Official and Glorious Blog of the Inglorious and Officious Warheads Gaming Club

Category: On The Step

The War on Two Fronts

So the North Down Gamer’s Hub up in Northern Ireland has run a couple of ranking tournaments recently for both Warhammer 40,000 and WHFB. We decided to catch up with Tom O’Reilly from Unite All Action to see what makes the North Down Gamers tick. Below we’ve included a few shots from last weekend’s tournament as well where Chris Britton (Warheads) grabbed first place and David McHugh (Warheads) nabbed third with their Grey Knights and Orks respectively.

3rd Place David ‘Jiggy’ McHugh (on the right) with Team Northern Ireland Captain Jonny Fisher (left).

Tournament winner Chris’ Grey Knights dominated the day.


We caught up with tournament organiser and NDGH member Tom O’Reilly for a few questions after the event and interspersed it with some pretty pictures:

War Altar: Hi Tom, hope you’re not too exhausted after the weekend?

Tom O’Reilly: No still plenty of energy 😉

WA: This is the 2nd ranking event you (The North Down Gamer’s Hub) have run this year, will we be seeing more in the future?

TO’R: I think for us we are still trying to find our feet, but yes we hope to do regular events on a monthly basis.

#David Attenborough voice: “The…wild Ork stalks a Rhino as its prey. A feast of this magnitude will surely get his Ork mistress off his back for at least an hour and a half.”

WA: This was a real club effort to get these events off the ground but some good advertising and smoothly run events seem to draw a returning crowd, what made your club want to get into running ranking events?

TO’R: Well that’s just that were not a gaming club as such, it’s mainly just a couple of guys that were inspired by other local events that we attended. And we thought we could do something very similar, and for me it was just an extension of my hobby.

The nibbles

WA: Once you start hitting numbers are the events going to become more than just one day or are one-day events what make running tournaments so plausible in quick succession?

TO’R: Ultimately you have to get the feeling on what gamers want, that’s first and foremost so 2 day tournaments is probably the way we will go at some stage, but like anything you can not take it for granted that you will be guaranteed to get people back.

North Down’s Michael Brough, a tough opponent with a great eye for painting. You may remember the name from his Sisters of Battle taking on my Imperial Guard way back during Round 1 of Q-Con last year.
 The trophies 

WA: Thanks for taking the time to talk with us Tom and congratulations on another well run event.
TO’R: That’s not a problem and we would like to take the opportunity to thank everyone that has made it so worthwhile to date, we certainly do the easy bit by organising the day to be as much fun as physically possible. But it’s the gamers out there locally that really do make it so worthwhile when you see them travelling as far as Dublin and Derry, to have a good day out, meeting new people and rolling some dice, after all that’s the number one rule; it’s all about having fun. So once again a big thank you to everyone.

“Hey can you guys tell me what way to the objective?”

 “Over there!”

Congratulations to Recent Warheads addition Pat came 5th with his Tyranids!

That’s all for this time folks thanks again to Tom for the brief interview and the photos and congratulations once again to everyone who attended especially tournament winner Chris (Warheads), 2nd place Jonny (NW) and 3rd place David (Warheads). Do take the time to visit the NDGH’s Facebook page and, if you haven’t already, the War Altar’s Facebook page =D

– Joey

All photos courtesy of NDGH, used with permission.

Death by Deployment

Last time out, we discussed the idea of designing your army with waves in mind. Today, we’re going to look at some sample deployments. Bear in mind that both factions detailed here strongly favour the layered assault tactics previously mentioned. The Menoth list is the more defensive of the two, the Skorne list is more aggressive but they are equally matched on paper.

Above is the Menoth force and we immediately note that the Holy Zealots with the Monolith Bearer are the obvious first wave. However, the player (me) has made a major error in deploying his jacks. The extremely dangerous and expensive Avatar has been deployed in the first wave. The extremely cheap and less effective Crusader has been deployed in the second wave. There is no reason to risk a high-value piece when a cheaper alternative is available.

Note the artillery piece on the hill. The Sunburst can actually be considered part of the first wave. When it runs forward into a firing position, it will extend an 16″ kill zone into the enemy half of the board. This restricts movement on his right flank and in theory funnels his forces towards the waiting tarpit.

The support units have been placed behind the lines. There is a case to be made for starting them alongside the frontline. Doing so would keep them close enough to assist when units start charging away on Turn 2.

Note that when deploying initially, the player should have avoiding deploying in such a deep formation. But after his first turn of movement, he should have divided his force into a clear first and second wave.

Here is a stronger deployment by the Skorne player. The Praetorians are the first wave unit and well positioned to move across his army and screen them. Their speed will let them get ahead of the rest of army, even if the others were to run directly forward. The warbeasts and their support elements are centrally placed to allow them the largest amount of flexibility.

He also has an excellent flanking unit in the Totem Hunter assassin. The opposing army doesn’t seem to have any small or single model units which could be diverted to deal with it. The Cataphracts find themselves facing an artillery piece and will need to reconsider any advance.

Again, both armies have a similar ethos but the Skorne player’s deployment is slightly more refined. Note that when you focus on his combat elements alone, their deployment is considerably shallower than that of the opposing combat element. This translates directly into additional inches gained on the first advance and a stronger board position.

For those curious as to how the battle actually finished, the full photo-report can be found here.

Painting Competition

It’s Competition time folks!

The Warheads in association with Gamers World are running a painting competition.

It will hopefully end up being a quaterly event with Categories verying from single model to Duels and tanks. But for our inaugural event we have the Small Base Painting Competition, the rules are as follows:

The Categories:

  • Warhammer 40,000: Any Single model on a 25mm Base.
  • Warhammer Fantasy Battle: Any Single model on a 20 or 25 mm base
  • Hordes and Warmachine: Any Single model on a ‘small’ base size.
  • Open: Any other games system with a base of appropriate size

The rules:

  • All entrants must be in by the 31st of July.
  • Entries can be emailed to painting(at)onthestep(dot)net; this must consist of: two (2) photos of the model, and your real name.
  • Voting will occur from the 1st of August to midnight on the 7th of August
  • Voting will be via a poll on OntheStep.net, a forum account will be required.
  • Voting will be blind- as in you’ll see the model but not who painted it until the results!
  • Winners will be announced on OntheStep.net and in Gamers World

Other notes:
I will be available to take photos of models on most Thursdays if you do not have a suitable camera. Send me a message either here or to painting(at)onthestep(dot)net to arrange a time.

Registering on the forum will take no more than 5 minutes.

You may enter multiple categories- it’s actually reccommended!

I look forward to seeing the entrants and good luck to you all!

Grey Knights Codex Cover

The new Codex Grey Knights cover for all to see:

Click for full image.

Join the discussion on onthestep.net!

The Lesser Spotted Vanguard Veterans

Since this was discussed recently over on onthestep.net I thought I’d post up a few thoughts I had lying around in the old noggin regarding some of the least used and most expensive units in Codices Space Marines and Blood Angels.

Well first of all what do Vanguard Vets have that makes them different from assault marines, they both occupy the fast attack slot (except in Codex Blood Angels where they occupy the troops slot). Well here are some important differences:

  • +1A
  • +1Ld
  • Jump Packs are not included
  • The Sergeant comes with a power sword
  • Heroic Intervention

“But Joe, what the fudge is Heroic Intervention?!”

Gather round beleaguered wargamer and I shall give unto thee this information:

Heroic Intervention
If the squad has jump packs and arrives by deep strike the player can elect to perform a Heroic Intervention before the scatter dice are rolled.

If it is declared the squad cannot run or shoot but may assault that turn.

This ability cannot be used if an Independent Character joins the squad.

So there you have it, risky stuff eh?!

Well not as risky as you might think. Let’s look at what Codex Blood Angels can do to rectify this riskiness…

Codex Blood Angels

Well first off Corbulo has the “Far Seeing Eye” which he either uses to pick up hot Sisters of Battle at Imperial Bars/Clubs and also allows you to reroll one dice per game including the all important scatter dice…

And as per the rule book rerolling the scatter dice also includes rerolling the distance dice along with it.

Suddenly your risky deep strike isn’t too bad at all and combined with Descent of Angels allows for a pretty well timed critical assault to hit bang on time.

Put on top of this Commander Dante and we’ve got a nice little mixture in here. And it goes a little something like this



Assault Squad (10)
Infernus Pistol
Power Fist

Vanguard Veteran Squad (10)
10 Jump Packs
3 Power Fists
5 Meltabombs

Yes this is an absurdly points heavy combination and we begin to see immediately why many competitive players don’t use Vanguard Veterans much, redundancy is important in competitive lists and points heavy combos leave little room for redundancy.

Here’s how it works:

So it’s turn two, your opponent is advancing towards you and isn’t far off doing what they will likely do to shift the balance of the game.

Your turn two, you roll your reserve rolls, Dante and his assault squad come on, the vanguard veterans don’t, you want them both in so you reroll the reserve roll (Blood Angels) and they arrive (lucky you).

Place the Vanguard Veterans first, placing one bolt pistol guy (who can afford to DS within 4″ of the enemy due to the 10 man squad size) and watch him scatter.

He scatters onto the enemy, “Mishap!” Your ridiculously uninformed opponent says.

Au contraire!” You exclaim, using Corbulo’s timely reroll to now roll a hit,

“That was so wise!” You say.

“That’s fuckin bullshit” your Blood Angel opponent responds.

So now you’re all set up for the sweetest multi charge of all time, 5 meltabombs and 9 power fist attacks going wherever you want them to.

Here comes phase two.

Dante’s squad and their turn.

Dante has Tactical Precision which means him and his doods don’t scatter when they deepstrike using jump packs. Now that you know where your Vanguard squad has ended up you can plop down Dante and his infernus pistol, your sergeant’s infernus pistol and the two meltaguns in the squad all within double penetration range (safely too) of the most expensive mechanised unit your opponent has.

Then the sneaky tricksiness begins.

Dante’s Death Mask reduces the Weapon Skill, Wound, Initiative and Attacks characteristics of an enemy independent character for the whole game.

If the enemy has a character in the open (Kustom Force Field Big Mek, Farseer on a jetbike) i.e. the type of characters who can swing the game, you get to reduce their characteristics and very quickly make mince meat of them with the impending Vanguard unit.

Something like this happening could throw even an experienced player off quite easily.

By now your opponent has seen a wild display of special abilities but knows that he/she can weather the storm.

Their next turn comes, they’ve lost 3 tanks, no big deal, pull back with some units, shoot the Vanguard and Dante’s squad (just normal old assault marines) now get assaulted by something fairly mean (a mob of boyz etc.). The opponent has them locked down, this squad has a lot of anti tank and can move fast no one wants them roaming freely. And besides there are only 2 Vanguard vets left now. It won’t be long until the opponent will move onto killing those razorbacks that have just come on from reserve.

Here’s where your special rules continue to dazzle. Dante gives his squad Hit and Run so at the end of your opponent’s counter assault suddenly you’re (if you don’t roll a 5+) 3D6″ away.

Then it’s your turn and you get to move 12″ on top of that to reach whatever your opponent has on the table.

Well that’s a nice trick, at least I think so.

Codex Space Marines

Let’s look at some differences between Codex Blood Angels Vanguard Veterans and Codex Space Marines Vanguard Veterans:

  • Blood Angels Vanguard Veterans are 10 points cheaper!
  • Blood Angels Vanguard Veterans have access to more equipment in the form of Infernus Pistols and Hand Flamers
  • Space Marine Vanguard Veterans have Combat Tactics
  • Blood Angels Vanguard Squads have the Red Thirst
  • Space Marines Vanguard Squads have access to cheaper Storm Shields (5 points less)

Some notable differences in there but nothing game breakingly different for sure.

Now let’s see what Codex Space Marines can muster. Well with cheaper storm shields you’d be as well to throw some in there.

Here are some units you could take to find some nice little combinations:


Scout Squad

Legion of the Damned
Multi Melta
Combi Melta

Vanguard Squad
3 power fists
4 meltabombs
3 storm shields

Here’s how it works:

Use Tigurius’ Gift of Prescience to ensure the Legion of the Damned and Vanguard come in together.

Again since only the Legion of the Damned (LotD) will be rerolling their scatter dice deep strike the Vanguard Squad first, placing the risky squad first and the safer squad based on where the first one ends up.

Having ten in that LotD squad will make sure you get to place them in such a way that they’ll always (almost) end up in double penetration range with all three melta weapons (remembering of course that they’re relentless so that Multi Melta can pop one off when it lands).

These guys crack open an expensive tank while the Vanguard can either assault what’s inside (after Telion has made sure to allocate a tasty wound on it and perhaps Tigurius has cast Null Zone <—another character maiming combo) or set up a sweet ass multi assault.

This also results in quite a few 3+ invulnerable saves staring your opponent in the face on turn 2.

I should also point out that both codices have access to infiltrating, scout moving, locator beacon carrying scout bikers, but that would just be too easy.

It’s probably a good time to point out that you can deep strike Lysander with the LotD….

And on that bomb shell,

I’ll see you soon for another Lesser Spotted, this time hopefully on the much more commonly spotted Sternguard Veterans.

Hope you’ve enjoyed!


New! Shadow Spectres and Warp hunter from Forge World

From Fallen Autarch on onthestep.net:

“The pre orders are out on them along with the experimental rules. They are interesting, although a bit fragile the spectres can offer you a range 60 str 10 lance at full strength. Glancing land raiders on 2’s. And the Hunter is pretty much a flying D-Cannon which can also be a flame tank of ap 2 and wounding on 2’s….. ouch! Makes it anti tank and anti infantry, wouldn’t mind having 1 or 2 of them.

[Ed: The model above is a Warp Hunter. The other featured pre-order is the Shadow Spectre Aspect Warriors, with their experimental rules here.]
Some great looking shots as always from Forge World. A couple more pictures after the break, as well as the announcement email from Forgeworld themselves.

The Relevant sections from Forgeworld Newsletter #263

Shadow Spectres Aspect Warrior Squad
Shadow Spectres Aspect Warriors Squad
Disguised behind shimmering holo-fields, draped with gossamer-thin robes and appearing like ghosts, the Shadow Spectres are armed with prism rifles, each a potent anti-tank weapon. Their jet pack mobility allows them to hunt down their chosen targets with the implacable patience of the dead, materialising seemingly from the very air to unleash their overwhelming firepower.
Believed long lost by the Eldar’s Seers, this detailed full resin kit, sculpted by Simon Egan, contains 5 of these mysterious and deadly Aspect Warriors.Experimental rules for the Shadow Spectres Aspect Warriors are available to download from the Forge World website, taken from the desk of Imperial Armour writer Warwick Kinrade.
The full story of the discovery of the Shadow Spectres will be featured in Imperial Armour Volume 11: The Doom of Mymeara, released later this year.
Warp Hunter Grav Tank
Eldar Warp Hunter
The Warp Hunter, perhaps the rarest of Eldar tanks, sacrifices the transport capacity of the Falcon chassis to mount the terrifying firepower of a large D-Cannon, a weapon capable of tearing open the very fabric of reality and engulfing its target in the dark energies of the Warp.
This complete resin and plastic kit, sculpted by
Stuart Williamson, adds additional mobile heavy firepower to an Eldar army.

The Warp Hunter will be fully detailed in the forthcoming Imperial Armour Volume 11: The Doom of Mymeara, but in advance of this we’ve managed to secure experimental rules for the Warp Hunter from Warwick Kinrade’s manuscript as a free download.
Both the Shadow Spectres Aspect Warrior Squad and the Warp Hunter Grav Tank are available to pre-order now for despatch in the week commencing the 24th of January.

Liber Photographica

Here again with the Liber Photographica, a classic to kick off the tournament scene for a certain competitive club out there….

Bua nó Bás.


More War Altar, more of the time!

A quick post just to let everyone know that it’s now even easier to stay up to date with the what and the when on War Altar, as you can follow us on Twitter as well as on Facebook.

These updates also coincide with a revamped On The Step landing page, now with not only the latest updates from us, but directly from Games Workshop, Privateer Press and the Black Library themselves!

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