Book Review: Blood Angels Codex

06/04/2010

Review

Nice background section, some well painted models in the gallery sections, clear unit lists and some amazing artwork.  This is a must for all Blood Angel or successor chapter players.

Moaning

Why oh why do you need a full codex for Blood Angles?  That goes for EVERY chapter with the exception of (maybe) Space Wolves in my books.  Space Wolves have a unique organisation with Wolf Guard units/unit leaders that make it slightly more likely they need a codex to themselves.  Grey Knights don’t count and as they have too few units and should be put in the Daemon Hunters codex.

Why the moaning then?  Furiso Dreadnoughts – aren’t they essentially normal dreadnoughts with an extra CCW and no Multi Melta?  Baal Predators – some ancient technical data was uncovered allowing them to strap an Assault Cannon onto a Predator and now the Mechanicus are annoyed because this technology is not theirs – but they can make Razorbacks with Assault Cannons?

Don’t even get me started on the Storm Raven – a piece of kit used by only a few Chapters, or that they have so many Land Raiders that they are used as common transport vehicles.  Surely (here is the real rub of it for me) the Ultramarines would have pretty much everything – friendly with Mars, adopting new technologies (Razorbacks and Land Raider Redeemers) etc.

The Sanguinor gets his own paragraph here due to him irritating me.  An excellent model, awesome statline and one of the best potential NMM paint jobs i’ve seen are in the plus side.  A character who no one knows, and just appears out of thin air to kick arse and then disappear sounds familiar – oh, thats it, Legion of the Damned – is pushing it too far for me.  The Legion of the Damned can do this due to their unique place in the background of the Hobby, a single character not of the legion sounds a bit silly to me.

Don’t get me wrong the Death Company and Sanguinary Guard are good additions and are Blood Angel only (as they should be) as per the very good background.  The Characters are colourful and interesting (except the Sanquinor who is crazy) and again deserve a space.

Solution

Unless GW really bulk up the background sections of these books I feel that (for Space Marines) the way to go would be to release 1 monster sized codex with loads of background, a force selection chart and an awesome gallery.

In the force selection chart there would be a few page for each Chapter (+ successors).  The 1st page would include all rule changes and alterations to the force organisation chart, followed by Characters and Units – maybe 10 pages for Ultramarines, Blood Angels, Space Wolves, Dark Angels, Black Templars and 5 for White Scars, Imperial Fists, Crimson Fists, Salamanders etc.

This would allow each Chapter to get Special Characters, Units and Rules, but ‘typical’ units and vehicles would be available to all and would be updated across the board all in one hit.

Example 1 – Blood Angels Fast Vehicles – +?? points per vehicle

Example 2 – Blood Angels – Instead of Combat Tactics all units have Red Thirst

GW are doing a great job with their Special Characters altering the armies – why not allow the armies to do it in their own section of the space marine codex?

I’d love to hear all your opinions – however please don’t comment on the Money GW are making by having the Codex separate – everyone understands that it is a way of a) constantly updating armies, b) making people buy the latest army and c) making people buy multiple Codex.

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Product Review – Cadian Kits

15/02/2010

Here’s a brief review on the kits i’ve had a fiddle with:

Infantry

The kit comes with 2×2 sprues allowing you to make a squad of 10 Cadian Infantry.  The sprues have 10 lasguns with arms, 2 each of granade launcher, flamer and melta with arms, 2 las pistols and chainswords, 10 bodies, 10 legs, 2 vox packs, 10 sets of webbing (pouches) and 10 sets of grenades.

My initial view was that there was limited scope for making the little guys – my feelings now is that there is a lot of scope if you have lots of kits – with only 1 kit I feel that the squad lacks coherency.  My preference would be to have a squad with all bayonets and another without – maybe this is in the pipelines as my squad looks a little thrown together due to the limited parts in the kit.  I feel that either having 8 each of the lasguns with bayonets and without would be better – or even cutting down to 4 lasguns with a bayonet part would allow that bit more customisation (strange as it would have less parts in the kit).

My problem was that I’m thinking of the kit as a unit – with IG this isn’t how it works.  As each squad is so cheap (points wise) you will never have only 1 squad of infantry.  At £12 for 10 guys the box is also relatively well priced when compared to other armies.  Buy 4 boxes and you will have 40 troopers with enough variety to make (me or you) happy.

Command Squad

The command squad has enough parts to make 5 infantry command miniatures (banner bearer, medic, commander, Sergeant and special weapons trooper or vox).  It has 5 different legs, 4 ‘normal’ bodies and 3 ‘special’ bodies, lots of heads, 2 banners, all the special weapons, vox and lots of ‘bits’.

So far I’ve made my commander and banner bearer – both of which I think look great.  My favourite part of the banners is that there are 2 – and one isn’t obviously Cadian (hence it is the one I picked).  The parts allow for some great variation, in fact with 10 of these kits I recon I could make 50 clearly unique models.  Value is a bit lower ass the kit is £15, but the extra parts will make the infantry kit more flexible.

Joint Kits

As with the Space Marines range the value comes when you kit bash – and whilst there is less variation than with marine kits I still think you can make enough cool models for an army.  The kits are also very easy to put together – some space marine kits (Devastators) can be hard to piece together properly with the Heavy Bolter parts being the worst.

All in all I think the models are pretty cool and I can really see why it’s often considered as a beginners army – and from what I’ve seen online I can also see the potential for making it a converters dream with some of the coolest models being from the ranks of the Imperial Guard.  Heavy Weapons are the next product review.

IG players- do you find the kits limiting or do you find them easy to convert?


The Allies Are Coming – 40k Allies

12/02/2010

I’ve been assembling my allies and wondered what you guys think of how I plan on using (counting) them.

There is constant net-debate about ‘counts as’ and how some people will not allow count as units (which seems crazy to me so long as it is obvious).

I plan on including Blood Angel Terminators, Space Wolf Wolfguard and a Marines Malevolent wheeled heavy weapons platform to name but a few.  The Terminators are straight forward as they are fine in the codex.  The Wolfguard I want to use as Vanguard and the heavy weapons platform as a Thunderfire Cannon.

We’ll start with the Wolfguard – I’m planning on making them look really unique and cool, weapon wise this includes Thunderhammers, Powerfists, Frost Axes, Plasma Pistols, Powerweapons, Lightning Claws etc – which fits with the Vanguard entry (Frost Weapons changed for Relic Blades and the bearer being the Sergeant).  Can anyone see any issues with this?

The Heavy Weapons Platform is a very exciting conversion (for me) as it will allow me to finally use my remaining bike bits (the others are lost in the warp).  BUT it will not look like a Thuderfire Cannon.  Taken from the Salamander literature I can see no issue with this.  However the ‘no counts as’ camp may not allow it to be played – what do you guys think?

I think that if a model looks cool and fits into a codex description then it should be allowed to be used as a ‘counts as’ model.  There are limits, I’m not going to make some tyranid warriors and sat they are meant to be terminators – and I’m also not going to alter rules to say my weapons platform is a rapid fire weapon with 20 shots all with blast markers.

What do you guys feel about the whole ‘counts as’ debate?  What are your limits?


Battle Report – Ultramarines vs Crimson Fists

01/02/2010

3rd company Ultramarines vs Crimson Fists – Blue and Red vs Blue and Red – to be honest it was a little complicated.

This was one of my practise games to check my understanding of the rules – after a few more of these I should feel up to leaving the comfort of my own home.  As it was one of my training games I’ll keep the report brief and split it into 2 halves.  The forces were picked to be equal points but to mess around with as many rules as possible to sharpen me up – so the armies don’t tie in with the force organisation charts.

Ultramarines (1254 points):

  • Tactical Squad (10): Sergeant with Powerweapon and Stormbolter, Meltagun, Missile Launcher and Rhino
  • Tactical Squad (10): Sergeant with Powerfist, Meltagun, Missile Launcher and Rhino
  • Devastator Squad (10): Sergeant with Chainsword, 4 Lascannons and Razorback with TL Lascannons
  • Assault Squad (8): Sergeant with Powerfist, Plasma Pistol
  • Venerable Dreadnought: TL Lascannon and Missile Launcher

Crimson Fists (1255 points)

  • Terminator Assault Squad (6): Sergeant with TH/SS, 2 TH/SS, 3 pairs of Lighting Claws and Landraider Redeemer with Multi-Melta
  • Terminator Squad(5):  Sergeant with Powersword, Chainfist, Assault Cannon
  • Tactical Squad (10): Sergeant with Storm Bolter, Meltagun and Missile Launcher
  • Devastator Squad (5):  Sergeant with Powerfist, 4 Heavybolters
  • Venerable Dreadnought:  Assault Cannon and CCW

Deployment: Ultramarines

The Devastator Squad set up in the centre flanked by the Tactical Squads and the Dreadnought and Assault Squad at the far right wing.  The two Rhinos covered the majority of the Tactical Squads and the Razorback pulled up in-line with the Devastators.

Deployment: Crimson Fists

The Terminators formed the centre of the line covered on their left by the Dreadnought and Devastator Squad, to their right the Land Raider Redeemer with its payload of Assault Terminators and the Tactical Squad holding the right wing.

Turn 1: Ultramarines

The Ultramarines could see the small but highly specialised force moving onto the battlefield.  Seeing the lumbering hulks of the Terminators trudging through the corn blowing in the field the battle brothers set up a gun line and prepped their holy bolters ready for the fight ahead.  On the right wing the Assault Squad took to the air focussed on the Devastator Squad.

The field exploded with noise as the missile launchers and Lascannons spit fire at the Land Raider.  As the smoke cleared the Assault Cannons had been blown off and the crew were shaken, but the vehicle was far from being useless.  The Assault Squad’s pistol fire managed to score a number of wounds on the Devastator Squads but none could fully penetrate the armour.  The Sergeant started to chant a prayer as the Devastators raised their Heavybolters and started to track their targets.

Turn 1:  Crimson Fists

Bursting from the smoke the Land Raider sped forwards, crushing the debris from its Assault cannons into dust.  The Tactical Squad and Terminator Squad both started to run, closing the distance on the enemy to allow their weapons to return fire.

The Devastators and Dreadnought fired on the Assault squad, tearing through their ranks but only killing three of the battle brothers.

Turn 2:  Crimson Fists

The Rhinos moved to reveal the Tactical Squad gun line as the Assault Squad charged towards the Devastators firing their pistols and revving their Chainswords.  Two of the Devastators fell, but the Plasma Pistol overheated killing its owner.  One Tactical Squad fired at the Crimson Fists Tactical Squad, only the Missile Launcher found its mark and managed to kill all 3 troopers in it’s blast range.  The other Tactical Squad, the Devastator Squad, Rhino, Dreadnought and Razorback all fired on the Terminator Squad completely wiping them out before a single return shot could be fired.  As the dust began to settle the monstrous sound of the Land Raider Could be heard – had the Ultramarines picked the right target?

The Assault squad crashed into the devastators both sides masterfully using their weapons – but to no avail and no kills were made.

Turn 2: Crimson Fists

The Tactical Squad walked forwards firing from the hip killing two Ultramarines whilst the dreadnought charged towards the Assault Squad.  The Dreadnought and Devastators managed to kill two more Assault Squad members with only one Devastator dying, being pulverized by the Sergeants Powerfist.

The Land Raider moved, firing on the Razorback and the Terminator Assault Squad Charged killing almost every member of the Tactical Squad in front of them and forcing the remaining troops to run from the field of battle.

– At the end of Turn 2 the points left on the table were almost even – a very close game so far –

The rules are SO hard – I know I made loads of mistakes on ranges, close combat (to wound mainly) and just rolling for the squad as a whole rather than separating wounds on all models in the squad.  But hey – I’m still learning!  Part 2 on Tuesday!


A Tale of _ Gamers – Call to Arms

28/01/2010

As you may know I’m looking at a similar thing to the GW tale of 4 gamers and I’m putting out a call across the warp for any interested in joining me for the call to arms!

The basics can be found here but I want to expand upon this now that I’ve had some response to my plan.

  • 1 unit per month for your force (be it a 10 man SM tactical squad, 5 Eldar jet bikes or a Tau devilfish)
  • the models can’t be painted and on show in your blog prior to the start
  • models can be built and primed already – in your backlog of painting
  • monthly units to be specifically designed as a force be it allies to your existing force or a brand new force (for example I’m looking at producing a ‘stand alone’ allies force that will be part of my Ultramarines – this force will have HQ, Elite, Troop, Fast Attack and Heavy units as per the standard force organisation charts)
  • fluff forces encouraged, such as IG allies for SM forces, Daemons for CSM – ask if you have a query
  • all units to be posted on the same day at the same time (or as close as possible) say 3rd Monday of each month at 1pm GMT
  • each monthly post to be linked to the other members main post – weekly updates can be linked at your own discretion
  • to run for 12 months

I also want it to be swayed by comments and for some ‘cool bits’ to be added in like objective markers and battle reports – but we’ll come to that later.

If you want to join in post a comment stating your blog (and e-mail if its not on your blog) or e-mail me at ultrasmurf.blog@hotmail.com – if you don’t have a blog contact me and I’ll either help you set one up or maybe you can send me the pics and text and I’ll post it on here.

I’m hoping to start this in February – so sign up!


Motor Pool – WIP

26/01/2010

Here is a brief look at my current motor pool (all need finishing):

Dreadnought:

Rhino 1:

Land Raider Redeemer:

Predator:

Other Vehicles:  Rhino, Razorback, Land Raider, Land Speeder and Land Speeder Storm

I started with a foot slogging army, then picked up a rhino with some troops on e-bay, found my old predator and converted it into a rhino and now have a pretty mechanised list.

I love the looks of all the vehicles which is why I want them in my list – do you guys love the looks of vehicles or do you play them for their tactical merits?


A Tale of _ Gamers – Offer Open to All Bloggers

25/01/2010

A tale of 4 gamers was a great set of articles shown in White Dwarf (it’s happened twice now, but I liked the latest version).

I’m looking at a similar thing and I’m putting out a call across the warp for any interested in joining me for the call to arms!

The idea is to make, paint and photograph an army that will be updated regularly on our blogs (with links to each other so that any readers can jump between blogs to see the progress of all joining in).  By painting a combat squad or vehicle a fortnight (or week depending who joins in) this should be manageable.  No miniatures that are currently painted and on your site can count (primed models can count).  I’m planning on using this as a chance to get all those cool things into my army that I’ve always wanted like allies (IG from Ultramar) and some Marines Malevolent.

Do I have any takers for this scheme – or will it be the lonely tale of 1?