Thursday, 8 February 2018

Warhammer 40k Throne of Skulls Doubles Tournament - 10/11th Feb 2018

Just after Christmas Rich and I decided to enter the Warhammer 40k Throne of Skulls Doubles Tournament in February. We haven't played competitively since 5th edition back in 2010 & 2011. Since the onset of young children in general our hobby time has been limited but we thought that it was about time for us to compete once again.

In previous years we have always focused mainly on painting and trying to win best painted at the event. 4 times we entered and 4 times we were nominated but never won - always the bridesmaid...sigh! This time around however we have decided to be competitive and actually try to win the thing! Even though I have been playing Blood Angels since 8th began and Rich hasn't played many games of 8th due to his focus on his Imperial Fists 30k army we decided to resurrect our first love - The Emperor's Feth Astra Militarum army. Both of us love this army and it has been good for us to have a rest and paint something else over the past few years.
James' half of a previous doubles tournament back in 5th edition
Pulling out the army has brought back many memories of tournament play - getting in the top ten  and then being crippled by our opponent seizing the initiative in the last game, rushing through the last turns to complete a victory with seconds to spare, rolling unbelievably hot with 2 Manticores and destroying an Ork army in one turn (sorry!), etc. etc...

However an army from 5th edition is not one that will suffice now and so we started to do some research...

Wednesday, 17 January 2018

Taurox Prime - Why I chose it and tips on building it

A Change In Army

A new year and a switch back to 'The Emperor's Feth' my first and favourite army in 40k! After a couple of years getting a Blood Angels army in tabletop condition a change was well needed and I am now ready to return back to my Astra Militarum army which needs a serious update as I haven't played it since 5th Edition!!
Some of The Emperor's Feth
I began my Warhammer 40k experience by total fluke in the week that 5th edition was released and played competitively all through that edition. You can check out the story of how I started in 40k and chose my army here.

Since 5th I played a little in 6th, less in 7th and then have played a lot more since 8th was released. However I have only played with Blood Angels so far in 8th edition and am in need of a change, so back to 'The Feth' I go.

The Emperor's Feth

My army actually still stacks up to some extent from 5th edition, but to compete and achieve a brigade detachment for some juicy command points it definitely needs a couple of additions. If you want to see my current Astra Militarum army and units there are some pics in the Gallery.

To get to a brigade i'm going to need some more elites but mainly troops as I only have 3 troop squads at the moment. I do want a couple of extra standard troop squads but I don't want to start back painting with something so dull. The alternative is to paint some Tempestus Scions which I have always loved the look of but back in the day they were not worth the points. Now however they are resurgent and powerful too for their points cost. With Deep Strike, orders and the ability to take 4 plasmaguns in a squad for 100 - 150 points is fantastic!

Tuesday, 2 January 2018

The Best Units in Astra Militarum, 8th Edition

Hi folks,
I've been researching the best units in Astra Militarum (AM) pretty heavily and have come across some incredible resources, plus indulged my love of a good spreadsheet and done a little analysis of my own. What you'll see here is a summary of the most popular units in the top 18 ITC lists of 2017 for AM and some links to the resources I have been digesting. My data on AM comes from the US ITC tournaments which were numerous and diverse in terms of meta to produce some results I think are worth taking some instruction from - these are lovingly compiled by the guys at Frontline Gaming, all credit to them for collating this info.

To begin with, AM have done very well in 8th Edition ITC tournaments in 2017. They are in the top 5 factions across 2017 which also include Space Marines, Chaos Space Marines, Orcs and Tyranids. This is a big swing from 7th Edition which featured Eldar heavily, alongside Space Marines, Chaos Space Marines, Tau & Chaos Daemons. No doubt as each faction gets a new codex next year we will see more changes.

My addition to the great work from Frontline is to collate any AM lists that got a top 3 placing at 20 of the ITC 8th Edition tournaments last year and list out the units I found there. I sorted the units into 'buckets' of battlefield roles and then listed the top 3 (or less where there wasn't enough diversity!) to produce the units that people find most optimal and voila....

The # denotes the number of times this Unit appeared in the lists and the % indicates the percentage this unit represents for all the entries for this battlefield role. So what does all this tell us? Well there are some really dominant units:

Tuesday, 19 December 2017

Astra Militarum in 8th Edition - Part 1 Review

I have spent the last few years focused on the Horus Heresy and kept gaming with 40k by just transferring my codex over, well that was until 8th came along. I tried using the fandex which is brilliant work, but it just wasn't the same.

So it was time for me to unpack my Astra Militarum (still getting used to calling them that) and take a look through the 8th edition rules properly and the AM Codex. Suffice to say I am loving them!

I've been looking through the codex, listening to podcasts (Forge The Narrative), and scanning through various blogs to look for consistent great units. With a tournament in mind next year and a desire to get a half decent sense of what makes a good army in mind I am embarking upon a review of what I think works well in the codex for me and fits with the models I have already (although I'm not ruling out the odd addition here and there).

Monday, 11 December 2017

8th Edition and the Horus Heresy - a gaming crossroads!

I’ve played a few games now and feel I’ve seen enough to give a view, at the least from the perspective of the Imperial Fists anyway. I used to play friends who had 40k armies at 7th no problem. My army was fairly well balanced with theirs and the difference in genres didn’t seem to affect us at all. So it was with some trepidation I tried out my army with the Horus Heresy fandex (which is too casual a description really for the great work that the guys have put into this - take a look at against a Blood Angels and Imperial Guard Army. 

General thoughts on playing 8th from the Horus Heresy

- it’s got the potential to play fast, although because we were still learning the rules it wasn’t much faster than 7th, but the potential is there.
- the psychic phase seems much simpler - I’ve not used Psykers for a long time so it’s difficult for me to compare. But compared to 7th I picked up how to do psychic stuff in no time at all so it’s got to be better than before. 
- templates gone - I like this, much quicker all around both as it doesn’t mean you need to worry about bunching up squads and it’s quicker in the shooting phase to play with largely similar results (although see my comment later!). 
- no scattering for deep strike - yippee!
- turn 1 charges - yippee!

Monday, 4 December 2017

Armies on Parade 2017 - Rich's Imperial Fists

Armies on Parade - 2017

I had an ambition to try out at this in 2017 and so, I duly arrived a few weeks ago at my local store with my Imperial Fists and one of my terrain boards. 

I decided to take infantry and walkers only, and also to keep the miniatures on the Board well spaced so that the varied characters and squads could grab their own but of the limelight.

Saturday, 25 November 2017

Beautiful Models v Time - The ultimate rivalry

You might well talk about Man Utd v Liverpool, The Bengals v The Steelers or The Yankees v The Red Sox but I think it is universally given that Beautiful models v Time is the ultimate rivalry in history.
The greatest rivalry?
I came up against this particular rivalry once again in my life the other day. This time of year (September - December) is generally my busiest time. It is the start of a new school year, we have many birthdays through October and November in our family and then Christmas hits. During this time of year I get precious little hobby time and when I do I need to be very efficient and focused in what I do. It is usually in these situations where I hate Games Workshop the most!

As you may know I have been working on expanding the Death Company for my Flesh Tearers army this year. It has been an incredibly slow process for me but I have been grinding through them as the year has gone by. Finally I had got the main torso's finished and in my hour spare I thought I could make some good headway on the arms and weapons and they would be very close to getting on the table.
Finished torso's on the Death Company

Monday, 30 October 2017

Painting Non Metallic Metal (NMM) Power Swords - My journey!

I have previously posted about painting power swords (here) a few months ago as I experimented with painting a lightning effect:
Death Company with lightning effect power sword

At the time I thought that it was cool but I am having second thoughts as I have decided to paint another 6 Death Company all with power swords and having 2 squads with 3 power swords in each squad.

On close inspection my power sword looks a bit lame and so I did a bit of research online to find some that I might like to emulate. My favourites were these:

Saturday, 23 September 2017

Building a Zone Mortalis Board from scratch

Dad Rich and I have played a few games of Zone Mortalis (See Imperial Fists v Flesh Tearers here) over the last 12 months. It is a fun way to play, quick and provides a very different experience from standard 40k.

With regards to a board to play on, he has been sneaky enough to purchase a Zone Mortalis set without his better half knowing and has airbrushed it up to a playable standard fairly quickly!
Rich's Zone Mortalis board
Unfortunately not all of us are lucky enough to be able to afford to get a Forge World board and also, although it looks cool I quite fancied a Zone Mortalis board that would be more unique and varied rather than grey spaceship walls. In fact a dungeon style set of ruins took my fancy so I did a bit of research online and received my inspiration from Machu Picchu with a grey, grassy style. With this in mind I set to work designing and building my own board from scratch...

Saturday, 16 September 2017

40k Flesh Tearers v Grey Knights - 8th edition comment on the Grey Knight Codex

 The last time my Flesh Tearers played against Steve's Grey Knights was well back in 7th Edition and I got well and truly tabled in about 4 turns! I was determined to get my revenge as Steve wanted to try out his brand new Grey Knight Codex for the first time.