What do you do when you have two huge Space Marine armies, and still have models to paint and put together? A little bit of Blood Angels and Space Wolves will hopefully be coming down pipes from me to you in the next few months, as I stick to a decidedly Marine trend while trying out some new books and paint schemes.
This is my first Blood Angel model, and a decent test subject. You'll notice some differences from the official paint job. I wanted to differentiate a bit. I'm going to be painting up the Fourth Company, known as the "Knights of Baal". I'm going to use an emerald paint on the shoulder pad to fancy things up a bit, and the knee pad will show individual "heraldry" for each marine, rather than a squad marking.
I hand painted the Company and Chapter symbols on each shoulder pad rather than using transfers, which was a new challenge for me, and I think it turned out well. The sword blades have also been highlighted with mithril silver since I took the picture. I look forward to cranking out some of his battle brothers! Any suggestions for improvement or ideas on how to spice him up?
Like my Khador and Imperial Fists, who have all wrapped up in the last month or so, my Trollbloods are finished now with this fantastic model, who brings the entire collection up around 110 points. concept and pose of the Bomber, and wanted to add him in.
Unlike my Khador, my Trolls aren't going up for sale. For now, they'll sit in the cabinet while old projects (Dark Elves and Beastmen) get upgraded for Eighth Edition and new projects (Blood Angels, Space Wolves, High Elves and Skaven) get started. In the long run, I think this fella has a great gaming future...as a Hellcannon in a Warriors of Chaos Troll army.
One of our local players, Collins, has written a great tactica on the use of Eagles that I thought I'd share with all of you. It's a nice list of the tricks he employs with his (four!!) Eagles during games. Enjoy!
Trick #1, 'The Classic' War Machine Hunting
I thought that we may as well start off with a classic trick that I am sure everyone is familiar with. And that is warmachine hunting. Through my experience, most of all of my opponents warmachine crew have been s3 and ws2. That means that when you charge that warmachine with your eagle on turn two, which is almost inevitable, your opponents will be hitting you on 5s, and wounding you on 5s. Therefor, they only have 1/3 chance of doing a single wound to you. You, however, will be hitting on 3s, and wounding on 3s as well, so you should be getting 1.5555 wounds on your opponent (including your eagles stomp attack). That means you will be winning combat mostly every time. 1 from the charge, and 1-2 for wounds. From my experience, warmachines have low leadership, and will usually break even when beaten by 2-3 points.
A tip I would like to point out to everyone, is that your opponent will like sticking more than one warmachine together, usually on a hill. This means that if in your first turn, you move your eagle up on his flank and within charging distance of one warmachine, you can usually charge the closest one, beat it and run it down, while at the same time overrunning into his second warmachine, successfully taking out 100-200 points with your single 50 point eagle. Also, if you get this kind of charge off in your second turn, then you only are giving your opponents warmachines 1-2 turns to shoot, depending on who goes first.
Trick #2, 'Wizard Assassination'
Here is another classic that most of you must already know as well. Don't worry old experienced players, we'll get into some more complex tricks later, but this is for those of you who are relatively new and still need to learn the old tricks. Anyways, what you do here usually takes 2 or more eagles, but the pay off is well worth it. What you do is you charge in an eagle to the front of an opponents unit that is holding their oh-so-powerful-mage. Then, you direct all of the eagles attacks at your opponents mage. Because mages are generally fragile and do not have much protection, you should be getting 1.55555 wounds (stomp included). You're eagle will then surely be killed afterward. However, in your next turn you do the same thing, charge in with a second eagle. With two onslaughts of this, you should be averaging 3 wounds on their mage, and this is usually enough to kill it. And trust me, 100 points is well worth the points for your opponents mage, and stopping their magic relatively early in the game.
Trick #3, 'The Run-Down'
Now here is where things get interesting. This is the one trick that my opponents question/hate the most (other than Trick #5..). Let me set the scene for you:
[E] - Enemy Unit
[P] - Your PG Unit
[G] - Your Great Eagle
As you can see in this scenario, your two blocks of PG have just charged your opponents two enemy units. Your GE flies up to the right. You also notice the size and threat of the two enemy units that you just charged. You look at the larger enemy unit to the left. You realize that you have a good chance of tying/holding against that large unit with your PG, but you do not think you can beat it alone. You also look at your opponents smaller unit on the right. You think you can definitely beat that unit alone with your PG unit, but it may take two rounds of combat. Because you were smart and looked ahead, you moved your eagle to the right of the combats, and the reason why will become clear soon.
So the battle goes on. You turn out to be right, neither units go anywhere on your combat phase. Then it goes over to your opponents combat phase. Because you have numbers on the smaller enemy unit now, you break it and it flees. However, you decide not to chase after it with your PG unit. You instead reform looking to get a flank charge against your opponents larger unit, and you let the smaller unit get away, because you know that you need the help in the other combat.
So it is the beginning of you're turn now, and the scene looks like this:
So what do you do? You declare two charges. The first is your PG unit into the flank of the large enemy unit. The second, however, is your GE into their fleeing small enemy unit. You know that if that enemy unit rallies, you will have then gotten no points for it because of the new rules, so you chase it down with your eagle. You charge with your eagle and get the average of 19" charge range. Because they were only approximately 7" away from your eagle, there is close to no way they can flee far enough (and they have to flee, as they were already doing so) from your eagle, so once again that little 50 point model has made up for its points three fold or more, and allowed you to turn the tables on the other larger enemy unit.
Trick #3.2, 'Chasing Away', special thanks to Ptolemy
Here is another similar thing you can do, that helps you clear those smaller units on the board and gain you a few extra points in the game. When you charge a unit, and you know that they are going to flee, then you can charge them once again with an eagle. That way, they are forced to flee once again, either to be caught by your eagle, or run off the board. If neither of those things happen, then it is well worth moving that unit another 2d6" away from the action. Remember, your eagle only has to be within 22" of that unit to be able to declare the charge.
Trick #4, 'The Speed Bump'
This is a simple trick, but I find that it works rather well in slowing your opponents down to give you more time to shoot/magic their big combat units to give you a combat edge when they get to you. Pretty much all you are doing is flying your eagle up to their big units, then angling the eagle so that if the eagle is charged next turn, the big combat unit will overrun in a direction they do not want to go, or they can not charge and reform to get out of the way of your eagle, which you will then just move back and do it again, or they can charge, kill your eagle, and then not overrun, and move a total of one inch in their turn, instead of their typical 8-10" advancement on your line.
Trick #4.2, 'The Double Block', special thanks to geoguswrek!
This is very similar to 'The Speed Bump', however you would use it when it is not guaranteed that you're eagle would hold, ie. your opponent causes Terror. In this trick, you put two eagles blocking your opponents unit, and when he declares a charge against the first, you flee, but then he can only redirect into your other eagle. You flee a second time with the other eagle, and because each unit can only redirect one time in each turn (see page 18), your opponent is then forced to go after the second eagle. If you set it up right, this can lead your opponent into a bad position, sometimes setting you up for a flank charge.
Trick #5, 'The Place Holder'
This may just be my favorite trick of all to use in a game, because it catches your opponent off guard, and can help you get out of very tricky situations. Some of you may already know this trick from reading my past BatReps, and if so, kudos to you for reading my BatReps! Anyways, here is a situation where this trick could be applied:
As you can see, your opponent has put a weak unit right in front of your PG unit, in hopes that you will charge it, beat it, and run it down. If you did this, then you would run into his second smaller unit. However, in doing so, you will have fallen into his trap, as he will then be able to flank you with his larger, more formidable unit. So what do you do? You declare two charges. Your eagle is conveniently placed on your right flank, so you charge the small unit right in front of your PG with your PG, then you charge the small unit behind that with the eagle. In doing so, you then proceed to beat that unit and chase it down with your PG, running into the small unit behind it. However, because you flanked that unit with your Eagle, you can then fight another round of combat in the same combat! You then can beat and run down that second unit with your PG, and in doing so get out of harms way from the flank charge.
Trick #6, 'Placement Stalling', special thanks to wamphyri101!
I believe that the placement of units at the beginning of the game is the one largest thing that will make or break the result of any game. Great Eagles, believe it or not, can give you quite the edge with this, and here is how. The very first thing you place down at the beginning of the game is your eagles. The more eagles you have, the more units your opponent will have to place down for you to see before you start putting down actual units. This way, you can 'pick your fights', so to speak, and place your units the way you want them in relation to your opponents units. I typically try to put my GEs on the flanks to begin with, because with their 20" movement they can get were they are needed relatively easily.
Trick #7, 'Combat Res Generator', special thanks to Xarhain!
One more basic tactic is the combat res generator. Often you'll have flown behind enemy lines to attack a war machine or attempt any number of the tricks listed above, but for some reason the eagle is no longer required. Maybe the cannon blew itself up or the unit you were stalling got purple sunned. Either way, you now have a free eagle you can charge into the back of a stalling combat. With the new lack of unit strength you get +1CR for charging and +2CR for the rear charge. You'll do a wound against standard infantry and maybe take one back. Instant +3CR, and a speedy unit involved in the combat to chase them down once they break!
I guess what I'm really trying to tell everybody is this: think ahead! If you can think ahead a couple of turns, you can set up these neat tricks, and avoid tricks that your opponent tries to set up against you. A lot of this comes from me being an avid chess player, because in chess it is all about thinking ahead. I use the same skills in warhammer, and so far I am doing pretty well.
Commentary is welcome and appreciated.
Since some of the diagrams might come out funny on this site, here is a link to the original: http://www.ulthuan.net/forum/viewtopic.php?f=66&t=33028&start=0
I remade my Fantasy Excel template to really help with new Eighth Edition list making, and added some new features. Both the 40K and Fantasy Template are set up so that you can enter the names of your units, their base cost, their upgrades, and their upgrade costs. Each units total cost is then calculated on the side, and the total army base cost, total army upgrade cost, and total army cost are calculated at the bottom.
In addition, the fantasy template now has cells where it will tell you the amount each part of your army takes up (Core, Lords, etc.) and what percent of your total army each part is taking up. I find this to be very helpful simply because it does those calculations very quickly and reminds me if there is a problem in case I forget.
An Australian gentlemen won my Khador army off Ebay. As it's my first army that I've ever sold off, I was a little sad packing Vlad and friends up (tightly, in lots of bubble wrap) and boxing them off for a tip across the world. That being said, it's kind of cool that they're going to be traveling so far. I hope they get some great use down there.
If you've read my previous what not about Beastmen in Eighth Edition, you'll probably note that I have a pretty low opinion of the average internet forum doomsayer. Beasts seem to work great in Eighth, and yet every knuckledragger with a dial-up connection has decided they are a bottom tier army.
Likewise, the Wood Elves are decried as a totally useless army by the masses. The old style Wood Elf army of multiple small skirmishers dancing around the table and hiding behind terrain is gone for good. It won't do enough damage, and it won't be able to break large units. Because this style of army doesn't work, the argument goes, Wood Elves are now the worst of the worst.
The problem with this example, like how people view Beastmen, is a anti-Darwinesque inability to adapt to the new rules and strategies that come with a new edition of the game (combined with the self-confidence that it takes to declare someone else's army terrible without letting Eighth breathe for a few months). The haters are correct: the MSU Wood Elf army is not in good shape. Luckily, that style of play isn't all that the Wood Elves had to offer, and I think they'll be just fine.
The other day, my opponent Brad brought two Treemen, an Alter Lord, an Alter Noble, a big units of Dryads, a Level Four Sorceress with Lore of Beasts, and lots and lots of bows. Those suckers were lined up to fire at me until I made pee pants all over the forest. I had my Lore of Death Beastmen and was feeling good.
Brad's army didn't conform to the old MSU way. There were big ranks of bowmen. The dryad unit was big and punchy. There was a Level Four Mage, and she didn't know treesinging! Instead, Brad used some new strengths. He used his shooting to whittle down the troops that he could shoot, and ignored the ones that he couldn't. He tag teamed down my Ghorgon with his two Alters, using their superior speed and movement (and they were equipped, tellingly, with items from the new Common Magic Item list). He used his treemen to threaten my flanks and then charge in when the opportunity presented itself, smashing enough rank and file to scare off my Gors (and my General). He held back where he needed to, and pushed where he needed to until my army fell under the pressure.
There are a lot of neat things in the Wood Elf book that didn't make an appearance yesterday, like Treekin or access to the Lore of Life. However, Brad did something that I think more entrenched players might have a bit more trouble with: he played differently in order to fit in with the new edition. Conventional wisdom has Wood Elves trying to "fit in" poorly with the new rules by taking big blocks of expensive ranked infantry, or just struggling miserably against the big blocks of Eighth. Instead, Brad used different strengths of his book, and hit me hard.
Eighth hasn't really sunk in yet, and we don't know who the winners and the losers among the army books really are just yet. All I know is that I'm not willing to count anyone out yet.
What would Imperial Fist be, if it was a flavor? Something sour, I think, and probably smokey.
Anyway, I know that there's always going to be a great debate out there as to Space Marine special characters and whether or not you should use them in armies that are not their own Chapter. While I love the 40K fluff, I'm perfectly willing to blur the special character line a bit. Vulcan in the Ultramarines is a little tricky, but I figure ol' Pedro here is a Imperial Fist successor, and fits their shooty playstyle. I'm also going to get around to painting a Telion for my Raven Guard sometime, since they are the super scout chapter and he's the super scout guy. And Chronus...if he ever gets into my army, it's going to be as an Iron Hand.
Pedro actually marks a big day for me, however. He's my last Imperial Fist Space Marine. The army, which pushes around 2,500 points, is finished up, and will now sit in the cabinet between friendlies and tournaments. Now that my Raven Guard and Imperial Fists are finished, it's time to head for Wolf and Angel country.
With Warhammer Ocho only recently having reared its head, a lot of people online and locally have been discussing how the "tiers" or power rankings for the armies might change. I was surprised to see that Beastmen were still ranked at the very bottom by many forum goers, and strongly disagree.
Beasts were not a great seventh edition army. Their magic was too difficult to cast for the small values you got from it, the army was too fragile, and low leadership / lack of fear causing was a huge problem to deal with. Eighth has treated them well, however.
First, the percentage system has allowed Beasts to take more than one Lord choice. Instead of choosing between higher leadership (The Beastlord), powerful killing (Doombull) and magic (Great Bray-Shaman), the Beasts can now double up to get real options. I personally am liking the Beastlord / GBS combination, so that I can have a reliable leadership 9 along with my magic.
Second, the new BSB rules allow us to reroll Primal Fury. With the aforementioned Ld 9 and the reroll, getting Primal Fury off is almost a given, and rerolling to hit is even better in Eighth, with prolonged combats abounding. Largish units of Gors do pretty well even against tougher opponents when they're getting a large percentage of hits.
Finally, the new magic system is great for Beasts. We have access to two of the nastier lores (Shadow and Death), and even Lore of the Wild is viable now with its relatively lower costs. My Level 4 and Level 2 casters have done some serious damage in the last few games, both by spitting out damage and debuffing enemy units. We have some great magic items as well, which now make a lot of sense in the new system.
Beasts absolutely have some issues. Almost everything in the book is a bit overcosted, and while we're tough, there's a severe lack of armor throughout the army. I can see an issue versus some armies and opponents still, but the outlook is much brighter than it was.
So where does that leave me? Five games into Eighth edition, my Beasts are 5-0. I've played against Lizardmen, Orcs and Goblins, Tomb Kings, High Elves, and Daemons. In each of them, I've watched Gors hold their own, Minotaurs eat their fill, and even the Ungors beat some heads in.
What's been most pleasant for me is the fun to be had in the magic phase. Many of you know that I disdained magic for all of 7th Edition, as it was too much investment for too much risk. In the last few games, it's instead been a great, but not overpowering, part of the game as a whole. I've used it mostly to complement other parts of the game, bringing everything together into one killy symphony.
My game against Bart's Daemons the other night is a good example. The much dreaded Purple Sun spell from Death only went off once the whole game, and then only killed two Bloodletters. However, selective other spells made Bart's units weaker, and allowed regular Gors to break them more easily. In my game against Collins the other day, to contrast, sniping his all important characters out of their units with Death and bound spells made all the difference. Against good opponents like these two, magic didn't run wild and rule the game, but it allowed me to pressure different aspects of their armies to my advantage, employing different tactics depending on my opponent.
Anyway, those are my thoughts on Beasts and Eighth so far. It's been a blast, and I look forward to getting more games in soon.
These three models kicked everything off on my Khador craze this month, and led to me painting another Jack, some Mercs, a Kholdun Lord, the Winterguard, and my Warcasters. It wasn't just that they were fun to paint, but they represented something iconic to the Khador style for me, which then pushed me to finish up everything else. That, and putting those three models on my shelf started to push my Khador army into other areas of shelving....which means I have to make room somewhere.
I have no idea why the picture keeps coming up sideways on this blog, but I can't seem to change it. Regardless, I have finished painting my Khador army....woo! Consisting of five Warcasters and over 100 points, it's been a fun and mammoth project. I'll have pictures of the individual models up later this week, and here's a shot of the Butcher and War Dog, to start.
The army is now up on Ebay, at: http://cgi.ebay.com/Great-102-Point-Warmachine-Khador-Army-Warcasters-/180545176954?pt=LH_DefaultDomain_0
I've mostly finished building a Light Box for photographing my miniatures, based on the two posts I found here and here. I've finished with my box, but need to get some filter paper to help with defusing the light, and some nice background fabric to provide a softer backdrop. Here's my test miniature though, a Khador Butcher model I've owned for some time but just got around to finishing up. So the Butcher's picture is taken in the light box, as compared to this Devastator picture which was taken earlier, pre-box.
It makes a world of difference already. I'm looking forward to the next steps!