Experimenting with Terrible Lists!

Howdy everyone, Severus here.  This week I came up with an awesome/terrible idea, depending on your point of view.  I got it from a fantasy podcast, Garagehammer.  The idea is that you write the worst list you can with your army.  You and your opponent switch lists (meaning you lend him your army, so you need a little trust here).  Then you have at it, see who can succeed with the terribleness.

So, Shorereaper, the Lord Primarch, and I all wrote up bad lists and had at it!  I decided to limit it to 1000 points (makes running an unfamiliar army easier at a small point level).  In terms of armies, I decided to go with orks.  They are a softer army, and I have lots of options when it comes to units (you do not want to see my storage closet).  Here is what I came up with.

  • Boss Zabstruk – Warlord
  • Weirdboy – lvl2
  • Burna Boyz – 5 man
  • Nobz – 7 total with slugga and choppas
  • 10 boyz – slugga and choppas
  • 10 boyz – slugga and choppas
  • 10 boyz – slugga and choppas
  • 10 boyz – slugga and choppas
  • 10 boyz – slugga and choppas
  • 6 Stormboyz – nob with ‘uge choppa
  • Deff dread – 4 close combat weapons
  • Killa Kans – 2 with rokkit launchas
  • 3 Bubblechuckas

Now, I could have been meaner with this list.  Zagstruk gives a leadership re-roll within 12 inches.  That will help with all the ork low leadership and lack of nobz in the boy units.  This list has a few answers for armor as well.  Deff dreads and kans can take those down.  I wanted the list bad, yet playable.  Case in point, Shorereaper could have made a nid list without any synapse (which is crap), but he threw one synapse creature in.  Kept it sporting so to speak.

I ended up playing Shorereaper’s nids against my ork list and later the Lord Primarch’s blood angels against Shorereaper’s nids.  It was a lot of fun.  With such soft lists, bad units do well.  Those unarmored nobz literally walked through an entire flank of the nids in one game.  A basic librarian ended up killing old one eye.  Plus it is fun to try out a different army.  Gives you a real challenge as a general.  Playing nids with only one synapse creature is REALLY interesting.

Overall I think this was a great change of pace.  I thoroughly enjoyed my games.  It also was a really fun list building concept.  Trying to make a bad list is not as straight forward as some may think.  I will totally be playing this format again.  Until next time this is Severus saying have a good one and take it easy.

Forgeworld Metalica Skitarii First Impressions


Howdy everyone, Severus here!  I have been working on building up my little skitarii force.  I now have all the models (20 vanguard and 5 ruststalkers).  I have finished the assembly process and have starting in on the painting process.  Progress is slow, I am finding the hobby mojo is harder to come by as of late.  I have managed to get two games in with them though.

Quick recap about the lists.  The skitarii are intended to be a small allied force.  The parent force in both games were my Iron Hands.  The Iron Hands list is undergoing a few changes, so I won’t list it here.  The skitarii themselves are broken up into the following:

  • 10 man vanguard unit, omniscope, Alpha with Taser Goad and Phosphex Pistol
  • 10 man vanguard unit, omniscope, Alpha with Taser Goad and Phosphex Pistol
  • 5 man ruststalker unit, all with transonic razors and cordclaws, princeps with a prehensile data spike

My goal was to run things as cheaply as possible (points wise) while still keeping them WYSIWYG.  The vanguard alpha does not have the option for the radium carbine on the spruen (bad GW, giving me options without the bits), hence the close combat weapon and pistol (the cheapest combo available).  The ruststalker princeps is modeled with the data spike, so it goes in as well.

Now as for performance, this is only my first impression (two games is by no means enough to judge them by).  My general thoughts are they are a very finesse force.  They CAN NOT take a hit.  Being toughness 3 with a 4+ armor save means they will not stand up to a lot of fire power.  Feel no pain (6+ for the vanguard and 5+ for the ruststalkers) is a bit of a help, but the T3 means you will only be getting it against small arms fire.

To combat the squishiness of the force, they rules make them a very fast force.  The ruststalkers get +3 inches to there move, run, and charge.  The skitarii maniple (the force org you take them in) gives all of them crusader and scout (but can not outflank).  That means they can all re-position prior to the game and get some reliable runs to get into the best position.  In otherwords, you can move pretty well to try to keep these guys away from anything very dangerous.

The damage output is decent on the right target.  The vanguard are great at killing light infantry.  There special wounds on 6 always causing 2 wounds trick really can pile the hurt on a lightly armored unit. If it has a poor armor save and depends on cover, the omnispec and phosphex pistol really help.  I have not had much luck with them against high toughness targets (monstrous creatures).  I think if you want to go that road, you need to have 2-3 full squads focus on one.

Now, I hear the internet screaming at me “Plasma Calivers”.  And to you, I say NO.  Look at it this way.  They are 30 points a piece for the weapon.  The guy carrying it is a 9 point, toughness 3, 4+ armor save, infantry model.  Do you know anyone that will let that guy live long enough to get his 18″ range weapon into position?  The internet screams “Drop Pods”.  I say that breaks the fluff.  Skitarii don’t use transports, they have bionic legs.  I am looking to make a fluff force, not a WAAC force.  So no transports for them.

The ruststalkers seem really good in close combat.  I just have been rolling HORRENDOUSLY with them.  They can deal out a punch, but really can not take one in return.  The problem I am running into is that the ap2 really only gets going in the second round of combat.  You need to live that long with decent numbers to be worth it.  I think a 10 man squad would preform better than a 5 man.

Overall, I like where I am at with the Skitarii.  They are a good little base force.  I need to learn to use them better.  Ultimately, I would like to expand them into a large force.  I am not sure how though.  My hopes is that cult mechanicus and skitarii get rolled into one list under Faction Adeptus Mechanicus or something like that.  If not, I will be force to decide on expanding the skitarii with more skitarii or starting another small allied force of cult mechanicus.  What do you guys think?  Until next time, this is Severus saying have a good one and take it easy.

Unit Review – Raveners

This past weekend, I got a game in with my Tyranids against the Iron Hands with a Skitarii ally. It was a close game; the Tyranids pulling out a one point win. But the all-star unit in the game (on my side at least) was a full brood of Raveners. This unit of nine took out a unit of 10 Vanguard Skitarii, two 10-man squads of tactical marines, and took out the majority of a third before the game ended. I actually run the Raveners because they are fun, not because they are competitive, plus I like the way they look. I have been told that they are the second best unit in my army (after the Flyrant), and while I do not agree with that, I do not think they are terrible by any means.


Each Ravener costs 30 points and has the following STAT line:
WS5 BS3 S4 T4 W3 I5 A3 Ld6 Sv5+

How I run my Raveners is very basic; the full brood of nine with rending claws and no other upgrades. While I obviously have the option of making them shooty, their low ballistic skill does not seem to make them a viable shooty option. And since they come with fleet and basically ignore terrain, I prefer to get them into my opponent’s face as quickly as possible, not having ranged weapons means that I either run them or hold off and charge them. Their weapon skill and initiative, while not at the level of Genestealers, is still above a lot of other units.

So, what does a unit of nine bring? 45 attacks on the charge, 27 wounds, 5-up armour saves (ok, not great there), and a unit that cannot be ignored. They have deep strike and fleet, but are one of the few units that cannot get upgrades like adrenal glands or toxin sacs (which I may not take anyway).

Raveners 2

As much as I love them, I admit that they are not unbeatable. In the first game where in that I played the fully painted brood, they were turned into mist in the top of the first turn (Giving up first blood). My opponent, playing Tau, hit them with marker lights, removed their cover saves and then upped the BS of a R’Varna. The R’Varna then hit the raveners 36 times and caused 29 unsavable wounds. That full unit just disappeared from the board. It should also be noted that S8 attacks can wipe an entire model off the board with one hit. The 5-up armour save means most weapons (in my experience) will just cut right through them. So, yes, there are some down sides to this unit.

How do I counter all of this? Well, with their 12-inch move and fleet, I try to terrain hop until I can get them into close combat. I also use their 12-inch move to cycle unwounded models to the front of the line so that when I finally can get them into close combat, I still have close to the full brood. It also helps if you can get them feel no pain. Any extra chance to save a wound is a plus, and in yesterday’s game, I made an obscene amount to feel no pain rolls (as well as rending rolls, I may have to have my dice weighed).

Is there a better option? Yes. A Shrike Brood can bring the same movement, a synapse range, fearless, for the same points cost. That’s just one option that is viable. For the amount of points I drop into this unit, there are plenty of more competitive units I can add into my lists.

Oh Look, More Mechanicum…And Knights…And A Space Marine Book…

GW Rapid Release Schedule - Like Drinking from a Fire Hose...

GW Rapid Release Schedule – Like Drinking from a Fire Hose…

Howdy everyone!  Severus Here.  Today I wanted to update you guys on the project I started only a week ago.  Adding a force of Metalica Skitarii to my Clan Sorgol Iron Hands.  Would you believe that only a week into the project, and I am already considering changing some things?  Why you ask?  The answer is simple, the fire hose that is GW releases is not showing any signs of slowing down.

In the last week, a new Knight Codex has been announced.  Leaks for a Cult Mechanicum force have been seen.  Finally, rumors of a new Space Marine Codex for June have begun to circulate.  Basically, every asset in my force is potentially about to get re-done.  So, what is a hobbyist to do with all this change?

Forge on!  I have decided to start out with 3 units of Skitarii.  Two units of vanguard (10 man each) and a unit of ruststalkers (5 man).  This is a smaller purchase and gives me a good foundation to start with.  My hope is that the Skitarii will be incorporated into the Cult Mechanicum force.  Think of it like the Tempestus book and the Astra Militarum books.  If that is the case, then I hopefully already have a force that I could build on with the Cult Mechanicum units (which looks so cool!).

If the Cult Mechanicum force is a separate force from Skitarii, I may have a tough choice to make.  I really don’t want to start two new armies to support the Iron Hands.  I have WAY to much stuff for this hobby and my budget keeps shrinking.  We will have to cross that bridge if it ever comes.

Now, onto the Knights!  Honestly, I am not that interested in the new kits.  They look a lot like the Errant and Paladin kits.  I doubt I will add to my Knight force.  It currently stands as one Knight, the Freeblade Justice.  The fluff behind him being a Freeblade didn’t fit well with adding more Knights.  So, I will not expand here.  I will probably have to pick up the cards and the book though.

Now, with all that in mind, I began the construction of the Skitarii.  I picked up a box of Vanguard and Ruststalkers.  Long story short, I love those models but they are VERY limited in there poses.  All the Vanguard have specific torsos that go with specific legs and specific arms.  Same goes for the Ruststalkers.  Overall, they look great.  My concern is that a larger force of them would look weird, with the same 5 poses repeated again and again.

That about wraps it up for today.  I have started work on painting my Skitarii, hopefully I will have something to show you next week.  What do you guys make about all the rapid releases from GW?  Is it affecting your plans for various armies or do you say screw it and keep going with what you had already wanted to do?  Until next time this is Severus saying have a 

Swarm Confession

I play a swarm army. And by that, I mean that I play the Tyranids. However, the name is probably the closest I come to actually playing a swarm army. The only really swarmy units I take are 30 Termagants to free up the Tervigon as a troop choice and a full brood of Raveners (9, yea, really swarmy). I run Flying Hive Tyrants, the Swarmlord (with his Tyrant Guard), Carnifexes, Crones, and on and on with Monstrous Creatures. So, if I am being honest with myself, I do not actually run a swarm army. I was pondering on why, and there are three real reasons that I am not running swarmy.

1. Movement Phase – I hate moving so many models. I have played games where I had over one hundred models out on the board. The set up and the movement phase in turn one can take forever. Not only do I not enjoy taking that much time (I am old and it is tiring) but I also feel bad for my opponent, who is usually playing space marines with drop pods, so their setup takes 10 minutes, tops! I have even sent people out for smoke breaks while I set up and move. Now, I will admit that later turns do tend to go faster, but that’s only because most of my army is back into storage. And that actually adds to it, the clean up time takes forever unless I pack up as my models die.

2. Painted Units – I love the look of a fully painted army on the table. It does look amazing. And currently I have just over 30 Termagants that are fully painted, those 9 Raveners, 9 Warriors, and a lot of those Monstrous Creatures I just mentioned. If pressed, I could field a 2500-point army fully painted, it just will not be swarmy.

I am working on fixing that. I decided to work on some Rippers and Hormagants         because I want to go back to swarmy. But painting the swarm is so tedious. You paint one MC, and you have a complete unit. You paint one Termagant, and you have 29 more to go if you want the full unit.


It’s a little daunting. And again, I am old.

3. Competitiveness – Ok, I will admit to a little streak of competitiveness in my blood. I am not saying that my list is unbeatable, but running a lot of MCs is really competitive. I can tone it down, and will run unpainted units to do so, but when I want to be even slightly competitive, I will drop a lot of monstrous and flying monstrous creatures into my list.

And when you combine all three reasons, I end up running a non-swarmy list. To fix this, I am working on small models to make my lists swarmier. I am working on Rippers, Hormagaunts, Termagants, and even Gargoyles. I will ask my opponent if he minds me having long movement phases (and if he doesn’t want to face MCs, he will have to agree).

As for the competitiveness, I will find a way to make swarms work with how I like to play. But mostly, I will have fun even in my losses, which I should be used to by now. I will run two units of Termagaunts, a unit of Hormagants, and a full unit of Gargoyles, all fully painted. Those three combined is 120 models, which should qualify as swarmy.