July 31, 2016

CTA 2016 40k lists released; analysing the CSM

Bigger field than expected for Call to Arms this weekend with 27 competitors overall.  There will be a bye round but luckily a couple of local players have stepped in to have friendly games during those byes so the players involved still get a game in.

Comp and scenario rules have resulted in a range of lists and army types.
  • Inquisition & Grey Knights
  • Space Wolves CAD
  • Tyranids CAD x2
  • Tau Riptide Wing
  • CSM Black Legion
  • Crimson Fists CAD
  • Grey Knights Nemesis Strike Force
  • Salamanders CAD
  • Necrons
  • Eldar Craftworlds CAD
  • Dark Angels
  • CSM CAD + KD (Mine)
  • Necrons
  • Tau x2
  • Dark Eldar Coven Grotesquerie
  • Ultramarines
  • CSM Crimson Slaughter
  • Eldar Craftworlds & Doom of Mymeara x2
  • Dark Eldar Realspace Raiders
  • Astra Milaterium Imperial Armour 14th Death Korp
  • Raven Guard
  • Space Wolves Company of the Great Wolf
Whats good to see from my point of view are the 4 CSM lists, these are pretty varied given the comp which heavily restricted or penalised the number of formations you could take and maxed the points cost of any model to 280.  The CSM lists cover 3/4 Chaos Gods and bring in a lot of the special units you don't often see.

Chaos #1 - CSM CAD + Black Legion
This appears to be a modified version of what the player took to Maelstrom the other month focusing on Spawn hordes.

Chaos Lord w. Axe of Blind Fury, Juggarnaut, MoK, SoC, VoLW
10 x Cultists
10 x Cultists
5 x Spawn - MoN
5 x Spawn - MoN
5 x Spawn - MoN
[FW] Relic Sicaran

Cyclopia Cabal
L3 Sorceror w. Spell Familar, VoLW, Bike
L3 Sorceror w. Spell Familar, VoLW, Bike
L3 Sorceror w. Spell Familar, VoLW, Bike

Chaos #2 - CSM Crimson Slaughter
Ah ha MoS Bike Spam and a ton of in your face shooting.

Lord w. Aura of Dark Glory, Bike, Blade of Relentlessness, MoS, Melta Bombs, Slaughterers Horns
L3 Sorceror w. Bike, MoS, Melta Bombs, Balestar of Mannon
10 x Noise Marines  w. Rhino 
10 x Noise Marines w. Rhino 
10 x Noise Marines w. Rhino
9 x Chaos Bikers w. MoS, Icon of Excess, 2 x Plasma, Melta Bombs, Power Sword

Each of the Noise Marine squads has an Icon of Excess, 2 x Blastmasters, 7 x Sonic Blasters, MoS, an extra Combi-Bolter on the Rhino, Dirge Caster, Dozerblades, Doom Siren & Power Sword on the Champion.

Chaos #3 - CSM CAD
So we have a Slaanesh list, a Khorne list and now this one from Nurgle with MoN and VoLW on everything.

Lord w. Blight Grenades, GoM, Ichor Blood, L/Claw, P/Fist, MoN, SoC, VoLW, Bike
Lord w. Blight Grenades, Combat Familar, Dimensional Key, GoM, Ichor Blood, L/Claw, MoN, P/Fist, SoC, VoLW, Warlord, Bike
5 x Plague Marines 
5 x Plague Marines
5 x Plague Marines
3 x Bikes 
3 x Obliterators
3 x Obliterators

and finally there is my CSM CAD + KD Charnel Cohort List

Chaos #4 
Not as tanky as the MoN list, as mobile as the Slaanesh one but it has an almost army wide 5++ save, all but 3 units can Deep Strike, most are Fearless and theres a decent amount of shooting.

Lord w. MoK, Juggarnaut, Axe of Blind Fury, VoLW, Gift, Sigil of Corruption
10 x Cultists
10 x Cultists
2 x Obliterators MoN
2 x Obliterators MoN
2 x Obliterators MoN

KD - Charnel Cohort
Herald - Brazen Rune
8 x Bloodletters
8 x Bloodletters
3 x Bloodcrushers w. Champion
5 x Flesh Hounds
5 x Flesh Hounds
Skull Cannon

July 25, 2016

X-Wing Regionals: Wellington 2016

Back from my 2nd ever X-Wing regionals event and while it was fun it wasn't as successful as my first outing.  The field had been cut to 27 due to some competitors getting grounded by airport fog meaning a bye round during the 5-round Swiss competition.  I modified my list as well taking:

  • Rexlar - Predator, Ion Cannon, Tie/D-0
  • Countess Ryad - VI, Ion Cannon, Tie/D-0
  • Zeta Ace
Round 4 and my only win - TD just ripped Ghost apart in 2 rounds.  

July 20, 2016

Good 40k reads

Been doing a lot of reading lately and after the disappointment that was Book 3 of the Beast Arises series I was lucky enough to be given a copy of the first book in Gav Thorpe's Last Chancers series. Yet again evidence that a 40k story doesn't have to have Space Marines in it to be a decent read.  Among some of the decent books I've read in recent weeks are:

Damn good book this one and definitely re-readable which for me is important as I tend to devour good books multiple times.  My copy of ADB First Heretic is falling apart now I've read it so often.  It does beg the question how Gav Thorpe could get this one so right but screw up the Beast Arises?

Took me a little while to get into these as I was reading them along with Ciaphus Cain and I started getting people confused.  A really good series.

Seriously if your only going to read about one non-Space Marine character make it Ciaphus Cain. Normally I can't stand anything written in the first person but these books are just fantastic. 

Got all 6 books in this series cheap off Trade Me in two 3 book omnibus's.  Inconsistent reads but still worth it if you feel like something a little different.  One thing that stood out for me when reading these is just how big a bunch of dickheads some Space Marine chapters can be.

July 17, 2016

X-Wing Regionals practice & 40k Chaos army all done

First visit to Nexus Games today for some X-Wing.  Definitely great to get back into it and I managed two games before I had to head off.  The first up against a Ghost + B-Wing combo, the 2nd against a Scum list with 5 x Auto Blaster Y-Wings.  For both games I took the list I plan on using at Regionals this weekend which is different to what I posted initially.

Modified Regionals List
Rexlar Brath - Predator, Ion Cannon, Tie-D/O
Glave Squadron Pilot - Veteran Instincts, Ion Cannon, Tie-D/O
Epsilon Leader

In both games the Tie-F/O died first and pretty quickly its in there principally to fill out the points.  I did work out an alternate list where I had 2 Academy Ties and 2 Glave Squadron Pilots but I'm not a big fan of low pilot skill ships.  The Ion Cannon/Tie-DO title combo proved incredibly effective in both games.  The damage output especially with Predator and Rexlar's ability is quite high.


July 16, 2016

GW New Zealand 40k latest pricing ripoff

GW have put out some really good deals over the last 12 months or so the Betrayal at Calth box set and the new Start Collecting sets in particular.  But the latest releases really take the cake.  They're the long anticipated individual kit versions of the models/units found in the Betrayal at Calth box set. Individual box sets seem like a great idea until that is you look at the prices being charged for them to New Zealand customers.

First a quick recap of what you get in Betrayal at Calth:
  • SM Hero in Power Armour with Force Weapon & Plasma Pistol
  • SM Hero in Terminator Armour with Combi-Melta & Chainfist
  • 30 x Tactical SM with options for 5+ with Heavy Weapons
  • 5 x Cataphractii Terminators
  • 1 x Contemptor Dreadnought
Now for the standard retail price of NZ $315 thats an incredible bargain, I got mine for $200 through a friends contact in the UK but event at $315 you are saving big bucks.  As individual kits though this is what GW is charging for the same models here in New Zealand.
  • 2 x SM Heroes from BoC - NZ $100
  • Terminator Squad 5 x Cataphractii - NZ $135
  • Tactical Squad 10 x MkIV SM - NZ $100
  • Contemptor Dreadnought - NZ $115
Added up to buy as individual kits the same models you get in BoC for NZ $315 you are going to have to spend NZ $650 or more than double the price for the same models.  You really have to wonder what GW were thinking when they came up with these prices.  $100 for 2 Heroes would be mildly acceptable if they were the standard highly customisable GW kits but these aren't.  Both models come as is with one pose and one weapon load out that cannot be changed without extensive modification and use of your Bitz Box.  The MkIV Space Marines also come in at NZ $10 a model which while in line with their other pricing is just ridiculous.  

The price comparison is even worse when you look at them in British Pounds vs. the current exchange rate:

  • 2 x SM Heroes from BoC - GBP30 or NZ$57
  • Terminator Squad 5 x Cataphractii - GBP40 or NZ $76
  • Tactical Squad 10 x MkIV SM - GBP30 or NZ $57
  • Contemptor Dreadnought - GBP35 or NZ$66.50
Here prices in NZ are double what they are in the Northern Hemisphere.  And they wonder why local gaming stores aren't viable or competitive anymore.  This isn't a new complaint we've been moaning about prices down under and in the Southern Hemisphere for years now but really?

July 15, 2016

Call to Arms 40k Scenarios, final list & X-Wing Regionals

The mission pack for the 40k event at Call to Arms came out recently and its a real head turner with some extremely interesting ideas for each of the scheduled games.  I got the pack after finalising my list for the event but did note that one of the scenarios plays right into one of my lists abilities 'Deep Striking' as the scenario rule states that DS units do not scatter.  Should make for fun times.  Tried one of the scenarios already and it was a lot of fun still trying to figure the rest out though.  You can download the scenarios at this link

In terms of my final list I tried the double Helldrake thing vs. Glens Eldar and got absolutely munched.  I can see why Helldrakes are used but I've opted to stick with a list comprising my own models and units I am familiar with.  Have submitted it already so there's no changing it now.

Final list for Call to Arms

Primary Detachment
Chaos Space Marines - CAD
w. Juggarnuat, MoK, Axe of Blind Fury, B/Pistol, Sigil of Corruption, Gift of Mutation, VoLW
10 x Cultists
10 x Cultists
2 x Obliterators - MoN
2 x Obliterators - MoN
2 x Obliterators - MoN

Allied Detachment
Khorne Daemonkin Charnel Cohort
w. Brazen Rune
8 x Bloodletters
8 x Bloodletters
3 x Bloodcrushers
w. Champion
5 x Flesh Hounds
5 x Flesh Hounds
Skull Cannon

The whole army with the exception of the Lord and Cultists can Deep Strike.  The KD formation allows the Herald to re-roll his reserve rolls and any unit placed within 6" of his doesn't scatter when DS.  Enemy units also suffer -2 to all Fear tests against them, which in WHFB would be good but in 40k is largely redundant as the vast majority of armies seem to be Fearless.  Tried the list last week and it worked pretty well the Herald in particularly was surprisingly good in combat.

X-Wing Regionals List
My next event outing though are the Wellington X-Wing Regionals in a fortnights time.  My newly arrived Imperial Veterans pack is going to get a good work out at the event.  Having only played 4-5 games all year i'm not expecting to do well but it should still be fun.

Veteran Instincts, Engine Upgrade, Ion Cannon, Tie/D-0
Veteran Instincts, Engine Upgrade, Ion Cannon, Tie/D-0

So 2 x PS8 ships with the ability to chuck out a maximum of 4 damage each per round plus Dark Curse just to fill in the rest of the points.  I could drop Engine Upgrade but I like it as the TD do need some help movement wise.  Double Ion Cannons also help against big ships which I expect their will be a lot of.  

July 13, 2016

WIP - Daemons of Khorne Starter Box

Making good progress on my Khorne Starter box.  Its a good quality kit, Bloodletters come on the new 32mm bases which is nice and if you count the figures on the Skull Cannon you actually have enough for 12 Bloodletters and 1 Herald.  Painting's nearly done just basing, eyes, teeth and a few touch ups to do here and there on the Bloodletters and the metallic areas on the Bloodcrushers.

July 1, 2016

Latest hobby arrivals - Khorne & X-Wing

Nice series of packages arrived by courier this week to add to my 40k and X-Wing collections.

The new GW Start Collecting box sets are extremely good value most giving you at least 1 of the sets within them free.  For Khorne Daemonkin players this kit is perfect as it covers all of the summoning bonuses you get on the Blood Tithe table save for Flesh Hounds.  It was interesting to see that the Bloodletters came with the new 32mm bases meaning I'm going to have to rebase my other set at some point.

Got these off Trade Me as nice find too as they haven't been available via GW or normal retailers for some time.  The TO cards are the same except for the first 6 and you also get a set of larger cards that cover the Tithe chart which will save me going through the Codex each game.

Ok I admit I probably shouldn't have gotten this.  Its not like I'm playing a lot of X-Wing right now but the new cards for the Defenders are just too good to pass up.  Getting this kit means I can take a decent 2 Defender list to the Regionals this month as well.