500 points Space Wolves versus Orks

I managed to get a game in against my boyfriend the other weekend. We don’t get much time for games, so even a little 500 points game is a refreshing change and, equally unusually, I actually won. This isn’t a proper battle report, I didn’t write everything down, more an exploration of my list and my core units, most of which were in action.

I bought a 500 point Space Wolf list against his Ork Boyz. My list was:

HQ: Wolf Priest on bike
Troops: 5x Grey Hunters, Melta gun
Troops: 5x Grey Hunters, Melta gun
Fast Attack: 4x Swiftclaws
Heavy Support: 5x Long Fangs: 2x Heavy Bolters, 2x Missile launchers
=500 points

While he brought:

HQ: Warboss, Power Klaw, ‘Eavy armour, twin-linked shoota
Troops: 20x Ork Boyz, 2x Big Shoota
Troops: 20x Ork Boyz, 2x Big Shoota
Fast Attack: 3x Deffkoptas, twin linked rokkit launchers
=495 points

We played Purge the Alien with Hammer and Anvil deployment on a 4×4 board. Actually, we rolled Vanguard Strike yet again but I know from experience that it doesn’t work so well on a 4×4 as the deployment zone is too small.

I won the roll off and decided to go first. I decided to play aggressively with my Swiftclaws and drove them towards the Boyz squad with the Warboss while the Grey Hunters shuffled forward six inches. I really wanted to get the Deffkoptas off the board, so I set my Long Fangs on them while the other squads shot at the Boyz.

I’m not particularly tactical, I usually forget something important or place a unit in a daft place. For once I lucked out with the placement though. Playing on a 4×4 meant that my Long Fangs could hit everything and my Grey Hunters could hit something every turn. I was also fairly lucky, or rather my boyfriend was very unlucky, as I was able to kill his Warboss in a challenge before he could hit back. If he’d had better luck with his saving throws, I’d have been in a lot of trouble!

The mixture of missile launchers and heavy bolters worked fairly well for my Long Fangs against an infantry based army mostly due to the rate of fire. I guess that Long Fangs are probably a little bit too powerful for 500 points, as they are fairly cheap for the amount of damage that they can do, however I don’t think that they were crucial this game.

Oddly enough, although Swiftclaws are not the best value for their points cost for Space Wolves, I like them as they do provide a way of getting an assaulty unit across the board very fast and the extra point of toughness comes in very handy. Of course, as Blood Claws, they are only WS and BS 3, but they get an extra attack on the charge and with the very killy Wolf Priest attached to the unit to nullify the Headstrong rule, they are fairly reliable. I need to build and paint another one or two models for larger games, but at 500 points, four bikes are fine. I don’t expect them to last the game, just cause as much chaos as possible before they get killed. They were definitely worth their points this game as they killed a 130 point unit of Ork Boyz and one Swift Claw survived long enough to join the Wolf Priest in an assault on the other Ork Boyz squad along with one of my Grey Hunter squads. The Wolf Priest survived this game and I guess he caused the final blow to the Orks as the last unit fell to his sweeping advance in turn three.

I lost one pack of Grey Hunters in addition to the Swift Claws. However, they played their part, lasting a turn and a bit in close combat with the second squad of Ork Boyz. I think that if I were to tweak this list a little, I might swap out a Melta for a Flamer in future. The Melta guns did practically nothing all game, and if anything, I was penalised by being out of range with them for most of the game. A flamer is still only short range, but it’s a template weapon (meaning that if I’m lucky I can take out more than one guy with one shot) and might be a bit of fun.

It’s a pity that the game only lasted three turns, my boyfriend had some atrocious luck at times, but I think that I’m happy with this list as the core of my army. I didn’t use the Rune Priest as I thought that the Long Fangs would be more useful. In a larger game I’d add in the Rune Priest as a matter of course.

Hopefully I can get a few more 500 points games in and try and see if practice speeds up my playing. A 500 point session is never going to be the most epic of 40K games, but that doesn’t mean that it can’t be great fun and it has the advantage of being small and fast, meaning that in my hectic household, there’s a chance of getting a game in! Hopefully I can get another one in soon as my boyfriend needs his revenge and there are a couple of tweaks that we both want to try.

L.o.F.

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The Joy of Kitbash part 3: Weapon Swaps

So, today I’m going to talk about weapon swaps. Sometimes the weapon that a model wants to use is simply unavailable or requires buying a kit for just one bit. Perhaps the way the weapon is posed is not quite right or you want a WYSIWYG model and your model doesn’t have quite enough hands. If this is the case then it’s time for a weapon swap.

Some weapon swaps are trivial, for instance in building Long Fangs from the Devastator kit or giving a model a sword or pistol from another kit. It gets a little more complicated when you need a weapon for which you don’t have the kit or want to pose the weapon in a different way. I’m going to cover reposing of limbs in a later post so today I’m just going to look at what the limbs are holding.

So what should we consider when doing a weapon swap on a model? The first thing to think about is how the weapon is going to be fixed to the model. Is it in the model’s hand ready to use or is it stowed? Is it one-handed or two handed? If it’s stowed, does it need strapping down in any way? If it’s in use, is it in one hand or two? In which direction do you want it to point?

Below are some examples of stowed weapons. The sword that the Wolf Scout is carrying is a cut down power sword from the Space Wolves pack (representing a combat knife). I had to build up the hilt with green stuff and I added the chain to make it look as if it were strapped on. I also built the green stuff fur cloak around the blade, so that the sword blends in with the rest of the model. The meltagun on the first Grey Hunter is slung from a sling made from green stuff. Here, I just glued the meltagun to the thigh of the model and used two thin bits of greenstuff to make it seem as if it is slung from a strap over his shoulder (don’t you just love big shoulder pads sometimes). The final stowed weapon is the simplest. I just glued the bolt gun to the backpack to represent a weapon that is maglocked in place.

stowed weapons

So, stowed weapons are fairly straightforward. Now we come to weapons modelled as if they’re in use. The trivial example (although it doesn’t feel like that when you’re juggling arms and bolters) is swapping out a bolt gun for a plasma or melta gun. A more dynamic pose can be made by having the model wield the weapon one-handed. For the flamer wielding Blood Claw below I used a plasma pistol wielding arm from the Space Wolves Pack box and a flamer from the Tactical Marine box (1). I trimmed off the plasma pistol using a scalpel and trimmed the grip area of the flamer to match (2). Then it was straightforward to glue the two pieces together(3-4).

Flamer diagram jpg

Then there are weapons and items that do not exist, for example the only Space Wolf Crozius Arcanum comes with Ulrik the Slayer. Fortunately it’s very easy to make your own. All you need is a thunder hammer (of which you’ll have plenty if you own the Space Wolves Pack kit) and one of the backpack icons from either the Space Wolves Pack or Terminators kit. Trim off the head of the thunder hammer and glue on the icon. It really is that simple!

crozius

So, what should you try to remember when kitbashing or converting weapons. Well, firstly, you need to consider what the weapon represents. For example I built my Rune Priest with a staff, which caused no problems when I fielded him in 5th Ed., but caused me much confusion when I first got him into close combat in 6th (it should be a power stave). The next thing to think about is the aesthetics- how you want the model to look. For instance if you want a WYSIWYG model you need to work out how to fit everything on which, when you have a model with two or more weapons, stops being trivial very quickly! The third thing that you need to consider is transport and storage. Unless you only play at home and store your figures on a shelf, you will need to be able to pack up and move your models. If you want to kitbash or convert a model with a particularly epic or thematic pose you may want to think about either keeping everything close to the body of the model (for ease of packing) or using magnets.

Hopefully this post gives you a few ideas about how to be creative with a weapon swap. In the next post of this series I’m going to look at reposing limbs. Until then!

L.o.F.

Rune Priests, Swiftclaws and Filthy Xenos!

My boyfriend and I were in the UK last week and as we had a nice free day at the right end of the right country we made a trip to visit The Overlords again. My boyfriend and I teamed up so we had 750 points of his Orks and 750 points of my Space Wolves facing 1500 points of Eldar. It was an awesome game (which we lost) and I really enjoyed it (thanks very much again). However, as a battle report requires more details than I can remember (like what was in the other two armies), I’m afraid I’m going to gloss over the game and skip straight to what I’ve learned.

1) Eldar are interesting. I have to admit that Eldar never really interested me before. I don’t know why, but I’ve never really looked at them closely. After Sunday I think that I might take a bit more interest, I might even (ok, will) buy the codex some day. I liked the look of the models and I liked the way they played and I’m even coming up with paint schemes in my head.

2) My setting up is atrocious! I really need to think more about how I set up as I’m making stupid mistakes. For instance, my Long Fangs were out of range for large chunks of the game. I had five Grey Hunters plonked on the Objective and five Long Fangs on top of the building where it was hidden. Unfortunately we were playing The Emperor’s Will with Vanguard Strike and the objectives were in the far corners and, as the Orks and the Wolves stormed over towards the other objective, most of the action was on the other side of the board. I also set up my Swiftclaws slightly incorrectly. There was a river on the board that counted as Difficult Terrain, and, rather than going round it, I decided to take the short route, which led to one of my Swiftclaws being swept away while my Wolf Priest took a wound. It would have been a lot better if I had taken the slightly longer, safer, route.

3) The core of my army are my Rune Priest, Wolf Priest and Swiftclaws. My Rune Priest really came into his own this game. I gave him his usual combination of Living Lightning (which I didn’t get round to using) and Tempest’s Wrath, which turned out to be very useful against Mech Eldar. The Runic Weapon that he carries is also very handy when facing enemy Psykers. Although the Swiftclaws die fairly quickly, that’s almost their job. I use them to get to the enemy and distract them so that I can get my other guys forward. The Wolf Priest on bike is far more survivable (so long as you don’t roll 1s when crossing Difficult Terrain) and, though I wish I’d given him Melta bombs, does his fair share of damage. He’s really good fun to play too.

Hildolfr left

Anyway, despite losing badly, I actually finished a game, had a lot of fun and was happy with my list. I guess that the main thing that I need now is practice!

L.o.F.

On the twelfth day of Christmas the hobby meant to me…

Twelve Space Wolf Great Companies…

So this is the last post in this series, normal service will shortly be resumed. This post took longer than I expected, sorry. The reason why will, hopefully, become clear soon enough.

Today I want to talk about my army. The picture below describes my army as it is. I’ve arranged it mostly in the same way as the Force Org although you may notice that there are four Heavy Support slots drawn in. That is because I have a Land Raider to paint one of these days as well as another pack of Long Fangs.

Great company coloured

My Wolves are part of the Great Company of Ælthere Greatpaw. I wanted to give my guys a Viking raider feel, so I’m going for lots of Fast Attack in the form of Swiftclaws, Land Speeders and Fenrisian Wolves, although I’m not impressed with the Landspeeder so far. The bikes are cheaper and survive a little bit longer (if more by luck than any special ability). I don’t like Thunderwolf Cavalry, don’t ask me why, I just don’t, so I’m avoiding them.

I have three HQ choices at the moment and I’m not planning on any more for now. As well as Greatpaw himself, who is a Wolf Lord in Terminator armour, I have Alvaldi Ratatosk, the Rune Priest, and Hildólfr Deathmask, the Wolf Priest. I actually have two models of Deathmask, one in Terminator Armour and one on a bike, as I wanted a more mobile HQ choice to go with my Swiftclaws.

Oddly enough, although this is Greatpaw’s Company, he’s the one guy for which I have least fluff (beyond the fact that I imagine him with a broad Yorkshire accent. My imagination is weird some days). Deathmask though is explained in detail in two posts here! The symbolism on Ratatosk is mentioned in my original post on him. I like trying to add symbolism to my figures. I find that it helps me to paint them if I have a sketchy idea of name and personality. Sometimes this personality doesn’t develop until I paint them (I have a Blood Claw with an axe who looks like he hasn’t had an original idea in his life), sometimes it never develops at all, but I find that a model with a sketchy back story gets painted far more quickly than one without. Oddly enough I forget all about this as soon as I field them in a game!

For Elites I currently have Wolf Guard Terminators (three for now, but hopefully more will follow in time) and a mixed bunch of Wolf Scouts. In future I’ll be adding a Dreadnought to the list, but he’s still in his box and desperately needs assembling and painting. I like Dreadnoughts, I’m just not sure how I want to build this one though.

My troops slot still has plenty of room to expand. I currently split the ten man packs into two but what I really need to do is build more. I’m working on it, honestly! The Space Wolf Pack boxes are almost too detailed. It takes a long time to paint each guy properly and that makes painting new Grey Hunter and Blood Claw packs a little bit off-putting.

I’m still building up my Heavy Support choices too. I have one complete pack of Long Fangs and another partly painted pack. The rest are in need of assembly and my Land Raider needs painting. It’s just a little bit daunting! I’m also a little bit nervous about putting too many points into this slot as my Long Fangs have seen very little action so far.

Anyway, that’s the last of this series. I hope that you enjoyed them. I’ll be back to my usual schedule (hopefully) on Tuesday. I have plenty of non-numericially themed posts waiting!

L.o.F.

…Eleven months of blogging…

…Ten thousand years past…

…Nine different tools…

…Eight books to look at…

…Seven days of hobbying…

… Learning sixth edition…

…Fifth Edition!…

…Four more excuses…

…Three things to think of…

Two different opinions

And a gift under the Christmas Tree

Wolf Priest on Bike: Hildólfr Deathmask

My Wolf Priest was my first ever conversion and, to be honest, I’ve never been completely happy with how he looked, so, when I started building my Swiftclaws, I decided that I’d rebuild him as an HQ to go with that unit.

There are bits from the Ravenwing bike kit, the Space Wolves pack and the Space Wolves upgrade frame in there.

For markings I decided to go with using Morkai, the two headed wolf of death, due to him being a Wolf Priest, and also due to the scarring on his face.

Trying to get the scarring right was quite important for me. This character has quite a complicated back story in my mind. The scarring was caused by a heroic last stand that turned out to be not quite as final as he had assumed. I wanted it to be quite extreme, and I’ve almost got it how I wanted it (I had a little mishap with a wash and his face turned out darker than expected).

I’ve already talked about the Wolf Skull Helmet. I really wanted to get that and the Crozius onto the model. I decided that adding an amulet on top would have been too much, but I did manage to fit on a cannister for geneseed (a piece of tubing stopped up with green stuff), strapped onto his belt.

Anyway, here you are,meet  Hildólfr Deathmask, Wolf Priest of the Great Company of Ælfhere Greatpaw, ready to lead those riotous Swift Claws into battle! I have two more bikes left in the kit to build, but I may leave them for a while as I have a couple of projects (and that flipping Aegis Defence Line) waiting to be done.

L.o.F.

Of Nano, painting and dark nights

I’m struggling a bit at the moment. My thesis has to be sent to the printers next week (and no, it’s not ready) and I have a foreign trip coming up due to a friend’s wedding and then, after all that, I have to defend my thesis! All this means that I’m not doing much in my spare time except sleeping and reading.

I’ve just finished Helsreach, which is a very, very good read. The style is different, swapping between 1st and 3rd person, but it works very well. Aaron Dembski-Bowden is not above just killing characters off though!

Every year, in the build up to November, I think about doing Nanowrimo. Every November (but one) I have failed to finish. This year, in about June, July, I came up with a brilliant idea, by October I realised that I was far too busy to even contemplate adding yet another challenge to the pile that are standing between me and getting home in a more or less sane state of mind this Christmas. I like Nano in the same way as I like painting challenges and even deadlines. They focus me, stop me butterflying from one idea to the next. Unfortunately they focus me, to the extent that I can’t think about anything else. This week I’ve been totally focused on work and however relaxing half an hour’s painting is, yesterday was the first evening this week that I’ve managed to build up enough focus to do more than look at the bike that I’m working on and then my leg went to sleep…

Anyway, enough of my moaning! The bike only needs a few more hours work. I forgot to paint the handlebars. I just need to fix them, touch up a couple of wobbly bits and then it’s on to the washes and the highlighting. I’m having to use lamps while I paint in the evenings now, which is always “interesting”. I should be able to get in some solid daytime painting time in this weekend though, and hopefully I can focus on my task!

L.o.F.

Wolf Skull Helmet for a Wolf Priest

The model that this will eventually go on is currently in about five pieces but the last of my Long Fangs is currently waiting for one coat of wash to dry before I apply the next one and I wanted to post something today.

There is a Wolf Priest figure available for Space Wolves, Ulrik the Slayer. Unfortunately it’s quite an old model and he is a particular special character. I wanted my own Wolf Priest. I’ve already built one in Terminator armour, in fact he was my first conversion and it shows. On top of that I really needed something to keep my Swiftclaws in order, so I’m currently in the process of building a Wolf Priest on a bike. He won’t be wearing his helmet but I’d like to have one somewhere on the model.

I started out using a mk. 7 helmet and a Wolf Skull from the Space Wolves pack. I then shaved off the front of the helmet using a scalpel so that I could rest the wolf skull on it at the right angle.

I then filled in the gaps with green stuff and added lenses to the helmet.

I painted the skull Bleached Bone (Ushbati Bone) and washed it with Gryphonne Sepia (Seraphim Sepia). I then highlighted it with Bleached Bone and Skull White (White Scar). The metallic bits were washed with Devlan mud (Agrax Earthshade) followed by Badab Black (Nuln Oil) and were painted either Dwarf Bronze (Hashut Copper) highlighted with Shining Gold (Gehenna’s Gold) or Boltgun Metal (Leadbelcher) Highlighted with Chainmail (Ironbreaker).

Eventually it will end up attached to the Wolf Priest on the bike, but the bike still needs undercoating. As long as it doesn’t rain I’ll get that done this weekend.

Sorry for the poor picture quality in this post. I had trouble getting my camera to focus on such a small model.

L.o.F.