Category: Dark Angels

Yesterday Eric met me out at The Whiz, a great game store, and it was nice to get up there and meet some other gamers. We played a 1500 point game. Dark Angels vs. Eldar, mission was Big Guns with Vanguard Strike for deployment. The game went a full 7 turns and ended up being quite bloody ending with an Eldar victory (we were even on objectives but I was able to tip the points with Line Breaker, Warlord and First Blood).

This was my first time playing a proper game with Eldar in any edition of 40k and I learned a lot. The Wave Serpents were the star of the show (no surprise), the amount of accurate high strength fire they are capable is astonishing. Most small units don’t have a chance against them, regardless of armor as the weight of shots just buries them.

More games this coming weekend.

Ok, been a busy couple of weeks. Finished Sammael for Eric. What a great model, I did not have too much trouble with it being “Fine Cast”, lots of sanding and filing but not more than I expected. (This image was taken before touchups…whoops.)

Sammael

Got a few Kabalite Warriors assembled and a test model done. Inspired by two other Dark Eldar projects I saw on the internet I decided to go with a light armor color scheme that is worn by use. In the Dark Eldar Codex there is mention of a Kabal that is proud to go into battle wearing and using gear that has seen centuries of use. Next I will have to come up with some basing for this model.

Dark Eldar Test Model

Still lots to get done, but that is it for now.

Eric came by with his Dark Angels for a game on Saturday. We played 1500 points, the mission was “The Scouring” with “Dawn of War” deployment.

Some of the Necron Deployment
BR 1

Foolishly I did not take many pictures of the game. The Dark Angels set up with a strong presence on each side of the table where the Necrons set up mostly in the center. My plan was to work strongly on the Dark Angel left flank in order to capture one of the objectives that was placed on that side of the table.

One side of the Dark Angel’s deployment.
BR 2

This was a bloody game with both sides loosing many units and models. Luck was on my side when it came to rolling for my “Reanimation Protocols” and turn after turn Eric would blow Necron Warrior units apart only to see the majority of the dead models stand back up.

Eric’s dice were working against him, rolling snake eyes at one point for a charge with a unit of Ravenwing bikes not only did not get them into close combat, but two or three died to overwatch shots. And perils of the warp befell the Dark Angels Librarian twice in the game…removing him as a casualty, his mind snapped under the corrupting influence of the Warp.

The game went 6 full turns with the Necrons winning 8-6 over the Dark Angels.

A monthly blog post planning out hobby related commitments is something I meant to start in January…whoops. Anyhow, here goes…

For the month of February I’m looking to achieve the following.

  1. Paint current table to seal and protect it from moisture.
  2. Purge the models that I know I will not get to this year, or will not want to get to this year.
  3. Build and paint one more Scarab base for my Necron army thus giving me 10…think I can handle that.
  4. Build, base and prime the Empire of the Blazing Sun Starter Box for Dystopian Legions.
  5. Taking on a side project, Sammael, Master of the Ravenwing. Excited about this one and would like to get it all done before the end of the month.

It will be a busy month but think I can get this all done…if not, these tasks will have to fall to March.

*This post has been edited as I changed plans for several of the model projects I had considered.

We broke in the new table, got to see the new Dark Angels Codez in action, and managed to fit three games in for a great day of wargaming.

Game 1 – Chaos vs. Dark Angels, 1,700 points

Dark Angels ready for war

It was Matt’s Chaos force, led by the irascible Lord Commodious, versus Eric’s Dark Angels, command by none other than Azrael himself, for the first game. The mission was Crusade with “Hammer & Anvil” for deployment.

Chaos deployment

The Chaos force was spread from table edge to table edge with a large unit of Noise Marine, and a smaller unit of Havocs, covering the battlefield with their weapons. The Dark Angels struck early, landing a Drop Pod, filled with a squad of marines and Azrael, just behind enemy lines.

Azrael encouters Noise Marines

Later, in a bold move not uncommon for Lord Commodious, Matt used Deep Strike to bring in his Chaos Lord and Raptors while one of his units of Plague Marines burst from a Rhino in an effort to flank the Dark Angels.

Commodious descends

Despite this would be the guns of the Dark Angels that would win the day. At the end of 4 turns the Dark Angel army held 2 objectives and scored “Line Breaker” & “Slay the Warlord” leading them to a 8 – 4 victory.

Game 2- Grey Knights vs. Necrons, 1,400 points

The second game was Jen’s Grey Knights vs. my Necrons. The forces were 1400 points, with the mission and deployment being exactly the same as the earlier game…”Crusade” with “Hammer & Anvil” Deployment.

Paladins

Necron Deployment

The Grey Knights, unafraid of the massed forces of Necrons pushed forward in an implacable march towards the objectives.

Necrons vs. Grey Knights

The Paladins, with added strength from a Grey Knight Librarian, proved too much for the two units of Necron Warriors guarding the flank.

While a unit of Grey Knight Terminators, weakened by a hail of gauss rifle fire, challenged Nemesor Zahndrek for the title “King of the Hill”.

Zahndrek King of the Hill

Despite massive Nercon losses this game ended up being very close. At the end of 5 turns it was a 4-3 Grey Knight Victory. The Knights held one objective and scored “First Blood” with the Necrons also holding one objective.

Game 3- Necrons vs. Dark Angels, 1,500 points

The final battle pitted Eric’s Dark Angels against my Necrons in a game of “The Relic”.

Necrons vs. Dark Angels

Both forces advanced on the objective and, despite getting there first, the Necrons were never able to take control of the objective.

Presience

Eric used his Librarian to cast “Prescience” on his Devastator Squad to good effect whittling down the Necrons warriors attempting to retrieve the objective.

Azreal faces down the Wraiths

Azrael proved his mettle for a second time during the day. The Dark Angels Chapter Master is not to be trifled with.

This game went by pretty quickly, and ended up being quite bloody. At the end of 5 turns neither side had captured the Relic but the Necrons eked out a 2-1 win by scoring both “Line Breaker” & “First Blood” with the Dark Angels also scoring Line Breaker.

Looking forward to the next set of games.

Dark Angels Codex

Dark Angels CodexI finally got my new Dark Angels Codex, and while pretty much every other 40k blog out there has a post about it, I figured I’d share my thoughts since I actually play them.

Many people (who didn’t buy a Heldrake) complained that the Chaos Space Marine codex was underpowered because it didn’t suffer from codex creep, and those people might use the new DA book as further proof.  I’d say that they might be right, there isn’t really any creep here.  As far as power level goes, I’d put it a slight notch about the regular Space Marine book, but below Grey Knights or Space Wolves.  It is a very coherent, flexible army but lacks the star power of some of the overpowered and/or undercosted units you see elsewhere.

I won’t cover all of the changes, but here are the things that stand out to me.

HQ

All of the characters have been brought up to modern standards.  Azrael is even better, unlocking both terminators and bikes as troops.  He can choose his own warlord trait, but none of them are very sexy.  Belial and Ezekiel have been buffed a bit, Sammael is the same. Regular Librarians and Chaplains lost an attack and point of initiative, but they’re also cheaper.

There are three different command squad options, all with lots of flexibility.  Power armor and Ravenwing champions downgraded their power weapon for “Blade of Caliban” which is S+1, AP3, but unwieldy.  Deathwing champions get a sexy “Halberd of Caliban” which is S+2, Ap2.

Techmarines are now unlocked by HQ slots, not vehicles.

As far as relics go, Foe-smiter and the Mace of Redemption seem decent.  Lion’s Roar is a little expensive.  The Monster Slayer and Shroud of Heroes are way too expensive.

Troops

Tactical squad have more flexibility, which is great.   Veteran sergeants are an optional upgrade, and all sergeants can be given a good selection of wargear (combi weapons, storm bolter, power weapons, etc).  Scouts are troops too, so they’re actually worth considering now.

Elites

Terminators have split fire now, which is nice.  You can pop a vehicle with your missle launcher or assault cannon and not have to waste your storm bolters.  ”Vengeful Strike” gives them twin-linked weapons after deep striking, also very nice.

The Knights are a new marquee unit, and they’re great … except against other non-Chaos Space Marines.  You’ll be spending 235 points to enjoy the choir of pings and clanks as their AP4 maces bounce off power armor.  Against CSM they have -1AP, so they’re going to be very effective, and they’ll do well against most other armies too.

Fast Attack

Bikes now have Hit & Run, which opens up a whole set of options, and the fact that they’re also scouts (outflank) makes them a very useful tool.

The Black Knights are probably my favorite new unit.  They have everything the normal bikes have, plus Skilled Rider (4++ Jink), S5 rending  melee weapon, plasma guns instead of bolters and grenades to drop opponents toughness.  There’s a bit of confusion about whether the grenades affect other shots from the same unit, but even if they don’t , this is a very solid choice that I think will be in most of my armies.

The Darkshroud seems very useful in a Ravenwing army, but it could also add value in a heavy gunline army.

The assault squad had a nice little surprise.  Not only is it cheaper, but they can now take two flamers!  You can even give the sergeant a combi-flamer for a third template when you need it.

Flyers

The biggest disappointment of the book, especially since they did a nice job with the models.  I would have run out and gotten these models first, now I’m not sure if I want them at all.

The Jetfighter is decent anti-air, giving you roughly a 50% chance to knock anything out of the air, but it is WAY too expensive.  It should be in the 120 range, max, and even then it would be a debatable use of a FA slot.

The Dark Talon is probably the dumbest flyer in the game.  It has 2 hurricane bolters, which I’m very much not a fan of, a weak S5, AP- cannon, and a one-use blind bomb.

Heavy Support

Devastators are cheaper, and the sergeant has a signum (+1BS to another model).  Very nice.

Land Raiders are still too expensive.

Land Speeder Vengeance is another disappointment.  The Plasma Storm battery in burst mode gives you 3 chances each turn to lose one of your two hull points to “Gets Hot!”.  In charged mode, it is a watered-down demolisher cannon (that may cost you a hull point).  Oh, and it’s 24″ range.  For 15 points more than a vindicator.  A vindicator with a siege shield is slower, but will navigate terrain almost as effectively, has much higher armor, a much better weapon, and the same limited range.  Doesn’t seem like much of a choice to me.

Overall

As far as a fun/fluffy codex goes, it’s great.  It’s certainly better than the dreck I was using before.  There’s no reason you can’t hold your own against any other normal army.  You can play some very different armies with the same codex, and many of the units will help each other, giving you some fun strategic options.  If you’re looking for a competitive force, you may want to look elsewhere, it lacks the punch and focus of the lists you can make with other books.

Wanted to get more done this month but a trip out of town and an increased work load stymied hobby plans. Still though, I did get a fair amount accomplished.

The Annihilation Barge was finished in time for a game against Eric where it performed pretty well before falling to the might of, none other than, Azrael, Grand Master of the Dark Angels Chapter. Needless to say, the man is not to be trifled with.

Annihilation Barge

Made some strides on the terrain for the table as well. All of the rock spires are prepped for primer and paint with three hills and three “forest” bases close to that point. Between waiting for the glue to dry on the terrain bits I was able to assemble the next 250 points that I will be adding to the Necron force, a Night Scythe, two Crypteks, and a Necron Lord (with a Resurrection Orb). The Night Scythe should give me some momentum on the table while the three character models will serve to add a punch to my rank and file troops.

Night Scythe & Crypteks

A good month all in all, looking forward to January.

Here are some of my goals for the coming year.

For the sake of definitions, I consider “fully painted” to mean the figure is completely done, as in the touchup, basing, decals, clearcoat, everything.

  1. Field a fully painted 2500 point Dark Angels Army (pretty close to this one already).
  2. Field a fully painted 1500 point Ravenwing Army (I already have most of the figures).
  3. Field a fully painted 1500 point Deathwing Army (I already have most of the figures).
  4. Field a fully painted 1500 point Ork Army (I have about 1/3 of the figures).
  5. Play in an apocalypse game.
  6. Try at least two other miniatures games (Warmachine/Hordes and Dystopian Legions are the current contenders).

 

Azrael vs. Necrons

Eric’s Dark Angels faced off against Erich’s Necrons in what will hopefully be their last battle before the new Dark Angel Codex is released.  It was a 1,250 point matchup and a decisive victory for the Necrons.  It was the first time we’ve seen Azrael and also the debut of the Annihilation Barge, both of which proved effective.  It was also the first time we’ve used mysterious terrain and mysterious objectives.

Hold the line!

Scenario

  • The Dark Angel army was 2 10-man Tactical squads, one of them in a Razorback, a 5-man Devastator squad, a Dreadnought led by Azrael and a command squad in a drop pod.  An Aegis Defense Line with Quad Gun was also selected.
  • The Necron Army was 3 Warrior squads, 2 Squads of Immortals with Gauss Blasters, a large squad of Scarabs, 3 Wraiths, a Triarch Stalker, Annihilation Barge all led by a Lord.
  • Mission was Big Guns Never Tire, which meant that the Devastators and Barge were scoring.
  • Deployment was Hammer and Anvil, which would normally favor the longer range weapons of the Dark Angels, but the objectives were in the center so both forces deployed close to the line.
  • Dark Angels placed first, but the Necrons seized the initiative, giving them a significant advantage.
  •  The objectives were clumped in the middle, but biased towards the Necron’s side.

Scarab Infestation

Notable Events

  • Azrael fought through the Necron Lord’s Mind Shackle Scarabs for two combats, defeating the lord and breaking his squad, catching them in a sweeping advance. He then knocked two hull points off of the the Annihilation Barge on his way to engaging another squad of warrios (who proved to be resolute, passing a number of leadership tests).
  • The fast-moving Scarabs ensured that the Devastators never got a good shot off.
  • A mysterious forest ended up being Brainleaf Fronds, and in what must have been a spectacular sight, Brother Kleon shot himself 4 times with his own Multi-Melta.
  • As the last member of his squad, Brother Esau stood tall against a Triarch Stalker, eventually destroying it with a Krak Grenade.
  • The mysterious objectives did not have much effect, two of them giving skyfire, one being a bomb that didn’t detonate, a scatterfield and a dud.

And they shall know no fear

Lessons Learned

  • Azrael is a badass.
  • Annihilation Barge is an effective anti-Marine unit.
  • Mysterious Objectives were not as silly as many would make them seem.   They do add another level of randomness, but I don’t see any reason not to play with them, in fun games, at least.
  • Mysterious Terrain actually did affect the game, as they freed the Wraiths from a turn or two of melee, but again, I don’t see any reason not to play with them.

Objective Secured

November ended up being a pleasingly productive month, despite the lack of blog posts to support it. Some of these are posts in progress, as I tend to do too many things at once.

I made a lot of painting progress, getting over 70 Space Marines nearly done.  I still need to paint the bases and do the decals, and will post more details when those are ready.

I played in my first 40k tournament in well over a decade, a doubles tournament with Erich. It was a great fast-paced way to learn the game better. I only had two games under my belt going into it, and played three games there. We didn’t field a very competitive force as we both generally try to stick to the “no paint, no play” rule. Since we’re building/rebuilding our armies, we’re doing it from the bottom up, and thus we had two armies of almost all troops and/or foot soldiers, and didn’t have the firepower to deal with things like Heldrakes nor did we have the range and mobility to deal with a well emplaced Imperial Guard force. It was definitely fun though, and thank you to Battleground Games for hosting a good tourney.

I used a fortification for the first time, an Aegis Defense Line.  Even without opposing flyers, it was very effective, not only in giving the sergeant of my Devastator squad something to do, but strategically.  It forced my opponent, an Imperial Guard Army featuring Al’Rahem (his whole platoon outflanks), to think long and hard about where to deploy.  The 4+ cover bonus was also an effective deterrent, although anyone who strayed out from behind it payed a dear price.

December is promising as well, with The Whiz holding “mini tournaments” and a whole fleet of tanks taking shape.  Not to mention that if the new Dark Angels codex is truly on the horizon, some more reliable rumors and maybe even some pre-orders should be appearing this month.