Thursday, June 22, 2017

First 8th Edition 40k Game (Craftworld Eldar vs Astra Militarum 2k points) Pictures and Thoughts

I've finally had my first game of 8th.  I've watched a number of video reports, which , while getting things wrong here and there, ultimately gave me a bit of a primer for my own game, and in that way they were really helpful.

First off what did my army look like at 2k points?

My force was about two units smaller than it classically would have been at 2k points.  I had really high hopes for the Rangers and Hemlock, but I was curious to try out the Night Spinner and Shining Spears.  In my head the Scorpions, Avatar, and Prism already had the seal of approval from other players so I was ready to let slip the dogs of war.

But what did my opponent have?

For me this was sort of a worst case scenario. 3 Punishers, one with Pask, and 2 Wyverns and 2 Hell hounds.  In addition they were rolling out as many infantry squads as I had units in my whole army.  About the only thing providing me solace was that my opponent would have to go after me.  

I deployed aggressively and was thrilled when my opponent failed to steal the initiative from me!

I planned to be aggressive and as the game started I pushed forward to put pressure on one flank.  My cards were all achievable and the one for holding 3 objectives handed out D3 plus 3 if the Avatar held one of them (thanks to the card that gave a +3 bonus for the warlord completing the objective.  I determined he was far back enough from my bike squads that I wouldn't be able to charge, so I would advance with both units of bikes.

The Guardian Jetbikes removed a Guard special weapon squad with multiple flamers and killed two of the three mortar teams.  The Shining Spears destroyed a Sentinel with their lances while their catapults deleted full squad of guardsman that was just drooling to unleash its flamer upon them.  My shooting outside of that was sort of depressingly bad.  The Night Spinner failed to do any damage to a unit of Auto Cannons sitting in ruins, and my Hemlock managed to take a Hell Hound down to just 3 wounds and killed 1 1/2 auto cannon teams.  Seven Rangers lit into the commissar holding up my opponent's left flank and managed to do a total of 1 wound to him (only due to a mortal wound on a 6 to wound.  Both the Fire Prism (thanks Guide) and a bright lance slammed in to one of the Wyverns doing a grand total of... 2 damage.  Then my scorpions failed their charge, even with a reroll thanks to proximity to the Avatar.  I was gutted at the thought of all the incoming firepower I was about to suffer, but I crossed my fingers and hoped for the best.  I had a commanding 10 VPs at the end of the first turn, so a lot depended on my opponent's response.

My opponent struck back with a hideous amount of firepower killing off most of the scorpions, a few rangers, and knocking the Hemlock down to just 2 wounds.  The Jetbikes took a mammoth amount of firepower, but being made of sterner stuff than before only lost three models.  they absorbed a charge and survived, as did the shining spears, who caused about four casualties to the unit that charged them!  His turn was solid, but not as deadly as he wanted.  More problematic was that he hadn't yet scored any points.

At this point I decided needed to make some tough choices.  I sent the Hemlock directly behind Pask to do what I could to kill him and mitigate his firepower.  I might have been surrendering it, but if I could somehow kill him it would make an enormous difference for me.  Choosing between the Wyverns and those thrice damned Punishers I sent my 5 living Shining Spears after the Punishers.  I sent my bikes and scorpions over to the centre of his lines and left just my Avatar to clean up my right flank.

The Hemlock battered Pask, leaving his tank smoking and creaking, but whole at 3 wounds.  Shining Spears tore up another guard squad with catapults and put a few solid wounds on one of the punishers.  The Fire Prism again did a single wound on the Wyvern while the Night Spinner managed to do no damage to the autocannons again.  The Avatar failed to hit when shooting, in classic form.  The jetbikes and Warlock got stuck in and the Hell Hound shrugged off everything I shot at it to finish it off.  The Rangers caused an additional Mortal Wound on the Commissar and he shrugged off all other damage.

The Scorpions surprisingly made it in to combat and after putting out some damage the unit was reduced to just the Exarch holding off a Lord Commissar and his guardsman friends.

Having been swept into by Shining Spears the second Punisher fled from combat.  The special weapon squad that had been hunkered in the corner and shot the Hemlock out of the sky.  Everything else on my opponent's right flank fired into the shining Spears.  With their combined firepower they managed to wipe the unit out.  Two units charged the Avatar with in hopes of pinning him and preventing him from getting in to combat with the Wyverns.  After making his charge attacks against the Avatar I interrupted to let the Striking Scorpion Exarch go and he put all his attacks into the Commissar and slew him before he got to strike.  He then survived the return attacks my regular jetbikes held up well and flew from combat.  The game was at 22 - 2, so the Astra Militarum would have to wipe out the Aeldari to take the day.

At the start of the third turn casualties were already atrocious.  The Avatar was trapped in combat but my bikes were able to disengage and hoped to get some quality damage done.  The Night Spinner finished off the injured Hell Hound.  The injured Wyvern finally collapsed under the weight of another Prism Lance and Bright Lance hitting home.  Their combined damage was exactly enough wounds to destroy it after a total of 3 wounds from the prior 2 turns.  The guardians helped take out more guardsmen as the bikes assisted and the farseer took out a lone guardsman with grenade launcher and netted me warlord with his Singing spear.  The advanced guardian squad assaulted the guardians fighting the Scorpion Exarch and killed one guardsman while the Exarch slaughtered the last tattered remnants of the squad.  They all took refuge in the ruin.

The Wyvern fired at the Guardians standing in the open and in a shocking display of poor rolling caused 0 wounds.  The Guardians in the ruins and the Exarch were turned to a fine pink mist by the Punishers while the Hell Hound finished off the Rangers.  My opponent's right flank had finally crossed the field and his missile sentinels caught the Night Spinner off guard, smashing it for 5 wounds.

Guardians rushed forward and with the help of a farseer dooming a hellhound and guiding the squad they managed to reduce the Hell Hound to 2 wounds.  The remaining wounds meant the Night Spinner had to take it out rather than finish off Pask.  Meanwhile the Avatar tore through the last Wyvern, seriously reducing the firepower the Imperium could bring to bear.

Pask responded quickly killing the Farseer and reducing the guardians to 4 members. Meanwhile the other Punisher fired at the Avatar causing a couple of wounds.

Guardsmen were gaining the field as the Guardians retreated behind the cover of an existing imperial wall.  The Avatar took cover against the ruins and thanks to the Advance tactical card Ulthwe managed to string together a few more points. late in the game.

The Imperium moved aggressively forward, not simply holding their right flank but pushing forward to the centre of the board, crippling the Night Spinner down to 5 wounds and the Fire Prism to 8 wounds.

The Night Spinner responded by Destroying Pask.

The final Punisher pressed forward and with the combined firepower of nearby guardsmen squads knocked the Night Spinner to 1 wound.

 The final turn for Eldar saw the Avatar come out from his cover and fail to hit the Punisher with shooting.  The Prism and Spinner also failed to do any damage.  Then the Avatar advanced at the Punisher, but failed his 7" charge despite his reroll.

The Punisher turned all its weapons to the approaching Avatar and finally killed it, sending the dormant monster crashing to the ground.  Sentinels failed to hit the guardians with their frag missiles and the guardsmen failed to take the last wound from the damaged Night spinner.

Final Results
Ulthwe 28 Astra Militarum 6

Tuesday, June 20, 2017

Engines of Vaul Complete Set

It all started with me getting a broken Cobra kit from FW and them sending me a replacement hull.  It triggered an idea in my head about creating conversions for the Storm Serpent and Void Spinner.  Once I saw an old Night Spinner kit go up on ebay I new I had to do it.  Now that I finished the Scorpion, over 3 years after this whole project started, I have now completed the fourth and final Engine of Vaul.  As far as I know I'm the only person with all four Engines of Vaul in 40k scale.  It still surprises me that FW hasn't released kits of these on their own.  They seem like low hanging fruit.  In the mean time, Enjoy:

I'm pretty happy with the two converted kits, though I may bring in the rear fins.  I'm not certain yet.  That said I certainly feel like a burden has been lifted now that these are completed and the project as a whole is no longer hanging over my head.

Wednesday, June 14, 2017

Asuryani Damage Tracker Cards

With the new edition coming out and more details available I started to think about the battles I normally play... which are on the larger side.  Since I rarely get to play I enjoy spending a whole day playing a truly massive game.  That said the ubiquitous 3 hull point standard is gone, and has been replaced with a standardised wound mechanic and a slew of wounds for each vehicle.  In some ways this isn't too much of an issue, but for some units this means deterioration as they continue to get wounded.  So I thought about tables crowded with models and dice getting mixed up and figured cards might be useful for people... then I thought what if the cards could be adapted for any individual model?  So I came up with these:

For these cards I used generic terms that fit the damage scale for those types of units.  The set pictured above have my models in them (for my use, but also as stand in guides), but with the downloadable file below I've set it up so you can put pictures of your own models in their place!  Just mouse over the picture, click on it, and it asks you to choose the picture you want.  It will pop any image into the frame, but to fill the frame exactly I've included the necessary image dimensions on the pdf page (and paper size).

In addition there's a generic psyker card for people that run a lot of psykers.  you can pop in an image of your psyker and then check off the box for the game you're playing.  

These cards are made to be the same size as M:TG cards, so they should fit an a standard plastic sleeve, which can allow the cards to be reused as you track your wounds by filling in the box with a dry-erase marker.  You can download the cards here: Cards

P.S. As I continue to work on gaming aids for the community, in lieu of any donations from people feeling generous I instead request checking out my books at  The digital editions are available at the retailer minimum, so they're about $1 each (US).

Wednesday, June 7, 2017

Another Aeldari Unit

I've been slowly getting to some of the units I've had kicking around that I really wanted to finish and get out of the way.  In this case it's one of the most beautiful units in the game... Mandrakes.  These models were originally made in metal, and they did not fare well in the transition to finecast, predominantly because their feet are such a thin and frail connection to the base, so they consistently break at the feet.  In addition some of the weapons are extremely thin and removing thicker flash can break them.

With 8th allowing Keyword Aeldari and no real reason to build to a deeper keyword right now it's opened up the units I can take.  In addition the rules for Mandrakes are quite sexy.  Having them painted means my Ulthwe force can benefit from a thematic game wherein the warp is being abused and Mandrakes can represent an Aeldari style lesser daemon that isn't affiliated with Slaanesh.  In their 5th edition book they were daemons.

In the hands of a better painter I think the unit would look absolutely gorgeous, but for my own skill level I was very happy with them and feel like they captured the feel I wanted them to have.

One thing you'll note is that similar to my Ulthwe Craftworld units no two models are exactly the same.  For this squad I made sure their weapons were more varied, and I used a piece from a Venom to make sure the Night Fiend is properly recognisable in the squad.

The GW Technical blood has felt very appropriate for the Dark Eldar units, but none moreso than the Mandrakes, who I wanted to be if not bathed in it then definitely as stained as a butcher's apron.  As for the bases, I made sure all of them had tufts of dying grass to thematically represent plants dying in their proximity (similar to what I did with Ynnead).