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Friday, 15 February 2019

Battle Report! - Warhammer 40k, Necrons vs Adeptus Mechanicus

Just a quick write up of a 1000 point battle I had at my FLGS last night. This was against my good buddy Rich and his terrifying Necrons. We were using matched play rules and playing the Cleanse and Capture Maelstrom mission which has become a staple of our games nights.

Many of these models were used during the battle.
Apologies before you read any further; I didn't take any photos of our game, nor have I included any maps past deployment. I have inserted some bad memes informative images to break up the inevitable wall of text; but if you want to bail out now I won't take it personally.

Rich was playing Mephrit Dynasty which gave all his guns an additional -1ap under half range (scary!) and took the Battalion detachment below: 

Necron Overlord (Voltaic Staff, Merciless Tyrant)
Cryptek (Canoptek Cloak)
Cryptek (Canoptek Cloak)
C'tan shard of the Nightbringer (Antimatter Meteor, Transdimensional Thunderbolt)
10 Warriors
10 Warriors
10 Warriors
3 Destroyers including 1 Heavy Destroyer

They used to be so scary.

Against this merciless tide of steel I had my very own battalion of robots. I was playing Forgeworld Graia (because I like it) and my 1000 points looked like this:

Tech-priest Dominus (Anzion's Pseudogenetor, Magos Biologis)
Tech-priest Enginseer
10 Skitarii Vanguard (3x plasma caliver)
6 Skitarii Rangers (2x arc rifle and Alpha with taser goad)
Skitarii Rangers (2x Transuranic Arquebus and Alpha with power sword)
5 Sicarian Ruststalkers (Transonic Blades)
5 Infiltrators (Power Swords and Stubcarbines)
Onager Dunecrawler (Neutron laser and 2x Heavy stubber)
Onager Dunecrawler (Eradication Beamer and Heavy stubber)
Sydonian Dragoon (phosphor serpenta)
3 kataphron breachers (Arc claws and Heavy arc rifles)
6 Fulgurite Electropriests

So, an interesting matchup, although it was clear from the outset that I had far more bodies and wounds on the ground than my opponent. Would the toughness and resurrecting abilities of the Necrons be enough to even the odds?

We set up on a 6' x 4' board using Dawn of War deployment. Rich got the first placement, but I had loads more units than him anyway so he got +1 to the first turn roll off. Even so, I managed to win the roll and Rich failed to seize the initiative.

Deployed for battle.

The Necrons had castled up at the back of their deployment zone in a tight huddle. I had spread my units out more and had my faster moving ruststalkers, infiltrators and dragoon on one flank with my Skitarii Vanguard on the other. I had used my Servitors, Onagers and Dominus to make a little castle of my own in the middle.

Rich had left the destroyers in the open so after some shuffling of various units I opened fire with both Onagers and my servitors. When the dust had settled, the Destroyers had been reduced to a smoking crater. Most of my other stuff was out of range but I did manage to snipe a Cryptek (using my Arquebusiers) who came back to life using the Resurrection Protocols stratagem. I had an excellent card draw this turn which included Overwhelming Firepower, Supremacy and Defend Objective 5 all of which I was able to score. Unfortunately I was only able to get 1VP for Supremacy but it still left me on 5VP coming into my turn two.

A succinct summary of turn 1.

I don’t think Rich had expected to lose the destroyers on turn one and he seemed a bit shaken, but gamely played on regardless. The entire Necron army moved forward but most of their guns were out of range. A few gauss shots were fired which killed a couple of skitarii rangers but that was it. Rich had also had a terrible card draw and failed to score any objectives. From memory he discarded psychological warfare.

On turn two I moved my ruststalkers, dragoon and infiltrators onto the flank; obviously a brilliant tactical gambit (actually I think there was an objective out there that I needed.) I had also moved my plasma vanguard onto the opposite flank. It wasn’t really intentional, but it looked like some sort of genius strategic manoeuvre. At any rate, I shot a unit of warriors off the board with my Vanguard, Onagers and Servitors. I also sniped another Cryptek (who promptly came back to life) and that was my turn. Due to some more lucky card draws I was raking in the victory points, I ended turn two on 7VP.

Sadly for the Cryptek, he wouldn't get the chance.
Rich’s turn two and the c’tan came into play, unfortunately, his powers are basically like super-smites and the closest units were all skitarii. He managed to wipe out a unit of Skitarii rangers and the necron warriors added their fire to kill a few more skitarii from other units. My snipers were reduced to two models but passed their morale check (with a command reroll). Rich had another terrible draw this round but did at least manage to score a point of his own for Overwhelming Firepower.

In turn three I was looking to get a shot with the neutron laser into the c’tan; which would prove decisive if I could get it off. Unfortunately there was a unit of warriors in the way so they would have to be removed. I managed to kill three of them with the Eradication beamer. The servitors hadn't charged their batteries and whiffed big time only felling one. 

The vanguard opened fire along with the infiltrators and managed to bag five leaving just one lonely necron guarding the c’tan. Only one of my snipers could fire this turn (due to having to move the other to maintain coherency) so I lined up the shot (using the Protector Imperatives stratagem for +1 to hit) and promptly missed. With that, I fried the remaining warrior with the neutron laser and the c’tan was left unharmed. I also got a charge off with my ruststalkers into the last unit of warriors and killed a couple. Much to my surprise, they managed to kill a ruststalker in return! So with that, the turn ended.

Haha! What a dork! Oh wait.....
The Necrons were getting a bit thin on the ground, but basically the remaining characters and c'tan all lined up to charge into the ruststalkers. The c’tan fired off its power but pathetically missed on a 1. Then he charged in. The c'tan made it easily but the rest of Necron middle management failed. 

In a show of terrible rolling the dreaded Nightbringer managed only one kill despite hitting on 2+ and wounding on 2+. Basically he got 3 hits, 2 wounds and I made a single 6+ invulnerable save. In return, the ruststalkers managed to put two wounds on the c’tan. The remaining Necron warriors bonked their gun butts against the ruststalkers ineffectually.

In what would prove to be the final turn (my turn four) I tried to line up my guns to target the Necron characters but to little avail. The skitarii vanguard were able to shoot a cryptek though and my snipers accounted for the other one (even though I had already killed both of them once). 

I managed a bunch of charges though, the Sydonian Dragoon into the C’tan and the Electropriests and Infiltrators into the Necron warriors. The Infiltrators and priests managed to kill all but one of the Necrons and then it was time to fight the c’tan. 

The dragoon managed only two wounds despite using conqueror protocols and getting six hits. I did however get a lucky roll with the Ruststalker Princeps' chordclaw dealing two mortal wounds. With that, it was down to the remaining ruststalkers to see if they could chip off the last two wounds. From nine attacks I managed an impressive four wounds (no mortals though). He failed two saves and the mighty Star God was slain. To add insult to injury he didn't even have the decency to explode. With only two models left on the field at this point Rich conceded.

After Battle Thoughts:

So, a fun game which unfortunately led to an early concession. Rich is a great guy and we will undoubtedly have several more games in the future.

Several of my games have gone this way recently and I am at a bit of a loss to explain why. I know my local meta is very casual; but I don't consider myself a competitive player. The list above is pretty much what I would take to any game (although I change it every time so things don't get stale) and I don't think it's super competitive.

I'm also not egotistical enough to think that I'm just a better player than my opponents. It just seems that Adeptus Mechanicus are very powerful in my meta right now. This could definitely be due to playing 1000 point games; I am aware that at a 'low' points level some factions just play better and I think Ad Mech may be one of these.

Anyway, I'd always rather have a game that results in a close loss than an easy win. I don't want to have to shelve my Mechanicus because I love the models and have worked really hard on the army recently. Equally, I don't want to do my opponents the disservice of throwing the game or making bad tactical decisions.

Congratulations if you've made it to the end of this massive ramble, please, leave your thoughts below. What can I do to make the game closer and more enjoyable for my opponents?

Thursday, 14 February 2019

Squaduary 2019 - Sicarian Infiltrators Part 2

Well, it's been a bit of an odd week this week. I have made some great progress with the Infiltrators but haven't taken too many photos, so this will probably be a short, and somewhat wordy post.

Nevertheless, this is how they were looking on Saturday.

The gangly gang.
Since this photo was taken I have managed to get a fourth member of the squad finished and made a start on the Princeps. But unfortunately I negelcted to take further progress shots so you will have to make do with the same photo from a different angle.

I'm starting to feel seasick.
It's an absolute blast painting these guys, I'm enjoying it so much that I can definitely see myself doing five more in the not too distant future. First though, I have to get the Manipulus painted up.

I did manage to get the Infiltrators on the field last night for a game against some Necrons. The squad performed fine, but didn't manage many kills themselves. I think in all, they accounted for half a squad of Necron warriors. Still, I like to think they are more of a strategic unit than one possessed of raw killing power. I might write it up as a short wordy battle report if anybody is interested (comment in the comments!)

All of this by the way is part of Squaduary, the annual painting event held by Stepping Between Games in an effort to bring more colour to the tabletop. I absolutely love these monthly painting challenges, so thanks again to Rory for running it.

Tune in next week to see the (hopefully) finished squad and find out if I've managed to overcome my fear of painting the Manipulus.

Wednesday, 6 February 2019

Squaduary 2019 - Sicarian Infiltrators Part 1

Well, one week down and what a week it's been! I've been making some excellent progress with my Infiltrator squad and have already painted two of them.

Looks super stealthy.
Following the fun I had painting the power sword for my Skitarii Ranger Alpha, I couldn't help but go for a full squad of guys with power swords. I'm really enjoying knocking out a bit of quick and dirty blending on these blades and I think it will make the squad look really distinctive when they hit the tabletop.

All of this, by the way, is part of Squaduary. Run by Stepping Between Games, Squaduary is a community event to encourage all of us to delve into the grey pile of shame and get some more colour on our battlefields. This will be the third year I have participated and I expect to be just as pleased with 2019's squad as I was with the previous two. You can look back fondly at my previous efforts here.

Dodgy work in progress shot.
As mentioned in my initial pledge, these guys form part of the Theta-7 Acquisitus kill team box which also includes the brand new Tech-Priest Manipulus. I haven't yet made a start on painting the Manipulus yet but I did manage to get him built last weekend. I have to say that the amount of detail on the miniature is staggering and he will prove to be a challenging and exciting model to paint. I want to get his retainers out of the way first though.

More dodgy WIP.
That about sums up my first week of Squaduary 2019. Tune in next week for more pink power swords and hopefully a Sicarian Princeps to lead this pack.

Thursday, 31 January 2019

Squaduary 2019 - Theta 7 Acquisitus Kill Team

Yes, it's that time of year again. Squaduary is once again being inflicted upon us by the wonderful Stepping Between Games. As is my custom, I'll be piling in, trying to get another squad painted up for my Adeptus Mechanicus forces. As it happens, Games Workshop have decided to release the new Theta-7 Acquisitus kill team box on the second of February. Well, it seems my choice of models is made for me!

It's time to acquire!
The set includes 5 ruststalkers/infiltrators as well as the new Tech-priest Manipulus and a small terrain bundle. I'm very excited by the prospect of a new tech priest and I really like the Manipulus model.

More bounce to the ounce!
The model has proven somewhat divisive online. The styling is somewhat unusual and it's not been helped by the slightly odd angle of the GW photograph. However, I really like the look of the Manipulus; he's creepy and cybernetic in a way that is not really shown by other models in the range. I can't wait to add him to my forces and see what he's capable of on the table.

At any rate; that concludes my Squaduary 2019 pledge. Stay tuned as I try to paint a squad of elites and a new HQ in the month!

Monday, 21 January 2019

A Tale of Four Warlords - Sktarii Rangers complete

As I mentioned in my last post, I'm currently part of 'A Tale of Four Gamers' challenge with a few of my gaming buddies. This month, the goal is to paint up a patrol detachment for your chosen army (1HQ and 1 troops choice). I have chosen to continue building my Adeptus Mechanicus army. Now, I know that traditionally these challenges are used to start a new force from the ground up. However, as my darling wife has forbidden me from starting new armies (with good reason!) I am using this as an excuse to expand my Mechanicus forces. The best part is that I already own most of the models I will be painting, so I'm digging into the grey pile of shame which always feels good.

Anyway, on with the photos.

Skitarii Squad complete!
In the past I have had a bit of anxiety about painting Skitarii Rangers (as opposed to Vanguard). This is because I find their guns and heads more difficult to paint (all those lenses and details). However, I feel like I really hit my stride with these guys. I found a way of painting the rifles that I'm happy with, and I had a lot of fun with the Skitarii Alpha. 

Turn to the left!
As you can see, I've done a couple of guys with Transuranic Arquebus' (Arquebii? Arquebusiers??). On the table, I have mostly found these disappointing, but maybe now they're painted they will start to deliver?

I've also given my Alpha a power sword because apparently I am crazy and enjoy schizophrenic loadouts. Seriously, the Arquebus' can't move and fire, so the chances of him ever using his pretty pink sword are slim to none.

Witness the pinkness!
The sword was painted in a kind of quick and dirty glaze technique. It doesn't look that brilliant up close, but it didn't take too long, and it looks pretty impressive (if I do say so myself) from about a foot away. Which I consider perfectly fine for a 7 point infantryman.

Sniper squad! Charge!!
Anyway, all of this means that I need to paint up and HQ in the next ten days to hit my quota (and avoid being shamed by my peers). Given my glacial painting pace, it's a bit of a tall order! So, wish me luck and tune in at the end of the month to see if I made it.

Wednesday, 2 January 2019

First Model of 2019 - Dominus Knight Valiant

Ok, so this is a bit of a technicality, but my first completed miniature of the year is this monster!

Hope you like barbeque!
As most of you know, I've been painting her for a while (since September in fact) and was hoping to finish before the end of the year. As it happens, I missed that target by one day and finished up the paint and transfers on New Year's Day!

Now with orange background!
Progress on this one has come in fits and starts. I quick work of the legs and main hull, but the arms and weapons were a real stumbling block. Hardly surprising considering that this is my third 'full sized' knight in 10 months. But it was very frustrating.

Over the Christmas break I managed to get the thundercoil harpoon painted and the rest of the model came together fairly quickly.

Some sort of drunken close-up.
The colour scheme is the usual green/brass/tan of my Mechanicus forces. With the sexy pink accent used for lenses and power coils etc. The only real change is the gold hazard stripes on the front halves of the pauldrons. This was done using some colour change paint from Turbodork, but the photos don't really do it justice.

Facing off with my Questoris Knight Errant.
As you can see from the above, she's a big girl. Not much taller than your standard knight, but significantly bulkier. All 'dat ass' comes at a pretty penny too, 594 points all in. Unfortunately that means that I probably won't get too much tabletop play out of her. Especially considering that most of my games are around the 1000 point mark.

Nonetheless, when she does hit the field I am prepared to be impressed. The conflagration cannon is the star of the show with 3d6 damage 2 auto-hits. The thundercoil harpoon is the crowd pleaser with that big fat 10 damage. I'm not convinced it will achieve much, but it will be awesome if it connects with the right target. She's also packing an array of small arms including four meltaguns and four siegebreaker cannons which should be quite nasty.

All my procrastinating aside, this was a fun project. It's the first knight I've had from new and it was delightful to build. I will undoubtedly do more knights in the future, but I'm feeling pretty burned out with the big stuff right now, so I'm going to paint a few Skitarii for a Tale of Four Warlords that I've started up with some buddies.

Stay tuned for more progress! 

Monday, 12 November 2018

Hobby Update: Assorted models from 2018

For one reason or another, I've painted up a handful of different models from various factions this year, none of which have made it to the blog. So I present for your amusement, a bunch of odd photos of unrelated miniatures. First up:

In a departure from my usual fare, I've painted an Ork Warboss in Mega Armour. Annoyingly I finished this chap just as Games Workshop decided to remove the option from the codex. Even more annoyingly, he is a gift for a friend, who I hope will still be able to get some use out of him.

As you can see, he's converted from the Age of Sigmar Orruk Megaboss. It's about time 40k Orks had a suitably gigantic leader and this guy fits the bill with a couple of weapon swaps and some extra gubbinz.

Could possibly also be used as Ghaz?

Next up is a commission piece for another friend of mine. Inquisitor Torquemada Coteaz. I was able to knock this guy out over a couple of days and he made a nice break from my Adeptus Mechanicus/Knights. Not only that, I earned a few quid into the bargain! He was fun to paint too, with all that gold armour and a funky blended hammer.

So moody.
As you can see I had a bit of a play with the photo backdrop when taking pictures of these guys. I grabbed some of my terrain and got a bit snap happy. It made a nice change though.

So shiny!
In a somewhat related note. If anyone is interested in having a single model commission, drop me a line and we can work something out. I always enjoy painting single models, especially if I don't have to find a home for them afterwards!

The happy couple.
I also painted up The Emperor's Champion which was a lovely gift from my lovely wife. He has sort of become the starting point for a small army of Black Templars that I have amassed. I didn't really mean for them to be an army, but I love Templars and once I had done the Emperor's Champion I really wanted to do a Supreme Command detachment of them.

Back in black!

So I bought a Terminator Chaplain and scrounged up a Primaris Lieutenant from my bits box (both of which still haven't been painted). Then came Conquest magazine and I just had to buy two copies of the first issue so I could have a squad of Black Templars Intercessors........they haven't been painted either, oh dear!

Turns out I like painting Inquisitors.

The final entry in this little parade of oddballs is none other than Inquisitor Eisenhorn. This was another commission piece which was a lot of fun to do. He even has a delightful sculpted base!

Winner of Inquisitor Rear of the Year.

So, there endeth the little summary of odds and ends which don't belong to one of my 'main' armies. Like many wargamers, I am an army painter first and foremost. But, little projects like these can really expand your painting repertoire and provide a break from the tedium of trying to paint the next unit/500 points/whatever. I'd encourage everyone to give it a go now and then.