Tuesday, 2 January 2018

The Best Units in Astra Militarum, 8th Edition

Hi folks,
I've been researching the best units in Astra Militarum (AM) pretty heavily and have come across some incredible resources, plus indulged my love of a good spreadsheet and done a little analysis of my own. What you'll see here is a summary of the most popular units in the top 18 ITC lists of 2017 for AM and some links to the resources I have been digesting. My data on AM comes from the US ITC tournaments which were numerous and diverse in terms of meta to produce some results I think are worth taking some instruction from - these are lovingly compiled by the guys at Frontline Gaming, all credit to them for collating this info.

To begin with, AM have done very well in 8th Edition ITC tournaments in 2017. They are in the top 5 factions across 2017 which also include Space Marines, Chaos Space Marines, Orcs and Tyranids. This is a big swing from 7th Edition which featured Eldar heavily, alongside Space Marines, Chaos Space Marines, Tau & Chaos Daemons. No doubt as each faction gets a new codex next year we will see more changes.

My addition to the great work from Frontline is to collate any AM lists that got a top 3 placing at 20 of the ITC 8th Edition tournaments last year and list out the units I found there. I sorted the units into 'buckets' of battlefield roles and then listed the top 3 (or less where there wasn't enough diversity!) to produce the units that people find most optimal and voila....

The # denotes the number of times this Unit appeared in the lists and the % indicates the percentage this unit represents for all the entries for this battlefield role. So what does all this tell us? Well there are some really dominant units:

Tuesday, 19 December 2017

Astra Militarum in 8th Edition - Part 1 Review

I have spent the last few years focused on the Horus Heresy and kept gaming with 40k by just transferring my codex over, well that was until 8th came along. I tried using the fandex which is brilliant work, but it just wasn't the same.

So it was time for me to unpack my Astra Militarum (still getting used to calling them that) and take a look through the 8th edition rules properly and the AM Codex. Suffice to say I am loving them!

I've been looking through the codex, listening to podcasts (Forge The Narrative), and scanning through various blogs to look for consistent great units. With a tournament in mind next year and a desire to get a half decent sense of what makes a good army in mind I am embarking upon a review of what I think works well in the codex for me and fits with the models I have already (although I'm not ruling out the odd addition here and there).

Monday, 11 December 2017

8th Edition and the Horus Heresy - a gaming crossroads!

I’ve played a few games now and feel I’ve seen enough to give a view, at the least from the perspective of the Imperial Fists anyway. I used to play friends who had 40k armies at 7th no problem. My army was fairly well balanced with theirs and the difference in genres didn’t seem to affect us at all. So it was with some trepidation I tried out my army with the Horus Heresy fandex (which is too casual a description really for the great work that the guys have put into this - take a look at http://heresy30k.invisionzone.com/topic/10351-the-8ed-heresy-project-legiones-astartes/) against a Blood Angels and Imperial Guard Army. 

General thoughts on playing 8th from the Horus Heresy

- it’s got the potential to play fast, although because we were still learning the rules it wasn’t much faster than 7th, but the potential is there.
- the psychic phase seems much simpler - I’ve not used Psykers for a long time so it’s difficult for me to compare. But compared to 7th I picked up how to do psychic stuff in no time at all so it’s got to be better than before. 
- templates gone - I like this, much quicker all around both as it doesn’t mean you need to worry about bunching up squads and it’s quicker in the shooting phase to play with largely similar results (although see my comment later!). 
- no scattering for deep strike - yippee!
- turn 1 charges - yippee!

Monday, 4 December 2017

Armies on Parade 2017 - Rich's Imperial Fists

Armies on Parade - 2017

I had an ambition to try out at this in 2017 and so, I duly arrived a few weeks ago at my local store with my Imperial Fists and one of my terrain boards. 

I decided to take infantry and walkers only, and also to keep the miniatures on the Board well spaced so that the varied characters and squads could grab their own but of the limelight.

Saturday, 25 November 2017

Beautiful Models v Time - The ultimate rivalry

You might well talk about Man Utd v Liverpool, The Bengals v The Steelers or The Yankees v The Red Sox but I think it is universally given that Beautiful models v Time is the ultimate rivalry in history.
The greatest rivalry?
I came up against this particular rivalry once again in my life the other day. This time of year (September - December) is generally my busiest time. It is the start of a new school year, we have many birthdays through October and November in our family and then Christmas hits. During this time of year I get precious little hobby time and when I do I need to be very efficient and focused in what I do. It is usually in these situations where I hate Games Workshop the most!

As you may know I have been working on expanding the Death Company for my Flesh Tearers army this year. It has been an incredibly slow process for me but I have been grinding through them as the year has gone by. Finally I had got the main torso's finished and in my hour spare I thought I could make some good headway on the arms and weapons and they would be very close to getting on the table.
Finished torso's on the Death Company

Monday, 30 October 2017

Painting Non Metallic Metal (NMM) Power Swords - My journey!

I have previously posted about painting power swords (here) a few months ago as I experimented with painting a lightning effect:
Death Company with lightning effect power sword

At the time I thought that it was cool but I am having second thoughts as I have decided to paint another 6 Death Company all with power swords and having 2 squads with 3 power swords in each squad.

On close inspection my power sword looks a bit lame and so I did a bit of research online to find some that I might like to emulate. My favourites were these:

Saturday, 23 September 2017

Building a Zone Mortalis Board from scratch

Dad Rich and I have played a few games of Zone Mortalis (See Imperial Fists v Flesh Tearers here) over the last 12 months. It is a fun way to play, quick and provides a very different experience from standard 40k.

With regards to a board to play on, he has been sneaky enough to purchase a Zone Mortalis set without his better half knowing and has airbrushed it up to a playable standard fairly quickly!
Rich's Zone Mortalis board
Unfortunately not all of us are lucky enough to be able to afford to get a Forge World board and also, although it looks cool I quite fancied a Zone Mortalis board that would be more unique and varied rather than grey spaceship walls. In fact a dungeon style set of ruins took my fancy so I did a bit of research online and received my inspiration from Machu Picchu with a grey, grassy style. With this in mind I set to work designing and building my own board from scratch...

Saturday, 16 September 2017

40k Flesh Tearers v Grey Knights - 8th edition comment on the Grey Knight Codex

 The last time my Flesh Tearers played against Steve's Grey Knights was well back in 7th Edition and I got well and truly tabled in about 4 turns! I was determined to get my revenge as Steve wanted to try out his brand new Grey Knight Codex for the first time.

Tuesday, 15 August 2017

8th Edition 40k game - Flesh Tearers v Deathwing

After 4 wins on the bounce my Flesh Tearers were challenged to a 100 power game against a very elite force - the Deathwing!

This I was not looking forward to as I was running my normal super mobile themed army - remember this is not a power build but a Flesh Tearer army I have slowly painted up over about 3 years that, in my eyes, totally fits their background. Mostly jump pack assault troops with a sizeable death company and a few terminators to bulk it out. The Land Raider and Baal Predator have no long range effectiveness being equipped with flamestorm cannons! Basically the army does what Flesh Tearers do - run at the enemy and hope for the best!!

The problem is that although my army is themed for in your face close combat, it's not particularly good at it. I have got assault marines after all! So coming up against about 30 terminators, a land raider and some knights who will literally walk into my lines and shout "come and have a go if you think you're hard enough!" Scares me rather a lot!
The Deathwing assemble

Friday, 28 July 2017

8th Edition 40k - Flesh Tearers v Orks - comment on the game and rules

Rolling on for my 3rd game of 40k in 8th edition dad Steve challenged me to pit my Flesh Tearers against his Orks. He obviously wanted revenge for the loss his Blood Angels took last time and has put his faith in the dirty xenos greenskins - fool! I think Mephiston will show him the error of his ways!!


This was going to be interesting. I had only ever faced Orks before in tournaments at Warhammer World where I was running my Emperor's Feth Astra Militarum army. These battles never ended well for the greenskins as 2 Manticores and a bunch of Leman Russ's tended to take care of them by turn 3! Now however I have a smallish more elite army that is mainly assault based - not a good match up for a dedicated assault army with lots of bodies that will effectively run me over.