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28 June 2014

Awesome Artist - Ethereal by "33claydog"

Nick speaking,

More awesome work from my good buddy and very talented artist, 33claydog. Please go and check out his YouTube Channel and give him a sub to see even more awesome work from him...






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26 June 2014

First Ever Painting Competiton Results!

Nick speaking,

When I heard that my local GW store was having a painting competition, I thought to myself, hell, why not. I have never entered a real painting competition before, only a couple via YouTube, but it is always hard to judge with just pictures, so for me they don't really count. There were two categories, large miniature and single miniature. I had my Avatar in the first category and was very happy to find out that it placed third, with the competition being tied in first place, I sort of got second! lol




I tried my reverse highlighted Shadow Spectre in the single miniature competition, but he failed to place. I was told that the standard was really high, and that there was a Golden Daemon painter there that also didn't place, so I can't really complain! Sadly I was working on the day of the competition, so I didn't get time to stay and see all the entries, overall all though, I found it exciting and won myself a voucher for the store to paint up a piece of terrain for me, so I was happy...




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24 June 2014

Eldar Iyanden Vs Tau Enclave BatRep (written)

Rob speaking,

I know it been a while since I did a guest post here on Nick's Blog, but here I am again, and this time I am back to my routes with Eldar again!

So, with 7th edition just hitting I've had a lot of fun building this list, I was one of the first Beastpack players here in the UK, so have been using that list for 8 months and well, it's hard to move on from something so successful, so I've had to put a lot of thought into the list and it's been a rewarding journey, nothing like bringing out the units I've always wanted to use (Shining Spears!) and my favourite Autarch thats not been out box since 5th edition, although he's been given a few weapon upgrades and even a Jetbike to ride... Anyway, here is my list and battle report. Hope you enjoy!


Iyanden Eldar List:

HQ
Autarch - Jetbike, Banshee Mask, Scorpions Chainsword, Celestial Lance (replacing Shuriken Pistol)

Troops
3 Jetbikes
5 Dire Avengers in Wave Serpent - Twin Linked Scatter Laser
5 Dire Avengers in Wave Serpent - Twin Linked Scatter Laser
5 Dire Avengers in Wave Serpent - Twin Linked Scatter Laser, Holofields

Fast Attack
6 Swooping Hawks - Exarch, Hawks Talon
5 Warp Spiders
5 Shining Spears - Exarch, Hit and Run, Star Lance

Heavy Support
2 War Walkers - 4 Bright Lances
Wraithknight - Sun Cannon, Scattershield, Scatter Laser (Warlord)
Wraithknight - Sun Cannon, Scattershield, Scatter Laser

Vinces Enclave Tau List:

HQ
Tau Commander - 2 Missile Pods, Drone Controller, 2 Marker Drones, Vectored Retro Thrusters
Tau Commander - 2 Plasma Rifles, Drone Controller, 2 Maker Drones, Vectored Retro Thrusters

Elites
Riptide - Heavy Burst Cannon, Early Warning Override, Earthcast Pilot, Talisman of Mantioch, Smart Missile System
Riptide - Ion Accelerator, Early Warming Override, Smart Missile System

Troops
3 Battle Suits - 3x2 Missile Pods
1 Battle Suit - 2x Flamers
1 Battle Suit - 2x Flamers
1 Battle Suit - 2x Flamers
1 Battle Suit - 2x Flamers
1 Battle Suit - 2x Flamers

Fast Attack
6 Marker Drones
6 Marker Drones
Barracuda - Ion Cannon, 2 Heavy Burst Cannons and 2 Missile Pods, Decoy Launchers (not sure entirely as never faced one before)

Heavy Support
Ravana Riptide - 2 or 3 shot str8 ap4 large blast that was doing 3 hits, per hit on Wraithknights, 2 hits per hit on Jetbikes and 1 hit per infantry hit (Not sure entirely as it's forgeworld rules) it was also toughness 7, 6 wounds and has a 4+ Inv save against shooting.
Hammerhead - Disruption Pods, Submission shot, Smart Missile System
Skyray - Disruption Pods, Smart Mssile System

Tripple Riptide essentially, a dominant list in 6th edition, Vince did well in the club league, getting to the semi final, with lots of deep striking scoring units backing up the Riptides and lots and lots of Marker Drones to support! All Backed up by some hard hitting tanks in the Skyray and Hammerhead, the Barracuda also throws out a good number of shots! The Marker drones make this army work, so I think the best course of action should be to take out the Drones ASAP this will vastly reduce the effectiveness of the Tau army, but will mean it won't do much damage turn1 to the number of offensive shots, so my army might be in tatters after the first Tau shooting phase... should be an interesting game!

Mission:
Big Guns Never Tire
Hammer and Anvil
My Warlord Trait: Wraithknight - re-roll saving throws until one failed
Vinces Warlord Trait: Warlord and unit make 3d6 assault move
No Nightfight

Deployment:
I won the roll for deployment and we both placed 2 objectives in the deployment zones.

I set up the Warwalkers, Wraithknights and Shining Spear Star on the deployment zone line, behind them go the Hawks in a ruin out of sight and all 3 Wave Serpents, the Warp Spiders and Jetbikes go in deepstrike and regular reserve respectively.

Vince deploys in a more defensive formation, the Burst Cannon Riptide out front Hammerhead behind and to the left, Skyray to the right, the Ravana and Ion Riptide near the Hammerhead with the Commander and 6 Marker Drones behind, with the second Commander and 6 Maker Drones on the right flank behind the Skyray, the Missile Battle Suits deploy on the left flank behind a building. In deep strike reserve go all 5 double flamer Battle Suits.

Turn 1 Eldar

I elect to go first, Vince fails to seize
Spear Star moves towards the top right of the table
Both Wraithknights move into midfield
The War Walkers also push forwards
All 3 Serpents shuffle right
Swooping Hawks go into deep strike on going reserve

Both Wraithknights, 2 Wave Serpents and the War Walkers fire into the Burst Riptide in the centre, stripping 4 wounds off it. Spear star turbo boosts to the top right corner.

I've deviated from my plan of killing the Marker Light Drones for the hope of snatching Firstblood and taking out one of the Riptides as it was so temptingly placed in front of my army... I took the bait, huck line and sinker... and failed... Vince has effectively lost nothing in my first turn! Damn!

Turn 1 Tau

Plasma Commander with Marker Drones move past the Hammerhead
Missile Commander with Marker Drones move past the Skyray
All 3 Riptides move away from the Wraithknights
Missile Battlesuits move from behind the building

The Markerlights are split into the Shining Spears and Warlord Wraithknight

Hammerhead fires into Shining Spears killing 3
Missile Commander also fires into Shining Spears doing no damage
Skyray and all the Riptides launch an horrendous amount of fire power into the Warlord Wraithknight and do NO damage!!! That re-roll save is amazing!!
Missile Suits fire into the War Walkers downing 1 and putting a hull point on the other

Commanders and Marker Drones as well as the Riptides all move backwards in the assault phase

Luckily Vince did not score Firstblood either and with good reserves, I could really put the pressure on! As Vince is playing very defensive, I feel all the Battlesuits will be landing in my back lines soon enough though!


Turn 2 Eldar

From reserve come the Warp Spiders who land in front of the Hammerhead, Jetbikes stay in reserve, perfect!! The Swooping Hawks land out of sight to the Riptides and unleash there blast on the Missile Commander and his Marker Drones, killing 4 Drones.

Both Wraithknights push further into enemy territory
The lone War Walker lines up the wounded Riptide
The remnants of the Shining Spear Star move upto the Skyray
The Wave Serpents shuffle about in preparation for the Tau Flyer

Intercept takes place with some of the secondary weapons hitting the Warp Spiders, killing 2.

Warp Spiders battle focus round the Hammerhead, then stripping it off Hull Points and shaking it
The War Walkers and Warlord Wraithknight finish off the wounded Riptide
Second Wraithknight kills 2 Battlesuit and the 3rd runs
Shining Spear Star fails to scratch the Skyray with shooting
Wave Serpents don't fire
Finally the Hawks unload there shots into the Commander and Drones, killing 3

Shining Spear Star charge the Syray, wrecking it with ease!!

So I pulled out a lot of unit kills this turn, I’ve neutralised one unit of Marker Light Drones, I’ve applied a lot of pressure, Vinces army, however powerful, suffers against MSU and my army has a lot of threats, with the Wraithknights about to hit his lines next turn as well, the Spear Star, however weakend, is still around and in his army, along with the Hawks and Spiders.

Turn 2 Tau

From reserve come 3 double flamer suits and the Barracuda

Vinces goes very risky with the deep strikes, landing just 2 inches from the Hawks and Spear Star, the Barracuda goes after the Wave Serpents
The lone Battlesuit rallies
All 3 Riptides move to within 6" of the Hammerhead, but out of reasonable assault range of the Wraithknight (10/11")
Missile Commander moves up towards the Spear Star
Plasma Commander moves round the Hammerhead

Marker Lights again go into the Warlord Wraithknight from the Plasma Commander

The Flamer suits kill 4/6 Swooping Hawks and leave the Autarch alive on his own
Missile Commander tries to finish off the Swooping Hawks, but after going to ground make 4 6+ saves!! Oh yes!!

Plasma Commander and both Riptides fire into the Warlord Wraithknight and put 4 wounds on him as he eventually fails a re-rollable save, then rolls very poorly...
Lone Missile Suit finishes off the War Walker
Barracuda does no damage to a Wave Serpent
I something kills the Warp Spiders... it might have been the Plasma Commander or a Riptide...?

Missile Commander fails a 6" charge on the Swooping Hawks and takes a wound in the process

Shame the Warlord Wraithknight took a battering, but its doing well and it's taken a lot of fire power for 2 turns and is still not down! I'm still in a very strong position, with lots of units still in the Tau lines and thats where you want to be right?


Turn 3 Eldar

Jetbikes move on from reserve, Hawks go back into reserve

Autarch moves up towards the Plasma Commander and his Drones
Both Wraithknights move towards the Hammerhead
All 3 Wave Serpents line up against the Barracuda

Wave Serpent 1 fires into the Barracuda rolling a 6 on the Serpent Shield, getting a 6 on the re-roll from the Scatter Laser and then hitting with 4 shield shots and getting enough hits to wreck the Barracuda!!
Wave Serpent 2 fires into the Plasma Commanders Drone squad, killing 1.... but this puts it out of supporting fire range of the Hammerhead
Wave Serpent 3 fires into the Missile Commander doing a wound
Both Wraithknights fire into the Hammerhead hoping to scatter in the right direction, only 1 does and puts a wound on a Riptide!

Both Wraithknights make their charges into the Hammerhead and wrecking it through hammer of wrath attacks alone!!
Autatch charges into combat against the Drones and Commander killing all the Drones.. but failing 1/5 to wound means the Commander survives and no Hit & Run!

Shame the Jetbikes came on, but they're in a position that Vince will need to risk his valuable scoring units to take out, plus the Wave Serpents are in support and they are still full of Dire Avengers. I was also pleased to shoot down the Barracuda in one turn and only had to dedicate one Wave Serpent to do the job!

Turn 3 Tau

Both Flamer Suit deep strike down behind Wave Serpents and near the Jetbikes near my objectives

1 Riptide moves up towards the Warlord Wraithknight
The other Riptide moves across and behind the Autarch/Commander combat
Missile Commander jumps towards the centre of the table along with all 3 Flamer Suits
Lone Missile Suit moves towards the Missile Commander

Missile Commander, Missile Suit and one of the Riptides fires into the Warlord Wraithknight reducing it to one wound...
Flamer Suits fire into the Jetbikes and cause 3 wounds, I roll tripple 2's... so killing the lot!

The Riptide makes a 8" charge into the Wraithknight, taking 2 wounds before killing the Wraithknight to give my opponent Slay the Warlord
The Commander takes no wounds then punches the Autarch to death as well, freeing him up!

Very disapointed the Autarch died.. but I rolled sooo poorly it was deserved, Vince is facing an upword battle, even if my Warlord and Wraithknight died, it's taking Vince so long to chew through them that another it still on full wounds!


Turn 4 Eldar

At this stage we're being pushed for time, so this will be the last turn!

All 3 Dire Avenger units disembark onto objectives
2 Wave Serpents push forwards to line up troop chooices
Wraithknight moves onto an objective (Objective Secured thanks to Big Guns)
Hawks come down and target the Missile suit, it takes a wound from the grenade pack

Wraithknight fires into the Missile Suit killing it
2 Wave Serpents fire into the 2 Flamer Suits nearest the objectives, killing both
10 Dire Avengers fire into 1 of the Flamer Suits, killing it and then Battle focusing onto an objective
5 Dire Avengers fire into the second suit in my lines, killing it.
Wave Serpent now turbo boosts down table to secure another objective
The Hawks finish off the Missile suit and battle focus onto an objective

Vince and I then call it a day, it was a shame not to play the game to its full conclusion, but playing 1850pts with 2.5hrs to do it was pushing it in 6th edition, let alone the new 7th edition. We do talk how we would play and we come to the conclusion that Vince will be on one objective and I will have 2, 2 contested. I have both objectives in my deployment zone, the Wraithknight will get bogged down on an objective, to contest it with the Heavy Support Ravana Riptide, all 3 Wave Serpents will go fir the other objective, but he has 2 Commanders and a Battlesuit to contest/beat the Serpents in combat, we just call in contested... I have Linebreaker and Firstblood, Vince has Slay the Warlord.

Results:
Eldar -8
Tau - 1

Conclusions:

I was very impressed with the army and how it played, I've been worried about where I will go after running a Beastpack, I had a 95% win rate and 50% tabling rate with a tournament record of 6 tabling wins, 1 draw and 1 loss... it was a crazy good list. But that got boring and I wanted something more fun in 7th. This list gave me plenty of fun, I had to think, which is something I've not done in aaages, so used to rolling over armies without thinking, this is not going to happen with this list, which is a  satisfying feeling!

Autarch - 6/10 - I can see it has potential to be devastating, but fell 1 wound short of Slay the Warlord, so died... fine margins.

3x5 Dire Avengers in Wave Serpents - 7/10 reliable fire power, durable and scoring, whats not too love? I didn't use them well this game, but they still made a big impact, killing 4 Battlesuits, Barracuda and put a few wounds on Riptides.

3 Jetbikes - 4/10 in this game, 9/10 for potential... Stayed off for 1 turn, so gave them a 4.. but died first time they were looked at... these will be very important in future games!

Shining Spears - 6/10 - Same as the Autarch, lots of potential, but fell a little short this game, but watch this space once I've played a few games!

Warp Spiders - 6/10 - I threw them into Vinces face to get Intercepted, they took it well to be fair, they had trouble dealing with the Hammerhead, being such a small unit is a shame, could do with finding 38pts for 2 more Spiders... just gets them to that magic number that means vehicles die each time they are shot at... still, a good distracting unit for opponents to chase.

Swooping Hawks - 7/10 - took out valuable Marker Light Drones, survived a round of shooting and killed a Battle Suit, did well. Can see these being a important unit being scoring in each game and no scatter deep strike! The Exarch and Hawks Talon did okay, caused a couple of saves on the Battlesuit last turn... gives them options, but is it worth it? Only time will tell... The Hawks combined with Jetbikes, Shining Spears and Autarch, no objective is ever safe...

2x Wraithknights  - 8/10 did well especially with the Warlord Wraithknight basically taking an entire Tau shooting phase to the face and didn't lose a wound! These really are the buffer between the enemy and the Wave Serpents, pinning the enemy back in there deployment zone gives the Wave Serpents complete freedom to score where they want turn5/6/7

War Walkers - 6/10 - did okay.. but I maybe should have targetted the tanks??? Not sure, they bring good anti-tank to the list and because I didn't feel I used them well, but
they're staying for now.

Possible tweaks... 

1) Swapping the 4 Bright Lances to Scatter Laser/Star Cannon combo on the War Walkers (no points change)

2) Dropping Holofields and the Hawks Exarch and Talon gives me 30pts, could drop the War Walkers entirely, taking a Wraithlord with 2 Bright Lances and Glaive, leaving points of Monster Hunter on the Shining Spear Exarch

3) Dropping Hawk Exarch and Holofields for a Warp Spider and taking Disarming Strike on the Shining Spear Exarch or upgrading a Warp Spider to Exarch

No major changes really needed, but all ideas I may try at some stage.

Much more to come!
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22 June 2014

Micro Art Studio Tyranid Defence Line Review

Nick speaking,

Just finished preparing the Micro Art Studio Tyranid Defence Line that I purchased at Salute 2014. I have to say this product is great, it was really easy to clean up, as there were only a few bits to file down. I gave it a good wash in soapy water and then sprayed it with black primer ready for painting. With the four long pieces and four small pieces as the main line, the small joining bitz let you finish off the look of the line nicely, regardless of the angels you set it at...







Now to get it painted...


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19 June 2014

Awesome Artist - Farseer by "33claydog"

Nick speaking,

After receiving my most amazingly painted Mantarch from 33claydog, I felt it was about time the world, or at least, anyone who stumbles across my Blog, sees what else this awesome artist has done. Until recently, the work my good buddy Clayton has masterfully created had only been seen by a few friends and family, but as you can see from his Farseer below, his work needs to be seen by far more people than that! I will be posting some more of Clayton's work here on the Blog soon, so please keep an eye out for that. I would also be grateful if you went over and checked out his YouTube Channel to give him some support and a sub...







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16 June 2014

Saim-Hann Battle Report (first game with 7th)

Nick speaking,

With 7th Edition here, and my newly painted Mantarch that I got from 33claydog, I had no doubt that I had to get my Saim-Hann army on the table for my first ever game of 7th Edition...



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13 June 2014

Awesome Autarch Done!

Nick speaking,

Well I said it was going to be awesome, but I didn't realise just how awesome it was going to be! Here is the amazingly painted Mantarch that was done for me by my very good buddy 33claydog. I really would love to be able to write down in words how awesome this guy looks, but as they say, a picture paints a thousand words, so I will let Clayton's work below say it all for me. Don't forget to click the subscribe button on Clayton's YouTube Channel to watch his latest work of arts come to life...







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10 June 2014

Shadow Specres Showcase!

Nick speaking,

I had a go at some reverse highlighting here which was an idea I got from my good buddy and very talented painter 33claydog. I am really happy with the results, but let me know what you think...
































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