Warheads

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Month: January 2012

Forge World and You: The Badab War: Part One (The Second)

Curses. I’m starting to wish I came up with a better naming system for this series.

If you’ve just joined us, this is the second installment in the review of the recent Forge World books. I’ll be dealing today with the rest of the characters from Badab War: Part One

Characters

For the sake of completeness here’s the format again:
I’ll go through the characters by firstly giving you a little on the background behind them and their disposition at the end of the Badab War. Following on from this I’ll go through:

  • The points cost compared to a Company Captain.
  • Their stat lines.
  • Wargear.
  • Special Rules.
  • I’ll explain any non-standard Special Rules or Wargear and give my opinion.
  • Finally I’ll comment on it’s relative effectiveness in-game.
Any non-standard rules and wargear will be highlighted in bold.
Lord High Commander Carab Culln

I had to trawl through too many Twilight photos to find this.

Well, we all know who’s boss don’t we? With a title like that! The third iteration of his rules, his days as the low-ranking Sergeant Culln is a distant memory for the now Chapter Master of the Red Scorpions. He had the title thrust upon him after the Secessionists ambushed and killed many of the Loyalist Chapter Masters.

HQ Unit
Points: 2.15 Company Captains
Profile: Same as a Chapter Master’s +1 Attack
Wargear: Terminator Armour, Teleport Homer, Iron Halo, Master Crafted Storm Bolter, The Blade of the Scorpion.

Special Rules: And They Shall Know No Fear, Combat Tactics, Independent Character, Orbital Bombardment, Chapter Tactics, Proud To live, Proud to Die, Hard to Kill.

Chapter Tactics: Commander Culln’s Chapter Tactics allow you to replace your Combat Tactics with his own variant, which lets you replace your veteran sergeants with apothecaries. The usual Chapter Tactics rules apply. The Apothecary has the same wargear and profile as the one in a standard command squad. I’m very much in two minds about this, in a standard space marine army this makes the squads extremely survivable. But it takes away from their upgrade potential, in the form of powerfists and the like. I’d certainly upgrade any vanguard or sternguard sergeants in my force.

Proud to Live, Proud to Die, Hard To Kill: Give him the Eternal Warrior USR, in addition to this, any Red Scorpion units within 12” add +1 to their combat res in assault, this doesn’t stack for multiple squads.
Eternal Warrior- very much needed, the +1 combat res is a nice touch.

Blade of The Scorpion.
Master Crafted Relic Blade,which gives Culln additional attacks equal to the difference between his Weapon Skill and the Enemy with the highest WS which he is fighting.
This gives Culln on average two extra attacks for a total of 7 Str 6, re-rolling to hit power weapon attack, not to be sniffed at.

Final Thoughts:
A very solid set of rules for the Commander of the Red Scorpions, he’ll be right at home spearheading terminators or providing a solid counter attack base. Points wise, he’s a bargain if you use his Chapter Tactics, not so much if you don’t.

Captain Tarntus Vale
Why does Errant Armour always have a loincloth? What are they hiding?

Praetor of the Fire Angels’ 3rd Company, with a strong flair for armoured warfare. That formation is among the best anti-armour specialists in the chapter, if not among the entire loyalist force. They were pivotal in the attack on Sagan where the Secessionists attacked the loyalist lines in Rhinos laden with chemical warheads. His lungs were replaced with bionic oxygen exchangers after he personally destroyed one of the Suicide-Rhinos setting off it’s toxic payload.

HQ Unit
Points: 1.75 company Captains.
Profile: Same as Chapter Master
Wargear: Chainsword, Bolt Pistol, Plasma Pistol, Frag and Krak grenades, Melta Bombs, Iron Halo
Special Rules: ATSKNF, Combat Tactics, IC, Chapter Tactics, No Retreat, No Surrender, Master Gunner.

Chapter Tactics:Replace Combat Tactics with Tank Hunter. In addition to this, any Rhino or Razorback purchased for a squad upgraded in this manner is upgraded with extra armour for free.
Rocket Devs with Tank Hunter? Yes Please! In this very mechanised world we live in, this is extremely deadly to anyone who hides in transports. Dark Eldar Quiver in fear at the thought of Strength 5 boltguns! Everyone and their mother rides around in a rhino or a razorback, so why not have some free extra Armour.

Master Gunner:Any Vehicle with the subtype (Tank) in which Vale is transported gains the benefit of his Tank Hunters Rule if his chapter tactics are being used.
Apart from a Land Raider Phobos, I struggle to think of any other decent candidates for Vale to use this rule in, apart from a Lascannon razorback. I really like this rule, it’s completely unique giving Vale some real character over and above the normal Space Marine Captains.

Final Thoughts:
For his points, he’s amazing. Most Space Marine armies take at least two Rhinos or Razorback saving you off the bat 30 points. Tank Hunters makes even the lowly Tactical Squad a tank’s nightmare. To really make him worth his points, I’d run 2 devastator squads and plenty of squads in Rhinos/Razorbacks. I’d like to see him rolling around in one of these though.

Lias Issodon
There’s an entire Company of Raptors in this Picture. Ninjas.

Chapter Master of the Raptors, ‘The Grim’
HQ Unit
Points; 1.4 Company Captains.
Profile: Same As Chapter Master
Wargear: Power Armour, Power Weapon, Bolt Pistol, Frag And Krak Grenades, Malice

Special Rules: ATSKNF, Combat Tactics, Cunning Strategist, Chapter Tactics, IC, Infiltrate, Isolate, Destroy.

Malice
An Assault: 4, Range: 30 Bolter that has access to ‘Special Issue Ammo’- the same as Sternguard squads.
This firmly situates Issodon as a backfield, fire support character. I’d reckon you’ll rarely be anthing but the Hellfire rounds (Wound on 2+) from this. A handy addion to a fire-support tactical squad or devestator squad but is at home really in a sternguard squad.

Cunning Strategist:
-1 to the enemy’s reserve rolls.
This is excellent, nowhere else can a Space Marine army aquire this bonus. If you take a few drop pods, this makes the enemy think twice about all-reserving as their army will come on piecemeal.

Chapter Tactics:
Lose combat tactics, gain STEALTH
No, you’re not seeing things,  it does give Space Marines stealth.

Infiltrate, Isolate, Destroy:
After scout moves, before the game begins, choose an enemy unit (not IC); if a vehicle it takes a Glancing Hit, if anything else, it takes D6 shooting wounds with AP-.
I’d almost exclusively use this on vehicles unless there’s a small squad (Say a platoon/company command squad lying around) It’d be nice to put some wounds on an MC but most have a 3+ save or better. A great psychological weapon and very in keeping with the Raptors theme as one of your units turns up potentially damaged or even dead.

Final Thoughts:
Making your units 1/3 more survivable in cover? Yes please. Point for point the best character in the book. Think about combining this with a bike command squad- turbo boost for a 2+ cover and FNP then go to town with Lightning claws/Meltaguns/thunderhammers , it even makes normal bike squads heros. His only downfall is his lack of an inv save so make sure he stays out combat and isn’t caught on his own. For some sneaky tricks, take either Lysander/Master of the Forge/Techmarine/Thunderfire cannon and fortify a few buldings. If you absolutely, positively have to hold the line: accept no substitutes.

Malakim Phoros
Yellow? Hearts? I don’t think these guys got the GrimDark memo.

Chapter master of the ill-fated Lamenters Chapter. Drawn into the Badab war on the side of the Secessionists through careful manipulation by Huron. Phoros holds a deep distrust of the High Lords of Terra after the repeated castigation of his Chapter. Huron tapped into this suppressed hatred to draw the Lamenters into the conflict. He is M.I.A. after his flagship, the Daughter of Tempests, was destroyed during the battle that saw the majority of his Chapter destroyed by the relentless assault of the Minotaurs.

Blood Angles HQ Unit.
Points: 1.75 Company Captains
Profile: Chapter Master +1 Attack
Wargear: Artificer Armour, Glaive Encarmine, Catechrist, frag and krak grenades, Iron Halo.
Special Rules: Fearless, IC, Lord of Ruin, Bloodline of Sanguinius, Rage Unto Death.

Catechrist:
A standard Infernus pistol.

Lord Of Ruin:
Any unit he joins becomes fearless, in addition any enemy units that lose a combat that involves Phoros must re-roll successful morale checks to prevent falling back
Now, this is different. Forcing the enemy to re-roll FAILED moral checks is handy for not getting shot in the subsequent shooting phase though this may come back to bite you when you really need an enemy to run away!

Bloodline of Sanguinius:
He is a ”Blood Angel” and all rules affecting them, affect him.

Rage Unto Death:
Once Phoros has lost one or more Wounds he increases his Attacks and Strength by 1 but gains the Rage USR and confers this to any unit he joins.

Final Thoughts:
Our first Blood Angel based Character really sets the tone for the entire Lamenter Chapter. It was a shame that he wasn’t included in the actual Blood Angel book, as here I feel he’s underpowered. He needs to be in a dedicated Assault unit but not something that’s going toe to toe with Terminators or anything that has a lot of instant death attacks as he lacks Eternal Warrior. I’d stick him in a nice big squad of Death Company with a Chaplain so you won’t risk one of your scoring units Raging off an objective on the last turn.

Captain Mordaci Blaylock
Apart from having one of the most badass names in 40k, the Captain of the Novamarines 1st company is also known as ‘The Stormbreaker’. He and his Terminators were the rock that broke an entire Eldar Swordwind, Blaylock himself crushing the life from the Exarch with Foe-Ripper. Coming to the aide of the Howling Griffons when their chapter was nearly shattered, Blaylock commanded the Novamarines detachment in the Badab war, mostly attacking marauders and orks on the peripheries of the Maelstrom.
HQ unit

Points: 1.95 Company Captains.
Profile: Chapter Master
Wargear: Terminator Amrour, Iron Halo, Foe Ripper, Storm Bolter.
Special Rules: ATSKNF, Independent Character, Hard As Stone, Terminator Attack, Combat Tactics.

Foe-Ripper
Master Crafted Chainfist
GW needs to start talking to the FW guys about naming their weapons. Master Crafted handy against vehicles and it means he’s no slouch in CC.

Hard as Stone:
Blaylock and any terminator unit (of any type) can choose to pass or fail any morale check they are asked to take and cannot be pinned.
This really adds to your hammer unit, not having to worry about them running away that one time you roll double 6 for the morale check. Also makes his unit immune to Psyker Battle Squads.

Terminator Attack:
If your army includes Blaylock, all terminator squads (of any type) count as scoring.
Deathwing; Eat your heart out.

Final thoughts.
Maybe not a complete replacement for Maynard’s boy (Belial) Blaylock certainly fills a gap in the Space Marine Codex. He allows your hammer unit to take that objective you’ve just cleared or even tempt you into taking Shooty Terminators. You need to take at least 2 squads of terminators to get your points’ worth here
That’s all the Characters reviewed, I was going to review the ‘Tyrant’s Legion’ army list here but I thought it wouldn’t do it justice and deserved it’s own post at a later date. Next up I’m going to review the units in the Imperial Armor Apocalypse Second Edition that are useable in ‘normal’ games of 40k.
Thanks for reading!

Ireland’s Flames of War team for the European Team Championships

Ireland is sending a team to compete in Flames of War at this year’s ETC in Poland.  Six players will travel to Poland from August 17th to 19th.  The team thus far consists of:

Barra “Sturmovik” Mac Niocaill
Comrade Captain

Brian “Hold the Dniepr!” McKenzie
Comrade Vice Captain

Ulick “Katyusha” O’Sullivan

 Corps Commander
Joe “The Legend of Lake Ladoga” Cullen
Division Rocket Physicist 2nd Degree
Joining the above as support staff are:
Padraic “The Konnemara Kommissar” O’Confhaola
Minister of Strategic Planning and Training
Joe “Minsk Meat” McCloskey
Artistic Director and Morale Officer
Two spots remain.  If you have the courage, the tactical acumen, and 1750 points of  a Late War force we want you!  Join the discussion here.

Irish 40k Tournaments: Quick Season Review

Full Season

For the past few months we’ve been looking at the average scores and overall use of each codex on the Irish tournament scene. I suspected that taking the average score would tend to undervalue the performance of particularly popular codexes but ran with it anyway. However, poring through the stats, it appeared that focusing only on the highest placed finishers might give us a better picture of the season.

I’ve looked back at every tournament since the beginning of 2011 and compiled the numbers of top five finishes by the respective codexes. The data has been gathered from Rankings HQ and begins with Warpcon 2011 and continues as far as Dominion Day V.

Obviously, 2011 was the Year of the Knight. The Grey Knight codex takes a commanding lead, well ahead of the nearest contenders. In the chasing pack, we have three codexes traditionally seen as the strongest current builds, Dark Eldar, Space Wolves and Imperial Guard. They are joined by the quirks of the Irish scene, Orks and Chaos. The Lash and Kan Wall list continue to perform well.

At the other end of the scale, we see the Tyranids and Tau huddled in obsolesence without a decent finish between them. Despite suggestions that the Black Templars had a period of excellent results in the spring, we see that this was greatly over-estimated. The other results are also rather conditional. The Eldar results trace to a single successful run at the Irish GT. The triumph of the Witch Hunters and Daemons dates from Warpcon. For the sake of completeness, all Necron results are with the newer codex.

Split Season

As the above is the full season, Grey Knight dominance might be understated. To confirm this, I’ve broken the year into two sections, the first being the tally before the Grey Knights appear and the second being the aftermath.

It’s about what you’d expect, the Space Wolves, Guard and Dark Eldar do well. Ork and Chaos continue to carve themselves a niche. Again, Warpcon 2011 was responsible for some of the more unexpected finishers to the right of the scale. There has been a reduction in diversity in the top finishers since then.

Now, watch what happens when the Grey Knights arrive.

After the release of Codex: Grey Knights, everything shifts. They take as many places as the second and third codexes combined. They have as many finishes as the last twelve codexes combined. That is a level of dominance which was not clear from the individual breakdowns of the last few tournaments. If this continues into the next year, it suggests certain balance issues within the game itself which will be difficult to resolve.

Overall Popularity

While I was digging through the tournaments, I got a little curious as to which codex was the most popular in actual numbers. I’ve compiled the numbers of times each codex was used in an Irish tournament in 2011. Each appearance represents one player’s complete run at a single tournament, not number of games played.

The data isn’t perfect, some tournaments didn’t have their full details uploaded. There were twenty-two errors in the Warpcon entry, one error in the Retcon results and one in the Assault on Arkham: Summer War results. They have all been combined in the Unknown category. I believe we still get a reasonably accurate overview.

All appearances of the Necrons, both old and new, have been combined into one entry. All appearances of the Sisters of Battle and the older Witch-hunters codex have also been combined under Sisters of Battle.

It turns out that rather than having one Space Marine for each Imperial planet, there’s about six Marines for each Imperial Guardsman. For a fluff purist like myself, this suggests that if they could just stop the Grey Knights fighting each other, the galaxy would be secure by Tuesday.

Gears Of War: The Board Game

On the invitation of Newbreed, I’m here to do a bit of guest blogging.
Yes, it is a board game now. A co-operative one to be precise, for up to four players, playing time around 30-90 minutes depending on numbers and difficulty settings. Myself, Aido, John and Padriac were down in Maynooth’s Gamers Hub and decided to give it a go.

You play one of the four eponymous GoW characters. Here’s me, Baird, the “science guy” (he wears goggles in place of nerdy specs). The models are all well designed, especially the Locust, but unpainted, it can be a little hard to tell them apart.
Depending on the character you pick, you’ll get different stuff to start put with in terms of guns and ammo. Along with an individual special rule, as this character card indicates. Grenades are important. Very important.
The maps are arranged with random tiles, a series of rooms and corridors. Missions are randomly selected from a group of seven. This is “Emergence” the beginner mission. Our four intrepid heroes enter on the bottom right tile, and must fought their way to the red dot (an “Emergence” hole) in the furthest one, sealing it up with a grenade, before eliminating the remaining bad guys.
Weapons match those of the game, with the “Lancer” the most common (with a nifty mechanic for using its in-built chainsaw). Using up ammo tokens allows you to add more die to your rolls, but every weapon has a base number of die that you can roll without expending ammo. Grenades though, are gone when they are gone. You can pick up weapons from dead Locust.
That’d be these nasty buggers. The Locust are actually quite weak in the game, their strength coming from swarming numbers.
And here they come. You can rank how dangerous they are by size. Wretches, the smallest, are barely a threat, while the Boomers, the biggest, can mess you up with grenade launchers. A steady stream of Locust will be heading our way all game until the objective is completed.
And it doesn’t take long for them to reach us. As in the video games, the board game operates a “cover” mechanic (the curved arrows) which allows you to add more die to dodge and defence roles.
The turn system operates on a “Player A – Them – Player B – them” system. Everytime a human player is finished a turn, he takes control of the locust, drawing “AI Cards” to determine the general instructions for what they do, which can include attack, advancing or adding more Locust to game board. The player can, sometimes, decide the specifics of what the Locust do though, such as which of the four players they actually attack. This emphasises the co-operative nature of the game, as you work to protect the weakest from Locust assault.
Attacks are made through action cards like this one, of which you are dealt up to seven, depending on the character you picked, receiving an additional two every turn. Aside from letting you do things, the action cards also simulate health as damage is calculated by removing cards from your hand. They also each have individual effects as indicated by the symbol on the top left of the card, which can allow you to dodge an attack, get in an attack on a Locust about to shoot you etc.
The Locust AI cards frequently leave the enemy piled up in front of you in large numbers, in this case, just about every bad guy on the board in one square.
Die rolls are made with black for attack and red for defence. Those red flashes mean hits and damage (of which Locust cannot take much), while skulls are “omens” which activate special rules depending on the weapon used. In this turn, John pitches a grenade at the enemy, and rolls several die.
With bad consequences for them. Grenades are powerful, somewhat over-powered for this game, and are plentiful in this specific scenario. A common game tactic is simply to wait until the Locust are inevitably jammed into one space then pitch a grenade. One of the cowards is actually running away in the top-right.
I start using movement-centric action cards to advance through the map while the coast is clear. Other scenarios might actually be better done with a “Dig-In” mentality, but not this one. Of course, it is easy to get cut off on your own if you don’t collaborate on movement.
It is not long before more Locust are winging their way towards us.
As Aido and John are stuck back in the first square (unable to finish off some Wretches), myself and Padraic take to the high ground, which offers some boosts to attack. But the Locust are not far behind and poor Baird is already down to just two action cards.
And down he goes. Like the video game, I’m not dead, just “bleeding out”. Another player can exhaust an action card to get me up, as Padraic does. The players lose when all four are down. This takes a lot of damage to accomplish, but it is a snowball effect: you can operate easily enough with one player down, but two down means less targets for the Locust to choose from, less offensive options, then suddenly three are down, then you’re all dead.
Another grenade clears the enemies and now we are all advancing down the last straight, the objective firmly in mind. The board game really does capture something of a video game in my opinion, the basic teamwork, the hordes of bad guys falling before you etc. The creators have done a decent job of translating virtual mechanics into board game ones.
We approach the objective. The way seems pretty packed, but you can move past live Locust if you wish. Question marks are ammo points, where you discard action cards to get more food for guns. Pretty important here, to get more grenades.
We make a run for the objective. The first attempt fails, but an ammo point is readily available.
Success! The Emergence hole is sealed. Getting this far was plenty of fun, and the game benefits from such specific objectives, giving it that military feel.
One last thing to do, as a final horde of Locust stream into the map depending on how many players are left. Unfortunately for them, grenades remain really over powered….
Padraic slaughters the lot easily.
Victory! Our team stands united in triumph (except for Aido who was too busy being a glory-hunter).
The game has some minor flaws – hard to distinguish models, over-powered weapons, easy enough enemies – but many of these can be overcome by playing on higher difficulties (we played on “Normal”) which throws greater numbers of more difficult enemies at you, all the way up to Berserkers. But overall it as a good gaming experience. The teamwork, combat, and Locust AI mechanics are all good, the rules avoid unnecessary complexity, and it can all be done in an hour or so. Fully recommended.
David Costelloe is the author of Never Felt Better, the bestest blog on the internet, and personally knows, like, THREE Warheads.

Flames of War for the Cash Strapped. Part I: Germans

This spring the Warheads and Gamer’s World will be starting a Flames of War escalation league.  This is an outstanding World War Two game in 15mm scale.  The timing of the league coincides with the release of the third edition rules for Flames of War.  We have always found Flames of War to be an excellent game; however, the miniatures made by Battle Front are rather expensive.  Recently, U.K.-based Plastic Soldier Company has produced several late-war 15mm kits that are ideally suited for Flames of War.  These kits, when supplemented with a few Battle Front blisters, allow for the creation of a substantial force for around 100 euro or less.

The purpose of this article is to present several lists using PSC kits and blisters purchased from Gamer’s World.    A few caveats:
1.  Our concern in constructing the lists were pecuniary not competitive.  Some of the lists below can be easily countered but can also make an opponent cry depending on the match up.
2.  From a modeling perspective our concern was WYSIWYG rather than verisimilitude.  Purists may be offended by the use of generic infantry to represent SS, Fallschirmjäger, etc.  
3.  All of the lists below were created using the recently released book Grey Wolf: Axis Forces on the Eastern Front, January 1944-February 1945.  The lists are not exhaustive,  nor do we claim that they are even the best value for money that may be possible.  Nevertheless, we are impressed with the lists we were able to generate drinking Guinness in T.P. Smiths using the back of an envelope and a stubby pencil.
4.  All of the lists are in the 1500 point range.  Specific point cost have not been included.
5.  People familiar with 40k will understand the list structure.  Lists include a mandatory HQ and two combat platoons.  These are supplemented by a multitude of support platoons.
6.  The Plastic Soldier Company late war German Infantry box comes with 90 grenadiers, 10 officers, and 15 MG42s.  The latter are crucial.
7.  Prices below are gleaned from the internet.  PSC has said the release of its Tiger kit is imminent.  We use the price of the Panther box for the lists below that use Tigers .
Without further ado, let’s consider the lists.

List 1  Gepanzerte Panzergrenadierkompanie (p. 76 Grey Wolf)
We are starting with this list because we feel it is the best “take all comers” list.  It also uses multiple units that would make for dynamic tactics and game play.  This is the most expensive list presented.
HQ: Gepanzerte Panzergrenadierkompanie HQ and 2ic in Sd Kfxz 251/1 half-tracks
Combat platoon 1: Gepanzerte Panzergrenadierkompanie consisting of three squads and a HQ section.  Each squad has two MG teams and a half-track.  The command squad is a MG team and a half-track.
Combat platoon 2: Gepanzerte Panzergrenadierkompanie consisting of three squads and a HQ section.  Each squad has two MG teams and a half-track.  The command squad is a MG team and a half-track
Combat platoon 3: Heavy Infantry Gun platoon, 2 15cm sIG33
Divisional support 1: Panther A platoon, 4 Panther As
Divisional support 2: 2 armoured Sd Kfz 7/1 (Quad 2cm)
What you need to buy:
Two boxes of Plastic Soldier Company half-tracks: 40 euro
One box of Plastic Soldier Company Panthers: 22 euro
One box of Plastic Soldier Company late-war German Infantry: 22 euro
Battle Front blister [GE566] 15cm sIG33 : 16 euro
Two Battle Front blisters [GE168] SdKfz 7/1 (Quad 2cm): 18 euro
Battle Front bases blister [XX101]: 9 euro
Total cost:  127 euro.  Point cost: 1500
List 2  Kampfgruppe Bäke (p. 22 Grey Wolf)


HQ:  Panther A
Combat platoon 1: 4 Panther A
Combat platoon 2: 3 Panther A
What you need to buy:
Two boxes of Plastic Soldier Company Panthers: 44 euro.
Total cost: 44 euro.  Total point cost: 1500.
Notes:  It may be advisable to drop combat platoon 1 to three panthers and use the extra points to get some anti-aircraft support!
List 3 Stug Batterie (p. 58 Grey Wolf)


HQ: StuG G with assault rifle tank escortson
Combat Platoon 1: 3 StuG G with assault rifle tank escorten
Combat Platoon 2: 3 StuG G with assault rifle tank escorten
Combat Platoon 3: 3 StuG G with assault rifle tank escorten
Divisional support: Schwere Panzer Platoon, 2 Tiger I E
What you need to buy:
Two boxes of PSC StuGs: 40 euro
One box of PSC Tigers when available: 22 euro (probably)
Total cost: 62 euro.  Total point cost: 1530
Note: You might consider dropping tank riders from two platoons and adding an anti-aircraft blister of 2cm FlaK38s [GE544], 17 euro.

List 4 Grenadierkompanie (p. 26 Grey Wolf)
HQ: Grenadierkompanie HQ
Combat platoon 1: Grenadier platoon with 3 squads
Combat platoon 2: Grenadier platoon with 3 squads
Combat platoon 3: Grenadier platoon with 3 squads
Weapons platoon 1: Grenadier machine-gun platoon with 2 MG sections
Weapons platoon 2: Grenadier mortar platoon with three sections
Divisional support 1: Panzer platoon with 3 Pz IVH
Divisional support 2: StuG platoon with 3 StuG G
Divisional support 3: Anti-aircraft gun platoon, 3 SdKfz 7/1 (quad 2cm)
What you need to buy
One box PSC late war German Infantry: 22 euro
One box PSC PZ IVH: 20 euro
One box PSC StuGs:  20 euro
Battle Front blister [GE735] mortar platoon with 3 sections: 14 euro
Three Battle Front blisters [GE166] SdKfz 7/1 (Quad 2cm): 27 euro
Battle Front bases blister [XX101]: 9 euro
Total cost: 112 euro.  Total point cost: 1500
List 5 Panzerkompanie (p. 72 Grey Wolf).  
HQ: 2 Panzer IV H
Combat platoon 1: 5 Panzer IVH
Combat platoon 2: 4 Panther A
Divisional support: 3 Sd Kfz 7/1 (Quad 2cm)
What you need to buy:
Two boxes PSC Panzer IVs: 40 euro
One box PSC Panthers: 22 euro
Three Battle Front blisters [GE166] SdKfz 7/1 (Quad 2cm): 27 euro
Total cost: 89 euro.  Total point cost: 1500
List 6 Schwere Panzerkompanie (p. 70 Grey Wolf)

In anticipation of PSC’s Tiger kit…

HQ: 2 Tiger I E
Combat Platoon 1: 3 Tiger I E
Combat Platoon 2: 2 Tiger I E
What you need to buy
Two boxes PSC Tigers (when available): 44 euro (or so)
Total cost: 44 euro.  Total point cost: 1505
Notes:  You will probably want to drop 1 Tiger from either the command section or Platoon 1 so you can fit in some support choices.
Concluding thoughts
Other lists that seem quite feasible using PSC products, a few BF blisters, and Grey Wolf list are:
Sturmkompanie, Fallschirmjäger, SS Panzerkampgruppe, and SS Panzergrenadierkampfgruppe.  Many of you will note that artillery is a key omission from the above lists.  This is because most BF artillery boxes cost between 35 and 55 euro.  Mortars are an excellent option if available in a list.
Next week, we will present some Soviet lists.

Moocon 4 vs Dominion Day 5

We look today at the shape of the Irish tournament scene at the 1000 point level. A recent development, it is heavily comped with most tournaments using the Highlander format. On a technical note, while only battle points are used for the D-Day tournament, it was not possible to strip out those details for Moocon.

We’ve got two largely distinct populations of players here, the first is Munster-based and the second is Ulster-based. Barring some travelling Leinster players, there is little overlap. Hopefully, the upcoming K-Con will provide similar data for the Leinster scene. It is interesting to see that random chat with my local gamers as to the army breakdown of the Ulster scene was unerringly accurate while similar chatter on the Munster scene proved only half-right.

Bear in mind as you read, that no judgements are being made (anymore) as to the strength of individual books. When we mention Necrons doing well, think of it as meaning Necron lists as they are currently being played. The player is always a factor but the exercise is still useful in highlighting the relative standing of each faction.

Now, on to the pictures.

Moocon
Welcome to Cark. Reports from the front suggested that this was a Grey Knight-heavy tournament but the actual figures show that, while popular, their presence was lower than at previous tournaments. In fact, we see the widest range of codexes in any tournament since we started keeping careful tabs. With fourteen distinct army types, almost all factions are represented and the tournament is the most overtly diverse that this series has covered to date. That would be a good thing.
Five armies perform strongly at Moocon and they are a mix of old and new. The most modern books; Grey Knights, Dark Eldar and Necrons all do well. But a quick glance at the names involved will suggest that player skill is a factor. Amongst older armies, Tau and Chaos prove to be effective. The remainder must make do with less than their share. At a glance, Space Wolves, Blood Angels, Eldar, Space Marines, Imperial Guard and Tyranids are down.
The Dark Eldar do very well again. In Ireland, this is clearly a great codex being played by great players. The codex itself has a great of variety within it which suits it to the Highlander format. We see the similar Grey Knights and Necrons codexes do well. And we also see a strong showing by the Tau and Chaos, both of which had been theory-hammered as having great potential within this format. The Eldar have an unhappy time of it and Space Wolves appear to have suffered something of a brain drain as top ranking players abandon the codex.
Dominion Day
Once more, Grey Knights are amongst the most popular choices but the Northern scene appears to be the true home of the 3+ save. Loyalist marines make up 61% of the army lists. The Orks also appear to breeding in the region with another strong showing. Aside from those features, we also have a decent mix of armies with eleven distinct codexes being played on the day.
After some shaky recent performances, Grey Knights do well again, suggesting they like the format. They are joined by Necrons, Orks, Space Wolves and Sisters of Battle. The biggest losers are the Space Marines, Eldar and Imperial Guard. But for actual averages, we turn to the big orange graph.
The Eldar come in solidly last, which is identical to the Moocon results. Space Marines also do poorly, as was the case in every tournament covered thus far. The high scoring Sisters of Battle are interesting, their first appearance at the level is strong but as it’s based on the score of a single player, it shouldn’t be considered a trend. We see that Space Wolves appear to be stronger in the Northern scene and Guard equally…. average in both areas.
In the next couple of weeks, we might break out a full review of the 2011 season focusing solely on the highest ranking lists to see whose year it really was.

Assault on Arkham: Autumn Stats

Thanks are due to Jonny for passing on the information required to compose this little essay. Sharing is caring. We have a Northern tournament under the spotlight today and I was quite curious to see if there would be any major shifts in army choice or results. The latest Assault on Arkham event was a 5 round, 1750 point, ETC 2011 style tournament with largely Northern players and a small Dublin detachment. With only game balance in mind, I disregarded all but battle points and I believe we now have a passable initial overview of the Northern tournament scene.

There is a strong similarity to Gaelcon and Dominicon in some of the army percentages. We see that the Grey Knights have taken a dominant position again. Space Wolves and other Marine codexes are present in the normal amounts. The Blood Angels codex seems marginally more popular than elsewhere. The main surprise is the presence of Orks, these have been rarer in the Dublin-area tournaments.

So although differences can be highlighted, the overall picture suggests that there is only very slight variation in army preferences in the region.

We see the Grey Knights under-perform again, despite their abundance, results have been patchy. This either represents people playing softer lists, less experienced players or a less clement meta-game in the icy wastes up North. Which it might be isn’t immediately apparent. The Space Wolves also take slightly less than their expected share. Since we’ve started making these charts, the Dark Eldar have been the most consistent performers and we see it again in Arkham Assault. Their efforts are only overshadowed by an exceptional performance by the Ork codex. The greenskins take more than their due.

Undoubtedly, strong players are responsible but it is possible that there is more to the phenomena.

The Orks return with a bang with an average score of 71. That actually stands as the highest average for any codex in the three tournaments examined so far. With Jan’s triumphs earlier in the season providing the backdrop, the glory days of the Ork roll on. Surprising, as internet wisdom would claim that the codex is sub-par. It’s possible that the Irish focus on eliminating medium and light mech has limited the amount of anti-infantry fire these lists face.

The second and third strongest codexes were Dark Eldar and Imperial Guard, running only slightly ahead of the Dark Angels book. But that’s not important. What really matters is the following message.
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Dear Space Marine players,

Please stop hurting yourself.

Yours,
Dodgy Statistics
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