Saturday, 27 April 2013

Dark Angels FAQ 1.1A

I've just noticed that the Dark Angels FAQ has been updated on the Games Workshop website (here). The biggest change for my list is the errata to the Powerfield Generator which now reads: “If the bearer is embarked upon a Transport vehicle, the powerfield’s effects only apply to models embarked upon that vehicle”. So, no more super-survivable Landraider which doesn't seem like a particularly bad decision. But... what if the bearer isn't embarked upon a Transport vehicle? What if he stands next to a Landraider (or two...)? Then, reading the rules-as-written the vehicle would have a save, as would any marines inside that vehicle. Hmmmm....

A bit of googling around suggests that this is the general way this is being read. There's a good discussion on the Bolter and Chainsword forum (here) and a suggestion for what sounds like a nice conversion from march10k:

"If the PFG bearer is standing between four land raiders in a parking lot, all of them get the full effect of the 4+ invulnerable save, but as soon as he steps inside one, all of them, including the one he's riding in, lose the save.  There's a relatively simple fix for this...put your PFG on a bike behind the land raiders, instead of inside!  You heard it here first! ... damage assessment.  I'll have to put my PFG-bearing techie on a bike.  He'll also be able to repair either of the two tanks that he's following around, but only on a 5+, not the previous 4+.  Also, he's at more risk than before, especially from deepstrikers.  Countervaling, late-game, his bike makes him an excellent objective-contesting unit.  And with T5 and a 2+/4++ save, he's not the most fragile model on the battlefield, single wound be damned."

The downside (apart from the fact that my techmarine is painted and now looks like he needs replacing) is that you no longer benefit from having the techmarine inside the Landraider to extend the range of the PFG to catch multiple units and I'm assuming that this is the purpose to the errata here. But the upside of having some funky modelling to do makes up for this! Here's some inspiration from Warseer, posted by Rich 123:

The other key errata concerns the Standard of Devastation: "Q: The Standard of Devastation states that ‘all friendly Codex: Dark Angels units within 6” of the standard treat their boltguns as Salvo 2/4 weapons’. Which boltguns does this apply to? (p66) A: This applies to the standard boltgun (24”range, S4, AP5, Rapid Fire), twin-linked boltguns on bikes, the bolter component of combi-weapons, and hurricane bolters [my emphasis]." Good news, mainly because I didn't like the feeling that I might be playing this incorrectly.

So, overall not such a bad result from the FAQ. No doubt the PFG-Landraider interface will result in another FAQ at some point but until then I think it's pretty clear what the rules say though it's a shame it wasn't spelt out more exactly.

Wednesday, 17 April 2013

Dark Angels Techmarine and Forge World Transfers...

Work on the Dark Angels continues. First up, here's the second finished model for the Dark Angels, the plucky Techmarine who was the lone survivor of the battle with the Chaos Space Marines, it was a fairly quick job but he looks good enough for the tabletop providing a nice break from a sea of dark green. So far he's spent a good deal of time hanging out in the Landraider but when he's got out he's proved to be surprisingly resilient. I think perhaps I'll pick up a couple of servitors to help him keep the machines running (in five games he's yet to manage a repair) and to act as ablative wounds when he does charge in to combat.


Work on the first Tactical Squad goes on and I've just finished experimenting with some Forge World Dark Angels transfers. The sheet cost about £12 and came a week after ordering (the day before I went to Warhammer World!) in a nice solid card envelope. The A4 sheet is packed with transfers (the ones I really wanted were the squad numbers which come in two sizes, you get twenty of each number (1-10) at 3mm and about 15 of each at 4mm. I went for the 3mm which are just about the perfect size to use over the tactical squad markings on the Dark Vengeance marines. In use they appear to work well, they lift off the backing a little quicker than the GW equivalent (10 seconds max in water) and the white covers the red nicely. In the following picture the decal was applied over a coat of gloss varnish ('Ardcoat) with the area to be 'decalled' given a thin coating of micro set. I then let the decal dry before giving it another light coat of microset where the decal overhangs the raised tactical squad symbol. Then another coat of gloss, sand a final coat of semi-gloss (Vallejo) some might prefer matt but I like the 'free' highlighting you get from semi-gloss. Overall I'm impressed with the transfers, they're well designed and are nicely opaque so there's no need to overpaint them.

Monday, 15 April 2013

Dark Angels Vs Blood Angels Battle Report

The Dark Angels have had a few games this week with mixed results (a loss to Chaos Space Marines that left them with just one man standing, two wins and an unfinished game against that we called a draw against their Astartes brothers, the Blood Angels. Here's a report from the first battle with the Blood Angels.

The lists:

Dark Angels
Techmarine Power field generator
Command Squad (5) Banner of devastation, Storm shield, powerfist, apothecary
Tactical Squad (10) power fist, plasma gun, Missile launcher
Tactical Squad (10) plasma pistol, Plasma gun, Missile Launcher)
Tactical Squad (10) Plasma Gun Missile Launcher
Scouts (5)  2 sniper rifles, Hvy Bolter
Assault Squad  (6) 2 Plasma Pistols
Landraider Crusader (Multimelta)
Devastator Squad (5) Lascannon, 2 Plasma Cannon

Blood Angels
Librarian, Terminator armou, Storm shield.
Sanguinary Guard (5)
Terminator (5) Hvy flamer
Deathguard (10), Rhino
Tactical Squad (10), Lascannon, Meltagun
Tactical Squad (10), Lascannon Meltagun
Death Company Dreadnought
Devastators (10) 2 lascannons, 2 hvy bolters

The mission was Crusade and there were three objectives (the two central ruins and one  between the two woods).

Initial deployment.
Both armies set up their devastators in central buildings (both were the locations of primary objectives) with a squad of Marines on each side. Off the board are a unit of deep striking Sanguinary Guard and a squad of outflanking Dark Angel scouts. The DA Techmarine reinforced the central building in their deployment zone.

Turn One:
The Blood Angels took the first turn and their attention was clearly on removing the DA's big guns to give their Dreadnought and Rhino the best possible chance of getting across no-man's land. To this end their librarian used prescience to boost the skills of Devastators and with the result that three of the Dark Angels Devastators were gone (leaving just two). That was my first lesson of the match: small units of Devastators are vulnerable (they need some sacrificial marines) and prescience + Devs is a very handy combo. Aside from this the Death Co. Dred ran forwards on the BA's right flank, the Terminators advanced on the central objective (looking like being a nasty denial unit - it'd turn out that my opponent had forgotten they weren't a scoring unit at this point) and the Rhino (full of Death Co.) rushed forwards 12".

In response the Dark Angels fixated on the Rhino, firing everything they had at it resulting in one glancing hit. Not a very dramatic start...

Turn Two:
The position at the start of turn two.

The BA turn is one of aggressive movement... The Sanguinary Guard teleport in close to the DA lines, the Death Company Rhino rushes another 12" and the Dreadnought keeps running up the right flank. The Devs shoot across at their Dark Angel counterparts but the 3+ cover save keeps them safe.
The Sanguinary Guard arrive deep in Dark Angels' territory.
The Scout squad came on the DA's right flank with the intention of hiding and later snagging the central objective (I'd hoped they'd come on later). The only major bit of movement saw the Assault Marines head towards the Death Company. Then the Dark Angels laid down some serious fire with the Landraider's multimelta wrecking the Rhino (sending the Death Company behind it for cover), and the remainder of the marines killing all five of the Sanguinary guard (first blood) and four of the sheltering Death Company. Finally, the Assault Marines charged the Death Company and the combat was drawn at a casualty each.

Turn Three:
The start of the third turn
Surviving against the odds...
The Dreadnought continued his run down the right flank getting ever nearer to the Dark Angels' line. The Terminators noticed the Scout squad and redirected their attentions, moving to intercept them and taking one down with their storm bolters. The Devastators took down another DA Devastator (leaving just one) and a Lascannon from a Tactical Squad took managed a penetrating hit on the Landraider leaving it shaken. The Death Company took the Assault Squad down to one man.

In the DA turn nothing much happened with the exception of the fact that miraculously the single Assault Marine held off the Death Company!

Turn Four:
Start of turn four
The Terminators head back towards the DA line, while one of the BA tactical squads heads off to deal with the scout squad on their left flank (and to contest the central objective). The Death Company finish off the surviving Assault marine. There's some good shooting from the Blood Angels and the Landraider is left with just two hit points left...

The Death Company, now not protected by combat, and perilously close to the DA line, were promptly shot to pieces.


Turn Five:
The Terminators Assault.
The Terminators charge the Landraider and manage two glancing hits which it then saves thanks to the Techmarine's Power Field Generator.

In the Dark Angels' turn the Landraider tank shocks the Terminators (who sensibly get out of the way) before unloading its shooting at the devastator squad in the central building who are wiped out. The DC Dreadnought is shot down having turned his back on the tactical squad on the Dark Angels' left flank while three of the Terminators fall to sustained bolter fire.

And with that the game ended. The score-line was 5-1 (both had Linebreaker, while the Dark Angels held a primary objective and first blood). It was an oddly abrupt end and had things gone on another turn as we both expected  the score would likely have been much closer. As it was both of the Blood Angels tactical squads were just out of reach of the objectives but that could easily have been fixed had the game continued.

All in all I was pleased with how the list fared, it was fun to play and thankfully we'd brought armies that seemed to be roughly of the same power level so it always felt like the game could go either way. As a gunline the Banner of Devastation + Tactical Squads + Prescience is a pretty horrific thing to face if you have to get near to it. Outflanking scouts, a new addition to the list, worked well as a cheap scoring unit able to get the drop on the enemy - in the second game they'd co-ordinate with deep striking assault marines to do some more serious damage by getting behind the Death Company Dreadnought. And the Landraider, with a Techmarine inside and the banner of Devastation boosting its guns was truly horrific, and extremely resilient, and really came into its own when played aggressively (something I failed to do in this game) - that said it died to the second shot of the game in our final battle! Less successful were the devastators who were too small a unit to survive (more bodies need adding) and I know that this list lacks any defence against fliers (defence line + flakk missiles need to go in there somehow).

Thursday, 4 April 2013

Dark Angels Green Wing: Part Four

Today I abandoned batch painting marines and had a go at painting up a test marine. In terms of colours I followed the Tale of Painters recipe pretty closely but I moved the order around a bit. Here's how it went:


Green and based.


Base coats. Then black lining and black wash on metals. I should have washed the chest eagle at this point but forgot.


Done! Highlights (in all cases I touched up the original colour and edge highlighted). All that's left to do is put a squad number on his shoulder and varnish him up...

Overall I'm pretty pleased with how he's turned out. It's not the fastest method of painting marines and the edge highlighting look is pretty stylised so won't appeal to everyone but I think they'll look nice on the tabletop as it gives them a bit of 'pop' that might not be there if I'd gone for a more realistic blended style.

Wednesday, 3 April 2013

Dudes of Hazzard: Game Five

The Dudes played their fifth game of the season last night against Alex's Nurgle team Necrotic Crevice and it most definately was, as they say, a game of two halves...

The first half saw the Dudes kick to the Crevice who caged up deep in their own half. But not deep enough and the Dudes quickly got to the box and bashed its corner in, putting a tacklezone onto the ball carrier. Turn two for the Crevice went badly as the ball carrying pestigor went down on a double one trying to dodge out of the box which, given that he needed twos was pretty uncalled for. The Dudes capitalized on this and had scored by turn three with star catcher Wopat taking the ball over the line. This left the Crevice five turns in which to score...

The second drive saw the Crevice box up again, this time even deeper in their own half and the Dudes were left trying to fight their way through the main line to get to it.  By turn seven things were looking good for the Crevice who had the ball three squares from the Dudes' endzone with only Blitzer Schnieder within striking distance and he was on the floor and needed to make two dodges (4 then 3) to get to the ball carrier for a 1D blitz. Which he duly made and, to add insult to injury, scooped up the ball and stood their looking lonely. In their last turn the Crevice prepared to get that ball back and score but a QUAD SKULLS! block early on ended their turn and the half was over. 1-0 to the Dudes at half time, it's fair to say that as I set up for the second half I was feeling fairly confident.

As I said, it was a game of two halves...

In the second half I got the chance to make one mistake before handing over all intiative to the dice gods who clearly decided that enough was enough. My mistake was pretty basic and one that came from being out of the game for a while. I got the ball and caged up too near to the LOS and then discovered that a combination of tentacles and disturbing presence make this a pretty poor place to be! And then it all went wrong, the handoff predictably was fluffed in turn two (that much was entirely probable). I then watched in horror as my three attempts to catch the bouncing ball failed only to see it jump into the hands of a Rotter who was entirely unphased by my TZ and who caught it on a five. That wasn't expected! The next surprise was seeing the Crevice decide to play for a draw and stall out the touchdown. The next four turns fell into a familiar rhythm of watching my players being blocked off the pitch (across the end of the half at least nine players went off KO'd or injured) while I'd throw the odd block and fall over (it was my turn to QUAD SKULL this half - the tables had literally turned). The Crevice scored in turn five or six when my squad was pretty much gone.

One drive to go... The Dudes had clearly had enough and just one of the four KO'd players returned leaving me with 10 men on the pitch. I set up aggressively planning a run down the right with catchers on the line ready to get moving. PERFECT DEFENCE! With my players now entirely hemmed in by S4/5 monsters I had no way through, fluffed a few more blocks and just managed to keep the ball by grabbing it with a catcher and hiding him in my own endzone! In the last turn of the game the Crevice took the catcher down with a 2D blitz. The ball spilled free and scattered nicely for the Nurglers but finally fortune smiled on the Dudes as the Crevice rolled a two for the pick-up roll ending the game with the final score at 1-1. In the after game stuff the dice decided that no, they weren't really going to side with the Dudes and the gate came up with a 1 and the MVP went to my already SPP'd up catcher. Curses! 

Overall it was a fun if at times frustrating game. My mistake in the second half proved costly indeed -  had the dice stayed with me (or not turned against me) I could maybe have come back from this but it wasn't to be.

Oh, and as an aside, the Necrotic Crevice were one of a few teams that I've painted for others and it was cool to see them on the tabletop. Here's a pic:

Monday, 1 April 2013

Dark Angels Green Wing - Part Three

With a gaming day at Warhammer World coming up fast, my painting motivation has been totally pumped! Here's the Landraider, the first model completed for the Dark Angels' army. 

This is probably the model I've most enjoyed building and painting in quite some time. The colours came from the Dark Angel tutorial on the Tale Of Painters blog and the weathering came from another tutorial there (on an Ultramarines Landraider) - I went for fairly minimal weathering (it's near showroom) and it got even lighter when my spray varnish blew away the weathering powder. On to the pictures (in which you can see that Linus has just taken a pen to our coffee table):

Detail of the driver (he's a Techmarine and I'll be honest, there's likely to one sitting inside this tank keeping it safe):

A couple more pictures, showing off the fancy Forgeworld doors (which are worth the money just to avoid having to use waterslide transfers):

A few notes on painting. First up, despite my irritation when they came out I found that the new (or not so new now) GW paints cover really very well indeed with the base range covering at least as well as the old Foundation paints without the associated grittiness. I thinned Caliban Green and used two coats for the Landraider (over a black undercoat) and ended up with nice smooth coverage and the rest are used straight from the pot. In particular I am impressed with Leadbelcher which has great coverage and which takes inks very well and with the reds. The Techmarine was painted with Khorne Red, shadow was added with thinned Vallejo black ink (50/50 ink/water), followed by a touch up with Khorne Red and highlights (largely edges) of which Mephiston Red followed by Squig Orange). For my own records (and not because it’s exciting, the blues were painted with Regal Blue followed by Ice Blue, and the Whites are Codex Grey followed by Vallejo white). Again, for reference, there’s a great conversion chart over on Dakka here: (note that the colours display very poorly on my monitor so really this is only good for translating colours not for picking them).