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Clash of the Titans

So I attended a great 2 day 5 game 1850 tourney over the bank holiday weekend called Clash of the Titans.

Let me first say that this was an excellent event thanks to the combination of the number of people that attended, the venue and the quality of the other players there – and by quality I mean quality of character, not having mad 40k skillz!

I took a list that was considered not too dirty as I wanted to test a couple of things in a competitive environment, namely: Many small units of Thunderwolf Cavalry (MSU TWC) and the Ulrik firebase!

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My list 

CAD – Codex: Space Wolves

HQ1 – Ulrik the Slayer, Warlord [145]

HQ2 – Rune Priest (60), Helm of Durfast (20) [80]

Elite1 – 5 Wolf Scouts (70), Sniper Rifles (5) [75]

Elite2 – Iron Priest (55), Thunderwolf Mount (50), Bolt Pistol (-), 2 Cyberwolves (30) [135]

Elite3 – Iron Priest (55), Thunderwolf Mount (50), Bolt Pistol (-), 2 Cyberwolves (30) [135]

Troop1 – 5 Bloodclaws (60), Stormwolf (215), 2 TL Multi-Meltas (20) [295]

Troop2 – 5 Bloodclaws (60) [60]

Fast1 – 3 Thunderwolf Cavalry (120), Bolt Pistol + Chainsword (-) [120]

Fast2 – 3 Thunderwolf Cavalry (120), Bolt Pistol + Chainsword (-) [120]

Fast3 – 3 Thunderwolf Cavalry (120), Bolt Pistol + Chainsword (-) [120]

Heavy1 – 6 Long Fangs (90), 5 Lascannon (100) [190]

Heavy2 – Predator (75), 2 Lascannon Sponsons (40), Autocannon (-) [115]

Heavy3 – Predator (75), 2 Lascannon Sponsons (40), Autocannon (-) [115]

Fortification: Stronghold Assault

Imperial Bastion (50), Quad-Gun (50), 2 Barricades (20) [145]

Total: 1850 points

The Tactics

The Ulrik Firebase was the bastion at the back end of my deployment zone usually hugging the table edge with a barricade on either side. Barricades would provide 4+ cover to a pred on each side.  Lascannon Long Fangs and sniper Scouts inside and on the battlements.  Ulrik would join the squad inside and the Helm of Durfast Rune Priest would attach himself to the unit on top and man the Quad-Gun.  If facing a lot of Monsterous Creatures the snipers would instead go inside to give monster hunter to them via Ulrik.

Because of Ulrik this Firebase ALL had Prefered Enemy (Everything) from Ulrik, a 6″ bubble which extended from the hull off the Bastion. Furthermore there was a 12″ stubborn bubble emanating also.

The MSU TWC had the options of starting off all separate or joining together and some of them could be held in reserve if desired.  They were playing off their inherent value for money at 40 points per base model.

So the idea would be I would shoot stuff like crazy to whittle down my opponents, let them come to me if they were better at combat or go to them otherwise.  TWC would be so feared they would take all the firepower (fine), leaving my Blood Claws and StormGrr to sweep in turn 2+ to claim objectives etc.

Post Game Thoughts

The Firebase was epic.  Truly.  Ulrik via his rerolls probably caused more deaths than all the TWC put together!  He was easily MVP.  Granted the whole Firebase costs 865 points so it should be capable of doing something.

In all but one of my games the Bastion itself was largely ignored, with it only getting destroyed once by some lucky Wraithknight turn 1 D (using previous codex).  The sheer volume of lascannons with PE ruined most things.  The preds being preds were ignored with 4 deaths the whole touny.

The Rune Priest was lackluster TBH.  I rolled him on Divination and found that prescience was largely duplicative considering BS4, PE and the already twin-linked Quad-Gun.  The other buffs were so short range that there was rarely a good target.  Furthermore, against any psyker heavy army I was just dispelled for fun – Demons!

Whilst on paper the ignores cover, twin-linked, prefered enemy, S7 AP4 quad-gun looks great, there were many armies that just weren’t scared of it. Yes it wrecked Venoms.  Yes it kept Eldar jet bikes 48″+ away from me. Yes it scared my opponents.  However really it did nothing of any note. Snap shooting at ground targets sucks.  There are not many fliers in the meta.  And hiding from it with your squishy objective takers was too easy. I consider the RP+QG to have been a sub-par use of 130 points – especially when the Bastion blew up!

The only good thing about the RP was the deny rolls however.  IF only i’d taken a psychic hood and the whole Firebase would have had a 4+ deny which would have helped a lot against all those flickering fires, melta beams and Eldritch Storms hitting me!

The MSU TWC were good and bad.  Because they were bare bones I quickly found them to be no hard enough to take most things on. Consequently the first 2 turns were spent with me hiding them near to my deployment zone and using them as a counter attack force.  This they excelled at actually.  However, they NEED storm shields.  Their regular attacks rock a S5 rending so my intention in future is to give them all a shield. 7 1/2 points for a 3++ per wound is well worth it.  Their ability to Look Out Sir wounds all over the place was brilliant too as I was able to save so many models from death with this.  THC combined with Thunderwolf Iron Priests and Cyberwolves are brilliant but this is nothing new.

The fear factor of the TWC really played into my hands though as my opponents were chucking everything at them leaving my Firebase unscathed. Played reservedly they proved very resilient, T5 and 3+ with 4+ cover when not rushed straight into the fray was tougher for my opponents to deal with that I expected.

Oh and IP Runic Armour rocks.  They can at times tank like a boss.

My second MVP was surprisingly the StormGrr.  Now whilst it did not kill a lot, the fact that it was an Objective Secured flier straight out won me two games that I would have lost if it hadn’t have been for this surprising little devil with last turn objective grabbing/stealing!  This was partly because my opponents didn’t factor this into their plans.

Weaknesses

It became apparent to me that this list had some significant weakness above what I have already mentioned above.

No first turn scalpel – In most games you can really use a T1 pod of plasma/melta death in your opponent’s deployment zone to get that scary tank / Wraith Knight / Keeper of Secrets.

Limited access to the backfield – You need units that can rock up in your opponent’s backfield unopposed to clear him off objectives.  I’m thinking outflanking, deep striking etc.  The TWC just didn’t get that far without hitting something on the way.

Demons – My 2 losses were both to demons.  Some combination of Plague Drones, Heralds, Flying Demon Princes, Keeper of Secrets and Screamers in my face with cheap backfield objective hunters in the form of Nurglings or infinitely summoned Horrors!  I got totally owned from T1 on both occassions.  It was too hard to hurt them through their invisibility (even comped so you can only hit on a 6), Endurance (4+ FNP), Shrouded+jinking 2+ cover, toe in terrain 2+ cover and 2++ rerollable Tzeench invulnerable saves.  Other than getting into his back field I do not know at this time how to best face demons and I will probably ask for help on this in another thread.

+++++

All in all a brilliant tourney which saw me firmly beating a Dark Eldar ravager, venom, jet bike, deepstriking winged haywire / melta things and raiders with Slith and blasterborn. A Deathwing Terminator and Landraider army, a tactical victory over an Eldar triple Wraith Knight with Serpents list and losing to the aforementioned two demon players.

All the players were great fun to play with and I must apologise again to Matt Edmonds who had to wait 30 minutes for me to turn up for my game LATE!  I apologised at the time by letting him wipe me……… er yeah.

Also a thanks to Sam who introduced me to Turkish Pizza when 10 of us went for food together in Finchley after the 1st day of gaming and to Overlordian Jason who aptly inferred that I was a ball bag when I suggested he may have enjoyed the lamb testicles on the menu.

Thanks again to Titan Chris who organised the even at Titans Wargaming Club and thanks to everyone else there.

See you all next time.

Be sure to check out the Titan’s facebook page where they have posted a lot of fantastic pictures from the weekend.  Chris does some amazing work that beats much of what even Visions created! My StormGrr bearing down on Paulie’s Dark Eldar Raider full of Slith for example!

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Procrastination, my destiny…

“Everything changed with the arrival of the Traveller…”

Yes all hobby has come to a grinding halt due to my shiny new Xbox One!

I’m hooked playing Destiny even though it’s not a great game – where’s the social element Bungie?!

Currently blasting through undecided as the Warlock and Titan, hopefully it isn’t too long of a story so I can get back to the hobby.

Doesn’t help that I can’t make a game for nearly 2 weeks so there goes some urgency!

Back to it…

Shadowsun and the trials of painting white!

So this is the result of what started out as a desire to paint a Fire Warrior combined with providing my Tau playing friend – Andy – with something he can use.

The white with red details is his personal colour scheme, quite striking on a dark table but what a ball-ache to paint!

White is the DEVIL!

Wary of building up from my usual black primer I went with The Fang – a dark blue – and built up with layers of grey until I got to the primary white of the armour which is white with the tiniest drop of grey in it to make it “off-white” and to provide a contrast for my pure white edge highlighting.

 

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Now Shadowsun has a lot of nooks and crannies between the plates of her armour.  At first I left them black but because there were so many and the contrast with the black it made her look like a cartoon which wasn’t the look I was going for.  So I filled in some of these nooks with the off-white I was using and instead gave her a very thin purple wash.  I hoped this colour would provide an ethereal edge to the model which might suggest the stealth armour/femininity.

IMAG0689The usual fun was had on the base (my favourite bit atm) with fallen leaves, green lychen washed brown/dark green (to remove uniformity) and a light sprinkling of a yellow turf – all from Basecrafts.

I also used the Nihilakh Oxide again on the thing she is standing on but found the blue too bright after application so I toned it down with a black wash.

 

This little red markings were fun to paint.  I googled “Tau symbols” for my inspiration and went to town.  I even managed to sneak my initials in there… Let’s see if Andy ever notices my mark haha!

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Oh and 100 points to anyone that knows which Lord thinks he decapitated her?!

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Whilst Treemen Slumber…

…the Eternal Guard stand watch.

As I varnish these Eternal Guard I realise to myself – I have NEVER 100% completed a unit before.

Such an achievement i’m obviously now destined for great things.  What an easily distracted, half-hearted bum I am lol!

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Now I don’t need to hear anything about how 10 of these guys does not make a unit – I don’t GAFlyingF!  I enjoyed painting them and am psyched for the next thing.  I’ve got my eyes on the Warhawk with the archer on it actually but how disappointed am I to learn that its metal?!  Come on Games Workshop, you just did a Wood Elf release and didn’t update your metal minis?!  WTF?  You lazy, easily distracted, half-hearted bums!

If anyone has any knowledge of a plastic variant from any manufacturer please let me know.

Anyway the unit looks great in my opinion even if I did do all the skin in the same tone – not like me.  Oh and the GW spray on “Ardcoat” left a strange dusty residue on the bare superglue used on the leaves on the movement tray.  Will have to chuck a wash over that.

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And yes they look good from behind too (some of them are women right?!) as I get to enjoy my recently discovered green edge highlighting that I love so much!

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For Eldrazor!

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Tomb World Reanimation Protocol 11001 101 Engaged…

Embracing my “paint what you want to paint” mentality at the moment is proving to be quite fruitful – i’m actually gagging to paint my models!  (previously I was painting just to make tournament legal!)

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I’d always fancied painting some Necrons.  In fact two years ago when I was just starting (well restarting but lets not get into that) my 40k career, they were the competitors to the Space Wolves that ultimately won me over.  If they had access to magic my wolves would definitely be more like cyber wolves today!

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Now my friend in Manchester who is a fickle collector (he has built like 5 different armies in the last 2 years) is currently running Necrons and he sends me pictures on Whatsap from time to time of his latest creations.  Inspired by his efforts of late I thought why not send him some reinforcements?!

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I came against this particular Destroyer Lord at a big UK tournament called “Caledonian Uprising” last year and was impressed as it munched through my Thunderlord so figured my friend would appreciate it.

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I really enjoyed painting it.  The black with green edge highlighting and freehand circuitry on the carapace I find particularly striking.  The object source lighting from the Resurrection Orb is nice and this time I used some of my Waywatcher Green Glaze so not to overpower the silver on the breast plate.

I chose to paint over the plastic green thing on the weapon deciding that the plastic option looks too much like a toy and wouldn’t mesh well with the model.

I had some of the most fun with the base however and I got to kill one of a different friend’s Tau commanders – just wait til he realises!  Decapitation rocks!  In this I did a little Tau icon freehand – difficult at such small scale! – and open up my tub of Blood for the Blood God.  This was fun and I suggest you get some and play around with it.  It soaked into the sand around the helmet nicely and shows on the edge of the rock quite well however the brush strokes on top of the rock are too uniform for my liking.

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I used another technical paint here too actually, Nihilakh Oxide.  I used it to give a etheral glow to the eyes and also to age some bronze ingots under the rock shelf – the pictures probably don’t show this very well however.  Interesting paint I look forward to using it on some Wood Elf Dryads!

Beneath the Banner of the Lord of Blades

So I finally made the leap and attempted some freehand painting.  I didn’t want to do the Eternal Guard banner from the book I wanted something original so after reading the army book I came across this bit of lore:

“Eldrazor (the Lord of Blades) is the patron of duellists … one of the oldest traditions of the Eternal Guard is to ritually consecrate regions of Athel Loren and mark them with crossed-dagger pendants”

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And so I designed a crossed dagger image for them.  I used the shape of the blade of their spears for inspiration and added a elven grip like those seen in LOTR.

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After a couple of gridded trial runs with pen and paper I am more than happy with how this came out.  I showed my girlfriend who commented on how 3D it looked!

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What’s more, if I ever play a game of Warhammer Fantasy, because of the angle of the banner’s sculpt, i’ll be able to see the image from behind too!

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One thing I will note, on the front i’ve Waywatcher Green glazed the whole banner which has muted the daggers.  On the back I avoided the daggers themselves with the glaze and it looks much better as they stand out much more.

Now to finish the unit and it’s movement tray.