Thursday, January 31, 2013

Showcase: Ultramarines Sternguard squad

This is one of my favourite units of the Ultramarines: the Sternguard. I created this unit using the minis of the Tyrannic wars Veterans, that are available in Finecast.Then I added an extra regular marine and added some bits from my bitsbox to make him look like a veteran.


This one has a cape from the High Elves chariot, I think is one of the Chrace Lions capes.














I also added some stuff here: a lion shape plaque on the backpack.






Wednesday, January 30, 2013

Battle report: Ultramarines VS Dark Angels & IG. 1750 points



I had a game on Saturday in my local store. I played my ultramarines army, and my opponent played Dark Angels with Imperial Guard allies.



Sorry I didn’t make any pictures, my phone didn’t have enough battery. 


My list is the usual one, you can find it here.


My opponent list:

Space marine librarian.

two tactical squads with plasma guns in two rhinos.

Two ravenwing bikes squads, one of them with flamers.

One ravenwing command squad on bikes, including a librarian.

Attack bike with multi melta.

Land speeder with  typhoon missile launcher.

One IG Infantry platoon, 25 guards with 3 laser cannons, and master of the Ordnance.

Infantry guard squad.

Company command squad with 5 grenade launcher, with a vendetta.

Ordnance battery with 3 Griffons.



It was my worst game ever. My opponent knew his army perfectly, and how to use it; and he also knew my army, and how to act against it. He hammered my Sternguard from the first round, trying to kill them ASAP. 


The battlefield had a big two levels building in the north west area then one small aegis defence line. Another Aegis line was in the center, with a gas deposit to the east. A small one level building, that looked like a small bastion was on the south west area, and to the east there was a big ruined building with a crater inside. 


The mission was Crusade, and we got four objectives, so we placed two objectives each. My opponent put one in the south corner of the big building on the north side of the battlefield, and another one in the center, close to an Aegis fortification. I had already decided (a big mistake, without knowing where the objectives were, or who would move first) that I would deploy on the south part of the table if I could, so I put an objective in the south part of the tower building, and another one in the east part of the table, close to a gas deposit.


Then, I came to pick sides, and chose the south side of the table (as I already have thought). This side had a tower building, and a big ruined building with a crater inside. Thinking about it retrospectively, it should have chosen the north side, not because it offered more cover, but because the big building provided enough cover to the whole IG platoon; and have my opponent deployed in the south part of the table, the IG platoon would have been in cover only partially at best. 


I got the warlord trait that allows him to out flank, but considering that I could come by the left part of the table, where there was nothing but a lot of empty terrain, I chose not to use it. I don't remember my opponent trait. One of his psykers gets “Misfortune”.


To continue with my (terrible) deployment; I totally ignored that my opponent got the first turn, and deployed as if I was going to move first. So, I splitted my 3 tactical squads in battle squads. I put one with the missile launcher behind the tower, so in my first turn they could move in the tower and have a better line of sight, and I will also control the objective. Then, I put the squad with a flamer, just behind them the first Sternguard squad, and behind them the command squad plus the captain. They were close to the tower, but in the open, and all of them packed together, as close as miniatures allowed. Smart, uh?

Then I deployed another 5 men squad with a missile launcher, and behind them, the vanguard squad on feet. At least these two squads very partially covered from the bikes by the building with the crater in it.

In the crater I put the Sternguard unit, so at least they got a +4 cover save, but any unit in the enemy army could see it.

In the right flank, I put two 5 men squad, one with a melta gun and then one with the flamer, (forming a perfect line) and behind them, on top of the hill, my other squad with missile launcher.

I then give some thought (clearly not enough) to where to deploy my Scouts, and I put them behind the Gas deposit, and close to the objective. My plan was to shoot at the bikes as soon as I can, hoping to hurt them with my Hellfire heavy bolter rounds.

I kept the Flyer and my vanguard squad with jump packs in reserves.

So, here is an important lesson: "know your enemy". I never played the Dark Angels before, so I didn't know the Ravenwing bikes have the scouts rule. So, because of that rule, and the turbo boost, my opponent moved forward all the bikes 12 inches closer to me. That wasn't good...



First turn


First move was for the Dark Angels. Thanks to the scout move, the bike squads were much closer, and the bike squad with the flamers moved around the gas deposit, so they will shoot at my scouts with the 2 flamers they have.

The rhinos, the land speeder and the rest of the bikes move forward as well. 

He tried to use the psychic power that his on foot psyker got, Misfortune, which makes the unit targeted to re-roll all successful armor/cover saves, but I was able to deny the witch, thanks to the dice Gods.

The shooting phase was perfect...for him. To start, he burned to ashes my scout unit, just gone. And 1 VP for First blood for him. 


He was clearly worried about my Sternguard, so he focused on them. the one close to the tower got the 3 shots of the Griffons and the one from the master of the ordnance. And, as you remember, they were very close to another 5 men squad and the command squad. As a result, I lost one marine from the 5 guys squad, the Company champion and the apothecary (even with Feel no pain)...and the whole Sternguard squad. They didn't have a chance to shoot. 


Then he focused in the other Sternguard squad. The platoon used the "First line shoot! Second line shoot!" order to shot at them. I was lucky they were not at shot range, but even then my guys got 26 laser gun shots, plus 3 laser cannons. I passed all my cover saves but 1, which was quite amazing. Then, the landspeeder, the two bike squads and the snapshots from the rhinos shot at my Sternguard again. Even with all those missiles, plasma shots and multimelta, I only lose one guy. My opponent praises my save rolls. 


I thought, well, that was bad, but I can still recover from that. That's when luck laughed at my face.

I moved all my units ahead as planned, except for the ones with the missile launchers and the Sternguard in the crater (oh, wait! there is only one Sternguard unit left now, no need to specify :P )

The guys with the missile launcher close to the tower move to the roof of the tower and take control of the objective. 


I started the shooting phase with the Sternguard, and they killed two bikes thanks to the Hellfire rounds. Not too bad. Then I shoot with my marines on the left against the other squad, they were too far for rapid fire, but still, I managed to get one bike down from the second squad. Then, I shot to the bikes with the flamers with my 5 guys squad+flamer. They are at shot range, so rapid fire. They fail miserably. 8 bolter shots + 2 wounds from the flamer, and no one died. I shot against them also with the marine squad in the hill. The bolters did nothing and the missile launcher killed one guy with a frag missile. Awesome. 


My melta gun shots at the rhino. Penetrating hit! IT explodes!! I start thinking: that is great! and I believed I could make him have some heavy loses. The explosion radius is 6", so the attack bike is affected, and loses one wound. Then, the guys inside the rhino are affected by the explosion...and no one gets hurt. I blame my luck, all loud. BIG mistake. 

Only my Vanguard squad has not shot yet, and is close to the bikes now, so I will try to charge them. First I shot, doing nothing, and then, on the charge phase, I roll to charge. A One and a Two. And I lose one guy because of the snapshots.


That was the end of my good turn.


Yeah, it gets that bad. 


Second turn. 


The Vendetta comes in from reserves, and the bikes move forward. I have two marine squads in a line, so with a bit of smart positioning from my opponent, both flamers in the bikes can shoot at all of them. 


The squad that was inside the wrecked Rhino moves forward and takes the objective in the aegis line, so they have the objective and they are in cover. The other squad stays in the Rhino, who moves forward 6" so they can shoot the plasma gun from inside.

The rest of the bikes move closer to my squads in the right side, shooting at them. Again, my luck with the armor saves (they are in the open) is amazing. With all the shouting from the bikes left(including 8 wounds from the flamer) I only lose 2 guys, one from each squad.

The psyker uses his Misfortune psychic power again, this time against the Vanguard squad (yeah, those guys that failed their charge and in the open now). I failed the deny the witch roll, so they have to re-roll successful saves. Awesome. 


Then, shooting again against the Sternguard. The psyker in the bike has an auspex and uses it against them, so they have -1 to their cover saves, and then all the 3 griffons and the master of Ordnance shoot at them. Gone.

Next, the vanguard squad. The attack bike, the marine squad, the Landspeeder and the Vendetta shot at them. Affected by the psychic power, even with my good armor saves, they vanished.


We start the assault phase. The combat goes awful for my guys, and I lose both squads, only 1 guy left in combat with the psyker. I didn’t kill anyone. Lame, but expected.


Beginning of my second turn: I roll for leadership test, and made all of them. Then, reserves (have I mentioned I am terrible with reserves?). The Stormtalon failed the roll, but my vanguard squad deep strikes. I put them in front of the bikes, and my opponent mentions that I can’t charge them if I deep strike. I remember him of the Heroic Intervention rule. So I roll to scatter…and they deep strike in top of the bikes. I roll in the mishap table, and got “misplaced”. My opponent thinks he has the battle won (and he does), so instead of placing them in the far south west corner, he puts them in front of the IG, at enough distance so they can’t charge them, but the IG can shot them all dead with their ranks fire in the next turn...


I place the squad there, and immediately start measuring…they can’t charge the IG…but one of my minis is exactly 11 inches away from the closest enemy space marine squad, the one that came from the wrecked rhino. It is (very) difficult, but as I have the jump packs I can re-roll it. The only bad thing is that, if I shot at them with any unit, that guy is the closest and would be the first to die, so I can’t shoot at that unit (and remember the unit is holding an objective).

So shooting phase, lame. I can’t shoot with my command squad at the marines and I tried but I can’t hurt the rhino. The psyker in the bike is in combat, so can’t shot at him, and the rest of the shooting is terrible. 


Assault phase, I can charge the enemy marine squad with what is left of my command squad (captain and battle banner), and my vanguard squad with jump packs. I roll for the command squad first: they are at 5 inches, so I am sure they are going to make it, and the captain has more chances to survive the overwatch fire. The roll fails, and my battle banner dies because of the overwatch. Then, my vanguard squad also fails the roll, and the re-roll.

At that point (just end of the second turn) the result of the game was clear, but we keep on playing. The psyker in the bike kills the marine left from my squad and moves closer to the next marine squad. 


Third turn

The griffons kill the captain, and the IG, who moved closer to be in short range, shoots the vanguard squad (who were targeted with the Misfortune psychic power) and they die. The bikes charge against my marine squad on the left flank, and kill them all.

I roll reserves for my Stormtalon and he didn’t appear. All I have left is a 5 unit squad (the one in the tower) and they are holding a objective, but I surrender.



Conclusion


Terrible deployment, bad decisions, and worse luck, the recipe for disaster. I didn’t know some stuff, like it’s not safe deep striking too close to an enemy unit (I was sure I would get a terrible roll in the charge and tried to keep them close, so I deep strike only 4 inches away from the bikers). That’s the kind of things you learn from playing.

What would you have done differently? I would have deployed in the other side of the table, so I could deny the cover to the IG platoon, and also put all my units under cover.  A basic rule I must remember is “you can’t see it, you can’t shoot at it”.

I am not sure about my Stormtalon. It’s not very expensive in points, and worries all my enemies, but so far the results of the 3 battles he has taken part it are quite bad. Not sure if it’s worth it, but I like the mini and the different strategy that it brings with it, so I would keep it for another couple of games at least. Especially if we consider I am painting a second one….

anyway, it was a very fun game, and my opponent was a nice guy, it was good to play against him. 

I have another game on Saturday evening...let's see what happens
  


Tuesday, January 29, 2013

Ultramarines 1750 Army list



During a Tale of Gamers challenge in my local store I built and painted an Ultramarines army. 



For those of you that don't know what it is, a Tale of Gamers is a challenge where a group of players organize a friendly competition, with a clear schedule, to collect an army and play with it. In this case, we had 4 weeks to paint 400 points. Then 6 weeks to paint 600 points more, and then another 6 weeks to paint another 750 points. We were organized in teams of two, and at the end of each period, we would play a game against another team. Points are given to each player depending on aspects like:
  • Having all the minis painted (with at least 3 colours, so no one paints them just in black)
  • Having the minis based. 
  • Having completed the required points
  • Result of the game.

In our challenge, we were 11 teams of two and 3 guys who played solo. I made a team with my friend BJ (who speaks Spanish, and also Dutch...this one is not necessary, as everybody speaks English but sometimes it's helpful)

So after this Tale of Gamers, this is my army list:



HQ:

Space Marine Captain in Power Armour. Combi-melta, Relic Blade.

Command Squad: Apothecary, Company Champion with power weapon and combat shield, Company Standard, plasma gun, plasma pistol, power fist

Troops:

Scout Squad, bolters, Heavy bolter.

Tactical Squad 1: missile launcher, flamer.

Tactical Squad 2: missile launcher, flamer, combi-melta.

Tactical Squad 3: missile launcher, melta gun.

Elite:

Sternguard Veteran Squad 1

Sternguard Veteran Squad 2: combi-melta.

Fast Attack:

Stormtalon with Typhoon missile launcher.

Vanguard squad 1: power fist, power axe, Lightning Claw (x2).

Vanguard squad 2: jump pack, Power Sword, power fist. 


Some comments about the list: I have like 20 terminators in my current Space Wolves army, so I didn't want more terminators in this one. And I really like the Stormtalon model, honestly I started this army because of this model. 

I think it is a well balanced list. I have plenty of models (60, which is usually a lot for a Space Marines army), I have no vehicles apart from the flyer (I think they have lost some punch in 6th edition), I have a lot of units that can take objectives (if I split the tactic squads, I have 7 units able to score). Probably it has too many small units, so I am considering removing one of the missile launchers and keeping a squad with 10 men who can move forward at a good pace and fight for the center of the table. 

many of the lists I see around are 2000 points. So, what do you think I should add to this army? What am I missing? How can I improve it?


here, the pictures:

HQ:

Space Marine Captain in Power Armour. Combi-melta, Relic Blade. (He lost his backpack during a battle. I am currently painting a new one).



Command Squad: Apothecary, Company Champion with power weapon and combat shield, Company Standard, plasma gun, plasma pistol, power fist

Troops:

Scout Squad, bolters, Heavy bolter. 

Tactical Squad 1: missile launcher, flamer.


Tactical Squad 2: missile launcher, flamer, combi-melta.

Tactical Squad 3: missile launcher, melta gun.




Elite:

Sternguard Veteran Squad 1

Sternguard Veteran Squad 2: combi-melta. 

Fast Attack:

Stormtalon with Typhoon missile launcher. 


Vanguard squad 1: power fist, power axe, Lightning Claw (x2).

Vanguard squad 2: jump pack, Power Sword, power fist.







The beginning



Hello all, and welcome to my blog about W40K, wargaming, miniatures, and painting.

The idea of doing this blog comes from my resolutions for 2013. Since many years ago (many, many), I paint, collect (and store) miniatures from Games Workshop (and some other companies); and I play occasionally.

I have a lot of different stuff: around 8000 points of Space Wolves (maybe some more) that I started with the 2nd edition of W40K; a new 2000 points Ultramarines army that I completed from  June to December 2012 (thanks to a Tale of Gamers challenge at my usual store); a Bretonnian army (3000 points) that I keep at my (dear) mom's place back in Spain; around 4000 points of High Elves, 99% of them are waiting to be build and then painted; and a lot of stuff from The Lord of The rings, specially characters,  also half painted.

2012 was a great year in the Hobby for me: I managed (for the first time ever) to complete a full army, where all the units are completely painted, glazed and follow a common painting schema: my 2000 points Ultramarines army. When it comes to my Space Wolves, I have many units painted, but I also have many half painted; and the result of putting them all together as an army is not very homogeneous. So, apart from completing the army (and a challenge), I managed to play some games (8, which for me is a lot XD); I have improved my painting level: I decided to buy an airbrush (thanks to the wonderful tutorial from one of my favorite painters, Arsies, who in this hyperlink explains, step by step, how to paint Ultramarines with an airbrush), and I managed to finish a whole unit with it, after some learning time.

Even then, I have bought more miniatures than the ones I built; and I have built more miniatures than the ones I painted. I know that this happens to everyone, or so I can read in the many blogs I follow (and that I will share with you), but I am pretty sure that, right now, I have enough minis to keep me busy painting during the whole year (and we all know that I won't be able to resist buying more stuff during the year...).

So, some of my 2013's resolutions are: improve my painting, finish more minis, become more organized and control better my  impulses when it comes to buy new minis, and to write more (if you want a blog where the posts are 3 lines long, this is not the one!), as I like writing short stories and that kind of stuff, but it has been a very long time since I actually sat in front of the keyboard and wrote; I hope this blog will motivate me to write more, as I want to write some about the background of my armies, and the games I will play during the year; and you all know that Plinius The Young said: “Habit is the most effective teacher”, so I am going to work in my habits.

By the way, I am Spanish, but I live in The Netherlands, so in my day to day I mainly use English; because of that, this blog will be in English, as I won’t have the time to duplicate all the entries. Writing in English will mean more work, but it will also be more satisfactory. You can comment and email me both in Spanish and English, no problems with that 

So, welcome all of you, please take a seat, and feel free to comment these posts (only constructive comments are welcomed :P), share stuff and so on. If you want to share your pictures, work art, special scenarios, etc. you can write me to amberor@gmail.com