Jawaballs joins something special. Come win an army!


Well here it is, "The Great Storm Wardens Project"

We have gotten so much out of this hobby and our blogs that we decided to give back a bit and work together on something awesome, and give money to charity.

The end result will be an incredible painted army going to one of you, the WINNER of this drawing.

The Army.

The Storm Wardens are a new Space Marine chapter from the yet to be released Death Watch RPG. Together with Games Workshop, Fantasy Flight Games (Horus Heresy, Wings of War) has been developing the game which will be released this summer.

We approached the folks designing the Death Watch game while planning this project, and told them we were thinking of building a Storm Wardens army, and they loved the idea. They have been working with us in getting the look of the army just right and giving us some great unreleased fluff and imagery.

We are going to build a complete Storm Wardens Space Marine army with a decked out HQ, Marines, Veterans, Scouts, Terminators, and a bunch of vehicles, a massive army that any commander would be proud to field.

You will be able to see the army units come together and follow the army build progress through links to all the builders blogs on our "Storm Wardens" mini blog roll.

Who will be working on the army?

Thomas Wynn ( Wynn Studios)

Ron Saikowski (From the Warp)

Mister Justin (Secret Weapon Miniatures)

Mik (Miks Minis, Barter Bucket)

and us, Mike & John (Santa Cruz Warhammer)

Along with the blogger build team, we are going after some related hobby retailers to give up some loot to add to the army prize. Secret Weapon Miniatures is donating all the custom bases, and Chessex has already sent us the custom dice.

What can you do?

Well, you can give money to the cause. You can give to the fund at the top right of this page or any of the other participating bloggers, using PayPal or a credit card. Each dollar will also enter you in the free army grand prize drawing, the more you give, the better your chance of winning, and more money we can give to charity.

We will draw the winner in mid July.

What if I don't have any money, but I still want to help?

Dig around under the couch cushions or under the seat of your car, put on some dark sunglasses and sell pencils out of a cup on the street corner, or even sell some extra Warhammer minis on Ebay, then use that cash for a donation.

You can also help by linking to this project in your blog, telling your friends and other gamers, mention it at your gaming club or even posting about it in your favorite forums, this will help us get the most exposure we can, so we can raise more money for charity.

If you have a small business (or know someone who does) that might have a product to donate that would be great to add to this army, contact us about a feature during the build.

Why should I help out?

If you have ever read something on our blogs that you thought was cool, gave you a good idea, showed you how to do something better, downloaded a free drop pod template, used the Barter Bucket, or perhaps you even got something from us for free and you are feeling a bit guilty about it.... well, now is your chance to give something back, pay it forward, return a good turn.... well you know.

Oh yeah, and you could end up with an entire finished army, by giving $1 to the Storm Wardens Project.

Where does the money go?

The money will be a gift from us to Doctors Without Borders, and actually help people. We chose Doctors without Borders because their cause is a global pursuit to help people in need, where ever help is needed most, and they have a good track record with getting the $ where it does the most good.

So there you have it. I hope you are all as exited about this as we are, its been tough keeping it a secret.

So.......who wants a new army?

John Mike

That was the official announcement post from John and Mike at Santa Cruz Warhammer who have been planning this whole thing.  When I got the email inviting me to join this all star team of blogger painters, it took me all of .2 seconds to send my reply. Absolutely! After some of the details were banged out in the group emails, I finally figured out my role in this thing. 

I will be painting a 10 man tactical squad with a Rhino, and The Company Champion from the Honor Guard! Here is a picture of the Sergeant from the Tactical squad Work in Progress:

With all of these talented guys, I know I will be hard pressed to produce work worthy of the honor bestowed to me, but I think will hold my own! I am definitely packing my A game. 

Just to clarify some details. I have created a donation button at the top right of my blog. Click the button and use paypal to donate as much as you want. For every dollar you donate, you will get one entry into the drawing. There is no limit to the number of entries you can make. Donate 100 dollars, and your name will be entered 100 times. Easy! The army will be a well balanced Space Marine force of around 1850 points. 

If you are going to donate more then one dollar, please do it all at once. Paypal takes a good amount of every transaction. Donating one dollar will only bank us about .65c. But the fee does not go up with the total of the transaction. So donating 20.00 will get us 19.65.  Got it?

Check the other participants out to see what they are working on and to see Work in Progress pics. Also check back here for more!

I will update this post as more information becomes clear.

More to come...


This week on Jawaballs Live!

Tonight on Jawaballs Live! I will be putting some finishing touches on my Space Hulk Terminator Librarian. and working on finishing up the rest of my terminators.

But this week's show is being pushed back to starting at 7pm EST. This week the Jawa-wife has some business to attend to so I have to start later.  Sorry Euros!  I will probably get the camera up and running pretty early though and will be popping in and out, but have to commit to the baby first!  I will be back to my regular start time next week.

Coming up... I am still working on trying to get Fritz to make a guest appearance. Also, I am planning live shows from both Gamesday and Bolscon!  Gonna be a great summer.  Jawaballs

Blood Angels Unit Review: Assault Terminators

Today I want to talk about Blood Angels Terminators, more specifically, Assault Terminators.  The most glaring and stupid failure of the Blood Angels PDF was the refusal to give them the 3+ storm shields that are used in the Space Marine codex, saying that some chapters would use different wargear as an excuse for laziness.  The updated PDF came out after Codex: Space Marines and would have taken no time at all to fix. Instead, the BA were left with a 4+ storm shield that only worked in close combat while generic marines used 3+ storm shields that worked vs close combat and shooting attacks.  What a crock!  Why would the most assaulty Space Marine chapter use inferior assault gear?  

Well thankfully that was fixed with the new BA codex.  I had always maintained that if they ever switched the shields over, I would play a terminator squad coming out of a Land Raider Crusader. Well Happy Birthday Jawaballs!  

Why do I like terminators? Well, without a doubt, the army that has repeatedly given me the most trouble has been one packing T hammer termies.  They are simply hard to kill.  Put them into a LRC with a couple of buffing Independent Characters and blammo... Death Star!  But it's not just effectiveness. Terminators are some of the coolest Space Marine models to play. I like Land Raiders too.  All of this made the decision a no brainer.  I finally just primed and started painting the LRC and Termy squad I bought over a year ago!  

Above you can see one of my terminators Work in Progreess.  

Terminators in the BA codex are an Elite choice that do cost a bit more then their generic brethren. The unit costs the same, but you have to pay 5 points a piece for the storm shields.  The unit I am using consists of 4 th/ss and 1 lightning claw.   Why so many storm shields? Well in combat they are way over redundant. Plus the TH reduces them down to Initiative 1.  Normally this would result in bad things for a squad consisting most of th/ss, but not so in my case. I have attached 3 independent characters to the squad, all of whom attack in I 5 and 6 on the charge.  The ICs and lightning claw termy give enough high initiative attacks to kill just about any squad they charge before they even get to strike back. Then the hammers finish off any survivors.  But why so many hammers over claws?

Well, it is my experience that the Land Raider gets immobilized or knocked out early.  People hate them and know that they have to stop it.  With so many speeders, bikes, and other melta units, it is hard to keep em alive.  More often than not, the termies end up hoofing it, and taking LOTS of AP1 and 2 heavy weapons fire.  That is where the storm shields come in.  With so many ICs to deliver high initiative attacks, the shields are there to make sure the squad survives to get across the table.  

Now here is some useful stuff.  

Play against lots of Eldar? Have no idea how to take down fast moving vehicles? Well assault the crap out of them!  "But Jawa, you need a 6 to hit vehicles that moved 12". Sure you do.  That is why I have a chaplain packed into my squad.  For 130 points taking up an HQ slot, the reclusiarch is the way to go. With so many attacks, you are guaranteed a few 6s, and the best part is that the Chaplain reroll works against vehicles.  So take all those non6s and roll them again!  Now all of your regular attacks are wounding on a 5 or 6, and the hammers are auto glancing on 1.  (I have a priest in the squad who gives furious charge.)  I'm not sure but the lightning claw may even work on failed rolls to wound!  Eldar players like to put their transport access points up against the edge of the board or other tanks too, that means it is easier to trap the occupants. I pulled it off in Hard Boys!  Ohh so satisfying. 

In actual close combat, the shields are a boon.  Most squads in assault are usually packing at least a power weapon or fist.  If you are good, you can use the storm shield guys to suck up those shots. Going up against a squad with ICs attached? Throw the shields up against the enemy ICs while your own ICs assault and slaughter the unit.  Odds are your termies will make most of the dangerous saves from the IC while your characters kill the squad and do not have to make any saves themselves.  Then, if the enemy IC survives the hammers, he still has to make a leadership test for losing combat, or take saves from being fearless.  He will probably go down too under the weight of the assault.  

The rest is pretty straight forward for terminators. They have some weaknesses. They are larger models, on big bases, so are hard to hide. That means they will almost always be taking shots if they are caught on the table and not in combat. It also means they have a hard time maneuvering around the table.  Once the sheet hits the fan, the table becomes cluttered with difficult and dangerous terrain. You are pretty much assured that your terminators will be assaulting through terrain.  Their lack of Frag grenades hurts them, leaving even the lightning claws attacking last.  But wait... I only have one LC terminator in my squad... Ahhh Ha! Welcome to the last reason why I take 4 hammer termies.  Unless they are assaulting out of a Land Raider, all terminators go last no matter what if attacking through terrain.  Since you are going last, might as well have most of your boys packing big boom sticks!  

For more on how my terminators perform, check out this article!

More to come...


Tonight on Jawabals Live!

Tonight on Jawaballs Live I will be talking about my experience at Hard Boys over the weekend, as well as working on some Blood Angels Terminators using Army Painter Dragon Red.  Don't miss it!  6pm EST. Just click the picture to the right of me and the big Space Marine.


Hard Boys round one report!

This weekend I attended my first Hard Boys tournament.  I drove out to Uknown Comics and Games in Scranton, PA.  Why did I drive two and a half hours to play in Hard Boys when I could have simply gone about 45 minutes? The loot baby! Unknown Comics and Games was celebrating their first Hard Boys tournament by offering up a complete 1850 point army for first place.  In addition to the regular GW prizes.  With the Grey Knight codex looming, I had to go for the toys.

So I got there and was greeting the guys and pulling out my Blood Angels, when I noticed a scary sight... Wave Serpents and Falcon Grav Tanks.  Lots of them.  UGH!  Over a third of the participants in this tournament were Eldar scum.  This was not going to be a fun day at all.  I was not entirely afraid of Eldar in the 2nd two missions. I knew they were straight up punch each other in the face, and I could go toe to toe with their fire power.  But game one would be the tough one.  Mech Eldar is tough to beat in a 5 objective mission.  They don't usually win, but they almost never lose.  That was my fear. If I drew mechdar in game one, that would pretty much eliminate me from contention for the loot.

Sure enough... game one had me up against 4 or 5 wave serpents and 3 Falcon Grav tanks, a seer council, lots of fire dragons and Eldrad.  Oh no.

I didnt get pics or vid because we were on the clock and I didn't need the distraction of a camera, so I will summarize the three games I played.

In this game, while playing for the objectives, I treated it as a kill point mission. First order of business was to knock down his cursed grav tanks.  One treat I managed to enjoy was getting the drop on his Seer Council.  Winning first turn, and scout moving my baal preds got them both up into his face before he could use his powers.  By the end of the turn, all he had left was a couple of warlocks that I later finished off with my terminators.  The rest of the game would be 5 rounds of him zooming around in a big arc around the table, and me staying pretty much stationary and shooting, like you see in all the WWII documentaries of anti aircraft gunners on the deck of a battle ship.  Other highlights of the game were me assaulting Eldrad, twice, and breaking him under my boot heals, and catching a serpent loaded with Dire Avengers with its tail up against the board edge. I completely surrounded it with my Death Star squad, and destroyed it on the assault. The squad inside had no place to go, not even room to emergency disembark, thanks to some precise arrangement of my models.  That was satisfying.

In the end though, it was all for nothing.  I had almost my entire force on the table. He had a Serpent with no guns, two half dead Dire Avenger squads and a couple of war walkers. I killed over 2 grand of his 2500 victory points.  I was holding all five objectives.  Then he got his last turn in... he claimed one by blasting away the 5 marines that were on it.  He blasted away the 5 marines holding another, then used his serpent to contest two of mine.  Stupid tank. I killed 6 of the damn things!  No easy feat. The game ended in a draw, giving me a grand total of 3 battle points.   Drat.  I have to say it was a great game. We both knew what he was going to do, and it was a game about me trying to stop him from doing it. I failed.  Those xenos skimmers are tough to kill! Well Done Frank, I will also add that his army is beautiful. One of the nicest Eldar armies I have ever seen.  I wish I had taken pics.

Game two landed me on a table vs a Foot eldar list.  He would face the full fury of the Blood Angels. Collin was a young guy playing what looked like a fun to play cobbled together eldar infantry army.  Just the army you don't want to play against mine.  He had a prism, a couple of Wraithlords, an Avatar, a foot seer council, banshees, scorps, spiders, rangers, dire avengers, guardians, bikes and vypers... you name it!  But sadly for Collin, I was into the assault on the top of turn two at three different areas of his army.  My first round was spent moving into position, and killing his avatar.  The second turn saw me assault his forces with 3 assault squads and my terminators, multiple assaulting almost every unit he had on the table at once.  The game was over by the end of my turn, top of 3. Collin was a great sport about it though!  My red thirst sated for the time being, I would now have a long wait to find out who my third opponent would be.

Round three had me across the table from none other then Autarch Andrew.  In our last meeting, I killed his orc army to the last grubby model by the end of turn 4.  This mission, a high stakes kill point mission, would have me facing his mechdar list. Yet another game vs Eldar, and in a KP mission against impossible to kill grav tanks.  Sigh...

Andrew got first turn, and I failed to seize it even using the Corbulo reroll.  He opened up with a devastating salvo of shots, killing both of my Baal Preds, and immobilizing a Razorback and my LAND RAIDER!  He then smugly stood there and smiled at me making wise cracks about payback.

Time for some good ole fashioned Fritz trickery!  The first thing I had to do was kill his seer council as they would wipe out all of my transports (worth 3 KP a piece) while staying out of range of my terminators who were marching into the middle of the table. So I moved up one of my killy ac/lc predators and opened up with it on a falcon, actually immobilizing it, and definitely getting his attention.  I made sure to leave one of my razors with an assault squad and priest in range of the tank though.  Out of sight, out of mind.  Andrew was so focused on staying away from my termies that he forgot about the squad in the razorback.  His hunger for a kill point, and anger at watching his tank get immobilized brought him into assault against my pred.  Sure enough, he destroyed it, but being unable to consolidate away sealed his seer council's fate.  On my turn I sprung the trap!  My assault squad disembarked and charged the council, pulling them all into the middle of the table.  They would not escape me this time. With no power weapon in the squad, all of my boys would get feel no pain.  They did not have to win, just hold.  Sure enough, I locked them up in assault.  The next turn, my Librarian denied him his Fortune, and the terminators made it over to join the assault.  Die biker witches, die.

But the game was not over yet.  I was taking the lead in kill points, but he was taking advantage of my weak transports and shooting away. Plus I had one more nut to crack. He had a banshee bomb with Yriel.  I would need to bait them out into the open. I disembarked Corbs and ran him and his squad across the table to assault a skimmer.  With little hope of destroying it, I knew the effort was futile, but that was not the goal. The goal was to get his banshees out of their serpent, and in the open. Yet again, Andrew bit on my gambit. Of course he assaulted and killed the squad, but that left him exposed to my ferocious round of shooting.  Andrew even scoffed at my chances to kill the squad since I would only get one assault cannon into range. Well he was given a lesson on just what Fast Vehicle means when it is coupled with Twin Linked Assault Cannon, and a couple of auto cannon preds with las cannon sponsons across the table.  All I really had to do was kill most of them and reduce their effective as a unit.  I opened up my guns, and when the smoke settled, there were only 3 banshees left and Yriel.

Now the game would come down to mopup. In order to chance at the top prize, I would have to beat him by double kill points I believe. But that was not good enough for me.  I wanted more blood!  By the end of the game, all he had left on the table was a serpent with a few dire aveners hiding in the woods, and a single war walker.  The highlights of the game were exploding a serpent loaded with dire avengers, then having them fail leadership at the end of the shooting and run off the table, and beating Yriel in assault and chasing him off the table.  Better luck next time Andrew! Now get some guns on those walkers, and make sure your skimmers are on flying stands!

So I did my part to make up for my game one draw. I scored maximum possible points on the rest of the day, killing almost all of my opponents available victory points. Out of a possible 7500 victory points on the day, I scored 7022.  Of my three opponents, only 478 victory points of models survived the day.  Sadly, I needed a lot of help to win the loot, and I did not get it.  I took third overall though and will go on to the next round.

I did learn a couple of changes I need to make to my list for round two however!  Expect to see an even harder list as I make my attempt for round two glory.


Hidden Images in the Blood Angels Codex Cover?

I was looking at the Blood Angels codex today and noticed something very interesting. If you look really close, you can see a hidden image!  Observe.

See it?  look closely!

Here is a closeup.

There he is, picking over the corpses. Even in the 40k universe they are disgusting creatures. Tricky little bugger.

More to come...


List testing against great opponents

Blood Angels Honor Guard by Jawaballs

More from DocRailgun.

+++ Transmission Begins +++

Recently I played a couple of great games at Tower Games in Minneapolis, and I thought I would describe them in general.

The first was a 1500 point game against Red5Angel and his Plague Marines. He had a pretty good-looking list (and miniatures) consisting of 3 scary-tough squads in Rhinos, a lascannon daemon-Predator, and Typhus with some always-scary Chaos Terminators.

I was playing 5 RAS squads with a melta and a power sword each in Las-Razs, 2 Baals with heavy bolters sponsons and storm bolters, 2 Librarians (hiding in Razorbacks with their Battle Brothers) and a Whirlwind to round out the points.

I reserved everything, while he moved immediately to claim objectives. My units came on piecemeal, but I was able to whittle down his transports with all the lascannons, then his troops with the Whirlwind and Baal dakka. Things looked touch and go near the end, though... Typhus and his Terminators appeared on my left and threatened to contest an objective. Though they flamed the heck out of my RAS squad there, the game ended before the Terminators could get there or kill off the other half of the squad.

It was a great game, but there was probably too much BA firepower that could have scooted away from trouble if the Plague marines had given chase. I can see why he wanted to hunker down on objectives... with T5 and 3+ armor saves, why not? Red5 was great to play against too.
Next was a 1750 point game with Kroxitau (http://kroxitau.blogspot.com/). I should open with a disclaimer: I learned after the fact that I cheated, though I didn't mean to. I ended up with 4 Heavy Support choices, which was of course would make my list illegal. So, Kroxitau won the game. Luckily, my Whirlwind didn't do much except be a delicious, delicious Kill Point for the foul Xenos.
He had a lot of typical Tau scary shooting ... his list was:
2 x 3 Deathrains
6 FW
2 x 10 Kroot
2 x 8 Pathfinders (Fish have Dpods and 2 seekers each)
2 Piranhas with Fusion Blasters, Dpods,TA, 1 FD, 4 seekers
2 Broadsides with 2 shield drones, Bonding knife and 1 TL
1 Railhead (normal kit plus 2 seekers)
1 Skyray
He has a much better report than I do... with video, even! So, I'll just offer up a few observations.
I did reserve everything, hoping that I would be able to avoid the all-out nuking of my tanks. I did, but not really for the reasons I'd hoped. Most of my armor came on on Turn 2, and was able to alpha-strike the scariest things. This was a good thing, because I my later turns of shooting were abysmal. I foolishly left vehicles on the edges of the board where hungry Kroot swarmed all over them... I lost a Whirlwind and an AC Predator to the chicken-heads.
His units were hard to kill, especially when a vehicle needed 3 kills to finish off (with the addition of drones). If he had hidden the drones the weight of his firepower (even after my initial onslaught) would have made it impossible for me to catch up in kill points. If my guns hadn't come in en masse and so early it also would have been a different game. That second wave of shooting (his suits) did a lot of damage, and would be devastating to pretty much any army.
I was definitely out-thought and out-generaled, and it was pretty much luck and just the pure goodness that is the BA list that saw me through (though as I said, since I cheated, I didn't win after all).
I was surely too excited about blasting away instead of playing smart. Hopefully the Black Rage won't take me next time.

Kroxitau was great to play with, and I hope to be bashing the heads of his fish-men soon!
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To find more list building advice, CHECK HERE.

Grey Knight Rumors: Incoming Storm Raven!

Based on reliable sources, the Storm Raven will be making it's debut this September, along with plastic GK terminators and a plethora of other models.  What does this mean for all of our sweet little conversions? Were they a waste of time? Hell no, we had fun didnt we?

The new model will be a huge boon for GW.  Blood Angels and Grey Knights were two hugely anticipated armies, perhaps more so with the GKs.  Giving the GKs the storm raven was a stroke of genius to increase their hype even more.  They will sell a boat load. Since every one who has ever played Dawn of War the video game absolutely loves Grey Knights, every fan will be dieing to build an army. I sure will! I started 40k with Daemonhunters (because I liked GKs from DoW)  I have since sold off the models I collected, but a new codex and model line will surely get me back into the fold!  Plus I have been looking for an alternative to my Blood Angels for a while.  GKs will give me that push I need.  What about Dark Eldar? I will definitely be making a DE army when that book comes out too.

Until then, this little beauty pictured above is available for sale.  Comment here if you are interested!


To build a Hard Boys list.

I have been working furiously the last couple of weeks putting together a list for Hard Boys. This is the first time I will be entering the tournament and want to at least not get my ass kicked. First off, the place I will be attending mistakenly announced the wrong missions. They held a tournament a month ago, in which they used the missions they were intending to use for Hard Boys, but failed to realize that GW publishes and announces their own HB missions. The correction was announced a few days ago. So I had been putting together my list to win those missions, and now have to rethink the entire thing.

Looking at the actual HB missions, one glaring truth jumps out. Claiming objectives will be key, not just contesting. One of the missions requires you to claim a substantial amount of objectives more than your opponent in order to get the massacre. That means troops. GW wants troops in HB.

To that end, I am happy to oblige! Enter my Hard Boys 2010 Bowling Ball of Doom.

Librarian, Terminator armor, storm shield, blood lance, Str 10 power

Assault Termies 4x th/ss 1x LC
Land Raider Crusader, mm, ea

Priests x2, power weapon, terminator armor with pw.

Furioso dread with blood claws, ea

5x RAS in Razors with 2x asscan, 1x HF, 1 las/plas, 1 TLLC and a smattering of squad upgrades

2 baal preds 1x asscan, 1x flamestorm

3 predator tanks, all with AC and LC sponsons

No major surprise here! Plus it is pretty much standard for a new BA HB list. The place I am going to pretty much knows I am packing las preds, baals, a Land Raider of death and razor squads. The LRC with termies and independent characters are the bowling ball. Straight forward, easy to use and devastating.

The rest of the list though will require a bit of finesse to use properly. The 12" move and shoot will be in full effect. My list as written before only had 3 troops squads in it and was packing a lot more punch. But I have to say that this one has just as much pain!


Keep the objectives clustered:
If I can get them all in the same spot of the table, so that I can roll my LRC right into the middle of them and clear them off with the death squad, then my boys can move in with the razors and hold them.

Shoot shoot shoot!:
I am packing a LOT of fire power. The first turn in all three games will be necessary, especially vs Guard. I need to get the jump on any Valkrys and crack open chimeras before they get to move, stranding their contents on the other side of the table. Provided that I have first turn, and don't get seized, I can lay down a completely punishing amount of death on turn one, then follow it up with overpowering assault.

Put them to the sword:
After I soften him up with heavy weapons fire, I have to slam my land raider and terminators down his throat. But this is a delicate game of timing. Move the LRC up too far and it is exposed to his melta shots and gets popped. Wait too long and it is 800 points of waste. I absolutely must get them into assault by top of turn 3 every turn. Top of 2 is better.

Target Priority:
Of course Valkries, IG tanks and other things that can hurt my tanks die first. Squadrons are better, that way a single tank can hurt multiple targets. So I will take down any squadroned units first. A single predator can get 4 penetrations vs a squad of valkries, killing them all. Speeders and bikes go next of course. Etc.

Divide and Destroy:
Most armies will be massive. Mine is fairly big itself. That means they will usually span the entire deployment zone. Keeping my army clustered on one end can eliminate half of his army for the first couple of turns, while I destroy the other half.

Reserve them all:
Lost the die roll? Full reserves. I have a huge advantage in that I can drive in from the table edge, and fire all my guns. With my driving range, I can also move far enough to get my short ranged weapons into range to hurt. With my speed I can still cross the table and get into assault range quickly. Full Reserves is not absolute though. It depends on the enemy. IG Leaf Blower lists require it. They will blast me off the table if I let them get a round of shooting off before I get mine. The rest it depends. Not a lot of other armies can pack so devastating an amount of heavy weapons. Plus there is always the chance that I can seize!

Thats it. I know most Hard boys players are keeping their lists close to the cuff. But why bother. I pretty much know exactly what I will be facing, and they all know just about the entire contents of my list. I might as well post it up to help you guys out and maybe get some input. Besides, how do you know this is not just misinformation and I am actually playing an all jump pack army...

Check out more of my list ideas HERE.


More to come...


Time to remake my blogroll. I want your URL!

I lost my blogroll, so I need to input all of those URLs again. Can you guys help me out? Comment to this post if you previously had, or would like to have your blog or website added to my blogroll. Thanks guys! Jawaballs

Oh and please be sure to add me to yours!

Collegio Librarium - The BA's Seer Council?

Here is a little fun from Doc Railgun!

+++ Tranmission Begins +++
I was planning out some Apocalypse lists, and I had intended to add some Librarians with jump packs, and said to myself "why what happen if we put them all in one unit?" So, I looked deeper into how much I could bling up this BA version of the Seer Council.
For 2 decked-out Baal Predators less than 3000 points, one could field 3 of the following (plus 1 Dante) -
5 jump Librarians
a jump Sanguinary Priest
a jump Chaplain
What does this unit do?
Well, it can Deep Strike and reroll failed Reserve rolls when doing so - it only scatters 1d6" (or with Dante, does not scatter at all). It then can fire 5 Blood Lances (4d6" S8 Ap1 Lance). If it survives the onslaught of fire this unit WILL take, it then can move 12" and assault 6", making 20 WS5 I5 S10 power weapon attacks, and 8 WS5 I5 S5 attacks (4 of them power weapon attacks). If Dante has joined the squad he adds 6 W6, I7, S5 power weapons attacks of his own. All these reroll failed "to hit" rolls, all the models are Fearless and have the FNP rule (so, pretty much an extra 4+ save vs saveable wounds). Further, if Dante is with the squad it can use the Hit and Run special rule to escape combat and assault again next turn, and the enemy unit(s) assaulted could possibly by WS1 if they fail their LD check).

Of course, this is all very expensive, a 3K Apocalypse army would just be 3 of these, Dante, and 2 Baal Predators or The Sanguinor, but assuming they make their Psychic checks, they have an excellent chance of putting out a devastating volley of fire. If they're not destroyed immediately they're likely to wipe out any other unit on the table, even Superheavies or Titans. If the BAs had a way to give entire units Fleet, they'd be totally insane.

Does it have a downside? The cost, of course, and there aren't a whole lot of Invulnerable saves there. This unit also dies to high-S template weapons, as most of the models are T4. The Blood Lance and Sword of Sanguinius (S10 close combat) attacks are of course contingent on making 5 LD-based tests, but that shouldn't be too difficult with Ld10 all around.

So, what do you all think? Can we use some of Fritz' Jetbike Seer Council tactics for this unit, or is it just too expensive for how fragile it is in the Apocalypse environment? Is killing 1 Titan or some other huge beast worth around a thousand points?

+++ Transmission Ends +++

Work in progress, hand painted Dark Angels Chapter Banner

Here is a WIP pic of my newest Hand Painted Full Sized banner. I will be writing up a step by step summary when it is finished. Enjoy! Jawaballs

Blood Angels Tactics: The 12" AssCan.

Image credit goes to Ron at From The Warp. Thanks Ron for the volume of fantastic stuff you put into the interwebs.

After the Sanguinary Priest, the second most dynamic element in the new Blood Angels codex is the advent of the fast moving tank combined with the Twin Linked Assault Cannon. TL asscans are tremendously dangerous, with the ability to mow down infantry, and kill Land Raiders! But they are notoriously short ranged. However, the Blood Angels have fixed that problem by mounting them on just about every thing!

First of all, the Baal Predator:
This juicy baby has been upgraded beyond a BA players wildest dreams. First of all, they dropped the Over Charged Engine random roll and gave it a flat Fast Vehicle rule instead. Now it can always move as if it is a fast tank. That means it can move 6" and fire all of it's guns, 12" and fire one main and all defensive, and up to 18" flat out, and 24" if you happen to be on a road. (I have never been able to play on a road to date.) In addition to the 'fast' designation, they were also given the 'scout' universal special rule, and moved from the Heavy Support classification over to Fast Attack.

It is the combination of all of these rules changes that shifted the way I use my Baal Predators. With the PDF, I used to use them as dakka dakka gun platform, outfitting them with heavy bolters and storm bolters as well as extra armor. They were devastating to infantry, belching out 12 shots a turn after moving 6", provided that they did not stall out.

But now? It is all different. Sure I can outfit them with the dakka shots and use them the same, but the consistently fast tank feature has made them much more reliable in the moving phase and given them a different role in my army. Now every turn I move them 12" and fire the asscan. I dropped all of the upgrades, taking just the base tank. There is no need for heavy bolters if I am moving the tank 12" every turn!

The chief instigator in this change of tactics for me is the Scout special rule. Now the BP can get a free scout move before the game begins, or use Flank March to enter the game from reserves, from the side of the table. Both of these applications of the scout rule convert the BP from a fearsome troop hunter, into a good troop hunter, and fearsome tank killer. The scout move and flank march option allow the BP to easily get in behind enemy armor, taking 4 twin linked, strength 6 rending shots at back armor. This allows you to open up a war from two different angles, creating a cross fire effect. A great example of how this is useful is a recent game vs an Eldar force comprised of 3 serpents and 3 falcons. My BPs scout moved 18" right to the back line, right next to the clustered skimmers. While I was still only getting side shots, what this did was force the Eldar player to remain stationary until he dealt with the BP threat. Moving out would expose his vulnerable rear armor to either the BPs or my other tanks on my side of the board. This allowed me to advance and corner the Eldar player, taking away his primary advantage of speed for a couple of turns.

The flank march option is equally useful, or even more so in some circumstances, however it is highly dependent on a random die roll. The die roll determines which turn they enter play on, and which side they are able to come onto the table on. In at least half of the games I have played flanking preds, they came onto the wrong side of the table. Even their speed could not make up for being 5 feet away from the action! But, if you are able to get them in on the side of the table you want, you will almost certainly get those prized back shots on tanks, or on weak troops holding vital objectives.

All of this said, the most important strength of the new Baal Predator is that 12" asscan. Most people simply have no clue of just how far 12", and it is essentially increasing the range of your asscan from 24" to 36". A hidden advantage of this is that it protects the tank from assault. Assaulters need 6s to hit the tank after it moves 12". This greatly reduces the effectiveness of nids and other assault dependent forces while giving you a mobile wall of armor that has some serious teeth.

What happens when your TLAC is finally blown off? Well, now you have an armor 13 guided ramming missle! All this for the Wal-Mart Rollback cost of 115 points.

How do you best use the 12" asscan? Well, you pack as many as you can into your army. Razorbacks benefit from this, though they are not as durable. Also, Land Raider Crusaders can reap the benefit as well! You can move 12", machine spirit your TLAC, and belch out a squad of terminators.

A smartly designed army will have half a dozen 12" asscans, zooming all over the table, and spewing death upon whatever it desires.

More to come...


Black Templars banner!

Here is my black templars banner. This is a test post for new blog template featured post widget.


New project work in progress!

First of all, don't forget to catch my weekly live broadcast tonight on ustream!

I wanted to share a few pictures of work in progress.

First up is my Chaplain Lemarte model. I was dieing for an excuse to paint him and it was a no brainer when I decided to use a reclusiarch in my army. This model is beautiful and was pretty easy to paint.

Also I have a Blood angels terminator sanguinary priest. I used the terminator chaplain model, but switched him up a bit. I used the t hammer and s shield bits for arms. On the right arm I used a power weapon and hand from the Death Company box set. On the shield arm I cut the hand off from a tactical marine left arm and glued it in place, then used the grail from Space Hulk. This is a work in progress, so I obviously need to work on the scrolls and other details, but I am happy so far, especially with the skull.

Finally here are some pictures of my newest banner commission, The Dark Angels Chapter Banner!

I will update and talk about the banner later.
Crap, time is up. More to come!


Ugh, playing with new layout...

Patience please! I am in the process of reformating my blog. :)

Cover save madness?

In a recent game against a good player and very nice guy, I encountered an issue with cover saves. I thought I would open it up to discussion here. No offense to you big C. I just wanted to get some input!

Here is the situation. For most of the game, my opponent was shooting at my tanks from across the board, over terrain and whatnot. Every time I asked him if the stuff in between granted cover saves, his answer was no after getting down and looking down the gun sights. No problem, game on! Then he started putting his speeders directly in front of his tanks, in between my tanks and his. Now, a speeder is just about the same hight as the turret on a predator. Again, my requests for cover saves were denied. Finally, one of the shots was so questionable that I went around the table and looked for myself and sure enough... in my opinion, over 50% of the facing of my tank was obscured by the speeder. Looking down the top of the barrel, you could see just over the bottom of the smoke stacks on my predator. He claimed that he could see more then 50, argument ensues, he gets down and directs me to look down the side of the barrell, not the top, that will give me more of the target etc. Blah blah.

Sure, it was close. Short of getting a digital photograph from the barrel of the auto cannon and using a computer to give a definitive answer as to just how much of the tank is visible, there was no real way to answer it. It was that close, and when I play, I would always grant the cover save. But my opponent still refused, at which point I got angry, told another guy to get lost who was throwing in his unrequested two cents (sorry Burt), then out of frustration invoked the rule where if it is unclear whether or not the model is 50% obscured then it is a 5+ save. My opponent continued to disagree even with that, and I rolled a 3 so it mattered not what so ever.

What is the big deal? This is just an example of things we always encounter in 40k. After the call in question, I realized he had been doing it all game with las cannon razorbacks across the table. The first 4 or 5 shots I just shrugged off, the next was at a tank that was almost entirely behind a ruined building, then this speeder incident. It seemed his denial of cover saves was part of his strategy, as was his shooting under his speeders with well practiced angles. It does not matter in pickup casual games which is what this game was, but in tournaments, if it seems a little wonky, it probably is. It is good sportsmanship to take his word for it, but at what point do you get fed up and go have a look for yourself? And am I a poor sport for flatly disagreeing with him and invoking the 5+ save rule? I know that rule encourages guys to always argue a cover save, therefore always getting a 5+ even if it is not even close at all... How do you guys play cover saves? Do you grant them easily or are they something only granted if 50% can be proven with a laser caliper.

On another note, I wanted to commend my opponent on doing something I have never seen before! He had 11 or 12 small base models inside a Land raider crusader. The gun sponsons were on the front facing doors, leaving the back doors available to disembark, as well as the front ramp. In front of the left door I had a terminator in close combat with a couple of models, blocking that one. On the right door was a tank eating up a lot of room, and there was lots of space in the front, which happened to be in assault range for my thunderhammer death squad. I popped the land raider with Blood Lance, forcing the models inside to disembark, and I chuckled to myself as he was going to have to get them out right into the jaws of my blood hungry terminators. Oh was I wrong! Using the 2" deployment from the back doors of the LR, he managed to get almost every model behind the damn thing! It was a tight fit, but he managed to deply them all out of the reach of my assault squad by measuring that 2" over the back of the land raider as the crow flies. I thought it was funny and was not in the mood to debate, so after looking at the distances congratulated him. He then assaulted my terminators with that squad and wiped them out on his turn. It was a bunch of space wolf close combat dudes with an couple of special characters. I didnt stand a chance getting charged! :)

Now the question. Since my model was directly in front of that side door, was he allowed to disembark out of it at all since he would have been passing within an inch of my model in order to do so? I didnt bother bringing up the question then because my head was already spinning from the cover save debate. He was able to place models 2" away from it (behind the land raider), and keep them 1" away from mine, but could those models go out through that door at all? It is something I will certainly employ with my own land raider if the need ever arises!

A couple of other things I realized during this game. No, sanguinary priests do NOT have two wounds. For some reason I have been playing them with two since the new codex came out... maybe that is because Corbulo has two or something? Also, I got myself confused with movement. I was mistakenly, and temporarily I might add under the impression that when moving a squad in the movement phase you had to move them all in coherency, so after each model moves it has to be within 2" of another that has already moved. (this is the case with assault by the way) The answer to the question is no, you can move two models in a squad so that they are 10" apart and so long as at the end of moving, you have chained the rest of the squad between them, you are fine.

Why was I confused? Honestly it has been so long since I actually moved a squad that was not assaulting that I mixed up the rules! It is funny how we absolutely know a rule, but still mess it up. :)

Ahh well.

The game itself was very enjoyable. It came down to turn 6 and he tank shocked onto my base objective, denying mine and controlling his. Half way through the game I realized I was not going to be able to contest his objective, so switched to defensive mode and took down all but one of his tanks and speeders that could threaten me... and of course it got in. I failed to pop it with my meltagun, so had to assault it with 10 marines and a priest and no fist. It moved 12" so I needed 6s to hit it, got just three out of 35 attacks or so, and of those few, only one managed to hurt with a penetration roll of 6 because of my furious charge. I needed a 5 or 6 to destroy the tank! And the dice gods smiled upon me with a 5! Great stuff. A hard fought draw.

More to come.


Blood Angels Tactics: Sanguinary Priest

One of the biggest upgrades in the new codex is the Sanguinary Priest. 65 points buys you an even better sergeant for your squad packing another power weapon that grants Feen No Pain and Furious Charge to any one within 6".

Now at first glance, you may be inclined to leave him in a transport and send out the squad to assault, gaining his benefit from inside the tank, but there is so much more to him than that! Allow me to explain.

2 or 3 priests must be in every Blood Angels army. They grant a huge bonus. I'm sure there is a phrase for it, but I will call it "Force Multiplier". This force multiplier varies in strength based on how you use him. The concept is simple. How can you multiply the effectiveness of your army? Giving your sergeant a power weapon and plasma pistol makes a squad a lot more dangerous. You have multiplied the effectiveness of the force. These numbers have no factual bearing, but I would say that if a PW and Plasma Pistol multiply an RAS effectiveness x2, then giving them a priest will multiply it x10. The most immediate benefit is that you can get "more for less". A 5 man RAS with a PW and a priest with a PW are now superior to a 10 man ras without. In fact, the priest elevates this normal troops squad into the Elite ranks. I would charge them against 10 man vet squads for example. Basicly, adding a priest to each of your 5 man squads makes them the equivalent of a 10 man squad or more. More for Less! How do we get the most for least? That is what I am all about.

First of all, a priest in a Razorback with an RAS:

Perhaps the single most game changing element of the Blood Angels codex. For 245 points you can get a Razorback with an Assault Cannon, carrying 6 marines (7 wounds), two power weapons, and a meltagun. I think you will be hard pressed to find any better deal in the game point for point. Just the razorback with Asscan alone is worth it's weight in gold. It can move 12", forcing enemy assaults to hit on 6, and still shoot it's gun. That is devastating, especially to armies like tyranids who rely on assaulting to do their damage. Bye bye genestealers! But then you have the guys inside. If they get the charge, those 6 marines are easily the equal of any 10 man power armor squad in the game. Khorne berzerkers, Plague marines, Vanguard Vets, you name it. This squad will even give Storm shield terminators frights. Every one oohs and aahs at Sanguinary Guard, but the truth is, you just don't need em. Once you are done upgrading the SG, they cost more then this RAS option, are subject to being shot down before they get into assault, and while they get more PW shots, do they really need them?

Now, you can't just go wasting this little gem. Remember, they are just regular space marines in power armor. Plasma will slaughter them, and for all their strength, they are just 6 men. But I must say, I have been using them to devastating effect. Make a few FNP rolls, and your opponent just gives up shooting at them!

Add in the fact that the priest grants his abilities in a bubble, and you are golden. A single priest can enhance 2 or 3 five man squads, making a brutal assault force.

Force multiplier!

Priest hiding in a transport:
The knee jerk tactic that people will immediately go with is to put the priest in a transport with a squad, disembark the squad and assault, while keeping the unupgraded priest inside, granting his abilities from the safety of armor. Yes, this is a sound tactic, but when you look at the importance of Force Multiplication in the new BA dex, this tactic pales. Taking a priest with PW out of the squad makes that 5 man squad merely mortal. You take out the vicious teeth and heavily reduce the effectiveness, or force multiplication benefit.

Sure the priest will live longer if he is not in assault, especially since he can be targeted with PWs and fists. But what happens if your squads charge takes them further then 6" Away from the transport? So much for FNP! Now you have a 50 point upgrade sitting in a tank doing nothing, and a 5 man squad that I would not count on to do half of what I spoke about in the first part of this post. If you have a load of extra points, this is a decent option, especially in terms of redundancy, but I suggest you go with the upgrades, and get him into assault.

Priest in Termy armor:

Having spoken about giving the priest the PW and joining him to a squad, I attached one to an assault terminator squad in a Land Raider Crusader. But then looking at the points, I noticed that for 20 points more he could have terminator armor! What a no brainer! Sure, you lose an attack cause he loses the pistol. But he gains Terminator armor! The terminator armor upgrade with Power Weapon for 35 points is probably one of the best upgrades I could imagine for an already sweet unit. If you are going to run a termy/LRC type of army, it pretty much screams for a priest in TA.

Priest with Jump Pack:

I am currently against jump pack units in the face of cheap Razorback units. But if I were to run a jump squad, I would certainly give them a JP priest. Talk about force multiplication... how about a priest joined to a Sanguinary Guard squad! (I know I mentioned that you don't need them earlier, but that does not mean that they are not cool!)

Priest on bike:

Ok, in case you missed it, you can now field lots of bikes in a Blood Angels army. As the dex makes it's rounds, and people work out the uber lists, I have a feeling that we will see many more bike squads to come. Toughness 5 and turbo boosting cover saves. Enough said. If you want to make sure your vital assaulters get the benefits of a priest, give the priest a bike! He can be all over the table, zooming in at the crucial times to grant the charge. There are probably better ways to do this, but the option exists, and I think the priest biker will definitely come into it's own once the dex has had a good thorough shake down.

Ok, fingers are sore and I have to get some work done. But now that I have quite a few games under my belt with the new dex, expect to see lots more new Jawa-tactic posts!


Give him the PW upgrade.