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Blood Vow

Happiness is success... (Buddha)

Sunday, November 19, 2017

Assassin - Part 30 - Dark Reflection


Paragon sat upon a stool looking out through the veiled window from the small room atop the single tower. Silently he looked through the scope of his sniper rifle sighting just to the left of Roboute Guilliman. The Primarch stood upon a raised dias just outside the front of the palace. Marneus Calgar stood to his right speaking to the Honor Guard surrounding their Primarch. The assassin slowly squinted and the ethereal image of an eldar took form. The xenos wore a psychic helm marking it as a Farseer. His fingertip ever so slightly pressed upon the trigger rune. The X round ejected from the vented muzzle spiraling silently towards its mark cutting effortlessly through the refractor field shielding Guilliman and his retinue then the Wraithbone imploded taking the head from the Farseer. Immediately alarms sounded throughout the palace ground. Paragon hoisted his rifle back inside the room and closed the veil. Quickly the assassin dissembled his rifle placing the pieces back into the pouches sown outside his pack. He then lifted the small homing beacon and activated the single black rune.

The door burst open as an Ephoroi entered the small room followed by one of the squad of accompanying Sagittarum Guard Sodalities. "The shot came from here." said one of the Sagittarum pointing towards the veiled window. Carefully they examined the interior but could find no evidence left behind.

"Continue to search the remainder of the tower." said the Ephoroi. "We have failed our oath sworn duty. The shot only just missed."

"It could have been simply a warning." another Sagittarum replied. He lifted the stool but it was bare. "We must determine why this room was left unguarded."

The floor began to quake then an explosion blew out the top of the tower vaporizing the Custodes. A sea of shiny black nanobots swarmed from a top the burning ruins absorbing the last of the residual psychic trace erasing it completely then they vanished as well.

Ywain the Ancient

Saturday, November 18, 2017

Ultramarines vs. Space Wolves (2000 pts) Batrep


I had my second league game last night and made a few tweaks to my army list:

Switched out Primaris Ancient for a Primaris Apothecary
Switched out Primaris Librarian for Tigurius

Guilliman is still the go to unit for Space Marines in general but Marneus Calgar is a Chapter Master and quite good in melee as well so I chose him instead to shore up some points for Aggressors. It’s fun to go against the meta a bit and see what you can do. I decided to take Tiggy because of his power to make a unit -1 to hit, casting Might of Heroes for +1T combined with -1 to hit makes a Redemptor or Repulsor very hard to destroy.

Here’s the new army list:

Bound +3CP

1st Detachment: Battalion +3CP
(Imperium - Space Marines) [106 PL, 1909pts]

+ No Force Org Slot +

Chapter Selection: Ultramarines

+ HQ +

Chief Librarian Tigurius [7 PL, 130pts]
Psychic Powers:
Smite, Might of Heroes, Null Zone, Veil of Time

Marneus Calgar [12 PL, 235pts]:
Artificer Armour
+2CP

Primaris Chaplain [6 PL, 85pts]

+ Troops +

Intercessor Squad [5 PL, 105pts]:
Auxiliary Grenade Launcher, Bolt Rifles
4x Intercessor
Intercessor Sergeant - Power Sword

Intercessor Squad [5 PL, 105pts]:
Auxiliary Grenade Launcher, Bolt Rifle
4x Intercessor
Intercessor Sergeant - Power Sword

Scout Squad [10 PL, 111pts]:
5x Camo Cloak
Scout Sergeant - Bolt pistol, Sniper Rifle
Scout - Heavy Bolter
4x Scout - 4x Sniper Rifle

+ Elites +

Aggressor Squad [6 PL, 129pts]:
2x Aggressor
Aggressor Sergeant
Flamestorm Gauntlets

Primaris Apothecary [4 PL, 68pts]

Redemptor Dreadnought [10 PL, 201pts]:
2x Fragstorm Grenade Launchers
Icarus Rocket Pod
Macro Plasma Incinerator
Onslaught Gatling Cannon

+ Heavy Support +

Hellblaster Squad [16 PL, 205pts]:
Plasma incinerator
5x Hellblaster - Plasma Incinerator
Hellblaster Sergeant - Plasma Incinerator

Predator [9 PL, 189pts]:
Predator Autocannon - 2x Lascannon

+ Dedicated Transport +

Repulsor [16 PL, 346pts]:
Ironhail Heavy Stubber
4x Fragstorm Grenade Launchers
Icarus Rocket Pod
2x Krakstrom Grenade Launcher
Lastalon
Onslaught Gatling Cannon
2x Lascannon

Auxiliary Support Detachment -1CP
(Imperium - Officio Assassinorum) [5 PL, 90pts]

+ Elites +

Vindicare Assassin [5 PL, 90pts]

++ Total: [111 PL, 1999pts] ++

7CP total

I don’t have my opponent’s army list so going by memory he had Bjorn the Fellhanded as his Warlord, a Wolf Lord on a Thunderwolf mount with a Frost Axe and stormshield, Iron Priest on Thunderwolf mount, Venerable Dreadnaught with Frost weapon and stormshield, five razorbacks with assault cannons, several six man squads of Grey Hunters riding in the transports and a Stormwolf flyer.

We played mission 6 from the ITC Champions Mission Pack, What’s Yours is Mine. Here is a link to the mission pack:

https://docs.google.com/document/d/1ltQMdeDqYRXOhvdYT3dtUSji3AISvZRM8gDlhOXDaF8/mobilebasic

These are some excellent missions, were used at the recent SoCal Open here in San Diego and are designed specifically for eighth edition. I highly recommend you check them out !

There are two objectives...

Each Player places 1 Take and Hold Objective wholly within their deployment zone, 9” from a table edge. Take and Hold Objectives are controlled by having the most units within 9” of the objective. Note that Objective Secured units gain no benefit in holding Take and Hold Objectives.

What’s Yours Is Mine Bonus Point - If a player controls both Take and Hold objectives at the end of their player turn, he/she gains 1 point.

This is a mission that can turn into a major slugfest over the course of the game going for those two objective markers!

Deployment was table quarters and I got to go first. Note I deployed mostly in a castle around my objective with the scouts and Vindicare far back from the puppies up on a high piece of cover. My opponent chose to spread out his forces.

Here were the secondaries I selected:

Big Game Hunter
King Slayer (Bjorn)
Headhunter

Here is a turn by turn breakdown of the game with some commentary:

Turn 1
Ultramarines
Destroy Enemy Unit - Razorback, Grey Hunter Pack
1 Primary
(3)

SW
Destroy Enemy Unit - Scouts
Secondary - Recon
(2)

Turn 2
Ultramarines
(0)

My opponent’s Venerable dreadnaught was quickly closing the gap and would be able to probably assault either my Redemptor or Repulsor this turn if I didn’t bring it down so I opted to pour all of my firepower into the metallic behemoth. My lascannons all bounced so I had to chip away with everything else and managed to bring it down to just two wounds remaining. Dreadnaughts are not typically bracketed by wound reduction so there is was staring my gunline in the face.

SW
Secondary - Recon
(1)

Wow I got really lucky after the piss poor shooting phase. My opponent rushed up with two razorbacks to charge my Repulsor along with his dreadnaught. Overwatch on the first transport managed to strip some wounds and it failed the charge. Overwatch on the second transport stripped some more wounds and it also failed the charge. I then overwatched the dreadnaught and only managed to strip one wound... Jebus. Luckily it also failed the charge as well by a single inch. Tiggy then it popped it next turn with a juicy Smite in the face. My opponent’s 3++ saves had been just incredible... I was very fortunate to keep my big grav tank intact. Those fragstorm grenade launchers are so deadly !

Turn 3
Ultramarines
Destroy Enemy Unit - Dread, Flyer & RZB (3 secondary)
(5)

This turn the Primaris Apothecary, Aggressors and Primaris Chaplain launched an assault on the Wolf Lord (disembarking from the Repulsor) but couldn’t get through his stormshield... however they did later take him down but he killed my Primaris Apothecary and an Aggressor in return.

SW
Destroy Enemy Unit (Apothecary, Assassin, Redemptor)
Secondary - Headhunter (Apothecary, Assassin)
(4)

Turn 4
Ultramarines
Destroy Enemy Unit - Grey Hunter Pack, WOf Lord, Razorback
Headhunter (WL, RZB)
(4)

SW
Destroy Enemy Unit - Intercessors
(1)

Turn 5
Ultramarines
Destroy Enemy Unit - Grey Hunter Pack, Iron Priest, Razorback, Bjorn (+1)
Headhunter (Iron Priest)
Big Game Hunter (Razorback)
King Slayer (3)
Take and Hold Main Primary (1)
+1
(6)

That ended the game since I had tabled my opponent. The final score was 18-7. My firepower faltered during the second turn, then I got lucky with the failed charge from the Venerable dreadnaught... I’m sure it would have destroyed my Repulsor in melee. As the game progressed the Chaplain and remaining Aggressors were able to reach my opponent’s objective and finally secure by the final turn. Melee is still my favorite phase but long range firepower is still the king of the game.

Friday, November 17, 2017

Wednesday, November 15, 2017

40k Batrep 8th Edition - Ultramarines vs. Eldar (Samhain)



Here is my second battle report for eighth edition. I am playing in a local league and this was my first game. It is also my first game playing a tournament style list incorporating some of my current concepts for Primaris Space Marines. In my opinion the new Space Marine codex has plenty of great rules for various Chapters besides Ultramarines such as Ravenguard and Salamanders. One of the reasons I chose to play Ultramarines is because I think their Chapter tactics are quite versatile such that you can design an army that’s well balanced between melee and shooting. I still think Space Marines are top tier and have the tools to beat any other army. Sure they aren’t so shiny now but they are very well designed.


Here’s my current ~2000 point army list I used:

++ Battalion Detachment - (Imperium - Space Marines) [106 PL] ++

+ No Force Org Slot +

Chapter Selection:
Ultramarines

+ HQ +

Marneus Calgar [12 PL, 235 pts]:
Artificer Armour

Primaris Chaplain [6 PL, 85 pts]

Primaris Librarian [7 PL, 105 pts]:
1) Psychic Fortress, 2) Might of Heroes, 3) Null Zone
Force Sword, Tome of Malcador

+ Troops +

Intercessor Squad [5 PL, 105 pts]:
Auxiliary Grenade Launcher, Bolt Rifles
4x Intercessor
Intercessor Sergeant - Power Sword

Intercessor Squad [5 PL, 105 pts]:
Auxiliary Grenade Launcher, Bolt Rifles
4x Intercessor
Intercessor Sergeant - Power Sword

Scout Squad [10 PL, 111 pts]:
5x Camo Cloak
Scout Sergeant - Sniper Rifle, Chainsword
Scout w/Heavy Weapon: Heavy Bolter
4x Scout w/Sniper Rifle

+ Elites +

Aggressor Squad [6 PL, 129 pts]:
2x Aggressor
Aggressor Sergeant
Flamestorm Gauntlets

Primaris Ancient [4 PL, 69 pts]:
Standard of the Emperor Ascendant

Redemptor Dreadnought [10 PL, 201 pts]:
2x Fragstorm Grenade Launchers, Icarus Rocket Pod, Macro Plasma Incinerator, Onslaught Gatling Cannon

+ Heavy Support +

Hellblaster Squad [16 PL, 211 pts]:
Plasma Incinerator
5x Hellblaster
Hellblaster Sergeant: Plasma Pistol

Predator [9 PL, 189 pts]:
Predator Autocannon, Two Lascannons

+ Dedicated Transport +

Repulsor [16 PL, 352 pts]:
2x Fragstorm Grenade Launchers, 2x Fragstorm Grenade Launchers, Icarus Rocket Pod, Ironhail Heavy Stubber, 2x Krakstrom Grenade Launcher, Las-Talon, Onslaught Gatling Cannon, Twin Lascannon

++ Auxiliary Support Detachment (Imperium - Officio Assassinorum) [5 PL] ++

+ Elites +

Vindicare Assassin [5 PL, 90 pts]

++ Total: [111 PL, 7 CP, 1981 pts] ++

Note I’m planning to soon drop the Ancient for an Apothecary - he will synergize well with the Primaris Chaplain and Agressors riding around in the Repulsor.

Here are a couple things I really like about Primaris Space Marines ...

Why Intercessors rock - The sergeant rocks a power sword with three base attacks, one Marine can pack an auxiliary grenade launcher firing krak -> S6 AP1 d3 damage 30” range; the bolt rifle is 30” range and AP1... that’s your special weapon right there This is currently one of the best troops in the game and highly underrated... versus a 10 man tactical squad they win out hands down with better overall range and higher overall damage output. Intercessors can sustain more damage (2 wounds apiece) - sure there are plenty of ranged weapons that spit out 2 damage or more per shot but there’s this thing called line-of-sight blocking terrain... use it !

Plasma all day 24/7 - Space Marines can proliferate an amazing amount of plasma weapons - supercharging equates to AP4 and 2 damage per shot cutting straight through any armor with a flat damage of 2. Fielding a Captain or Chapter Master to reroll 1s greatly negates the risk of overheating. The basic plasma incinerator for Hellblasters is 30" range (rapid fire S8 AP4 2 damage) which equates to a total range of 36" with movement... they are very hard to ignore if your units have to come out in the open. A Redemptor dreadnaught rocking a Macro Plasma Incinerator is heavy d6 S9 AP4 2 damage at 36" range (maximum effective range 44").

So onto the Battle Report... We played Scenario 3 - Nexus Control from the new ITC mission pack that was used at the recent SoCal Open last month right here in San Diego ...

https://docs.google.com/document/d/1ltQMdeDqYRXOhvdYT3dtUSji3AISvZRM8gDlhOXDaF8/mobilebasic

I highly recommend you follow the link above if you’d like to know the specifics in regards to these particular mission rules.

Here’s my opponent John’s army list:

Eldar (Samhain)

1st Outrider Detachment

+ HQ +

Autarch Skyrunner:
Jetbike, Power Sword

+ Fast Attack +

3x Windrider:
2x Shuriken Catapult

4x Shining Spears:
2x Shuriken Catapult, Laser Lance
Exarch:
2x Shuriken Catapult, Star Lance

2x Vyper:
Bright Lance, Shuriken Cannon

2nd Outrider Detachment

+ HQ +

Farseer Skyrunner:
2x Shuriken Catapult, Singing Spear

Warlock Skyrunner:
2x Shuriken Catapult, Singing Spear

+ Fast Attack +

5x Windrider:
2x Shuriken Catapult

4x Shining Spears:
2x Shuriken Catapult, Laser Lance
Exarch:
2x Shuriken Catapult, Star Lance

2x Vyper:
Bright Lance, Shuriken Cannon

3rd Outrider Detachment

+ HQ +

Warlock Skyrunner:
2x Shuriken Catapult, Singing Spear

+ Fast Attack +

3x Windrider:
2x Shuriken Catapult

5x Windrider:
2x Shuriken Catapult

2x Vyper:
Bright Lance, Shuriken Cannon

+ Flyer +

Crimson Hunter Exarch
2x Bright Lance, Pulse Laser

+ Elite +

5x Fire Dragon
Fusion Gun

+ Dedicated Transport +

Wave Serpent:
Serpent Shield, 2x Shuriken Cannon, Spirit Stones, Vectored Engines, Star Engines

I won the roll to go first and John failed to seize. I deployed in a castle with the Repulsor ready to move out and go hunt some pointy ear xenos.

Here were my secondary objectives:

- Kings Slayer
- Headhunter
- Big Game Hunter

John spread out his forces using a large ruin in the center of the table to hide the best he could... The Vindicare Assassin had an absolute field staging a fell handed shooting clinic throughout the course of the game.

+ Turn 1 - Ultramarines
Destroy Warlock (Headhunter) <- Vindicare

Primary - Hold an Objective and destroy an enemy unit (Warlock)
Secondary - Headhunter (Warlock)

+ Turn 1 - Eldar

Primary - Control an Objective


+ Turn 2 - Ultramarines

Destroy jet bike unit <- Scouts (Hellfire stratagem) plus sniper rifles & Vindicare support

Primary - Destroy Enemy Unit (Windriders)

+ Turn 2 - Eldar

Primary - Destroy Unit +1 (Repulsor, Predator, and Aggressors)
+ Hold an Objective
+ Destroy more enemy units this turn


+ Turn 3 - Ultramarines

Primary - Destroy Enemy Unit +1 (2xShining Spears and Vyper squadron) <- Scouts & Intercessors
+ Hold an Objective

+ Turn 3 - Eldar

Primary- Destroy Units (Marneus & Chaplain)

Hold 2 Objectives +1


+ Turn 4 - Ultramarines

Primary - Destroy More Enemy Unit +1 (Fire Dragons, Flyer and Farseer)
Hold an Objective

King Slayer - Farseer (secondary)
Big Game Hunter (secondary)

+ Turn 4 - Eldar

Primary - Destroy Enemy Units (Librarian and Intercessors)

Hold More Objectives (2) +1


+ Turn 5 - Ultramarines

Primary - Destroy Enemy Unit (Windriders)
Hold an Objective

+ Turn 5 - Eldar

Primary - Destroy Enemy Unit (Intercessors)

Hold 2 Objectives +1


That ended the game and the final score was a minor win for the Eldar, 20-15. So I lost but it was very close throughout the entire game. Obviously Samhain is much more mobile but I was still able to grab objectives while destroying the lion’s share of John’s army. I’m happy with how my army performed overall. I think if I could have gotten the Aggressors into a ruin following the demise of my Repulsor I could have won but at least they served as a very effective meat shield for my melee characters. Calgar was a true beast rampaging through enemy units until he was finally gunned down my mass Shuriken firepower... rending is still a big deal.

Wednesday, November 08, 2017

Captain Ventris

Kitbashed the Primaris Captain armed with a power fist and plasma pistol ...


Design by Chuck EU.

Friday, November 03, 2017

Another Intercessor ...


There are some very nice bits that come in the new box with 10 Intercessors.

Thursday, October 26, 2017

Chaos Conspiracy


I would like to add a short preamble to this 40k article. I was once a hard core tournament player and then came the end of 7th edition so I decided to switch over fully to playing 30k. 30k is a very balanced game and not playing tournaments any more I learned that gaming can be fun for just the experience and be totally immersed in the game. Sure I still like to win like everyone but the things I enjoy most changed. I’d also like to add that I have played Chaos Space Marines (CSM) since 3rd Edition... we once were so mighty then came the eventual fall but now we are finally strong again. What prompted me to write this diatribe was a game this past weekend versus CSM and it was my first game playing Space Marines in 8th edition. My opponent brought both daemon Primarchs and a Lord of Skulls with cultists and some sorcerers for Warp Time... his strategy was to cast Warp Time on the heavy hitters and go for broke. I brought Guilliman with a fluffy army not optimized. He constantly complained about my Primarch throughout the entire game which was very disappointing for me. I felt like he had a big chip on his shoulder to be honest.

This week we have seen the FAQ for Astra Militarum and the nerf to conscripts. It’s a big deal. I’m not going to say it was needed or not needed but as a formerly competitive player I am going to say to CSM players need to put on their big boy pants and STFU about Guilliman... LTP. I have never been into petitions to Games Workshop to nerf other people’s armies, that’s now how I roll. Having discussed this topic on some large FB groups built around competitive 40k my take on it is most of the hate towards Guilliman comes directly from CSM players.

Let’s take a look at both of the daemon Primarchs. Both have wings and psychic powers plus lots more win. Magnus is rocking a 3++ invulnerable save rerolling 1s since he is classed as a Daemon of Tzneetch. Roboute has 9 wounds, half as many as either deamon Primarch... Guilliman can get back up after being destroyed on the roll of a 4+ with d6 wounds which with a command point and a successful roll is the same number of wounds - it’s not a sure thing by any means.

I don’t see any Imperial players targeting either daemon Primarch with demands for the ban hammer nor has most any Guilliman list won any major tournament. If Guilliman is FAQd to have say 10 wounds he will be unplayable. I also think that some competitive players need to realize the game does not solely revolve around them and their desire to win. Nerfing Guilliman would adversely affect non competitive players who enjoy using him as he is now... their enjoyment is just as valid as anyone else’s.

To me the inclusion of Primarchs into 40k is really cool... I love it and that’s all I have to say on this sensitive subject.

Sunday, October 22, 2017

Marneus Calgar

Word: CHEATERS NEVER WIN


So I was playing against a super smelly douche this weekend in a video batrep... Game comes down to Guilliman and a Redemptor versus a heavily wounded Mortarion. Douche rolls a bunch of onez to hit then sez that a +1 modifier converts them all to hits. I’m like wow no one plays it that way but he is a super ass and sez the ones all hit. I protest again and tell him you wouldnt even need to roll to hit... but he has to roll the dice so some people watching the video don’t figure out what he is doing to cheat.

If there was a modifier that makes a natural one a two and unit hits on 2+ you don’t even need to roll the dice... well except so people watching don’t know he was cheating. Can you even believe it?

Friday, October 20, 2017

Black Legion Tactica Part 3 - Abbadon


Hello everyone it’s BBF here again with my third installment of Black Legion tactica. Terminators and Land Raiders - go big or just go home ! This past weekend I had a thrilling game versus the new Astra Militarum (Cadians). Lots of Russes, Baneblade and some boots on the ground. Expect to see more Leman Russes... they are the new hotness since GW has buffed them considerably now with some crazy stratagems and tasty special orders. A Baneblade rerolling all missed hits and failed wounds is a frightening thing to behold indeed.

I took a lot of heavy losses early on but some of my key units hung in their til the bitter end and made a game out of it. I made one silly mistake which cost me the win but it was still very close right down to the last dice roll. The new IG could very well be the top codex for now and it’ll be interesting to see what happens with the soon to release new eldar codex.

I’ve been playing Black Legion exclusively for some time while I assemble and paint my new Primaris Space Marine army. During this period I’ve tweaked my original army list such as using different Marks of Chaos for my terminator squads in order to buff them with the appropriate stratagems... it’s paying some dividends too.

I’m not going to lie, this can be a tough army to play so if you want an easy net list like Chaos or Imperial Soup this might be a good point to stop and think about why you play what you do. I have always been into anti meta armies. I do have to say after watching a VLOG by VisiCast that adding some blob to your army can be a really good thing and is well proven ... as pointed out by VisiCast the blob element can make the game more complex which is good but there should be natural counters just for overall balance. The thing is that the very best competitive players strive to break the meta rather than emulating it - change is constant.

This article focuses on how to get the most out of Abbadon, arguably the best current melee specialist in the game. First I take the Warlord trait that generate an extra wound to his base number and he can ignore any wound on the roll of a 6. Abbadon buffs your Chaos terminators making them unbreakable and reroll all missed hits... he does a lot of work if played correctly. Abbadon also has the new Eternal Warrior halving damage taken. He can still be quite fragile but if well played can decimate an opponent’s army.

Abbadon has the keywords for every Mark of Chaos granting him access to a number of very strong stratagems, such as attacking twice in a row (Khorne) and regenerating lost wounds (Nurgle). You must play smart to protect him and I take a Sorcerer for the sweet sweet psychic buffs such as improving his invulnerable save up to 3++ and Warp Time to ensure he will make the key game winning charges. It’s important to note he has the new Eternal Warrior rule with cuts wounds inflicted in half. You can also just use him to buff your shooty units rerolling all failed to hit rolls which is one of the things that makes Guilliman so good.

Abbadon is armed with not one but two very deadly melee weapons. The Talon doubles his strength plus he also has the daemon weapon Drachyen which grants d6 extra attacks... he has the ability to land a lot of punches, hitting on 2+ with rerolls. As such Abbadon can destroy any enemy unit including even super heavies. A great stratagem to pop versus super tough enemy units is the +1 to wound.

Deployment is critical for this army. Use line of sight blocking terrain when you can. You must survive long enough to ensure hit the enemy line. Make sure your Land Raiders use some cover when possible to improve their saves... it can make a huge difference. The Land Raiders provide long range powerful shooting that can shuttle your terminators into key positions. As good as Land Raiders are there are plenty of armies that destroy one first turn if your deployment is sloppy - they must be deployed for the +1 cover save against these types of armies even if you are going first to counter a first turn seize versus strong alpha strike armies such as the new Astra Militarum.

This type of army must literally be played reverse to the currently popular blob armies. Missions such as NOVA and the new ITC missions allow you to pick objectives that force your opponent to come to you ... this is pure gold versus blob and denies them their inherent strengths. You have super killing power but literally no bubble wrap. If you do go first which is to your advantage you can Alpha Strike using the tactics I’ve covered in these three articles. Elite armies have the advantage to go first using the new ITC missions but you must hedge your game which goes back to deployment, otherwise you’re betting the farm on a single dice roll wguch is literally too scary for me... I’d rather be able to weather the first turn storm then beta strike to maximum effect. Black Legion can do this extremely well if you have the necessary maturity.

My next article will cover the Forgeworld exploits which takes this army over the top.

Sunday, October 15, 2017

Thelonius, Master of Sanctity

Interview with Reecius * New ITC Mission Pack (SoCal Open)


I held this interview with Reecius of Frontline Games yesterday at his shop here in San Diego while helping him and crew build terrain for the SoCal Open to be held next week. The questions all pertain to the new ITC mission pack which was specifically designed with 8th edition in mind and borrows from other great mission packs like the NOVA Open.

1. Does the mission pack favor certain types of army builds ?

It does favor armies with strong board control that also kill well, but then, all missions do I suppose.

2. How does the new mission pack help the player going 2nd ?

Hey brother, yeah, going second gives you the better position for scoring objectives since you can’t be countered.

3. What’s your advice in general on designing an army list that will excel using the new mission pack ?

This was actually already answered above in reply to the first question.

4. Does the new mission pack take into account of not yet released codices ?

I can't comment on what is yet to come. :’ (

Here’s some additional comments from Reecius over the FB group for SoCal Open. Note that some players here in California have already been playtesting them ...

On tabling an opponent or when an opponent concedes:

Tabling gives you the same points as when your opponent concedes, so that must have gotten lost in translation somehow. It's not max points but close to it for remaining rounds.

On slow play:

Slow play is, was and probably always will be an issue in competitive 40k. It's just tough to police that effectively, especially as events scale up in size. The responsibility for managing time must be the players at the table responsibility. You've got to keep an eye on the clock. For what it's worth, I've had a single tournament game in 8th not go the distance and I play a high model count army. However, I do understand that many players play slowly and our hope is that this forces people to choose to speed up if they want their full score. We don't want to go back to a system that simply allows slow playing to be acceptable from a scoreboard perspective as folks won't have to ever adapt. The game is absolutely capable of being finished on time, it just comes down to the players at the table making it a priority.

On the new secondary mission objectives:

Some of the secondary missions are indeed designed to be punishing. They're meant to be tough to get and we don't intend most players to max out. That is absolutely intentional. This gives a wide range of scores which helps to stratify the field for clear outcomes and reductions in tie games but leaving ties possible.

On scoring:

So it seems like there was some misunderstandings on the new ITC missions. You still get 1,000 tournament points for a win, 500 for a tie, and 0 for a loss + Battle Points, per usual. So, winning games is still primary, but your Battle Points ranks you within your W/L/D bracket thereafter.

Here is an update for everyone coming to the SoCal Open, there will be food, candy, soda, beer and snacks available at the event for sale. No outside food and beverages will be available.

Draft Mission Pack:

https://www.facebook.com/groups/1867215326878941/permalink/1937848966482243/

Signals from the Frontline Podcast:

https://www.frontlinegaming.org/2017/10/13/signals-from-the-frontline-565-new-itc-missions-available-for-testing/

Thursday, October 12, 2017

Assassin - Part 29 - Memoria


Sanguinius sat upon his throne surrounded by the Templars. The Strike Cruiser Vain Glory delved deeper into the Eye of Terror with the remains of the Vengeful Spirit in gravic tow. Cyrene stood at the bridge ever silent. Memories from the distant past spilled into his mind. He stood up beckoning to Oathsbane. "We must go back onboard the traitor vessel."

"Yes my Lord I shall make it so."

+++

The Primarch stood upon the broken prow absorbing psychic residue collected from over a millennium stretching back to the final battle and his death. A crystalline form of himself recreated from his remnant being filled the command chamber, wings outstretched with grim resolve etched upon the face. Horus was cast in the likeness of granite beside his form, their fists locked grimly around each others’ throats. Their armor was torn and rent hollow within the shaded images. Sanguinius removed a gauntlet placing his bare hand upon the left shoulder of his own likeness. Ever so slowly the crystalline structure began to decompose atom by very atom as he reabsorbed himself becoming even more complete. He looked into the hollow eyes of Horus then ran his fingertips over the open wound above the exposed throat.

The buried memory was so painful... rage followed by the ultimate betrayal. "Horus there is still a place for you with us." said the Emperor. The Primarch of the Sons of Horus bellowed in laughter, filled to the very brim with the dark power gifted from every Chaos God. His eyes were black mirrors looking down upon the immediate destruction at hand.

"He is the architect of our doom." Sanguinius said. "How could you even consider it?" Black Rage filled him with unbridled hate. "How many innocent have died at his hands? This is blasphemous Father." A dark cry emanated from the very core of the Angel wailing like a banshee. The Emperor lifted his hands to shield his ears. Sanguinius threw his sword aside leaping upon Horus. His fingertips burst into claws tearing through the hard black plate. Horus struck back immediately backhanding the Angel against a bunker wall. Again the Angel shrieked rising back up wholly lost to the Black Rage. His fists struck like stone hammering the Archfiend’s exposed temples cracking hidden bone.

"Stop." commanded the Emperor. Sanguinius was lost in the vast consuming deluge of dark emotion. He grunted in anger as he continued with the violence. Horus reeled momentarily confused. Sanguinius’ face had grown pale as an ancient ghost, his fangs jutting out bursting forth from his drawn lips. Horus struck back swinging the World Breaker down to crush his brother but the Angel leapt aside locking his arms around the torso. Lifting up he brought Horus down hard upon his armored knee shattering vertebrae then he cast him aside. His mouth clamped down upon the open neck, his fangs piercing through the throat. Chaos infused blood burst from the new wound spraying the wall. Horus wailed involuntarily from the hurt then Sanguinius felt the tip of the Emperor’s burning sword burst through his back. Casting the spent body of the traitor aside the Angel turned to look the Emperor eye to eye. "Why Father?"

Tuesday, October 10, 2017

BBF’s Review - Blade Runner 2049 (some spoilers)


If you haven’t seen the movie but plan to do so then STOP here. Also if you haven’t seen the original I highly recommend you watch it first. There is also the novel by the giant Philip K Dick that sheds even more insight into this dark tale if you want more background which I recommend as well. Dick wrote other epic sci-fi novels such as Man in the High Castle and Total Recall which both crossed over well into the film medium. I’ve read practically everything he wrote and consider him one of the greatest sci-fi writers ever.

The Good
I had read some reviews prior to watching the new movie this past weekend. It’s rated 98 on Rotten Tomatoes which is about as good as it gets over there and some critics proclaim it’s even better... I wouldn’t go that far though. It is roght on par with the original movie and greatly progresses the story line. While cinematography and CGI has a come a long way since the 1980s its the script and acting that carries the movie. The basic question posed by these films is "What is it to be human?".

The novel and films revolve around replicants whom are manufactured as super humans to serve mankind as slaves. You might want to ask yourself is this practice okay. On first glance of course the answer is no but it turns out replicants were originally devoid of any basic empathy which in turn means they are literally no better than serial killers and not to be trusted. Other replicants are eventually introduced such as Rachael from the first movie that appear to be empathic which in and of itself serves as a twist.

The LAPD has a number of specially trained tactical agents whom are tasked with hunting down rogue replicants and terminating them since they pose great risk to normal humans exposed to them. The main character in the first is Dekkard, portrayed by Harrison Ford, who is one of these agents whom are often referred to as Blade Runners. The main character in the second movie is K, portrayed by Ryan Gosling, and is also a replicant as well. There was much discussion following the first movie that asked the question is Dekkard also a replicant. Dekkard never demonstrated their super human strength but several times took a beating from known replicants such as the antagonist, Roy Batty portrayed by Rutger Hauer from the first movie, which would have surely snuffed a normal human... this query goes unanswered in my opinion. It should be noted that both Dekkard and K demonstrate empathy as well.

Dekkard eventually meets Rachael in the first movie whom is a very special replicant. The original replicants were designed with a fixed life span which served as a fail safe should any go rogue. Rachael however did not have a fixed life span and Dekkard fell in love with her which dramatically changed his life presumably for the better.

Towards the end of the first movie Dekkard finally succeeds in terminating four of the five rogue replicants returned to earth and has an epic showdown with Roy Batty. Batty gets the best of Dekkard but then ends up saving his life just prior to his own timed death which demonstrates he was actually capable of learning empathy, appreciating life for another.

The second movie revolves around K whom is tasked with terminating the child of Dekkard and Rachael... turns out the LAPD wants to cover it all up. There are other forces at play as well such as the neo corporation that now manufactures ’more stable’ replicants and a subversive group of existing replicants in hiding with their own secret agenda. Both of the latter groups want the child for their own means. K turns out to be one heck of a guy playing these forces against each other.

The Bad
To me the new movie is a HUGE success but didn’t do quite as well in terms of sales this opening weekend as originally projected which is a shame since this is what the nay sayers will continue to harp on as they are so wont to do (pennywise). I chalk that down to what current movie goers are looking for nowadays - giant robots, lots of explosions and sweaty boobies... heh. I didn’t think Hollywood could produce a sequel on this level and it’s sad to think it’ll go unappreciated by many. Well Thor and the Justice League are right around the proverbial corner so it’ll be back on track with the same ole same old soon enough so don’t sweat it if Blade Runner 2049 doesn’t quite float your boat. Blade Runner 2049 it turns out is a diamond in the rough so to speak.

The Ugly
There isn’t any really in my opinion. The new movie was everything I wanted plus even more. I don’t know if there’ll be a third movie, I’m just very thankful for this one.

Thursday, October 05, 2017

Black Legion Tactica Part 2


Hi everyone ! It’s BBF here to share some tactical insight into playing Chaos Space Marines a new way for 40k. Black Legion is known for their terminators and their very best were referred to as Justearin during the Horus Heresy and prior to that period of strife. Every Legion had access to terminators but there was something very special about the Justearin - they were true monsters back in the day. Many members of the Lupercalia rose up from these very ranks such as Abbadon and Horus always wore terminator plate in battle. Now the Justearin are known as Bringers of Despair, infused with daemonic possession, and that they do so well !

Horde armies are the new black so what better way to counter them than bringing a low model count super elite army ? The army I present has very solid shooting versus infantry-monsters-vehicles, excels in melee and has lots of nasty tricks up its sleeve. It can be easily countered if your opponent tailors specifically against it but it does well versus most anything else. I have a lot of experience playing the same type of army for Horus Heresy (30k) which I feel has converted well to straight into eighth edition 40k.

Here’s the army list I’ve been using ...

++ Vanguard Detachment +1 CP (Chaos - Chaos Space Marines) [114 PL, 1999pts] ++

+ No Force Org Slot +

Legion - Black Legion

+ HQ [20 PL, 398 pts] +

Abaddon the Despoiler

Sorcerer in Terminator Armour:
Mark of Tzeentch
Eye of Tzeentch
Psychic Powers - Death Hex & Warp Time
Combi-Bolter & Force Axe


+ Elites [56 PL, 867 pts] +

Chaos Terminators:
Mark of Khorne
Chaos Terminator Champion: Chain Fist & Combi-Bolter
Terminator: Combi-Bolter & Power Axe
Terminator: Combi-Bolter & Power Axe
Terminator: 2x Lightning Claw
Terminator: 2x Lightning Claw
Terminator: 2x Lightning Claw
Terminator: 2x Lightning Claw
Terminator: Heavy Flamer & Power Fist

Chaos Terminators:
Mark of Slaanesh
Chaos Terminator Champion: Combi-Bolter & Power Fist
Terminator: Combi-Melta & Power Fist
Terminator: Combi-Bolter & Power Fist
Terminator: Combi-Melta & Power Axe
Terminator: Heavy Flamer & Power Axe ü

Chaos Terminators:
Mark of Tzeentch
Chaos Terminator Champion & 2x Lightning Claw
Terminator: Combi-Melta & Power Axe
Terminator: Combi-Bolter & Power Axe
Terminator: Combi-Bolter & Power Axe
Terminator: Heavy Flamer & Power Fist

+ Heavy Support [38 PL, 734 pts] +

Chaos Land Raider:
Mark of Slaanesh
Havoc Launcher
Twin Heavy Bolter
2x Twin Lascannon

Chaos Land Raider:
Mark of Tzeentch
Havoc Launcher
Twin Heavy Bolter
2x Twin Lascannon

++ Total: [114 PL, 1999 pts] ++

You’ve got 6 command points total since Abbadon automatically grants 2 command points and another two since this list is Battle Forged. The two five man Chaos terminator squads each ride in a Chaos Land Raider while Abbadon, the Sorcerer and the eight man terminator squad all teleport onto the battlefield.


Small armies are inherently easy to play as you have less mental book keeping - they do require more skill though than blob armies so there is definitely a trade off but it can work for you in a winning way if you’ve got the stones to roll with an elite army like this one.

A basic tactic is to rush your opponent with the land raiders ferrying Chaos terminators while the deep striking units come in close to their line to disrupt. Casting Warp Time on the eight man Chaos terminator ensures a first turn charge... you can multi assault to prevent as many enemy units as possible without the Fly keyword from shooting their next turn. Smart opponents will deploy in such a manner to prevent you from deploying your deep striking units deep into their backfield so come in front of them on one flank bringing in the land raiders for close by support. Smart opponents will also bubble wrap their best units with chaff like conscripts but a unit like this can easily gut one blob on the charge... remember you can pop the Khornate stratagem to assault twice plus if Abbadon is within range they reroll all missed hits. Removing one large blob first turn and scoring First Blood is a big deal.

The Sorcerer is a big part of what makes this army grind opponents to dust therefore it’s vital to properly screen him with the land raiders so your opponent can’t pick him off easily their next turn during the shooting phase. Death Hex is one of the best psychic powers in the Chaos Space Marine codex versus armies that rely upon invulnerable saves for key units... it will absolutely wreck units like the Swarmlord and Canoptek Wraiths. Eye of Tzneetch helps to ensure you successfully cast Smite and furthers your odds to blowing out a super Smite for d6 mortal wounds.

Abbadon is one of the best melee units in the game and my third article will delve into how to get the most bang for your buck with the Despoiler.

Tuesday, September 26, 2017

Assassin - Part 28 - When Monsters Collide, Part II


Sanguinius reached up grasping the hood and flicked it back upon his shoulders. Long shiny golden locks spilled onto his black armor, his skin pearly white and his eyes blazed like a pair of perfect sapphires. "We have come at a precise and exact moment when there is a total perigee in the warp here. You cannot summon any daemons to your aid nor would any of your children answer your call now. You are the worst of us all, corrupted by your very own insubordinates. I do not come to challenge you Lorgar, we are here but to cleanse your stain."

The Black Templars had found ingress into the tainted chapel from various breaches. Surrounding the Daemon Prince they all trained their bolters and began to fire simultaneously finding their mark collectively. "Stasis shells." said the Angel. "They are forged from the depleted core of Uranium and quenched in the blood of only the most innocents." Lorgar felt the sudden weight of the many bolters punching into his warp hardened armor. He rushed towards the front to charge but the Templars quickly shifted back precisely maintaining a closed perimeter on the very edge of rapid fire range. Sanguinius stood behind them directing the attack.

"This holy weapon is sanctioned by the Ordo Malleus and was specifically designed to return you to your previous mortal state just prior to ascension." The Blood Angel spoke calmly and without emotion carefully watching as the bolters began to puncture the warp forged armor of Lorgar, some of the more intricate outer components meticulously once so crafted started to buckle and break away. "You will die as a mortal and no dark God will intervene in your behalf."

"I thought you came to fight." shouted Lorgar over the crashing din of bolter fire.

"This is a fight indeed." Sanguinius replied. "So many died so horribly due to your weakness and treachery. You deserve no better." The sonic burst of a Thunderhawk passing overhead pierced through the crash of bolter fire. More teams of Black Templars entered the fray adding their weight of fire. Lorgar screamed in frustration charging blindly in a random direction then another. A pauldron finally cracked open. More Templars crashed forward all training their weapons on the weak point as they continued to squeeze the triggers. As the first shell finally pierced his hide Lorgar felt the very first of his daemonic essence began to bleed away back into the warp. "No!"

"This is your rich reward brother, this is what you truly deserve." Sanguinius smiled briefly then drew the Black Sword. The blade shone truer than ever before cutting into the very fabric of real space bleeding the warp. "I have taken back the bits of my sword stolen by that cur of the Black Legion and distributed to his truculent sycophants. They are all dead now, everyone one of them and they all suffered truly horrid deaths, but none as horrid as yours will be." Again the Angel smiled. "What you see before you is a relic unlike any other ever before. You have never known this level of power. Your Crozius will be cast into a black hole never to be used again in this universe."

+++

Sanguinius stood over the wretched and broken form of Lorgar as the Black Templars watched in silence. The Angel stooped over grasping his skull, pulling the still defiant chin loose. Sanguinius then reached into a leather purse attached to his belt scooping out some sacred grey matter. "This is brain from Abbadon which you must now ingest." Sanguinius clutched Lorgar's throat hard as a vice and forcing Lorgar to choke then he shoved the grey matter down his throat. "You shall know the shame of Abbadon and then I will take your brain as well in turn collecting the death of every enemy at my hand."

Krætös complete

Primaris Captain - Brother Krætøs

Sunday, September 24, 2017

Aggressors finished !


The cables are a massive pain to assemble when building these Marines... ugggggh !

Wednesday, September 20, 2017

1st 8th edition 40k Batrep * Black Legion vs. Bad Moons


This is my first 40k batrep for eighth edition. I'm playing in a local league to meet other gamers here in San Diego; this was a practice game played during the past weekend. I decided to go with a single faction - Black Legion - from the new Chaos Space Marine codex, depicting their first company, Justearin terminators lead by Abbadon the Despoiler. I like the concept of playing a single faction, designing an army that fits its background. The army is very elite using the Vanguard detachment so I can field Chaos terminators for my infantry. It might not be the most competitive army out there but its relatively easy to play with some decent fire power and is very good in melee (the assault phase is still my favorite). The Legion traits for Black Legion are okay but Abbadon is what really makes this army work... the Despoiler really buffs the entire army if you keep all your units close to each other.


The mission was the new Eternal War No Mercy with First Blood, Slay the Warlord and Line Breaker for secondary objectives. Deployment was Spearhead Assault. My opponent was playing Bad Moons featuring a large squadron of Killa Kanz and a Morkanaught. He also had two large mobs of Boyz, some Gretchin, plenty of characters and some shooty ranged units such as zapp gunz and lobbaz.

Saturday, September 16, 2017

Wednesday, September 13, 2017

More Death Guard Incoming !!!

Assassin - Part 27 - When Monsters Collide


Two squads of Black Templars dropped from the dark sky using their jump packs to slow their descent. The air was acrid and burning coals blazed around the high Temple. They landed beside a rocky outcrop then waited. The Castellan Oathsbane fitted a pair of magnifiers to his visor and slowly scanned the immediate area. There was no sign of any life outside the black chapel. Rows upon rows of skulls had been nailed to the outer walls and large pieces of flesh parchment inked with forbidden script flapped in the hot wind. The magnifiers automatically zoomed in showing an open doorway before them but the Castellan could not see past the darkened ingress. Shadows played upon the ground like wild ghosts. "Move in." he ordered over the encrypted vox channel. Slowly and carefully the Templars came out from behind the boulders spreading out to surround the front side.

Two more squads had dropped in from behind the Temple taking the rear side. They could all hear the treacherous wind blow, stirring black soot and burnt ash. "Both insertion teams are in place." said the other Castellan Stronum.

"Be wary. This world is seeping in the warp." came a reply. "You stand before the Templum Inficio."

"I smell taint, treachery and many unseen things defiled." said Oathsbane as he armed his combi melta and activated his thunder hammer. A quick burst lit their thrusters and then they stood before the open Temple doors. "Non enim veni ut daemonium interficere." said Sanguinius standing behind them. "Urizen I can smell your deceit within this desecrated Mission, it betrays your abysmal presence. The time for meditation is over now. You must pay for your many sins against our father and the Imperium."

Something stirred within... a gigantic form covered in blazing red armor appeared from deep within the Temple. It carried a huge Crozius held in one hand. "It is I my fallen brother, returned from the black void and newly arisen."

"You are nothing more than a crazed apparition." came a hoarse voice then a deep laugh of contempt reverberated within the inner walls. "What is dead shall remain dead, so mote it be."

"Death comes to all, and it is your time now." the Angel replied. "You were always the weakest, always vainly seeking to show prowess that simply never existed. What I see is but a malignant canker." Sanguinius spat acid bile upon the floor burning the cobblestones.

"Drop that hood and show your face. This will not be easy for you." said Lorgar.