Sunday, April 29, 2012

PREDATOR 3: Battle Narrative, Part III

Conflict and Resolution...

In the middle of the battle field stands Logan Grimnar, the High King of Fenris, locked in combat with Harlequin leadership while the Avatar and Karandras with his scorpions speed to join the fray.  The Eldar Dark Reapers stand on a high platform, seemingly out of reach, Dire Avengers hold their ground, and Warp Spiders move in and out of realty, closing in on the Wolf Rune Priest who’s been casting the elements as weapons from afar.  In the far corner, the Long Fangs with their four missile launchers look for a new target...

(J's rockin' home-made Logan Grimnar)

The harlies are too quick for Logan, each dealing multiple blows with explosions of holographic color and leaving trace images of themselves behind to confuse the Wolf King.  Logan takes another wound but ignores the pain, slaughtering all but the harlie master with the next wave of his axe.  Long Fang frag missiles explode with wide bursts of shrapnel, claiming another scorpion or two as the sinister eldar warriors cross the field.  By the time Logan slays the last harlequin he is attacked by the towering Avatar, the Scorpion Lord Karandras and his nimble hunters.  The fighting becomes more furious.  After surviving a horrific amount of blood loss, Logan, fighting on until death, cleaves the burning eldar god with his smoldering frost axe, finally extinguishing the fire within it’s metal carapace, along with the last striking scorpion warrior.  Karadras had been crouching at the ready, his powerful scorpion’s claw clicking, waiting for the moment to strike (at Initiative 1, actually) and deals the final blow to the Space Wolf lord.  Among the pile of bodies—wolf king, grey hunters, harlequins, scorpions, and even the lifeless Avatar—only the master of scorpions remains alive.

(a pic of my Karandras and his boys in their stealthy blue helmets)

The Reapers, thinking themselves immune from the battle, are ambushed when the Wolf Scouts finally come into the game (reserve rolls were not working for J until about turn 4).  They climb the landing platform and fire their bolt pistols and melta gun (melta rolled a 1 to wound, I believe), killing all but the Reaper Exarch (I think one reaper had died from shooting earlier).  The reaper, rather than face 5 snarling space wolves whom he knew would defeat him, turned his tempest launcher skyward and fired two rounds straight up.  They soared above and then plummeted down on top of himself, a suicide of spectacular proportions.  (Okay, he fired at the wolves and deviated two cluster bombs right on top of his own head, but I prefer the noble suicide to the incompetent demise.)  The Dire Avengers then counter-attacked, spraying shurikens as they went.  The melee between scouts and avengers was long and painful (I have recently accepted that DAs are pretty much a purely shooty unit—I romanticized them thinking they were flexible and all-round good troops, but really, in melee they generally disappoint.  Asurmen gave them Defend and Shimmershields for a reason: they need them!), one Wulfen-afflicted scout dealing 7 attacks in one round, but ultimately the Dire Avengers won the bout.  (We actually misplayed ATSKNF for the wolves, who would have turned to fight instead of being wiped out in the DA sweeping advance—we’ll know better next time, but for now, I’ll take it.)

(awesome warp spider image lifted from artist VampireDGhost's website)

The warp spiders (suicide troops of little to no value in my previous games), now that their razor-sharp webbing wasn’t needed elsewhere, dispatched themselves to the role of assassins.  Making two teleport moves a turn, they popped in and out of reality until popping inside the bunker where the rune priest was holed up, lacing him up in so much monofilament webbing that his limbs were severed in the mere act of turning to fight.  They then proceeded to engage the long fangs, until then an unreachable thorn in the Eldar’s side.  With another round of webbing they routed the wolves, who climbed down from their tower, then rallied to fire back.  One warp spider was vaporized when a bunker-busting krak missile slammed into his abdomen.  Another round of webs failed to kill all the wolves, so the exarch, armed with two power blades, led his spiders into melee combat with the three remaining wolves.  (Again, these guys are SHOOTY units—twin power blades doesn’t make you Wolverine, spider-boy!)  At the end of Turn 7 this combat was still going on, neither side able to wipe out and route the other in that last turn of combat.  (Actually, I screwed up here too—had I teleported in within 6” of the wolves while they were still in route-mode I could have chased them off the board.  Again, not versed enough with the 40,000 rules yet.)

And so at the end of the battle there remained 3 long fangs, 1 warp spider exarch, Karadras, and the dire avenger exarch with one of his DAs.  Seven models lived.  So who won?  Tallying kill ponts, the Space Wolves had 6, and Eldar 7.  Eldar victory, but not by much!  Hell of a game.   

MVP:  I used to name an MVP for each battle from my army when I wrote up my little reports (which pretty much no one ever saw but me).  For this game I have a few candidates.  The Avatar is my first thought, having proven nigh invulnerable and sucked up a LOT of firepower, plus dealing plenty of death, including the only man who could take out the large-template-blasting vehicle in my midst.  The spiders and avengers get a nod too: the spiders stayed alive for a change and actually went about assassinating those at a “safe” distance once the major threats were under relative control; and the DAs actually defeated Marines in combat!  The last candidate is the well-deserving Karandras, scorpion phoenix lord.  He brought his boys in to help with the termies, helped kill the wolf cavalry, delivered the killing blow to Logan, and was still alive at the end of the game.  And the winner is...  The Avatar!  He died but accomplished so much and just took such an amazing beating--krak missiles, lightning, power weapons, plasma bolts... what a bad mutha!  

Boobie Prize:  For this game, a boobie prize is also warrented for the Eldar.  Again, multiple deserving candidates.  The night spinner tank that specialized in holiday tree decorations (though that was partially my fault for forgetting the twin-linked rolls).  The “suicidal” reaper exarch who fired two cluster bombs straight into the air and had them land on his own head (though he did some killing well before that shameful episode—plus that can still be passed off as an honorable bow-out before overwhelming odds).  No, the winner of the boobie prize has to be the goddamn cowardly jetbikers who ditched their friends at the first sign of trouble in turn one!  Congrats, you losers!!   


Wow, writing up a three-part report was a lot of work!  The game didn't take this long!  (and the worst part is only like 3 people will probably read it!)
I need a break...  

Thursday, April 26, 2012

PREDATOR 2: Battle Narrative, Part 2

Continuing the battle narrative...

The battle board featured two bunkers, some rocky outcroppings, a couple patches of trees (really nice looking ones too, fall colors on them), a couple of narrow ruined towers, and a big Imperial landing platform.  The Eldar were positioned in the southwestern corner, all drawn back together to allow some long-ranged fire on the slow moving Space Wolves, with the Dark Reapers on the high platform where they had a better view from which to rain down death.  The Wolf cavalry and Logan’s grey hunters were clustered behind scenery as close to mid-board as they could get, with the rune priest casting his living lightning from the view slits of a bunker and the long fangs in a back corner tower (a little too far back corner—their range was strained for the first few turns). 
The Eldar took the first turn, firing what long-ranged shots they had, the reapers maybe taking a hunter or two down in the first round.  The night spinner tank launched clouds of monofilament webbing into the air where it drifted down to decorate trees and a bunker for Halloween (like I said in the last entry, I forgot to reroll for twin-linked!  Dammit!).  The xenos figured they had all day to shoot down the enemy as they walked across the field.  They were wrong.  On wolf turn one a drop pod slammed down in their midst.  Five wolf guard in terminator armor lumbered from its blown hatches, all targeting the flaming insult to the Emperor’s faith: the Avatar.  Arjac flung his mighty hammer, a cyclone ML launched two krak missiles, a combi-plas fired two bolts of green fire, and bolter rounds exploded against its molten metal hide.  All for naught.  The burning god stood impervious to their attacks and roared a fiery battle cry.  (He made all his saves, armor and invuln, in complete defiance of their onslaught of shots.)  Finally the rune priest’s called lightning struck down from the heavens and inflicted a single wound on the monster.  The drop pod’s deathwind ML sprayed a huge burst of missiles at the crowded eldar, specifically targeting the Harlequin troupe (successfully spotted them despite the Veil of Tears psychic screen).  The large blast deviated just enough to hit four harlies and one of the jetbikes waiting behind a bunker.  Two harlies died, as did the biker.  With that one biker death, the warlock turned his jetbike around and sped his cowardly guardians off the field!  (Failed my morale check and they were only inches from the board edge, an easy jump to safety for the chickensh!t bikers.  Had I taken the warlock power Embolden instead of Enhance I could have rerolled that.  Now I know better.)  Finally, from the distant corner, four krak missiles streaked from the long fangs’ tower, harmlessly exploding against the night spinner’s hull. 

Then it was the Eldar’s turn.

Karandras and his band of striking scorpions outflanked onto the board, deciding to aid against the terrible terminators instead of coming out behind the long fangs (though they might have taken the long fangs, they’d have spent the rest of the game walking to find another victim).  As much as I wanted my Avatar to engage Arjac in combat, he was the only model I had with much chance of taking out the deadly drop pod (I didn’t want another large blast hitting my collected troops!), so the Eldar squads unloaded everything they had in the shooting phase.  The dire avengers blade stormed 27 shots (none of which got past the termies’ armor), the scorpions fired their pistols and catapults, the harlies danced toward the enemy and unleashed their shurikens, including the death jester’s shrieker cannon, and the warp spiders appeared to spray razor-sharp webbing at the wolves.  In that blizzard of shurikens and razorwire, finally the last terminator, the mighty Arjac, went down (after many successful armor saves).  The harlies were prepared to assault if they’d survived, as was the Avatar (scorps were still too far away).  With that substantial threat neutralized, the Avatar cast melta-fire from his burning sword and then attacked the drop pod, rending its missile launcher from within and reducing the vehicle to an empty hulk (wrecked it).  The reapers and night spinner harassed Logan and his foot solders as they jogged across the board, reapers taking a few, the tank spraying silly string into the trees (“See how the light glints off the razor wire?  Looks almost like Christmas!”).

About this time the Thunder Wolf Cavalry made their way in close.  The Eldar huddled back trying to stay just out of charge range of the giant wolves, but weren’t quite far enough.  The TWC charged the Avatar alone, inching the scorpions and phoenix lord out of the fight.  The Eldar god of war took the initiative and cut down one or two before the cavalry leader’s frost axe could take a bite out of the metal monstrosity.   Then the rune priest opened the skies and struck down a couple scorpions with lightning from above.  In the next turn Karandras led his warriors into the fray.  A few more scorpions died in the fight but the Eldar were victorious and all converged towards Logan Grimnar and his grey hunters (the Avatar with but one wound remaining).

The night spinner tank, meanwhile, suffered several hits from missiles and meltaguns, destroying the doomweaver weapon.  Now even more useless, the tank could only position itself in Logan’s path to slow his progress.  The warp spiders teleported just inside weapons range and spun a few webs into the hunters.  Bringing their melta and plasma weapons to bear again, and assisted by long fang missiles, the wolf force finally brought down the Eldar hover tank.  But once the vehicle was lying lifeless on the ground, pinwheels of color came dancing over its dead hull.  The harlequins, ignorant of gravity or terrain, leaped with ease over the wreckage, spitting shurikens and spinning right into combat with the grey hunters.  Those few grizzled wolves who had survived the long ranged attacks were wiped out by the mysterious Eldar troupe.  Only Logan remained, and his deadly axe cut down three of his enemies with one mighty swing, leaving him facing off against the Harlie Master, Shadowseer, and Death Jester. 

*  *  *

By this time (about the end of turn 4, I’d say), there were casualties on both sides but the Eldar were outnumbering the Space Wolves by quite a bit.  Logan was the last wolf on the forward end of the battlefield, engaged by Harlequins with the Avatar, Scorpion Lord, and striking scorpions closing fast.  And the Eldar’s other forces were still numerous, the Dire Avengers, Warp Spiders, and Dark Reapers had yet to take a single casualty.  But a wolf is most deadly when wounded, and the Sons of Russ were not done yet...

Wednesday, April 25, 2012

PREDATOR: Battle Narrative, Part I

Set-Up and Overview
Space Wolves and Eldar of Craftworld Ka’tana clashed on the field of battle on Sunday, leaving the mud crimson and the crows well fed.  I hadn’t used my Eldar in some time and wanted to break them back out (and now I really want to go back to them in prime time), giving my opponent a chance to see what aspect warriors could do, even against the strong and savage Space Wolves.  We played 1500 pts in an attempt to actually complete a game (the last two didn’t get past turn 4 before time ran out on us).  And we did that: the game went all the way to turn 7! 

I always name my lists, in this case PREDATOR, which seemed appropriate with my stalking Scorpion Lord and the Space Wolves and all.  Of course, knowing that I’m trying to maintain a blog now, I should have treated this like a journalist and taken my camera with me.  But as usual, I forgot.  So I don’t have pictures, which makes for a poorer report.

It turns out 1500 points doesn’t go very far for Eldar or SWs (though I could have told you that before).  Without going into all the wargear details, the lists looked roughly like this:

Karandras, scorpion phoenix lord
Striking Scorpions (7) with exarch
Dire Avengers (10) with exarch
Guardian Jetbikes (4) including warlock
Harlequins (8) with master, shadowseer, and death jester
Night Spinner grav-tank
Dark Reapers (4) with exarch
Warp Spiders (5) with exarch


Logan Grimnar
Grey Hunters (10)
Wolf Guard Terminators (5) including Arjac Rockfist
Drop Pod
Rune Priest
Thunderwolf Cavalry (4)
Long Fangs (5)
Wolf Scouts (5)

We rolled out Annihilation on a Spearhead deployment, the Eldar deploying and going first.  Knowing the Wolves were going to be aggressive and want to come in close, the Eldar pulled back in the their corner of the board, patient and brooding, allowing their long-ranged weapons to fire across the field.  That plan was disrupted when the SW drop pod landed in their midsts, but by the first half of the game the Eldar were looking good with a lot more models on the board and their molten god burning bright, an inspiration for bloodlust.  But by the end of the battle, in the span of only a few turns, the Eldar population was decimated.  At the resolution of Turn 7 there only four Eldar models and three Wolf models on the board.  It was pretty brutal.

Lessons learned (other than take your camera): I realized a lot of mistakes we made the day after the battle, forgetting a few key rules of the 40,000 Rules we had to remember.  Turns out my wonderful infantry-death Night Spinner tank’s primary guns are twin-linked; I knew that before we started but forgot during play.  So it would likely have been of some great use to me had I remembered that, rather than just spraying the scenery with monofilament webs for purely decorative purposes.  I later realized we also forgot to use And They Shall Have No Fear in the Avengers vs Wolf Scouts fight, and also when the warp spiders managed to turn the long fangs into a retreat—I could have ran them off the board had I pursued.  But alas, that’s how it goes in a long, exhausting game of 40K.  I also finally got some use out of my warp spiders, rather than having them leap ahead and get killed alone.  I think J found out that doesn’t work well with his terminator drop pod.  Had my night spinner been twin-linked and I’d have actually hit his grey hunter unit, he’d have also learned again the value of an armored transport for foot troops.  Of course every game is a learning experience (especially when they change all the damn rules on you every few years...).

And now, I suppose, you’d like to know what happened…

Wednesday, April 18, 2012

Bullet Proof Spunk

It's hard to come up with catchy, attention grabbing titles sometimes...

I was thinking today for some reason about fragments of memories about the old Rogue Trader rules concerning Eldar (I think) force fields.  I seem to remember some old weird protective fields (maybe they’ve come back in some current codex but I haven’t seen them).  I don’t remember how they worked then but I have new rules for them now (fun, random, weird rules):

1.  Displacement field:  

A protective energy shield that triggers a defensive teleportation in order to save the wearer.  The player may choose whether or not they are going to use this save, as it is inherently dangerous in and of itself.  It functions as an invulnerable save, statistically equal to a 3+ invuln.    

To make the Displacement Field invun save, roll D3 and the scatter die.  If a HIT is rolled, you have failed to teleport and failed the save (two out of six chance, same as rolling a 1 or 2).  If an arrow is rolled, add one-half of the attack’s Strength (rounded down) to the D3 result and move that full distance in the direction indicated by the arrow.  So, for example, if you’re hit by a lascannon, S9, you’d add 4 to the D3 and move that far.  If this would blip you into other objects, such as buildings or other models, you may potentially die from reappearing inside solid matter.  You now have to make a second save.  If you fail this second save, the model suffers instant death and is removed.  If you make it, cut short the displacement by just enough to be 1” away from any terrain or model.  Consult this table for your second save roll:

Impassable terrain
Difficult Terrain
Vehicles (friend or foe)
Other models/units (friend or foe)

* This chart is based on the flexibility of the given object/unit you’re teleporting against and the likelihood it’ll move or have space for you to appear without co-occupying space.

If the model fails this second save and has materialized inside another model, THAT model makes an armor save or is also removed (treat as a shooting casualty, owning player picks).  If he is teleported inside a vehicle it takes an automatic glancing hit as a head suddenly appears inside a control panel, fuel tank, or ammo bay.  If this move takes the surviving model out of combat then you are no longer in combat, as of that Initiative number (hope you got to swing before you left).  You cannot be placed INTO combat as a result (because you're never placed within 1" of other models... unless you appear inside them...)

I’d say this would be a bit of war gear for character models at 10 or 15 points.  It’s a 3+ invuln but comes with risks and unpredictable results. 

Is it practical?  Maybe not, but it sure sounds like fun!  I’d give my hero one!

2.  Conversion Field: 

The conversion field converts the energy of the incoming attack into another form of energy (thus the name).  I think the original version changed it into light, effectively making photon grenades go off (which had more effect than just stopping your A+1 charge bonus back in the day).  This one’s a little more loopy in my version (and kinda ork-like with the unpredictable random effects), but here we go. 
This is effectively an invuln save.  Whenever you choose to rely on it instead of armor or cover, roll on the chart below for the results. 

 Field converts the incoming attack exponentially, so much so that the field collapses on top of you.  Place the Blast Marker over the model.  The wearer (under the hole) takes a S9 hit with no save of any kind possible (roll to wound, apply instant death if twice your Toughness).  All others hit by the blast take a S5 AP2 hit.
Field fails, no save.  Apply wounds as normal.
Field saves with minor glimmer of light.  Treat as normal successful invuln save.
Converts to a blast of energy.  Hold Blast marker over model.  All models touched (friend or foe) take a S3 AP- hit.  Wearer is unaffected.
Converts to a shock wave.  Hold Large Blast marker over model.  All models touched (friend or foe) take a S4 AP- hit.  Wearer is unaffected.
Converts to an explosion of force and photons.  Hold Large Blast marker over model.  All models touched (friend or foe) take a S5 AP- hit.  Wearer is unaffected.  In addition, due to the blinding burst of light, for the remainder of this shooting phase and the next shooting phase, all models (friend or foe) within 12” are treated as if under the Night Fighting rules (shooting into or out of this area).  If the Night Fighting rules have already been in play, they are nullified for this duration for all models within 12” (shooting into or out of this area).

*Note that if the game is under Night Fighting rules, the model is treated as having been lit up by a search light for any result other than (2) or (6) due to the burst of light at conversion.   
Again, is this practical compared to your run-of-the-mill invuln save.  No, but it certainly makes for a more interesting game!


By the way, I actually have been painting lately.  Results soon to follow in my “Heavy Handed” series...

Saturday, April 7, 2012

Battle Blips

Last week J and I had an epic clash on the battlefield.  Unfortunately, i don't think I'm ever going to find the time to dedicate toward a good battle report/narrative.  Plus, the pics I took with my phone I can't seem to get to my computer for uploading.  (That may be becuz I'm technologically retarded).

Basically, it was approx 2060pts of Space Wolves vs Crimson Fists.  We created a scenario where there were 5 objectives hidden in 4 bunkers and atop a ruined tower.  In order to score, you had to send a squad in to search for the objectives -- mysterious orbs that whispered to the Chapter Masters (who were both present), capturing their minds enough to make them kill brother space marines to get the orbs!  So rather than shoot the unit made a leadership check.  If successful you found the orb and got the objective.  He with the most at the end won.

The highlights of the battle were:
   * CF thunderfire cannon laid down vicious fire, taking a lot of bloodclaws down.
   * A wolf scout went rabid on wulfen, dishing out 7 attacks in one round.
   * Arjac and his termie boys absorbed fire from at least 3 CF squads in one turn, no wounds.
   * Said wolf guard took their first 2 or 3 casualties in melee combat from ordinary CF tac marines.
   * CF dreadnought didn't even get off the drop pod landing platform before he was immobilized.
   * Njal kept the winds howling and my jump troops grounded.
   * Ajax, CF ordinary scout sergeant with a long history of being a bad dude, actually wounded Logan Grimnar, superhero of the galaxy!  (And bragged about it for the remaining 3 seconds of his life.)
   * Pedro Kantor, Chapter Master of the Crimson Fists, was torn to pieces by a pack of Fenrisian Wolves.  Though the wolves were attacked and routed by my jump chaplain and assault squad, the last two ran away with Pedro's limbs in their mouths.

The game ended a tie: the assault marines could have jumped into the tower at the last moment to make  agrab for another objective (score was 1:1), but chose to help out their leader Pedro instead.  As stated, they killed wolves but failed to save Pedro, whose Init 1 powerfist was too slow to strike before he was eaten alive.  It was a great game.  Sorry i couldn't give it a better write-up, J.

Wednesday, April 4, 2012

Black Library Card: changes good and bad

(Conan the Librarian)

Part One of my two part strategy to break into the publishing world this year (apart from the usual channels I am still using to little effect) is to try and get my foot in the door at the Black Library.  This means proposing a few short stories and hoping to get one published (or all of them, that'd be nice too).  But when I looked at the BL site today I saw changes!  They've streamlined the way they take submissions, mostly for the better (completely for the better for them). 

1) The window of opportunity has officially started a month early, and will end a month early.  Good news there is I don't have to wait anymore, bad news is I have less time to work on things.  But that hardly matters because...
2) They barely want anything in the submission anymore.  All they really need is a short sample of 500-1000 words.  No complete story, not even a summary or synopsis of a story.  They assume there is a story lurking in the background somewhere, for now all they want is a snapshot of what you can do.  Then, if it interests them, they'll ask for more.  This is of course a huge time saver for them, since they probably get thousands of submissions every year from all over the world.  And a time saver for me too: now I don't have to write out the whole story, or even a synopsis of one (though I'll still have that ready on my end in case they need it).  So it saves me time too.  Of my 3 to 5 short story ideas, I now need not develop any of them!  That's bad, really.  It's also generally bad that we now have one 500-1000 word shot at getting their attention and that's it.  No matter how detailed your ideas, they don't want to know unless your writing can pull it off.  And really, I guess that makes sense, and makes for easier screening.  Why flood the in-box with long submissions if you can tell in the first few pages if you're even going to read the rest of it?  So, good and bad...
3) Also, this is the last year they'll entertain novel proposals.  I suppose they have enough authors already that they don't really need more from the likes of us, though they are still open to new faces, which is nice.  I may try to write up one of my handful of 40k novel ideas for a proposal by the June 30 deadline (though the dire Doubter says, why waste your time?).  The good thing about this though--and they obviously recognize it too--is that we hopefuls aren't expected to write a whole novel which only one publisher in the world can print.  They just want the first few chapters and an outline of the rest.  Then if they're interested, they'll work with the author to develop the entire book.  That's good, because it'd suck to spend a year of your life writing a book and have them turn it down.

So now, my short story package is just about ready to launch (since it's so much simpler to put together).  I hope this works.  It'd be a great honor to join the ranks at the Black Library (and a great way to start an expanded writing career).

Monday, April 2, 2012

p.s. on those Dark Angels from yesterday...

Thinking further on yesterday’s thinking on the Codex list for Dark Angels thinking, specifically the jump troops squad:

So to discuss the Vanguard Vets in general, I generally don’t go for those because to use their special ability to assault upon deepstrike makes them 30 pt models: 20 for the vet, plus 10 more to give each one a jump pack.  It’s called Heroic Intervention and would be spiffy but it’s unreliable.  You may assault IF you land within 6” of an enemy, assuming you don’t scatter too far off the mark.  Which if you ask me is pretty risky, trying to land within 6” of an enemy unit to assault it and hoping you don’t land on top of it instead and suffer a nasty deep strike error roll.  So *IF* you land on target and manage to pull it off, great, but you’re paying 30 pts per model for a squad to maybe pull off that maneuver once in a game, or maybe die trying.  The other general good use for vanguard vets is simply as foot-pounding vets with good close combat gear.  (To that end I’ve thought about running a unit of Space Wolves with my Crimson Fists, being mean codex vanguard with cool claws and such.)

So my new thinking for the Dark Angels unit is maybe run an assault squad and then make a Captain with a jump pack and war gear to join them. 

Assault Squad (5) sgt w. power wpn, marine w. plasma pistol
Captain: jump pack, relic blade, storm shield, digital wpns

Could be a bad dude!  I saw on the 2012 FAQ that having both a relic blade and storm shield is legit, so that makes a 12” bouncy Captain with a S6 power weapon and 3+ invuln save (and I threw in digital weapons just for fun – if I needed those 10 pts elsewhere, so be it).  I’m imagining a big angelic looking guy with wings rather than a jump pack (and remember my DA assault boys have both – using the cool sanguinary guard models), a big honkin’ sword and angel-embossed shield and iron halo over his head.  Hmmm…  Might have to do that! 

Ah, screw it, I might as well make up a whole unique character right now!  So here’s an awesome figure to use for this guy, found on Scibor’s Miniatures (  (That guy’s doing some amazing sculpting over there!)

Not sure on a name, since Azreal’s already taken, so let’s go with Raphael for now (an angel’s name in Paradise Lost) but something classic and angelic and more masculine would be better. 
STATS:  as a Space Marine captain.
GEAR:  k+f grenades, artificer armor, iron halo, Flaming Sword, Wings of Shadow
            *Flaming Sword: A powerful relic of the chapter, flames dance along the blade when held by the righteous.  This is a power weapon that always wounds on a 3+.  Once per game, Raphael can project fire in the shooting phase as a flamer.  The weapon’s only drawback comes when the Night Fighting rules are in effect: Raphael and any unit he is joined to are visible as if lit up by searchlight (do not roll for spotting distance).
            *Wings of Shadow:  Acts as a jump pack.  If he deep strikes (alone or joined to a jump infantry unit), he will only scatter 1D6 and they may assault the same turn.
UNIVERSAL RULES:  Independent character, eternal warrior, fearless
            *Dragon Slayer: Raphael was one of the first Dark Angels who fought the crusade against the monsters of Caliban before mysteriously disappearing for millennia.  He has Preferred Enemy against Monstrous Creatures, walkers, and models with T5.
            *Daemon Slayer: He’s specialized in fighting against the powers of chaos for time uncounted.  He rerolls both to hit and to wound against daemons.  

Sunday, April 1, 2012

4 Winds and Dark Angels

So many things I'd like to blog right now but no time! (Thus the "4 winds".)  But i did get to play this weekend (thanks J!) and luckily met a whole crew of good guys to eventually play with as well.  I will blog our "battle narrative" sometime before I play again but not sure how quickly that is going to come.  I'd also like to comment on my writing ambitions at the moment (mostly for my own sake, no one else needs to care), the fact that I just won an ebay auction to gain some centigors to use as chaos spawn, and a whole slew (is that the right spelling? hey, i think i just found the past tense for "slay"!  I was looking for that the other day...) of other things.  But again, no time today, wasting time now.  Have to prepare for my promotion ceremony today (yeah me!) and the wife needs help with school projects this week, so... when I have time I will hopefully get to all these things.

But for now, I have spent precious time on the inspiration of the moment.

     So one of the guys there was playing Dark Angels but running them as an army from the Space Marine Codex.  He didn't care for the current DA codex (and while I do like alot of the cool stuff in it, I have to agree that some of it stinks, like basically having alot of units that are either 5 or 10 models, nothing in between, out of date/scale points costs, etc.)  So that got me to thinking as I was pushing my boy around the neighborhood (my second best time to do my thinking -- I'm sure you can guess in which room of the house I do my best thinking), how would *I* run a codex army as Dark Angels?

The HQs would be somewhat of a sacrifice.  I would still run cool HQ characters but could not ethically claim that they were Azreal, Belial, or Samael because they wouldn't have the same cool rules and generally awesome gear, though you could come close and give it a try.  I figured, aside from Chaplains, Librarians, and generic Captains, you could run Khan as a badass Ravenwing commander (or just a made-up Bike Captain), Sicarius as a cool DA master, the maxed out Chaps and Librarian characters from the Ultramarines lists, and Lysander as an awesome Deathwing commander (or your own captain in termie armor).  So no shortage of cool HQs, I just wouldn't claim any of them as the superheroes of the DA chapter.

So my basic list (subject to alterations) worked out like this:

T Tac squad (10) sgt w. p-fist and t-port homer, plasgun, MM/ML/HB 220
* Drop Pod w. locator beacon 45
E St. Augustine (venerable dreadnought) hvy flamer, plascannon/AC 185
FA/T Ravenwing Bike squadron (8+1) sgt p-wpn + m-bombs, melta, plas, AB w MM 310
FA Ravenwing Landspeeder Squardon (2) MM and HB + Typhoon ML 150
FA Vanguard Vets (5) sgt w. relic blade + SS, plas-pistol 220
T Scouts (6) sgt. Plas-pistol + t-port homer, all cloaks (infiltrate) 131
E Deathwing Gun Termies (5) sgt w. p-sword, assault cannon + c-fist  235
E Deathwing Assault Termies (5) 3 LCs, 2 TH + SS 200

That totals 1695 points, which doesn't seem to have gone very far, leaving just enough for HQs maybe.  I would actually like to tweek this to allow for at least one Heavy Support choice as well; maybe only take one Termie squad, not max out the bikes, and maybe downgrade the vanguards to assault marines (vanguard are way over priced anyway but I did buy cool blood angel sanguary guard to paint green).  But with a Bike Captain or Khan your Ravenwing becomes Troops (and here I have maxed out the squad and so could even break it into combat squads) and have included teleport homers on the scouts and tac squads, plus a locator beacon on the drop pod (good for both termies and jump packs).  Another good combo would be Land Raider variant with a termie HQ/Chaps and assault termies inside (also points expensive).

So that's what I've wasted the last hour or so of my valuable time on.  Better get on to more important things.

Oh, and the centigors...  I figured they'd make badass chaos spawn for my CSM army.  They look like beasts/cavalry and savage and strong and just cool.  Fit the stats and rules nicely i think: S5, T5, W3, no armor, D6 attacks cuz theyz crazy-mad, and random movement and rage... you know, cuz theyz crazy-mad.

 (So I successfully played my fave Crimson Fist force this weekend and all I can think about now is switching to Chaos and Dark Angels...  I have a problem.)