New Years Hobby Resolutions!

Well, 2014 has begun, and with it a whole slew of resolutions that I’m sure I’ll break ūüôā

I’ve decided that I need to get more done hobby wise, but trying for a fixed “x amount a week” just isn’t going to work, particularly with a little baby girl who is gifted at scuppering plans ūüôā With that said, my goals for 2014 are to:

“Finish” two 40k armies!

That sounds easy, doesn’t ¬†it? ¬†For a finished army, I have decided that I need to have – a kill team, a 1000pts list, a 1500pts list, and an 1850pts list, with all the models painted to a decent standard. ¬†The lists will overlap – that isn’t going to be 4500pts of models, but that should get me to the point where I’m happy with an army I can pick up and play. ¬†Should be very doable if I can fit in some hobby time occasionally and restrain my hobby ADD ūüėČ

My current army I’m working on is Imperial Fists. ¬†After that, well, who knows. ¬†Probably either smurfs or fallen angels, now the Cypher data slate is out …though the new tyranids look interesting ….

I have a lot of finishing work to do on a range of armies, so if I can beat two, great!  If not, I think finishing 2 armies is doable.

Sort out my scenery!

I have a lot of scenery that needs to be sorted out and assembled, including 40K cityscapes, towers of sorcery, chaos altars and so on. ¬†Getting it sorted, and at least a tabletop quality paint job will make any games I can fit in a lot prettier! ¬†It’ll also help me getting my hobby gear generally sorted!

Work out my 40K Campaign System

As part of my work to refresh my programming (and learn javascript/jQuery), I’m also putting together a campaign generation system. ¬†Its quite fun, and should also work to spice up individual games too!

Blog more often!

I really want to stick close to at least one post a week! ¬†If nothing else, it’ll keep me focused on getting some gaming done ūüôā

40K Progress for #WargamesWednesday

Well, though not going as fast as I’d like, I’m making some real progress with my Imperial Fists. ¬†My terminators are ready to take the field, as is my Predator. ¬†The core troops are slowly getting updated, and will hopefully all be at least three colour minimum by Saturday in order to take the field.

BVZQ_c6CUAAtnzh.jpg-large

I’m painting up the fists primarily as the 3rd company (as evidenced by earlier posts), and by chance it looks like the Sentinels of Terra Codex Supplement for the Fists is going to be focussed on the 3rd! ¬†Result there ūüôā

On Saturday, we should be playing an 1850pts game to open, with Imperial Fists facing Thousand Sons (Altar of War Chaos Space Marines РThe Artifact) followed by Eldar facing Thousand Sons and Chaos Daemons at 3000pts (Altar of War Eldar РFatal Strike).  Should be fun!

I still keep eying up the Dropzone Commander box set, and the new Dark Elf models look fantastic too!

Campaign Fun for #WargamesWednesday

Just keeping up my regular posts to keep me thinking about wargaming and RPG fun, even when I don’t have a chance to play! ¬†As you’ve probably spotted already, I’m setting up a mini-campaign with SaintAidan. I like a campaign feel to wargaming – every battle means a little bit more, and it stops being just a “1500pts battle” – you want to know how Captain Marcus of the Imperial Fists fares against his nemesis, Sorcerer Lord Tepemkau of the Thousand Sons, for example. ¬†Although I haven’t actually done much, I’ve been really enjoying trying to put together an army for this campaign. ¬†Currently, I’m looking at Imperial Fists with a Bastion, plus a small force of Silver Skulls with a prognosticar, tactical squad and Stormtalon, together with a small force of Eldar rangers, maybe with Ilic Nightspear as the eldar HQ.

On the Xbox, I finished the single player story mode of Injustice: Gods among us Рreally fun game!  Fighting games are easy to pick up and play, which is ideal for gaming with a munchkin taking up so much time.

On the PC, I managed to pick up the complete Total War line of games through Steam for very little Р75% off this deal with already fairly cheap games, so less than £20 for 7 games of wargaming strategic fun.  Huzzah!  Looking forward to Empire (building the British Empire) and Napoleon.  Very tempted to preorder the new Rome II as well!

RPG-wise I’ve been really enjoying reading about Numenera!

The Fall of Cawandir Prime – Mini campaign

+++ Coded transmission, Epsilon Clearance, Code Vermillion Recognition.  Ave Imperius! +++

Is anyone there?  We need assistance.  We need it now!  Corrupt Astartes battle barges have moved into orbit and are assaulting the Telemundi, the main librarius complex for this sub-sector.  Local forces are unable to hold, and the Imperial Fists contingent has ceased responding to communications.  We need ..

Wait … what was

+++ Transmission ends +++

This is a short, escalating two part campaign, featuring Chaos Space Marines, Imperial Marines, and Eldar.

A proud lord of a Thousand Sons cabal has been tracking cyphered texts containing a summoning ritual for a powerful daemon of Tzeentch, Lord Machtwechsel the Allseeing, Master of the Thousand Horrors. The daemon’s legions, and his bound allies from the other powers, notably Slaanesh, will engulf a planet and provide the summoning sorcerer with tremendous power – perhaps even enough to unbind some of the Rubricae from their chains of dust.

The books have been taken to Cawandir Prime, the Administratum headquarters for the Nebulos Subsector, and filed in the depths of the local librarius. ¬†Gathering his cabal, and calling on the warp for allies, the sorcerer lord assaults the planets, hoping for a quick and successful raid. ¬†Unfortunately, the fickle whims of fate, or the Emperor’s will has intervened. ¬†A force of Imperial Fists are garrisoned on the planet, and though outnumbered, they will never yield, and will fight against the Excommunicate Traitoris until victory or defeat. Joining them are a small force of Eldar, who are checking the possible skeins of the future their farseer predicted.

Gathering the Ritual

This is a 1850 point scenario – details TBD

+++ Coded transmission, Epsilon Clearance, Code Vermillion Recognition.  Excommunicate Traitoris РExterminatus Xenos+++

The Astartes … they are using witchcraft! ¬†And xenos are coming from the mountains! ¬†Please, if you don’t help soon, we’ll all ….

+++ Transmission ends +++

In the aftermath of the battle, the Imperial Fists are a spent force, win or lose. ¬†They cannot hope to face the gathering Thousand Sons, as more battle barges arrive in orbit. However, with the Eldar scouting force confirming the worst fears of their farseer, a long sealed webway gate is opened, and the forces of the Eldar arrive to face the gilded azure legionnaires. ¬†Knowing the ritual will summon not only Tzeentchian hell, but also slaaneshi daemons, dooming the souls of countless nearby exodites, their craftworld commits a tremendous force. An ancient power and corrupt super humans will battle for the sake of their army’s souls.

Facing the Fury

This is a 3000 point scenario – details TBD

 

Introducing Wargames Wednesday (with RPG fun thrown in!) #WargamesWednesday

In order to keep me involved in my various gaming hobbies, I’ve decided to make a point of posting something every Wednesday. ¬†Despite the tag of Wargames Wednesday, I’m actually going to cover RPGs (both paper and electronic), 40K as my main hobby, and anything else from painting/fiction/other wargames that catches my eye! ¬†This week, I’m covering Numenera, Dropzone Commander, Shadowrun Returns (PC), Space Hulk (PC), and the Black Legion Codex Supplement

Numenera

Numenera! ¬†Monte Cooks new game system has been released, and I backed the kick starter for the complete set of books in PDF format! ¬†I’ve been getting a constant stream of stuff over the last few weeks, and its all pretty impressive! ¬†I love the game engine (see my earlier post on Numenera), but the list of various card decks, GM screens, posters and other bits as well as the core books has been brilliant. ¬†Good work Monte!

Dropzone Commander

After Leonidas¬†gave me a copy of the Dropzone Commander rules as a present (many thanks, by the way!), I’ve become rather intrigued by this wargame. ¬†I love the concept of fast transport driving a futuristic battlefield, countered by antiaircraft fire, while tanks and troops do battle. ¬†However, I don’t really have anyone nearby to play the wargame against at present, so buying a complete starter army for me, and potentially a second one too to play against, was just too big an investment. ¬†However, a new two player starter set has just launched, at around the ¬£60 mark. ¬†I am very tempted with birthdays then christmas looming ūüôā ¬†I love the UCM look (very Halo!), and the scourge have an unusual insectile appearance I quite like too … and they are the two armies in the set.

Space Hulk and Shadowrun Returns (PC)

Huzzah! ¬†More games I don’t have time to play ūüôā ¬†I managed to order Space Hulk and Shadowrun Returns on Steam. ¬†Shadowrun in particular interests me – I love the world (and am rereading many of the novels at the moment on the journey to and from work!), but I also like the custom editor that comes with it. ¬†Neverwinter Nights was a huge, huge favorite of mine, largely because of the editor and ability to create and play comunity modules – I’m really hoping that holds true here.

I’ve played the board game of Space Hulk since the original release (and managed to grab the limited edition from a couple of years ago), so I was always going to be the target audience for the new version of the PC game. ¬†I’m hoping its a fairly faithful interpretation of the board game where I can play through a mission reasonably quickly while my munchkin naps ūüôā ¬†Heavy flamer FTW!

Black Legion Codex Supplement

I really thought I’d be disappointed by this, and only really got it in order to get a feel for how the Chaos supplements would be released – I’d love a Fallen Angels one, but SaintAidan would sacrifice quite a lot to the dark gods for a Thousand Sons supplement, and with the interest in heresy stuff, I think its quite likely.

This is probably the best supplement yet.  The history of Abaddon, his dark pacts and the Black Crusades is brilliant.  The tweaks to the lists all make sense, and the way specialist troops work with the black legion actually feels right (Thousand Sons and Rubricae in a black legion force always niggled me a bit).  I think you could put together a pretty awesome grey knights counter list with Abaddon, and Chosen Terminator troops, together with some nasty artifacts and alliances.  Really enjoyed reading it!

Eldar Aspect Warriors vs Thousand Sons – 2000pts

Deployment

Well, the deployment was possibly the worst one for the eldar.  The game, big guns never tire, worked for both forces, with heavy support setting up in the rear, but the deployment Рouch!

SHort range elite fragile infantry found out that .. they were playing short edge to short edge Рthey had to run in front of the thousand sons gun line!!!  Not a good tactical start.

Turn 1

The eldar charge down the table in a desperate attempt to hurtle forward before the Thousand Sons gunline finishes them off.  The avatar, a unit of dire avengers and howling banshees hurtles down the left, while two other units of dire avengers advance on the right.  Karandras, his Scorpions and fire dragons and more dire avengers advance down the middle.

The chaos stay still on the left, advance cultists and possessed down the centre, and a rhino with the sorcerer lord and chaos marines and 4 bikes including a choas lord on the right.  General fire was exchanged, but not much effect either way.

Sneaky Rhino shenanigans!  Aidan advanced his rhino next to his bikes for the charge Рthe dirgecaster eliminating overwatch for the nearby dire avengers.  Saint Aidan is officially the king of Rhino tactics!  The Chaos lord wipes out the first unit of dire avengers!

Turn 2

The 2nd unit of dire avengers, with bladestorm, cut down the bikers in a hail of shuriken fire, and proceed to finish the wounded chaos lord in close combat, the dire avenger exarch cowardly refusing a challenge!

The rhino was wrecked, and some of the marines killed, though that worked against the eldar Рit left the scorpions and Karandras out of charge range.  The chaos marines, cultists and possessed all piled forward, and a challenge between the cultist champion and karandras went fairly predictably!

The shining spears open fire on the cultists, assault them, then hit and run over to the predator.  The rear guard autogun cultists take down one of the spears.

Saint Aidan’s luck turned against him at this point, with some of the worst rolls ever! ¬†Better tactics, but with rolls like that, he was falling behind anyway.

Turn 3

Swooping hawks arrive, killing the chaos sorceror behind the unit of Thousand Sons on the left.  The thousand sons marines reply by wiping out the swooping hawks РAP3 bolter fire is awesome!!!

Eldar Fire Dragons retreat behind the Eldar gunline to try and set up to counterstrike the heldrake which has to arrive the following turn.  Mad melee with challenges galore continues in the centre!  The shining spears take down the predator.

Aidan’s rolls continued to be dire!!

Turn 4

The dire avengers fired at the thousand sons on the left, then the avatar charged into close combat.  The defiler counter charged, only for the avatar to smash it to the ground, wrecking it.

The Heldrake arrived, vector struck the Shining Spears, and toasted the dire avengers on the left.  The only Eldar weapon that can reach it is a missile launcher, which needs a 6 to hit.  Unsurprisingly, its fine!  Further challenges and odd melees continue in the middle, with karandras mobbed by possessed in the middle and finally falling to a challenge by the sorcerer lord.

Turn 5

The Heldrake moved up, and toasted the 5 reapers on the objective on the Eldar left, taking out the missile launcher. ¬†The avatar killed another thousand son or two, and the melee in the middle ended in chaos’s favor.

Summary

Flyers Рwow!  nuke at a fist fight time.  If one side takes a flyer, you may as well call it unless you have AA or a flyer yourself, I think Рor a shed load of stuff capable of taking on AV12 armour, and go by numbers.  Guard might be able to cope with large numbers of heavy weapon or plasma shots Рsnap firing guard are just as likely to hit as anyone else.  Wowsers!

Not a good game by Kipper!  I was very tired, and not very tactical, which never helps, and the deployment was against me, but too many silly mistakes were made РI kept splitting up my troops.  3 seperate advances instead of one concentrated one? silly!

Brilliant if unlucky game by Saint Aidan – his dice rolls were appaling, but great tactical play.

FInal score is a little uncertain, as I’m not sure of his warlord!

We both held an objective, he had one denied by the avatar, while I lost one to a baleflamer attack by the heldrake.  He got first blood, so I think chaos won, depending on his choice of warlord Рif it was the chaos lord, then it was a technical draw (though clear moral victory to the forces of chaos, as they were thoroughly overrunning the Eldar lines.

World Eaters!

Well, historically I’ve run a CSM force called the Retinue of the Ruby Dawn. ¬†The loose concept was kharn and a group of bezerkers on the warpath, with A tzeentchian sorcerer and his elite forces following their wake to loot the remains for sorcerous knowledge. ¬†It never quite hung together for me, and was a bit optimised – a nurgle set of havocs, slanesshi terminators with power weapons, and tzeentchian terminators with power fists to benefit from the invulnerable save. ¬†Good gaming sense – terrible fluff really.

I’m going to rework the list as a pure World Eaters force. ¬†Blood for the Blood God! ¬†My general thoughts – as World Eaters, I HAVE to take the mark of khorne and veterans of the long war. ¬† I suppose I don’t have to technically, but you know its needed for the fluff ūüôā ¬†Given I’ll mostly be fighting against Thousand Sons, thats a lot of points thrown away, but hey!

Here’s my 1000pt army (well, 999pts!):

Kharn the Betrayer – 160 pts

Khorne Bezerkers (8 Men, champion with power fist, 2 chain axes, 1 plasma pistol, veterans) – 216pts

Khorne Bezerkers (8 Men, champion with power fist, 2 chain axes, 1 plasma pistol, veterans) – 216pts

Raptors (5 Men, Icon of Wrath, veterans, mark, flamer, champion with power fist) – 160pts

Havocs (5 men, veterans, mark, 2x lascannon, 2 x heavy bolter, champion with power weapon and meltabombs) – 170pts

Obliterator (mark, veterans) – 77pts

Expanding that out to 1500pts:

Kharn the Betrayer – 160 pts

Chaos Termies (6 men, champion with combimelta + gift of mutation, combimelta, combi flamer, heavy flamer, power fist, veterans, mark, icon of wrath) – 288pts

Khorne Bezerkers (8 Men, champion with power fist, 2 chain axes, 1 plasma pistol, veterans) – 216pts

Khorne Bezerkers (8 Men, champion with power fist, 2 chain axes, 1 plasma pistol, veterans) – 216pts

Khorne Bezerkers (8 Men, champion with chain axe, 2 chain axes, 1 plasma pistol, veterans) – 199pts

Raptors (5 Men, Icon of Wrath, veterans, mark, flamer, champion with power fist + gift of mutation) – 160pts

Havocs (5 men, veterans, mark, 2x lascannon, 2 x heavy bolter, champion with power weapon and meltabombs) – 170pts

Obliterator (mark, veterans) – 77pts

I like that the lists feel quite marine.  Tactical squads (well, bezerkers!), an assault squad, a devastator squad, and terminators.  Its definitely chaos (with the gifts, bezerkers and obliterator), but you can see the legion origins there.  None of this new fangled stuff!

Here’s the additional 500pts of World Eater allied list:

Chaos Lord with Power Axe and Plasma Pistol, Mark, Veteran – 110pts

3 x terminators (champion with lightning claws, termie with chainfist, termie with powerfist – 136pts

1 x Chaos marine squad Р10 men, plasmagun, missile launcher, additional ccw, mark, veterans, sergeant with powersword Р 253pts

Hobbying after a munchkin!

Well, the arrival of a small bundle of joy (or wee,spew and poo, depending on how much sleep I got), has had a pretty major impact on my hobby time, but I do want to keep up to date with the dabbling in the gaming hobby that I’m managing!

First, I’m reviewing all my existing models and armies. ¬†I’m going through and trying to put the following basic points values together for each force:

1000pts core force

This is the main army list for each force.  These models will form the core of any army based around the force.  I am building this force to have no more than 1 HQ, 2 Elites, 2 Fast Attack, 2 Heavy Support and 4 troops.

1500pts expanded force

This is the 1000pt list expanded to 1500pts, sharing the same base models. ¬†You might find some extra upgrades like melta bombs or a few extra troops in an existing unit as well as completely new troops. ¬†Again, I’m trying to limit this force to¬†1 HQ, 2 Elites, 2 Fast Attack, 2 Heavy Support and 4 troops.

500pts allies force

This is a totally separate 500pt allies detachment, using up to 1 HQ, 1 Elite, 1 Fast Attack, 1 Heavy Support, and 2 troops.  These are separate models from those used in the other lists.

Hopefully the artificial force org limits on the other armies now make sense – if I add the “allies” list to the main force from the same codex, I still have a valid force org, and it gives me the following options:

1000pt forces ready to go!

1500pt forces ready to go!

1000pt force + 500pt “allies” force from the same codex ready to go = 1500pt force ready to go!

1000pt force + 500pts of actual allies from a different codex ready to go = 1500pt force ready to go!

1500pt force + 500pt “allies” force from the same codex ready to go = 2000pt force ready to go!

1500pt force + 500pts of actual allies from a different codex ready to go= 2000pt force ready to go!

1000pt force + 500pt “allies” force from the same codex ready to go ¬†+ 500pts of actual allies from a different codex ready to go =¬†2000pt force ready to go!

While there’s a lot of games played at 1750 or 1850pts, the majority of the games I play tend to be at the 1500 or 2000pt marks.

The other interesting thing I can do with this is have a self contained “allies” force for various small forces I’ve collected, would like to collect or want to reduce. ¬†I have some Imperial Fists that look reasonably good, but at the moment I’m not that interested in collecting a full Imperial fists army, for example. ¬†I’m going to set up a 500pt allies list of Codex: Space Marines for them, so I can either field them with other marine forces as part of the main force org, or actually as allies with Imperial Guard. ¬†It means I can get use of some of the painted models I have without needing to collect a full army!

There will probably be some limitations too РSisters of Battle tend to be very expensive models in terms of price, but quite low in points, so you need to use more force org slots for them!  I probably have to stick to just 1000pt and 1500pt options for them, and use the complete force org.

On my first pass through organising my armies and models, I’m using only existing, prebuilt models where possible (I do have a small plastic mountain, particularly for marines, but don’t have time to sort them out at the moment!). ¬†Where I can’t build a legal army (I suspect this will be true of my 3rd edition necrons, for example), I will work out the minimum number of models to get a valid list. ¬†Not necessarily a good list, but valid lists, and actually assemble the models ready to play in preset KR multicases.

That also gives me fixed lists to paint and sort out, in achievable numbers. ¬†Again, I’m not going to be looking for Heavy Metal type painting – just rough and ready tabletop.

Once I’ve finished my first pass through the armies, I’ll look at how to expand out the lists to make more fun lists, not just valid ones – I suspect some of them will be absolutely terrible to play! ūüôā

My next post will list the rough armies I need to sort out!

Order of the Verdant Garden (Sisters of Battle) vs Head Hunters (Blood Angels)

The Head Hunters (commanded by the Chaos Lord Shaga) fielded 4 assault squads (two jump packs, one in a rhino, one in a land raider crusader) with a chaos lord joining the troops in the raider.  two drop pods containing dreadnaughts (1 furioso and one normal) and a final drop pod with a unit of sternguard.  Thats a total of 13 kill points available.

The Sisters fielded 2 battle sister squads in rhinos, a canoness and a celestian squad in an immolator, a heavy bolter equipped retributor squad with an immolator, a unit of seraphim, a unit of repentia and Saint Celestine.  Thats a total of 12 kill points available.

Head Hunters win initiative roll, choose to go 2nd, then the Head Hunters steal initiative after the Sisters set up first!

The Sisters castled up across half the centre of the board, with an exorcist facing each half of the enemies lines, and the retributors towards the right in a building.

The Head Hunters fielded the landraider and rhino in the top left, together with the two jump squads.

Turn 1A ‚Äď Head Hunters (Sisters 0, Head Hunters 0)

Drop pod Assault!  The two dreadnaughts slammed down in droppods immediately in front of the Sisters deployment in the centre of the field.  Storming out, both of the insane mechanical monsters missed with their meltas!  On the left the rhino and jump troops hurtled forward, followed by the landraider, whose machine spirit quickly wrecked a rhino with a unit of battle sisters spilling out by controlling the multimelta.

Turn 1B ‚Äď Sisters¬†(Sisters 0, Head Hunters 1)

Drop pod turkey shoot! Stunned both dreadnaughts shooting ‚Äď Sisters Repentia wreck one in assault. ¬†Between Celestine and the battlesisters with stormbolters, some casualties are inflicted on the approaching jump troops, but not enough.

Turn 2A ‚Äď Head Hunters¬†(Sisters 1, Head Hunters 1)

The Sternguard fail to arrive this turn.  The remaining stunned dreadnought pops smoke in an attempt to stay alive.  Assault troops gather near the sisters huddling near their wrecked rhino, (some arriving by rhino, some by jumppack) but the holy ladies are quickly obliterated by shooting before they even get a chance to charge!  Though not a deadly turn, the positioning leaves the Sisters looking vulnerable.  One unit of jump troops pops right into the middle of the Sisters, and immobilise an immolator.

Turn 2B ‚Äď Sisters¬†(Sisters 1, Head Hunters 2)

Finish off the droppods and dreadnaught with a brutal array of multimeltas, Sisters Repentia and retributors.  One exorcist swings to guard the left flank, and opens up on the assault troops.  In the centre, the canoness led the celestians against the jump troops, with celestine jumping nearby for good measure.  All but one of that unit died, and he was just out of celestines assault range.

Turn 3A ‚Äď Head Hunters¬†(Sisters 4, Head Hunters 2)

Sternguard arrive with a drop pod, and scatter off the table.  The Sisters prayed to the emperor, and guided them to the far corner away from their battle brothers and the defending sisters.  The SternGuard deploy, and run towards a nearby building in desperate search of cover.  The assault troops to the left hurtle in (some in their rhino, which popped smoke, some by jump pack), and smash an exorcist to pieces.  The assault troop left in the middle fled quickly (not routing, making a tactical withdrawal to save the kill point).

Turn 3B ‚Äď Sisters¬†(Sisters 4, Head Hunters 3)

An immolator fired over the wrecked exorcist and toasted several assault troops, who broke and fled.  The assault troops were within 6″ of celestine, but in cover … and she couldn’t reach them to assault over the difficult ground.  The nearby rhino remains impervious to an amazing array of shooting.

Turn 4A ‚Äď Head Hunters ¬†(Sisters 4, Head Hunters 3)

The assault troops in the rhino disembark and try to kill celestine with meltaguns and bolters, but fail to do much damage.  The land raider smashes the celestians with hurricane bolters and assault cannon, killing three, but leaving the unit alive.  Its multimelta also spanks an exorcist, leaving it shaken.  At this point, many of the sisters are weakened, with immobilised tanks or exposed, but the headhunters are struggling to get the kills in.

Turn 4B ‚Äď Sisters¬†(Sisters 4, Head Hunters 3)

Shaken Exorcist drives forward to force the fleeing jump troops to keep retreating.  The celestians, canoness and celestine finish off the remaining assault troops next to the rhino.  The seraphim arrive, and flame the sternguard to pieces, killing all but one, who remains in 6@ of the approaching repentia .. but the difficult ground stops them closing for assault.  The retributors finish off the last drop pod.

Turn 5A ‚Äď Head Hunters¬†(Sisters 6, Head Hunters 3)

The jump troops run another 10″ thanks to the exorcist, and the remaining sternguard flees off the table thanks to the closing Sisters Repentia.  The landraider annihilates the exorcist with an up close multi-melta blast!  It assault pounds the seraphim who flee!  Assault troops and the chaos lord spill forward, and a rhino rams the immobilised immolator in the centre of the breaking sisters defenses, stunning it.

Turn 5B ‚Äď Sisters¬†(Sisters 7, Head Hunters 4)

Celestine assaults the remaining assault unit and the Chaos Lord!  She takes a wound, but hits the lord twice!  No kills, but dangerously close to another kill point!  The canoness and celestians finish off the rhino.  The fleeing seraphim rally, starving the head hunters of another kill point.

Game End ‚Äď Sisters 9 Kills, Head Hunters 4 Kills ‚Äď The rhino kill, and the fleeing jump troops add another 2 kills to the Sisters tally.

Its a misleading total for a game thats much closer than that sounds.  The landraider and remaining assault troops were facing seriously weakened units, and could have scored an fair few kill points over turns 6 and 7.

I think the important thing is that it was a brilliant game. ¬†As always, Shaga was a brilliant opponent, and its always a pleasure to play him, win or lose. ¬†What went wrong for the blood angels? ¬†Well, kill points didn‚Äôt favor them with drop pods and rhinos giving cheap kills, and the initial drop pod assault went badly ‚Äď if the dreadnaughts had taken out the exorcists, they could have ravaged the sisters centre almost with impunity. ¬†The sternguard ended up in the worst place on the table ‚Äď in range of the retributors, but over 30‚Ä≥ away from the sisters over open ground. ¬†Several big dice moments favored the sisters ‚Äď the retributors consistently made their acts of faith, celestine was unkillable, and the seraphim popped into a perfect position even with a scatter. ¬†I think the Head Hunters did need a bit more anti armour ‚Äď they struggled smashing the sisters out of their rhino shells a little too much. ¬†Perhaps look at combi meltas on the sternguard?

Shrine World of the Dining Sons – Sisters vs Chaos Space Marines

Eons ago, a strange saint arose in the outer reaches of galaxy.¬† Apparently professing undying loyalty to the Great Father and the Emperor, he wrought great turmoil through the subsector in the name of the Imperium.¬† After he perished at the hands of the Eldar, his closest followers buried him in two separate locations.¬† The pious believe that this was to symbolise the divide between the Ecclesiarchy and the local chapter of Astartes, the Tyrian Eagles … while Inquisition records show a much darker truth.¬† The Dining Saint was possessed by a Greater Daemon of Tzeentch, which led to his destruction at the hands¬†of a Autarch.¬†

This dark truth has fallen into the hands of a disciple of the dark lord Khenti, who has led a group of the Thousand Sons to reunite the bones, free the trapped Daemon, and gain dark power from a pact from the grateful warpfiend.¬† However, the local order of Adeptus Sororitas, aghast at the prospect of a beloved Saint’s tomb being despoiled, has moved to defend the tombs.¬† The Order of the Verdant Garden has taken the field of Battle once more!

Setup

The game set up was capture and control, with a straightforward pitched battle deployment.¬† Making the game more of a tactical challenge was the fact that we were gaming on a 5′ by 3′ table, rather than the more standard 6′ x4′.¬† Terrain was set up as follows:

0a - terrain

The Thousand Sons chose to deploy and go first, and the Sisters failed to steal initiative.  The initial deployment was as follows:

0b - deployment

Turn 1 – Thousand Sons (CSM 0 Objectives, SoB 1 Objective)

The Thousand Sons surged forward like an unstoppable blue tide, moving forward and smashing bolts of change, havoc heavy weapons, lascannons on predators and plasma cannons on the dreadnaught into the waiting Sisters of Battle’s tanks.One Exorcist was stunned, an immolator was annihilated, while the other was shaken, and a Rhino immobilised.¬† The only unfortunate opening move was on the right, where the predator failed to damage the waiting Exorcist.

1a - Thousand Sons

Turn¬†1 –¬†Sisters of Battle¬†(CSM 0 Objectives, SoB 1 Objective)

Canoness Lilith, in her Immolator, hurtled forward on the left, as the fleet Sisters repentia sped past towards the Chaos Dreadnaught.  The Seraphim flew down the centre, led by Saint Evangeline, while on the right a squad of battle sisters in a rhino advanced next to the menacing shape of the Exorcist.  The Exorcist managed to blow a heavy bolter off the Possessed Predator, but the twin linked lascannons just swung menacingly to point at the holy tank!  Saint Evangeline used her Ardent Blade to kill two of the Thousand Sons in the centre, while the accompanying sisters bolt pistols killed a couiple more, followed by a charge into close combat.  The Aspiring Sorcerer wounded Saint Evangeline twice, while two more Thousand Sons fell, leaving the combat drawn.

1b - Sisters

Turn 2 РThousand Sons (CSM 0 Objectives, SoB 1 Objective)

The Sorcerer Lord leading the Thousand Sons realised that the Havocs couldn’t hold their own objective – a strategic error.¬† He decided to lead his own personal squad back to the objective, with the intention of destroying the Sisters around their own shrine, and collecting the bones after the battle.¬† The defiler advanced to charge the Seraphim, while the dreadnaught only stunned the immolator on the left with a plasma cannon, before immobilising it in close combat.¬† In the centre, the havocs destroyed the Rhino, forcing the Sisters to pour out of the hatches around it.¬† On the right, the Exorcist was immobilised, but still in the fight.

2a - Thousand Sons

Turn¬†2 –¬†Sisters (CSM 0 Objectives, SoB 1 Objective)

The Sisters continued their counter attack, with the Daughters of Repentence assaulting the Dreadnaught on the left, while on the right the immobiled Exorcist blew another heavy bolter off the Predator.  The Retributor squad managed to destroyed the rhino, and flaming wreckage killed two thousand sons and a havoc.  The Defiler continued to rip seraphim apart, while Evangeline continued to slay Thousand Sons.  The rhino to the right decided discretion was the better part of valor, and started to move back to reinforce the sisters objective.

2b - Sisters

Turn 3 РThousand Sons (CSM 0 Objectives, SoB 1 Objective)

Things were already looking bleak for the Thousand Sons hopes.¬† The dreadnaught fell to the Sisters Repentia, blowing up … but failing to hurt any of them in death.¬† The defiler killed another Seraphim as the aspiring sorcerer fell to Evangelines Ardent Blade, and the Predator finally wrecked the Exorcist on the right flank.¬† The Havocs destroyed the gun on immobilised exorcist in the centre, while the Sorcerer Lord and Thousand Sons continued to move to guard their own objective.

3a - Thousand Sons

 Turn 3 РSisters of Battle (CSM 0 Objectives, SoB 1 Objective)

¬†The Sisters of Battle continued their strong advance, with the Daughters of Repentia fleeting and assaulting a total of 18″ to cut the defiler into pieces … exploding!¬† The worst to wound rolls seen meant that the 15 sisters caught in the blast all escaped unharmed.¬† The Rhino on the right flank continued its retreat, while the Retribution squad killed another Havoc.¬† At this point, the Sisters position looked pretty firm!

3b - Sisters

¬†Turn¬†4 –¬†Thousand Sons¬†(CSM 0 Objectives, SoB 1 Objective)

The Thousand Sons settled in around their own objective, and the havocs and predator killed Saint Evangeline, and all but one of the Seraphim.  The Thousand sons hit the Repentia with Bolts of change, only to see a shield of faith roll preserve them.

4a - Thousand Sons

 Turn 4 РSisters of Battle (CSM 1 Objectives, SoB 1 Objective)

The remaining Seraphim (with hand flamers) jumped for cover, as the Canoness advanced and killed a couple of havocs with shooting.  The Daughters of Repentence seemed to feel their work was done, stumbling forward only a few inches over the difficult terrain.  The Retribution Squad pulled off an act of faith, and managed to immobilise the predator against its front armour with rending heavy bolters.

4b - Sisters

¬†Turn¬†5 –¬†Thousand Sons¬†(CSM¬†1 Objectives, SoB 1 Objective)

At this point, a mistake was revealed Рthe Raptors had been forgotten about, and no reserves rolls had been made!  They dropped down and opened up on the Battle Sisters defending the objective.  The Choas Havocs supported them, and they killed all but four of them.  Unfortunately for the Chaos troops, they made their morale roll.   The thousand sons squad killed two more of the repentia squad, but the fearless women continued their very slow advance over difficult terrain.  The predator opened up on the canonesses command squad, killing one of the Evangelists!

5a - Thousand Sons

 Turn 5 РSisters of Battle (CSM 1 Objectives, SoB 1 Objective)

Saint Evangeline slumbered this turn.¬† The Seraphim sister saw an opportunity, jumped forward, twin hand flamered the thousand sons, and charged into close combat, drawing the thousand sons off the objective … but she was quickly cut down, and they regrouped back onto the bones of the corrupt saint.¬† The Evangelists moved forward, and opened up on the raptors, with the remaining Battle Sisters, wiping them out.¬† The rhino on the right reversed again, disgorging reforcing sisters!

5b - Sisters

¬†Turn¬†6 –¬†Thousand Sons¬†(CSM¬†1 Objectives, SoB 1 Objective)

Running out of options, the havocs open up on the canoness and her bodyguard, but lucky invulnerable saves and poor shooting let them escape …except for the canoness, who rolled a 1 against an autocannon save and suffered instant death .. having escaped agaisnt a lascannon strike from the predator earlier!¬† The thousand sons whittled the Sisters Repentia down to just two troops as they continued their advance.

6a - Thousand Sons

 Turn 6 РSisters of Battle (CSM 1 Objectives, SoB 1 Objective)

Saint Evangeline rose from the grave and flew forward (with a full three wounds on the D3 roll), while the sisters ambled forward with appalling difficult terrain rolls.  The remaining Evangelists opened fire on the havocs, before charging into close combat.  To the south the sisters from the rhino moved to bolster their colleagues to hold their objective, slightly slowed by the craterous remains of the immolator.  The retributors failed their Act of faith test, and their shots bounced off the predator.

6b - Sisters

 Turn 7 РThousand Sons (CSM 0 Objectives, SoB 1 Objective)

In possibly the sneakiest move I have ever seen on a 40k battlefield, the Thousand sons threw the dice to try to level the score.¬† The predator took aim at the immobilsed and weaponless exorcist in the centre of the table …¬†¬† Why?¬† To hope for a vehicle explodes, and do enough to the battle sisters to force them to flee!¬† This was duly done … and if not for successful morale rolls, the Thousand sons would have, at the least, forced a draw.¬† Several more thousand sons died against Evangeline, and it looked hopeless for the sons of Magnus.

7a - Thousand Sons

 Turn 7 РSisters of Battle (CSM 0 Objectives, SoB 1 Objective)

The repentia squad rushed into close combat, and out of spite for their actions on the defiler and dreadnaught, the Thousand Sons cut them down, ignoring the living Saint.  The Celestians finished off the havocs, while the Retributors failed to finish off the predator.  It still left the SoB in control of an objective, while the living Saint had pulled the Thousand Sons off their own!

7b - Sisters

Outcome – Sisters of Battle Victory! (CSM Objectives 0, SoB Objectives 1)

Conclusion

The Sisters played well, and the Chaos had some truly unfortunate rolls.¬† Still, the main mistakes were forgetting about the raptors, and accidentally assuming the havocs could hold the Chaos objective, forcign a rearrangement that tied up a powerful unit.¬† The game could easily have swung the other way with a slightly different initial deployment.¬† Great fun for both sides, and more exploding tanks than I’ve seen before!¬†¬† It was like a fireworks display!¬† Other thoughts are melta bombs are rubbish, as when you need them against dreadnaughts or defilers, they really don’t help with that roll of 6 needed to hit with the single attack!

Amazing the difference the smaller table makes too – weaponry becomes much more lethal, as range becomes less of a factor.