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Friday, 9 April 2010

How Much I Miss Blood Claws

Back a year or so ago, way before the new Space Wolves codex came out, GW did a Blood Claw kit. Based around the old SM sprues (with Legs, Head, Body randomly together, with the weaponry on another sprue with pads), this also had the old SW upgrade sprue (which I also miss, but at least thats on the site still at a reasonable, for GW, price).

Oh how I miss it.

That kit was PERFECT for getting large numbers of Ass. Marines without Jump Packs out on the field, and could even do for a sort of 'pre heresy' World Eaters army - which, as it happens, is one of the forces I have begun to build on again in the form of my Blood Angels >.< (The Sons of Arkhan)

To say that its annoying that now you have only the options of buying a load of bitz (which I can't be bothered to due to the price here in GB), buying Pack Ass. Squads (at £32 for 10 guys, with the Packs I won't ever use), or hoarding the Tac. Squad tacky CCW/BPs which need to be shared with the Sergeants anyway.

I really dislike the lack of thought by GW that perhaps some people didn't actually give a damn about the outdated models supplied in the Grey Hunters and Blood Claws kits and that they chose to develop the standard pack ahead of Thunderwolf Cavalry. While the SW Pack is a BEAUTIFUL kit - far the better of the plastics of the Blood Angels release i'm afraid - I believe it would have been cost and time efficient to perhaps have simply used the standard Tactical sprues, with 1 of those 'Wolf Guard' sprues (the one with the Options and such) and the old Blood Claw CCW sprues added.

This would have given people EVERYTHING they needed for the building, and heres another thing... it probably wouldn't have cost GW that much more. Instead of constructing, say, 3 molds it would have required one new mold and a single older one. Simple. And the spare time could have been put into preparing more Tyranids, Beastmen (the damn Rare choices!), or the Thunderwolves/New SC Sculpts (Canis is rushed, and piss poor because of it).

So please... I hope the next SM wave in June perhaps could have a new plastic Assault Squad frame with every option known to man in it. Combining the options for Vanguard Veterans, Foot Assault, and Jump Assault would be a BEAUTY, GW.

Thursday, 8 April 2010

Army List: Flight of the Successors

The Chapter I have chosen for my Blood Angels army is strangely enough going to be the Flesh Tearers. I love their idea - and the fact they're down to a low, low number of marines - and happen to be planning a Seth/Astorath team up in the future. But in order to do an army list, I actually have to read the BA book and to be honest i'm not that inspired.

The Blood Angels, despite all my raving in the poorly written review from Wednesday, are far too similar to C: SM for me to be able to hold interest in them. Back in December 2008 when I started a SM army I brought a Battle Company box (essentially) and was so overeager to assemble and such that I built and painted everything in Crimson Fists (and invested in Kantor and a full list) that I did not realise that it actually SUCKED at what I wanted it to do. Thus in the period of a month I chose to dump that list.
Then in October I invested in Space Wolves and, while less disappointing, it's difficult not to gag on the idea of doing a second Imperial SM army while i'm still in the middle of five Chaos ones and a 'Space Wolf' (I play Skyrar's Dark Wolves) one.

So this is a basic 2000 point list which is low on model count. No Special Characters yet I should note.

Flight of the Successors
Captain with Power Sword and Storm Shield. Jump Pack - 155
+ 5 Honour Guard with Noviate, Blood Champion, Jump Packs, Company Standard, 4 Power Weapons - 260

10 Assault Marines with 2 Meltaguns, and Sergeant with Power Weapon - 315
10 Assault Marines with 2 Meltaguns, and Sergeant with Power Weapon - 315
10 Assault Marines with 2 Meltaguns, and Sergeant with Power Weapon - 315

5 Sanguinary Guard with 1 Infernus Pistol - 210
5 Sanguinary Guard with 1 Infernus Pistol - 210

Heavy Support:
Predator with Autocannon - 70
Predator with Autocannon - 70
Predator with Autocannon - 70

Points: 1990
KPs: 10
Scoring: 3

Wednesday, 7 April 2010

On the Road to Armageddon

Armageddon. Some place which was given a campaign a few years ago by GW. The home of the Steel Legion. The most publicised battlefield for the Blood Angels and Space Wolves which I know of at the moment. Attacked three times by two races.

The perfect campaign setting.

The choice I have made for my next project.

Armageddon will be THE Swan Song of my campaigns and mini dexes. So far I have already constructed around 15 units for the codex, but in the end there will be 50 or so... for Space Marines alone. I will have the following chapters involved:
  1. Blood Angels - Army of Death, Normal, Flesh Tearers
  2. Salamanders - Orbital Force, Normal
  3. Space Wolves - Normal, Thirteenth Company, Egil Iron Wolf
  4. Executioners - Annihilation Force
  5. Relictors - Monolith Reclamation Cadre
  6. Grey Knights - Normal
  7. Black Templars - Crusade Fleet, Grimaldus' Retinue
This is in addition to many I have not started yet, and this is simply for the Space Marines. I also have Chaos and Orks to consider, as well as Steel Legion and other Imperial Guard... alongside the actual campaign setting itself.

So Armageddon will be this year's big project. Each fortnight I will post a new part of the Campaign and each month more progress will be made towards finishing the actual book. I will have Battle Reports and such planned as well, for I know a few players who are already making forces for this.

We. Shall. See.

(PS: I'm doing World Eaters, Flesh Tearers, and the Thirteenth Company :P)

Review: Codex Blood Angels

On the day of it's release last Saturday I chose to purchase the new Blood Angels codex. This was after constant advertising of how overly fudge coated brokenedness it was over the wild and rampant tubes that we call the Internet, and I guess also due to the fact that since Codex: Chaos Space Marines in 2007 I have, in essence, been a regular show at the bandwagon station.

I have to admit that the codex isn't as bad as it seems though... well, at first glance it isn't.

What's different, then?
Codex Blood Angels is fairly similar to the Thriller of Vanilla codex which normal, boring, SM get, but there are a load of changes to make them seem a bit more hip and fresh. One thing that they have is a lack of Combat Tactics or any characters (aside from Tycho) who have Combat Tactic like effects - so there's no free Stubborness or anything to fall back on i'm afraid. Also, the BA have become a little less badass by losing out on the incredibly fun Conversion Beamer, Thunderfire Cannon, Ironclad AND VENERABLE Dreadnoughts, Land Speeder Storm, as well as cheap Assault Terminators.
So what do they get?
One simple thing: JUMP PACK EXTRAVEGANZA. Every single part of the codex points towards a mass Deep Strike/Jump Pack army here. Sure you retain both types of Veterans, so there's Vanguard and Sternguard here, you also gain Troop Choice Assault Squads as well as the badly modelled 'Sanguinary Guard' (who seem to be freezing in their Artificer armour and, like MWG Joe, could cut through glass with their cold bat nipples) in Elite and the ability to possess Jump Pack 'Honour' (a mix between the Honour and Command Squads in normal SM) Guard units. Theoretically, someone can field 105 models with Jump Packs before considering HQ choices or the other special unit in the codex...
This special unit is DEATH COMPANY.
Take a certain character, and you could theoretically have 180 models who are essentially a big, annoying, combination of the best parts of Khorne Berserkers and Plague Marines... with Fearless, Feel No Pain, Furious Charge, and 4 attacks on the charge with the low price of 20 points pre-pack and 35 with. Sure they no longer have Rending, but at the same time, these guys do have Rage to 'balance' things out. Oh boy... because having Rage is a problem.
But back to the Jump Pack point... The BA have a few rules to give you this...
Descent of Angels: You scatter HALF the normal distance if you're DSing from reserve with a pack.
Prescision Strike: Dante's squad does not scatter, and has Hit and Run USR
Heroic Intervention: Vanguard with Packs are accurate due to DoA...
Stormravens: Assault Vehicle, like LRs, which allow you to DS (without DoA) any unit from them.
It's an insane thought... but it isn't even near the end of it.

Ferrus Manus' Secret Buddy
Blood Angels have Dreadnoughts - but this is obvious. All SM Chapters have Dreadnoughts but BA bring this to a STUPID level with their 4 types of Dread... the standard Heavy Support Dread, the Elite Furioso, the Elite Furioso Librarian Dread, and the TROOP CHOICE Death Company Dread. You can have up to 1 Dread for each 5 DC... so a 2500pt list has a grand total of 11 Dreads. ELEVEN!
Sure you need to take into account your HQ - a 115pt Captain - but then... it's 500pts for 25 Death Company and 1315 for the 11 Dreads (no Librarians here though). 570pts of upgrades for your force, but still hell to take out. Iron Hands have a genuine right to be pissed :P

Emperors Children Rise Again
Just like Ferrus is pissed, so too is his ex-friend Fulgrim. Why? Dante allows for Sanguinary Guard as Troops. These guys are Jump Infantry Terminators without the Invulnerable Save: for 40pts each (5 per squad, so 200 lol) you get master crafted PWs and a load of Pedro Kantor's Storm Bolters. I say BARGAIN. Sure they may seem to be fodder and will be a first turn target for the foe, but think about it: that's what ALL expensive units are for. The more your foe shoots at them, the less they're shooting at the other 1075pts of your force.
That's right... it's 1425pts for 31 models. 31 kickass models sure (i'm converting Sanguinor into a new Dante) but still... is that too few in the current meta? I say nay.

Crimson Fists r teh Suck! Sicarius is a douche!
Two things to say about another HQ close to my heart: Captain Tycho. Not Death Company Tycho - he's too batshit crazy, and he also can't be used as an Independent Character till Blood Angels are FAQed - but normal Tycho. He might not make Sternguard a Troop or Scoring, but he does have another use... the fact that he is a 'Monstrous Creature' vs. Vehicles, the fact he has Special Issue Ammo (which hasn't changed between SM and BA), and his Artificer Armour... which gives him a better save than Kantor lmao!
To add to C: SM misery, he has Rites of Battle, or Sicarius' rule! And guess what... Tycho can beat the crap out of Sicarius any day, even with his 'Battle Forged Heroes'!
All for the low low price of 175pts...

You may call me Death, or Larry...
(Larry is more preferable). Mephiston's back and better than ever apparently! Let's put it this way: you know that time that you left a Carnifex and a Space Marine together overnight in your cupboard? 9 months later, Mephiston was the result. He's Tigger from C: SM, only with a Jump Infantry power, a Strength 10 power, the ability to transfix a foe like a Broodlord, and a Preferred Enemy power he doesn't even need. All for the low, low, price of a Land Raider. He may have absolutely no Invulnerable Save, but he's a monster truck who walks like a man! Who can stand up against such a harsh, harsh combination...
Oh right, a Strength D weapon. Bye bye.

WooOOooooOOOooo!!! I am the ghost of poorly written codexes past!
So we reach the final part of this poorly written review... The Sanguinor. Also known as the worst design decision I have seen in my time in the hobby. He's THE most overdone thing I have ever seen - he combines the fervour of Kantor's aura of attackyness with the big 'I Challenge You!' feature of the Chapter Champion in C: SM (vs. 1 character) as well as... the random blessing of a single lucky Sergeant who would probably turn out to be, ironically, the Sniper Scout Sergeant? What's more he's a Jump Infantry NON SPECIAL CHARACTER just like Mephiston? Wow. For 275pts, you get a mini Hive Tyrant who doesn't have Tyrant Guard but does always have a Storm Shield save and a Master Crafted PW of Strength 5...
Why would you be so stupid to waste your time on him?
Sanguinor is the most retarded ruleset i've ever seen and the only thing the model is good for is conversion fodder, to make a guy worthy of leading your Sanguinary Guard. No more, no less. It doesn't help, however, that there was so much flash and poor casting on my Sanguinor that it's going to take far longer than usual for a SM sized character model to prepare him for painting or such. To add to misery, i'm not even using his annoying chalice and stupid sword... as I said earlier, he's going into my Dante conversion. Dante! The man who doesn't need to be more expensive than the far more useful Marneus Calgar to, well, be needed! Why again would you do that? The guy has NO SURVIVAL INSTINCT WHATSOEVER!!!!

Anyway, that's the end of my review. I'm too busy being pissed off about the wings and two handed weaponry within my Sanguinary Guard to write anything else. I'm preparing my BA Assault List right now I believe... it'll be up soon.

(Still casually posting as it's coming up to exams and even with 11 days left of my break i've got a load of revision i'm being forced to do. Thank god there's no one else in the house right now or else i'd be strangling people)