The Spawn of the Void – Shamus’ Return

The following is the prologue to a one day narrative event.  Multiple armies will be battling it out to try to claim the tightly held prizes from the depths of this space hulk.  Some armies seek to claim these treasures for their own personal gain.  Others have strict orders from their superiors to secure the hulk and await for other forces to arrive to handle the extraction.  Lastly, some more renegade factions seek to destroy the hulk and it’s prizes in an effort to deny their foes from gaining the possibly destructive powers hidden within.  Participants to this event will need to write their own short back story explaining their forces motivation within this event (stories should be loosely based around the previously listed motivations).  The previous saga of Shamus can be found here.

Shamus McCraken stretched his arms and gazed around the smoky crew quarters of the Indomitable Zeal. He had been stuck on this strike cruiser off and on for 3 years now.  After his brush with the Minotaurs and Dark Angels, he didn’t have much of a purpose again. The Minotaurs, after much interrogations, had cleared him of any heresy and left him back at the Imperial staging point on Orvis IV.  He tried to re-unite with his regiment from Verdan III, but was shocked to learn the entire regiment was lost to the ork Waaagh.  He actually got a chuckle when he found his name listed among the dead.

He spent several weeks in the staging area.  Shamus only really had two professions at this point, farmer and solider.  And since Orvis IV was a warzone and not an agri world, he went back to doing the only thing that made sense to him.  So, he started tagging along with other guard squads as they were deployed.  Eventually they all started asking where he came from.  Shamus didn’t want to get into all the business with his old sergeant and the Adeptus Astartes.  He would slip away in the night once the other guardsmen’s curiosity started to get to overwhelming.  But as the campaign inevitably went in the Imperiums favor, there were less and less forces to try to blend in with.

That is when he met Inquisitor Francisco.  He had noticed Francisco around several of the command tents throughout the campaign.  He seemed to get under the skin of the officers, which was just fine by Shamus.  What wasn’t fine was when Shamus noticed that Francisco started to question all the other guardsmen Shamus had been serving with over those few weeks.

Eventually the Inquisitor corned Shamus directly. Shamus had to admit, this man was pretty sharp.  He had already pieces together Shmaus’ involvement with the Minotaurs and his brush with the Dark Angels.  He was primarily interested in Shamus’ old sergeant.  Shamus was reluctant to talk until Francisco offered Shamus something he could not refuse.  Purpose.  Francisco offered to take Shamus with him off this world as part of his retinue in exchange for whatever information Shamus had.

That’s how Shamus ended up here, in the strike cruiser of Inquistor Francisco.  Sometimes he had trouble believing it himself.  He had seen a fair amount of action after joining the Inquisitor.  He had grown a grudging respect for the man and the other members of the retinue he had served with.  He often came out from his quarters in the evening to swap war stories with the other unfortunate souls.

This evening’s discussion was focused on the legend of the Spawn of the Void.  According to Arthur, it is a veritable cornucopia of lost treasures.  Then again Arthur was a former hive ganger, and would tell you he once shook hands with The Emperor if he thought you would believe him.  The pessimist of the group, Donivan, swore he was part of a salvage crew that spotted the infamous hulk once.  When there ship got close, their asupex light up with signatures.  Donivan swore he could hear the orks bellowing before their ship finally aborted their approach to the hulk.

There was one thing that Shamus could say definitively about the Spawn of the Void.  It was somehow able to broadcast a signal.  The Inquisitor apparently once managed to scan the hulk before it fell into the void.  It gave of a unique vox signature and psychic signature.  This signatures were unique in two ways.  They were low intensity, so you had to know what you were looking for if you stood a chance at finding them.  Second, they seemed to be incredibly long ranged, able to be detected from sectors away.  This alone was worth of investigation.

Last month, the Spawn of the Void had fallen out of the void near the Damocles Gulf.  When word reach Inquisitor Francisco, they had re-routed the Indomitable Zeal.  Shamus and the other crew were not able to get much more information out of Francisco about their specific mission goals.  All he knew was this was damned important to the Inquisitor.  Francisco promised that he would give them a detailed mission brief when they arrived in the system.

That never sat well with Shamus. He had learned a few things about Franscico.  One of those things was the more dangerous the mission, the less Francisco would tell them before they deployed.  But there was nothing Shamus could do now but sit back and take a swig of the cheap amesec they had on board.  Just two more months before they were supposed to be in system.

Donivan and Arthur were still going on about the Spawn of the Void.  Shamus was so bored of their story, he finally felt forced to interject something of his own to change the subject.  Grinning and leaning into the table, Shamus said “Enough of this shit about the Spawn of the Void.  Did I ever tell you guys about the time I saw Fransico steal a land raider from the Ultramarines?”

Diving into a New Realm

Howdy everyone, Severus here.  I haven’t done much writing lately because frankly I haven’t done much gaming lately.  I have worked on a few painting projects, mainly getting the Iron Hands Librarius up to speed.  This past weekend though, I finally had a chance to game.  And as fate would have it, I actually gave Age of Sigmar a try this weekend.

This spark for this new venture was two fold.  First, I have a decent size Vampire Counts army, around 200 models painted up.  This poor army has been relegated to collecting dust on a shelf.  There was still stuff I wanted to add to the army (because I love painting them), but had no reason to.  Second, the General’s Handbook came out recently, solving my problem with balanced pick up games.  There had been a growing interest in our gaming group at Moxie Games, so it was time to give it a shot.

I managed to get 3 games in over the weekend.  Two games against ogres and one against stormcast eternals.  I won’t get into the nitty gritty of the games, but I would like to give my overall impression of the rules and the death rules.

The game as a whole seems pretty straight forward.  The turns flow well and the match game missions made for an interesting balance.  I think the 4×4 board for vanguard armies is a little cramped, which hampered my ability to maneuver.  It seems the biggest issue with the rules is interpreting what isn’t said.  Like rolling charge range and then deciding your target.  Combine that with some preconceptions that are a hold over from 40k/8th ed fantasy (like no longer consolidating), and it I spent a fair amount of time looking through those 2 pages of rules.

I enjoyed the games, but I definitely have some adjusting to do.  I was tabled all 3 games.  I don’t think my opponents had unfair lists, or that the points were not balanced. I did not utilize my points well and had a few units that were basically dead weight.  My first game I lost a 30 man blob of zombies after making a foolish charge.  All of my games, I felt I used my heroes very ineffectively.

The death army itself has some big changes that I am not used to.  The theme is still the same, units with poor saves but methods of reviving dead models.  The difference being is that none of the summoning powers actually can add models to exhisting units.  All of the resurrections come from within the units via banners during the hero phase.  Some units have ability to heal wounds through damaging units in combat.

The terrorghest has seen an interesting improvement.  It still has it’s scream that can devastate units with lower bravery (formerly leadership).  But not it is actually pretty good at combat.  With some lucky rolling, it manage to kill the ogre tyrant in one round of fighting.  I used to try to avoid combat at all costs with that thing, but now I might not.

Foot slogging heroes seem like a bad idea.  Heroes cannot hide in units any more, so they have a bigger risk of getting singled out with shooting, arcane bolts, or combat.  The foot sloggers are relatively slow and not that hardy (5 wounds with a 4+ save for the most part).  Heroes on monsters gain a lot of additional wounds and faster movement speeds.  Spamming cheap foot slogging heroes might be another viable tactic.

Screening units and fast moving harassers are also a good choice still.  Cheap units to bubble wrap more elite units help to ensure the elite units only engage in the combats they want.  Fast moving harassers are good at getting around to isolate heroes and engaging with support units to disrupt them.  Dire wolves are great at this.  Zombies are a good cheap screen.

I have started working on rebasing the army.  I know that technically I could leave my army on their square bases, but I like the look of rounds.  Plus I sort of don’t like the scheme I choose for the death army.  I am going with a drab gray theme with snow and maybe a little blood splatter for contrast.

I have also started work on few more painting project.  I have ordered the Skeleton Horde box, I have always wanted Mannfred.  Now I shall have him. I also have a unit of vargheists and a unit of blood knights that I want to work on.

So, I think this a good place to leave things.  I am hoping to get a few more games in next week.  Until next time, this is Severus saying have a good one and take it easy.

The Continued Saga of Shamus – Mysterious Friends

Howdy everyone, Severus here.  I had the chance to play a little bit of a narrative game this past weekend.  A few of the locals at Moxie Games and I got together and play a 1v1v1v1 game using the 40k Carnage Mission rules.  It was meant to be fun, and it was a blast!  We had orks, dark angels, chaos daemons, and white scars (dressed as Minotaurs…) represented on the field.  Since Carnage revolves around capturing a central objective, we decided to use a model to represent a fallen dark angels for the central objective.  In order to properly tell this narrative, I have decided to bring out Shamus.  If you want to see his last exploits, check it out here.

Shamus McCraken had seen a lot in the last 2 years.  He made it off Verdan III, but sadly his family did not.  Without anything holding him there, Shamus had signed up to join the 23rd Verdan Regiment of the Imperial Guard.  Since then he had seen a few wars and learned a lot about the war machine that is the Imperium.  He couldn’t say he liked it, but it kept him going.  And that was all he needed right now.

Shamus was currently deployed to Orvius IV, one of several planets in the system under siege by a mighty ork invasion.  Imperial broadcasts had said that a few infamous orks had been sited, including Ghazzkull Thraka.  Supposedly, the Terror of Armageddon was here with a few of his most trusted lieutenants, and the Dark Angels were here to put an end the beast. Shamus had learned to take Imperial propaganda with a grain of salt.

The first time Shamus had seen these Space Marines, he had been awed by their size and strength. The first time he saw one tear an ork limb from limb, he became a little wary of these warriors of the Emperor.  Word amongst the men was that the Dark Angels had been asking around camp for a dark haired man with a scar over his left eye.  The description sort of fit Shamus’ Sergeant, but he figured it was best to keep his mouth shut.

When Serg caught wind of these rumors, he seemed unsettled.  Shamus didn’t really care, that is until a group of Dark Angels bikes opened fire on his squad during a routine patrol.  For the last two nights the squad had been running and hiding, falling back against an ever increasing number of Dark Angels. Serg had some trick up his sleeve.  Shamus would have stopped to ask how he seemed to know the Dark Angels tactics, but as long as Serg kept him alive, he didn’t much care.

On the dawn of the 3rd day, it was down to just Serg and Shamus.  He had lead them to an burned out city, a previous victim of the rampaging orks.  In the outskirts, was an old rock formation.  Serg seemed to think it had some significant, and quickly scaled it.  Shamus heard him chanting in a language foreign to Shamus.  The words felt harsh and unnerving to Shamus.  Rather than dwell on it, Shamus took the chance to try to catch some rest in the shade of the rock formation.  Serg seemed to have slipped the Dark Angels for now.

The distant roar of engines and the crackle of lighting woke Shamus.  He must have dozed off, damn foolish of him.  He quickly took stock of the situation.  To the south east of him, several Dark Angel squads had formed up in a few of the ruined building and had heavy weapons trained on their position.  To the north west, bronze clad space marines with several ornate dreadnoughts had broken through the cover of the city.

These newcomers proclaimed themselves the Minotaurs and began to broadcast a message on all frequencies.  They demanded that the Dark Angels lay down their weapons by order of the High Lords of Terra.  Serg found this particularly fun; Shamus couldn’t figure out what the hell was going on.  All he knew is that he did not want to be stuck between two angry forces of the Emperor’s finest.  To make the situation worse, Shamus could make out a few of the cobbled together battlewagons favored by the ork elite making a noisy entrance from the south west.

Serg just kept laughing. Shamus figured that the old vet had finally lost it.  As Serg’s laugh grew in strength, a dark storm cloud began to form to the north east.  The maelstrom grew in strength and a size.  Lightning forked down from the clouds and struck the earth.  As the afterimages faded from Shamus’ eyes, he was greeted with an unearthly sight.  Unnatural creatures had appeared in the ruins near the storm.  Many smaller creatures, some with blood red skin and others with putrid green hues.  Serg called to these creatures as if they were allies come to his aid. 

Shamus had enough of the fool’s raving at this point.  With Serg’s attention focused on the daemons, Shamus hoisted his lasgun and started towards his Sergeant.  He brought the butt of the gun down firmly into the back of Serg’s skull, laying him out cold.  He left the motionless body on the damned rock pile.  Shamus didn’t much care if Serg lived or died at this point.  He was going to try to make it through this alive and make it back to his regiment.

With Serg down, the Daemons roared in unison and began tearing across the battlefield in all directions.  A missive red winged beast took to the air and slammed into the Dark Angels lines.  The beast smashed a rhino and scattered the squad from its interior.  The Dark Angels opened fire on the Daemons, their leader bravely charging in against the beast under the cover of his men’s fire.  A stoic Chaplain engaged the winged beast in an attempt to distract it while the rest of the men, under guidance of the Commander, attempted to bring the beast down.  Its otherworldly flesh resisted all but the most determined of their efforts.

The ork battlewagons began to drive towards the rock pile, intent on catching the Dark Angels or the Daemons.  Shamus caught a glimpse of the greenskins riding in the transports, and recognized the biggest ork as Ghazzkull.  As the battlewagons cleared one of the larger standing buildings, the Minotaur’s caught site of them.  The ornate walkers all sported multiple rotary cannons which opened fire in a deafening blast, turning two of the battlewagons into smoking scrap.  Ghazzkull tore his way out of the wreckage with an angry bellow and the mob of boyz gathered around him.  The orks were mad now, and Shamus new better than to get in their way now.  Shamus darted for some ruins south of the rocks.

The daemons grew closer to the unconscious form of Serg.  They had also spotted the Minotaurs after their explosive display of firepower, and a few howling red beast with riders broke off to engage them.  These beast were quickly brought down by the guns of the Minotaur’s.  More daemons piled in around the great winged beast, eager to get to grips with the Dark Angels.  The Chaplain tried to keep the focus of the beast, but with a mighty swing of the beast’s ax, the black armored marine was reduced to a red stain.  The great beast let loose a deep laugh and began to swing at the remaining troops.  The commander bravely stepped forward to intercept the swings of the might ax, and managed to save his men.

While the leaders of the Dark Angels were tied up with the great winged beast, the rest of the Dark Angel forces focused on the Daemons swarming in front of them.  Off to the north east, another bright flash of light was followed by a load crack.  Shamus grabbed his magnoculars and looked to see what new horror had come forth.  To his surprise, he say Dark Angels in thick bone colored armor begin to open fire on the rear ranks of the flickering daemons.  The rest of the Dark Angels opened up on the grotesquely mutated flies that had begun to advance on their lines.  The bulbous winged bugs withered under the hail of fire and began to fall back.

Screaming down near his position, Shamus saw over half a dozen Dark Angels jump from a low flying aircraft.  They seemed to be equipped with flight packs used to slow their assent.  They still landed with a tremendous crash.  As the dust settled, Shamus saw the remaining ork battlewagon careen to a halt near these new arrivals.  The loud guttural laughs of the orks within could barely be heard over the cacophony of their guns opening fire.  In a blaze of bullets, rockets, and energy blasts, the Dark Angel marines that had just landed were gunned down.

Shamus looked to the west and saw a sight of pure fury.  The Great Warboss, Ghazzkull, stood defiantly in front of his ruined transport.  He let out a deep bellow that began to be taken up by all the orks.  Soon the howling hoard of boys rushed towards the Minotaurs, scrambling over the rocks that Shamus had taken shelter at just moments ago.

The Minotaur Commander cried out the order to open fire.  Two of the dreadnoughts and a trio of centurions let loose into the green menace.  The bullets bounced off Ghazzkull, and only seemed to spur on his rage.  His boys that ran behind him were not so lucky.  Some shots missed Ghazzkull, but found their targets in them.  Other shots that glanced off his armor occasionally found a new target in a nearby boy.

The remaining contemptor had been prepared to open fire on the wall of greenskins, but its attention was drawn by an arcing bolt of lightning.  As its view screens cleared, a screaming horde of red skin daemons shimmered into existence.  It let loose with its twin rotary cannons and top mounted missile launchers.  Scattered smoldering flesh surrounded the contemptor, but one lone daemon remained.  The entombed pilot would have grinned as he smashed the remaining daemon under his foot, had he the ability anymore.

Shamus tried to make a break to the south.  There wasn’t any cover near him, and the ork battlewagon was to close enough to make a safe go of it.  Cursing, Shamus checked the charges on his lasgun and hunkered down, hopeful he would continue to go unnoticed.  The unearthly bellows of the winged beast of to the east made him peak out from cover.

The great winged daemon held the broken form of the Dark Angels Commander in its oversized hand.  The remaining Dark angels were being hacked apart by the smaller red skinned daemons.  North, the bone collared terminators found the combined number of three packs of smaller daemons converge on them.  The stubborn fools tried to hold their ground.  Sensing the flow of combat going against, they opened up with their arm mounted flamer.  Using this type of weapon in close quarters was risky, but worth it.  Half a dozen creatures went down in a blaze.

Shamus looked back to the west just in time to see the wave of ork bodies crash into the Minotaur’s Commander and his centurions.  The boys began to swarm over the cumbersome centurions.  Ghazzkull tried to vent his anger on the commander that had robbed him of his battlewagon.  A shimmering energy field absorbed the worst of the damage.  The Commander was a brave fool.  Shamus knew that force field would only hold for so long.

The great winged daemon rounded the corner and began to rampage around the fire base of Dark Angels.  Some of their braver marines charged in to try to fell the beast that had taken down their brave leaders.  The slashed and stabbed at the beast, but failed to strike a lethal blow.  A great sweep if it’s ax felled nearly half a dozen of them.  Sensing the futility of their actions, they broke from the field and fled.

In the midst of the chaos, the last fly daemon began to head towards the downed form of Shamus’ former sergeant.  A group of Dark angels with heavy weapons took aim and unleashed a fusillade into the beast.  It shimmered and convulsed under the punishment.  The creature kept going, desperate to reach the man on the rock formation.  Before it coud reach it target, another volley of fire ripped from the Dark Angels position.  This time, the creature went down for good.

The orks with the large caliber weapons saw their opportunity for glory.  And Shamus never knew an ork that shied away from glory.  They let fire with their mishmash of weapons.  Their eclectic mix of projectiles stuck home against the great wing beast.  The smoking flesh seemed to collapse in on itself, and the beast winked out of reality with an angry bellow.  The orks glory was short lived.

Bright beams of light struck out from the north west.  A landradier rumbled forth from the Minotaur’s lines, opening fire on the lone battlewagon.  The vehicle swerved to avoid fire, but ran right into the field of fires setup by the Minotaur’s contemptors.  It was an excellently organized trap.  The combined fire of the rotary cannons and missiles detonated the wagon in a great fire ball. 

Ghazzkull couldn’t care less for the fate of the flashgitz.  He continued to hammer blows onto the Minotaur commander.  The centurions were dragged down in a wave of boyz.  Bereft of all support, the brave commander was distracted for just long enough.  The shield flicker and Ghazzkull brought his massive claw down around the space marines head.  The hideous sound it made was drown out by the warlord’s bellows.  He was bleeding from many deep wounds, but the ork didn’t seem to notice them.

Ghazzkull ordered his mob forward.  Shamus saw the fatal mistake before the enraged warboss did.  The 3 contemptuous swiveled on their waists and took aim.  In a deafening fusillade, the dreadnoughts began to destroy the horde.  Bloodied and limping, the warlord shambled forward and managed to come to grips with one of the might walkers.  With one mighty blow, the great ork smashed the sarcophagi of the great machine, rendering it useless. 

The remaining 2 contemptor focused all fire on the mob, killing all but the warlord.  Ghazzkull turned to face the other walkers, but was never destined to reach him.  Another blinding blast of light from the ancient landraider felled the great ork with a smoldering hole through his chest.   A beleaguered cheer went up from the Minotaur’s lines.

The contemptors then turned their attention to the goal of this mission.  They mounted the rock formation and began to take aim at the remaining Dark Angels.  They were caught off guard by motion from the wreckage in front of Shamus.  The flashgitz had survived the blast.  After the devastation the orks had wrought on their brethren, the contemptors opened fire on the flashgitz survivors.  The beast didn’t stand a chance.  Shamus would have felt pity, but he had long learned to leave that weakness behind him.

Realizing that they prey was beyond their grasp, the Dark Angels began to fall back with their wounded.  The remaining Minotaurs converged on the rock formation.  Shamus could see the unconscious form of his former Sergeant being dragged from the field.  The remaining daemons also began to flicker out of existence. 

Shamus though on his options.  He could try to slip away in the confusion.  He didn’t know what forces were behind him.  With the hole left in the imperial lines, it could be crawling with orks.  Shamus had no plans on taking on the waagh all by himself.  Seeing as the Minotaurs hadn’t actually fired on him yet, he decided to risk it.

Clambering out of the ruined building, Shamus slowly walked towards the rock formation.  The contemptors trained their guns on him as he came into view.  A marine strolled down from the hill.  His gaze fixed on Shamus, he spoke.  “You have ten seconds to explain your actions soldier, or in the name of the High Lords of Terra, I will gun you down myself.”

Shamus thought for a quick second.  “Pretty sure Serg there isn’t who he say he is.  Beats me why those Dark Angels wanted him.”  Slapping a new energy cell in to his lasgun, Shamus growled “I don’t take kindly to those that try to kill me though.  So if you boys are going after them, count me in”

Campaign – just a start

This is going to be a short post today. A fellow legionnaire and I have started a story driven campaign. My Tyranids are invading a planet protected by the Sisters of Battle, the Carcharodons, and some tasty Guard.

The rules are pretty simple, the Nids, being an invasion Hive Fleet, have an unlimited supply of troops. My opponent has very limited troops. The allies that get to the planet before the invasion are all he has. As they die off, they cannot be replaced.

The first mission, which was played today, only involved the Sisters. The story will be told later.

Asking for a Loss

Yesterday I had a game with my Tyranids against the mighty Tau. I asked for the beating I took. I mean that, I literally asked for a competitive game, and was thumped. I knew it was going to happen, but I wanted to see competitive Tau.

image1

The only point when all of my army was on the table.

My list consisted of 2 CADs at 2500 points. Only limitation was I asked for no Lord of War. My list contained the following:

Swarmlord w/ 3 Tyrant Guard
3 Flying Hive Tyrants w/ Brainleech worms
4 Zonathropes w/ Neurothrope (in a Tryannocyte)
Malanthrope
2 Units of 10 Termagants
1 Ripperswarm w/ Deepstrike
1 Mucolid Spore
2 Hive Crones
9 Raveners w/Rending Claws
Exocrine

The Tau list contained the Ghostkeel Formation, The Riptide Formation, Markerlight drones Formation, Breacher squads in transports, Broadsides, stealth suits, and a commander and guards. There were probably other units too, but these are the units that stick out in my mind.

I am not going to do a normal brief summary of what happened, because it was ugly.

The Tau player deployed first, and I was not able to seize the initiative. We had Dawn of War deployment and the Big Guns Never Tire mission. On the roll, we only had three objective markers.

In the Tau player’s first round of shooting, the beating commenced. He killed both Hive Crones. Slaughtered 2 of the Hive Guard (and wounded the third). Put three wounds on of the Flying Hive Tyrants (the Warlord). He slaughtered six of the nine Raveners. The Malanthrope was dead. I could cover what I did, but not much happened. I got feel no pain off on a couple of units, and wounded some Tau, but not much else happened.

image4

Deadpile turn 1.

Turn Two continued the beating. Two of the three Flying Hive Tyrants were put down (including the Warlord). Relatively speaking, this was the least painful turn since that was all they my opponent killed. However, it still was painful. All of my reserves entered the game. Maybe how I would have a chance.

Nope, I managed to accomplish very little in this turn. This was due to some poor rolling on my part, and some good rolling on my opponents.

It just went down hill from here. I had nothing for the Tau. In fact, by turn 6 I was tabled (at least I lasted that long). It was just an ugly ugly game. This is not to say I didn’t have fun. I did, I had a blast. I just had nothing to bring against this army. I did kill some units, but it wasn’t much. A few wounds on the Ghostkeels, a broadside, some of the commander’s squad. I did have some success, but not a lot.

Iron Hands – The Revival!!!

Howdy everyone, Professor Severus here again.  I picked up a copy of Angels of Death today, and I have to say, it has got the Iron Hands fires stoked again!  I had always had trouble taking my 6th edition Clan Sorrgol force and making it work well in the 7th edition codex.  Fortunately, the Fist of Medusa detachment from Angels of Death opens up a few build options.

The other addition from Angels of Death that really fired me was the new psychic disciplines.  Technomancy.  It is so perfect for Iron Hands.  I never really had an urge to get a librarian until I read those rules.  But an entire discipline about a librarian working with or against machines is to perfect to pass up.

So, I set out to right a goal list.  The list needed to meet the following requirements.  It needs to be built within the new Fist of Medusa detachment.  It needs to incorporate a librarain.  It needs to use the bulk of models I already have, as the rest of my hobby budget is focused towards 30k for the year.  Lastly, I wanted to up the competitiveness of the list.  I want this list to be able to hold it’s own in a tournament.  It doesn’t have to win, just not loose the majority of the games.

So, here is what I came with:

  • Battle Demi-Company
    • Chapter Master
      • Bike, Thunder Hammer, Gorgon’s Chains, Artificer Armor
    • Bike Squad
      • 5 man, 2 grav guns
    • Tactical Squad
      • 10 man, plasma gun, heavy bolter, veteran sgt, melta bomb, rhino
    • Tactical Squad
      • 10 man, plasma gun, heavy bolter, veteran sgt, melta bomb, rhino
    • Tactical Squad
      • 10 man, plasma gun, heavy bolter, veteran sgt, melta bomb, rhino
    • Devestator
      • 5 man, 4 lascannons
    • Contemptor Dread
      • Multimelta
  • Librarius Conclave
    • Librarian
      • lvl2, Divination
    • Librarian
      • lvl2, Terminator Armor, Divination
    • Librarian
      • lvl2, Bike, Mindforge Stave, Technomancy
  • Honoured Ancients
    • Ironclad Dreadnough
      • Drop Pod

The list totals 1850 on the nose. It meets the requirements I set out.  The only models I need to add are the foot librarian, the bike librarian, one ironcald dread, and 2 lascannon marines.  It has more competitive edge with the chapter master on bike and the librarius.  It presents some conversion opportunities through the bike librarian.

Rules wise, this thing gets tons of buffs.  All Iron Hands get +1 feel no pain when within 12 of an independent character and all vehicles gain power of the machine spirit when within 12 of an independent character.  The biker chapter master and librarian should give me some mobility to take advantage of those rules.  I can call a single tactical doctrine thanks to the demi-company.  The troops all get objective secured.  The librarius conclave will hopefully be able to give some nice buffs to the devestators (casting on a 3+), while the biker tried to give +1 toughness to the bikers or mess with near by vehicles.

So, what do you think?  Sound like a decent list to aim for?  I am excited to try it out, but it will probably take a few months to build up to.  In the mean time, I may experiment with a few other lists options that I can build.  They will probably be built using a combined arms detachment.  Until next time, this is Professor Severus saying have a good one and take it easy.

Da Crunch – Ork Perspective Battle Report

Howdy everyone!  Professor Severus here.  It is time to bring you the ork perspective of the big nid fight Shorereaper and I had last week.  In case you missed it you can find his list and deployment here, my list and deployment here, and his perspective on the battle here.  Let’s jump right in!

TURN 1

The setup

The setup

As I stated in the first article, my warboss wanted nothing to do with the swarmlord who happened to be sitting directly across the board from him.  I knew the Ravengers were going to catch up to me sooner or later.  So, I decided to be aggressive. The biker mob moved up to the hill in front of them.  The left flank battlewagon and trukk of boys move towards the center of my lines (they were useless against those carnifexes).  The right flank advanced to try to take on the zoanthropes, with the trukk driving flat out to get right in front of them.  The middle unit of battlewagon and trukk boyz moved up to get ready to engage some of the little bugs or the swarmlord.

I was hopeful that I could do some damage in the shooting phase.  The flashgitz lined up a shot on the biovores, rolled a 1 for the ap value, and let loose with da dakka. They killed one for their efforts. The bike shooting went into thinning out the central unit of hormagaunts.  After that, the orks braced for impact.

On shorereaper’s turn, the nids rolled forward.  He did a bunch of psychic shenanigans and killed the trukk in front of the zoanthropes, dropped the warbosses unit’s WS and BS by 3, and got off feel no pain.  Then the shooting happened.

The crone flamed the left flank battlewagon and trukk roasting a few boys each.  Then the flying hive tyrant popped the left flank trukk.  The boys got out in a terrible position and blocked the battlewagon from brining it’s load to bear.  The biovore toasted the gretching.  And the unit of termaguants on the right flank shot up the boyz infront of the zoanthropes.  The loan boy left promptly broke and fled.

Then the ravengeres charged up the hill into the biker squad.  I was actually okay with this.  The bikers are the only unit I had that could take a charge from those snake nids.  Even with the reduced WS, the nobz won the fight.  The problem was we were now locked in combat within charge range of swarmy.

The Biker Nobz hold on against the Ravengers as the Swarmlord approaches

The Biker Nobz hold on against the Ravengers as the Swarmlord approaches

TURN 2

Turn 2 had one goal.  Get the warboss free of combat.  One dakka jet came in (da red barron), who promptly lined up an attack run on the flying hive tyrant/crone.  The now unsupported right flank battlewagon rolled up and dumped it’s boys out with the hope of charging the zoanthropes.  The center trukk rolled up and dumped it’s boys out to engage the hormagaunts (better to charge than be charged). The center flank battlewagon rolled up and dumped it’s boys out in an attempt to engage the ravengers and shield the warboss.  The trukk boys on the left, now without their beloved trukk, scrambled into the position to get at the ravengers as well. The left flank battlewagon threw it into reverse and started moving towards the center of my lines, around the hill the bike were stuck on.

Shooting phase was critical.  Da red barron lined up his shots on the crone and killed it.  That flamer was going to be a huge problem as all these transports start to unload.  The flash gitz took aim at the flying hive tyrant.  Shorereaper chose to jink, and the flash gitz only landed a wound that he saved.  The jink was all that mattered though.  Otherwise most of the boys ran to get into position.

The assault phase was where the real shennanigans began. The two units of boys (totaling around 25 bodies) charged the ravengers.  They did so in such a manner that would prevent the swarmlord from being able to engage the warbosses unit.  He could only get to the boyz if he charged next turn.  The trukk boyz in the center charged the hormagaunts.  The battlewagon boyz on the right FAILED to charge the zoanthropes.  That left them out in the open between 30 termingaunts with fleshboarers and a exorcine.

After throwing buckets of dice around, the orks beat the hormagaunts, who held. The combined might of the nobz, warboss, and a bucket full of boys killed off the ravengers.  The boy units consolidated towards the nid lines to act as a screen, while the warboss and bikers fell back.

Da Red Barron faces off with the Flyrant after finishing off the Crone

Da Red Barron faces off with the Flyrant after finishing off the Crone

Then Shorereaper struck back.  Nid movement still consisted of a bunch of bodies running at me.  The flyrant came around to try to engage the big blob of boys in swarmy’s way.  The center termingaunts got into position to charge the boyz/hormagaunt fight.  The right flank termingaunts moved up to engage the boyz who failed their zoanthrope charge.

Psychic phase was a bitch. The flyrant got off psychic scream and cleared out some boyz around the swarmlord.  The neurothrope ate a bunch of boyz and then used the warp charges to take out a battlewagon.  Catalyst went off everywhere that mattered. And the warboss had his WS and BS reduced by 1.  Stupid bugs and their stupid mind tricks.

Kilo Nob lives through the self inflicted wounds!

Kilo Nob lives through the self inflicted wounds!

Shooting phase was worse. The PYROVORES actually got into range and roast the left flank trukk squad down to a single 1 wound nob.  The nob proceeded to pull a Kylo Ren, punch himself in the chest and cause 3 wounds and them made three 6+ saves to live.  He was pumped up and ready to go!  More shooting killed off some of the right flank boyz and wiped out the screening boyz in front of swarmy.

Kilo Nob stands alone after the devastation of the pyrovers

Kilo Nob stands alone after the devastation of the pyrovers

Assualt phase wasn’t bad.  The termagaunts in the center charged into the hormagaunt/boyz fight, which ended in the orks favor. The right flank termingaunts charged into the battlewagon boyz, which ended in a draw.

TURN 3

Turn’s three objective was get rid of the flyrant while staying away from swarmy.  Another dakka jet came in, and lined up some shots on the  flyrant. Da red barron moved to engage the exocrine.  The bikes moved back towards my board edge to be in position to shoot/charge the flyrant.  Kylo Nob ran forward with all his rage to engage the malenthrope.  The last battlewagon of boyz unloaded in the center to help with the moshpit that was the boyz/termigaunt/hormaguant melee.

The flahsgitz, bikers, and a dakka jet let loose into the flyrant.  They caused 2 wounds, the flyrant failed his grounding check, and lost a third.  Da red barron chipped a wound of the exorcine.  Other than that, everything was engaged.

Kaptain Waaaa and the biker nobz that were left (two I think) charged into the downed flyrant.  The center unit of battlewagon boyz charged the gaunt/boy melee.  And Kylo Nob charged the Malenthrope.  The center melee ended in the orks favor, but those damned fearless bugs held.  Warboss survived the required Ghazzy challenged, killed the flyrant, but was left with a single wound.  And brave Kylo Nob died to the probing tentacles of the malenthrope.

Kilo Nob seeks to vent his rage on the malenthrope

Kilo Nob seeks to vent his rage on the malenthrope

The nids retaliated with more of the same.  Swarmy and the Carnifexes kept on the move, trying to get into position for charges. I had been using the now empty battlewagons as walls to block Swarmy.  Zoanthropes shot at said battlewagons.  Nothing big happened in combat during Shorereapers turn.  Gaunts and Boyz died, but everyone held.

Trukk Boyz hanging on against the press of nid bodies

Trukk Boyz hanging on against the press of nid bodies

TURN 4

Turn 4 was starting to look grim.  Da orks were going into survival mode.  The warboss and remaining nobz drove for the right flank to get away from Swarmy and maybe free those battlewagon boyz.  Da red barron ran out of airspace, so left the table.  The last dakka jet came on.  Both dakka jets and the flashgitz lined up shots on Swarmy.  It was time to try to take him down.  A few battlewagons moved to make nuisances of themselves.

In the shooting phase, the orks unloaded every bullet they had at Swarmy. I knew I wouldn’t kill him, but I was hoping to get rid of the guard.  We accounted for one guard with all da dakka.  Not what I was hoping for.

In assault, the warboss charged in against the termagaunts on the right flank engaged with the battlewagon boyz.  They killed enough to make a deathwatch marine proud, but still failed to obliterate the unit.  Fortunately, a battlewagon was in position to shield the combat from Swarmy, but Shorereaper had other plans.  The center melee kept on grinding, with the advantage still going to the orks.

Shorereaper retaliated with more nid brutality.  The zoanthropes moved up to engage the warboss in a tarpit tactic.  Swarmy moved to clear out the blocking battlewagon. The carnifexes lumbered around looking bored.  Psychic once again saw catalyst go off, but for once, the warbosses unit did not have their WS or BS reduced.  The battlewagon died to the swarmlord and the zoanthropes/guant/boyz/warboss melee held.  The center ground on, but the was a light at the end o the tunnel, the boyz were almost free.

Battlewagon Boyz have almost finished clearing out the center

Battlewagon Boyz have almost finished clearing out the center

TURN 5

Things were starting to get desperate.  All the dakka jets were on the field, but getting shot angles was becoming increasingly difficult.  The only free ork unit was the flashgitz, who moved back to stay out of carnifex charge range.

Shooting was a scattered mess.  The orks couldn’t concentrate fire on any one target. They took aim at the lone biovore, the pyrovore, and the malenthrope.  The pyrovers lost a model, the biovore was killed, and a few wounds were chipped of the malenthrope.

The warboss fought like an ork possessed in a struggle to break free from the zoanthropes.  The orks were finally running low on battlewagons, and had nothing to block swarmy with.  The center melee finally resolved with 5 boyz and a nob surrounded by a mountain of gaunt corpses.  Unfortunately, they were now staring at two bored carnifexes.

Then it finally happened in Shorereaper’s turn. Swarmy finally got his charge on the warboss.  The carnifexes ran into the boyz in the center.  Due to the Ghazzy rules, Kaptain Waaaa had to accept the Swarmlords Challenge.  Mind you, he has one wound left, a 4+ armor save, feel no pain, and swings at initiative 1.  Oh, and the nids dropped his WS by 3 in the psychic phase.

Swarmy turned the poor Kaptain Waaa into green paste, killed the rest of the nobz, pain boy, and da boyz.  After the feeding frenzy, he consolidate towards the last threat on the table, the flashgitz.  The carnifexes frolicked liked excited puppies and smashed the center boyz.

The zoanthropes sacrifice themselves on the buzzing saw of Kaptain Waaaa to buy the Swarmlord more time

The zoanthropes sacrifice themselves on the buzzing saw of Kaptain Waaaa to buy the Swarmlord more time

TURN 6

Well ladz, things were looking grim.  So what does an ork do?  DAKKA!!!!!!!  Instead of turning tail and running lie some cowardly gitz, the flash gitz sat still to get +1BS.  The other battlewagon moved to block up the carnifexes.  Da dakka jet’s buzzed overhead but still couldn’t get an angle on anything worthwhile.

The final moment of truth. The flashgitz could do some real damage to swarmy.  He was out in the open, down to two guard.  They had +1 BS.  And swarmy for once didn’t have catalyst on.  Then they rolled a 5 for AP.  The volley of fire proceeded to bounce of the carapace of the guard, wounding one.

And that was it.  Swarmy and the carnifexes smashed the battlewagons, leaving the flash gitz on foot. In turn 7 they tried to shoot again, but still failed at doing anything.  Then swarmy killed 5.  After that the game ended.

The Flash Gitz decide that they are not getting paid enough for this nonsense

The Flash Gitz decide that they are not getting paid enough for this nonsense

When we sat down to calculate victory points, the orks wracked up a mighty 11 points.  Unfortunately, the nids devoured a monstrous 19 points.  So the match went to the nids.

And there you have it lads.  Shorereaper both saved Swarmy’s head and crushed the orks mob.  It was a blast, with lots of ork kunnin and nid brutality to keep the game going back and forth.  Until next time this is Severus saying have a good one and take it easy.

The Return of the Horde!

Howdy Everyone!  Professor Severus here.  This past week, Shorereaper made a trip down to the south to fulfill his duties as my groomsmen.  One of those many duties was to haul down his nids so Kaptain Klaw could have one more chance at taking the Swarmlord’s head as a trophy!

03 Red BarronWe worked up our lists before the game.  I really wanted to try out the new decurion style detachment for the orks.  So, I wrote up a list and got the models dug out of the closet.  As a side note, I REALLY need more storage space at my current house.  Here is what I came up with:

Great Waagh!-Band:

  1. Painboy on Warbike
  2. Waaagh!-band
    1. 11 Boyz, Nob with Power Klaw and Bosspole, Trukk
    2. 11 Boyz, Nob with Power Klaw and Bosspole, Trukk
    3. 11 Boyz, Nob with Power Klaw and Bosspole, Trukk
    4. 19 Boyz, Nob with Power Klaw and Bosspole
    5. 19 Boyz, Nob with Power Klaw and Bosspole
    6. 19 Boyz, Nob with Power Klaw and Bosspole
    7. 10 Gretchin, Runtherd
    8. Mek
    9. 6 Nobz on Warbikes
    10. Warboss on Warbike, Power Klaw, Big Bosspole
  3. Dakkajet Skawdron
    1. 3 Dakka Jets with Extra Supa Shoota
  4. Battlewagon with Big Shoota
  5. Battlewagon with Big Shoota
  6. Battlewagon with Big Shoota
  7. 10 Flashgitz with Battlewagon with Big Shoota

Total: 2501pts

As I have stated before, I think the Great Waaagh!-Band detachment has a fundamental flaw.  All the benefits rely on the warboss living, and the warboss must issue and accept challenges.  It really pains me to say this, but unless you are taking Ghazzy, most standard warbosses won’t survive many challenges against combat characters.  The idea with the biker warboss was to keep him mobile and try to keep him alive as long as possible.  If he gets anywhere near the Swarmlord, he is dead. The plan was to try to kill the inevitable tyrant guard with shooting and then swamp ole Swarmy with a ton of boys until he falls under the weight of bodies.  I went with a mounted force to keep thing more mobile and to let me pick my fight easier.  Or at least that was the plan…

Shorereaper and I made our way out to Moxie Games and began the setup.  We agreed on kill points as the mission.  Mainly because when we go orks vs nids, we pretty much focus on killing each other and forget the rest of the objectives.  We set up a table with some nice line of sight blocking terrain, rolled up dawn of war deployment, and got to work.

I had first deployment.  Since I had no idea how Shorereaper would deploy, I went for a balance approach.  I put a battlewagon and a trukk full of boys on each flank and one set in the center.  I put the warbikes and flashgitz near the center as well.  The gretchin hid in a corner.  The idea was that wherever Shorereaper put his scary units (mainly Swarmy and the Ravengers), I could hopefully use my speed to redeploy.

04 Ork DeploymentAfter Shorereaper deployed, I realized I had a problem.  He had Swarmy and the Ravengers (great name for a metal band) directly across from the biker boss, Kaptain Waaaaaaa.  Shorereaper decided to not try to seize.  Pro Tip:  If you opponent doesn’t want to seize, it means he has you right where he wants you.

07 Zoanthropes in the distanceAnd with that, I will leave it here.  This is going to be a multi-part battlereport.  We still have Shorereapers list and deployment to go over.  Then we can get into each of our perspectives on the game itself.  Until next time this is Professor Severus saying have a good one and take it easy.

Orks v Tyranids – Nid Perspective

So, now that we have seen my list and deployment here, I am going to get into the actual game. *I apologize, I am writing this a week late, and I am not sure I am 100% correct on the following*

Right off the bat, I opted not to try and seize the initiative. My logic was that if I move forward, I would have limited shooting, and everything would have to run forward. This would put me in a position to get charged on turn one. If I let Severus go first, I might be in a position to get a charge off in the first turn with the Raveners.

Turn 1 –
Severus did the Orky thing and quickly moved forward. It was actually a little scary seeing that many ork vehicles head in my direction. He did get off some shooting, killing one of the two biovores and a couple of hormaguants, but he mostly seemed to use that turn in order to get into a position where he could charge and protect some of his more important units.

In my turn, I moved into a position to start getting charges off. My Raveners made a move towards the Warboss and his Squad. Swarmlord slowly moved forward (because that is what he does). The HT and the Hive Crone headed towards the nearest ork vehicles.

In the psychic phase I got Catalyst off and gave feel no pain to the Swarmlord and the Raveners. I reduced the Warbosses BS and WS. Finally, the Zoanthropes blew up a Trukk, giving me first blood.

09 Nid Center Flank

In the shooting phase, my Biovore bombed the unit of Gretchen (killing all but 2), the Exocrine shot at another Trukk, the Hive Crone burned some boys in a pair of vehicles (not many, I caused 1 wound in one and 4 in the other). But mostly I ran units forward that would not have been able to get off a charge.

In the assault phase, I had the Raveners charge the bikes. While I did get a few wounds on them, killing 2, Severus caused more to the Raveners, killing three of them. However, I was fearless, so I was just happy getting them tied up.

15 Turn 1 over

Turn 2 –
In Turn two, only one of the three Ork flyers entered the game from reserves. Severus positioned some boys to charge the Raveners. More of his boys were put into a place where they could shoot and charge the Zoanthropes. In the shooting phase he killed the Hive Crone (which was a significant loss for me) and caused me to jink the Flying HT.

In the assault phase, the boys charged the Raveners, and proceeded to slaughter most of them. The other boys failed their charge on the Zoanthropes.

In my Turn two, I continued to move forward. The Carnifexes continued to try to get into a position where they could do something (that was a theme for them through this game). The Swarmlord again didn’t move that far forward. At this point in time, I was just trying to get him into combat with the Warboss. But the fact that the boss was on a bike, and that the Swarmlord does not have fleet (plus my move through cover rolling was terrible), I was not having any luck catching him.

In the shooting phase, the Pyrovores managed to kill off some boys (that were no longer in combat since they killed the Raveners), so they were actually productive.

I sent more troops into combat, trying to tie up and kill some boys. While it worked, it didn’t work as well as I had hoped.

18 Turn 1 Over

Turn 3 –

In Turn three, another one of the Ork jets came in on the table. And this time, after some serious firepower, a failed grounding check, and a charge from the Warboss, the Flying HT was brought down and killed. I also lost more little bugs and one of the pyrovores (which did not explode). The Warboss consolidated away from me, making the swarmlord have to go even further.

In my turn, the Swarmlord continued to try and run down the Warboss. Actually, most of my units were trying to get into better positions. I didn’t have anything to deal with the flyers, so I proceeded to ignore them except for the random snapfire from the Exocrine (and he always failed to cause any damage). Malanthrope and Carnifex units continued to try and position themselves differently. By this time the Hormaguants and one of the Termagant units were very much reduced in size. Even the second Termagant unit was reduced. I was taking losses left and right.

25 Turn 3

Turn 4 –

Severus used his turn four to try and rack up some kill points. One flyer shot at the Malanthrope and killed it. The warboss charged into combat with the left flank Termaguants in order to support the boys that were tied up.

Turn 4 is where I realized that if I were ever going to catch the Warboss, I would have to sacrifice my Zoanthropes. I put them into a position to charge into the combat that the Warboss was in. A couple of Termagants wouldn’t hold out long enough. The Thropes, while terrible in close combat, are survivable with a 3+ invulnerable save. The Warboss slaughtered the Neurothrope in close combat, and I took more losses, but the Warboss could not get away. The Swarmlord was going to get him.

30 Turn 3

Turn 5 –

The turns picked up the pace as the game went on, but that because both Severus and I were taking heavy losses. But turn 5 was the hardest for Severus. He did complete some shooting, took out a few small units, but he was taking a beating. He charged the exocrine (after taking off some wounds with a flyer) but lost combat. He killed a more of the Zoanthrope unit, but not enough to flee. And that is when the Swarmlord charged in a killed the boss in a challenge. From there his game collapsed completely.

35 Turn 4

 Turn five was the first turn where the Carnifexes were able to do anything. They charged and destroyed a battlewagon. The game did go on to a turn 6, but by this time there was not much left in either one of us. The Tyranids feasted on a lot of Orks. And I have to say, the new detachment that the Orks have is not one of the better ones.

34 Turn 4

Orks v Tyranids List and Set Up – Nid Perspective

This past Thursday, I was privileged enough to get another game in against Professor Severus and his Orks at Moxie Games. I was down in Alabama for his wedding, and the Tyranids unwillingly made the trip with me. We were discussing this game for a while and I settled in on the following 2500-point list.

01 Nid Army

HQ –
Swarmlord (Warlord)
3 Tyrant Guards
Flying Hive Tyrant w/ devourers w/ Brainleech worms

Troops –
30 Termagants
30 Termagants
30 Hormaguants

Elite –
Malanthrope
2 Pyrovores
4 Zoanthropes and 1 Neurothrope

Fast –
Hive Crone
9 Raveners w/ Rending Claws

Heavy –
2 Biovores
2 Carnifexes w/ Adrenal Glands and Scything Talons
Exocrine

02 Nid Army

I felt this list brought some solid synapse creatures, a pair of flying MCs to deal with flyers, large numbers of troops, and some solid blast templates. Ok, I had two pyrovores, but they look good. I brought the Carnifexes for some tank killing ability, although I am not used to running them in pairs.

For psychic powers, the Swarmlord had Catalyst, Psychic Scream, and Horror. The HT had Psychic Scream and Paroxysm. The Zoanthrops had Warp Blast/Lance and Onslaught. Of course, they all had Donimion as well.

05 Nid Deployment

We decided on a kill-points game, and had the Dawn of War deployment. The professor won the roll off and deployed first. You will be able to read his list and perspective, but the short version is that he had a unit of bikes (with his warlord and a painboy), a bunch of boys in trukks and battlewagons, and three flyers.

09 Nid Center Flank

On my left flank, I deployed the Exocrine, a unit of termagants, and the Zoantrhopes to shore up my psynapse on that side. Zoanthropes, while terrible in close combat (and have no shooting) are very survivable. I didn’t think I would need to worry about them. In the center, I had the Biovores in terrain, the Swarmlord, the hormaguants, and the other termagant unit. This gave me a solid center. On my right flank I placed the flying HT and the Hive Crone in terrain, along with the Raveners, Malanthrope, and the Carnifexes (which was a poor decision on my part). The Carnifexes were all the way to the right flank and spent most of the game trying to get into a useful position.

08 Nid Left Flank

06 Nid Deployment

The Malanethrope gave cover saves to that flank nicely, including the Swarmlord (although just barely). The Crone and the HT had a nice 2+ cover save, making sure that they would make it to the next round.