Archive for March, 2012

Versus the Dark Eldar

This past Thursday night, I got to play another big (well, big to me) 1750-point game of Warhammer 40,000 in the Nerd Bunker. This time it was against Jason and his evil (and proud of it) Dark Eldar. I’ve played a bit against Sam’s Dark Eldar in the past, but always at lower point values. My games against Sam have always been Combat Patrol games in the 400- to 500-point range, and I’ve always lost (although in our last game, I only just barely lost) so I was interested in seeing what was going to happen in this game.

So many flying purple pirate ships

First of all, Jason started putting his flying purple pirate ships on the table. Then he put more on the table. Then more. Eventually his Battle Foam of Holding finally ran out of Ravagers, Revengers, Reapers, Rammers, and all the other ones and the table was then covered in a surprising number of Dark Eldar “vehicles” and they all had vicious-looking spikes on the front, which I know (through limited experience) to not be spikes at all, but actually guns, designed for destroying vehicles. They were good at doing their job of making me nervous.

Uncle Tickles gets left behind because he's too 'husky' to get into a Rhino

I started spreading my guys out and moving up my Rhinos filled with Khorne Bezerkers and Chaos Space Marines, all itching for battle. I hoped. Since Uncle Tickles is in terminator armor, he was too fat to fit into a Rhino (allegedly) so he had to walk. Also walking instead of riding were a group of Plague Marines who seemed to be of particular interest to the Dark Eldar, as they dispatched a surprising amount of forces to deal with my band of scabby soldiers.

Probable impending doom

Mandrakes and Wytches and several flying purple pirate ships headed quickly toward my group of Plague Marines because Jason utilized a strategy and a maneuver that I had learned about on some podcast I had been listening to but had completely forgotten about. This put my Plague Marines into a bit of a pincer and they were in trouble. Luckily, Uncle Tickles was retasked to come help them, but since the battle dynamic had changed drastically, it took him a bit longer than was strictly helpful.

The Wytches aren't scared of Uncle Tickles

Tickles got there just in time to see the Plague Marines finally die in a hail of Razor-whips and other weird-ass Dark Eldar stuff. I hoped that Uncle Tickles would be able to get in there and do a bit of the old slice and dice, but then I remembered (too late) that pretty much that even the worst Dark Eldar forces usually have a higher initiative that the best power armored troops (be they regular Space Marines or Chaos Space Marines) so they all got to strike first, killing the poor Uncle in hand to hand before he even got to do anything. For being a bunch of old blue-hairs, they’re pretty spry.

That’s kind of the thing I learned about the Dark Eldar: they’re all about the offence. They’re excellent in hand to hand combat, as long as they go first (which, to be fair, they usually do) and their little pirate ships can do a lot of shooting and really mess you up. In one single shot, one of Jason’s purple boats fired a single gun (that actually looks like a spike, but whatever) and killed three of my Obliterators (75 points x 3) before they really got to do anything. If you can hit them, they tend to crumble, but you have to try to live long enough to be able to hit them. For me, that was the hard part.

"Hey guys, our ride's gone... maybe we should spread out."

The hard part for Jason in this particular game (and the only reason that I only lost by a score of 6-5) was actually destroying my vehicles. Make no mistake: he messed all of them up. Every single one of them. Both of my Vindicators were immobilized with weapons destroyed. My Dreadnought was in the same boat. But try as he might, shot after shot, he couldn’t get the ‘Wrecked’ or ‘Destroyed – Explodes’ result he wanted on the Vehicle Damage Results chart that would have given him the extra kill points to really make the game a blow-out victory. He did destroy one Rhino and a few of the Berzerkers died in the resulting explosion, but I think that was the only vehicle of mine that he destroyed in the whole game.

In the end, it was a fun time and I look forward to playing him again. My tactics could use some work, and my list needs a bit more tweaking. I need to add some more vehicle killers into my army, in my opinion. But this is why I play: to learn more and to get better and to have fun. And, I’m playing another 1750-point game in a few days, so I’ll probably have another story for you after that.

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Uncle Tickles Revealed

So, the dread Chaos Lord Avunculus Titillacus (Uncle Tickles for short) was introduced during the battle against Kevin and his Ultramarines a few weeks ago. I liked him so much, I decided he needed to get painted as soon as possible. I’ve been working on him the last few nights and a bit of last weekend, and here are some preliminary shots of him 99% finished.

Preliminary photos of Uncle Tickles

I think there might be another touch up or two here and there, and of course he’ll need to be sprayed and sealed with Dullcote if the humidity ever drops below 80% outside, but otherwise I think he’s done. I like how the lightning claws turned out. I painted them a color called ‘Sky Blue’ (either Vallejo or Reaper paints, I just remember it was in a dropper bottle) and then used my airbrush to do a white fade from the tips. I’m pretty sure that’s how I’m going to do all of my lightning claws from now on, and may try to use the same effect for all power weapons (except power fists, probably) going forward.

He was a fun model to build and paint, and I want to thank my good friend Eric for getting me the kit for Christmas. I have another one to build, and I’m trying to figure out what kind of specs I want him to have. I’m kind of thinking of making the next one a Chaos Terminator Sorcerer, and maybe make the new one a little more Thousand Sons themed perhaps. Or is there something better to do with a Chaos Terminator Lord kit? If you have any ideas, I’d love to see them below, and I’ll get proper fancy lightbox photos of Uncle Tickles and Ol’ Drippy maybe even this weekend.

Nearly Finished Nurgle Chaos Lord

Just a quick Sunday post about some progress I’ve made on my Nurgle Chaos Lord that I started last year. He’s nearly done, so here’s a sneak peek:

My nearly finished Nurgle Chaos Lord, "Ol' Drippy"

I’m pretty happy with how the paint came out, and he’s “nearly done” only because I haven’t decided if I’m interested in adding a blue-green “patina” wash to his backpack or not, and I still want to coat his leaky gut bits in a gloss varnish after I spray him with the Dullcote to give him a matte finish.

He was fun to model and paint, and when he’s completely finished he’ll spend some time in the lightbox for a proper photo shoot. However, until then you’ll have to make do with the above cellphone photo. I was also working on a Berzerker Skull Champion (nearly done) and good old Uncle Tickles (a little over half done) so I’ll get photos up for both of them soon.

My First Big Battle

This past Thursday, I played my first one-on-one game of Warhammer 40,000 at what is considered a “normal” point value. For the last year or so, I’ve only been playing a special version of WH40k called Combat Patrol, in which the armies on each side only add up to 400 points and there are a few other limitations, as well. While these small games with shortened playtimes are great for learning, I felt it was time to finally start playing some higher point games. After finishing building enough models, I was now able to field a 1750-point force of my Chaos Space Marines.

Kevin brought over 1750 points of Ultramarines to the Nerd Bunker. It was one of his oldest armies and this list was something fun he wanted to try out with pretty much all tactical marines in drop pods. However, one of the drop pods hid a bit of a nasty surprise: the chapter master of the Ultramarines, Marneus Calgar and his command squad. I went first, reserved my entire army (upon Kevin’s suggestion) and then many of Kevin’s pods dropped in. It was then my turn to start bringing in my forces.

The Ultramarines drop in and ruin the neighborhood

My forces included a Daemon Prince and a Chaos Terminator Lord with dual lightning claws (he seems to have somehow gained the nickname “Uncle Tickles”), 10 Chaos Space Marines in a Rhino, 10 Khorne Berzerkers in a Rhino, eight Plague Marines, three Chaos Terminators with combi-meltas (for busting tanks), two Vindicators, a Chaos Dreadnought (named Zoidberg) and three Obliterators. As everything was held in reserve, they weren’t able to all come in at once, and slowly trickled in over the course of the first few turns.

My poor Daemon Prince getting beaten like a punk by Marneus Calgar and his mean friends

Some units fared better than others. My partially-painted Daemon Prince barely did anything good; he dropped into the battle in a tactically sketchy spot, and he maybe wasn’t spec’d out as well as he could have been (he had wings, a Mark of Nurgle for toughness and Doombolt) so I may have to tweak him for next time. He was a close combat monster (literally) but couldn’t get a decent charge on anyone for the first few turns and he had to hide behind a building like a big girl’s blouse. Eventually he charged into combat with Marneus and his pals and they beat him like a rented mule. He put a wound (maybe two?) on Marneus and then died unceremoniously.

"Hey... do you guys hear something?"

Uncle Tickles, on the other hand, did some work. Six power weapon attacks when on the charge (with re-rolls to wound) will mess up your standard group of tactical marines when they’re caught a bit flat-footed. At one point, Tickles leapt out from behind a wall and took out a whole mess of Ultramarines and then moved on to slice and dice some more. However, Marneus and his goon squad eventually decided to invite themselves to the party and the fight turned a bit epic. Long story short: when the smoke cleared, Ultramarines Chapter Master Marneus Augustus Calgar and the dread Chaos Lord Avunculus Titillacus (Uncle Tickles for short) had killed each other simultaneously, which is the best way in my opinion.

The climax of the battle: a boss flight between my Chaos Terminator Lord and Kevin's Marneus Calgar

The rest of the battle was a bit one-sided. Kevin had a few groups of Ultramarines scattered about the boards, whereas I still had all of my Plague Marines, most of my Chaos Space Marines, at least one of my Vindicators, and my Rhino full of Berzerkers hadn’t even deployed yet (they had one of those travel DVD players for watching movies in the car, so it was okay) plus there were the Obliterators, which were still fine, thank you, and switching weapons at will. I had lost enough that the kill point score was close, however, so when the roll at the end of turn five was a two and ended the game, I only squeaked out a 6-5 win.

In the end, it was a really fun game and I learned a lot, from some strategies for when to keep forces in reserve to how to properly deepstrike onto the board. I’m looking forward to playing some more learning games with this army down in the Nerd Bunker, maybe doing a full-blown battle report next time, and getting this list all completely painted up. To that end, I primed the Chaos Terminators and primed and basecoated Uncle Tickles this weekend, but that will be a post for another day.

More Battles in the Nerd Bunker

A few Sundays ago I had some lads over to the Nerd Bunker for another day of battle. It had been a few months since the last time, and we were all looking forward to a little carnage. Josh, Karl, Ben, Kevin and Tom all showed up at one point or another and brought some armies and we let slip the dogs of war. Or whatever.

Krazy Karl's Used Tank Super Store

Ben and 1000 points of his newly-painted Necrons and Josh and 1000 points of his somewhat painted Tau teamed up on the big table to go up against Karl and 2000 points of his Imperial Guard and their parking lot full of tanks. I’m not going to give you a batrep here (as I was playing other games myself; you can find out more over on Ben’s blog) but let it be known that the battle raged on for a good long time, with losses on each side (some of Karl’s losses were self-inflicted, because that’s how the scatter die crumbles) but in the end, Karl’s Imperial Guard could not stop the onslaught of the fish-faced alien bastards and the robotic undead, and the game was called.

The 3-way heats up

While that fight went on, my Chaos Space Marines went up against Kevin’s Eldar force. We were playing a 400-point Combat Patrol mission, and Kevin wasn’t running his usual super-brutal Eldar War Walker list, he was running two Wave Serpents with five Dire Avengers (I think) in each. He dispatched my army pretty quickly.

Wave Serpent meets proto-Rhino

Then I brought out my newly built (but as yet unpainted) Black Templar force and used some partially built Chaos Rhinos as proxies for my Black Templar Razorback and Rhino. I had a squad of nine close-combat Crusaders (one with a power fist) in a Rhino and a five-man tactical Crusader squad with a lascannon, a plasma gun, and three bolters in a Razorback with twin-linked lascannons (also known as a ‘Laserback’).

This game went far better for me.

I’ll be totally upfront with you: I had some really lucky dice rolls. There was one standout that strikes my memory, and that was the roll that basically destroyed half of Kevin’s army. Pro-tip: if you’re going to ram another player’s vehicle with yours, you should consider deploying the troops inside your vehicle before ramming commences.

At the end of that game, Kevin’s Wave Serpents were dead, most of his Dire Avengers had died, and the few that remained were retreating off the board. This went really well for me, and made me feel better about my Black Templars, since this was the first game they had won so far. After the game with Kevin, I then played Tom and his Lamentors (he was running them under the normal ‘vanilla’ Space Marine codex) and my Black Templars stepped up again and made me feel even better about them by winning again.

Over all, it was a fun day and it just proved to me that I need to continue building my new Black Templar force and keep playing them (and my Chaos Space Marines) in more games. I should be playing my first big game (1750 points) with my Chaos Space Marines next week. We’ll see how it goes, and I’ll let you know.


atom smashing

A gaming blog talking about miniatures games, miniatures painting and collecting, game design and other nerdly delights.


The Statistics – 2013

Minis games played:
• WH40k (1850 pts):
   BT/GK vs Kevin (Eldar/DE) LOST
• WH40k (1500 pts):
   BT vs Jason (D.E.) LOST
• WH40k (1500 pts):
   BT vs Kevin (S.W.) LOST
Minis finished:
 none yet
Terrain finished:
 none yet
Cons attended:
 Fire & Ice
updated 28FEB2013

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