Tuesday, 27 August 2013

The Children of Man. The Foot Soilders

After 24 hours of a mixture of hard work/waiting for green stuff to dry I have finished my first squad of Malal aligned chaos space marines. Before I go on here they are in all their unpainted glory.

These guys are a combination of the warriors of chaos box set and chaos space marines box set (and green stuff). They were created using the legs and front part of the chest from the chaos warrior box with the chaos space marine back piece, with green stuff filling in the gap between the legs and back . The helmets are a mixture of the warriors of chaos and chaos space marines and the arms are the basic chaos space marine ones without the shoulder pads.  This idea was not mine originally, it came from a white dwarf issue that was showcasing an army of Chaos Space Marine Iron warriors where the player wanted a unique look for his troops. Wanting a similar different look for my own army I used his idea for basic chaos space marines.

Now as this is a fluff army each and every unit must have a background piece that gives a bit of insight into that unit. So here is the background for the basic chaos space marines in my army (which has been officially named “The Children of Man).

When the Man first appeared the Milky Way all he had was his weapons and his five most trusted bodyguards that he had chosen from his horde back in the ruins of Erngard. While these five were exceptionally skilled warriors they would not be enough to conquer the entire galaxy, the Man knew he needed foot soldiers and fast. Luckily he had experience in recruiting troops to fight in the name of Malal, having gone from a lone champion of Malal back on the old world to a leader of a vast horde of warriors who had conquered two armies and sacked the great city of Erngard. And so the Man started to visit the fringes of imperial space, visiting the desperate and depraved and offering them the chance to be gods amongst men. Soon he had a sizable following, but how do you turn the outcasts of the imperium into genetically enhanced killing machines? The Man knew that this would be the hardest challenge he would have to face and so devised a plan capture a live space marine and attempt to reverse engineer the gene seed and physical enhancements that transform a normal human into a space marine. 

The Man was lucky in that amongst his new following he had managed to pick up several depraved men of science, individuals who had been exiled to the far reaches of imperial space for their sick experiments on living subjects. It took the Man months but eventually he managed to locate a lone squad of space marines who had been left behind on a remote imperial the world to keep the peace after their chapter had quelled a uprising on that same planet. This squad, their faith in the emperor and the imperium already failing after decades of keeping the peace, fell easy prey to the Man’s words and arguments, easily convincing the squad that the imperium had forgotten and abandoned them here on the lonely edge of civilization. 

Not much is known of what happened to these five marines , except that the scientists in the Man’s warband successfully managed to reserved engineer and mass produce a kind of corrupted gene seed. This gene seed, while having some of the effects of the imperial version, also had unforeseen effects, the most notable being the increased height and decreased bulk of the Malal Chaos Space Marines. The last piece that the marines required before being declared ready for war was armour. Having seen the space marine power armour up close the Man decide to forge his own variant, desiring a more distinct look and feel. Having had been first had witness to the resilience of Chaos armour worn by the majority of his army on the battle fields of the old world the Man decided that this would form the basis of his marines armour. And so his marines’ stride the planets of the milky, armoured in plates of ceramite power armour, fashioned into the full plate armour of old. It is these, tall lean and fully enclosed, marines that form the backbone of the Man’s armies. They stalk the battle fields raining death down on those who would oppose the herald of true chaos.

Hopefully you enjoyed that. The next post will either be the final part of the Fantasy and 40k series or another post on The Children of Men.

Until next time


Saturday, 24 August 2013

The Exiled God Returns

When i started my wood elf army i as if i found a Fantasy army that i could stick with for years to come. Up until a few days ago i had yet to find such a army for 40k. This army has a long back story that i will summaries for you now in a attempt to justify why this will be my 40k wood elves. Earlier in the year i ran a Warhammer role play for some of my friends at my local club.The rolepay took place just after the end of the Storm of Chaos. The plot of the role play centered around a champion of chaos (called The Man), however this champion didn't worship one of the 4 main chaos gods, he worshiped the Exiled god Malal. The Mans goal was to get the Empire and Kislev into a war, which would be considered a act of infighting which is the type of act Malal draws power from (from what i could find on Malal this seemed like this was the sort of act that he drew power from). To cut a 21+ hour long story short the players failed to stop the Man, who consequently destroyed a Kislev and Imperial army as they fought outside the gates of Erngard. The last thing the players knew about The Man was that he had taken Erngard and had proclaimed the return of Malal to the world. During the role play i became quiet attached to The Man (who had actually been a character i made and played in a previous role play) and i wanted to do more with the character. my original plan was to do another role play with him. However as time went on the second role play fell by the wayside.

Fast forward to a week ago where i was thinking about how connected fluff wise the 40k and fantasy universes were.  It came to me that The Man could be transported into the 40k universe to fight for Malal on a far larger and more important battled field. And so i ordered the Chaos Space marine codex and 1000 points worth of Chaos space marines. Before i go on i thought it a food idea to show you the model i will be using for The Man.

Now with The Man having the back story that he does i decided to give this army a goal, as well as narrative battle reports that will be posted on this blog and as much conversation work as i possibly could. The Man's goal is to resurrect the long destroyed realm of Malal in the warp and create a new eye of terror. He plans to do this by corrupting and sacrificing a whole Eldar Craftworld and all the Eldar on board it. A suitably crazy plan for similarly crazy goal. All battle reports that i write for this army will be written up from the perspective of one of The Man's marines as he follows his masters attempts to fulfill his dark and mad goal. Hopefully it will make for good reading.

Until next time

Friday, 23 August 2013

Fantasy and 40K: The Shooting Phase

The Shooting Phase is the phase were armies begin to show their killing potential. For 40k its often the most violent and causality heavy phase of the game, and for Fantasy it’s the phase where players aim to either weaken a unit before a big charge or cause a panic and delay their opponents plans for a few turns.  The mechanics of each system shooting phases reflect this as well as the profiles of the ranged weapons themselves.


In 40k the majority of units can shoot (even if having moved), the two most common reasons why a unit would not be able to shoot are 1) the unit is in assault and 2) The unit is fleeing.  Other reasons exist as to why a unit would not be able to shoot, but these are often race specific, the two above are the most common reasons why a unit would not be able to shoot.

After you have determined who will be shooting at what you will need to roll a number of dice equal to the number of models in the squad who wish to shoot. Ballistic skill determines how likely you are to hit (this is the same as Fantasy). After rolling to hit compare the strength of the weapon being fired to the toughness value of the target, this will determine what roll on a d6 you will need to wound the target. Finally the target gets a chance to save the wound with either Invulnerable saves, Armour saves or cover saves. Unlike Fantasy a models armour save is not affected by the strength of the shot. Cover saves are determined by what type of cover the model is in (if any). It is vitally important to pre determine what terrain piece gives what save before the game beginning in order to avoid arguments later on in the game.  Generally light cover gives a 6+ save, medium cover gives a 5+ and heavy covers gives a 4+. If half a squad is in light cover and the other half is in medium cover then the shooting unit can choose to focus fire on either only the models in light cover, or only the models in medium cover.

Where 40k sets itself apart from Fantasy is in the weapons themselves. There are 6 different types of weapons each with their own general rules set. For example assault weapons are the only weapons that a model can fire with in the shooting phase and then assault in the assault phase.

Finally the 40k shooting phase has the option for squads to fore go shooting in favour of making a Run move. A run move allows the squad to move equal to the roll of a d6. Note that squads that run cannot shoot or assault unless stated in their codex.


  • The 40k shooting phase is faster than Fantasy, with the majority of squads being able to shoot.
  • The 40k shooting phase can be a game winner, this means that armies who are good at shooting can win games in the shooting phase as opposed to just weakening the enemy.
  • The 40k shooting phase is very unforgiving, a misplaced squad can easily be obliterated in one turn.

Fantasy works in much the same way as 40k does for its shooting e.g. Ballistic skill determines what you need to get on a d6 to hit, the strength of the weapon Vs the toughness of the model being shot determines what you need on a d6 to wound. There are some major changes from 40k that set the Fantasy shooting phase apart. They are:
  • In Fantasy cover is broken into 2 categories, Hard and Soft. Hard cover gives a -2 to hit penalty for shooting and soft gives a -1 to hit plenty for shooting.
  • The majority of units can move and shoot (notable exceptions include any “Gun” units) however moving and shooting gives a -1 to hit and units cannot march and move
  • Ranged weapons have a short and long range distance. At long range all shooting attacks suffer a -1 to hit penalty and at short range there are no penalties (for range)
  •  Units that suffer 25% casualties must take a leadership test or flee (referred to as a panic test) furthermore units within a certain distance from a unit that flees as a result from a failed panic test must test for panic themselves.
  • The Strength of a weapon modifies the armour save of the target. Strength 4 reduces the armour save by one. e.g. a model with a 5+ armour save shot be a strength 4 weapon would have a 6+ save against that shot.
Here we see a example of the panic rule in action. The 3 units of Glade Guard focus their attacks on the center unit of Orc Boyz....

Which causes the unit to flee.......

Which in turn causes the other 2 units to flee due to failed panic tests


  •  The Fantasy shooting phase, while not as violent as the 40k, can still be effective, with whole battle lines turning tail and fleeing due to one unit being targeted.
  •  The rules do a good job of ensuring that ranged armies do not dominate in a game that is still largely based around close combat.
  •  While the rules do ensure that ranged armies don’t dominate, they do make it difficult for an all ranged army to do well. The rules force players to have some close combat units in their army.


Once again the 40k shooting phase continues the trend of being the more streamlined shooting phase, allowing for the majority of squads to shoot ensuring maximum damage from turn one. Fantasy shooting shows just how close combat focused fantasy is, with shooting attacks useful only in their ability to whittle down a until before a charge or causing a panic in the enemy lines. While having 3 units panic from shooting and fleeing sounds bad most units rally the next turn meaning that the shooting player only managed to buy him/herself another turn, 2 at the most, that being said this can be all a good player needs to turn the battle in his favour.

Hopefully you enjoyed this post, for the final part of Fantasy and 40k I will be looking at the close combat/assault phase and giving a summary of each system.

Until next time.


Wednesday, 21 August 2013

How to Pick Your Army

Choosing an army for either Fantasy or 40k is a big deal.  With the army books/codices costing close to 100 dollars (NZ) the amount of money you invest in an army starts to sky rocket very early on. That’s why its important to choose an army that you will stick with, an army that you enjoy playing, as deciding to start over with a new army will cost you more than sticking with your current one. Here are a few points to consider before choosing an army that will hopefully help you pick a army that you will stick with and enjoy playing.

At roughly 100 dollars a pop (NZ) make sure that they army you pick is one that you will enjoy playing

Play style

How an army plays, what are its strengths and weakness, what’s its overall combat “Theme”. These are all key points to consider before choosing an army. Do you like getting into combat quickly and murdering things? Then perhaps a Close Combat Eldar force would be a good idea. Do you like the idea of creating a killing zone in front of your army? Where enemy units will suffer heavy causalities before they reach your lines? Then perhaps you should look at a Empire Gunline army. Remember that you should pick an army whose play style best reflects what you like about most about the game, be it 40k or Fantasy.

Army Fluff

For some gamers their army’s background and lore means nothing to them. For others it can be the deciding factor between two armies with similar play style. Each player will have their own preference fluff wise and it’s up to that player to find an army that matches that preference. Use the internet for this, there are dozens of websites out there that document the fluff of both 40k and Fantasy armies. Search, read, learn and most of all don’t rush.

Battlefield Performance

So you have found a army whose play style complements what you like the most about the game and whose fluff you enjoy.  The final question you should get a answer to is “How does this army preform in game?” Luckily you don’t have to buy the army you find this out, sites like Warseer and many race specific forums have battle report sections where you can read up on other players experiences with the army you are thinking of buying. Also there are now a ton of battle reports on youtube. The race specific forums will also be a great help to you in this regard as they are full of people offering tactical advise about the army you are interested in. In addition these forums often have lively debates about these tactics allowing you to see their upsides and downsides.

Hopefully that helps you pick an army that you will stick with. With GW constantly raising the prices of its product (especially in New Zealand and Australia) it has never been more important to pick a army that you will enjoy playing, as the cost of starting a new army continues to rise.

Until next time