Apoc Vacillite Campaign, Phase 2: Army Lists

The amount of effort put into preparation for things certainly has a direct correlation to the quality of the end result.  I’m sad to say that our last Apocalypse game (the second of the Vacillite campagin, for those taking notes) didn’t get as much preparation as it really should have.  Luckily for me though, preparation isn’t the only requirement; sometimes just surrounding yourself with a great bunch of guys can elevate something from mediocre status to a great game, just the same.

I don’t mean to say that I was completely lax in designing the game; just that I would have liked to have done more.  Planning for this game really started back in April, when the last game ended.  Shortly thereafter, we set a date for this game, and worked on who all would be attending.  I also thought up some additional plot twists over the months, and really got down to work a week in advance to clean out the garage, set up the tables, etc.  Life being what it is, one week of free time just doesn’t stretch quite as far as it once did.   Mental note: life with a baby makes everything take a little longer. 

Maybe if I keep reminding myself of that, it’ll sink in within the next eighteen years or so, eh?

This really doesn’t have all that much to do with the composition of army lists, other than to say that I gave two different sets of rules out to different people.  Essentially, I told everyone that we were going to use the same rules as last game (for the most part).  Some people that couldn’t be bothered to check the post asked me how many points, and (being like-mindedly too busy to look it up myself), I spit out “3500 points.”  The end result being that some of us brought invalid lists to the game.

It was easily rectified (after much playful chiding from the other participants), and we split up teams based upon logical association (which, as it all too often becomes: Imperials vs. Bugs + other misc non Imperials).  The lists looked something like:

 

Rob’s Tyranids:

  • HQ:
    • Swarmlord w/ 2x Tyrant Guard (lashwhips)
  • Elites:
    • 7x Ymgarls
    • 7x Ymgarls
  • Troops:
    • 7x Genestealers
    • 6x Genestealers
  • Heavy Support:
    • Hierophant Bio-Titan
  • Tyranid Tunnel Swarm (Formation):
    • 1x Trygon Prime w/ Adrenal Glands
    • 1x Lictor
    • 22x Hormgaunts w/ Toxin Sacs & Adrenal Glands

Originally, I’d thought the list was supposed to be 3500 points, so it contained a few more squads of genestealers, but I had to cut them out last minute because I’m a dolt.  In hindsight, the bio-titan ate up far too many of my points.  I use them for the same reason that Blaine does, not just because they’re good, but because they eat up a fair amount of points so it’s easier to build a list.  Next game, I won’t use it as a crutch like I have in the past…

Sam & Luke’s Orks:

    • HQ:
      • Ghazkull Thraka
      • Warboss w/ attack squig, bosspole, cybork, warbike

      Elites:
    • 7x Nob Bikers with assorted goodies
    • 10x Nobz with assorted units (not armed for wound allocation)
    • 15x Tankbustaz
  • Troops:
    • 30 ‘Ard Boyz w/ klaw
    • 30 Boyz w/ klaw
    • 30 Boyz w/ klaw
    • 18 Boyz w/ Big Choppa
    • 12 Trukk Boyz
    • 12 Truck Boyz
  • Fast Attack:
    • 2x Deffkoptas
  • Heavy Support:
    • Battlewagon

Traditional Orks (at least at the hands of Sam & fam).  Not designed to be an uber killy force, but a fun one that has some serious punch in some locations.  They make for a great wall of bodies, and seem to be able to take out anything in the game with enough power klaw attacks…  Of course, the photo doesn’t do the army justice, but I s’pose when you play orks, shuffling them around in zip lock bags is akin to a limousine…

Blaine’s Bugs:

    • HQ:
      • Tervigon
      • Tervigon

      Elites:
    • Doom in Mycetic Spore (w/ Cluster Spines)
    • 3x Zoanthropes in Mycetic Spore (w/ Cluster Spines)
    • 3x Venomthropes in Mycetic Spore (w/ Cluster Spines)
  • Troops:
    • 10x Termagants in Mycetic Spore (w/ Cluster Spines)
    • 10x Termagants in Mycetic Spore (w/ Cluster Spines)
    • Tervigon
    • Tervigon
  • Fast Attack:
    • 9x Raveners w/ Deathspitters
  • Heavy Support:
    • Hierophant Bio-Titan

Standard Blaine list building:  Step 1, Add Hierophant.  Step 2, pile in Tervigons & Tyrannofexes.  I was actually surprised to see he didn’t play with the ‘fexes (though I was relieved, since I don’t feel they’re very good for much of anything—especially in Apoc games).  Doom’s not a normal standard in his list, but since I told him I couldn’t work him into mine, he was naturally obliged to take it.

Simon’s

  • HQ:
    • Hive Tyrant (Venom Cannon, Bonesword/Lashwhip, Psychic Scream, Horror)
  • Elites:
    • 15x Tyranid Warriors w/ Scything Talons & Devourers
  • Troops:
    • 30x Termagants w/ Fleshborers
    • 12x Genestealers w/ Broodlord
  • Heavy Support:
    • Trygon
    • Hierophant Bio-Titan

Asking Simon to recap his list proved to be rather taxing on the lad.  His official response: “Erm… Every model I could I gave toxin and adrenals. Standard issue Tyrant, Trygon, A grip of genestealers, full squad of warriors, and a full squad of Termies. And the biggin” 

Obviously, he’s not into min-maxing anything (other than squad sizes).  The list wasn’t particularly strong, but I chalk that up to the fact that he plays about .5 games per year, and he was making his list the day of the game.  I suspect the logic here was that fewer squads made for less math (therefore faster list building); I know for certain that’s why the Hierophant was included.  And yes, for those keeping track, this did make for three bio-titans on our side…

Jeff’s Tau

 Unfortunately, I do not have an accounting of Jeff’s force, other than what’s displayed on the picture.  In my un-Tau-like mindset, he had a bunch of weak tanks with good guns and horrible ballistic skill.  Most of those were in some sort of formation (I recall him stating that the red tank was a “command tank”).  He also had some fire warriors, kroot, and crisis suits.  

I’m sure if you’re familiar with Tau, his list looks pretty self-explanatory from the photograph; however, my understanding of Tau is only that they’d be more intimidating if they learned to fire their guns; otherwise, they’re just squishy bunnies in oversized armor.

Oh wait, he’s on my team, isn’t he? …  I guess it would behoove me to ask him for his list….

    • HQ:
      • Fireknife Shas’El, two Fireknife bodyguards
      • Fireknife Shas’El, two Fireknife bodyguards

Elites:

    • Rapid Insertion force
      • 3x Stealth suits
      • 3x Fireknives
      • 3x Fireknives
      • 3x Fireknives
  • Troops:
    • 12x Firewarriors
    • 12x Firewarriors
    • 12x Firewarriors
    • 12x Firewarriors
    • 10x Kroot
    • 10x Kroot
  • Fast Attack:
    • Piranha w/ fusion blaster
    • Piranha w/ fusion blaster
    • Piranha w/ fusion blaster
  • Heavy Support:
    • Armored Interdiction Cadre
      • Hammerhead w/ Railgun
      • Hammerhead w/ Railgun
      • Hammerhead w/ Railgun
      • Hammerhead w/ Railgun
      • Hammerhead w/ Railgun

 And then there was the Imperial team….

 

Marshall’s Ultramarines:

  • HQ:
    • Master of the Forge w/ Thunderhammer
    • Space Marine Librarian w/ Terminator Armor (Gate & Vortex)
  • Elites:
    • 5x Terminator Assault Squad (2x LClaws, 3x Thammers)
    • Ironclad Dreadnought, Assault launchers, flamer/melta
    • Venerable Dreadnought (Multi-melta, Flamer)
  • Troops:
    • 10x Tactical Marines (plasma/lascannon)
    • 10x Tactical Marines (flamer/multi-melta/powerweapon)
    • 10x Tactical Marines (melta/missile/powerfist)
    • 10x Scouts (sniper rifles & heavy bolter)
    • 5x Scouts (ccw & bp, powerfist)
  • Fast Attack
    • Landspeeder Storm (H. Flamer)
    • 10x Assault Marines (2x P.Pistols + Power Weapon)
    • 5x Bike Squad (2x Plasmagun, + power weapon)
  • Heavy Support:
    • Land Raider
    • Vindicator
    • Techmarine w/ Thunderfire Cannon
    • Venerable Dreadnought (Assault Cannon, Flamer)

I made Marshall’s list the day before with the focus on spreading units around the FoC.  Again, I had slotted 3500 points so there were last minute cuts to the Sternguard, a Scout Squad, and the Officio Assassinorum Execution Force to get him under the points limit.  The only real downside I saw to this list was that it lacked transports.  While I’m not normally a huge fan, omitting virtually every one was problematic.   The drop pods I’d normally take (with say, the Ironclad) were used for thematic effect elsewhere on the board though…

Tony’s Blood Angels:

  • HQ:
    • Reclusiarch
    • Librarian (Unleash Rage, Shield of Sanguinus)
  • Elites:
    • 5x Sanguinary Guard – Infernus Pistol x2, Powerfist ***
    • 2x Sanguinary Priest (Jump Pack, Power Weapon x2)
    • Furioso Dreadnought (Extra Armor, Flamer, Blood Talons) ***
  • Troops:
    • 10x Tactical Marines (Flamer, Lascannon, Powerfist)
    • 10x  Tactical Marines (Flamer, Lascannon, Powerfist)***
    • 5x  Assault Marines (Meltagun, Power Weapon) in Razorback w/ TL Assault Cannons
    • 5x  Assault Marines (Meltagun, Power Weapon) in Razorback w/ TL Assault Cannons
    • 5x  Assault Marines (Flamer, Power Weapon) in Razorback w/ TL Lascannons
    • 9x Death Company (Thunderhammer, Powerweapon x2) in  Land Raider Crusader***
  • Fast Attack:
    • Baal Predator (Heavy Bolter Sponsons)
    • Baal Predator (Heavy Bolter Sponsons)
    • 3x Attack Bike (2x Multi-meltas)
  • Heavy Support:
    • Stormraven Gunship (Extra armor, Multimelta, Lascannon)
    • 5x Devastator Squad (Missile Launcher x4)

The Reclusiarch (Chaplain) was attached to the Death Company to confer Re-rolls to missed Hits AND wounds.  Paired with the Death Company’s inert Furious Charge/Feel No Pain they just about wiped out everything they assaulted. 

The Priest with Jump Pack/PW was attached to the Sanguinary Guard and inside the Stormraven.  The Furioso also rode in the Stormraven which was held in Reserve.  The Raven came in on turn 2 as a Flier and moved to Skimmer mode when it was time to assault with the Dread and Guard.

Another Priest rode inside a Razorback, and the Librarian was attached to the other TLAC/Razor squad.

Kris’ Relictors (Counts as Space Wolves & Blood Angels)

  • HQ:
    • First Captain Kostya (Logan Grimnar)
    • High Chaplain Thontius (BA Astorath the Grim)
  • Elites:
    • Brother-Chaplain Malvius (BA)
    • Brother-Chaplain Devian (BA)
    • 3x Apothicarium Detachment (BA Sanguinary Priests) w/ 1x Powersword & Jump Pack
  • Troops:
    • 5x Squad Kostya (Wolf Guard) w/ Terminator Armor, Wolf Claws, Storm Shields, & 1x Thunderhammer
    • 10x Tactical Squad Thesius (BA) w/ Flamer, Lascannon, & Powerfist
    • 10x Tactical Squad Thallon (BA) w/ Melta, Missile, & Powerfist
    • 10x Assault Squad Gallovax (BA) w/ 2x L Claws, Melta, & Flamer in Drop Pod
    • 8x Assault Squad Venn (BA) w/ 2x L. Claws, & Flamer
  • Fast Attack:
    • 8x Deliverance Squad Sollnas (BA Vanguard) w/ T. Hammer, 2x L. Claws, Power Weapon, Powerfist, & Meltabombs
    • 2x Landspeeder Tornado Squad “Moriorum & Corvus Ferrox (H. Bolters & Multi-Meltas)
    • Landspeeer Typhoon “Raptor Caedes”
  • Heavy Support:
    • Land Raider Crusader “Mortis”
    • StormRaven Gunship “Umbra Mortis”

Standard Kris fashion: Blood Angels mixed with Space Wolves.  Oddly enough though, he only used two units of puppies in this entire army (Logan & WolfGuard).  I wonder if that was just to fill up points/fill out the force org chart?  I also wonder what happened to his Ravenguard…

Cole’s Grey Knight Force

  • HQ
    • Lord Kaldor Draigo
    • Inquisitor Coteaz
  • Elite
    • Vindicare Assassin
    • 10x Purifiers (in Rhino)
    • Techmarine
  • Troops
    • 10x Paladins
    • 10x man paladin
    • Henchmen
  • Fast Attack
    • 10x Interceptors
    • Stormraven
  • Heavy
    • Dreadnought
    • Dreadknight

So you might notice Cole’s army has significantly less detail than the others, and that too is my fault.  Everyone left lists behind so I could write-up this article, but sadly, those lists seemed to have sprouted legs.  When I asked for estimates on what everyone had, this is what Cole threw together.  In short: relatively few models, but all of them relatively powerful.

Dan’s Imperial Guard

    • HQ
      • Commissar Yarrick

      Elite
    • 10x  Ogryn
  • Troops
    • Platoon:  1 Lt. unit (all ccw in chimera extra armour),
      • 10x  Imperial Guard with heavy bolter
      • 10x  Imperial Guard with heavy bolter
      • 10x  Imperial Guard with heavy bolter
      • 10x  Imperial Guard with heavy bolter
      • 2x Heavy Weapon Team w/ Mortars
      • 3x Heavy Weapon Team w/ Lascannons
  • Heavy
    • 3x Basilisks
    • 3x Leman Russ Punishers
    • Baneblade super heavy with extra sponsoons and leadership upgrade.

Dan’s force seemed pretty typical, but in retrospect, he did have a lot of his units footslogging this time, which seems unusual for him.  I’m used to seeing a dozen or so tanks across the board, but he had far more infantry this time.  In hindsight, I think this worked out well for him too.  Without giving up too much of a spoiler, his army proved to be rather resilient this game.

***

The next post will go into how the game went, including explaining our new twists on things…

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Vacillite Campaign: The Armies of Apocalypse

Teams in this game were setup different than most games you’ve likely encountered, in that we had eight players, divided up into four distinct teams.  I’ll go more into how four teams interact in a single game without making the game take any longer, but for now, we’ll just go over team selection and army compositions.

If you recall from the original rules post, each army was given a single Force Organization Chart (FoC) and one Super-Heavy slot with which to make a 3000 point army.  If you filled the FoC, you would be given another to use (Along with another Super-Heavy slot).  The goal here was to keep armies balanced, and prevent things like someone breaking up all of their zoanthropes into individual units. 

The rules also declared that teams would “logically be chosen on the day of the battle,” which is a bit of a change from our normal random allocation (to ensure collusion isn’t an issue).  However, since we’re going to tie all of our in-house Apoc games together in a campaign of sorts, it made sense to divide teams up logically: the question was how to do so.  The players in attendance (along with their respective armies) were:

  1. Rob (Tyranids)
  2. Blaine (Tyranids)
  3. Cole (Tyranids)
  4. Sam (Marines)
  5. Tony (Blood Angels)
  6. Kris (Marines of various flavors)
  7. Dan (Imperial Guard)
  8. Luke (Orks)

Logically, two Tyranids would go together, two groups of two imperials, and then the final Tyranids would be lumped in with the Orks, right?  Well, we had one small kink in the plans.  Since Luke is relatively new to the game and a younger gamer overall, we opted to partner him up with his dad.  Tony & Dan wandered into the corner to play together, leaving Kris & the three ‘Nid players to sort things out.

Since no one wanted to fight against the Hierophant, we all wanted Blaine on our side, so Cole and I rolled dice to decide who got Blaine… turns out that I got shafted—er, I mean, I got Kris!  With teams decided, we bid for deployment which gave us our team order (again, more on this in a later post).  The teams were as follows:

Team 1: Blaine & Cole

Blaine’s Minimalistic Tyranids

Minamilistic when it comes to model count and how much he had to do during any phase of the game.  With the rules stating that he could have one gargantuan creature for every FoC, he had originally crafted a list to include both a Hierophant and a Barbed Hierodule—either of which would be nasty in this game.  The down side would be that he wouldn’t have many points left over to fill out his FoC.  Lucky for us, he toned it down a tad, and only brought one of the big nasties…

  • HQ
    • Tervigon (Regen, Clusterspines, Catalyst) 
    • Tervigon (Regen, Clusterspines, Catalyst) 
  • Elites
    • Hive Guard x3
    • Hive Guard x3
    • Hive Guard x3
  • Troops
    • Ripper Swarms x5
    • Ripper Swarms x5
    • Hormagaunts x25
  • Heavy Support
    • Tyrannofex (Rupture Cannon, Cluster Spines, Regen)

 

Cole’s Tyranid Swarm

Cole doesn’t have too many bugs to his name, so he effectively brought everything he had (borrowing spare gaunts for both the Tunnel Swarm and Tervigons to produce).  The great thing about this list is that it’s devoid of unit spamming.  He manages to use each unit effectively without relying on the might of a single particular unit in mass numbers.  In fact, the only unit he has duplicates of in the entire list is termagants.

  • HQ
    • Hive Tyrant (Heavy Venom Cannon, Old Adversary, Regen)
      • Plus one Tyrant Guard
    • Swarmlord
      • Plus two Tyrant Guard
  • Elites
    • Hive Guard x2
    • Lictor
    • Death Leaper
  • Troops
    • Termagants x15
    • Termagants x15
    • Tervigon (Catalyst, Scything Talons, Toxin Sacs, Adrenal Glands, Regen)
    • Genestealers x7 w/ Toxin Sacs & Scything Talons
      • w/ Broodlord (Acid Blood/Scything Talons)
    • Hormagaunts x20 w/ Adrenal Glands & Toxin Sacs
    • Tyranid Warriors x3 (Deathspitter x2, Venom Cannon, Toxin Sacs)
  • Heavy Support
    • Trygon w/ Adrenal Glands & Regen
    • Carnifices x2 w/ Heavy Venom Cannon, Adrenal Glands, & Frag Spines
    • Tyrannofex w/ Rupture Cannon & Regen
  • Formations
    • Tunnel Swarm (including the Lictor, Hormagaunts, & Trygon)

 

Team 2: Rob & Kris

Rob’s Hive Fleet Proteus

I originally wanted to field a Demon army, or maybe my Ultramarines, but I procrastinated too long, and didn’t want to assemble or paint anything, so I opted to field the old standby.  My thought was to go light on Monstrous Creatures, and try to fill out the Force Orgs with as many units as I could of small bugs that I don’t often play.  For the Genestealers, I had previously spoken with Cole about his theory (which is to use stealers as “Broodlord Deployment Systems,”) so I wanted to give that a shot.

Plus, between the parasite, the Tervigons, and the Tunnel swarm, I was planning on making all sorts of little guys throughout the game.

  • HQ
    • Hive Tyrant w/ Wings, Laswhip/Bonesword, Talons
    • Parasite of Mortrex
    • Tervigon (Cluster Spines, Catalyst)
    • Tervigon (Cluster Spines, Catalyst)
  • Elites
    • Ymgarls x5
    • Ymgarls x5
    • Doom of Malan’tai in Spore w/ Cluster Spines
    • Lictor
    • Zoanthropes x2
  • Troops
    • Genestealers x5 w/ Broodlord
    • Genestealers x5 w/ Broodlord
    • Genestealers x5 w/ Broodlord
    • Genestealers x5 w/ Broodlord
    • Hormagaunts x21
    • Ripper Swarms x5
    • Ripper Swarms x5
  • Fast Attack
    • Gargoyles x20
    • Gargoyles x20
    • Shrikes x5 w/ Laswhip/Boneswords, Toxin Sacs
  • Heavy Support
    • Biovore
    • Biovore
    • Trygon Prime w/ Adrenal Glands

In hind sight, I seem to have misplayed my Shrikes, as I gave them +1 strength on the charge, but didn’t use the Toxin Sacs.  I’d have been far better playing them as is though, so hopefully Cole can forgive my ignorance.

Kris’ Hodge-Podge of Marines

I joke about Kris’ marines every time he fields them as he seems to play as many codices as physically possible in every Apoc game he comes to.  This time, he has representatives from the Relictors (counts as Blood Angels—except when they count as Space Wolves), and the Raven Guard (counts as Space Marines).  He’s a fun guy, but there’s a whole lot of questions when he plays about “Ok, so what is that guy this game?

He does a good job of keeping things straight himself, and he’s really honest (evidenced by the fact that he almost always loses—which is yet another reason why I wanted Blaine as my partner!).  Besides, he comes up with groovy names for everyone in his list.  Anywho, with those traits in mind, nobody seems to take issue with his craziness—but I can see making a Kris-style rule to limit the number of codices people are allowed to field.

  • HQ
    • First Captain Kostya of the “Relic Takers”
      • (SW) Counts as Logan Grimnar
    • Shadow Captain Vincent Sixx “Hero of Cold Ridge”
      • (SM) Space Marine Captain on Bike w/ Relic Blade, Storm Shield, & Melta Bombs
  • Elites
    • Brother Chaplain Malvius
      • (BA) Chaplain w/ Jump Pack & Plasma Pistol
    • Brother Chaplain Devian
      • (BA) Chaplain
    • Apothecarium Detachment
      • (BA) Sanguinary Priests x2 w/ Power Sword /Jump Pack
  • Troops
    • Squad Kostya of the “Relic Takers”
      • (SW) Wolf Guard Terminators x5 with assorted wargear
    • Jet Bike Squad Venn
      • (SM) Bike Squad x5 w/ Flamer, Plasma, Power Fist
      • +MM Attack Bike
    • Bike Squad Stern
      • (SM) Bike Squad x5 w/ Flamer, Melta, Power Fist
      • +MM Attack Bike
    • Tactical Squad Thesius
      • (BA) Tactical Squad x10 w/ Lascannon, Flamer, & Powerfist
    • Assault Squad Thallon
      • (BA) Assault Squad x5 w/ Meltagun & Powerfist
    • Assault Squad Gallovax
      • (BA) Assault Squad x5 w/ Lightning Claws x2, Meltagun
  • Fast Attack
    • Deliverance Squad Sollnas
      • (BA) Vanguard Squad x7 w/ Thunder Hammer, Lightning Claws x2, Powerfist, Meltabombs
    • Landspeeder Tornado Squadron x2 (Heavy Bolters, & Multimeltas)
    • Landspeeder Typhoon (Heavy Bolter & Typhoon Launcher)
  • Heavy Support
    • Deathwind Drop Pod (Assault Cannons)
    • Deathwind Drop Pod (Assault Cannons)

Yeah, his list was all over the place.  I think the deathwind drop pods came out of an Imperial Armor book.  Essentially, they dropped down and shot everything once within 12” of them, after which it peppered nearby squads with inconsequential damage for the rest of the game. 

The astute readers out there will notice that the photo here doesn’t quite jive with the army list… and that was my fault.  I spent far too much time this game refereeing and not enough as a photographer!   >.<

Team 3: Tony & Dan

Tony’s Blood Angels

You probably know Tony as an author on Warhammer39999.com, if you don’t, you can read some of his posts here.  Mr. Congeniality himself made a presence at our little shin-dig and, big surprise, he brought his Blood Angels.  Aside from a noticible absence of special characters, this list seems to be pretty par for the course, using a little bit of everything that codex has to offer.  I’m going to go out on a limb and say that vindicators should not be allowed to move 12” and fire. 

Ouch…

  • HQ        
    • Reclusiarch w/ Jump Pack
    • Reclusiarch w/ Jump Pack
  • Elites
    • Sanguinary Guard x5 (Inferus Pistol x2, Powerfist)
    • Sanguinary Priest x2 (Jump Packs)
    • Furioso Dreadnought w/ Blood Talons
  • Troops
    • Assault Squad x10 (Jump Packs, Meltagunx2, Powerfist)
    • Assault Squad x6 (Flamer, Power Weapon)
      • In Razorback w/ Twin-linked Assault Cannon
    • Death Company x8 (Thunder Hammer, Power Weapon)
      • In Land Raider Crusader
    • Tactical Squad x10 (Flamer, Missile Launcher, Powerfist)
      • In Drop Pod w/ Deathwind
  • Fast Attack
    • Baal Predator w/ Twin-Linked Assault Cannons & Heavy Bolters
    • Baal Predator w/ Twin-Linked Assault Cannons & Heavy Bolters
  • Heavy Support
    • Vindicator
    • Stormraven Gunship
    • Devastator Squad (Lascannon x2, Missile x2)

 

Dan’s Imperial Guard

Like many of us, Dan owns more models than he knows what to do with.  He has enough models that I don’t think he could ever legally field them all within a single FoC, but it does give him the option to play whatever he wants in any particular Apoc game.  This time, he focused on melta-vet spam in chimeras, with Commissar Yarrick leading the Ogryns into battle.  It was an impressive force, to say the least.

  • HQ
    • Lord Commissar (Melta Bombs, & Power Weapon)
    • Commissar Yarrick
    • Company Command Squad (Melta x4)
    • In Chimera w/ Multilaser/Heavy Bolter/Heavy Stubber
  • Elites
    • Ogryn x10
    • Psyker Battle Squad x10
      • In Chimera w/ Multilaser/Heavy Bolter
  • Troops
    • Veterans x10 (Flamer, Melta x2) + Harker
      • In Chimera w/ Multilaser/Heavy Bolter
    • Veterans x10 (Melta x3)
      • In Chimera w/ Multilaser/Heavy Bolter
    • Veterans x10 (Melta x3)
      • In Chimera w/ Multilaser/Heavy Bolter
    • Veterans x10 (Melta x3)
      • In Chimera w/ Multilaser/Heavy Bolter
    • Veterans x10 (Melta x3)
      • In Chimera w/ Multilaser/Heavy Bolter
    • Veterans x10 (Melta x3)
      • In Chimera w/ Multilaser/Heavy Bolter
    • Veterans x10 (Melta x3)
      • In Chimera w/ Multilaser/Heavy Bolter
    • Veterans x10 (Melta x3)
      • In Chimera w/ Multilaser/Heavy Bolter
  • Fast Attack
    • Scout Sentinel w/ Lascannon
    • Scout Sentinel w/ Lascannon
    • Scout Sentinel w/ Lascannon
  • Heavy Support
    • Hydra Flak Tank
    • Hydra Flak Tank
    • Hydra Flak Tank

Team 4: Sam & Luke

Sam’s Space Marines

When we unboxed our armies, it became pretty clear that Sam had thrown the rules about having a force organization chart out of the window during creation.  It didn’t matter, as his force wasn’t pretty balanced anyway, with only slight deviations from our existing rules (ie. He had one too many heavy supports to be legal for this game, but that wouldn’t tip the scales too far). 

Looking at his list, I’m actually surprised that he couldn’t get more into it, though 10 terminators does eat up quite a hefty chunk of points…

  • HQ
    • Chapter Master (Term. Armor, Thunder Hammer, Storm Bolter)
    • Chaplain (Jump Pack, Digital Weapons, Melta Bombs)
  • Elites
    • Venerable Dreadnought (Assault Cannon)
      • Drop Pod w/ Deathwind Launcher
    • Dreadnought (Assault Cannon)
      • Drop Pod w/ Deathwind Launcher
    • Terminators x10 (2x Cyclones)
  • Troops
    • Tactical Squad x10 (Lascannon, Plasma, Powerfist/CombiMelta)
      • In Rhino
    • Tactical Squad x10 (Lascannon, Flamer, Powerfirst/Combiflamer)
      • In Rhino
    • Tactical Squad x10 (Missile Launcher, Flamer)
      • In Drop Pod w/ Storm Bolter
  • Heavy Support
    • Whirlwind (Dozer Blade)
    • Whirlwind
    • Vindicator
    • Land Raider

Luke’s Waaagh!

We had a last minute cancellation in the game and Sam’s son Luke pulled up to fill in our 8th spot.  He’s relatively new to the game, and so needed some help with composition/guidance, which papa Sam obliged with.  Naturally, that meant that Luke’s list was also in violation of the Force Org. rules.  Unlike Sam’s list, this was much more obvious (7 HQ’s!!). 

Again though, it was a thematic list, and fairly well balanced, so I don’t think it had much of an impact on the game.  Their secret strategy was to lump weirdboyz into each squad and teleport them around everywhere, making a truly chaotic (Er… orky) Apoc game.

  • HQ
    • Ghazghkull Thraka
    • Warboss (Attack Squig, Bosspole, Cyborkm, Warbike, etc.)
    • Weirdboy
    • Weirdboy
    • Weirdboy
    • Weirdboy
    • Weirdboy
  • Elites
    • Nob Bikers x7 (2x Claws , 4x Normal, +Painboy) *NOT KITTED OUT FOR WOUND ALLOCATION*
    • Tankbustas x15 w/ Nob (Bosspole)
  • Troops
    • ‘Ard Boyz x30 w/ Nob (Power Klaw & Boss Pole)
    • Shoota Boyz x30 w/ Nob (3x Big Shoota, Power Klaw, & Boss Pole)
    • Choppa Boyz x30 w/ Nob (3x Rokkit Launcha, Power Klaw, & Boss Pole)
    • Choppa Boyz x21 w/ Nob
    • Trukk Boyz x12 w/ Nob
    • Trukk Boyz x12 w/ Nob
  • Fast Attack
    • Deffkopta w/ Rokkit Launcha
  • Heavy Support
    • Battle Wagon (all upgrades)

 

So that summarizes the armies that began the Vacillite campaign.  In our next post we’ll go over the special rules for the scenario, specifically focusing on how to play four way Apocalypse battles (including consideration for deployment and phases), as well as tracking of victory point collection throughout the game.

As always, thanks for dropping by…

To Sweep the Leg

Cortana: “What….is that?”

Gravemind: “I?….I am a monument to all your sins.”

Greetings everyone! This is TheGraveMind, you might know me from “the back 40k”. If you don’t, allow me a quick intro. I’ve been playing 40k for about 5 years now, starting with Tyranids and this last year I started up a Marine force. I have an affinity for a fast moving style of army, with a strong close combat element. The Dark Eldar have been looking at me for a while now… but I made a deal with myself that if I get my Blood angels fully painted, I can start DE. I’m hoping to write a few articles along the way to display my attempts at complete a Space marine army. I’ll get around to showing how I’ve learned to paint power armor, and magnetize an entire Marine strike force, but for now I think we should start with some basics.

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My Entry for Dave Taylor’s “Steel Legion” Contest

Image copyright by Games Workshop

In December of last year, Dave Taylor had a contest entitled “Cold Dark… and Steel Legion” which challenged his audience to craft a themed list for his steel legion force.  Naturally, I entered, and was picked as one of the finalists, but alas, I didn’t win.  I wasn’t hurt at all though, because this particular contest was really fun to participate in.  So my list doesn’t drift away into oblivion, I thought I’d post it here, along with my underlying logic.

Before we get too far, let’s get into the requirements.  Dave was looking for a themed list that was balanced, fun, and competitive.  Yeah, good luck, right?  On top of it, it had the following requirements:

  • The list had to have options for competitive play (at 1500, 1750, and 1850 points) and a 3000 point Apocalypse varient.
  • The list had to fit the theme of a Steel Legion force (and Dave dutifully provided this link to the 40k Lexicanum on the army)

I’m a fan of contests which allow me to be creative, so I figured I had to enter.  So, I took what I knew about the Steel Legion (mostly from reading the Lexicanum article) and went to work.

There were some things that I just had to include, based upon the background fluff:

  • Commissar Yarrick – The most notorious character in the IG army, founded on Steel Legion fluff… he had to be included.
  • Steel Legion Sentinels – For those of us dinosaurs that were around when CODEX: Armageddon was released, we recall that prior to that point, lascannons weren’t an option for sentinels.  Because of this, when I think Steel Legion, these guys immediately come to mind.
  • Tanks – Being a mechanized force, this was a no brainer.  I had to include troops in chimeras, and at least one Leman Russ, but really, the more then merrier.
  • Apocalyptic Boom! – A generic term (which I will soon copyright) meant to indicate that the list just needed some pizzazz when it scaled up to the 3000 point Apoc variant.  The likely culprit here was going to be a Stormsword, because the Lexicanum referenced those multiple times.

Then there were other things that I wanted to include, but weren’t strictly necessary:

  • Hellhound Variants: Since they’re billed as being “extremely mobile”  and as a “rapid assault force,” having fast tanks would fit the theme nicely.
  • Big Guns: From the way the list is shaping up so far, I wanted to be sure to include some sort of big guns into the mix.  Not so much to keep with the theme, but to ensure that the list could be relatively competative in a metagame saturated with other mechanized armies.
  • Ratlings: Ok, it doesn’t have to be ratlings per se, but something to give the list a little character and set it apart from the other entries.  I wanted to include ratlings because of a comment left in response to this House of Paincakes article: “While Lexicanum says Ratlings are fine, I remember the original Steel Legion fluff from Codex:Armageddon, and they certainly were not fine then. I trust me more than I trust Lexicanum.”  Perhaps that’s me just being an antagonist though…
  • General Fluff:  Just to ensure things are tied in as best as possible, I wanted to include other things that were referenced in the article, such as a predaliction towards missile and grenade launchers in the squads.  Such changes would make the list less competative, but more fluffy…

Image copyright by Games Workshop

When I started to make the list, I did so as I would any list.  I included those “must have” things in the first section (starting with an HQ and two units of troops) and tried to build the smallest list variant (aka. 1500 points).  I ran into problems though, as Yarrick is pretty pricey at that value, and I knew I had to include him the Apoc game.  I then spent a couple of hours trying to fiddle with how to configure chunks in the list that could be bolted on to increase the points levels as he grew the army.  Yes, I said several hours (mostly spent coming up with oodles of ideas that just didn’t quite work out).  And then, logic entered the equation.

I’m sure many of you immediately thought: build a 1500 point list, a 100 point addition, a 250 point addition and a 1150 apocalyptic addition: that way, you can just snap a larger list together like from the smaller building blocks.  Perhaps you’ve done this sort of thing before, or perhaps you’re just smarter than me.  Either way, I came to the realization eventually…

But then I quickly discarded the idea as rubbish.  My core problem is I couldn’t find a solution that I liked which enabled me to snap 100 points of anything to a 1750 point list in order to expand that to 1850.  Try as I might, I couldn’t seem to do so in a fashion that would: 

  1. Not require Dave to paint up a seperate model (so upgrading a flamer to a melta gun was out of the question) and
  2. Not put him over on FoC slots when coupled with units used previously.

Seriously, what can IG get for a nice even 100 points?  Most tanks are too pricey, as are units (considering each really should be mounted in a chimera).  For those units that are less than 100 points, what would I do with the remainder? 

So, I decided to trounce that idea, and instead compartmentalize my force into smaller blocks.  The idea would be that the 1750 army would not simply be the 1500 with 250 more points added to it, but instead be a force on it’s own that could use parts from the original force, or new parts as necessary–pulling from the spare 1150 Apoc points pool.

With that in mind, I again began with the must haves, and filtered them into the list where I could.  Yarrick, a Stormlord, and an Apocalyptic formation of Stompa Hunters (enabling me to use the sentinels, and theme an a true Battle for Armageddon style list) were the first additions.  This core would give me a fun and thematic list at 3000 points, and would make a competitive list in Apoc (Titans quake at the thought of double-tapping str10 lascannons).

Then I went to work on the forces themselves.  I started by adding an infantry platoon and a squad of vets, all in chimeras.  The platoon command squad would then be used as is, or as a company command squad in some of the lists.  Sentinels were included at every point level (with 9 of them–the minimum for the Apoc formation–you really have to), and then threw in some hydras, a Manticore, and a Leman Russ for support. 

With the 1500, 1750, and 1850 point lists completed, I had a few more points kicking around, for apolcaypse, so I added a Deathstrike Missile Launcher.  How can you beat that for fun?

I’m proud of the end result: a list that I feel is “competitive” (just don’t let someone from YTTH hear that), but still fluffy and fun.  No, the list didn’t have any vedettas (which I felt was necessary, since that unit didn’t exist when CODEX: Armageddon was released), and no, it wasn’t purely melta spam.  I would’ve liked to have slipped in a devil-dog variant or two, but the sentinels did a number on my available fast attack slots. 

Click to download a copy of my proposed list

Click here (or the picture to the left) to view the submitted list in it’s entirety.

There’s no doubt in my mind that the list isn’t min-maxed, but it still has enough solid elements that it should hold up in a competitive situation.  In the end though, Dave opted to go with a different list.  The winner’s suggestion also provided a fluffy list, and I really can’t say anything bad about it.  It had many of the same aspects as my list did, but was more focused on tanks (including 2 hellhounds and 4 Leman Russ variants).  One idea that stood out particularly well is the use of Salvar Chem Dogs as penal legion.  Stuart obviously had a better grasp of the fluff, and knew these shock troops were used during the third War for Armageddon.  Good work there!  You can see his list in it’s entirety at Dave’s website.

So, congrats to Stuart on a well-crafted, beautifully themed list.    I’m not sad in the least that I didn’t win, and that’s because I had so much fun trying to think up an out of the box solution to the problem at hand.  Perhaps it’s because I so very rarely encounter scalable lists (seeing as I make a completely new list for every game I play), or perhaps it’s because Dave didn’t even say what the prize would be for the winner.  But if you’ve ever seen Dave’s models, you know the real prize will just be to see the finished product.

Get to painting, Dave: your public awaits!

500 points of Orkzes

In contniuing the breakdown of 500 point armies for the upcoming tourney, I’m turning my attention to greenskins.

It would seem that they have a couple of advantages that other armies don’t have:

  • Cheap Units (for massive hordes)
  • Low cost, low armor vehicles that slip beneath the 33 armor cap
  • Wound allocation games, courtesy of Nob bikers (or Nobz in general)

That’s alot going for them, as to deal with them effectively, you need to deal with both mass infantry, as well as armored targets.  This particular list I’ve been kicking around is based around the same concept as the iGuard Sentinel list I posted: more Kanz = more dakka.

Orks (500pts)

  • Troops:
    • Boyz Mob x26 + Nob w/ Powerklaw
    • Troops:
      • Killer Kanz x2 w/ Rokkit Launchas
      • Killer Kanz x2 w/ Rokkit Launchas
      • Killer Kanz x2 w/ Rokkit Launchas

It has both infantry, and armored targets, but clearly the main threat comes from the Kanz.  If they focus on them, 27 boys will do some real damage–but if they focus on the boyz, 6 Kanz will wreak havoc. 

As far as lists go, I think this is as solid as any other list I’ve come up with… which is impressive, seeing as the codex is a little on the old side.

“Ere We Go” image copyright Games Workshop, from the classic Rogue Trader book…