Monday, November 27, 2017

Hive Fleet Bakunawa Progress Report - Part 1 - Build, build, build!

Just a quick update tonight on my new Tyranid army. So far I've managed to pick up a Tyranid Swarm box, the old Start Collecting box and the new one. That's give me quite a pile of models to assemble:

  • Hive Tyrant
  • Broodlord
  • 3 Warriors
  • 8 Genestealers
  • 40 Termagants
  • 40 Hormagants
  • 20 Gargoyles
  • 5 Ripper Swarms (putting 4 models per base instead of 5)
  • Carnifex 
  • Trygon Prime
I'd like to run a burrowing force with a few Trygon Primes leading some genestealers into the fray. A combination of Behemoth adaptations and adrenal glands should mean that two thirds of the burrowing units make it into combat. To that end I'll probably grab another couple of the new SC box and flog the broodlords as I can't really see a benefit in having more than one. 

So far I've built up the termagants, rippers, trygon prime and broolord. The carnifex is basically done but I'm looking at magnetising it. Have to say I'm tempted just to make it into a standard build though as it's proving a pain to magnetise.

I'm most excited about the trygon prime though as I've wanted one ever since I saw Scott's (on the right obviously) which was not long after the kit was released:

Anyway, as you can see from the picture above, I've got quite a lot of painting ahead of me. Hopefully the paint scheme I've chosen should make for a quick but eye catching effect. I can't decide what I want to paint first but I'm thinking it's best to paint a batch of gaunts then reward myself with a bigger monster to break things up.

Friday, November 24, 2017

NMTBW - My Battle Reports

Before I get stuck into the reports, it's worth mentioning that I wrote my army list with the full intention of having quick games that I was unlikely to win. As you'll read below I nearly misjudged it and took away the spoon but spared myself that ignominy at the last. Anyway, here's my list:

2,000pts of Space Wolves & IK

Battalion Detachment
Ragnar Blackmane
Wolf Lord on Thunderwolf (WC/SS)

10 Grey Hunters (2 meltas), WG Pack Leader (combi-melta, fist)
6 Grey Hunters (meltagun)
14 Blood Claws (flamer) plus Terminator WG Pack Leader (CF/SS)

Thunderwolf Cavalry (3x TH/SS, 1x vanilla)

Predator (twin lascannon, lascannon sponsons)

Razorback (twin lascannon, storm bolter)

Super Heavy Auxiliary Detachment
Knight Warden

Nothing particularly special. I deliberately didn't include any psykers to speed up the game and avoided anything that I could keep in reserve. Still, a good mix of units I like even if they're not the most competitive. I'll keep these reports as brief as I can. Bear in mind all missions use the same combined mission of Maelstrom and Blood Points.

Game One vs. Drukhari (Mark Crombleholme)
Mark's DE force consisted of 2 bombers, 2 fighters, 2 ravagers, 2 venoms, 2 raiders and a handful of troops to go inside. The main threat came from the flyers which proved to be more devastating than I expected.

In my first turn I managed to drop one of the venoms but quickly realised that I should've focussed on the flyers as one of the bombers decimated Ragnar's unit with his void mine and left Ragnar as the closest model for one of the other flyers to pick off. The rest of the unit was quickly mopped up and I'd already lost nearly a quarter of my points.

My Knight was unsurprisingly the star of the show managing to shoot down one of the Ravagers before wading into combat with the other and coming close to finishing it off. Sadly the silly terrain rules prevented me charging behind a building to finish it off. The thunderwolves weren't so effective as they loped around midfield never really managing to pin anything down long enough to get it into combat. They were eventually whittled down and finished off.

My lascannons proved frustratingly ineffective and Mark's flyers swept round the board doing as they pleased. I eventually finished off one of the fighters but by this point the game was pretty much over. I'd had some terrible Maelstrom cards but Mark still managed to table me pretty comfortably in what I think was four battle rounds. Final score: 2-8 on VPs and 555-2000 on Blood Points.

Game Two vs. Primaris Marines (Iron Hands)
Well this game proved to be the story of 6+ FNP. John Purves' marines castled up in the middle of the field to make the most of the bubble bonuses from his characters. His force featured a couple of venerable dreads, a redemptor dread, two intercessor squads, two hellblaster squads, two inceptor squads, a techmarine, captain and lieutenant.

The game started off fairly well for me with a decent chunk of the marines falling. The problem was the venerable dreadnoughts who didn't make a single venerable save all game but made enough chapter tactics 6+ saves to be irritating. At one point I'd scored 8 wounds on one of them which had 3 wounds left and he made 6 out of 8 saves to keep it in the fight!

My Knight made the mistake of getting too close to the Redemptor after it charged in to kill off some intercessors with the dreadnought avenging it's brethren with a power fist to the guts of the larger machine. Still, I was feeling pretty confident with the Blood Points totals despite again drawing awful Maelstrom cards. The big letdown were the thunderwolves with the lord failing to kill a single inceptor in combat allowing it to jump away and clear a rhino off an objective to cost me some VPs.

My infantry fared better with Ragnar getting stuck in and making a mess of the primaris marines with his blood claws and the grey hunters adding more casualties. Still, I can't help but feel grey hunters are a shadow of their former might and I can only hope the codex addresses that. It wasn't long though before the tables turned on them and the primaris' extra wound made them tough to shift. The Redemptor was a huge threat in the middle of the field too with it's guns cutting swathes through my forces. It took a while but John eventually managed to table me for a 3-13 VP and 945-2000 BP loss. 

Game Three vs. Chaos Space Marines (Cal Goodger)
Cal Goodger's CSM force was like nothing I'd ever faced before. Literally a hundred (and one) Iron Warriors marines with some missile launchers dotted around, two squads of raptors and a Daemon Prince bang in the middle. The sheer number of bodies made my lascannons next to useless and it'd be nearly impossible to make the DP the nearest model so I could target him.

The early exchanges proved pretty fruitless on my part but Cal managed to take the Knight right down to 6 wounds and it's weakest profile. I think this gave him confidence and he advanced his force which proved to be his undoing. The Knight and TWC were able to wade into combat along with the larger grey hunter pack and Ragnar's blood claws. The started to chew into the pile of renegade astartes and soon things were looking a lot more manageable.

Cal brought in both of his Raptor squads on my right flank but failed charges left them vulnerable and the grey hunters were able to drastically deplete the squads before charging in to finish off the rest. Still in the middle of the field things looked much better for him as the Daemon Prince destroyed the Knight in combat and the nearby squad picked off the TWC. We ran out of time at the end of what I think was the 5th turn but by then Cal and I had little left on the field. Still, I'd emerged with a 10-6 VP (mostly because I got good cards) and 1509-1041 BP win to prevent me from finishing bottom, although at 26th out of 30 I was hardly much better.

It was great to be able to play some games and for the most part I enjoyed what is only my second experience of competitive 40K in 8th edition. Having said that the randomness of the game bothers me with a lot riding on the damage rolls. I know luck has always been a big part but it somehow feels like the dice beat you more than they did before.

Space Wolves are pretty uninspiring at the moment too. What used to be the strong core of the force, the Grey Hunters feel pretty mediocre and aren't the combat superpower they once were. The same can be said for TWC. I think they were a bit OTT in 6th/7th but that was mostly down to the supplement. They're not awful but with a lot of their attacks coming from the wolves not the riders it feels like you're better not to give them special weapons. Storm shields are probably still a good idea but hammers feel like a waste.

The Knight was, unsurprisingly the MVP for my force but mainly because it soaked up a lot of firepower. I wasn't making many invulnerable saves but T8 alone is pretty effective. Anyway, I'm keen to bring Tyranids to DT3 so expect some updates on my progress soon.

I think, like several people have said, I'll try to mix the missions up a bit for my next singles event. It'd probably be best to have a single BP game, single Maelstrom game and something else.

Anyway, thanks to my three opponents for putting up with me trying to play my games and run the event at the same time. I hope you still enjoyed the games, I certainly did.

Wednesday, November 22, 2017

NMTBW Painting Competition - Single Miniature Categories (pic heavy)

Following on from Monday's post which featured the Best Army and Best Conversions awards, today we'll take a look at the entries in the single miniatures categories namely Best Character and Best Vehicle or Monster.

Best Character Runners Up
First up Ian Plumpton's Cadre Fireblade. It's a shame Ian didn't have his Stormsurge ready for the monster category since he won it at one of my previous events but nonetheless there's clearly a lot of time put into a comparatively small model:

In second place with a single vote more than Ian was Cal Goodger's Iron Warriors Daemon Prince. I had the pleasure of playing Cal in my final game of the day so come back and check out the battle report for more pictures of his force:

Best Character - Winner
Liam could've ligitimately entered his Mortarion into the best Monster Category or even Best Conversions but it's models like this that make me glad I limit players to a single category. He'd certainly have swept the board otherwise and, whilst well deserved, I think it's better to encourage more people to enter. Anyway, I'm sure you'll agree that Liam has created something stunning with his Morty. At some point I'll have to get on and paint my Grotesques that I commissioned Liam to build. Anyway, here's the big guy:

Best Vehicle or Monster Runners Up
First up, Tom Capper's Blood Angels Cerberus. Note that as this is a Forge World model it wasn't legal at the event but I saw no reason not to allow him to enter into the painting competition:

My personal favourite was Jonathan Lyness' Traitor Knight which closer followed the artwork from the Renegade boxed set from GW:

Particularly interesting for me was Keith Duncan's Ryza Onager Dunecrawler as if I ever create an Ad Mech force it'd also be in the Ryza scheme to match my Knights:

Finally, Jeremy Morris' Daemon Prince:

Best Vehicle or Monster Winner
In what was almost a three way tie with Jonathan Lyness and Keith Duncan, Ben Houghton managed to win the category by a single vote when I figured out that someone had written the number down wrong and voted for Matt Calow who hadn't even entered! Anyway, Ben's Vanquisher was a worthy winner although again my photos don't do it justice:

Right, that's it for the painting competition. Inspiring as ever and it makes me determined to finally paint a force that I'd feel proud to display. Obviously I'll have to find another event to do so though....

Monday, November 20, 2017

NMTBW Painting Competition - Best Army & Best Conversions (pic heavy)

I decided to keep the Double Trouble format for the painting competition. This means four categories, each with a separate prize. These are Best Painted Army, Best Conversions, Best Painted Character and Best Painted Vehicle or Monster. Players can only enter into a single category to prevent one player from sweeping the board and to allow people to focus on a particular miniature if that's their preference.

Anyway, there were some great entries as always. Today I'll focus on the Best Army and Best Conversions awards and then later in the week I'll post with the entries from the single miniature awards. First up, the Best Painted Army offerings.

Best Painted Army - Runners Up
Nick Thrower's Dusk Knights space marines were looking great on their hazard striped display board. Anyone who reads Nick's blog will be familiar with this army but it's the first time they've been treated to a formal display board. Apologies for the blurry pictures but head over to his blog for better ones:

Next up Ryan Kemp's stunning Alpha Legion force:

In a close second place, just a single vote away from victory was the perennial painting competition superpower Dave Weston and his awesome Dark Angels force with his huge display board:

Best Painted Army - Winner
Finally, the worthy winner and a newcomer at my events, Toby Liddiard with his Custodes force featuring a ludicrous amount of NMM:

Apologies to Toby because I don't think my pictures really do that army justice. I'm sure there'll be better pictures around but I always end up rushing mine as I'm trying to get the round one results entered and find time to eat my lunch!

Best Conversions
Not a huge amount of interest in this category with just two entries. There was a runaway winner here with Graham Sander's Tyranids taking all but two of the votes which went to Greg Barber's Taurox:

Come back on Wednesday for the single miniature entries.


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