Tuesday, October 17, 2017

4 The Chaos Manifesto vs Iron Sleet #2


"To be a man in such times is to be one amongst untold billions. It is to live in the cruelest and most bloody regime imaginable. These are the tales of those times."

A blackness sweeps across the Thorn Moon system and that presents an opportunity for me.  Lives will be lost, profit will be made but most importantly the gods will be pleased.  Udder annihilation always pleases the mind for death of another feeds the mind that you are still alive.  But what is it to truly be alive I ASK?  Unadulterated violence through pleasure.  To escape the constraints of one body and ascend to a higher level of being. These visitors will experience all this and more.

I carved this world into what it is today.  Like an artist with a piece of black clay, my hands formed the fate and destiny of countless lives.  My empire will always survive for I am an eternal being without fear of time.  Civilization will crumble to dust and rise again but in the shadows I will always lurk.  Society needs me like a bullet to the head. WHAHAHAHAHA!!! Wretched foul souls they all are. 

For the upcoming Iron Sleet Invitational II, The Thorn Moons Campaign, I plan on moulding my piece of black clay into that of a Hellwright on a Dark Abeyant and his retinue of corrupted minions.  The sheer excitement of this project has me on the verge of making a sacrifice to the Machine God.  Perhaps my left hand or my eyes would please it, but if I have to I am more than willing to give it my entire body.  The Hellwright and his associates each are unique like each of the Thorn Moons.  They have forge a path of corruption that has eroded the virtues of society away.  They hawk a variety of biochems, other illegal narcotics, firearms, weapons and black market augmentation to fund the Hellwright's dubious experiments.  A god in his own right but more importantly his mind, the Hellwright has created a world that revolves around his needs and wants.  To interfere or deny him these, is a fate worse then death itself.  Many of those that he employs were once former souls that stood in his path.  Fragmentations of who they once were may be all that is left of them; a prisoner in their own body and mind . The approaching fleet of Terra, presents an opportunity unlike anything the Hellwright has seen before.  Endless souls to feed upon, endless bodies to play with, endless lives to destroy and create.



Tuesday, October 10, 2017

5 The Chaos Manifesto vs Iron Sleet #1


"To be a man in such times is to be one amongst untold billions. It is to live in the cruelest and most bloody regime imaginable. These are the tales of those times."

Driven to madness, the blood inside me recoils in fear at what they have marked me for.  To know what fate has in store for you is not easy to swallow.  For the cruelty of my life is an unimaginable twisted existence that torments my soul.  Sleep itself leaves a pungent taste in my mind, for my dreams of late are plagued by them.  Each of them a gnarled layer of decayed flesh and metal.  Each of them bathed it the stench of death itself.  Each of them covered in a film of dried blood over their soiled skin.  The cold bitter steel that impregnates them has corrupted their essence of man.  I question the truth before my eyes and wonder if I will ever wake up from this prison they have entombed me in, let alone escape from them.  For it seems I am shackled to their nightmarish thoughts; a eternity of whispering psychosis, delusions and absurdities.    

Today, The Chaos Manifesto, received a transmission from the Thorn Moons where an eternal war wages on.  The Regiments of the Imperial Guard lay siege upon the twisted worlds that the Emperor long ago forgot.  The corrupted soul that call the Thorn Moons their home fight with savage desperation for their realm.  It is here that The Chaos Manifesto has been called.  Here I will set my mind upon the challenge that the Iron Sleet has set forth.  I hope I can not only live up to this challenge but inspire those around me to contribute to this epic narrative.  For those of you not aware of what I am talking about listen careful to my words.

The bloggers, creators and frontiersman of the Iron Sleet have issued their second iteration of their INVITATIONAL.  This is a year long narrative wargaming campaign and world building project set in the Warhammer 40k Universe.  Bound by the code that "Story is King" and forged by the principle that the gravity of art lies within the miniatures we create.  They are looking for anyone willing to unleash the creativity of the mind to create, "build and paint five human sized models that beautifully and fittingly describe the humble human in the galactic war and show of your original ideas and understanding of the Warhammer 40000 universe."  This month's objective is take black and white photographs of your work-in-progress.  This will help them plan while also exposing your own thought process behind your models.  November's challenge is to finish them, write a 200 word narrative about them and take several photos of them.  

With a new version of Necromunda on the horizon I have been leaning towards creating more unique, individual characters. Yes, it is another project for me to work on but it is one that contributes to a community effort that aims to celebrate Games Workshops miniatures and story telling while inspiring them as well.  As such, The Chaos Manifesto, will be switching gears in what I hope to be an epic tale of my twisted and corrupted Chaos warband.  As for what exactly I have in mind for my Chaos warband, you will have to stay tuned to find out.

Tuesday, October 3, 2017

6 Monday Musings of a Mantic #18: 2000pts Iron Warriors Army List


Cold darkness sets in,
Black Iron weeps from the wound;
Bitterness pursued

The brothers of the Iron Warriors are without peers for the cold darkness of the warp itself resides in their souls.  Their lack of empathy and compassion allows them to commit atrocities unlike anything you have ever seen before.  They care little for the blood that they have spilled and even less for the lives they have taken. They have embraced the bitterness within and have turned it against the galaxy with an unquenchable thirst for destruction and death.  The list below is my take on what I envision a battle forged army of Iron Warriors to be.  Countless cultist being thrown at the enemy to wither them down while they themselves rain death down upon them.  Let us have a look at my 2000 points Iron Warriors army.


Iron Warriors Battalion Detachment
081 = Warlord: Warlord Trait Cold & Bitter, Mark of Slaanesh, Power Axe & Combi-Bolter
076 = Warpsmith: Mark of Nurgle
076 = Warpsmith: Mark of Nurgle
186 = Cultist x 40: Mark of Slaanesh, Flamers x2 & Hvy Stubber x2
044 = Cultist x10: Mark of Slaanesh & Hvy Stubber
044 = Cultist x10: Mark of Slaanesh & Hvy Stubber

Iron Warriors Vanguard Detachment
154 = Sorcerer in Terminator Armour: Mark of Slaanesh, Warptime/Prescience/Smite
510 = Terminators: Mark of Slaanesh, Combi-Plasma & Pwr Axe
112 = Helbrute: Mark of Nurgle, Missile Launcher & Reaper Autocannon
112 = Helbrute: Mark of Nurgle, Missile Launcher & Reaper Autocannon
112 = Helbrute: Mark of Nurgle, Missile Launcher & Reaper Autocannon

Iron Warriors Outrider Detachment
180 = Daemon Prince: Wings, Mark of Nurgle, Malefic Talons x2 & Diabolic Strength/Smite. Fleshmetal Exoskeleton
104 = Bikers x3: Mark of Nurgle, Flamers x2 & Champ with Combi-flamer
104 = Bikers x3: Mark of Nurgle, Flamers x2 & Champ with Combi-flamer
104 = Bikers x3: Mark of Nurgle, Flamers x2 & Champ with Combi-flamer


1999pts
Pwer Level = 114
Command Points = 8


When compiling this list I made a concise effort to include multiple detachments as i wanted to be able to use a series of stratagems to take my Iron Warriors to the next level.  This meant that I needed to field Cultist as my troop choice as their cost are at a rock bottom price.  This put a dark twisted smile on my face as I have been dying to heed the call of the "Tide of Traitors".  This stratagems gives another average unit immense value.  Being able to bring back a maxed out squad of 40 traitors for a mere 2 command points is disgusting.  When you are talking about fielding Cultist though you need a plan on how you are going to handle their morale issues.  You have three options, a Dark Apostle Baby sitter, Abaddon the Despoiler or the Iron Warriors Warlord trait "Cold & Bitter".  I went for the Iron Warriors option as it gives your Warlord a 6" aura that allows all Iron Warrior units inside of it to ignore morale tests.  The blob of Cultist and the 2 minimum sized squads of them are here to provide a bubble wrap around the Chaos Lord, 2x Warpsmiths and the 3x Dakka Helbrutes.  This entire contingent of Iron Warriors will also secure back field objectives.  The Lord buffs the Helbrutes ability to hit targets while the Warpsmiths help keep them running.

From there, I then moved to a maxed out Terminator Unit to provide the army with a devastating threat.  This squad can pump out an insane amount of shots by stringing together a series of psychic powers and stratagems.  The Terminator Sorcerer deepstrikes in with the Terminators and hits them with "Prescience".  This gives them a +1 to hit which prevents their Comb-Plasmas from overcharging.  From their I pop the stratagem "Endless Cacophony" so they can shoot twice.  This results in them firing 40 strength 8, Ap -3, Dmg 2 shots.  It doesn't end here though as I also pop the stratagem "Veterans of the Long War" to give them a +1 to wound.  This allows them to target any and I mean any unit on the battlefield and make them disappear.  In all likely hood I also hit the Terminators with "Warptime" to ensure they can continue their reign of destruction.

In order to keep the enemy off their toes I threw 3 minimum squads of Bikers with Flamers/Combi-flamers.  Their job is to help trim the fat off of hordes while providing a scene for the Daemon Prince.  The Daemon Prince is sporting a "Fleshmetal Exoskeleton" Iron Warriors Relic.  This turns the Daemon Prince into once hell of a monster as he now has a 2+ sv and can regenerate 1 wound each turn.  I gave him Diabolic Strength as this will allow him to wound the majority of infantry on a 2+ and most vehicles on a 3+ while giving him an addition attack.

In the end I feel that this Iron Warriors list is competitive that packs a strong punch while remaining tough in the backfield.  I've wasted enough of your time so lets cut this post short.  As always feel free to leave your comments and criticisms.

Friday, September 29, 2017

0 Flashback Friday #19: Blood Bowl vs Angry Woebots


V-Nuffle Production Presents
The Angry Woebots
a Blood Bowl Lizardmen Team by HotPANDA!!!

Well over a year ago I bought some miniatures from 3A Productions.  They general make 1/6th and 1/12th scale models that range from war crazy robots to perverted barbie dolls in latex outfits to Marvel super heros.  What drew me to 3A was the war torn universe that co-founder Ashley Wood created; World War Robots.  When they offered 1/32 scale models, essentially 25mm I was stoked and jumped all over the opportunity.  I was not sure what I would use them at the time but I knew that this opportunity could not be passed up on.  As time went by the models collected a layer of dust and soon were forgotten.  Then once again 3A offered a new set of 1/32 scale robots and then several months later a third type of robot.  Each time I bought several packs of each for when that bright shiny apple would fall upon my head.  Once again time passed and the layers of dust began to build on the robots.


Everthing fell into place during the 3rd Season of my local Blood Bowl League; V-Nuffle.  A LIZARDMEN team!!!  That right these models could be used to proxy as a Lizardmen team.  The pill shaped robots in the bags above would be my Saurus, the little square bots would be the skinks and the Large robots would act as the Kroxigors.  Now that I had a team I just needed a name and a uniform for them.  I ended up settling on the team name ANGRY WOEBOTS after an Artist that paints angry pandas.  I was hoping to paint panda faces on each of them but the scale of them made that task next to impossible.  With that in mind I switched gears to a simple rusted out black colour scheme.  To help amplify the teams ANGRY nature I covered each bot with graffiti.  Each of them has a foul insult for a name which is painted on them amongst the street art that adorns their bodies.  Names range from, Mother Fucker, Fuck You, Bitch, Twat, Dick, Shit and few other vulgar insults.  Since taking these pictures I have stippled a layer of orange rust onto the models and touched up a few things on each of them.  I still have to base the models with some patchy worn out grass but I will do that another day.  For now I will share my latest Blood Bowl team with you.






Saturday, September 23, 2017

2 The Good, The Bad & The Panda: Codex Chaos Space Marines Review #11 Legions


For this post I am reviewing and ranking the various Legions by examining their Legion Trait, Legion Relic, Legion Stratagem and their Warlord Trait.  While I am at it I am going to rank each of them to give you some insight into my thoughts towards each of the Legions.  I ranked them on a scale of 1 to 8 points with 1 point being my most hated item and 8 points being my personal favourite.  Once done, I added up all the points and then ranked the Legions overall from highest to Lowest.  I hope you enjoy and if you don't please share your thoughts in the comments section.

Black Legion #8

Legion Trait = 2
Infantry and Bikers both benefit greatly from this Legion Trait as it  in boosts their Leadership and its' ability to turn "Rapid Fire" weapons into Assault weapons is a nice little trick.  Helbutes not benefit from the leadership boost and it is rarely going to have a "Rapid Fire" weapon in its load out as the "Combi-Bolter" is the only weapon with that profile and it is overshadowed by the Heavy Flamer.  Daemon Princes are in the same boat as they to do not need a +1 to Leadership and you won't see many using a "Warp Bolter" all that often.  

Legion Relic = 1
Any Black Legion Character can use "The Eye of Night".  Instead of shooting it allows the Character, once per battle, to cause D3 mortal wounds to a visible enemy vehicle on a 2+.  Once per game for only D3 mortal wounds and a small chance to get nothing is absolute crap.  This is a complete waste of a free gift and of a command point.

Legion Stratagem = 3
"Let the Galaxy Burn" stratagem lets Black Legion Infantry or Biker units re-roll all hit rolls of 1 for that unit in the Shooting or Fight Phase, but not both.  If you use it on a Chaos Space Marine squad you can re-roll all failed to hit rolls.  It only cost 1 Command Point which does give it value to units that do not have a Chaos Lord, Daemon Prince or a Dark Apostle to buff their hit rolls.  The variety of units it can be used on and the fact that you can tailor pick it towards shooting or close combat gives it some value especially on squads of 10 or more.  It loses all value if you have a Chaos Lord, Daemon Prince or Dark Apostle near the unit since it is only temporarily creating an aura like theirs.

Warlord Trait = 3
"First amongst Traitors" gives your Black Legion Warlord a 6" aura that triggers "Death to the False Emperor" on a 5+ instead of a 6+.  This only has value when you play against Imperium armies.  Anything else and this falls flat on its face.

Overall = 9 (14 if you include Abaddon)
One factor that is not in here is Abaddon the Destroyer.  He easily adds an immense amount of value to a Black Legion army.  His 12" auto pass moral aura solve cultist issues and his 6" re-roll any failed hit roll aura is awesome as well.  This does not factor in his insane stat line and that he reduced all incoming damage by half.  Lastly he grants you 2 extra command points.  I would give Black Legion an extra 5 points towards their final score if he is included in your army but sadly this is too little too late.  Overall, Black Legion scored 9 points or 14 points with Abaddon.

Renegades #7

Legion Trait = 8
Infantry, Bikers, Helbrutes and Daemon Princes all are greatly affected by this Legion Trait.  The ability to advance and charge is a big bonus for all these units as it extends their threat ranges. This is huge for Bikers, Daemon Princes and Jump Pack units as they now have the ability to pull off turn 1 charges. 

Legion Relic = 4
There are no relics are available to generic Renegade Legions which is a bit of a shame.  Thankfully other Legions have Relics that are unplayable and this gives Renegades some of their footing back.

Legion Stratagem = 1
No stratagems are available to generic Renegade Legions, but it's not the end of the world as they can use all of the other Stratagems.

Warlord Trait = 2
There is no specific Warlord Trait and once again leaves Renegades out in the Dark.  The World Eater trait is garbage as it just give you a quest so at least Renegades don't lose out to them.

Overall = 15 (18 with Huron Blackheart)
It's hard to compare Renegades against the other Legions as they don't get specialized Relics, Stratagems and Warlord Traits.  For followers of Khorne that are not part of a World Eaters Legion there is immense value in playing as a Renegade Legion as they are allowed to have non-Khorne marked units, psykers in their army and have their Khorne units be targeted by psychic powers.  Same goes for Slaanesh followers not part of the Emperor's Children Legion, in that they can include Tzeentch, Khorne and Nurgle units in their armies. A Renegade Legion get access to Huron Blackheart who is a Chaos Lord mixed in with a Sorcerer.  He grants 1 extra Command Point which comes in handy. If you include him in your army I feel that is deserves to get an extra 3 points towards its' total.

Word Bearers #6

Legion Trait = 1
The ability to re-roll failed morale test only help Infantry and Bikers.  Helbrutes and Daemon Princes don't benefit from it at all as they are each an "army of one".  For your average infantry unit it is valuable when a unit suffers a small amount of wounds.  Once it starts to be become a handful or more wounds, it loses value.  Units that are small like a 3 man Biker squad or a 5 man Terminator squad do not have to worry about morale as its inconsequential due to their leadership value.  

Legion Relic = 2
The "Cursed Crozius" replaces any Word Bearers Character's Power Maul. This means that all types of Chaos Lord, Sorcerers, Dark Apostles and Exalted Champions can use this Relic.  It is an enhanced Power Maul that that lets you re-roll failed wound rolls against Imperium units.  Obviously it has more value when playing Imperium armies but its even still nothing to write home about.  In fact I would rather have the "Black Mace" Relic over it due to the strength bonus and that its ability works against all armies.

Legion Stratagem = 7
"Dark Pack" allows Word Bearers Characters to b able to re-roll any of the three dice used to summon Daemons, while not suffering any mortal wounds due to doubles or triples. This has value despite what some folks think, especially for 1 Command Point.  Yes in Competitive play you have to set aside the point to summon units but it allows you to leave your opponent in the dark on what you are going to field.  This also means you will be fielding less units during deployment which should help you finish first to get the +1 to your roll to see who goes first.  If you build your army around summoning a 2-3 Daemon units you can throw your opponent for a loop especially if you field a variety of marked Characters.  This stratagem also lets you summon larger units or more powerful Daemons with ease. Do not underestimate this stratagem as it is more powerful than most folks think it is.  

Warlord Trait = 6
"Voice of Lorgar" gives a Word Bearers Warlords the ability to extend their aura by 3".  I cannot count the number of times that my Terminator Lord has failed his charge and his entourage of Terminators has successfully made their but are now outside the Warlord's aura.  If I had this Warlord Trait on my Terminator Lord the Terminators would of still benefitted from his aura.  This is also an excellent way to turn a Dark Apostle into an inspiring character as both of his auras would reach out to 9".  This is another Warlord Trait that often goes unnoticed.

Overall = 16
Word Bearers have plenty of tools at their disposal but their Legion Trait hurts them drastically and does not capture the essence of the Legion.  On a positive note though their Warlord Trait and Stratagem are something to build an army around.  In order to draw upon their strength's one needs to embrace summoning as a means to keeping your surprised and guessing.  Overall, Word Bearers scored  17 points.

World Eaters #5

Legion Trait = 4
Infantry, Bikers, Helbrutes and Daemon Princes all benefit from this Legion Trait.  Gaining an extra attack for each model in a unit that has this Trait when they charge is killer advantage. Sadly, if you do not get the charge off or combat drags on you get nothing.  

Legion Relic = 7
The "Brass Collar" is a disgusting World Eaters Relic that can go on any of their Characters.  Without psykers to provide "Deny the Witch" this is the perfect Relic for them even with it being only 1 per Psychic Phase.  In addition if the Character wearing it makes a successful "Deny the Witch" the psyker that manifested the power suffers from "Perils of the Warp".  I cannot rant and rave enough about how amazing this Relic is.

Legion Stratagem = 5
The Stratagem "Scorn of Sorcery" gives you a 50% chance to cancel out a psychic power that was manifested within 24" of a World Eater unit.  With very few ways to counter psychic powers this is one way if you are willing to spend 1 CP.  

Warlord Trait = 1
"Slaughterborn" gives a World Eaters Warlord the ability to add 1 to his strength and attack characteristic each time he slays a Character, Monster or Titanic model.  At best this is kicking in on turn 2 but that is going to be a rare day in hell.  You'd be lucky to get this more than twice. I'm left uninspired by this Warlord Trait .

Overall = 17
World Eaters get to add Khorne Berzerkers to their Troop choices which is awesome...this comes at the cost of them not being able to include Sorcerers in their army along with Nurgle, Slaanesh and Tzeentch marked units in their army.  They can however have the special Character Kharn the Betrayer in their army who is a beast.  World Eaters scored 17 points.

Emperor's Children #4

Legion Trait = 5
Infantry, Bikers, Helbrutes and Daemon Princes all get value from this Legion Trait.  Unfortunately, it doesn't come into play until multiple units of these types, in any combo, get charged or combat for these units drags on past 1 player turn.  It encourages Emperor's Children Legions to field durable units whether they are larger in size, have great saves,  have a high toughness or have lots of wounds.  A savvy opponent will try to charge your units one at a time to mitigate this Legion's Trait.  

Legion Relic = 3
The "Blissgiver" replaces any Emperor's Children Characters that have a"Bolt Pistol".  This translate into all Chaos Lords types except those with Terminator armour, all Sorcerers except those in Terminator armour, Dark Apostles, Exalted Champions and Warpsmith being able to wield it.  It is essentially a short range pistol with an enhanced profile; specifically it's Assault 6.  It can be fired into and in close combat even with friendly units within 1" of the wielder.  In addition, if it wounds an enemy Character that did not die, roll a D6 and on a 6 it causes D3 mortal wounds to that Character.  For your free Relic on a Slaanesh Warlord you take "Intoxicating Elixir" for the +1 strength and attack. This Relic makes the "Blissgiver" worthless a its not worth a CP due to its extremely short range of 6". In fact "Intoxicating Elixir" is the 2nd best Relic in the Chaos Space Marine Codex with only the Iron Warriors Legion Relic, "Fleshmetal Exoskeleton" , beating it out.  The World Eaters "Brass Collar" just loses out to it in my HOTpanda opinion.  

Legion Stratagem = 6
The "Excess of Violence" stratagem offers Emperor's Children Infantry units to be able immediately roll to hit again with the same weapon each time a model in the unit kills an enemy model in the Fight Phase.  For 1 Command Point this has tremendous value with Infantry squads of 10 or more models.  Terminators, Possessed, and Warp Talons all make excellent for recipients due to their close combat weapons all have significant AP and Dmg values.  

Warlord Trait = 4
"Stimulated by Pain" gives Emperor's Children Warlords the ability to increase their attacks by +1 for each wound they have suffered (maximum +3).  On a Daemon Prince, who has 8 wounds, or a Chaos Lord with 6 wounds this has value but when you are talking about any other Character it starts to get risky.

Overall = 18
Emperor's Children can also use Noise Marines as troop but cannot have any Tzeentch, Khorne or Nurgle marked units.  This eliminates 3 stratagems and 4 Relics from their bag of tricks.  This pigeon holes you a bit and limits their flexibility.  Overall, this is a wash in the end. They also get access to Lucius the Eternal who is a Chaos Lord jacked up on steroids.  Overall, Emperor's Children scored 18.

Night Lords #3

Legion Trait = 6
Infantry, Bikers, Helbrutes and Daemon Princes all benefit from this Legion Trait.  The ability to debuff your any enemy unit's Leadership by -1, for each unit of your with this trait, that is within 6" is a scary as hell.  It gives you the ability to turn the Morale Phase into a reliable casualty causing phase.  If you commit your army to this strategy it is a game changing Legion Trait as long as you don't run up against units immune to morale.

Legion Relic = 6
Any Night Lords Character with a set of Lighting Claws can take the "Claws of the Black Hunt".  This leaves only Chaos Lords of all types and the Exalted Champion in using this Night Lord Relic.  It is an upgraded set of "Lightning Claws".  It's nothing special but is one of the better Relics out there.

Legion Stratagem = 2
"In Midnight Clad" is the Night Lords Legion Stratagem.  It can be used only in the Shooting Phase when a Night Lords Infantry unit it is targeted by a shooting attack. For the rest of the phase any unit shooting attacks against that Night Lords unit must suffer a -1 to hit.  If you can combine this with the Nurgle Psychic Power "Miasma of Pestilence" you can turn that into a -2.  This starts to give it some value if you want to spend the 1 Command Point the Night Lords Statagem. Without doubling down though its not really worth the Command Point.

Warlord Trait = 7
The "Night Hunters Curse" allows your Warlord once per battle round to re-roll any single roll of the following, to hit roll, to wound, damage, advance, charge or saving throw.  This is like being given 1 free command point a battle-round.  This has tremendous value as it lets your Warlord not nag you for a command point her to kill one more ultramarine or stop him from crying when he fails his charge.

Overall = 21
Night Lords are a very unique army that turns another wise bland phase of the game into a blood bath.  In order to do this though you need to commit yourself to this strategy.  On top of that you need to have 2-3 "Butcher Cannons" in your army.  These come via Forge World units like Decimators and Forge World Dreadnoughts variants.  Overall, Night Lords scored 21 points.


Iron Warriors #2

Legion Trait = 3
Infantry, Bikers and Helbrute will benefit from this Legion Trait.  Since cover only comes into play during shooting and Daemon Princes are generally not taking a "Warp Bolter" it doesn't affect them.  For Infantry, Bikers and Helbrutes the ability to negate cover is nasty.  There should be a fair amount of terrain that helps generate cover and the last thing you want to face is a Devastator Squad in holed up in some ruins getting a 2+ save.  This Legion Trait will cut deep to those units seeking cover for added protection.  The ability to re-roll wounds against building is rarely going to come up in a game so we will ignore it.  With it affecting the majority of unit types with this Trait but is not always in play as some units will simply not be in cover.

Legion Relic = 8
Any Iron Warriors Character can wear the "Fleshmetal Exoskeleton".  Not only does it give the Iron Warriors Character a +2 save, it regenerates 1 wound each turn to whomever wears it.  This is ideally used on a Daemon Prince as you get tremendous value out of it due to the large wound pool and high toughness that it has.  Placing it on a Chaos Lord on a Bike, Juggernaut of Khorne, Palanquin of Nurgle or a Slaanesh Steed all have value as well due to their toughness of 5, 4++ invulnerable save and a mid-sized wound pool.  All of these options turn these Characters in a highly durable monster.  Another viable option is if you are short on points you can give it to a vanilla Chaos Lord to create a de facto Terminator Lord.  This is the best Relic in the entire Chaos Space Marine Codex.

Legion Stratagem = 4
The Stratagem "Iron Within, Iron Without" allows Iron Warriors the ability to create a 6+ Feel No Pain save on any Iron Warriors unit.  Obviously the larger the squad the greater your chances of saving a few wounds with this stratagem.  If it was a 5+ instead of a 6 it would be well worth it but as it stands I would rarely if ever use this Stratagem.

Warlord Trait = 8
Giving your Warlord a 6" aura that lets units in it auto pass morale tests is one of the best Traits going for Chaos Space Marines.  Not only will it completely mitigate any losses from the Morale phase but it makes Cultist a very potent tool.  Not having to worry about morale losses will help keep Cultist around that much longer and thus tying up your enemy with having to deal with these bubbly troops.

Overall = 23
Next to a mediocre Legion Trait and Legion Stratagem Iron Warriors have a lot going for them.  In fact they topped two of the categories which is unreal. Overall they scored 23 points.

Alpha Legion #1

Legion Trait = 7
Infantry, Bikers, and Helbrutes will all benefit from this Legion Trait.  Causing any enemy unit that is more than 12" away to have a -1 to hit gives these unit types some extra protection.  With Daemon Princes being Characters they are usually hiding behind a unit to stay hidden.  As such Daemon Princes will not benefit all that greatly from this Legion Trait.  It makes enemy units with poor BS sad especially if they have any other modifiers to their shooting.  Against enemy units that are close combat oriented and against enemy units that are 12" or closer to your units this Trait does squat all for you.  The added durability that this Trait provides is a huge advantage but since it can be bypassed its not all that and a bag of chimps.

Legion Relic = 5
Any Alpha Legion Character with a Chainsword can use the Alpha Legion Relic "The Blade of the Hyrdra".  This allows all types of Chaos Lords and the Exalted Champion to use it.  It is an upgraded version of a "Chainsword".  With not being dedicated to a specific God I'm going to take "intoxicating Elixer" as this is too good to pass up. As such, I'm not sold on spending a command point on it if you want a second Relic but it is one of the better weapon upgrade relics out there.

Legion Stratagem = 8
"Forward Operatives" allows an Alpha Legion to deploy one of their Infantry units in concealment instead of deploying it on the battlefield.  This translate into you placing it on the battlefield at the beginning of the first battle round but before the first turn begins as long as that unit is no closer than 9" from any enemy unit.  Right now its unclear how many times you can use this Stratagem however even if it is only once this is a powerful tool that any army would like to have.  The fact that Chaos Space Marines do not have any units with the infiltrate rule in their Codex this is a game changing Stratagem.

Warlord Trait = 5
This is the only two for one Warlord Trait going that I know of at this time.  An Alpha Legion Character with this Warlord Trait get it and one randomly selected non Legion specific Trait. It doesn't end there for if this Character gets killed you get to select another Character and a random non Legion specific Trait to replace him.  This keeps happening until you have no Characters left.  With 8th edition being a game that revolves around your Characters it is rare to not see 2-3 characters in an army.  This Warlord Trait can help you deny your opponent the ability to score "Slay the Warlord" objective.  WHAT!!!  That is value unless you roll up the Warlord Trait that only lets you re-roll wounds against Space Marines and are not playing against them.

Overall =25
Alpha Legion also gets to boast that I HOTpanda ranked it number one in 2 of the 4 categories.  In addition I scored them in the top 4 for their other categories.  They essentially don't have any bad things going on for them.  Their value goes up if they can use their Stratagem to infiltrate multiple infantry units.  Regardless they scored the most with 25 points to their name.

For those that read up to here thanks for reading my review the Legions and for that I give you a nice easy to read chart that ranks the Legions in the various categories.  To those that skipped my review congrats as their is also an easy to read chart that ranks the Legions in the various categories from the best to the worst.  If you disagree with me please share your thoughts via a comment or two and don't hold back on the name calling.

Legion Traits
#1 = Renegades
#2 = Alpha Legion
#3 = Night Lords
#4 = Emperors Children
#5 = World Eaters
#6 = Iron Warriors
#7 = Black Legion
#8 = Word Bears

Legion Relic
#1 = Iron Warriors
#2 = World Eaters
#3 = Night Lords
#4 = Alpha Legion
#5 = Renegades
#6 = Emperors Children
#7 = Word Bearers
#8 = Black Legion

Legion Stratagem
#1 = Alpha Legion
#2 = Word Bearers
#3 = Emperors Children
#4 = World Eaters
#5 = Iron Warriors 
#6 = Black Legion
#7 = Night Lords
#8 = Renegades

Warlord Trait
#1 = Iron Warriors
#2 = Night Lords
#3 = Word Bearers
#4 = Alpha Legion
#5 = Emperors Children
#6 = Black Legion
#7 = Renegades
#8 = World Eaters

Overall
#1 = Alpha Legion (25 points)
#2 = Iron Warriors (23 points)
#3 = Night Lords (21 points)
#4 = Emperors Children (19 points)
#5 = Word Bearers (17 points) 
#6 = World Eaters (17 points)
#7 = Renegades (15 points)
#8 = Black Legion (09 points)

Wednesday, September 20, 2017

0 The Good, The Bad & The Panda: Codex Chaos Space Marines Review #10 Heavy Support/Lord of War


Glowing redhot the barrels of their weapons scream out in agony as they tear apart a platoon of guardsmen with ease.  From the flank a salvo of missile screech their way toward a detachment of armoured sentinels.  Their aim as true as their hatred for the Imperium the missiles punch into the cock pits and leave little doubt that their operators were vaporized.  A massive explosion erupts from a monstrosity of skulls.  It's main cannon letting loose its anger and wrath leaving only its' munition to extinguish the lives of many guardsmen.  Blood is spilled and Khorne is left smiling down.

Like a GWAR concert we are in the final stages of this Codex Review and we have saved the heaviest for last.  Not one but two of the best Heavy Support options are left along with what can only be described as an over the top centre piece for a GWAR concert; a Lord of War unit.  Without a doubt these three units are loud if not flat out heavy.


Havocs
Overview:  Veterans of the long war have given these Chaos Space Marines the role of wielding the biggest and heaviest weapons in their Legion.  Havocs might come in small squads of 5 to 10 but each and everyone of them pack a punch that tears through the thickest of armour.  They are suited for all types of shooting; short, medium and long range.

Good: Even though they do not have a single special ability or rule Havocs standout amongst the various entries in the CSM Codex.  The reason for this is that they cost the same amount of points as regular Chaos Space Marine but can have up to 4 of its members carrying either a heavy or special weapon.  In addition the squads Champion can take up to items from the Champions Equipment list meaning it can take a "Combi-weapon" of your choice.

Bad: Their is very little you can complain about when it comes to Havocs except for the fact that they step all over Chosen Space Marines.  With their ability to take a handful of special weapons and that they cost 3pts less per model Havocs make it hard to not field when you are looking for a strong shooting unit.

Panda: I like my Havocs in squads of 5 and multiple squads of them.  I kit them out with 4 "Missile Launchers" and run the Champion with a "Bolter" & "Chainsword".  "Missile Launchers" offer you the ability to deal with hordes, vehicles and monstrous creatures.  The variable profile is pure gold. Running only one squads of them is not enough as a savvy opponent will see the value/threat they are and take them out before they start to wreck havoc on the battlefield. Double down on them and don't be afraid to even triple up on them.  The long range threat also adds value in an Alpha Legion army as they will benefit from their trait in the back field.  There is value in fielding a squad of 4 special weapon and a matching "Combi-weapon" on the Champion if you can protect them; perhaps in a rhino.  A Havoc squad  like this will be able to roll up on a horde of chaff with a fist full of flamers or a tank with "Melta-maddness" and a "Plasma" squad on almost anything at all.  At the end of the day there are very few lists that I build that do not contain at least 2 squads of Havocs."



Obliterator
Overview:  Mutation of flesh and metal.  These ancient warriors blend the reality between man and machine to their advantage.  Coming in squads of 3 and 3 only.  They are suited for midrange shooting.

Good: One look at their stat line and you will be left picking your jaw off the floor.  We are talking about a BS/WS 3+, strength 5, toughness 4, wounds 3 and a 2+ armour save.  If that was not enough since they are "Daemonic" they have a 5++ invulnerable save.  Without a doubt they have a lot going in their favour.  Their "Fleshmetal guns" are tasty as well even with them having a variable profile.  Assault 4, strength 6+D3, AP -D3 and Dmg D3 is good even if you roll 1's for all three of the D3s. Of course rolling three 3's is not bad either.  To round off their good abilities they can also deepstrike their way into a favourable position on the battlefield.

Bad: They are one of the slowest units on the table with a movement 4" but their biggest downside is their unit size.  They come in only squads of 3, not 1, not 5 but 3 and 3 only.  This fixed size takes getting use to and is worth ignoring in favour of their plethora of "Goods"

Panda: When we are talking Obliterators we are talking about 3 of them.  That means when they shoot its 12 shots going down range at a high strength, a good AP and a decent damage.  They are a great secondary unit to use "Endless Cacophony" on if you have marked them Slaanesh; firing twice is always nice.  While having any "Mark" on them will always let you use "Veterans of the Long War" to increase your chancing of wounding their target.   



Khorne Lord of Skulls
Overview:  The biggest, the meanest and the most expensive unit there is in the Chaos Space Marine Codex.  This unit is without a doubt a centre piece to GWAR concert; it screams death and ridiculous all at the same time.  It is suited for close combat while doing a decent job at shooting on the approach.

Good: Sheer abundant POWER!!!  Its' number are off the chart and should be considering its' cost.  It has a WS/BS +3, toughness 8, wounds 28, with a 3+ save.  28 fracking WOUNDS!!!  It can rengenerate 1 wound every turn with its "Infernal Regeneration" ability.  Good luck taking this bad boy down.  On top of this it has a 5++ invulnerable save thanks to its "Daemonic" ability.  Absolutely absurd.  It has to take two shooting platforms and has one close combat weapon.  The first shooting options gives you the ability to pick from 3 different weapons of which two of them are 18" flamer like weapons ("Gorestorm" & "Daemongore Cannons") that auto hit; very nice option if you ask me. The "Gorestorm Cannon" is the more flexible of the two as its shots increase from D6 to 2D6 if its target is in a squad of 10 or more models.  Its' second shooting option gives it some longer range options.  The "Hades Gatling Cannon" might cost more than the "Skullhurler" but the most notable difference here is that you get twice the amount of shots; 12 vs 6.  Regardless of how you load it out it gets to ignore the penalties for moving and shooting heavy weapons.  It can also shoot its ranged weapons even if units are within 1" as long as they all have the infantry keyword.  If this is the case it can shoot at models within 1" of it and or any visible unit that is within range of its' weapons and are not within 1" of friendly models.  This is a huge advantage as you can shoot its weapons in and out of close combat.   When it comes to close combat it has only one option but its a fantastic option.  The "Great Cleaver of Khorne" lets the Khorne Lord of Skulls fight with either a "Smash" (strength x2, AP -4, Dmg 6) or a Slash (Strength User, AP -2, Dmg D3 but you get to roll 3 hit rolls for each attack instead of 1).  Both are great options and will depend on what your targeting.

Bad

It does have a degrading profile since it is a Daemonic Engine.  This time it targets its movement, strength and number of attacks.  The movement ranges from 10" to 7" to 4" where its strength is 10, 8 and 5.  Now its' attacks actually go up as it suffers more damage.  

At its' cheapest load out you are dedicating 521pts towards this centre piece.  Its' most expensive load out will cost you 623pts.  Either way in a 2000pt game you are talking about spending approximately 1/4 of your armies points.  For good or bad this is a major decision and it will drastically affect your army as a whole.  Make one mistake with this units and castle can crumble before your eyes. 

Panda: If I am going to field this GWAR like monstrosity it's going to be a no holds bar load out.  I am going to go all out on it as the difference between 521pts and 623pts is marginal at this point.  As such I am going to give it the "Gorestorm Cannon" and the "Hades Gatling Cannon".  The "Gorestorm" flamer like attack is excellent for dealing with large squads.  Large squad are going to be a staple in 8th edition as folks are going to want to squeeze every drop of blood out of the rock that they can when it comes to stratagems and you would be a fool not to.  The "Hades Gatling Cannon" gives you a reliable 12 shots and does reliable damage unlike the "Skullhurler" that has variable shots and damage.  Even though the Khorne Lord of Skulls has two platforms that shoot don't just have it sit in the backfield shooting at the enemy as that would be an injustice to this Lord of War.  Make no doubt about it, this model belongs in close combat especially if its in only in close combat against infantry as it can still shoot.  You want to take some damage on the way in as well to help increase your number of attacks in close combat.  This makes it a balancing game as the ideal zone is to be between 7 and 13 wounds remaining.  At this delicate point its' strength is 8 which is 2s to wound the majority of infantry units with a "Slash" attack.  If you make a "Smash" though you get to x2 its' users strength to 16 in this case which translates to 2s to wound 99% of all vehicles.  At the same time your attacks at at 6 a piece but can be expanded out with "Slash" attacks by a multiplier of 3.  In the end this Lord of War can take on anything and everything.  It doesn't mean that it is indestructible though.

These three units each leave large holes in your opponents army and are not to be taken lightly like that of a GWAR concert.  They are loud, crude, deafening and attention hogs.  They will kill enemy units in droves and you will be rewarded by the gods for their actions.  This about sums up my review of the units in the Chaos Space Marine Codex but to those that have been enjoying this fear not as I have one more review left in the chamber.  By the end of the week I am going to rank the Legions by examining their Legion Trait, Legion Relic, Legion Stratagem, Warlord Trait and my thoughts on each of them. Stay tuned.

Monday, September 18, 2017

0 The Good, The Bad & The Panda: Codex Chaos Space Marines Review #9 Heavy Support

A volley of Lascannon shots rip their way across the battlefield and melt a hole clean through the side armour of an Ultramarine Rhino.  An explosion erupts as one of the shots stuck the Rhino's fuel tank.  The marines inside are vaporized before they even get the chance to scream out for their salvation.  The Chaos mechanized force continues to bare down on their eternal enemy.  As the Chaos force closes the ground between the two armies their vehicles begin to vomit forth the infantry models that were inside them.  Khorne Berzerkers and Chaos Space Marines disembark from their transports.  Both the vehicles and the infantry send a wall of bullets towards the cowering Ultramarines.  The vehicles fire their troops into the fortifications of the enemy as final stage of the battle begins to play out.  Bolters are slung and close combat weapons are swung.  Before you know it the battle is over thanks to the vehicles that transported you and your fellow Chaos Space Marines across the the battlefield. 

Rat Fink is without a doubt a Daemon Prince of Nurgle but more importantly he understands the importance of vehicles in 40k.  They ofter you not only mobility but they ofter you a durable platform that can weather a surprising amount of firepower .  This Chaos Space Marine Codex review is going to examine the engines of the 4 vehicles (non-daemon engine types) that are presented in the Heavy Support section of the Codex.  Without any more yapping, ladies and gentlemen, let's start our engines!!!

Chaos Rhino
Overview:  The work horse of many Chaos Space Marine Legions.  This mighty metal beast of Chaos may not be as impressive as other transports in the 40k verse but the weight that it pulls is extraordinary to say the least.  The Chaos Rhino is suited to transport units across the battlefield and protect them in doing so.

Good: They are the cheapest vehicle that Chaos Space Marines have access to.  The sheer amount of wounds, 10, and its toughness of 7 actually give it the ability to with stand a fair amount of damage.  It comes stock with a mandatory 1 times "Combi-weapon" but does have It does have the option to take a second one.  In addition to these it can take 1 "Havoc Launcher".  "Self-repair" is a nice bonus as with the "Smoke Launcher" abilities and are nothing to complain against.  Its movement of 12" is more than enough for this monster truck to get around the table. Oh and let's not forget that it can carry up to 10 light infantry models (no terminators, "Cult of Destruction" or "Jump Pack" units).

Bad: The degrading profile is always something to cry over as it affects its movement value and its BS values

Panda: I am a huge proponent of the Chaos Rhino or any Rhino for that matter.  8th edition gave it the ability to weather a series of attacks and make one-shoting them a rarity.  I like to keep things simple on them to help keep the costs down on them.  More times than not, I give it 1 "Combi-bolter" but if I have the spare points I will give it a "Combi-flamer" instead.  The "Havoc Launcher" can add some extra long range punch but its not worth the cost in my HOT opinion.  I like to see 2-3 rhinos in each of my 2k armies to move a variety of units into close combat with the enemy.  One of the best tactics out there is to unload its' payload at the start of your movement phase then move the Chaos Rhino up with the dismounted infantry.  You then have the Rhino charge the enemy units first to soak up the overwatch.  If successful which it will usually be, it will now prevent said unit from over watching your more vulnerable infantry models.  To those that do not like this tactics, suck it up as this is a pretty dam accurate representation of how a modern armoured fighting vehicle would fire its dismounts into the enemy's lines.  Bloody Fantastic.

Chaos Vindicator
Overview:  Big gun never tire and that rings true when it comes to Chaos biggest and baddest tank.  The Vindicator's "Demolisher Cannon" is a monstrosity and it will utterly destroy the world around if given the chance.  The Vindicator is suited for midrange shooting.

Good:  The Vindicator comes stock with a "Demolisher Cannon" which is nothing to scoff at; Str 10, AP -3, Dmg D6.  This results in it wounding the majority of its targets on 2's with only leaving them with an armour save of 6+.  It gets a nice boost to its survivability as it is Toughness 8 which means that the enemy is going to need high strength weapons to wound it but even so they will only be wounding on 5's.  It also receives an extra wound.  It can take a "Havoc Launcher" and or a "Combi-weapon" if you are feeling spicy.  It is fairly cheap as it only costs 135pts.  At this price tag it is a tempting unit to include in your army.

Bad: Like all vehicles now in 8th edition it comes with a degrading profile.  To makes matters worse it moves relatively slow when compared against other vehicles; 10" movement when at full health.   The next major hit via degradation is its' BS.  The variable amount of shots is a major turn off for me as it is Heavy D3 when targeting units with less than 5 and Heavy D6 for units of 5 or more.  Not being able to count on a set amount will always bite you in the ass when you need it most.  The heavy weapon type also punishes you for moving and shooting with it.  Its major drawback though is the "Demolisher Cannon's" range of 24", as it means you need to get a hell of lot closer than most shooting vehicles should want to.

Panda: Having to get within 24" of the enemy to get your bang for your buck places this tank into a precarious situation.  It is not that hard for certain units, bikers, jump units and deepstriking units to get a charge off on the Vindicator.  Once this happens the Vindicator will no longer be able to shoot; even with falling back it still cannot shoot.  To help mitigate this, I recommend giving it a "Combi-flamer" for protecting during overwatch.  The "Linebreaker Bombardment" stratagem is a joke as far as I am concerned as it is just a marketing ploy by GW.  "Blasphemous Machines" stratagem will let you ignore the penalties for moving and firing heavy weapons which can be useful on its first volley.  However, I feel that there are other stratagems that will give you a better return for your command points.  The "Havoc Launcher" can add some extra long range punch but its not worth the cost as far as this PANDA is concerned.  Despite the cheap price tag on the Vindicator I am not going to be including one in my army due to its "Demolisher Cannon's" range as a savvy opponent will quickly charge it and thus make it useless.

Chaos Predator
Overview:  The Chaos Predator turns the Rhino chassis into an apex hunter on the battlefield.  It is suited for Vehicle hunting but also is highly effective against Characters and Monstrous creatures.

Good: It has a wide variety of loadouts with it coming stock with a "Predator Autocannon".  This can be swapped out for a "Twin Lascannon" which is an excellent upgrade.  In addition to its' main gun it can take two side sponsons; 2x "Lascannons" or 2x "Heavy Bolters"  This enables it to be effective against any target type on the battlefield.  All of these weapons have an excellent threat range that also enables it a great standoff distance for protection against being charged.  It can also be fitted with a "Havoc Launcher" and or a "Combi-weapon" if you want some additional dakka.  It has a nice movement range of 12" when at full health and has 11 wounds.  

Bad: Once again it has a degrading profile which is a party killer as it not only effectives its' movement but its' BS as well.  Like the Vindicator the Predator suffers from having Heavy weapon types as no one wants to have a -1 penalty to shoot for having to move but even more so for a Tank.  

Panda: The Twin Lascannon, duel Lascannon option is a nasty option, a popular option and the only option in my humble opinion.  It will cost you 190pts but I feel that is neither a steal or a scam.  It turns the Predator into one of the most effective Vehicle, Monstrous Creature and Character hunter that Chaos has access to.   The "Heavy Bolter" option is a cheaper version but is a waste on this platform.  If you want "Heavy Bolters" put them on your Marines.  The "Predator Autocannon" is overprice and needs a cost reduction to make it viable. Being only 1pt less then a "Twin Lascannon" is not worth it.  Yes it can "POSSIBLY" get more shots off with its variable 2D3 but its' lack of AP punch is another blow against it when compared to the "Twin-Lascannon".  The stratagem "Killshot" is another GW ploy to get you to buy more Predators.  While they are a viable and valuable unit in any Chaos Space Marine Legion you do not need 3 of them.


Chaos Land Raider
Overview:  The Chaos Land Raider combines a tank and a transport into one tough package.  The bulge on this package is huge as it has everything that a girl wants in a vehicle.  It is suited for transporting units and long range fire support.

Good: Its' toughness value of 8 and its' amount of wounds, 16, makes for one of the most durable vehicles in the game.  Its' "Daemonic Machine Spirt" ability is the bees knees as it negates the -1 penalty for moving and shooting its' heavy weapons.  This will allow you to stay focus on delivers its payload of infantry.  It comes with a "Twin-Heavy Bolter" and not one but two sponsons of "Twin Lascannons"  In addition it can be given a "Havoc Launcher" and or a "Combi-weapon".  This adds up to a a lot of dakka. It can carry any type of infantry model that you want to stuff into it and has a capacity for up to 10 models.  Bare in mind that certain infantry types take up more room than others.

Bad: The degrading profile strikes again and it cuts deep on the vehicles movement and BS most notably.  The 10" movement makes it once of the slowest units in the game.  It's price however cuts even deeper at a whopping 356pts minimum.  You are paying for what you are getting though.

Panda: This HOTpanda cannot justify the cost of this vehicle especially when Rhinos boost in durability.  I have never once since 3rd edition ever felt or thought of buying a Landraider as their price has always be ridiculously high.  I would rather field a Rhino and triple Lascannon Predator, which can cost you 262pts.  I don't need to transport my Terminator wearing CSM as they can just deepstrike directly where they need to be.  Sure that Rhino of mine is going to get destroyed in a couple turns or more but that is all you need to deliver the infantry inside.  Yes the Land Raider will continue contributing but it is just not worth it.  Feel free to try and convince me in the comments that the Land Raider is worth every penny as I would love for someone to change my opinion on them.

Any and all Chaos Legions should utilize 2-3 of these vehicles at the minimum in their army as a mechanized force is a game changer.  They provide protection to the troops that they can transport and provide mobile LOS blocking units for any dismounted units that you may have included in your army.  The speed in which they can close with and destroy your enemy is well worth whatever points you spend on them.  I cannot praise the lowly Rhino enough in this edition and the inclusion of a triple "Lascannon" Predator is a scary sight for any army to go up against.  We are one post away from closes out the review on the Chaos Space Marine units.  Please continue to bare with me as I venture into the final phase of my review on the codex.