May
18

So it’s been a little over a month, let’s see what progress I’ve made…

10 Terminators – UNBUILT -> BUILT!

Dreadnought w/ twin linked Autocannon, twin linked Autocannon – HALF PAINTED -> SAME

Dreadnought w/ twin linked Autocannon, twin linked Autocannon – HALF PAINTED -> SAME

Tactical Squad w/ 5 extra Marines, Flamer, Multi Melta, Rhino – NEED TO BUILD AND PAINT 2 SPACE MARINES, TANK IS HALF PAINTED->SAME

Tactical Squad w/ 5 extra Marines, Flamer, Multi Melta, Rhino –NEED TO BUILD AND PAINT 2 SPACE MARINES, TANK IS HALF PAINTED-> SAME

Tactical Squad w/ Razorback – NEED TO PAINT 1 MARINE->SAME

2 Attack Bikes w/ Multi Meltas –  UNPAINTED->HALF PAINTED!

2 Attack Bikes w/ Multi Meltas –  UNPAINTED->HALF PAINTED!

Heavy Support

Vindicator w/ Siege Shield – HALF PAINTED->FINISHED!

Given that I had a month…pretty sad progress. One thing I like about this blog though, is that I do feel bad when I don’t show progress or post less…it reminds me why I started this blog in the first place (put a fire under my ass to get things done!) And here I was thinking I’d get this army done and possibly to an Imperial Guard army or Tyranid army instead for the tournament!

May
06

I have to admit, I’ve neglected my marines the past week. No real progress in painting except…I’ve been thinking of radically changing my list. I don’t honestly think I’m going to do it as I’m not entirely happy with my new list, but I was considering about building a Vulkan army. I’m really struggling against horde armies and I’m wondering if some super flamers will help me out.

HQ

Vulkan…190pts

Inq Lord w/ Psychic Hood, 3 Mystics, Rhino…138pts

Elites

Dreadnaught w/ 2 twin linked autocannons…125pts

Dreadnaught w/ 2 twin linked autocannons…125pts

Ironclad Dreadnaught w/ Heavy Flamer, Drop Pod…180pts

Troops

10 Tacticals w/ Flamer, Multi-melta, Power Fist, Combi-flamer, Rhino…245pts

10 Tacticals w/ Flamer, Multi-melta, Power Fist, Combi-flamer, Rhino…245pts

5 Tacticals w/ Razorback…130pts

Fast Attack

Land Speeder w/ Heavy Flamer, Multi-melta…70pts

Land Speeder w/ Heavy Flamer, Multi-melta…70pts

3 Attack Bikes w/ Multi-meltas…150pts

Heavy Support

Predator w/ heavy bolter sponsons…85pts

Predator w/ heavy bolter sponsons…85pts

Total: 1838pts

I think it’s a solid army, and it incorporates a lot of the wishlisting elements I had mentioned previously (anti-deep strike Inq Lord w/ superior Psychic Hood, single Drop Pod with Ironclad for instant pressure…) but something is nagging me about this list.

I like the amount of Meltas I have…I like the amount of Flamers I have…I like the amount of multi shot weapons I have…I don’t have a lot of counter assault but I do have 20 Marines, led by a pair of Sergeants with Power Fists, not to mention Vulkan himself but…

One obvious problem is…where does Vulcan go? He can’t join the Rhino squads, and the Razorback squad is meant to hang back. Inquisitor isn’t advancing much either. Also, is the Inquisitor and friends really worth 138pts?

I thought I was being clever when I was going to add a 9 man Assault squad with one Flamer and a Thunder Hammer for the sergeant (lots of Vulkan benefits) mounted in a free Rhino…until I realized I had used up all of my Fast slots. The squad costs 212pts too…which would involve some significant cuts to my army.

Going to have to sleep some more on this one. Posting again soon with an update on painting progress!

Apr
28

Sorry for the lack of updates but I just came back from a sales conference and I’ve been out of town on my main posting days (Monday and Tuesday.)

I play 40k quite a bit over the week, and many times these are spontaneous games with customers or Fadi. We normally play at least once every Sunday but a mix of Poker creeping into our gaming schedule and Bassam getting a Starcraft 2 beta key means the Sunday night 40k has been less regular than usual.

All this means I’ve had my camera on me less so while I am still play testing my army, I’m not taking photos. I won’t be posting up long text-heavy battle reports anymore but I’ll try and fit two mini ones here.

Vs Steven Alicandri’s Orks.

Steve runs a nice mix between mech and foot slogging Orks. Basically, he has 3 Deff Rolla Battlewagons full or Orks (and protected by a Big Mek’s Force Field,) 20 Loota boyz providing covering fire, Snikrot and 15 Kommandoes to tackle firebases, and 10 Grots + 30 Shoota boyz guarding his rear/capturing home objectives.

We played Kill Points with Spearhead deployment. This was going to be a problem for me as I would have limited arcs on the side armour of Steve’s Battlewagons. For days now he’s been telling me that I don’t have enough anti-tank to deal with 3 wagons, while I’ve been telling him that the Rifleman Dreads on each flank (behind a Predator for cover) would give him headaches. Aaaaaand…we get Spearhead, the only deployment type that messes my plan up. Suffice to say, Steve does end up rolling over me like 9-3 in Kill Points. While I do have Attack Bikes, I squandered them when I chickened out and opted to shoot the sides of his wagons from more than 12″ away. I figured it would be a bad idea to go tit for tat with him (since the passengers would be in assault range of my Attack Bikes) and with lots of side shots (some Autocannons too, at that point) I should do something.

Nope, nada. Playing Steve is like playing Orks on god mode. I later realized going tit for tat with him would have been a good idea since it would have hampered his mobility and been a better long term move. When he charged my terminators and I rolled 6 ones for armour saves (on 12 dice) I knew it was over and conceded bottom of 4 or so. I really do appreciate Steve as an opponent as it’s hard to find people who build competitive Ork armies, and I’m sure we’ll see lots of them at the WMC.

vs Fadi’s Blood Angels twice

After despairing over his Blood Angels, Fadi has finally found a list that he likes. It’s a Librarian and Priest (both with Jump Packs) leading 10 Assault Marines, two 10 man tactical squads, a Rhino, 10 Devastaors with 4 Lascannons, 4 Attack Bikes with Multi Meltas, and 10 Terminators with 4 Cyclones. There is also a foot Priest who typically goes with a Tactical squad, providing an aura to most of his foot troops.

While I do find his army list very effective, I also find it a little boring and out of character with Blood Angels. Essentially, I feel he’s built more a “tactical” army (very Vanilla marine-like) but by adding a few Priests here and there (for relatively low cost) he makes them  all 50% more durable. Fair play to him for building a tough army, but I’d feel a little guilty using it (as I would feel guilty using a min-max Razorback spam Space Wolf list, and other armies of that nature.)

Fadi beat me twice, fairly soundly, though I didn’t get crushed like I did vs Steve. Full 10 man Space Marine squads are extremely hard to dent, especially when they have Feel No Pain. His Attack Bikes suicide quickly into his army’s only real threat (the Vindicator) and from there it’s a war of attrition that he will win. I’ll have to focus on keeping it alive, and wearing down his 10 man assault squad since even depleted it has no problems crushing my 10 man tactical squads.

Apr
21

So I was building some new Veteran Sergeants for my Salamanders and I thought I’d share how I convert my guys. You’ll need a box of regular multi-part Space Marines (not the 3 piece ones from the Assault on Black Reach or similar,) a box of the Dark Elf Corsairs, and some Green Stuff (epoxy modeling putty) for gap filling.

Step 1: Remove the Dark Elf Corsair Cloak

Step 2: Remove the crest with side cutters.

Step 3: Remove any plastics bits from the neck area to fit the Space Marine Head using side cutters and a hobby knife.

The above picture is before.

The above picture is after, pardon the slight blurriness.

Step 4: To make sure the two halves of the torso fit together snugly, remove the nubs off the inside of the Space Marine chest plate and the two half discs off the inside of the Dark Elf cloak.

Step 5: Do a test fit between the two pieces and see where they would connect. Apply a little bit of superglue to one half and touch the other half. The join isn’t perfectly flush so I would add a small ball of green stuff to each connection point.

Step 6: Add the other half of the torso and fit them together snugly.

Step 7: The bottom half of the marine doesn’t fit perfectly snug onto the legs either, so I would reccomend adding a little bit of green stuff.

Step 8: Add the torso and press down to make sure they fit snugly.

Step 9: The rest is simply adding the rest of the marine components. Greenstuff definitely helps with the arms and backpack. Having a normal marine nearby as a reference for how the arms should sit and how high the backpack should be is definitely handy. There might be some unsightly gaps in the side but I found that after you add the shoulder pads, they tend to be pretty well hidden. You could always add some green stuff to fill them in as well.

Here are some pics of my finished sergeant, his arms are not placed normally and are exposing his side more so some green stuff was needed to fill in the gaps.

Overall, adding the cloaks is only a little extra work but I feel really makes the models stand out and scream “Salamanders!”  Hope you guys enjoyed this tutorial!

Apr
14

So, what do I have to say after mulling over my game versus Ivan?

It really felt like everything went pretty much like clockwork. I went first, the shooting vehicles that posed a threat to me were suppressed, and the transports that carried his heavy hitters were slowed down. I was more mobile than him and was able to keep him at arm’s reach (having lots of 48″ guns is great.)

Now to be fair to Ivan, that was his first time with his army, whereas I’ve been playing and refining this army for about a month now. So it wasn’t a perfectly fair game in that sense. Also, I don’t think he was planning his list for 1850pts, so the extra stuff he added may not have had great synergy with his core list. He took the lumps in stride, and I must say he was a great sportsman during the game. I am hoping for a rematch next Tuesday.

We talked a little about his army and I suggested some changes. To be perfectly honest, I am not a fan of the three units of Honour Guard as I feel they suffer from Land Raider-itis (lots of points, all or nothing.) However, I’m pretty sure they’re going to stick in his army as he has lovingly converted them all and they do look pretty sick.

He really didn’t enjoy having Calgar take forever getting into combat and so he wants to put him in a Pod, which I think is a good idea. However, I advised him to take a second “dummy” pod in case his opponent plays Reserve denial or if Ivan goes first in Dawn of War (thus dropping his pricey squad on nothing while his opponent rolls in with everything turn one.) The “dummy” pod can contain something cheap and versatile like a Dreadnought, or even a Tactical Squad if he has the points. This way Ivan can choose what to drop turn one, and not send Calgar and friends into the middle of nowhere. Or, if his opponent does set up, Calgar came come crashing down right away in his face.

I hope you guys enjoyed the battle report with pictures, and I hope to add more soon!

Apr
14

So today I went to a great comic book shop called Heroes World to play a game against Ivan. Heroes World carries a wide array of cool “guy” stuff, ranging from various table top war-games, magic cards, D&D, and comics. It’s co-owned (I think) by Andre and Jon, and I highly recommend anyone in the Markham or surrounding area to stop by and check it out.

Ivan is a regular at the shop and having talked to him a bit he seemed like he knew his 40k pretty well. He agreed to play 1850 with me and brought:

Marneus Calgar (in Power Armour) w/ 5 Honour Guard w/ 1 thunder hammer mounted in a Razorback w/ TL Heavy Bolters

Cassius w/ Honour Guard, Chapter Banner, mounted in a Razorback w/ TL Heavy Bolters

6 Honour Guards mounted in a Razorback w/ TL Lascannons

10 Tactical Marines w/ Power Weapon, Multi Melta, Flamer, mounted in a Rhino w/ Hunter Killer missile

10 Tactical Marines w/ Missile Launcher, Flamer, mounted in a Razorback w/ TL Lascannons

Dakka Predator

Vindicator w/ Siege Shield

I brought my standard list, which right now looks like this:

The table looked like this:

We took off the trees for convenience. We rolled Kill Points and Spearhead. I won the roll for first turn and deployed like this:

I kept my Troops and their dedicated transports off in Reserve as they were juicy Kill Points. I chose this quarter to minimize the terrain he could hide behind. He deployed like this:

He didn’t steal the initiative so I went first. He only had a few guns that could hurt me, so my priority was to knock them out first. Secondly, I had to stop/slow down Calgar and Cassius as much as possible. I didn’t move a lot –

Essentially, I shuffled my Terminators to the right to get some side shots on his Vindicator, and turbo boosted all my Attack Bikes towards it as well. My own Vindicator went to get a better firing position and popped smoke. One of my Predators shuffled a bit to get better line of sight. In the shooting phase I killed some guys from the combat squad in the open, exploded one of his Razorbacks, and shook both his Predator and Vindicator.

On his turn he generally moved up. His vehicles carrying his heavy hitters popped smoke. He had very little shooting and it all bounced off my armour.

On my turn all of my reserves come in. I don’t move a lot:

My Rhinos hide behind the rest of my army to deny kill points, though my Razorback lines up to take some pot shots. Two of my Attack Bikes close in on the Vindicator. They manage to immobilize it with shooting (the only result I didn’t want,) and then fail to hurt it in the assault phase. The rest of my shooting only destroys the turret off his Dakka pred, stun his Razorback, and bring the 5 man combat squad down to one man. One of my Rifleman Dreads manage to save the mediocre shooting phase by exploding Calgar’s Razorback.

Oh his turn the Rhino squad disembarks. Cassius and his squad get in. Calgar then gets in Cassius’ Razorback, and they all drive up together! So much for slowing him down. The last guy in the squad runs behind terrain to deny me a kill point. Again, his shooting is pretty minimal. His Vindicator scatters off target. His Dakka Pred manages to kill one Attack Bike, though they pass their Morale Check. My Attack Bikes get another round of combat against the Vindicator (as it couldn’t drive away) and blow it up with Krak grenades (sweeet.)

On my turn, anybody too close to his guys backs up. I open up and stun Calgar’s Razorback, and explode both Cassius’ Rhino and the Dakka Pred. I stun the other Razorback. My Dakka Pred wears down the combat squad from the Razorback I killed turn one.

At this point I’m way ahead in Kill Points and he’s only killed one attack bike. Calgar and his squad disembark from their Razorback, link up next to Cassius and his Honour Guard, and together they move towards me. He unloads Bolters on the Terminators and kills two.

It’s turn 4 at this point and I’m feeling a little sorry for Ivan, as he’s essentially been a punching bag for me. Even though I could back up my army again, I advance the Terminators into combat so that Ivan can get some action. I destroy the topmost Razorback. My Terminators unload on Cassius’ unit and after some crazy rolling (4 hits on frag missiles!) I kill all of the Honour Guard except for the Champion and Cassius. Critically, the Chapter Banner dies. I charge in and wipe them out with no losses. I then consolidate to surround Calgar and prevent him from getting closer to the rest of my army.

On his turn he moves the last 6 man Honour Guard squad out into the open in a desperate attempt to get into combat. Calgar, his Honour Guard, and the Tactical Squad shoot and charge the Terminators and wipe them all out, though the Terminators manage to drag down the Honour Guard as well.

On my turn five I unload on the 6 man Honour Guard in the open and kill 5. I back away from Calgar. On his turn he moves forward but it far out of assault range.

We roll to play turn 6 but Ivan concedes as I have something like 9 Kill Points to 1. Post game thoughts later!

Apr
06

Librarian – FINISHED

10 Terminators – UNBUILT

Dreadnought w/ twin linked Autocannon, twin linked Autocannon – HALF PAINTED

Dreadnought w/ twin linked Autocannon, twin linked Autocannon – HALF PAINTED

Tactical Squad w/ 5 extra Marines, Flamer, Multi Melta, Rhino – NEED TO BUILD AND PAINT 2 SPACE MARINES, TANK IS HALF PAINTED

Tactical Squad w/ 5 extra Marines, Flamer, Multi Melta, Rhino –NEED TO BUILD AND PAINT 2 SPACE MARINES, TANK IS HALF PAINTED

Tactical Squad w/ Razorback – NEED TO PAINT 1 MARINE

2 Attack Bikes w/ Multi Meltas –  UNPAINTED

2 Attack Bikes w/ Multi Meltas – UNPAINTED

Heavy Support

Predator w/ Heavy Bolter Sponsons – FINISHED

Predator w/ Heavy Bolter Sponsons – FINISHED

Vindicator w/ Siege Shield – HALF PAINTED

Soooo…about 20 models to finish. Let’s see how this looks in May!

Apr
06

So my team partner Fadi wanted to try out his revised 1850pt Blood Angel army versus my Space Marine army.

1850pts Blood Angels
HQ

Sanguinor

Elites

2 Priests w/ Jump Packs

Troops

10 Assault Marines w/ 2 Meltas, Power Fist

10 Assault Marines w/ 2 Meltas, Power Fist

10 Assault Marines w/ 2 Meltas, Power Fist

10 Tacticals w/ Flamer, Missile Launcher, Rhino

10 Tacticals w/ Flamer, Missile Launcher, Rhino

9 Death Company w/ Infernus Pistol, Power Fist, Drop Pod

After his horrible game with the Death Company last time, he was about to never ever use them again. Then he realized that if they drop pod in to the heart of the enemy army, the opponent has something really scary right in his battle line that a) is hard to lure away, b) has to dealt with ASAP, c) distracts the opponent from the other 50 guys moving up. Honestly, walking into this game, I was expecting to get a draw at best. My strategy was to use my mech mobility to split his army up and try to reduce the Feel No Pain auras.

We ended up playing Capture and Control, and Spearhead. I won first player and castled up in a corner, knowing that the Death Company were flying in. I would hope to deal with them in one turn, then boost off in different directions. To my surprise, Fadi deployed nothing and commanded all his Jump Pack troops to Deep Strike.

Turn 1

I kept most of my stuff fairly castled up to prevent him  from dropping in next to the Vindicator and blowing it up. Only my Rhinos pushed up to threaten his objective.

His Pod lands away from Terminator assault range, and his one Infernus Pistol immobilizes a Rifleman Dread.

Turn 2

With nothing else to shoot at, my whole army turns on the Death Company and wipe them out. They might be tough, but not that tough. One of my Rhinos swings wide  towards his objective.

He rolls for reserves and gets two Assault Squads and one Rhino squad. Despite re-rolls due to Descent of Angels, the Sanguinor and the last Assault Squad don’t come in. His Rhino moves up to capture his objective. It pops smoke. One Assault Squad deep strikes next to my Rhino that went wide. The shoot their pair of melta guns and whiff (phew, as I forgot to pop smoke.) His other Assault Squad lands bang on target behind my Vindicator and kill it. However, they are in assault range of my Terminators…

Turn 3

The Rhino that went wide pulls away from the objective, hoping to lure the Assault Squad that tried to kill it. The rest of my army finds better firing lanes. Two Attack Bikes manage to  pop his Rhino and luckily pin his squad.  Most of my shooting is directed to the Assault Squad that failed to hit my Rhino with meltas, and despite FNP, I kill a respectable 3-4 guys. My Terminators charge the other Assault Squad. They put up a good fight, killing four of my guys, but they are all killed to a man, barring the Priest, who somehow manages to pass his Morale Check.

On his turn I can’t remember what he got for reserves exactly. As least the Sanguinor comes in. However, he deep strikes and scatters on top of one of my units, and dies in the mishap.

After losing his Death Co, Assault Squad, and Sanguinor while doing virtually no damage to me, Fadi concedes. We had some friends over who wanted to play Poker as well, so we had incentive to get this game over ASAP.

Obviously I’m pleased with how my army performed, but at the same time it was bit like shooting fish in a barrel. Fadi fed me his army 1-2 units at a time. The whole point of podding the Death Company was to distract me from the rest of his force. While they did die, it took pretty much all my shooting to accomplish that. The rest of his army would have been untouched, had he set up. He might have been worried about the amount of firepower I had set up, but my army was so far in a corner that I would mostly be tagging him with stuff he gets FNP against. The Vindicator was certainly too far to lob a shell, and even if I had, it would have been exposed to the podding Infernus pistol.

It didn’t help that his reserves dribbled in piece meal (despite re-rolls,) which allowed me to focus fire and charge at my leisure. At this point, Fadi has pretty much given up on the Blood Angels and has switched back to his Wolves. I did challenge his Wolves with the Blood Angels, but that battle report’s for another day…

Mar
30

Now that I’ve compared them to the Wolves, how do they compare to the Blood Angels?

HQ

Librarian w/ Shield of Sanguinius, Rage Unleashed…100pts

Elites

10 Terminators w/ 2 Cyclones, 1 Chainfist…465pts

Troops

Assault Squad w/ 5 extra Marines, 2 Meltas, Rhino…215pts

Assault Squad w/ 5 extra Marines, 2 Meltas, Rhino…215pts

Assault Squad w/ Razorback…115pts

Fast Attack

Baal Predator w/ Heavy Bolter Sponsons…145pts

Baal Predator w/ Heavy Bolter Sponsons…145pts

3 Attack Bikes w/ Multi Meltas…150pts

Heavy Support

Dreadnought w/ twin linked Autocannon, twin linked Autocannon…120pts

Dreadnought w/ twin linked Autocannon, twin linked Autocannon…120pts

Vindicator w/ Siege Shield…125pts

1915pts

The problem with trying to convert my Vanilla Marine army straight up is that many of the equivalent units in the Blood Angel army are in different Force Organization slots. Also, to make a comparable army, the Blood Angels are 65pts over.

Looking at this Blood Angel army and trying to weigh the gains and losses compared to the Vanilla Marine equivalent is pretty pointless too, as the Blood Angel version lacks synergy. My Assault Squads want to rush into combat…but I have a lot of anti-horde shooting. My Libby can’t join the 10 man squads…so the Razorback squad that’s supposed to be hanging back is now moving up.

No, there’s no way I’d make a Blood Angel force with most of the above units. I’d have to make a Blood Angel army from scratch. More thoughts on that later!

Mar
30

So just to recap, here’s my current list

HQ

Librarian w/ Gate of Infinity, Null Zone…100pts

Elites

10 Terminators w/ 2 Cyclones, 1 Chainfist…465pts

Dreadnought w/ twin linked Autocannon, twin linked Autocannon…125pts

Dreadnought w/ twin linked Autocannon, twin linked Autocannon…125pts

Troops

Tactical Squad w/ 5 extra Marines, Flamer, Multi Melta, Rhino…205pts

Tactical Squad w/ 5 extra Marines, Flamer, Multi Melta, Rhino…205pts

Tactical Squad w/ Razorback…130pts

Fast Attack

2 Attack Bikes w/ Multi Meltas…100pts

2 Attack Bikes w/ Multi Meltas…100pts

Heavy Support

Predator w/ Heavy Bolter Sponsons…85pts

Predator w/ Heavy Bolter Sponsons…85pts

Vindicator w/ Siege Shield…125pts

What if they were Space Wolves?

HQ

Rune Priest w/ Jaws of the World Wolf, Living Lightning…100pts

Elites

10 Wolf Guard w/ Terminator Armour, 2 Cyclones, 2 Chainfists, 3 Power Fists…465pts

Dreadnought w/ twin linked Autocannon, twin linked Autocannon…125pts

Dreadnought w/ twin linked Autocannon, twin linked Autocannon…125pts

Troops

10 Grey Hunters w/ 2 Meltas, Rhino…190pts

10 Grey Hunters w/ 2 Meltas, Rhino…190pts

5 Grey Hunters w/ Razorback…115pts

Fast Attack

2 Land Speeders w/ Multi Meltas…120pts

2 Land Speeders w/ Multi Meltas…120pts

Heavy Support

Predator w/ Heavy Bolter Sponsons…85pts

Predator w/ Heavy Bolter Sponsons…85pts

Vindicator w/ Siege Shield…125pts

What do I gain, what do I lose?

Gains

– Slightly better Psychic defense

– More offensive Psychic powers, though it means exposing the Rune Priest

– At mid range and close range, better Troop choices

– Better Terminators (Don’t all strike last, Counter Attack)

Losses

– Null Zone, which I feel is overall more useful than the two spells the Rune Priest has

– No Heavy Weapon in the Troops

– Less Leadership in the Troops

– No option to Combat Squad (this is a marginal loss, since I probably wouldn’t Combat Squad at 1850pts as many armies can wipe out 5 Marines no problem, and I want all 10 Termies in one squad to force wound allocation on my opponent when they shoot.)

– No Attack Bikes, which, as I described in Army List design, I feel are marginally better than Land Speeders (Space Wolves don’t have access to Attack Bike squads.)

On paper, I think the armies are pretty 50/50. To be fair to the Wolves, I haven’t really made a list that fits their strengths, but it was worth comparing to see if one was clearly better than the other.