Friday, 31 December 2010

18: Tales of a Splinter Fleet

Game Eighteen: 1500 Points vs Salamanders

Hive Fleet Lyracian
Junior Prime w/ Swords, Toxic, Deathspitter & Regen
Hive Guard: 2 Broods x3
Zoanthropes x3
Mummy Tervigon w/ Catalysis, TS, AG, Talons
Aunty Tervigon w/ Catalysis, TS, AG, Talons
Termaguants: 2 Broods x10
Xenomorphs (Genestealers) x10
Tiny the Tyrannofex w/ Rupture Cannon, DL, CS

Salamanders Last Stand
Boiled Egg - Librarian Dallas and Beta Squads; Five Tacticals in Razorback
Bread roll - Alpha-Gravis; Five Tacticals w/ Missile Launcher
Bacon - Alpha-Pugnis; Five Man Tactical in Razorback w/ Flamer & Combi-flamer
Pancakes - Gamma & Delta Squads; Five Tacticals in Razorback
Maple Syrup - Epsilon Devestor Squad w/ Missiles
Inedible Rock - Predators XXI & XIX w/ Hvy Bolter Sponsons
Inedible Pebble - Two Typhoon Landspeeders
Inedible Stones - Armitage & Steel; Two Rifleman Dreadnought

Mission: Spearhead, Seize Ground (4 Objectives)

File: 798553/excom  Date: 0736998.M41
Subject: Species Record - Tyranids
Rating: Caucus Theta
Our expandability force had been sent to Ceti-Alpha VI to investigate strange energy reading that were belived to be from a missing star liner.  While investigating the ancient ruins discovered our scout speeder detected the advancing alien swarm skittering over the hills towards us from the south-east.  Ordering the troops back into their APC's we prepared to eliminate this minor threat before continuing with our mission.

Trooper Lambert designated tags to the larger creatures based on observed behaviour as they approached. The Mummy and Aunty monsters were seen to be spewing forth tiny gaunt's from eggs nestled between their chitinous plates as they charged into the ruins. Tiny, the hulking monster behind them, stopped on a hill giving it an excellent firing position over the ruins.

Master Dallas was able to suppress much of the psycic potential of Junior and his Zoanthrope entourage. However a single blast of warp lighting incinerated half of Epsilon squad while XIX was wrecked and XXI stunned by salvoes of cannon fire. All available artillery was used to obliterate the Zoanthropes while their power was nullified by Master Anderson.

The losses did not seem to effect the hive as Aunty shuffled into one of the ruins to lay more eggs. A continuing torrent of heavy weapon fire prevents several APC's & XXI from shooting however Armitage, Steel and the Typhoons are able to critically wound Mummy.

We had little time to celebrate this victory as Beta and Gamma squads were forced to go to ground following the destruction of their APC's. Bellowing with rage Mummy thundering into cover as her babies spread out wounding Epsilon squad with small arms. It seems that Mummy was feeling no pain as she shrugged off missile fire that found its way into the ruins.

XXI managed a single shot wounding Aunty before Tiny's cannon penetrated the hull and killed both crew. This monstrosities next two shots disabled Armitage and Steel who were valiantly trying to put down Mummy. Gamma Squad and Beta squad (along with Master Dallas) were overrun by gaunts with poison dripping from their fangs.

Mummy emerged from the ruins her loud screeching showing her dominance over the lesser Xenos as she rallied them for a final mighty charge against Delta Squad. To the north Aunty also hurled her babies into the fray against Alpha-Gravis. Both were supported by the hulking forms of the Hive Guard shooting down the Landspeeders.

Salamander expeditionary force eliminated six minutes after contact with Xenos. Battle data compiled from records recovered with the sole survivor, Dreadnought Steel, who has now been rebuilt and returned to service. Recommended cause of action - Nuke the planet from orbit. – Magos Biologis Alder Garrick.

Wednesday, 29 December 2010

Tyranid: Air Assault

With the arrival of Mycetic spore pods in the Tyranid Codex it is now possible to field an all reserve army. Every unit has Deep Strike, outflanking or other non-standard methods so that nothing has to join the battlefield from your own table edge.

Everything starts the game in reserves. The majority then arrived turn two with the aim of assaulting turn three. Therefore only giving the opponent a single turn of shooting before they are overwhelmed by all the threats.

Core Units
You need a Hive Tyrant with Wings, so he can Deep Strike, and Hive Commander for the bonus to reserves. Originally you wanted a pair however the official FAQ stopped Hive Commander stacking with itself so there is no point to a second Tyrant now. Our main anti-tank comes from Zoanthropes and the Spores they are travelling in. We also need some Gargoyles to act as a screening unit for the Tyrant. Two small units gives us some redundancy should one not arrive on time or die on impact.

For our troops we have Devilgaunts for their massed shooting (they kill an average five marines a turn); A Broodlord Commando team for surgical strikes; The ever popular Mummy to spew forth her babies.

Unlike my usual robust Nidzilla army this army is very dice dependent. You now only get 66% not 90% of your army on the second turn and have no control over which elements arrive. While they can not kill themselves on landing Pods and Trygons can still veer off course making them ineffective. That said I think it is going to be fun to play.

Army List: Air Assault @ 1500 Points
310 Hive Tyrant (Old Adversary, Hive Commander, Wings, TL Devs x2)
170 Zoanthropes x2 in Spore Pod w/ TL Deathspitter
170 Zoanthropes x2 in Spore Pod w/ TL Deathspitter
140 Deathleaper (Ymgarl Stealers or Parasite)
240 Termagants w/ Devourers x19 in Spore Pod w/ TL Deathspitter
200 Tervigon (Toxic,Adreanl,Catalysis,Talons) [Outflanking]
150 Broodlord (Toxic,Talons) & 5 Genestealers w/ Toxic
120 Gargoyles 2 Broods x10
12 Kills Points + Spawn. 45 Bugs, 6 Large Bugs, 2 Monsters & 3 Pods

Army List: Air Assault @ 2000 Points
310 Hive Tyrant (Old Adversary, Hive Commander, Wings, TL Devourers x2)
170 Zoanthropes x2 in Spore Pod w/ TL Deathspitter
170 Zoanthropes x2 in Spore Pod w/ TL Deathspitter
161 Ymgarl Genestealers x7
250 Termagants w/ Devourers x20 in Spore Pod w/ TL Deathspitter
225 Tervigon (Toxic,Adreanl,Catalysis,Regeneration) [Outflanking]
150 Broodlord (Toxic,Talons) & 5 Genestealers w/ Toxic
144 Gargoyle Brood w/ AG, TS x18
210 Tyrgon w/ Adrenal
210 Tyrgon w/ Adrenal
14 Kills Points + Spawn. 56 Bugs, 5 Large Bugs, 4 Monsters & 3 Pods

Options: Guns for Mycetic Spore Pods?
Usually I put Cluster Spines as the extra gun on Pods. However since this army is lacking in anti-tank I think the Deathspitter is better. It has the added advantage that, since Pods must fire every turn, it can not scatter back and hit your own troops.

Options: Deathleaper, Ymgarls or Parasite?
This is the spot in the army that I am not really sure about until I have played some games. At low-points Deathleaper helps by dropping Psi Hoods down from 42% to 17% chance of stopping the Zoanthropes shooting. His pheromone trail can also help any unit that did not arrive turn two (assuming he did). His ability to go back into reserves means he can try and contest an objective late game. Ymgarls get to assault the turn they arrive but are limited to area terrain. Which can be a problem depending on the battlefield. The Parasite boosts up a unit of Gargoyles, his claws can kill tanks and creating free units never hurts. Alternatively I could also drop Regeneration and this unit entirely and take a third Trygon...

Options: Trygon, Raveners or Skrikes?
The advantage of Trygons is their ability to tear apart tanks. The weakness is vulnerability to meltas, missiles and power fists. Also since I do not own any Trygons I would have to proxy them with Carnifex or use alternatives. A Trygon for 210 Points cost the same as a unit of six Raveners or five Shrikes. So either could be a good replacement? Both bring more wounds to the table, although at Toughness 4 they are easier to kill and neither has safe Deep Striking.

Hive Tyrant Pictures from T-Shirt logo from

Tuesday, 28 December 2010

Recycling old Toys

I am a believer in recycling. It is good for the environment and O.K. for you. I apply the principles to my hobbies as well. When I stop playing one game I tend to sell off toys I will not be needing anyone and use the cash to invest in my new passion. Before Wizkids went bust I played a lot of Heroclix. Whilst the game has been re-released no one seems that interested in it any longer so I sold off my rare and powerful pieces and invested the cash into tanks for my Space Marines. Shopping around on ebay I get tanks for less than £10 each so I was able to get three Predators with just a single Batman figure. I also picked up some spare turrets, Rhinos and Las/Plas Razorbacks.

New Biomass for the Hive Mind
My friend is not impressed by this years Tyranid Codex, in fact he would rather play Necrons! He gave me about £150 of stuff for nothing, so I gave him some Space Marine tanks I did not want. I got a Hive Tyrant; Carnifex; 6 Warriors; Zoanthrope; a Score of Genestealers and a dozen Termagants. Now one third of my army is painted red, one third green and one third unpainted. I just have to decide which colour scheme I am going to go with...

Turning Pearls into Diamonds
I started playing Magic the Gathering (MTG) in June 1994 with the release of the Legends set. I have dipped in and out of the game for the last sixteen years.  Early on I manage to get some of the very early cards that now sell for over £100 each! Since their not Tournament legal for the Legacy format I play it really was time to get rid of them.  So I have exchanged my Mox Pearl for four Mox Diamonds and twenty other cards.  Mostly for my Black 'Eva Green' deck and a few foils for the wife's Fire & Lightning Deck.

Saturday, 6 November 2010

Happy Warhammer-day Tyler!

Last weekend was my friend Tyler's 40th birthday. So he got together with Will, James and myself for a day of Warhammer. We booked a couple of tables at our local shop Tabletop Tyrant . We decided to play the same mission on each table and rolled for random opponents; first round was Dwarves vs Undead and Empire vs Empire.

From behind the curtain Shareth watched the Baron. Despite being completely in her thrall he still had a commanding presence. She watched as he marshalled the troops and prepared their commanders for tomorrows battle. If only the assassins blade had found its mark! His accursed younger brother had escaped from the castle only a week ago and already men flocked to his banner. For centuries she had plotter her revenge for the death of her father at the families hands. She was not going to let one whelp ruin her plans now. She felt the blood lust rising. She could feel the heartbeats across the room; pounding in her head like a drum. All she wanted to do was stride out into the council chamber and tear the Barons throat out and drink his hot warm blood. She turned away and walked down the passage way calling for the servant girl to bring her some wine. What did one more corpse matter now. No one would find it until after they had left anyway...

The young boy knelt before Thane Oakenshield. He raised his head slightly and looked up at him. “Rowthan told me you were wise oh Thane. For the honour of your fathers-father as well as mine I beseech thee to join me on the field of battle tomorrow. Let the blood of our clans flow together for freedom else the shadow of the pale moon will fall across us all”. Men of both races cheered as, after a moments thought, the Thane nodded at the wise words he had heard from the young human in front of him. “Rise Baron, for I recognise that title belongs to you, together we will see of this interloper and restore justice to the land.”

Forces of Wytch-Queen Shareth the Heartstealer @1500 points
Shareth - Lvl 4 Vampire Magic, Helm of Command, 4+ Ward
Wight King Morkin Great Weapon (the Battle Standard), Crown (4+ Ward, Stupid)
30 Skeletons with Command & Banner of Hellfire (Flaming Swords)
10 Skeletons with Command & Lichbone Banner.
30 Grave Guard with Great Weapons, Command and Banner of Barrows (+1 to hit)
Five Black Knights of Nee!

Game One: vs Dwarves
Battle for the Pass
Dwarven Army: Thane, Oath Stone, Great Weapon (General)
Thane, BSB & Runesmith, GW, Rune of Spellbreakng
Two regiments of Warriors with Shields & Full Command
Two regiments of Hammer-men, one with Full Command
10 Thunderers
5 Slayers
Grudge Thrower, & Bolt Thrower

Deployment: Avoiding the mysterious woods the Dwarven regiments set up in a line to the north-east with both war machines and thunders on the two hills to the east. Undead lined up in the west facing them.

Turn One: The Undead marched forward. Scattering the enchanted teeth onto the ground Shareth summoned a horde of Zombies and used the danza macabre to manoeuvre them into combat with a regiment of warriors. The Slayers charged into the Zombies flanks while the other regiments marched forward. The stone thrower dropped a rock on its own head and the bolt thrower killed one of the knights, another was shot to pieces by the thunderers.

Turn Two: The Knights charged into the Warriors flanks while Morkin marched the Grave Guard forward and reformed ready to engage the Dwarves. Unfortunately Shareth's power deserted her (failed the first spell) so the dance of death did not get him into combat. This gave the Dwarves the advantage as they were able to sweep away the zombies and charge into the knights finishing them off. Morkin was also charged by Warriors and Hammer-men.

Turn Three: The skeleton horde failed to charge so Shareth had to waste power dancing them into melee. Unfortunately the Runesmiths power was strong and he countered most of her other spells. Morkin and his men wiped out the smaller Hammer-man regiment.

Turn Four: As the battle grew desperate Shareth charged into combat slaughtering the rest of the slayers and restoring the Grave Guard. She was then charged by the Thane and his hammer-men and forced to flee the battle (combat resolution damage). Morking was left to watch in horror as his unit crumbled around him even though he was able to sent the last of the warriors fleeing the battle.

Turn Five & Six: Surprisingly Morkin and his Guard managed to make it through two more turns before dying! He killed the Battle Standard Bearer and the Runesmith in this time but was finally lain the rest by the Thane. Meanwhile the forces of light were crushed by the forces of Shadow in the Empire civil war.

Game Two: vs Empire
A Chance encounter
Empire Army: Combat Lord, Lvl 2 Fire Mage (Fireball & Shield), Lvl 2 Beast Mage
Two regiments of Spearmen, two regiments of crossbows
Two troops of Outriders
Steam Tank & Cannon

Deployment: With the spearmen and one mage in reserve (due to mission rules) the empire set up the Steam Tank in the centre with outriders flanking it. The Cannon set up on the northern edge with crossbowmen on the North-western hill. Shareth and her skelital bodyguard started facing the steam tank. Since the Grave Guard were in reserves Morkin was leading 30 Skeletons protecting her eastern flank with Knights to her west.

Turn One: I won the roll to start (needing a six) so the guard marched onto the field of battle. The Knights failed to charge and two men were sent back to the grave from the outriders stand and shoot. On the other flank Morkin marched his men towards the other Outriders. Summoning her necromantic powers Sharath raised a score of zombies and danced them into combat with the tank. Her attempts to surge Morkin's men into combat were thwarted.

The spearmen marched forward flanking the cannon along with the second regiment of crossbowmen and the Fire-mage. Shareth easily countered the Fireball he tried to summon The Beastmaster toughened the Outriders who promptly shot down a few of Morkin's minions. The rest of the shooting concentrated on Shareth's bodyguard in an attempt to eliminate the Wytch-Queen. Unfortunatly the cannon misfired. The steam tank burnt the zombies down so only two remained.

Turn Two: With only three bodyguards left Shareth joined the advancing Guard. Morkin and the Knights both charged into combat with outriders. Raising the dead Sharath returned her skeletal bodyguards to full strength and created more zombies to fight the tank. She also drained the life from the empire army creating a ghost in the process who attacked the steam tank. Eastern outriders were slain; those in the west lost half there number and fled. Empire shooting killed the knights and few more skeletons. The mighty steam engine was able to obliterate the zombies, but could do nothing to effect the ghost. Shareth easily countered the feeble efforts of the Empire magicians to effect the battle.

Turn Three: In the western flank skeletons charged the crossbowmen. Shareth charged into combat with the Lord and his retinue of spear-men. Morkin failed to charge into the crossbowmen on the eastern flank but a surge of necromantic power pushed him the final steps. Shareth used the rest of her power to replenish her regiments to full strength. Morkin slew the Fire-mage and scattered his men to the winds. Shareth caused the Lord to flee and she surged forward into combat with the other spear-men. These were then slain and she pursued back into battle with the opposing Lord. With both mages dead and only the canon and fleeing outriders unengaged there was little the Empire army could do.

Turn Four: It looked like a complete massacre as Shareth lead her Guard into combat with the Lord and Morkin charged the Cannon. Unfortunately the magic phase turned against the necromancer. She was sucked into the warp and half the Grave Guard were killed! Fortunately the Guard were still able to extinguish the life of the last few Spearmen; Morkin killed the Cannon; the other unit of Skeletons finished the remaining troops.

Turn Five & Six: As Shareth's spirit fled back to its phylactery her minions just had to survive crumbling and a few shots from the Steam Tank (ghosts were dead). Amazingly the Skeletal bodyguard unit did really well rolling 2,3 and 6 for its three leadership tests giving the Undead their first win!

Meanwhile the Dwarves struggled against Shadow magic finding too many of there number were sucked into the abyss. The final standing for the day was

First – James; Shadow Empire (2 Wins)
Second – Tyler; Dwarves (1 Win)
Third – Michael; Vampire Counts (1 Win)
Fourth – Will; Empire (0 Wins)

Monday, 25 October 2010

16 & 17: Tales of a Splinter Fleet

Goodbye old Friend!
My first month at university has been very busy.  Unfortunately before I got a chance to post up my last two Tyranid games my computer decided to fry itself.  I lost the outline write up of both games along with all the photos, and all the software I had installed on the computer.  Since I do not have the time to write them all up again I am just going to post the highlights.

Game Sixteen: 1750 Points vs Ultramarines
Dawn of War, Seize Ground (5 Objectives)
I played double Dakka Tyrant list and Red Orc played his usual Chaplain lead foot marines.
Chaplain and assault marines spent a whole turn fighting the Tervigon with no wounds being inflicted before Daddy stomped over and won the battle. On the other side of the table the Terminators were giving me trouble. Six of them killed Junior even with only having Weapon Skill one! Start of turn five saw the marines only having 5 Marines (2 Devs w/ ML, 2 Tacs with ML and one with Bolter) and 5 Terminators left. I held three objectives. By the end of the turn Mummy was dead and the Terminators had overrun a second objective so I just scrapped a 1-0 victory.

Game Seventeen: 1750 Points vs Orks
Spearhead, Capture and Control.
Expecting a lot of melee I took Swarmlord & a Dakka Tyrant. Orks seized the initiative and rolled the battle wagons forward. Deffcopotors put three wounds on Mummy and a few gaunts died. After that the green tide was turned. Tyranid shooting destroyed both wagons and a Khan then steamrollered forward throught boys and mega-nobs. Genestealers arived turn three and eat the looters then ate the Nobs on the objective turn four. At the end of turn four the Orks had a Warboss, one Deffcoptor (fleeing), One Kill-Khan (Immobile, no gun). I had only lost a unit of Hive guard, some cannon fodder gaunts. Mummy had even managed to regenerate her wounds! Since I had both objectives we did not both playing turn five. 2-0 win for the hive mind.

Sunday, 24 October 2010

Undead Project: Raising the Dead

Horde of Zombies!
My wife is at work; My 1500 word paper is written; Cassandra is playing with her train set. I actually have a few hours to play with my toy soldiers! Of course by the time I had got myself set up on the table, my assistant has given up playing trains and is trying to hack one of the sprues apart with the pliers...

Mantic's Zombies
Each sprue has parts for three full zombies and two bits allowing you do make four possible zombies from each sprue. There are 10 sprues in a box although I had an extra one as an appology for a shipping error they made. Mantic had said the zombies would be compatible with their ghoul range so I decided to see about mixing a few ghoul parts into the horde and see if I could make forty zombies from a single box.

Sadly the size of the hip joints on the ghouls is not quite the same as the zombies so the parts do not mix very well together. At least the meat cleaver and other spare weapons from the ghouls where useful in adding some extra variety to the zombies. I found I loved the style of the 'legless' zombie pulling itself along the ground so much that there were still a couple of pairs of legs left when I had finished. Since I still had some spinal columes I just made more! So I finished with 42 zombies.

Pictures of the infantry
I made one zombie who was missing a head and in the process of putting in back on. His buddies can be seen in the background lurching around. To help with the limited number of poses I used a craft knife and repositioned some of the arms at shoulder or elbow.

These are the two ghoul torsos together with a group of spinal-tap zombies. The ghouls have zomibe head and hands to help them fit in to the group. Also pictures is my zombie champion rebuilding himself from bits after having lost a fight. You can not see it in the photo but there are some severed hands crawling along with the spinal-tap zombies.

Here you can see the extra weapons added; meat cleaver; dagger; rake-hand, together with a row of legless zombies. As well as the champion above I made six of these crawling minions.

The last of the shambling horde. Corpse at the back is holding up a second head that is looking around for its body. The way the parts combine means some of these are really hunched over. Fortunately with a half-zombies in front of them they still rank up.

I pre-ordered the zombie horde when they were advertised as a box of 50. Since they then changed the size to 60 and with half-zombies you could make a possible 80. I therefore sold off my second box as I did not need that many! In the end I spent £14 on a box, which with the free sprue made me 40 zombies; which equates to 0.35p per zombie!

I would say that pushing a single 'thirty zombie' box all the way to 40 models is a bit of a stretch since you would end up with a lot of spinal-tap zombies. I would expect most people to get 35 models from a box. The extra models are great for raising the dead in WHFB but not much use for Mantic's own KoW rules (they have fixed unit sizes) unless you buy six boxes to get enough spares for a whole regiment.

Sunday, 10 October 2010

Uppsala Legion

My friends Ultramarine army is still very much a third edition gun-line. Sadly this is not that effective with the latest fifth edition game rules. Ultramarines still have a few nice options, mostly involving tanks, however Space Wolves and Blood Angels do foot armies better. So we are relaunching the marines as the Uppsala Legion, from the planet Schveeden!

The Ultramarines @ 1750
Chaplain with Jump Pack leading Assault Marines with Fist & Flamers
Terminators x10 with two heavy weapons
3 Tactical Squads with Flamer, Missiles & Fist in Rhinos
Devastator Squad with 4 Missile Launchers
11+ Kill Points; 10 Terminators, 46 Marines, 4 Vehicles

Two main problems have been hampering the army. First the Dreadnought, being the only armour, just dies too quickly. Secondly they just get raped by psychic powers. The answer to both these problems is to replace the Dreadnought with a Librarian in Terminator armour. We would have to drop an upgrade from one of the units to get his armour; however since we are converting to Space Wolves what we drop does not matter at the moment. So our aim today is to convert the army to use the Wolf codex without buying any extra models. There is going to be a few bits of extra wargear that we are going to have to kitbash

Uppsala Legion - Phase One
First of all we just want to convert the units over as closely as we can to the Space Wolf units. A like for like conversion gives a few things to consist. With the loss of combat squads we have to decide now if we want five or ten man troop units. Grey Hunters also lack any heavy weapon options. While this makes them better on the move you lack the option of leaving a missile launcher with four ablative wounds guarding the home objective. If however you add a Wolf Guard squad leader he can bring Cyclone missiles. Not only does this mean you get two shots per turn but you can move and fire as well. We will take thirty marines as troops and organise them into four squads.

Rune Priest would most likely take Lighting and Hurricane. The first can take care of light armour and monsters the second deals with hordes and slows their movement. Jaws is also worth considering (especially if you know your opponent is going to be playing Tyranids).

1750 Uppsala Legion
130 Rune Priest with Terminator Armour, Chooser of the Slain
135 Wolf Priest with Jump Pack, Wolftooth Necklace
460 Terminator Wolf Guard x8 with Power Fist x4, Wolf Claw x4
190 Wolf Guard x4 w/ Combi-melta x4, Rhino
220 Grey Hunters x10 w/ Melta x2, Power Weapon, Wulfen Mark, Rhino
215 Grey Hunters x10 w/ Flamer x2, Power Weapon, Wulfen Mark, Rhino
75 Grey Hunters x5 w/ Flamer & Wolf Guard Sgt in Terminator Armour w/ CML & Wolf Claw
75 Grey Hunters x5 w/ Flamer & Wolf Guard Sgt in Terminator Armour w/ CML & Wolf Claw
110 Skyclaws x5 with Flamer, Power Weapon
140 Long Fangs x6 with 5x Missiles & Wolf Guard Sgt in Terminator Armour w/ CML
13 Kill Points; 12 Terminators, 46 Marines, 3 APC's

In the above list the unit cost for the Wolf Guard includes the men reassigned as leaders. Since this is done at the start of the game you do not have to attach them to other units. We still have three squads in APC's that can surge forward while leaving two scoring units protecting our home base. We are also still able to fire eleven missiles a turn. We have lost out on power fists (both the number and units with them). However the Wolves have a lot more flamer and melta weapons as well as shear volume of melee attacks.

Uppsala Legion - Phase Two
There is a second Devastator Squad in the army case and since Long Fangs are so good we might as well use them; also Skyclaws do not really help that much. This time around we have replaced the Skyclaws with Long Fangs and used the points remaining to boost the Wolf Guard unit since the Wolf Priest will now be leading them.

1749 Uppsala Legion
130 Rune Priest with Terminator Armour, Chooser of the Slain
110 Wolf Priest with Wolftooth Necklace
460 Terminator Wolf Guard x8 with Power Fist x4, Wolf Claw x4
229 Wolf Guard x8 w/ Power Fist & Combi-Flamer x2, Pistol & Sword x6 in Rhino
220 Grey Hunters x10 w/ Melta x2, Power Weapon, Wulfen Mark, Rhino
220 Grey Hunters x10 w/ Melta x2, Power Weapon, Wulfen Mark, Rhino
75 Grey Hunters x5 w/ Flamer & Wolf Guard Sgt in Terminator Armour w/ CML & Wolf Claw
75 Grey Hunters x5 w/ Flamer & Wolf Guard Sgt in Terminator Armour w/ CML & Wolf Claw
115 Long Fangs x5 with 4x Missiles
115 Long Fangs x5 with 4x Missiles
13 Kill Points. 11 Terminators, 49 Marines, 3 APC's

I like this configuration better. Twelve missiles split between six targets each turn is a decent amount of long range dakka. The Terminators act as a hammer unit support by three APC's full of marines. I am not sure if the Grey Hunters would be better off with Flamer & Melta; I just like having the double shot as it is so annoying when a single melta misses.

Saturday, 9 October 2010

Mantic Open Day

Today we got to visit Mantic Towers in Nottingham and meet the talent behind the toy solider company. The show was across two floors. The first floor had two gaming tables for learning to play Kings of War as well as tables to meet the sculptor and artists. The second floor was the store together with a couple of display cases. I got to see some work in progress on the Ork army (due out next spring) as well as seeing one of the new plastic-resin Knights and WWII Zombies!

Dwarf King

Plastic-resin Knight
I asked Ronnie about these. Apparently the resin plastic is a half way product between metal and normal plastic. Ten Knights should cost £20

WWII Zombies
Warlord plastic nazis with Mantic zombie parts. A new idea they are working on.

Lich King raising a minion

Ork Warrior - Work in progress

Ork boar rider - Work in progress

Skeleton Archers
These are half metal/half plastic figures to keep the cost down. They are using the same plastic legs as the other undead models with a metal body.

Kings of War(hammer)

Kings of War is Mantics own war-gaming rules system. It has been written by Alessio Cavatore (the man behind 5th Edition Warhammer 40k). I got to play one game with my friend; who was so impressed with both the figures and game he went and purchased the Dwarf army afterwards! The game design is very similar to its main rival - Warhammer Fantasy. It is a turn based system with each player having a Movement, Shooting and Melee phase. Troops are organised into ranked units with individual characters roaming around separately.

The main difference with the game is how damage is resolved. Instead of removing models as a unit takes damage you use tokens, or dice, to track the total damage. Then the unit takes a Nerve test (similar to a Warhammer morale test) with a modifier based on the total damage inflicted. This means that a unit could brake having only taken a couple of points of damage or it could stay steadfast with twenty wounds (and a roll of snake eyes). In our practice game it took my Elven King three turns to kill a regiment of Dwarfs, but my Knights crumbled with only three points of damage. The game took ten turns with the last couple of them being just the characters battling it out as all the troops, and war machines, were dead. The game was very fast paced and even with us learning as we played only took a half hour.

Saturday, 25 September 2010

Tyranid Etymology

The Tyranid Threat
Since our first sporadic contacts with Genestealers there have been many misconceptions associated with them. We first thought they were indigenous to the moons of Ymgarl, later this was determined to be in err and subsequently a xenocide campaign was conducted on said moons. When the Tyranid hivefleets came upon the Imperium, the creatures were named in relation to the first notable plant to fall before their advance, the exploratory station of Tyran. – Draco Legion Biomedical Reserch station: NewHallefuss

Origin of the Species
Most of the Tyranid organisms in the Warhammer 40k universe have been given Latin or Greek names. This makes them sound more exotic and fits with the general use of Latin by the Imperium. I can not really take credit, beyond compilation, for this etymology as it is all taken from other websites, particually Wiktionary.

Biovore – This suffix comes from the Latin vorare (to devour), and is used to form nouns indicating what kind of a diet an animal has. From Ancient Greek βίος (“life”). Therefore, a biovore eats life.

Carnifex – The public executioner at Rome who put slaves and foreigners to death. It was also his business to administer torture. This office was considered so disgraceful, that he was not allowed to reside within the city.

Gargoyle – The term 'gargoyle' was derived from French gargouille meaning 'throat', which originated from the Latin gurgulio meaning 'gullet'. Gargoyles were used to decorate buildings, and to provide a spout for rainwater run-off. A decorative carved grotesque winged figure on a building. There is also a French legend about a dragon-like monster called Gargouille.

Gaunt – Meaning lean, angular and bony

Harridan – Modification of French haridelle (“old horse, nag”).

Harpy – Greek Mythology. One of several loathsome, voracious monsters with the head and trunk of a woman and the tail, wings, and talons of a bird

Hierodule – From the Greek "temple" + "female slave"), was a temple slave in the service of a specific deity, often with the connotation of religious prostitution.

Hierophant – From ancient Greece is an interpreter of sacred mysteries and arcane principles.

Hormagaunt – A legendary undying monster that steals children and lives on the supposedly mythical planet Thamber in the Killing Machine (1964) a science fiction novel by Jack Vance. The only real world reference is Hormah (meaning "devoted to destruction") in the Bible. Numbers 21:3 – And the LORD hearkened to the voice of Israel, and delivered up the Canaanites; and they utterly destroyed them and their cities: and he called the name of the place Hormah.

Lictor – Perhaps derived from the Latin verb ligare (to bind), because the lictors had to bind the hands and feet of criminals before they were punished. They were a member of a special class of Roman civil servant, with special tasks of attending and guarding magistrates. They carried axes that symbolized the power to execute. So this would probable have been a beter name for Tyrant Guard father than a chameleon assassin.

Malefactor – A criminal. From Latin male (“ill”) + facere (“to do”).

Morloc – Maw is from Indo-European *mak- ‘bag, belly’. The upper digestive tract, especially mouth and jaws, or a perilous opening. Loc from Latin locus, meaning place or location. There is also Morlocks who are a fictional species created by H. G. Wells for his 1895 novel, The Time Machine.

Mycetic Spore – From the Greek and Latin roots, -mycete means fungus and from ancient Greek spora, “seed, a sowing”). Also a thick resistant particle produced by a bacterium to survive in harsh or unfavourable conditions (in this case dropping from orbit onto a planets surface).

Norn Queen – In Norse mythology) Norns are any of the three goddesses of fate or destiny.

Narvhal – Closest I can find is the Narwhal (a small arctic whale).  Given that the Narvhal is a space-whale I suspect this is where it is from.

Parasite of Mortrex – May come from the latin word "mortis" meaning death and “rex” meaning king. If only he had Eternal Warrior he might manage to be the King of death!

Pyrovore – This suffix comes from the Latin vorare (to devour), and is used to form nouns indicating what kind of a diet an animal has. From Latin pyr “fire”. Therefore, a pyrovore eats fire.

Ravener – From medieval French raviner 'rush, seize by force', itself from ravine 'rapine', from Latin rapina 'plundering, loot', itself from rapere 'seize, plunder, abduct'. plunder; food obtained by violence.

Shrike – Any of various birds which are known for their habit of catching other birds and small animals and impaling the uneaten portions of their bodies on thorns

Tyrannid – A passerine (perching or song) bird of the suborder Tyranni.

Termagant – In Medieval Europe, Termagant was the name given to a god that the Europeans believed Muslims worshipped. Centuarys later because of its use in theatre the term came to refer to a bullying person particularly to a quarrelsome, scolding woman. In Jack Vance's 1962 book The Dragon Masters, a subspecies is the man-sized termagant.

Trygon – Any one of several species of large sting rays. Who are capable of inflicting excruciating wounds with their venomous tail spines.

Trannofex – From the Greek words τυράννος (tyrannos, meaning "tyrant") + fex (from facere, to make or do). Literally “Maker or bringer of Tyranny”. Not quite sure how this big dumb monster makes it though…

Venomthrope – Venom is a toxic secretion in animals that is actively delivered to the target organism, either to paralyse or incapacitate. from Latin venēnum, poison + Greek anthrop- man. Literally meaning a poisonous man or person.

Zoanthrope – The word zoanthropic (Origin: Greek. Animal + man) is a descriptive term for a mental disorder in which people believe themselves to be animals. Zoanthropy kind of monomania, or delusion, in which patients are convinced that they have been transformed into an animal.

Now it has become impossible to tell where the Tyranid warrior ends and its weapon symbiotes begin. I think we can be assured that the Norn Queens will continue to work tirelessly towards forms more and more perfectly adapted for killing the inhabitants of this galaxy just as they have in others before ours. Simply put, over the coming centuries we may be out-evolved to the point of extinction. – Magos Biologis Alder Garrick

Tuesday, 21 September 2010

Mathhammer for the Hive Mind

I actually enjoy doing mathematical analysis to see how efficient different units are. Dice can be fickle but the more dice you roll should bring you closer to the mean. Not that this helps my constantly under-performing Tervigon. This page is intended as a mathematical reference for Tyranid players and I shall be adding more analysis (and formatting) later.

Calculus for Hive Tyrants
Pythagoras' Theorem will help with guessing ranges but beyond that maths will not win you games. What it will do is help you to know what performance to expect from your army. Of course knowing that your Hive Guard should kill three Rhinos in a six turn game does not help if they underperform for the first three turns.

Tyanid Ranged Anti-Tank
Here is the chance each unit has of opening a tin can. I have calculated the probability of dealing with armour in a single shooting phase. I have chosen to display this as a percent since 66% reads much better than 0.66.

First three columns are the chance to Immobilise or Kill AV 14, 13 & 12.
Next two are killing AV 11 & 10. The last column is to the chance to stun AV 12.
Anti-Tank . . . .Immob+ . .Immob+ . Immob+ . Kill . . Kill . . . .Stun+
. . . .VS . . . . .AV14 . . . .AV13 . . . AV12 . . . AV11 . . AV10 . . AV12
3 Zoanthropes . 66.51% . 66.51% . 66.51% . 61.35% . 66.51% . 88.18%
3 Hive Guard .. 10.61% . 36.98% . 56.53% . 50.67% . 61.79% . 91.22%
2 Hive Guard .. 07.20% . 26.50% . 42.61% . 37.57% . 47.34% . 80.25%
T-fex – Rupture 18.50% . 25.85% . 32.85% . 25.85% . 30.56% . 65.97%
HVC . . . . . . . . 02.89% . 05.78% . 08.67% . 05.78% . 7.22% . 26.00%
Harpy TL HVC . . 03.78% . 07.56% . 11.33% . 07.56% . 09.44% . 34.00%
Stranglethorn . . 00.00% . 00.00% . 01.44% . 02.89% . 05.78% . 08.67%
TL Deathspitterx2.0.00% .00.00% . 00.00% . 00.00% . 22.54% . 00.00%
TL Brainleech . . 00.00% . 00.00% . 00.00% . 11.87% . 22.54% . 55.12%
TL Brainleechx2.00.00% . 00.00% . 00.00% . 22.33% . 39.99% . 79.86%
Mycetic Spore . 00.00% . 00.00% . 00.00% . 05.43% . 10.61% . 29.03%
3xLictor FHooks 05.43% . 10.61% . 15.55% . 08.05% . 15.55% . 40.67%
For Comparison -
Marine Lascanx2.14.27% . 24.25% . 33.61% . 27.43% . 33.61% . 69.14%

Carnifex/Trygon Vs Fast Tank (6's to hit)
SK = Screamer-Killer, AG = Adrenal Glands. Claws assumed +2 Attacks
. . . . . . . . . . .Immob/Kill Imm/Kill.Imm/Kill . . Kill . . . Kill . . . Stun+
. . . . . . . . . . .AV14. . . .AV13 . . . AV12 . . AV11 . . . AV10 . . AV12
AG-Trygon . . .. 40.79% . 50.74% . 57.81% . 61.45% . 65.22% . 87.22%
Trygon . . . . . .29.91% . 40.79% . 50.74% . 55.89% . 61.45% . 82.54%
SK-AG-Fex . . .. 50.60% . 53.74% . 55.62% . 56.35% . 56.35% . 83.85%
Skreamer-Killer .46.02% . 50.60% . 53.74% . 55.25% . 56.35% . 82.84%
Dakka-Fex . . . .27.88% . 31.09% . 33.35% . 34.46% . 35.28% . 58.68%
Claw-Fex . . . . 36.72% . 40.62% . 43.33% . 44.65% . 45.61% . 70.99%
Claw/Talon-Fex . 41.54% . 45.77% . 48.69% . 50.09% . 51.13% . 76.93%

Carnifex/Trygon Vs Tank (4+ to hit) Same assumptions as above.
. . . . . . . . . . .Immob/Kill Imm/Kill.Imm/Kill . . Kill . . . Kill . . . Stun+
. . . . . . . . . . .AV14. . . .AV13 . . . AV12 . . AV11 . . . AV10 . . AV12
AG-Trygon .. . 74.44% . 84.82% . 90.42% . 92.74% . 94.76% . 99.90%
Trygon . . . . . 59.63% . 74.44% . 84.82% . 89.04% . 92.74% . 99.58%
SK-AG-Fex . . . 85.77% . 88.46% . 89.92% . 90.46% . 90.46% . 99.90%
Skreamer-Killer.81.28% . 85.77% . 88.46% . 89.64% . 90.46% . 99.85%
Dakka-Fex . . . 65.09% . 70.24% . 73.59% . 75.15% . 76.27% . 96.42%
Claw-Fex . . . .77.09% . 81.68% . 84.50% . 85.76% . 86.65% . 99.05%
Claw/Talon-Fex .82.66% . 86.80% . 89.24% . 90.31% . 91.05% . 99.72%

Charging Monsters
Number of Hits (not Wounds) when Charging WS 4 Infantry.
So here is the math for various Carnifex builds and a Trygon. Keeping a single Talon turned out to give better results than I expected...
Claws assumes +2 Attacks
Carnifex with .. .0 . . . . . .1 . . . . . .2 . . . . . 3 . . . . .4 . . . . . .5 . . . . .6 . . . . .7
Dakkafex . . . . 03.13% . 15.63% . 31.25% . 31.25% . 15.63% . 03.13% . 00.00% . 00.00%
Screamer-Killer 00.10% . 01.46% . 08.79% . 26.37% . 39.55% . 23.73% . 00.00% . 00.00%
Gun/Talon . . . .01.26% . 08.79% . 24.62% . 34.46% . 24.12% . 06.75% . 00.00% . 00.00%
Claws/Gun . . . 00.78% . 05.47% . 16.41% . 27.34% . 27.34% . 16.41% . 05.47% . 00.78%
Claw/Talon . . .00.22% . 02.14% . 08.97% . 20.94% . 29.30% . 24.63% . 11.49% . 02.30%
Trygon . . . . . 00.00% . 00.00% . 00.03% . 00.37% . 03.00% . 14.39% . 38.37% . 43.85%

Screamer-Killer is getting 4+ hits 63.28% of the time.
Claw-fex . . . . is getting 4+ hits 50.00% of the time, 6+ hits 06.25% of the time.
Trygon . . . . . is getting 4+ hits 99.60% of the time, 6+ hits 82.21% of the time.