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.
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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.
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So long 7th, see you on the other side.
D.

Daemonettes

I have a growing hoard of daemonettes. The models have dynamic and threatening poses, and in numbers they bring some great close combat grunt. A large squad with a herald can gain re-rolling, rending wounds on the charge. While shooting can really mess up their day, if they can get in a charge, terminators and other marines will be quickly gutted and served up as victory kebabs.
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The chainmail-bikinis can perhaps be forgiven since they have 5+ invulnerable saves. However, I do have reservations about collecting daemonettes. It doesn’t take long to see that in the Grim Dark future the patriarchy has not withered and died. It is more than the frequent lack of women in this fantasy sci-fi vision of the universe. The images that do make it through into the background and the artwork, and onto the table, are from a rather limited selection. It is like the designers of the 40K universe read the first couple of pages of the Damned Whores and God’s Police and rather missed the point.

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The Juan Diaz sculptures: still my favourites, even with the limited number of poses

And yet, here I am. Life is messy. Daemonettes often accompany my Word Bearers. Nothing says I’ve been reading Lorgar quite like zealots summoning daemons, and the combination of shooty marines and close combat daemons complement each other nicely. With my most regular opponent often fielding pskyer heavy Grey Knights it also feels right on theme.
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An experiment in practicing painting flesh

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One from each squad

I have a recently acquired a lot of Nurgle plaguebearers. Add a Soulgrinder and greater daemon (or two)  and a troop heavy Nurgle-Slaanesh daemon hoard is looking like my next 40K army.

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The most recent, and final, squad. For now.

And in the meantime, no slut-shaming my daemonettes or they’ll manifest on your home world and teach you the error of your ways.

What’s that smell? Oh, hi Papa Nurgle

A local model shop was selling the last of its GW stock, mostly fantasy that despite the price I’m not really interested in.  There were some Grey Knights, but I don’t need another project, so I left feeling a little bit restrained with a cut-price box of plague bearers. Lesser daemons work best in numbers, so a few more of these won’t go astray.

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Nurgle are fun and easy to paint.  You could take a lot of care and time. Or, take a more organic approach and throw the paint down after a couple of reds and see what happens. So, no prizes but I they are suitably icky, so mission accomplished.

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Excuse me, I have to go wash my hands now.
D.

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.

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

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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.

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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

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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.

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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.

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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?

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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

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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:

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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.

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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.
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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:

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Well done boys.

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

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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.

Unbound unleashed!

Thanks to Steve, Cam and Oli for coming over and unleashing some war at the republic of Northcote.  It was such a brilliant sunny day that it would have been a waste not to be inside playing with our dollies.

On table one, Cam’s lovely grim-dark White Scars just pipped Oli’s Tau (now with added Kroot!).

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Faith and Steel’s correspondent was on the other table, where Steve and I went unbound. As threatened in my last post I took all of my Imperial Fist terminators plus some devastators to make up the points to 1,500.

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Oh! And a dreadnought

Steve arrived with 14 Heralds of Tzeentch. Yep, 14 of the buggers!

Just to make sure we had maximum confusion we used the tactical cards as well in the mission with six objectives.

Steve was very exposed to shooting early on, but with half my army deep striking in I couldn’t bring enough bolters to bear on the scattered individual daemons (l love bolter drill by the way, thanks Lysander), ultimately leaving me overwhelmed by a growing pool of blood thirsters (five when we stopped counting).
unbound05While it took until turn three for Chaos to kill a marine, things turned quickly after that. We drew a veil over events as the thin yellow line was being overrun by a tide of Khorne daemons.
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The unbound craziness of the mounting daemons and dogged but ultimately overwhelmed terminators was a very cinematic game. Good fun.

Vale brothers, your sacrifice will be remembered.

Beware the moors

While the Chaos offensive may be broken, the danger is still large for the beleaguered Imperial forces. The warp-smiths and soulless sorcerers of Chaos have weakened the walls of reality. Reconnaissance reports from forward Imperial elements report strange shrine like constructions, many but not all of which appear to be centres of Chaos resistance and regrouping.

Embedded Faith and Steel journalists have provided disturbing evidence that appear to show that loyalists can expect daemonic activity as they attempt to eliminate remaining Chaos forces.

Disco dancing for Slaanesh: you know you want to!

Disco dancing for Slaanesh: you know you want to!

Zoot! Who stole my abdomen? I hadn't finished digesting that pizza yet.

Zoot! Who stole my abdomen? I hadn’t finished digesting that pizza yet.

Who's that?

Of course, it won’t just be daemons – their dark apostles, the Chaos Marines remain at large.

More disturbing yet are reports of Eldar craft entering orbit. Citizens are well advised to keep their Volkslasguns well charged.