Sunday, 29 May 2011

Grey Knights vs Ultramarines

Game 1: 1500 Points vs Ultramarines
Scenario - Capture & Control (4 objectives), Spearhead deployment

With the new codex I can no longer add my two squads of Knights into my Ultramarine force. They have to be played as a faction in their own right. Only having 25 Knights I do not have enough Psycannons for a full army so I proxied them with missile launchers and power-gauntlets for the Hammers. I at least had some time this week to to start work on my Riflemen arms so the Dreads were correctly armed.

Grey Knights @1500
Castellan Crowe in the Henchmen's Razorback w/ Psi ammo
Cardinal Ximinez, Inquisitor; Power Armor, Psychotroke, Rad grenades, 3 Survo-Skulls
Mega-City Judges (Warriors) x3 with a Meltagun
Alpha Purifiers x8; 2 Psycannons, Hammer, 5 Halberds, Rhino
Gamma Purifiers x8; 2 Psycannons, Hammer, 5 Halberds, Rhino
Omega Purifiers x8; 2 Psycannons, Hammer, 5 Halberds, Rhino
Rifleman Dreadnought x2; Quad Autocannons w/ Psi Ammo
Rifleman Dreadnought; Assault Cannon and TL Autocannons w/ Psi Ammo
Kill Points 13; 29 Men, 7 Vehicles

Chaplain Caecilius with Jump Pack, Melta Bombs
Purpureus Tactical Squad with Melta, Lascannon & power-gauntlet
Albus Tactical Squad with Melta, Plasma Cannon & power-gauntlet in a Rhino
Plumbeus Devastator Squad with 4 Missile Launchers in Razorback with TL Lascannon
Tripudio 5 man Assault Squad with Power-gauntlet and Plasma Pistol.
Tempestas Terminator Squad with assault cannon & CML
Brother Grumio Dreadnought

stardate: 901.M41
The planet had official been declaired clensed of Lugft Huron's renegades for three days. However reports kept coming in of small pockets of resistence remaining. Responding to these reports Cardinal Ximinez came across a small detachment of marines. These loyalist marines failed to recognise the cardinals mixed force and opened fire...

The Cardinals forces arrived from the south-east heading towards the central ruins (objective). Gamma squad stopped on a small hill (objective) to get a good shooting position. The Ultramarines had been repairing a power generator in the west and a second in the south west (objectives) but had been searching some ruins in the north-east when they spotted the dust cloud of approaching vehicles.

Turn One:
Seizing the initiative Purpureus Squad ran into the central ruins. Albus-gravis drove their APC to the South-Western Power generator while Albus-Pugnus headed to the western power generators (5 marines at each). Missiles shattered the drive motor of the first Rifleman and detonated Omega Squads APC killing four Knights.

Ximinez lead Alpha Knights to the west to protect the power generator; the Judges ran into cover while everything else opened fire on the renegades. When the smoke cleared 14 marines were dead leaving just a single Lascannon from Purpureus squad in the ruins and an empty APC in the south-west.

Turn Two:
Supported by Purpureus's lascannon Brother Grumio and the Terminators stomped around the northern side of the central ruins and opened fire on Gamma Knights. The APC seemed to lead a charmed life; with only its storm bolter destoyed. Caecilius and his troops jumped over the ruins and charged into combat with the third Rifleman. The Castellan jumped out of the APC and charged into the Assault Marines swinging wildly. Two Judges are killed. The cardinals men turned their attention to the second power generator and killed four marines (just the melta gun left).

Turn Three:
The Terminators continue their relentless march but Brother Grumio is immobilised and shaken; the other Rifleman is wrecked. Purpureus Squad is wiped out but the last man from Albus will not die! Three Knights from Alpha squad are killed by missiles. Caecilius can not attach meltabombs to the Rifleman and Crowe finally kills some assault marines.

Turn Four:
Gamma's APC continues to lead a charmed life. Crowe finishes off the Assault Marines and Caecilius with cleansing flame and runs towards Brother Grumio. Judge Dread takes out the last tactical marine with his meltagun. Alpha Knights exchange fire with the Devastators; both squads lose a couple of men. A couple of Terminators fall to the combined fire of Gamma & Omega Knights.

Turn Five:
The Terminators finally destroy Gamma's APC! Return fire from four Psycannons & stormbolters kills four including both heavy weapons (snake eyes on the saves). Alpha Knights surge forward to protect the Power Generator and wipe out the last of Plumbeus Devastators. The Knight's Razorback glances the damaged Rhino into a wrecked state.

Victory to the Knights: Two objective to zero.
Ultramarines have - 2 Terminators, Dreadnought (immobilised), Razorback (Immobilised, no gun).
Knights have - Dreadnought, Razorback, 13 Purifers (including all 6 Psycannons), 1 Warrior, both HQ.

I was expecting more from Crowe. However the assault squad was spread out around the Dread so he could not make use of his sweep attack and kept rolling one for his D3 attacks. I did not get to try out the funky grenades or Halberds in combat as there was so little melee in the game. Psycannons were amazing at putting wounds on the Terminators and the Str 7 was useful for dealing with armour.

Saturday, 28 May 2011

Barrow Kings Battle Report: Game 1

With a little bit of help from a Space Marine Dreadnought (Colossus) my Mantic Undead graduated from Tomb King school for their first game last night. Since I am not a fan of random spells I went for Khatap the special character with loremaster so I could try all the spells in the new lore. We rolled the Watch tower scenario but as my smallest unit was 21 Archers I could not start anyone in the tower.

Barrow Kings @2000 points
High Liche Khatap
Prince w/ Armour of Destiny, Great Weapon
Necrotech w/ Silver Steel Armour, Dragonbane Gem
Archers x21 w/ Banner, Musician
Warriors x30 w/ Light Armour, Full Command
Warriors x30 w/ Light Armour, Full Command
Tomb Guard x30 w/ Full Command, Undying Banner
Skull Catapult x2
Casket of Souls
Colossus w/ extra hand weapon

Skaven Army @2000 points
Warlock Engineer leading 40 slaves
Battle Standard Bearer leading 40 Clan Rats with Warpfire thrower
Plague Priest leading 40 Plague monks
Grey Seer leading 40 Clan Rats with Warpfire thrower
40 Slaves with slings

The plague monks held the centre of the Skaven lines. The Engineer and Standard bearer were on the left flank with the cannon, wheel, Seer and Sling slaves on the right flank.

The Casket and one catapult started in the graveyard on the right flank while the Prince took centre with a unit of warriors on either flank and the archers and colossus behind them. The second catapul was on the far right flank.

Turn One:
The Skaven bombarded the risen dead with magic and warpfire. However all the injuries were easily healed by the Liches magic as he protected the whole army with spells of protection and marched them forward. The graveyard catapult misfired and the other missed.

Turn Two:
The Plague Monks garrisoned the tower and withered the Tomb Guard. The Doomwheel managed an 18" charge straight into my catapult crushing it completely! On the left flank the Warriors charged into the clan rats. On the right flank the Tomb Guard failed their charge. The cannon shot bounced off the Colossus as it battered into the Seers bodyguards for a single wound that was parried. The Liche irresistibly gave the undead a ward save and promptly lost the rest of the power dice and a few archers in the ensuring explosion.

Turn Three:
The Seer continued to detonate skeletons with magic while weight of numbers dragged the Colossus to its doom (curse you crumbling). On the left flank the slaves charged into the Warriors flank. While on the right the other slaves charged into the Tomb Guards flank and were defeated by the Prince and overrun. Unable to swiftly reform the Guard lost time reforming. The Doomwheel rolled into the other Warrior unit and crushed several. The catapult and archers killed some Plague monks but the horde held fast in the tower. Once more the Liche irresistibly gave the undead a ward save and promptly lost most of the power dice due to feedback! This allowed the Seer to easily dispel the Caskets light of death.

Turn Four.
The Seer fluffed his spell but the Plague Priest continued to wither the Tomb Guard who were trudging slowly back towards the tower under heavy cannon fire. In shooting the catapult misfired and destroyed itself. The rats overran on the left flank while the Warriors on right destroyed the doomwheel but failed to swiftly reform leaving them too far away to be of any further use in the battle. The Liche sent a vortex of screaming skulls through the rats and promptly forgot his most important spells as he was reduced to a level two wizard!

Turn Five:
Guess what? The Liche irresistibly gives the Archers extra attacks and is prevented from casting any more spells. The undying banner fails to cast making the casket an easy target for the seers counter spell. Plague winds consume several archers as they continue to pepper the monks with arrows. The prince fails to charge into the tower (by one inch). The Skaven did not do much better with one warpfire thrower exploding and the other burning plague monks.

Turn Six:
Accompanied by six guard the Prince charges into the tower. His Necrotech companion having been felled by a cannon shot. He slaughters some plague monks and then promptly died to crumbling. At least the Liche was able to enhance him with some magic during the final turn...

With twenty Monks still in the tower and two units of Clan Rats the Skaven drive off the remaining Barrow King back to their mounds to regenerate.

When I got him into combat the Prince did very well. Perhaps I should take a pair of them next time rather than a Necrotech? For the extra one hundred points over a normal level four with dispel scroll I do not think Khatap was that useful. I did make use of his re-roll a couple of times but it just does not seem enough. My opponent kept his dispel dice for the Casket and since I lost most of my power dice each turn it did nothing other than generate a couple of extra dice each turn. The colossus can not take a unit on his own; I need to hold him back as a counter-charge unit next time.

EDIT: I have just found out the Colossus has a Thunderstomp attack for an extra d6 hits each turn! Do not think it would have changed the overall result but he would have been able to chew through the Clan Rats and and Seer rather than just dying.

Saturday, 21 May 2011

Project: Casket of Souls

I am working on a Casket of Souls using Mantic Game's Undead models.

A Liche King Keeper is casting spells from the spell book held by the elf slave.  The casket is behind him with the body of a scarified victim whose life blood is powering the spell.  At the front the two casket guard are directing the newly raised skeletons into the battle.

I have mocked up my design on a movement tray and it seems to fit well on a 75-80mm square base.  So what do people think?  Do you think when painted up this will be a nice looking Casket of Souls?  You can see the official casket picture above. I have tried aa few different layouts; I think having the slave on the Keepers left (picture 3) is the best.

Liche King, dead elf & Wraiths from Mantic Games.
Elf Slave from Shadowforge miniatures.
Casket, something I purchased so many years ago I have no idea who made it!

Saturday, 7 May 2011

Nobody Expects... the Spanish Inquisition!

I am sure this title has been over used since the Grey Knight codex hit the shelves but I really have not had much time for posting anything recently. I really like Terminators (even if they are not the best value point for point) so having a codex where they are troops without needing a special character is nice to see. Of course twenty terminators and a HQ sets you back about 1000 points so does not leave a lot of room for other units. This is where the Inquisitors help as they give you a cheap leader that still adds value to your force. Sadly the new breed of Inquisitor can not purchase a psychic hood so all these armies have to rely on the Knights natural aegis. If I can keep the Terminators within 12" of one of the Dreadnoughts then enemy psykers are down to Leadership 6 which is a good defence.

Miles Militis Xenos @1500
64 Inquisitor; Psychic Communion, 3 Survo-Skulls
55 Inquisitor; Psychic Communion
36 Henchmen; 2 Multi-Melta Servitors, 4 Warriors
470 Terminators x10; 2 Psycannons, P-Ammo
470 Terminators x10; 2 Psycannons, P-Ammo
405 Rifleman Dreadnought x3; Quad Autocannons w/ P-Ammo
Kill Points: 8; 28 Men, 3 Vehicles

For less than the cost of a Grand Master I can have a pair of inquisitors with Psychic Communion and some ablative wounds with a pair of multi-meltas. The army also has Survo Skulls to stop the enemy from scout/infiltrating near the Inquision and they also assist with acuratly deep striking the Terminators. Three Rifleman Dreadnaughts are included for some long range fire power and open up some transports so the Terminators can assault.

Game plan is to hide the Inquisitors in terrain and then get a +2 reseves roll on second turn to bring the Terminators down. Four squads of Terminators two of them having a pair of Psycannons for anti-armour the other squad has five men with stregth 5 storm bolters & Inititive 6 Force Weapons for taking out infantry. Each squad also has one hammer for dealing with Dreadnaughts and Monsters.

Primo Squad - Psycannon/Sword, Psycannon/Halberd, Hammer, 2 Halberds
Secundus Squad - Hammer, 4 Halberds (including Justicar)

For 1750 I would give one of the Inquisitors a Conversion Beamer. Add a Chimera so there is more deployment options and also a Strike Squad in a Rhino to travel with the second Inquisitor (who may get grenades) and offer protection from enemy deep striking.

Miles Militis Malleus @1750
89 Inquisitor; TDA, Psycannon & Hammer, 3 Survo-Skulls
80 Inquisitor; TDA, Psycannon & Hammer
226 Purifiers x5; 2 Psycannons, 3 Halberds, Plasmaback
475 Terminators x10; 2 Psycannons, P-Ammo, MC Halberd
475 Terminators x10; 2 Psycannons, P-Ammo, MC Halberd
405 Rifleman Dreadnought x3; Quad Autocannons w/ P-Ammo
Kill Points: 9; 27 Men, 4 Vehicles

No reserve manipulation this time so everything is probably starting on the table. We get 22 Terminators (even if two of them are toughness three) but not a lot else so this is very much an elite army. The Inquisitors add extra Psycannons and Stubborn to the Terminators. The Purifiers bring even more Psycannons and anti-horde with their absurdly good cleansing flame power.

The Plasmaback is the only item I am debating. It does give low AP which is otherwise missing completely in the army. Other than that it is just a weaker (and cheaper) Rifleman that can transport some marines around. Leaving them in a cheaper APC though does not leave a lot of points for anything else. Maybe a Banner on the Terminators? However that is only really good if I am keeping them as a ten man unit.

I really like this army but it is a rock/paper/scissor build. Some opponents are going to cry facing twenty Terminators and other are just going to laugh as they unleash long range laser/plasma death.

Inquisitor Crowe @1500
150 Castellan Crowe
72 Xenos Inquisitor; Power Armor, Psychotroke, Rad grenades, 3 Survo-Skulls
72 Warriors Three with a Meltagun in Razorback w/ P-ammo
267 Purifiers x8; 2 Psycannons, Hammer, 5 Halberds, Rhino
267 Purifiers x8; 2 Psycannons, Hammer, 5 Halberds, Rhino
267 Purifiers x8; 2 Psycannons, Hammer, 5 Halberds, Rhino
405 Rifleman Dreadnought x3; Quad Autocannons w/ P-Ammo
Kill Points 13; 29 Men, 7 Vehicles

Now I know a lot of people do not like Crowe because he can not join units and does not have a force weapon. However he rends anything (Wraith Lords, Hive Tyrants, Thunderwolves) on a 4+ without needing any Psychic powers. He can also penetrate the armour of most vehicles, or glance Land Raiders, in melee. The issue is he can not buy his own transport so he has to hijack one. For 100 points you can get an Inquisitor with Power Armour and one of the special Grenades together with three henchmen in a Rhino. Crowe can take the Rhino and the Inquisitor enhances the Purifiers he joins and you get the really versatile Survo-skulls as an extra option.

Originally I was just going to leave the three warriors in reserves as a 12 point tax on getting Crowe a ride and if anyone wanted a kill point from them it would at least soak up some fire power. However I had a few points left at the end of list building and thought that with a Meltagun the unit offers some threat value so opponents can not ignore them completely.

So what does Crowe offer us for the extra 50 points over a normal Brotherhood Champion? We get +WS, +I, +W, Fearless, an extra Psychic power and Purifiers as troops. That seems a pretty good deal to me.  Occasionally he is going to give opponents Furious Charge.  I just do not see this as being too much of a problem since he is running around on his own anyway.  Once in a while it will be annoying if they get off a multi-charge.  At higher point levels though I think the Grand Master is a better choice since he can make your Purifiers score if you really need it and if not re-rolls to wounds, scouting or counter attack are so much more useful.

Grey Knights, Space Marines, Terminator Armor, Warhammer 40,000