2013 - Looking Ahead


So this isn't exactly a New Year's post, but hey it's done now! So, what do I want for 2013? I have two primary goals - to develop and promote the blog primarily focused on improving competitive gameplay and to qualify for the 40kUK GT final in 2014. I might not make it, but hey, I'm going to give it a go. Focus!

I *just* missed out on a place in the 40kUK GT final this year, going 2-2-2 in Heat 2 at what was my first proper competitive event (did I mention I went 2-2-0 in the first four games or that I would have won the second draw if I hadn't clarified a rule with the TO to make polite conversation, not realising I was within earshot of my opponent and so costing me the game?). What I really need is more experience playing at tournament level. Sadly, I'm unlikely to make it to more than one non-club tournament before October, but such is life. I'm intending to make it to the summer Brighton Warlords singles tournament, along with as many club events as possible. Realistically, I'm unlikely to be able to go to many more, so I will have to make the most of the games I can get locally and go from there.

There seems to be a growing base of players at the club (Walberton Wargamers) who are becoming interested in playing harder lists (perhaps due to my corrupting influence?), so I'm hoping to get more breadth and depth of experience this year in playing a wider range of tougher armies. I'm also hoping to be able to make it down to Brighton Warlords on a few club nights at some point during the year to see if I can get some games in against some different opponents, but we'll have to see how this goes as this is difficult logistically!

Walberton Wargamers

Although I'm usually reading and thinking about 40k, I don't tend to get to play as many games as I would like (a few a month if I'm lucky?) or have unlimited funds to pump into my army (mouths to feed come first), so I tend to plan my lists and purchases well in advance, keeping the core of my lists the same and experiment with different units around what I know works. This gives me a familiar base or control group for comparison, so I can focus on the different aspects in game and analyse their impact after. Leading up to a tournament, I will fix a list and play with it constantly for about 6-10 games against different opponents. This means I know what the army is, or isn't capable of, and gives me a chance to paint everything up (a slow process). As they say, don't innovate on race day!

In terms of what army I will be running, I will continue to use my Space Wolves as my primary army, but they need reinforcements! For a while now, I have been at a crossroads with where I want to take my Wolves for 6th. I've been really struggling to build a balanced list that can deal with fliers (not a surprise for Wolves), mech and hoards (this will sound familiar to some who read the same blogs I do), and I'm still not entirely convinced where to go. When 6th came out I was hoping that GW would feed in anti-air a little more readily than has proved to be the case, and now that my beloved puppies are the only faction without a flier, I am really feeling the lack of flakk missiles on my Long Fangs. Perhaps a campaign is called for, 'Flakk for Fangs'!

So where to take my Wolves for 6th? Having invested in a few Grey Knights as some quick and dirty MSU allies last year, and I could continue down this route, which I'm sure could give me some strong options that can deal with mech and hoards, and try to mitigate the damage dome from fliers through MSU and mass scoring bodies. Not sure one this one yet, but may be worth a go.

Cool Mini or Not - Tzardauker

On the other hand, I could bring in some flier support of my own (I now have a vendetta, not the one above!) and some scoring backfield fire support with Imperial Guard allies. I've been working on lists with Guard allies for months now, but there's a few things that just stop me committing.

For example, as they say 'two is one, one is none' (couldn't find who's law this was), I'm not entirely sure that one vendetta is really enough, as if it comes on first, against another flier heavy army there is a decent chance that it will just get shot down before it gets to contribute. It might be better to save the points entirely, in which case, why am I taking Guard instead of Grey Knights? OK, there are still a few advantages, but enough? There's always strong Forge World options (sabre defence platforms anyone?), but if tournaments suddenly decide to stop allowing these, that's a huge amount of wasted money...

Also, I'm really struggling to motivate myself at the thought of putting together 100 odd Guard miniatures unless I really love the models. I'm not a mass infantry fan by nature, generally preferring tanks, so I'm naturally reluctant to leap into such a massive project without being totally convinced that it's going to work on the tabletop, for my wallet and be fun to create. As much as I want to do develop my game, I know myself well enough to know that I will loose interest in playing Guard if I'm forcing the hobby side.

Getting the army second hand, pre-assembled but not painted, could save some time, but I have a very specific aesthetic in mind (see Hobby below), so this isn't really an option unless I just give up any hobby interest in the entire force, in which case I loose all joy in playing the army and will only be using them to increase my chances of winning - If you hadn't guessed by the name of the blog, I play wargaming for the total immersive experience, so if I ever gets to that point, I'll probably stop playing miniature games and go and play competitive MTG instead. It looks like if I go with Guard, it's going to be a slow grow project. I could always go for the Grey Knights for now, then build up the Guard as a primary with three Vendettas. This may be the long term option.

Forge World, Death Korps of Krieg

So if I do go Imperial Guard, very loosely, I'm working on something along the lines of that they're a bunch of renegade guard, still loyal to the emperor but on the run from the authorities for not carryout some merciless purging of civilians (work with me here!). The Space Wolves, having empathy with their moral stand and a history of defying the powers that be themselves (see first war of Armageddon), use the group as allies when the need arises.

Visually, the infantry will all have masks/cloaks/hoods and I'm thinking of mixing together various models from the Forgeworld Death Korps of Kreig, Armageddon Steel Legion, Chaos Cultists and Forgeworld Renegade conversion kits. Partly this is because I really don't like painting faces (!) but also because I like this aesthetic for a fringe group of desperados.

The colour scheme will be quite dark, with greys, blacks and brown, and I will use the same deep red and mid blue as my Wolves for isolated highlights and accent colours. As the group will struggle to get supplies, any weapons and vehicles will have a rugged look with plenty of battle damage and weathering (eventually!).

Sample of my Space Wolves - Need details!

If I don't go Guard, then I hope to get my Wolves and Grey Knights up to the next level, taking them from their current 3 colours (including an 6-8 stage armour build up from undercoat to highlight, mind!), basic faces and crushed slate basing to include details, better faces, perhaps some squad markings - basically using Brighton Warlord's tournament soft scoring system as guide, although I'll never get the WYSIWYG with all the Wolves!

2013 Banner

Given a reliable internet connection, this is the year that I hope to get the blog moving. I've already made a number of cosmetic improvements early in the year with a new banner, various graphic improvements and the links bar at the top. I'm regularly updating the links along the side bar as I find new sites, and I've been trying to but failing to get LinkedIn to work too!

Now that I'm happy with how the site looks and typically able to produce regular posts, I will start popping my blogging head above the parapet and see if anyone is interested. Having just broken the 1000 hits mark with 0 followers in my first year, January and February saw a massive jump thanks to From the Fang adding me to the recommended reading list and a cheeky link in the Warhammer Forum Caledonian post. At the time of writing the blog's doubled it's hits to well over 2000 in two months and now has 7 followers (thanks From the Fang, atr_127, Skcuzzlebumm, Ven, Peter, David and Aseldi!). Now I know I have a way to go, but compared to the begninning of the year, it's a massive jump!

My aim now is to register with a selection of the usual blog promoters, such as Imperius Dominatus' UK Blogger's Network and House of Paincakes, as well as boldly ask my favourite blogs to add me to their recommended reading lists (if your blog is on the links list, I'm coming for you - you know who you are!). Hopefully a few of them might even say yes.

Site Snapshot, February 2013

In terms of content, I will continue to focus primarily on improving and competative play. I intend to continue this though the CONCEPTS: analysis articles (currently working on Comp, Netlisting, List Writing and Tools, amoungst others), the short Food For Thought posts and List-Fu army list analysis. I would like to get better at putting together battle reports too - but I find that the level of detail I want to put into these to make them more than a simple storytelling excersice is massively time consuming and also likely TL;DR. I make a habit of taking photos of all my games and I'm profecient with Photoshop enough that a graphic solution might be a possiblity. Something to work on perhaps...

To break up the more serious content, I also expect to throw in the occasional blog review, hobby images, random web comics and whatever else I'm interested in at the time. This might include the odd PC game and I've started playing MTG online for a distraction, so I may break into a post or two about mana curves and pauper decks if I can tear myself away from 40k for long enough, but the chances of this look fairly slim at the moment to be honest - so many CONCEPTS: articles I want to write first!

Phew! That was a lot longer that I thought it would be! Lots to get on with and think about and so little time. Need to play some games too! Thanks for reading and I hope you enjoy the rest of year with the blog.


  1. If all you are looking for is some air defense you might want to consider an allied attachment of Dark Angels: a 5 man tactical squad or two with flakk equipped missile launchers (optionally up them to 10 man with a RB), a dirt cheap librarian with access to prescience and the option of a cheap devastator squad.

    Arguably you wouldn't have to paint them up as Dark Angels, allies from another great pack perhaps?

    1. Good suggestion. I had briefly considered something similar to this, taking ideas from Stelek's IG and DA 1750pts list for this weekend's Indy Open, but hadn''t given it much further thought.

      I could up the squads to 10 man as you say, with plasma and possibly melta-bombs/combi-plasma sarges on the forward DA razor squads. The divination libby could sit with the flakk devs in a bastion and I could always add a quad gun for a tac squad to use for good measure. This would take me to around 1850pts with a Rune Priest, 4x plasma hunters, 2x melta hunters and 6 wolf guard with combi-plas+melta bombs split into the squads, all with razors. Not a bad alternative to the Grey Knights?

  2. You're more than welcome. I'm amazed that you get a significant number of hits from me!! It's always difficult to get those first few followers but after that they seem to get easier. One thing I would say is you should put the Followers app higher up the page so people can find it easily.

    On the subject of flakk missiles. As an SW player I was more bothered that every other chapter has a flyer now (even if DA ones are crap) and there is no good reason by SW shouldn't have something!

    I wouldn't lament the lack of flakk missiles. They really aren't great. The suggestion of taking tacticals with flakks is daft (no offence Damian). 160pts for them and the librarian and less effective than the quad gun for 100pts, which isn't much better frankly.

    I'm coming to the conclusion the best anti-air units are flyers and most, if not all, other things are token gestures. For the points they just aren't reliable enough. Better to take some SM allies and have a stormtalon for example.

    1. Yeah, having the extra hits from your site has really pushed the numbers up! Thanks again! Good tip on the layout, will look into that.

      On flakk, it would be nice to have on a fire support unit that I would usually like to take in my army for other anti-tank and anti-infantry duties (in case I didn't face any fliers). Damian knows the armies I tend to run, so although single flakks on tacticals isn't going to contribute much, combined with the 4 extra flakks from a devestator squad with re-rolls from the libby, plus the forward combat squads in razors to support the hunters, I can see where he was going.

      Wolves really are suffering without fliers, I think because GW are hanging on the 'Russ intended them to fight on foot!' thing. Which is why Space Wolves have no concept of fliers or skimmers like thunderhawks or landspeeders. Oh wait... we do! But still they don't give us any anti-air? Three units of Fangs, one in a bastion with a Rune Priest for re-rolls, plus a quad gun is a whole lot better than just a quad gun. That said, 10pts per missile is 5pts too much and they would still be toast by turn three against three Helldrakes! Better than we have now though.

      I think you've hit it on the head with your last paragraph. Without fliers of your own, as things stand ground based anti-air is hard to get and pricey for those who can. I'm still working on a build that tries to negate the strengths of fliers and I can get quite a long way, but the two aspects that I'm struggling with are the late game objective grabbing from transport fliers and the sheer killing power of the Helldrake.

      MSU mech helps to some extent with the latter (hide in boxes, spread out!), and I've found that it's easier to take them down with shots in the rear from razorbacks than I thought! Still hard work though! But stopping your opponent dropping a full strength unit (or four) on an objective of their choice late game? Without taking an equivalent number of fliers plus flier defense on the ground, I haven't worked that one out for Wolves yet. Lots of scoring bodies camping over the objectives? Not very mobile and easy to toast. Play the reserve game with drop pods? Haven't found a good answer yet. I'm wondering if the next Space Marines codex might open things up a little, but this is unlikely to be for a while. Suggestions welcome!

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