Friday, May 19, 2017

40k Friday - Orks 8th Edition Prep

With 8th edition about a month away and the radical changes it seems to be bringing I am scrambling to get some of the armies updated/expanded/finished. I'm making this post to mark where the army is right now and what I am thinking as I work on it - partly to force myself to think through it as I put it down and partly as a historical document so a year from now I can come back and either  rejoice in my amazing foresight or wonder what the hell I was thinking.

Today - Orks!

Now I haven't played my orks in quite a while and there are a few reasons for that. I dove into the Eldar, Chaos, and Blood Angels for the past couple of years, Apprentice Red plays orks quite a bit so I try not to step on his toes, and frankly, that last codex (2014) just didn't seem to really fit how orks have played for most of the history of the game. The rules seemed like a bad fit and ork lists full of boyz became about as common as chaos marine lists full of Chaos Space Marines. Plus it was just less fun to play with changes to mob rule and deffrollas and how instead of breaking the "must have bikes" and "must have lootas" meta that had been around for years the last codex amped it up and added "must have tankbustas" to the list. There was a brief period where the very orky green tide formation was a hit but that disappeared too.

With a new edition and a complete reboot coming though, that should change! So what do I need to do? Let me run down what I already have and then talk about what I want to add or modify for 8th edition.

The core of my force is 100 Goff Slugga Boyz in 5 units of 20 orks each plus a nob for each one of those mobs. Typically these are mounted in Battlewagons. These are led by a mob of 10 Nobz and a Warboss in another Battlewagon or a Trukk depending on points and force org slots. This is the heart of the army.

Backing this up is a unit of 3 lobbas, a mob of 20-something grots, a mob of 20 Kommandos (who often end up playing as Shoota Boyz), a unit of 3 rokkit buggies, a unit of big shoota buggies, and various HQ units like painboyz and weridboyz and the like.

This is usually enough for most games. I like having a bunch of orks charging forward in armored vehicles then bailing out to assault the enemy. I can (and have) played it as a foot list too so there are some options even with just this chunk of the force.

When I first put these guys together years ago my concept was a Goff warband accompanied by some Evil Sunz / Kult of Speed types for the fun of it. The easiest way to tell which was which is the paint job - black stuff is Goff, red stuff is Kult of Speed. As I rework this for 8th I want to get back into a structure where this makes sense.


  • 100 boyz (2E starter set goff boyz)
  • 10 nobz (2E metal skarboyz)
  • 10 meganobz (RT/2E orks in power armor)
  • 5 battlewagons (4 custom conversions + 1 different custom conversion)
  • 25 grots (2E starter set gretchin)
  • 2 trukks (old Gorka-Morka style trukks upgraded in various ways)
  • 20 shoota boyz (2E metal Blood Axe boys)
  • 3 wartrakks (that same plastic kit that's been around since Gorka-Morka but with custom crew)
  • 3 lobbas (2E Pulsa-Rokkits)
  • 20 kommandos (2E Blood Axe Kommandos)
  • 10 tankbustas (2E metal Snake Bite Boyz + 2E metal Death Skull Boyz)
  • 10 lootas (2E metal Goff boyz w/old metal Deffguns and RT/2E plastic plasma cannons) 
Kult of Speed
  • Battlewagon (old Armorcast Battlewagon)
  • 20 shoota boyz (2E metal Evil Sunz boyz)
  • 6 warbuggies (RT metal buggies)
  • 2 skorchas (RT metal skorchas)
  • Mek in mega armor (2E mega armor nob)
  • Mek with shokk attack gun (RT shokk attack gun)
  • Dakkajet (current kit)
  • Bommer (current kit)

The idea is that the red force is mostly lighter faster units that can be taken when I feel the need. Plus it lets me paint something besides black for a change. Collecting orks for as long as I have also means that I have a pretty big pile of un-allocated and un-painted stuff too. At least another 60+ of the old plastic grots, a bunch of metal grots, 20 more plastic RT orks, a mob of madboyz,  a squad of boarboyz, a half-converted trukk, another 20 goff boyz - just a lot of stuff in the ork box that says "hey do something interesting with me" whenever I look in there.  Top of the list is converting some old plastic terminators into mega-nobz.

The biggest "uncommitted" unit I have is a group of ten killa kans and a pair of deff dreads. None of them are the current kit of course. I have 3 built from scratch years ago and used in many battles since, 6 RT ork dreadnoughts, and one 2E ork dreadnought. The dreads are Org Atrocitors from Demonblade which at the time were really big and beefy but they look a little small next to the current monster that is the plastic ork dread. I'm thinking about putting Goff bosspoles on all of them and just making them part of that force. They're a mish-mash of paint jobs so it's not like they look like a unified unit anyway. I need to finish these guys up for 8th for sure.

Now you would think a big pile of goff orks plus a smaller extra force would be plenty but you might also note that a lot of that stuff is pretty old. I'm kind of missing the chance to play with the current ork range. I don't really want to mix styles too much so I am thinking about adding a third element here of all new stuff and painting it as Bad Moonz. It's not like I don't know yellow! I don't have a particular plan for this group other than picking an choosing the current stuff I like the best - a battlewagon, a dread, maybe some big gunz, all alongside some of the newer style boyz. Like my Iyanden Eldar this would be a fresh start/new style units only force - the older stuff can stay with the first two groups.

Future Plans

  • Stormboyz! The one ork infantry unit I really do not have and the one I really want to add on. "Jump pack orks" is a recipe for fun in games and I do need to add some soon.
  • I do like the current ork dread and I am hoping the new rules will make it worthy of its ferocious look. Need to get one.
  • One more jet painted up in Goff colors. Mine are not and that's why they're in with team red but I would like one for the boyz in black.
  • I should probably look at Ghazgkull at some point too - Goffs and all that.
  • Gorkanaut/Morkanaut! I thought the models were great and then I saw the rules and they were terrible. With the new edition hope is renewed and a big centerpiece model is definitely something I "need". In fact I may "need" 2 or 3 of them before I am done.
  • Stompa! If we're talking about big centerpiece models, well, this is the big one for the orks. It's definitely on the list.
I definitely feel like I have enough of the regular ork units  - I am really only looking for the big centerpiece type models at this point. I'd like to spend the rest of this year finishing up the two forces I have and save the Bad Moonz expansion for next year's ork project. Even that's true to the fluff, right? As the Waagh grows more and more clans and units join in!

One obvious thing that's missing here is bikes. Everybody takes bikes in their ork army, mainly because they're one of the few units that's actually been effective for the last few editions and codexes. I don't hate them or anything but I don't think every single ork army should be centered around them so I do my part to even that out. I may add some someday but they're not even on the list right now. 

Unlike my Marine and Eldar armies I'm not feeling the need to add a bunch of character types. There are not that many named ork special characters anyway and they don't have those unusual types like the Avatar or the Sanguinor either.

Looking at 8th

When the edition comes out there are some specific things I want to try. A whole bunch of boyz on foot - does it work? How about boyz in Battlewagons? Trukk mobz? How are the psykers? How about a kan wall type list? With Apprentice Red also playing orks we should have the opportunity to try out a multitude of possible combinations and I am really looking forward to it.

Thursday, May 18, 2017

40k Thursday - Blood Angels 8th Edition Prep

With 8th edition about a month away and the radical changes it seems to be bringing I am scrambling to get some of the armies updated/expanded/finished. I'm making this post to mark where the army is right now and what I am thinking as I work on it - partly to force myself to think through it as I put it down and partly as a historical document so a year from now I can come back and either  rejoice in my amazing foresight or wonder what the hell I was thinking.

Today: The Blood Angels

I've been working on these guys a fair amount since the Holiday Battles and I've made some tweaks to my initial plan for them. The general plan before was to  have everything pretty much in either a drop pod or wearing a jump pack - this was going to be the high-mobility rapid strike army. It still is, only moreso.

With the change to the twin-link rule Razorbacks got a lot more attractive. Blood Angels have had the "overcharged engines" rule for a few editions now which makes them fast vehicles. I'm assuming some form of this will carry over to the new edition. Combine this with my belief that BA tactical squads sitting still or hoofing it across the board on foot is just not how they should operate. Mix in the freeing up of 3 Razorbacks from the Dark Angel shutdown and you have my new approach.

That rule change also made Baal predators quite a bit more interesting so ... I picked up two more of those over the weekend. They're covered by the "overcharged" rule too. I didn't intend to make the BA's a tank army but they are looking a little tanky these days. If I go with the twin-linked assault canon option on the Razorbacks that would let me put 12 assault cannons on the field with just this part of the force!

I may add two more drop pods too, taking those up to seven. MSU man!

So the revised force looks something like this:

  • HQ: Mephiston, another librarian, various Priests and chaplains as needed. Dante when it's time to get really mean.
  • Troops: 3 tactical squads in Razorbacks. My thinking right now is 5-man squads with a multi-melta, maybe one with a heavy bolter.  One big tac squad with maximum flamers in a drop pod. Also a pair of 5-man melee scout squads infiltrated up somewhere interesting. 
  • Elite: 20 Death Company, Lemartes, and a bunch of Dreadnoughts, two of which should be in pods. A Command squad for Mephiston, and a Sternguard squad for another drop pod. 
  • Fast Attack: 2x Grav bike squads, 3 speeders, and a bunch of assault squads
  • Heavy Support: 2x Baal Predators, 3x Devastator squads
So on the ground we would have 3 Razorbacks w/Tacs, 3 Baal Preds, a pair of Scout squads, and maybe some Devastator marines.  Maybe a Dreadnought too. Oh and 20+ Death company led by Dante and Lemartes, along with however many Assault squads I can fit in.

From the skies we would have Mephiston and the Command squad, a Sternguard squad, two Furioso dreads, and either my Maximum Melta Assult squad or a Maximum Flamer Tac squad. 

There's just a lot of fun ways to build and use this force so I am really looking forward to it. Meph and his bodyguard could go in a Razorback. The devastators could go in one too - or in a drop pod! Adding the Razorbacks makes my tac marines more interesting to play and puts more threats on the board which should make life easier for the drop pod troops.  

Future Acquisitions? Well I'm not feeling too much of a lack here but there are a couple of things on the list:
  • Finish the Terminators. I have a shooty squad and an assault squad. At some point I will want to field them.
  • Sanguinary Guard - someday! Just not right now as I have plenty to do here.
  • 10 more Death Company troops - because why not? There may be some kind of bonus for bigger unit sizes and that's only going to make them nastier.
  • "Fast Vindicators" - Again, I don't really need a tank army here but these would be cool.
  • With the new edition I am even looking at The Sanguinor! Why not see if he can do something here.

That's it for the Blood Angels! More to come later! 

Wednesday, May 17, 2017

40k Wednesday - Iyanden Eldar 8th Edition Prep

With 8th edition about a month away and the radical changes it seems to be bringing I am scrambling to get some of the armies updated/expanded/finished. I'm making this post to mark where the army is right now and what I am thinking as I work on it - partly to force myself to think through it as I put it down and partly as a historical document so a year from now I can come back and either  rejoice in my amazing foresight or wonder what the hell I was thinking.

Today, let's talk Eldar.

There's not much left to add to the Wraith Force after the Year of the Eldar wrap-up. I mean, there are plenty of things I could add but I am not feeling like there are big gaps here.That said, a new edition is a new reason to look at some new options.

The core of the army is as follows:

  • Wraith Host - Wraithknight, 3x Wraithguard squads, 1 Wraithblade squad, 2x Wraithlords, Spiritseer
  • Dire Avengers - 3x ten-man squads with exarchs
  • Dark Reapers - 3x six-man squads with exarchs 
  • Vaul's Wrath 3-gun battery 

There are other pieces available but those are the things I tend to build an army around. Options:

  • Wave Serpents - I have two painted and two waiting. I'd like to mobilize my Dire Avengers so I ordered one more of the flying tanks and plan to paint the three unfinished ones to look like a squadron. I figure the other two may be hauling wraithguard or some other squad as needed. Also, wave serpents got a lot nastier with the change to twin-linked weapons. You mean my armored transport vehicle gets two bright lance shots now? Or 8 scatter laser shots? OK!
  • I have 3 squads of Reapers - why not get their Phoenix Lord? I mean, we've been promised they will be good, and with the new way characters work I suspect there will be a lot of interesting options with these guys. I found one online with a paint job I can work with and now Maugan Ra's on the way. 
  • Assuming most of my wraiths are advancing on foot, what's another unit that would complement them ... tough ... walking ... how about an Avatar? Found a metal one still in a blister and it's on the way now too. 
  • Finally, what's a fluffy character choice for an Iyanden army? Pretty much the only named Iyanden character in the codex? One so terrible I've never seen him on a tabletop in person or online ever? Why yes it's ... Prince Yriel of Iyanden! Found a nicely painted one and ordered him as well. I'm doing some bargain-hunting right now looking for character models in particular that have been terrible and adding them to my armies on the assumption that they will not be terrible with the reboot. 
I didn't totally miss adding to the backlog here - one of the goals - but one avatar and one more wave serpent is not too much work. Considering what they may add to the army I will take the risk. I'm not going to go overboard on the avatar's paint as I suspect he's due for a replacement in the next wave of eldar model updates - maybe next year? We will see. 

Top Remaining Opportunities:
  • I also have 3 units of Dire Avengers so Asurmen seems like an obvious pick-up. I'm looking, it's just tricky to find one that hasn't been mangled somehow that the owner doesn't consider a family heirloom - based on the price anyway. I'm sure one will come along.
  • Howling Banshees - I'd like to add 5 or 10 but I'm not seeing painted ones that I like at a price I also like and I'm hesitant to add another unpainted squad. 
  • Warp Spiders - I think that for me these are now on the "wait and hope there's an Eldar model update in the near future" list. I've never been a huge fan of the models even when they were new so I think I will skip them for now. 
  • Flyers - keeping an eye open. The Wraithfighter is very much an Iyanden thing so I will get one eventually. I'm just not sure it will be before the new edition drops. I'd kind of like to see the rules too. 
  • A second Wraithknight? Maybe. I'd like to finish more of the in-progress stuff here first but if I find a painted one then things might change.

Stuff already in the backlog:
  • I picked up a painted 3-man jetbike unit a while back. I just need to add the shuriken cannon to them and they should be good to go.
  • I am also working on the Wraithseer as well - finally! Forgeworld stuff is all supposed to have updated specs as well right from launch so why not?
  • War Walkers - they sit half-painted and waiting
  • Vypers - they also sit partly painted and waiting
  • Guardians - 30+ guardians and the associated weapon platforms and Warlocks. This is probably next year's Eldar project. 

Future Plans:
  • I love the concept of Shining Spears but the rules haven't matched up in a long time and I suspect the models are due for replacement here too. On that same list as the Warp Spiders. 
  • I would like to add two more Falcon tanks at some point and have a squadron of three as an option. With a 2-3 Serpent backlog though it just does not seem like the best time to make this move. 
  • Fire Prisms - probably, but not right now.

There's the thinking for the Eldar army right now. More to come!

Tuesday, May 16, 2017

40K Tuesday - Crimson Fists 8th Edition Prep

With 8th edition about a month away and the radical changes it seems to be bringing I am scrambling to get some of the armies updated/expanded/finished. I'm making this post to mark where the army is right now and what I am thinking as I work on it - partly to force myself to think through it as I put it down and partly as a historical document so a year from now I can come back and either  rejoice in my amazing foresight or wonder what the hell I was thinking.

Today: The Crimson Fists

I haven't posted about these guys in a long time - looks like 3 years! I may have only fielded them one time since then too, so they've been idle a lot. That will be changing soon! Current force:

  • HQ: Chapter Master Pedro Kantor, various chaplians, librarians, and captains (usually in a Razorback)
  • Troops: 3 Tactical squads in Rhinos
  • Elites: Dreadnought
  • Fast Attack: Land Speeder
  • Heavy Support: 3x Predator tanks, Vindicator, Whirlwind
OK that's the finished stuff. 

In the backlog and adopted from the Dark Angels division shutdown:
  • 3-4 Dreadnoughts
  • 5-15 Terminators
  • 3 Land Speeder typhoons
  • 10 Sternguard marines
  • Missile Launcher Devastators, Plasma Cannon Devastators, Heavy Bolter Devastators
  • 3 Attack Bikes
  • A 5-man Assault squad
  • 2x 5-man Scout squads
  • A ten-man Tac squad
  • 3x Drop Pods
  • Land Raider Crusader

Some of these are more "done" than others and many are put-together enough to use in a battle but they are not finished yet.

Let's talk army approach here. My wish is for this to be a mechanized army where nobody walks but the dreadnoughts. The basic theory is that it's an armored column of space marines. They advance to contact, spread out, and call in drop pod support. The idea is to crush the enemy between the two elements.  The Rhinos and tanks are the core with the scouts and bikes doing recon as the speeders patrol around the column and the dreadnoughts are a walking close escort.

Structure-wise 3 full tac squads and two scout squads is 5 troop units. The new extra squad needs a ride of some kind - probably a Razorback - and presto! Six troop elements! That means I have the core for a really big force.

I already have all of this stuff, so what else did I need to pick up?

  • I grabbed more sternguard. I will have 20 altogether and I am planning for them to take two of the three drop pods. I'm not sure just yet how I will divide them up. I may have 5 of them escort Kantor in the Razorback or that might be a Command squad. Regardless that gives me 2-4 squads of them to field. 
  • I picked up multi-meltas for the attack bikes. I'm thinking about magnetizing these to have both the MM and Heavy Bolter options.
That's really it. I didn't need much to finish out the "acquisitions phase" for this army. For the future I'd like to add another Razorback or two, another Vindicator or two, and a flyer.

If you read the other post this week about the Iron Warriors you may notice some similarities.  That's not entirely by accident. I like tanks and vehicles so I tend to pick them up for whatever army. My thinking here is that the core of both forces is similar - Rhinos, Predators, grunt marines, and dreadnoughts. The IW's have that plus the "Chaos Stuff - Daemon princes, Spawn, Possessed, etc. The Fists will have Sternguard, Drop Pods, Speeders, and Scouts. So while the core is the same, the "Extra" is different for both. Hopefully I can learn about those core elements using either army. 

I am really looking forward to getting these guys back in to action. More to come!

Monday, May 15, 2017

40K Monday - Iron Warriors 8th Edition Prep

With 8th edition about a month away and the radical changes it seems to be bringing I am scrambling to get some of the armies updated/expanded/finished. I'm making this post to mark where the army is right now and what I am thinking as I work on it - partly to force myself to think through it as I put it down and partly as a historical document so a year from now I can come back and either  rejoice in my amazing foresight or wonder what the hell I was thinking.

On to the Iron Warriors! I expect this to be my main chaos army for the beginning of 8th. I do have a Death Guard force I've been building for years but I've put them on the back burner in the run-up to the launch. I want the IW's to have a lot of flexibility so I'm not locked in to playing the same force over and over. It started out as CSM's in Rhinos with the dreadnought drop team as a fun extra element. Now it's turning into a pretty sizable force. First, the concept:

The theme for this army is that of an Iron Warriors Company where the original commander has ascended to daemonhood but still wants to run his company and fight his war. He has a command staff (see below) that have responsibilities to the unit but it is still "his" company and he still runs it like a military unit for the most part. His basic approach is to pound things with the big guns from range as the troops close in and then finish the job in close assault with bolt pistols, chainswords, and flamers. Surprise deep-striking elements will ensure the transports reach their destination. 

I still need to give the prince a name. The terminators will have a named leader and will be a sub-group called the "Iron Knights". The bikers may get an identity of their own as well. Yes, this is all fluff stuff but it helps me give the army an identity beyond "the force I put together for this battle" and it helps us come up with little stories as a fight develops and rivalries emerge.

On to the army:

  • HQ
    • Daemon Prince (done)
    • Warpsmith (done)
    • Bike Hero (in progress)
    • Power armor double power fist Hero (done)
    • Dark Vengeance Chaos Lord (in progress)
I figure that's enough for now. The bike hero was originally intended to be a sorcerer on  a bike integrated with a CSM biker squad. I'll probably still go that direction but make him generic enough that he could be used as a non-psyker too. The power armor guy I've used as a lord in several battles. he has two of those pointy chaos power fists so I treated him as a fist + claw guy. Claw = open hand sweep, Fist = closed fist punch. That's how it works in my head anyway. he's done but I should really give him a cape or something to make him stand out a little more. I have no idea if that whole specialist weapon rule will show up in 8th but regardless he looks cool so I'm keeping him.

  • Troops
    • 3x ten-man Chaos Space Marine squads in Rhinos (done)
I am considering a fourth squad as three troop units is potentially a limiting factor. Right now three is the minimum for a "battalion" sized formation in the new game and to get to a "brigade" you need six! I am not taking cultists in this army so unless something new shows up it's going to be CSM's all the way. I could break some of them into smaller units to make six but right now I like the resilience of a ten man squad for my core units. I have options to give these squads either double flamer or double plasma. If they get new options I'll look at those too but their main job is to kill other infantry.

  • Elites
    • Helbrute with Plasma Cannon and Power Claw (done)
    • 3x Helbrutes with Multi-Melta's and Power Fists (done)
    • 5-man Chosen squad with Melta Guns in a Rhino (in progress)
    • Ten-man Possessed squad in a Rhino (in progress)
    • 2x five-man Chaos Terminator squads in a Land Raider (in progress) 
The brutes are all ready to go - hopefully there will be a way to drop them on people's heads in this version too. 

The chosen are pretty close to finished as of today as is their ride. 

The possessed ... well ... while they are not highly regarded in a typical CSM army today I am hoping they become something useful in the new edition. They are cool models and a cool concept that have been gathering dust for most players for 2-3 editions at least. I like to think of them as the CSM version of the Death Company - too far gone to act normally so they get locked up somewhere until the next battle when they can be unleashed on an enemy to benefit the legion - and hopefully die in the process. 

The big change here is terminators + land raider. With the news on the change to twin-linked weapons I got a whole lot more interested in the traditional "godhammer" land raider so I ordered one for the IW's. Then the question is "what to put in it"? At first I was just going to go put the possessed here but I got to looking at my old metal chaos terminators and decided the IW's needed some terminators too. One squad can ride in the Raider and one can deep strike, or both could deep strike and the possessed could still ride in it. It's good to have options.

  • Fast Attack
    • Heldrake (done)
    • Six-man Chaos Marine Bike squad (in progress)
    • Five-beast Chaos Spawn squad (done)

  Nothing new here - this has been the plan for some time now.  The Spawn are an expendible fast assault unit, the bikes will target something important and remove it, and the heldrake flames whatever needs to die. I just need to finish the bikes.

  • Heavy Support
    • Havoc squad with 4 Autocannons (done)
    • Havoc squad with 4 Missile Launchers (in progress)
    • 3x Chaos Predators (just about done!)
    • 8x Obliterators (5 done, 3 in progress)
Not too many changes here but I did bump the Predators up to a 3-tank platoon. That's one triple-lascannon predator (is that technically a quad-las now?) and two autocannon/lascannon tanks. I worked on these over the weekend and they should be finished tonight if I get a little time to wrap them up. I'm pretty happy with the way they came out and I'll show them off with the rest of the army in a week or two. 

Note on Transports: I'm painting six Rhinos for the Iron Warriors and I have plans for five. I'm not sure who will be riding in the sixth. If I do build that 4th CSM squad it will be them. I'm considering a 2nd Chosen squad so it could be them. I could split the possessed into two 5-man squads and give them both rides. Regardless, I have some flexibility here. 

Future Plans
  • Add 3 more CSM squads and transports for them to use - bump things up to maximum size! I have all of the other requirements already. Might use some MkIII/MkIV Heresy models.
  • Add 3 Vindicators - I am trying to make it my tank army so ...
  • Add a second Land Raider  - hey, if they're good why not?
  • Add a second Heldrake - all the formations show two flyer slots so why not have two?
That's where the Chaos Marine army stands for now. More to come.