Wednesday, June 30, 2010

Welcome to the Dark Side

In my quest to become a decent Eldar player I have decided to tread another path. I decided I must learn all there is to learn about Eldar both good and the bad. So I have now embraced the dark side of the Eldar. I have acquired an army of the Dark Kin. The Dark Eldar have landed on Craftworld Lansing and they are ready to party.
I had a Noise Marine army which I have played once. It is a left over from my early days as a gamer and my time at GW back in third edition before Gav Thorpe bent the chaos codex over a barrel. I added some new stuff but it never inspired me. I love my Eldar I have to say but I wanted something a little wicked.
So I made a deal with Old School Terminator. I traded him my noise marine army for the recently acquired Dark Eldar army of Capt Obvious. Now I have both sides of the coin as it were.
SO this means we will be covering the Dark Kin as well as the Craftworlders. I have a fascination with wyches so expect some wych cult action and lots of mobile shootyness as I delve into the depths of Commorragh.

I am going to run them this Saturday to get in a battle report. Unless the big apocalypse game happens. Which will be round two Vs the Daemons of the Daemon lord An'ggrath. So there may be two battle reports before our next Aspects of Khaine segment, which will be covering Warp spiders.

So until then

Scream Prey thing it amuses me...........

I mean err um......

Blood Runs, Anger Rises, Death wakes, War Calls!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Aspects of Khaine pt 5: Shining Spears.

Riding only a few feet from the ground with only a whisper announcing their arrival they swoop in lances blazing. White hot energy immolates their enemies. With panic ans confusion sown they rocket away before the enemy realizes what it was that attacked them. They are the Spear of Khaine and the rarest of all the Aspect temples. They are the Shining Spears.
Armed with Jet Bikes and Laser lances these Aspect warriors fill a fast slot and are not often used. They have short ranged weaponry and awesome mobility as well as some very nice Exarch powers which compliment their odd nature.
The main weapon of a Shining Spear is the Laser lance. The Laser Lance is a short ranged lance weapon with a range of 6” and a strength of 6 and AP of 4. They also count as a strength 6 power weapons when the shining spears charge. The Jet Bikes are standard Jet Bikes.
The Exarch comes standard with a laser lance or he can exchange it for a power weapon for free. This option is quickly passed over though, when you see the Star Lance. It is a Laser Lance with a strength value of 8. This makes for some very potent first round combats.
The Exarch has two powers available. The first is a must. Withdraw gives the unit hit and run. This is essential to using your Shining spears. The other power is good to have when using the hit and run. Skilled rider. This allows re roll dangerous terrain rolls.
The standard tactic is to hit the enemy unit, withdraw using hit and run and preferable withdraw thru terrain to block the enemy from launching an attack the following round.
Shining Spears are best used on small units. Since they only have 2 attacks on the charge you want to hit smaller units. They are ideal for hitting devastator squads or heavy weapon teams. They are also nice for attacking transports and vehicles. Since you can blast them using the lance ability then hit rear armor on the assault with a decent strength you can pop tanks, artillery and transports and then run away . This unit should be used to harass the enemy and cause some havoc. They are not robust enough to last in a prolonged fight. With a unit maxing out at 5 you should use them in a support role. I personally like to bum rush Land Raiders with them. You can at least glace with the lance ability and with an Exarch with Star lance you have a good chance to pen in shooting. The same thing goes for close combat. They are most effective though in cracking open rhinos and chimeras. Allowing your other troops to shoot the soldiers that must now foot slog across the board.
Using the Turbo Boosting ability of the bikes is key to getting the Spear into enemy territory to sow some confusion in the ranks of the enemy. If you turbo boost turn 1 you get the 3+ cover save and on turn 2 you can begin taking the enemy transports apart. You can also disable your opponents long range support. This will force him to pull units from front line duty to hunt down the Spears. If anything they make a great diversion because nobody uses them often and players unfamiliar with them will not know their capabilities or how much a threat they actually are.
With the small size of the squad I would advise running a Farseer on Bike with them if possible. Give him the Guide and Doom powers. Arm him with a singing spear and you have a nice fast vehicle killing unit that can re-roll wounds and to hit rolls in shooting. Fortune comes in handy as well but you must decide if you want to maximize your shooting or survivability. Given the good ballistic skill of the unit guide may be dropped in favor of Fortune. This is very important for that first turn turbo boost. Being able to re-roll a 3+ cover is very nice.
The key to running Shining Spear with success is keeping them mobile. Momentum is very important for a mobile army. Support is , as always, very important as well. I have always thought of an Eldar army as having a one two punch. You must have an attack and then a follow up attack form a support unit to carry the momentum of the first. This makes you have fire discipline as you must choose your shots carefully and plan the follow up strategy to support what you have already done.
There you have it the Shining Spears. I plan on using a unit in the last round of the GW Store Tourney Series later in July. We only have two more aspects to go. Next Time we will cover the Aspect that is not an Aspect. Warp Spiders.

Until then................................................

Blood Runs, Anger Rises, Death Wakes, War Calls!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Sunday, June 27, 2010

Combat Patrol Tournament at Evolution Games: The Aftermath

This past Saturday I participated in the Combat Patrol Tournament at Evolution games here in good old Lansing. Sadly I forgot my camera so no pictures this time around. It was a 4 round tournament with 2 objective based games and 2 based on kill points. For those of you not familiar with Combat patrol it is a tournament style that is pretty popular at Adepticon. You have a 400 point list. You must take one troop choice. No saves of 2+ are allowed nor are models with more than 2 wounds. Monstrous creatures were also not allowed in this particular tournament.
For my list I took

6x Guardian Bikers w/1 shuriken cannon and Warlock with singing spear and embolden
1x squadron of 3 War Walkers. 2 with missile launcher, 1 with bright lance all with scatter lasers.

I am pretty happy with how the list did. Round one I met with a Necron force of 10 warriors, 3 destroyers and one heavy destroyer. He got first turn which saw the destruction of two war walkers. I took out the heavy destroyer and then eventually made my way into hand to hand. The Warlock and bikes were destroyed by ironically enough the destroyers. My lone War Walker held out and got me a tie 1 KP to 1 KP.
Round 2 Saw me square up with Old School Terminator from Dark Future Games. He brought his Tyranids. 3 broods of Genestealers and 2 hive guard. We made it two turns before he conceded victory to me. This is mostly because I was actually in a good position in the dead center of the 4x4 table. When his first 2 units of Genestealers out flank from either side of me they could not get into range to assault. This left them wide open for fire form both of my units and given the amount of fire I could bring to bear with an AP value of 5 or greater the Genestealers stood no chance.. I had already offed one Hive Guard. So Victory was mine 5KP to 0KP.
Round three did not go so good. Papa Nurgle brought the pain, without any minions of Nurgle strangely enough, with 3 flamers, 5 pink horrors with a herald and 2 blood crushers. I did not realize how shooty pink horrors can be. Needless to say the bike squad was wiped out on turn 2 and the War Walkers went a turn later. This only strengthens my dislike of the Daemon Codex. I am still under the firm belief that the models are under priced and over powered.
Round 4 I squared up against our local War Machine guru Dave and His Imperial Guard. This was a fun battle as he brought lots of sentinels. We had a Gentleman's agreement that his vet squad would stay out of the war walkers way so they could duke it out with the sentinels. So the bike squad engaged the vets while my 3 War Walkers took on his 4 scout sentinels and his 2 armored ones. It was a dawn of war set up so there was not a whole lot of shooting. I have to admit I was kind of dumb. I did not assault the vets soon enough. I pad for it with heavy losses from the bikes. They held their own though and the Warlock survived long enough to kill a few vets and contest his objective. My War Walkers proved their worth by destroying 3 sentinels in close combat. Sadly the last scout sentinel held out long enough for his armored brothers to reach the assault. I was hoping to kill the scouts and then be able to shoot the armored ones as The War Walkers strength of 5 is not enough to hurt an armored sentinel. Regardless it was a Draw.
The winner was one of our resident Warboss's. Congrats to Matt and his killer Mob of Nobs in their truck who laid waste all those that stood before them. They even went toe to toe with a 6 strong squad of blood crushers and won.
So all in all a good tournament. Next time we will have part 5 of the Aspects of Khaine. Shining Spears.

Until then...................................

Blood Runs, Anger Rises, Death Wakes, War Calls!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Thursday, June 24, 2010

Battle Report: Apocalypse Eldar vs Daemons

After testing my combat patrol list in a couple games I was roped into playing a 5000 point per side apocalypse battle. I threw together a list and was going to be squaring up against our local worshiper of Khorne and his new minion the bestial and huge An'ggrath. The demon lord is a big as my Revenant Titan and is a gargantuan creature. It was Painted by Dark Future Games own Csvinton.
So I decided to run the Phoenix Court of Khaine. Mostly because I did not have all my Fire prisms and I did not have any of my super heavies with me, mistake number one.
The game started out ok I took out a couple Daemon princes and a blood thirster as well as a lord of change. An'ggrath was the big problem literally. All my bright lances and the two squads of fire dragons only wounded on a 4+ and his invulnerably save was decent and he was making a lot of saves. The Phoenix Court of Khaine, for those of you not familiar, is an apocalyptic formation that includes the Avatar and all 6 Phoenix lords It gives the Avatar 1 additional close combat attack per Phoenix lord in six inches. It doubles the range of his ranged attack and makes his fearless aura double in range as well. It also makes him immune to Plasma weapons as well as melta and flame weapons.. Jain Zar, Karandras, Maugan ra, and feugan were the only ones besides the Avatar that could hurt An'ggrath. Despite the Avatar getting 6 additional attacks, one for each Phoenix lord, he and the Phoenix lords only wounded the huge daemon on 6's.
The mass of Bloodletter closed in and more Princes came in on turn 3. Flamers wiped out my Fire Dragons and a clever use of Daemonic gifts kind of made me cry shenanigans in its level of cheese. I won't repeat the combo as I don't want to spread the cheese to more people. So I killed a bunch of monstrous creatures but a bulk of my fire had to go to An'ggrath as I could not just ignore him or really keep him at bay. Granted he would have raped my Titan but at least I have range with the pulsars to punish him a turn or two along with the cobra and the scorpion. I think they need to rethink the points cost on this guy because its not enough as is.
I really think the Daemon codex needs an overhaul of epic proportions. All the troopers having Invulnerable saves is excessive and upsets me that certain choices in my army list that should have them but don't.
I will never play a battle like this without super heavies again. The formations are nice vs the infantry and such but I needed weapons that just wounded with no rolling. Between my Titan, cobra 2 and scorpion I would have taken the beasty down, instead of only getting him down to 3 wounds, out of 8, which granted is ok but not when I have the rest of the army to deal with as well. I actually ended up scooping in turn 4 due to the fact the Baharoth was the lone survivor of the formation and the rest of his army was withing striking distance of my tanks, the only ones besides Eldrad and his warlocks that could injure An'ggrath.
In retrospect I should have used all my pathfinders. They could have offed the Daemon lord with much better efficiency. More distortion cannons and my titan would have helped too.
So lesson learned. Don't bring an army to a Titan fight.
I think we have a rematch next week and I must plan something devious and brillant to survive and take down the minions of Khorne once and for all.

Until then.................

Blood Runs, Anger Rises, Death Wakes, War Calls!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Wednesday, June 23, 2010

Aspects of Khaine Pt 4: Fire Dragons

Khaine is death incarnate. The great destroyer who has no equal in the making of war. The Aspect of the Fire Dragon personifies this. They bring to bear weapons that have the power of suns and lay obstacles to piles of molten slag. They are the bane of Imperial tank crews and squads unlucky enough to be in range. They are the great tank slayers and they are very good at their job.
Fire Dragons are the ultimate anti tank troops. Armed with Fusion guns and melta bombs they have one purpose. Destroy the enemy armor with extreme prejudice. One of the reasons I don't use Fire Dragons that much, contrary to most blogs and forums who say field as many as you can, is that once your opponent knows there are dragons on the board he is going to poor everything he has into the squad or transport so that they don't reach his tank line or precious land raider. So if anything they act as a big distraction. Granted the distraction can do a lot of damage as long as they reach their target.
You must put the squad in a transport. If you run Falcons a 6 man squad of Dragons will complement the tank nicely but you better have holo fields on the tank. I prefer, regardless of squad size, to put the squad in a wave serpent. The energy shield take the bite out of most all heavy weapons and you can arm the Serpent with bright lances to help the tank hunters do their job. This give you an autonomous tank hunting unit .
Given the fact Fusions guns have a range of 12 inches you must close range fast. Use the cover on the field and the great speed of the wave serpent to close in on the enemy tanks. If you can approach from the side its even better. Remember to dump the troops as close as possible to get the bonus dice, or at very least get within 9 inches. This is the half distance on the Fire pike.
The Fire Pike is the standard armament for the Exarch when upgrading from his fusion gun. It is a fusion gun with an 18” range. The Exarch also has the Dragons Breath Flamer as a free upgrade from his fusion gun. If I actually run more than one squad of dragons I use the flamer option for a second squad and they act in support taking tanks down and hosing any infantry that try and get to close. Combine this flamer with crack shot and you get the other ability most people forget it does. It allows you to re roll wounds. This is great for template weapons and means the Farseer can see to the “doom” of other units.
It is essential that you take the Tank Hunter Exarch power. I also Like to take the Crack shot power in addition. I do this for the same reason I take it with my Dark Reaper Exarch. Taking out skimmers and fast vehicles. In fact this past weekend my Fire Dragon Exarch was an MVP taking out a Vendetta and 75% of the troops in it as it crashed to the ground a piece of burning wreckage. No cover save against these rather prevalent fliers is a big plus and makes Guard players think twice about turbo boosting across the board to get in your face when one gets blown out of the sky.
The key to Fire Dragons surviving is to have a unit in support of them to take out troops shooting at them. Also , I know I am stating the obvious or at least I hope I am, use the enemy tanks as cover. Position the squad so you minimize the amount of trooper fire they are going to take. Then once you obliterate the tank you have them near use it as cover, or the smoking crater where it was as cover. This will mitigate some of the nastier heavy weapons ability to wipe out the squad. I like to use the The squads Wave Serpent to ct as a shield while at the same time using it to take out more transports or more importantly artillery and other tanks. Support is the key. If you just turbo boost strait to the tanks with no support the squad is as good as dead and you just wasted points.
Since Dragons take up an elite spot I only usually run 1 squad. There are to many other choices in the elites section to take more. This is especially true when building a proper Eldar list which involves balance and all the units supporting each other and working in conjunction. Fire Dragons are one piece of the puzzle.
So that's my two cents about Fire Dragons. In our next segment of the Aspects of Khaine we get into some of the less well known and not so often used Aspect. The Shining Spears.

Until then.................................

Blood Runs, Anger Rises, Death Wakes, War Calls!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Sunday, June 20, 2010

GW Store Tourney Round 2: The Wrath of Ulthwe

The smoke has cleared and the Guns have fallen silent. Above the carnage on a hill overlooking the battlefield Eldrad Ulthran surveys the destruction his army has wrought upon the Mon-keigh and their so called Imperial Army. Victory tastes sweet.
Round 2 of the Games Workshop National Store tournament was this past weekend and yours truly played at the store at Great Lakes Crossing in Auburn Hills. I faced an Imperial Guard army that was actually all infantry. I came in expecting space marines or a chaos army or even a guard army that was a mechanized wall of death. I was a little surprised and feeling a little nostalgic when I faced a Cadian Guard army that was all infantry and only had 2 Leman Russ's and a Vendetta.
My list consisted of

HQ: Eldrad Ulthran with 8 warlocks. 2 destructor, 1 Enhance, 1 Embolden. All in a Wave Serpent armed with Eldar missile launchers, vectored engines and spirit stones
Troops: 1x 10 man squad of dire Avengers with Exarch armed with Dire Sword and Blade storm in a Wave Serpent armed with bright lances, vectored engines and spirit stones.
Troops: 1x 6 man squad of Guardian Jet bikes with Warlock w/Conceal and 2 shuriken cannons
Elites: 1x 6 man squad of Fire Dragons w/Exarch armed with Fire pike, tank hunters and crack shot
Fast: 1x 6 man squad of Swooping Hawks with Exarch armed with sun rifle and intercept
Heavy: 1x Falcon with scatter laser, holo fields and spirit stones
Heavy: 1x Wraithlord armed with bright lances and wraith sword

The guard player had his force divided in two parts which made my job kind of easy. He had a squadron of scout sentinels and a squadron of armored sentinels with 2 heavy weapons teams and his command HQ on one side of the board in the corner and the bulk of his force in the other corner. This did not make much sense to me since this was a pitched battle with the annihilation mission.

So after a redeployment, I got first turn, thanks to Eldrad I sent the Dire Avengers in their Wave Serpent and the Guardian Jet bike squad to deal with the Command HQ and the heavy weapons. I sent Eldrad and the Wraith lord against the right flank of the guard while the Fire Dragons hitched a ride in the Falcon to hit the left flank and the 2 tanks he had perched on a hill. Turn one saw the death of all the heavy weapon teams and one sentinel on the right side and the death of a few guardsmen and a Leman Russ being unable to move or shoot. I lost one Jet Bike and 2 Fire dragons and the falcon could not shoot in his return fire salvo. He ran 3 squads to cover and that was about it.
Turn two I advanced further with Eldrad and the Wraithlord. The fire dragons Got into lethal range and blew up the disabled Leman Russ taking several Guardsmen with it. The Bikes continued the assault on the sentinel destroying the armored squadron in close combat, thanks to 3 penetrating hits by a singing spear one in shooting and 2 in close combat, and the command HQ was obliterated say for the head dude and master of ordnance thanks to a Blade Storm. They were destroyed in the ensuing close combat by the Dire Avenger Exarchs Dire Sword. Eldrad and his coterie of Warlocks laid waste to 2 squads of Guardsmen and a Heavy Bolter squad with the Wraithlord. I lost a couple warlocks and several bikes in combat this turn as well as my Fire Dragon squad being cut down to the Exarch.
The Leman Russ left destroyed Eldrad's Wave serpent and began to move towards the Farseer. My Falcon was forced to retreat and turbo boosted from harm as the Vendetta came on the table and fired upon it.
Turn 3 I mopped up the sentinels and stared bringing the Warlock and last Guardian over to help the rest of the army. The Dire Avengers loaded up in their Wave Serpent and turbo boosted over to the other side as well. The Fire Dragon Exarch refused to run and got within bonus die range with his fire pike of the vendetta and shot it down in a fiery explosion which claimed 75% of the veteran squad within. Eldrad mopped up some remaining guard with in range and the wraithlord destroyed the 2nd tank in close combat. The Swooping Hawks finally decided to come in and did it with a bang killing an entire squad with their grenade packs and heavy fire from las blasters and the Exarchs sun rifle. I Finally lost the Fire Dragon Exarch and another warlock. Turn 4 was quick I killed some guard and my opponent did not kill anything except 4 swooping hawks.
That's when time was called and I came out on top 11 kill points to his 2. I scored roughly 1350 victory points and he scored 740. The game was a massacre if it had gone to turn 5 I would have tabled him. I have no doubt on that fact. I was closing in and he had 2 squads of veterans left and an infantry squad. It was a good game and I am glad my list did so well. I think I may change it a bit for the last round as I am expecting to face space marines.
So a very decisive Victory for Ulthwe. Next time we will be covering or next Aspect warrior in the Aspects of Khaine series. Fire Dragons

Until then......................................

Blood Runs, Anger Rises, Death Wakes, War Calls!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Saturday, June 19, 2010

Aspects of Khaine pt 3: Howling Banshees

A piecing cry is the last thing heard before death. A blur followed by a clean cut of a shimmering blade wreathed in energy. When the cry of the Banshee is heard death follows. The followers of Khaine, the daughter's of Morai-heg, the Harbingers of woe. The Howling Banshees.
Banshees are the quick and lethal close combat aspect. They Have many benefits and advantages over their more heavily armed and armored siblings the Striking Scorpions. The first, to me anyways, is that they are actually fleet. This means a lot when you foot slog across the field only to run and then not be able to assault. The second advantage is that they are all armed with power weapons. This is one factor that has always frustrated me. I am partial to Scorpions, but despite having better armor, better strength and more attacks only one guy in the squad can have a power weapon and he goes last.
This takes me to advantage three. The banshee mask. This little piece of war gear makes it so on the first round of combat the imitative value is 10. So that means you are pretty much going first. Combine this with the power weapons and its a bad day for the enemy.
There are some disadvantages though. Well one big one actually. Some say their armor save, but a 4+ is decent and is shared with several other aspects. The big disadvantage is the fact they strike with a strength of 3. This is rough considering on the charge you must wound anything toughness 4 or above on a 5 or 6. Since they have only 3 attacks on the charge, compared to the striking scorpions 4, it can be rough.
This means striking first is essential and landing as many hits as possible is key. The Exarch has the ability to help with this in the form of her Exarch powers. War shout forces a morale check which if failed means the enemy has a weapon skill of 1 for the first round of combat. Combine this with a doom from a close by Farseer and you will inflict some kills. I always give my banshees the second power Acrobatic as this gives them the counter charge ability which means your opponent must really think if he wants to assault the banshees as they will be striking first and with full attacks.
Banshees also are great for assaulting into cover. The Banshee mask negates all bonuses to initiative given from cover and grenades. This ensures you are always going to strike first. So Banshees make the perfect shock troops fro taking those objectives or annoying long range support units that are n cover.
The one factor to keep in mind is that you want to keep a Farseer within range to doom any enemy units that have the possibility to assault of be assaulted by the banshee squad. Fortune is also a good aide as always since it increases survivability especially if you don't have the squad in a transport, which you should, or the transport has been destroyed.
The Banshee Exarch has several good weapon options. The best is the Executioner. This baby adds +2 to the strength, which means she hits at strength 5. So hitting and wounding on 3's is a nice thing especially at initiative 10. An often over looked option is the triskele. It can be used as a ranged and close combat weapon which is a power weapon. It is only strength 3 but it is AP 2 when thrown. Did I mention it is assault 3 and only 5 points. The third option is the mirror swords. I have one Exarch equipped with this when I run 2 squads. This gives her 2 attacks instead of one for having 2 close combat weapons. I prefer the executioner as it is higher strength and honestly more attacks is not always better. I give this to an Exarch in a smaller squad to offset the fact I am not running 10 banshees in a squad. I almost always run them in full squads of 10 unless I must use a smaller squad because of points of I am using a Falcon to transport them. In this case I am using them as more of a distraction. The mirror blades are nice in smaller squads attacking soft units, Imp Guard and Tau. Squads of 10 is the preferred unit size though. This means more attacks and more survive combat. It is essential you give them a wave serpent. I always equip it with spirit stones vectored engine and star engines. Expensive yes but this ensures they make it to the enemy safely. Nothing sucks more than loosing a squad because you turbo boosted the serpent gets shot down and explodes on impact killing all inside.
You must plan your assaults to maximize the number of attacks. If it is possible to safely disengage and remain out of combat until your next turn it is advisable to do it. This gives you time to doom units and cut their number down with fire before assaulting them again. You must always remember to fire the Banshees shuriken pistols before assaulting a unit. This helps thin the herd and increase the possibility of killing more troop sin an assault. Kind of a no brainier I know, but you would be surprised by how may people forget their close combat troops have pistol weapons they can also use in the shooting phase. The whole point is to thin down the herd so the Exarch can try and deal the killing blow to the bigger guys in the squad. If you get bogged down and unable to escape form combat this is when Banshees will begin to show their weakness. They are not tough enough to get in a prolonged fight, especially with tough troops, space marines, daemons and such. Strike quick, strike hard and then get away to strike again.
So use your Banshee's wisely. Pick your targets carefully. Use them against softer targets.

Well that's my two cents about Howling Banshee's. The next Aspect in our series will be the bane of tanks everywhere. Fire Dragons.

Until then...................

Blood Runs, Anger Rises, Death Wakes, War Calls!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Wednesday, June 16, 2010

Product Review: Chapter House Studios Farseer and Warlocks on Jetbikes

Finally they have arrived. I am very excited that I have finally received my Farseer and Warlocks on Jet bikes conversion kits from Chapter House Studios. I have to say I am very pleased by the kits and it was worth the wait. I bought one Farseer and four Warlocks. This is what held up my order as the warlocks were out of stock when I placed my order. Chapter House Studios is a two man operation and have proved extremely popular so be patient if your order takes a little while. They are cranking the models out as fast as possible. But I digress
The Farseer kit provides two choices of body, male or female, and a choice of weapons, either singing spear or witch blade. They also have these nifty shield generators you mount on the side of the jet bikes cowl. It makes the model really stand out. All you need to provide is a jet bike to mount them on. I went hunting on eBay for a good deal on bikes.  I found quite a few deals for 3 or more so finding bikes should not prove hard if you want to do this project on the cheap. The kits themselves are gorgeous. They have a lot of detail and fit together very nicely. One word of warning though. If you have not worked with resin before you should brush up on the subject. Resin can be a harsh mistress. I like the kind of resin they are using for the kits though. It has more give than the stuff from Forgeworld. I did not have the problems I had with my Titan. My experience has taught me that Forgeworld resin is brittle and pretty unforgiving. The Chapter House figures did not give me any problems though.
The kits run about $15.00 each so about the cost of a GW independent character. It is defiantly worth the price. The figure is detailed and looks great, even despite my meager painting skills. Chapter House has many great conversion kits for other armies as well. I know Old School Terminator is a fan of their Salamanders Chaplin. Check them out at their website.
I am very pleased I can now bring a Seer Council in quick for some dooming then getting out of harms way. I will have a battle report with the new Bike council very soon.

Until then.................

Blood Runs, Anger Rises, Death Wakes, War Calls!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Sunday, June 13, 2010

Battle Report: Eldar vs Daemons and Orcs

Old School Terminator of Dark Future Games and I teamed up for a team battle Vs Papa Nurgle's Daemons and the Ork Horde of Evolution Games Computer Guru Shane. This battle was a capture and control mission with everybody's favorite deployment dawn of war. Each of us had 1750 points for a massive 3500 points per side battle. Old School was using his newly acquired army of Dark Eldar. That right you heard right Craftworld Ulthwe led by none other than Eldrad Ulthran was allied with the Dark kin of Cormaragh. In retro spec I should have brought my super heavies. A titan would have been nice for the battle given the amount of Orks on the table. I guess I was not fully aware how many boys you could cram into 1750 points. Add the fact it was led by the mighty Ork warlord Ghazghul Thraka and we have quite the horde. The forces of Nurgle were noting to scoff at as well. 4 units of Plague Bearers made up the core with a unit of 7 beasts of Nurgle. Yeah I said 7. I think it was 7 anyways. The mass was just to scary to look at for to long. A Great Unclean one lead the way with a Blood Thirster drafted from the legions of Khorne.
The list I was running is the prototype for my GW Store tourney list for the second round. Old School was running an Archon with Incubi and two warriors as well as Drazaar. He also had a squad of wyches led by a witch dracite. There were 3 ravagers and a hoard of warriors all on raiders. I think he had 4 warrior squads. There was a lot on the board and my memory is a bit fuzzy after such a long game. I had Eldrad and 8 warlocks leading the way with the Avatar. 2 squads of 15 guardians with warlocks , a squad of Dire Avengers, one wave serpent with bright lances, 2 Wraithlords and a squad of Striking Scorpions.

Our first turn was lack luster as we advanced. We only managed to kill 5 orcs in the initial shooting phase out of the mob of 30 that was on the board. Once the rest of the hoard hit the table on turn 2 Ghazghul initiated a waagh and all the boys advanced, except the really big mob of lootas , 15 to be exact. The first mob in had a big mech with them and they managed to wipe out a gaurdian squad but the Dark Eldar warriors guarding the objective managed to hold back the tide until one of my Wraithlords managed to make it there. The big mech actually did not die until turn 4 though. He was a tenacious git. The Minions of Papa Nurgle landed with the Great unclean one almost having a little accident. They began the slow advance towards the objective. The beasts, 3 units of plague bearers, the Great Unclean one and the blood thirster all landed in the same corner which was a very scary sight.
The orcs advanced and my Striking Scorpions came in on turn 2 outflanking on the right. This brought them into a huge unit of boys and although they took heavy casualties my unit Scorpions out numbered 3 to 1 came out on top after 2 turns of combat. Eldrad and the Avatar took out the boys brought in by the looted vehicles while The second wraithlord supported the Archon and wyches as they engaged the minions of Nurgle.
The Avatar Fought one turn of combat with Ghazghul Thraka and added him the the tally of hero's brought down by the wailing doom. The Avatar was not so lucky as he engaged the Blood thirster. Despite his wounds he brought the Blood thirster down to a single wound and then fell beneath his mighty axe.

By this point the battle was pretty bloody. The Minions of Papa Nurgle were engaged in a huge melee with the Archon and his retinue, the wyches and the wraithlord who finally succumbed to sheer weight of attacks by the plague bearers poison weapons.
The Orcs were pretty much wiped out with the 2 looted vehicles and truck immobilized and the lootas taking fire from 2 ravagers and two squads of warriors and one raider.

The unit of plague bearers who engaged the warriors guarding our objective finally defeated them. My Dire Avengers cut their number down a bit with a blade storm them moved to hand to hand. Mean while a gimped out raider made a break to contest their objective.

The Archon and his minions along with the wyches defeated 3 units of plague bearers along with the beasts of Nurgle and a Great Unclean one. A melee that lasted 4 turns. Alas my Dire Avengers could not hold out in the end and were routed. Eldrad and the Archon moved in but the Wych Dracite finished off the Bearers on our objective.

So with no Troops to hold it and A raider and some warriors contesting theirs we had a draw. We totaled kill points and again we came to a draw. Since it was 1:30 a.m. We just called it a draw

So this epic game that was a swirling melee of death and destruction was all for naught. I guess that's how it goes.
Old School Terminator will have a video report of this battle up soon on Dark Future Games so check it out when he gets around to it.

Next time we will have part 4 of our series on Aspect warriors. The ladies of death. The Howling Banshees.

Also next week will will have a look at the Chapter House Studios Warlocks and Farseer On jet bikes conversion kits.

Next Sunday I will have the aftermath of the GW Store Tournament 2nd round as well. OS lots of stuff

Until then...........

Blood Runs, Anger Rises, Death Wakes, War Calls!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Wednesday, June 9, 2010

Aspects of Khaine Part 3: Dark Reapers

Death from afar. Missiles raining down upon unsuspecting troops finding no respite even behind cover. Tanks torn asunder without even knowing who killed them. This is the mantra of the Aspect of Khaine which represents Khaine as the destroyer. Death is a kiss from afar. This is the Temple of the Dark Reapers.
The Dark Reapers are the Ranged Heavies of the Aspect Temples. Having heavy amour with a +3 save and the deadly Reaper launcher as a weapon, which is strength 5 AP 3 heavy 2. With a range of 48 inches this can spell death for heavily armored squads from across the table. I have always used Dark Reapers as an anchor. They can support all the units on the table. They can cover the advance of the troops foot slogging across the battle field by taking out armor and heavy weapon teams. I also find them great for eliminating close combat troops advancing on my units. The real kick though comes from the Exarch.
The Dark Reaper Exarch has several weapon options at his disposal and when combined correctly with one of his Exarch powers can make the enemy have a very bad day. Those powers being Crack Shot which denies the target its cover save and Fast Shot, which add one to the number of times the weapon can fire. The first weapon available is the Tempest launcher. Although only strength 4 it is still heavy 2 barrage and AP 3 albeit with a shorter range, 36 inches to the Reaper Launchers 48. This can be deadly to tightly packed units and big units of troops. You can go two way with it. You can combine this with The Fast Shot power to make it heavy 3. This means a heavy 3 barrage with very devastating results to units. If you combine it with the Crack Shot power all of a sudden the enemy gets no cover saves. Great for those heavy weapons teams in cover. This power can also be used to great effect with the Eldar Missile launcher available as a weapon choice. Using fast shot is all well and good when firing a pair of krak missiles at a tank, but using Crack shot means those fast vehicles screaming across the table for a cover save are out of luck. That's right obscured vehicles get a cover save. Crack Shot ignores cover. Crash and burn anybody? I don't have a Tau codex handy but I am pretty sure that the disruption pods give a cover save too. Just a thought for those annoying hammerheads and pathfinder devil fishes.
The only real drawback it that to field a full unit of 5 with an Exarch is about 220 points give or take depending on how you load them out. That's 60 points more than a Fire Prism with holo fields and spirit stones. I like to field them in full units unless I am using them in a small point total game of 1000 points or less. It makes sense, to me at least, for survivability and weight of fire you can bring to bear.
Fire discipline is essential to effectively use Dark Reapers. As you cannot split fire, like @#$%ing space marine devastators, you usually have to choose between your Exarch wasting a tank or the whole squad taking out a squad. This is why I limit my Reapers target to lightly armored targets and infantry. Leave the tanks to the Fire Dragons, Fire Prisms and units with bright lances that's what they are there for. At a strength of 5 the reaper launchers can at least glace on sixes on armor 11 targets. Combine this with fire from a Eldar Missile launcher toting Exarch and you can pop all the transports on the table pretty easily. If you are going for anti infantry spec the Exarch to do so. A Tempest launcher with Crack Shot as his power. This way you can support your infantry and your anti tank units can do their jobs unmolested by the enemies supporting units. Of course using Guide from a close Farseer makes for good times as well making sure all your shots hit. Judicious use of Doom is also recommended especially for Reapers tasked with anti infantry duty.
Placement is very important when deploying. You want a good vantage point of the battle field that hopefully provides cover. You don't want the Reapers to move at all. This means a wasted turn of not firing on the enemy. This is one of the reasons I like using Eldrad Ulthran. If I set up first I want to be able to move my Reapers into optimal firing position. I can do this thanks to Eldrad's Divination power. As they say in business its all about location.
If points allow using two units is nice. One for anti infantry and one for anti transport / back up anti tank duty.
So three down. Next time I will have a battle report unless I get My seer council on bikes from Chapter House studios this week. Then we will be having a product review followed by a battle report using the new night spinner and the bike council. Our next article in the Aspects of Khaine series will be taking us back into the fray. The wail of the banshee will be upon us next week as we cover the nimble Daughters of Khaine. The Howling Banshees.

Until then................................

Blood Runs, Anger Rises, Death Wakes, War Calls !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Sunday, June 6, 2010

Product review: New Fire Prism / Night Spinner kit

Games Workshop has released spearhead now. This is one of the few free expansions they have done in their history. Granted to play a spearhead game you need tanks. So Really it is a good marketing ploy. The new kits recently released give us the Maticore / deathstrike launcher and new Leman Russ kit for the Imperial Guard and a new Fire Prism for the Eldar which also makes the tank which will be the topic for this article. The Night Spinner.
The Night spinner is armed with Twin Linked Doom Reaver cannons. With a 12”-72” range this gives the Eldar some nice Artillery that is mobile. Strength 6 than is also rending with a large blast template is also very nice. The fact that the target counts as moving through difficult and dangerous terrain the next time they move is a big perk. Now I know this is going to come up. Does this literally mean the next time a unit moves or does it mean the next turn. Granted it impedes movement either way but, if it is as the rules literally say this is pretty powerful. Once I use this baby in a couple battles I will give a full review on it.

The Kit itself is an improvement. The new turret is nice and very sleek looking. The Fire Prism has more of a menacing look to it now. The sprues come with all the vehicle upgrades on it now, which is very nice. It will be interesting to see how often you can find this new sprue for sale separately, as the rest of the kit is the standard falcon. It would be nice to be able to upgrade my old Fire Prisms and keep the old turrets for some Eldar fortress terrain projects.

I do have some complaints though about the fitment of some of the parts. The new rear door leaves a rather wide gap at the bottom where it meets the hull. This is also present on the lower hull up near the cockpit. Other than this it is a nice kit and the parts fit nicely.

You are going to have to be careful with the assembly of the turret. I recommend using as little Glue as possible and assembling a majority of the moving parts separate first and allowing them to dry before final assembly of the turret. My guns will not move due to my haste, not to mention an almost empty glue bottle with a bad tip exploding onto the model. If doing the fire prism you are going to want to use plastic glue for the cannon assembly after it has been primed and painted. This will prevent fogging of the crystal pieces.

I didn't think I was going to like the new Fire Prism design but as I look at the kit and some more pictures I think it is an improvement or at very least something different. The lines and how the turret flows is nice. The Night Spinner is very nice looking. It adds more area and edges for highlighting. The profile also looks very streamlined. I may have to see if I can convert some Falcons using the new turret design. If you can't tell I do really like the new turret. I also really like the fact they put all the vehicle upgrades on the sprue. I am going to be on the hunt on Ebay and such for the new sprues.

As it stands The tank is in primer and I will be painting it this week for combat duty. I will also be testing 1750 point lists using it for the GW Store Tournament round 2 coming up on the 19th.

So I like the new kit it would be worth picking up one or two or finding the new sprue to retro fit your existing tanks.

Later in the week We will see part three of the series on aspect warriors. This week we will be covering Dark Reapers.

Until then....

Blood Runs, Anger Rises, Death Wakes, War Calls!!!!!!!!!!!

Wednesday, June 2, 2010

Aspects of Khaine pt2: Striking Scorpions

They Stalk their prey from the shadows. They pounce upon it with emotionless fury. They are my favorite Aspect warrior. The Striking Scorpion. They are not as nimble as Howling Banshees nor do they sport power weapons enmasse, they do have several advantages that make them some of the best close combat troops in the game. Striking Scorpions are a great vanguard or relief force depending on how you deploy them. Having a strength of 4 , thanks to the scorpion chain sword, and a 3+ save puts them on par with Space marines. They have the advantage though thanks to high initiative. The basic Scorpion is nice but the flexibility and the way you use the unit hinges on how you equip the Exarch.

The Exarch can be armed with very formidable weapons. Although the power claw is nice I prefer to arm my Exarchs with the Biting Blade. I do this for two reasons. First the biting blade gets to strike at the Exarchs initiative of 6. This means you strike first in most combats. The second reason is because you could potentially strike at strength 8. If you hit with all 4 attacks you are strength 8. This is good when attacking high toughness units and especially vehicles. You could glance armor 14 which you cannot do with the power claw. Although it is not a power weapon I would rather have the high strength.

Exarch Powers are the other important factor. My Scorpions always have both Stalker and Shadow Strike. When Infiltrating your Scorpions mobility is important since they are not Fleet like other Eldar. Being able to traverse cover to reach the enemy increases their survivability. It is also very important to have when assaulting units in cover. I have used Scorpions many a time to contest objectives. This is in part because even if the objective is deep in cover you will be able to assault the troops holding it because you are rolling 3 dice rather than 2.
Being able to outflank or infiltrate is also Important. Shadow Strike lets you do either. It also allows you to contest objectives right from the start. If your opponent thinks he is being clever putting objectives in cover he will think twice as his troops are cut down trying to take it. The ability to outflank gives you the option of holding the Scorpions in reserve for later use. This can be especially effective against armies that sit back and “turtle”. Tau and Imperial guard are notorious for this. They sit back and pound you with the big guns and make you come to them. Having close combat troops suddenly in their midst takes focus off of your advancing troops and allows you to inflict some casualties in their backyard. You should avoid out flanking Scorpions however, if your opponent sets up in such a way that you cannot reach his units quickly. Your warriors stand the risk of getting gunned down before they reach their targets. Infiltrating as close as possible is a better bet. Unless you have an Autarch in your list you run the risk of not seeing your reserve units until later turns by which point they may make no difference in the battle and are wasted points.
You must have ample units to support the Scorpions as they advance though. Pathfinders and long range support from vibro cannons or Dark Reapers are good to distract enemies and have them direct fire away from the scorpions. The new Night Spinner is an excellent support option as it has very long range and makes it difficult for the enemy to move and engage. I will be doing a review this weekend of the new kit. Again running an Eldar army is about balance. The units must work in conjunction. Long range support backing up the middle range and close combat troops while the medium rang troops are backing up the close combat units.
To be most effective you must divide up the opposing army. Striking Scorpions are good but if you get mired down in combat with more than one unit you could be in trouble. You must thin the herd so to speak with your tanks and other Aspect warriors. Destroy back bone units while avoiding the temptation to take out the biggest thing on the table. Case in point, if you eliminate scoring units , troops choices, first you make it a very desperate battle for your opponent as he struggles to get units into position to contest objectives.
Striking Scorpions are one of the best close combat units in the game. Great saves, good strength and lots of tactical flexibility. Not being Fleet is their only real short coming.
SO there we are. Two down, Next week we will cover death from a distance. Dark Reapers. This weekend I will post pics and a build report and review of the new Night spinner.

Until then.............

Blood runs, Anger rises, Death wakes, War Calls!!!!!!!!!!!!!