The Four Strands Modeling, Painting, Gaming and Storytelling


Highland April Tournament Prep part 2 – Dark Angels with White Scars

Part two of my Tournament Prep was with Paul!  He wanted to try some of the new things from the Angels of Death supplement.

Just as in my previous post, we played a 1500 point game.  We were limited to one CAD and one other formation, with Highlander rules (see previous post).  We also played Right Place at the Wrong Time, this time with Dawn of War (long table edges).


Bozeman - Azure Flames Space Marines (Salamanders)

  • Combined Arms Detachment
    • Leonidas, Captain of the 1st Company (counts as Vulkan He'stan)
    • Ironclad Dreadnought, Chainfist, replace Storm Bolter with Heavy Flamer, Ironclad Launchers
      • Drop Pod
    • Terminator Assault Squad x5, 5x Thunder Hammer/Storm Shield
      • Land Raider Redeemer, Extra Armour, Multi-Melta
    • Tactical Squad x10, Veteran Sergeant, Power Fist, Bolter-Melta, Meltagun, Multi-Melta
      • Drop Pod
    • Scout Squad x5
      • Land Speeder Storm, Multi-Melta
    • Land Speeder Squadron x3, 3x Multi-Melta
    • Stormtalon Gunship, Skyhammer Missile Launcher

Paul - Dark Angels with White Scars

  • Combined Arms Detachment (Dark Angels)
    • Librarian, Lv2, Conversion Field, Bike, Fulmination discipline (new in Angels of Death)
    • Ravenwing Command Squad x6, Apothecary, Ravenwing Standard, Plasma Talons
    • Scouts x5, Shotguns
    • Tactical Squad x10, Grav Cannon with Grav Amp, Grav Gun
      • Drop Pod
    • Tactical Sqiad x5
      • Drop Pod
    • Ravenwing Land Speeder Vengeance
  • Ravenhawk Assault Wing (White Scars)
    • Stormraven
    • Venerable Dreadnought, Plasma Cannon, Heavy Flamer
    • Sternguard x10, Power Sword, Heavy Flamer







Before turn 1

Dark Angel Ravenwing Bikes make a scout move to claim an objective.  However, it is a bomb which kills the Apothecary, leaving them without Feel No Pain!

Dark Angels/White Scars - Turn 1

The Tactical Squad arrives via drop pod and destroys the Land Speeders with bolter and Grav fire.  The rest of the army advances.  Turn not pictured.

Azure Flames - Turn 1

Land Raider advances and destroys the Land Speeder Vengeance with a well placed Meltagun shot.  Ironclad Dreadnought deep strikes and bakes a bike with his Heavy Flamer.


Land Raider menaces the rest of the board, while the Ironclad drops behind.

Dark Angels/White Scars - Turn 2

Bikes retreat to stay away from the Land Raider, while the Tactical Squad immobilizes the Ironclad with a grav shot.  Scouts charge the Drop Pod.  The 5-man tactical squad and the Ravenhawk Assault Wing arrive on the left side of the board to get objectives.  Sadly, one of the objectives evaporates for the tatsquad.


Ironclads are much less threatening when they can't walk.


It's objective time!

Azure Flames - Turn 2

Land Raider makes a mad dash across craters and bakes 1/2 the Tactical Squad, including all the Grav!  Even immobilzed, the Dreadnought fires its Heavy Flamer and bakes the Scouts.  Stormtalon arrives and puts two glances on the Stormraven!


The Land Raider drives like it's auditioning for Fast & Furious 40,000.


Nice shooting by the Stormtalon!

Dark Angels/White Scars - Turn 3

Tactical squad charges the Drop Pod, glancing it as Bikes stay cautiously out of Land Raider charge range.  Venerable Dreadnought disembarks to get the objective.


Bikes are cautious while Tatsquad is gutsy!


The Venerable Dreadnought's struggle is real, as is the objective he finds.

Azure Flames - Turn 3

Land Speeder Storm arrives behind the Stormraven, but due to Reinforced Ceramite, the Multi-Melta is useless!  Tactical Squad arrives via Drop Pod, grabs both objectives by combat squadding, and vapes the Venerable Dreadnought.  However, an explosion kills the Sergeant!  Land Raider Redeemer Kool-Aid Mans through the wall and takes the central objective.  Stormtalon menaces the 5 man tatsquad, killing 3.


Melta is less effective without the extra D6.  Meanwhile, the Stormtalon brings Death from Above.


Got it!


Stunt Driver!  OH YEAHHHHH!

Dark Angels/White Scars - Turn 4

Bikes go the long way around to avoid the Land Raider.  Sternguard disembark and completely wipe out the bolter squad.


Still wary of the Land Raider.


Sternguard arrive for some serious firepower.

Azure Flames - Turn 4

Land Raider rolls out to go for the other objective.  Stormtalon finishes off the Stormraven.


Stormraven finally goes down, as the Stormtalon risks a hover.


Land Raider goes for a different objective.

Dark Angels/White Scars - Turn 5

Remaining two bolter marines run to secure central objective.  Bikes charge the Land Raider with rending sticks and do nothing, then hit-and-run 12".  Sternguard charge the remaining tatsquad in the crater, and kill them!


The bikes punch the Land Raider in the butt to no effect.


Sternguard get the job done!

Azure Flames - Turn 5

Leonidas and the Terminators disembark the Land Raider, and then the Land Raider moves back to the central objective.  The two bolter marines holding it are killed, and the Land Raider holds the objective.  The Stormtalon hovers flat-out to get the objective in the crater, and Leonidas and the Terminators charge the Sternguard, killing them all.  The scouts hold the last objective.  Game ends.


Leonidas finally shows up, and puts the hurt on the Sternguard!


Land Raider makes one more dash through a wall, and takes the last objective.


Final Score:

Azure Flames: 9 plus Linebreaker for 10

Dark Angels/White Scars: First Blood for 1


Paul was banking on a psychic power to trade places with another unit, and get a turn one charge!  Unfortunately, he did not roll that power.  He had a good list, but 3 of the 4 objectives he identified were removed, one of which killed his apothecary!

In the end, I love this mission because it requires you to be mobile and tactical, but not as frantically as a Maelstrom mission.

Next: more painting and modelling projects!


Highland April Tournament Prep part 1 – Imperial Guard

Last year, I took on an anything-goes style 40K tournament with one goal: show that 40K is still fun by standing up to beardy broken lists with a balanced fun Highlander-style Combined Arms Detachment.  I succeeded beyond my wildest dreams, because I not only won the tournament, I made quite the impression on Ian, the event coordinator.

So, this year, the points value is reduced to 1500, and players are limited to one Combined Arms Detachment plus one other formation of any kind, subject to the Highlander rules of composition.  For those unfamiliar, you can only take one of any given unit.  The exception is Troops choices, but you can only duplicate Troops choices after taking one of every type of Troops in your Codex.

The Tournament is in July.  Never too early to prep.  With the help of the wonderful people of the Highland Library 40K Club, I played two great games to see how my initial list performs.  My first game was against Michael, who I played against last month.

The mission that we played was the 4th mission from last year's tournament.  We didn't get to play it properly, so it will be the first mission in this year's tournament.


Bozeman - Azure Flames Space Marines (Salamanders)

  • Combined Arms Detachment
    • Leonidas, Captain of the 1st Company (counts as Vulkan He'stan)
    • Ironclad Dreadnought, Chainfist, replace Storm Bolter with Heavy Flamer, Ironclad Launchers
      • Drop Pod
    • Terminator Assault Squad x5, 5x Thunder Hammer/Storm Shield
      • Land Raider Redeemer, Extra Armour, Multi-Melta
    • Tactical Squad x10, Veteran Sergeant, Power Fist, Bolter-Melta, Meltagun, Multi-Melta
      • Drop Pod
    • Scout Squad x5
      • Land Speeder Storm, Multi-Melta
    • Land Speeder Squadron x3, 3x Multi-Melta
    • Stormtalon Gunship, Skyhammer Missile Launcher

Michael - Imperial Guard (I'm not calling them Astra Militarum)

  • Combined Arms Detachment
    • Land Raider Executioner Command Tank, Camo Netting
      • Commander Pask
    • Commisar, Plasma Pistol, Power Sword, Refractor Field
    • Commisar, Plasma Pistol, Power Sword, Refractor Field
    • Veteran Squad, Grenadiers, Forward Sentries, Demolitions
    • Infantry Platoon
      • Platoon Command Squad, Medic, Commander, Power Sword, Plasma Gun
      • Infantry Squad, Plasma Gun
      • Infantry Squad, Plasma Gun
    • Primaris Psyker, Lv2
    • Techpriest Enginseer
      • 5 Servitors, Servo Arms
    • Stormlord Superheavy Tank, 2x Lascannon, Camo Netting
      • NOTE: Due to Michael not owning a Stormlord, he used a box top as a proxy.  Fire arcs were approximated and judged with a 4+.


Mission - Right Place at the Wrong Time

Players alternate setting up 6 numbered objectives.  When an objective is first claimed, roll a D6.  On a 1, the objective explodes, causing D6 S5 AP4 hits to the squad that claimed it, and then the objective is removed from the game permanently!  On a 2-3, the objective is removed.  On a 4+, the objective is "real" and is rolled for as a Mysterious Objective, re-rolling all results of 1.


If 3 objectives are removed, the remaining 3 are "real" and if 3 are identified as "real" all others are removed (assume they are deactivated).  Objectives are worth 3 points at the end of the game.  First Blood, Linebreaker, and Slay the Warlord for one point each.

Setup zones are Random.  For this game with Michael, we played Hammer and Anvil (short table edges, 24" deployment)





In the grand tradition of Tournament scenarios, I did not go first.


Imperial Guard - Turn 1

The Stormlord fires a Lascannon at the Land Raider Redeemer, glancing it, and fires its Vulcan Megabolter at the Land Speeders.  Luckily one of them is out of its fire arc.


The Land Speeders take a huge amount of fire!


Land Raider is glanced.

Azure Flames - Turn 1

Land Raider advances and pops smoke.  Ironclad Dreadnought arrives and damages the platoon squad in the bunker.  Last Land Speeder flies towards the enemy.


Let's move out.


Imperial Guard - Turn 2

Plasma fire from several sources puts two glances on the Ironclad.  An Infantry Squad charges the last Land Speeder and kills it.


Guardsmen rush!


Not enough to bring down the Ironclad!

Azure Flames - Turn 2

Ironclad charges the Stormlord, doing 8 hull points of damage, just one away from doing it in!  Land Raider moves up and uses its Multi-Melta to destroy Pask's Leman Russ.  Land Speeder Storm arrives and takes cover behind some ruins.  Turn not pictured.

Imperial Guard - Turn 3

Veteran squad disembarks from the Stormlord and charges the Ironclad, killing it with Melta bombs!  Vulcan Megabolter whiffs against the Land Speeder Storm, but Heavy Bolter sponsons shred the speeder, and other guns kill two of the Scouts, forcing them to go to ground.


Expensive Veterans are worth it, as they save the Stormlord from the Ironclad.


Scouts are stymied in the ruins by heavy fire.

Azure Flames - Turn 3

Stormtalon arrives and kills many of the Infantry squad that killed the last Land Speeder, breaking them.  Leonidas and the Terminators disembark the Land Raider, and split up.  The Terminators go after the Veterans, killing everyone but the Commissar who breaks and flees!  Leonidas kills the remaining troops in the bunker with his Heavy Flamer.  Tactical Squad arrives via drop pod, combat squads, and blows up the Stormlord with Melta power!  The only survivor is a lone Servitor who is killed by a Drop Pod Storm Bolter.


Air power gets revenge!


This Commissar doesn't have anyone to shoot, so he flees!


Leonidas clears the bunker, as the Tactical Squad finishes off the Stormlord.

Imperial Guard - Turn 4

Platoon commander orders the Commissar to Get Back in the Fight!  Commissar fires his plasma, but a Terminator makes his save.


The Commissar is back, but out of luck.

Azure Flames - Turn 4

Bolter fire and fire from the Stormtalon kill all remaining models.  Tabled.


Shot him before the Terminators could finish him.


The Stormtalon hovers to take care of business.


I knew holding objectives would be hard with a Superheavy designed to wipe Space Marines off the table, so I poured everything I had into killing it.  That ended up working well, as Michael put all his eggs in one basket.  A superheavy basket.  However, without the Stormlord to dish out punishment, the rest of the army was a bit lacking.

Next: I go up against a Dark Angels/White Scars list with new tricks from the latest Space Marine Supplement: Angels of Death!  Stay tuned!



Look at this.  Is there anything that screams laziness more than the barrel of this Space Marine's Boltgun?


No one wants to see that.  That's bush league.  Don't be like that.  Here's a handy guide on how to drill the barrels of Boltguns so they don't look terrible.

  • Get a good pin vise set with a 1/32" and a 3/64" drill bit.  The standard Dremel 7 bit set comes with this and is usually less than $5.
  • Put the smallest bit (1/32") in the pin vise, and begin to drill the crossbore of the Bolter.
    • PRO TIP: If you are at a bad angle, you'll ruin the barrel.  Instead of going through the whole Bolter at once, drill a bit on one side and switch.  Keep switching after a couple turns until you break through.
  • Continue as above until you see daylight through the Bolter.  DO NOT STOP UNTIL YOU SEE DAYLIGHT.  See below.


  • Keep the same 1/32" bit in, and drill a very small divot into the front of the barrel.  Try to make it as centered as possible.


  • Replace the 1/32" bit with the 3/64" bit.  Drill out the barrel all the way to the cavity you created in the crossbore.


  • Sometimes, the crossbore gets a little extra plastic from the barrel drill, as seen below.  Put the 1/32" bit back in and use it to carefully clean the crossbore.


  • If any of your barrels were damaged, fix them with putty or replace the Bolter if you can.
  • Now your Bolters don't look like garbage!

Next: A huge update to the Azure Flames, including two Tactical Squads, and some special surprises courtesy of Games Workshop's 20th anniversary of the Space Marines!  You won't want to miss this!

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Space Marines vs. Imperial Guard/Marines 1500 Big Guns Never Tire

Went back to Highland, got a 1500 pt. game with Michael, who was trying out a new Imperial Guard list.  Let's go!


Bozeman - Azure Flames Space Marines (Salamanders)

  • -Demi-Company
    • Leonidas, captain of the 1st company (counts as Vulkan He'Stan)
    • Tactical Squad x10, Veteran Sergeant, Power Fist, Combi-Melta, Meltagun, Multi-Melta
      • Drop Pod
    • Tactical Squad x10, Veteran Sergeant, Power Fist, Combi-Melta, Meltagun, Multi-Melta
      • Drop Pod
    • Tactical Squad x10, Veteran Sergeant, Power Fist, Combi-Flamer, Flamer, Multi-Melta
      • Rhino, Extra Armour
    • Assault Squad x5, 2x Flamers
    • Devastator Squad x10, Veteran Sergeant, 4x Missile Launcher, 4x Flakk Missile upgrade
  • Whirlwind Suppression Force
    • Whirlwind x2
    • Land Speeders x3, Multi-Melta x3
  • Librarius Conclave
    • Librarian, Lv2, Terminator Armour, The Shield Eternal, Dominate, Terrify, Psychic Shriek
    • Librarian, Lv2, Invisibility, Terrify, Psychic Shriek
    • Librarian, Lv2, Fiery Form, Fire Breath, Flame Breath


Michael - Imperial Guard with Space Marine Allies (unbound)

  • Imperial Guard
    • Leman Russ Exterminator x3, Plasma Cannon Sponsons, Lascannon, Heavy Stubber, Camo Netting, Fire Barrels
      • Commander Pask (Warlord)
    • Wyvern x3, Camo Netting, Fire Barrels
    • Guardsman Squad x10, Medic, Banner, Krak Grenades
    • Guardsman Squad x10, Medic, Banner, Krak Grenades
    • Guardsman Squad x10, Medic, Banner, Krak Grenades
    • Tempestus Scion x10, Tempestus Prime
    • Lord Commisar
    • Lord Commisar
    • Vendetta Gunship, 2x Heavy Bolter Sponson
    • Techpriest Enginseer
  • Space Marine Allies
    • Tactical Squad x9, Plasma Cannon
    • Tactical Squad x9, Plasma Cannon
  • Fortification
    • Aegis Defense Line


Mission - Big Guns Never Tire (D3+2 objectives, we rolled 3.  Heavy Support choices killed give 1VP)

Deployment - Vanguard Strike





Turn 1 - Azure Flames

Leonidas and the three Librarians join the Assault Squad and they deep strike behind enemy lines, as does one of the melta Tactical Squads.  Despite primo back armour melta shots, camo netting saves the Leman Russes with minimal damage.  The Librarians cast Invisibility, Terrify, and fire breath.  Flamers and heavy flamer then eat into the 30 man guard squad, but a ridiculous amount of Feel No Pain saves reduces the casualties significantly.  Land Speeders move flat out as Whirlwinds blast the 10 man guardsman squad doing a few casualties.  Devastators lay into the Leman Russes, but cover saves negate their shots.

DSCF1394Drop Pod Blitz behind enemy lines!  Waves of fire and melta shots!  ...less effective than I'd have liked.

DSCF1395Move out!

Turn 1 - Imperial Guard

The entire Imperial Guard army fires on the non-invisible portion of the army, and the Invisible portion takes a walloping.  All but one of the Assault Squad and the entire tactical squad go away.  Despite jinking, one Land Speeder explodes and one is immobilized.

DSCF1397Eerily accurate plasma makes a big dent in the blitz!

DSCF1398Land Speeders take a beating.

Turn 2 - Azure Flames

Leonidas, all alone, charges the large Guard squad and challenges the Commisar, killing him outright and taking two guardsmen with him.  The Guard hold despite Terrify. The Librarians all split off and charge separate targets, two of the Wyverns and the Tempestus Scions.  One of the Wyverns is immobilized, and the Scions lose a few members, but not much else happens.  Rhino advances on objective 3.  Sadly, the last Assault Marine charges one of the Wyverns and Fire Barrels kill him!

DSCF1399Leonidas goes after the guardsmen alone!

DSCF1400Tempestus Scions get charged. Overwatch does a wound to the Librarian, and several are cut down in return.

DSCF1401Objective 3 obtained!

Turn 2 - Imperial Guard

Combat with the Tempestus Scions and the Librarian continues.  The lower Wyvern backs up, and with good rolls kills one of the Librarians, but the immobilized Wyvern was still in combat with the Terminator Librarian so the Terminator Librarian finishes the Wyvern which explodes!  Leonidas kills some Guardsmen, they break, and are cut down as they flee!  Small guard squad leaps over their Aegis defense line and assault the immobilized Land Speeder, wrecking it.  Rhino is destroyed, and all 10 men inside take wounds, losing 3.  Other shots take two more, leaving the squad at half strength.

DSCF1402The Scions gang up on the Librarian!

DSCF1403The fight goes well for Leonidas!

DSCF1404With nothing left to lose, the Guardsmen charge the helpless Land Speeder!

DSCF1405What's left of the Tactical Squad clings to the objective.

Turn 3 - Azure Flames

Second melta squad arrives and explodes one of the Leman Russes, killing two Tempestus Scions in the explosion!  Cover saves manage to protect Pask's Leman Russ from the other combat squad and other shots.  Leonidas charges into the Tempestus Scions and clears them with the Librarian's help.  Terminator Librarian charges the other Wyvern but does no damage.  Whirlwinds kill half of the squad that took out the Land Speeder.

DSCF1406Objective 2 is cleared by a huge explosion!

DSCF1408Whirlwinds don't forgive the Guardsmen.  Half of them are taken out.

Turn 3 - Imperial Guard

Vendetta arrives, and drops off one of the Tactical Squads, who put the hurt on the Melta squads.  The other Tactical Squad walks on from the board edge, and combined fire with the Wyverns put one wound on the Terminator Librarian.  Note to self: USE INVISIBILITY EVERY TURN.  Small guard squad order Go! Go! Go! to run toward enemy lines.

DSCF1409Vendetta gives the Tactical Squad a lift, and they unload on the melta squad. (Vendetta is alive despite it's appearance, it was purchased secondhand)

DSCF1410The Librarian has some new company...

DSCF1411Fantastic effort from the guardsmen.

Turn 4 - Azure Flames

Remains of the melta squad charge Pask's Leman Russ, knocking off a Plasma Cannon.  Leonidas can't charge the Tactical Squad.  On an unrelated note, have I mentioned that I hate random charge ranges?  The Terminator Librarian charges the newly arrived Tactical Squad.  Flakk missiles that I purchased for the Devastators work for the first time since they were introduced in 5th edition and shoot down the Vendetta.  Seriously, first time Flakk missiles were not a complete waste of points.

DSCF1412Good news: Flakk takes out the Vendetta.  Bad news: Leonidas fails to charge the Tactical Squad.


The Terminator Librarian fights for his life.

Turn 4 - Imperial Guard

The fight with the Terminator Librarian goes well, as he kills two Marines and they break and flee off the board!  The Tactical Squad charges Leonidas which was, really, the only thing they could do.

DSCF1414Librarian chases the Tactical Squad off the board.

DSCF1415These are very sad Tactical Marines.

Turn 5 - Azure Flames

Leonidas finishes the Tactical Squad and consolidates onto objective 2.  Librarian chareges a Wyvern and knocks off... the Heavy Stubber.  Great.

DSCF1416Objective 2 is held by Leonidas, all alone.

DSCF1417Charge does very little.

Turn 5 - Imperial Guard

DSCF1418The whole remaining army fires on Leonidas, taking one wound.

Turn 6 - Azure Flames

Devatators cause one final glance on Pask's Leman Russ, wrecking it.  The Terminator Librarian perils and dies!

DSCF1419Pask finally takes one missile too many!

Turn 6 - Imperial Guard

Fire against Leonidas does not kill him.


Turn 7 - Azure Flames

Missile fire from the Devastators does nothing to the last Leman Russ.  Turn not pictured.

Turn 7 - Imperial Guard

Leonidas loses one more wound, but lives to fight another day.


Final Score

Azure Flames - 3 objectives plus Slay the Warlord = 10

Imperial Guard - First Blood = 1


Michael rolled like a god this game.  He rolled more Hits than Scatter results.  He wounded 10 Marines on a 4+ when their Rhino exploded.  He saved at least 10 out of 17 FNP5+ rolls.  Why then did Michael not do better?

He got nowhere near the objectives.  He held objective 2 for a while, but the all-tank strategy didn't help much.  He also went for a Razorback with a squad when he could have fought the Devastators or Whirlwinds to try to take objective 1.  The 30 man Blob squad was a big (admittedly tough) target, but it couldn't get any objectives.

Keep your eyes on the prize, kids.

Next: hopefully some painting if I can get 5 minutes.


Azure Flames vs. Imperial Navy – Escalating Engagement 1500pts

Stephen and I have played pretty much every mission, except Escalating Engagement.  We dropped 1500 points.  Who's gonna come out on top?


Bozeman - Azure Flames Space Marines (Space Marine Crusade Fleet)

-Master of the Fleet Zeraf Antonius, Ld 10, 3 re-rolls (aboard the Honor)

-Strike Cruiser Honor, Extra Shield

-Strike Cruiser Vigilance, Extra Shield

-Strike Cruiser Courage, Extra Shield

-Strike Cruiser Sacrifice, Extra Shield

-Strike Cruiser Duty, Extra Shield

-Nova Frigate x5, Light Squadron

-Hunter Destroyer x4 Wrath Squadron

-Hunter Destroyer x4 Vengeance Squadron


Stephen - Imperial Navy Segmentum Obscurus Bastion Fleet

-Admiral, Ld 9, 1 re-roll (aboard one of the Gothic class cruisers)

-Lunar class cruiser, Nova Cannon

-Lunar class cruiser, Nova Cannon

-Gothic class cruiser

-Gothic class cruiser

-Gothic class cruiser

-Dauntless class light cruiser, lances

-Dauntless class light cruiser, torpedoes

-Firestorm x3

-Cobra x2 and Sword x1


Mission: Escalating Engagement

Battlezone: Flare Region




We rolled 2 Solar Flares, so terrain was scarce on the board.


Turn 1 - Azure Flames

Wrath Squadron goes on Burn Retros in order to hide behind the asteroids.


Turn 1 - Imperial Navy

Squadron of 3 Gothic cruisers advances.


Turn 2 - Azure Flames

Light Squadron appears on the right board edge, but fails to go on All Ahead Full.  Wrath Squadron, unable to Burn Retros again, pops out and fires batteries and torpedoes at the Gothic class ships.  The Gothics Brace for Impact.  Batteries take down one shield, but then the torpedoes die in the resulting blast marker!  Note to self: cool it on the crappy batteries when the badass torpedoes are on the line.


Turn 2 - Imperial Navy

The Gothic ships come forward and fire, but the most incredibly awful rolls followed by the most incredible Brace Saves by Wrath Squadron keeps all of them alive!


Turn 3 - Azure Flames

Wrath Sqaudron flies through the Gothics and takes down one of their shields.  Light Squadron tries to go on All Ahead Full again and fails again.


Turn 3 - Imperial Navy

SOLAR FLARE OCCURS!  Gothic ships go on Burn Retros because Blast Markers make Come to a New Heading useless.  They barely stay in formation.  A few lance shots take out one of Wrath Squadron.  Turn not pictured.

Turn 4 - Azure Flames

Squadron of Vigilance and Courage comes in from the far long edge, fires torpedoes and Thunderhawks, doing serious damage to one of the Gothics, and doing a bit to the other two.  Light Squadron takes a big risk by flying into blast markers and blasting the Gothics, crippling one, thanks to Lock On.


Turn 4 - Imperial Navy

Squadron of 2 Dauntlesses arrives on the left board edge, goes on All Ahead Full.  Squadron of 2 Lunars arrives and peppers the Strike Cruisers with Nova Cannons.  Poor rolls take down one shield.  The crippled Gothic tries to disengage, but fails.


Turn 5 - Azure Flames

Vengeance Squadron arrives via the left board edge, and does some damage to the Lunars who fail to Brace.  Light Squadron finishes off the lower Gothic, and the Strike Cruisers board the higher Gothic, turning both into Drifting Hulks!  Wrath Squadron finally Reloads Ordnance after several turns of bracing.


Turn 5 - Imperial Navy

The fleet tries to regroup, but Brace orders and being a bit out of position do very little for the Imperials.  Turn not pictured.

Turn 6 - Azure Flames

Squadron with Sacrifice and Duty arrives, fires torpedoes and Thunderhawks that cripple the last Gothic.  Honor arrives as part of the same marker and goes on All Ahead Full to launch Thunderhawks to stifle the Dauntlesses.  Vengeance, and the other Strike Cruisers POUR ON the torpedo damage, crippling one of the Lunars.  Light Squadron, on Brace from last turn, fly around to regroup.


Turn 6 - Imperial Navy

The Lunars try to harm Light Squadron, but a gutsy decision to not Brace pays off as the crippled, braced ships can't put out a lot of fire.  Squadron of Firestorms arrives from the lower board edge.  The Dauntlesses force a Brace on Wrath Squadron, and fire batteries at the Honor, but fails.  The Gothic with the Admiral disengages.


Turn 7 - Azure Flames

Vengeance Squadron reloads and torpedoes the Dauntlesses, crippling one.  Torpedoes from the Sacrifice and the Duty turn one of the Lunars into a Blazing Hulk.  Two flights of Thunderhawks wait till next turn.


Turn 7 - Imperial Navy

Cobra/Sword squadron arrives from the right board edge and fires on Light Squadron, causing a Brace but no casualties.  Firestorms cause a brace on Vengeance Squadron.  Dauntlesses try to come about.  Lunar tries to disengage and fails.  Ordnance causes the hulked Lunar to explode!



Turn 8 - Azure Flames

Despite Brace for Impact, Light Squadron destroys the Cobras and Sword.  Thunderhawks do one last damage to the Lunar, destroying it. Torpedoes and Thunderhawks take out the Dauntlesses.  Batteries and Bombardmant Cannons finish off the Firestorms.  Tabled.


Final score:

Azure Flames: 1466

Imperial Navy: 0


OK, so the past few games have been a bit unbalanced.  Let's do an autopsy on this one.  Why was the margin so huge?  Here are some reasons why I think this happened.

Unbalanced Fleets: Being a Specialist Game, Battlefleet Gothic doesn't really have overpowered fleets (I've changed my mind on the Necrons, they are actually a bit fragile thanks to their low HP count and no ordnance).  Some fleets are better at some scenarios than others.  Space Marines are fast and speed is key for Escalating Engagement.  That said, the Imperials can make a decent showing with escorts and Dauntlesses.  Sadly, Stephen only owns two Dauntlesses, and eschewed more escorts for the Gothics in order to punch though Space Marine armour.  Oddly, this didn't hurt him, as the capital ships came in before the escorts!  Despite the initial unbalance, fleets didn't cause this.

Tactics: Stephen's ships bunched up in the center of the board. This made them prime targets for multiple torpedo waves.  Stephen also had no fighters to protect against my torpedoes which did the lion's share of the damage in this fight.  Stephen also turned the Gothics different directions, limiting their effectiveness.

Luck: UGH.  Stephen failed SO MANY TURRET ROLLS.  Those torpedoes would have been way less effective with turrets doing their jobs.  He also got several Brace saves that failed in key situations.  Die rolls are always a big factor.  Plus, Stephen's escorts failed to come in on a 4+ for like three turns.

My final verdict, Stephen bunched up in the middle, couldn't stop torpedoes, and had some really terrible rolls.

Next: some more action at Highland!


A Typical Day

“It’s so good to have someone who will just listen.” Poindexta Smartyskull said to Loudmouf Sneakilla.  Loudmouf nodded in reply, as his loudener speakers were switched off.  Loudmouf gestured towards some black smoke coming from the Gargant known as Da Gentul Teddy Bear, and shrugged his shoulders.

“Ah,” Smartyskull answered “Manik must be hard at work again.  It’s good to know that he keeps my Gargant in good condition.  I hope that during this maintenance that no one steals his bike again.  Last time I lost two perfectly good trukks and…”


Smartyskull was interrupted by an object striking him in the side of the head.  It bounced harmlessly off the rusty steel of his mega-armour, and hit the ground with a squelching noise.  Reluctantly, Smartyskull looked down to see what had struck him and to his amazement, found that it was an Ork head wearing a Stormboy’s helmet.  Smartyskull struggled the right arm out of the sheath that held his Big Shoota, and reached down to pick up the head.  It was Jobba.  Surprisingly, the still form of the head jerked to life as Smartyskull looked into Jobba’s eyes.  Jobba’s lips formed the words “Hiya Boss!” though no sound came out.  Jobba’s eyes then darkened and he stopped moving.  Smartyskull flung the head behind him, put his arm back in his armour, and turned to Loudmouf.

“Loudmouf, if you would, please get me Rukkstud.”  Loudmouf beamed, and turned on his speakers.  Before Smartyskull could stop him, he bellowed


The wave of Loudmouf’s shout hit Smartyskull like a Wreckin’ Ball.  His Ork instincts made him try to reach out and smash Loudmouf across the jaw.  Being dazed, he missed, and fell over.  As Loudmouf helped him to his feet, he began to regain his senses.  Just in time for another loud boom followed by the hiss of pistons.

“Yer wanted ta see me Boss?” Rukkstud shouted.  Smartyskull opened his eyes, blinked several times, and was finally able to make out the form of Rukkstud, awkwardly saluting with one of his gigantic adamantium piston arms, and awkwardly balancing on the other arm, and his choppa.  The choppa was being held at a ridiculous angle by a hand protruding from Rukkstud’s pant leg.  Smartyskull sighed.

“Rukkstud, you know that I approve of your leadership style.  You are one of the few in this camp that appreciates military structure and discipline.”

“Sir!  Yessir!  Boss!  Sir!” Rukkstud shouted.

“However, if I am pelted by another piece of your soldiers, I will conclude that you cannot keep proper discipline, or that your aim is too poor, and I will assign you to being a Deffdread.  Do I make myself clear?”

“Sir!  Yessir!  Boss!  Sir!  Sir!  Boss!”

“Dismissed.” Smartyskull make a waving action with his power klaw, and with that, Rukkstud bounded into the air on a column of acrid gray smoke.  Smartyskull held his breath and walked away from the site, followed closely by Loudmouf.  “One day.” He muttered under his breath so that Loudmouf would not hear.  “One day without… this.  Is that too much to ask, Mork?”


Belated Highland Deathwatch Camapign: Round 1 – MST3K Name Ripoff Extravaganza!

Ian, manager of the brand new Games Workshop store in Ann Arbor, MI put on a Deathwatch campaign for us.

I decided to join in at least for the first round, using proxies from my own list.  The rules for creating a kill team are from the internet.  Here's mine, in all its copycatted glory:

Kill Team Roll Fizzlebeef

-Bob Johnson, Ultramarines Chaplain: Terminator Armour, Bolter-Melta, Crozius Arcanum, Rosarius, Combat Doctrines, Zealot, Rampage, Hammer of Wrath

-Buff Drinklots, Space Wolf Rune Priest: Plasma Pistol, Force Axe, Rune Armour, Frag Grenades, Krak Grenades, Counter Attack, Acute Senses, Night Vision, Hit-and-run, Stealth

-Gristle McThornbody, Blood Angels Apothecary: Power Sword, Narthecium, Melta Bombs, Frag Grenades, Krak Grenades, Furious Charge, Feel No Pain (5+), Rampage

-Smoke Manmuscle, Salamanders Sternguard Heavy: Heavy Flamer, Master Crafted Bolt Pistol, Frag Grenades, Krak Grenades, Special Issue Ammunition, 4+ Feel No Pain vs. Flamer Wounds, Flamer Weapons gain Shred, Tank Hunter

-Reef Blastbody, Dark Angel Sternguard Heavy: Lascannon, Bolt Pistol, Frag Grenades, Krak Grenades, Special Issue Ammunition, Stubborn, Overwatch at BS2, Night Vision, Stealth


Together with other Deathwatch Kill Teams, they blast heretics and aliens at the behest of an insane inquisitor!

Below, our first battle, in which a planetary governor and a Tau commander's meeting is disrupted and the leaders captured and brought to the Inquisitor for torture!


Next, Daemons are summoned to protect the traitorous governor's plans!  Will the Deathwatch come out on top?  NO.  We were beaten badly.  One character even got killed PERMANENTLY which isn't supposed to happen often.

DSCF1367Next: More Gothic batreps and possibly more Deathwatch!  Stay tuned!


Convoy – Chaos vs. Imperials

Stephen and I finally got to play the Convoy mission we've wanted to for more than a month.  Life kept getting in the way.  Convoy is the weirdest mission, because it's all random.

Convoy - Mercurial Zone


Defender: Stephen - Imperial Navy

-Dauntless Light Cruiser (torpedoes)

-Dauntless Light Cruiser (lances)

-Firestorm x3

-Cobra x2

-Transport x2

-Transport x2

-Transport x2

-Heavy Transport


Attacker: Bozeman - Chaos 13th Black Crusade (7 rolls on the Convoy Attacker Chart)

-Slaughter class Cruiser Swiftboat of Truth, Chaos Lord +1Ld

-Slaughter class Cruiser Traitor's Blade, Chaos Lord +1Ld

-Infidel x3, Rampagers

-Idolater x3, Oathbreakers

-Idolater x2, Followers of Darkness

-Deadfall Torpedo or Attack Craft Cluster x2

-Deadfall Torpedo or Attack Craft Cluster x1





Turn 1 - Imperial Navy

At the beginning of the turn, we rolled for Solar Flares and it went off!  There were no ships on the board, so nothing happened.  Stephen moved his entire fleet on.  Contact Marker #7 revealed itself as a Deadfall Torpedo wave of 8!  It was shot and destroyed before it could endanger the fleet.


Turn 1 - Chaos

Marker 1 is revealed as the Traitor's Blade which promptly fails to go on All Ahead Full, and merely advances toward the enemy.


Turn 2 - Imperial Navy

All of the fleet except for the Cobras go on All Ahead Full.  Contact markers near the fleet reveal as the Swiftboat of Truth and the Followers of Darkness. Cobras fire torpedoes as the Swiftboat of Truth, doing one damage.


Turn 2 - Chaos

Because the enemy was on special orders, two markers reveal as the Rampagers and Oathbreakers.  The fleet closes in, and two Transports are destroyed.  The Heavy Transport takes one damage from torpedoes from the Rampagers.  A teleport attack from the Traitor's Blade takes out the prow weapons of the Lance Dauntless.


Turn 3 - Imperial Navy

Torpedo Dauntless unloads on the Oathbreakers, and poor brace saves mixed with good torpedo rolls kill all three!  Transports all fire on the Followers of Darkness, but miss.  The Lance Dauntless repairs its prow.


Turn 3 - Chaos

Most of the fleet fire on the Heavy Transport, crippling it.  The Traitor's Blade causes a Brace on one of the Transport squadrons.  Final marker is revealed as two waves of two bombers.



Turn 4 - Imperial Navy

Due to a blast marker, the Rampagers have no shields and so Brace when fired upon by the Firestorm, which saves them.  The rest of the fleet move to protect the transports.


Turn 4 - Chaos

The Swiftboat of Truth moves through asteroids, fails a Leadership check, takes 2 damage and then suffers a Hull Breach, crippling it!  Semi-effective fire does one more damage to the Heavy Transport.  Bombers approach the Transports.


Turn 5 - Imperial Navy

One of the Cobras suicides into the bombers, taking out a wave!  The other wave hits a transport and fails dismally.  The rest of the fleet continues to cover the transports.


Turn 5 - Chaos

Rampagers Reload, fire on some transports, but amazing brace saves protect them.  The crippled Swiftboat of Truth goes on Lock On, but even with that does no damage.  Lucky shots from the surviving Followers of Darkness kill a transport.


Turn 6 - Imperial Navy

Heavy Transport goes on All Ahead Full.  Torpedo Dauntless Reloads and fires on the Traitor's Blade, doing one damage.  Remaining Cobra Reloads and kills one of the Rampagers.  Lance fire from the Lance Dauntless does one damage to the Swiftboat of Truth, starting a fire!


Turn 6 - Chaos

Traitor's Blade boards the Heavy Transport, turning it into a drifting hulk.  Each surviving Rampager boards one of the Transports.  One wins, but gets a Critical Hit in return and dies.  The other ties!  Swiftboat of Truth can't hurt the fleeing transport.


Turn 7 - Imperial Navy

Lance Dauntless causes a Brace on the Traitor's Blade.  Transport manages to kill the last of the Rampagers!  Torpedo Dauntless fires on the Traitor's Blade, doing no damage.  One transport flees past the planet.


Turn 7 - Chaos

Remaining ships kill the second to last transport.  Turn not pictured.  Game ceded.


Convoy is rarely a balanced matchup.  However, it's what you do in a mismatch that shows what kind of decisions you can make.  Splitting up can help.  However, when the attacker has as much as I did, there's not much you can do.

Next: hopefully painting and Highland!



Highland Tournament Overview

16 people, making 8 teams.  Each with 1000 points, unbound.






(I didn't pay attention to the group and didn't know this was happening, so I didn't participate, but it was cool to see)

Next: more batreps and hopefully once I shake this head cold, some painting!

Filed under: Gaming No Comments

Xmas Gothic with John – Part 2 – Fleet Engagement

Time for the second battle report with John, this time a Fleet Engagement.


Bozeman - Imperial Navy Segmentum Obscurus Gothic Fleet List

  • Fleet Admiral (Ld8), two re-rolls
  • Saratoga, Mars class battlecruiser, left shift, extra turret
  • Forthright, Lunar class cruiser, Nova Cannon
  • Kar Durniash, Dominator class cruiser


John - Tau Kor'vattra Fleet

  • Il'fannor (Merchant) class ship, Ke'lshan configuration, +2HP
  • Il'fannor (Merchant) class ship, Ke'lshan configuration, +2HP
  • Lar'shi (Hero) class ship, Tolku configuration
  • Lar'shi (Hero) class ship, Tolku configuration
  • Kass'l (Orca) gunship x4
  • Skether'qan (Messenger) class starship


Setup: Map B


Turn 1 - Imperial Navy

The Saratoga and the Forthright go on Come to a New Heading.  All three ships fire their Nova Cannons.  One of the Hero class ships takes two damage, and one of the Merchants takes three, crippling it.  The Saratoga fires four fighters that go on CAP for the fleet.


Turn 1 - Tau

The crippled Merchant disengages.  The rest of the fleet comes about.


Turn 2 - Imperial Navy

Nova Cannons fire, one Hero loses a shield.


Turn 2 - Tau

Fleet advances.


Turn 3 - Imperial Navy

All three Nova Cannons miss, but dorsal lances from the Saratoga destroy the Messenger.


Turn 3 - Tau

Hero class ships launch missiles and bombers.  Fire from the Orcas do one damage to the Kar Durniash.


Turn 4 - Imperial Navy

Nova Cannon does one damage to the blue Hero.  Kar Durnish damages the other Merchant and its batteries kill an Orca.


Turn 4 - Tau

All ships fire, but no damage.


Turn 5 - Imperial Navy

Nova Cannons at short range cripple the yellow Hero and the remaining Merchant.  Turn not pictured.

Turn 5 - Tau

All Tau ships disengage.


Final Score:

Bozeman - 147.5

John - 0


The Tau are slow as hell.  I took a big risk taking a small fleet with a lot of Nova Cannons.  John was also stubbornly against Bracing for Impact for some reason.  The Tau Kor'vattra list is also crippled by needing to take Merchant class ships which suck.  The Orcas make up for it just a little bit though.  Also, another quirk of the Tau list is that you are not required to take an Admiral until your fleet is LARGER than 750 pts.  The Tau need more missiles to flood the board.  Perhaps dropping Orcas for torpedo boats.

Next: A visit to Highland!