Thursday, 22 September 2016


Here we go, this is the big thing.  The thing that everyone talked about, the over so powerful psychic powers.  We already know them as they are the same powers that the Angels of Death supplement gifted to the sheep Astartes.  But we only ever really heard about 3 powers.  Why is that?  Because those brainwashed Imperial fools don't need many of the other powers.  With things like Grav, chapter tactics, and free transports they can afford to put their points into guns and other things that reliably kill things and not have to rely on the shifty business that is the warp.

Chaos on the other hand, we don't have all the handouts and support from our trust fund that Daddy set up.  We made it in the world on our own using our own guile and any damn trick of the trade we can learn.  Sure, we aren't driving around in a Bugatti, but we have a sense of accomplishment instead of entitlement.

Wow, that got weird.  Now things are all awkward and shit so lets get back into being nerds and get into the powers.  Now as there are 28 powers I am not going to go through all of them.  I will pick out a couple good ones that can particularly help out Chaos Space Marines and give a couple ideas as to how they can be used.  Lets begin with...

Do you run a Deathstar of Spawn, Khorne Dogs, or Bloodcrushers then this is the power for you.  Imagine healing D3 wounds and giving the whole unit IWND.  Well, now make it a reality.  It's only WC1 and targets any Character within 18".  Go go Deathstar Hammer.

Torturer of Worlds is another good one, it's more offensive in a sideways manner as it doesn't cause any damage, but could seriously hamper your opponent's plan.  It's basically a nova malediction with a range of 18" and causes targets to move as if they were in difficult terrain AND then can't run, turbo-boost, or move flat out.  This is pretty good keeping Eldar Scat-Packs from getting away and keeping a lid on that Battle Focus shenanigans.  It also nips the Screamer-star from using their tail slash, Ork bike-stars from getting their jink bonus and Wulfen from running AND charging.

And of course there's Earthly Anathema.  Those flicker jumping Warp Spiders causing you issues jumping behind terrain?  Or perhaps those Tau suits move-jump-shoot tricks keeping out of sight?  Well, no more worries there.  You don't need to see them and you don't need to worry about their damn cover saves.  So, Rapiers, Oblits, Predators, Forgefiends, and all those other things that can shoot but aren't taken cause of reasons just got a shit ton better.

Last, but certainly not least, is Worldwrithe.  Which is Chaos talk for "move terrain around"  We all know the merits and bull shit with this one as it has been discussed to death.  Angels of Death to be precise.  Most tourneys don't allow it, so there isn't really much to say.  Moving terrain seems cool and all for a themed game, or for basement shits and giggles, but it's a tournament nightmare.

OK, so I'm going through these powers and as far as I'm concerned, all of them are better than any of the God powers in the Chaos book.  Assault 6 heavy bolter is pretty sweet, extra hits in combat is good, a 3++ is good.  Even the 9" nova with haywire is good for stripping off Hull Points from parking lots.  Oh, and there's the pick a unit up and move it 18".  And we can't leave out the swaperoo that the Imperials were going ape shit over until the ITC guys nerfed it to prevent the assault from happening.  Now I actually have not read the powers in Angels of Death, only heard and read about them on social media, but the one in Traitor's Hate specifically states that you can charge in the same turn this power is cast.

So Chaos Space Marines lack a couple things, speed, medium strength firepower, durability, and this discipline has powers to offset those weaknesses.  Imagine Ahriman pumping out 18 heavy bolter shots.  Or killing an entire parking lot with 3 Daemonshrieks.  A Daemon Prince of Tzeentch with a 3++ would be amazing.  This discipline is not the best of the 4, but I think it might have the best average of powers, each of them being useful is some way even if they are nerfed by those guys at ITC central.

Now I wanna play out a quick little scenario using the 2 movement powers Ghost Storm and Soul Switch and the Terminator Annihilation Force (TAF) formation, you may want to check out my previous post to see the strengths of the TAF.  The TAF is capable of taking a Sorcerer in terminator armour, so if he happens to get one or both of these powers, we can use them to perform some movement shenanigans in order to get the most of your forces.  Now we know that deep strike is a little iffy, what with that scatter and such it just isn't all that reliable.  So lets say you drop in your 3 units of termis and 1 lands exactly on target and is able to destroy your chosen target while the other 2 drift off target and are not able to use their combi meltas.  You can use the Sorcerer to move one of the Terminator squads towards your next target, and then use Soulswitch to move the Sorcerer's unit to your potential 3rd target in hopes that your second unit kills it's target.  Plus both of these powers allow you to move your precious terminators out of perfect pie/cupcake plate formation.  If you don't know what cupcake is, ask the guys at TFG Radio.

POWER OF THE MACHINE SPIRIT!!! Are you fucking kidding me?  After all these years we finally get this ability in the form of Boon of the Iron Beast, and you can cast it on the vehicle that he is riding in.  Sure you all are thinking Land Raider but you need to start thinking outside the box and apply this to Storm Eagles, Chaos Sicarian tanks, and Forgefiends.  Especially Forgefiends that are shooting at BS 5 because they are using the formation from the Black Legion book, pair that with them using their Daemonforge ability and you are reliably smashing a vehicle per turn.

Hey, who likes T7 Spawn or T7 bikers?  Yeah, Chaos does.  With Fleshmetal Hide you can boost the T value of an entire unit by 1.  Never mind that, you can have a whole fucking 20 man squad of T6 Marines.  This power really comes into it's own when paired with the Mark of Nurgle giving any unit a massive +2T bonus.  Possessed become seriously durable giving them a shot at making it to the fight where they belong.  And our precious Daemon Prince finally becomes T6 and can't be taken out by S10.

And then there is Flayerstorm.  Not only does it have a fucking awesome name it also tears apart vehicles with ease.  Then it smashes those pieces into nearby enemies.  They don't even need to be that nearby, 12".  Think those Warpspiders are pains in the ass, cast this on a Wave Serpent in the vicinity and smash them with the pieces.
Another thing that Chaos struggles with is killing super heavies.  We don't have a lot of high strength shooting and assaulting them just gets us stomped or blitzed or exploded on, so being able to just pull of hull points is just gravy.  It is potentially possible to kill a Knight by casting Flayerstorm and Scrapcode Curse.


This discipline is arguably the best, at least it's my favourite.  Any AP3 shooting attacks always makes me smile and this one is it's Primaris.  It also has that power everyone loves that grants you the boon of re-rolling failed saving throws.  Those imperial swine love that one.  One they don't have much use for is Armour of Hatred.  It grants a 12" buff zone of Fearless and Adamantium Will and a 4++ vs witchfires.  That fearless bubble is amazing for Chaos as we tend to be chicken shits when it hits the fan.

Diabolic Strength grants the psyker +2 to S, T, I, and A.  Which is fucking awesome if that psyker happens to be a Daemon Prince.  S8, T7, I fucking a million, and A7 makes him a god damn monster.  Even on a normal Sorcerer makes him one scary mamma-jamma.

This next one is my favourite, Warp Lure gives you that chance to really stick it to your enemy and strip him of that power that keeps his Deathstar alive.  Pick an enemy psyker 24" away, you roll 2D6, pick the highest and add your mastery level, your opponent rolls a single D6 and adds the target's ML.  If you score higher, which is likely, the target can only harness warp charges on a 6, if you score 3 or more points higher, the target looses a random power.  If you can manage to get that power off on that dude with Invis, you're golden, and it's got a decent range for a psychic power.

And speaking of Deathstars, this last power will make all those Stormshield wielding Thunderwolves wet their pants a little.  Death Hex puts a -2 modifier to Invul saves on a target unit which is insurmountable.  I don't feel like I really need to go over the usefulness of this one any further.

Well, there we have it.  Easily 2/3 of the powers are useful to Chaos players and should boost the chaos army soundly.  The rest, while not ideal, are not going to break the game.  There are a couple key powers that seem to feed the idea of Deathstar hammer with re-rolling saving throws and +1T to the unit, but others seem to strike back at the Deathstar unit such as -2 to the invul save, stripping away psychic powers, and preventing them from taking board control by limiting movement in the shooting phase.

Until next time, keep them dice rollin.

Sunday, 18 September 2016


Welcome back for what you really wanted to read about, the rules.  Before I get into what Traitor’s Hate gives to Chaos armies, I want to talk for a second about what it doesn’t give.  Ok, maybe rant is a better term.
First, there are no special Characters.  There were so many named characters in the story, Xorphas, Kranon, and the Word Bearer dude(he actually has a name) and none of them got a character profile.  Why?  Huh Gee-Dubs, tell me why Xorphas didn’t get a set of rules but every other campaign set that has been put out since has seen a host of characters or new units added to the game?  That’s not all, there are no new Relics, no new Warlord Traits, and a hand-me-down set of psychic powers.  Way to phone it in guys.  Very disappointing.

Well now I feel bad, so let’s get positive and look at what we did get.  We finally got our formation detachment and it’s not terrible.  It’s not great, but it has potential.  The command benefits are pretty good, if you can optimise them.  First, you get to re-roll your warlord trait if you roll on the chart in the Chaos codex.  Second, every model in the detachment gains Hatred(Imperials) and if they can take VotLW, can take it for free, of course since you have Hatred(Imperials) VotLW is only useful for the Ld buff it gives but don't fucking say you don't get anything for free.  If you load out your Chaos Warband everyone getting free VotLW tallies up in the hundreds of points.  Finally, each turn you can choose a Character in the detachment and they can roll on the Boon table.  Now, that might not seem that great, but as I said before you have to know how to optimise these benefits and it starts with the first Core formation…

…the Chaos Warband.  The Warband is Chaos' version of the Battle Company and Demi Company rolled into one, but with more flexibility.  More flexibility in the available units and the number of units needed makes it a strong choice.  You can fill it up and make it your entire army or you can min-max it out and have it cost 500-600 points.  Like the Battle company, everything in this formation gains Objective Secured, plus each time a character earns a roll on the Boon table, you can roll twice and apply one or both of the results.  That means that if you take this formation as part of the Black Legion Detachment then each turn a character from the Warband can roll on the table twice and can keep one or both results.  Now lets add a Dark Apostle to that unit.  What does that do?  Haven't you ever taken a Dark Apostle before?  Oh, of course not.  Well, he lets you re-roll all rolls on the Boon table.  That means that you get at least 4 chances each turn to get a Daemon Prince, or at least get good rolls to turn your Chaos Lord into a serious bad ass.

How do you get a Dark Apostle, funny you should ask because the next Core formation is The Lost and the Damned which is 4-9 units Cultists and a Dark Apostle.  What makes this one great is that it's the cheapest Core choice sitting at a minuscule 305 points for 21 models.  The second thing is that each time a Cultist unit dies, it goes into ongoing reserve on a 4+ and gains outflank.  The Dark Apostles Ld bubble becomes a Zealot Bubble.  Pretty good.

The third Core choice is the Maelstrom of Gore which is Kharn or a Lord with a FREE Mark of Khorne, and 4-8 units of Bezerkers.  Everyone gets Fleet, +3" to their charge move and once per game, DURING THE MOVEMENT PHASE, each unit locked in combat may pile in and attack with no retaliation from the enemy unit.  They may then attack AGAIN in the assault phase as per normal.  Not bad huh?  They still need some way of getting in to combat though even with an entire army running across the table.  In today's meta shooting and killing MEQ's is a staple of the game plus it adds a really strange situation.  How do you deal with the morale check at the end of the movement phase when the Bezerkers have killed 25% of the unit they are in combat with?  Can the Bezerkers overrun the enemy?  Does the enemy flee?  Can the Bezerkers consolidate if the enemy did run?  Can the Bezerkers charge another unit if the enemy does flee?.  That's a lot of fucking hassle and weird questions.  I don't see this one getting used a lot.

On to the auxiliary formations, and we will start with the Helforged Warpack.  A Warpsmith and 3-5 Helbrutes, Maulerfiends, Forgefiends, or Defilers in any combo.  One model (not the Warpsmith) can be nominated as the Alpha and becomes a character and gains a 4++, if it is killed all the other models gain Rage.  The other rule is worded kind of weird and I can't exactly figure out it's exact meaning.  Basically, if the Warpsmith is still alive, any model who has used it's Daemonforge ability may use it "for a second and/or subsequent time."  Does this mean they can use it more than twice?  Anyway, the rule to focus on is the Alpha.  Taking a full formation of Maulerfiends and running the Alpha right into the face of danger just to give the rest of the formation Rage is pretty nice.  I don't see any other unit being used really, if you wanted Helbrutes the Helfist Murder Pack and Mayhem Pack are better.

So, 4 Heldrakes is good right?  Add the ability that stacks up Ld penalties for being near 2 or more and you got yourself a pretty nifty bonus.  Heldrakes are awesome, adding more shit to what they can do only makes them better.  They also inflict D6 vector strike hits against units that are pinned, gone to ground, or fleeing.  Now if you've had some time to think about it, you might have realised that this may be harder than you originally thought.  Well, this book actually adds more ways of getting enemy units to take morale checks in the movement phase.  I believe if you look up 2 paragraphs I have the term movement phase is all capital letters.  I'll let that sink in for a minute because I'm not done.  The Terminator Annihilation Force allows deep striking terminators to shoot right after they deep strike, that's right, in the movement phase.  Plus there's tank shocks and destroyer blades, all ways of adding morale checks during your movement phase.

Since I already mentioned it, lets change up the order and move on to the Terminator Annihilation Force.  This one tickles me pink let me tell you.  This formation is 1 Chaos Lord or Sorcerer with free Terminator armour and 3-5 unit of Terminators and before deployment you can choose an enemy unit as their target.  All units in this formation gain Hatred(that unit) and may make a shooting attack IMMEDIATELY after deploying via deep strike, they may then shoot again in the shooting phase at any target.  Once the target is completely destroyed they may then select a new unit, and when it's dead another unit and so on.  The wording is a little funny, but lets look at it the way I see it.  Lets say you are fighting Battle Company with Rhinos or Razorbacks.  You choose one of the vehicles to be your target and on the second turn you get 2 of your 3 Terminator units from reserve.  You deep strike the first one and immediately shoot the 4 combi-plasma/melta guns killing it, you then choose a new target and deep strike the next unit near it shooting it and probably killing it.  Then in the shooting phase you unleash your heavy flamer on the poor bastards who just got out.
Ok, so maybe you aren't playing Battle Company, maybe you are playing Tau.  Well guess what, Riptides hate getting shot with Plasma guns.  Especially if they didn't nova-charged their shields and did't take FNP cause it's too expensive AND YOU CAN SHOOT BEFORE THEY INTERCEPT because intercept happens at the end of the movement phase, that was a run on sentence.  Or maybe you are playing Eldar, well those sneaky bike units can't hide from you now cause you can just deep strike right in their face and shoot them up.  And you can do this on a budget.  3 units of 3 termis and combi weapons is under 120, plus a cheap ass lord with combi weapon is like 80 points, shit go crazy and give him the Burning Brand of Skalathrax and he's still under a hundo.  So you are looking at 10 terminator models all with combi weapons at under 500 pts.  While it's not hard to kill terminators, they aren't exactly slouches either.  I really like it.

The Cult of Destruction on the other hand is lacking in zip.  1-3 Warpsmiths and 3-5 units of Obliterators or Mutilators in any combo.  At the start of the movement phase a Warpsmith may nominate one of the unit in the formation within 8" of it and that unit may shoot or attack twice.  That sounds awesome right?  Except that you can't use the same weapon for each attack, you can't shoot at a different target, you can't use a weapon you used last turn(which means if you used this ability last turn you are missing 2 weapons this turn) and the Mutilators don't get to pile in again so if they happen kill all the enemies in base contact with them they are then forced to choose a weapon with unwieldy so the enemy can pile in and attack to get someone in base contact.  Combine that with the fact that the Warpsmith has to be within 8" makes it almost impossible to get the Mutilators into combat without a Land Raider.  Sure, they can deep strike, but the Warpsmith can't.

The Fist of the Gods sounds cool, but it isn't.  A Warpsmith (man GW is really pushing this guy) and 3-5 units of Predators, Vindicators and/or Land raiders in any combination.  The benefits, the vehicles get a 6++ if they are within 12" of the Warpsmith and he gets +1 to fix them.  It's not good even with the new Vindicator and Predator unit rules.  They can now be taken in units of up to 3 and if there is 3 in a unit they get a special rule.  Vindicators can choose to join all their shots and fire a single Apocalyptic Blast that ignores cover.  Predators gain Monster Hunter and Tank Hunter.  The bad thing is that it's pretty easy to kill vehicles now-a-days.  But you could potentially take 3 units of 3 with a 6++ and a Warpsmith to repair them.  Sure it's gonna cost over 1000 pts but it'll be worth it right?  RIGHT!?!?!?

But how bout that Raptor Talon eh?  That's a gooder right there.  A Chaos Lord (free jump pack) and 3-5 units of Raptors and/or Warp Talons in any combo.  What makes it good?  IT CAN ASSAULT FROM DEEP STRIKE, but they count as a disordered charge.  Seriously?  WTF guys, Raven Guard and the Skyhammer formation are good to go but we Chaos players just gotta get the shaft right?  Regardless of this handicap, this formation is still really strong and it gives Warp Talons a reason to see the table top.  Units of Raptors armed with tank killing guns dropping down and assaulting whatever comes out.  Warp Talons dropping down and tearing pretty much anything to shreds and with the Lord added to the formation you can give him an AP2 combat weapon giving the Warp Talons some threat against 2+ armour saves.  Also, if 2 or more units from the formation assault the same unit, it will have a -2 Ld penalty at the end of the turn.

Our last formation is the Favoured of Chaos.  This is a Daemon Prince and 3-5 units of Possessed.  If the Possessed are within 12" of the Prince in the fight sub phase they get all 3 abilities from their mutation table.  That's cool and all, but once again we have a close combat dedicated unit that has no way of getting into close combat.  Now since the Possessed get their boost in the fight sub phase, I wonder how it works with Crimson Slaughter Possessed who roll on their table at the start of their turn.  I'm not buying it, especially since the Black Legion book did it so much better making them WS and I 5 and rending, ALL THE TIME.  Just take that formation as a separate detachment.

There is also a formation of Khorne Lord of Skulls, and a Knight detachment, but I'm going to ignore those because no one will use them in a normal game and I'll move right into some tactics and the winners that I see.

So the clear winner in the Core department is the Lost and the Damned.  It's the cheapest required to get the detachment and access to the auxiliary formations and it potentially gives free units that are better than their predecessors.  For 505 pts you get 81 models, and half of the units will come back once they die, and then half of them will come back, meaning that potentially you will have 15 units of cultists, 7 of them having outflank and arriving from reserve.

However, the Chaos Warband is a close second with it's ObSec and Favoured Scions.  Getting to roll twice on the Boon chart for no damn reason is really awesome as you can sent your Lord into beast mode pretty quickly while keeping the bad rolls at bay.  We all know how strong the Battle Company is, well now Chaos can have one and they can trim the fat.  We don't have to take 2 assault squads or 2 devastator squads, which leaves us some room to add in some really juicy stuff.  Not that Havocs are really that bad, unlike the Dev squads we can take special weapons in ours.  4 Plasma guns in a Rhino is pretty good for 2 ObSec units at 170 points.  I prefer to only take 2 special weapons making them less of a target, able to soak some damage while not losing any power, and it saves some points for the auxiliary formations.

Speaking of which, the top 2 Auxiliary choices are the Terminator Annihilation Force and the Raptor Talon.  Now I know the first thing that comes to your mind is that they both have to deep strike and Chaos has no way of modifying the reserve roll or any way of limiting scatter.  Well, you are wrong.  With the Crimson Slaughter we gain access to Divination and the Scriers Gaze power which lets you re-roll reserve rolls as well as Outflank rolls (If you are also running the Lost and the Damned formation).  True, you are not certain to get it, but it's pretty good odds with 3 rolls, don't forget Tzeentch Heralds as allies and a bastion or ADL with the Coms Relay.
Deep strike scattering on the other hand is a little trickier but there is something that can help.  It's called the Dimensional Key.  You probably never heard of it because no one has ever taken it.  It's 25 points, and once the character holding has killed a model in close combat the keys power unlocks and that point on every friendly unit from the Chaos Space Marine Codex no longer all...anywhere on the table...even if the character holding it dies...for the rest of the game.  Do you get where I'm going from?  Granted, it's tricky getting into assault on turn 1, but if you can keep as many units off the table with Scriers Gaze or the relay coms there is a high chance you can kill something in the second turn especially if you put your guy on a bike.  Go after a weak infiltrating unit, or someone in the back lines.  Move and turbo boost as deep as you can away from your opponents kill zones and try and kill a single model.  If he gets aggressive on you all the better.
As a second option, Cursed earth works for the Warp Talons as they are daemons.

I am currently looking at running a Chaos Warband, but not entirely sure if I want to take a large Warband with one auxiliary choice (probably the termi death squads), or to keep it small and take both the Annihilation Force and Raptor Talon and double down on the deep striking.

List Idea #1
Lord, Chosen with Plasma, Bikes with Melta, Havocs with Plasma, 2 Marine squads with Melta.
Lord with Melta, 3x5 man Termi squads, 2 with melta, 1 with plasma, each with a heavy flamer.
Lord with Axe, 2x5 man Raptors with Flamers or Meltas (undecided), and a unit of Warp Talons
That's 6 units deep striking with still a sizable force on the table.  I have variations with more squads of terminators and no heavy flamers, or just 3 squads of 3 with more meat in the Warband.

List Idea #2 is less developed but it's basically the same as above with one of auxiliaries dropped and making the Warband stronger.  More guys, a Sorcerer, etc etc.

Ok, so I have been writing for a while now and I have already seen several posts about Traitors Hate and the formations so I better get this one out there.  Mines better anyway.

Next up I'll talk psychic powers, not that they haven't been talked to death already, but in the eyes of Loyalists who have no imagination.

Until next time, keep them dice rollin.

Thursday, 15 September 2016


When the announcement came out that GW was going to re-do the 13th Black Crusade I was ecstatic.  I had taken part in the first and was really disappointed to see all the time and work that went into that huge global campaign just fall by the wayside.  All that advancement in the story line simply ret-conned for no particular reason that I could see and without an explanation.  The 13th Company of Space Wolves, the Lost and the Damned, the death of Eldrad, and Arhiman’s search, and eventual discovery of the Black Library.  Not to mention the sounding victory that Chaos achieved even if GW played it off as a somewhat stalemate.  A lot of shit happened just for it all to be taken back when the Chaos 4th ed. Codex came out and set things back to just before the Crusade began.

God I hope they don’t fuck it up…

But before we start this journey I have one thing to say…


Now that that’s out of the way, let’s get started.


The story starts aboard the Crimson Slaughter flag ship, Kranon is chatting up his third-eyed compatriot Draznicht.

Now for those of you who don’t know anything about the CS I’ll break it down real quick.  They are formerly the Crimson Sabres, a loyal space marine chapter who held a strict adherence to the Codex Astartes, so much so that it led them to exterminate an entire planet worth of people because they believed them to be tainted.  Well it turns they were probably right as the Marines shortly began to hear the voices of the dead wailing and taunting them.  They found that only in slaughter will they earn any sort of respite from the constant bombardment of voices, and even then only for a short while.  They are driven insane and assume their current name in the wake of all their slaughter they have to commit.

They discuss the douche bag liar Xorphas, a Black Legion sorcerer, who promised that there was a cure for the plight of voices on a planet called Amethal in the Diamor system.  They don’t believe him and suspect he is trying to use them as fodder, but there must be something of some value on the planet so they decide to go along.  At very least they will ease their torment for a while.

There is a short box-story that introduces you to a Word Bearer named “who fucking cares”.  What plays out is a conversation between said Word Bearer and Xorphas that sounds like a shitty Supervisor talking to his shitty boss who only makes him an even shittier supervisor and he takes out his frustrations on his charges, AKA cultists.  The conversation goes like this…
“Oh great and powerful…”
“Stop blathering and speak.”
“The Crimson Slaughter are killing stuff”
“Awesome, get back to work.  What do I even pay you for? And find me that gate”  <CLICK>
*Re-enact scene from Star Wars: TFA where Kylo Ren destroys computers and the Stormtroopers stop in hall and turn around.* (except with the Word Bearer and cultists)

The attack commences and they start kicking AdMech ass.  Eventually things begin to slow down and on all fronts nearly come to a stalemate until a new voice begins speaking to Kranon calling itself Amethal (Yes, the same name as the planet) and asking them to free it.  At this point, in typical Warhammer book fashion, they depict an in-game ability working in a far superior manor that it does on the table top (one of the warlord traits) as the mysterious voice grants insurmountable power to the Marines and gives their haunting ghost voices an incorporeal form that go forth and begin killing AdMech.

At about the time where Kranon swings a Dunecrawler into a bunker like a baseball bat with his new found power we go back to "who the fuck cares" who has cleared out order to bring in some blind psykers so perform some sort of ritual to get answers.  We learn that the Crimson Slaughter are near a gate, the imprisoned one demands to be free, and his master will meet his fate at the gate.  There is a lot of rhyming, it kinda sucks having to read it cause it's no Dr. Seuss.

We get back to the Crimson Slaughter and there are a couple pages describing Kranon’s forces.  There isn’t a ton of flavor or character in it and it reads a little more like a text book that I would like, and then it works into the dopey 2D pics of marines and tanks and shit with mono-colour paint and static “school picture day” poses.

The story pulls a Tarantino and jumps back to the beginning of the invasion and outlines the overall plans and actions which, in a nutshell, runs like this…
The Black Legion attack the planet of Peridos, which produces the bulk of systems food, this forces the Imperial Navy to head over to protect the shipments and defent the planet.  All the while the Black Legion are running small hit and run manoeuvres to hold the navy there so that a larger force can invade and conquer Ioline where the Chaos Warpsmiths build the Hex Infernium which they use to bind daemons to machines and start pumping out Daemon Engines.
It after this that the Crimson Slaughter launch their attack on Amethal which we find out is a cursed planet where people go crazy and murder each other.  A dozen colonisation attempts have failed in this manner.  I almost expect to read about 2 little girls dressed the same at the end of a long hallway and then Kranon smash down a door screaming “HEEEERES KRANON!!”  They give another quick description of the battle and mention the unknown power that Kranon’s forces seem to obtain.


This chapter starts with our favourite douche bag, Xorphas, who is performing some sort of scrying ritual do determine the future or something.  We discover that Xorphas' end goal is to open the gate and free the Neverborn.  In order to do this he needed to use Kranon and the spirits that haunt the Crimson Slaughter as a dowsing rod to find the gate, the arrival of the Fallen Angels (the Death Company as it turns out) is significant for some reason, and finally he needs blood to flow like a river.  And who is better than making blood flow than Kharn?
After reading this we know that the story has jumped again and that at some point the Death Company have arrived and are fighting the Crimson Slaughter and that Kharn has shown up.

It's kind of a cool introduction as the next scene in inside a Dreadclaw full of Bezerkers.  They drop down into the opening scene from "Saving Private Ryan" where the doors open up and bullets happen.  Lots of bullets.  Enough to stem the advance of the Bezerkers until a Thunderhawk shows up, and down the ramp comes Kharn.  Gorechild screaming in his hand he reaps a toll and it is pretty awesome.  And then he kills a Knight Titan.  Yeah, what a fucking bad ass.

Kharn soon meets up with Daenor, a Death Company Chaplain, who he kicks the shit out of and the only reason Daenor survives is because a greedy Bezerker tries to take Kharns head and gets cut in half for his troubles.  Then a Reaver titan walks right between Kharn and the downed Chaplain, I know, how rude those guys are.  So Kharn climbs a building, pulls a Johnny Ricco, jumps on the Reavers back, cuts a hole in the armour and kills everything inside.  Then he just wanders off into the sunset, searching for more shit to kill and skulls to reap.

We have another bout of shitty paint scheme pics and dumb poses

Tarantino shows up again and we jump back to when the Blood Angels first show up.  Xorphas is waiting for them with a trap, a warp storm that increases the chance of the Black Rage taking hold.  The Blood Angels didn't quite understand why their enemy would want them to have more super sayan Space Marines, but they are pissed all the same and start kicking the Crimson Slaughter's ass, which is just spilling more blood satisfying Xorphas' plan, so he lets them die.  Then Kharn shows up and the next couple pages go over what he did...again.  It really wasn't necessary to tell us that Kharn is a skull obsessed psychopath twice.

We do get an answer as to what exactly Xorphas is looking for.  Amethal is a cage for entrapped daemonic entities, and apparently it's full.  We don't know how they got in there, but I'm going to assume it was the Emperor and/or the Grey Knights.  As you may know that when you kill a Daemon it simply returns to the warp only to invade real space some hundred years later.  If you trap it in the real world, well I guess it just gives a bad guy the ability to find it and then kick shit into the fan.


The final stage of Xorphas' plan is to use something called the Banshee Stone to shatter the cage.  This is proving to be a little more difficult than planned as the Blood Angels have managed to attack Ioline and destroy the Hex Infernium.  Remember that thing that the Warpsmiths were using to make more Daemon engines.  Neither did I.
Anyway, his plan is to set up the Banshee Stone in the dig site that was at the same battle ground that Kranon fought on.  The problem is that there is a host of Blood Angels that have the dig site surrounded and will be attacking shortly so Xorphas doesn't have a lot of time.  The Blood Angels attack and things are going south for the Black Legion, even though Kharn has wandered back to the fight and has attacked from outside the ring.  Xorphas sets the stone and teleports out of there just as a thunder hammer swings through the incorporeal form of his head as he is teleported to safety.  He teleports Kharn out of there also which gave me a serious dejavu moment to when the Emperor teleported Angron away from his home planet leaving his friends and followers to die.
The Banshee Stone wasn't wholly successful in breaking open the cage, but it was damaged and the voices inside ensure us that they will be free.  Unfortunately for the Imperials Kharn managed to kill the AdMech Magos who was the only guy who had any idea what the hell Amethal is.

Kranon and friends survive by stealing a Thunderhawk.  They take off, pissed at the Black Legion for being used and abused and Kranon doesn't give 2 fucks about what Abbadon wants, they are leaving.

The last bout of paint schemes and a quick description of Xorphas and his forces precedes the final telling of the story that was just told.  Once again Tarantino rears his face and the story jump back to when the Black Legion land on Amethal and the preparations that are made before just before that.  It then goes through the attack on the dig site, the setting up of the stone, and the retreat of chaos forces.  The chaos fleet leave and rejoin the Despoilers forces while Xorphas is not allowed to leave.  He must stick around and watch for the cage to break.  It's a good thing he cast Invisibility on his space ship.

So there it is, that's the story.  I really liked the story aspect, but some of the writing was not good.   It jumped around way too much, like several different authors wrote it and they didn't do any sort of editing to make it flow from start to finish.

Now, on to what you have all been waiting for...

SYKE!!  Rules will be discussed in another post.  I'm tired and this post is way too long already.

Until next time, keep them dice rollin.

Saturday, 10 September 2016

POWGT Tournament Review

Last week I attended my very first ITC event held right here in Winnipeg by guys I know!  The Plains of War crew ran a 5 game event using the Best Coast Pairings tournament system and the ITC rules package which ran pretty damn smooth.  The event was sold out with only 1 no-show for a total showing of 39 people.  Which is a pretty awesome for the size of the gaming scene in Winnipeg.
The location was a Holiday Inn conference room which is in a good area of the city and very close to the airport for the handful of guys that flew in for the tournament.  There was a good amount of room with each table being open ended and independent of each other which made it easy to transport your army from table to table without bumping into a dozen other people and awesome for the Hammer and Anvil deployment.  There is room for a couple more tables, but they will have to sacrifice their independent table setting if they grow much larger.
The one hang up with the venue was how underprepared the staff was for the lunch rush.  I had to get my lunch delivered to my table and eat during my game.  However the staff made up for it the next day by taking pre-orders and having the food ready for us at the break.  This shows a great willing to work with the event holders and keep the players happy which is amazing for a larger establishment to put that much effort into a relatively small event.
The Best Coast Pairings system went off without a hitch.  For anyone wondering how it works, you and your opponent input your game score into a device, in our case a tablet provided by the POW Team, and that’s it.  The system automatically generates the parings, scores, ITC points.  You can then use your own phone or tablet to check the pairings and table assignments.  They also had a projector displaying this info for those couple people who didn’t have smart phones.  It didn’t end there though as you could check out your standings, the standings of the player you were facing, who they played and how they did in their previous games, at any given time.  It was brilliant.
The ITC package was everything I expected it to be.  A well balanced and play tested system that catered to a competitive environment.  Nothing crazy or wonky, but certainly not boring either.  I only had one issue with the system and that was that you didn’t score the last turn of Maelstrom points.  I understand why, but it happened to cost me 2 games which left me disappointed both times because of it through no fault of anyone but my own.  The missions themselves work well and ran smoothly and are simple enough for a novice to grasp, but complex enough for a veteran to have to compete for.
As you probably know from reading my blog, I play Chaos Space Marines.  I was determined to make something work so I took a bunch of things I was familiar with and knew were pretty good.  Unfortunately a lot of individually good things with no kind of symmetry will only do so much.  I’ll just do a quick rundown of my list so you know what I had in it.
Typhus, Sorcerer(lvl3), Dark Apostle, Daemon Prince(Chaos Daemons), 2x20 cultists, 2x10 cultists, Nurglings, Heldrake, 2x Blight Drones, Relic Predator with Plasma Destroyer and heavy bolter sponsons, 2x Rapier laser destroyers.  The 2 big units of cultists and the Dark Apostle were the Crimson Slaughter formation “The Cult of Slaughter” where at the start of my turn each unit of cultists regains D6 models removed earlier in the game.

On to my games…

Craig was running a White scars biker list.  4 units of guys on bikes with Khan, 2 speeders, a Vindicator and a Dreadnaught.  He doesn’t play often and didn’t know how to play a Maelstrom mission, never mind an ITC mission.  We managed to make our way through the game with me pulling off a victory and learning a couple things along the way.
After his scout and turn 1 moves on my right side...

on my left side

Lessons Learned:  16 Cultists with MOK and a Dark Apostle will kill 7 bikers on the charge.  Stay away from a Daemon Prince with Fleshbane.  Vindicators are useless once they get immobilized.

Charles has a really nicely painted crimson fists army in the form of a Gladius Strike Force, so you know generally what was in it.  He upgraded one unit of Devastators to Centurions with 2 Grav-cannons and a Lascannon and his Assault quads to Speeders.  Rounding it off he had a Command squad on bikes to go with his tooled up Captain.  He had a bunch of Razorbacks, a couple Rhinos, and a Melta-gun unit in a drop pod.  The deployment was Hammer and Anvil, which helped him a lot as I have very little shooting to start the game.  My Prince went streaking up my left side where he summoned a unit of Khorn dogs and ripped up a handful of units including the Centurions before being dragged down by weight of fire.  His Command squad and Captain went streaking up his left side where he smashed into Typhus and 20 zombie cultists and eventually died.  Charles managed to sneak away with a win by smashing through a wall with his Flat Out move to get a Rhino within 3” of the Relic.  We drew the Maelstrom, but this was one of the instances I mentioned before.  I had scored “kill 3 units get 3 points” on the last turn which would have put me ahead, and I believe I had more tertiary points which would have won me the game.  Regardless, Charles is a great guy and I really enjoy playing him.
Deployment, before anything exciting happens.

Lessons learned:  Make sure you kill that one objective secured Rhino within 18”  of the relic even if you do have 3 units surrounding it.  Stay away from a Daemon Prince that causes Instant Death.  Typhus is a beast against anything that isn’t S10 or AV13(foreshadowing).

Mike had a CAD of Dark Eldar and an Aspect host.  2 Ravagers, a unit of Talos, Dark Reapers in a Raider, 2 units of Fire Dragons (one of which was in a Raider with an Archon with WWP) and a handful of Venoms with warriors.  He also had a Void Shield Generator.  My tactic, I think, was sound in that I get all my fliers as close as possible and start dropping templates on the transports killing the guys inside.  It fell apart when all my shit got shot down.  I moved my Prince into fly mode for the first time that day and moved up to get a Stream of Corruption off on all of the Talos and the Raider with Reapers.  I wounded the Talos and killed 2 of the Reapers.  Mike then shot the Prince out of the sky and killed him with the Talos’s Hammer of Wrath hits.  When he said he was goind to charge me I was ecstatic because I had the Instand Death sword for my gift.  My fliers came in piecemeal and got shot down by Dark Reapers and Fire Dragons.  In the end I lost it all in a sound thrashing.
Got stuck on that hill for too long

Lessons learned:  The Blight Drones rely on Jink to stay alive, Dark Reapers ignore Jink.  Venoms don’t give a fuck if you’re artillery, they will kill you all the same.  Give your Prince armour.  Models that can't run or shoot are useless for too long.

I have never played Byron before, but I have chatted with him and seen him around at other events.  Byron is a nice guy.  He is very relaxed and typically plays themed games in a very easy going environment, which is why it surprised me when he showed up with some Tau shenanigans that blew my mind.  He had a huge unit of Crisis suits with Shadowsun and every USR in the book.  The Ghostkeel and Stealth suit formation where they can shoot at the rear armour of a vehicle.  Finally he had the Riptide formation.  The only thing that gave me a snowballs chance in hell was that Byron’s 2 Riptides with Ion cannons rolled 1 on it’s “Get’s Hot” check at least 4 times.  I also managed to sneak in a long charge that got significantly shorter when a couple Cultists regenerated closer to some Stealth suits turning a 10” charge into a 7”.  In the end it came down to 2 things, I couldn’t kill one more Drone to pull the Ghostkeel off of an objective, and because we don’t score Maelstrom points in the last turn, I couldn’t count the Kill 3 units score I racked up.  The game ended in a DRAW!  Straight up 50/50 split.

Lessons learned:  Tau get lots of really good formations and can shoot and kill anything, anywhere, any time.  Their Jet-pack move makes them really hard to get into close combat with.  Give your Daemon Prince armour.

I’ve played Alex a couple times before.  Once was at a Astronomicon where our Orks battled it out.  Another time was at a Tuesday night battle night where we used the same armies, with slight variations to the lists.  This time did not go so well for me.  Alex started the turn off by Deep Striking 4 Drop Pods and his Stormraven right in my face and unleashing absolute bloody murder upon my army.  The first shot of the game was a Multi-melta that exploded my Predator and killed a dozen cultists and 3 of his own space marines.  The rest of his shooting was just a devastating.  My return damage was just a hellacious as Typhus, the Culists, and Daemon Prince reaped a bloody toll.  The turning point was when Typhus and my Warlord, each in the unit of Cultists, were assault by a dreadnought each.  I couldn’t kill the damn things and they just slowly killed the Cultist unit who couldn’t grow back faster than the Dread could kill them.  Eventually I was desperate enough to throw my Prince into one of the combats hoping to do a couple hull points.  Alex split the Dreads attacks and killed both the Prince and my Warlord.  The game ended and I had a single Blight Drone left.  Unfortunately I didn't get any pics of this battle.
Lessons learned:  Bubble wrap better.  I had 40 cultists, Alex should not have been able to get within 12” of my Predator.  Warp time on a Daemon Prince is scary.

All in all, I had a great time and absolutely look forward to next year, and more of the events the POW guys run.  I managed to come in 25th overall, 8th in painting, and 34th in battle points.  I was really hoping to break the top 50% but I guess my game play just wasn't up to snuff.  Hopefully with all the Chaos rumours out and about I will get a bit of a boost next year.
Head on over to the POW Facebook page for more pics of the event and the armies and results.

Until next time, keep them dice rollin.