Monday, March 28, 2011

Indicium: Games Workshop UK Sweet Spot

Not directly related to the game, but I noticed recently that there is a sweet spot when ordering from the UK GW site and shipping to the United States.

The discovery came about when I realized that the US GW site no longer stocked the Grey Knight terminator psycannon arms. Considering that I had recently purchased six metal terminator bodies from ApocaBitz for use with those arms, I was justifiably upset. Calling US GW customer service rendered no satisfaction, only the statement that the bits had been discontinued in favor of the plastic terminators soon to be released.

In a state of desperation, I ended up at the UK GW site and found that they still carried the bits. I added these to my shopping cart, clicked Check Out, and found that shipping to the US was in the neighborhood of 8GBP (pound sterling) which is roughly $14! All that for something like five total ounces of metal.

I decided to see what else I could order so I added a few more things to my shopping cart. In doing so I noticed several things:

  • Every item added to my cart showed up at a 17% discount from the list price
  • As long as the total cart value stayed under 50GBP, the shipping remained 8GBP
  • As soon as the value went over 50GBP shipping jumped to 24GBP (about $40)
The 17% discount is the VAT that gets taken off when the shipping address is in the US. This alone is more than enough to offset the cost of shipping on an order that is just under 50GBP.

Moreover, ALL Necromunda models are discounted about 20% on the UK GW site from their US counterparts. 

In all, I ended up ordering two arbites gang boxes, one escher booster, and the aforementioned psycannons. After all the dust had settled (VAT, US vs UK price differences, etc.), the shipping and the psycannons were essentially FREE.

So if you are considering picking up any Necromunda product and shipping to the US, do it from the UK GW site (just keep it under 50GBP per order). For anything else, you are still getting a discount especially when the UK site has product no longer available elsewhere.

Saturday, March 26, 2011

Exemplum: Calling down the Nightmare

The new Grey Knight codex presents a new spin on a very old concept - the orbital bombardment. The legacy Daemonhunters book presented these attacks as a separate Heavy support choice that essentially bombed one piece of terrain for almost the entire game. Great concept; poor execution.

The new book provides a great new way to deliver this payload in the form of the orbital strike relay. Offered as a 50 point option on the grand master, brother captain, and the techmarine as well as included in Karamazov's cost. Giving the relay to either the grand master or brother captain is frankly a waste as these guys will always be moving and the relay requires a stationary model to use.

However, the techmarine offers the most affordable choice and he doesn't eat up a valuable HQ choice. Karamazov effectively becomes 150 points and is a perfect choice for a firebase, regardless.

The simplest way to run this list is to take Karamazov with a bunch of monkeys parked in a piece of terrain bolstered by the relay techmarine. The techmarine literally hides out of line of sight, picking out a separate target, while the man in the yellow hat and his curious monkeys target their armor of choice.

At the end of the day this is not a "competitive" choice (little on my blog really is) but I think this would be a fun and effective way to bring a little mini-exterminatus to a tabletop near you!

Thursday, March 24, 2011

Commutatus: Karamazov Battle Dais

So with the inclusion of Karamazov in the new Grey Knights codex, I decided to try my hand at converting a mobile dais for my inquisitor. Originally, I had thought to go with a platform mounted on tracks - a sort of mini-tank - but then I realized, "Hey, this is 40k. Why go with anything resembling reality?!". And thus the above chicken walker was born.

Unlike the Karamazov model, I didn't want my inquisitor permanently mounted. I liked the idea of Inquisitor Josiah Starck being able to pound ground when he needs to but also being able to mount his mobile platform of doom, swinging his sword and screaming, "Walk me closer to the enemy!".
The dais is open and easily fits a 25mm base. I chose this metal inquisitor to be my new Starck (he has been through several iterations) due to the plus-sized sword and the massive =][= symbol on his collar. The dais itself will get a few more bits, including an underslung multimelta, more leg armor, and additional scrollwork.
As a size comparison, the dais stands slightly taller than a rhino. But as an IC infantry model, Karamazov can join with a hench squad for additional protection (leadership and extra wounds) and he can get cover just by being in area terrain.

Saturday, March 19, 2011

Commutatus: GK Thunder Hammer Fin

This is the final version of the thunder hammer for my Grey Knights. I added the flamer muzzle tip to the end of the hammer as a finishing touch. Like a good bits hunter, I let no piece of the carcass got to waster.
So far, my list has one ten man Purifier squad and one ten man Grey Knight Strike squad. For the Purifiers, I am using the classic metal power armor Grey Knights and for the Strike Squad I am using robed marines from the Dark Angels sprue. The Purifier squad gets two hammers, one of which is master crafted and the Strike squad Justicar gets a master crafted hammer as well.
I used the etched brass Inquisition symbols from Forge World for a little more detail on the hammer.

Friday, March 18, 2011

Commutatus: GK Thunder Hammer Redux

I came back to my original TH conversion after a day or so and realized I wasn't too pleased with it. So instead, I whipped up these more proper looking hammer heads and pinned them onto the GK halberds.
The conversion is fairly straightforward. Take a Tau flamer and cut the "cartridge" and the body as shown above. Then simply glue the cartridge on the taller end of the body piece (I like the ridges facing front) and add an aquila embellishment from one of the many marine bits sprues you have lying around. Mine came from the Ravenwing sprue as it was a little thicker and I like the rivets.

I also added the tech piece from the power mace that comes with the Dark Angels upgrade sprue to give it some more distance and more closely resemble terminator hammers.

I have yet to trim the halberd handles a little shorter and may add some to the handle itself.

Thursday, March 17, 2011

Exemplum: Necromunda Enforcers as a Warband

With the new Grey Knights book on the horizon, I have been exploring some options to create an Inquisitorial warband that mixes elements from all the henchmen without being too spammy or too ineffective. As a devout Necromunda player, I have long been a fan of the Enforcer models but have never really wanted to run them as a gang. In taking another look recently at what you get in the Enforcers box, I realized this it was an excellent starting point for an Arbites inquisition unit.

For a reference to the contents of the box, check out the lead-in image as well Waggerz excellent post on Eastern Fringe (special thanks to Waggerz for the image and the thread). First off, none of the models come with weapons molded on. This is a rarity for any metal line and makes this box an excellent starting point. Furthermore, the weapon options and models are almost spot on for what a warband can run.

Here is a sample warband made from the Enforcers box:
Arcoflagellent - cyber mastiff
Crusader - Arbiter with shield and maul
Acolyte w/boltgun x2 - Arbiters w/ boltgun
Acolyte w/laspistol + ccw - Arbiter sergeant
Acolyte w/special weapon x 3 - Arbiters w/ plasma pistol, flamer, plasmagun

So that's eight guys that translate right out of the box into a reasonable warband. However, because none of the weapons are molded on, you can easily convert from whatever bits you have lying around.

For my warband, I would arm all three special weapon acolytes with meltaguns (the metal bits version work just fine) and would like swap the maul for a power sword to be closer to the crusader's actual look. Other than that, I would run them as-is.

Certainly this is not a "competitive" load-out for a warband, but I do feel like it well represents an Arbite squad without sacrificing too many extra points. I would consider playing the mastiff as an assassin to represent it's speed and agility or if I needed the points, to just drop it down to a basic acolyte.

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

Indicium: New Warhammer Expansion - Gridlock 40k

More and more vehicles inevitably gives rise to new expansions that support the sales of these models - call it a vicious circle or a revenue model. First there was Spearhead, where tanks of all stripe were encouraged to take the field with updated unit rules in numbers limited only by the points value of the game being played.

With the unrivaled success of Spearhead, Games Workshop saw an opportunity to further encourage the sale of their larger model kits. As such, they are pleased to announce Gridlock 40k!

Set in the far-off future, on inhospitable worlds, where vehicles are dirt cheap and infantry are just meant to drive them, Gridlock 40k allows players (except Tyranids) to experience vicariously the fevered flush of rush hour traffic, drive-by shootings, and carjackings. With rules that have been thoroughly researched and play-tested, Gridlock 40k represents the pinnacle of gaming finesse (except Tyranids) and is the most fun you can have pushing plastic boxes across your dining room table (except Tyranids).

Click here for the complete rule set

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Commutatus: Grey Knight Thunder Hammer

With the advent of 10 point thunder hammers in the Grey Knight codex, I couldn't resist doing a simple conversion to one of my robed knights. At this point, I am unwilling to carve up my classic power armor grey knight models, even though halberds on the strike squad are seemingly not worth the points. My opinion may change after a few games, but for the time being my PAGK on the cheap will serve purpose for some thunder hammer conversions.

This one is basic and largely unadorned with the usual power hammer trappings. In this case, I took one of the search lights from a land speeder sprue (actually this is from the Dark Angels vehicle sprue) and clipped it to fit onto a metal GK halberd. I cut the halberd blade just above the platform base, then trimmed the searchlight back so that it fit square on this platform.

In addition (before mounting the hammer), I trimmed off the search light lens and glued a terminator honors glyph to the front of the hammer. I haven't decided whether and what additional trimmings to add. I may do a power cable just below the hammer head but haven't found a good bit. I also clipped a bit off the end of the halberd to give it a closer feel to the length of a thunder hammer.

Ultimately, this is just a simple conversion using leftover bits. I will likely run 6 to 8 power armor thunder hammers in the list so want an easily replicated conversion. The other requirement is to be able to reuse the existing halberd models on my robed marines. I predict that plastic hammers from the new kits will be in short supply and not readily available from bits outlets.

Feel free to post suggestions for this conversion or any other ideas you might have for crafting a thunder hammer suitable for the grey knights.

Exemplum: Mordrak and Friends Explicated

I posted the following as a response to one of the comments and by the time I got done realized it was a mini-tactica. So here is that comment, blatantly plagiarized (can one plagiarize oneself?) as a post:

Tactical highlights for the Erudite Mordrak list:
-Mordrak and his termies form an old-school retinue (he can't be picked out in CC); plus halberd termies strike at I6
-Mordrak and his squad (incl. IC) have a special rule that allows them to deep strike on turn one without scattering
-Mordrak also has Grand Strategy (G/Strat) which allows up to D3 infantry units to have either Scout, Counter-attack, count as Troops, or re-roll all To Wound rolls of 1

So the simple strategy is to give at least the Purifiers the Scout USR (which conveys to their dedicated transport). If you manage to get a G/Strat roll of 2 or 3 then give the Grey Knight Strike Squad (GKSS - Troop choice) Scout with their rhino and the dreadnought Scout as well (all have to have the same G/Strat choice).

The librarian has two interesting powers in this strategy. Summoning allows him to deep strike an infantry unit to within 6" of him. Use the librarian's servo skulls to reduce scatter. The warp stabilisation field on a vehicle allows the vehicle to be summoned as well.

Shrouding is a power used in your opponents shooting phase and grants Stealth to any unit within 6" of the librarian (including vehicles). Strategic placement of vehicles via Scout and use of smoke should give your vehicles two rounds of 3+ cover saves.

So the librarian summons the land raider on turn two and either pops smoke or shoots the S7 assault cannon (it counts as moving Flat Out but with PoTMS can still shoot one gun). Meanwhile, the Purifier squad lays down covering fire with psycannons from the rhino, hopefully shielded behind the summoned raider. With luck and Stealth, you survive your opponents next round of shooting and on turn three deliver a heaping helping of terminators and purifiers into assault.

To me, this embodies the power of an elite, survivable army. You are banking on some cover saves, but Mordrak's termies should be in cover and Stealthed and 3+ cover on vehicles is as good as you can get in 40k right now. If you can weather the incoming fire, you have pretty much broken your opponents flank by turn three and should be able to roll right through.

Of course, this is all theoryhammer, but I feel like the new GK 'dex at least give you a reasonable chance of making this happen.

Exemplum: Mordrak and Friends

With everyone posting Grey Knight lists, I figured I'd better jump on the battle barge too! So here is a fun list predicated on getting up close and personal on turn one. So with out further ado:

HQ - Mordrak; 5 halberd terminators
HQ - Librarian; Shrouding, Summoning, Warp rift, Quicksilver, Halberd, 3 Servo skulls

Elite - 10 x Purifiers w/2 x psycannon, 2 x hammer,10 x halberds, rhino w/warp stab. field

Troop - 10 x GKSS w/2 x psyacannon, 2 x hammer, rhino w/warp stab. field
Troop - 6 x GKT w/psycannon, 6 x halberds

Heavy - Land raider redeemer; warp stab. field, psybolt ammo, multi-melta
Heavy - Dreadnought; warp stab. field, assault cannon, psybolt ammo

Comes to around 1900 pts.

Grand strategy gives at least purifiers (and their rhino) Scout, moves forwards 12" in pre-game movement (pop smoke if going second). Turn one Mordrak and librarian D/S (no scatter) near the purifiers for support. Purifiers pop smoke (if available) and everyone hunkers down. Librarian stealths on your opponents turn and you hope for the best.

Turn two, summon the raider (smoke or shoot to taste) and move up with the mordrak, librarian, and purifiers. Stealth on your opponents turn to protect the crew and assault with what remains on turn three.

Wednesday, March 9, 2011

Exemplum: Grey Knights are Back in the Fray

The Grey Knights are ready to face the terrors of the far-flung, grimdark once again!

Indicium: Grey Knights Bits Breakdown

With the Grey Knights available for pre-order, I took a quick look at the sprues to breakdown the bits available.

While I may have some reservations about certain design elements (magazine-fed storm bolters!), I am absolutely thrilled with the amount of stuff they packed onto these sprues. With some extra marine bodies, you can basically build thirteen distinct power armor grey knights from one kit and eight grey knight terminators from the GKT box. I have not included the legs and torsos as these are limited five per box.

So without further ado, here is the relevant bits breakdown:

Grey Knights box:
-8 stormbolter arms
-5 force swords
-3 force halberds
-3 pair of falchions
-1 warding staff
-1 daemon hammer
-2 psycannons w/opposing arm
-1 incinerator w/opposing arm
-1 psilencer w/opposing arm
-7 heads

Grey Knight Terminator box:
-8 pairs of arms (incl. narthecium arm)
-5 storm bolters
-1 psycannon, psilencer, incinerator
-5 force halberds
-5 force swords
-5 pairs of falchions
-13 heads

Commutatus: Robed Grey Knights

Here is a pic from an old conversion I did with a Dark Angel robed marine. With the upcoming plastic PAGK kit, you can easily add to your Grey Knights with the extra bits in that kit.