Thursday, September 14, 2017

Building a Terrain Board for NOVA 30k

So I decided to play in the 30k Escalation (and Big Blam) at NOVA Open 2017.  Due to my grad school schedule and unfamiliarity with 8th Ed, I figured playing in the Horus Heresy events would be a fun way to enjoy NOVA while also enabling me to actually sleep after traveling ten hours.

Maybe a year ago I purchased a lot of 30k Iron Warriors painted by Black Label Painting, consisting of a Spartan, a Land Raider, a Contemptor Dreadnought, a Chaplain and several Terminators from the Betrayal at Calth set.  The minis were beautiful and the price was right, so boom! I had a small 30k force.   As I read more about the Iron Warriors I got more and more interested in them, especially those factions that stayed loyalist. Perturabo was always a dick in my mind, but many of the legionaries were just hard working super humans.  I decided I'd run a loyalist Iron Warriors army, led by Kyr Valen, who is a badass, running artillery, dreadnoughts and lots of infantry.  More meat for the grinder, right?  Well, no proper army is complete without a display board, and although I have a nice tray purpose built for carrying minis, I decided to go all in on a board.  

To start, I needed to figure out how much space I would need.  I wanted something I could carry easily, that would more or less fit on a chair while still holding 2,500 points of Iron Warriors with a little room to spare so I could run more.  After some measuring and messing around, I decided a two level, 18"x24" board would hold what I need, while I could get a low cost picture frame as a border.  

Here is my initial layout of my (then) proposed army, checking for size and position:

I used 1" hard insulation foam to build the second level, the concept in my mind being the edge of a city and a wasteland (or what became a wasteland, maybe it was a lovely park before the Heresy).  The multi-level would better present my minis and add texture.  I didn't want a flat terrain board, and decided to use some of my GW building materials to construct small ruins on which to hold more minis.

I also wanted a texture coat on the wasteland area. GW sells several but they are very cost prohibitive in large amounts, so I bought some Vallejo Rough Grey Pumice, its like $10-14 per 200ml jar, and its great stuff. I added in some resin wrecks off an old Kickstarter (EDIT* Worldsmith Industries makes them, great products starting at like $6), some craters left over from who knows where, and cut on the foam a bit to make it look like the concert had been damaged by indirect fire.  I also added in some of Tamiya's sand bags to make it look more like a war zone.  Here is the mock up:

I added in some sand to make the transition from the wasteland, and *attempted* to cut in some floor tiles under the ruins, there are some how-to's on the internet... mine didn't turn out as hoped.

After everything was laid out, it was time for some paint. For ease of transport I decided to not glue down the actual ruins, as I could just carry them in an army transport case while keeping the profile of the display board much lower.

I used some more of the Vallejo Rough Grey Pumice to make the transition between the wasteland and the concrete of the city as seen here along with some Gale Force 9 debris (cork something or other):

Next was to prime the whole thing black.  Now, just in case you didn't know, spraying foam from a rattle can will end in tears.  The propellant will melt the foam. As such, I used spray can on the lower (not foam), airbrush and a some cheap, black craft acrylic paint from Walmart for the foam/buildings/resin ruins.  

After getting a good, black base down, I dry brushed using the Walmart sold Plaid/Apple Barrel 2620 Pewter Grey Acrylic paint for the wasteland/transition:

I then used Vallejo Cold Grey paint through an airbrush and hit the concrete; I wanted a lighter grey and I've used Cold Grey quite a bit painting my various ruins and fortifications with good results. The drop pod was painted using an airbrush and Vallejo Air paint (Ultramarine Blue, as I recall). I wanted more color on an otherwise drab board, and along with my drab (Iron Warriors) army, I wanted the wrecked drop pod to pop. I can't remember the name of the company, but I got the resin ruins and more during a Kickstarter a couple years ago; great stuff, I want to get more.

Here is a photo of my ill-fated attempt and tiled floors in the ruins; fortunately they didn't show up too much when the ruins and minis are on: 

Here is another mock up, testing how the minis will fit and how the colors work together with a different army, my 30k Mechanicum. To note, I added a suspended side walk using more Sector Imperialis bits, I wanted a little more texture and the ruins seemed to fit.  The sand bags were base coated in a dark brown (like GW Snakebite Leather) then dry brushed with a tan (Khemri Brown maybe?) to make them more canvas-sandbag like.

Here is a final mock up, before adding the picture frame with my Iron Warriors for NOVA:

Next was to add the foam core surround and the picture frame barrier. The foam core was just a normal foam display purchased from Dollar General for a like $4 and cut into 2 or 2.5" strips then hot glued and sprayed black with an airbrush. Again, if you use a spray can, the actual core will melt if it comes into contact with the propellant.  I also tested the frame for fit in this pic so I knew if need be, I could trim the foam:

The (more or less) final step for this project was to attach the picture frame to the board.  As the base plywood was like 1/2" or so, and as I really didn't want to mess with a nail gun or finishing nails, I decided to use glue and clamps to attach it.  The frame was purchased via, the interior dimensions were more or less 18"x24"to match the display board.  I used proper wood glue (Duck brand?) from Lowe's and several clamps. I laid down some parchment paper (from baking) to protect my work bench from glue leaks, and used a lot of glue. Then I let it sit and cure for about a day:

Here are the Iron Warriors ready to part at NOVA 2017 on the display board:

I must say, I rather enjoyed building this display board. My only regret is that I have bone-itis, er, rather that the board can't really be use for gaming.  As such, I decided to use the techniques and what I learned here to build a 2'x2' display/gaming section for my Death Korps of Krieg in the same color scheme, building trenches and using some bits from the GW Aegis Defense Line.  My concept was a corner piece that would both hold the army for display and could be popped in for use with a GW Realm of Battle Board or Secret Weapons Miniatures Tablescape.  That will *probably* be my next post, as it is almost done as of this writing.  I hope you enjoyed the write up, and if you have and questions or thoughts, let me know.  Stay classy.  

Monday, March 20, 2017

Project Thunderhawk Restoration Update


Its been a while since my last update on the Thunderhawk restoration.  In the interim the wings were both sitting in a bucket of alkali stripper, eating away at the terrible green paint and black primer.  Because its been cold in North Carolina, the solvent was a bit less effective, but a couple months submerged did the trick.  I pulled them out, did a thorough scrubbing with a toothbrush and then started with my dental pick.  After about 45 minutes of work, the bulk of the paint was removed, showing some of the bare resin as shown below.  Next up is the main hull of the mini. I'm debating pulling it apart or not; the damn thing was put together using a hot glue gun with worked pretty well, but also gave me these big wads of hot glue (like in the heavy bolter turrets).  Some pics of the progress:

Wednesday, November 30, 2016

War Convocation w/Inquisition vs. Tau w/Assassins

Hello again,

This was my first game running my War Convocation since my thorough losing at ATC this summer. I figured it was time to get the mechanical men out and since my friend Jon said he'd be running his Tau list from a recent tournament, I thought, hell, I'll bring a strong list too.

Jon ran something like:

Tau Buffmander
3x Broadsides (Missile/missile)
Tau'nar Supremacy Suit (the giant FW one)
Riptide (Accelerator/Missiles)
Firewarrior squad in the shield gunwall
Crisis Suit squad of three
Lone suicide Crisis Suit w/melta & flamer

Culexus Assassin allied in *fuck those psykers*

My army was:

Cult Mech Magos as my warlord (Autocadeuces of Arkan Land for freezies)
Kataphron Destroyers w/Grav & flamers x 4
Kataphron Destroyers w/Grav & flamers x 4
Skitarii Rangers x 10 w/3 snipers
Skitarii Vanguard x 10 w/3 plasma
Ironstrider Balistarius w/Lascannon
Onager Dunecrawler w/Icarus Array
Imperial Knight Crusader (Battle Cannon/Gatling Cannon/Missile Launcher)

Inquisitor Coteaz
Inquisitor (generic) level 1 Psyker w/2x servo skulls

We rolled off the big book missions and ended up with Big Guns Never Tire, four objectives and Hammer/Anvil deployment.  I won first and picked to deploy/go first.  The objectives were clustered on his side of the table...whoops.  He picked the proper side to deploy.

I set up (too) conservative.  An issue I have had with this army is planning to out shoot my opponent, but with only 30" on the grav, he can stay away from my nasty weapons and ignore my cover saves with his smart missiles and ignore both cover and armor with the buffmander/broadsides.

I deploy such that he can't infiltrate his culexus and start wrecking shop in the backfield, so he ends up deploying on his own half.

He gets the stealth ruins warlord trait, I get the Cult Mechanicus one that lets me maximize my War Hymns on my HQ, not super useful as I played it wrong.  My psykers both roll off Divination, but neither gets a useful power (hoping for the 4++ or the ignore cover).

We don't roll for night fight, and he doesn't seize so my turn one starts.

I infiltrated my guys forward, scout all the Skitarii and then start shooting. Nothing is in range of the grav Kataphrons because I'm an idiot and held them in terrain, they'll do nothing pretty much all game.

Turn One: The Knight does a little damage, the snipers hurt nothing, and my lascannon puts a wound on the Tau'nar.  I don't yet realize how screwed I am.

Jon starts doing Tau things, shooting, ignoring cover, killing shit.  He moves the Culexus forward to attack my lead squad moving up the flank.

Turn two: I do a little more damage, but again, my grav Kataphrons are held static (I still don't realize how much I'm screwing this up), the lascannon puts another wound on the Tau'nar, the Knight takes some damage and I fail my 2+ to repair him with the Magos.  I charge the Culexus and he, of course, hits first, but my taser goads giving me two additional hit for every 6 to hit is money and I think he goes down to one wound, then kills a dude rolling a six.

Turn Three: things are going bad for me.  His Tau'nar and Broadsides are killing the shit out of my dudes, my Magos (running solo, because I'm dumb) failed an invul and died to the Riptide.  The Knight is running a little low on hull points. I manage to kill the Culexus as the Ruststalkers charge in to help the Infiltrators, but they'll pretty much get wiped out to ignores cover, AP4 shooting.

Jon's solo Crisis suit jumps in behind the Knight, and his Riptide is on my flank.  I put my shields to the back, worried about the melta, and he shoots at the Onager Dunecrawler.  The Knight takes a lot of shooting to the front and get hull pointed out, explodes but doesn't scatter to kill anything.

Turn Four: Most of my stuff is dead or dying.  My generic Inquisitor is hiding in ruins near an objective as his Riptide jumps closer.  I kill a Broadside and my Onager dies to overwatch against his solo Crisis Suit (rolled double sixes!).

My Ironstrider is dead, my Inquisitor is killed by the Riptide, all I have left is Coteaz, a few Rangers and a couple Kataphrons.  I stuck these guys in terrain with zero tactical value, no objectives nearby and outranged by my opponent.

We call it at the end, Jon clearly whipped my butt.

I had a great time, and yet again, I played my WarCon poorly.  I repeatedly hold them back instead of pushing forward and drowning my opponent in fire, something that I need to do to capitalize on their strengths.  I need to need to properly utilize the Skitarii scout/infiltrate and my twin linked 30" 6 shot heavy grav squads (with Inquisitors).  Running the Magos solo was a risk, and there was no reward. Had he been in a Kataphron squad with Coteaz, I could have look out sir'd the the shots that killed him, and moved the whole unit forward with the Imperial Knight.

Jon played it well, he maximized terrain, kept out of range of my grav, and moved the Riptide forward for the objective once the grav Kataphrons were reduced and out of range.  It was my first game playing against a Tau'nar and Jon's is a beautiful mini. I think its powerful, but not broken nor undercosted.  I definitely want a rematch using the list I ran, I think had I played aggressively I could have gone strong on one side and mulched through a unit or two a turn, focusing first on the Tau'nar and the Broadsides/Buffmander, assaulting with my glass cannon Infiltrators/Ruststalkers, and taken the game.

Sunday, October 30, 2016

Cabal Star Tactics post Traitors Hate

  Hello fellow Heretics!  Beer Apostle here to discuss the Cabal Star post Traitors Hate and to help you fellow Cabalites make your stars shine a little brighter.

The Cabal Star, if you do not already know, consists of the Cyclopia Cabal and either a CAD of Khorne Daemonkin (KDK) consisting of a unit of Fleshhounds or the Gorepack from KDK.  I'm first going to run down the psychic powers that are musts for this star and then some luxury powers in my opinion.

Psychic Powers

Must Haves
1. Endurance- *THIS IS A MUST*  If you are not rolling for this power first then you need to put down this army and pick up Eldar as James Carmona put it.  This makes your entire Cabal star have eternal warrior and a 4 plus FnP.  I feel like I shouldn't have to stress the importance of this power but.....Granting that FnP and Eternal Warrior to your dogs and sorcerers keeps the star alive alot longer than expected.  This power should be rolled for first and cast first in every psychic phase.  Perils happen and you always want to have that 4 plus FnP to take when you suffer that wound from perils.  It helps keep your sorcerers alive and rocking. At Warp Charge 2, I always roll 5 dice at this power to ensure my opponent has a very hard time denying it and I have a greater chance of it being successful.  

2.  Warp Fate-  I always roll for this second because I always feel like a reroll on a 5 plus daemon save is better than just a single roll.  Whether you are in ruins with your dogs or just taking their daemon save,  I always want that reroll.  At Warp Charge 2, I usually roll 4 dice at this power to ensure I can get it off.  

3.  Sanctuary/Cursed Earth- Either of these right here will work.  Both at Warp Charge 1.  Sanctuary does make it dangerous terrain for daemons within 12 of the psyker casting but dogs being beast dont care for movement purposes.  It does make your dogs swing at initiative 1 but when you have a 4 plus invul rerolling from warp fate and a 4 plus fnp from endurance, you can afford to go last.  Cursed Earth helps if you are summoning daemons from your cabal as those daemons do not scatter. Rolling on Cursed Earth also gives you the chance of getting Hammerhand which I consider a luxury power.  At warp charge 1, I usually roll anywhere from 2 to 3 dice. 

Luxury Powers
1. Invisibility-  Some will say this is a must have but I think it is truly a luxury and I never roll for this. Because a lot of the community sees this as a popular option, I will keep this high on the list.

2. Hammerhand- Str 7 dogs on the charge is awesome.  Who doesn't want that.  Depending on how you run your sorcerers, this could also be huge.  I get alot of heat for it but I run all 4 of my sorcerers with power fist and force sword.  So that plus 2 strength really helps out either way you cut it up.

3. Shrouding- 2 plus cover could help out in a terrain heavy battlefield.  Your dogs with a 2 plus or 3 plus cover rerolling those saves from warpfate could go a long way.  Enough said.

4. Ghost Storm-  Being able to move your Cabal a full 18 inches after scouting 12 and moving 12 is huge...and sets you up for a sure fire assault turn 2.  The games that I have rolled this power and actually used it was awesome as my cabal to move across the battlefield with ease.  

5.  Soulswitch-  This is such an awesome power.  This power alone is such a threat alone that it will leave your opponent second guessing his decisions the entire time.  The ability to switch places with any friendly unit within 24 inches of the psyker is awesome.  If your opponent assaults a unit and gets locked in combat, you have the ability to swap places with that friendly unit locked in combat and take care of your opponents baddies.  Really will start making your opponent think about assaulting things or getting near your other units.  You cant assault out of this if your unit you swapped with wasn't locked in combat already.  

There are a few other powers out there that could really help the star but these are the ones you really should be leaning towards.


Many people have many builds and ways they like to run their cabal so instead of running through all of them, I will just talk about the way I have been running mine and why.

Cabal Star 1843pts

Gorepack 422 Pts

Chaos Bikers x2
Chaos Champion- Power Fist, Bolt Pistol

Chaos Bikers x2
Chaos Champion- Power Fist, Bolt Pistol

Fleshhounds x 11

Cyclopia Cabal- 700 points

Sorcerer- ML3, Bike, Force Sword, Power Fist, Spell Familiar, Veterans of the Long War

Sorcerer- ML3, Bike, Force Sword, Power Fist, Spell Familiar, Veterans of the Long War

Sorcerer- ML3, Bike, Force Sword, Power Fist, Spell Familiar, Veterans of the Long War

Sorcerer- ML3, Bike, Force Sword, Power Fist, Spell Familiar, Veterans of the Long War

Black Legion Combined Arms Detachment of Chaos Space Marines- 765 Pts

Chaos Lord- Mark of Khorne, Juggernaut of Khorne, Axe of Blind Fury, Bolt Pistol, Melta Bombs, Sigil of Corruption, Veterans of the Long War

Kharn the Betrayer


Cultist x 9
Cultist Champion

Chosen x 4 boltgun, ccw, bolt pistol, Icon of Wrath, Mark of Khorne, Veterans of the Long War
Chosen Champion- Bolt Pistol, Boltgun, Power Fist
Dedicated Transport- Dreadclaw

Fast Attack

Predator - Twin-linked Lascannon, Legacy of Ruin- Perdus Rift Anomaly

So lets start with the Gorepack.  I added the power fist to the gorepack bikers because I found that they lacked the punch needed to be effective.  I use them as a threat on the flanks as my cabal moves up the middle.  11 dogs seems to be the magic number for me.  

I get alot of flak for my Cabal.  I run all my sorcerers with power fist and force swords.  I found that I would get tied up with knights quite a bit and I didnt have enough punch to get free of them.  So to solve the problem, I spread the love around and handed out power fist to all my sorcerers.  I have had alot of success with this and the power fist have become invaluable in many of my games.  

The CAD of CSM has been great for me.  First off,  the Juggalord rides with cabal and is usually upfront somewhere taking on challenges.  The axe of blind fury is soooo nasty.  At STR 6 AP 2 with a shit load of attacks, he usually cleans up before my dogs and sorcerers get to swing.  Kharn is just awesome and I will always try to run him in any list I bring.  I have had him insta gib a knight all by himself.  I run him in the dreadclaw with the chosen.  The dreadclaw is such an awesome addition to this because I can put it in the enemy backfield and let my opponent choose their poison.  Do they get assaulted by Kharn and company turn 2 or the Cabal turn 2.  The dreadclaw being obsec as well is great for later on in the game when you gotta get on those objectives.  I take the predator because who doesn't like a twin linked lascannon.  Ok im kidding I take the predator because of the Perdus Rift Anomaly.  I found that I kept getting seized on by Eldar and Tau alike and I did not like that anymore.  The Rift Anomaly gives me the option to reroll seize and also gives me the option to have my opponent reroll his seize.  The predator must be deployed at the start of the game in order to use this.  The Lascannon is just an added touch.  

This was a short and sweet sorta how to for your cyclopia cabal.  I hope you all enjoy and please comment and critique.  Happy Hunting those loyalist! 

~Beer Apostle~


Sunday, October 23, 2016

Project Thunderhawk Rescue Pt 1

As a long time 40k nerd, I will admit that owning a Thunderhawk was always on my bucket list.  From the old school all metal monster that required an engineering degree and welding experience to the current eight pound resin beast, it (well until recently) is the biggest of the Space Marine specific minis that Forge Worlds produces.  Although titans are badass in their own way, as the center piece of a Space Marine (or spikey heretic marine) army, it is that model.  Its like lusting after a Ferrari, but 1/100th the price, resin, and it will not help to get anyone laid.  Probably the opposite... anyways...

A few weeks back one popped up on eBay.  For $175 shipped.  Now, with the prevalence of Chinese/Russian recasts, one would assume for that price, its a fake.  However, this thing was painted and dusty.  The grainy pictures showed something that had sat on a shelf for a long time after getting painted to an okay ish standard in Dark Angels livery. I couldn't say no.  If worse came to worse, I could clean it up and flip it.  

The poor thing arrived  more broken than in the listing, wedged in a USPS flat rate box with almost no padding or protection.  The resin engines were broken, many of the bombs, heavy bolters, wings etc. were in rough shape.  The Dark Angels paint was about as I figured, it was a clean, table top standard but lacked any washing, highlighting or use of an airbrush.  The dust indicated many years of sitting since it last saw a table, but also showed it to be pre-forgery world.  Closer examination showed proper FW resin, clean casts and for the most part a mini that was by no means beyond salvage.  Its the 40k version of a barn car, like finding a Hemi Cuda with 10,000 miles, all numbers matching just needing some love.  

As of now, the poor thing is getting a stripper bath in sections.  The hull will have to be a multi-part strip and brush. All the ancillary bits that fell off (except one of the wings, the stripper bucket was full) are getting a solvent bath.  After about a week, I'll pull them out, scrub off the evil and see where we are. 

I haven't decided exactly how I'm going to paint the rescue Thunderhawk.  I'm tempted to paint the bright red of my 40k Blood Angels, a color scheme that best matches 5th Edition and earlier paint schemes.  I don't know if it will get used in 30k, probably not, and my other Space Marine chapters don't see much play.  Either way it will be a long road before the poor thing is ready for fresh paint and I'll keep updating as we go forward.  

Sunday, September 11, 2016

The 13th Black Crusade strikes- BAT REP

Gather around Traitors and alcoholics.  It is time to pay tribute to the Beer God and we do this by bringing you this awesome tale of how Kharn and company brought the pain to the False Emperors own Blood Angels.

The Lists

Chaos CSM Black Crusade Detachment

Core (890 pts)
Chaos Warband

HQ-Kharne the Betrayer

           Chosen Champion- CC weapon, Bolt Pistol
           1X Heavy Bolter
           Chaos Rhino
Troops- Chaos Space Marines
              Aspiring Champion- Boltgun, Bolt Pistol, Power Sword
              7x chaos space marines with cc weapon and pistols
              Chaos Rhino

              Chaos Space Marines
               Aspiring Champion- CC weapon, boltgun, bolt Pistol
               9x Marines with Boltguns
               Chaos Rhino

Fast Attack- Chaos Bikers
                     Biker Champion- CC weapon, Bolt Pistol, Melta Bombs

Heavy Support- Havocs
                           Aspiring Champion- Power Fist, Bolt Pistol, Melta Bombs
                           4X Melta Guns
                            Chaos Rhino

Auxiliary (475 PTS)

Chaos Lord- Power Amour, Mark of Slaneesh, Murder Sword, Bolt Pistol

3X Raptors Mark of Slaneesh
       Raptor Champion- Lightning Claws and bolt pistol

Chaos Renegade Knight Forsworn Knight Detachment (380 PTS)
Renegade Knight- Melta Gun, Avenger Gatlin Cannon and Heavy Flamer, Reaper Chainsword

Fortification Detachment
Aegis Defense Line with Comms Relay

Blood Angels
Combined Arms Detachment

Chaplain- Jump pack, The Veritas Vitae, Crozius Arcanum

Death Company- 6x Bolt Pistols, 4x Chainswords, 7x Death Company Marines, Hand Flamer, Jump packs, Power Fist, 2x Power Weapons

Cassor the Damned- Lucius Pattern Dreadnought Drop Pod, Magna Grapple, two Blood Talons.

Scout Squad- Scout Sergeant, Sniper Rifle, Chain Sword
4x scouts with bolt guns

Scout Squad- Camo Cloaks, 4x Bolt Pistols and Missile Launcher, 3x sniper rifles

Tactical Squad- Grav-gun, 4x Tact Marine

Tactical Squad- Multi Melta, 4x Tact Marines

Fast Attack- Xiphon Pattern Interceptor
2x Twin Linked Lascannon, Xiphon rotary missle launcher

Heavy Support- Fire Raptor Gunship- Four wing-mounted stormstrike missiles, twin linked avenger bolt cannon, Relic of the Armoury, Two Twin- Linked autocannons, Legacy of Glory, Storm Eagle (Battle of Calth)

Lord of War
Cerastus Knight-Atrapos

The mission was ITC mission number 2, so Relic with a Hammer and anvil deployment.  I set up the chosen near the aegis so I could ensure my raptors came in turn two.  My opponent, Evan, rolled his two warlord traits and one of them reduce my initiative by one so it was greatly needed.  I set Kharn and the CC marines in the center of the table as to be able to deliver him in any direction.  I put the Knight near him to take some pressure off of him and give that extra threat.  The melta havocs were positioned on the left to potentially force the knight to the other side with kharn and my knight. I had to have these three baddies fight in order for the battle to swing my way.  My three raptors were also obviously kept in reserves so I could deepstrike and assault.  The lord with the murder sword chose the Chaplain as his target for the sword.  Turn one consisted of some shooting back and forth and I moved Kharn up 6 inches in the rhino and then disembarked him slighting behind the Rhino.  My opponent Evan then fell into my trap and moved his knight up 12 striking distance of kharn.  He also had his drop pod come in behind kharn so I had to make a decision.  

Turn two was a huge turn for us Traitors as we had a few options to assault.  Not pictured above but the Cerastus knight sat a few inches from that rhino and Kharn had rolled fleet on the boon roll thanks to the decurion.  He rolled two but one of the was better luck next time.  Turn one the lord in reserves had rolled a plus one to his armor save.  Cassor the damned would have to wait this turn.  I split Kharn off from the marines and moved him 6 inches towards the knight.  Perfect position to strike.  I had disembarked the melta havocs on the left side of the knight to ensure I could knock a few hull points off of it. In the shooting phase, the melta squad only did one hull point on the knight but fear not. My knight flamed the drop pod just so I could charge it and used the gatlin cannon to pop a rhino.  All my raptors had came in from reserve thanks to rerolls.  They all hit on target with one squad going after scouts, one going after a marine tactical squad and the lord and his squad going after the chaplain's squad.  After some great shooting the chaplain's squad had been reduced to 3 death company marines and the chaplain himself.  After the shooting phase, charges were made with Kharn going into the knight, my knight going into the drop pod, and the raptors making the charge into scouts, marines, and death company.  The lord getting into base contact with the chaplain was clutch as now the murder sword was str 8 ap 1 instant death.  Kharn was the highlight of this phase and what really turned the battle in our favor.  Kharn in one round of combat took all of the knights hull points and destroyed the knight.  The ensuing blast did kill kharn but it was well worth it.  The Lord and raptors killed the death company in the first round of combat.  The other raptors killed all but one scout and marine in each squad.  Which worked out as they couldn't be targeted by Evan's shooting.
After turn two it really went down hill for the blood angels as the only reserves that came in for Evan was his outflanking scouts.  Turn 3 his two flyers came in and shot a few things but the battle had been won.  I truly think if the flyers had come in sooner the game could have been salvageable for the blood angels.  

Analysis-  I will be the first to say this list is not ready for a tournament.  It needs some tweaking and a few tools to make the other units such as the bike and other marines a little more useful.  I really am going to find the points for a dread claw to get kharn where I need him and be able to assault turn 2.  Everyone has been really hard on the Traitors hate drop but I think people were expecting an instant win button.  It takes true tactics and play to win with CSM and that is ok in my books.  It feels so much better winning with an army that people rate as sub par.  What do you think?  What would you tweak in this list?   Also check out my opponent Evan's Blog at

~Beer Apostle~  

Monday, September 5, 2016

Nuns with Guns at NOVA Open 2016

So, following my ill fated attempts at playing my War Convocation list at ATC and going 1-5, I decided to run a significantly less competitive list at the NOVA Open this past weekend.  I figured an Inquisition themed list with Sisters, Inquisitor Coteaz + Henchmen and an Imperial Assassin would be fun and fluffy. With the exception of the Culexus Assassin, I’ve got dozens of games with the bolter girls/Coteaz/henchmen combo so I’m more comfortable with their rules and how to get what I can out of them.  

My list was:

Sisters of Battle CAD

Jacobus- Warlord
St. Celestine

Battle Sister Squad x 5 w/Melta Gun in Immolator w/Multi Melta
Battle Sister Squad x 5 w/Melta Gun in Immolator w/Multi Melta
Battle Sister Squad x 5 w/Melta Gun in Immolator w/Heavy Flamer

Fast Attack
Dominion Squad x5 w/4x Melta Gun in Repressor
Dominion Squad x5 w/4x Melta Gun in Repressor

Heavy Support
Retributer Squad x5 w/4x Heavy Flamer in Repressor
Retributer Squad x5 w/4x Heavy Flamer in Repressor

Aegis Defense Line w/ Quad Gun

Inquisition Allied Detachment

Inquisitor Coteaz

Henchmen Squad
2x Jokaero
3x Acolytes w/ Plasma Guns
4x Acolytes (1x bolter)
1x Psyker

Assassin Detachment

Culexus Assassin

Going into NOVA I knew my list would suffer against long range shooting (namely Tau and some Eldar builds) as they could pop my transports right quick.  Space Marine grav spam would hurt my tanks and troops, but Celestine and the girls can handle MSU pretty well whilst Coteaz has a 24” bubble of fuck your drop pods.  Chaos Daemons, IG, Orks, Jet Bike spam, Nids, would all offer their own challenges but I felt confident that I could do okay via ignoring cover melta guns and spamming flamers.

Game One:

I played Kenny from New York, who was an awesome dude and a rather good player, he ended up in like 9th overall.  Sadly, his army was lost in transit by Delta so he was playing borrowed minis at the last minute. He ran pure Tau, a Stormsurge, a few Riptides, Fire Warriors, Drones and a buffmander.  He then proceeded to wreck my face.  I picked progressives knowing that I couldn’t hold on for end game, but his Riptides and Stormsurge just popped tanks then killed girls.  On the plus side, we finished early got some beers and dinner the next night, super good dude and if I end up in Manhattan for grad school, I hope to play him again.

Game Two:

Space Marines.  Normally I’m pretty happy to play Marines as Celestine can run through their squads while the girls can put enough wounds that armor saves go away.  Not so much with the natural Invisibility and Electrodisplacement to a charge.  I played Amir from New Jersey, nice dude, very friendly, fun game, but his dual conclave on bikes with the 2+ re-rollable FNP EW chapter master from Iron Hands.  He dropped a pod in, made it over 12” away, then summoned daemons to kill the Culexus, Electrodisplaced and multi-charged. Without the FAQ/Nerfs to Invisibility and Electrodisplacement, he was able to move up, swap units, then multi charge me with an invisible star.  It went down hill from there for the bolter girls.  His summoned screamers did damage, while my Dominions were able to outflank and move to his back field. I scored a few points, but it was a very one sided loss.  

Game Three:

Tau again, hooray!  I played Joe from Georgia, who had an amazingly well painted Tau Army.  He had won best Tau and best painted at ATC a couple months back, and I could see why.  Running two squads of three Ghostkeels in the formation, some deep striking stealth suits, a Tidewall with Fire Warriors and two outflanking Kroot Squads, I was hoping that I could ignore his cover, cause enough wounds to kill some Ghostkeels and force leadership checks.  So I didn’t.  I managed to score a few points, slew his warlord (Celestine made it across the board and charged the Fire Warrior squad with the HQ) and killed a couple units, but in the progressive version, I couldn’t actually move the relic back so I just had to try and hold it; his Ghostkeels made short work of my tanks despite a ridiculous amount of 6++ invuln saves made.  After the game we got dinner and beers, and we found out that he had painted and made a fair amount of the charity Ork Army, especially the Ork Jet Bikes (which are amazing, some of the coolest minis I’ve ever seen).  A great competitor and a true hobbyist, or really an artist. I look forward to seeing his next project.

So day one was a 0-3 day, not my best, but I couldn’t ask for a nicer group of guys to kick my teeth in.  

Day Two

Game One:

I played Jack from Delaware, one of the Icehouse guys that host the annual Delawar GT.  Super nice dude and a quick game.  He ran three Imperial Knights including an Atrapos and a Riptide Wing (3x Riptides with bonuses). I hoped to scout up and melta a Knight or two, and I did manage to put some hull points down, but I just couldn’t affect the army.  He killed my henchmen squad early on, then proceeded to pop tanks, gatling gun girls to mist, and assault whatever was left over. I scored a couple points, then it ended and we got beers.  

Game Two:

Ben from New Hampshire brought a fluffy Space Wolves list with old school las/plas razorbacks, a Land Raider, Arjac, Ulrik and a generic lord with some Wolf Guard riding in it, three land speeders and some troops in the razorbacks.  It was a pretty close game, but the girls managed to pull the win, it didn’t hurt that his lascannons rolled way more ones than normal, either to hit or to penetrate, thus my tanks and girls stayed alive a lot longer.  Fun game, two pretty fluffy lists playing on a bottom table and drinking beers later one. Great guy, great game, and I finally got a win in.  

Game Three:

I ended up playing a guy that just moved to the same town in which I live, but I had not yet met. John is also in Fayetteville, NC, and was running an Imperial Guard list with an allied Genestealer Cult. He had a couple Chimeras, a few Taurox, a Leman Russ, a Valkyrie, one Wyvern, and Imperial Knight and a few squads in the transports.  The Genestealer cult had a Magos, a couple squads, and the Broodlord that could infiltrate up to one inch from my dudes, which is pretty rad especially since that nasty bastard rolled Invisibility and I couldn’t target him with templates.  The game was pretty close, but he was going for end game points while I was going progressives. I managed to wear down Genestealers and stay alive against the Broodlord which attacked Coteaz and the Henchmen, but he perilsed and lost his last wound.  We made it through five turns until time and I pulled off a minor win.  Another great close game against a super good dude that I can play in the near future.  

On the whole NOVA 2016 was a blast. I withdrew on Saturday evening as although I was 2-0 in the bottom bracket, I didn’t have it in me to play two more games and really just wanted to drink, socialize and see everything that was going on.   On the bottom level there was Warmachine, X-Wing and Armada, Fantasy/AoS, Malifaux, and several other games I couldn’t name.  There was a 30k event that looked A-Mazing, and I might play in that next year instead of the GT.  I really enjoy competitive 40k, but eight games is a lot and I don’t think I will have the time to really practice with a strong army to play it well enough in a year’s time.  

One thing I didn’t dig was NOVA’s not using the ITC nerfs.  Invisibility is nasty, and playing it twice in its full strength just sucks.  Ditto on the Electrodisplacement.  I could have taken advantage of the ruleset in use and brought my girls in via Drop Pods, but every other tournament in the US is observing that FAQ so I didn’t.  Mike Brandt, Dewry, Neil Gilstrap and the dozens of other folks I can’t name that ran NOVA did a great and wonderful thing, they held an awesome event that lasted Thursday through Sunday and had something for every tabletop gamer.  If you ever get the chance, NOVA is a blast.