30 November, 2016

Nurgle Marines & Daemons: Conversions and Army List

As you can see in my video here, I've been working on some pretty cool and fun Plague Marine conversions. The idea was to build up a small to medium-sized force that I could use alongside my 30 Plaguebearers that I had collected and painted. To that end I created an army list. First I'll present the army list, then explain the outline of the general strategy of how I imagine I'd use it.
Combined Arms Detachment: Chaos Space Marines (755)

H.Q.: 95 - Chaos Lord + Power weapon + Mark of Nurgle
Troops: 380 - 5x Plague Marines + 2x Meltaguns + Combi-melta + Chaos Rhino - 5x Plague Marines + 2x Plasma guns + Combi-plasma + Chaos Rhino
Heavy Support: 280 - Chaos Vindicator + Combi-bolter + Daemonic possession - Chaos Vindicator + Combi-bolter + Daemonic possession
Allied Detachment: Chaos Daemons (725)
H.Q.: 230 - Herald of Nurgle: Lesser Reward: Etherblade + Psyker mastery level 1 + Greater Locus of Fecundity - Herald of Nurgle: Exalted Reward: the Grimoire of True Names +  Psyker mastery level 1+ Greater Locus of Fecundity
Troops: 495 - 20x Plaguebearers - 20x Plaguebearers - 3x Nurgling Swarms - 3x Nurgling Swarms - 3x Nurgling Swarms
Total: 1480/1500
The idea of how it works is fairly interesting, if I do say so myself (and I do say so!). You've got three groups: Group-1: the two Vindicators move up the midfield surrounded by two units of twenty Plaguebearers. To avoid giving my opponent a cover save, the Daemons cover all sides of the Vindicators except for the front armour unless the risk to the tanks is too dire. The Plaguebearers themselves are supported by two Heralds of Nurgle. The first Herald has an Etherblade, basic psychic powers and grants Feel No Pain to its unit. The second Plaguebearer has the Grimoire of True Names, basic psychic powers and also grants Feel No Pain to his unit. 
The idea here is that the first twenty Plaguebearers form the outer ring of the horde surrounding the Vindicators, while the second group of twenty forms the inner ring, this way the opponent has to chew through 20 Plaguebearers with a 3+ invulnerable save (thanks to the Grimoire of True Names) and Feel No Pain before they can then move on to destroying the second unit. Of course any opponent could target the Vindicators with ranged weapons, but they'll be granted a 5+ cover save and if they send in a specialized unit via Deep Strike then they won't be able to reach melta range as easily (although Centurions with grav weapons would probably have better luck). 
Group-2: the second group is made up of the two units of Plague Marines in Rhinos. Their job is to seize opportunities, grab objectives, kill units of opposing troops or/and vehicles. Fairly simple and generally what you'd expect of almost any troop unit in power armour, even if they are more specialized than your usual Tactical or Chaos Marine troops.
Group-3: the final group is the Nurgling Swarms. Their job is to grab objectives and to get in my opponents way. Basically: cause trouble, get linebreaker, take objectives and so on.
That's the list! I know that I have twenty points to spare. I do that. My philosophy is that until a list is 100% complete, I want to put some points aside in case I feel the need to add or remove something. So far I'm thinking that the Burning Brand of Skalathrax would be a cool addition for the Chaos Lord instead of a boring old power weapon.. In any case comments and reviews would be both welcome and appreciated!

19 March, 2016

Departing Gift from Japan: Crimson Fists Mini Diorama

During my last week in Japan, a dear friend of mine gave me a brand new Crimson Fists diorama from Games Workshops' 25th anniversary way back in 2012.

If I'm not mistaken it was inspired by the artwork from the front cover of the 3rd edition Space Marines codex -- the artwork that got me hooked on the hobby in the first place!

I'm considering doing painting tutorials on my YouTube channel. If I do, then I'll be sure to upload the process of building and painting the mini diorama!

26 January, 2016

Skitarii Tactics: Building a 750 Point Army

A friend of mine is preparing for an escalation-type tournament and took the opportunity to get himself started with Skitarii. As he had asked for my opinion on how to build the list, I thought I'd share my thoughts with you here. So first of all, what does he have? Well, he chose to go with the new Games Workshop starter set, which means that he's got:
  • A Techpriest Dominus
  • A unit of Skitarii Vanguard or a unit of Skitarii Rangers
  • An Onager Dunecrawler   

When it comes to list-building, I had to consider that on one hand he wants as good a shot at winning as anyone else, but on the other hand he also simply wants to field, paint and collect a cool variety of models that work together in a dynamic and interesting way. With that in mind we sat down for a coffee and sketched out some of the units he'd like to have, and here's what we came up with:

  • A Techpriest Dominus (because it comes with the box set)
  • Two units of Skitarii Vanguard
  • A group of Skitarii Rangers
  • A group of Sicarian Infiltrators 
  • A Sydonian Dragoon
  • Two Dunecrawlers (I kept suggesting three but he'd prefer two)

Building an Army List

When it comes to list-building I tend to do it in stages:
- First you have a bunch of stuff in front of you which includes everything you really want, but also a lot of it will have to get trimmed away.

- Next you'll have to go about selecting what first gets cut out. This isn't always done with the most thorough thought process, but it does serve as a starting point; you can always add things back into your list at a later time. The main idea here is to get a basic idea of what you really want to keep. Again if it turns out that your list isn't up to your personal standards, you can always go back and edit it as many times as you like.

He's making a list and checking it twice.
- Third, you count your points and make sure it at least fits within your allotted points budget. In this case we're talking 750 points.

- Next, you'll want to take a look at whether or not the list adheres to the way you like to play the game. For some of us that might be to just have fun and throw some cool models together, but for me it's all about being balanced or TAC (Take All Comers). You can check out my video on how to make a TAC list here:

- Finally you can start by going over your list with a fine-comb. For example if you need some anti-tank support, but have a lot of anti-troop firepower, you can remove some of the anti-troop units and replace them with guns or units geared towards taking out vehicles. Beware -- or rejoice in the fact -- that this can lead to min-maxing.

Techpriest Dominus

Let's get back to talking about building the Skitarii list itself. In the end the list I came up with doesn't have everything he wanted to include. The first thing to go was the Techpriest Dominus.

Don't get me wrong -- it's a great model with some awesome rules, but he'd either have to go Unbound or build a Cult Mechanicus contingent. Going Unbound isn't so bad in itself but if he chose to go that route, he'd be missing out on the bonuses afforded to him by a Skitarii Maniple detachment, or from any of the formations in the book.

Skitarii Vanguard & Rangers

Next were the troops. The question was how many units of Vanguard and Rangers to include. Initially I did as he suggested and included two units of Vanguard and one of Rangers, but in the end this was too points heavy, as it wouldn't allow him to field any of the other fun stuff we wanted for his army.

Ultimately it came down to the simple fact that he needs boots on the ground to win his missions, and that's something that I'd be looking to maximise. For that reason I went with two units of Vanguard and cut out the more expensive Rangers.

Sicarian Infiltrators 

After considering the troops, I took a look at the elites. He wanted to include something close-combat oriented so that left us with either the Infiltrators or the Ruststalkers. Given that I knew that they had some potential to combo well with the Vanguard, and that they could pump out more attacks on the charge, I simply set the necessary points aside to include ten Infiltrators in the army, and moved on from there.

My logic was that if needed, I could replace them with something else which means that it'd come down to an analysis and comparison between Infiltrators and Ruststalkers.

Sydonian Dragoons

Next up was the fast attack. I know he really wants the Dragoon because the model is cool, it'd provide for something really fun to paint and plus it adds an interesting dynamic to his army, but unfortunately I cut it out because it just doesn't pack enough of a punch on its' own. As a single AV11, 2HP model with a 5+ cover save I can see it giving up First Blood every time. It doesn't matter what army I'd be using against him -- I'd focus-fire the living hell out of that thing, just for the kill point, and all the better for me if I can ignore his cover save.

Now don't get me wrong: I play AV10 models all the time. In fact I love my AV10 Dark Eldar venoms, but there's a difference between having a 48" threat range (I've got threat range tactica right here for you), and an AV11 walker that's charging the opponent's lines at full-tilt. In my opinion if you're going to field these guys, you should have multiples in order to stack up their attacks, hit hard and fast and so that the unit can survive long enough to do its' job. When it comes to Sydonian Dragoons, my attitude is:

One's a kill point, two's a crowd and three's a party.

Onager Dunecrawler

Next up was my favourite: the Onager Dunecrawler. It didn't take long for me to decide that this guy should be toting the neutron lazer. Two reasons:
  1. S10, AP1 blast with a 48" range. Combine that with a 6" movement and you've got a 54" threat range. My Dark Eldar are jealous.
  2. It's called a neutron lazer! These guys are all about the steampunk and you're given the chance to field a neutron lazer! Who could say no!??!?
Let's be clear here. The coolest names in 40k are:
  • Death Ray (Necrons)
  • Neutron lazer (Skitarii)
  • Dark Artisan (Dark Eldar)
I want a neutron lazer.

Futuristic grimdark spider tank with a giant gun. What's not to love!?
Army Balance

Finally we arrive at my favourite part of list-building: counting the points and checking for army balance. The points added up just fine (i.e. less than 750), so I focused on making sure the army was well-rounded. To do this, I use a quick checklist and ideally I'm looking to have at least three different units that can fulfill each role on the list. Given the current army list (two units of Rangers, ten Infiltrators and a Dunecrawler with a neutron lazer), I got the following results on my checklist.

How many units in the army can (help) take care of...:
  • TEQ (T4 2+, 5++) or even Canoptek Wraiths: 2x
  • AV14: 1x
  • Hordes of T3 models: 4x
  • Flyers: 0x
  • (Flying) Monstrous Creatures: 0(3)x
  • MEQ (T4, 3+): 4x
  • First Blood: 1x
  • 1-6 Objectives: 4x
  • Getting to objectives that are across the table: 3x
  • Dealing with super heavies: 1x
  • Linebreaker: 3x

With this checklist we can see that the army is weakest when it comes to dealing with T.E.Q., AV14, flyers, it'll struggle to take First Blood, capture objectives and deal with super heavies. With that in mind we can start to think about ways of improving it.

Given that the current list is at approximately 650 points, we know that we can pack on about a hundred points of gear and models. Another thing is that if we look at the weaknesses inherent in the army, we can start to see solutions arise when we look into the special weapons available to our units. For example if we're lacking anti-AV firepower, we can give the Vangard some arc rifles. To cut things short, this is the final list I came up with:
Skitarii Maniple (745/750)

- 5x Vanguard + 1x Arc rifles
- 5x Vanguard + 1x Arc rifles
- 5x Vanguard + 1x Transonic arquebus
- 5x Vanguard + 1x Transonic arquebus

- 10x Sicarian infiltrators (or 2 units of 5x Sicarian Infiltrators)

Heavy Support
- Onager Dunecrawler + Neutron laser and cognis heavy stubber

And now for the checklist:
  • TEQ (T4 2+, 5++) or even Canoptek Wraiths: 2x
  • AV14: 3x
  • Hordes of T3 models: 4x
  • Flyers: 0x
  • (Flying) Monstrous Creatures: 0(3)x
  • MEQ (T4, 3+): 4x
  • First Blood: 3x
  • 1-6 Objectives: 6x
  • Getting to objectives that are across the table: 3x
  • Dealing with super heavies: 3x
  • Linebreaker: 3x
Would you look at that! Just splitting the units up, adding some arc rifles and transonic arquebuses has helped to balance things out. Of course the list isn't perfect -- it's still somewhat vulnerable to TEQ and especially vulnerable to flyers, but overall it's pretty good. Furthermore if we're realistic about things, most lists aren't likely to have any flyers at 750 points and having 2 units that can deal with TEQ in smaller point games isn't too bad in itself. Again the list isn't perfect, but it's not horrible either.

Radium Carbines & You

Something worth mentioning before we move onto talking about some of the synergy between the Vanguard and the Sicarian Infiltrators, is that the radium carbines used by the Vanguard have the "rad poisoning" special rule, which causes 2 wounds on a roll to wound of a 6, regardless of the target's toughness.

This is worth mentioning because it's partly where the army gets some of its' anti-monstrous creature capabilities. This fact -- combined with their lower points cost -- is one of the reasons I've chosen to stick with the Vanguard rather than switching over to the Rangers. Note that the transonic arquebuses also have anti-monstrous creature potential, as they wound on a 4+ and have a good AP value.

The other source of anti-monstrous creature weaponry in this list comes from the Onager Dunecrawler.

Army Combos: Sicarians and Vanguards

Now that we've got a list that can deal with almost anything that comes its' way we can start to think about our general pre-game strategy. When I talk about a "pre-game strategy", what I mean is your over-all plan before you even know who (or what) you're going to face on the tabletop. When it comes to this list in particular the general strategy lies in the potential unit combos.

For example if we look at the Sicarians, we can start with the fact that they can infiltrate, which means that (in 7th edition anyways) they can also outflank, which is all good stuff considering that they're close combat-oriented.

Combine that with the fact that the Vanguard's transonic arquebuses are sniper weapons, and you soon realise that if you were to kill a model with an arquebus before charging the unit with the Sicarian Infiltrators, there's a chance you'll cause a failed pinning check which -- in turn -- would nullify overwatch. Beautiful! Also keep in mind that the Skitarii Vanguard have the relentless special rule, so you can move and shoot that arquebus without worrying about the accuracy of their firepower.

As if that wasn't enough, the Infiltrator's neurostatic special rule reduces the WS, BS, I and Ld. of enemy units with a model within 6". If you were to split the unit of Vanguard with the arquebuses into two smaller groups as I have, not only would you have more units with which to score objectives, but you'd also double your chances of causing a pinning check.

So all in all the army is fairly versatile and can adapt to most other armies, unless it's got some flyers -- but at 750 points, you might not encounter too many of those -- or perhaps that's just what Tzee...er.... your opponent wants you to think.

14 January, 2016

40k Tactics: Threat Bubbles

Threat bubbles are one of my favourite strategic and tactical concepts, because they help to project my vision and overall strategy onto the tabletop and orchestrate the movement of my models, my models' kill-zones and help them avoid coming into harm's way. This article is broken down into parts:

  1. Defining a Unit's "Threat Bubble"
  2. Executing Your Pre-Game Strategy
  3. Coming Up With a Battle Plan
  4. In-Game Strategies
  5. Keeping Your Army Out of Harm's Way
  6. Contingencies 

1. Defining a Unit's "Threat Bubble"

In the above video I outline the basic uses of the concept of threat bubbles in Warhammer 40k, but in case you don't have access to speakers (perhaps because you're reading this while at work -- tsk tsk tsk), or you just prefer plain old text, here's my definition of a threat bubble. Note that I normally think of threat bubbles as being divided into two categories, which is why we have the Shooting Threat Range and the Close Combat Threat Range.

1. Shooting Threat Range: this kind of threat bubble is the combined range (in inches) of a unit's psychic powers, potential movement distance and range of shooting attacks. Put another way, it's:

  • Threat Bubble = range of psychic powers + potential movement distance + range of shooting attacks
For example imagine a group of Grey Knight Terminators with storm-bolters and the Levitation psychic power. Their threat bubble would be: 12" movement in the psychic phase + 6" movement in the movement phase + 24" range in the shooting phase = 42"

2. Close Combat Threat Range: the second kind of threat bubble is usually shorter than the first because assault distances are normally shorter than ranged attacks. In this case the definition is the range of a unit's psychic powers plus the range of it's potential movement, plus the range of it's assault distance. Put another way:
  • Threat Bubble = range of psychic powers + potential movement distance + assault range (normally 2D6)

2. Executing Your Pre-Game Strategy

When I talk about your pre-game strategy, what I mean is your overarching and over-all plan before you meet with your gaming buddy for a showdown. In a sense it's often whatever was going through your head when you designed your list and as such it's an extension of your army. For example let's take a look at this sample Ork warband (the total is around 1420 points).

- Warboss + Power klaw + Bosspole + Cyborg body + Lucky stikk + 'Eavy armour

- 5x Tankbustas

- 19x Boyz + 17 Shootas + 2x Rokkit launchas + 1 Boss Nob + Power klaw + Boss pole
- 20x Boyz + 18 Shootas + 2x Rokkit launchas + 1 Boss Nob + Power klaw + Boss pole
- 20x Boyz + 18 Shootas + 2x Rokkit launchas + 1 Boss Nob + Power klaw + Boss pole

Fast Attack:
- Blitza-Bomma
- Blitza-Bomma

Heavy Support:
- Battlewagon + 4x Rokkit launchas + Deff rolla 
- Battlewagon + 4x Rokkit launchas + Deff rolla 
- Battlewagon + 4x Rokkit launchas + Deff rolla  

Given this list, your pre-game strategy could be:
1. Put all the Boyz  and the Warboss in Battlewagons,
2. Surge forward and fire all the rokkit launchas in the army at opposing AV,
4. Pray for a turn-2 mass assault,
5. Use the Blitza-Bommas as additional anti-AV,
6. Hope there's something left in the end to capture objectives.

It's a simple plan and merely having one could win you games, especially if your opponent doesn't have one, but what would make it much more effective is knowing just how far you can get into the opponent's lines and hope to assault. So let's take a look at the Battlewagons and their passengers' movement phases to see how far you can get by the second turn:
  • Turn-1: Deploy 6" forward + Move 12" + Flat-out 12" = 30"
  • Turn-2: Move 6" + Disembark 6" + Assault 2D6 (approx. 7") = 19"
  • Turn-1 (30") + Turn-2 (19") = 49"
As we can see here, this Ork army can expect to be 49" across the tabletop on turn-2, assuming that the Battlewagons (and their passengers) survived the journey across the map (watch out for flamers if your transports are open-topped!).

The conclusion here is that the pre-game strategy was indeed feasible. Even if you don't get to assault on turn-2, you'll still be have three AV-14 vehicles with 60 Ork Boyz halfway up the field, which means you'll likely be dominating the middle of the tabletop for the duration of the first three phases of the game. Perfect for objective-grabbing! Personally I'd put some 'Ard cases upgrades on them Battlewagonzez.

3. Coming Up with a Battle Plan

While your pre-game strategy was your idea of how you thought you might run things before you even met your opponent, your battle plan is your overarching strategy when it comes to deployment.

You battle plan is different from your pre-game strategy because your battle plan takes into account the fact that you now know (1) what you're up against, (2) if you're deploying second and (3) it takes into account the fact that you now know your opponents' deployment, which will invariably give useful hints concerning their strategy.

As such the battle plan can sometimes be radically different from the strategy that you came up with when you designed your army list. As an example let's take a recent match that I played against my buddy. It was a 1000 or 1500 point game, and my unbound army consisted of:

  • 1 Space Marine Captain
  • 5 Tactical Marines (plasma team)
  • 5 Tactical Marines (melta team)
  • 5 Grey Knight Terminators
  • 5 Deathwing Terminators 
  • 1 Dreadnought with a lascannon and heavy flamer 
  • 10 Imperial Guard veterans
  • 1 Rhino
  • 3 Eldar Windrider jetbikes with scatter lasers

Part of my initial pre-game strategy was to load the Imperial Guard veterans into the Rhino. The Dreadnought would use the Rhino as cover as it advanced, firing its' lascannon while the Marines moved forward, partially using the Rhino and Dreadnought for cover.

When I saw my buddy's army I was terrified to find out that he had a Blood Slaughterer, at least 6 to 7 Chaos Bikers, 40 Cultists and a Helbrute (he also had a Dark Apostle and some Chosen in a Chaos Rhino). Not knowing how I'd deal with this threat I allowed him to deploy first, which really helped me to see his plan -- which was simply to charge forward and take the objectives while slaughtering anything in his path.

As you can see from this image, my battle plan was different from my pre-game strategy. That is to say that I put the melta team of Marines in the Rhino with the Captain, and the Imperial Guardsmen just behind and around the Rhino so they could act as a target and soak some fire. As for the other five Marines and Dreadnought, they would hide in area terrain and use cover in the ruins as much as possible.

End of my movement phase on turn-1

One thing I've learned directly from university (as an anthropology major) is to always look at things from both points of view -- both figuratively and physically. This sounds pretty basic but can be easily forgotten.

Cover during deployment from my buddy's point of view.
Something worth noting, is that by having units whose role it is to soak up fire is that they can act as what I call "assault-nets". In the image below you can see an example, whereby I placed the Guardsmen in a ring around my forces on the burning wreck of the Rhino, thus keeping them in cover. I think I lost one or two Guardsmen, but the round it bought my Marines (as well as the rest of my army) was more than worthwhile.

The rest of my forces were kept in reserves. Of course this was a good idea with the Terminators, but given the shooting threat range of my Windriders (12" move + 36" guns = 48" threat bubble), it was a bad idea with the Eldar (I won in the end, but it was still a dumb move on my part).
4. In-Game Strategies

 As I mentioned about the Windrider jetbikes, it's usually smart to deploy units with a significant range. However let's put that example aside, as I've got another in-game strategy for you.

In the second match against the same Chaos army, I once again let my opponent deploy first. He once again deployment his horde of cultists in the middle of the table and wanted to go for the objective in some ruined buildings in the middle of the map.

Seeing the sheer number of Cultists who were headed for the objective at the center of the board, I deployment my heavy-flamer wielding Dreadnought as far forward as possible, directly across the board from his Cultists, yet taking care to place it behind cover and out of site from his ranged assets.

As he his forces moved forward, I went to work gunning his right flank with my Windriders, five of my Marines and even the Guardsmen were able to participate in the fight by knocking off a few heretics. Hooray for lasguns! 

I then moved my Dread up 6" and got lucky and ran an additional 6". In total that means that by the end of turn-1 I was in the middle of the board, in 4+ cover and ready to take on 40 cultists with a single Dreadnought while camping (1) the center of the table and (2) one of three objectives.
  • Deployment (6") + Movement phase (6") + Run (6") = 18"
Having a Dread in cover, camping an objective and ready to take on a horde -- this is the kind of thing I'm talking about when I talk about "black holes" in Warhammer 40k.

5. Keeping Your Army Out of Harm's Way

This is something that's fairly simple but goes back is easily illustrated by going back to look at how I use my Dark Eldar venom spam.

If my army is mounted in seven AV10 vehicles with 2HP, but has a 48" threat range (12" move plus 36" firing range), then that means that I want to avoid or take out anything with a range of at least 48" first. Thus in this example I'd find myself targeting things like Devastator squads first and foremost before moving onto other targets. In this instance what I'm talking about is target prioritisation.

Another way of keeping your units out of harm's way by using threat bubbles is simply to calculate your opponent's threat range. For instance if someone has a pack of Flesh hounds of Khorne charging your lines, you can calculate their 12" of movement (ignoring difficult terrain) plus their charge range. If your units can't outrun the dogs, then once again they may become priority #1.

6. Contingencies

I can write, play and blog all I want about threat bubbles but ultimately they're just "one tool in your toolbox" as Wargamer Fritz likes to say. Deep strikers (such as drop-pod lists and Dark Eldar webway portal shenanigans) can really mess with your battle plan, so keep them in mind. Likewise consider how deep striking assets (such as Terminators) can benefit from threat bubbles.

The obvious disadvantages of most deep striking elements are (1) that you don't know when they're going to arrive and (2) they're likely to scatter. If you're interested in knowing more about deep striking elements and making use of reserves, I've got a video for you all about it.

What do you think? Have I missed something? I'd like to know your thoughts and opinions so please let me know if you agree with my ideas, disagree with them or if they've helped you in any way, and how they helped.

25 December, 2015

Army List Analysis: Grey Knights with Saim-Hann & Harlequin Allies

In my article about Grey Knights 7th edition Maelstrom missions I outlined my plan to bring Eldar (Craftworld and Harlequins) into my army. Essentially what I'm doing here is fielding a hyper focused allied force based around the Grey Knights Tactical Objectives.

Doing this allows me to use as many leftover points as possible to field as many Grey Knight Terminators as I can. It does pain me that Grey Knights are better off hiring allies to do their job in Maelstrom Missions, but I love the fluff and models so much that I want to find a way to max out on Termies.

I'll be honest: it feels kind of weird to run Eldar to make Terminators work.
Let's break down the list and analyse how I plan on making it work so that I can win those mission-critical objectives. I've colour-coded the army into four generalised segments. But before we jump into that, I want to point out two things:

(1) These are generalised segments or roles, meaning that each group performs multiple roles and synergises with the army in more ways than I'll mention in this article, but for now I want to focus on how they help me win points by accomplishing Tactical Objectives. 

(2) These units also help create a balanced army list, but that's also something that I won't be covering in this article. Again I'll be focusing instead on how they help me win games by achieving the goals dictated by the Tactical Objectives datacards.


- Blue: Close-combat and psychological warfare
- Red: Objective-grabbers and anti-infantry
- Yellow: Anti-air and anti-AV
- Green: They can do damage and win points, but are mostly there for fun

The Heroe’s Path (325 pts.)
- Deathjester
- Shadowseer
- Solitaire

Craftworld Eldar: Combined Arms Detachment (775 pts.)
- Autarch
- 3x Windriders
- 3x Windriders
- 3x Windriders
- 3x Windriders
- 3x Windriders
- 2x Crimson Hunters

Grey Knights: Nemesis Strike Force (725 pts.)
- Librarian
- 5x Terminators
- 10x Terminators

Total: 1825/1850 points

Close-Combat & Psychological Warfare:

In the first segment (or "Blue Team") we have the Deathjester, Shadowseer, Solitaire and Autarch. In terms of Tactical Objectives, these guys are generally in charge of achieving Tactical Objectives such as issuing challenges, winning challenges, wiping out a unit in the Assault Phase, causing opponents to fail some kind of leadership check, manifesting psychic powers, getting into the opponent's deployment zone and helping to destroy super heavies (and other vehicles) with their Haywire grenades.

Tactical flexibility, ingenuity and imagination are key, so they can do more than what I've just outlined, but again I'm generalising here for the sake of flushing out my ideas and to establish a basic battle-plan. 

Objective-Grabbers & Anti-Infantry:

Next up we have the red team, who are in charge of shredding infantry at a distance (36") and moving in to capture objectives. Unfortunately these guys are on a quasi-suicidal mission, meaning that if I have to choose between grabbing an objective and keeping them alive, they're destined to go in and take that objective.

They're also tasked with destroying units in the shooting phase, killing any independent characters that are out of reach of the Harlequins and Autarch and getting into the opponent's deployment zone for achieve mission-specific objectives. Again there's always more that these guys can do, but at their core they're there for their extreme maneuverability, speed and the quality of their ranged weapons, especially against anything with a toughness value of nine or less.

Anti-Air & Anti-AV:

Next up we've got the two Crimson Hunters. Their role is straight forward: come in, take out any flyers or flying monstrous creatures and if there aren't any, then deal with any other vehicles or even Monstrous Creatures on the ground.

Their other duties include wiping out a unit in the shooting phase or putting the hurt on super heavies and gargantuan creatures. If there's none of that, then they can attack heavy infantry such as Terminators. Not much else to say, except that they synergise well with the Autarch due to the fact that he/she can manipulate reserve rolls, but as I mentioned earlier I'll leave synergy and balanced list-building for another time.

Grey Knight Terminators: 

Given how focused on Tactical Objectives (in addition to being balanced) the rest of the list is, these guys find themselves right at home performing any roles that they're capable of, such as acting as bullet-magnets (I've included a video about that below).

They're also capable of taking out independent characters, issuing and winning challenges, manifesting psychic powers, capturing objectives (objective-secured Terminators!), getting into the opponent's backfield, wiping out units in the assault phase (especially if they're MEQ), helping to destroy units in the shooting phase, attempting to force opposing units to fail some kind of leadership check, killing other psykers, destroying a unit after teleporting onto the battlefield, and finally taking on monstrous creatures (if need be) and even super heavies and gargantuan creatures (with absolutely no guarantee of survival).

That pretty much covers it. There's never any guarantee, especially when it comes to Maelstrom Missions, but the goal here is to maximise my opportunities to score points. Once again you can check out the campaign and storyline for my army list here

24 December, 2015

Painting Windrider Jetbikes: The Stripes

Yesterday I went out for some Christmas shopping and of course I couldn't resist the allure of 40k, so I and picked up a box of Windrider jetbikes!

So as soon as I got home, I got started on painting the stripes on the front of the jetbikes, and I took some photos to tell you how I did it.

Step-1: Paint the sprues black. 

First thing's first: spray-painted the sprues Chaos Black. Once that's done you'll want to cut the noses from the sprue set and give them a second coat of black paint, because the spray paint will leave the model looking a bit grey, rather than perfectly black. So for this, I used Abbadon Black and watered it down just enough so as to make sure it was a thin layer that didn't create any extra ridges or bumps on the jetbike, once the paint dried. 

As you can see, there's a stark difference between the spray-painted jetbike piece, and the one that's been given a fresh coat of Abbadon Black paint. Of course it looks a bit darker and glossier when wet, but once its dry it has a nice jet-black matte finish. 

Step-2: Tape the nose of the jetbikes.

This step is very simple: just take a piece of tape and place it where you want the stripes to be. I'll be honest and say that if you're anything like me, you'll want the stripes to be identical on each piece, which can be a bit annoying, but on the other hand the type of stripes on the nose can also serve as squad markings during game-play, so it's worth the effort.

Step-3: We're painting the [n]oses red! 

This next part is pretty fun: you just slop Mephiston Red all over the model, as aptly demonstrated by our fine friends below. But be forewarned to (1) thin your paints and (2) be careful not to get paint between the seams of the plastic model and the tapeOther than that, go nuts. 

Step-4: Start layering.

Now that you've painted the noses red, you want to start layering. As always keep your paints nice and watered so they don't create lumps and bumps when they dry. For the layering process, you can start by mixing 50/50 Mephiston Red with Evil Sunz Scarlet and painting the whole thing, except about 5mm away from the edge of the tape.

Once that's done you can do the same thing by mixing about 20/80 Mephiston Red and Evil Sunz Scarlet, and painting about another 10mm away from the edge of the tape. 

Repeat the process again, but this time painting pure Evil Sunz Scarlet about 15mm away from the edge of the tape. By the way, as a Canadian I feel the need to apologise to my American friends who don't use the metric system, so for you I've prepared a chart to follow:

- 5mm = a little bit
- 10mm = a little bit more
- 15mm = a little bit more than the first two times

Now that you've painted a little bit away from the edge of the tape with different gradients of red, you can peel the tape off the model, and voilĂ ! There you have it! Your Windrider jetbikes now have stripes! 

If you have any questions or something to share, be sure to leave it in the comments section below. 

~ Cheers from Japan on Christmas Eve!  

23 December, 2015

Grey Knight Campaign & Fan-Fiction: The Crone Worlds

I've started working on a campaign accompanied by fan-fiction. I think it's going to be a really good one, especially given that I've got all those morning and afternoon train rides to/from work to write it up and put ideas together. Check it out here: The Crone Worlds.
(CTRL+F5 to view it as a slideshow)

The basic premise is that sixteen Grey Knight Terminators accompanied by a small Eldar warhost are headed right into the belly of the beast itself: the Eye of Terror. The details need to be flushed out, but essentially it's the backstory explaining why Eldar would ally with Grey Knights for the army list mentioned in my previous post.