Friday, September 30, 2011
So how do I use Swift Claws in conjunction with the rest of the Army:
The first thing I think is common sense but I think it needs mentioning as it seems to be the main reason why Wolf Lords don't like to use Swift Claws along with the fact that Swiftclaws are not Thunderwolf Cavalry.
1. Using Swift Claws to Spearhead your assault
Swiftclaws and Thunderwolves both compete for the Fast Attack slots, but their uses are quite different, if you are consistently trying to place your bikers center and charge them at the enemy as fast as you can go, then they will (more often than not) get shot to pieces. They just don't have the resilience or the numbers to do so. This is what Thunder Wolf Cavalry models do, and if that is your goal, or need in your force then use them instead of the Bikers.
Now, I try to be very careful with my wording most of the time and try to avoid certain words when discussing tactics. Words like NEVER and ALWAYS, should send up a red flag. In a true tactical situation, things are fluid and constantly changing. Rules will sometimes be broken in order to accomplish the mission, and this is ok, as long as you know why you are breaking this rule and know the risks involved ahead of time.
That being said there will be times when your Bikers are pressed into front line duty, and find themselves spearheading your force. I think the trick here is ensuring that your Bikers are properly supported.
Thunder Wolf Cavalry are a good choice, though believe it or not I currently use a Blood Claws pack in a Rhino. Why on earth would I do that? Because they are a cheap scoring unit. Care has to be taken to keep the Pack Leader alive, though if you are planning to keep an objective with those guys.
When would I Spearhead an assault with Swift Claws?
A.Terrain is poor, this is the biggie for me. At some Tournaments, terrain can occasionally be sparse. 25% of the board is a lot of terrain! Try it one time, take a board corner, fill it completely with terrain, then spread it out and see. I don't know why Tournament Organizers feel the need to set up Battlefields like they are Fantasy games, but that is for another rant, er, I mean discussion.
First turn is important here, you are going to have to risk the possibility of your opponent seizing the initiative, but so be it. Set up your Swift Claws as close to your line as possible, and in your first turn just send them forward, following up with the rest of your force as a second wave, in support.
B. Dawn of War, if my opponent has first turn and has set up center across the halfway line. Depending on my opponents army make up and units he has deployed this may be worthwhile. Force his hand, and push forward by coming on in your first turn and Turbo-boosting forward. I like to use a staggered approach here using a forward biker unit, to protect the 2nd with both ICs lumped in here.
When using this technique, I frequently hope to wipe the unit out early so my Bikes can free up early and move on to other things. I am not going to tie up many other resources either, using the rest of my force to gain good position and hold objectives early. (I use a large Footslogging GH pack led by a TDA pack leader that is very hard to shift once in position)
I know I mentioned this before, but I am going to say it once more. I don't like to use my Bikers like this, but there are times when I feel its my only choice. I am sure there are times other than the 2 I mentioned above, but I just wanted to give a couple of examples. Typically, if I am forced into such a maneuver I am against a very hard list, in a difficult mission or on an unfavorable board.
2. The "Pincer Attack":
This brings your 2 Biker units up separately, one on each flank. This tactic can be accomplished several ways, all with different set ups in deployment.
A. you could deploy your Two Biker packs on each flank of your deployment, and turbo-boost them along the board edges towards the enemy, each hitting opposite sides of the enemy.
B. you can deploy both packs together in the center of your deployment zone, then separate them, each heading in a different direction and then run a flank, in an effort to confuse your opponent.
C. you can Set up in a Refused flank type set up, but then turbo-boost in different directions, striking "one side" of your opponents force but from different angles. This last one, attacks one section of the army, rather than separating and attacking different elements, attempting to use the Turbo-boosting moves to confuse your opponent. This last one also works well if the Bikers need to operate alone for a period of time. Both A and B work well in both a wedge and a reverse wedge formation.
Thunder Wolf Cavalry once again are great to act as the "tip of the spear" in the wedge formation, though I typically use Blood Claws in a Rhino. (Actually I usually use both, as I do have a small TWC unit that is great for this)
In the Reverse wedge, I move forward toward center usually with my Large GH pack in an effort to lure in my opponent, running the Bikers up the flanks and moving in for support once the GH are engaged, the center is usually supported with a small TWC unit and the smaller GH pack, or the BloodClaws, both in Transports off to the side and a bit to the rear.
I like to use both A and B in a Wedge formation against Armies with strong Gun line that are going to stand and shoot, rushing forward from several angles in an effort to overwhelm the enemy. This works best if he has his ranged weaponry scattered throughout his deployment zone, and there is no way to really avoid his fire while advancing.
The Reverse Wedge is great against armies that are more assault oriented and want to close in on you, moving the Grey Hunters forward and center, especially if on an Objective are great bait. (Orks just can't resist this)
C also works well against a strong Gun line, but is best suited against an opponent who has set up a strong fire base in one area of his deployment zone, and there is an avenue of approach which allows you to get close while taking away LOS.
None of the above is automatic, remember The Battlefield situation will remain fluid, there will be times when you wont need to actually "close" the Pincers. Sometimes only one unit will need to come in for support, or maybe the center will be able to hold its own.
This is where the Swift Claws really shine over other units, they are never really committed to any one area of the Battlefield and are great at redirecting their attacks, especially with a 24" Turbo-boost. A last minute shift in direction, or a changing of target for the Swift Claws is a great way to keep your opponent off balance and reacting to your moves.
While originally typing this thread in the Bolter and Chainsword, I received a questions from “Big Jon” another member of the B&C. While the question was a bit off topic of my current train of thought, I felt it was a good question so have kept the content of my response where it originally appeared in the original thread.
The question was in regards to fielding 2 or 3 biker packs in support of a Drop Pod Force. I used a force like this exclusively in 4th edition. It worked very well, mainly because at the time, Biker Packs were scoring units. 5th edition changed all this and I attempt to explain this below.
"Hey BigJon, I like the thoughts behind your list. It actually sounds like your bikers will be supporting the Drop Pods
In a list like that, I would try and go with at least 3 units in Pods, that will give you 2 coming in on your first turn and hopefully be enough to keep your opponent busy while you get your bikes into position.
The main problem you are going to run into is that in 5th edition, it’s important to keep your troop choices alive in most missions in order to capture objectives. With your troops in Pods and acting as a "shield" for your Bikers while you try and get them into position, they are going to take lots of casualties early on, this will make it difficult to take objectives later in the game.
With 3 Packs of Bikers and the ICs to lead them, I would probably exchange the Pods for Rhinos. This will allow the bikers to do their job, and also allow the Troop choices to act in support of your assault units, and take objectives later in the game as well.
Of course Pods have their place in a list like the one you are going for, but I would be wary of placing all of your troop choices in them.
Hope this helps."
3. The One-Two Punch:
This is one of my favorite ways to use my Bikers.
I can set them up in one of two ways during deployment, I can either set them up together as one large group or I can set them up separately and then bring them together in their first movement phase.
I should also note that in a Dawn of War mission, I will typically bring all of my Bikes in on the first turn, and with turbo-boosting onto the board this maneuver is ideal. I hate having them come in piece-meal.
The Idea here being that as I run up a board edge the Packs are in a "Stack" one pack behind the other. Now, you would think I would lead with the "weaker" pack, letting the Battle Leader take the brunt of the punishment, in order to allow the Wolf Lord and his pack into the action unscathed.
This just isn't the way that Wolf Lord Throgrimm rolls however, and the opposite is true. My lead pack is typically led by my Wolf Lord. Why?
That is what he is designed to do, when Turbo-boosting even Las-Cannon shots will usually bounce off of his bike with his 3+ cover save, and if the odd shot does get through his armor, then he simply takes a wound. The Pack can take an enormous amount of punishment, and still make contact with the enemy.
This also leaves the other pack virtually unscathed. Allowing the 2 Wound Character to get into contact without any damage done to him.
Usually by Turn 2, (3 at the latest) you will be making contact with the enemy.
Sometimes, due to many factors, you will only be able to make contact with the enemy with one pack. This is where the One-Two part comes in, I will position my lead Pack for assault, then in a sort of Leap Frog maneuver, Turbo-boost the Second Pack Up alongside of the lead pack using the inevitable assault as cover for the next turn. Then in the following turn, I have a Biker pack deep in enemy territory.
If both Packs are within charge range then you have a lot of decisions to make, you could easily attack up to 4 different units simply by moving your ICs move away from their packs in the movement phase. Sometimes, I will break the ICs off from their packs and attach them to one another, this can be especially effective if you can catch a Devastator squad on either side.
One thing I try to keep in mind here, I trust my Wolf Lord. He has taken on squads of 20 Kroot and come out without a scratch. If you equip him like I do, and he costs as much as a Land Raider, then treat him like the unstoppable beast he is. That being said, there are times when you will want him to stay with his pack, especially if you are forced into attacking another unit that is geared up for Close Combat.(Something I try to avoid, unless I can suitably thin the horde with enough firepower first)
Rule of Thumb: Shoot the Assaulty ones, and Assault the Shooty ones...
The idea behind using so many bikes is an attempt to control the flow of battle with your speed. When pulling this maneuver if your opponent realizes what you are doing he may attempt to respond by shifting the majority of his force in an effort to halt your advance and get rid of your bikers.
You can (and usually should) then turn your One-Two Punch into a Feint Maneuver (which I will talk about next, so stay tuned )
4. Next up we have a "Feint"
This is just like it sounds. Primarily there are two ways that I will deploy if I am going to start out using this tactic. I will either setup my Bikers behind the rest of my force, or I will set up the majority of my army in a "Refused Flank" type set up with the Bikers all alone on my weak flank of the board.
In the First set up, in my first turn I will typically turbo boost all of my bikers in one direction and then watch for the response. This first direction is not my actual target however, and I move in this direction in an attempt to "Pull" resources away from the protected area.
In my next turn as I move my army into the actual target area I will again turbo-boost back in order to support the main assault group, leaving the pulled units where they are.
The second set up is especially useful if you have won the die roll for first turn and are setting up first. Deploy your bikers all alone on the far flank. Many times your opponent will place several units on this side of the board in an effort to respond to your deployment. If he responds like this, then you simply turbo boost along your own board edge and use this movement to get your bikers back with the rest of your force.
If he does not place units in response to your deployment, then this changes things, as you can run up the flank.
Sometimes one of the other maneuvers will turn into a feint. This is why I always try and have a secondary target for my Bikers.
When turbo-boosting into position, watch his response, if your opponent stacks a heavy response, then look for another target or avenue of approach.
Keep your opponent responding to your moves, not the other way around.
I do hope you all enjoyed reading this tactica article. I am sorry if it appears a bit choppy, but it was originally written in a thread format, I have rewritten it where I thought needed, and made updated some of the information.
Wednesday, September 28, 2011
Before I go into the "General Tips" section, I should mention using the Swift Claw Bikers in more of a support role.
Because of their speed, they are actually really good when used in this fashion.
The idea here is that the Bikers are used as a "second wave" of sorts behind your infantry. This is a useful tactic in KP missions against armies that specialize in close assault.
I will set up with a strong point using the bulk of my army, the Bikers will either be on a flank or behind the main force, out of harms way.
As the bulk of my force Shoots at the enemy, or advances as necessary, the bikers move along the flanks and rear of my army, turbo boosting to stay safe, or even draw a little fire from the main force if needed.
The trick here is to always move fast, and try and stay within 18" of the main body of your army so you can properly support them, when they are needed.
There will be times when you won’t be able to turbo-boost, or when you see an opportunity to take advantage of positioning in order to apply the significant firepower of your Bikers, don't be afraid to do this. With proper spacing of the lead element, your Bikers will be able to position themselves behind a GH or BC pack.
The Twin-linked Bolters give the Blood Claw bikers a significant advantage over the regular packs, and more than compensates for the poor BS.
Here are a few general tips for Swift Claw Bikers.
1. I consider the Attackbike in the pack a must have (already mentioned but worth stating again)
2. Ditto on the Pack Leader
3. Don't be afraid to shoot into a unit before assaulting it (though some care must be taken here), things like Huge Ork mobs, and full Marine squads will rarely lose enough models to cause you to lose assault range. However, the one or two casualties you may cause in shooting may well sway the over-all outcome of the turn and the assault.
4. Turbo-boosting is your friend
5. Learn to judge distances. A common mistake is to turbo-boost up a flank and place yourself in assault range of the enemy, be wary of this, and do your best not to become the victim of an assault.
6. Patience must be utilized when using bikes, don't just throw them into the fray, use their speed to find a weak spot in your opponents force, then strike there.
7. Don't be afraid to change your plan, you have the speed to shift the battle field
8. Running the flanks is a great way to utilize Bikers, but always be wary of any out flanking units which can come on the board and steal away the initiative.
I can't tell you how many times I've read a list, or a Tactica on Army Building techniques that talk about a unit "getting its points back". The theory being that a unit is only good if it destroys more than it costs.
I guess at times you can use this as a guage of sorts when designing an army, but I think the more important question should be "what is the units role in the army?"
While this is a "Wargame" its not always about destroying all of your opponents force (Ok, so 1 out of the 3 basic missions is about that) typically in any type of Tournament play, KPs and Victory points end up being secondary or tertiary objectives, the primary mission being to take and hold some type of objective, or to get into your opponents deployment zone.
When I am designing my lists, I like to look at 3 things:
Here is a question from HDL another B&C member.
Q: Terrain is always a difficult one for me. Because you have to do a dangerous ground test whenever you go through cover, I avoid it even when it would be really advantageous (for turboboosting for instance). I'm too worried about losing wounds through my own actions. How do you treat that issue Bitz?
Terrain can definitely cause some problems, there are time however that I try to use it to my advantage.
On occasion I try to place my Bikers and a Target between terrain, my opponent, thinking his unit safe will get close. I will then move my Bikers around the terrain to shoot, and break my IC away from the unit and go through the terrain, with his skilled rider rule, it is much less likely that he will take a wound.
Be aware however, that you cannot Turbo-boost through difficult terrain.
Then there are those occasion when you just have to assault into cover. Typically I just do it, and hope for the best. Though, there was that time I did that and rolled 4 Ones!!!
Here is the 1850 list that I took to the 2010 Mechanicon GT. I managed to come in 5th Over-all with this list, and really could have won the whole thing if it weren’t for my Achilles heel (the IG Psychic Choir).
HQ: Wolf Lord (Thorgrimm) Bike, Thunder Hammer, Storm Shield, Runic Armor, Wolf Tail Talisman, Saga of the Bear
HQ: Wolf Lord (Erik, the Master of the Hunt), Thunder Wolf, Frost Blade, Storm Shield, Runic Armor, Melta-bombs, Wolf Tail Talisman, 2x Fenrisian Wolves, Saga of the Warrior Born
Elite: Iron Priest on a Thunder Wolf, Wolf Tooth Necklace, Wolf Tail Talisman, 4x Cyber Wolves
Troop: Grey Hunters Pack x10+1(Wgpl), Melta-guns x2, Mark of the Wulfen, Power Weapon, Wolf Standard, Wolf Guard Pack Leader wears Terminator Armor, has a Power Fist and an Assault Cannon
Troop: Grey Hunters Pack x5+1(Wgpl), Plasma-gun, Power Weapon, Wolf Guard Pack Leader has a Power Weapon and a Combi-Melta. The Pack is mounted in a Razorback with Twin-Linked Lascannons.
Troop: Blood Claws Pack x7+1(Wgpl), Flamer, Power Weapon, Wolf Guard Pack Leader has a Storm-Bolter and a Power Fist. The Pack is mounted in a Rhino.
Fast Attack: Swift Claws Biker Pack 3+1(attack bike)+1(Wgpl), Power Fist, Melta-gun, the Attack Bike has a Heavy Bolter, the entire pack is equipped with Melta-Bombs, the Wolf Guard Pack Leader has a Bike, a Combi-Melta, and a Power Fist.
Fast Attack: Swift Claws Biker Pack 3+1(attack bike),+1(Wgpl), Power Fist, the Attack Bike has a Heavy Bolter, the entire pack is equipped with Melta-Bombs.
Now, I do have some concerns with the list for this year, one is that Psychic Choir, that ran my Wolf Lord and his posse off the board. The second is Grey Knights. I just love Thunder Wolf Cavalry models, but I don’t think that the 2nd Lord is going to be worth it if he can be instant killed by anybody in an army.
My thoughts? Well, I have a few. Dropping the 2nd Wolf Lord, the Wolf Tail Talismans, the Power Weapon from the smaller Grey Hunter Pack, and the Iron Priest gains me 479 Points.
Here are my thoughts with those points, I can add a Wolf Priest on a Bike, add 4 Swift Claws with Melta-Bombs to the Pack that runs with the Lord, and I still have the points to toss in some Heavy Support in the form of a Long Fangs pack with 5x Lascannons.
I have been play testing this list with some success, but may change it again to gain 2 Wolf Scout packs to keep things more in “theme” with my play style.
Thanks for reading,
Littlbitz (Ted Nagel)
Monday, September 26, 2011
Recently I have received quite a few questions about one of my favorite units, The Swift Claw Biker Pack, this has been at the game shop I hang out at, Tournaments, and via PM and Email. Of course this made for some very good discussion and also prompted me to do a little more research.
After reading several Space Wolf Tactica articles it dawned on me that very few recommend the use of this unit. In fact many simply state that they are a waste of points and that the points are better spent else where.
My hope with this discussion is to shed some light on the uses and composition of the Swift Claws Biker pack and maybe even entice a few Wolf Lords to give them a try, or at the very least invoke some discussion on the matter about this under-used and frequently under-estimated unit.
I am a long time fan of my BloodClaws on bikes, and they have been a main stay in my army for several years. The most recent edition of the Space Wolves Codex only made me want to take more bikes as I feel they have improved over the last Codex that we had.
1. They dropped in points cost
2. They gained an additional weapon, giving them an additional attack in close combat.
3. They can now add an Attack bike at a minimal points cost
4. They now come with Frag Grenades.
Now, add in the fact that the 5th edition of the game is "The Mech Age" and you have a unit that is not only faster than mechanised units, but also reduces the effectiveness of much of the enemy's anti-tank fire power, especially with good use of the "Turbo-boost" rule.
1st lets look at the slot they take up, and how many units to take.
In a 1500 points game I typically take just one unit of Swift Claws though the unit will be slightly larger than if I were going to take 2 units, supported by my HQ on a Bike (usually a WGBL). I should note that other than campaign play, I rarely play games at 1500 points, when I do my Wolf Guard Battle Leader is equipped as follows: WGBL on a bike with a Frost Blade and Melta-bombs this comes in at a cheap 135 points. A Wolf Priest on a bike would probably be a better choice for tournament play, but since I only play at this point level in campaign situations, the Battle Leader is a better choice for storyline purposes.
Once I hit the 1750-1850 point mark, I typically take 2 units of Swift Claw Bikers, and upgrade the IC to my "Standard" Wolf Lord. After last years Mechanicon I began rethinking my list a bit, and have since added a second HQ to my “Standard” 1850 Tournament list. A Wolf Priest on a bike is the new staple here in addition to my Wolf Lord Thorgrimm. The Wolf Priest not only Makes the unit fearless, but I am finding that the preferred enemy he gives the pack is a huge bonus.
Wolf Lord Thorgrimms load out is as follows: Wolf Lord on a Bike with Runic Armor, Thunder Hammer, Storm Shield, Saga of the Bear (if I have the spare points I take a Wolf tail talisman).
At 2000+ I take a second HQ on a bike. Originally I was using two Wolf Lords on bikes at this points level, but having since started using the Wolf Priest, I have been taking my 2nd Lord on a Thunder Wolf. The combination of the Bikers hitting followed up by the Thunder Wolves has proven to be devastating. Also and perhaps more importantly the Thunder Wolf adds to the survivability of my Warrior Born Lord. All too often he was being felled by a lucky Power fist hit, the T5 of the Thunder Wolf helps mitigate this weakness.
Of course the above is a guideline, and I occasionally vary this depending on mood, and trying new builds.
You can see that in a typical size game for my Gaming Group and in Tournament play I typically go for 2 units, why is this? Well, the tactics that my army uses relies on speed, 1 unit is good, but I find that if that unit goes down I am struggling, and fighting an up hill battle. These guys truly set the pace of the battle (more on how I accomplish this later), it has often been said in my group that if you want to beat me, you need to get rid of the Bikers quickly.
I am trying to figure out an even more biker heavy build, but that is more of a themed list and less balanced for the purposes I am trying to demonstrate here.
Now lets talk about the units composition. In my "typical" army list I use the following: Three Bikers, one with a Melta-gun, and one with a Power-fist, Plus an Attack bike with a Heavy Bolter. All of them are upgraded with Melta-bombs and are led by a Wolfguard with a Power-fist. I have recently added a combi-melta to the Wolf Guard on the bike, this has proven to be a very valuable addition.
This gives me a unit of 5 models (6 or 7 if they have an IC or two attached).
2 of these units gives me 10 bikers plus any ICs I have mounted. I could take larger units but I find they become unwieldy, being more difficult to get into position, and or take cover (more on this later as well). As people are getting accustomed to my play style and learning what is important to target, I am re-thinking the numbers a bit. I think I can add one or two bikers per pack, and maintain the maneuverability of the units while slightly increasing their size. I will write more on this after I get the models painted and run a few games with it.
Vrox, from the Bolter and Chainsword had asked me a question as to the reasons for the change of my standard Swift Claw Biker load outs. Below is my response, a bit of history involving the how and why of the changes I have made.
"Well Vrox, to be honest, I have tried quite a few load outs. My current load out (as described above) is the result of trying out several configurations."
I don't want to get off topic by starting to ramble on about the "Old Codex" but I will take some time to talk about it to explain the progression of my use of ICs on bikes and the use of Blood Claw Biker Packs (Swift Claws) (at Vrox's request).
Towards the end of our last Codex I was running one Large Blood Claw Biker pack with 2x Powerfists and a Wolfguard Pack leader with a 3rd (or a pair of LCs). This was led by a Wolfguard Battle leader on a Bike with a Boltpistol, Frag, and a Frost Weapon, this IC only cost me 117 points! Now, I also ran a Grey Hunters Attackbike Pack with Heavy Bolters this was also led by a Wolfguard Battle Leader on a Bike with Boltpistol, Frag, and a Frost Weapon.
This worked well at the time for a few reasons:
The larger pack was needed because each BloodClaw had few Attacks
The lack of Frag needed to be compensated for with numbers when attacking into cover
I was still running 2 Biker Packs with the potential to split into 4 different units
The Attackbikes were better as a support unit, especially given their higher BS
With the new Codex, I was forced to immediately make some adjustments. 1st off, I only had one fist in a Pack this reduced the high Str hitting potential, but the addition of the extra weapon added some power by increasing the overall attacks. The addition of Frag grenades, allows me to strike units in cover at initiative, this is a huge bonus. I lost Attackbike packs but gained the ability to take them in a Swift Claws pack. I should note here that while I love the addition of the attack bike to the Blood Claw Biker Packs, I do still miss my Grey Hunter Attack Bikes. My First Configuration with the "new" Codex was just as I am running the packs now, and my current Packs are more effective than they have ever been.
Where I really needed to tweak things was in the ICs. My first attempt saw me running them just as I had before. But, I had to alter some Wargear to make them different with the new rules for our HQs.
So, I took one Battle Leader with a Bike, Frost Blade, and Wolf Tail Talisman, and the Other without the Talisman. The hardest thing for me to swallow here, is that I was paying more points for fewer attacks! Also, in the last edition of the Codex, the Battle Leaders would frequently break from their respective packs and join together to hit hard units. I found that with my new configuration I didn't do this as often and this reduced the effectiveness of the 2 characters.
After a few games, I felt the Sagas calling me, these new rules were too cool not to try. 1st I tried giving Warrior Born to a Battle Leader, but he was to fragile. (I now reserve Warrior Born for my TWC Lord)
So, I upgraded him to a Lord and gave him a Belt of Russ. Still I found that the random Power Fist could spell his doom before he really got rolling.
So, Saga of the Bear it was.
At first I was sticking with the Frost Blade, but then I found with such durability I could tackle Big Nasty stuff, so I switched to the Thunder Hammer, nothing could kill him in one blow anyway.
At that point the Belt of Russ, while good was kinda silly especially since my Bolt Pistol now didn't give me an extra attack, so in comes the Storm Shield.
I played with this Lord for quite some time, and it was only after a couple of Tournaments, that I noticed that the difference between a 3+ save and a 2+ would be huge, I am already spending so many points on my Lord that I figured whats a few more. So in came the Runic armor. I haven't looked back since...
My second IC leading the other pack has changed little. I still run the Wolfguard Battle leader quite frequently. For his points I could run a Wolf Priest on a Bike, and that is certainly a model I am working on and will be using in the near future.
Sorry for the rambling but I really wanted to set the scene and give you guys some insight into my thought process whilst building a list based around Swiftclaws. In the next part of this article I will explain the tactics I employ when using Swift Claws.
Thanks for reading
Ted Nagel AKA (Littlebitz)
Sunday, September 25, 2011
He looks very Norse, very hairy and seems to be covered in all sorts of Norse style runes.
Bran also appears to be on a terminator sized base. Very interesting...
Will there be a 'wulfen' version of Bran Redmaw? I guess we'll have to wait and see.
Either way, I think I'll buy this.
EDIT: and that was Games Day UK 2011. What jip! Glad I didn't go.
Wednesday, September 21, 2011
Friday, September 16, 2011
My half arsed, build it as quickly as possible, work.
But that's okay, because this army was intended to be built, painted using Army Painter and played. It's there for the game, not for the hobby.
Even so, I couldn't help but think how I'd spent £20 on each of these units. Don't they deserve a little more attention? Shouldn't I be getting a better return for my money by spending more time on them?
My 2000pts Chaos Space Marines army cost around £300. But when you think about it, it's not much more than investing in a games console and a couple of games. In fact, people pay more for their iPhone subscription than I spend on little plastic dudes every month.
But now I have a playable army to game with, I can pour my efforts into creating stunning conversions and beautifully detailed paint jobs.
Before I was constantly torn between creating fantastic models and trying to get them done quickly for the game. This led to a lot of compromises in quality which I wasn't happy about.
In fact, I wish I'd spent more time on the last batch of Pre Heresy Space Wolves that I'd made. But they've gone to a good home now, leaving me with a clean slate to start a new army -painted and converted to the very best of my abilities.
In the meantime, stay tuned for photos of my finished Chaos Marines and further down the line, my new Space Wolves too!
The worst part is that I want it. Oh how I want a Land Raider Proteus in my Pre Heresy Space Wolves army.
The mind says YES, but the wallet says NO!
Then the gamer in me says "But where will my models disembark from?" Because the side hatches aren't good and with no front hatch, game play is going to be difficult.
My other concern is that this is 100% resin. And we all know how good Forge World are when it comes to making resin kits that do together properly. In other words, it's one of the things they really suck at.
I'm just going to look at it some more...wantingly...longingly...
So what do you guys think?
Wednesday, September 14, 2011
Monday, September 12, 2011
Not only will I be showing you how to make the standard Pre Heresy Grey Hunters, but also how to make the specialist troops in each unit from the Wolf Standard to the Wolf Guard waving his powerfist and combi-melta.
Kits Needed to Make Conversions
Space Wolves Boxed Set
Chaos Warriors Boxes Set
2 Melta Guns
1 Assault Marine Power Fist
1 Stanley Knife -with sharp blade!
1 pair of Clippers
1 Polystyrene Cement Glue
Please note that the Stanley Knife I recommend is made of METAL so you can grip it and give it some force to cut through solid parts of models. If your modelling knife is a tiny scalpel, go buy a real Manley Knife instead!
PS: I should mention now that the knife edge should be nice and sharp to cut through thick pieces of plastic and to cleanly cut away tiny details. Just be careful, because I cut my thumb quite a few times making these when removing the thigh armour. More on this in a bit.
Get Your Bits Together
Use the clippers to get everything you need off the sprues in double quick time, clean all the parts with your Stanley Knife and then glue all of the legs to the bases using the Polystyrene Cement Glue.
It's probably best to come back to these conversions a day later. You're going to be applying some force to these legs glued to bases and the last thing you want is the whole conversion coming apart in your hands.
Next you need to take the Chaos Warrior cloaks and dig out part of the plastic so that you can marry the Chaos Warrior torso to the Space Marine legs.
I tend to dig in at either side with my Stanley Knife, then cit lined diagonally across until I can cut the plastic out triangle by triangle...then scrape the rest out with the knife blade.
Now take the Chaos Warrior torso and legs and chop them in half.
I lay the model down on my hobby table and score along where I want to cut with the knife before cutting to get a nice straight line.
Then you can apply the pressure, rock the blade back and forth a little and eventually the blade will go through.
It's worth taking a moment to tidy up the edges where you've cut as you'll be using all this bits again very soon.
Now you've got to cut off the thigh armour from the Chaos Warrior legs. This is not easy!
So what you do is score a line across the top of the legs which outlines where the thigh armour piece should be in all that plastic. You them cut downwards very carefully, using the lines of the detail around the armour piece to help cut straight and get it out.
I find rocking the knife back and forth in your hands helps to get the metal blade through the mass of plastic.
As you can see, I use the middle of the blade because this gives me more control.
I've cut down as far as I can without cutting through the knee, so I'll come down with the knife in a straight line above the knee to get the piece of thigh armour out.
You'll be so relieved when you've done it. Then you realise you've got to do the other one!
This is actually quite tiring, so I don't recommend doing this late at night, especially in case you slip and cut yourself.
Clean these up and make sure they're flat on the side you're going to glue to the Space Marine legs.
Chop the backside off the Space Marine legs and you're ready to start assembling the main body of your Pre Heresy Space Wolves.
It's also worth removing any detail from around the upper parts of the Space Marine legs which could get in the way of the thigh armour sticking reasonably flat. Some of the Space Wolves legs have little trims at the top. Be sure to remove these.
With a head, backpack, bolter and hands you've got everything you need.
Be sure to clean all parts of any flash.
Also, cut the sword out of the Chaos Warrior hand and the grip out of the bolt gun.
You can trim the top of the hand at an angle to be flat so that the bolt gun sits better on the hand.
Wolf Standard Bearer
While you'll quickly get into the swing of converting Pre Heresy Space Wolves, let's focus on the unit specialists, starting with the Wolf Standard Bearer. He is probably the easiest after all!
Start by gluing the two halves of the Chaos Warrior torso and cloak together. Once this has dried, glue the torso down on top of the Space Marine legs.
Note how I've used the knife to smooth down the tops of the Space Marine legs to make sure the Chaos Warrior thigh armour fits properly.
You may also find that parts of the cloak make contact with the back of the Space Marine legs. It's worth gluing these together for extra strength.
You can glue the pieces of thigh armour onto the underside of the ride of the Chaos Warrior torso over the Space Marine legs. Obviously, glue the thigh armour to the legs as well.
Now leave to dry for a day. I'm serious. Too many times these things have come apart in my hands while I've been gluing heads, arms or backpacks on!
Here's a Wolf Standard I made earlier. I used the Chaos Warrior standard pole arm and chopped the pole down and also cut it so that it would fit the back of the Wolf Standard you get in the Space Wolves boxed set.
Obviously, I cut the standard pole from the Wolf Standard so the new one could slide in.
I also chopped the top off the Wolf Standard and stuck an enemy skull on top instead. All my Pre Heresy Grey Hunter packs have a different enemy skull on top. I recommend acquiring these from your friends armies!
Glue the standard together and make sure it's dry before gluing the standard arm to the body and the bottom of the pole to the base of the miniature.
Then add a head, a back pack and a left arm and you're done!
And here he is fully assembled. All pretty straightforward stuff. I also glued the back pack to the back of his cloak. But if you're very pedantic about fitting, you can trim the fur on the coat with a modelling knife to get a smoother, flatter fit for the backpack.
You should always use the legs with the wolf pelt from the Space Wolves box as this makes the model stand upright. If you use any other legs, they tend to make the model too short to hold the Chaos Warrior banner pole!
You'll probably want to take a break after making this. I know I did the first time around. Go get a cup of team, you deserve it -especially when the next one is a little harder.
Mark Of The Wulfen
Instead of having a full on furry werewolf with fangs and claws, I fancied more of a Beserker look to my Grey Hunter with the mark. So I chose the 'big hair' Space Wolf head and acquired a couple of barbaric axes from the Beastman Gor Herd (link) boxed set.
If you're going to be making a lot of Grey Hunters with Mark of the Wulfen, then it's worth buying this box. Otherwise I'd recommend just giving him a couple of Chaos Warrior axes and be happy with that.
So it's the same kind of conversion again, except we've got big axes and a head that's designed to glue on to a flat surface, not into a collar.
Cut both Beastman and Chaos Warrior axes off at the top of the hand. Make sure you do this from the same direction, because the curvature of the knife cut will ensure a good clean fit.
This is also the best place the glue the axe on, because it has the largest surface area to attach to against the top of the hand. No pinning needed here!
Rawr! Here he is all built and ready to lop off some heads. I'm particularly happy with the posing on this one.
The head is a bit of a nightmare to glue on with polystyrene cement. But once it's dry you can push some Green Stuff into the gap between the bottom of the head and cup that the head is supposed to sit it, then smooth it flat with your finger.
Once you've got the Grey Hunter with the Mark of the Wulfen out of the way, the next Pre Heresy conversion should be simple! All you have to do is accommodate a Power Fist.
Grey Hunter with Power Fist
I used a Blood Angels powerfist for this conversion, but you can easily use the powerfist supplied with the Space Wolves boxed set.
Same set up again, just with different arms. The only real conversion work how is the powerfist.
Simply figure out how you'd like to position it and take it from there. Although I'd admit the positioning is pretty restricted.
What I do is cut just above the elbow as this forms a nice fit into the Chaos Warrior torso where a hand is mean to fit.
Even though there's a 'double' armoured elbow when you do this no one seems to mind or to notice. But if it really bugs you, simply glue a purity seal or other detail flowing across the Chaos Warrior elbow.
I quite liked the chunkiness of this powerfist and glued it against the body for maximum strength.
I often leave the details on powerfists and other weapons, but in some cases when the logos are't appropriate for Space Wolves, simply cut/scrap them off with the sharp edge of your Stanley Knife.
It's probably worth mentioning that you should always glue the thigh armour on before you attach any of the hands. Sometimes you find that the hands prevent you from getting the thigh armour on!
Once you've mastered all of these, it's time to convert the Wolf Guard with powerfist and combi melta -and this is when things get really involved.
Pre Heresy Wolf Guard
Everything you've done so far has prepared you for this conversion. I can appreciate that these models aren't easy to make and this one is probably the most fiddly.
Same legs, torso, etc as before. But this time you will need an Assault Marine powerfist, the Chaos Warrior champion cloak, the Chaos Warrior champion sword arm, a melta gun and a storm bolter from the Space Wolves box.
You'll need a spare bolt pistol from the Space Wolves box too.
I also recommend using the Space Wolf legs with the wolf pelt down the middle. Due to the default pose and the large combi weapon, this model tends to look best stoop up straight and pointing for the rest of the pack to advance.
To start with we need to cut off all the rubbish from the Space Wolves storm bolter.
Cut the arm off at the wrist, then start to cut the gun away from the hand by cutting across in front of the knuckles.
Then cut in a straight line between the top of the hand and the flat bit of the gun that sits on the hand and wrist.
Finally, carefully cut away that silly tooth stuck to the top of the gun sight. Now we've got something we can work with.
Now cut the barrels off the front of the Storm bolter, but make sure you leave the little rectangular bit that sticks out at the bottom. This helps in making the conversion strong later.
Take the bolt pistol and using a sharp knife shop the barrel and sight above it off in one clean cut.
You should then be able to glue this to the front of the storm bolter as a single piece. Make sure it's aligned to the left hand side of the storm bolter, because you have to leave room for the melta gun barrel.
Now take the melta gun and chop the barrel off the end. Then trim the end until it smoothly joins to the front of the storm bolter.
Now you have 1 perfectly good combi-bolter. Leave to dry thoroughly before trimming a Chaos Warrior hand to hold the gun. Attach the gun to the hand and leave to dry. Because the gun is relatively heavy the hand and gun need to be fully dry before you can glue the hand holding the gun into the Chaos Warrior torso. Now for the powerfist.
Take both the Chaos Warrior champion arm and the Assault Marine powerfist and cut them below the elbow.
You need the top half of the Chaos Warrior champion arm and the bottom half of the Assault Marine powerfist.
Then powerfist will need a bit of trimming to keep all the cables, which you'll be pleased to discover glue straight on to the Chaos Warrior champion upper arm almost perfectly!
Here you go. Doesn't that look good? Now all you need to do is glue it into the Chaos Warrior champion torso for a perfect fit.
Actually the kit doesn't go together that well, so once dry you may want to plug the gap with some Green Stuff.
Next up, glue the hand holding the combi-melta in place, glue on the head, backpack and you're done!
Now go have a nice long rest, you earned it.
And that's how it's done.
As you may have gathered, these are time consuming, energy draining conversions. So many people will only reserve this level of dedication for their characters. Meanwhile other people with more time, money and enthusiasm will go the whole hog and convert their whole army to look like this.
Whatever you decide, that's up to you. But hopefully this guide has given you all the essential conversion tutorials you need to make your own Pre Heresy armies.
Thanks for reading and if you thought this article was helfpul, then please share it around the web and let others know about it.
Friday, September 9, 2011
Yes, Anvil Industries are currently based in a garden shed in sunny Hertfordshire, England. Much like in the same way that most successful US businesses start in a basement. We don't have basements here. So a shed or garage is the next best (and very British!) thing.
Prior to setting up Anvil Industry to help pay for his kid, I've known Joel for about 6 years now. In fact, I met him at a 40K tournament and managed to blag a lift home!
He's a fantastic painter and modeller. Sure, he sucks at the game, but he's really in it for the hobby and that's why he's offering a slowly growing range of generic 28mm accessories for people who play sci fi wargames.
So far the range consists of shoulder pads, cloaks, loin cloths and other small accessories. However there are a number of new things on the way, such as a tripod mount with a variety of heavy weapons as well as riot shields, energy packs and there has been talk of a jetbike of some kind.
A range of bases are also in production, made of a very special material with cleverly designed undersides as well! I would never have thought of this, so I was particularly impressed when Joel demonstrated what the first batch of Anvil Industry bases would be capable of -both for painting and for playing games.
Although personally, I can't wait for the missile pods (mounted on the tripod in the picture) to be finished and available. Just think of all the tanks and heavy infantry you could use them with.
But before Joel can create any more new products, he's busy trying to get his casting process as perfect as possible. Currently 1 in 5 products aren't casting correctly and are thrown away, which has prompted him to invest in a pressure caster and air pressure generator.
Also, the quality control is taking a lot of his time. It probably doesn't help that Joel is particularly fussy, but that definitely does benefit his customers.
He also showed me some products cast in regular resin and products cast in 'special resin'. The special resin products were a grey colour, exactly the same colour as Citadel Finecast and Forgeworld products in fact.
When I asked what made them so special, he laughed "Nothing, I just added a grey colour!"
But we could both clearly see the details in the model and most importantly the white/cream coloured resin looked very cheap in comparison. So there's an interesting perception of value for you! Now we know why so many manufacturers produce their model parts in grey resin.
Before I left, I caught a glimpse of some interesting steam punk style rocket packs. I also placed an order for the forthcoming Anvil Industry 'special' bases, which I'll explain more about when they're released. And I also picked up a selection of studded shoulder pads for my next batch of pre heresy Space Wolves. Aren't generic 28mm sci fi bits wonderful?
Anvil Industry is small right now, but has a heck of a lot going for it. Joel seems to be better on price, faster on production and ships from the UK, so for UK and US residents his popular shoulder pads are certainly more affordable than the European alternatives.
So if you've got a minute, check out Anvil Industries for yourself and see if your little plastic dudes need some extra accessories.
Thursday, September 8, 2011
It made me realise that THIS is how I wanted to paint my Space Wolves!
I think this is Space Wolves army #4 now. The other armies I built and painted all had 1 major problem - I was compromising on quality the entire time.
Sure, my Pre Heresy Space Wolves with fur cloaks were beautifully converted. But the paint scheme could have been so much better. My Ragnar Space Wolves were painted quickly to play the game. Then my original Pre Heresy Space Wolves were basically grey Space Marines.
And while James is often a very supportive friend, I've found his boasting about being able to blitz through a whole Tactical Squad and Transport in a single day to have a very negative effect.
So this is why I did the Chaos Space Marines army at speed -to give me a whole army to play with. But more importantly, an army that I don't give a rat's arse about. So now I can go and beautifully convert and paint my Space Wolves in peace!
So I've decided to pay careful attention to my miniatures, because they're Space Wolves and they deserve it. After all, they're not exactly cheap.
I'm going to be following Munky's paint scheme to the letter while seeking out other excellent painting techniques to make my miniatures as good as they can be.
No short cuts. No compromising. Just a good quality Space Wolves army. Who knows, I may get nominated for Best Painted Army at tournaments, just like I used to with my old Tau Empire, Deathwing and Black Legion armies?
Wednesday, September 7, 2011
Tuesday, September 6, 2011
So with a new army scheme on the cards I set about choosing a new Great Company. The most Important thing for me was it had to have a symbol I could free hand on shoulder pads. This meant it couldn't be too detailed and certainly wouldn't have symmetrical icons in it i.e double wolf heads. Lastly I would have to like the fluff behind the Great Company, not so much a big issue but something that does bother me (Boo Yaa to all those who thought I didn't give a monkeys about fluff)
Here is a sneak peek of one of my Rhinos.
With a bit of thinking and test painting I finally came up with a scheme I liked, Gunnar Redmoons Great Company. The symbol is quite easy to paint on a shoulder pad and the red moon on black background really goes well with my dark grey power armour.
It was time to start working on the new project and I was stuck as to where to start. To hell with it I thought I'll start with the big man himself, Wolf Lord Gunnar Redmoon. I wanted this guy to use the rules for Logan Grimnar (yes folks another Logan counts as, haters can start hating now). I tried this conversion before but that guy ended up becoming a Lone Wolf so I had to start again. Luckily I've got tons of Terminator bits lying around and even some Forgeworld torsos.
Ladies and Gentlewolves I give you Gunnar Redmoon.
The conversion is simple enough, I used the Forgeworld torso and some bog standard legs. The Frost Axe and Powerfist are from the Wolf Guard box set which means so far everything was pretty simple. Next I had to tackle the Stormbolter, I could have wimped out and just ignored it but I've decided I'm going 100% WYSIWYG with my army. I ended up filing down the back of the Powerfist and then filing a Stormbolter to attach to the back. I had a neat little idea to make the Stormbolter belt fed and loop the feed around to the back of the mini, I could imagine Gunnar wanting to fire off as many rounds as possible into the enemies face before he beat the snot out of them. I used the Wolf Guard cloak as its pretty epic and stuck a shield on the back, I was inspired by the Wolf Lord in the book "Battle of the Fang" who kept an axe from his previous life as part of his personal effects.
Next up I have begun work on a new pack of Grey Hunters followed by some Wolf Guard inspired by Adams Pre Heresy Wolves. I've also got some epic Lone Wolf conversions I am dying to show you guys but you can wait for now.
Monday, September 5, 2011
Arjac's saga tells a tale of a stubborn refusal to give ground to a horde of teeming kraken things...until Logan Grimnar and his men dug him out from beneath a mountain of chitin and scythed limbs. The Great Wolf was so impressed that he named Arjac his personal champion on the spot!
On the tabletop, Arjac displays the exact same stubborness and general refusal to die. Essentially a Wolf Guard Battle Leader, he's a fantastic melee character without eating up one of your HQ slots or giving away a Kill Point.
In fact, for all his equipment and abilities, he's better value for your points than a Wolf Guard Battle Leader with the very same load out.
Equipment: wolf tooth necklace, foehammer, anvil shield, terminator armour
Skills: saga of the bear, Grimnar's champion, stubborn
Because Arjac is one of the Wolf Guard, he must be purchases along with at least 2 other Wolf Guard as an Elites choice. This also means that he may only lead Blood Claws, Grey Hunters and Long Fangs into battle.
Stats aside, when thinking about how best to use him, we need to take his equipment and special rules into account, just like we did with Logan Grimnar.
Strength 10 Thunder Hammer that he can THROW 6". It's a bad idea to base any tactics around this, but it's a nice little extra. It's worth noting that the thrown Thunder Hammer reduces the target's Initiative to 1, which makes it awesome in combination with a Rune Priest casting Jaws Of The World Wolf on a monstrous creature. But let's focus on Arjac's squad leading abilities for now.
Otherwise think of his Thunder Hammer as a power fist style weapon which mops up at the end of a close combat and batters any survivors with Wound Allocation.
This gigantic storm shield gives Arjac +1 attack in the first round of close combat. Combine that with his basic 3 Attacks, the +1 attack from charging normally (or counter-charging) and you've for 5 Attacks hitting on 3+ (thanks Wolftail Necklace!). Not bad at all.
Let's not forget he get's a 3+ invulnerable save from this on top of his 2+ terminator armour save.
Not such a great rule, but it will make your opponent thing twice before charging an Independant Character into close combat. If an enemy Character is in the combat, Arjac MUST allocate all his attacks against them.
I dare you to try and kill him. Even Mephiston probably can't before he gets pummelled in return.
Just remember that Arjac is NOT an Independant Character, so your opponent cannot pick him out from the squad he's leading in close combat. Suddenly he just got a whole lot better!
Should you lose close combat (most likely due to the softer squad members getting butchered), Arjac's Stubborn ability and high leadership is likely to keep the squad in place for another round of fighting. Arjac is often the last to die, which turns whichever squad he leads into a serious tar pit unit that inflicts a lot of casualties before it finally dies.
Arjac Rockfist Leading Wolf Guard
The only kind of Wolf Guard unit worth taking is Terminator Wolf Guard. We've established in other articles that 5 is the perfect number. Anymore doesn't give you much of a benefit for the extra points and they struggle to fit in transports too.
Fortunately, because Arjac is one of the Wolf Guard, he fits into the mix rather nicely and the squad doesn't have to lose their heavy weapon either.
Wolf Guard Terminator with combi-plasma and power weapon
Wolf Guard Terminator with combi-melta and power weapon
Wolf Guard Terminator with combi-melta and wolf claw
Wolf Guard Terminator with combi-plasma , power weapon and cyclone
Land Raider/Drop Pod Transport
Sure, it's a lot of points. But with Arjac leading them, they're going to kick ass and take a lot of hits. The lack of models is a concern though.
Arjac Rockfist Leading Blood Claws
Blood Claws suck. How did you know I was going to say that? Well, it's because it's true. They simply can't compare to Grey Hunters for the same points. Arjac gets no benefit by joining them and he gets no benefit in leading them...except he might have 15 guys to take hits before the enemy get around to him.
The problems with Blood Claws needing high numbers, resulting in high points costs outweigh the fun of being able to deliver Arjac into the thick of the fighting.
Arjac Rockfist Leading Grey Hunters
Wolf Standard and numbers make Grey Hunters the ideal unit for Arjac to lead. Think about it, the Wolf Standard allows you to re-roll 1's on a model with a 2+ armour save and a 3+ invulnerable save in close combat. It also makes those 5 Attacks at Strength 10 more likely to count when it comes to hitting and wounding. Grey Hunters give a good account of themselves in close combat too and are less likely to take casualties in the first round of combat thanks to rerolls from their Wold Standard.
Just be sure that your opponent isn't ready to blast them all to kingdom come the minute his unit breaks from close combat.
If your opponent is planning to throw more units into the close combat, then you'be succeeded in creating a tar pit which will suck lots of his units in as he struggles to single out Arjac with Wound Allocation and bring him down.
For a good example of how to use Arjac Rockfist really well, check out the Space Wolves VS 13th Company battle report. It took 2 Units of my Grey Hunters led by a Rune Priest 2 whole Turns to bring down Arjac and his squad. Of course this only happened after Arjac smashed my Rune Priest with his Thunder Hammer and battered one squad so badly that they broke and ran!
Arjac Rockfist Leading Long Fangs
You just wouldn't. Arjac likes to get up close and beat face. Long Fangs like to sit back and shoot. I think he'd get bored...
Arjac's awesome enough, but once he gets some rerolls thanks to the Grey Hunter's Wolf Standard, he's nigh on unstoppable in the first round of close combat.
Because he can't be singled out, your opponent has to fight their way through his entire squad before they can finally bring him down.
Even then, it's going to take more than a punch from a powerfist thanks to his Saga of the Bear.
He takes some serious killing and can hold up a lot of points, making it difficult for your opponent to commit units to objectives, let alone winning the battle.
There is 1 downside however: He cannot join more than a single unit during a game, because he's a Wolf Guard pack leader and not an Independent character. So start every game with a plan for him in mind and stick to it.
I honestly don't expect him to survive a single game, but he should always die gloriously atop a massive mound of foes!
Sunday, September 4, 2011
James had his usual Belial Command Squad with Thunder Hammer and Storm Shield all round, Deathwing Banner, Apothecary and Ezekiel. Plus 5 Terminator squads with storm bolters and Cyclone Missile Launchers.
Meanwhile I took the first 1750pts of my 2000pts Chaos Space Marines list (link), led by the ruthlessly cunning Techno-Sorcerer Manneus Drath ('Manny' for short).
We rolled for mission and set up, getting Secure & Control (1 objective each) with a Dawn of War deployment.
I won the roll off and opted to go first and placed my objective (a spare Pink Horror from James' Thousand Sons army) just to the left of the centre. James placed his objective in the top right hand corner -oh yawn!
PS: James lent me a Whirlwind as I was 1 Rhino short.
James rolled to seize the initiative...and failed! Meanwhile the Iron Warriors mechanised company rolled on from the board edge while the Obliterators waited in reserve to teleport in.
Sudden the Chaos Space Marine army converged in the centre, Chosen led by Manny disembarked from their Rhino APC and brought 5 plasma guns to bear, alongside 3 twin linked plasma guns from the nearby obliterators and opened fire -annihilating a Deathwing Terminator squad while losing one of the Chosen to an overheating plasma gun in the process *evil cackle*.
On the left flank the other Obliterator Cult and the Havocs with melta guns made short work of another Deathwing Squad, but lost half of their number in the close combat that ensued with the squad's remaining member, before they cut him down.
Belial and his Command Squad advanced towards the centre to find themselves surrounded with Chaos Marines, plasma guns, melta guns, combi meltas and countless bolters.
The first round of fire did very little while Manny's attempts to 'Lash' the unit resulted in them moving only 3". Curses!
I fed a Chaos Marine squad to them to keep them occupied for the turn. The squad was wiped out -just as planned. Manny's evil minions had done his bidding perfectly!
The Chaos Hord advanced as one, and fired once more, gunning down a handful of Deathwing Assault Terminators, before Manny 'Lashed' them apart to create a more favourable alignment of targets to charge.
Despite heavy casualties, the Deathwing Command Squad was wiped out, leaving the Iron Warriors to fall back to claim their objective.
Meanwhile the Obliterators advanced, gunning down 3 of the Deathwing Terminators close to James' objective. Then to add insult to injury Manny 'Lashed' them away 9".
In James' turn he moved and then ran them back towards the objective.
We rolled to see if the game ended -and it did.
I felt that James had been a little generous with his movement and his measuring to the objective. But what the heck, it had been a close game, so I didn't argue.
Could I have played better? Definitely! But as a first outing it wasn't a bad game.
James remarked that I had played like I didn't care. Well, that's not entirely true. I'd crafted an army to go forward and get stuck in with their special weapons -and that's precisely what I did.
Putting one Cult of Obliterators down on the flank had seemed like a great idea at the time. Committing the Melta Gun Havocs had felt equally brilliant. But then they struggled to get back into the game from that point onwards. So it feels as though the army really has to move together as one in order to be effective.
Just imagine the carnage had another Cult of Obliterators and 4 Melta Guns been blasting down the centre into the Deathwing Command Squad!
In the meantime, I'm looking forward to playing more games with my Iron Warriors special weapons fest while I'm working on my new Space Wolves.
Saturday, September 3, 2011
There were inspired by Paul Scott's plastic Obliterator conversions from his Death Guard. Then I went to town and bulked them up even further.
The process is surprisingly simple. Just start with the Terminator body, a chaos marine head and the back half of the Chaos Marine gunner from the Chaos Vehicle Accessory sprue.
Cut the top of the stumpy bit inside the terminator body out, then the back half of the Chaos Marine gunner should be able to glue neatly in place. Not before you trim a Chaos Marine head and glue that in place first of course.
Then you take a Multi Melta and Plasma Cannon from the Space Marine Devastator box and trim the Terminator arms back to the elbows until you create a flat surface to glue each gun and army together.
Then you glue the arms in place.
Leave the whole thing to dry solid and you've formed the basis for your Obliterator conversion.
Now you can start filling in the gaps and bulking up the model with more and more bits. Be sure to trim any spare piping and little technical box shapes off of whatever you can find in your bitz box. They're great for plugging gaps and layering up detail to make these Obliterators much bigger and bulkier than regular Terminators.
I'm very fortunate to have access to so many bits, thanks to James buying so many Devastator boxes over the years. He certainly wasn't going to use all those Plasma Cannons and Multi Meltas!
I couldn't begin to list all the bits used in these conversions, but buying a couple of Black Reach Terminator boxed sets for £10 each (+£2 postage) on eBay was certainly preferable to paying out £14 per Chaos Obliterator. Seeings as I needed 6 of them, that would have cost me £84!
Instead I only spent £20 + £20 for an extra Devastator boxed set. So £40 in total. Although each of these did take 3 hours to build up in layers of bits.
You've no doubt noticed that I'm steered clear of the 'fleshy bits' usually seen on Chaos Obliterators and stuck to technology instead. It's much easier to jam bits of piping, tech and armour plates over any gaps rather than filling them in with green stuff.
These are really messy conversions, but they did get much better as I went along. So I'm sure that someone with a little more patience and care could create cleaner, more uniformed Obliterator conversions of their own.
But if you've got a bitz box that's overflowing with heavy weapons, why not give this kind of conversion a try? Because once you've got the basis sorted, sticking bits on and building up the model is relatively easy!
Friday, September 2, 2011
I haven't quite finished building it all yet. But when it comes to painting the whole thing, I will be using the Army Painter spray, paint, dip and varnish approach.
I really don't care about them. They're just there to be played with while I figure out which direction my Space Wolves are taking.
Okay, I do care, otherwise I wouldn't have gone to great lengths to convert Manneus Drath (left) to lead my army. We call him 'manny' for short!
Anyway, I started off with my usual 1000pts of Space Wolves and made them evil. It seemed like the logical starting point. However, I swapped out a few things in favour of what the Chaos Codex seems to do best.
So this Space Wolves army list:
Rune Priest with Living Lightning & Jaws
(X3) Wolf Guard with combi melta and powerfist
7 Grey Hunters with melta gun, mark of the wulfen, wolf standard
6 Long Fangs with 5 missile launchers
Razorback with twin linked lascannon
Became this Chaos Marines army list:
Chaos Sorcerer 'Manny' with Mark of Slaanesh, Lash
(X3) Aspiring Champion with combi melta and powerfist
7 Chaos Marines with melta gun
Rhino with combi melta
7 Chaos Havocs with 4 melta guns
Rhino with combi melta
Good VS Evil
Yeah, Chaos Space Marines aren't really a patch on Grey Hunters for the points and neither is the Sorcerer compared to the Rune Priest. But, I could use Lash to knock any nasty units away. Meanwhile the extra melta guns on the Rhinos could make a big difference when it comes to popping tanks up close.
The Havocs are just an excuse for lots more melta guns, plus Rhino. Obviously, Manny will lead them so they have some close combat clout too.
I was getting fed up with my Long Fangs getting left to sit and die in 1000pts games, so essentially buying lots of melta guns for the same points seemed like a logical choice in creating an aggressive Heavy Support unit.
Expanding Chaos Space Marines Army
While James is happy to play games of 1000pts, Marc was keen to unleash his Draigo Wing once again (yawn). So I had to bulk the army up by 750pts.
On top of that, since attending Battle Of The Chumps as well as tournaments of various sizes over the past year or two, we tend to make our armies very modular in terms of structure. So then we can just swap units in and out as we need them.
This is a bit of a bitch when it comes to the Chaos Marine Codex, because everything is so damned expensive. Plus, you don't really want to spend 40pts on a Chaos Spawn (hilarious as they are!) when they easily concede a Kill Point.
So after some playing around and fantastically straightforward input from James, I came up with the following...
2000pts Chaos Space Marines Army
Chaos Sorcerer 'Manny' with Mark of Slaanesh, Lash
(X3) Aspiring Champion with combi melta and powerfist
7 Chaos Marines with melta gun
Rhino with combi melta
(X2) 8 Chaos Chosen with 5 plasma guns
Rhino with combi melta
7 Chaos Havocs with 4 melta guns
Rhino with combi melta
(X2) 3 Obliterators
The stand out strengths of the Chaos Space Marine army are its special weapons. So it made sense to build an army around these.
Sure, I could have taken Plague Marines as troops, but I quite like Chaos Undivided. Okay, I gave Manny the Mark of Slaanesh and the Lash. But what else was I going to give him? Besides, I can't see the value in making him a Chaos Lord. I've done the maths and the extra attacks from a Daemon Weapon don't seem that great. I felt it would be better to have an all-round strategic character leading my force instead.
The Chosen can either Infiltrate and shoot people from Turn 1 to be really annoying. Or they can Outflank in their Rhinos. Or they can roll forward with the rest of the army.
Meanwhile the Obliterators can either stroll along from the start or Deep Strike in. I think I have Manny a Personal Icon in the first 1,000pts. I need to check that. Obviously, that will make Deep Striking easier if I need the Obliterators to lay down some close range special weapons fire.
But the army looks good on paper. Once it's built, I'll take it for a spin and see how well it does.
This wasn't optimised in any way for a particular opponent, but I feel it should do well against Marines of all colours.
What do you think?
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