Friday, 25 April 2014

On the eve of battle...

You may have noticed a lull in proceedings around here for the last few weeks. 'Have you got fed up of Cygnar'? I hear you cry! Absolutely not. Trust me, there's plenty of that in the pipeline. However, I've had to squeeze in a little side project.

I sit here on the eve of a 40k tournament, quite unlike any other. That tournament is none other than 'The Dark Throne', a 1000 point bash in Manchester, as far as I'm aware the first 40k tournament run by the blogging group 'Corehammer'. These guys have been running their little corner of the internet for a little over a year. In their blog, they cover 2 subjects. The blog is a blend of the hardcore punk scene here and the UK, and reviews of their other hobby, wargaming.

You can check 'em out here:

So, as you might know, I'm a big wargamer. I'm also into my punk music. Although, not quite the same level of hardcore as the corehammer crew, when the dark throne was announced, I knew I had to get tickets. They say it's going to be a social day of chatting music and wargames, there appears to be little to no emphasis on winning. In fact the rules pack genuinely includes to phrase 'Don't be that guy', in reference to the list building section. In other words, tomorrow should be exactly my kind of event!

So, i needed to throw together a 1000 point army, with no beard factor, get it built and painted in time to 'Not turn up with a tramp army' That's another rules pack quote. True, I could've used an old army, my horde of chaos guardsmen still hangs around my 40k tables, but where's the fun in that? So a new army, on a bit of a budget. But which one? I put this question to our club, and said, 'you guys come up with some ideas, I'll choose the best and run with it.'

This is how I've just finished my first Aurora Chapter army.


Aurora chapter are one of those chapters people have seen in every space marine codex for the last 5, but would never do an army of. We don't know much about them, they are Ultra Marines successors, and they have a high proportion of predators and land raiders. They're good at armored assaults. Thats about all I know.


I also know, they're old school.

So I took corehammer's love of the old school(just check out their logo), and the old school values of doing one of those chapters you've known for years but never seen on the table, mashed them with the latest marine ideals, and what we got, is this pale green, chequer plated 1000 point right here. 

So army list was fairly easy. I couldn't justify a land raider in 1000 points, I don't want to be that guy, so predators. Predator destructors are actually really cheap. An armour 13 tank, with auto cannon, 2 heavy bolters and storm bolter on top rounds off at 100 points. 

I'll take 2. Laying down firepower in that quantity is a good thing in little points games. Sends people running. Turns out, marine tanks are also made to be airbrushed too, which is just good practice. Also allows for plenty of checks for old school vibes.  

Next up, 2 full tactical squads. I think if I'm taking a codex chapter, it's rude not to. I wanted to free hand chapter logos on the lot of 'em, but I just ran out of time. Originally, I'd planned to paint this whole army over 1 weekend, but over Easter I got struck down with a horrendous fever. That sent me scrambling for paint brushes up to about half on hour ago. 

So, troops on the ground, 1000 points, 20 solid power armoured marines. Next i need more support. You may notice I have very little anti tank so far. Step in a full squad of typhoon land speeders. A full squad, arriving from reserve, can delete armoured threats in salvo of rockets, on a good day. 3 multi meltas provides some ap1 fun too.


We now needed a leader. For some reason, I thought a character with a thunder hammer, though slow, would be cool. If he's gonna be slow, he needs good armour to make sure he gets chance to break heads. Finish him off with an old school back banner, and we'll see how he does.  

A few points left buys me a squad of scouts with sniper rifles. These guys always seem like an after thought, though I don't think they are. Camo cloaks can make 'em a right pain in little games, sometimes they just stick around, shooting stuff up. 

That rounds off the list. Does it work? I don't know. I've played 1 practice game. I wont get any more in before tomorrow. The main thing is a got it painted. Done and done.

So, what do I expect from tomorrow? Well, I'm aware that this day, much like a punk gig, is built on trust. You gotta trust your pit mates to pick you up when you fall down. You gotta trust your players to not break this game we know as 40k.

I don't play competitively, because I don't think the system is balanced. I save that for warmachine. 40k I just have a laugh. I'm aware that laugh could easily die in my throat when someone else's version for not being 'That guy' involves 'Look, I only took one helldrake this time'. Or 'I don't think a wraith knight is excessive in 1000 points, normally I take 3!'.

So tomorrow I place my trust in the other players and in corehammer, in that I shall have a good time, and I shall be more pleased bringing home the sportmanship award than anything else.

Lets try and keep the beer in check tonight too eh...?