Nurse Sharks

OK, It’s been a long time since we posted, and the post will probably remain inconsistent, but I have a short story I thought would be fun to share. I entered a tournament today, and one of the requirements was that the army have a story. This is what I entered, a short fluffy story about my Carcharodon/Sisters of Battle list.

Inquisitor Legate read the note again. Having no idea who left it, he did not know how reliable it was. But if it was true, he was greatly concerned. The fact that Inquisitor Aedile wanted to send the Minotaurs to investigate the Carcharodon Astartes based off of complaints from other chapters after the Badab war was a serious issue for Legate. He knew that the Carcharodons were loyal to the Imperium, and he knew that an investigation by the Minotaurs would only end in violence. Legate also had to admit that if the Minotaurs and the Carcharodons went to war with each other, the Minotaurs would probably wipe the Carcharodons from existence.

Inquisitor Legate got up from his chair and started pacing the office. His brow creased with concern. He knew the Carcharodons were loyal. OK, they were a little bit on the violent side, but they were loyal to the Emperor. He had the fact to back him up. Legate also knew that if he went up against Inquisitor Aedile, he would lose. He did not have enough support to go against Aedile’s wishes. But maybe he could pull just enough support to alter them.

Yes, alter them. Maybe if it looked like he was willing to have the Carcharodons investigated it would satisfy Aedile‘s allies in the Inquisition. He knew the Minotaurs would go in and attack. Even sending in the Grey Knights made him uncomfortable. Going in himself would be considered a conflict of interest, no other inquisitor would support him on that decision. Not even his allies…


 

Canoness Cirratu entered the room, leaving her guard outside the door with the two space marines that escorted them. She did not let her disdain at being ordered here show on her face. A few weeks ago she would not have recognized the icon adorning the shoulder pads of the Space Marines. Now she understood that these are Carcharodon Astartes. She walked up to the only marine in the darken room, stopping barley a foot away from him. Looking right into his black eyes, she handed over the documents she was carrying.

The pale marine didn’t say a word as he reached out to grab them. Cirratu felt the need to break the silence. Silence that has been eating at her since she and her squad landed on this ship. “I come with orders from Terra and documents from Lord Tyberos himself. My orders are to observe you and your men and report back with my findings.”

When she was done speaking, the pale space marine stood there in silence for what seems like an hour, but was probably only a few minutes. When he did finally speak, it was with a very quiet voice.

“What did you bring with you?”
“My personal command squad, a squad of my sisters, a Rhino, my personal command tank, and supplies for both you and me. These supplies include some new armour sent directly from Mars.”
“What do you need from us?”
“Billets, a place to train, and I need access to you and you men.”
“Done”

And with that, she knew this meeting was over. She spun on her heels and walked out of the office. As soon as she steeped through the marine on her left spoke.

“Canoness Cirratu, Captain Isurus told me to show you around the ship. We will pick up the rest of your troops and I will show you your billets, our training facilities, and where you can feast. Please follow me.”

While she walked next to these towering behemoths, she thought about how quickly Captain Isurus granted her access. Maybe this wouldn’t be such a bad assignment. She did begin to wonder why she was observing this chapter for the Inquisition. Such a small squad wouldn’t stop them if they fell to chaos, but even being sent showed that someone on Terra didn’t trust them. She would have her troops keep their eyes on these Space Marines…


 

After Canoness Cirratu left is office, he turned to the marine that was hiding in the shadows.

“She didn’t notice you.”
“Not that I can tell.”
“What is your opinion?”
“She comes with orders from Terra and from Lord Tyberos.”
“And?”
“And I still don’t trust her.”
“Have the men keep a watchful eye on her and her team. They may just be here to observe, but Lord Tyberos left a hidden message to keep our eyes out as well. We are not the only ones that are feeling uneasy with these Adepta Soroitas.”

Spawn of the Void – Arriving in Barraman

The following the the pre-game narrative for a campaign entitiled Spawn of the Void.  To read the prologue, click here.

ork_space_hulk

The Indomitable Zeal translated back to real space with a shudder and a groan.  Sometimes Shamus thought the old cruiser was not going to make it through the harsh contact with real space.  But such doubt was not handled with compassion by Inquisitor Francisco.  Shamus and the other members of the Inquisitors retinue gathered in the ships main holodeck.  It was finally time for the inquisitor to fill them in on just what monstrosity they were facing this time.

Donivan and Arthur joined Shamus at the edge of the table.  He had grown to like the two fools over those long weeks in the warp.  Arthur was a marksmen, which meant he preferred to keep the enemy at a distance.  And Arthur considered most people enemies.  Donivan on the other hand was the group’s expert scout.  A previous life spent stealing and avoiding the Arbites had left Donivan with a skill set that even the fabled Tanith regiment would admire.

As the three were about to get into their usual banter, Inquisitor Francisco entered the deck.  Tapping a few controls on the side of the holo projector, the machine flickered to life.  “This gentlemen, is the Damocles Gulf”.  With a few more adjustments, a little blue indicator popped onto the image.  “And this is our current location” Francisco added.  The image zoomed into to show them the system they emerged into.  “We have exited the warp in the Barraman System.   This system is just on Imperial side of the of the ongoing Damocles Campaign, so we should hopefully avoid any contact with the blasted Tau.”

Another icon popped onto the image, this time in red.  “And that is the Spawn of the Void.  It is currently drifting through the system near Barraman VI.  Our projections put it coming into the gravitational pull of the planet.  This doesn’t pose much risk to the hulk, but it will slow its drift for approximately 12 hours.  That is our chance to safely get on board, reach our objective, and get out.”

Arthur couldn’t bite his tongue any longer, “And just what is our objective Francisco?  Why the hell are we skirting a full scale war with those blasted Tau to try to get onto this bloody hulk?  The damned thing is probably crawling with orks.  This sector is loaded with them.”

Francisco turn his stare to Arthur.  “Because this ‘damned thing’ has the ability to produce a signal that not even the most skill mechanicum adept or astropath can replicate.  Imagine the ability to send messages across the imperium.  Messages that are reliable.  Messages that arrive within hours of transmission, not weeks.  Imagine what we could do with that technology. “

“My previous scans of the hulk located a dozen sources of the signal.  These sources are scattered thought the hulk in large chambers.  We will need to locate these sources and find a way to remove them from the hulk.  Once aboard, we will place these devices into stasis chambers for safe transport away from the system.”

“Sounds like another job for me” Donivan chimed in.  “Shouldn’t be too much trouble.  Those hulks have a similar setup to the under hive I grew up in.  All twisted metal passages.  This should be a walk in the park.”  Everyone at the table glared at Donivan.  The fool probably just killed them all by saying that.

Something seemed off to Shamus.  “What’s the catch Francisco?  You mean to tell me that there is some machine on this hunk of metal that can send signals across whole sectors and we are the only ones smart enough to find it?  You have the devil’s luck Francisco, but even you are not that damned lucky.”

Francisco turned to Shamus, “You’re right.  We aren’t the only ones who have come to wrestle this prize from the grip of the hulk.  We aren’t even the only ones from the Imperium that have come.”  Once again, Francisco adjusted the holo projector.  Symbols began to pop up all over the system.  Symbols representing orks proliferated the screen.  Scattered amongst them were symbols for eldar, tau, necrons, tyranids, and many other imperial forces.

“Why are they all waiting” Donivan asked?

“They are waiting for the same window we are” responded Shamus.  “We are going to have to fight our way to the hulk.  And probably fight our way through it.  Doesn’t make much sense for us to be fighting the other imperial forces though.”

Francisco sighed.  “Some of our brothers seek to destroy these broadcasting devices in their ignorance.  Others, more radical elements, seek to claim them as a personal prize.  Something to use to boost their own success while other parts of the Imperium suffer.  It is our jobs to save them from their selves.  By force, if necessary.”

Where did they come from? Where did they go? (Cult Codex Part 2)

Yesterday I wrote a quick summary of the basics of the Cult Codex, today I want to go a little more into some of the special rules. These rules make the codex pretty fluffy, and a lot of fun. However, they are not amazing. Good, but not amazing.

Every unit in the army, excluding vehicles, comes with the Cult Ambush and the Return to the Shadows special rules. These rules, if rolled well, can be bloody mean.

With Cult Ambush, instead of deploying normally, your roll on a table. Yeah, I know, GW loves to make things random, but these are pretty cool. On a 1, you deploy the unit 6 inches from your table edge. On a 2, they are deployed via outflank. On a three, you can set up the unit anywhere on the table that is more then 9 inches away from an enemy unit, but if no enemy unit can draw line of sight you can set them up 6 inches away from an enemy unit. On a 4, you can set up the unit more than 6 inches away from an enemy unit. On a roll of a 5, and here is where is starts getting interesting, you can set them up anywhere on the table that is more than 6 inches away from an enemy unit, and immediately make a bonus shooting attach (so you get to shoot twice). On a roll of a 6, and I love this one, you can set up the unit anywhere on the table providing that it is more than 3 inches away from an enemy unit, and then you can charge the turn they arrive. I used this rule and some genestealers to take out an assault squad in the first turn. This is amazing, providing you go first.

Now, the second special rule makes the first one even more entertaining. Return to the Shadows allows units to leave the board and be placed in ongoing reserves providing that there are no enemy units within 6 inches of the unit. So, the unit can leave and in the next turn, they can roll on the table and come back in an annoying fashion. While this will add even more randomness to the game, and could end up costing you the game if you are not careful, it is a blast.

There is one warlord trait that helps with this. On a six, your warlord gains Ambush Leader, which allows you to choose which result you want to take rather than rolling for it (only with the warlord and his unit). The rest of the traits, while good, are not as great. On a 1, you gain Stealth. On a two, units within 12 inches of the warlord gain counter-attack. On a 3, your warlord gains move through cover, and never suffers an initiative penalty when charging through terrain. On a 4, the warlord gains “It Will Not Die.” And on a 5, the detachment uses his leadership, which is also pretty good, but not as good as choosing to charge on turn one.

The Psychic powers of this codex are good. They are nothing extravagant, but good. The Primus power reduces a target enemy unit’s WS, BS, I, and Attacks by 1. They have a power that gives a unit fleet and relentless, and allows them to charge even if they ran in the same turn. There is a witchfire power that gives them a 24-inch range; blast template shot that is S5 AP3. Another power is a blessing that gives a unit plus 1 strength and rage. The 4th power (not counting the primus) is a roll off. If there is a draw, the enemy unit suffers a -3 penalty to their initiative, if the cult wins, they also suffer wounds with no cover or armour saves allowed. There is also a power that allows the cult player to take control of an enemy unit and shoot is as if it were their own. Finally, there is a summoning power. This varies depending on what warp charge level you decide it is, but you can summon almost any cult troop who then arrives using the cult ambush special rule.

The final item I will cover in my review is a quick summary of the formations. It hurts me to say that the cult has better formations than the Nids, but this should be all that surprising to me, or to anyone else. The codex is newer. It has a Decurion Style detachment.

This detachment, called the Cult Insurrection Detachment, consists of 1 to 6 core formations, 1 or more Auxiliary formations, and 0 to 3 command formations. The detachment gains the ability to reroll the warlord trait IF the patriarch is the warlord (oh, and you cannot have any more than one Patriarch, one Magus, and one Primus in this detachment). All non-vehicle units that gain infiltrate, and if they already have infiltrate, they gain shrouded. The Cult player can add 1 to their reserve rolls (which I usually need) and their opponent subtracts 1 from their reserve rolls. Finally, each time a unit enters ongoing reserves D6 models can be returned to that unit that we already slain in combat. I MUST RUN THIS.

Finally, I am going to give a quick run through of all the formations.

Subterranean Uprising – This formation consists of 0-1 Primus, 1-3 Metamorphs, 2-4 Acolytes, and 0-3 Aberrants. The formation has the infiltrate special rule, must be set up using Cult Ambush but you get to roll two dice and choose, and any unit joined by the Primus gets to roll three dice when rolling on the chart. I like this formation.

Deliverance Broodsurge – 2 to 6 units of Neophytes. All units must take Goliaths as dedicated transports. They must begin the game in the transports but can disembark even if the truck used cruising speed, but they have to take dangerous terrain tests. Also, the trucks ignore crew shaken or crew stunned results, but do lose the hull point. Eh, this one is OK.

Demolition Claw – 2 to 3 units of Acolytes and 2 to 3 units of Rockgrinders. At least one model in each of the hybrids must be equipped with a demolition charge, and the Rockgrinders are also equipped, but for free. The formation gains tank hunter, and the hybrids can reroll the scatter dice when throw a demolition charge. Finally, after the unit throws the charge, if it is within 6 inches of a Rockcrusher, on a 4+ roll, they can replenish the charge.

Brood Cycle – 1 Iconward, 3 Acolytes, 2 Neophytes, 1 Metamorph unit, 1 purestrain genestealer unit, 0 -1 Aberrants, and 0 – 1 Rockcrusher unit. The unit can add +1 to its leadership and weapon skill if it is within 6 inches of another non-vehicle unit. They also have furious charge if they are within 24 inches of the Iconward.

The First Curse – 20 Purestrain genestealers and a Patriarch. With this formation, you roll a D6 and gain the following bonuses. 1 – Flesh Hooks. 2 – 4+ armour save. 3 – Toxic Glands. 4 – Adrenal Sacs. 5 – Preferred Enemy. 6 – Choose one of the options.

Neophyte Cavalcade – 2 Neophyte units, 1 Leman russ Squadron, 1 to 2 units of either Scout Sentinels or Armoured Sentinels. All neophyte units must take a Chimera as a dedicated transport and must start the game embarked in the transport. Vehicles gain outflank except for Scout Sentinels who gain Cult Ambush. All vehicles ignore shaken or stunned results on a 4+, though still lose the hull point.

The Doting Throng – 0-1 Magus, 3 – 6 Neophytes and/or Acolytes (in any combination). Units have Zealot when within 12 inches of the Magus and when Magus is part of a unit, that unit can reroll all failed to hit rolls in every round of close combat. Also, when casting a blessing, the Magus can reroll the test if it failed.

Broodcoven – This formation consists of a Patriarch, a Magus, and a Primus. The three models must be deployed as a single unit. They can join friendly units, but only as a unit, and must leave as a unit. This formation, and a unit they join gain the following rules (providing that the specific model is still alive: Patriarch – Fleet. Magus – Counter Attack. Primus – Preferred Enemy.

That’s all for now.

 

 

 

The Four Armed-Emperor (Genestealer Codex Review part one)

It’s been a long time since I wrote for the blog, and a lot has happened. The biggest thing to happen to me, in terms of Warhammer is the release of the Genestealer Cult codex. I am more excited about this release than any recent release I can think of, including the last Tyranid update. I can’t even explain why I am this excited. I started playing 40K after the Genestealer Cult was discontinued. To me, the Cult was just a myth, something whispered about or reminisced about. But, GW got me excited about a release, so much so that I can now run a 2K army (using the genestealers from my Tyranid army).

My first impression about this army is that it is a glass cannon. Fluff wise, it is fantastic. And if you have some good luck with the dice, you can crush your opponent. However, a few bad rolls and you are going to be fighting an uphill battle.

Today I am just going to cover the units. In a later post, I will cover the special rules, psychic powers, and formations.

HQs –

The Patriarch – A slightly upgraded broodlord. He is a level 1 psyker who can be upgraded to level 2. He can take powers from Biomancy, Telepathy, and Broodmind. His Rending claws have shred and he gives units within the Genestealer Cult Faction fearless if they are within 12 inches of his model. He is strength 6, toughness 5, and has three wounds. He does NOT have an invulnerable save, but he auto passes lookout sir rolls, including in challenges (this will become important later).

Magus – Another level 1 psyker (upgradeable to level 2), and he has access to the same powers that the Patriarch. Units within 12 inches of the Magus gain Adamantium will (which I have to remember when playing). Strength 3, Toughness 3, and 2 wounds, he is not a model you want to get into close combat. He also auto passes look out sir rolls (actually, all HQ options do this, another fact I have to remember).

Primus – The strategist of the cult. Models with 12 inches of the Primus gain hatred. He comes armed with a bonesword, rending claws, toxin injectors (gives close combat weapons poison), and a needle pistol (Poison 2+). He is armed to the teeth. He is a strength 4, toughness 3 unit with 3 wounds. While not being too tough, he is a model, with the proper support, you would not mind getting into close combat.

Acolyte Iconward – The new addition (based off the deathwatch box set release). This little guy carries the Sacred Cult Banner, and is a great model to add to an army. Models within 12 inches gain feel no pain (6+) or if they already have feel no pain, they add 1 to their rolls (so a 4+). The banner also bestows Furious Charge to units within 12 inches. The Iconward won’t hit all that hard himself, but he can make other units a little more survivable, and a little more painful on the charge.

Troops –

There are only two troop options in the Cult codex. Acolyte Hybrids and Neophyte Hybrids. The Acolytes are first and second-generation cultists and are a little better at close combat. They have a higher Strength (4) but a toughness of 3. They also can be equipped with some fun close combat weapons like a rock saw or a rock cutter (both will be covered later).

The neophytes are the 3rd and 4th generation hybrids. These are the ones that can pass as human, or nearly so. These are equipped with autoguns or lasguns. You can choose a few heavy weapon options, and even take a heavy weapons team. These are, all things considered, guard.

Elite –

The elite choices are fun, and very good.

Hybrid Metamorphs – As the hive mind get closer, these random metamorphs begin to appear. They can be equipped with a lot of the same things that regular Tyranids could be equipped with. Scything Talons, claws, whips, and even bone swords. They are obviously meant for close combat. I have yet to try these out (I built Acolytes instead of these guys, but they are on the list). I don’t think they are the best elite choice, but I think they could be fun.

Purestrain Genestealers – Ah, the Genestealers. These pretty boys come in at the same price as the Tyranid Genestealers, but are just a tad better. Not counting their special rules (covered later… this is long enough now), they have some interesting upgrades that make them pretty damn good. They now come with stealth and a 5+ invulnerable save. With their three attacks, and not being more survivable, these guys can put up a fight. Add in the Patriarch, and you give him some models to take wounds.

Abberrants – The mutants of the Cult world. These guys, who are only available through the Deathwatch box set as of this writing) are interesting. Strength of 5, and a toughness of 4, they also come with feel no pain and stubborn. At 30 points a model, they are a bit pricy, but if you can get them into close combat, they will hit hard. Add all the benefits of the HQs, and they could hit like a truck and have a 4+ feel no pain. Not too shabby.

Fast Attack –

Most of the fast attach options come from the Guard codex. You can take Chimeras (sometimes as dedicated transports), Armoued Sentinels, Scout Sentinels, and Goliath Trucks. These bad boys are the Cult Unique transport, and look pretty damn cool. They are not that tough (F11, S10, R10, 3HP), but can get your troops to where they need to be. And being open topped, your troops can assault out of them. They can carry 10 models (no genestealers or Patriarch) and come with a heavy stubber and a twin-linked autocannon.

Heavy Support –

There are only two options, a Leman Russ (not even all of the options) or the Goliath Rockgrinder, which is my personal favorite. The Rockgrinder vehicle has a stat line of BS3, F12, S10, R10, 3HP and comes with a heavy stubber and a heavy mining laser. It can also carry six models. It may be upgraded with a clearance incinerator for 5 points or a Heavy Seismic Cannon for 10 points.

The Heavy Mining Laser stat line is 0-12 inches S8, AP3, Heavy 3, Resonance and from 12-24 inches S5 AP4, Heavy 6, Resonance. Resonance means that to wound rolls and armour pen rolls of 6 are AP1.

The Incenerator is basically a heavy flamer with Torrent. Actually… it is a heavy flamer with Torrent.

The Heavy Mining Laser has a range of 36 inches, and is Strength 9 AP2.

Finally, the Drilldozer Blade. This allows the Rockcrusher to automatically pass Dangerous Terrain Tests. It also adds another D6 to the strength of a ram, and on penetrating hits, adds one to the result of the vehicle damage table.

In a tank shock, the enemy unit takes an initiative test before taking a morale check. If it fails, the unit immediately suffers D3 S10 AP2 hits. If the unit fails to Death or Glory the Rockcrusher it takes an additional D3 S10 AP2 hits. Not too shabby. Not great, but not bad.

That’s all for now. I will continue with the formations and special rules in a lter post. Hopefully not too much later.

 

 

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.