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December 31, 2009

Pic of the Day 12-31-09

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Pic submitted by Nick Siegler

Oooh, so artistic... Cap it!

~Enjoy. If you have an awesome shot you think would make a great BoLS pic of the day, email us. We love spectacle and characterful shots so lets see what you budding photographers can do!

40K HOBBY: On a Steel Horse I Ride - Valkyrie Jet Conversion

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Hello again. MBG Rob Baer here with one of the coolest conversions I've ever done; the Imperial Guard Valkyrie Jet. I made this out of a Valkyrie kit and some plastic card, but best part about this creation is that can represent almost any flying vehicle in the Warhammer 40K universe!

For example you can just add some Lascannons on the wingtips for an Imperial Lightning, or model two engines, one each wing, and you have a Thunderbolt. Add a few Orky bits and you have a Ork Fighter or a Fighter Bomber. Make it a little pointer and it becomes a bit Chaotic. I suppose you can even use it as a Valkyrie/ Vendetta, although it may get a little windy for the embarked troops. You get all this modeling goodness for the low low price of a Valkyrie kit!

 Now for your viewing pleasure is some extreme close ups the Valkyrie Jet.

If you like that be sure to check out my blog, Spikeybits for the complete step by step guide on how to make you own. Enjoy MBG

Goatboy's Tyranid Review - Troops and Elites

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Goatboy here again, jumping into the bio mass breeding pool that is Tyranid Troop and Elite choices. Last time I went over what I feel are the better options when dealing with the HQ choices and today I am going to go through the new and shiny Troop and Elites picks you could be doing in the next couple of months. Again this is just how I see the army fitting into my own play style as well as what I feel are stronger choices.

Troops - Winning the game by laying down on something shiny

Warrior Brood
We all have heard how they upped the wounds to 3 now. While I think that is great, the lack of eternal warrior really hurts this choice as well as some of the other choices in the army. To make these work you really need to set up massive screens to help ensure you always get that 4+ cover save to stop some missile launcher craziness. I have a feeling the unit will do better as a synapse enabler as well a great counter assault unit. If you give them Adrenal Glands and Boneswords you have a very scary assault unit. Hitting first versus marines and being able to ignore armor saves is pretty dang sweet. The way they are set up they will most likely hit on 3+ and wound on 3+. They are a bit expensive but again they could be a nice, don't come close to me unit. Mix it up with a Lash Whip and my Thunder Goats will not want to get anywhere near them.

7/10 - Interesting and depending on how people respond they will get better or worse.

Genestealer Brood
They are still troops, have the same stats and now get a broodlord as a unit upgrade. I still think they are pretty decent and there is no need to dump them all on Ebay or some kind of trade section in a forum. There is really no reason to upgrade them, as they already have a high initiative and their cost is pretty expensive. Right now I would just leave them as cheap as they can be and outflank. I do think a Broodlord is needed per unit. It just makes no sense to not have one there with their extra abilities. The two powers the Broodlord has is Aura of Despair and Hypnotic Stare. The Aura makes your unit -1 to leadership and the Stare makes you have a leadership fight like when dealing with a Psychic hood with one model in base contact. If your opponent loses, that model can't attack. That is pretty sweet to make that one Wolf Lord stay still or some other combat monster.

7/10 - They added something but they are not much different to make them better or worse. They still score at least so that is a win.

Termagaunts Brood
These guys are cheaper. What makes them really good is that for every brood you take, you can take a Tervigon as a troop choice. This is pretty sweet and makes these the best "troop" choice. I would say take 2 at least and get 2 Tervigons. Beyond that, they are really just there to score for you. Keep them in the way, use them as a screen and hope that a bunch of flamers don't come down and make some crispy critters.

9/10 - Not 10/10 because they kinda suck themselves, but as a way to activate more MC's for your army they rock.

Hormagaunt Brood
Man I wish they were still beasts. Right now as they are set up, they just don't have the crazy movement like they used too. They are still alright, as they are cheap and can throw a ton of wounds on a unit. Give them Adrenal Glands to let them get up to Str 4. If you want you could also go with Toxin Sacs to give them poison, but I think that might make them expensive. I prefer Termaguants just for the ability to activate a Tervigon, but these are not a bad screening choice.

6/10 - Just not as good as the other troop choices. Still not terrible but I think the troop section is heavily stacked for Nids, thus making the choices harder here.

You get extras of them because you will be using lots of warrior bodies to create some of these units. I don't like them, because they can't score, take away from your troop allowance and thus Tervigon allowance and well - they just kinda suck. Personally I would leave these at home and use the Terminator bases for objectives.

2/10 - Meh - meh - super meh.

Landing Spore thingie
Well the rumors are true, Tyranids have a "good" drop pod. Why do I think it is good? Well it follows the old drop pod rules, activating off of the reserve roll. This means that a canny player can't reserve you out and just take out the pods bit by bit. I am not sure if they will be worth it in the end, so will see. The ability to drop 20 guys or an MC is kinda sweet. Plus this unit really lets you go crazy with some modeling as there is obviously no model for this. The one thing that is interesting is that a unit that can survive falling through space and through an atmosphere can't survive one shot from a missile. I guess as it opens up, it has an exposed heart thingie or something.

7/10 - Interesting and might be better then we are thinking. Will have to wait and see.

Elites - We're Special

Now lets look at the Elites section. It is odd that the troop section has a lot more hard decisions then the Elites section. This is differs from some of the latest codexes and really creates some interesting decisions that will make for interesting Tyranid armies.

Hive Guard
These guys are pretty dang sweet. These guys are going to be your rhino poppers. Their Toughness of 6 lets them be basically Eternal Warrior and thus these are a pretty sweet choice for your army. I am planning on running at least 3, and might push up to 6 depending on how well my Zonathropes due during testing. Plus the model is pretty sweet too.

9/10 - Wish they had a better armor save, but really probably the best choice in the elites section.

They said they were going to be better, but when they won't let them assault out of coming out of the shadows, I knew these guys were still going to be kinda weak. If you really need a cheap way to get +1 to reserves then this is the unit you take. I might be wrong so will see as of right now I just don't think they are worth it.

4/10 - Cheaper way to get +1 to reserve rolls so if you army is all about the outflank and drop pod this is the way to go.

Same as above with the issue of being too expensive. If he was a Monstorous creature it might be better, but as it stands he just costs too much. One of these guys is almost 3 HIve Guard and I feel the Hive Guard will just do more for you.

2/10 - Too expensive

Here is the winner of the model that will constantly break on you all the time. I am not sure why they designed a metal model this way, It looks like it will just not stay still. I suggest some very heavy epoxying to the base to keep this guy in place. Enough of that, as the model itself is not a way to judge if it is good or not. Its the stats. The biggest issue with this is that a) most likely you are going to have screening units that will give you a 4+ cover save instead of the 5+ cover save, b) its toughness is only 4, c) It just doesn't do enough. All of those are reasons not to take one of these. If your opponent is worried about it, a few missile launcher shots will deal with the stinky threat.

5/10 - Just not good enough for the elite choice. If it was Toughness 5 it might be a better option.

Here is the other elite choice as far as I am concerned. I know it has some of the same weaknesses as the Venomthrope but it has some things that make it better. The major one is that it can kill just about any armored box in the game. If this thing hits with its Warp Lance, don't expect your box to live very long. As you have seen in the White Dwarf, this "gun" is Strength 10, AP 1 and counts as a Lance. That is pretty sweet and should kill any Land Raiders that might be bothering your army. Also mix in that it has a 3+ save and you got the other Elite choice as far as I am concerned.

8/10 - Just take them. They will be good and annoying.

The Doom of Malan'tai
Here is a special character Zoanthrope thing. The idea of putting it in a Landing Spore makes me laugh and might be worth it. Will see, as of right now it needs to be very close to do some damage. Which means you will most likely be able to assault and deal with it pretty quickly.

5/10 - Might change if he ends up being a sleeper. Most likely not though.

Um - yeah this is a no. It has options to upgrade its assault ability but it only has 1 attack base. Just not good. Also its flamer attack is not all that great either.

2/10 - The model looks kinda cool at least.

Ymgarl Genestealers
These are pretty neat, but again the lack of scoring status weakens them. Plus they are pretty expensive and take away your Hive Guard and Zonathropes you can take. I also don't like losing them if someone jumps in their play pen and they activate. Hey at least Kroot can kill Genestealers by hiding in the bushes.

5/10 - Neat design, hampered by the cost, lack of scoring, and the section they are chosen from.

There you go, that is the Troop and Elite choices broken down. Next time I will be doing the Fast Attack and Heavy sections of the codex. After that I will show a basic list I am thinking about and will see if my thoughts keep up with what ends up actually being good and effective for you.

Questions? - Email me at

December 30, 2009

Pic of the Day 12-30-09

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Caption contest. Action movie quote-a-thon edition!

~Enjoy. If you have an awesome shot you think would make a great BoLS pic of the day, email us. We love spectacle and characterful shots so lets see what you budding photographers can do!

WARMACHINE NEWS: New Butcher & Vindictus

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Hi all,

This week Privateer has unveiled their latest two minis.

~Great sculpts as usual, and you can see the release dates for these guys and a whole lot more here.

WFB HOBBY: The Shelf of Shame - Empire

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Well there it is in all of its procrastinated glory. I have even more unpainted figures for the Empire, but this is the army that I will be painting up according to the list that I drew up in my last installment. As you can see my force is in various stages of paint, from bare plastic/metal all the way up to being done.

If you notice there are several different paint schemes going on and it wasn’t until 1997 that I decided on a single color scheme. For this army I chose to paint them in the colors of Ostermark, which is purple, yellow, and white. When they are fully painted the combination is pretty fantastic. I am also a fan of the fluff for this province, which involves Mordheim, the former capital of Ostermark, and some interesting references in the current army book.

I will start with striping the red and black cannon along with its crew because it doesn’t match anything in my army. The paint on the cannon/crew is also severely chipped, so repainting is pretty much my best option. I am also going to strip the Grand Theoginist because I want a fresh start on him. I will also strip the halberdier command group because they are severely chipped. The one draw back to stripping figures is that it always feels like you’re taking a step away from your ultimate goal, but I always feel that the results are worth it.

The next big part of the plan is the order I want to paint these in. I think I’m going to start with the halberdiers. They require the least amount of work and I can turn them out pretty quickly. After that I will prioritize my painting by what has paint on it. I will paint up that which is has more paint on it first, and that way I will feel like I am putting a dent in this project. When I have the core units completed I will work on the artillery pieces and then finish it all up with the Lord and heroes. Once the painting is complete, I will be making a display board for this army.

I will be using a different approach to army painting than Goatboy uses. Goatboy uses a lot of dry brushing with glazes over the top. This is a great fast method and he can turn out armies faster than anyone I know. I will be using successive lighter colored layers of paint with glazes over the top, when needed, to smooth the transitions. This is not the fastest way to paint an army, but I like the look of it more. I’m also hoping that it will garner some good painting/soft scores to make up for the fact that it isn’t Demons/VC.

I am going to replace a few models in this army while I am at it. I’ve really liked the look of the most recent Empire Wizards plastic boxed set, so I will definitely be getting at least 1 box. I will also be eliminating the Battle Masters cannon from my army because it looks incredibly anemic next to my other war machines, and I’ll probably do this right away since I have an unassembled cannon on my shelf. Over time, I will in all likelihood replace the Battle Master figures with newer figures because they do look smaller than the other figures, but I will be keeping the out of print classic metal figures because they are like a badge of honor.

That wraps up this installment. Next time I’ll be stripping paint, and priming the bare metal/plastic if the weather allows. Until then share with us your progress on your 2010-2011 tournament season armies. If you have any suggestions for me about tackling this project I’m all ears.

40K ARMYLIST: Hello, Trygon!

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Darkwynn here. One of things that people ask a lot is what was the process that I take when developing a list. When I crack open any codex and start looking into it I immediately begin started to process the rules, costs, and FOC organization as I look through all of the units. I am going to take you through the way that I develop lists and look at units. Some people might recognize this process if they have ever taking an undergrad business class.

The tool is called SWOT and I usually use it on Business or Business related item that I do daily. The SWOT stands for: Strengths, Weakness, Objectives or in this case Opportunities and Threats. I break down each unit and then break it down the army list as a whole, looking at all my options, stats and going from there.  Here is a first pass SWOT list for the Tyranids. I've been processing all the Tyranid info that is being talked about and putting on my thinking cap.

2000 Point List

Alpha Warrior w/ Bone swords and Adrenal Glands
Alpha Warrior w/ Bone swords and Adrenal Glands
Tervigon w/ Regenerate, Catalyst, Toxin Sacs, and Adrenal Glands (Count as Troop Choices)
Tervigon w/ Regenerate, Catalyst, Toxin Sacs, and Adrenal Glands (Count as Troop Choices)

Hive Guard x3
Hive Guard x3
Zoanthropes x3 w/ Landing spore

Termagants 10
Termagants 10

Trygon x2 with Regenerate
Trygon Prime with Regenerate

SWOT Breakdown

Strength: Toughness 6, 6 wounds, Hatch Termagants, able to give FNP to another unit, Brood Father, MC – Big Target, Synapse and Shadow of the warp

Weakness: Slow moving, big target and no invulnerable save, poor CC ability

Opportunity or ideas on play: Moving them with the hive guard up while giving the hive guard FNP or moving them up Spawning Termagants to claim objectives and leave them behind.

Threats: Heavy Close combat unit such as TH/SS Terminators, Units with high amount of rending attacks and IG plasma command squads with bring it down.

Alpha Warrior
Strength: Low Cost, Great CC, can cause “Instant Death”, Synapse creature and Shadow of the warp, IC to join Termagants

Weakness: Toughness 5 which still die to Str 10 hits

Opportunity or ideas on play: Leaving them in the unit of Termagants to give them an added CC ability and to come out of reserve through the Trygon holes. It will give units such as Thunder Wolf Calvary and Nob Bikers a Second thought of attacking as testing on LD 8 on 3d6 or die. He will also be great to join Hive Guard also if they come through the hole or shore up their CC if need be.

Threats: Flamers and Strength 10 shots. My worry about this is when he is with Termagants and the unit gets hit with a high amount of flamers. His whole unit will die but he will be left stranded and will be out in the open.

Hive Guard
Strength: Very affordable cost for two strength 8 shots at BS4. Toughness 6, Infantry

Weakness: Poor CC, medium range

Opportunity or ideas on play: These guys are great for blowing up Transports. 6 Str 8 shots at Bs 4 that don’t need Line of sight will be great for popping those light tanks.

Threats: Units rushing into combat as once they are in combat they are not going anywhere. Marines will tie them up for a long time as two attacks at strength 5 that allow saves isn’t going to kill a lot of guys.

Strength: psyker, Shadows of the warp BS 4, Str 10 Lance shot, 3+ invulnerable

Weakness: Poor CC, Short range, low toughness

Opportunity or ideas on play: The idea is with these are you needed to get them close and in range to pop the big targets. The landing spore gets them close enough to take out those key targets. They have a better chance of staying around and hitting for at least two rounds with the 3+ invaluable save. You just need to make sure that you land your spore away from any type of close combat infrantry.

Threats: Staying away from Close combat attacks and anything with greater then Str 8 weapon type.

Strength: High Toughness with High wounds, High number of attacks, High Strength, Deep Striker with a tunnel behind it

Weakness: No invulnerable saves, high cost

Opportunity or ideas on play: The idea I have with these is overloading your opponent and having three high toughness and high amount of wounds in your face and ready to attack. It WILL force your opponent to deal with this unit somehow. Most lists will not be able to drop two Trygons a turn.

Threats: Very little… KILLS EVERYTHING. My only worry is TH/SS Terminators which you will need to have the Trygons double up on to attack or have the Alpha warriors attack TH/SS Termonators to kill them off.

Tactics and Thoughts

The list gives you 11 Toughness 6 models on the table. Five of those models are with 6 wounds and can be given Feel no pain. Idea behind the army is it will be weak in turn one or two but once it ramps up its going to blow you over unless your opponent is able to control the flow of the game and start taking down models. You will have 12 strength 8 shots and 3 strength 10 shots that are reliable in the sense they will still be around turn 3 or turn 4, which isn’t great, compared to other codex’s but it gives you some ability where the previous codex didn’t have. You have to target key units to at least shake them, buying your big bugs time to get into combat and they will just rampage through everything. The Zoanthropes with the landing spore and the Termagants coming in from tunnels hopefully force your opponent to choose either the Trygon or the Zoanthropes or choose something but they will be forced to lose units and it will have a waterfall effect on their army.

The only thing that that I might adjust from this list is as a personal perference is dropping the Alpha warriors, one or two of the regeneration upgrades, and some of the hive guard. It would allow me to buy a Hive Tyrant with the +1 reserve and Tyrant Guard to give a close proximity combat unit that can support the Tervigon or Hive guard. It won’t be great in making its points up in combat but it does make sure that I will be able to form an overloading flank more effective. The other idea is drop a unit of Hive guard and get a Deathleaper to reduce a psyker's hood LD down by d3 so you have a better chance to get off your psker powers but you reduce your some of your anti tank down to kill transports.

~Thoughts are welcome gentlemen, on both the list and the SWOT process applied to army construction. Darkwynn out.

December 29, 2009

Pic of the Day 12-29-09

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Pic submitted by Matt Buchanan

From the brush of a master...

~Enjoy. If you have an awesome shot you think would make a great BoLS pic of the day, email us. We love spectacle and characterful shots so lets see what you budding photographers can do!

40K TACTICS: Nine Principles of War - Pt. 9

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Applying the Nine Principles of War to Fifth Edition Warhammer 40,000.

A series by: Rogue428

Surprise: Strike the enemy in a time or place or in a manner for which he is unprepared.
“If it's stupid but it works, it's not stupid.”
-Murphy’s Laws of Combat

There isn’t that much to expound upon when discussing this Principle. Surprise is surprise. Here, we’re not talking about changing the rules mid-game; the old, ‘oh that’s not area terrain providing a 4+ cover save like we’ve been playing the whole game, now that my beardy unit is in range, it’s just true line-of-sight’ trick. That’s just poor gamesmanship and makes for cross opponents.

Here, we’re talking about taking an action that will throw your opponent off his game by forcing him to react in a very dramatic manner. Presenting him with an option he simply cannot ignore, because if he does, it could cost him the game. He literally has to set aside his plans and react.

Frankly, there is no better way to throw your opponent’s pacing off than to do something completely unexpected. We’ve already covered Deep Strike and Outflanking as decisive ways of seizing the initiative. Fifth Edition has made Outflank so incredibly powerful it should almost be a staple of at least one unit in every army. Couple it with a potent central threat that drives your opponent’s army towards the edges of the board makes it even better.

Variations on the Deep Strike rules work well. Drop Pods, Guardsman Marbo, Ork Commandos, Lictors, and the infamous Callidus Assassin, can all wreak havoc on your opponent’s battle plan, forcing him to react instead of act.

There is a negative aspect to the Principle of Surprise. What happens when you are surprised in a big way? We’re not talking about a Lictor or Marbo in this case, we’re talking a surprise so big it might shake your confidence. If you’re a tournament player, this has most likely happened to you. You’ve completed your first round and are sidling up to the table for the second round. You’re taking up the friendly pre-game banter with your opponent when he asks what army you’re playing. You reply that you’re playing ‘Army X’. You can see some of your opponent’s miniatures now, and they look a little strange to you. Your curiosity piqued, you ask your opponent what army he is playing and he responds that he’s playing ‘Army Q’. Uh Oh. You’ve heard of ‘Army Q’ one time in passing about four years ago. In fact, as far as you can remember, you thought that they were eaten by Tyranids in the fluff or something like that. When did they get a new codex? What can they do? You don’t know. Don’t panic. While you don’t know what they can do, hopefully you know exactly what your army can do. Control the controllable. And now you need to gather some intelligence. Fast.

Turn on the charm. We 40K players love to talk about our armies so engage your opponent while you are both setting up. Ask him about his army. Trust me, he’ll tell you. Listen, really listen, to him. Folks get excited when they have a cool unit that they are planning to use to do something dirty to your army. Look for cues and clues on the miniatures themselves. Chances are that the elaborately painted miniature sitting atop a scenic base and with the hand-painted banner isn’t just a grunt. If you’re playing an objective mission, which units are his troops? In the end, if you’re still not sure, ask to take a look at his codex. A really good way to get someone to talk about their army in a very quick ‘threat/response’ manner is to tell them that you’re thinking of starting to play your own ‘Army Q’. Then ask them their opinion of what you should use. You will probably get a philosophy lesson in the tactics and list strategies of ‘Army Q’. But now, hopefully you’ve lessened your surprise quite a bit, made a new friend, and maybe even talked yourself into starting an ‘Army Q’ collection.

Another aspect of Surprise, is a maneuver called the ‘reveal’. It’s a term borrowed from chess, where one piece will move out of the way suddenly ‘revealing’ another piece, usually the queen or a bishop, as a threat. Same thing goes in 40K. That Rhino you’re using to screen that Tactical Squad, can easily move out of the way, revealing a hail of rapid fire onto a squad that was maneuvering to assault it. A slight variation on this is the ‘bait and switch’. Where you hang a ‘popcorn’ unit out as bait for a unit you need to kill. The hope is that the opponent will take the bait and either assault the first unit or change his position to make it more favorable for you to attack it on your terms.

The Sisters of Battle’s faith abilities and the Imperial Guard’s orders system favor the Principle of Surprise. Your opponent assaults what he thinks is a ‘soft’ unit of Sisters of Battle, but with one faith ability he finds himself battling a nightmare unit he can’t get escape. Recently, I played a game against the Imperial Guard where I tried to guess on how many shots my unit of Grey Knights could expect to take. I did some quick estimating and decided to risk the maneuver. Then the Guardsmen received an order from a nearby officer and suddenly I found myself facing a hail of fire I hadn’t prepared for. (Those Grey Knights are serving the Emperor in a better place now.)

What are your favorite methods of surprising an opponent? How do you ensure that the enemy is unprepared when you strike him at a time and place of your choosing?

Rogue428 has been playing 40K since the start of 4th edition. He fields Dark Eldar, Tyranids, Daemonhunters, Necron, and of course, Space Marines. His new Hive Fleet is taking shape in preparation of the new Tyranid codex.

BoLS POLLS: Points and Elbow-room

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Hi gang,

Today I want to talk a little about the glacial collision that is headed our way.  Whatever game system you play, have you all felt a little *cramped* these days? If you have that little alarm bell of tabletop claustrophobia ringing at the back of your mind it is by design.

Lets see how we got here.  In the beginning (over 20 years ago for 40k and Fantasy) our hobby was played with practically skirmish forces.  It was not uncommon to just throw together a dozen of your favorite figures, grab your buddy and a gamemaster (yes 40k had a gamemaster back then) and start rolling some bones.

That however just wouldn't do.  Before long, the first army lists were crafted and the slow points erosion that we see today in every codex, army & campaign book had begun.  It's pretty plain to see mathematically that more models means more sales, and that what we have recieved.  Book by book, time after time, revisions see the points costs of units slowly sanded lower and lower.  Its a slow process by its very nature as you can't drastically unbalance any game system to dramatically at once (outside of big high-risk systemwide reboots).

What this has lead to on the player side of things is a lot less elbow room.  Years back, you would see armies jockeying for position, maneuvering a bit more fancifully, and using  long range weapons at their designer's suggested range.

Today all to often we have something more akin to Football (American), with both armies set up in nice lines mere inches apart, waiting to get to grips with each other in a furious tussle.  With all the dirt cheap models armies can throw around these days, its a good thing 40k allows unrestricted reserves, as many list buildouts barely fit in their deployment zone.  Even with game-mechanics such as outflanking and reserves you routinely see units arrive right smack on top of thier surprised prey.

Games Workshop by no means has a monopoly on this theory and those canny folks over at Privateer, Battlefront and others are doing the same.

~Today's poll (vote below) is do you think your gamesystem is too cramped in standard play levels, to sparse or just right?  How have you dealt with the trend over time?  Enlarging your miniatures collections, or playing at smaller point levels?  Finally, do you LIKE denser tables, with their quick action, or the more sparse yet suspenseful early game with more give and take before your armies clash? The floor is yours Generals.

40K EDITORIAL: Something is Bugging Me...

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Hi all, Jwolf here. Like everyone else, I’ve been contemplating Tyranids and considering what options I want in an army. Unlike my esteemed colleagues, I’m looking at the changes I’ll be making to my armies to improve performance against Tyranids while still keeping my army effective against all the existing armies.

Here are my top 7 changes for Imperial Guard in particular, but you can apply the concepts broadly:

1) More Hellhounds. With the waves of bugs I’m expecting, the ability to throw fire at range is very important. I’ll either move to two singles of maybe even a squadron of 2.

2) Manticore. Indirect fire and Strength 10 makes the Manticore the best choice for breaking Warriors and blasting holes into formations.

3) Russes are back, Medusas are on the shelf. I need the Russes to shield my lines with their AV 14. Yes, they’re vulnerable to Zoanthropes, so…

4) Greyknight Terminators come back, with 2 Psycannons and a Psychic Hood. These provide the necessary ability to just kill Tyranids in assault, and Psycannons give Zoanthropes no saves, wounding on 2s. The Hood means I can sometimes reduce the rain of Psychic powers headed my way. These guys stumble into a Chimera that one of the poor Platoon Squads wish they could still be inside.

5) Missile Launchers are out of mothballs. I’m not certain that I want these, as the loss of Autocannons in the same slots hurts me against other Mechanized forces, but I’m going to give them a try.

6) Plasma guns are more attractive. I’ve used Plasma in my company command off and on, and I may be doing this a lot more on than off now. That said, Meltas aren’t going anywhere – instakilling those T4 bugs is still worth doing.

7) Blob squads are on the chopping block. Whereas the Infantry platoon blob was really a fantastic thing to deal with so many assault choices in previous armies, Thunderwolf Cavalry had already cause me to question the value of this unit. The ability of Tyranids to outblob me and follow up with tons of heavy hitters means that the Stubborn 9 Infantry platoon blob squad is a waste of points.

These are my untested thoughts on changes to my Imperial Guard lists to deal with the Tyrannic Wars headed my way. I’m interested to see what changes you all are looking at, and I’ll respond to thoughts in this thread or in the Lounge.

December 28, 2009

Pic of the Day 12-28-09

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Pic submitted by Joshua Turiano

Holiday baking in the Eye of Terror. Cap it!

~Enjoy. If you have an awesome shot you think would make a great BoLS pic of the day, email us. We love spectacle and characterful shots so lets see what you budding photographers can do!

WFB ARMYLIST: Aventine does Skaven

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So I first started playing Skaven when the last book came out. What was that, 2003? I took the army to the Dallas GT that year, had some fun with it, then only touched the army a handful of times ever again.

Well the new book really changed all that, and I've been playing fanatically. But my models from back then are awful! So looks likes it's me buying new versions of a bunch of stuff I already have.

So I have been doing pretty damn well with my Skaven since I got back into playing them, but my list is a bit on the heavy side. Thus I painted up this Warlord to make it a bit more palatable. Here are the two versions...

Grey Seer Tarrik's Horde of Many (heavy)
Grey Seer w/ 2*Scrolls on Bell 500

BSB w/ Halberd, Storm Banner 122
Lvl 2 Warlock w/ musket, Condenser 135
Lvl 2 Warlock w/ musket, Doomrocket, Scrying Stone 160

30*Clanrats w/ shields, full command, Poisoned Wind Mortar 220
30*Clanrats w/ shields, full command, Poisoned Wind Mortar 220
40*Clanrats w/ shields, full command, Poisoned Wind Mortar 265


8* Censer Bearers 128

Hellpit Abomination w/ warpstone spikes 250
Hellpit Abomination w/ warpstone spikes 250

Raskat's Clan (hobby)

Warlord w/ Fellblade, shield 193

BSB w/ Halberd, Storm Banner 122
Lvl 2 Warlock w/ musket, Condenser 135
Lvl 2 Warlock w/ musket, Doomrocket, Scrying Stone 160

30*Clanrats w/ shields, full command, Poisoned Wind Mortar 220
30*Clanrats w/ shields, full command, Poisoned Wind Mortar 220
40*Clanrats w/ shields, full command, Poisoned Wind Mortar 265
21*Giant Rats 2*Packmasters, Master Moulder w/ Great Weapon, Poisoned Attacks 131
24*Night Runners w/ Warp-Grinder 228

11* Censer Bearers 176

Doomwheel 150
Hellpit Abomination w/ warpstone spikes 250

I think the Warp Grinder Night Runners will be fun. If I don't misfire them, they are pretty much guaranteed a charge, maybe get Death Frenzy off on them. The Doom Rocket is a ridiculously good piece of kit with devastating offensive power. It sends out a S:5 all over large blast with no partials. You can roll between 4 and 10 d6 to shoot it, and the blast is placed at that distance. It only misfires on a triple '1' on the distance roll, so it's very reliable. I think the Fellblade will be fun, though it isn't the most effective weapon. I like having the ability to kill a Bloodthirster on the charge.

~So how have all you Skaven generals been fairing with the new book? Are you having fun with all the new units? I haven't tried all of them yet, but I'm getting there. Anyone had any fun with Doomflayers yet?~

40K TACTICS: Drop Podding with Tyranids

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The unit that most intrigues me in the upcoming Codex: Tyranids is the "Landing Spore". Veteran players remember these as Mycetic Spores. They are deep-striking transports, roughly equivalent to a living Drop Pod. These specially evolved spores are used during the initial stages of a Tyranid planetary assimilation, so I figured that it was a great embarkation point.

The new codex brings back these living transports, making them available to a decent number. Let's take a close look at this beastie:

 Landing Spore

The Fearless spore can hold 20 Tyranids or 1 monstrous creature. It Deep Strikes and lands much like a Drop Pod. Once it lands, it is immobile for the rest of the game. This tentacle-covered Monstrous Creature is armed with Lash Whips (models attacking the Landing Spore attack at I1) and Climbing Tentacles (a ranged weapon: 6" S6 AP- Assault 6) and can purchase additional bio-weaponry. The Landing Spore has limited intelligence and never tests for Instinctive Behavior, but it always attacks the closest enemy (unless it's engaged in close combat).

Note: Just like models disembarking from a Drop Pod, the passengers on the Landing Spore can only shoot or run on the turn they arrive.

In my example list, I included Barbed Stranglers on the Landing Spores. This gives the monster a much larger range and helps mitigate Climbing Tentacles' low Ballistic Skill (the Barbed Stranger has a 24" range and uses a large template). Since the Landing Spore is a monstrous creature, it will attempt to shoot both weapons at the nearest enemy. And if my opponent assaults it, he has to deal with 3 S6 attacks that ignore armor saves (and can't attack until I1 because of the Lash Whips). All in all, much better than the Space Marine Drop Pod.

The Landing Spore leads to a very different style of play for Tyranids -- something very refreshing to players who have only had the option of walking across the table. I'm really looking forward to trying out new stuff with the codex!

Here's a example of a 2000pt "Podzilla" Tyranid List:

Alpha Warrior (2 Bone Swords, Pair of Scything Talons, Adrenal Glands, Toxin Sacs)

Alpha Warrior (2 Bone Swords, Pair of Scything Talons, Adrenal Glands, Toxin Sacs)

Note: I built the Alpha Warriors to be punishing close combat monsters. They re-roll 1s in close combat (thanks to the pair of Scything Talons) and they re-roll wounds against models with T5 or less (thanks to their poisoned weapon). The Bone Swords are power weapons that force anyone wounded by them to pass a Leadership test (on 3D6) or be removed as a casualty. If I get the charge, that's WS6, S6, I6 and 6 attacks (all re-rolling 1s and re-rolling wounds)! Ouch!

Note: The Alpha Warriors also have Synapse (making nearby Tyranids Fearless) and they have Shadow in the Warp (making it more difficult and dangerous to use Psychic powers near them). Since they are Independent Characters, I'm going to attach them to one of the 19-man Termagant squads before deployment.

2 Zoanthropes
-- Transport: Landing Spore (Barbed Strangler)

2 Zoanthropes
-- Transport: Landing Spore (Barbed Strangler)

Note: The Zoanthropes are amazing tank-busters, with their Warplance psychic power (18" range S10 AP1 Assault 1, Lance) they can pop Landraiders with ease. With two of them per Landing Spore, I can count on their BS4 to bring down at least one problem vehicle when they arrive. They've also got a nice S5 AP3 blast (Warpblast) that I can fall back on if there aren't any tanks to deal with.

Note: Zoanthropes are also Synapse (and Shadows in the Warp) creatures, so they will help me keep me from making Instinctive Behavior tests. They are also sporting their new 3+ Invulnerable save, thanks to Warpfield.

20 Termagants (Fleshborer, Adrenal Glands)
-- Transport: Landing Spore (Barbed Strangler)

19 Termagants (Fleshborer, Adrenal Glands)
-- Transport: Landing Spore (Barbed Strangler)

19 Termagants (Fleshborer, Adrenal Glands)
-- Transport: Landing Spore (Barbed Strangler)

19 Termagants (Fleshborer, Adrenal Glands)
-- Transport: Landing Spore (Barbed Strangler)

Note: Termagants are a fantastic deal in the new codex with a starting price on par with Imperial Guardsmen (especially considering that they are armed with a 12" range Assault 1 BS3 Bolter). Add a super cheap Adrenal Gland (for Furious Charge) and you've got a great model spilling out of a goo-filled alien egg. I included 77 of them in this army for roughly 500pts (including their expensive transports).

Carnifex (pair of Scything Talons, Heavy Venom Cannon, Bioplasma)
-- Transport: Landing Spore (Barbed Strangler)

Carnifex (pair of Scything Talons, Heavy Venom Cannon, Bioplasma)
-- Transport: Landing Spore (Barbed Strangler)

Note: These monsters are armed with Scything Talons (re-roll 1s to hit in close combat), Heavy Venom Cannon (giving me a S9 AP4 blast -- which is great even with the additional -1 to the vehicle damage chart) and Bioplasma (a 12" range, Assault 1 Plasma Cannon). With the S9 and S7 blasts, you can' afford to ignore these bio-tanks.

Carnifex (two Twin-Linked Devourers)
-- Transport: Landing Spore (Barbed Strangler)

Note: Although I wanted a decent amount of S8+ shots (for pesky Plague Marines and transports), I just couldn't pass up a Carnifex with two twin-linked Devourers arriving in your backfield via Landing Spore. The 18" range is plenty when arriving from Deep Strike and the TWO twin-linked S6 AP- Assault 6 guns will cause some serious damage. Even with the BS3, I'm looking forward to pumping out 12 shots from a Carnifex!

TACTICS: The army is pretty simple. I put in a decent amount of redundancy (even though I really dislike spamming identical units) to counter-balance the random nature of Deep Strike. So basically drop the tank-busters near tanks (e.g., Zoanthopes, Carnifexes) and the people-eaters near the people. Then feed.

It's a little high on Kill Points (~20), but that's the nature of fully-mechanized armies. The nice thing is that it's got a ghastly amount of shooting -- 77 BS3 Fleshborers, 9 BS2 Barbed Stranglers, 2 Heavy Venom Cannon, 2 Bioplasma, 4 Warplances/Warpblasts and 2 TL Devourers. That's 95 shots and 11 blasts per Shooting phase (not including the FIFTY-FOUR 6" shots from the Landing Spores), not too shabby for an army that wants to get into close combat with you!

I'm very happy to see that some completely new and fun builds Tyranid builds are now possible. While I'm certain that Podzilla isn't the toughest build, I am certain that it's something new and fun for Tyranid players to enjoy (and it should prove an interesting challenge to their opponents).

~~ The Tyranid Assimilation is just beginning here on BoLS and I'll be writing more articles about them as I experiment more over the next several weeks. You can check out my latest articles on -- and if you have any questions or comments, email me at Comments are welcome and I'd love to get your impressions of the Landing Spore and the Podzilla Tyranid army!

Goatboy's Tyranid Review - HQs

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Hi Goatboy here again and today I want to start off the jump into the sticky and gooey center of the new Tyranid codex. Preview codices are out in some locations and I am going to go into reviewing the units available to all the Hive Minded people out there. This review is not the be-all-end-all as this is based on my own opinion and how I feel they will play versus myself and the armies I like to throw down. We all know each area is different and sometimes what works in your local game does not always work versus other types of armies. So enough of this lets get onto the review.


Real quick - some interesting info on the rules that all of these guys have. First of all, the loss of Synapse combined with Eternal Warrior is huge for the Nids. In fact I feel that a lot of the smaller guys really suffer for losing this and lose some of their overall benefit. But we'll see if the lovely ability of the army to get fully screened will help that out. The Shadow in the Warp is kinda meh when compared to what the Space Wolves got. But I feel the range is just too small to really make it "useful" as if you are within range you most likely don't care about their powers and just want to throw lots of wounds onto them with your grubby claws.With nids having so many psychic powers now, I understand why Games Workshop would put something in that just says 4+ counter in the Wolves codex.

Hive Tyrant
Welcome to the return of the close combat badass. I am not sure this is a good thing, as the only way to get him moving quickly is to give him wings, thus losing the chance of having 6 wounds of bodyguards to take a hit for the team. I don't really feel he is worth the trouble as he is expensive and somewhat situational to get working. If you are playing versus a heavy assault army, then he will be golden as he will keep anything away from the meat of your army and let you counter assault to your heart's content. I think a better build will be as a reserve-helper to let your army create a beneficial 2nd turn in your face assault/charge/etc. The two builds I like are as the big gun battery or maybe as a flying death beast. I don't think it is the best HQ option they have as some of the others will help your army more. I do wish they could take 2 Heavy Venom cannons.

The psychic powers are interesting and could prove beneficial later on. I think this is the final kick on - if you don't have a way to stop mind bullets then you might be a bit boned. They are all interesting and I like Life Drain as a way to make sure your combat monster gets into someone and eats up some guys. Now if he could only use it to give wounds back to his bodyguards, that would be cool.

6/10 - Expensive and will not give you the most benefit like some of the other choices will.

Swarm Lord
Here is an interesting choice. He is a super assault monster and gives your guys some neat abilities as they march into contact with the enemy. I really like the idea and the overall thought on his look, I just feel he is a bit too expensive. Still he is a beast in combat and with his 3 escorts walking by his side, he has a real good chance of getting somewhere. Screen him with warriors and have the warriors screened with guants and you got a really annoying death block that can move up and do some damage.

6/10 - Just too expensive to be viable for the army. There are better synapse choices that will save you points and let you get more punch for your army

Tyrant Guard
If you are running a walking Tyrant then you will be running 3 of these guys. Boneswords might be a good option as it will let you crush just about anything you hit. With the Swarm Lord look for these units to eat any of these "deathstar" units you see running around 40k. I know my Thunder Wolves will run away from this fat unit and hope to hurt something else.

8/10 - They have options that make them interesting. Wish the Tyrant were better to let this unit work better.

Now here we have something very interesting. This is definitely one of the better choices in the game, making your Termaguants scary, thus letting your other units do much more as the guants need to be dealt with before it becomes too late. Catalyst is great and something I would buy on this guy. You also want to add in regenerate too. The interesting thing of course is that if you take a Termaguant squad (Please buy lots and lots -GW) you can get one of these guys as a troops choice. This lets you take some other kind of HQ choice instead of filling up the 2 with these guys. This is pretty dang sweet and I give a big high five to Games Workshop for this. Also whatever the Tervigon has (Adrenal Glads, Toxin Sacs) the Termaguants get too. Plus you mix in the ability to "create" more Termagaunts to score with and you got a no brainer unit. I would probably also put Regenerate on this guy as well as look at him as the big brother to watch out for the poor Termaguants that are getting beat up upon.

This guy also has some of the best psychic powers. Catalyst will be your friend for sure. Use it and use it often. Frenzy is ok, but not something I would waste the points on. Dominate is alright and I am glad it is for free. So again, use Catalyst...often.

10/10 - These guys are the new "it" of the Nid codex.

Alpha Warrior
Now here is another really interesting choice. With the way to get the Tervigon pretty easily in an army, I think the Alpha Warrior might be the left fist for the one two HQ punch on the Nid Codex. I think a few of these guys might be a great choice to help your Warrior squad, as well as give you some extra hit you could need for the middle layer of Warriors you should be expecting in the upcoming months. I think making him a Sarge with a Lash Whip and Bonesword might be the way to go. Will see as the months lead on and we really start to play with the army and see how the gibbering horde really works.

They also are able to give their WS and BS to the warrior squad they join. This is pretty interesting as it lets you have a nice midrange move and assault force that is the back up for your first horde.

7/10 - Might go up as we start to test them more.

The Parasite of Mortrex
Very characterful choice here, and something I am not entirely sure about. You will most likely want him to be attached to some Gargoyles as it will allow it to use its movement fully. I have to wait and see if this monster ends up being useful. It is pretty expensive and I don't have much faith in ripper swarms so most likely he won't be used. But we will see. The biggest thing is, since he is a flying unit he can get close and use Shadow in the Warp to create some shenanigans for the Eldar and other psyker heavy armies.

5/10 - Not enough information to really figure out if this is going to be "good".

So there is the HQ slots for the Tyranid codex. I really think the Tervigons are where it is at and being able to take more then 2 really lets you do some dirty things in this codex. Of course the old standbys are just not where it is at as new figures generate new sales :). I personally will probably take one Hive Tyrant with 3 Guard, some Tervigons, and a mixture of MC's. The fluffy center will be Termaguants with some lovely Genestealer friends to come in from the side and ruin whatever party is going on. I hear they love spoiling your army's picnics and get all over your food and drinks...

Look for the next installment in a few days. I plan on going into the big pool of Elites we now have with this codex. They really seem to want to cram in as much "neat" stuff in the elites section, thus leaving you with some difficult choices on how to build your own world eating army.

Questions and comments go below! Shoot me an email to Below is my old Tyrant guard repainted in my new style for my army. Something tells me a lot of people are going to be wanted Tyranids painted in the very near future.

December 27, 2009

Pic of the Day 12-27-09

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Pic submitted by: Khorny

Labor relations in the 40th Millennia. Cap it!

~Your daily dose of tabletop fun! Enjoy. If you have an awesome shot you think would make a great BoLS pic of the day, email us. We love spectacle and characterful shots so lets see what you budding photographers can do!

The Art of War-hammer: Adeptus Titanicus Update 3

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"To know your Enemy, you must become your Enemy."

I've gotten quite a bit more done on Minus' Warhound. I haven't been able to get many completely up to date pictures, they will have to wait for Update 4 in a couple weeks. Here's a look at what I have so far.

Minus67's Warhound cabin interior was much more difficult than the Reaver's was.  He had glued each of the men in place before giving it to me.  I managed to get it done and I think the results, though not QUITE as nice as the Reaver, are still pretty good.  There are a couple details from the picture here that have been completed since the last update, for instance the gunman's goggles.

Most of the plasma blastgun is complete at this point.  I still need to do some highlights on the green as well as the bronze colored bits.  I chose the dark blue/violet as a contrast to bring the blue highlights out as I wanted something to really contrast and pop.  I'm considering expanding the brighter parts to cover more of the cooling coils, but I haven't made a final decision yet.

Here's the only picture here that is really current.  I never considered myself in the group of "Lucius" pattern fans, but I have to admit that painted up, even at 85% complete, it looks pretty bad ass.  Everyone can now see where I did the other blue/white stripes.  I think it adds a great deal to the overall look of the model.  I still need to put the second coat of green on most of the carapace and of course highlights on most of the model.  I also need to paint on the other symbols in various places.  I expect to be finished before the first of the year.  That is until the other two titans are done and I start the banners.

~What does everyone think so far?  I'm really liking the Legio Astraman scheme and I may stick with that when I get my Reaver later this year.

REAL WORLD: Bolters are Real!

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In other news... BOLTERS ARE REAL!!!

~How crazy is that thing, (and thanks to a sharp-eyed reader for pointing it out to us)!

WARMACHINE: January Launch Schedule

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OK, guys, the giant reboot for Warmachine MkII-Prime is NEXT WEEK!  here is the release schedule for January. 

Wednesday, January 6, 2010
PIP 1021 WARMACHINE: Prime MKII Soft Cover - $29.99
PIP 1022 WARMACHINE: Prime MKII Limited Edition Hard Cover - $44.99
PIP 31071 Cygnar Warcaster Commander Adept Nemo – 2010 (1 Model) - $11.99
PIP 33065 Khador Warcaster Kommandant Irusk – 2009 (1 Model) - $11.99
PIP 33072 Khador Warcaster The Butcher of Khardov – 2010 (1 Model) - $16.99
PIP 34068 Cryx Warcaster Pirate Queen Skarre – 2009 (1 Model) - $11.99
PIP 35029 Retribution Houseguard Halberdier Officer & Standard Bearer Unit Attachment (2 Models) - $15.99
PIP 35030 Retribution Houseguard Rifleman Officer & Standard Bearer Unit Attachment (2 Models) - $14.99
PIP 91034 WARMACHINE MKII Template Set - $9.99
PIP 91035 HORDES MKII Template Set - $9.99
PIP NQ28 No Quarter Magazine #28 - $7.50

Wednesday, January 20, 2010
PIP 31062 Cygnar Heavy Warjack Plastic Kit (1 Model) - $34.99
PIP 32061 Protectorate Heavy Warjack Plastic Kit (1 Model) - $34.99
PIP 32065 Protectorate Warcaster Feora, Priestess of the Flame – 2009 (1 Model) - $11.99
PIP 32069 Protectorate Warcaster The High Reclaimer – 2010 (1 Model) - $14.99
PIP 33063 Khador Heavy Warjack Plastic Kit (1 Model) - $34.99
PIP 34066 Cryx Helljack Plastic Kit (1 Model) - $34.99
PIP 91046 WARMACHINE MKII – 2010 Cygnar Deck - $18.99
PIP 91047 WARMACHINE MKII – 2010 Protectorate of Menoth Deck - $18.99
PIP 91048 WARMACHINE MKII – 2010 Khador Deck - $18.99
PIP 91049 WARMACHINE MKII – 2010 Cryx Deck - $18.99
PIP 91050 WARMACHINE MKII – 2010 Mercenaries Deck - $18.99

~Expect lots of reviews and coverage of the MkII rulebook, plastic Warjacks and more as soon as the BoLS crew get their hands on them.  It won't be long now.

40K NEWS: The Swarm Arrives!

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Lots of reports coming in from overseas of 1st hand views of the codex at long last:
Here are some confirmed morsels to keep you on the edge of your seat:

 Carnifex: WS:3 BS:3 S:9 T:6 W:4 I:1 A:4 Ld:7 Sv:3
Scary options such as the return of old-school bio-plasma which is now a 12" Plasma Cannon
Groups of 1-3 confirmed, +2 I when charging. Costed as Leman Russ Eradicator

Trygon: WS:5 BS:3 S:6 T:6 W:6 I:4 A:6 Ld:8 Sv:3
Its bioelectric field is a 12" S:5 AP:5 Assault 6 weapon.
It indeed deepstrikes and leave a marker behind that other tyranids can reserve through.
Costed as Baharroth.

Zoanthropes: WS:3 BS:4 S:4 T:4 W:2 I:3 A:1 Ld:10 Sv:5
Dual modes of fire are 24" S:5 AP:3 Assault 1 Blast, OR the 18" S:10 AP:1 Assault 1 Lance (move over Tau)
Unit sizes are 1-3 and they are Elites. Costed as a SM Predator.

Tyranid Warriors: WS:5 BS:3 S:4 T:4 W:3 I:4 A:3 Ld:10 Sv:4
Can be put in a landingspore, unitsize 3-9, costed as a CSM Termy.

SwarmLord: WS:9 BS:3 S:6 T:6 W:5 I:6 A:4 Ld:10 Sv:3
Causes Instant Death, Armed with quad boneswords, 4+ Invulnerable, Gives +1 to reserves.
Costed as a pair of Colossus.

~Thats just the tip of the iceberg folks.  Stuff is coming in hot and heavy now from eyewitnesses.  Expect lots of Nid goodness coming down the pipe.  The Swarm is here, ready your weapons, steel your will, and keep an eye on your wallet!  Follow along with even more developing news in the Lounge here.

December 26, 2009

Pic of the Day 12-26-09

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Guess who's coming to dinner? Cap it!

~Your daily dose of tabletop fun! Enjoy. If you have an awesome shot you think would make a great BoLS pic of the day, email us. We love spectacle and characterful shots so lets see what you budding photographers can do!

R.I.P. Brimstone

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Claude Monet: Charing Cross Bridge, The Thames 1903

Today we bring truly heartbreaking news to the wargaming community.  We have all lost one of the pillars of the the community, taken far to early.  Jon Wilson, aka Brimstone, one of the elder statesmen of Warseer, Portent before it, and a myriad other Warhammer forums had passed away suddenly at the age of 42.

News from Mr. Wilson's family:


I'm Sarah, Jon's sister (aka Brimstone). I'm sorry to tell you that Jon died last Sunday 20th December 2009. He had a heart-attack and it was very sudden.

I'm trying to get in contact with his friends to let them know. Please can you pass this on to anyone you think should know?

The funeral will be 1.40pm at West Hertfordshire Crematorium on Tuesday 5th January 2010.

If you have any questions or think I should speak to anyone in particular, please can you email me at


~The Bell of Lost Souls tolls but rarely for the mightiest of heroes among us, and it with a mix of  great sadness and thanks for Jon's tireless work for the wargaming community over the years that we ring it today.  Please leave your thoughts and condolances in the comments.

SNEAK PEEK: 2010 Games Workshop Teaser

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Look what Santa-GW left under the tree for everybody:

A little set of 3 teaser images for 2010.

~Let the speculation begin!

WFB REVIEW: Skaven Armybook, Part 3 of 3

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by Jordan Braun

In part 1 I looked over the troop choices. In part 2 I reviewed the characters and mount options. Finally, we are into the trinkets and the blasty stuff. Skaven have a good selection of items. Like most books there are some obvious choices and some obviously bad choices. Here I will help you make your decisions a little bit easier. After taking a look at some of the equipment I will tell you how to get the best out of those nasty Skaven spells and which ones you will probably never cast.

Fellblade: Gimmicky weapon. Probably not going to be in a standard tourney build. Some of the Aussie guys were playing with the idea of it on a seer combined with the spell death frenzy. I would leave it at home. 0/10
Warpforged, Blade of Nurglitch, Weeping Blade: Strength 4 is not going to put many wounds on the enemy these days. 0/10
Warlock Augmented: This is a solid weapon. I particularly like it on a plague priest. 9/10
Blade of Corruption: Risk vs reward here. Great if you don't roll 1's. 8/10
DwarfBane: Decent option if your tired of the name sword of might. 7/10
Warpstone Stars: You have to take an assassin and its shorter range then the 6th ed version. It is ok ,but, will cost you big points to field it. Could be fun in combo with skitterleap. 5/10
DoomRocket: This is a great investment just for the potential pain it can bring. 10/10
Brass Orb +DeathGlobe: Potential is there. But, short range and artillery dice hate me. 5/10
Both the suits of armor are not worth noting. However, the shield is! Most of these -1 attack items let you choose 1 model. This works on everybody that attacks you.
Shield of Distraction: 10/10
Foul Pendant: Wardsaves are always good to bad its just a 5...10/10
ShadowMagnet: This could really help out keeping the furnace or bell alive. Also, great for a priest in a unit of censor bearers. 10/10
Rival Hide Talisman: GREAT, could save your grey seer on top of the bell 10/10

Warpstorm, Warpscroll are to expensive and situational for one use 0/10
Power stones are better then Warpstone!
Scrying Stone is interesting , but, not game changing , good for furnace priest 6/10

Skavenbrew: fun and random, keep it away from low model count units because d6 will add up 8/10
Skalm: Huge for a bell seer in my opinion. Maybe a warlord that didn't buy other goodies.10/10
Pipes of Piebald: Better then causing fear!!! 10/10
Portents of VD: Situational and you have to be base to base. 4/10
Infernal Bomb: Useless 0/10
Smoke Bomb: If you take an assassin you should be taking the stars. 2/10
Warlock Optics: Good if you take the rifle. 7/10

Sacred banner of horned rat,Shroud of Dripping Death, Dwarf hide banner, Banner of the under empire: Trash 0/10

STORM BANNER: This is really the only banner you should be looking at. 10/10

Remember that only plague monks, stormvermin, and the bsb can take magic banners. Fitting in more then the storm banner seems difficult to me when I am building a skaven list because of that limitation. If you do have a 2nd unit of storm or plague consider: Plague, Superiority, or Scurrying banners as decent selections.

The Dreaded Thirteenth: Unless you play like you got a pair, rolling 6+ powerdice is probably not in your game plan. This is a good defensive spell to have handy for when your opponent rolls 5-6 on the miscast table.
Skitterleap: Ace spell to cast early if you want to march block. Fun to set up a stars assassin or doomrocket warlock. Can a character out of trouble if he is on foot.
Warp Lightning: Consider a lv1 warlock just for this. It really is the only long range magic threat skaven have for big monsters.
Howling Warpgale: Great against ballistic skill gunlines. Keeping a big creature on the ground is always a plus!
Death Frenzy: Cast this on GIANT RATS. Its amazing! Usefull in late game when you don't need all your ranks.
Scorch: Amazing RnF killer. It can easily trash a whole elf unit.
Cracks Call:Random range ,but, great for killing low initiative creatures. No look out sir from this spell that could give you game winning potential.
Pestilent Breath: It blows , but, gives a plague priest something to do when he is running towards the enemy or stuck in combat.
Bless with Filth: Poison is always fun, but, don't expect this to draw dispel scrolls.
Wither: Best spell in the skaven arsenal. It combines great with censor gas and if you can get multiple off you can easily kill any unit in the game.
Vermintide: Useful vs elves and units hiding out of line of sight.
Cloud of Corruption: Dangerous to cast, would probably not cast this unless it could win the game or your not surrounded by anything, but , big ranked skaven.
Plague: Always good and great vs elves. Cast it out of hotek range unit and hope it bounces 12" to the black guard. Can be hard for a priest to get off without a powerstone.

Wow, were done. Skaven troops, characters, mounts, spells, and items all broken down. Hit those top links if you missed the 1st or 2nd part. Any BoLS readers disagree? Did the Weeping Blade win your last game because you rolled a 6? The only spell you cast is the 13th? Stay tuned for my next article on Skaven where I will build a 2250 point army and a battle report. Jordan out! 
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