas, ard boyz, bikers, kommandos) in favor of the Orks. 

I think that John may have moved up a little too far, too fast, but that lightning field is golden against Orks.  The battlwagon getting stuck was annoying but funny, especially as it kept failing repair check after repair check.  The megas were still able to get into the fray just fine, so it really didn't hurt.  While I think he did  come up a little fast, John did do a good job of being aggressive against the Orks, getting the charge off several times to deny me extra attacks/furious charge and trusting in his good saves and my poor ones to see him through.  If he hadn't failed the tank shock checks things could certainly have gone differently, or at least it would have been more like 5-4 instead of 7-4, and if he had made checks and the game had continued the bots might have been able to turn it around. 

Wednesday, June 23, 2010

Brother against Brother

For me the central story of the 40K universe is the Horus Heresy and the Long War, Chaos vs. the Imperials, mankind against itself.  All of the other stuff, while it can be cool itself (read: Orks rock!), all those Xenos are essentially just bit players to the big story.

That story is part of what appeals to me about the 40K background, and part of what draws me to Chaos armies.  I've always been interested in that type of struggle, the internal conflicts - revolts, revolutions, civil wars - when society cracks open and all hell breaks loose. 

American history has a number of direct instances, from the Revolutionary War which had some rebel vs. royalist unpleasantness, the American Civil War, and we were prominently involved in what were in many ways largely civil wars in Korea and Vietnam.  The last century provided the better-known civil wars in Russia, China and Spain and revolts, insurrections and coups too numerous to count, and you can keep going back to things like the wars among Alexander's successors and the various Roman messes, and come back to internal struggles in Iraq and the like.  These sorts of events fascinate me, where people can be functioning neighbors one day, then when something changes be at each others throats.  Of course that's a simplification - they're generally a long time coming - but what lets one society see the trouble and make changes/pull back from the brink while another plunges over the cliff?

There's some entertaining fiction about such things as well, aside from 40K.  Insurrection by David Weber and Steve White is an entertaining read, the whole Battletech universe is set in a fractured society fighting a series of Succession Wars, and there's this little movie you may have heard of called Star Wars. 

What's the central story of 40K to you?  The decline of the old races?  The inevitable onslaught of the unlimited hordes of Orks and Tyranids?  The Emperor's journey and ascension of humanity?  Does your choice show through in other interests and fiction choices?

Sunday, June 20, 2010

Happy Father's Day!

(Hope that your Father's Day goes better than his did.)

From poking around the various blogs I know that there are a number of other fathers out there, and certainly all of us are sons or daughters.  I hope that you all have a great day!

Friday, June 18, 2010

Chaos Guard - Techno-Barbarian platoon

Got some more gluing time and got the techno-barbarian platoon pretty much sorted.  Used a variety of parts from the various Catachan sets (regular, heavy weapons, command boxes), fantasy Chaos Marauders, Marauder Cav, Warriors, Beastmen, some CSM heads and of course the metal Catachan and Necromunda figs.  I've found that I really hate the regular Catachan arms that are meant to hold lasguns - they're a pain to get right and only really fit over some of the Catachan torsos.  So for many figs I abandoned them and went with other options.

Platoon command - commander with PF, two flamers and two pistol/ccw.  One flamer modified to have the chaos gargoyle head.

Couple of other views, helping to show the shields many carry along.  I didn't want to cover up the Escher's hair, so she didn't get one. 

First half of the first squad.  Guy in the middle will be the squad leader, with power maul.  The more recent Catachan bodies seem a bit smaller than the old ones, and the bigger head types didn't look right, so the kneeling guys all got either more recent Catachan heads or Chaos Maruauder Cav heads.

  Rest of the first squad.  I like the guy in the middle, using one of the bodies from the Catachan command kit.  His axe arm is from a Beastman, with some excess hair shaved off.  The beastmen arms are a bit bigger, but from a distance it's not really noticeable.  Besides, these guys are probably part mutant.

First half of second squad.  Skullie in the middle will be the sgt.  Used some Necromunda weapons on this squad.

For the guy second from the left, I cut off the handle of his sheathed blade on the backpack to give the impression that the machete in his hand is from the backpack.  The lasgun on his base isn't glued on yet, will secure it after basing.

Thursday, June 17, 2010

40K Names part 2 - Of Thunder Hammers and Hammerheads

As we saw in part one, GW uses a lot of the same words over and over again when naming armies and units.  They also frequently follow patterns within races as well.

Perhaps the most obvious pattern is with Space Marines, partly because they're more developed than other groups.  The big theme is storm imagery.  Storm Bolters, Hurricane Bolters, Land Speeder Typhoon/Storm/Tornado/Tempest, Whirlwinds, Thunder Hammers and Storm Shields, Stormravens and Thunderhawks, Lightning Claws, Cyclone Missile Launchers and so on.  Heck, even *bolter* could be seen as a lightning/thunder reference.  Plus a number of chapters have some reference in their name, like the Storm Giants, Thunder Barons, and the new Storm Wardens.  If you're making something, especially a weapon, for the Space Marines it would be hard to go wrong with a storm-related name - if you can find one that hasn't already been used!

While Marine flying vehicles like Land Speeders and flying transports follow this pattern, other vehicles don't.  The Land Raider Crusader could have easily been the Land Raider Hurricane, but they went with a different pattern, likely due to its origins with the Black Templars.  The follow-up, the Redeemer, follows the Crusader imagery, though the (introduced earlier, IIRC) Forge World variants like Ares or Helios don't, instead following a pattern of Greco-Roman god names.  The Terminus pattern falls into this latter category.  At a guess, I think the Crusader series is more concerned with delivering and supporting troops, while the Helios, etc. seem more focused on their own weaponry, sometimes even at the expense of carrying capacity altogether.  When deciding which naming convention to follow with a custom Land Raider that might be something to take into account.  As a side note, the Vindicator also fits in well with the Crusader/Redeemer, so perhaps that angle could be taken with any close-in support tank for Marines.

Rhino/Razorback could be two different patterns, just animals that start with R, or stubborn-type animals that charge.  In either event if you were looking for another Rhino-chassis transport variant, something like Ram could work either way, or something like Bull could be appropriate under the second pattern.

Predators come in two standard types, the Destructor and the Annihilator, providing an easy pattern to follow, making things like Predator Ravager or Predator Eliminator fit right in.  Thanks to the Space Wolves for following the precedent set by the Destructor instead of using their homeworld like the Blood Angels did for the Baal, otherwise we might have to talk about Fenris-pattern Predators.  I guess having the main Imperial Guard tank named after their primarch was enough for them.

Speaking of the Imperial Guard, there are a couple good conventions there as well.  One is the mythic monster pattern for Chimera-chassis vehicles, with followups like Hydra, Basilisk, Manticore and so on.  The other is the pain/damage/defeat theme for the various Leman Russ variants - Punisher, Eradicator, Exterminator, Conqueror and so on, basically anything involving victory over one's enemies.

Chaos doesn't have a lot of variants, or just carries over Imperial names for many things, but you can see some patterns with words like Dread, Hell, Doom and so on.  Any kind of doom&gloom, despair and corruption type word should work for a Chaos vehicle.  Of course for those Khornate or Nurgle creations, toss in blood, skull, or plague as appropriate.  

The Eldar skimmers missed some opportunities.  Some have a nice snake pattern going - Wave Serpent, Vyper, Venom, Cobra - but then it gets thrown off with the Falcon, Fire Prism, and so on.  Maybe it makes more sense in the original Klingon, err...Eldar.

Tau have that nice fish theme going, with Hammerhead, Manta, Piranha, Devilfish and so on.  Kind of ironic, since these things are going to be crewed by Fire or Air caste members instead of Water caste.

Most Necron names are pretty basic, but they do have that monument theme going with Monolith, Pylon, Obelisk and the general death/life theme with things like Tomb and Immortals.  Custom units named something like Cenotaph or Undying should fit right in.

Other major patterns that you folks see?

Wednesday, June 9, 2010


I've encountered a lot of new and returning 40K players lately, and have been thinking of putting together an event or series of events specifically for them, as opposed to the regular tournaments and such which are geared more towards veteran players.  The focus is intended to be more on getting more familiar with the game as opposed to just crushing your opponents and knocking their soft scores. ;-)

I already have some ideas of my own for how to do it, but I'm interested in other ideas too. 

If you were (or even better, if you actually are!) a brand new player or one who is returning from an extended absence and were just getting into 40K:

*Would you be interested in such an event, where you play other new players, with "judges" around to help you find and interpret rules?

*How would you like it set up?  What would you want it to be like?  What would you *not* want to see?

Thursday, June 3, 2010

Start of the Revolt - Chaos Guard WIP

Started diving into the stacks of sprues and boxes I've accumulated over many months in preparation for this moment, and started building up and organizing some Chaos Guardsmen.  The first couple are some test builds, working for the techno-barbarian vibe for the off-world contingent.  Basically combining Catachan and fantasy Chaos parts.

The one on the left was the first try.  Not sure I like him or the Marauder torsos, but having a couple with the belly armor will help to tie in with the Ogryn that are being made from fantasy Ogres.  I like the one on the right more which is mostly Catachan aside from the head and the shoulder armor.  I'll probably continue to use mostly Catachan parts on the others.

Other views:

These kits have a ton of mold lines.  I forsee a lot of scraping in my future, both for mold lines and iconography.  The initial army list plan is for one small platoon of these guys - platoon hq and two line squads.  Plus they'll be manning some HW and if I can make the "spawn riders" (Sentinels) work they'll be the guys there too.  The Rough Riders will be a mix too, though since they'll be made from the Marauder Horsemen and Chaos Knights kits will be a lot more Marauder-y.  I'll probably end up making more squads of the infantry as well for when I don't want to sink the points into a whole squad of Ogryn and will need filler.

I'll be using this Catachan officer as the platoon CO.  I think that he looks suitably rough as-is.

Now on to the bad mama-jama, Khonan, the techno-barbarian answer to Marbo.

Booya!  With his wound on 2+ runeblade and hand grenade "howdy" ready to go, he's raring to dispatch some loyalists.  Since Marbo tends to throw his demo charge as soon as he appears, I didn't see the need to try to model one on the figure.  Armor piece is from the Ork Nob kit.

More frikkin' mold lines. 

The other part of the force will consist of local cultists and insurgents.

Platoon CO cult leader is a figure from Dark Age, may convert him to have a PF, or just change the list to power weapon instead.  The shotguns on the ladies on the left will become flamers and the other two will be considered LP/CCW.

One squad of local cultists.  Mordheim chaos guy on bottom left for sgt, mace will become PW.  Mix of Tallarn and Necromunda Eschers for the others.

Other squad.  Again, Mordheim chaos guy for the sgt and mix of Tallarn and Eschers.  "Animal" from the Last Chancers for the squad's meltagunner. 

I haven't been having much luck getting the backpack I wanted for Astrakenor, so have been working with a fallback position.

Using one of the Possessed (I think...may be CSM champion) backpacks I sculpted some crude flames coming out of the tops of the skulls.  There's already a spike coming out which made it easy - wrap green stuff around spike, twist.  Since there's going to be more flames in the command squad, this may work out better anyways as a visual tie-in.

And here he is with his retinue.  The two guys with open flames will count as flamers, the priest will have his hand replaced with one with a pistol, and the Necromunda psyker is a stand-in for a standard bearer.  I plan to build someone for the standard-bearer job, which will probably be a techno-barbarian selected for the honor.  Yet more scraping in store to get rid of some of the Inq. symbols on the henchmen. 

And lastly here's the Psyker Battle Squad, a coven of Chaos Sorcerers.  The dude with the torch will be the overseer, apparently consulting Chapter 13, "Signs your psykers are about to explode" for warnings of which ones to shoot first.

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