Thursday, 30 November 2017

Codex: Blood Angels - Chapter Focus

Hello again. You find me in a heightened state of excitement. As you probably know, Codex: Blood Angels is up for pre-order on Saturday, and as you also know if you have been with me for any amount of time, Blood Angels are my guys. Games Workshop have released a few snippets of the new rules for the Baal badasses and I am going to review them here. Strap in folks, this will be a bit of a long one. Get ready for some serious positivity!

The Red Thirst

This is better than I had hoped it would be. When a unit with The Red Thirst charges, is charged, or makes a heroic intervention, they get +1 to wound in the Fight Phase. So in effect the BAs benefit from what they do best, assault, but they also benefit if the opponent charges and if a character joins the fight. Basically when they get into combat, they get pumped.

I expected this to be +1 Strength when they charge but this is far better. For regular BAs with chainswords against T3, 4 and 5, this is the same as it would have been for charging in 7th, wounding on 2s, 3s and 4s respectively. Against T6 and 7, they are still wounding on 4s which is going to prove pretty strong against medium to heavy vehicles and monsters. Against T8 they are wounding on 5s! With enough attacks, this will at least prove a headache for the toughest units, and could potentially provide a nasty reduction in wounds and therefore power.

But that's just regular strength weapons. Powerfists and Thunderhammers are wounding T8 on 3s and everything lower on 2s. Even better, if the Sanguinary Priests keep their +1 Strength aura, that's 2s on absolutely everything! Those fisticuffs Dreadnoughts are wounding absolutely everything on 2s regardless!

All this hinges on being in combat, but as you'll see below, we already have some fun toys to use to make that happen!


Death Visions of Sanguinius - 1 Command Point

This is going to prove a useful stratagem, if you have enough to spare. Gives a BA Captain, Chaplain or Lieutenant the Death Company keyword and the Black Rage ability for the battle. We don't know the full details of what Black Rage will mean in the codex, but it currently gives +1 Attack on the charge and a 6+ damage ignore. There is a warlord trait that will synergise well with this as you will see below. Cannot be used on Primaris models (weirdly, as Lieutenants are Primaris as far as I am aware) or named characters, which makes sense. Terminator Captain with this? Scary.

Strike of the Archangels - 2 Command Points

Gives a BA Terminator unit re-rolls to hit until the start of the next turn from when they are deployed. This is clearly more useful, and aimed at, deep striking termies. Drop those termies in 9" away, rapid fire all of the Storm bolters, re-rolling *all* of the misses, then charge and re-roll all of those misses as well. Okay so the 9" charge is a rare beast, but if you pull it off, it's going to cause havoc the turn they arrive. We're getting access to Tartaros and Cataphractii termies as well. I'll just leave that there.

Upon Wings of Fire - 1 Command Point

In your movement phase, remove a BA Jump Pack unit and redeploy it at the end of the phase 9" or more from enemy units. Easy objective grabber and a way to clear out of a hot area of the table or target a more suitable unit for a possible charge. Immensely useful in many situations I think you'll agree. Best of all, this will apply to JP Characters as well, so use it to get Dante or that Sanguinary Priest out of danger, or close to another unit for buffing or repositioning that Librarian for precision smiting!. You can also use this on a unit in combat (although I assume the same rules for charging afterward would apply). I love this one.

Psychic Powers

Wings of Sanguinius - Warp Charge 5

The Wings are back! Immediately move the Librarian upto 12" and gains Fly. On top of that, you get to re-roll failed charge rolls that turn. Just think about it for a minute. Librarian Dreadnought with a a 30" maximum range in a turn, moving over terrain and units and being able to charge Flyers, with a re-roll to charge. It's deliciously horrific. Now think of Mephiston with a 31" max range with that Sanguine Sword. As you immediately move the Librarian, this could be a handy way to position for a Smite. I can't wait to see how the other powers turn out.

Warlord Traits

Artisan of War

One of your Warlord's weapons adds 1 to it's Damage (not relics). Upto 8 damage with a Storm bolter? 4 damage Thunder hammer? Not a bad trait to take if you plan on getting your Warlord dishing out the hurts (which you should, they're Blood Angels!).

Gift of Foresight

Your Warlord ignores lost wounds on a 6, re-rolling ones. Pretty decent at that. If your Warlord has the Black Rage ability (see? Synergy!) this becomes a 5+ but they can't use the Black Rage ability as well, so just one, albeit improved over BR alone. Cataphractii Terminator Captain (we're getting the termies, so we'll probably get the captain) will be looking at a 2+/3++/5+ re-rolling 1s and an extra attack on the charge in that situation. That is a tough captain.


The Veritas Vitae

Quite different from 7th this one. Used to give an extra Warlord Trait back then, now returns a Command Point on a 5+ while the bearer is on the battlefield, giving the average Battalion 8 Command points for single CP stratagems. Not too bad but possibly better options for an army with expensive units and generally not as many CP.

Standard of Sacrifice

Gives an Ancient their normal banner buff, plus a 6" 5+ wound ignore bubble. Doesn't affect any unit with Black Rage (I am intrigued to see what they have done with Death Company as they seem to be avoiding giving them an extra 'Feel No Pain'). This is so powerful it's unreal. Keep it in the vicinity of your Sanguinary Guard in the hands of an SG Aincient and keep them very much alive to make use of that Red Thirst, as well as being immune to morale and re-rolling 1s to wound. So much power.

That's all we have for now, officially. I am very impressed with all of this; GW seem to be getting our BAs back to how they should be, killing things in combat. I can't wait to see what else comes out of the new Codex. Drop a comment below and let me know what you think of these snippets! Come back on Friday and read my thoughts on the Twitch live stream, where GW will be talking more about the new book.

Saturday, 18 November 2017

Review - Citadel Painting Handle

Hello again! Today I will be running through a quick review of the new Citadel Painting Handle.

Those of you who follow my Instagram will know I have been using the new painting handle this week to paint Mephiston. First thing's first, this is comfortable to hold. I don't have particularly small hands so holding miniatures by their base to paint them can get a bit uncomfortable. With the rounded handle it's a hell of a lot easier to paint smaller minis for longer. This means I will paint faster and get my whole collection done!

Ha. Not really. But it is easier to do with this.

One of the gripes people have had so far with the handle is that it can only do smaller based miniatures. It can take 40mm bases such as Wolf Guard Terminators,

32mm bases such as Mephiston here,

and, crucially for me, it can do 25mm bases like this Strike Team Fire Warrior.

At this small bases size I really struggle to hold them for long periods with them being so small. Stick them on the painting handle and it's far better.

The grip is spring-loaded plastic and is strong enough that I think even metal models would be held firm, but not so strong that you feel like it might buckle the plastic bases or anything. You can comfortably spin this thing around to get the right angles and not worry about the mini.

One interesting feature is that the handle is removable from the model grip by way of a standard camera mount screw. This means you could attach the grip to a tripod or other such items. Creating painting tutorials for Youtube? Why not attach the model grip to a mini tripod so you can display the work-in-progress easily? This is about the only use I can think of for this feature. What it may mean is that GW intend to release either different sizes of handles or different grip sizes (for those who want to hold Archaon on a grip when they paint it!)

So, in summary, I am finding the handle incredibly useful. The ability to hold the three common smaller base sizes makes painting more comfortable for me, especially for 25mm bases. Some are a bit annoyed you can't go bigger than 40mm, but you can put some Blu Tack on the top and attach the model that way. For a mere £5/$8/6,50€, this is an excellent addition to my painting set up.

Sunday, 12 November 2017

I'm Back! (Again)

Hey folks! Here I am, back again. It's been nearly 7 months since my last post, and what a 7 months it's been! We've had the release of 8th, along with several codices and new models. I've played a fair few games of 8th now and I am having a real love/hate relationship with it; more on this below.

I've just got back last night from taking part in Never Mind The Blog Wars, Alex Brown's (From The Fang) latest event and it has left me feeling torn. Last night I knew I had had three fun games, won one of them and generally had a great day of gaming. I predicted being in the lower end of the table but I knew I was neither last or second last (those people had had their 'rewards'). I was happy yesterday, and that was that. This morning I saw the rankings. 28/30. I really didn't think I had done that badly. It really left me feeling a bit flat and torn because I had basically enjoyed being terrible at 40K.

I think this is a general indicator of how I feel about 8th so far. I love the rule set. It plays well. It's simple to pick up and yet complicated enough still with unit rules, and the new mechanics and way things work are great. I just seem to hate actually playing. I think it's because I still want to be able to mix it up and take any units I like (as opposed to the "best units") and this doesn't seem to be the case, at least for the armies I play. I am still on mostly Index armies (Blood Angels, T'au, Harlequins, Imperial Knights) and maybe this is why I am struggling. The released codices seem to allow more flexibility for their armies. Case in point is Astra Militarum who seem to be able to take just about anything and still be brutally effective (I may do a post soon about why I think the new system has turned them into a murder machine).

So I have two things I am going to do at this moment. First, I am going to carry on anxiously waiting to see how the Blood Angels codex treats us when it is released in the next weeks, while continuing to paint them up, just in case they are decent this time. Second, I am going to start trying lists that include everything that other people classify as the good units/loadouts to take.

Just to clarify, Never Mind The Blog Wars was a great event, as all of Alex' events have been. It was my own shocking performance that has disappointed me!

Monday, 24 April 2017

Warhammer 40K 8th Edition

Okay so I know I said the next posts would be battle reports from the Birthday Bash events (all those weeks ago now) and they are still on the way, but I think there's something more important to discuss at this moment; 8th Edition is on the way!

So on Friday we had a teaser on Warhammer Community that simply said there would be a big announcement on Saturday afternoon. Speculation was one of three main possibilities: Adeptus Titanicus, Warhammer 40,000 8th Edition or possibly a redevelopment of Elves Aelfs for Age of Sigmar. As we all now know, the announcement was that 40K 8th is definitely a thing and that we would all be playing it this year. Along with the announcement was an FAQ with a few vague details about the new version. Today Warhammer TV hosted a live stream Q&A with Pete Foley who has headed up GW's team for the development of the new edish.

So now that I have read the FAQ and watched the live stream I thought I would type out a few initial thoughts. Remember, we are still lacking any real, gritty details so I am speculating as well as taking what we know into account. As it stands I am looking forward to 8th. I like the sound of everything really. You should probably know this before you read any further.

Let's kick this off.

Three Ways to Play

This basically breaks 40K down into three 'tiers' of play that allow you to vary your games based on how you want to play. Open Play allows you to just throw some units on a table and get rolling some dice. There's nothing stopping you doing this in 7th but now it sounds like there will be more support for it in the rules. Narrative Play is exactly as it sounds. Thematic, story-based gaming that allows you to forge a tale as well as playing 40K with a structured system. We are told this will use a 'Power Points' system whereby you pay for a unit but whatever wargear they have is just there. No extra points for Plasma, Melta or anything else. It sounds as if this will allow a degree of balance between two opponents without taking too long to build lists and allowing for things like one-sided struggles. All very fluffy sounding. Match Play sounds closest to the points system we use in 7th. Points for everything. This works very well for AoS and I can't see why this wouldn't translate to 40K. It should contribute to the ease with which new players can get into the game, while preserving the complexity many seasoned players want.

Wounds for Everything

One thing we now know is that everything will work on the wounds system. Vehicles will have a toughness value and wounds. Coupled with this we have been told that stats will be able to exceed the old cap of 10. Expect lots and lots of wounds on those Wraithknights and Land Raiders, but don't worry; everything has a chance to hurt everything else. Want to take that Imperial Knight down with Lasguns? Go for it, but expect it to take a lot of shots to manage it. I like the sound of this. Depending on how the value actually pan out, I can see this making things like Land Raiders entirely viable again (GW insist every unit will have a place on the table again - I hope so!). It also sounds as if MC/GC/Vehicles will scale with the amount of damage they have taken, much like the big monsters of AoS. This allows the big bad monsters to be horrific to begin with but less scary as you go along. I can't wait to see what they do with this for 40K


We heard today that codexes will be back for 8th, but that they will be down the line from release. Everyone lamenting the loss of these tomes can rest easy. What they will be releasing from day one will be five books containing all the rules needed to play every unit in the new game. They will be grouped (obviously - five is not enough books for one each) and will apparently be less expensive than current codex books, so less than £25-35. I predict £15-20 each.

As a side note, if you bought a codex less than 8 weeks before the Saturday announcement, you can contact GW customer services and they will give you a voucher. You will need proof of purchase though.

Command Points

A new system is being included in 8th, the Command Point. Command Points are earned based on the makeup of your army. No fewer than 14 Detachment Force Organisation Charts will ship with the core rules. Each one has a varying amount and ratio of different unit types and, if you fulfil the requirements, they give you a certain amount of Command Points. CPs allow you to use special abilities in the course of the game. The example they gave was being able to 'interrupt' a charge and be able to attack before your opponent (more on the charging below). They are limited (you can't earn more mid-game) and you can only use one per phase so they will have to be used tactically by the sound of it. I like this extra level of control that shouldn't make the game any slower realistically.


Charging units go first! This will give the power back to the close combat units. At first it sounds a bit broken, but when you consider that movement values may slow down infantry units in general, it should be quite nicely balanced. Khorne Berserkers and just about every Blood Angel and Space Wolf unit will benefit from this. I can't wait (for obvious reasons). Whether unwieldy weapons will still attack last remains to be seen, but make sense to make things like Powerfists go last to stop this being utterly imbalanced.

Templates Be Gone

No more templates. I like the idea of this but it seems I am in the minority. Instead of templates, weapons that would use them generate random amounts of hits or wounds, from what I can tell. It takes away the headache of scatter (we've all had *that* person try and alter the scatter to their advantage under the guise of arrow ambiguity) and the sheer indomitable wound count from flamer templates (I'm looking at you, D-Scythes!). I like this idea but I think a lot of people are losing their minds over it.

They still haven't given us a release date for the new edition but there are a couple of hints we can try and speculate on. Firstly, when asked if there would be anything at Warhammer Fest, Community's Andy Smillie said there would be lots more cool stuff. That's only a month away. Also he casually dropped that there would be more info on Warhammer Community every day until release. Whether this was a slight slip of the tongue or not, I don't know, but if it wasn't it doesn't seem like they would give daily updates for months and months. The optimist in me thinks early June would be a good guess (GW Managers apparently have three weekends of restricted leave in June or so it has been reported). I am impatient and don't want to wait too long for new goodies so I am going to stubbornly insist this will be a summer release.

There are many other things that we learned today but these are the main points for now. I will do updates on my opinion as and when any further info drops that's worth mentioning. For now, tell me what you think. Let's do this! Let's thrash this out and rip it to shreds now. I want to hear all the things you love or hate in the comments.

Bye for now!

Sunday, 26 February 2017

Birthday Bash - The List

Hey folks.

I just returned from Birthday Bash yesterday and will be putting up the overviews of my games in the next few days but for now, here is the final list I took on the day.

++ Combined Arms Detachment (Space Wolves: Codex (2014) v2030) (1498pts) ++

+ HQ (100pts) +
········Iron Priest (100pts) [Helfrost pistol (20pts), Tempest Hammer (5pts), Warlord]

+ Elites (658pts) +
········Dreadnought (185pts) [Blizzard Shield, Fenrisian Great Axe (25pts), Smoke Launchers (5pts), Venerable Dreadnought (25pts)]
············Drop Pod (35pts) [Storm Bolter]
········Wolf Guard Terminators (235pts)
············4x Wolf Guard Terminator (197pts) [Assault Cannon (20pts), Chainfist (15pts), 3x Power Fist (30pts), 3x Storm Bolter]
············Wolf Guard Terminator Leader (38pts) [Frost Sword (5pts), Storm Bolter]
········Wulfen (238pts) [Wulfen Pack Leader (50pts)]
············Wulfen (42pts) [Dual Frost Claws (12pts)]
············Wulfen (42pts) [Dual Frost Claws (12pts)]
············Wulfen (52pts) [Stormfrag Auto-Launcher (2pts), Thunder Hammer/Storm Shield (20pts)]
············Wulfen (52pts) [Stormfrag Auto-Launcher (2pts), Thunder Hammer/Storm Shield (20pts)]

+ Troops (280pts) +
········Grey Hunters (140pts)
············5x Grey Hunter (80pts) [5x Bolt Pistol, 4x Boltgun, Meltagun (10pts)]
············Razorback (60pts) [Storm Bolter (5pts), Twin-linked Heavy Bolter]
········Grey Hunters (140pts)
············5x Grey Hunter (80pts) [5x Bolt Pistol, 4x Boltgun, Meltagun (10pts)]
············Razorback (60pts) [Storm Bolter (5pts), Twin-linked Heavy Bolter]

+ Fast Attack (460pts) +
········Stormwolf (235pts) [2x Twin-linked Multi-Meltas (20pts)]
········Thunderwolf Cavalry (225pts)
············Thunderwolf Cavalry (75pts) [Frost Axe (20pts), Storm Shield (15pts)]
············Thunderwolf Cavalry (75pts) [Frost Axe (20pts), Storm Shield (15pts)]
············Thunderwolf Cavalry Pack Leader (75pts) [Frost Axe (20pts), Storm Shield (15pts)]

Monday, 13 February 2017

A Wolfie Update

Hello again!
First of all I should point out this post has nothing to do with Robert Lindsay or the comedy series Citizen Smith, so apologies if you were looking for that.

If you're still with me, great! Time for a brief update on what is happening with my Space Wolves. Since I last posted I have done some painting (not nearly enough) and managed to get a couple of practice games in for the Birthday Bash tournament that is looming like a big loomy thing.

So first off I have changed up my list based on advice and trial and error. Gone are the Bloodclaws and the second Iron Priest and in come the Wulfen and a Drop Pod for the Venerable Dreadnought. I will post the full list later this week. The basic thinking is that foot slogging the Dreadnought across the table potentially (and very probably) leaves him out of the action and able to be avoided. Okay, so he can't assault out of a Drop Pod but he can be where he needs to and with careful positioning, just as safe from harm.

The Wulfen are just for rip 'n' tear fun.

As you can see above the painting progress is not great​ so far but I am still fairly confident I can get it tournament ready in two weeks. This kind of pressure is how I got my Skitarii ready for Blog Wars 9 and there were far more models for that. It'll be fine.

So the first game I played have been against Jonathan's Necrons (Dragon's Eye Miniatures) and for a first run out with the Wolfy Wolfmen of Space it wasn't too bad, especially when you take into account that Necrons are Jon's thing. He knows his Necrons. Despite losing it was a fairly close game in victory points and I learned a few things about the chaps from Fenris. You can check out the battle report at Jon's blog here.

The second game was against my mate John and his Eldar. This army is a particularly hard nut I have been desperate to crack so I was looking forward to using a Wolf-shaped hammer to try it this time (have I said "wolf" enough yet?). Luckily for me John had toned down.his force from it's normal strength which meant I had no Wraithknight and less jet bikes to deal with, but it was by no means a soft target. And the result? I narrowly scraped a win thanks to the power of Maelstrom. In kill points the Eldar where all over me but I played the objectives as best I could and it landed me a 10-9. More important than winning was that I learned yet more about the force and picked up ideas for tweaks.

Grateful to both Jon and John for their insight and thoughts on how my army played and how I played them and hopefully I won't come out dead last in the Birthday Bash (although the prize for last is decent so it wouldn't be the end of the world).

So now I just need to get them painted.

Also Wolf.

Thursday, 5 January 2017

2017, 2017pts and 2 Tournaments

Hello friends!

I'm back! It's been a long time since the last post and much has happened in the time including buying and moving into our first house (a week before Christmas no less).

Hobby wise I haven't achieved much since the last post. I have yet to play test lists for Angel's Blade so expect that in the next couple of months.

I have picked up on my local GW's (actually Warhammer now) 'March to War' event they are running. Basically the premise is to build and paint 2017 points of a new army by March 2017. For this I am picking up the Space Wolves, taking the Start Collecting: Space Wolves box I won in the raffle at Double Trouble last year and adding to it. To begin with I have picked up the great value Ironclaw Strike Force box. Knowing my track record with getting things painted, this is going to be a mammoth task for me but definitely worth the effort. It is made all the more challenging by my next point.

Tournaments! I said to myself last year that I would like to hit a couple more tournaments this year if I could and my competitive (ish) season will kick off with Dave Weston's (Confessions of a 40K Addict) Birthday Bash event in February. I want to take my new Fenris boys to this and, weighing in at 1500 points, this means I am going to have to get most of my Wolves boxes built and painted, not by March, but by the middle of February! Nothing like an uphill struggle eh?

Following on from that we have the second installment of Alex's (From the Fang) Double Trouble tournament. Last years event was great fun so I can't wait to take it on again this year. Great format and a great way to meet other gamers. I may take Wolves to that as well but I'll see how I get on.

So that's it for now. I'll be posting again soon about my progress with the Space Wolves and also my blog goals for 2017 so please come back and check soon!