Eighth edition is a thing

For those who came in late, like me, just on a year ago Games Workshop released a shiny new and significantly revised edition of Warhammer 40K, the eighth incarnation of this now venerable franchise. Well two days ago I read the rules for the second time, which didn’t take long as they’re only 6 or 7 pages, and opened my copy of Codex Chaos Space Marines for the first time. And, today, I threw some models down with my friend Oli, as he took me through my first game of the current version of 40K.

I like it.43018330461_3697ccca69_k

It reminds me a lot of the house rules that our gaming group finessed over many years of playing Apocalypse. Lots of toys, large explosions, not too much book-keeping and plenty of general dark-millennium mayhem. No doubt weird stuff will emerge, but for the moment Abaddon gives this edition 5 skull encrusted spikes.

The Mechanicus won the field today, but Chaos took it right up to them before being purged with flame.

Congratulations Oli, and thanks for coming over to show me how 8th ed works.



Red on Blue

With rage and excitement (sometimes in the same person), the 40K community is looking forward to the launch of 8th edition next weekend. I see a few battle reports for 8th are already popping up , but my friends jumped the other way, as we assembled to farewell 7th in proper WATT style: with a chaos on chaos apocalypse game. We threw down two twenty thousand point armies: so 40k of 40k.  Nurgle and Tzeentch joined together to battle a coven of Word Bearers and Khorne for bragging rights at the next Eye of Terror Pie Night.
201706 Apoc 12
We kept it simple: basically lined up our toys and charged forward. Apoc is such a random mess of events going on it is difficult to build a narrative out the game. Titans threw down huge templates. Successive waves of terminators, then daemons, then more terminators deep struck and the armies lost all cohesion into a one seething mosh pit. We expected this might happen, which is one reason why we sorted by colour at the start.

You know the drill, ones were rolled, sixes were rolled. Miniatures were removed by the kilo, and lone daemons managed to survive to contest objectives. High point for me was Abaddon surviving not one but two D-weapon blasts – a dude doesn’t get to run the black crusade for nothing.
201706 Apoc 2
So long 7th, see you on the other side.

Sisters are doin’ it for themselves

Rejoice citizens of the Imperium. Those valiant warriors of the faith the Adepta Sororitas have successfully defended Imperial Shrine world WB-R-Murphy-02 from a brutal Chaos Marine invasion. Long a shining light of the Imperial Creed, Murphy-02 found itself threatened and near obliterated by the combined efforts of several traitor legions. However, the Sisters, along with steadfast support from the Mechanicus and several Imperial Knight Houses, stood firm.


The Sisters and their allies prepare for the initial Chaos assault

Apocalypse means beer, huge templates, buckets of dice and lots of minis. It remains a favourite with our gaming circle. Big games are especially sweet if you can assemble two themed lists and play with friends over an ace looking table. In the past we have played Tyranids versus Space Marines and lots of Marines against combined daemon and traitor lists. This time we bought in the Sisters and pitted them against a “pure” traitor marine list: no daemons, cultists or dodgy alien allies; 12,000 points a side plus super heavies.

The Sisters set up the center of the table and Chaos came on from both short table edges.

The Sisters won the role for first turn and while tactics can be hard in a game that large, the Sisters players coordinated their first round of shooting well. Chaos never really came back from that opening round of shooting.  Orbital bombardments and combined Knight firepower took out our Titan and the Chaos mad, long dash across no-mans’ land never had a chance to gain momentum.


Turns out all you need are some lucky orbital bombardment roles and 3 or 4 Knights and Nurgle’s finest Titan is a smoking, smelly pile.

Once close combat was joined the scores started to close, but Chaos never looked like getting in front. But that is not the point of Apocalypse. You just have to go with the flow, and “forge the narrative”.

A game this large, over 25,000 points on the table, is hard to take in. As a player I find myself concentrating on the part of the battlefield where my forces are and larger trends are missed or confused. This is part of the Apoc experience. Highlights for me include Abaddon and two terminators charging two Imperial Knights. And destroying both. At the other end of the table, not one, but four Saints teleported into the fray, and reclaimed at least two objectives. The stuff Saints live for, surely.

Don’t worry, Abaddon is already plotting his revenge.

Blood for the blood god (and Nurgle)

It’s Queen’s Birthday weekend even here in the Republic of Northcote, so we marked the occasion as fits a monarch by waging some war.  James, Cam, Steef and I got together for some 40K. James and I gave the current Space Marine codex a last outing against a joint chaos incursion by Cam using Nurgle marines and Steef who tried out Khorne Daemonkin.


Chaos mass in their deployment zone, waiting the signal to charge


We used 3,000 points a side, with Dawn of War deployment and the maelstrom of war mission Deadlock, where the maximum number of tactical cards reduces each turn, starting from six cards per side.  We placed the six objectives evenly along the table. Imperial won the toss but let Chaos set up first. Knowing they were most likely to just charge across the table at us we wanted a chance to set up some clear lines of fire.
A plan that went awry right from the start as Khorne bikers arrived in our face on turn one.

Go get'em boys

Go get’em boys

Chaos hounds and bikers, along with the a Khorne lord on a juggernaught were all in combat in the first two turns, with charge and counter-charge defining this flank for the rest of the game.


The chaplain gets a mention in despatches for successfully taking around 10 invulnerable saves

The Imperials held this flank, at some cost, but beyond a victory point for slay the war lord, there were no points to be won.

Chaos dominated the other flank. With plenty of big toys, including a very nice looking hell chicken, they slapped down, burnt and generally stomped on every loyal marine in the vicinity.

I forget what we played this as - not an imperial knight. It had a battle cannon and looked awesome

I forget what we played this as – not an imperial knight. It had a battle cannon and looked awesome


The only marine in the village. “One, this is recon alpha, I need a bit of help over here”

The centre was tough. This was the key for the loyalists if they were to achieve their objectives and the Exorcists threw in all they had.





Despite the carnage, Chaos held on and the Space Marine attack bogged down to contest but not seize the objectives in the centre.

It wasn't a game changer, but this mauler fiend still had a fun day out

It wasn’t a game changer, but this mauler fiend still had a fun day out

Imperial strategists cut their losses, leaving Chaos to win 12 VP to 6.


So it appears that Chaos has returned to the offensive. Faith and Steel recommend that your emergency plans are current and to standby for further orders.

For the Emprah!

Citizens rejoice, the minions of chaos have been given a bloody nose as loyal soldiers of the Imperium have go over to the offensive.  A combined arms attachment have defeated a daemon incursion bought about by the foul rites of a traitor marine coven and their damned followers.

James and Rob bought over a bunch of toys and we played 3,000 points a side of 40K. We set up on long table edges with six objectives and played with the maelstrom of war tactical cards, three per side.

James had his Grey Knights, assisted by Exorcists and an Inquisitor. Rob had Guard, Sisters and Marines – so pretty much every loyal faction was represented.

Opposing them were Chaos Space Marines and Slaanesh Daemons.  Having had a narrow win in a bruising encounter against the Grey Knights last time we met I was quietly confident. After all I had a bunch of terminators ready to deep strike and three vindicators. What could possibly go wrong?Arc15_03Quite a bit, it turns out.  Did you know that Grey Knights can deep strike on turn one?


Hey Sisters, I think I’m going to need some help over here

Chosen about to be minced

Chosen about to be minced

Daemonettes showing the correct way to deal withGK  Terminators

Daemonettes showing the correct way to deal with GK Terminators

The other wing didn’t quite go as planned either. A rock hard unit of noise marines were kebabbed by a different sort of Sister:

I think there were some sternguard there too

I think there were some sternguard there too


The eviserator wielding priest is close to MVP for mine. He tore up some Noise Marines, a couple of Word Bearers and a Vindicator. Not a bad day’s work for the frothing chap.

And to add insult to injury, my sorcerer got turned into a spawn when winning against a Canoness was deemed unworthy:


The role of spawn was bought to you today by Syd the Arcanasaur

(Spawn was subsequently caught milling about in open and hosed by bolters or lasguns or something else undignified like that.)

Back on the other wing things didn’t get any better. While I was dealing with the Grey Knight terminators a dread knight showed up and, while it took several turns, stomped on the remaining daemonettes.


Hint for novice daemonettes: for rending to work you need to roll 6s

The cultists did well by their drug addled standards. After milling about in some mud-filled craters they successfully charged a unit of Legion of the Damned and went on to seize an objective! Too little too late to change the outcome, however.


A big shout out to the boys in Imperial Tower. Psykers turing 6s into rending shots on targeted units, with some old-fashioned Guard fire discipline can really mess up your day:


Well done boys.

The final margin can be judged by the height of the two piles. A clear victory to the Imperium.


The changing situation bought on by the tactical cards really can bring a game to life. I still like missions with clear objectives but the fluidity required to win with the tactical cards brings a fun level of chaos and some genuine generalship challenges to a game as you seek to exploit the hand you’re dealt.

So on a beautiful, sunny day in the Republic of Northcote it was a pleasure to be inside playing dollies.

easter14Thanks Lads.

Arcanacon Ahoy!

Army lists for Arcanacon are due in a couple of weeks so it’s time to start thinking about ultra01what to take. Before Christmas I was all set to take Ultramarines. The list doesn’t need any work, I know the kit and it is a balanced combined-arms force.

So, in a near re-run of last year, I’m going to take Chaos.

I’ve drawn up a new list with three design constraints in mind. I want to:
– use an Arc bound list
– paint a minimum of models
– minimise upgrades

By using Arc bound I get an extra 10 points and I need all the help I can get.

Minimum upgrades is because I inevitably get to the end of a game and find I’ve been playing with a self-imposed handicap by ignoring up to 100 points of goodies. This is not a good look. So WYSIWYG and not too many extras to remember will help make things cruisy. This can be particularly important on day 2, especially if the weather is hot.

Draft list for The Coven Malleus

The Apostate found the Sorcerer’s commitment to a single Chaos deity somewhat distasteful, but the Word Bearer needed him for the moment. The Slaneeshi sorcerer had promised to teach the Word Bearer some of his warp knowledge and in return the Dark Apostle has for the moment bound his war band to walk the path of excess.

Sorcerer level 1 psyker with mark of Slaneesh (terminator armour)
I’ve been enjoying the psychic phase and a psyker will be a bit of fun

Dark Apostle with the black mace
basically a delivery mechanism for the black mace

Two squads of 10 cultists, each with a flamer
for objectives but mostly to soak up damage around the DA

7 Noise Marines; three sonic blasters; icon of excess
flavour, because I haven’t used them for a while

15 Chaos Space Marines; icon of vengeance; champ with power sword
these guys will be hard to get off an objective

5 Chosen; aspiring champ with lightening claws; 4 flamers; veterans of the long war;
rhino with dirge caster
this squad is very effective with its toasty goodness and a bit of choppy-chop

Landraider with twin-linked las
for the NM and Sorcerer to ride about in

Vindicator with siege shield
S10 AP2 pie plate; don’t leave home without one

The sorcerer is the only model I need to paint. This is a plus.  No daemonettes, but given the slap allies recieve in comp I’ve tried to keep the Slaneesh vibe by using the noise marines.  There are two things I don’t like about this list. I’ve made the Sorcerer the warlord so the noise marines become a troops choice; this feels cheesy. The other is no fast attack. The chosen in a rhino will fill this role but it detracts from a more balanced org structure.