Food For Thought: Owning A Game Store

House of Paincakes

Brilliant honest eye opener from Loquacious at House of Paincakes detailing the realities of running a friendly local gaming shop (FLGS). Well worth a read!

List-Fu: 1850pts Space Wolves and Grey Knights - Diffusion and Precision

40kUK GT Heat 2 Army

One of mine this time. This is an evolution of the list I took to the 40kUK GT, which I'll start with first to explain some of the thinking. The list below is really a slightly modified version to the one I actually took due to not completing two missile Fangs in time, but hey, you get the idea!

1850pts Space Wolves and Grey Knights, 40kUK GT Heat 2 (Slightly modified)

Rune Priest, Jaws, Storm Caller

Dreadnought, 2xTwin-linked Autocannons
Dreadnought, 2xTwin-linked Autocannons
Dreadnought, 2xTwin-linked Autocannons

5 Grey Hunters, Plasma Gun, Razorback
5 Grey Hunters, Plasma Gun, Razorback
5 Grey Hunters, Plasma Gun, Razorback
5 Grey Hunters, Plasma Gun, Razorback
5 Grey Hunters, Plasma Gun, Razorback
5 Grey Hunters, Plasma Gun, Razorback
5 Grey Knight Strike Squad, Psycannon, Razorback with Psybolt Ammo
5 Grey Knight Strike Squad, Psycannon, Razorback with Psybolt Ammo

6 Long Fangs, 5x Missile Launchers
6 Long Fangs, 5x Missile Launchers


I still like this list a lot, but it has room for improvement. At first glance you might agree with Pete's pre-tournament passing comment of 'a bit 5th edition', but 3 games later I was on table 4 of 23, and then table 5 for the next game, so I think I did pretty well for my first competitive event!

Strengths for me are multiple mobile troops and cheap transports with guns, and psychic defense if I can roll more than a 4. What I knew I needed was better flier defense and more troops. It's also weak against long range AV13-14, particularly with decent side armour.

Whilst I love mobile flanking fire support units (the dreads), as these can take advantage of lines of sight and cover as the battle develops, with the advent of fliers and the change in vehicle rules these guys simply do not get a chance to fulfill their primary purpose against a flier army - i.e. shoot the fliers. Added to this, considering the maths, they are really inefficient at it, even with twin-linking (no surprise there). Put simply, they die before they get a chance to do much/any damage and are big expensive easy targets. Until I work out a better way of using them (even on a skyshield landing pad with a 4++ they won't last that much longer and this cripples their mobility), they're staying in the case. = (

I'd have never thought it, but next up on the chopping block are the Long Fangs. I will discuss this more in a dedicated post, but a big question I'm constantly asking myself when I write lists is 'can this role be fulfilled by a troop choice?'. I also found that at least once per game I was wasting a turn of shooting with one unit by blocking my own line of sight, but that's my fault entirely. Long range fire support is still required, but can be found through other means so we'll revisit this later. Fangs are out to make space for...

More troops. I have found that when playing 6th, especially with a MSU style army where your scoring troops are expected to do a lot of the heavy lifting, you get through a lot of them! In go 10 more GK SS with 2 more psycannons, taking the possible total of MSU units to 10, with the option to keep the GK SS in two larger squads if needed. I will also add in 6 Wolf Guard with combi-plasma's and melta bombs for land raider and bastion duties (and MCs as a last resort, although I don't intend to be getting into combat with these deliberately).

At this point I run into a dilemma. I think both Space Wolves and Grey Knights can struggle against fliers. Grey Knights do have access to the (weaker?) Storm Raven, personally I currently think that taking one of these with no reliable reserve manipulation can potentially be a bit of an expensive option. I've considered taking Coteaz and putting a minimum unit of henchmen in (in place of a unit of Strikes), but I'm not sure that this is a great option, especially when a vendetta or two can relatively easily ruin your day. Making the most of the GK upgrade options (psybolt ammo, hurricane bolters, keep the twin-linked assault cannons) gets pricey very quickly. That's a lot of points sitting off the board that might come on before the opponents fliers and get blown to bits before getting into a dogfight.

So what are the alternatives?

Although I don't like it, I think with this ally combination, the best I can do is build to the strengths of each codex, focus on the win conditions and consider the weaknesses of fliers.

In reverse order, the top-tier fliers (IMHO the vendetta, night-scythe, storm-raven, hell-drake) generally have limited access to weapons that can reliably and quickly take out AV14. Enter the bastion. Enough lascannons or twin-linked multi-meltas will do it, but at 75pts a pop, thats a price I'm willing to consider. Stormteks will also get nasty quickly, but that means they've taken the bait and disembarked with their troops ready for return fire next turn, and that's assuming that they can get close enough in the first place.

So how to use this ivory tower? I think it will fit quite well with my typical MSU strategy - By deploying everybody ready to push into midfield, it makes target priority harder for my opponent. With 10 similar units going forward with no obvious targets, some will survive to from my offensive wave. Any reduced units typically fall back to form my backfield objective sitters, and having a handy AV14 bunker with fire points, heavy bolters and a keg seems like a handy place to have.

Add to this that in some missions I will want to be protecting my warlord, and being able to cast powers from the relative safety of the tower seems like another good choice.

Having spent the points on the bastion, I'm going to drop another 35pts for the icarus lascannon. I have some decent mid-strength firepower spread throughout the list (plasma and psycannons), but a long range high strength shot with skyfire and interceptor is a reasonable choice in this context. And that's without the secret weapon...

I've been thinking a lot (I do a lot of thinking, I'd really like to do a lot more playing!) about how a lot of the stronger HQ choices are taken as force multipliers or tanks to greatly enhance their armies (e.g. buffed blobs, Fateweaver, destroyer lords, etc.). The common strategy is to hide or LoS! any overly threatening attack into the unit, then carry on buffing/tanking.

CNON - leprechaun studio

The previous GK FAQ introduced a note confirming that the vindicare assassin's player can always assign wounds. Add to this the usual spacial ammo (particularly the strip invulnerable saves one - I wonder how this interacts with the Dark Angel power fields?), AP1 and BS8 and things get interesting. I know that there will be others who will have used the combination of the vindicare in the bastion before (interested to hear from you if you have!), but I think the flexibility of the exodus rifle, emplaced heavy bolter and icarus lascannon, all the while with the AV14 or cover (with stealth) from the battlements seems worth a shot.

A few minor tweaks and there are enough points left over to bump the inquisitor up to a psyker to get divination (re-rolls to hit on a squad of strikes or perhaps the ignores cover for the vindicare?), leaving the rough list looking like this:

1850pts Space Wolves and Grey Knights 'Diffusion and Precision' (WIP)

Rune Priest, Jaws, Storm Caller
Inquisitor, Psyker

6 Wolf Guard, 6x Combi-Plasma, 4x Melta Bombs
Vindicare Assassin

5 Grey Hunters, Plasma Gun, Razorback
5 Grey Hunters, Plasma Gun, Razorback
5 Grey Hunters, Plasma Gun, Razorback
5 Grey Hunters, Plasma Gun, Razorback
5 Grey Hunters, Melta Gun, Razorback
5 Grey Hunters, Melta Gun, Razorback
10 Grey Knight Strike Squad, 2x Psycannon, Razorback with Psybolt Ammo
10 Grey Knight Strike Squad, 2x Psycannon, Razorback with Psybolt Ammo

Bastion, Icarus Lascannon


Still vulnerable to fliers and later game objective grabs, but much better scoring presence, improved high AV threat and the sniper in the tower. Need to think about how I might move the units around the tower and make sure I'm not cancelling my own powers. Pesky allies of convenience.

Diffusion and precision. Something to work on I think.

Any comments welcome!

Dan Gilmore wins 3++Con with Chaos Daemons

3++Con Results

The 3++Con results are up over at, surprisingly, 3++! Chaos Daemons take the win with a very strong showing by Necrons after the first day. Congrats to Dan Gilmore!

Death From the Skies - GW rumoured flier update now on sale online only


Breaking news - the rumours proved to be true, GW have just released a flier compendium via their online shop only. Updates the White Dwarf fliers, including the Vendetta, Storm Raven and Night Scythe. Looks like the Storm Raven is now available to Space Marines and Black Templars. Haven't seen anything on the content's yet, so can't comment on any points or rules changes.

Food For Thought - Good Fliers and Bad Fliers on 3++

Abuse Puppy raises some very good points in this article covering fliers over on 3++.

Other than being hard to hit, the big point for me is that fliers can potentially swing 5/6 games by dropping clearing/claiming an objective. Now this isn't exactly breaking news, but there are still a lot of lists and discussions I've seen that take the 'ignore the flier' route.

Unless your army has similar inherent mobility (e.g. scoring bikers), I feel that ignoring the fact that your opponent can pick at least one objective to land on late game is almost handing your opponent the game. For me it's that important. Sure you can focus on the ground elements, but against a balanced lists (take Josh Roberts' Caledonian winning Necron force for example), that's easier said than done.

I would note that tournament specific missions and scoring make a big difference. NOVA is the obvious example here, but I'm sure there are others where custom rules make a difference to how you build and play your army to best effect (if you choose to tailor your lists for particular events).

I'm not sure if the rumoured Death From The Skies fliers compendium will change the balance of any of the older fliers in particular, but I think the principles of a good flier - typically a points efficient transport with mid-strength or better guns (the aforementioned vendetta and night scythe) or just very killy (helldrake) will stand, even if the units themselves change in time.

Anyway, something to consider when planning how to claim and defend those objectives!

2012 - Year in Review


If 2011 was getting back into the hobby by collecting models and reading blogs after an extended absence (mainly due to other real life interests like drumming, ladies and beer, plus playing other good stuff like MTG, D&D and computer games), 2012 was about painting the army and playing some games! I set myself two goals for the year - play in my first ever tournament and finish painting an army up to a playable size. And I did. And then some.


Warhammer World

Siege of Sussex
A friendly GW run event at Warhammer World was a great way to try out tournament gaming. Having been collecting models and reading a lot of blogs for most of 2011 (most of which are linked on the right!), I knew that this was not what most would consider a hardcore competitive tournament, but I knew that would come in time. This was to get some experience, and I loved every minute of it.

Ready for Battle

I really enjoyed all my games and was surprised to return undefeated, having drawn my first game vs Imperial Guard (throwing away a win after I panicked and made a couple of stupid decisions when the 5 minute warning was given), drawing my second game versus the kings of the hill at the time Grey Knights and all but tabled my last opponent's Blood Angel jumper army in the last game. Good times.

Mike McVey's Diorama of the Emperor fighting Horus - Epic

Added to all this, visiting Warhammer World for the first time was just brilliant. Seeing the models from the White Dwarfs I used to gaze longingly at as a kid right in front of me was awesome. I highly recommend it to anyone who can make it to go at least once to have a look around, and also to try a sample of Bugman's Beer (health/religion/wallet permitting!).

But I didn't stop there. Oh no. I wanted more! Between work and family comittments I managed to make it to two more tournaments, one at my local club Walberton Wargamers in August and the other was the 40kUK Heat 2 at Brighton Warlords in October.

Walberton Final vs Eldar

Walberton Wargarmers - Hello 6th Edition Tournament
With 6th Edition relatively fresh out of the box, we dived in with a no-comp 1750pts 3 game tournament. By rights I should have probably come second, but thanks to some erroneous rules reading by my opponent in the final relating to handling the Relic (he was a more experienced player than I was so I had no reason to question him!) I ended up winning the game, and so the tournament! I did feel bad, so was glad to accept his challenge to an informal rematch a couple of weeks later (he was flying to Japan so wouldn't be back for a while). I'm relieved to say I won that one too! Thanks to everyone at the club for a great day.

40kUK GT Heat 2 - The clam before the storm

40kUK Heat 2
The big one. I haven't made the time to do a write up of this one yet, but the quick version is I finished day one going 2:1:0, playing (and beating!) the reigning Masters Champion James Taylor in the first round random pairings. Nice way to start my first hardcore tournament! Second day went down hill, just missing out on a qualifying place, coming 26/46.

Standings After 3 Games

Anyway, I was looking for some hardcore games and I got them! I was very happy with my performance, reaching the heady heights of table 4 and playing against some very highly ranked players, including some of the English ETC team (reigning world champions). I had an amazing time and am really looking forward to attending more events at Brighton in the future.


Siege of Sussex 1500pts

I've always enjoyed painting and modelling, but I'd never managed to get round to fielding a full army of painted models. This was the year to do it! A bit of a confession here - As much as I enjoy the hobby side, I tend to find that I find myself choosing to do more relaxing activities (like reading blogs) in the evenings, so having tournaments to aim for really helps me focus on getting models finished.

I think another part of this is that I want to paint my models to the highest standard I can. I can do ok given enough time, but it takes a while. I don't mind lots of coats of dry brushing to build up the depth (my Wolves basic recipie includes undercoat, bascoat, ink (yes ink!), base drybrush x1 or x2 to get coverage, mid-tone drybrush, then highlight drybrush), as I don't really have to concentrate much. I also enjoy basing. It's the details that I struggle to get round to, especially faces. Need more practice and patience...

40kUK 1850pts

I built and painted a lot last year. There is still a long way to go before the army is as good as it can be, but I have to say I'm very pleased with the hobby progress I made and its great to be able to finally put down a cohesive force and think, yeah, it did that.


2012 Banner
Of course there is my third unstated goal of the year - starting this blog!

Having made a small start around Easter, getting the basic format of the site sorted and figuring out what sort of content I wanted to produce, I then had to go without an internet connection for a few months! This coincided with preparation for the 40kUK, so I wasn't too gutted, but I managed to get started again in November and have managed to keep things moving along since.

I'm going to save most of the blog discussion for the 2013 - Looking Ahead post, but looking back at the content, I'm most pleased with the CONCEPTS: posts. I'm a huge fan of the work done on 3++ and YTTH covering both fundamental and advanced concepts and ideas within the game (if you know where to look!), and by writing these posts I hope to clarify in my own mind what I understand on each of the various topics.

Generally, having somewhere to record my nerdy thoughts is great and I find having the site as my own custom gaming resource is really handy! By the end of 2012 I just tipped 1000 hits (not all of these were me or search bots - I know it!), but things are already moving fast in 2013 so watch this space...

Phew! There we go. 2012 was a big year for me in my gaming career, and I'm really pleased with all I've achieved. I've smashed my two major targets, playing in not one but three tournaments and painting and basing well over 2000pts worth of combined Space Wolves and Grey Knights to a decent standard. Plus I've really got a taste for tournament gaming and now have blogging fever!

Now I need to find more time and money to feed the habit...