Tuesday, December 13, 2016

Ahriman Ascending

I got my Wrath of Magnus books a couple of weeks back and I meant to post something about it but didn't get around to doing it. Then I had my first game using the new rules last weekend.

The Thousand Sons are back - big time!

I must say when I first read the rules I was slightly disappointed with the unchanging points-cost, and the fact that the fancy new weapons (warpflamer, reaper cannon) just add even more points to an already expensive army.

Then I remembered that the magic in the Thousand Sons lies with the ... magic!

For one, the revamped Tzeentch powers are simply awesome! But best of all, your sorcerers now have access to some amazing psychic disciplines, which gives your army amazing flexibility.

For example, in my game on Sunday, I faced a White Scars army with 3 Land Raiders, plus 2 other tanks. So each and every sorcerer who could, rolled at least once on Heretech (of course we also had Tzeentch, Telepathy and Divination). And the result was crazy.

But first, here's the list I used. We were in a rush, so I used the list that was quickest to deploy:

War Cabal:
Exhalted Sorcerer - mastery level 2, Seer's Bane
5 Scarab Occult Terminators - with heavy warpflamer
  in a Land Raider with dozer blades dedicated transport
8 Thousand Sons
9 Thousand Sons
Land Raider with dozer blades

The White Scars loyalist scum was using some kind of formation that had 3 Land Raiders - 2 Crusaders (one of which was the Warlord, carrying a Techmarine and 2 Servitors) and a Redeemer, the Land Raiders carrying 2 squads of 5 Assault Termies (3 with thunder hammer & storm shield, 2 with lightning claws). They also had 5 Space Marines with plasma gun in a Rhino, 10 Space Marines with a melta gun in a Drop Pod, and another Tecmarine with 2 Servitors in a Razorback with twin-linked lascannon.

So I gleefuly gave Ahriman, his Exhalted Sorcerer and the Scarab Occult Sorcerer Heretech spells, on top of Tzeentch and Ahriman's Telepathy.

The Heretech spells are just deadly against vehicles. On Turn 1, the White Scars Warlord Land Raider Crusader got hit by multiple castings of Flayerstorm and Scrapcode Curse, and was quickly wrecked (glanced to death). Scrapcode Curse gives D3 haywire hits, and Flayerstorm reduces the target by D3 hull points. Crazy stuff.

Flayerstorm also hits nearby targets with D6 rending hits everytime it brings down a Hull Point. Later in the game, the second Land Raider Crusader was killed with it, and a nearby Rhino blew up because of it.

Seer's Bane on the Exhalted Sorcerer is really good. The Artifact is expensive, but at S=Ld, and you know how good the sorcerer's leadership is, he easily hacked the loyalist marines to bits. It's a daemon weapon, and I of course would have to roll a 1 when I used it.

When I first read about them, I kinda scoffed at the Scarab Termies. But I love 'em now. Fearless Termies with AP3 combi-bolters and a heavy warpflamer, not to mention getting a level 2 sorcerer to boot. It's awesome. Combined with the fact that they and their dedicated transport Land Raider infiltrated, they almost scored First Blood by wiping out a 5-man Space Marine unit in Turn 1 (First Blood was scored in the Psychic Phase, when the White Scars' Warlord Land Raider Crusader was toasted).

It was a truly brutal game. Just as before, and since CSM Codex 3.5, the Thousand Sons are best used aggressively. By Turn 3, the White Scars had lost all 3 Land Raiders, a Rhino, all 10 Assault Marines, all 15 Space Marines, the Drop Pod and all 4 Servitors. Only the Razorback and 2 Techmarines remained. The loyalist scum duly conceded. The Thousand Sons lost 6 Rubricae and a Termie.

I'm itching to try out more games with this new super-magic Thousand Sons. I just tweaked the twin-Land Raider list I used to include a Rhino - in the game, the Thousand Sons squad on foot didn't do much at all. And I do need to remember to re-roll 1s, and Hatred Space Marines, and the Exhalted Sorcerer's Lord of the Silver Tower.

I do have another War Cabal list that I'm curious about - just 1 Land Raider for the Termies, an additional budget-sized Tzeentch sorcerer, Rhinos for both Thousand Sons squads and a Predator. But the list I'm most curious to run is Ahriman's Exiles combined with a CAD - a total of 8 psykers and 17+d6 magic dice, on top of 2 squads of Rubrics, a Heldrake, a Land Raider, and the curious fact that the Exiles cast on 3+.


Keep them dice rolling.

Monday, September 19, 2016

From the Archives: 6th Assault Grenadiers Routs Ork Horde!

I was messing around with the way back machine, and found this battle report from my old Multiply.com site. It's a fiercely fought battle between my 6th Brandenburgers and Orks, sometime in 2010 (that's Fifth Ed right?).

I had a good read, and thought you might enjoy it too. I do remember the battle - it was super bloody involving 2 horde armies, and out of hundreds on each side, only handfuls remain:

Captain Tillman lowered his binoculars and calmly issued the final orders for his men to make ready for combat. He did not need any visual aid to know that the ork horde is upon them and will contact in a matter of minutes. His scouts had counted some 110 greenskins, including a whole mob on their noisy bikes and the contraption the xenos call trukks. Against this, his 3rd company arrayed 108 men in 3 platoons, including Commissars Busso and Kastner lending their unshakeable faith to 1st and 2nd platoons respectively. The two Leman Russ Demolishers, Basilisk and Manticore from divisional support were also a welcome boost. The three ancient relics that he had been ordered to retrieve must not fall into xenos hands. His assault grenadiers have no choice but to defeat the xenos and cleanse the field of them.

The position he had chosen was strong, with nearly all his force concentrated on the right flank. The assault grenadiers of 1st and 2nd platoons massed to the fore of his position, anchored against some ancient ruins, with the Demolishers holding the extreme right. The ruins themselves were occupied by 3rd platoon, lascannons at the ready. The missile launchers of 2nd platoon’s heavy weapons squad were occupying a small hill to the left of the main position, somewhat unsupported but with an excellent field of fire. Tillman sited his Manticore in the extreme right behind the safety of the ruins, and the Basilisk in the extreme left of the field in an attempt to bait the xenos into splitting their forces.

The oncoming greenskins spread the breadth of the battlefield, slugga boyz blanketing the field from left to right. Behind and to the left of the wooded ruins was a sizeable mob of nob bikers, and to the right of the same wooded ruins was the rattling trukk, belching thick brownish black smoke. The ground started to shake amidst the deep rumble of massed xenos iron-shod boots. Breathing a quick prayer of faith, Tillman bellowed into his micro-bead, “Here they come! Steady Brandenburgers! For the Emperor!”

Like a surging tide, the orks bounded forward towards the Imperial line. On the left flank, the bikers gunned their engines and sped straight towards the Basilisk at breakneck speed. On the other flank, the trukk did much the same, bumping across country at dangerous velocity, then swinging ninety-degrees into a skidding stop. Led by a bellowing warboss, the huge frames of ork nobs poured out of the vehicle with unnatural agility and charged straight into 1st and 2nd platoons. Tillman couldn’t help but sneer at the xenos’ audacity of ten of their number taking on more than 60 of the Emperor’s finest in hand-to-hand combat. The greenskins’ fearsome great weapons and power-klaws cut many of his men down, but the Brandenburgers gave back as well as they got, and seriously bloodied all but the xenos’ medic, who somehow escaped injury.

To the right of the melee, a huge mob of 30 slugga boyz stormed straight towards 3rd platoon’s position. Seizing the moment, Lieutenant Trierenberg’s 2nd platoon command squad and the 20 men of 3rd platoon advanced into rapid-fire range. Trierenberg shouted “First rank fire! Second rank fire!” and they opened fire in disciplined rapid-firing volleys, shredding the greenskins into ribbons. Tillman saw this, and ordered Sergeant Windmann’s Demolishers and Lieutenant Weigel, OC 3rd platoon to join in the enfilade, and immediately the deafening boom of the tanks’ fearsome demolisher cannons and ripping roar of their heavy bolters joined in the cacophony of death.

Only seven orks emerged from the dust of the explosions, and they threw themselves straight into Trierenberg and his squad, easily cutting them down with choppas and blunt objects. The orks’ leader went straight for the Demolishers, miraculously doing them no harm despite his snapping power-klaws (auto-hit, four 1’s to pen). This was the only chance this mob got and they were subsequently wiped out by massed lasgun volleys from 3rd platoon.

The melee between the ork warboss’ nob retinue and 1st and 2nd platoons was not going well for the xenos. While many good Brandenburgers were killed, the weight of numbers began to tell, and one by one the nobs were being skewered by bayonet, saber, power weapon and power fist. The ork leader had no choice and called his Waaarrghhh! Bellowing at the top of their corrupted xenos lungs, the massed orks picked up their already fast momentum and poured forwards with renewed vigor. A fresh slugga boyz mob piled into the on-going melee, thankfully not doing too much damage, while the mass of orks from the left rushed forwards towards the main fight.

The nob bikers broke off from their interception course with the Basilisk and swung towards the right flank at full speed, impatiently intent on getting into the thick of the swirling melee. Tillman spotted this and ordered all available guns on them. The Manticore fired first, its rocket arcing in a low trajectory before its multiple warheads landed amidst the nob bikers in three great explosions of fire and dust. The Basilisk rolled steadily forwards, its tremendous Earthshaker cannon barking and throwing hi-ex death into the middle of the nob bikers. Sergeant Windmann gave an order into his microbead, and as one his Demolisher squadron lurched forwards and swung left to bring weapons to bear on the nob bikers, huge cannon belching fire and the resulting explosions scattering the nob bikers further. 2nd platoon’s heavy weapons squad joined in the mayhem and loosed deadly krak missiles into the bikers, the missile contrails snaking menacingly into the bikers’ positions.

Out of the smoke and fire of the Imperials’ concentrated firepower, three surviving bikers led by the biker warboss roared straight into the melee. They were too late to save their nob kin, who were mercilessly cut down by the intrepid Brandenburg assault grenadiers, the trukk warboss being last to go down. The relieving slugga boyz mob were themselves having a difficult time holding down their supposedly-puny human opponents in the close-combat and many orks were slain, though the human infantry’s numbers were thinned down to only a handful. But the fury of the surviving bikers’ charge was enough to tip the balance, and as the assault grenadiers’ numbers dwindled, 1st platoon ceased to exist. Commissar Busso was swinging his power-axe in silent fury, his fine commissar uniform and cap slick with xenos blood, and was about to turn to face a nob biker when a large-caliber big shoota shell slammed into his face at point-blank range. Two meters away, Commissar Kastner’s crackling powerfist had just smashed into the chest of a xenos warrior, lodging deep into the creature, but before he could remove his weapon from the body a nob powerklaw cut him in two. The three remaining survivors of 2nd platoon had no choice but to fall back, successfully eluding the blood-crazed orks.

The so far unblooded ork slugga boyz from the left flank finally arrived at the sharp end of the battle. With unbridled ferocity, the mob bounded across open ground and up the small hill where 2nd platoon’s heavy weapons squad were sited. The squad could only turn and let loose a single volley before the xenos horde was upon them. The fight was completely one-sided, and in a matter of seconds the xenos warriors were shrieking their foul language in celebration as some of their warriors swung captured Imperial missile launchers in the air, precariously balancing stacks of krak missiles on top of each other in a mad show of glee.

Captain Tillman witnessed the destruction of his 1st and 2nd platoons with a cold calm, without any hint of surprise or alarm. He had been silently keeping tabs of the battle, and so far the losses were about even in terms of the sheer number of warriors slain on each side. But he had the tactical advantage of reserves, in the form of 3rd platoon, and mobile fire support from his tanks. He waited until the retreating remnants of 2nd platoon was in shouting distance before projecting his voice across the field, “Sergeant Reichelt! Get back in the fight!” The grizzled veteran sergeant simply nodded and held up his hand to halt his squad’s retreat, and they turned around to face the enemy once again, weapons at the ready.

The handful of surviving orks and nob bikers from the huge melee that had cut down 1st and 2nd platoons would need to be dealt with decisively. Captain Tillman ordered 3rd platoon to fix bayonets and advance, and gave the order for disciplined ranked las-fire. He himself shouldered his ancient lasgun, took aim and steadily squeezed the trigger, felling a xenos warrior. Sergeant Windmann’s Demolishers were called to the fore, rolling forwards with the impudence only unchallenged Imperial armor could ever show. Once again, the great demolisher cannons spoke and fiery orange explosions blossomed amidst the nob bikers, incinerating one of them. Sadly, the blast was so close to Sergeant Reichelt’s survivors that it caught his meltagunner full in the chest, and the unlucky guardsman fell in a smoldering heap. The Basilisk, still advancing towards the enemy lines, lent its high explosive weight into the fire, obliterating even more xenos.

By the time the dust settled, only the bike warboss remained standing, and even then was badly injured. He roared out in anger and frustration and gunned his bike towards the Manticore, one of the many objects of his hatred. The hapless Manticore crew could only fire their last missile, whose warheads impacted amidst the remaining slugga boyz mob with fearsome effectiveness. That was to be their last act, and within moments the crazed warboss was upon the warmachine, its oversized powerklaws slicing the Imperial armor like so much cardboard and paper, and the proud machine soon caught fire and ceased to function.

The loss mattered not to Tillman, and with his characteristic calculative calm, ordered 3rd platoon forwards in an all-out rush for the nearest ancient relic. “Move! Move! Move!” he demanded, and the mass of Imperial manhood ran forwards as fast as their tired legs would carry them. Tillman and his command squad led the advance, the company banner flying proudly amidst the smoke of battle. He ordered Lieutenant Weigel’s platoon command squad to focus fire on the remaining xenos warboss, and the combined lasgun, lascannon and plasma rifle fire easily put the beast down.

There remained only the matter of the 25 or so orks from the last surviving slugga boyz mob. The Basilisk advanced steadily towards another of the ancient relics, even as its Earthshaker spat flame, sending a hi-ex shell into the middle of the mob and scattering many xenos limbs high into the air. Windmann’s Demolishers, untiring, advanced relentlessly from the right to close the trap as they too opened fire sending fearsome demolisher shells and a hail of large-caliber heavy bolter shells into the xenos.

The beleaguered orks milled around aimlessly and finally spread out in order to lay claim to two of the ancient relics, but in so doing denied themselves of much of the available cover. Captain Tillman was not impressed, and even as he pressed his 3rd platoon forwards and claimed an ancient relic, he ordered the Basilisk to advance at full speed straight into the xenos in order to scatter their grubby hands away from the Emperor’s ancient relic. Windmann’s merciless Demolishers once again came into their own, the booming demolisher cannons and roaring heavy bolters pouring great plumes of death amidst the xenos. As the mayhem subsided, only five orks remained standing, and after a moment of bewilderment at their violent fate the xenos warriors turned and ran off the field.

Imperium Victor! Ave Imperator!

Monday, September 5, 2016

Eldar xenos meets Ordo Xenos

After getting the jetbike squad painted to tabletop standards, the Windriders were immediately rushed into action in a 1850pt Spoils of War battle against ... the Death Watch by John!

Talking about super-elite funkiness, the Death Watch mon-keigh could be equipped with just about anything. And they can do funky stuff like almost everyone can deep strike (and easy to arrange for no scatter), split firing, mixed squads, special rounds everytime you shoot, etc.

I might be off on some of the details, but John's Death Watch was made up of:

Brother Captain Artemis (amazing scaled down model of Inquisitor fame)
5 Death Watch veterans - 1 with heavy bolter, and I'm sure the rest were funked up too
5 Death Watch veterans - with 4 (four!) heavy bolters that can move and shoot as normal
5 Death Watch assault marines - including a couple with the uber S10 hammers
5 Death Watch assault marines - more uber S10 hammers!
5 Death Watch terminators - including 4 (four!) with cyclone missile launchers
5 Death Watch bikes - with 3 plasma guns
1 Death Watch venerable dreadnought - with plasma cannon

The renegade Alaitoc Windriders was the same list as before:

Farseer Lahnn on jetbike - Spirit Stones of Anathlan, singing spear
3 jetbikes - scatter lasers
3 jetbikes - scatter lasers
3 jetbikes - shuriken cannons
3 jetbikes - shuriken cannons
3 jetbikes - 2 shuriken cannons
3 jetbikes - 2 shuriken cannons
6 Swooping Hawks - exarch with Hawk's Talon
Fire Prism
Fire Prism
Aspect Host:
5 Fire Dragons with exarch
- Wave Serpent with twin-linked bright lance, shuriken cannon
8 Warp Spiders, exarch with twin-linked death spinners
8 Dark Reapers with exarch

This battle looked one-sided at deployment. The mon-keigh were outnumbered, outgunned and outmanouvered. And the Eldar got first turn!

Unfortunately, there were no surprises. The Death Watch were almost tabled after 3 turns. We called the game at the bottom of Turn 3. The score at that point was 11-1 to the Eldar.

The Death Watch only had 2 bikes and 3 terminators remaining. The Eldar had lost their Dark Reapers and a jetbike squad. The Fire Dragons didn't even get the chance to disembark and spent the entire time watching the battle from the comforts of their Wave Serpent (I believe there was some Elven version of popcorn and soda served on board too).

There were a couple of interesting moments though. It was the first time I managed to use Eldritch Storm. And that pyschic power is not funny if you're on the receiving end. The gigantic template covered 3 Death Watch squads, AP3 Fleshbane. They could only rely on Feel No Pain and Artemis' squad had cover saves. But the blast was spectacular, and many of the mon-keigh's finest perished in that one blast.

Another unfunny moment was perhaps the first time I actually used the Warp Spiders' flicker-jump to full effect. They were about to be lit up at short range by 4 Death Watch heavy bolters - when they suddenly flickered into the warp and came back behind a large wall, out of line of sight. I did feel sorry for the mon-keigh.

A couple days later, we decided to play another game with the Death Watch, and this time I brought my Thousand Sons. That's Ahriman, 2 favored Thousand Sons squads, 1 Rhino, 1 Heldrake, 1 Land Raider, 1 Predator, 1 Defiler, allied Lord of Change (His Exalted Lord Ka'Kaa), and a pack of 10 Horrors.

This time the Death Watch had: Artemis, 5 Death Watch veterans, 5 Death Watch assault marines (with them hammers of course), 5 Death Watch termies with 4 cyclone missile launchers, 2 squads of 5-man Death Watch terminators (each with an assault cannon), 5 Death Watch bikers with 5 (five!) plasma guns, 1 Death Watch venerable dreadnought and an allied 5-man squad of assault terminators of the Ultramarines.

The Death Watch started first and had the upper hand for the first 2 and a half turns (and was leading 6-1 at that time), but from the bottom of Turn 3 onwards, the Emperor's watchful eye strayed from his hapless servants and through a combination of sorceress magicks, tactical prowess and good fortune, the Thousand Sons carried the day with a 10-7 score, including First Blood (Defiler got that one on Turn 2 when he finished off the Death Watch bike squad which he charged in the previous turn), Slay the Warlord and Linebreaker.

Some of the funniest (not at that time, but in restrospect it warrants some mirth) moments was Ahriman's first pyschic phase. Three times he let loose Psychic Shriek on a squad of hapless Death Watch terminators - for zero wounds scored! In fact, he did score one wound - on himself! That was simply an abysmal psychic phase, to say the least.

Another highlight was the first time I got to use Lord Ka'Kaa's (the Lord of Change) Prismatic Gaze (yes folks, it was a week of trying out big Warp Charge 3 spells), which he cast successfully on the Death Watch venerable dreadnought. And of course, I rolled a '6' on the D table.

All in all, it was a brilliant week of dice-rolling. This next couple of weeks I'll hopefully get back into painting - finishing off the 3 Dark Reapers and 2 Warp Spiders, as well as the terrain for my table.

Keep them dice rolling!

Friday, September 2, 2016

Jetbikes are table ready!

Just a quick update - in a frenzy of last minute painting, the 6 new scatter laser jetbikes are ready for battle, which happened just an hour after the bikes were painted.

I finished up the weapons, shading, gems, helmets and runes. I also took out the Hemlock and painted additional gems onto it, but didn't get around to adding more runes.

After I unpacked it onto the gaming table, I realized that I forgot to finish the helmets - the faceplate details weren't painted and the helmet runes were not there.

O well, that's something that I need to get back to then.

After this, I'll need to paint 5 more models to get this iteration of my Windrider Force full painted - 3 Dark Reapers (including the Exarch), and 2 Warp Spiders.

I'll post the batrep next, or at least a summary of the battle.

Keep them dice rolling.

Wednesday, August 24, 2016

Jetbikes inbound!

Finally managed to put more than just the undercoat to my scatter laser jetbikes. All the bikes sport my Alaitoc renegade blue armor with light blue stripes. As of last night, I've managed to block paint the underslung scatter lasers, as well as the riders' helmets and fringe thingies.

Next up, I'll put another layer of yellow for the helmets, paint in the eyepieces and the gems for the riders and their jetbikes, the jetbikes' instrument panels, a light wash for the riders, touch up on the highlights after the wash, decals for riders and jetbikes, and they should be done.

Also, when I get to the gems, I'll whip out the Hemlock and paint more gems for that flyer. I was rushing it when I painted her and she really needs more gems on that gorgeous body of hers. I'll probably add a couple more runes as well.

I should be able to get all this done in time for my next game 2 weekends from  now. Totally looking forward to it!

Keep rolling them dice ...

Tuesday, August 9, 2016

Home Table WIP

Of all the distractions taking me away from painting my Eldar, my IG and other assorted models in queue, perhaps the most benevolent and excusable is the on-going Home Table project.

I live in a condo, so space is premium. The whole idea is to have a table that is portable, sets up fast and easy, and packs away just as quick and neat too. So after some mulling around, I built and acquired the materials for it. So this is what I have so far:

- 6'x4' board, cut into three 2'x4' pieces for easy handling and storage, from the local hardware store
- Double-sided battlemat from gamemat.eu
- 12 tall trees from Woodland Scenics
- 28 medium trees from Woodland Scenics
- 6 mounting boards (for the woods) from Art Friend
- 2 craggy hills from ye olde local pet store
- 2 low flat hills from Amera
- 1 four-stoery ruin from Amera
- 1 Fortress of Redemption from GW (I guess this can be broken down into 4 different structures)
- 2 three-storey ruins from HF
- 1 wrecked Rhino from HF
- 1 lookout tower from HF

The Amera kit is a simple vacuum-formed thing, but it works out really well. In fact I'm soooooooo tempted to get a couple more (the Admin Block and Factory look awesome), as well as the really nice-looking Gothic Ruins from Gamemat.eu. But I passed my LD test and did not click "Buy".

While in a pinch, I can already have games on the board (thanks to the awesome mat and bits of scatter terrain already in hand), there's still some work to do, in order of priority:

- Assemble the remaining 28 trees
- Base all 40 trees
- Cut out the mounting boards to mark out woods area terrain
- Paint all of the above
- Paint the Amera ruin
- Touch-up paint of the craggy hills
- Paint the low hills
- Touch-paint the old terrain from HF
- Assemble and paint the Fortress of Redemption

I'm stoked! But I do want to finish painting the 6 jetbikes this month too. Anyways, you know what they say about the best-laid plans ...

Will be having a game vs some Ultramarines this weekend - should be a blast!

Keep them dice rolling!

Thursday, August 4, 2016

Khorne clash at Balau

 It's been awhile since I had a game with Kadir and on a weekend back to KL, we managed to squeeze in a late-night 40k game on the hallowed battlefields of Balau.

I brought the same 1850pt Alaitoc Windrider Warhost (which is actually a CAD), which is WIP with about 6 bikes, 2 Warp Spiders and 3 Dark Reapers currently being painted. Here's the list:

Eldar Combined Arms Detachment
Farseer - jetbike, singing spear, Spirit Stone of Anathlan
3 jetbikes - scatterlasers
3 jetbikes - scatterlasers
3 jetbikes - shuriken cannons
3 jetbikes - shuriken cannons
3 jetbikes - 2 shuriken cannons
3 jetbikes - 2 shuriken cannons
6 Swooping Hawks - Exarch with Hawk's Talon
Fire Prism
Fire Prism
Aspect Warrior Host
5 Fire Dragons with Exarch
Wave Serpent - twin-linked bright lance, shuriken cannon
8 Warp Spiders - Exarch with twin-linked deathspinners
8 Dark Reapers with Exarch, starshot missiles

The Khorne army was quite formidable. Something like:
Kharn the Betrayer
Daemon Prince - Nurgle, wings, Mastery Level 3
8 Khorne Berzerkers - Champion w powerfist
8 Khorne Berzerkers - Champion w power axe
8 Khorne Berzerkers - Champion w power axe
Heldrake - baleflamer
Land Raider
Predator - lascannons
Predator - lascannons

We got Tactical Escalation with Hammer and Anvil deployment, and while Chaos got to choose table sides, I got to deploy and start first, which is good. Funny enough, my army list was flexible enough for me to not really be concerned about the kind of Maelstrom mission and deployment.

There was single 3-storey ruin in my deployment zone on my right flank, and it was quickly occupied by the Dark Reapers. One Fire Prism hung around behind that ruin, next to the Wave Serpent, while the other Fire Prism covered the left flank. Jetbikes were deployed on each flank and center, shuriken cannon ones to the fore, scatter laser ones in a second staggered line. One of the scatpacks hung around near the Fire Prism on the right flank behind the ruin, joined by the Farseer. Swooping Hawks will deep strike as usual, and for the first time, I'm going to deep strike my Warp Spiders.

Turn 1 Highlights
Kharn's Land Raider is a priority target as it's only 2 turns' charge range away. Lance fire from my Fire Prisms managed to knock only 1 hull point off the beast, and it was the Dark Reapers who almost wrecked the might tank with starshot missiles, leaving only 1 hull point left.

I didn't want to bet that the single twin-linked bright lance shot from my Wave Serpent will take away the final hull point, so that skimmer went flat out forwards to block the Land Raider's path to force it to go through some woods.

Assorted shuriken cannon and scatter laser fire destroyed both Rhinos, serving only to madden the already-crazed Berzerkers pouring out of both wrecks.

Two of the most forward shuriken cannon jetbike squads on my left flank turbo-boosted deep into enemy territory, behind the ruins behind his Predators.

The Nurgle Daemon Prince flew back towards the rear-most jetbike squad, unleashing its terrible vomit torrent, killing 1 jetbiker. While his Psychic Shriek was ineffective, the dousing of the jetbikers with terrible pestilence was enough to break their resolve and they fell back.

One squad of Berzerkers occupied some woods in their deployment zone, while the other advanced towards the Wave Serpent, charging it and easily destroying it, even as Kharn's Land Raider, which is by now Invisible, ploughed into the woods on my right flank in no man's land.

It turns out that the 2 Chaos Predators across from my left flank were sitting on a Skyfire Nexus! Thats' 4 lascannons and 2 twin-linked lascannons with Skyfire. Suddenly my Hemlock doesn't feel like coming in.

Those very same tanks unleashed their heavy las weaponry on my Fire Prism covering the left flank. Some deft jinking manouvers ensured that the skimmer tank was only glanced once.

Turn 2 Highlights
Streaking in on the left flank at full throttle, the Hemlock unleashed its Heavy D-Scythes on the Chaos Predators, but both shots scattered wildly away. The Swooping Hawks deep struck behind the Predators, and the Exarch showed them who's boss, single-handedly wrecking the nearest Predator with his Hawk's Talon.

The 2 jetbike squads in the enemy rear managed to knock off 2 further hull points from the remaining Predator, and shaking it.

On the right flank, I finally managed for the first time ever to cast Eldritch Storm on the Berzerkers and Kharn's Land Raider. But it turns out my Farseer was out of range. Undeterred, the Fire Dragon squad who had bailed safely out of their Wave Serpent moved forward toward the Invisible Land Raider. They scored one hit, and it was enough to wreck the mighty tank.

Massed Dark Reaper, scatter laser and shuriken fire wiped out the Berzerkers that bailed out of the Land Raider, and even left Kharn with just one remaining wound, clinging on to survival. Shuriken, scatter laser and the guided Fire Prism on the right almost wiped out the Berzerkers that killed the Wave Serpent, leaving 2 survivors (they later charged the Fire Dragons, killing the Exarch and another Dragon, but the survivors managed to escape. The Berzerkers were then easily gunned down in Turn 3).

The Chaos marines now didn't have many units left, and even the Heldrake failed to arrive. Kharn joined the Berzerkers that were in the woods, and the Daemon Prince ensured that they were made Invisible to Eldar eyes.

Once again, the Daemon Prince's Psychic Shriek attack on the jetbike squad deep in his lines proved ineffective, but his vomit killed 2 Swooping Hawks.

Turn 3 Highlights
As the Swooping Hawks Skylept back into the heavens, the Warp Spiders deep struck onto the battlefield near the surviving Berzerker squad. This is the first time I tried deep striking them into battle, and I must say I like it! But the power of Invisibility proved too much, as massed fire from the Spiders, nearly all the jetbikes, and the Dark Reapers only killed 2 Berzerkers.

The Hemlock's Psychic Shriek attack on the same squad was dispelled easily, with Kharn in that squad (actually we forgot about that, but he Denied the Witch anyways).

The only successful shooting was by the jetbikes deep in enemy territory on the left flank, who easily killed off the last damaged Predator. Tragically, the Warp Spiders' jetpack jump was only 4" - and they were well within charge range of the crazed Berzerkers.

The Chaos Heldrake finally arrived, and its terrible weapon easily wiped out, finally, the jetbike squad that has been deep in enemy territory since Turn 1. The Daemon Prince had to come onto the ground to capture an objective. However, his attempt to cast Invisibility on Kharn's squad was dispelled.

With nothing else to shoot (they wisely did not shoot at the Warp Spiders), Kharn led the Berzerkers into a frenzied charge on the Warp Spiders. A hail of monofilament overwatch fire felled 1 Berzerker, but it was a foregone conclusion as Kharn hacked and chopped almost the entire squad single-handedly, his minions taking care of the rest.

We called the game at the end of Turn 3 as we had run out of time (Kadir was helping run an AOS tournament the next day and needed the sleep). But without Invisibility on Kharn's squad, and with the Daemon Prince on the ground, it is most likely that the Eldar would have tabled the Chaos army in Turn 4.

In 3 turns, the Khorne army was cut to pieces, with only the Daemon Prince, a wounded Kharn, a squad of Berzerkers and a Heldrake was all that was left. The Eldar lost the Warp Spiders, a Wave Serpent and a jetbike squad. Objectives-wise, the Eldar just managed a 3-2 win.

Kadir would have done much better with his normal army, which had a stream of summoned daemons. That would have done much to dissipate my firepower.

At any rate, it was real fun time, and I totally look forward to my next game.

Keep rolling them dice!

Monday, July 25, 2016


This fine aircraft didn't take too long to paint. I admit it's not the best paint job I've done by far, but it is the first model I've painted in almost 2 years, and it was done in many many small steps in between my work and life schedules. Now it's done and battle-ready, and I'm happy with it.

I've chosen to paint over the canopy, taking the Wraith theme of the aircraft just one step further. The original aircraft comes with a SpiritSeer pilot with a mirror mask sitting in the cockpit, which is not bad, but also not different enough from the sister fighter Crimson Hunter, flown by the Aspect Warriors.

I've decided that this particular hemlock is truly a Wraithcraft, piloted by the soul of a SpiritSeer whose gem is encased in the cockpit. Relying on waithsight alone, she has no need for a transparent canopy (thankfully we don't need to roll for wraithsight anymore).

Other than that it's a pretty standard build, Heavy D-Scythes in the wing weapon points and the Mindshock Pod under belly. This standard weapon load-out has already proven to be extremely deadly against man, xenos, daemon and machine, and to me, it's just right.

The paint sheme itself is based on my standard upstart Alaitoc Warhost of Farseer Lahnn. As the 16-year fluff of this particular warhost goes, Farseer Lahnn's warhost vehicles are not painted in the standard Alaitoc mottle camo scheme. His younger years as a Pathfinder amongts the Saim-Hann has influenced his approach to battle when it comes to jetbikes and skimmers, and this influence extends to his warhost's vehicle livery, which is reminiscant of the Saim-Hann stripes and diagonal patterns.

So this Hemlock is painted in a similar pattern to the Falcons, Fire Prisms, Wave Serpents, Jetbikes and Vypers of the warhost. But unlike the skimmer tanks, she does not have a light-blue underside. This is similar to the paint schemes for the warhost's jetbikes and Vypers.

The aircraft's base is not quite done yet, and she's currently using the Crimson Hunter's base. The wrecked Leman Russ turret on the base is actually quite befitting for one of the deadliest attack aircraft in 40k. I look forward to seeing this Hemlock create more gaping holes in enemy lines, striking fear amongst all foe who set eyes on her.

Keep them dice rolling!

Wednesday, July 20, 2016

Monday Night 40k!

This is what Monday nights should be about - dice rolling, nice models, friendly people, friendly store, new friends, and old friends.

I've been due to roll dice at JB's Alexandria Bookstore for a month now. But due to various commitments, and the fact that it was Ramadhan, I had to cancel planned gaming visits a few times. Until last night, whence the stars and planets aligned, and my renegade Alaitoc Windriders found themselves upon the bloody fields of Alexandria.

Still, to make sure that the game won't be rushed, we played an Eternal War mission: The Scouring, on a Vanguard Strike deployment. The Alaitoc Windrider Warhost is actually, rules-wise, a CAD with an attached Aspect Warrior Host formation. This is the 2nd iteration of the list, the first I tried out a couple of months back against some Tyranids. Not much changes, just some tweaking. And here's the 1843pt list:

Farseer Lahnn - jetbike, singing spear, Spirit Stone of Anath'lan

3 Jetbikes - all with scatter lasers
3 Jetbikes - all with scatter lasers
3 Jetbikes - all with shuriken cannon
3 Jetbikes - all with shuriken cannon
3 Jetbikes - 2 with shuriken cannon
3 Jetbikes - 2 with shuriken cannon

6 Swooping Hawks - exarch with Hawk's Talon
Hemlock Wraithfighter

Fire Prism
Fire Prism

8 Warp Spiders - exarch with twin-linked deathspinner
8 Dark Reapers - with starshot missiles
5 Fire Dragons - in a Wave Serpent with twin-linked bright lances and shuriken cannon

My opponent is John, with his Ultramarines. He had a couple of formations in there, including the one that gives free transports, and the one that deepstrikes all the drop pods of the formation in turn 1, and I really don't recall what they are called, but his list is something like:

Chaplain (Warlord)
5-man Tactical Squad (w meltagun) in Razorback with twin-linked lascannons
10-man Tactical Squad (w missile launcher & flamer), split into 2 combat squads, with Razorback with twin-linked lascannons
Bike Squad with 3 bikes and an Attack Bike with multimelta
5-man Devastator Squad (w 4 lascannons) with Razorback with twin-linked lascannons
Venerable Dreadnought in Drop Pod
5-man Tactical Squad with 2 flamers, in Drop Pod with Deathwind Launcher
5-man Tactical Squad with 2 meltaguns, in Drop Pod with Deathwind Launcher
5-man Tactical Squad with 2 meltaguns, in Drop Pod 
Captain in terminator armor
5 Terminators, with 1 assault cannon
Land Speeder Typhoon

The Ultramarines got to choose table side, but I won the roll for deployment and started first.

Turn 1 Highlights
Since John won the roll for table side, the mon-keigh Devastators set up shop in the tallest building on the battlefield, while my Dark Reapers looked on enviously, and had to make do with an abandoned trench line that commanded a reasonable firing field, even if not the best.

I had deployed to make full use of the cover afforded by the ruins, and planned a main thrust up my left flank. The entire army, except for the Dark Reapers and the Wave Serpent, deployed on the left flank.

When battle commenced, the Warhost advanced cautiously (around 12") and proceeded to open fire on the marines occupying the first ruin in mon-keigh territory. The bike squad was cut to ribbons, the Razorback lost 2 hull points and its lascannon, while both forward combat squads were reduced to half-strength or less.

The Dark Reapers unleashed a hail of S5 AP3 missiles (that's 17 shots at BS5) at their Devastator counterparts. The mon-keigh was smart to Go To Ground, and only the sergeant was lost in the deluge of high explosives.

The mon-keigh struck back aggressively. Drop Pods roared down in front of the Dark Reapers position, and the grim Aspect Warriors received the attention of intense bolter fire, flamers, stormbolters and Deathwind missile strikes. Even with Fortune, 5 Dark Reapers perished.

Two more Combat Squads from the Drop Pods opened fire at point-blank range with their meltaguns on the Fire Dragons' Wave Serpent, but thanks to jinking and the serpent shield, the transport survived the assault with 1 hull point to spare.

On the left flank, a missile launcher, the Devastator's Razorback and a snap-firing Devastor managed to severely damage a Fire Prism, knocking off 2 hull points, shaking the crew and immobilizing it.

The Venerable Dreadnought took on the front-most Jetbike squad, killing 2 Windriders.

Turn 2 Highlights
One of the best things about Eldar is its amazing speed and manouverability. And it was easy for the Warhost to pull back almost the entire army to deal with the drop pod assault.

Swooping Hawks landed near the offending mon-keigh, grenade packs covering the marines in a lot of noise and dust, and nothing else. The Hemlock decided to not turn up from reserves this turn - wraiths!

Starting with Farseer Lahnn's Psychic Shriek, the culling of the mon-keigh warriors began in earnest. While he didn't roll very high, it was enough to put down 2 marines. I see his Psychic Shriek abilities as a progression from his early days as Mind War specialist (pest?), hence his nickname Brain Smelter.

The combined firepower of the Swooping Hawks, Warp Spiders, Jetbikes, Fire Prism, Dark Reapers and the Fire Dragons and their snap-firing Wave Serpent wiped out all the drop pod squads, as well as both Deathwind-equipped drop pods. One of them blowing up and taking 2 Fire Dragons with it.

While all this glorious death was going on, 4 Jetbikes skimmed over the Venerable Dreadnought, turned on a pin, an unloaded shuriken death into the rear armor of the dreadnought, and it exploded in a spectacular display of fire and steel. On the far left, the immobilized Fire Prism got a lucky snap-firing shot into the Razorback opposite it, wrecking the mon-keigh vehicle.

Then with Battle Focus and jump moves, the Alaitoc Warhost resumed their advance up the left flank, such is Eldar manouverability!

The rest of the Ultramarines reserves arrived. The Captain and his Terminator squad teleporting to face the lead elements of xenos, their firepower, combined with the surviving combat squads deployed at the start of the battle, wiping out the lead Jetbike squad. The Devastators could only aquire one target, the immobilized Fire Prism, and put it out of its misery with a well-laid lascannon volley.

The deep-striking Land Speeder Typhoon killed a further 2 Jetbikes with its heavy bolter and frag missiles. Twin-linked lascannons of the Devastator's Razorback took aim at the Warp Spiders, who immediately flicker-jumped. However, the mon-keigh could still see one Warp Spider, who failed his cover save and was subsequently vaporized,

On the right flank, the Ultramarines Chaplain and his Tactical squad advanced in their Razorback, disembarking and shooting at the nearest lone Jetbike, to no effect.

Turn 3 Highlights
The Hemlock finally deigned to arrive, streaking low over the mon-keigh chaplain's head and making an impossible 90 degree turn near the Devastator's position. The Hemlock's Psychic Shriek reduced the Devastator squad to one man, who was forced to fall back. This is the first time I saw first-hand how deadly is the combination of the Mindshock Pod and Psychic Shriek.

Continuing their relentless advance up the left flank, the Alaitoc Warhost focused their fire on the Captain and his Terminators. Psychic Shriek attacks, scatter lasers, shuriken cannon, deathspinners, focused blast prism cannon shots drenched the mon-keigh in a deluge of Eldar munitions, and the Terminators were easily wiped out.

Scatter lasers also destroyed the Devastator's Razorback, wrecking it in a single deadly volley. The Hemlock is not done with her death and destruction, and her double Heavy D-Scythes easily obliterated the Land Speeder Typhoon.

On the right flank, advancing Dark Reapers and the Wave Serpent opened fire on the Chaplain and his squad, killing only 3, thanks to good cover (I just realized I was shooting the Wave Serpent at BS4. It should really be BS5 as it's part of the Aspect Warrior Host).

With only a handful of warriors left, the mon-keigh shot back with whatever was left, but could not make a mark. The Ultramarines then decided that discretion is the better part of valour, and conceded the battlefield.

This Alaitoc Windrider Warhost is fast! It was easy to concentrate firepower on chosen targets, switching back and forth between flanks and always gaining localized superiority. It helped tremendously that the Ultramarines arrived piecemeal and their units were never able to link up and lend mutual support to each other.

As it turned out, the battle was one-sided. The only survivors from the Ultramarines' force was the Chaplain, 7 marines, 2 drop pods and a Razorback. The Eldar only lost 2 units (a Fire Prism and 1 Jetbike squad).

It remains to be seen how this army would do against a Knight- or Land Raider-heavy enemy, as the Warhost is short on heavy anti-tank weaponry with only 2 Prism cannons, 1 twin-linked Bright Lance, 5 Fusion guns, and 2 Heavy D-Scythes at its disposal.

At any rate, it was real fun, and I look forward to the next session of furious dice-rolling. Now to finish painting the Hemlock, 6 additional Jetbikes, 2 additional Warp Spiders and 3 additional Dark Reapers. And the terrain pieces too.

Thanks John for a great game, and Quake for great banter from a fellow Eldar!

Keep them dice rolling!