Sunday 22 December 2019

"Booma" Rhinox, Coarseman of Rockridge.

The constantly recycled air, water and food have an inevitable effect on the inhabitants of Necromunda. Pollutants and toxins build up in the bio-system causing genetic instability and mutation, and the effects of these are worse further down the Hive where the toxins are more concentrated. Because mutation is so common, minor deformities are tolerated to a degree, even Uphive. 
Underhivers are more tolerant of mutants than other Necromundans. So long as mutants keep a low profile and are not obviously or grossly deformed, they can live peaceably even inside a large settlement, and for those too mutated to live in a big settlement, the lawless expanse of the hive bottom  provides ample opportunity to hide.
Deviants, Muties and Scalies are just some of the many names for the mutant, and such names are often spoken aloud by the inhabitants of Rockridge. However, there is one name that is only whispered for fear of invoking their wrath....the Coarsemen!

Tuesday 26 November 2019

The Black Legacy (Part IV) - The Laboratory

Dragosani watched as the Voodoo Dolls moved out to secure the perimeter of the compound. Despite the Escher gang's reputation for dabbling in alchemical technologies and pharmaceuticals, the gang had shown little interest in the Inquisitor's prize.
"And if it stays that way they might just get out of this venture alive." said Jared flashing the Inquisitor a smile.
Dragosani scowled at his Interrogator "If you direct your talents towards the task at hand instead of eavesdropping on my thoughts. then perhaps they might at that."
Jared offered up a rueful grin and an apologetic shrug by way of reply. He had every confidence in the Voodoo Dolls holding the line, he was more concerned about what awaited them in the Laboratory...

Friday 1 November 2019

Aaron Quaid, master charlatan

Born the son of a ripper Jack Wrangler he always knew he was destined for Greater things.
Ever since a hard of hearing slaver ticket salesman wrongly thought he said his name was Baron Quaid and gave him free premium tickets to to the big fight Aaron has really made quite a lucrative lifestyle for himself. He took the money he had saved on tickets and spent it on some exotic furs to better blend in and hope nobody noticed..... they didn't and now he's gained quite a few tricks of the trade and no short measure of free rides.

Thursday 31 October 2019

Jack Slice, Pumpkinhead.

Once a year when the night is blacker than a preacher's shorts. Jack slice stalks the hive!

Monday 28 October 2019

The Black Legacy (Part III) - The Compound

Fellon cursed as the papers tumbled from his desk and scattered across the floor. He quickly snatched them up and stuffed them into his journal in no particular order.
"Calm yourself Fellon" he muttered to himself.
He took a deep breath to still his racing mind and formulate a plan.
He had to get away, leave the compound and travel deeper into the Underhive where even the most determined of Inquisitors couldn't find him. With his notes he could set up another laboratory in a more remote level and continue to perfect his rejuvenation serum. He would leave with only a handful of retainers to avoid drawing unwanted attention. Of course, he would need to take one of the aberrations with him to carry the specimen but hopefully the Inquisition would be too preoccupied dealing with the miners of the Kindred to notice him slip away.
The Inquisition!
Just the thought of them was enough for panic to claw at his mind once more. Fellon took another deep breath to calm himself. Fellon was convinced that they had stumbled across him while investigating another matter. They were Ordo Hereticus, the witch hunters, and not the Ordo Xenos that he would expect to be searching for him. Perhaps, once they realised that the Kindred harboured no Psykers, they would leave the Kindred be....perhaps.
Guilt gnawed away at his insides as he contemplated the Kindred's fate. They were just simple miners who had overcome adversity; with the help of his serum he told himself; and were no threat to the upper echelons of the Imperium.
Not everyone had overcome their adversity in equal measure though, mused Fellon as he glanced across the room at his faithful retainer. There had been 'aberrations' with his earlier work but that was to be expected with such ground breaking work.

 Every adjustment he made to his serum showed improvement and he was convinced he was close to completing his work.
"But your work is complete Fellon."  said the stranger entering the room.
"It has been completed for some time now."
"Who are you....and what are you doing here? stammered Fellon.
"My name is Malakhi my good doctor....and I'm here to show you the fruits of your labours!"

"I don't understand....I don't have..." Fellon's words fell away as the Magus stepped aside to reveal the figure standing behind him.
Fellon stared in horror at the creature standing before him. He looked at the thing in the tank, then back to the monstrosity that moved towards him. This couldn't be... he had been meticulous in his research... all those years of careful testing and re-testing... this wasn't possible!
Fellon Black opened his mouth to scream and the thing in the tank made manifest sealed it with a kiss....

Tuesday 22 October 2019

Games Workshop Team Championships 2019

So the weekend just gone was the long awaited Games Workshop Team Challenge event with the CSM sending 2 teams of 4.

One was designated the team shooting for a painting award, the other was designated the team actually expected to do reasonably well with gaming.

I was in the team shooting for the painting award...

I've posted my list before on the blog and figured I'd do a quick run down of my games. I didn't take any photos as I was actually feeling a bit ropey over the weekend and it took all my significant brain power just to focus on the games! ;)

My buddies were running Salamanders, World Eaters and Chaos Marines. Me, Wolves for maybe their last outing for a while...

Game 1 vs Imperial Guard - Narrow The Search

This is my toughest mission as there were no invulnerable saves to be had within 12" of the centre of the table which put the jeepers up my wulfen, wolf lords and battle leader. Aka a significant portion of my army!

To make it worse you get points for having more models then your opponent in the centre of the table, and I drew Guard...

Oh and deployment was hammer & anvil.


Things started well when I won the roll to deploy first and go first. Except my opponent stole the initiative.

Double great.

He had a bunch of infantry, a bullgryn squad, 3 tank commanders one of which was Pask and a bunch more guard. Oh and a vindicare.

Slightly oddly, given the mission, he deployed about 30 of his infantry on top of a 2 level ruin comfortably in his deployment zone. Meanwhile he advanced the other half of his infantry and his bullgryns towards the ruins. His shooting popped a rhino and killed a few wulfen.

My army essentially barrelled forward and used psychic powers and a stratagem to make everything hard to hit and in cover whilst taking 2 rounds of shooting from his tank commanders.

It came down to me just about managing to get my wolf lords and battle leader into the bullgryns a hairs breadth outside 12" of the centre so they could pummel them with hammers until he failed enough 3+ saves (this took several turns!) whilst the blood claws chewed through guardsmen and then took the punishment from the tank commanders.

Essentially - play the mission!

In the end I got a decent win and a good start to the day.

Game 2 vs Tyranids - Beachead

This is the mission where you get 1 point for holding an objective in your deployment zone, 2 for the objective in the middle of the table and 3 for holding your opponents.

My opponent had the usual nid list with 40 genestealers, swarmlord etc.

I'll be honest I was a bit cheesed off with their captain going into this game.

I carry my stuff around in the box because I don't want 30 blood claws sliding off the top and going on the floor and it makes it much easier to actually deploy the army come game time. The claws stay on the foam tray in the box until theyre needed.

We did the usual pre pairings discussion of what was in each of our lists and my 3 team mates had their armies out on their trays. Come my turn I say:

"Yeah I've got 2 wolf lords with jump packs, battle leader with jump pack, njal, 6 units of claws with fists, 4 rhinos, 6 wulfen and 7 long fangs. Basically old school rhino rush!".

His response: Oh let's at least see your models.

What a cock. Did he think we were going to do the pairings and suddenly I'd pull our a knight, 3 units of long fangs and some terminators or something?

Anyway come game time my opponent immediately starts apologising for how long his army takes to play.

I've played this style of nid list a few times before and know I need 4 turns to stand a chance of winning. One turn to clear out the inevitable genestealer rush and then the remainder to kill his support units and score points myself.

His deployment and first turn took an hour and a half.

The game timed out after 1.5 turns.

Don't think I need to say anything more really, I had literally no chance to score points in the game.

Game 3 vs Tau - Vital Intelligence

This is the game with 5 objectives and you roll a d6 at the start of the round to determine which objective is worth the 2 points that round. The others are worth 1 point.

I made a blog post about the limitations of an army weighted heavily in one direction (combat or shooting) and this is a prime example.

My army relies on charging and assaulting. Tau absolutely chew up charging units with 5+ overwatch, drones, their main hitters having fly.

The final nail in the coffin was my opponent getting first turn.

I knew from the start I had no chance of getting anything out the game so just had to grin and bear it and hope my buddies could win their games.

Sure enough I was shot off the table in 3 turns and, because I was feeling crap by that stage, resorted to suicide charging stuff at him so he would shoot me off the table quicker to finish the game quicker!

End of day 1 and I was 1-2 and feeling awful. So awful I couldn't even eat my curry at our meal out :(

Day 2...

After a relatively early night and some sleep I was feeling a bit better. So it was on to...

Game 4 vs Custodes - Cut Off The Head

This is the mission where you allocate intelligence points to your characters and then try and keep them alive and, if you're brave, within 3" of the centre of the table.

He had a shield captain on bike, guy with a banner and another chap on foot (special character?), 3 bikes, 3 terminators, a dread, the loyal 32, 6 custodes guys on foot. I think that was it.

Each of his characters had a point allocated to them whereas I had the luxury of 4 characters so could afford to leave a smash wolf lord free to do a suicide run.

He put his terminators in deep strike and everything else formed a scrum ball, pushing forwards towards the central objective to protect his characters and start to try and score point. He shot up the wulfen a bit on the way.

Which is what he did. Because he had to push forward I was able to charge my suicide wolf lord in and, thanks to a little sloppy positioning, I was able to get him into his characters.

This combined with a bunch of charges from blood claws let me get on top of the game. The suicide run wasn't the most effective but I did manage to down his standard bearer eventually.

The surviving wulfen managed to get into his 6 guys on foot and annihilate them whilst the blood claws and rhinos cleared the loyal 32 out. The long fangs put a dent in the dreadnought and shot down 2 of the 3 bikes.

In the end, as tough as his Custodes characters were they could only stand up to so many frenzied thunder hammer and power fist attacks and once I'd bagged one of them and forced him off the central objective he'd never be able to catch up with me unless I made a really huge mistake. Like charging Njal into a Custodes dreadnought. Which I didn't do btw!

I ended up tabling him and taking the win.

2-2 with one game to go...

Game 5 vs Custodes again - 4 pillars

Last game and as a team we weren't exactly pulling up trees with 1 win and 3 losses. However we were still ahead of the much heralded B team so this was crucially important for bragging rights!

My opponent had 9 bikes, a shield captain on bike, 3 units of 3 of those custodes on foot, a shield captain on foot and the loyal 32.

I lost first turn and he barrelled forward with his bikes and shield captain on bike, shooting up a rhino and just about destroying it. He charged the unit which piled out and another rhino, blowing it up and killing a squad of claws.

However as part of his charges I was able to heroically intervene with both wolf lords which killed off a unit of bikes. This freed them up to get into his backfield and bully the small units of custodes which really don't like lots of thunder hammer attacks. The remaining blood claws piled out of their rhinos and charged the bikers killing them all.

The wulfen charged the shield captain on bike tearing him apart.

After that is was largely mopping up whilst being careful with character positioning and I was able to table him.

There's something satisfying about killing the emperors bodyguard I think...

So the weekend ended fairly well for me with 3 wins and 2 losses. That's about the best Wolves can do at an event these days so I was fairly happy.

Most importantly the team won 2 and finished above our comrades giving us bragging rights!

We didn't win the painting award but that didn't take the gloss off a good weekend.

As always the main objectives were to have a laugh with mates and enjoy some games.

I think that may be the last event with my wolves for a while and I'm very excited to be focussing on my White Scars for the foreseeable future. I've been having fun with contrast paints and can't wait to get stuck in with them.

Sunday 20 October 2019

Necromunda Backdrop - The Thing In The Tank

Most of the uninitiated population of the Spire are unaware of the existence of aliens such as Aeldari or Orks, let alone the autonomous race of Necrons or the T'au. Those well travelled have heard mention of Ambulls, Sumpkrocs or the giant spiders on the sump seas but to the teeming masses of Hive Primus the existence of alien races is unheard of.
Not so with Fellon Black.
As an Adept of the Divisionis Biologis, Black had heard whispers about strange races and read reports on ancient lost cultures unearthed over the years. But never had he read anything about something so abhorrent as the thing in the tank.
Now staring into those glassy lid-less eyes, he imagined it was looking back. It wasn't of course ... it couldn't. All the stasis locks were closed with both primary and secondary power conductors firmly attached.
Yet the thing in the tank's cold, black, unfathomable eyes burned with a keen intelligence. Even after all these years it excited him. Fellon could feel the hairs on the nape of his neck raise as he stared into those alien eyes. The flicker of a lume globe, a trick of light, his imagination ran wild that it glared at him with anger. He allowed himself a chuckle.
Where it had come from he didn't know, what he did know was that its biological makeup was immeasurably more complex than that of a standard human being. It had taken him to the limits of his intellect and no small measure of time to synthesise a biophage that would not be rejected by the human immune system. The regenerative capability of the thing in the tank's immune system was a revelation, some less scientific minds might even say miraculous or divine: And, he supposed, if not this creature, then what else would be deserving of such adoration?
A faint murmur from below lifted him from his reverie.
For a moment he had forgotten all about the man who lay dying on his gurney.
"You know" he said "I think you might just be the luckiest man alive" as he drew 300ml of thick green liquid into a large syringe "You won't be dying today sir!"

Saturday 12 October 2019

Apocrypha Necromundus...or background material to you and me.

Greetings Hivers!
Our latest adventure in the Underhive saw me make mention of a piece of 'Munda legend in our narrative. A thought struck me as I was typing it out, that maybe not everyone is familiar with Necromunda's intriguing and lush background and that I should post up the links to Forge Worlds wonderfully evocative work. So here they are, the Apocrypha Necromundus in all their glory!
I've really posted these up for me to easily access them for reference or ideas (and to clear space off of my desktop) but grab yourself a cup of tea (or coffee if you're an addict like me and can't function without it 😉) and enjoy the sights that Necromunda has to offer!

P.S. You can blame WestRider for this post 😉

Dust Falls - Learn about the ancient history of Necromunda itself and the seismic events that helped turn Hive Primus into the ganger’s paradise we all know and love today.

Port Mad Dog - Delve into the history of one of the gateways by which goods enter and leave Hive Primus, the infamous Port Mad Dog.

House Helmawr - For over seven thousand years, House Helmawr has ruled over Necromunda in one form or another, making it one of the oldest noble families in the Segmentum Solar and certainly the oldest on Necromunda. In this instalment of the Apocrypha Necromundus, we take a look into the origins of the Great House of Helmawr, and some of its most noteworthy noble lords and ladies. 

Sump City - There is a common saying on Necromunda: ‘Scum always finds its way to the Sump’. This is as true of the billions of litres of human effluent, factorum waste and promethium run-off as it is of hivers. And down in the depths of the hive, where even the weak light of the great lumens doesn’t shine, there are whole towns of scum fighting and scavenging to stay alive. In this Apocrypha Necromundus, we take a look at the den of criminals known as Sump City, the lowest settlement in Hive Primus.

Rust Town - Settlements spring up like weeds throughout the underhive, and many perish just as quickly, most surviving for less than a great cycle before returning to the ruins from whence they came. It is therefore rare for a new hole to last, and even rarer for one to last in a place where hivers have no business living. In this instalment of the Apocrypha Necromundus, we take a look at perhaps one of the strangest and most dangerous places in Hive Primus: Rust Town.

Badzones - For every holestead and settlement carved out of the underhive, there are dozens of ruined domes, abandoned levels and derelict factorums. These are places of peril, where hivers try not to linger on their way to established settlements or, if they have any sense at all, never visit in the first place. In this Apocrypha Necromundus we venture into the deadly domes and tunnels of these Badzones.

Heretic's Hole - All manner of scum gathers in the underhive, from crazed xenos-infected cultists and worshippers of profane powers to psychopathic seditionists and rogue psykers. Most hide deep in the badzones lest the long arm of Lord Helmwar’s Law reach them, but some have made a home for themselves among the criminal cartels and gang bosses, gaining a measure of acceptance by the underhivers. In this instalment of the Apocrypha Necromundus, we take a look at the pit of criminality that is Heretic’s Hole.

Hive City - Necromunda is a world of prodigious industrial output, and no hive is as productive as Hive Primus. In this instalment of the Apocrypha Necromundus, we take a look at Hive City, its beating iron heart.

Navis Mortis - Necromunda is an ancient world; its endless ash deserts littered with half-buried ruins and lost settlements and only the nomadic tribes and mutant creatures who walk the wastes truly know what lies beyond the walls of the hive cities. However, there are places so infamous, even the Clan gangs know their name – such as the ship graveyard known as the Navis Mortis.

The Dust Wall - Far to the southwest of Hive Primus, as the Spider Points gives way to the Great Equatorial Wastes, the desert turns to burnt glass and chemical lakes. Here in the shadow of the Ashen Barrens lie the shattered remains of Hive Secundus. Around the xenos-ravaged hive stretch thousands of miles of fortifications, manned by hundreds of militia regiments – this is the Dust Wall.

I'll be updating this post as new material is released.
Until next time.....May the Hive Spirits watch over you!😉 

Friday 11 October 2019

The Black Legacy (Part II) - The Search

Fellon Black paced nervously as Garran finished his report to the Cult Adept.
He was so close to perfecting his regenerative serum. His early efforts had been plagued with mutation but he had persevered with his work and...barring the odd aberration...he was almost ready to present his work to the Divisionis Biologis. He was sure that they would retract his condemnation once they had evidence that his serum worked. He just needed a little more time to adjust the formula. 
"Calm yourself Doctor, you are perfectly safe in the bosom of your family." said Theron.
"But you heard Garran, they're searching for something!"
"What if they're searching for the specimen?"
"What if they know who I am....What if I they're searching for me?"
Theron placed a reassuring arm on Black's shoulder. "You are the honoured primogenitor, we will not allow anything happen to you Fellon" purred the Cult Adept.
"But we don't even know who these strangers are." sobbed Black.
Theron embraced the trembling Doctor.
"As ever, the Honoured Primogenitor is wise. We do not know who they are....but we will....we will"

Tuesday 1 October 2019

GW Team Event

In around two and a half weeks I’ll be at the GW Team Event. There’s 8 of us going, making up two teams of 4, and it should be good fun.

The premise of the event is your captain pairs you up with the opposing team, trying to get you a good match up, all whilst the opposing team is doing the same.

Luckily for me I don’t need to worry about that as I’m not our teams captain, which also means I can blame Michael for any games I lose (bad match up by the captain you see...!).

Now my list is finalised I thought I’d share it:

Player: Alex West
Total Command Points: 13

Battalion Detachment +5CP (Imperium - Space Wolves) [1,013pts]

+ HQ +

Wolf Lord [124pts]: Jump Pack, Saga of the Beastslayer, Storm shield, The Wulfen Stone, Thunder hammer, Warlord

Wolf Lord [124pts]: Jump Pack, Storm shield, Thunder hammer

+ Troops +

Blood Claws [74pts]
. 4x Blood Claw
. Blood Claw Pack Leader: Power fist

Blood Claws [74pts]
. 4x Blood Claw
. Blood Claw Pack Leader: Power fist

Blood Claws [74pts]
. 4x Blood Claw
. Blood Claw Pack Leader: Power fist

+ Elites +

Wulfen [255pts]
. 4x Wulfen: Thunder hammer & Stormshield . 1x Wulfen: Wulfen Claws
. Wulfen Pack Leader: Frost claws

+ Dedicated Transport +

Rhino [72pts]: Storm bolter
Rhino [72pts]: Storm bolter
Rhino [72pts]: Storm bolter
Rhino [72pts]: Storm bolter

Battalion Detachment +5CP (Imperium - Space Wolves) [736pts]

+ HQ +

Njal Stormcaller in Runic Terminator Armour [153pts]: 1. Living Lightning, 2. Tempest's Wrath, 5. Storm Caller

Wolf Guard Battle Leader [109pts]: Jump Pack, Storm shield, Thunder hammer

+ Troops +

Blood Claws [74pts]
. 4x Blood Claw
. Blood Claw Pack Leader: Power fist

 Blood Claws [74pts]
. 4x Blood Claw
. Blood Claw Pack Leader: Power fist

Blood Claws [74pts]
. 4x Blood Claw
. Blood Claw Pack Leader: Power fist

+ Heavy Support +

Long Fangs [252pts]
. Long Fang: Missile launcher
. Long Fang: Missile launcher
. Long Fang: Missile launcher
. Long Fang: Missile launcher
. Long Fang: Missile launcher
. Long Fang Pack Leader: Chainsword
. . Boltgun and Bolt Pistol
. Wolf Guard Terminator Pack Leader: Storm shield
. . Cyclone missile launcher and storm bolter: Cyclone missile launcher, Storm bolter

Total: [1,749pts]

The basis of it is very simple. It pushes forward as fast as possible and hits people, hard.

It’s a bit of a one trick pony but the trick it does it generally does well.

The Long Fangs are a bit of a distraction unit and are purely there to clear out a screen turn 1 and then hope my opponent shoots them. They aren’t great but do the job generally.

The rest of the army is pure assault, designed to make maximum use of hugging, fighting twice and masses of attacks to dominate the assault phase and use all the extra bonus movement to secure objectives.

With judicious use of psychic powers and stratagems it can be tough to shoot it down before it gets to you and hopefully will take a few people by surprise.

It’s a bit of a different event being a team event but I’m setting my stall out for 3 wins out of 5. That’s generally my aim in events and this one shouldn’t be any different.

I’ve no idea what to expect with it being a GW event, no idea what sort of armies will be there but whatever happens it should be good fun!

Sunday 29 September 2019

The Black Legacy (Part I) - Safe Passage

Sully massaged her temples in an attempt to relieve the needle-like pain behind her eyes. The Dolls seemed completely enthralled by Jared Blaine's incessant chatter and yet Sully had an uncontrollable urge to put a Las round between his eyes. On and on he jabbered, each word boring into her head. She looked at each of her sisters in turn, all of them hanging on his every word; all of them except for Kat that is.
The Escher champion stroked the grip of her power sword, seemingly indifferent to Blaine's patter. Yet Sully recognised the expression she wore and despite Kat's best efforts she realised that the champion was anything but indifferent.
As if aware of his predicament Blaine turned his attention to Kat.
"As well travelled as I am, I recognise your attire my dear. Yours must be an interesting tale and one I would be keen to hear" he purred, flashing a smile.
Kat met his gaze, her jaw clenching as his eyes bore into hers.
"If you recognise my garments." she replied  "Then you know that your cheap parlour tricks won't work on me Wyrd!"
The Escher champion leapt to her feet pointing her needle pistol at him and activating her power sword at the same instant that Blaine raised his Autopistol.
"I've been wanting to stick my blade in you ever since I laid eyes on you." whispered Sully into Blaine's ear as her blade pressed against his throat.

A deep, resonant chuckle filled the air and of all of them turned in search of the source.
"Well Jared, it appears that you've bitten off more than you can chew this time." said a robed figure emerging from the shadows.
Two individuals flanked the stranger, one was obviously a military man and the other appeared to be some sort of missionary or preacher.
"Please forgive my colleague ladies" said the stranger. "Jared can be trying, even at the best of times, but he has his uses."
Blaine shrugged and offered a rueful smile.
"Allow me to introduce myself. My name is Boris, Boris Dragosani....

...and by order of His most holy Inquisition, I have a use for you!"

Monday 23 September 2019

Building a Necromunda Backdrop.

Greetings Underhivers!
For quite a while now I've been thinking about building a small backdrop to make taking photos of our gangs that mush easier. The idea occurred to me a couple of years ago when reading the excellent Blog Gardens of Hectate (a blog that I highly recommend if you like your Grimdark turned up to max!). Ana built a backdrop to show off her many wonderful creations and I filed the idea away to be used at a later date, when/if I ever had the time 😉
I later stumbled across the incredible work of Nicholas Grillet and his display boxes. It immediately dragged Ana's idea of a backdrop to the front of my mind and the idea once again hung around on the edge of my consciousness. Then Mordheim 2019 happened and Nicholas built a magnificent Battlefield in a box (I'm sure you'll agree that this is truly outstanding!). So once again the idea was dragged to the front of my brain, but this time the idea found purchase in the barren soil of my mind....

Sunday 15 September 2019

Hitting the Reset Button

Greetings Sump-Dwellers!
Rob and I have been engrossed in our games of 'Munda for quite a while now and we're both enjoying the history and narrative that our Perpetual campaign is unearthing. Rob's Genestealer Cult is rapidly becoming the terror of Rockridge, but every game is proving to be a tense affair with neither of us sure of who will come out on top until the very end...which is everything you can ask for in my book 😃
However, not all is well in our corner of the Underhive and our Perpetual Campaign is throwing up one or two problems......

Wednesday 11 September 2019

Avoiding inter game stress

One thing that always used to bug me at events was moving tables between rounds. I’d inevitably have a bag with my codexes/iPad/car keys etc in, all the stuff that I use in game like dice bag, maelstrom cards, objective markers etc, and then my army which would inevitably be piled into a tray that was too small to do the job properly.

Factor in a room full of people moving about, some with more spacial awareness than others and the necessity to make a couple of trips for fear of dropping everything it meant I would arrive at a table flustered and with my head in a jumble from the start.

Not so great especially when using a codex which requires as much grey matter as my tiny brain could muster!

For years I’d persisted with GW carry cases because I laboured under the belief that they must be the best thing for the job if they were made by the guys who made the models.

But the last event I went to I made a change and personally it immediately killed all the stress of the inter game moving around and let me get to the table with all my stuff in one go, not worrying about dropping my army and not trying to juggle books, dice, bags etc. 

The change?

I used a plastic container, just like this:

I laid the GW foam in and it kept the models perfectly safe and secure, it has space for books, dice, objective markers and whatnot, and the top doubles as a big enough tray not to have to cram my entire army on and hope nothing falls off.

It’s a simple change but made a huge difference to my stress levels between rounds.

Wednesday 4 September 2019

Tool Box vs 1 Trick Pony Lists

So the other day I was running over an army list with my coach and we got talking about the new Space Marines.

I asked him a question about Ultramarines because the general chatter seems to be that they’re the bees knees.

He had an interesting take on it which took a while to sink in.

His view was that Ultramarines will make an excellent gunline and will win plenty of games but won’t win many events and probably no large events will be won by them.


Because they do one thing, and do it well, but inevitably will come up against something which either does that one thing better than you (hello Tau!) or is a great counter to which you won’t have an answer.

This is applicable to any one trick pony army btw, not just Ultramarines. We just happened to be talking about them. It’s just as applicable to my wolf list I shared the other day which is really aggressive and hits people hard but won’t win an event because inevitably I’ll come up against another list which hits harder or is a great counter (hello Custodes and Orks respectively).

It took a while to sink in but hit home when I played Ultramarines at the weekend, in a shoot out I’m dead. But if he couldn’t bring me down I’d best him in combat and he’d have no answer when I got into his lines. Using terrain (another potential disadvantage of a one trick pony list, if the terrain isn’t favourable it can ruin you before you’ve even started) I got close quickly and the rest was history. Despite my opponent having, on paper, a much stronger list than me I was able to get the win.

It was only then with such a visual demonstration that it really sunk in what my coach was talking about.

And why I need to switch from wolves if I want to do better than 3-2 on a regular basis at events.

So we’ve worked on a codex marine list which has the tools to deal with a wide range of opponents,  missions and terrain set up.

It’s harder to play than a one trick pony list and I’m expecting to take a lot of bearings whilst I get the hang of it but ultimately I hope it will let me start to push for 4-1 at events and maybe if I can play it well enough a top 10.

That’s the aim anyway. Now the fun part of buying, building and painting (well getting someone else to paint it!) and then playing it begins.

Whilst I’m aiming to be more competitive the fluff bunny in me isn’t dead and buried because I’m still spending a lot of time choosing colour schemes and sourcing cool shoulder pads etc.

I’ll share the list another day...

Tuesday 3 September 2019

Battlefield Birmingham 16 musings

So Battlefield Birmingham 16 is done and dusted and I thought I’d share my musings with, well me probably!

First up I have to say I love the event. It’s got solid armies with no easy games but good guys to play against. The level of dickery is low which is good because I’m at an age where I can’t be arsed to argue over a game of toy soldiers.

For this event I took my wolves which are decent but not top tier.

If I go 3-2 at an event with them then I consider that I’ve done well.

My list was:

Battalion Detachment +5CP (Imperium - Space Wolves) [1,039pts]

+ HQ +

Wolf Lord [124pts]: Jump Pack, Saga of the Beastslayer, Storm shield, The Wulfen Stone, Thunder hammer, Warlord

Wolf Lord [124pts]: Jump Pack, Storm shield, Thunder hammer

+ Troops +

Blood Claws [74pts]
. 4x Blood Claw
. Blood Claw Pack Leader: Power fist

Blood Claws [74pts]
. 4x Blood Claw
. Blood Claw Pack Leader: Power fist

Blood Claws [74pts]
. 4x Blood Claw
. Blood Claw Pack Leader: Power fist

+ Elites +

Wulfen [273pts]
. 5x Wulfen: Thunder hammer & Stormshield . Wulfen Pack Leader: Frost claws

+ Dedicated Transport +

Rhino [74pts]: 2x Storm bolter

Rhino [74pts]: 2x Storm bolter

Rhino [74pts]: 2x Storm bolter

Rhino [74pts]: 2x Storm bolter

Battalion Detachment +5CP (Imperium - Space Wolves) [484pts]

+ HQ +

Njal Stormcaller in Runic Terminator Armour [153pts]: 1. Living Lightning, 2. Tempest's Wrath, 5. Storm Caller

Wolf Guard Battle Leader [109pts]: Jump Pack, Storm shield, Thunder hammer

+ Troops +

Blood Claws [74pts]
. 4x Blood Claw
. Blood Claw Pack Leader: Power fist

Blood Claws [74pts]
. 4x Blood Claw
. Blood Claw Pack Leader: Power fist

Blood Claws [74pts]
. 4x Blood Claw
. Blood Claw Pack Leader: Power fist

Super-Heavy Auxiliary Detachment (Imperium - Imperial Knights) [468pts]

Household Choice: Questor Mechanicus
House Krast

+ Lord of War +

Knight Crusader [468pts]: Heavy Stubber, Ironstorm Missile Pod, Thermal Cannon, Avenger Gatling Cannon w/ Heavy Flamer

Total: [1,991pts]

So how did it do?

Game 1 was vs a Custodes player who had a solid army, using the old forge world points and rules. In my favour was the fact he had no troops so couldn’t score on the mission and I could hide one unit so I’d always have more objectives at the end of the game. In the end I took a minor loss because I buggered up my charges on his tanks and then was on the back foot. My mistake for sloppy positioning but lesson learnt.

Game 2 was against Necrons with a bunch of stuff but based mainly around 3 doomsday arcs. This was a good example of what happens when you get charges right (positioning, pile in moves and fighting twice stratagems). I weathered some early firepower which made quite a dent but then on turn 3 I got THE charge off which killed 6 destroyers, 10 of the jet bike things, his warlord, his other character, a squad of troops and a spider walker thing. After that the game was mine and I took a  32-26 win.

Game 3 was vs a plague bearer army. He had 3 units of the damn things. Luckily he made a positioning mistake which let my wolf lord kill 2 daemon princes at the same time as combi charges from pretty much my entire army (shout out to controlled aggression strat for the knight!) took out 2 of his units of plague bearers. The Knight was the MVP here after taking out his castellan equivalent with help from the headsmans mark. In the end he crumbled and I took a 40-16 win. I’m not sure he appreciated just how many attacks claws get on the charge and when they’re supported by the characters they’re pretty solid at taking down lightly armoured stuff even with negatives to hit.

Game 4 was against an Ultramarine gun line using the new codex. They are nasty and Calgar really helps them dish out damage. I passed some saves at crucial times but personally a few things stood out to me:

1. He moved towards me to get better los which was a big mistake. It meant I was on him a turn sooner than I otherwise would have been. I’m not sure he appreciated how fast the rhino rush wolves are when you factor in all the bonus movement in the assault phase. He lost a lot of stuff in one turn and didn’t really have much left to counter that afterwards.

2. It takes precision to play a gunline and he got a bit flustered, target priority was a bit off and his moves backed him into a corner which let me pin him in a small part of the board so I could score objectives.

3. Most important it kind of highlighted what my coach says in that armies like that will always have a weakness. Mine does too and I’ll waffle about that in a separate blog post. It did highlight I’m right to change armies if I want to look for a reliable 4-1 or better result at events with some degree of consistency.

Anyway, I was able to take a 37-12 win from the game which gave me my 3 wins for the weekend!

Which was just as well because game 5 was vs Orks.

I’ve never played Orks really in this edition so whilst I knew a little about them from reading the web and watching some battle reports I didn’t truly appreciate what they can do. And for me, they are the perfect counter to my list (see point 3 above).

I can blame being tired, I can blame a lack of knowledge of opponents army and I can blame switching off a bit after having got my 3 wins for the event but whichever way I cut it, I took a beating, losing 32-18 in the end.

I could probably have done better, especially if I appreciated just how fast the characters on bikes (apologies to my knight! 😂) and played the mission a bit better but honestly I’m not sure I could beat that army with mine. It just doesn’t have the tools to do it. Or maybe I should say, at the moment I can’t see how it has the tools to deal with it.

Anyway, overall I went 3-2 and came 35th out of 98 which with wolves isn’t too bad.

I also won best in faction, besting the other wolf player in attendance (call me the great wolf?) and got nominated for best painted despite not really having finished my army.

Great weekend overall and now I’m looking ahead to the team event at Warhammer World in October...

Monday 26 August 2019

Danh Bokor - Voodoo Dolls Rogue (Witch) Doc

The Sump Swamp of Stranglevine Creek is a dank and dangerous place. Grapple Weed, Barbed Venomgorse and Shardwrack Spines thrive in the swamp's fetid environment, deterring all but the most fool hardy or desperate. Even the most experienced of locals occasionally fall prey to the sump-snakes, sludge-jellies and the myriad other fauna of Stranglevine Creek. Those who venture deeper into the sump swamp face the greatest risk of all, the Voodoo Dolls of House Escher.
Despite this, one man moves freely throughout the region, impervious to the dangers that Stranglevine Creek holds....Danh Bokor.  

Friday 9 August 2019

Rockridge News! Calm descends upon Rockridge

The Rockridge Herald

Rumours abound as off-worlder seeks audience with Voodoo Dolls Leader

Rumours about an enigmatic off-worlder being escorted by the Voodoo Dolls through the Tunnels of Payne's Labyrinth were circulating last cycle. Witnesses claim that the mystery figure had an otherworldly air about him and spoke with a distinct accent. "Whoever he was, he gave me the creeps, had eyes that seemed to bore right into ya." Declared one witness from a local drinking hole.
"He tipped real good, so he ain't all bad!" Stated the owner of said drinking hole.
A spokesman for the Guild of Coin refutes the claim that the Dolls are negotiating an off-world trade deal, adding that "They'd be in serious trouble if they didn't run it by us first!"
The local Enforcers confirmed that there was no new investigation involving the Voodoo Dolls although they asked the Herald to convey that there is still a substantial reward for information leading to the arrest of any gang members.
Further rumours claim that he was an agent of the Magos Biologus researching the flora and fauna in the Underhive. Witnesses report that he had an 'unnatural way' with the local wildlife, with one witness describing him as "all freaky spooky as a Ratskin Shaman on Shrooms!"

Whatever the truth is, he picked the wrong district to meet up with the Voodoo Dolls. The Kindred had chosen that time to make a move for the rights to Payne's Labyrinth.

Continued on Page 2.....

Monday 22 July 2019

Rockridge News! Cycle of violence sweeps through the Underhive.

The Rockridge Herald

Clean-up Crew mess up rescue attempt.
The Clean-up Crew discovered the whereabouts of their missing champion Dexter. The Goliaths launched a bold strike on the Marionettes in the newly discovered district of Dustmere. As the Clean-up Crew closed in on the Marionettes, Dexter seized his chance amidst the turmoil and broke free from his bonds.

Pausing only to retrieve his weapons, Dexter charged into the Marionettes champion and quickly took him out of action.

The Goliath's victory was short lived however, as the Puppet Master plunged his Shock Stave into the back of the Goliath champion's skull. The Clean-up Crew watched in horror as their champion's lifeless body plunged into the sump swamp below, leaving the Renegade Mech firmly in control of the collapsed dome of Dustmere.

Ambush at Guilder's Reach.
The Voodoo Dolls met with a stranger of dubious character in the Tech Bazaar of Guilder's Reach while under the watchful gaze of the Kindred of the Dawn Shadow.

As the mysterious stranger approached, the Kindred opened fire on them. Their contact made a swift exit leaving the beleaguered Escher to the attentions of mining syndicate.

As the Voodoo Dolls attempted to break out from their predicament, they were mercilessly gunned down....

......leaving the Escher gang with little choice but to flee Guilder's Reach and leave the Tech Bazaar in the firm control of the Kindred.
To add insult to injury, the Dolls' juve Cinders had to receive treatment from the Kindred's doctor. The young juve was said to be recovering well but the Escher gang's reputation was severely undermined.

Continued on page 2.....

Wednesday 19 June 2019

Breaking Herald News! Perpetual Campaign Medic.

The Rockridge Herald

Miners dig deep to help Rockridge.

A spokesman for the mining syndicate of Grubbers' Heights has asked the Herald to issue the following statement:

"The Kindred of the Dawn Shadow would like to share their recent good fortune by offering free health care to all inhabitants of Rockridge. At the beginning of each night cycle the Miner's Chirurgeon will open his doors to those in dire need of medical care. The Kindred believe that health and prosperity should be available to all and hope that this service will go some small way to helping the inhabitants of Rockridge achieve that."

The Herald applauds the Kindred of the Dawn Shadow and thanks them for this philanthropic gesture.

Saturday 15 June 2019

Necromunda Terrain Tile 9 - The Mine Shaft

Greetings sinners!
I've been busy working on our terrain just lately. Most of it has been free standing pieces ranging from coolant towers to walkways and scatter terrain. I finally got around to finishing off the old mine works that I started 18 months ago.

Sunday 2 June 2019

Herald News - A Cycle of Prejudice

The Rockridge Herald

A cycle of intolerance sweeps through Rockridge.

A dispute between the Marionettes and the Kindred of the Dawn Shadow erupted last cycle in the recently unearthed region of Greyspore Choke.
Witnesses report that the Kindred were in the process of erecting a temple to the Four Armed Emperor and the Marionettes took this as a slight to their Omnissiah. 

The Mechnicum Explorators had already completed an extensive survey of the Choke's needle ways and made great use of them during their attack.

Despite the Kindred stepping up security measures during construction....

.....the Marionettes moved into position with relative ease

The sentries were quickly neutralised by the Puppet Master with his Rad-Cannon.

While the remainder were quickly dispatched by the rest of the Marionettes gang. 

Allowing them to tear down the effigy and giving them control of Greyspore Choke and its Needle Ways.

Continued on page 2....

Wednesday 8 May 2019

House Escher Ambot

Rumours that the Voodoo Dolls have taken delivery of a Luther Pattern Excavation Automata were confirmed recently when excavation work started on the border of Stranglevine Creek and Grubbers' Heights. Locals reported seeing an Ambot at all three excavation sites along the border, the Herald has discovered that the three sites are named Tom , Dick and Harry. Just what the Voodoo Dolls are digging for remains a mystery and the gang was unavailable to comment.

Sunday 5 May 2019

Uncovering more of the Underhive

Greetings Sinners!
We've both been busy beavering away on an assortment of projects for our corner of the Underhive and I thought I'd share the latest piece to be uncovered in Rockridge's expansion.

Sunday 28 April 2019

Rockridge News

The Rockridge Herald

Turf War Breaks Out At Tumbledown Rise.
 Tensions boiled over between the Voodoo Dolls and the Kindred of the Dawn Shadow last cycle. It appears that the Escher gang took exception to the miners of Grubbers' Heights constructing a smelting works to take advantage of the crags and seams of valuable slag that are prominent throughout the area. It's thought that the fracas was started by the Kindred's over-exuberance at completing the smelting works. A wild celebratory shot ricocheted from an overhead girder, hitting Maman Brigitte who was in the area protesting at the Kindred's plans to strip the natural resources from the area.
Despite the Voodoo Dolls return fire taking out several miners, the Kindred pushed forwards in a bid to protect their recent hard work. Witnesses report hearing Heavy Stubber fire from both sides echoing across the district but it appears that the only casualties seen were on the Kindred's workers. 

Continued on page 2......