Thursday, November 19, 2009


I sit here this thursday morning, reading through the blogs i subscribe to and a thought a thought occurs to me. All these review's on unit's are about the units indivually. The entries go over which builds to take, how to use them, and how many to take. These types of things. If another units is mentioned its only as a side note and only briefly.
I do not play that way. In wargames or any other games that I play for that matter. Everything I choose, for better or worse, is chosen because it fits into a thought out strategy, and works with each and every part of my list. There are units I take to fullfill certain roles and units i take to support them and other unit's. In my belief this is the primary way to achieve a level of skill with the game, above everyone else.
I also do not see the game in black and white. Whenever I look at a unit entry i ask myself a couple questions. "What is this unit's strength's?","What are this units weakness's?","Will/How will this unit fit into a list of my design?", and finnally "What should I take with this unit to make it better?" There are very few instances in this game that something is completely useless (barring outdated material or defunct rules). Every unit selection in every army has a place in a given list.
Most of the reason why this is becoming more prevalent is due to the importance of objectives in war hammer 5th edition. unlike previous editions where the focus was the meat grinder style of play, war hammer actually involves taking and hold a position on the table. A step towards becoming more of a military strategy game as opposed to to a statistics course or a practice in maximizing DPS. With this advent, the mechanic's of the game have lent more emphasis to developing an overall synergy between unit's in order to affect a goal.
In closing its not about bullets or bodies. It's about brain's. When building your list or trying out a theory or even looking through a codex. Look at the possibilities and think about how things within the codex can work together to accomplish a goal.

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Space Wolves Codex Review Part 2: Troops

Because they are the core of any army in fifth edition, I have decided to approach the Space Wolves troops selections first. As the only unit types that can control an objective, it goes without saying that you can't begin to have a chance of doing well in 40k with the space wolves army (or any army for that matter) without having a solid troops selection on the board. The first step begins with your troops and how you intend to use them.
My first question when I opened this codex was, "What did they do to their troops?" being that Space Wolves have always diverged a little more than other chapters both thematically and in regards to game mechanics. I had high expectations to see not only consistency with the Space Wolves' typical aggressive style, but also in seeing new or a different variety to their mechanics.
To sum it up briefly; if you missed the way Space Marines used to be, you will like the new Space Wolves army at least in respect to their troops. Gone are the combat squads and combat tactics. No more of the one special weapon and one heavy at ten. The new codex crams a lot of power into ten or fifteen guys. Losing their ability to have heavy weapons seems like a small loss when I look over these entries. Not only can I have consistency in respective firepower, but I can also (by adding the right HQ or Wolf Guard) dramatically increase the damage that both of these troop selections can do.

Now before I get started, I would like to clarify that these are just my view points on what these units can do. People will disagree and are welcome to voice their opinions on this blog as long as it is done constructively. It is my intention to perhaps give someone out there some helpful ideas on how to use these units in an interesting way.

Grey Hunters

General Review
The first thing I noticed about both troops selections, other than army special rules, was that they both had close combat weapons. This, combined with counter-attack immediately said to me that this unit was the unit that was meant to hold objectives as opposed to contesting or taking them, not that they couldn't. Using the same stat line, composition and points cost per model as Space Marines, another thing sprung out to sergeant or heavy weapons options! Substituting the normal sergeant is the partitioned Wolf Guard. Much like the Eldar Warlocks of fourth edition, one must purchase a unit of Wolf Guard and then you have the option to divide them amongst a list of units. This, at first glance was a great idea but after running over various builds and testing it has done nothing but improve. Grey Hunters now gives your basic troops unit for a Space Marine army the potential of having multiple powerfists and special weapons(such as melta weapons).

It is certain that the units will be even more of a fire priority when facing this army on the table. Having the ability to stuff all this kill into such a small package makes this unit extremely flexible, both as a defensive or offensive unit in battlefield roles. Not only can the unit dish it out at range against anything that dares to get close, but it can also provide a great amount of damage in assault regardless of whether or not they are on the charge. If properly supported, this unit can be a rock wall of defense on whatever you decide to hold. Stuff these guys in your transport of choice, camp them on top of the objective and have fun watching your opponent cringe at the thought of assaulting these guys. Especially when they are going to somewhere in the area of 30 +2d6 rending or 10 power fists in the face. It goes without saying that if properly built, this basic unit is hardly basic. Properly designed you can bring a tool for any occasion.


Overall, Grey Hunters have no bad selections, although taking all of them will make the unit too costly with ten guys. More aggressive units can take smaller builds with more toys in order to squeeze out kill power.

Flamer: Is a good choice for a more aggressive build of Grey Hunters. This is combined with the fact that it's completely free and you can stack two in a unit. This option helps deal with mobs very effectively. Considering the fact that the mech armies are more mech and the swarm armies are becoming more swarm, this is an extremely useful trait to have.

Meltagun: This is my first option. It goes without saying that in fifth ed. you need to kill tanks. The more melta in your list, the better off you are at attaining that goal. When added with the possibility of having two meltas in the squad before Wolf Guard, it adds one very necessary thing....consistency.
Plasma Gun: Not my first choice because of the points, but still not a bad one when combined with a meltagun. The plasma gun makes a unit able to affect incoming light transports reliably at range.

Free Selection: I am a big fan of taking big troop units and sticking them in rhinos. As such, being able to use both fire points in the tank for melta shots is very appealing. Adding consistency to the unit and increasing its ability to handle all situations is a must factor. I can hardly imagine taking a unit size of ten if for nothing else but for the ability to have a flamer/melta or paired melta combo. (Can we tell that I like melta yet?)

Plasma pistol: Not really a requirement for the points. I can definitely see how it is useful but I would rather take other options. The instances I would take it would be if I really need the assurance of taking out transports before assaulting what's inside, or if I wanted to make another guy in the unit have a different piece of gear for allocation. Even then however, there are just better options that would not make the unit as expensive.

Power Weapon: Just like the plasma pistol there really isn't any other choice. Unless I don't have the points I am going to pass up the power weapon in favor of the power fist.

Power Fist: Absolute must. The more power fists you can stuff into a unit, the better in this case. While going at initiative 1 is not the greatest in the world there are going to be a lot of times when you are just going to need that str 8 power weapon.

Wolf Standard: Why wouldn't you? Other than generating a expensive unit, if taken with a troops selection destined for a defensive role you are going to be that much better at holding down the fort. The once-a-turn assault bonus isn't necessarily a factor, because you are more than likely going to be able to kill an entire unit on your opponent's turn leaving your Grey Hunters free to shoot at any other interlopers on your turn. Honestly, this piece of gear is worth taking if nothing else, just to ensure that your unit gets that first turn of assault in the most effective manner.

Mark of the Wulfen: When compared to the other options, this simply takes the cake. Giving the unit a rending model just makes it vicious. This option is more for the aggressive unit as opposed to the defensive one because it will just add to that overall punch of the unit, ensuring that it can come into contact with the multiple units that aggressive roles may run into. If taken with a defensive unit, I would consider taking out a powerfist for it with rending being able to hit high toughness models just to save points.

Transport Options
As with normal Space Marines, Grey Hunters have the option to take either rhinos, razorbacks, or drop pods. All three are comparable, with each leaning towards different roles on the battlefield. I see the rhino as the personal favorite, being able to exploit this unit's ability to have versatile short-mid range high str firepower for relatively inexpensive points cost. I would see myself possibly only taking the rhino, although I can see instances where dropping down two drop pods with Grey Hunters right in front of your opponent lighting his back field up, going to ground then daring him to assault you would be fun, if wasteful.

Altogether, this unit has a lot of power. It has a lot of options which makes it better to allocate wounds and more able to take on different units. Both big and small units have their place either defensively or offensively. They also have the ability to dish out an incredible amount of damage in the assault for a troop's choice. I think that this unit is the standard unit of choice out of the two and much more flexible than blood claws having no definite drawback other than not being able to multi-role or capture two objectives like combat squads of normal Space Marines. Grey Hunters play and feel like older marine builds with a little bit of 5th Ed beef. Are they broken? Not really. I think they are just a really balanced and flexible unit. Leadership 8 is a hit and they have to be focused for their role, otherwise they will get targeted and wiped not being able to offer targeting decisions by splitting up. I could see me field two of these units, one defensive and one offensive of pretty much any size or build. However, I would warn against putting too much into this unit because it would make them very expensive and sap strength from other parts of your list.

Blood Claws

General analysis
If there is a reason to gripe about the Space Wolves codex being imbalanced, this unit can give that reason. At first glance, it seems that this unit differs very little from Grey Hunters except they receive more attacks in assault, they have WS/BS of 3, and they have increased capacity. This seems relatively balanced and straightforward....if you didn't read the rest of the codex.
The simple fact of the matter is that their supposed flaws are just smoke and mirrors. Their WS and BS skill can easily be removed by attaching a wolf priest which easily removes their headstrong flaw. Their headstrong flaw could be considered a flaw if you weren't going to be assaulting the closest unit to them anyway. In short, while this unit doesn't have the fringe benefits the Grey Hunters have, like Mark of the Wulfen or the standard, they make up in sheer nastiness.

Flamer: Once again it's free and that alone is awesome. It's worth taking if you don't have the points but the berserk charge already handles most of the extra damage that you would do with it.
Meltagun: A must. Too many assault targets riding around in transports and land raiders these days. Give the unit the ability to deal with mech and other tough, hardened targets.
Plasma Gun: Honestly, if you are wanting to shoot at range with something, stick this upgrade on a unit of Grey Hunters. The points get lost with this unit as its primary strengths lie in getting up in the enemies' shit and messing people up.
Free upgrade: Unlike the Grey Hunters, it isn't necessary and wouldn't be taken with every build. If you want a big unit of blood claws however, go for broke and buy the extra guy or two. The big unit will only benefit from the extra melta shot or an additional plasma gun shot. A flamer would be extreme overkill unless you think you might be run up against something like 10 man termies with storm shields or the like. Even then, I would probably put the melta shot in there just because it makes the unit very consistent with killing tanks and hardened armor.

Plasma Pistol: Actually a good buy for them unlike the Grey Hunters, simply for allocation. Without as many options as the venerable hunters, blood claws need as many affordable weapon options on their models for allocation as they can afford.

Power Weapon: Same as with the Grey Hunters. Save the points and get the power fist.
Power Fist: Same as the Grey Hunters.
Lukas the Trickster
Usually, I would be all down for adding the potency of a basic troops unit but for his cost, Lukas doesn't really seem to add that much for my preferences. His stat line is good, but comparable to the wolf lord or priest. He has the last laugh ability which is nice for taking contested objectives and the pelt of the doppengangrel is pretty sweet but in total, he just seems like a slightly different build of a wolf lord. In the end, he adds to himself but nothing to the unit other than possibly keeping a scoring model on an objective a turn longer. This in itself is great, just not great for 140 points. I might be horribly off, but to me he just seems like a floating 3 wounds with a great defensive ability. This is not really something that adds to what I would be doing with blood claws in a given list. Needless to say, I am sure he has his place but the jury is still out on this guy, for me at least.

Transport options:
Much like the Grey Hunters, all three are comparable and highly dependent on play style. I think however, that the Blood Claws differ from the Grey Hunters in that a Land Raider makes a nice addition to this unit. This is simply because having fifteen fools with a purpose jump out of a big frickin tank is completely awesome and can do some damage.

Alone, Blood Claws completely blow. Add in a Wolf Guard and a special character or cheap HQ, and Blood Claws become completely broken. Pretty much, it boils down to the fact that once you add one of those things, you are paying 15 points for Space Marines that can make 4 attacks on the charge plus, like Grey Hunters, they can have multiple special weapons. Very broken indeed for a basic troop. As time goes by though, I am sure that their strength with be balanced out by other weakness of this army.

Wrap up
In conclusion, the Space Wolves have not only two solid troops choices, they have two great troops choices. If you are interested in flexibility or outright shock and awe, you will find that Space Wolves have the necessary tools at their disposal for troops selections. The only thing I would add as points against them is that they both have a leadership of 8 which isn't good. Like many Space Marine players, both have only the drop pod as the only quick transportation. They don't have the ability to combat squad which was a huge advantage simply because it forces your opponent to prioritize and allows a unit to capture multiple objectives. They don't have access to heavy weapons such as the missle launcher so you can't field them as a poor man's heavy support choice. In the end though, all those things are really small losses when you count how much you can cram into a unit, how big you can get a unit and generally how intimidating these "basic" troops are when viewed in respect to an entire list.

Wednesday, November 4, 2009

Space Wolves Codex review part 2 is forthcoming. I have all the notes I need for the project I just need to do it. I have been pre-occupied with stripping down my models for repainting. On a side note Super Clean works great if you have them primed in Game Workshop Primer, Armory primer however is going to take a little more effort to remove. I have them soaking for a couple more days.
The Codex review will be up tonight for sure. Until then Asta la Rasta....

Thursday, October 29, 2009

Been real busy lately. So here's a brief update on my projects.

Painting the Angels: Ahah! so there I was reveling in the joy of bieng near completion of my angels. The only thing left was to do the fine detailing and then I noticed it. The black primer was still showing through the red. Disgusted threw down my paint brushes and didn't touch them for a week. The next week I re-approached the situation and sat down and did some research on stripping paint. I looked at all the methods simple green, brake fluid, oven cleaner. Eventually I stumbled into and came across a video about super cleaner. Turns out you can buy this stuff by the gallon at Wal-marts automotive department. The video claimed that it would strip the paint but leave the detail, so I tried that and two other methods out. The super clean worked! It stripped the paint all the way down to the model but didn't damage the model at all. This crap really is the boss. So I took all 30 of my crappy primed blood angels and gave them a flesh bath.

Space Wolves Review: Well as you know I have the first part up. I should be posting the second part this weekend or just after Halloween. For each of the In-depths I am running just some short scenario's trying different builds, just to test out my opinion's overall I think this first review will probably take me the longest mostly because I am so out of touch with blogging on a regular occasion. I plan to do a short tactica series in between the Space Wolves Review and the Tyranid Codex release so go ahead an stay tuned for that.

Warlord and Reaper Mini's: A good friend of mine is trying to become a demo rep for reaper minitures and wants to start doing some video's. As I have been toying with the same idea of starting a video blog for some time so I am thinking about getting a camera and just doing it. However I have absolutely no idea what to shop for camcorder wise so if anyone has any suggestions that would be great.

Legend of the Five Rings: After much deliberation and more than a month of not even touching my cards I was invited by a couple of my friends to on the semi-local tournaments that goes on every Sunday. it took me a day or two but eventually I came around agreed and threw together a slightly different version of my hero/deathseeker build. This normally relies on nagataka or a similar expendable personality to be on the board and then by using duty,deflect, strength of the bamboo and other similar negation or redirection cards to my useless character's. At the same time I use heavy handed amounts of pk to force attrition of the opponents "key" units. Great idea right? Well not apparently... I ended up taking 10th out of eleven people and that was because I received a bi on the 3rd round.
1st round (Phoenix Military): Funny enough this was against my friend. I drew into 3 holdings the entire game but managed to hold my ground . He eventually wore me down though through production.
2nd round (Spider Oni/breeder): Just completely creamed my on turn 5 I walked into his entire army and basically gave him the game. I have no idea where my brain was. Basicly just plowed into me and took me two turns later.
3rd round: I recieved a bi. At this point I think it was good, I was really pissed at myself and another loss would have seriously wrecked my mood.
4th round (Unicorn Military) Good game, my opponent was real cool. We just played and had fun. Came down to an attack on him I lost have about 7 or so actions but the battle was close. The recovery after that wasn't enough though as he had taken two provinces early in game.

Well thats pretty much it I will post my current decklist up I am going to tourney this sunday again, I hope to do better than last week.

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Space Wolves Codex Review Part 1: Basic Army Options and Rules

There were many feelings that usually come with a new codex release. Joy...Rage...Terror. Usually each of these is felt by most of us in the warhammer 40k community. Many of these feelings were felt by myself upon hearing about the release of the space wolves codex. This reactions are very common in any game when new content is released, summarily hyped up and then launched in such a big fashion. Gamers of the Warhammer 40k community are no differant. What is differant however is the history of reaffirming the latter feelings...Rage and Joy, that games workshop products have had in the past.
It was therefore with a very mixed sense of Joy and Terror that I purchased and read the new codex I am about to review. You see codex's in the past have had the trend of upping the powerlevel of the game drasticly in favor of the latest trend. Each codex competing with the last to make the newest and best toy seem more attractive. This has led to a "power creep" an escalation of the powerlevel of the game overall.
When fifth ed. released I amongst many feared what that the newest trend of codex would bring about. While many were dissapointed overall with the Space Marine feeling that it was underpowered and there is no common opinion about the New Gaurd Codex. With the release of the New Space Wolf Codex and the leaks online about what some of the units where able to do, many feared that this codex would not only live up to that trend but surpass it. After reading the Codex I don't believe that this is neccasarily true.
While certainly they have been given very formidable options. Overall there is very little in the game that they have been given without having something taken away. The overall feel of the army mechanicly is that the writers of the codex were attempting to give back some of the classic options that people enjoyed about Space Marines in general (such as two special weapons, varied wargear combinations etc.) While trying update the mechanics that make the space wolves intresting in a balanced way for fifth edition. Are they competitive...definetly. Many players will have diffuculties against this army just simply because the style of play is simple, intuitive to new players and very potent. This is to be expected of a recent update. Are they broken or unbeatable? Hardly. Certainly there are one or two very poor design choice's in my opinion that are incredibly unbalanced. However they will certainly be dealt with by other options in the game or experienced players.

Now to get down to the nitty gritty...

Space Wolves are highly individualistic (As the design staff has so kindly pointed out half a dozen times in the codex). They also do not follow standard Codex Astartes, as such Space wolves may take four HQ choices with the restriction that none may carry exactly the same wargear of have the exact same set of psychic powers.
WHile not exactly a new option with the choices of HQ's present in the codex this will create some interesting combinations. Without getting into the HQ choices (that is a later post) this will more than likely be where the space wolves list in competitive play see most of thier power. HQ's of this codex all seem to have the trend of agmenting the units around them or the ones they are attached to, exception being to the WOlf Gaurd Battle leader.
The restriction of no character bieng able to carry the exact same gear isn't really a restriction in my opinion. I have no doubt that you will still see four of the same HQ's on the field each with one piece of gear differant.
Moving on to special army rules the space wolves seem yet again to differ from thier other astartes bretheran. Having the traded out Combat Squads and Combat Tactics Special rules for Counter attack and Acute Senses special rules.
This more that any other addition to this army I believe to be the most potent. Simply because it allows the space wolves to use thier prowess in close combat in a defensive manner. No longer do players have to be concerned with pusing thier melee units into the charge to get thier points back. Simply camping any unit on top of a position, going to ground will make it damn near unkillable if taken in the proper in the proper numbers. This allows for greater flexability in hands of experienced players and ease of use for newer players that are unfamiliar with the subtlies of movement in the game.
The other special rule they have been given in lieu of the normal space marine rules is acute senses. While not as overtly effective as counterattack I do think that this will lend space wolves significant advantage if exploited properly for night fighting senerios such as dawn of war.
Last I would like to add that the absence of combat squads for the wolves is a loss for them. Unlike normal marines the wolves will have fewer units to capture objectives. They will also be presenting fewer targets to thier opponents to make focus fire easier for them. I think that in the end it is just about an even trade for the wolves as far as basic army rules and options go.

Stay tuned for next review Space Wolves Codex Review part 2: Troops

Sunday, October 11, 2009

Space wolves madness

So after a week of waiting for it to come in stock because I didn't pre order it I finally got my hands on thenew Space Wolves Codex. All I can say is DAMN. Normally I am not the one spouting that the newest codex is broken just because they added some new stuff and made other stuff compatiable with the current environment and ruleset. This I do believe is the one instance of which I can safely say that I am going back on my usual tendacies and saying that this book is indeed BROKEN! In order to back up my claims I think I am going to do a review of the book however so stay tuned (even though there is only one person on my blog paying attention) for that in the future.

Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Blood angels list

So fumbling out in the garage trying to put together an idea of what kind of list I can resonably field. I realised that I had like 12 marines that only had 1 coat of paint on them. So I guess that after all that accomplishment I still have tac marines to paint *sigh*

Other than that I am strongly thinking about getting ahold of Jump assault marines and Attack bikes. The assault marines because they have serious punch and are fairly affordable for throwing them away on deep striking. The attack bikes are slowly becoming a must just because they are mobile and the multi-melta's are a must.

Working on this list is going to be slow going.....

Sunday, September 27, 2009

You can ink wash my soul

This week has been crazy. First off a good friend of mine waldo, call me up with a job offer for a business he owns and manages. The position would be temporary for two weeks at which point we would see wether or not we wanted to continue on a permanent basis. So needless to say I have been running around like crazy in adjustment of my new job training and stuff.
That bieng said I haven't had a whole lot of time to dedicate to any of my projects during the week. It became so frustrating getting stuck in that wake,work,eat, sleep routine that Saturday on my day off I sat down and worked on my blood angels figs.
I am so relieved to have done that. For the longest time I have been struggling with the entire painting my army thing because of two reason's primarily 1) Lack of time 2) Not really knowing how to paint mini's. When I sat down to start the endevor to paint along time ago I became frustrated mostly because whenever I asked my friends who did paint well how they did it their answer was "take paint from the bottle and put it on the figs!". It wasn't as though they were trying to be mean. To them its just that simple. I however didn't want to just throw paint on models and "figure it out". To me that would leave me with on thing...a crappy looking model. Not that I would be master golden daemon winner right off. I just wanted to know what techniques would make my fig's look awesome when I did master them.
After some research online (shout out to Jawaballs, Black Matt!) I sat down and attempted to try something simple. A Blood Angels Tac Squad. After about 5 hours of painting I sat back and realised that after I primed my figs (which before I learned that BA marines should be based white not black) I had painted on a thin watered down layer of blood red (can't remember why I thought that was a good idea) see that the black was still showing through I just kept doing it. On went layer after layer of watered down paint until I became frustrated with the entire process. That was about 3 months ago.
Sitting down yesterday I resolved that I had to fix these horrible ugly things in front of me. Do in no BS I took out my bottle of Blood Red and dry brushed over each of these guys until the red on their armor plated were solid. Over the cracks and feet I dry brushed on Scab Red. Then after all that was done completely on the random search for something else I happened on a solo bottle of the new citadel Baal red ink wash. I had completely forgotten that I had purchased it on a whim a long time ago. Returning to my project I washed over the unit then hit them with a water-down layer of blazing orange just to lighten the up the red. After all that I have to say that I am quite pleased as to the progress of these guys. I have learned quite a bit. I think next time I approach a batch of guy it will not only take less time but will look a lot better. Even still I am impressed they don't look horrible and are definitely well on there way to be table ready.

Saturday, September 19, 2009

First post!

Today i decided to start this blog. For months I have been following other blogs on blogspot mostly people in the Warhammer 40k universe. Its mostly my recent seclusion that I have been in dire need to express my idea's in a constructive venue. Its my hope that eventually I can use this as a means of keeping on track with my pursuits as well as a sounding board for idea's and opinions. One of my goals is to get a camera and link this to a VBlog.

Here is a brief list of some of the stuff that I have going on right now.

GURPS Fantasy Campaign: I currently building my own fantasy campaign set in a as of yet unamed city. Drawing inspiration from the Freeport campaign setting and kingdom of heaven, its my intend to create a low magic setting with a political bent. SO far I am stuck to trudging the considerable Tome that is GURPS 4th ed. as its my first time using the system

Legend of the Five Rings: This is a constant project as I play competitive tournaments in an area saturated by big tourney winners. The recently reset the format and with the introduction of border keep and the amped power level of the game overall I expect Celestial Arc to be interesting indeed. Currently I test running a Deathseeker/Hero Themed deck that revolved around sacrificing my units to pk actions then using recursion to bring them back into play. This is mostly a fun deck as I have as of yet to get some serious inspiration for a serious tourney deck.

Warhammer 40k Game Room: Currently halted but I have been slowly converted my garage into a safehaven for my wargaming habit.I wanted to start a play group that played weekly at my place. I don't typically like playing outside my friend group unless I am doing a tourney anyway. So far I have about half the garage emptied out, put up a shop light, shelf and have about 2 tables that can be taken down. Plus a fair amount of throw on the table terrain.

Warhammer Painting: Its a constant struggle. When I first got into the game about 4 years ago I just played and didn't paint. It wasn't until this last January that I decided to sit down and do some painting. Well between family, work and other things painting has been a real struggle to get done. So far I am almost done with a unit of Tyranid Warriors, Just started a unit of gaunts and decided that I wanted to practice how to paint on some space marines. Needless to say lack of time along with indecisiveness and plus lack of ability has made painting really a task but I am sure that i will get it done sooner or later.