Monday, August 30, 2010

Cardboard Empires

Ah, board games.  I spent many an hour in my youth commanding legions from various kitchen tables.  Squad Leader, Third Reich, Risk, Axis & Allies, Diplomacy and many more. Boxes stacked up on bookshelves or under beds, with folding maps, combat resolution tables and trays or baggies filled with little cardboard chits or tiny plastic figures. 

A lot of these games came from a little company called Avalon Hill, and all of them were inspired by that company's success.  While there were some definite duds, there are a number of old boardgames that are definite classics that still hold up today, and new board games are coming out all the time. 

Sadly, the person who launched this section of the hobby, Charles S. Roberts, recently passed away.  Aside from his interest in wargames, he was an avid railroad enthusiast, the combination of which resulted in games such as Rail Baron. 

For the story of the early days of Avalon Hill and board wargames check out Mr. Roberts' own telling of the tale.

Rest in Peace Mr. Roberts.

Sunday, August 29, 2010

Holding Pattern

I've been in a bit of a holding pattern lately, so no progress on the painting or modeling fronts at the moment.  The time I would normally spend doing these things and making fancy blog posts has been taken up by schoolwork and...KILLZONE!

Check out the basics and the preliminary playtest rules at Galaxy in Flames .  Big Jim, others and I have been working hard to revise and tweak them, and an updated playtest ruleset should be out fairly soon.  The graphics work (such as the spiffy logo above) being created by Karitas is impressive too!

So apologies for lack of substantive updates, but once Killzone is more polished and I get past the first wave of assignments for this semester I should be able to get back in the groove.  Until then, check out Killzone and maybe even give it a shot!

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Project List

I've made mention several times about my project list, things getting bumped down or up on the list, but I don't think I've actually laid out my long-term goals here yet.

So here we go!

First, a reminder of what I currently have, then a list of projects and add-ons I'd like to do.

I currently have armies for:
  • Space Marines (Silver Skulls Drop Pod)
  • Orks (Blood Axes)
  • Tau (Shadowsun ambush force, no Crisis suits or vehicles)
  • Chaos Space Marines (Sons of Horus and Word Bearers)
  • Imperial Guard (Merkan 76th)
I previously had, but have since sold:
  • Tau (lots of crisis suits and vehicles)
  • Space Marines (DIY Praetorians chapter)
  • Eldar (Biel-tan Swordwind)
  • World Eaters CSM
  • Fantasy Goblins
I'm currently in the middle of building and painting the Scythiak Usurpation (Chaos Guard).

I have plans to build:
  • Fantasy Warriors of Chaos, with some old stuff leftover from previous army, leftover figs from making the Scythiak, and a large infusion from Papa JJ. Will probably be Tzeentchian and/or Undivided.
  • The Sons of Taurus, my eponymous renegade SM, long-waiting and long-suffering in limbo.  I did a few test figs for them back when I returned to 40K in 3rd ed, but wasn't happy with the results and ended up painting up simple black Sons of Horus instead.  Will either be built with Space Wolves or CSM rules, currently leaning towards SW as I have several CSM armies already, and Bull Centaur "Thunderwolves" sounds cool to me.
  • Space Sharks!  When I was choosing my loyalist SM when I returned to 40K, it came down to Silver Skulls and Space Sharks.  Silver Skulls narrowly won out at the time, but I've had a soft spot in my heart for the Space Sharks from the early days seeing them in the Badab War section of the 40K Compendium.  I have been toying with the idea of finally doing them, perhaps with the Blood Angels book (Seth seems like he'd be a good Space Shark commander).  I had even considered commissioning some custom bits, but now Forge World announced that they were releasing Badab War books, including stuff for the Space Sharks.  My, my, my. 
  • Servants of Decay/Death Guard - combo army, regular Nurgle CSM plus the Nurgle Guard renegades from Vraks III (IA 7).
  • Fantasy Bretonnians  - I have a bunch of these guys, but they keep being pushed back.  If I get heavy into 8th ed fantasy, I may try again to do these guys justice.
One or more of my current armies may have to go to make room/funds for the new projects.  If I start to get a lot more games in I may persuade myself to try harder to hang on to everything, but it's possible that the Tau may go (again) and I may sell parts of the Silver Skulls depending on how high prices for RTB01 guys go, or just re-model/paint them as part of the Space Sharks, depending.  The Brets may wind up going too.

Other non-full army projects on the list:
  • Chop up my city board to make it more easily rearranged/stored/transported, and add pieces to it.  I've gotten a lot of good use out of the board as-is, but it's pretty inconvenient in its current form.  
  • Add some more terrain pieces for my desert and jungle themes.
  • Orks: Build/paint Killer Kans.  Possibly do some buggies and Nobs.  Maybe some Lootas, Burnas, and Tankbustas, along with another Battlewagon or Looted Wagon.
  • IG: Build/paint sentinels (armored, with plasma cannons) for the Merkan 76th, to allow them to go to 2000pts or just as an additional option for smaller lists.
  • Scythiak: add other unit options, like Stormtroopers, more tanks, beastmen/penal legion, more squads, perhaps a Valkyrie.
  • Refurbish the Sons of Horus, or even potentially turn them into something else.  

Plus tons of misc. Reaper/Ral Partha/etc. figures.  I'll often do a few of these in between big army projects for a little variety, but the unpainted pile keeps growing faster than the painted pile.

I think that's it as far as things that may actually someday get done.  There's also some pie-in-the-sky ideas, like the Pulp serial "Dark Eldar" army, full of dashing heroes with rayguns in rocketships, Tomb Kings, Iron Warriors, White Scars, Deathwing, etc...but these are mostly "wouldn't it be neat" ideas, not things I have actual plans for or have started to collect figures least, not yet!

Monday, August 23, 2010

40K Basics: How to Make Stuff Work

With school starting back up and various personal life things taking up time, I haven't gotten any painting done on the Scythiak, so here's another musing post, this time about How to Make Stuff Work.  I doubt it will make the Earth move for any of you vets, but maybe for some newer gamers it will help turn a light on.

Beatin' the odds.  This won't be a hard-core mathhammer post, just a basic reminder that there are a few different ways to make probability work for you.

So you want to do something in a 40K game.  How to make it work with those little cubes with the pips on them?

Lots of Dice - Throw more dice, and you're more likely to succeed.  Get more shots or throw more CC attacks, and you'll get more hits.  Get more hits, and you'll get more wounds.  Neat, huh?  Some armies operate on this principle, throwing a ton of attacks at you and hoping something sticks. 

The flip side of this is true too.  For things where failure is bad, the more you can make your opponent pick up dice, the better off you are.  If you force enough saves, pinning tests, morale tests, etc. they'll fail some of them.  If you're relying on Lots of Dice, you're trying to overload the enemy and let aggregate probability carry the day for you. 

Good Dice - The more likely your roll is, umm...the more likely it is.  Saves that are 2+, morale checks on Ld 10, shooting with BS 5 - these things are likely to succeed, so you can pick up the dice with some level of confidence.  This is one of the main reasons Marine armies can be so good - whenever they do something, they have a good chance of success.  Shooting something?  Hit on 3+.  Got hit?  Save on 3+. 

You may not have as many shots, but the ones you have are more likely to hit, and to wound.  You don't have as many guys, but they're more likely to survive.

Re-rolls - Hey, a do-over!  Re-rolls are important tools, and feed into the good dice method.  The more re-rolls you can get, the better off you are.  Twin-linking, master-crafting, lightning claws, and so on.  The game is full of them.  They can make Lots of Dice into Lots of Pretty Good Dice, or make Good Dice into Great Dice.  Take them when you can, and remember to use them!

No Rolls - Take dice out of the equation.  Make your stuff 100% successful and their stuff 0% successful.  What does a Deffrolla need to roll to hit?  Nothin'.  What does a flamer need to roll to hit?  Nothin'.  What kind of armor save does he get against that lascannon wound?  None.  Reducing your chance of failure and the enemy's chance of success to zero makes things easier.  Every time you have to roll a die there's a chance of failure; every time the other guy gets to roll he has a chance to succeed - take those chances out of the picture when you can.

Normally we think about these sorts of things in relation to the straight combat applications - hitting, wounding, saving.  But don't forget other parts of the game, like movement.  Is it worth taking dozer blades on those tanks to get re-rolls in terrain?  Is Ghazghkull coming along, to make that Waaagh roll a sure thing?  And of course there's a lot of No Roll things in movement already; basic movement won't involve dice at all.  Take that surety away from your opponent when you can.  Make him have to check to immobilize his vehicles to get where he wants to be.  Make him have to roll for difficult terrain to assault you. 

Whichever method your army uses, keep in mind how to Make your Stuff Work and their Stuff Not Work.

Saturday, August 21, 2010

Forge World wants my wallet - Space Sharks!

First they start kicking out old Marine armor mark kits. 

Then they make some announcements at Games Day for what's coming down the pipe...including Badab War IA books! 

Props to those passing this info along.  An example thread can be found on Dakka with a nice summary by Sarrazon which I'll quote here:

Alright, I attended the seminar about it today, so this is what was said about the Badab books, and FW's other stuff.

Badab is two books (IA 9 and 10), and is pretty close to finished.
Also working on IA 11 - more on that in a bit.
Re-releasing IA 1.

Badab War book 1 will have lots of background and color schemes for the various chapers, rules for boarding actions, a list for Huron's traitors, and lots of special characters for the normal marine 'dex. Book 2 will have more background, schemes, and special characters, as well as a Siege list for Marines, and information on SM sieges. Also (I believe) some BSG rules. Red Scorpions are getting more upgrade packs (Honor Guard upgrade for the command squad kit and a librarian), and Huron is getting a new model. Also, to my great joy, and much amusement when I asked, Space Sharks will be showing up in the second book.

IA 11 will be Eldar and Space Wolves, set on an ice world. Pictures of some in progress stuff for Eldar was shown, including the Phantom Titan which was ridiculously huge - the base was taking up a good portion of a 2x2 Realm of Battle board, and the Falcon shown for scale was in the same size area as its feet, and an unnamed eldar light tank which looked sorta like a cross between a falcon and some of their fliers (one of the few things my phone could get a decent picture of, so that might be up in a while).
Unrelated to the above, also shown was the mother of all Grot Tanks, and a Necron model (unrelated to any book) being in production was mentioned. 
That's right folks - Forge World Space Sharks!

I've long loved the Badab War storyline, and look forward to these, which while unfortunately spread across two books, should provide a lot of good stuff.  Splitting the space vs. siege stuff makes sense, so I can forgive that.  All those different marines and schemes back in the day fueled my 40K imagination, I almost did Space Sharks for my first real army, and my yet to be done but long brewing eponymous renegades are a result of the Badab War.  The books themselves combined with Space Shark kits will make my finances scream a bit I'm sure.  I'd already planned on putting Space Sharks in the project list, but this might bump them up the queue a bit!

In the Zone: Special Operations Killzone

If you've been following Big Jim's Galaxy in Flames blog or have heard his many guest spots on the podcast circuit, you've probably heard about Killzone.  It began as a way to plug some of the holes in Kill Team, but quickly morphed into an entirely separate way of doing skirmish-level action for 40K, hearkening back to RT and Necromunda.

I'm honored to be helping as a wall to bounce ideas off of as part of the Star Chamber committee.  Truly an esteemed collection of scum and villainy.  You can find the PDF of the WIP rules on the left of the page, and here's a link to the Killzone posts so far. 

It's still very much WIP, but will hopefully provide a good way to engage in some smaller scale, cinematic action.  Check it out, and give Big Jim your thoughts and ideas!

Thursday, August 19, 2010

40K Basics: Are you using everything in your toolbox?

In 40K everything has a variety of things it can do - some obvious, some not so obvious.  Whether you're building a list or in the middle of a game, keeping the toolbox of options and abilities in your mind can help.

Most people have at least some idea of what they're going to use their units for when they build a list.  This unit is to hold an objective, that one is to bust open tanks, that one is to assault stuff, and so on.  But in many cases they're just looking at the top section of the toolbox, the commonly-used screwdrivers, pliers and the like.  Pull that top section out and root around in the bottom and see what you might be able to do with the Allen wrenches or an angled nut driver.

Just flip through the rulebook and find a section to look over.  Is there something there you may be able to make use of?  Do you have a way to counter someone else doing so?

Take a few simple, but fundamental examples.

  • Line of sight (LOS).  If someone has something behind LOS blocking terrain that you have to take out, do you have a way to do so?  Perhaps something fast enough to get to it quickly, a different deployment type like Deep Strike or Snikrot, or a way to hit them regardless like indirect fire?  On the flip side, are you taking advantage of LOS, protecting your units where possible?
  • Movement.  While most things in 40K can move, many players only see movement as a means to one of their own ends - getting into range to shoot or assault, or getting to an objective.  But it can also be used to deny the enemy from achieving their ends by doing things like blocking access to objectives or getting throwaway units in the way of desired assaults.  Your units aren't just a collection of shooting and close combat attacks; they're also little bits of partially-impassible terrain that you can shuffle around the battlefield.
 The toolbox is a good bit of the reason why mechanized armies can be so powerful.  They gain their player access to improved or extra tools (potentially faster movement, tank shock, mobile terrain) as well as rob their opponent of the use of their own tools (via inability to target transported models).

Everything is about either giving yourself a tool to take advantage of, or denying the enemy the use of theirs.  You take units with good armor saves to give yourself the ability to ignore a lot of damage, but the tool of low AP or a power weapon can take that ability away from you, etc.

What tools do you find to be especially useful?  Is there something you often take advantage of that others often overlook?

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Scythiak Usurpation - WIP Russ part 2

Second WIP on the M3 traitor Russ stand-in, with regular Russ chassis on the left for comparison.  As you can see the M3 is basically the same width, but is a good bit taller. 

Side view, showing that the M3 has a good bit of extra length.  Despite the height and length I think it's a good stand-in.  A smaller scale tank would wind up too small for the extra decoration and the turret.

Couple views of the extra decoration.

Paint is coming for the army!  The past week I've been away, this week is a bit crazy, next week school's starting up again so I'm not sure how busy that will be, but once I get in the groove there should be time for some painting sessions.

Monday, August 16, 2010

40K Basics: Wound Allocation - it's not that hard, really.

The wound allocation complaints have been making the rounds again lately, including the complaint that it's "too hard" or "takes too long".  If you really have problems understanding it, here's some examples that hopefully will clear it up a bit.

Here's a complicated unit - ten Chaos Marines: six normal, two meltaguns, icon, champion, so four wound allocation groups.

Here's the unit taking ten wounds of the same type.  Each group is full up with one group of wounds.  Six on the bolter guys, two on the meltaguns, one on icon, one on champion.

If we go by the dice results here and say they're normal wounds they get saves against, two bolter guys and one meltagunner will die.

Now we mix it up a bit.  The red dice are still something normal, like lasgun wounds, but now we add the black dice as for example plasma wounds, which will ignore the CSM's armor save. Four plasma wounds and ten lasgun wounds.

All four plasma get allocated to the regular joes, along with two lasgun wounds to fill them out, the meltagunners, icon, and champion each get a lasgun, and with two lasgun wounds left over, they lap around back to the bolter joes.  

If we go by the dice as shown, four bolter guys will die (no save) and one meltagunner also dies from a failed lasgun save.  If you ignored wound allocation in this instance and just did everyone as one large group, you would only have five bolter guys die and the meltagunner would be safe.  Using the allocation properly provides an example of how wound allocation can benefit the shooter, even with mixed AP weapons.

Here's another mixed AP example, this time with the white dice representing the armor-ignoring attacks, and red dice still being normal armor saves.  Say, eight Demolisher cannon wounds, six heavy bolter wounds.  

Six demolisher wounds go on the bolter carriers, and everyone else claims a heavy bolter wound until everyone in the unit has a wound allocated.  Then in the second lap, all of the remaining wounds (two demolisher and two HB) wind up on the bolter carriers.  
With the dice in this example, the bolter guys are wiped out with a little left over, while the other groups are safe.  This is one of the examples those who dislike WA hate; if you just did everything as one group, you'd wind up with nine dead CSM (eight from no-save demolisher, one from failed HB save).  Interestingly though, the CSM player would get to choose which one survived.

Let's make the squad smaller.  Three bolter guys, meltagun, champion - three wound groups.

Basic allocation, six regular wounds.  Each group is full up, and bolter guys get an extra wound.

Using the dice as shown, everyone is OK except for the champion, who bites it.  Without wound allocation, rolling the six saves as one group, you'd just see a regular bolter guy go down instead.  Another example where WA can benefit the shooter.

Bringing mixed AP in again.  Two plasma wounds (white dice) added to the six lasgun wounds.

Two plasma and a lasgun go on the bolter guys, lasgun to meltaguy, lasgun to champion.  Three lasgun wounds left over, wrap back around to the bolter guys.

Here, dice as shown would have two bolter guys die (no save) and the champion bites it again.  Without wound allocation, you'd just see the three normal bolter guys die instead.

One of the much less likely, but commonly used examples - a bunch of normal saves and a bunch of amor-ignoring ones.  Again, white dice for armor-ignoring shots, like plasma, red for normal shots like lasguns.

Three plasma to the bolter guys, lasgun to melta, lasgun to champ.  Wrap around - repeat three plasma to bolters, lasgun to melta, lasgun to champ.  Two lasgun wounds left wrap around a second time and land on the bolter guys.

This is an example those who dislike WA really hate, as it only has the three bolter guys die, where if you ignored allocation the squad would be wiped out by the plasma wounds.

For the last example, let's tie it in with another of the big 5th-edition hates, cover saves. Here the five-man CSM squad is in a trench, hunkered down for a 4+ cover save.  They're hit as in the last example, with six amor-ignoring plasma wounds and six lasgun wounds, but this time they get to make cover saves against the plasma.

Allocation as previously, but this time the CSM get lucky with their cover saves and unlucky with some lasguns, felling both the champion and the meltagunner but sparing the normal joes.  Without wound allocation, rolling as one big group, you'd see two bolter guys removed instead.

So there's how to do it.  Keep track of how many and what kind of wounds your opponent inflicts, grab some dice, put them in groups, roll, remove casualties.  Try it a few times, it really doesn't take long.  If you try the above scenarios (or others) and roll them out a few times, you'll see that sometimes wound allocation ends up benefiting the attacker, sometimes the defender.

You may or may not like it, and that's your right, but I hope that you won't consider it "too hard".


You put your chocolate in my peanut butter!

Lyrics | Nofx lyrics - You Put Your Chocolate In My Peanut Butter! lyrics

There are two main GW games many play - 40K which is the sci-fi version, and WHFB, which is the fantasy version.  Two different things, right?  Not always.

When responding to a post on Table Top War about why Magilla doesn't see much cavalry  in 40K games, I mentioned that some people just don't like the idea of them in a sci-fi setting.  They don't want to play a fantasy army, a Napoleonic army, or even a World War I army; they're playing a sci-fi game, they want big laser guns, flying tanks and things like that, dangit! 

On the flip side, there are fantasy players who want to see armies with swords and spears, cavalry and wizards, and dislike all these guns, cannons, tanks and helicopters peeing on their imagery.  Take your warpstone creations and Hochland whatchamijiggers back to Mars, thankyewveddymuch!

Of course, others like the combinations.  They enjoy seeing 41st-millennium knights pile out of tanks to engage their foes with swordplay, or seeing someone enchant a cannon to shoot better.  The imagery of the mashup is part of the appeal to them.

Where do you stand?  Are there things that you think are silly to see in your game of choice?  Are there supposedly anachronistic things that you love?

Sunday, August 15, 2010

Review and Sample List: Renegades and Heretics - Defenders of Vraks FW PDF update

While the original list has been out for quite a while in Imperial Armour 5, the Vraksian Renegades have had a recent rebirth via Forgeworld tweaking the list and releasing it via PDF.

Get the list HERE , and also grab the FAQ, which has some important clarifications, changes and errata. 

At a basic level, the Defenders of Vraks are an Imperial Guard army, but they're somewhat of a hybrid of the previous IG codex and the more recent one, along with some extra options like bringing along some Chaos Marines or Minefields.  I'm going to discuss them in a "regular" 40K environment, where people are OK playing against the list, but you're not going to use FW/Apocalypse-specific things like flyers or superheavies.

They also have a special rule for their Leadership for their core (Renegade Militia) units, "Renegades".  This gives each unit with the rule a random Ld, determined when they first need to test, of 4+d6, so a range of 5-10.  While at first glance, the potential for a 5-6Ld looks pretty grim, there are a number of ways to get the odds in your favor:
  • With a cheap vox-caster, you get to re-roll when determining the Ld, improving your chances of a decent result greatly. 
  • "Leadership" - one of the holdovers from the old IG codex, the Ld bubble.  Even if the squad rolled a bad Ld, if your Champion rolled a good one and is close enough you can use theirs instead.
  • Chaos Banner - good ol' regimental standard equivalent, re-roll failed morale checks within the bubble.
  • Enforcers - the Renegade commissars.  While too pricey for regular use, if you're going to take big combined squads they can be a good investment.
The random Ld, when paired with the re-roll from the vox caster, can also allow you to set things up nicely sometimes.  While often you'll want to get a high Ld, there will be times when the ability to get a low Ld will be to your advantage, and your vox re-rolls can help you get them.  Sometimes you'll want to have a chance to fall back out of assault range, or you'll want your sacrifice squad to get run down in combat resolution, leaving the enemy out in the open for a round of shooting, and random Ld with re-rolls can help you set those situations up.

While the Renegade Militia all have the random Ld, most of the unit selections available don't suffer/have the opportunities.  The more elite choices have good Ld (or are even Fearless, in the case of the Ogryn Berserkers), the Workers Rabble have poor Ld, and of course all the vehicle options ignore Ld.

Company Command Platoon - This is your only actual HQ choice, so you'll have 1-2 of these.  This is another place where the old IG system carries over, as your HW squads are part of a command platoon instead of a troops platoon, so these HW teams won't be scoring.  The HW squads can't get vox casters, so will be stuck with whatever they initially roll for Ld, so keep them near the Champion, hopefully with Chaos Banner.

The command squad itself is not a special weapon spam squad like the regular IG version is, only one special weapon available (plus a heavy team if desired).  No four meltas/plasmas/flamers here.

Enforcers/Rogue Psykers/Apostate Preachers - Yet more carryover, old-style Advisors.  Don't use up force org spots, assign to squads.
  • Rogue Psykers...pretty pointless.  Ld8 psyker with generally poor random powers (and 1/6 of the time, no power at all) even if you do get them off.  Fun special rule where they get possessed if the suffer a Perils test.  If you really can't find another way to spend the points, pick one up.  Otherwise pass.
  • Apostate Preachers - boost the assault power of a unit, can be worth it if you're taking a big Workers Rabble unit or a big combined squad you don't want to have shoot.  
  • Enforcers - again, good with a big combined squad or with a big Workers Rabble (depending on how you interpret the Summary Execution rule).  Shoot the leader to auto pass a normally failed morale check.  (the issue with Workers Rabble is that the Summary Execution rule says you shoot the Champion or Veteran, but Workers Rabble don't have either...if can just shoot a random guy and have it work, Enforcers and WR are a perfect match.  If not, WR themselves become very weak.)  Unlike their Imperial counterparts, do not grant Stubborn, and also have the fun option to take demo charges.  

Disciples of Xaphan - the veteran guardsmen in the list, have Infiltrate, take up to three specials as well as a demo charge, good Ld and BS.  Can take a Chimera, and if you don't want to infiltrate/outflank with them you probably should.  If you can get them into position potential to do some serious damage.

Renegade Ogryn Berserkers - Ogryn with no guns, Fearless, Feel No Pain, random attacks, smaller squad sizes.  One can take a power weapon.  Risk killing themselves if they roll high with the random attacks.  A potential question for them is if their FNP helps against wounds they take from their combat drugs; they way the rule is written I would say that it does not help them.  Can be pretty nasty, but it's a footslogging dedicated HTH unit in a primarily shooting army, so consider how they're going to fit before taking them.  If you're going to mob up lots of them and a bunch of Workers Rabble and go charging across, great.  If you intend to play more traditional IG style, maybe leave them at home or at least keep them in Reserve to enter and charge enemies that have closed to your DZ.

Alpha Legion Squad - CSM with Infiltrate free, can also get a Rhino (or Dreadclaw, if you're using flyers).  Very standard CSM, with addition of Infiltrate and downside of only being able to take one special weapon (and no heavy).  Could be a good unit to stiffen the militia lines, or to infiltrate/outflank into the enemy to distract them and so allow the firing line to keep plugging away.

Renegade Militia Platoon - bascially guard squads and command squad.  Can combine (along with the command squad, but no medic option so not really ugly), no transport option so if you want mech take the Renegade Armored Fist Squads (see below) instead.  Again, no quad-special weapons in the command squad.

Worker's Rabble - conscripts with pistol/ccw (you can swap for lasgun, but little reason to do so).  Poor Ld, so to be worthwhile as more than a one-turn screen you'd need a favorable answer to the question about interaction with Enforcers.  If Enforcers work with them, a full squad with an Enforcer and a Priest could be pretty icky, especially if the Enforcer and Priest are packing PF, as they're not ICs so are untargetable in CC.  As with the Ogryn though, keep in mind that would be a dedicated CC unit in what is primarily a firepower army.

Renegade Armored Fist Squad - guard squad in a Chimera, this is your Troops choice if you're going mech.

Fast Attack
Hellhound, Scout Sentinels, Armored Sentinels - pretty much as per IG.  HH only, no Banewolves or Devildogs.

Salamander Scout Squadron - faster, open-topped Chimeras in squadrons of 1-3, no transport capacity, run around and do some shooting.  Cheap but pretty fragile.

Heavy Support
Can take many of the familiar IG tanks and arty pieces, singles only; no squadrons.  Also have some more unique options.

Artillery Strike - similar to the Inquisition orbital bombardments, with some differences.  Basically off-board artillery called in by spotters.  In general you'd probably be better off with an on-table piece, but this option is cheaper and allows for some neat tricks since you can target a spot on the table vs. enemy units if desired, so can ignore Shrouding, Veil of Tears and things like that.

Sentry Gun Battery, Turret Emplacement - immobile, so probably best in special scenarios vs. regular games.

Heavy Weapons Platoon - command squad with extra heavy weapons squads, can also get some Sabre Platforms, but again since immobile those would be better in special scenarios.  If you really feel the need for more heavy weapons squads after maxing out your HQ slots, here's where to go if for some reason you're not getting tanks instead.

Minefield - here is one of the gems of the list.  Be sure to read the FAQ for this entry, as it completely changes it.  For a very cheap cost you're basically able to lay down significant areas of dangerous terrain, which is a godsend for a shooty army.  The ability to reshape the battlefield is golden. 

I could write a whole article about the potential joy of the minefields, but I'll contain myself at least for now.  Instead just a few points/reminders:
  • One selection's worth is too easy to bypass; if you're going for mines, get two sets.  Keep in mind that this seriously limits your other HS options.  With proper spacing two sets can cover the whole 6' of table length, and it's even easier to box in an enemy with Spearhead deployment.  
  • The mines make dangerous, but not difficult, terrain.  It won't slow down infantry, etc.
  • You only need to take one dangerous test when you move through "one or more" areas of dangerous terrain in a move.  So where possible consider proper spacing if going for depth, so regular vehicle, jump packs, etc. can't 12" move over two minefields in one move, only requiring one test.
  • Remember that things like dozer blades, siege shields and grots can let the enemy get through fields more easily.
  • Adjust your use to the mission, your opponent, and the rest of your own army.  Use for Outflank/Deepstrike defense, make objectives dangerous, make those Land Raider assaults more risky, etc.  Don't just string them across the length of the table if there could be a more useful way to deploy them.
  • It can often be a good idea to shoot for deploying second, as you'll be better able to respond to the enemy deployment with the minefields that way.  In Dawn of War you probably want to try to go first, so that you can set them up closer to the midpoint if desired.
 And here's a sample 1500pt list.  There's many other possible builds of course, but here's a sample of how a Defenders of Vraks army might look.

Company Command Squad
Chaos Banner, Vox Caster, Autocannon.
Chimera with Autocannon/Heavy Bolter.

Mortar Squad (60)
Autocannon Squad (75)
ML Squad (90)

(The Command Squad's main purpose is to provide a Ld bubble to squads that roll lower than the Champion and the Banner re-rolls, while also throwing a little anti-transport firepower downrange. The R&H Chimeras get a nice option to upgrade the multilaser to autocannon.)

Renegade Armored Fist Squad
Vox Caster, meltagun, autocannon.  Chimera with Autocannon/heavy bolter, hunter-killer missile.

Renegade Armored Fist Squad
Vox Caster, meltagun, autocannon.  Chimera with Autocannon/heavy bolter, hunter-killer missile.

Renegade Armored Fist Squad
Vox Caster, meltagun, autocannon.  Chimera with Autocannon/heavy bolter, hunter-killer missile.

Renegade Armored Fist Squad
Vox Caster, meltagun, autocannon.  Chimera with Autocannon/heavy bolter, hunter-killer missile.

(Toss out a lot of anti-transport fire early, try to de-mech enemies and force them to slog through the minefields/be exposed to firepower longer.  Meltaguns if anything dangerous manages to close, or if need to take a hard target off of an objective.)

Disciples of Xaphan
5xDisciples, 3xPlasmagun, Champion has Demo Charge
(Outflank and cause some pain, especially if you've gotten the enemy to cluster on the flanks to avoid mid-field mines.)

Alpha Legion
10xCSM, Icon of Chaos Glory, Meltagun, Champion with Powerfist.

(Also Outflank around the mines, distract the enemy and keep him from advancing on the firepower base.  Primarily included here as a "fun" option, to add some variety to the IG-ness of the army and add some of that old Lost and the Damned army feel.  This is an easy place to swap out for some other flavor options, like a unit of Renegade Ogryn Berserkers, or a unit of 40 Worker Rabble with an Enforcer.)

Heavy Support
Minefield (50)
Minefield (50)

(Cheap and different.  Have fun reshaping the battlefield and hopefully fouling up the enemy's plans.)

Manticore (160)
(High-str ordnance to help bust things like Land Raiders, and potential for multiple templates to punish enemies who bunch up to go through supposedly "safe" channels through the minefields.  This is another place for easy substitution, just plug in preferred HS unit.)

Total  1500pts

Island of Blood starter set for $100?

Now, I'm normally not one to price gripe too much, but geez.

First came the 8th Ed WHFB rulebook,  weighing in at 74.25USD.  Many, myself among them, decided to just wait for the starter set instead.

Then that starter set arrives, Island of Blood for 99.00USD.  Hmm.

Seems like just a few years ago when the hardback books were in the 40-50USD range, and the starter sets were 60-75USD.  Don't get me wrong; the minis in IoB look pretty nice, but I have no real interest in a Skaven or HE army, reducing the utility, and that's probably the case for most players too.  I also question some of the choices - while the lord on Griffon looks great, you're not likely to field more than one, cutting down on the value of the "buy two and swap figures" plan many do with the starter sets.  I've seen people with whole armies built out of multiple sets of Black Reach Orks or BfSP Gobbos and Dwarves; that seems less likely with Island of Blood.  

Since I have had a fantasy army bestowed upon me, it would seem crass not to get back into WHFB at some point, but I imagine I'll just be ebaying for a book and maybe a few specific figures like the Rat Ogres instead of plunking down for the whole shebang.

For those of you interested in 8th ed, are your WHFB plans?  Did you already get the big book?  Plan on Island of Blood?  Both?  Piecemeal approach?

Saturday, August 14, 2010

Review: Risings and Rebellions 1919-1939

Recently after being tipped off to a sale by Chris at The Raz File, I picked up Risings and Rebellions from Foundry, and got to read it during down time on my recent vacation.

Rather than just reiterate what's in their official blurb, here's the basics via Foundry:

Interwar Colonial Campaigns
in Africa, Asia, and the Americas

By Edwin Herbert
Political background and campaign narratives, organisation, tactics and terrain, dress and weapons,
command and control, and historical effects

A4 sized hardback with traditional linen
and glittering gilt binding, 192 pages.
Illustrations include 137 drawings of soldiers,
50 other illustrations and maps.

Interwar Colonial Campaigns in Africa, Asia, and the Americas.
Following on from the author’s highly-acclaimed Small Wars and Skirmishes, this volume covers the most significant ‘small wars’ of the interwar period up to the Italian occupation of Abyssinia in 1935–36. Coverage is also extended to include the activities of ‘social bandits’. Its title Risings and Rebellions reflects this change in emphasis compared with earlier colonial campaigns. Indeed, the sheer scale of such wars as the risings against the French and Spanish in Morocco and the Italian reconquest of Libya takes them out of the category of ‘small wars’ altogether.

There's a wide range of conflicts covered, from small ones involving a few hundred participants to massive undertakings like the Spanish and French unpleasantness in Morocco.

The book is split into three main sections.  The first has more in-depth descriptions of sixteen different events/campaigns ("The rise of resistance movements"), the second has thirteen shorter narratives ("A synopsis of other colonial incidents").  There's also a nice section at the end that discusses some of the common weapons, aircraft, and armored cars used during the period.  It's interesting to see some things carry over from the Great War, some lessons that are apparently unlearned, and some foreshadowing for WWII.

For anyone interested in 20th century history or colonial conflicts this would be a good read.  For gamers who want to recreate some of these conflicts it would be a great resource for scenario ideas and the parts of the summaries that detail uniforms would be very helpful for choosing and painting figures appropriately.  Each summary is also followed by suggested sources for further reading, should you wish to delve further into a particular event. 

I do have a few minor criticisms.  
  • At times the division between "resistance movement" and "other colonial incident" seems a bit odd; I don't know if such a division was really necessary.  
  • While I guess it qualifies as an "incident", the inclusion of the Amritsar massacre felt out of place as it was just that, a massacre, and doesn't fit with the rest of the examples which while they may have been asymmetrical, involved fire from both sides.  Instead a section on the anti-British action in general in India at the time, including but not focused on the massacre, would have fit better.  
  • The book itself is beautiful, and while that itself is not a criticism, I wish that it had come with a dust jacket to help protect it.  The gilt flakes off very easily which is a shame.  I imagine I can come up with something myself, but an official cover would have been nice.
 It's a good book, and I imagine it's predecessor, Small Wars and Skirmishes (apparently no longer available from Foundry's web store) is as well.  It is a bit pricey at its regular $63USD price.  For interwar enthusiasts looking for a good place to start or for a quick reference, it could be worth it.  For the more casual reader it would be well worth it if you can find it discounted, but I'd hesitate to recommend it unreservedly at full price for anyone who wouldn't use it as a springboard for more reading and exploration.  It also presumes a good bit of basic background knowledge that could be a hurdle for some.

At the discounted price I got it at, four askaris out of five.  At full price, I'd give it three askaris out of five. 

Monday, August 9, 2010

What armies would you want for opponents?

There are a lot of factions out there in the 40K universe.  There's sixteen different codexes (though 5 1/2 of those are various versions of loyalist marines), each of which can do a number of different army types.  Plus Forgeworld lists, fan-made material and so on.  Despite this range of options, many local "scenes" don't see the same kind of variety.

You have control over what figs you buy, how you paint them, what rules you want to use.  But you rarely have the same kind of control over what your opponent brings to the table, and may find yourself frequently facing armies you either don't give a whisker about or even actively dislike.

But what if that could be different?

If you could choose what your local 40K gaming scene would be like and what kinds of armies you'd get to play against, what would you pick?

Personally, I love the whole Imperials vs. Chaos mess and would love to have most of my games centered around that.  I can have fun playing or playing against the various 40K aliens, but in general I'd like to see waves of Imperial Guard, Space Marines, Chaos Space Marines and Lost and the Damned type armies on the table.

Ideally I'd get to play against good looking armies of:

*Imperial Guard, various regiments and builds.  Cadians, Catachans, Vostroyans, Steel Legion, Krieg, Elysians, Valhallans, Mordians, Praetorians, etc.  Heck, 40K as as much variety just in Imperial Guard as many games do altogether.
*Space Marines, various types and builds, including at least one good Space Wolf army and a super-elite force like Deathwing.
*Witch/Daemon Hunter armies, various types - all GK/all SoB, puritan/radical Inquisitorial types.
*Chaos Space Marines and Lost and the Damned/Traitor Guard type armies, various types and builds. 
*A sprinkling of Xenos.

When I played my IG or loyalist marines I could fight traitors or aliens, and when playing my own traitors I'd have a variety of Imperial lackeys to battle.  With my own aliens (currently Orks and Tau) I could face anyone, but would probably generally prefer Imperials.

In the larger sense, of course we'd have a variety of game types, events, campaigns and the like.  I'd like to see bigger stories (campaigns, etc.) vs. just bigger games.  The Apocalypse bug never bit me.

Who would you fight if you could choose?  Do you like fighting bugs, bugs, and more bugs?  Anything but Orks?  Sick of Marines?  

I'd fight Shatner.

Friday, August 6, 2010

Renegades and Heretics FAQ available from Forgeworld

Hot off the recent redo of the IA5 Vraks list, they released a PDF FAQ via their newsletter.  Also a MKIV armor kit and some pretty cool looking bolters.

Thursday, August 5, 2010

Scythiak Usurpation - WIP Possible Russ

Just a WIP shot of a potential Russ for the Scythiak.  I have some other tank chassis I was thinking of using with a Defiler turret, but when I saw this at the local store for a reasonable price I grabbed it to see how it would look.  Figuring that the Defiler turret would look a little small on this, tried out a leftover turret from the Ork battlewagon.  Overall I like it.  It's about the same width as a regular Russ model, a tad longer and especially with the Ork turret a good bit taller.

For those who may not recognize the chassis, it's an M3 Lee, an early US design from WWII.  One of several early WWII tanks that had the main gun in the hull, with a smaller gun in the turret.  All the high profile of a tank and all the arc of fire of a self-propelled gun!  For a long time I've considered doing some Russ conversions based on that generally poor idea, with battlecannon in hull and lascannon in the turret.  For this one, I decided to build it like a "normal" IG tank, with main gun in the turret and lascannon or HF in the hull.  It's got lots of flat panels and rivets, helping it look like a 40K tank.  There's enough space on the sides if you'd want to add sponsons, but I don't plan to.

If I end up using this, I'm not sure if I'll keep it as the Eradicator with HF (and accordingly chop off/replace the hull gun), or if I'll run it as a regular Russ and keep the hull gun largely as it is, calling it a lascannon.  In either event extra decoration, spikes and iconography will be added.

Even if I don't use it for this, it'll get used at some point for the Scythiak, or my regular IG or the Orks.  It's a good deal, and the 3rd-grade skill level is a good fit for me.

Tuesday, August 3, 2010

Comfort Zones and Stretching

     We all have things in this hobby that we're more comfortable with, techniques or game types that we're better at.  These are our comfort zones.  We get a little nervous venturing outside of them, but it can be rewarding.

     Comfort zones aren't bad, by any means.  For things that you're comfortable with and good at, you can make a lot of progress fast on the hobby side of things.  And with a little bit of planning, you can leverage your comfort zones for even better looking results.

    How so?

    If you love mixing and matching parts of various kits to make different-looking models, why not choose an army that will let you do that more easily?  Armies where most of the guys are pretty similar and have a lot of multi-piece kits can feed into this well.

     Empire, Chaos Warriors, Orks, Space Marines off all stripes and Chaos Marines can all work very well with this.  Some other armies where kits are limited and/or the look of the various units is pretty different are more limited in this regard - you're not going to get much use out of Kroot parts on either your Fire Warriors or your battlesuits in a Tau army, or be able to use leftover Saurus heads on your Skinks in a Lizarman force.  But take a Marine tactical squad, a Sanguinary Guard box and a Black Templar upgrade sprue and you can go to town.

    If you like variety and easy conversions, when you're looking at new projects consider how much the prospective armies are "unit in a box" vs. "bunch of bits in a box."  It can also be worth looking at other armies too - mix up the various Elves, add fantasy parts into a 40K army, etc.  Don't be afraid to branch out beyond GW either - there's lots of great companies making pretty compatible parts, like Pig Iron, Micro Art Studios, Chapterhouse Studios and many others.

     On the painting side, say you're like me and love things like washes and drybrushing, and hate big flat areas, multiple paint layers, blending and things like that, and have poor freehand skills.  An army with a lot of built-in depth on the figures could suit that style well, maybe something like an organic looking army with a bunch of Lizardmen Saurus or Tyranids, or something like Orks with well-defined muscles and features and with vehicles and weapons that have lots of texture instead of smooth surfaces.  On the other hand, if you're an ace with freehand, consider something like the Deathwing, with lots of smooth spaces on Terminators and Land Raiders to filigree and decorate to your heart's content.

     I'm not saying that you should choose your armies based solely on what you think will be easiest to paint.  But it is something that you may want to consider so that you don't end up with a case full of half-painted figures that you're not happy with.  Consider them as part of your planning for the long haul, not instead of it.

     When gaming, your comfort zones will help you speed up, as you get more familiar with the rules and your army.  You won't have to consult the book every time your Plague Marines take a hit to see if it negates FNP or not, you'll have the vehicle damage table memorized, and so on.

     Being familiar with a particular army or list can be comfortable too, as you get to know the ins and outs well, can react more instinctively, understand the weaknesses and synergies better, etc.  I've heard many stories about how someone made a last-minute change to an army list right before a tournament, and the whole army fell apart, or they switched to a different codex that they weren't as familiar with because it was "more powerful" but they didn't understand as well.

     While comfort zones are good, we all need to stretch them!  If you never tried something new, you never would have played a game or put brush to plastic in the first place.  After a while though you can settle into new comfort zones which you may want to try to shake up from time to time.

     In modeling, are the extent of your conversions easy bit swaps?  Do some experimenting with green stuff and sculpting, or chopping and repositioning.  Start exploring magnets, to make your special weapons guys and tanks more modular. 

     For painting, try out some techniques you've seen but haven't tried.  It may be slow going and the initial results may not be the greatest, but the more you do them the better you'll get. 

     You can find tons of great modeling and painting advice online.  Check out the sites for the various manufacturers, blogs, and most of the big forums have extensive hobby-related sections with tons of great examples and tutorials.  Poke around; you may find the next thing you want to try yourself!

     As to gaming, if you're getting bored, mix it up a little.  Swap armies with your opponent or do some proxying and see how a different army style plays.  Use some of the official supplements like Planetstrike, Spearhead, Cities of Death or Battle Missions.  Or try some of the fan-made things like alternate army lists and scenarios from Dice Like Thunder or The Rules Manufactorum.  Perhaps give some smaller games a try, like with some of the interesting Kill Team variants coming about recently from Galaxy in Flames or A Gentleman's Ones.

     So get to know your own comfort zones and take advantage of them, but don't be afraid to stretch!

Monday, August 2, 2010

Purge the Unclean...and Unpainted - Batrep Daemon Hunters vs. Scythiak Usurpation

Normally I don't like fielding unpainted units, much less armies, but when JVB wanted to run his recently-recovered Grey Knights, it was hard to resist the temptation to put the traitors on the table.  And since when is Chaos about resisting temptation? Besides, this will be a chance to see the recruits so far in action.

We set out for 2000pts, which is the size I was building the Scythiak Usurpation towards, but since I haven't built the vehicles yet I made a few substitutions and proxies.  Instead of a Hydra I used the Heavy Bolter squad, a second-hand Chimera served as one of the Chimeras, and some tanks looted from the Merkans provided others - a Hellhound as stand-in for another Chimera, and a Russ as the Eradicator.

JVB just got the DH back from someone who was going to paint them but never did, so there's a lot of Bare Metal Knights and Black Knights mixed in with the Grey ones.  His guardsmen that he's using for Stormtroopers need repairs, and we subbed in some borrowed dreads and a rhino to fill his list out.  Neither side is going to look top-notch here, so if  you want a pretty report, move on.  If you're just looking for a bit of a lark, read on!

We rolled up a standard mission, Annihilation/Pitched Battle.  GK won the roll, picked a side and setup.  

My list was:

Scythiak Usurpation (Codex: IG)

Company Command Squad
"Astrakenor", Word Bearers Prophet - Counts-as Iron Hand Straken.
Regimental Standard (+LP/CCW)
Chimera - Multi-laser, HF 220pts

Sorceror Coven - 9xPsykers + Overseer
Chimera - Multilaser, HF 165pts

Chaos Ogrynx10 410pts

"Khonan" - counts-as Marbo 65pts

Infantry Platoon
Platoon command - PF/laspistol 2xflamers 55pts
Inf squad - PW, grenade launcher 65pts
Inf squad - PW, grenade launcher 65pts
Mortar squad 60pts
Lascannon squad 105pts
Heavy Bolter squad 75pts

Infantry Platoon
Platoon command – PW/laspistol, 2xflamers 50pts
Inf squad - PW, meltagun 70pts
Inf squad - PW, meltagun 70pts

Fast Attack
10xRough Riders (1) sgt has meltabombs 110pts

Fast Attack
10xRough Riders (2) sgt has meltabombs 110pts

Fast Attack
3xSpawn Riders (Scout Sentinels) w/Missile Launchers 135pts

Heavy Support
Leman Russ Eradicator, HF hull, Dozer Blade 170pts

2000pts (with the exception of the "real" list having a Hydra instead of the HB squad, this is the list I've been building towards)

JVB took:

Grey Knights (Codex: DH)
GK Termie Captain
GK Termie squad, two psycannons
GK squad, incinerators
GK teleport squad, incinerators
GK heavy squad, 4xpsycannons
2xStormtrooper squads, PF and two plasmaguns
Stormtrooper squad, PF and two flamers, Rhino
2xGK dreadnought, TL lascannons, missile launchers


He set up spread out fairly evenly.  One ST squad and a dread on my left moving through a large ruin.  Captain, psycannon GKs and another ST squad middle-left.  Middle right had termies and flamer STs with second dread in back, right had incerator GKs with the Rhino as moving cover.  Teleport squad in reserve.

I set up HBs and Eradicator on my left. Mid-left came both Chimeras and their occupants, followed by the Ogryn, a RR squad and the techno-barbarian platoon.  Mid-right came the cultist platoon, another RR squad, and the lascannons/mortars.  Since we were doing KP, I went ahead and combined the two infantry squads in each platoon.  No commissars or anything to make them real solid tarpits, but mainly I just wanted them to run interference to allow the Ogryn and RRs to close.  My right was pretty open with no good fire lanes, so I just left it empty of troops and tried to concentrate more towards the middle.  Spawntinels would Outflank, and Khonan/Marbo was of course in Reserve.

The washed, but unpainted masses.
Turn one the DH moved up, and the forces of Chaos sluggishly advanced, repositioning some forces on the left more towards the middle.  One GK dread blew off the Eradicator's main gun, starting the trend for what would be a very poor day for the tank.  The Captain's psychic hood shut down the psyker battle squad, and that and some poor (but not deadly) psychic tests would keep the PBS from managing to do anything all game.

Turn two the STs on my left shot and ran off the heavy bolter squad.  Dread fire wrecked Astrakenor's Chimera, so he joined the wave of folks heading towards the center.  The teleport squad arrived, and landed next to the Captain via homer.

Sorry for the poor pics throughout - still trying to figure out my wife's new camera and how to bypass settings...

  In the Chaos turn the Spawntinels and Khonan both arrived, and one demo charge later the recently-teleported GKs were slain, but the Captain made his invulnerable save.  Shortly thereafter, Khonan gets gunned down by a ST's plasmagun.

More light in the game room would probably help too, and I'm sure the black board isn't doing me any favors...

Rough Riders get shot up, prep for assault.

STs flamer cultists, while Terminators and Ogryn position for the true battle...

Stormtroopers climb over rubble to assault the stricken Eradicator, eventually managing to kill it.

Cultists move aside to allow Ogryn to assault STs and Rhino.  My plan was to try to only hit the STs with a few guys, prolonging the combat and blocking the Termies from shooting/charging the Ogryn.  In the end my good to hit rolls and JVB's poor armor saves doomed the STs but left the Ogryn open.

RRs attack GKs, kill a few but are dispatched.

Rhino tank shocks through Chaos lines, pushing them aside but failing to make anyone break.  Termies and GKs assault Ogryn as Gyro leads RRs to better positions.

Lucky SOB who for a time was the sole survivor of his ST squad, making many saves against attempts to kill him and collect that KP.  He eventually succumbed to repeated mortar fire.

Tramplemaster Gyro flanks the GK Terminators and attacks from behind as they're occupied with Ogryn.  With a Furious Charge boost from Astrakenor it makes it even easier, and the hunting lances finish off the Terminators.

Meanwhile Astrakenor, Von Drakin and their retinues try in vain to destroy the Rhino.  It makes Astrakenor so angry that his backpack falls off.
The GK captain moved up and attacked the RRs.  With hunting lances expended, he's a much harder nut to crack!  He cuts down two riders, and then...
Bzow!  Apocalypse, you heretic scum!  Seven more RRs go down, and Gyro hoofs it away to fight another day.

The captain's glory is fleeting, as soon Killgore!, Kantor Fett and others beat him down. 
Not pictured, but other achievements on the left, with the techno-barbarian platoon, Papa JJ helped direct a good bit of FRFSRF lasgun death into various ST and GK squads, with Khorne Dog helped the platoon make its Ld rolls to accept the orders, and Notbrent's aim was true.

End result, Chaos victory.

The army still feels woefully light on anti-tank.  Maybe having the Hydra instead of the HBs would help there, but probably not enough.  Maybe some more games on somewhat less cluttered tables will show it to be sufficient, maybe not.

The Straken/Ogryn/RR combo worked like I thought it would.  Ogryn to suck a charge, with Counter Attack to help them out a bit, and standard for rerolls on their Stubborn 7.  Then RRs, if necessary with help from a Move Move Move order to make the Fleet roll high move around to countercharge whoever the Ogryn have in hand, aided by Straken's Furious Charge to make them I6/S6.  Granted, it's a horribly expensive combo, but fun to pull off vs. fancy elite units.

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