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Month: August 2011

Sisters of Battle Army List – 1750

Evening all, for those of you not following Nova tonight the live feed can be found here.
Codex Sisters of Battle part 2 came out this week in next month’s White Dwarf available in most retailers now for your viewing pleasure. I wrote up a quick 1750 list to see what melta spam MSU might look like with the Codex.
I’ve included Uriah Jacobus as my mandatory HQ, at nine times the cost of a meltagun (or 18 times the cost of a Grey Hunters meltagun!) he’s a steal since he allows me to reroll the Faith Point Dice, that and the fact that him and his girls have Feel No Pain USR and reroll to hit on the charge!
[HQ]
Uriah Jacobus
Battle Conclave
5 Death Cult Assassins
Dedicated Transport:
Rhino
[TROOPS]
Battle Sister Squad
2 x Meltaguns
Dedicated Transport:
Rhino
Dozer Blade
Battle Sister Squad
2 x Meltaguns
Dedicated Transport:
Rhino
Dozer Blade
Battle Sister Squad
2 x Meltaguns
Dedicated Transport:
Rhino
Dozer Blade
Battle Sister Squad
2 x Meltaguns
Dedicated Transport:
Rhino
Dozer Blade
[FAST ATTACK]
Dominion Squad
2 Meltaguns
Dedicated Transport:
Rhino
Dozer Blade
Dominion Squad
2 Meltaguns
Dedicated Transport:
Rhino
Dozer Blade
Dominion Squad
2 Meltaguns
Dedicated Transport:
Rhino
Dozer Blade
[HEAVY SUPPORT]
Exorcist
Dozer Blade
Exorcist
Dozer Blade
Exorcist
Dozer Blade
Uriah and his close combat girls form the only counter attacking force although their pretty fragile (even with a 5+ invulnerable save each and Feel No Pain) although they should be able to kill at least eight generic space marines on the charge. They’re more there to make the enemy think rather than form an attacking force all on their lonesome.
Forty sisters form my scoring units, loaded to the gills with Meltaguns and all mounted in Rhinos. The Battle Sisters are seriously reliable with their own little act of faith making them regroup automatically (if used in the Movement Phase) or rerolling To Hit rolls of 1 (if used in the assault or shooting phase).
Coupled with the epic (potentially twin linked with the acts of faith) melta from the Dominions (who can Outflank if I so choose) and triple Exorcist action tanks shouldn’t be a problem for this list. It melts Kill Points but then what list doesn’t these days.
Another unit worth examining is the Sororitas Command Squad, 3 Relentless Multi Meltas in one squad? Awesome.
Honourable mention goes to Retributors, the Heavy Support Sisters who clock in at only 85 points with maximum Heavy Bolter stock. “But Joe, Heavy Bolters are lame in 5th Ed. LOLOLOLOL.” Well said FarseerDave but not so easy to dismiss when they’re Rending….
So there you have it folks, my first go at a 1750 Points List for Sisters of Battle.
Let me know what you think!
Joe

ETC Week! Final Practice – Blood Angels



So my final practice night against Barra MacNiocaill’s Blood Angels, great list for the ETC by the way, Barra’s list was the four Land Raider shield list Team RoI are bringing. We also got our dice and t-shirts from Captain Richard Flood (for a price…):


The list I’ve shipped out with is at the bottom of the post but should be familiar to most as the list I used last year. It’s a real workhorse list for the ETC team in that it can be bid against most opponents and while it doesn’t tend to get twenty points off any list at all it tends not to give away twenty as well.
The matchup tonight was one I’m comfortable with, lots of high priority targets that my Obliterators can target and make their points back right away and a list with few scoring units in an event where scoring units are almost a dime a dozen (Tervigon spam, grey knights, imperial guard, space wolves, Orks, etc.):
Player 6 Player: Barra Mac Niocall, Army: Blood Angels

HQ1: Librarian (100) with Shield of Sanguinius and Bloodlance: [100]

Elite1: 5 Assault Terminators (200), 5 Thunder Hammer and Storm Shield (25) [225] in Transport 1

Troop1: Assault Squad with removed jump packs (100) with Flamer (5); [105] in Transport 2

Troop1: Assault Squad with removed jump packs (100) with Flamer (5); [105] in Transport 3

Troop1: Assault Squad with removed jump packs (100 with Flamer (5); [105] in Transport 4

FA1: 1 Land Speeder (50), with multi-melta (10) and heavy flamer (10): [70]

FA2: 1 Land Speeder (50), with multi-melta (10) and heavy flamer (10): [70]

FA3: 1 Land Speeder (50), with multi-melta (10) and heavy flamer (10): [70]

Transport 1: Land Raider Redeemer (240), with Extra Armour (15): [255]

Transport 2: Land Raider (250) – 35pts for assault squad discount: [215]

Transport 2: Land Raider (250) – 35pts for assault squad discount: [215]

Transport 2: Land Raider (250) – 35pts for assault squad discount: [215] Total 1750pts

Played by the masterful MacNiocaill however it wouldn’t be quite so easy. Barra is experienced at not only “gypsying” opponent’s key objectives at the last minute but also at estimating where his Land Raiders need to be to claim two simultaneous objectives. It really is a pleasure to watch but uncomfortable to plan against someone so crafty.
Sorry to have to cut this short but I have to go pack now for the flight! So that’s me signing off from this brief journey into ETC hell, hopefully I’m enjoying pints over the corpses of our fallen enemies by the time this is put on the War Altar by good Mr. Kroon.
Good luck to all four Irish teams attending this year!!
Bua nó Bás,
J
++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++ Player 2: Player Name: Joseph Cullen, Army: Chaos Space Marines

HQ 1: Daemon Prince (110) Wings (20) Lash of Submission (20) Mark of Slaanesh (5) total 155pts

Elites 1 Terminator Squad 3 x Terminators (90) 3 x combi meltas (15) total 105 in Transport 1

Elites 2 Terminator Squad 3 x Terminators (90) 3 x combi plasma (15) total 105 in Transport 2

Troops 1 Chaos Space Marine Squad 5 x Chaos Space Marines (75) total 75pts

Troops 2 Chaos Space Marine Squad 5 x Chaos Space Marines (75) total 75pts

Troops 3 Chaos Space Marine Squad 5 x Chaos Space Marines (75) Icon of Chaos Glory (10) total 85pts in Transport 3

Heavy Support 1 3 x Obliterators 225pts

Heavy Support 2 3 x Obliterators 225pts

Heavy Support 3 3 x Obliterators 225pts

Transport 1: Land Raider 220pts

Transport 2: Land Raider 220pts

Transport 3: Chaos Rhino 35pts Total 1750pts

ETC Week! Northern Irish Templars

So R0ot entertained me with a practice game this week also. I used the game as a method of getting back to guessing ranges accurately and opted for a heavy deep striking deployment. This was obviously the wrong deployment but as I said I was using this as an opportunity to get back some eagle eye range guessing I haven’t had with this list since last year’s ETC.

A few people have pointed out how pointy clicky Oblit spam Chaos are (much the same people who say Vendetta/Hydra spam are point and click) but I couldn’t disagree more and watching a master play these lists is a real treat. One such master is Peter Scott who I had the pleasure of watching in game 4 of Itzacon this year against Nick Meade, he was able to manoeuvre his Daemon Prince in order to Lash of Submission a unit of Grey Hunters 24″ away while being 25″ away from the Rune Priest in the same squad!! It’s ability like that that seperates point and click players from tactically agile players. No surprise then that Peter went on to win Itzacon by beating Barra MacNiocaill in the final.
Shane is playing Black Templars at the ETC for Team Northern Ireland this year. While not a typical tournament choice Black Templars have, after their recent FAQ, become an attractive choice for ETC teams given their newly upgraded Terminator Squads and Land Speeders. This is exactly what Shane was playing, spam S8AP3 rockets on Land Speeders, minimum Las/Plas Initiates Squads and Terminator Squads wielding some badass S9 rockets.
Mission:
Primary: 5 Objectives
Secondary: 1 Objective each (in our deployment zones)
Deployment: Dawn of War
Shane won the roll off and proceeded to deploy some Las/Plas goodness.


I deployed a single Rhino with my icon and squad inside, I figured with nightfighting and then popping smoke on my first turn the icon could survive long enough to get close to the Templar line.


I heavy reserved and everything that could deep strike (apart from the Prince) was going to, with some lucky rolls I wanted to see what overwhelming the Templar line would look like but also how well the force could cope with a non-typical deployment.

Shane used a massive piece of terrain on his side to pop his home objective (which counted for primary and secondary remember, mine was close to my table edge in the centre, just right for my walking on troops to grab while hustled in a Land Raider.

T1: Shane pops my Rhino with his Krak Rockets….oops…. The boys inside pin themselves and since I have nothing coming on from reserve Turn 1 we go straight to Shane’s T2.

My T2 and finally I get to do something! My icon of Chaos Glory and one marine survive Shane’s second turn of fire to act as a homing beacon for my deep striking units, I roll and get one Land Raider, 5 Chaos Space Marines, 1 Obliterator unit and both my Terminator units, not the worst!

Shane rightly points out to me that Warp Quake will prevent my Icon of Chaos Glory from doing as much, a good point from him since I have yet to encounter it, encountering it at ETC and not remembering what it does would have been potentially painful…


Shane’s remaining speeder from one squad attempts a multi melta shot at my Land Raider but is foiled by a faithful Warhead dice. My Lash Prince decides to show up on Turn 4 to Lash Shane’s unit off his objective and into a nice neat little bunch on top of the building his objective is in (I didn’t get enough to get them out of the building so opted for the next best option, plasma death).

Unfortunately that didn’t work so well and lots of the Plasma missed…hence Shane only took one casualty and passed his Righteous Zeal move using it to move back down a floor (as it’s technically closer to me) and right back onto his objective.

Seven Obliterators against the Emperor’s Chump? Give me a break, too easy….

Uh-oh….well I still have four Obliterators beside him, should be fine…


Below are my saving throws for Krak rockets fired at the unit…..4 1’s!


And as you can see, 1 Obliterator survived! Unfortunately he needed a 5 on 2D6 to assault the unit on Shane’s middle ground objective and he didn’t get it, even if he had it wouldn’t have made a difference as he had me well and truly goosed.

I made a tactical error Turn 5 and me and Shane had a good chat about it mid game (the luxury of which I won’t have in a few days….), it’s times like this where you can iron out problems with your view of the battle, your units’ capabilities and ensuring that your eye is used to the units’ ranges or lack thereof. This was you can trust your gut when the time comes that you’ve practiced most manoeuvres sufficiently.

Shane gypsied my objectives Turn 7, I had the game sealed Turn 6 but it was a fragile win, the game went on and Shane rightfully stole it back.

I realised how much horde this list can handle with it’s volume of firepower, specifically Stealer Shock, the Land Speeders can move 12″ and lay down a punishing level of firepower with their dual frag templates and heavy bolters. I wonder how our Stealer Shock player would feel about it…
Anyway, a great game, more problems ironed out with the list (by list I mean me) and a bit more experience gained before the ETC.

The winner’s banquet:

Many thanks to R0ot for providing the tough opposition and eating the skin off all the KFC…..that’s the best part!!
Next up: Barra MacNiocaill’s Blood Angels….

ETC Week! Penalties and Orks

Hey all! Well it’s finally here; ETC 2011!

For those of you unaware the Republic of Ireland and Northern Ireland will be sending four teams this year to the European Team Championships, two teams for Warhammer Fantasy Battles and two for Warhammer 40,000.

While Northern Ireland has competed for a few years now in the massive event (hailed as a step towards a World Cup by some) this is the Republic’s second year only attending. 2010 was the Republic’s first year and also our first year attending the “Home Nations” event (in which Northern Ireland, England, Scotland, Wales and the Barbarians were the other teams attending) at which we took first place, unfortunately the ETC proper proved a harder beast to subdue and is by far the greatest test of 40k players in Ireland (that I know of!).

There was also some shock news this week for the team when we found out we were being docked 20 points (a full game for those unaware of the scoring system) for our submission of an incorrect list. It’s a shame but a lesson learned for us all and we’ll just have to get on with the show, which is exactly what I’ve been doing.
At the Captain’s request I’ve been playing set lists and set missions and deployments to get used to what our Finnish opponents may throw at us. First up David McHugh‘s Orks. David did me a favour by bringing down his Kan Wall to Warheads’ Thursday Night Gaming in Gamer’s World Dublin.

The list was typical Kan Wall (Mek, KFF, Mek, KFF, tonnes of boys, couple of medium loota squads and Snikrot), while Snikrot is not ETC legal he does add an element of thinking to my backfield game so his inclusion was a welcome one for practice. Jiggy knew his stuff even though he’s a relatively new player and I see good things on the horizon for him if he can make enough tournaments! He only started playing 40k properly this year after a year as Wargames Coordinator for DCU so while he wasn’t the veteran opposition my captain might’ve hoped I’d pick he was certainly creative and (more importantly) I’m able to tell my captain what points he can expect me to claw away from a list like it.
All in all a great game but I couldn’t help thinking the Ork list was 100 points under 😉

Next up:
Team Northern Ireland’s Black Templars….

Necromunda Fiction: Triple Threat

Prologue
Welcome to the inaugural War Altar multi-book review. You didn’t ask for it but you’re getting it anyway. The tagline to the worst night of Maynard’s life and this article.

Necromunda remains one of Games Workshop’s (many) gravely under-used IPs and this is apparent in their Black Library releases. Necromunda has been particularly poorly served in this area. Like all Black Library releases, the quality of Necromunda fiction can vary dramatically. Some of the direr Kal Jericho books, in particular, makes a strong effort to force the standard down. But have hope, ragged hivers, there is non-flamer-related light at the end of the tunnel. We’ll look at the three best in the series, in no particular order.

Fleshworks by Lucien Soulban
Fleshworks is the baseline by which all other books in the series should be judged. Lucien Soulban appears to have made more of an effort than the typical Black library author, in producing an entertaining but non-typical Necromunda book.

The author seems to grasp that the setting is sufficiently characterful and doesn’t resort to the tired premise of an western plot in an predominantly dystopian setting. The book melds elements of cyber-punk and film noir with a deep respect for the source material that shines through.

The choice to set the book in Hive City and amongst the squabbling of the Houses proper proves astute as this allows the author the freedom required to tell his story to full effect. The Houses come across as functioning entities rather than the charicatures some works depict them as.

The characters manage to attain a measure of realism which is rare in Black Library products and the sheer likeability of the main character persuades the reader to suspend his disbelief during his various death-defying escapes. Some of the antagonists veer dangerously close to the traditional hackneyed gang sterotypes but by and large, he steers clear of that danger.

Commendably, the author resists any temptation to undercut the secretive, cutthroat theme of the book by forcing a clear and unambigious ending. I heartily recommend.

Outlander by Matt Keefe
This second book makes the list despite falling into the space-western pattern which blights much of the Necromunda books. Rather than using the format as a crutch, it surpasses it, providing a breathing living Necromunda which comes across as plausible. Every stereotypical character, from the drifter, to the cowardly mayor, to the hooker with a heart appears but are granted depth and a charm normally lacking.

The author jumps between multiple viewpoints and while initially jarring, this does produce an interesting work without a clear-cut protagonist. The jumps are poorly executed at times but the fault is forgiveable.

Fans of the Good, the Bad and Ugly will adore this.

Junktion by Matthew Farrer
Completing our trilogy, this book places its plot firmly in the Underhive. It manages to depict the impact of constant gang warfare and the unrelenting harshness of the setting without the clumsy comedic overtones of the Donne Ulanti and Jericho series.

The unfortunate protagonist is pitted against immovable objects and irresistable forces and buffeted viciously by cruel fate as he just tries to do his damned job. The backdrop of an Underhive settlement partially besieged is the closest to the “traditional” Necromunda fluff but retains a certain strangeness. The author’s greatest success is in projecting the truely bizarre and alien nature of life in the Hive. The inevitable slide towards anarchy that blights any attempt to improve life for the huddled masses is adeptedly highlighted.

It may be third in the list but certainly equal to any of the preceding works.

Epilogue
So there you have it, the unofficial trilogy of Necromunda. Entirely accidentally, they give a brillant snapshot of the Necromunda setting. They collectively set their action in Hive City, the Ashwastes (kinda) and the Underhive. Next up, a forty-two part review of all White Dwarfs since 1988.

Warheads -vs- Naas Wargames Fraternity: How it Happened

Well folks that was easily one of the best nights wargaming I’ve been involved in for a long time, amazing craic and a great way to play 40k!! The result? A Draw! Warheads were shy of the win by just 2 points.
Here’s the uber handsome challenging team (I say challenging team because the round took place on Warhead’s turf). From L-R, Rory Dunne (Tyranids), Chris Rooney (Blood Angels), Francis Mahon [Captain] (Eldar), Cian O’Dowd (Imperial Guard), Andy Farrell (Codex Marines) and Robert O’Byrne (Space Wolves).
The Warheads Team was made up of myself [Captain] (Chaos Space Marines), Ulick O’Sullivan (Space Wolves), Brian MacKenzie (Grey Knights), Sam Santijirakun (Blood Angels), Tristram Hills (Imperial Guard) and Alec Cornelius (Dark Eldar).
The lists were peer reviewed by Jonny Fisher (Captain Team Northern Ireland 2011) and Paul Quigley (Vice Captain Team Republic of Ireland 2011) and then published here after minor corrections.
As mentioned previously both teams had a mixed calibre of player available, all regular tournament wargamers or players who will be hitting the tournament scene soon with a few Irish ETC veterans thrown in for good measure.
I have to say the bidding process was a huge amount of fun and had each team second guessing the other constantly before matchups.
With the help of my team mates I quickly jotted down the opponent’s available lists and our potential first bids. First off we had to write champions down on a piece of paper secretly and give it to our referee (Paul Quigley of the Dublin Games Guild proved an excellent and helpful referee all night!).
In our camp we were divided about who to put as our Champion since we were trying to guess who Naas would put as their Champion. I figured their Champion would be something balanced so not their Blood Angels or Stealer Shock but also we thought that they might be thinking that we’d put our Imperial Guard as our Champion (always a good choice!) so they wouldn’t put their Eldar up.
It got rather confusing after this….either way I put myself as Champion since I thought I could hold the person we thought might be their champion (Imperial Guard or Marines) to at least a draw allowing the rest of my team to get a couple of high wins/draws and send us over the line….at least that’s how it was supposed to work!
The mission? One objective each….the Deployment? Dawn of War. A real test for a lot of armies this tournament favourite should help seperate the men from the boys.
The dice roll and….Naas put up first. Their first bid was Codex Space Marines, a shooty but relatively fragile balanced marine list with a couple of tricks up its sleave. We bid Sam’s Blood Angels, his Descent of Angels should be able to pick up enough victory points while claiming his home objective and securing a safe draw.
Our first bid are Space Wolves, against whom they send in their double Raven Blood Angels list. Interesting matchup but I was confident of our chances, even one round of shooting and that Blood Angel list suffers.
Naas bid Tyranids next and a reassuring pat on my back tells me that Dark Eldar are to be our matchup. We stick up Grey Knights to which they respond with Cian O’Dowd’s Imperial Guard and since they weren’t going to put Eldar as their Champion our Imperial Guard were left with them and my Chaos Space Marines were given Robert O’Byrne’s Space Wolves.

Here is my personal tracker for the games, on the right is the table number for the game being played (since the player that is bid gets to choose the table giving them a slight tactical edge in an even matchup) and in the top right of each match my estimated scores we could achieve.

All in all I think the matchups went very well. Our team communicated effectively and were able to get into our opponents’ heads a little bit but this exercise shows quite how much work is put in by our ETC Captain, Vice Captain and the team at predicting the opposing team’s next bid.
Below are some shots of the games themselves, click on the images to enlarge them!



Sam’s Descending Angels are led into battle by his beautifully painted Librarians!!


The Captains shake hands after a hard fought draw!

So how did the matches compare with my predictions, well as I showed earlier on my match tracker I predicted our Blood Angels player could get 7 points against codex marines, so I predicted a weak draw on our behalf. This was mostly due to the fact that we hadn’t tested this list thoroughly and Sam was relatively new to competitive 40k but low and behold he netted us 10 points!!

In our Space Wolves match against Storm Raven Blood Angels we didn’t fair too well unfortunately and lost all 20 points, much less than my predicted value of 7….
In our Dark Eldar – Tyranids matchup and Imperial Guard – Eldar matchup I predicted 20-0 both times and that’s exactly what we got.
In our Grey Knights – Imperial Guard matchup I’d hoped that Brian could net us 8 points, i.e. a draw with heavy losses, unfortunately Brian lost his objective and could only get us 3 points.
Finally my own game I predicted a weak draw for myself (since my list haemorrhages points but can hold a draw in most games) but pulled off 10 points.
All in all the predictions were accurate enough with the exception of the Space Wolves match, a worthy draw on all sides!!
This was a brilliant way for two clubs to hang out and play some excellent team based games of 40k, I wholeheartedly look forward to the rematch!!
Our many thanks to Gamer’s World for having us, our great opponents the Naas Wargames Fraternity, Paul Quigley for refereeing and checking our lists and Jonny Fisher for proofing the lists also!


Pint time!

Bua nó Bás,
J

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