Friday, 26 August 2016

Horus Heresy Review: Cerastus Knight Lancer

Good afternoon,


The penultimate review of the Cerastus frames, with just the Atrapos left to go. The Cerastus Knight Lancer has been around for some time now and it looks great still! I would say it is the most different of all the Cerastus frames and also argue that it is the hardest to use, but pays dividends if used well.


Stats

The Lancer comes with the basic Cerastus stats line of :

WS      BS      S      F      S     R     I    A   HP
 4           4      10    13    12    12    4    4    6

Overview: A very tasty stats line as you get with all of the knights and cerastus frames, the cerastus frames have an extra attack in general I think which with this knight in particular may not make too much of a difference as we will see!


Special Rules

As a super heavy walker the Castigator comes with a chunk of special rules that include:

- Move through Cover
- Fear
- Strikedown
- Relentless
- Invincible Behemoth
- Smash (eh!?)
- Hammer of Wrath

The Cerastus frames also have the special rule Flank Speed, that means they can run 3D6 inches in the shooting phase. 

Incidentally the specific wording is the knight may opt to run instead of shooting weapon in the shooting phase. This seems open to interpretation that a knight with multiple weapons could sacrifice one weapon to run and still shoot the others. Personally I think it would be a dick move to play it that way as it seems super gamey to me, but just to point it out.


Equipment

The Lancer has two very unique pieces of equipment:

Shock Lance (melee) - D AP2, Swiftstrike

Shock Lance (Shock Blast) - S7 AP2, Heavy 6, Concussive

The Swiftstrike special rule grants +1 initiative on the charge for the lancer. This weapon is obviously designed to be up close and personal ASAP. I5 D weapons in the charge with 5 attacks on the charge is enough to make anyone weep (joy or terror depends on viewpoint).

Six shots hitting on 3's that will wound and ignore armour for most models on a 2+ is pretty gnarly as well. The short range of this weapon does make it trickier to use and much like the Castigator its got a powerful ranged attack that is its ONLY ranged attack.


Ion Gauntlet Shield - The wrist mounted shield of the Lancer offers superior defensive capabilities in combat but restricts its location placement and as such you can NEVER place the shield at the rear of the knight where it is most vulnerable.

This shield grants a 4++ invulnerable against shooting attacks to the front or side arcs and also grants a 5++ invulnerable in close combat. ADDITIONALLY gargantuan creatures and super heavy walkers are at -1 to hit in close combat, which with a WS4 means most will be hitting you on a 5+.



Options

Only two options here:

Blessed Autosimulcra - IWND weak edition, you can regain a hull point on the roll of a 6 at the end of your turn for 10 points. Worth it for the price!

Occular Augmetics - May re-roll vehicle damage results of 1 when shooting from 12" or less and also gain night vision for 10 points, not worth it on this knight at all. 


Utilisation

I love the aesthetic of this knight and it has really focused rules compared to other variants. It is absolutely designed to be a giant killer. If you were playing 40k then this is the kind of knight you would send after a Wraithknight with its I5 D weapon, 5++ in close combat and -ve modifier to hit for the wraithknight.

In 30k you are primarily going to be wanting to send this against other knights as it will receive those benefits against it. In the absence of an opposing Imperial Knight I would send the Lancer against high value deathstar like priority targets, but avoid being over confident, most primarch will be able to destroy a knight in 1 turn or 2 turns most of close combat, unless your rolling hot on those 5++ saves.

In many ways the lack of ability to raise your shield to the rear means you can't be blase with your placement as you might be with other knights. It is imperative that you consider your back facing and cover saves, with your back to LoS blocking terrain for a 4+/5+ cover save, or even back facing against the board as you make your way up to the enemy.

A first turn run for a potentially 30" move (23" average) is I fell almost a necessity to try and guarantee a second turn shoot and charge. Though this will obviously depend on your deployment style.

Overall I would say it is the joint "weakest" of the knights with the Castigator, though to call them weak is much the misnomer. 

Peace out,

Rob

Wednesday, 24 August 2016

Alternative Death Watch Parts - Anvil Industry

Hi Gang,

With the dawn of a new age and the release of the deathwatch I thought I would ring the bell for one of the smaller independent companies out there - Anvil Industry. 

These guys have always been brilliant for conversion pieces for space marines but that becomes even more so when you consider Deathwatch and the aesthetic of being a specialised Xenos Kill team. Below are some highlights from their range that I think fit perfectly (and in the frag launchers case deliberately) into a Deathwatch setting:

Heavy Weapons

Everyone loves to splash gore around right!? Well now you can spread death and destruction to the Xenos foes with these bad boys!


Yes this does seem a convenient time to release this, but for the price and how cool it looks its an easy way to equip your whole veteran squad with frag launchers and destroy EVERYTHING!



Or you could go full terminator with the mini gun! A great stand in for a heavy bolter or assault cannon if you ever need one!




Because chain feeds makes your weapon shoot more accurately, got it!?

Small Arms Fire

Sometimes when it comes down to it, a single well placed round will do the job of an army:


For when you really want that extended magazine look....


Or for when it just HAS to be a curved magazine!


What you don't hear coming can't hurt you right....Right!?


1 to the head and 2 to stay dead!


Close Combat Weapons

Look into the whites.. err greens? Yellows? Many possible colours of their eyes as they die!

Well well well, I wonder what this kind of glaive could stand in for?



I love this mace and you could easily pass it off as a massive hammer such as can be selected in Deathwatch!


Speaking of double handed hammers!


Finally when having a big weapon just isn't enough and you need to stick a gun on it ;)


Overview

As you can see, Anvil have a lot of your Deathwatch weapons covered if you want to personalise your army or aren't willing to pay through the noise from bits sites for special weapons! Go check them out by clicking on the weapon titles which are links :)


Peace out,

Rob

Tuesday, 23 August 2016

Hero For A Day - A Rousing Success!

Hello!


This weekend just gone I attended a 24 hour charity gaming event in support of the Children's Cancer and Leukaemia Group run by the gent that is Nick Thrower at The Burning Eye. There were 10 people in attendance in two team of five and boy did we have a blast!

Here is a picture of us at the start:

Right to left I am 4th with the arms raised

And about 2/3 of the way through:

Note the source of caffeine in my hand....

Sadly no picture of us at the end when we were truly spent! The total by the end of the night was somewhere around £1300 which I think is a good show for 10 sweaty guys in a parish hall pushing models around!!

Mike from St Andrews Wargaming will have some great battle reports coming up from his games which I was in one of so head over to check his blog out if you want to see how deranged we became in our tactics as the hours rolled on! Due to the start time of midnight on friday we all ended up being awake for nearly 48 hours!!!

You can still give to this good cause if you want by clicking on this link here :)

Peace out,

Rob

Monday, 22 August 2016

Horus Heresy Review: Cerastus Knight Acheron

Good afternoon,

Today's post is the second in my Cerastus Knight class reviews and focuses on what I think is the most competitive of the 4 available - the Acheron. Not only is this night extremely good, but like all the Cerastus frames it looks bloody brilliant!


Stats

The Acheron comes with the basic Cerastus stats line of :

WS      BS      S      F      S     R     I    A   HP
 4           4      10    13    12    12    4    4    6

Overview: A very tasty stats line as you get with all of the knights and cerastus frames, the cerastus frames have an extra attack in general I think which with this knight in particular may not make too much of a difference as we will see!


Special Rules

As a super heavy walker the Castigator comes with a chunk of special rules that include:

- Move through Cover
- Fear
- Strikedown
- Relentless
- Invincible Behemoth
- Smash (eh!?)
- Hammer of Wrath

The Cerastus frames also have the special rule Flank Speed, that means they can run 3D6 inches in the shooting phase. 

Incidentally the specific wording is the knight may opt to run instead of shooting weapon in the shooting phase. This seems open to interpretation that a knight with multiple weapons could sacrifice one weapon to run and still shoot the others. Personally I think it would be a dick move to play it that way as it seems super gamey to me, but just to point it out.


Equipment

The Acheron has two fantastic pieces of equipment:

Acheron Pattern Flame Cannon - Hellstorm S7 AP3, Ordnance 1

This is a 16.5" template, effectively giving you a 28.5" range with the weapon when you consider the 12" movement of a super heavy walker. This will TOAST any marines or 3+ save bikes with aplomb. 


Reaper Chainfist - D AP2, Melee, Machine Destroyer

Ho Boy! Here is the D! Not only is this the D but when you are rolling on the Destroyer Table against any target with an armour value then you can re-roll any rolls of a 1! Vastly increasing your chances of just obliterating vehicles through hull points.

IMPORTANTLY the Reaper Chainfist also has a built in twin-linked Heavy Bolter. This means you can toast one target with your hellstorm and then charge another that you shot the Heavy bolter at. This gives you a level of target saturation lacking on the Cerastus Castigator.


Ion Shield - 4++ against shooting attacks with the facing declared at the start of the shooting phase as usual. You know it you love it.


Options

Only two options here:

Blessed Autosimulcra - IWND weak edition, you can regain a hull point on the roll of a 6 at the end of your turn for 10 points. Worth it for the price!

Occular Augmetics - May re-roll vehicle damage results of 1 when shooting from 12" or less and also gain night vision for 10 points, not worth it on this knight at all. 


Utilisation

The Cerastus frames in general have relatively low ranges so they really do work well with an aggressive playstyle to get the best out of their weapons. The hellstorm template will mulch through any 3+ astartes easily, but you will need to be within 10-12" to get the best out of the template with the fat end covering the unit.

The acheron is more prone to getting tar pitted with large squads like 20 many fearless techthralls. Even with stomp he will only kill 7-10 a turn on average with attacks and stomps (as they should be able to wrap all aroun him with a pile in after charge and after additional 3" after combat over). Thats a 2-3 turn tarpit!

So keep this monster away from fearless blob squads and storm shields (D in 30k allows invulns but forces a re-roll if succesful), and don't expect him to be able to take on Primarchs at all!! Vulkan would mess this guy up no problem as would Anacharis Scoria.

You are designed to take out 3+ saves and pretty much any vehicle their is that is 6HP or lower and even a baneblade in one turn if you are a lucky son of a gun.

Peace out,

Rob

Friday, 19 August 2016

Horus Heresy Review: Cerastus Knight Castigator

Good afternoon,

This beauty comes from the most excellent Mordian7th.blogspot.com :)

Todays post is the beginning of me doing a run down of all of the Cerastus Class Knights that are available for use in the Horus Heresy, though obviously these are also available for use in 40k. I only really intend these reviews to be pertinent to 30k as I have greatly dialled back my 40k participation. Though Deathwatch has piqued my interest I must say with modelling opportunities abound!


Stats

The castigator comes with the following stats line:

WS      BS      S      F      S     R     I    A   HP
 4           4      10    13    12    12    4    4    6

Overview: A very tasty stats line as you get with all of the knights and cerastus frames, the cerastus frames have an extra attack in general I think which with this knight in particular may not make too much of a difference as we will see!


Special Rules

As a super heavy walker the Castigator comes with a chunk of special rules that include:

- Move through Cover
- Fear
- Strikedown
- Relentless
- Invincible Behemoth
- Smash (eh!?)
- Hammer of Wrath

The Cerastus frames also have the special rule Flank Speed, that means they can run 3D6 inches in the shooting phase. 

Incidentally the specific wording is the knight may opt to run instead of shooting A weapon in the shooting phase. This seems open to interpretation that a knight with multiple weapons could sacrifice one weapon to run and still shoot the others. Personally I think it would be a dick move to play it that way as it seems super gamey to me, but just to point it out.


Equipment

The Castigator has two fantastic pieces of equipment:

Castigator Pattern Bolt Cannon - 36" S7 AP3, Heavy 8

Error in the code - reboot - it is twinlinked! on average (and without cover) you will be blowing away 6-7 marines a turn with this beauty.


Tempest Warblade - S10, AP2, Melee, Deflagrate, Sunder, Tempest Attack 

The Warblade is not a D weapon, which is a good thing in my book! With a re-roll to armour pen you are unlikely to come away empty handed even against a landraider, and with 5 attacks on the charge you have a decent chance of blowing a Spartan or at least seriously crippling it. 

The real beauty here is the fact that Deflagrate will allow you to roll an additional number of wounds equal to each unsaved wound taken by the enemy, so basically melee volkite. However when you combine this with the Tempest Attack it gets tasty. 

Tempest Attack lets you forgoe all normal attacks and instead opt for an Initiative step 2 attack that AUTOMATICALLY hits every model in base contact with you. Against power fist or thunder hammer terminators you are going to hit all of the one in base contact automatically and wound on a 2+. If they fail their invulnerable and die then you get to roll again with deflagrate! At S10 this will also double out any pesky 2 wound termies (looking at you Firedrakes!)


Ion Shield - 4++ against shooting attacks with the facing declared at the start of the shooting phase as usual


Options

Only two options here:

Blessed Autosimulcra - IWND weak edition, you can regain a hull point on the roll of a 6 at the end of your turn for 10 points. Worth it for the price!

Occular Augmetics - May re-roll vehicle damage results of 1 when shooting from 12" or less and also gain night vision for 10 points, not worth it on this knight at all. 


Utilisation

Unfortunately the Castigator suffers from one big flaw, and that is its lack of a secondary weapon. This means you have to charge the unit that you shot at which if it is regular marines will likely already have taken a pounding! 

Because of this I think it is advisable with the Castigator to send it after priority targets, don't mess about and get in the enemies face, this might also mean that for the first turn you actually run in the shooting phase. This is particularly advisable if you are playing hammer and anvil and your opponent has deployed far back. 

The Castigator has decent ranged attack but it does the business in close combat and you should be sending it after giant squads, tough squads, initiative 1 squads and vehicles to tear them to pieces. I think it could be very easy to have the castigator faff about and do very little. Make sure you pick targets and run them down, indecision will not go well with this knight. 

Peace out,

Rob

Wednesday, 17 August 2016

Basing the Solar Auxilia - The Importance of a Good Base

How do?


When I started back in the hobby some 4/5 years ago now, I really underestimated the importance of basing. I thought about the model first and only, almost in isolation. As I've progressed with my hobby basing eventually became as important as the miniatures themselves. 

This was not a quick realisation, my death company have OK bases, but it wasn't until I started my Dark Angels and Mechanicum that I really put a concerted effort into my basing to help make the miniatures "pop" and fit a certain theme. Bases will make your miniature look better and vice versa!

With both my Mechanicum and now my Solar Auxilia I have been doing my bases the Dave Weston way, which is to get them all done separately without the miniatures glued to them. This helps a lot with not swamping the feet of a miniature with sand or snow and letting them sit on top of the base rather than sunk into it. 

The Solar Auxilia as you may have seen from my previous posts have been painted on sprue or blue tacked to a blank base. For the second squad I took some pictures to show the progression of my bases at a few stages:


Here the bases are just painted black. After this stage they were drybrushed a few grey colours for the flagstones before the surrounding bases was painted and highlighted brown, given a wash and then flock and barbed wire glued on:






Already with this you can see how much the base comes to life. Because I want mine to be properly Grimdark I then covered them in two tones of blood and washed the grass loosely to make it look muddied and browned:








And here are some picture of the Veletaris axe squad on bases like these:


I think if you design a base to fit your miniatures style and give them a proper theme you will always end up with a better looking miniature. Don't think this is me saying flocking your bases is bad! It isn't, BUT if you are striving towards the best looking miniatures you can produce as part of your hobby, as it is with mine, then I strongly suggest you take a good look at your miniatures and decide how you want them to be based BEFORE they are stuck down on a base. 

Peace out,

Rob

Tuesday, 16 August 2016

Horus Heresy Review: Adsecularis Covenant

S'up peoples,

All credit to the esteemed Henry South

Today I return to the fold of the Taghmata Omnissiah briefly. The Adsecularis Covenant are conscious, memory bearing human subjects that have been cybernetically enhanced and overrun to form a tech thrall. These are above servitors in the hierarchy as their flesh is more than just a component part of a none-thinking machine/flesh hybrid, but to become a member of the Adsecularis Covenant is the fate of any citizen of a Forgeworld deemed to transgress against the will and law of the machine god.

Unit Stats

As you  might expect for such a low ranking and penal servitude unit they have stats that are basic at best.

Crew:   WS  BS  S  T  W  I   A  LD  Sv
              2     2     4  3   1   2   1   7     5+


Overview: The Covenant don't have an impressive statline but you are only paying 35 points for 10! 35 points for 10!!! That is 3.5 points a model...


Special Rules

There is one special rule as standard with the Covenant:

Feel No Pain (6+): Handy for any strength 5 or lower weaponry just to negate a couple of wounds but not groundbreaking.


Equipment

Standard weaponry of the Covenant is a Laslock:

Laslock - 18" S4, AP6, Assault 1

35 points for 10 x S4 shots is nothing to be sniffed at! They do also come with a close combat weapon as well as their flak armour for the 5+ save in their profile.


Options

Adescularis Covenant have a surprising amount of upgrades available to them which makes them pretty customisable. Firstly you can upgrade the unit to have 10 more models at 3 points a pop, so 65 points for 20! This makes a massively cheap blob squad that you can repeat up to 6 times for 390 points for 120!! You can also give them a Triaros Conveyer as a dedicated transport but don't.

On the offensive front you have two different weapon upgrades with Mitralocks being the first:

Mitralock - 8" S4, AP6, Assault 1, Shred - free to upgrade

This greatly increase the ability of your Covenant to wound the enemy but at massively reduced range. If you play your covenant aggressively then this may work for you, but as a general rule of thumb I would leave them be.

The second offensive upgrade is heavy chainblades. +1 strength as I recall (though it may be +2 now I think about it) and two-handed these can work very well on a squad of 20 just by sheer volume of attacks. Costing 20 points for the squad its not going to break your wallet either. I've never seen this build played but I think it would be worth a punt.

Finally the squad has the choice to take any of the following upgrade:

Frag Grenades - Does what it says on the tin - 5 points

Carapace Armour - a 4+ save for 20 points is brilliant and recommended.

Rite of Pure Thought - Burning out the emotion centres of the thralls gives them fearless but they may no longer overwatch or make sweeping advances. This works incredibly well with chainblades or frag grenades and carapace armour on a 20 man squad to produce the mother of all tar pits! 15 points.

Induction Chargers - Makes laslocks and mitralocks assault 2 weapons, doubling firepower which is tasty for 15 points.

Revenant Alchemistry - Forbidden Dark Technology that grants Feel No Pain (5+), Hatred and Slow and purposeful for 25 points.


Utilisation

The Adescularis Covenant are a brilliant blob squad that scores and tarpits in equal measure when set up correctly. A squad of 20 thralls with carapace armour and the rite of pure thought gives you a fearless, scoring squad that can tarpit low attack units very effectively and put out OK firepower. This will cost you a vast 100 points. 120 fearless thralls with a 4+ save and a 6+ FNP will cost you 600 points and fill your troop slot. This is not a bad decision!!

120 points would allow you to give a squad chainblades, at this point you would have to use them more aggressively to get the best out of them it must be said. Consider adding tech-priests from the elite slot or even a magos from the HQ slot to give the unit more punch as well as protect that character. 


Peace out,

Rob